Wow. The hoopla surrounding the book Fifty Shades of Grey and the rest of the trilogy is astonishing. It is selling out in bookstores (where you can find a bookstore). As of today each book in the trilogy has spent the last 73 days at the top of Amazon's best seller list, likewise they are the top 3 sellers on iTunes, and they are reserved months in advance at libraries. Typically if a book is making this much impact I will check it out, give it a quick read, to see what all the fuss is about.
Not this time.
I've read enough reviews to know this is something I do not want in my head. Considering my post last week about Lolo Jones and the struggle she describes regarding purity, this just serves to illustrate how our culture is firmly against such a stance regarding the value of sexual purity. When the best seller and most talked about books are classified "erotic fiction" targeting women, it is clear pornography is not just for guys anymore.
James provides the counter stance, the one we as believers need to be committed to. If we are not we will ultimately fall. He writes, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will fell from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:7-8, emphasis mine) His language may seem a bit harsh and judgmental, but remember, he was writing to the Church, Christ's ambassadors to a broken and lost world. They were to be showing with their lives the greatness of Jesus Christ. They were to be living examples of what true love looks like in a world of cheap imitations. Yet, they were caught up in the same stuff everyone else was: prejudice, back biting, greed, arrogance and James needed to call them out. So how do you think James might address our church today? How about the church you and I lead every day within the walls of our home? Are we double-minded? Where do we draw the lines in order to purify our hearts? Or are we perhaps just going with the flow and surprised at ourselves when we blow it?
No, I won't be reading the Fifty Shades series and it's not because the books are "bad". It is because I want more from my mind and my heart. I want it in line with Christ's mind and heart. Forget the cheap imitations, go straight to the real thing and let it change you from the inside out.
Here is a great post targeting more specifically the problems with these books. I highly recommend you give it a read.