It’s all fun and Squid Games…

If you’re living under a rock like I was, perhaps you’re unaware of the Netflix phenomenon Squid Game. This show is currently the most popular Netflix show of all time and it’s easy to see why. The main character is an everyman stuck in a horrible situation. Each episode he barely escapes a brutal death. There’s gritty action and nearly every moment leaves the viewer sitting on the edge of their seat.

I had largely avoided this show, but I had become aware of a sudden plethora of pictures on social media related to odd characters wearing shapes on their faces. After a bit of research and listening to the murmuring of students before class, I learned these intriguing characters were part of the show Squid Game so I decided to give it a try.

I enjoy action and I certainly enjoy shows with a twist, such as the plot of Squid Game. However, I am also one who tries to take Philippians 4:8 seriously. After watching the first episode of Squid Game, I knew this show did not meet this test. Watching a woman be splattered in blood and gore just before being shot through the head herself does not fit the qualification of “lovely.”

I thought that maybe the first episode was simply “shock factor” so I looked up some of “best” scenes to see if the show got better. More blood, horrible deaths, and gore. More terror and fear. Nothing lovely. Nothing pure.

Philippians 4:8 is not merely a list of virtues necessary for being an official stick in the mud. It is not there to make Christians boring or to deprive us of fun. It is there to protect our soul. What goes into the eye grows in the soul. It shapes you and changes you.


Dwelling on the Truth.

There is a case to be made that there are times where viewing graphic violence is acceptable. The world, after all, features graphic violence. Thus, there are times where we ought to consider the real world and the real effects of sin.

Squid Game is not this. It revels in blood and death. For we who believe that the good God is making all things new, who beckons us to reflect on those things that reflect Him, something like Squid Game is best avoided.

Doing so is not to be prude; it is to turn towards things that nourish the soul and breathe the loveliness of life.

Take a moment to reflect on Squid Game and the soul. Does this show depict beauty? Does it make you contemplate the grandeur of God? Does it make you love your neighbor more? My guess is that an honest answer will lead to a resounding “no.”

As Christians, we have the biggest, most amazing, beautiful story as part of our worldview. The Scriptures command us to think on beauty, joy, and love. In other words, we should constantly be returning our thoughts to the person of God. Let us then find things that are commendable and praiseworthy to spend our time dwelling on, not needless violence. Last time I checked, The Chosen is still available for free.

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. (Phi 4:8, CSB)


Check out The Chosen

(I am not affiliated with The Chosen)

Tyler Bauer is a classical school teacher and speaker. He holds an MA in Apologetics from Biola University and is a Philosophy and Theology PhD student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His wife is gracious and laughs at his jokes.