This weekend, the movie theaters will be flooded with women who are eager to feed their carnal, fallen flesh with a feast of salacious, sinful immorality, otherwise known as Fifty Shades of Grey. The book-turned-movie that has been dubbed by the secular media as “mommy porn” has captured the lusts of millions, and there is no doubt that this has affected the professing Christian church just as much as it has secular society.
Ladies, sisters in Christ, do not allow yourself to be found among the masses.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Phil 4:8)
Fifty Shades of Grey, whether it is the book or the film, does not comply with Paul’s command in the verse above. The story is not true, it is not honorable, it is not right, it most certainly is not pure or lovely, it is not of good repute and she who thinks Fifty Shades of Grey is worthy of any title of excellence or praise is a woman who is indeed deceived.
Listen to how John MacArthur defines each of these terms from Philippians 4:8:
- Whatever is true means reading, analyzing, and meditating on the Word of God;
- Whatever is honorable [means] whatever is noble, dignified, and worthy of respect;
- Whatever is right…should be translated “righteous.” It describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, again as revealed in Scripture;
- Whatever is pure…describes what God in Scripture defines as holy, morally clean, and undefiled. In 1 Timothy 5:22 it is translated “free from sin”;
- Whatever is lovely…[means] believers must focus their thoughts on what the Bible says is pleasing, attractive, and amiable before God;
- Whatever is of good repute…describes what is highly regarded or well thought of.
The key to godly living is godly thinking…
– John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Philippians, (Chicago: Moody, 2001), 290.
Ladies, sisters in Christ, let me exhort you, as women who have been purchased by the blood of Christ, to dwell on those things that lead you to pursue righteousness and holiness (Matthew 6:33) and to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:27). Let me plead with you to leave behind the life and the sins for which Christ died. Such were some of you, but if you have been saved, then you ought not taint the new creation God has made with the filth of the world.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him– a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. (Col 3:5–11)
Fifty Shades of Grey is not “just” a book. It is not “just” a movie. It is sin. Yes, dear sister, it is not judgmental, unloving, legalistic, or prudish to tell you this, for if you truly love the Lord, you would not desire to open and expose yourself to such sinful material. Why do you desire the world when, in Christ, you have been given so much more?
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Col 3:1–4)
“Fiction or Not? Fifty Shades is Associated with Health Risks in Adolescent and Young Adult Females.” Journal of Women’s Health.
7 Lessons from 50 Shades of Grey (Tim Challies)
The Danger of a Sinful Mind (John MacArthur)
“50 Shades and Christian Women” (results from survey conducted by Entreating Favor)
“‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and the Annihilation of Christian Women’s Innocence” (Entreating Favor)