In writing for www.gotquestions.org, I was asked to address the Bachelor and Bachelorette programs in light of whether the activities on these programs are sinful.
Your question is certainly an interesting one. I rarely watch these shows. But, I recently watched the Bachelorette when I was visiting a friend. Several things come to mind:
1. For the Christian, these shows are probably inappropriate to participate on. It is important to first look at how we should look for our mate following Biblical principles. There is nothing wrong with desiring a mate. The Apostle Paul when speaking of remaining single in order to serve the Lord more effectively, in I Corinthian 7:9 (NIV) speaks to the issue of wanting to marry. He tells us, ” But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
However, we are to be led by the spirit of God in all that we do as a believer. Proverbs 4:11-12 (NIV) tells us about God’s leading. “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.” The Apostle Paul also taught that the Christian is not to be “yoked to an unbeliever”. (II Corinthians 6:14) Therefore, if a Christian decides to appear on these programs are they allowed to stipulate that only believers be part of their “reality television harem”? Would they be courageous enough to ask the screening question, “Are you a born again Christian and can you tell me about your conversion experience?” and then eliminate people based on that screening question?
While one could argue that the Lord could guide a person on the programs to the exact mate out of the stable of candidates, one should ask whether the entire nation needs to watch this process. The Bible speaks much of modesty and I am sure the Lord is NOT pleased with a program based on sexual themes. Thinking in terms of biblical passages regarding modesty, is it really appropriate for a Christian to have a bank of 25 people most of whom they will kiss and show other signs of intimacy for an audience of millions to see?
2. For the unbeliever, participating in this kind of program is consistent with their nature. For the unbeliever, life is typically made up of satisfying the desires of the flesh which makes these programs very appealing. Romans 1:24-26 expresses this, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator'”who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts”. People who have not been born again are only restrained by moral principles they have been taught in their life experience. But, without Christ it is easy for a person to compromise because their convictions are not built on a strong foundation of faith in Christ.
Summary: While I would not label these two programs as overtly evil, I certainly do not believe either program honors the Lord. Instead, they cater to the sensual side of people and denigrate the principles of love and godly relationships as expressed in Scripture. Several years ago, there was the “What Would Jesus Do” where everyone wore WWJD bracelets. While that implied that Jesus wasn’t around anymore, I would simply ask this question regarding the Bachelor and the Bachelorette — What Does Jesus Think? I can’t imagine anyone truly thinking Jesus Christ is pleased with a program that is based on finding the ultimate relationship as if it were to be conducted in a ‘˜meat market’ fashion. Instead it should be the careful intentional seeking of God’s wisdom and direction for finding a mate. The mate God has for a person is likely to be found in places such as church, wholesome social events and as the Lord leads. It doesn’t seem at all consistent with biblical models to expect to find a mate in the heart of a competition centering around sensualities.