Okay ladies, it’s time to put on your steel-toe pumps because I have a feeling more than one of you is going to have sore feet after reading this, and some of you might even get angry with me. But before I get started, let me establish two important facts. 1. This post is directed to Christians. I can’t hold those outside of the Church to a standard they have never submitted to in the first place (read I Corinthians 5:12-13 for Paul’s clarification on this matter). 2. This post is written in love. Please understand, that I love people, and I love the Church. It is my love for God’s people that motivates me to write this. If I seem harsh, judgmental or blunt it is because I don’t want to leave any room for misunderstanding. Much like when I scold my child for running into the parking lot without looking both ways, this may seem brash, but it is motivated by a deep-seated love.
The Problem With
Okay, it’s no big secret that the hottest topics among women are the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey and the movie Magic Mike. There have been a plethora of reviews written about each so I will do no more than say that the book contains explicit descriptions of sexual acts and the movie is about strippers. Yet the buzz they are creating concerns me for several reasons. First and foremost, their acceptance by the female population, even those among the church, is surprising. More than one blogger has referred to the book as ‘mommy porn’ (shouldn’t that set off alarm bells to the Christ-centered mind?). As for the movie, last Friday my facebook feed (and the majority of my ‘friends’ consider themselves Christians) was rife with eager anticipation for a ‘girl’s night out’ to go to the theater. Why is it if a bunch of guys went to a movie about female strippers they would be labeled as pigs, but women see a movie about male strippers and it’s ‘girls night out’? The problem with porn, whether it is for mommy or not, is that (a) it sets unrealistic expectations; in other words you may find yourself disappointed that your spouse does not look/perform like a fictional character. (b) It objectifies people; a woman or man is no longer a human with feelings, but rather an object to be used to satisfy a need. (c) It devalues sex; the God-given gift to a husband and wife to build intimacy and create family is reduced to a fleeting physical act of pleasure. (d) It promotes distrust; if my spouse is so turned on by another person, can I truly trust him/her to stay faithful to me when someone more ‘attractive’ comes along? (e) It’s addictive; numerous psychological and physiological reports have shown that addiction to pornography has the same affect on the brain as drug addiction. This means once you are in it’s clutches you need more and more to gain the same satisfaction. (f) Jesus said it’s WRONG!!!– I cannot over-emphasize this point. Read His words from the Sermon on the Mount ‘If a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, he has committed adultery with her already.’ (Matthew 5:28) Ladies, please do not think you are excluded from the truth of this verse because Jesus zeroes in on men in this instance. If it’s wrong for us, it’s wrong for you too. Lust, or covetousness, is craving something that does not rightfully belong to you. Check the ten commandments in Exodus 20. ‘Thou shalt not covet’ is still there, and yes, that applies to lust.
Loving Discipline Hurts
But my other concern has to deal with how some Christian women have responded to those who have made a stand against the book and the movie. I have more than one friend who shared blogs or articles condemning the book and they were immediately criticized for being judgmental by other Christians. In fact, one debate became so heated that one lady removed herself as a friend from her facebook list. I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but I have witnessed and read of other, similar accounts, and in nearly every instance it involves Christ-followers on both sides. To this, my initial reaction is: GROW UP! When someone confronts us, it is neither pleasant nor comfortable. In fact, you might be seething right now and thinking how ‘judgmental’ I am being. But the most childish reaction is to shut down and refuse to listen or take to heart the message being spoken. I implore you to read the following passage of Scripture with an open mind and teachable spirit:
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints… For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them… Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. –Ephesians 5:1-3, 5-7, 11
Take note of Paul’s commands: imitate God, walk in love, steer clear of even the hint of sexual immorality, do not partner with those who are sexually immoral (like purchasing porn or erotica which supports the lifestyle of those who produce it), don’t be deceived with empty words (like ‘this will spice up our love life.’ Really?), take no part in the works of darkness, but expose them! In other words, not only are we to avoid sexual immorality in all its forms, but we are to expose the fact that it is wrong! So when someone does this, following the command of the divinely inspired apostle and exposing sin in my life, and I jump down their throat as being judgmental, it is I who need to grow up and realize I am being foolish, not the other way around. When the Church ceases to convict us of our sin we cease to realize we need a savior, and a worldview with no savior does not save.
More At Stake
The bottom line is this: there is more at stake than being right or wrong about whether or not 50 Shades is erotica and Magic Mike is soft-core porn. What is at stake is our integrity and the integrity of marriage in this country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of children born in 2010 in America were born out of wedlock. This world needs strong examples of Biblical marriage if we are to preserve the family unit, the oldest and most basic building block of society.
Later in Ephesians 5 Paul explains that marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride, the Church. Can you imagine Jesus reading erotica? Do you think He would sit idly by while His bride flirted with idolatry (the spiritual equivalent of lust)? When we allow things like this to creep into our marriages it compromises both our marriage and our message. That is why we need to heed the words of the child’s song, “oh be careful little eyes what you see.” Too much is at stake for me to risk my marriage for a brief moment at the altar of pleasure. My hope and my prayer is that you feel the same way too.