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50 Shades of Wrong (and what’s so magic about Mike?)

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 Mommy Porn

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.

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13 thoughts on “50 Shades of Wrong (and what’s so magic about Mike?)

  1. I have to admit , it was tempting to want to see this movie and to read the book. My question for myself was how does this benefit me as a Christian woman and is this the kind of entertainment I would want my husband engaging in? The truth is not only is there no benefit, it is truly harmful for all the reasons mentioned above and the answer to whether or not I would want my husband entertaining himself with the same is absolutely not. I do pray that Christian women stay clear of this “mommy porn”.

  2. I do not wish to argue most of your post. The film and book are controversial and the book especially is a little much for me. I do not understand, however, what the percentage of children born out of wedlock have to do with these two pieces of fiction. My daughter is three years old. My husband and I, who have been together exclusively for five years, and love each other very much, were only married last month. I do not think that a piece of paper that certifies marriage makes or breaks a loving family. If your reasons for disliking this book and film is that it degrades marriage, then you should right rants about any movie depicting divorce, sex before marriage, or a woman standing up to her husband. I have respect for christian ideals and believe most of them myself. I have studied the bible intensely, both religiously and educationally, and in my recollection, it is not your place to judge.

    • I appreciate your comments and thoughts. The chief reason for citing the statistic was to illustrate how the Biblical model of the family (a married mother and father with children) is eroding in our culture. While I have no doubt that you have a happy and loving family, that doesn’t mean that it meets the Biblical ideal. Since God designed humans, marriage and family then He knows how it works best. That is not to say no other model will ‘work’ it just means that other models won’t work as well. As a Christian, I must strive not for what works for me, but for the ideal, even if the ideal requires more effort on my part. Thanks again for your thoughts and the time to read my blog. 🙂

    • (1) PRE-MARITAL SEX (FORNICATION)

      What does the Bible say about pre-marital sex? Frequently in our teen Bible study class, we are asked if it is a sin to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage. This is an area that many of us struggle with quite a bit in our Christian walk. Well, God is quite clear on how He wants us to live.

      First of all, there are different terms in the Bible that describe pre-marital sex. One way is the term “fornication.” If you looked in a dictionary for the definition of the word fornication, you would read, “Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other.” And another way that pre-marital sex is described in the Bible is with the words “adultery” or “lewdness.” And the people who participate in pre-marital sex are referred to as “whoremongers” and “whores.”

      The world may have nice, fun terms for pre-marital sex, terms such as “doin’ it,” “foolin’ around,” “having an affair,” “a fling,” “one-night stand.” But it is quite obvious that God sees such activity in quite a different light!

      Let’s look at several verses that show us how God feels about us participating in pre-marital sex.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10 warns us, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

      And 1 Corinthians 6:13b, 18 tells us, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without (outside) the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

      The Bible is telling us that pre-marital sex is a sin and that it is something that unrighteous people engage in. As Christians we are to use our body in ways that glorify God.

      We are warned to learn from the examples of the Israelites, who God judged because of their sinful ways. 1 Corinthians 10:6-8 reads, “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”

      And Galatians 5:19-21 reads, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness … of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Again, we see that pre-marital sex is not something that God wants us involved with. God wants us to stay away from such behavior:

      1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body) in sanctification and honor, not in lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which do not know God.”

      Ephesians 5:1-3, 5, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints…For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

      Revelation 21:7-8, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

      All of these verses clearly show us that God is 100 percent against pre-marital sex and that He commands us to not take part in pre-marital sex. It doesn’t matter what all of your friends are doing or what you see in movies or videos or even what unmarried people who live in your own house are doing. God’s Word has not changed. God is today and has always been against His children participating in pre-marital sex! God wants us to have sexual relations with our husband or wife only. 1 Corinthians 7:2 reads “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

      God’s commands are not always easy to follow. Being an obedient child of God in this area requires you to see this sin the way God sees it. You cannot think of sex as just something exciting and fun to do. You must learn to treasure and respect your body as something that is beautiful and special, a work of art that is only to be shared with one person under God’s conditions.

      You must go to God in prayer and ask for the strength you need to not give in to the temptations of the flesh. You will need to make it a point to not put yourself in situations where you are likely to stumble. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to resist the temptation to take part in pre-marital sex.

      2 Peter 2:9 tells us, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”

      So if you truly are a born-again follower of Christ, do as we read in Colossians 3:1-3,5: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Mortify (restrain) your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

  3. I don’t need steel toed pumps because you didn’t step on my toes at all. I have seen so many relationships destroyed because of porn.(including relationship with God) It is another tool of Satan to kill and destroy. We tell our children not to take the first whiff, sniff, taste of drugs. It is the same for this sin too. Mommy porn is such a deceitful way of naming this sin. When will we learn that no sinful pleasure is worth the damage and pain that it eventually causes to ourselves and others.

  4. I made the decision not to read/view them because I would expect the same of my spouse if the table was turned. Having said that, I don’t bring it up in conversation because I’m not interested in having to justify my choice to friends and I don’t want to come across as though I think I’m better than them…and even though as a parent I don’t feel the need to justify my actions to my children, this is an example I can set for my 14 year old daughter as to why she won’t be seeing it either.

  5. Great post. I don’t feel it is “judgemental” at all. However; God does command us to rebuke and bring others to repentance (aka, judging) so even if you had, it would have been well within God’s command for you to do so. Thank you for remaining true to scripture even knowing you could be criticized for it.

  6. Pingback: Digging Deeper: What Our Obsession Over “50 Shades” Reveals About Us | The Pondering Preacher

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