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No Grey Area

No Grey Area

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve no doubt heard about a film opening this month called Fifty Shades of Gray. Do not Google the trailer. It is based on a novel that a few years ago, was all the rage. Even then, we were confused by the excitement over it because it was being carried around and talked about by people who professed to be Christians.

Fifty Shades of Grey classified as “erotica: literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire.”

It’s porn. Plain and simple. No, there are no pictures, but women don’t need pictures. The written descriptions act in the same way for women as the visual images do for men. While there is a ton of talk in the Christian community about porn and men, I don’t see enough talk about women and the fact that they, too, are prone to sin and temptation. And these books happen to be a culturally acceptable way for them to engage in their own fantasies. It might be culturally acceptable, but as Christians, our measure has to be the Bible, not culture.

Boundaries are important for our marriages and our families. The people who complain about “all of the rules” in Christianity do not understand their purpose. The boundaries are there to keep us safe. Satan has been telling humans since the garden that God is trying to keep something from us and his tactics haven’t changed in several millennia.

“Are you sure God said that you shouldn’t _______. But it’s harmless fun! Why wouldn’t God want you to be happy? Go ahead, drink! It’s not going to hurt you!”

The trailer for the Fifty Shades movie has been shared all over the Internet and women are talking about how excited they are to see it. Women who go to church and classify themselves as Christians.

So why does it matter? It matters for several reasons, and I don’t think this is an issue that we should be silent about.

If we are true Christians, then we believe that sin brings death, right? I mean, if sin doesn’t bring death then Jesus would not have had to die in our place.

If sin brings death, and it most certainly does, then why is it okay for us to look the other way as people gather around a poisoned well, all excited to drink from it?

“Oh, well, I don’t want to have any, but you go ahead and have fun!”

There is no grey area when it comes to this issue.

Fifty Shades is all about perverted sex – bondage, S&M, and domination. This is not what God created. It is a perversion. Reading this story and watching this kind of film is no different than the porn we tell men they shouldn’t view.

Fifty Shades is damaging to marriages. Because it’s porn. There is plenty of research about how viewing porn (unrealistic sexual fantasies) creates dissatisfaction in the marriage bed and can severely damage relationships.

Fifty Shades encourages women to sin. That is the point of this kind of book – to arouse sexual desire. Let’s not pretend that we don’t know what that means. SNL even did a skit about women hiding in closets or in bathrooms to masturbate while reading the book.

How has this book, and now film, become culturally acceptable?

Just because you can watch this film at your local theater instead of secretly watching it on the Internet doesn’t make it any less damaging.

So how do you respond?

I don’t think there is one right answer for things like this. I think God can give us creative, effective ways to speak up if we will listen to His voice. It’s not about condemning others, it’s about the very real danger of drinking from a well that has been poisoned. Sin is deceitful. There is no lightning bolt that comes down the moment we swallow. Instead, the poison is sipped and slowly kills us and the relationships around us. It happens so slowly that they may not even know when they first started sipping the poison.

So pray, and when the opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to speak up. Tell people why you won’t see it. Tell people that protecting your marriage, or future marriage, is more important to you than anything else.

Protect your marriage. Protect your home. Protect your family!

Speak in love. Speak in truth. But don’t be afraid to speak.

By: Jeff and Sarah Sumpolec have been married for 19 years and Jeff has been a therapist in private practice for more than 10 years. They have three daughters together and Sarah writes for and speaks to teens. Visit them at

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