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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

50 Shades of Grey meets the pulpit!

 

Something for the kiddies, something for mom (...

Something for the kiddies, something for mom (checkout, Fred Meyer, Portland, Oregon)

Well, we knew it was just a matter of time before the Church of Laodicea latched onto a hot cultural money-maker the world is talking about. Even if it is considered chick porn (meaning, pornographic content that women are buying), the book series, 50 Shades Of Grey, is so popular among even Christian women that bookstores can barely contain themselves.

Book stores are probably one of the more, shall we say, spiritually challenging retail outlets to navigate.  Every two feet is another kiosk display of the latest dark, mystical landmines just waiting to be triggered.  Last week I walked into a national bookstore chain (two words, the first starts with a “B”), and meandered through the aisles rife with vampires, dark angels, supernatural murders and more, until I paused at the central resource desk. I couldn’t help but be wowed at the gigantic tower of books soaring from the biggest and brightest display in the entire store, so picked up the latest 50 Shades paperback to study the back cover.  A manager walked over to me an snorted, “Might as well buy the entire boxed set; everyone else does.”

But I digress. Over at the Christ Church in North Carolina (with four satellite locations across the state), the leaders have capitalized on this latest craze by creating an entire sermon series based on what brings ‘em in faster than free doughnuts: Sex. 

Our new series, 50 Shades of Grey Meets Song of Solomon, talks about what the Bible says about sex, romance, and marriage. Drawing parallels between the NY Times best seller and the Old Testament book of the Bible, we’ll talk about what true love really means, and tackle common myths about sex & romance.

Does this mean attendees need to be familiar with the book series to understand what God’s Word says? Should we buy a few extra copies for those who can’t afford the book, or perhaps maybe do some 50 Shades of Grey book club readings in our small groups?   Okay, perhaps I am being snarky here. I’m sure this particular church is doing some great things and introducing the unchurched to those who haven’t heard of Jesus.  And maybe they’re just using the lusty book title to get these folks in the door to hear the real truth.   But let’s just think about this.

Why do we need to take the worst of what the world has to offer, and marry it with the best of what our faith has to offer — Jesus Christ and the Gospel — to shepherd the flock? 

Will this really equip the saints to go and make disciples, or is it just another example of fodder to feed the goats so that more tithes can be collected?

I’ll leave you with this to consider:

(Hat tip to Chris Rosebrough for sharing the SacredSandwich.com cartoon!)

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4 Responses to “50 Shades of Grey meets the pulpit!”

  1. I get so frustrated with this. This is a church finding some new gimmick to get people to attend. I truly believe the role of the church, as the gathering place for Christians, should be focusing on equipping those Christians with spiritual maturity, so that the Church, meaning those gathering Christians, then go out into society and reach people in their every day lives. These days churches are too concerned with bringing everybody IN and hoping everybody thinks the church is hip. I think this only creates an identity crisis for the church to the point where it may be relevant for the culture, but not relevant for Christ anymore. Of course, there can always be good that comes out of anyone going to church. God can and will use any circumstance. But I still believe Christians need a place to become spiritually mature and that place needs to be the church. And the church needs to focus on that as its main goal.

    August 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM Reply
  2. Danielle #

    So how are we suppose to engage the culture? If everyone is reading 50 Shades of Grey, including Christians, why should we not address it? Do we just brush it under the rug and hope it goes away? Or do we try to make everyone feel guilty who reads the book? Or instead, should we exegete the culture and our churches to point them to the truth of the Bible?

    I'm not for or against the book. However, let's be productive. Instead of church bashing, let's talk about how we as a church raise the next generation to make an influence in the arts and the culture. Well, first we have to talk about how to get the next generation back into the church!

    August 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM Reply
    • I think it is great that the church is doing a series on Biblical sex. My uneasiness comes more with the advertising of the series and using the name of the book in the title for the series. Of course, in the substance of the teaching definitely bring up the book and how it correlates to the message. My only concern is that churches focus on the mission of equipping their congregation with the tools necessary for that congregation in their various every day commitments to then engage the culture. When a church's goal is only to bring more people in, then it tends to water down the substance to guide the new people coming in, and thus doesn't give the substance needed to "grow" the Christians already in the church. THen everyone becomes shallow having no deep roots. THe biggest complaint I have seen in talking to my non-christian friends is that when they have gone to a church the message is so watered down that they didn't learn anything new. We tend to think that people want the church to be like them, but my eyes have really been opened up in some conversations to see that people are really looking for the church to be different than the culture. It was a real surprise for me.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:51 AM Reply
  3. Mr Davis #

    That is really horrible that the song of Solomon is being linked to this book. They are no where close being related. In one sex is sacred in the other sex is for abuse and humiliation. What really boggles my mind is that women are buying it.

    Are they training themselves to think abuse is good? This is not how a husband is to treat his wife, who is God's daughter and needs to be valued as such. The marriage bed is to be undefiled not defiled.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:03 AM Reply

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