20 Jul Away with the Gray
Unless you’ve been (happily) living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard that the big book craze right now is a trilogy of erotic novels that start with Fifty Shades of Grey. No—I have not read them and won’t. Don’t need to. Don’t want to. But according to the news reports of the phenomenon, millions of women are snatching them up and diving in. The Wall Street Journal reports they are set to reach the 20 million mark in sales within days in the US. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303684004577510902680342704.html
That rivals the sales of Harry Potter. They’ve sold over 31 million in the English speaking market.
The books are reported to be pitched at women. Some have dubbed the genre “mommy porn.” Now the talk is making them into a movie, not for those dive theaters were XXX rated flicks play, but a major studio production to be shown in neighborhood theaters alongside the latest Disney film.
It’s porn as family entertainment. Norm porn.
When I first heard of the rocketing popularity of this book craze, I admit I was stunned. But lately, another thought has surfaced. Why am I surprised? Now, I’m surprised by my surprise. I ought to have seen this coming.
One of the enduring cultural debates over the last decade has been the steady and relentless campaign by the homosexual community to normalize what classically has been deemed a moral perversion. Playboy and the sexual revolution of the 60’s foisted onto pop culture an acceptance of what’s called “soft-core” porn. Then, the lid was taken off with the arrival of the internet and cable television. The modern mantra is, “Hey, what consenting adults agree to . . .” The qualifier of “two consenting adults” has even been edited out. The fence around immorality and human depravity has been all but dismantled. The chain links are gone and all that’s left are some lonely and rusted poles. Even those are now being yanked by a backhoe mentality of postmodernism.
The postmodern perspective is like an arson that wants to burn it all down. Millions of people today are of the mindset that anything tradition wants to pass on must be rejected. Liberty is defined as freedom from anything that makes a person feel bad or that hinders them from the pleasure they demand. Guilt is a negative feeling they have a right to live without. So when their desire for anything is deemed to be outside of acceptable standards, it isn’t they who need to change. It’s the standards! Why allow guilt to plague us when we can make acceptable the behavior that causes guilt. And it isn’t enough to just be allowed to indulge privately. No—People want a public, open acceptance of what has caused them shame. Because deep down inside, they know it’s wrong. They think of they can get a critical mass of the public to accept it, if they can see it in best-sellers and on feature films playing to packed houses, then it really is okay, and the guilt will evaporate.
So, the popularity of mommy porn shouldn’t really surprise us. Saying that, what we ought to do is ask, “What’s next? What else is coming that today shocks, but tomorrow will be viewed by our society as normal, acceptable, even preferred?
Make no mistake, the archfiend has an objective in all this; to destroy the sanctity of marriage. The devil wants to dismantle it. That’s how he plans to stall God’s plan. Destroy marriage, then you can more easily destroy children, especially boys.
The devil is going hard after men because they present the biggest threat to him. God made men to be warriors, as He is (Exodus 15:3). When a man embraces his call to be a spiritual warrior, it’s the beginning of the end for the devil in that man’s life and his sphere of influence. So the devil has pulled out all the stops to neutralize men.
He pushes men to the classic mockeries of themselves as either cowards or bullies. In our culture he’s used radical feminism to blur the lines between male and female. He’s used porn to steal men’s souls and turn them into slaves to lust. Slaves make lousy warriors! Want to know the real root of the radical homosexual agenda to make normalize a deviant lifestyle; it’s right here! What better way to neutralize men than to get them to deny who and what they really are as MEN? Then get a whole society to accept that idea, promote easy divorce so that women, not men, raise sons, and you have the nurture base that’s ripe for producing even more men with homosexual desires.
As a pastor, I’m in a unique position to see the real effects of pornography. Many if not most of the marriages I’ve watched blow up over sexual sin began with one of the spouse’s addiction to pornography. And if it didn’t begin there, it was certainly helped along the way by it.
You’ve likely heard some of these stats on the porn industry. I repeat them here for the shock value they OUGHT to have. (Thanks to a friend for culling these stats)
Size of the porn industry: $57 billion; of which $12 billion is in the US. By comparison, the combined US revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC are $6.2 billion.
- Pornographic websites: 4.2 million, 12% of all sites on the Internet
- Pornographic emails: 2.5 billion per day
Source: Top Ten Reviews
- 50% of Christian men admit to being addicted to pornography
- 20% of Christian women admit to being addicted to pornography
- 60% of Christian women admitted to having significant struggles with lust
- 68% of divorces involve one party meeting a new partner over the Internet
- 56% of divorces involve one party having an obsessive interest in “pornographic websites”
- 33% of divorces involve one party spending excessive time in “chat rooms”
Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- 34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn
- One out of 3 visitors to adult websites are women (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- Of those struggling with sexual addiction under the age of 35, 40% are women (National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families)
- The largest and fastest growing group of consumers of Internet pornography are 12-17 year olds (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- The average age of exposure to pornography is 11 (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- 47% of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family poll, 2003)
What do we say to this current manifestation of spiritual insanity sweeping society with the Fifty Shades books? Turning up our noses and calling it disgusting will do only one thing; reaffirm in the minds of the world that Christians are up-tight, pleasure-hating sexual prudes. We have to do better than that. Let’s boldly tell the truth!
Sex is God’s idea. He made us male and female and that means something marvelous. Christians aren’t negative and down on sex. We embrace it for the marvelous gift it is from our God. What we’re down on is every and anything that would get in the way and ruin any of God’s gifts. And that means all forms of sex outside the right place for it – IN MARRIAGE!
My wife and I don’t need some erotic novel written by a middle-aged woman in London to have a full and mutually satisfying love life. We’re doing real well on our own. Our Bible even has a highly erotic love poem called the Song of Songs. We could call it, Fifty Flavors of Passion. Yep, it’s pretty spicy.
Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the sexual life of a husband and wife is clean before God. That’s a pretty wide open field for a couple to use as they spend their lives together and the years pass. God wants them to enjoy each other. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say the husband’s body belongs to his wife and he owes her sexual pleasure as well as vice-versa. A pretty liberated concept for a 1st Century Jew living in the Greco-Roman culture. Yeah, Paul is light years away from the misogynist modern feminists want to make him in to.
So while the world is all excited about enjoying graydom – let the People of God stand up and say – “Away with the gray! Fill your life with all the colors of God’s marvelous love. His plan extends all the way into your bedroom.”