This post is an edit of the one I wrote March 23, 2015.
Oh boy. You’re writing about that?! You bet. I spent a lot of time figuring out my thoughts on this topic. And originally I had a lot to say, but I realized that the direction that I was taking wasn’t what God wanted me to write. So over a period of time I have written and re-written this post.
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are we not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13a (NIV)
I have chosen to address this post to a Christian audience. This is mainly because my viewpoint comes from a Biblically based Christian standpoint and it doesn’t seem fair to subject unbelievers to that. Throughout this post, I will share some scripture and my thoughts on why a Christian must abstain from reading this specific brand of literature.
I began this post because I needed to figure out the whys of what I believed about this book. I didn’t agree with those believers who thought that reading Fifty Shades was ok. So I looked at things objectively. I did a lot of research. I also spent a good bit of time seeking understanding in this matter so that I could respond with care.
I wanted to know, really know why I shouldn’t read these books which had become so popular. And I also wondered why they were so popular. Aside from the obvious “it’s about sex”.
I see this genre as a response to fill a problem that many women face. I think that this is much of the reason why the Fifty Shades of Grey literature gained so much popularity.
A Few Reasons for Popularity
1) I see that this book is geared towards women, especially moms who might wish to escape from a sometimes busy and demanding life. There is no harm in a novel, but the morality of the content is also important.
2) Women want to be seen as desirable. One of the major themes in the Twilight books and Fifty Shades is that a woman is pursued, wooed and made to feel desirable. Which is something that I would say we all want as women. Again, nothing wrong with that. But God created that desire to be met in courtship and marriage. He created and wanted that exclusivity that existed between husband and wife from the very beginning with Adam and Eve.
Talking About Judgement
Is it my place to be judgemental? Yes and no. If it wasn’t my place, then I wouldn’t have felt the prompting to write this. However, I am not of the school of thought which says, “Slather on that judgement!”. Judgement should be made and delivered with a great amount of prayer, thought and wisdom.Thus it is important to remember the words Jesus spoke.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1 (NIV)
Don’t judge? For this passage, I dug out my commentary and took a gander at the insight offered there.
“Before presuming to help others, one must undergo some self-discipline and yield to the discipline of the Lord (Ps. 51:10-13).” -Moody Bible Commentary (2014)
And oh yeah, that happened. The Lord very much worked on my own heart as I began to write this post.
The Flesh and the Spirit
I’ve been reading in Romans chapter 8 where Paul talks about the flesh and the spirit. How they battle for control in the believer’s life. We have to choose everyday which we will serve. Who we will serve. It is not an easy task. I myself have difficulty keeping that balanced mindset.
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)
Be Selective About Your Reads
I could easily choose to pick up Fifty Shades and read it. Give in to the voice that says it is ok.
But I’ve heard that gentle voice, that quiet but firm word of caution saying, “Stay away”. And I know I must stay far away from temptation because the Holy Spirit is there to guide me. To help and protect me. My mind, my spiritual health is valued by God. And He wants me to value it too.
Just like what you feed your body determines your overall health. Your skin can show if you’ve been eating your fruits and veggies. Found that one out lately. Your mind, your actions, emotions and thoughts can show you what you have been reading, watching, dwelling on. Even things that you have viewed or read long ago can come up again. Which is why it is so important to be on your guard.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
There was a time in my life when I was not as guarded as I should have been when it came to my choice in literature. I learned a very valuable lesson from that and now I am very careful to avoid what is not wholesome. Am I perfect? No. But I do know firsthand that choosing what is unwholesome can haunt, can trouble and linger.
Ultimately, I do not believe that reading these books or watching the movies are compatible with a life that is devoted to following after God. I can find no scripture that would support that stance.
In conclusion, I have to ask: is it a sin to read this Fifty Shades series? To watch the movies? Everything I’ve read in the Bible and what I know about the series points to a yes. Fifty Shades of Grey is not compatible with the believer’s life. Much caution is needed here. Think twice about reading this book, about watching the movies and listen intently to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.