Should Christians Watch or Read 50 Shades of Grey?

This movie has been a topic of much debate lately. There are those who love the movie and see nothing wrong with it. There are those who are indifferent and say, “To each, his (or, in this case, her) own. Live and let live!” Then there are those who are vehemently against it. I’m not going to lie to you – I am in the “vehemently against it” camp. It’s not because I think people should be persecuted for what they read. I’m not even suggesting that we ban the book, contrary to what some people may think. My views are solely that of a Christian with a biblical world view. What I have to say will probably be irrelevant to those who are not saved and do not care to be held accountable to God’s standards. If that is you, you might as well quit reading now. If, however, you are a follower of Christ then please read on.

First things first, let me start by saying that this isn’t just about 50 Shades of Grey. There is an entire genre of books and movies (and so much more) that caters to a similar mentality of promoting lust, perversion, adultery, pornography and…well, sexual sin of all sorts. It’s not an innocent book/movie when you are a Christian. God expects His followers to be above the world’s standards. We are told time and time again to rise above fleshly desires, including sexual sin.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Do you see what Paul is exhorting us to do there? We are not to be conformed to the patterns of this world. Our bodies are living sacrifices for the Lord. Think back to Old Testament times. Sacrifices and offerings were given for atonement of sin. The Hebrews would choose their firstfruits, spotless lambs, and the very best of their crops to give to the Lord. God deserves nothing but the best we can offer Him. Going even further, 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the temple, or Tabernacle, was the Most High Place and the dwelling place of the Lord. Since Jesus’ death, our bodies have become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Knowing this, that our bodies are a sacrifice for the Lord and a temple for the Holy Spirit, how then can we ever justify partaking in such sexual sin? Should we fill the temple with thoughts of sexual immorality? Should pornography be the entertainment found within God’s temple? If those passages alone do not convict you, then I believe you will find the answer plain as day right here:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

You, my friend, are a child of the King. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). As such, your body is the dwelling place of the Lord here on earth. You are royalty! Your worth and value are defined not by the carnality and immorality of this world, but by God’s love for you, and Christ’s sacrifice to assure you a place in heaven. I encourage you to use Philippians 4:8 as the filter for everything in your life, from the books you read to the shows you watch to the conversations you have. Let’s strive to honor God in all we do!

Phillipians-4-8 filter

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