I’ve heard about it all summer, seen literally palates of them in stores and even had it recommended as a “marriage booster.” Yes, I’m referring to the book, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the sweeping phenomenon jokingly labeled as “mommy porn.”
On a recent vacation, with the book being read all around me, I picked up a friend’s copy and started reading. After all, I reasoned, I’m a pastor and I need to know what all these people are talking about. (Incidentally, that’s how I got into Harry Potter, which as a result of Fifty Shades, has now become the second fastest selling book of all time.) And after all, it’s not like I’m gawking at internet porn, right? WRONG. Three chapters later three letters came to mind, “O.M.G.!” After another three chapters came these three words, “Hard Core Pornography.” That’s when it hit me. This is potentially worse than internet porn, given that reading (contrary to passive viewing) requires the full engagment of one’s imagination.
It’s the predictable story of how the sexual abuse of youth becomes the sexual brokenness of adulthood becomes the newly normed sexual deviancy of society. And suddenly it’s in Mom’s beach bag and on Dad’s iPad.
Rationales for reading the book abound, from, “it’s a harmless escape into a ‘Romance’ novel,” to “it’s an important book for understanding gender and power issues, to “it’s helping us spice up our marriage,” to “but I’m really reading it for the amazing plot and story of the characters.” None of them will suffice at the end of the day when we’ve traded in the treasure of nuptial intimacy for a bag of discarded sex toys and a self-absorbed erotic imagination.
Fifty Shades is yet another sign we live in an age where all the norms of human sexuality are being shattered on the anvil of so-called human freedom and individual rights. Somehow, this author has managed to take the aberrant fetish perversion of BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, Submission, Masochism) and make it sickly seductive. Absurdities abound.
I know, I’m late to the party on this one, and perhaps Seedbed should have spoken sooner. If I were your pastor or if I were your pastor’s pastor, I would urge him or her to urge you to AVOID THIS BOOK. Put it down. Walk away. It’s not harmless entertainment. There’s no need to shame anyone who has or is reading it.
This is not some kind of “prudish” high-handed shame bomb. It’s a warning. This one is a trap, Christians, there is nothing gray about it. It’s pure darkness.