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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.

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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10 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
    • William #

      Where does the Bible say that as Christians we are to "Engage the culture"? We are told to be in the world, but not of it. We are told to "go make disciples". Disciples of Christ are not to engage in the filth of this world. We are told in I John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." We are to "flee from immorality", not invite it into the body of Christ.
      Christ didn't "engage" the culture in the way many in the church desire to do today. He called sin sin. He pointed out man's wicked ways. Yes, he loved all those around him, right down to the lowest of the low, but at the same time he pointed out their sins. We need to stop "engaging" the culture in an attempt to make them feel welcome in our churches. They should not feel comfortable until they come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to be sharing the gospel, not catering to the whims of the culture. We are not to be bringing evil into the body of Christ, but are to GO and make disciples. Would you invite cancer into your own body, in hopes that you can destroy it? Why do we think it's ok to invite the world and it's evil ways into the church in order to fix them? All that does is bring trouble to the church.

      August 3, 2014 at 1:08 PM 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
  4. nicki #

    I think that you are being a bit harsh. It sounds to me like their sermon series is teaching what the BIBLE says about sex. Maybe they are trying to point out the fallacies about sex out fourth by Fifty Shades of Grey. They could be teaching Biblical truth for all we know. Don't knock it just yet.

    August 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM Reply
    • lyn #

      Nicki, you respond by saying 'it sounds to me like their sermon series is teaching what the Bible says about sex' – I challenge you to prove what you say. Go into the word and compare it with what the book states- show us from the Bible how this book is teaching what the Bible says – as you claim.

      Why do we need to read a book, OTHER than the Bible, on something that should be private – intimacy between a husband and wife? Who is the Teacher of those who truly belong to Christ? The Holy Spirit – He will guide us in all truth. With that said, IF you are void of discernment on the issue, then go before the Lord. Cry out for wisdom, understanding and insight. Then STUDY THE BIBLE!!! Here lies the problem with most who profess to be Christian – they do NOT want to study God's word for themselves – too much work. They want somebody else to give them an easy step by step instruction guide on how to solve all their problems. The problem with that is this – man cannot be trusted, man will lead you astray, man desires things God does NOT desire, like money, fame, notoriety, etc. Slothfulness, apathy and complacency have NO PLACE in God's people!! We all need to be much in prayer, much in study of His word, and then apply what we've been taught. American Christianity is shallow, superficial, and is based on a mere verbal profession; that's all it takes to be a 'Christian' in America, however, the Bible reveals a much different story. . . .

      Luke 14:26 – If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
      Luke 14:27- And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
      Luke 14:33- So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
      Mat 16:24- Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
      Mat 16:25- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
      Mat 16:26- For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
      Mat 5:44- But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
      John 3:3 -" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

      These are just a few of the many passages in the Bible that delve deeper into what a true follower of Christ is and should look like – it starts within and manifests itself outwardly as well. Discernment is terribly lacking in our day, the essential truths of the Bible are no longer taught in the majority of the churches; which is why books like this are snatched off the shelves and read by weak and gullible women. May the Spirit of God cause those who truly belong to Christ to cry out for wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

      August 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM Reply
  5. tonibrown64 #

    There is no room for this in God's house. Biblical sexuality can be taught to believers without this nonsense even coming into the conversation. It is the elect that we should be catering to, not the culture.

    August 4, 2014 at 8:33 PM Reply

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