My man is a preacher. A teacher and communicator at heart. But, he’s usually speaking not writing. So, when I can have him on my blog, I consider it an honor. He writes today about a topic that is very troubling to both of us and has been the topic of many conversations between us. Without further ado, Rick McKee’s first post at In a Mirror Dimly…
Funny thing, I don’t study poop so that I can classify it into 50 different shades. I recognize it as poop, so I move away from it. I don’t savor it, wallow in it, roll in it, read it, watch it, or recommend it.
I’m sitting here on the front porch of our vacation rental. It’s our last day before returning home. I should be relaxing, walking on the beach, hanging with our friends or getting an ice cream cone. Instead, I’m blue. My pastor’s heart is restless and sad. I’ve seen one too many ladies post about her excitement – loved the book and can’t wait for the movie version of 50 Shades of Grey.
Because it’s my vacation, I’ll get to the point. It’s porn. The book is classified as erotic fiction. That means it is intended to arouse the reader sexually. It’s about an illicit sexual relationship. A wealthy, powerful, controlling man maneuvers a young woman into BDSM. That’s it. That’s the plot.
Folks, that’s porn. If you’re a Christian, you’ve no business reading it, watching it, recommending it, or gleefully posting about your excitement. Try to imagine reading it aloud to Jesus. Or, would you go watch the movie with your Lord?
Have I read it? No. What? I haven’t read it! How can I condemn it? I also haven’t seen Debbie Does Dallas, and yet I would still recommend against it. Are we saying that one can’t speak against porn unless they first soak it in? Stop it.
Am I a prude? Nope. My God made sex. If he made anything better, I think he kept it for himself. Sex, in its proper context, is fantastic. It is one of God’s good gifts to be celebrated. The proper context? Between a husband and his wife (or a wife and her husband, if you prefer). And, should be about giving, not taking. A communication of love, not control or pain. Those are concepts I learned from God’s Word as a follower of Jesus.
So, why is my heart tied in knots? I’m concerned for the women in my congregation.
If the stats hold, many in my own congregation have read the book. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to help many folks start walking with Jesus. Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” If a ministry is going to be fruitful, it should be reaching new people with the gospel. But, that gets messy. Many churches prefer a clean, empty stable. I prefer a full barn. I like it messy and fruitful better than clean and sterile. So, many in our congregation are just starting to learn the implications (and blessings) of discipleship to Jesus.
Beside, I would be naïve to think that only seekers, new Christians and non-Christians have read 50 Shades of Grey. The tentacles of porn have woven themselves into many Christians’ lives.
I’m no exception. I was first exposed to porn when I was in 2nd grade. I felt its grip for decades. Even when walking with Jesus. Even when in ministry. Like an alcoholic that never says he is “recovered” but only says he is recovering, I still fight the temptation. I know the terrible impact of porn. And I praise God for each passing day that is free from its grip. Blissful freedom.
It concerns me to see porn become so normalized. Some have labeled this book/movie as “mommy porn.” When Christian moms openly read and recommend porn, how can we condemn any porn? I’m sure that most of these wives would be aghast at the idea of their husbands consuming porn, let alone recommending it on Facebook.
That’s where this becomes so dangerous. When a Christian dude consumes porn, he usually knows it, feels convicted about it, is ashamed of it, and hides it. In this case, we have Christian women consuming porn, but they’re posting on social media instead of moving toward conviction and repentance.
Just because sin goes mainstream doesn’t mean it is okay for the followers of Jesus. My kids and I have call and response. I say, “When the world is going to hell in a hand-basket?” They respond, “Different is good.”
Ladies, I beg you, go to God for your view of self, love and sexuality. Just because your neighborhood book club is reading erotic fiction doesn’t make it right for a follower of Jesus. Different is good.
And, if you’ve already gone toward porn, as I often did, turn toward Jesus. Trust the Creator, not the world. Repent of your sin. And, savor God’s grace.
For a woman’s take and her reasons why she won’t be reading 50 Shades of Grey, I would recommend this blog post.
Now, please step away from the poop.