I have sat on the fringe of this argument for a little while now. I have seen other blog post links on Facebook on why or why not to read the book. I have discussed it with friends, some of whom have read the book, some who have not. I have seen the comments and I have decided to compile my answers/opinions. I am no expert, no preacher, no commentator; just a Christian woman with her opinion. Here’s a list of some arguments for reading the book and my rebuttal to them.
- It’s a love story – I’ve heard from more than one person that the love story in this book is amazing. But, if the book were trying to make a point about love, and only love, then the author would have left out the Rated X scenes. I am sure the author was very calculating about this. She did not write a love story. She wrote a book of erotic fiction. There’s a huge difference in the two. She wrote the book to SELL. Unfortunately, in this fallen world, sex sells. Let me ask you this: If your husband came home with a porn movie that had a love story intermingled in the graphic sex scenes, would it be ok for him to watch it?
- It’s not pornography – According to Wikipedia and The New York Times, the genre of the book is “Erotic Fiction”. This is defined as comprising “fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually.” Pornography is defined as “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of graphic sexual organs or activity”. I have not read the book, you decide. Personally, I see red flags. And, as an aside, The New York Times has dubbed the book “Mommy Porn”.
- There’s porn in the Bible, read the Song of Solomon. – I don’t see the similarities at all but I will tell you what I think. 50 Shades portrays the sex between people who aren’t married and you are watching it play out in your head. The Song of Solomon is about a man and his bride and it may have some figurative “sexualness” in it, but it is not explicit in nature. I have a friend who put it this way in a response on Facebook. “Well to me … It is about the celebration of Solomon and his bride .. The courtship ..The wedding night .. The friendship .. The sex.. But all of it together is about being able to enjoy your lover which I believe her husband. Because that’s the way God intended it to be. ” I know there’s some argument because the Song of Solomon doesn’t specifically say the couple is married. My rebuttal is this: God states that fornication is sin. God doesn’t lie or change his mind. He wouldn’t have allowed the Song of Solomon in his Word if it went against his Word. Therefore, they were married when they had sex. Otherwise, you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I believe every word of the Bible is true and inspired of God.
- The sex scenes in the book are laughable. – One man’s laugh is another man’s seriousness. Laughable or not, it is what it is – you are a spectator in the bedroom of another couple.
- But the book has enhanced the sex WITHIN my marriage – Matthew 5:27-28 states “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus was saying that if you look at another man with lust in your heart then you are committing a sin. I know the argument here is that it just makes you “hot under the collar” for your man. Well, let me expound further. When Jesus spoke that passage, many scholars believe it was in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for “lust” used here is “chamad” which we would translate as “covet”. It can mean “to desire, covet, take pleasure in, delight in”. Let me rephrase the Matthew verse with one of those meanings. If you look a another man with delight or take pleasure in what he is doing sexually, then you are committing adultery in your heart. It is my opinion that if we let another man get us “hot under the collar” then we are in sin. Please understand me here. The initial thought isn’t sin, but it is the “hot under the collar” part that it is. The Bible tells us to take every thought captive and bring it into submission. When the thought enters, we dismiss it and move on. I feel pretty certain that this book leaves us with a lot of thoughts. And those thoughts are centered around the couple in the book having erotic sex. Please don’t take my word for it, don’t drink my kool-aid. Do some research about this verse and make your own decisions. That’s exactly what I did.
- It’s just not that big a deal – Would you let your husband sit around and watch an “erotic” movie? Would you let him read a book described as “Daddy Porn”? What about your kids? Let me be bold and ask you if you keep your copy on your coffee table or on your nightstand for your kids to find? Is that the example you are wanting to set for them? I think it’s a big deal. The road to sin starts in your mind. It starts as a thought which leads to action.
- Aren’t you just being religious about the whole thing? –For me, I want God to permeate every part of my life. I try to cultivate, daily, my relationship with Him. It isn’t about rules or a strict, rigid life. It’s actually about freedom. It’s a freedom that I’ve only experienced through Christ. And I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that relationship. Yes, I mess up. Yes, I make mistakes. The Bible says that we ALL fall short of the mark. But this is something I can control. There are people who are addicted to porn and it’s no laughing matter. But if I can just say no to reading a book that is undesirable in the eyes of God, I look at it as a small contribution to the cultivation of our relationship.
- So you’ve never read a book that had sex in it? – I am an avid reader. I have a Kindle and I download books like crazy. Especially from the 99 cent list. I love all kinds of books. I try to read the synopsis and reviews but I have been unsuccessful in filtering out every book that had sex in it. Unfortunately, there’s no rating system for books. You can’t just look at the back and see why it got a PG-13 rating. I’m not going to categorize every type of sex scene in mainstream fiction today but, for me, if it’s like a rated R or XXX movie, it’s out. The PG’s, I try to research, just like a movie. I have stopped reading some books right in the middle and there are authors that I won’t read again. I don’t want to put down a book and have those images in my mind. I must say; however, with all the publicity surrounding this book, it’s not like you could read this one “by accident”.
- But you haven’t even read the book. – No, I haven’t, and I don’t plan to based on #’s 1-8 above.
These rebuttals are how I feel. I did some research on my own and these were the conclusions I came to. I seriously advise you to pray and do your own research to decipher for yourself what the will of God is for your life. I am certain, though, you will find that material like “50 Shades of Grey” is not within the scope of what God would want. I also must add that we, as Christians, are to live as examples to those who are still held in the bonds of the world. This book does not set a Godly example.
If you are reading this and you are not a believer of Christ, I can see how a lot of this won’t make much sense. I urge you, as well, to pray and give Jesus a chance in your life.
And so it is another day. I am Diva and I am imperfect.
Matthew 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell”
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Galatians 5:19-24 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.