50 Shades of Magic Mike (In Which I Am VERY UNCOOL)

This is a post that will not make me any friends, and will alienate some of my existing friends, and generally make me look like a complete stick-in-the-mud. Do people still say that? Stick-in-the-mud? How about killjoy/spoilsport/wet-blanket, etc? You get what I mean.

Explanation

The only reason I’m writing this at all is because I feel compelled to do so. I’m not sure if you ever had this feeling, but sometimes there are words that I need to write, only I don’t want to write them. So I push them deep down, underneath all of the other words I actually want to write, and beneath my mental-list of chores and errands, so far down that I think they basically don’t exist anymore. But that’s never the case. Something always causes them to spring back up, and this will continue happening until I sit down and write the words out. Then I can move on with my life. That’s what this is.

“Mommy Porn”

“50 Shades of Grey” is an erotic novel, and “Magic Mike” is a movie about male strippers, and both are very, very popular with women right now. In fact, they’re being called “Mommy Porn.” (I won’t go into more detail, because there is enough about them both on the Internet already.) I can’t check Twitter or Facebook without reading another enthusiastic update about both of them. Seems like every woman I know is into one of those works, or both. I am not surprised that both of these works are being celebrated so openly; there are so many equivalent works that are aimed at men that garner major public attention that I’m actually surprised it took women this long to get their own “thing.” I am surprised, though, at how completely accepting Christian culture is to both of these works. I’ve read a few dozen different updates from Christian women regarding “50 Shades” and “Magic Mike,” and the verdict? They love them. I mean they really looooove them. They can’t stop talking about them.

(Quick, like a bandaid:) This is not okay.

Christian women need to reject both of these works, and instead, use our voices in support of what is good, right and true. It is our responsibility, as daughters of the Heavenly King, to remain set-apart from the poisons of our culture, to rebuke temptation, and to celebrate and honor righteousness.

Some Scriptural Support

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

If your enemy thinks he can snare you with something as “acceptable” as 50 Shades or Magic Mike, you better believe he will take advantage. Don’t let the culture’s acceptance and celebration of these works confuse you, or put you off your guard.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-9

(Emphasis my own.) Do not conform to the patterns of this world. In other words, just because everyone else is reading it/watching it, that doesn’t make it acceptable.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23

Is what you’re putting in front of your eyes healthy? Is what you’re putting into your imagination healthy?

Put Yourself in His Shoes

To gain another perspective, imagine your husband (or father/brother/church leader) going around bragging about how much he loved reading last month’s Playboy magazine, or rallying all of his guy friends to go see “Magic Meghan” for the third time. If our husbands were drooling over a movie about female strippers, we would be livid. It wouldn’t be tolerated. Church leaders would be publicly denouncing men’s sudden acceptance of pornography and erotic films. (Why aren’t church leaders publicly denouncing 50 Shades or Magic Mike, by the way?)

Make Good Decisions


If you’re a Christian woman, and you’re reading this, know that I am not judging you. (I own 50 Shades myself. I bought it before I knew what it was, on the recommendation of a friend, and after reading some pages and discovering that it’s pornography, I cast it aside.) We all have poor judgement sometimes, and leave ourselves open to temptation. But we can also use our agency to make good decisions. Like throwing 50 Shades away (don’t re-gift it!), and not going to see Magic Mike. (Or if you’ve already seen it, stop encouraging all of your friends to go see it.)
Rather than causing each other to stumble by putting our sisters in the path of temptation, what if we decided to use our voices to celebrate our marriages? Or the marriages of your friends and family? What if we championed healthy relationships?

Taking Things Up a Notch

(This next paragraph talks about sex a little bit, so stop reading if you don’t want to read about sex.)
What if we invested our time and energy into spicing things up in our bedrooms? Rather than spending $12 on that movie, or the book, why not save the money, and instead, wear something sexy to bed, just because? And what if all the time that you would have spent reading 50 Shades, you instead spent making love to your husband? (Though probably not all in one day…unless you’re, like, training for a marathon.) We can definitely kick things up a notch without resorting to reading pornography, or lusting after celebrity-strippers.

Non-Christian Perspective

It is not okay to sexually objectify people. Just because evidently this summer we’re all about objectifying men, that doesn’t make it okay. It’s not like there’s a scale, and all these years, it’s been heavy on the objectification-of-women side, and we need to balance it out by objectifying men now. It doesn’t work that way. The only way we “balance the scale” is by quitting objectifying anyone, and leaving the scale empty. Oh, and that saying “you are what you eat?” I’d say the same thing goes for media: you are what you consume. Pornography is unhealthy. There, I said it.

Do I win some kind of prize for being the least popular person on the Internet for this? Like I’ve said: I did not want to write this. Please be nice to me in the comments, because if you know me at all, you know that this is totally out of character for me. I don’t preach at people…well, ever. I’m just glad these words are out so I can finally write the things I want to write.

xoxo, mj

[Edited to add a link to a follow-up post I've written]

So This is Love?

If your faith is tied up in people-pleasing, and following rules in order to be accepted by people, your faith is in trouble. I used to resent Christians, because I didn’t feel like I needed to live a certain way in order for God to love me. And that’s the truth. God loves you, no matter what. But here’s the thing: if you believe that God, your Father, loves you, and only wants the best for you, it follows that you would, out of respect and love for Him, do your best to live in a way that honors Him, and brings glory to his name. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be happy living that life if you are looking to others for validation. So many of us have tried doing just that, and failed miserably.

[Edited to add additional links on the subject, if you'd like to read more]

A Nun Reviews “Magic Mike” - From Sister Helena Burns (If you only read one additional post on the subject, make it this one. Sister Helena NAILS IT.

Why is a nun always* talking about sin? Because sin is real. And it’s bad. And it hurts us. And it’s mean. As “Sister” from Late Nite Catechism sez: “Sometimes we feel guilty because we are.” Guilt is good! It’s an indicator that something is wrong! And then we can do something about it! Yay, guilt! Just like we get aches and pain as symptoms that something is wrong in our bodies. But of course we need a healthy conscience, not a lax or scrupulous one. That’s why we need “formation of conscience.”

I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey – From Dannah Gresh at purefreedom.org

Over time your body becomes conditioned to self-stimulation and gratification. It’s not just a preference. It’s physiological. The lust cuts a literal pathway in your brain tissue that’s kinda like a rut. A rut you better be prepared to get stuck in. While at first a little bit of erotica might give you a taste for your spouse, overtime that rut reminds you how great you are at self-stimulation and how powerful your imagination can be.

Fifty Shades of Great Sex With Your Husband – From intimacyinmarriage.com

The landscape is cluttered with shiny things masquerading as pathways to authentic intimacy, and I’m fairly certain that Fifty Shades of Grey is merely finding its place in the mix.

Escape into Grey – from the-generous-wife.com

The problem is that reading erotic novels is like eating Twinkies to stop your hunger. It’s sweet. It’s gives you a sugar high. It makes good food taste bland. It doesn’t give your body the nutrition it needs and all you do is crave more sugar, more Twinkies.

The Fifty Shades of Magic Mike – from Fatherhood and Other Unknowns

I will be the first person to tell you that we, as men, are called to a much higher standard and have to do our best to protect our ears, our eyes, and our mind from the gutters of junk that surround us on a daily basis and we also have a responsibility to, by doing that, protect the hearts and image of the women in our lives.

Shades of Grey: Media Choices and Marriage – from Mulberry & Magnolia

Praise God (for own my broken self and for every other broken person out there) that GRACE ABOUNDS and repentance is just a prayer away.  Let’s all aim to be quicker to recognize danger zones and flee from them, and let’s turn to God and do our best to filter all of our decisions through His Word.  Will we do it perfectly?  Heck, no!  But, I think if we ask, the Holy Spirit will file the junk far away before we come close to damaging our hearts or our husbands.

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1,919 Comments

  1. Vanessa

     /  June 30, 2012

    I am not personally interested in either the book or movie you talk about, so I may be out of the loop. I am ok with some expressions of sexuality if it does not harm others (and this includes objectifying men or women – which, it sounds like these both do). I am not Christian, but I don’t want to support this mentality. I think that’s important to note. I always like reading your opinions, Melissa (whether I agree with them or not, you are well spoken and have conviction). Here’s to happy marriages and respectful relationships!

    Reply
    • Thanks Vanessa! The thing that disturbs me about 50 Shades is that the lead male seems to be into acting out on the abuses of his past, and people are totally okay with that. Like, because he’s hitting her sexually, instead of flat-out abusively, it’s okay. I hope I didn’t give the impression that Christian women are the only ones who should be concerned about ho accepted the book is. Advocating for healthy relationships is bigger than any set of spiritual beliefs.

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      • coril

         /  July 8, 2012

        You are right, in the beginning of the book the main character does do the things he does because of his abusive past. HOWEVER, throughout the series the lead female character helps him to realize this, deal with his abuse, and enter into a more healthy relationship – she lets him know that it is NOT ok. The books are more than just the sexual scenes. There is a story about two people finding love and wanting to have a healthy relationship. The characters go through a lot of compromise, give-and-take, self-examination, and change for the better in order to achieve this goal. I think a lot of marriages would last longer if people worked at it rather than just give up at the first sign of trouble. The main characters in the books did this and ended up in a married, committed, healthy adult relationship. Sure some of the things they do aren’t for everyone, but they’ve actually talked about what they enjoy and do not enjoy in the bedroom therefore leading to a healthier sex life. While I completely agree that some of the content of the books are not for everyone and totally respect your decision not to finish reading the books (or the two subsequent books), I do have issue with you commenting on the content of the books without having read the book or the series in entirety.

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        • Chris

           /  July 8, 2012

          I understand what you are saying here, but the books could have gotten the same point across without going into such graphic detail. You argued that the characters in the book were moving towards a healthier relationship, but the end does not justify the means. As far as I am concerned it is never ok to read/view/watch such material. These things are harmful to healthy relationships no matter how they are disguised. I am saddened by their increasing popularity and acceptance in our world today.

          On a different note, you said that you have issue with her commenting on the books without having read through them in their entirety. By that logic, no one should decided on the morality of an action they are taking until they have followed it through to its fullest. I have to disagree. I don’t have to study something intently to know that it is wrong. So long as I know what is right, I can make accurate and right judgments on the things I come across in my life without becoming overly involved in them. For example… I went to see the movie Anchor Man when it was in theaters, but left just ten minutes into it. The amount of crude sexual jokes and profanity was not something I wanted to be exposed to. I was able to make that decision without having watched the whole movie. I know from talking to others how the movie ended, just as I’m sure Melissa talked to others about the books. That was enough for me to decide that the movie was not appropriate.

          I’m just a guy in college though… what do I know. To truly understand this, take a close look at your attitude and try to capture the thoughts that creep into your mind when it wanders. Tell yourself that “consuming” such things as Magic Mike and 50 Shades does not change you. Stand up and defend yourself, because you are being attacked by a society that wants to drag you down into sexual immorality.

          Reply
          • Perfectly said Chris!!!

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          • For “just a guy in college” you are extremely well spoken!

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          • coril

             /  July 9, 2012

            Chris, I should clarify. I don’t feel one has to “study something intently” to know it is morally wrong. I have no problem with the blog writer or anyone else saying, “I began reading (or watching or whatever) and realized it didn’t fit with my values and then stopped.” My only issue is the specific comment she made in response to the first post. The reason I have issue with this is because she took a specific issue and came to a conclusion without knowing the full story. It is very much like when a politician runs a political ad – they take something their opponent said or did and only put out the part they want you to see. It’s out of context and there is often much more to the story. They take these facts and twist them to their own means. The only difference is these politicians and their supporters do it knowingly and with malicious intent. I don’t feel the blog writer did this. Unfortunately the end result is the same-the spreading of incorrect information. That is my one and only issue with the blog and the comments.

            Reply
            • Chris

               /  July 11, 2012

              You are missing the point… the issue is not that the main character was doing this due to past abuse, but that the novels are vulgar and graphic in a way that Christian women should not be reading them. You are correct in saying that she did not explain the entirety of the plot and some may not understand what the story is about, but who cares? That is not the issue she is addressing, nor does it add to or diminish the point she is trying to make. Regardless of how much more there is to the story, it does not change the fact that these books are filled with sexually explicit imagery and directly oppose what we are called to as Christians. I’m sorry that you feel the “story” is being misrepresented, but that is beside the point.

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              • coril

                 /  July 11, 2012

                Chris, with all due respect, I get the point. I do not disagree with you or the author of the blog in the points about it being vulgar or not fitting with Christian values. My only objective was to point out the incorrectness of her statement. I do feel it is important to be accurate in the things one says and does. By your line of thinking it is acceptable to spread untruths, inaccuracies, and misrepresentations against something that doesn’t agree with your values. So by that thought it would be okay for someone who is not Christian (maybe they are Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist) to spread untruths, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations about Christianity because it does not agree with their values. Whether it’s true or not would be “beside the point” because it “opposes” whatever it is they believe. That would be okay too, right?

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                • Chris

                   /  July 11, 2012

                  Once again you are misunderstanding what I am trying to say. I am NOT saying that it is ok to spread untruths about those who have different views from your own. What I AM saying is that you have chosen to make a big deal out of an issue that was not only accidental, but is of little to no importance to the topic at hand. The likelihood of her comment about the main character acting out from past abuses actually causing any misunderstanding is negligible. She was not spreading fallacies, she simply did not deem it worthwhile to explain the full plot and how it resolved. She did not misrepresent the book in any way by just commenting on the sections that she read. What she said was true, you even admitted that. Your argument that she should have more fully explained the plot of a book that she is encouraging her audience not to read is illogical. There is no reason for her to also represent the few redeeming factors of the plot when the pornographic imagery should be enough to outweigh all of that. Personally, the fact that the character’s sexual desires were being influenced by past abuse, and the fact that this was graphically portrayed, makes the book seem even more appalling to me, regardless of the resolution. Not only was it sexually explicit, but it was perverted due to past circumstances. No other argument is needed. This is not something that Christians should be reading. The Bible is clear on that matter.

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          • The kind of guy that girls should be looking for. You’re a keeper Chris. :)

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          • Good input Chris! You’re not “just a guy in college” – you’re a wise man!

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          • Amy K

             /  July 13, 2012

            Wow. College guy with morals? I thought there was only one, and he’s technically graduated now…. Thanks for the hope and the wisdom :)

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          • Chantelle

             /  September 23, 2012

            Thank you, Chris :-)

            Reply
      • Carla

         /  July 8, 2012

        I would like to advocate for healthy relationships as well – but doubting their existence…. I have read Grey and seen Mike and have focused on the deeper stories of both. In each case, the main character is being drawn away from the evil and towards the good and both stories explore those paths. On a personal note, I am a 50 yr. old woman going through a divorce after 23 years of marriage – defeated by a relationship riddled with addictions. It seems as though the audience you are speaking to is married women – how about all of the others? How about the many good women of the world who would like to have a deep and satisfying relationship with a good man who knows the importance of putting God first in his family?

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        • Christy

           /  July 9, 2012

          I don’t see how being married or single changes the moral value of reading/watching these books & movies. You ask “How about the many good women of the world who would like to have a deep and satisfying relationship with a good man who knows the importance of putting God first in his family?” Do you really think that these materials will help you and those other women find and attract Godly men? Are you looking for a man who reads erotica and watches soft-core porn? Do you think Godly men are looking for women who do? These things will not help anyone build a deep and satisfying relationship. Search out the studies on pornography and you will find that the opposite is true — relationships are damaged and harmed by these influences.

          Reply
  2. I hate to see your post when 50 Shades of Grey the movie comes out!

    In all honesty, it’s a movie and a book. Is it really worth getting worked up about? Yeah, it’s popular now but it’ll just end up being yet another distant memory soon enough. Christian or not, it has an intrigue factor that women may be interested in. I wouldn’t denounce that individual as a sinner. Life isn’t always Disney movies or Twilight.

    Reply
    • Well, like I said, I’m not judging anyone. Think of it more like a big yellow road-sign, warning Christian women of a giant hole, or the edge of a cliff. I understand that you think it’s a bit silly to be concerned over works of fiction. My objection isn’t in the existence of alternate perspectives being expressed in pop-culture, it’s that “my group” (Christian women), profess themselves to be standing for a certain lifestyle, for a purpose, and by joining the culture and not assessing the issue for themselves, they’re not being true to their identity. Christians get labeled as hypocrites all the time (and for good reason), and sometimes we need a mirror to be held up to our behavior in order to see ourselves.

      All that to say, respectfully, that I’m not asking you to agree with me, and I’m not trying to convince you of anything. It is totally okay to me that you feel the way you do about the issue. Hopefully you can weigh my opinion equally.

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      • Julie

         /  July 4, 2012

        I’m in that group of Christian women and we should be looking through the “lens” of scripture, the Bible, at what the world thinks is ok. The “intrigue factor” that you speak of is wrong in God’s eyes and is wrong in my eyes, and should be wrong in the eyes of every Christian woman.

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      • Lyndi

         /  July 5, 2012

        Well stated and all very true! Thank you for being a light to shine and for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you. I so appreciate your words and the stand that you have taken. It is not a worthless endeavor, and I love your attitude in response to the negative comments. I have thankfully escaped both these snares so far, but I would be lying if I said they weren’t tempting. So thank you for adding fuel to the fire that is keeping me on the right path – God’s path, and for providing us all with a glimpse of an alternate reality!

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      • Amanda

         /  July 7, 2012

        Thank you Melissa! I think one of your best points is how livid I would be if my husband was reading something like this, or watching porn, and then telling everyone how much he loved it. I hate the double standard, and just because a woman is on the “forgiving” side of the standard, doesn’t make it right.

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      • Well said, Melissa! I just saw this linked on a friend’s facebook and I think you have gained a new follower! I love you heart for warning women from getting caught “in the world”. It is a very easy trap to fall into. It is so important that we cover ourselves in God’s Word so that we can see the world through “God’s lens”. You aren’t judging at all. We need to be warriors for Christ. Warning people of “danger ahead”.

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      • Lahela

         /  July 7, 2012

        Very well said I agree with you on many levels. I’ve been recently convicted of things pertaining to entertainment. Jefferson Bethke shared this on FB best thing I read in a while :) Thank you for your honesty…

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      • absolutelykathy

         /  July 9, 2012

        I see truth in your words. But at the same time I don’t think the movie or the book is as terrible as you make them out to be. I don’t think God set down one rule for how men and women should have sex. I mean is it wrong if a married couple does like doing these acts? I don’t think so. IF they are both respecting each other then more power to them. I think you just have to learn the checks and balances. Once something becomes an addiction is when you have a problem. But I do want to applaud you for being brave enough to state your thoughts. It was a good read and thou I don’t agree with everything you said. I think it is a good debate to have.

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        • Sheena

           /  July 10, 2012

          The rule God set for marriage is that it should be within the marriage relationship. I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, so I can’t say if that’s what happens in those or not. I think the point is not that sex is bad, or certain kinds of sex are wrong, but that images of sex (whether visual or mental images) should also be confined to your spouse. Thank you, MelissaJenna, for standing up for what you believe.

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          • Agreed Sheena!

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          • So in your opinion no books or movies should be allowed to have love scenes? Every movie should be a Disney movie? I am a Christian woman who is in a healthy committed relationship and will be married next year. I have not seen Magic Mike yet but I have read the 50 Shades Books….and I love them. In fact my future husband bought them for me! We read parts of them together, and while we do not subscribe to that lifestyle we found them interesting and at times very numerous. At the end of the day its a book, you may not like it and that’s fine but please do not make it sound like if you read or enjoy these books you are not a good Christian Woman. I know most of you will not share my view and will prob make you angry I just wanted to to share my opinion.

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      • Mandy

         /  July 13, 2012

        “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
        Edmund Burke
        Thank you MelissaJenna!

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    • Christina

       /  July 5, 2012

      I can see why it probably seems like we’re making a big deal out of nothing. But in addition to Melissajenna’s points, here’s my food for thought: media influences society, shaping culture in a huge way. No culture changes overnight, but in a slow, subtle progression. Subtle progressions tend to seem less threatening in nature.The long-term problem then is this: A culture that embraces the objectificaiton of men and women is what leads to the mindset of exploitation that drives sex trafficking, forced prositution, child pornography, etc., and perhaps on an individual level, sexual abuse in general. The time to put on the breaks isn’t when these issues get too big to handle – it’s before it reaches that point.

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      • Bethany

         /  July 6, 2012

        AMEN SISTER!!!! Perfectly stated, couldn’t have said it better myself.

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      • Kris

         /  July 6, 2012

        Christina, those are excellent points. MelissaJenna, thank you for writing this.

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      • J-ME

         /  July 6, 2012

        Double Amen!! We have to be aware of how media drives our society. Thank you for your response. We need to stake a stand on holy living.

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      • Shawn

         /  July 6, 2012

        Absoutely, positively DITTO to what Christina said!! There are examples of this everywhere!!

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      • If what you said was true, this country would have an epidemic of “exploitation that drives sex trafficking, forced prositution, child pornography, etc., and perhaps on an individual level, sexual abuse in general.” because the objectification of men and women sexually isn’t anything new. It’s been going on for decades. REAL pornography has been around for decades and is a lot more popular than you think. Yes, those things do exist in our country, but it isn’t as common as it would be if your theory were true. I’m not trying to condone anything. I’m just stating a flaw in your theory..

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        • Actually, Garrett, you don’t know the flaws in your theory. Sex trafficing is at an all time high, child abuse, I don’t know if it’s at a high, but it’s more spoken out about now than ever before, as is spousal abuse, forced prostitution, etc. The realities is, that when one is in a healthy and hopefully Godly marriage, you shouldn’t be seeking porn of any kind, and if you are…you need to look at your marriage and find a way to FIX it, that doesn’t call for seeking pleasure from porn, whether it’s through a book, magazine, or screen.

          Reply
          • You are correct. Sex trafficking IS at an all time high, and it is very sad. BUT, the amount of people that are trafficked for sex each year in this country is between 100,000-150,000. There are about 313 million people in America right now. So, that would mean less than .05% of people in America are trafficked for sex. That’s less than 1%. Like I said, it’s really sad and wrong, but that’s a very tiny percentage of America. A study done 2 years ago shows that 30% of women and 70% of men in America watch porn. If watching porn led you to want to traffic humans for sex, the numbers for sex trafficking would be around 50% of America. People do have very healthy and happy marriages and watch porn together. As a man, I can tell you that men don’t watch porn because we want to have sex with the women in the films. We watch it as a visual aid because men are visual creatures. Women are emotional creatures. In fact, I can tell you, personally, I would NEVER have sex with ANY woman who’s been in a pornographic film. Those women have serious mental issues, and having sex with multiple men several times a day, week, etc, is just plain nasty. We don’t lust over them. We watch it for the act that is going on in them. What about this? What about a husband and wife that make their own tape to watch? Do you feel it’s immoral, lusting, etc, as a regular pornographic movie?

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            • Jenn

               /  July 7, 2012

              The problem with watching porn is that what has been seen can never, ever be unseen. Those strangers whom we invited into our mind will surely visit us in the marriage bed. It is impossible to be completely devoted to our beloved – who has made themselves naked and vulnerable – when we are thinking of another. This goes for both husbands and wives. We should not need another for excitement, and that’s where we have to train our minds (and quite frankly, pray) and hearts to desire to be with only our spouse. We have nearly lost the sacred when it comes to sex, to the point where it has become common.

              It is now known via MRI that pornography addiction causes brain damage. There are wonderful programs to help heal the brain, and the person.

              http://www.reclaimsexualhealth.com

              Reply
            • cole

               /  July 7, 2012

              Pornography, sexual abuse, etc have been around since the dawn of time. It was VERY widespread in the early days of the human race. Std’s killed entire villages. Research a little before you throw a comment out there. 50 shades of grey and magic Mike will no more make things worse than Xxx rated movies, stores, and playboy already have.

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              • rae

                 /  July 7, 2012

                cole, yeah, porn and stuff has been around forever, but there’s a reason people to openly admit to doing it all the time, it’s because it’s shameful and even non-christians have some sense of the shamefulness and emptiness of porn. that’s why they don’t do it in public. the reason these movies and books will make an impact is because by putting them in movie theatres, hollywood is making it NORMAL. instead of strip clubs, and porn, and sex trafficing being looked down on, now it’s being glorified by the millions people are spending on tickets for it (for themselves and their children!).

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              • Cole, can you please tell me how porn has been around since the dawn of time? Pornography started in the 1500s in literature. Movies didn’t come out until the 1900s. The early days of the human race? There aren’t any documents from the early days of the human race. People didn’t know how to write or speak any kind of halfway advanced languages. As far as STDs, the first documented cases were in the 1400s in Europe of syphilis. Medicine was so primitive before 1000 AD, they wouldn’t have known what STDs were. And yes, sexual abuse like rape has been around as far back as we know. You do realize that humans existed on Earth WAY before the bible was written, right? Ancient texts can be dated back thousands of years in BC time.. And how has Playboy contributed to the decline of civilization exactly? A couple of pages of woman’s bare breasts, pubic hair, and bare buttocks, along with written articles! OMG! It’s the end of the world!

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                • nicole

                   /  July 7, 2012

                  my apologies, garrett, my initial reply was meant for christina, and i was agreeing with you. i was mobile, and it must have registered a click below yours.
                  anyway, pornography in the non-traditional sense has existed long before movies (obviously), photography, and even print. the earliest known form of pornography was approximately 30,000 years ago. they would carve figures of women out of wood and stone, and the “statues” were intended for sexual arousal. a very well known piece of work would be the kama sutra, which was composed in the second century. as far as std’s, gonorrhoea was described by ancient egyptians, and was recognized by roman and greek medical writers.
                  and i apologize if you misunderstood, i was agreeing that it is laughable to think that this movie and this book are going to corrupt our world and make things so much worse, take for example how playboy has affected our world ;) (ie, it hasn’t. lol) as was mentioned before, everything in this book (especially the bdsm aspect) has been around for ages, everything in the movie has been around for ages. it’s just causing an uproar because for once in our lives it is aimed towards women, however once the hype dies down, it will be no different than any film, photo, novel, etc aimed toward men.

                  Reply
                  • Christina

                     /  July 8, 2012

                    Those are some good points. But then what is your explanation of the US being a top purchasers of trafficked women and children or purchasing sex form minors abroad? Where does the demand for sex come from? And what’s feeding the demand for sex?

                    Reply
                    • Katie

                       /  July 8, 2012

                      I have a 23 year old friend whose husband told her that he would rather jack off to porn than have sex with her. porn can destroy marriages and relationships. The stat s don’t show you the totally broken people that are trying to move on with what is left of their self esteem.

                    • camaratalinda62@gmail.com

                       /  July 9, 2012

                      The U.S. is one of the riches countries in the world, and pretty much any jerk can save a few bucks to relieve his fantasy with a young girl from another country…people are not feeling loved or cared for so therefore they do stupid things, and get caught…

                • Robin

                   /  July 17, 2012

                  Garrett,

                  When it comes to sex trafficking, it might be only .05% of the American population that is enslaved, but that’s 100,000 LIVES!! Each one of those represents a HUMAN BEING that is being forced to service another person without any say as to what happens to their bodies. Not only is it the 100,000 that are affected, but that individual is a daughter, a cousin, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a niece to someone else. And their loved ones have to endure the fact that their family member is being held, against their free will, to service up to 20 people a day. That’s appalling regardless of belief system.

                  To makes matters worse, there are women in eastern europe that are thrown off balconies and beaten because the men coming to “see” them liked “damaged goods”. I don’t care who you are, that is sicking.

                  Every time a new movie or book comes out, that is sexually explicit, our culture grows more and more desensitized to the sexual horrors that millions of men, women, and children are forced to survive everyday.

                  Technology has made it so that people can have access to pornographic images 24/7. When people have become addicted images and fantasizes no longer satisfy the urges that accessibility has created. There are so many stories of men who have lost their wives and children because their addiction to online pornography has overtaken their lives. Women also have fallen into addiction as well. And yes, these might be the exception but each exception is still a life.

                  The original post alludes to an issue that is so much bigger then a book or a movie, it alludes to the fact that western society is driven by a media vehicle that explicitly targets human sexuality as a means to propel industries. This propensity has affected humanity in a catastrophic way. A way that has become a horrific reality in our world.

                  This reply might just seem like a lot of words, but people need to know that they can trigger change and save lives. I know my life will be consumed by doing what I can to save at least one. My only hope is that others are stirred to do the same.

                  Reply
                  • LL

                     /  July 18, 2012

                    At the risk of this skinny thread disappearing all together ;), I just wanted to let Robin know that your reply was very well done! Thank you for such a well-written response.

                    Reply
              • Chris

                 /  July 8, 2012

                Sexual immorality has had a huge impact on our society. The marriage rate is dropping and the divorce rate is through the roof. Close to 50 percent of marriages in the United States now ends in divorce. On top of that, spousal abuse is at an all time high. One in four women experience it. I don’t understand how people cannot see this. Odds are that most of the people reading this are from broken homes or have unhealthy relationships with their partner.

                Reply
            • Tim

               /  July 7, 2012

              Seriously, I don’t know where you get those. Numbers, but they are very, very suppressed. Think of it this way. A female child is approached by a pimp within 17 hrs. Of running away. And the average age that a women begins prostitution in OUR country is 13. I would suggest that you read a little more on the subject. It will horify you and the scary thing is that the real numbers only tell of the ones we know about. Pornography drives sex trafficking. Theres just no way around it.

              Reply
            • JustinH

               /  July 7, 2012

              Garrette I would encourage you to widen your perspective and realize the far reaching implications that viewing pornography has on the world. Your figures of those sexually trafficked are terribly out of touch. http://vimeo.com/31795904

              Reply
              • Justin and Tim, this is where I got my numbers you think are way off..

                http://www.crisisaid.org/ICAPDF/Trafficking/traffickstats.pdf

                I can tell you that you’re both wrong about pornography because I’ve watched my share of it and I’m not raping, trafficking, pimping, abusing women, etc, etc, etc. I’m a normal man with a girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, and we both have a very happy, healthy relationship together.

                Reply
                • Dani

                   /  July 8, 2012

                  In a way, when you watch pornography, you are aiding the trafficking, pimping, and sexual abuse of women, because a good amount of the women in those tapes are victims of sex slavery. And when you click that link, you are encouraging the kidnapping and entrapment of more women and children.

                  When a husband and wife are enjoying one another/the gift that God has given them physically, they are glorifying God. Watching pornography does not do that, instead you are glorifying that disgracing of the act.

                  Reply
                  • Dani, sex trafficking happens mostly in other countries like Thailand, Cambodia, etc. This isn’t related to the porn industry, because these countries don’t really have one. Sexual repression is what causes these sick industries. Jenna Jameson, Belladonna, and other American porn stars are not forced to do anything. None of these women are. They choose to do this because they have either been sexually abused in the past and it messes up their heads, or they do it for the money. If porn was such a horrible thing, I would be doing horrible things, and so would the millions of men in America. Yes, some people do sick stuff to people, but not all men do it. If porn caused these things you claim, everyone would be doing them who watched porn…

                    Reply
                • Dthom

                   /  July 8, 2012

                  Because you are “not raping, trafficking, pimping, abusing women, etc” does not mean that your consumption doesn’t have a harmful impact on others mainly women. The purchase of such materials perpetuates the industry that exploits, corrupts and destroys lives, whether you want to admit it or not. The fact is peer reviewed journals will bear it out that pornography is addictive and destructive. I wrote a paper on this subject in college and was able to find reams of material supporting the assertion that the negative effects are far reaching. Of particular note is that sex offenders, mainly rapists admitted that printed materials were used as a priming tool of sorts. Many also admitted that consumption of what would be considered soft core porn led to the need for an increased level of eroticism ie violence related materials or hard core porn. Much like marijuana has been deemed a gateway drug, it seems that soft core Just my two cents. porn is a gateway to hard core porn. ctive and destructive. I wrote a paper on this subject in college and was able to find reams of material suporting the assertion that the negative effects are far reaching. And yes, they dont impact momen and men inv

                  Reply
                  • Dthom

                     /  July 8, 2012

                    Sorry the last part became a little disjointed due to my laptop acting up. Im sure you get the point.

                    Reply
                  • I don’t purchase anything but my monthly subscription to Playboy. Porn is free on the internet these days. There’s no reason to buy anything. So, no, I’m not supporting any of that because I don’t purchase any porn…

                    Reply
                    • Dthom

                       /  July 8, 2012

                      No it is not free. You are deluding yourself if you believe that because you can access it for free that the industry is not profit driven. Others obviously pay for it. Try to think of the issue from a global telescopic viewpoint on not from an individual perspective. The overall point I made was that the argument that because one does not rape, traffic etc exempts them from moral responsibility or negates the real tangible devastation the industry causes is simply false and naive.

                • Christina

                   /  July 8, 2012

                  So are you of the opinion that porn is exploiting these women? It’s still part of the sex industry. The women in it don’t want to be there. Like I said before, some want to die, most use drugs to cope. And 80% were sexually abused prior to their “voluntary” entry – porn is just a continuation of their exploitation for them. Are you of the opinion that it’s okay to do this to women? Knowing that it’s hurting them? All so some guy can fulfill his fantasy at her expense? Besides this, porn IS used in the forceful exploitation of women and children. So how can you tell those apart from other non-forced ones? You can’t. And just because a guy isn’t actually having sex with the little children, is it okay to look at them in porn because he’s “just looking”?

                  Reply
                  • Women in America that do porn are not forced into it. They willingly sign up to do porn. They may hate it, but that’s their own fault. They have the choice to do something else with their lives. I can’t speak for porn in other countries, but unless the girl is getting raped in the porn, I couldn’t see a girl acting like she’s enjoying anything by force..

                    Reply
              • I’m sure the fact that South Africa is FULL of crime and corruption had nothing to do with Jacob getting into trafficking. It must have been porn… *rolls eyes*

                Reply
            • Christina

               /  July 8, 2012

              Garret, you bring up a valid point. But have you ever heard of sex tourism? It’s not the idea of just trafficking, it’s us going to them. In which case, America and Japan top the charts as customers. What this looks like is going to Cambodia to have sex with little kids. So, I still stand by what I said about the impact porn has on our society. As for trafficking, you are relating it to our relative population. But typically, we are not a source country. We are what’s called a destination country, therefore the supply doesn’t come from our population, it comes from other populations. We are the demand, the other countries provide the supply.
              Lastly, women in the sex industry don’t want to be objectified. Having worked with the women both in the industry and recovering from the industry, I can tell you they hate it, even if they entered in willingly. About 80% have been sexually abused prior to entry. I’ve talked to many who want to die, most who do drugs to cope. But men don’t pay them to hear about their feelings about their work. They pay for a fantasy – so they can feel affirmed and desired as men. They just don’t know how much their fantasy hurts the woman.

              Reply
              • You are correct that we aren’t a source country, yet we have the biggest porn industry in the world. If porn was so destructive, we would be a lot more messed up than we are. There are sickos anywhere in the world. They don’t do these sick things because of porn. They do them because they’re messed up in the head. Someone showed a link where Ted Bundy blamed porn for his killings. That was ridiculous and a cop out. Not taking responsibility for his actions. You can’t blame anyone or anything else on your actions but yourself. That is what’s wrong with people in the world today. Nobody can take responsibility for their own actions. You are the only thing that makes you do something. Plain and simple..

                Reply
                • kEK

                   /  July 8, 2012

                  The real issue here is not how porn hurts the world, but how it affects our relationship with God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body [a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. [b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins,as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

                  Reply
                  • Nowhere in the bible does it say, thou shalt not watch porn…

                    Reply
                    • it may not say “thou shalt not watch porn” in the Bible, but it does say “You shall not commit adultery.” (one of the laws commonly known as the 10 Commandments found in Exodus 20:14 ESV), and then Jesus himself says “27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28 ESV).

                    • It won’t let me comment directly to Daniel’s post, but here is the definition of adultery as per the dictionary…

                      Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.

                    • You are correct Garrette – that is our modern definition of what constitutes adultery on a human level. But the Bible say – well Jesus Christ says that adultery is not simply a matter of physical sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse, but also adultery is committed whenever you look at someone with lustful intent. And I’ve heard plenty of people say that they use porn and don’t in any way lust after the women or men in whatever they’re watching/looking at – but I would believe that MOST people, if fully honest, would say that is (one of) the reasons they utilize porn…because of the lust it arouses in them – i.e. the way it makes them feel…and through that lust the dopamine and other great-feeling-drugs the brain releases. And, according to the Bible (the book you were attempting to use in defense of porn)…lust = adultery and adultery = sin.

                • Christina

                   /  July 8, 2012

                  Yeah, I agree. There are are sinful people everywhere in the world. But why do you think US, Canada, and Japan are the biggest purchasers in sex tourism and the like? It all goes back to demand. Where does demand come from? What fuels the demand?

                  Reply
      • Rhonda

         /  July 7, 2012

        Christina – I couldn’t have said it better myself! I think you are right on point with what is happening in our culture and in our country. The Bible says these things will happen before Jesus returns for His church, and I see/hear it more and more everyday. I also like what Rachel said on 7/6 to Melissa. I think Melissa wrote exactly what I’ve been thinking, and I posted her blog on my wall. God bless!

        Reply
      • Justajoe

         /  July 8, 2012

        Thank you Christina, I couldn’t have stated it better. Already in our society we are told we are being “rude” or even “prude” when we ignore advances from the opposite sex. The ones that say that it’s not a big deal hasn’t had a wife told by multiple men “Your husband doesn’t have to know”. I have also met several women throughout my life that were convinced telling me their “husband doesn’t have to know” would change our relationship and couldn’t see the problem. I have lost many friends trying to stay away from people like this. There is a study out that says 80 percent of couples have a cheating spouse. Most women believe that a man have it in his core dna to cheat and will not do anything better. Most men (and women too) do not trust women at all because it’s becoming accepted that they all play mind games and sexual games to get what they want. For those of us who want to say everything is just fine or “whats the big deal” I remember life 20years ago. Yeah this country had it’s share of problems but 80% of our country could trust their spouse. The women were still loving and conciderate and the men were steady and strong. Look at us now.

        Reply
    • Jules

       /  July 6, 2012

      In response to Sebastian’s comment of “what’s the big deal”… I once heard a preacher talk about how no one really starts out to have an affair, it builds a little at a time. A little flirt here, a small touch there, one little lunch, but each small “innocent” steps leads you one step comfortably towards the next. Before you even realize what happened you are in a place you would have never dreamed. I have taken this concept and tried to apply it to everything in my life. So, looking at it that way where will this movie or book lead you? From a Christian perspective, certainly away from Jesus. From a secular perspective towards some very unhealthy ideas and quite possibly an addiction. So, don’t be fooled into thinking this is “just” a movie or a book. It is an attack, plain and simple.

      Reply
      • Michele

         /  July 6, 2012

        Amen!

        Reply
      • Jenn

         /  July 6, 2012

        So true Jules! My husband suffers from an addiction to pornography and he has to be mindful every single moment of every single day, as to what he looks at, reads and hears. It’s a slippery slope from bikinis to hard core. the more you look at it, or read it, the more you need something “just a little bit” racier, until it is completely out of control. It’s not okay, ladies.

        Reply
        • Jenn, I just shared this link above. Scientists have learned via MRI’s that pornography addiction actually causes brain damage. The good news is that the brain can be healed to restore proper blood flow back to the areas where it was low/absent during the addiction. Porn addicts, more than anyone, hate their addiction.

          God bless!

          http://www.reclaimsexualhealth.com

          Reply
          • I’m sorry, but that website is a Christian propaganda pile of BS! Watching porn does NOT cause brain damage. If that were true, most of my male friends would be drooling on themselves, unable to do simple tasks. Yes, watching porn does release dopamine and serotonin. But so does doing anything else that makes you happy and feel good. Listening to music or watching a TV show you like releases these 2 chemicals. Going to church for you Christians releases dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you feel good and happy. Dopamine is the chemical that gives reward driven feelings. The only things that damage your brain preventing these 2 chemicals from being produced is drugs. Drugs physically change your brain chemistry. Watching anything on a TV screen doesn’t physically change you. I seriously laughed at what that website said. Brain damage?! Seriously?!
            On another note, I’ve watched my share of porn. I am a young, adult male. 98% of us have watched porn at least once in our lives. I have never been addicted to porn. ANYTHING can be addictive. Drugs, TV, video games, sex, porn, gambling, eating, love, drama, etc. It’s not the substance that is addictive (other than physically addictive drugs), but it’s the person that has an addiction problem. I don’t watch porn anymore. Not because I ever had a problem being addicted to it, but because I just don’t feel like watching it. My girlfriend and I have watched it before. She doesn’t have a problem with porn or me watching it because she has a realistic point of view that it’s just a visual stimulant. We are madly in love with each other. We are faithful to each other. We have a very healthy sex life and relationship as a whole. I would never cheat on her because she is amazing, because I love her, and because I’m not that kind of person. Because I have a good moral ground. I am an atheist. I don’t need Christianity to be a good person. There are many people who are very bad people who are “Christians”. Look at David Koresh and Jim Jones for example. Look at the Spanish inquisition. Look at the Salem Witch trials. Look at the priests who molest little boys. Priests don’t watch porn, yet they molest children. What is your explanation there? I can say that I have a better concept of right and wrong than a child molester.

            Reply
            • Katie

               /  July 8, 2012

              Being a Christian has nothing to do with being a “good person”. I am saved by God’s grace. God gives everyone the gift of grace and we choose whether we want to accept His unconditional love. Even Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh could have been saved. By the way, those guys were not christians! Those dudes were evil sociopaths. What is the point of God and heaven if we had a certain check list of things that we had to do in order to get in. The bible does not preach that you must obstain from sex. Paul ( I’m not trying to be a pretentious Christian but I hate it when Christians talk to atheists like they’re supposed to know exactly what we’re talking about when we talk about the bible. Paul killed Christians and then God spoke to Him and he changed and began to speak on behalf of Christianity.) was a really dedicated guy but even he said that not everyone could be like him and that we should get married rather than give into sexual sins. Priests are not part of the christian faith but they should denounce their vows instead of raping little boys. The should not choose that lifestyle if they cannot handle the responsibility. God does not give us temptation beyond what we can handle. God would not call them to that position and then not give them strength and ability to reject their sexual desires. I am speaking as a Christian. Porn is wrong. Do I expect you to believe porn is wrong … no. You do not follow the same belief as me. I can tell you porn is a sin but you do not believe that there is such a thing.

              Reply
              • Katie, I’m sorry, but everything you said is wrong and ridiculous. Being Christian DOES require you to be a good person and do the right thing, along with follow God and the teachings of Jesus, which basically say to be a GOOD PERSON. Priests ARE Christians. Christians are those who believe in God and follow Jesus. Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Pentecostals, etc, etc are all Christians. Even if your God was real, he wouldn’t control any aspect of your life because that would interfere with FREE WILL. He doesn’t give you strength, courage, temptation, sin, hope, fear, etc, etc. You are the only one in control of yourself and your life. If you decide to cheat on your spouse, God or Satan didn’t make you do it. You chose to do it on your own.
                People need to learn how to take responsibility for their actions and their lives…

                Reply
                • bre

                   /  July 12, 2012

                  Garrett, just so you know, this is what it means to be a Christian: not just that you believe in God, or believe in Jesus. Being a Christian means that one understands that he is a sinner and could not get to heaven on our own efforts. It means that we believe Jesus is who He claims to be, 100% man and 100% God, a sinless, perfect sacrifice, and our ticket to heaven is through Him and Him alone. John 14:6-”And Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; NOONE comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME.’” It is salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Many people might tack the name “Christian” onto themselves without really even knowing the meaning. But according to the Word of God, this is what a Christian is. Yes, we are called to to do good works, but those are the RESULT of faith in Jesus Christ, not the means to which we get to heaven. No amount of good can get us to heaven-the Bible says, “All our righteosness are as filthy rags.” We are all in the same boat as far as sin goes. There isn’t any one who is better than another. The difference is only this: who you put your faith and trust in, because there is only One, Jesus, who is able to get us to heaven. I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but you didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. Hope this helps.

                  Reply
            • Makamae

               /  July 14, 2012

              There are beginnings to scientific studies that pornography does physically change the brain.

              Reply
          • DontTieMeInWithThem

             /  July 7, 2012

            Interesting tidbit. This site is guilty of something Christians can often be so very critical of, taking things out of context. If taken out of context, there is scriptural support to stoning whores and homosexuals. If you look at the facts this site presents, and then read a book, or did any research beyond what the all-knowing internet tells you(please pick up on EXTREME sarcasm here) you’d realize the same process occurs when you drink coffee, soda, or even small amounts of alcohol. This isn’t about a health concern which I would agree with Garrett, is complete bogus and simply disappointing Christian propaganda. It is about the condition of the heart. I am a believer and understand the potential harm that such content can have on your relationship with God and your partner, but no one is going to get anywhere trying to put false fears into someone that they are going to masturbate themselves to death. Its simply ridiculous. Melissa has the right idea and good for her for posting, but many of you commenting, don’t be a tool of the misleading devil, King of Lies and Deceit and misrepresent the believers of Christ anymore than we already are

            Reply
    • Felicia

       /  July 6, 2012

      I agree

      Reply
    • Daley

       /  July 6, 2012

      She is not getting worked up, she is standing up. Perhaps, you need to pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you more of the Word of God. It’s all in the bible. I am very proud that someone is finally proclaiming the truth. I am growing tired of hearing all of this acceptance of the worldly things. Keep STANDING up for your beliefs and I will stand with you. God bless you for speaking your mind.

      Reply
    • Bonnie

       /  July 7, 2012

      For years we Americans have ignored things and been indifferent. We have dug a hole and put our heads in the ground like an ostrich. Look where that has gotten us. If more people got worked up over things that are not healthy, maybe we would be spared falling further and further into a free fall.

      Reply
    • ashley

       /  July 7, 2012

      I totally agree with you.

      Reply
    • sooja

       /  July 7, 2012

      Whoa wait a moment… Disney movies and Twilight are now acceptable in the “Christian” community? Good to know.

      Reply
    • Kelly K

       /  July 8, 2012

      Why is discussing some issues you have about a topic or book always called getting all worked up about. No one is worked up about anything except you.She is simply discussing whether engaging in this type of entertainment is good for a healthy christian relationship. Its just her need to bring up a topic about christian women getting involved in material that may not be healthy for their spiritual growth.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for your boldness. I completely agree, especially on your point that if the tables were turned and our husbands were ga-ga over the male equivalent of this media, women would be so hurt. Marriage is sacred, and our husbands are precious gifts. Let’s do our best to honor them and honor God. There are enough sneaky temptations and traps out there to take our eyes off Jesus and ruin marriages without intentionally walking into such an obvious landmine. I’m so grateful that for my imperfect self (to put it lightly), and for other women, grace abounds and thankfully, repentance is a prayer away.

    Reply
    • Yes! Now I wish I would have closed with a reminder of exactly that: grace abounds. Thank God for that! All the attention paid to the book and movie makes me want to talk (tastefully) about how awesome intimacy within marriage is, like, start an awareness campaign or something. Whoever thought we’d want to start campaigns ABOUT having great sex with our husbands? I definitely don’t have the guts to do it myself, but if someone else did it, I’d join in. :)

      Reply
      • There is a great campaign about having great sex within your marriage, it’s called Song of Solomon. ;) I love your post. I think you are spot on, and I have said the same thing to my friends. I am a youth pastor’s wife, and what has shocked me is that moms have taken their teenage daughters to see this. Shocking, really!

        Reply
        • Cara

           /  July 7, 2012

          Very shocking, and sad. I know some beautiful Christian teenage girls that went to see this movie with their moms last night. The images will forever be seared into their minds, along with the knowledge that their mothers approved.

          Reply
      • Christian wife and mom trying to do right

         /  July 5, 2012

        Melissa, you did close with that reminder that “Grace abounds and Repentance is a prayer away” in one of your added links, if people are reading those all the way to the end as part of the post. :)
        And Thanks for this post; I have seen all the facebook posts you talk of, and of course have seen the previews for the movie, but have not read said book or attempted to see said movie. Now, I know there’s definitely no need. Thanks for the encouragement.

        Reply
    • Chelsea

       /  July 6, 2012

      Very well put. I enjoyed the whole article, and many of your other ones (though this is the first one I’ve seen). I got into the third book of Fifty Shades and my friend (who was reading it with me) and I decided enough was enough. We put the book down together, and I started to read the Bible again. As for Magic Mike, we were also both in agreement of having no desire to see it. Reading this article was very encouraging for our decisions. Keep up the good work sistah! =)

      Reply
    • Men already have gone “gaga” over the male equivalent to Magic Mike. It was called Striptease and Showgirls. The world didn’t end. Life went on…

      Reply
      • Right. No one is saying “the world is going to end,” or that life will not go on. What I am saying is that God has called Christians to live to a different standard, and hopping on Facebook to gush about Channing Tatum’s rear-end falls short of that.

        Reply
        • If you wanted to live by God’s standards, you wouldn’t be on Facebook at all, or driving cars, living with electricity, etc. The bible was a book of rules written for people at that time to live by. Things have changed quite a bit since then. Porn didn’t exist back then. Prostitutes did, but not porn. I ask you this, do you follow everything the bible says you’re supposed to do? Do you not eat shellfish? Do you own slaves? Have you sold your daughter to slavery or killed her for disobeying you as the bible says you should do?

          Reply
          • Jessee

             /  July 8, 2012

            I don’t want to start a theological debate here, but you seem to be under the impression that Christians believe we’re always supposed to follow all of God’s law. That’s not a judgment on you; it’s a common misconception. The thing is, none of us follow all of God’s law. Ever. Half the time we can’t even master the basics. We’re not supposed to. If we even had that ability, there’d be no reason for grace. And really, given that fact, if the Bible was just a book of rules, we (and I’m still talking Christians here) would all be completely screwed.

            That having been said, because of the grace we’ve received, promised in the New Testament (which, by the way, negated most of those rules you said we’re supposed to be following), we try to live lives worthy of that grace. We should try to avoid polluting our minds and bodies by whatever means within our power. Do we always do this? Absolutely not. But we should try.

            You, as a nonbeliever (I’m assuming; forgive me if I’m wrong), don’t have to share that opinion or that lifestyle choice. It’s not my job or my inclination to tell you how to live your life. I’m just saying that I agree with MJ that Christians should hold themselves to a different standard.

            Reply
          • Christina

             /  July 8, 2012

            Garret, you are definitely very passionate about your opinions of Christians. While I don’t deny the hypocrisy many Christians live in, the Bible is not part of that hyposcrisy. Never does it say to “do your own slaves.” Not eating certian things goes back to the Jewish law, because the idea was to be pure in all aspects of your life, even what you ate. But we are Gentiles, not Jews. And the new testament acknowledges that we are not bound by that same law because we are gentiles (I can give you exact scripture if you desire).
            Lastly, the Bible does not say you should sell your own daughter as a slave. While in the ancient jewish justice system you could be stoned for certian things, such as adultery, the idea was to keep the entire community pure and blameless – at times this meant capital punishment to discourage others from doing it also. Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. The death sentence of many was transcribed to him. I hope that answers your questions! As for the hypocrisy of Christians, I hope you see that is why melissajenna wrote this post. To discourage the hypocrisy of sexual immorality amoung us as believers.

            Reply
            • Here is a good link of everything the bible says about slavery, including laws on owning slaves…
              http://www.livingvinechurch.org/ds/q1109/q1109.html
              Here is what the bible says about selling your daughter for slavery..
              Exodus 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
              Therefore, you are wrong. Maybe you should read your bible from beginning to end instead of just the parts you want to read…

              Reply
              • JAM

                 /  July 9, 2012

                @Garreette how about instead of reading only what you want to read in the BIBLE maybe you should read more. Oh & here is a little point why don’t you do more research on the topic besides just what the BIBLE has to say about it. Oh & not to mention Exodus is in the “Old Testament” which means it is the “OLD” law.
                “If a man sell his daughter – This the Jews allowed no man to do but in extreme distress – when he had no goods, either movable or immovable left, even to the clothes on his back; and he had this permission only while she was unmarriageable.”
                Then I think you should read what the rest of Exodus has to say after 21:7
                Exodus 21:8 “If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.”
                Exodus 21:9 “But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.” (meaning after he has bought her he could give her to his son as a wife)
                Exodus 21:10 “”If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.” (Which then means when he originally bought her he didn’t take her on as a slave but as a wife.)
                Exodus 21:11 “If he fails in any of these three obligations, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.”

                Reply
  4. Victoria

     /  July 1, 2012

    Magic Mike and 50 shades are not unhealthy… Quiet the contrary. If you want healthier relationships, here you go. Female sexuality has been suppressed for far too long. We’ve been told as women that sex before (or after) marriage is wrong or that sex in general outside of procreation is wrong. That being sexually turned on is wrong… If that’s the case why did an omnipotent God make (and continue making)  us animalistically inclined? Shouldn’t we have an off switch when we get married? And tell me please: why does it feel so good? If sex was for procreation only then it should mirror what other animals feel and you don’t see them having loud explosive orgasms all over national geographic do you? (cover your eyes for that sentence)  Why would God tempt us to the point of 50% of marriages ending in divorce? These indulgences are a sexual release for women, to be able to explore and sustain our sexuality without wronging our husbands in ANY way. Every husband I know was more than happy to watch the children while their wives went to enjoy a female empowering day. The excessive excitement from these indulgences comes from thousands of years of female oppression. Men don’t go “ga-ga” because it’s all yesterday’s news, all sexual empowerment in our society is aimed towards men and has been throughout history. If you are only having sex with your husband once per week or every other week (which is many couples I know) your marriage is unhealthy. Sex is vital to intimacy and marital love and a healthy marriage is imperitive to the foundation of a healthy family. If you were a sexually empowered woman, you would know that men don’t give a rat’s rear about wearing “something sexy to bed” men need nothing more than our beautiful bodies and our words of lust and desire. You use “scriptural backup” but nothing you referenced has anything to do with pornography in any way… You deem it “the devils lure” but no one else in evolved society does. I fear this is maybe your way of overcompensating for oppressing your husband from years of his sexual desires. In which case you are in even more need of sexual empowerment so that you can feel sexually confident in your marriage. I KNOW my husband is 100% satisfied in our marriage intimately because I’m confident enough in my sexuality to have liberated him from the sexual oppression our society has deemed necessary to maintain a “healthy” marriage. I won’t be one of the 50%. You claim you are not “judging” anyone but that makes you a judger and a fibber now doesn’t it? Indulgences are healthy in moderation and condemning them is oppressive to women and society in general. There is no end to the celebration of the male sexuality in our society, the endless movies, magazines and even the scantily clad female “supporters” of organized sports.  As a sexually empowered woman I am thankful that Hollywood is finally recognizing, this is not just a man’s world! -For the record, my husband and I are celebrating our 14 year anniversary next month.

    Reply
    • Congratulations on your impending anniversary! It’s evident that you feel passionately on the subject, and rather than throwing a bunch of bullet points your way, I’ll respond appropriately when I have the time to do so (probably when my kiddo takes a nap).

      Reply
    • Hi Victoria,
      I hear what you’re saying regarding the suppression of female sexuality. Please take note that I am not discouraging women from acknowledging their sexuality, nor am I encouraging them to suppress it. In fact, I’m actually encouraging women to be more overtly sexual with their husbands. Most of what you’re aiming at me actually doesn’t apply to me or what I’ve said at all; it sounds as if you have heard some awful things said about female sexuality, and you’re brining those memories into this conversation, and I can’t blame you.

      I can’t undo the conversations that you’ve had that have led you to believe that all Christians feel about sex the way you think we do, but I can offer an apology. I’m sorry people have misrepresented Christ to you, and have told you lies like “sex is for procreation only,” or that “being turned on is wrong.” God made women responsive to sex and sexual stimulation on purpose, and it’s beautiful. And I love it. But I’m not going to turn this into a creepy TMI conversation, so I’ll leave it at that. It sounds like people have told you lies, and done so in the name of the same God that I believe in, and that’s wrong, and I’m sorry. Unfortunately, I hear this kind of thing all the time. You’re not the only one, and it wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. And if you won’t forgive Christians as a group, I hope that you’ll hear me, personally.

      You said “Sex is vital to intimacy and marital love and a healthy marriage is imperitive to the foundation of a healthy family,” and I couldn’t agree more. I am not arguing you on this. But then you said “If you were a sexually empowered woman, you would know that men don’t give a rat’s rear about wearing “something sexy to bed” men need nothing more than our beautiful bodies and our words of lust and desire,” and I found that bizarre and somewhat offensive. You’re not privy to the details of my sex life, so to make any sort of statement about it is ignorant. To be clear, I left it at “wear something sexy to bed, just because,” because I didn’t think I need to go any further in explaining what happens after that. We’re all adults here, and we know what happens when a women wears lingerie to bed. Spelling it out feels crass.

      I decided against quoting the bible with regard to sexual immorality, specifically, because I wrote this to Christian women, who I would assume have a basic knowledge of what’s written in scripture regarding sexuality. And if not, they can google “bible” and “sex” and have more information at their fingertips than I could ever write myself. And just because pornography is accepted in society doesn’t mean that Christian women are to accept it. That’s what that verse about not being conformed to the culture is about. We are called to be different. In the culture, but not OF the culture. We’re called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to reflect God to the world. It’s our responsibility to be as accurate of a reflection as possible.

      Later, you said some baseless and hurtful things about my sex life, again. The idea that I should explain the intricacies of my sex-life to win a stranger’s approval is laughable, so I’ll leave it at that. We’re doing quite well over here, though I do not appreciate your condescension.

      You said “I’m confident enough in my sexuality to have liberated him from the sexual oppression our society has deemed necessary to maintain a “healthy” marriage.” I’m not sure I understand what you mean by this. Are you saying that you two have an “open” relationship? I don’t want to assume anything.

      And no, I’m not judging anyone. I’m simply holding up a mirror to a situation, so that Christian women can see it for what it is.

      And just because male sexuality has been so exploited doesn’t mean that we need to do the same thing to women. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion. Going forward, if you’re going to participate in discussion on my blog, refrain from insulting me, because that impedes healthy conversation. We can’t learn anything from each other if we’re feeling defensive.

      Reply
      • Victoria

         /  July 1, 2012

        Reading back through my comment I’ve realized that I was a tad aggressive towards you. I apologize. I felt judged and I in turn lashed out at you. You’re right that I’ve become callused talking to Christian hypocrites for so long that I’ve lost touched with the idea of a non-hypocritical one (if that’s possible). The bible puts forth an unrealistic expectation of humanity that even buying a copy of 50 shades violates… You and I both know it wasn’t recommended to you as a PG rated novel. I havent actually read that book because I am not personally a fan of S&M material but I don’t see anything wrong with people who are. When you are a follower of a Jesus only (New Testament) belief system the bible becomes slightly more tolerable although Jesus himself specifies that its all still relevant material: Matthew 5:17-19 so its still cherry picking to say this is a “post-Jesus” time as a disassociation from the old testament (I may be referring to a comment you made to someone else here). My disconnect is why Christians accept that God created us to be such sexual beings and then condemns his own creations. There are species in our world more inclined to monogamy than humans. Why create humanity with free will, 3 million eggs, unlimited sperm,  insatiable sex drives and a natural aversion to monogamy then condemn even so much as thinking about sex unless you are in a committed and blessed relationship and even then only allow lust for that one person and no more. It’s a pretty unrealistic expectation if you think about it. Coming out of Magic Mike I was beaming, being in a theater full of sexually liberated women laughing, hollering and having a GREAT time was empowering. I had never experienced a movie where I could literally hear and feel what a great time everyone was having. Condemning women over a movie, based on your religious beliefs seemed self righteous and judgemental to me (I dont need anyone holding up a “mirror” for me and I’m sure you’re aware of the numerous verses condemning judgment by followers) so I felt the need to comment which I’m sure you expect people like me as a blogger. I actually came across your blog through a friend of yours that was surprised by your judgmental and condemning tone. We will definitely have to agree to disagree about what constitutes a “healthy” marriage and a healthy society. My belief is that it’s one where suppression of any form is disregarded between two consenting adults. The men in that movie chose and were paid to be there, they didn’t feel “objectified”. Women in strip clubs or in pornography chose as adults with free will to be there, they don’t feel objectified. You are the one branding them with the label. They don’t cause you to be any less respected as a woman or as a Christian. I dont now walk down the street imagining men in their underwear and suspenders… Nor do I have any less respect for men in general. My relationship is not “open” in general standards but I allow my husband to say what’s on his mind and share his desires, fantasies and thoughts about everything and anyone without judgement. I don’t stifle him in any way. It’s been proven that men think about sex over 200 times a day,  I encourage him to share what crosses his mind and he encourages me to do the same, we therefore have an incredibly open and honest relationship that is always new and exciting. When you are allowed uninhibited view of the male sexuality you appreciate them as monogamous beings even more. Watching Magic Mike in no way caused me to want to seek out Channing Tatum and have sex with him but rather made me excited to come home to my husband to share my thoughts about the movie and in turn encouraged exciting discussions… So Matthew 5:28 isn’t suggesting I pluck out my eyes because I’ve never “lusted” for anyone besides my husband. When men watch pornography, they wont be encouraged to seek out the porn star to be with her but will be much more likely to seek out their own wives to be with them. That verse is specifying lusting in the context of wanting to have relations with a person outside of your committed relationship (unless its a “concubine” for the husband which is apparently acceptable) and yes, that is wrong. I agree that as a married individual you should never consider or entertain the desire of having sex with someone besides your spouse (unless of course that is what you both have agreed is acceptable, in which case it’s not adultery). Your suggestion that these books or movies are wrong or immoral are based solely on your opinion, scripture can’t back up the immorality of watching something that is sexually stimulating… It does condemn adultery which I agree is wrong. These ideals were put in place to protect marriage from an unnecessary demise which adultery would inevitably cause… With 50% of marriage ending in divorce maybe its time to consider that religious based suppression isn’t the solution. Pornography and sexual liberation has always been condemned without legitimate reason or because of someone’s simplified personal interpretation of scripture, maybe it’s time we changed our focus and tried something new like not suppressing consenting adults and encourage them to do whatever makes their specific relationship “healthy”. 

        Reply
        • Lisa

           /  July 6, 2012

          Hi, I would like to respond to the quote “Why create humanity with free will”.

          I believe, and this is my belief and I have not found it stated in the Bible, God created us with a free will, or choice if you will, because without free will or choice we would just be robots going around doing someone else’s bidding.

          Without choice there would be no love. God gave us free will to choose Him. How do you feel when you are chosen, first by your husband, your friends, colleagues, or whoever else may have chosen you. You felt great, special, loved, wanted, neede, etc.

          I am not saying God needs us to choose him. He loves us so much that he gave us the ability to choose and therefore become his children.

          God loves you as much as he does anyone else and I am sorry that you have been around “Christians” that have not shown you the unconditional love that God has shown them. I pray that He puts people in your path that will love you like he does.

          Just my thoughts. Thanks MelissaJenna for this blog. You have done a great job. Keep on writing what God puts on your heart and He will take care of the rest.

          Reply
          • I think free will is also about growth. Without free will, I don’t think we would be able to fully realize our potential as humans. I think free will is necessary for our evolution as spiritual beings on our journey back to our creator.

            I haven’t read 50 Shades or watched Magic Mike, nor do I plan to, but to me things like that are would-be detours on my journey.

            Reply
        • Deborah

           /  July 6, 2012

          Hello Victoria,

          Since you mentioned, “The men in that movie chose and were paid to be there, they didn’t feel “objectified”. Women in strip clubs or in pornography chose as adults with free will to be there, they don’t feel objectified. You are the one branding them with the label. “, and I am operating under the assumption that you are not an actor/actress in the industry, you are making some statements that do not align with the statements coming from the actors/actresses themselves.

          I think that the persons best able to deem the harm done by pornography, etc., are those doing it. Shelley Lubben has an organization called Pink Cross that reaches out to people in the industry of which she has first hand knowledge as a former actress. Reading some of their (NOT PG) accountings on her website allows them to speak for themselves as to whether or not harm is done or objectification is taking place.

          Just one thought, amongst others, to consider.

          Thank you for your time.

          Reply
          • Elizabeth

             /  July 6, 2012

            I was thinking the same thing Deborah did. The actors in Magic Mike were paid well to be there, no doubt, but far too often, people in pornography are mistreated and outright abused.

            Reply
          • nicole

             /  July 7, 2012

            I cannot speak for porn stars, but channing tatum himself wrote the script for magic Mike, and he based it off of his own life prior to acting. It is a sort of biography, if you will.

            Reply
        • Shah

           /  July 7, 2012

          Just a thought. Maybe 50% of marriages are ending in divorce now partly BECAUSE society in general has become so accepting of openly sexualizing and objectifying men and women and even teens. It is everywhere.
          If your relationship doesn’t match the overly sexed individuals you see or read about you can become dissatisfied with what you have right in front of you. No one can live up to the sex lives seen in porn. It is ridiculous. Has anyone here actually had a friend come over after breaking up with a boyfriend and while comforting her somehow clothes are all removed and you are having a threesome with her and your husband?
          It is ridiculous.

          Reply
        • “When men watch pornography, they wont be encouraged to seek out the porn star to be with her but will be much more likely to seek out their own wives to be with them.”

          When I read these ridiculous words it confirmed that everything else written was ridiculous. Can’t believe it.

          There are completely secular reasons to avoid these works (or to simply not celebrate them so publicly). Arguing from a secular viewpoint does take away that angle where you’re being “self-righteous,” but it is surprising that supposed Christian people struggle with Orthodox Christian arguments.

          To put it simply: When I struggle with the Bible, the problem isn’t with the Bible… it’s with me. I have to live with that, not change the Bible.

          This secular view was written in an Australian newspaper: http://www.news.com.au/national/arndt-hypocrisy-of-mummy-porn/story-fndo4eg9-1226418286271

          Reply
    • Apology accepted. :) I appreciate it, and I feel more comfortable opening up to you now.

      I’m not sure there IS such a thing as a non-hypocritical Christian, simply because none of us is perfect. I wouldn’t say that the Bible puts forth an “unrealistic expectation of humanity,” because it tells us, flat-out, that we are fallen creatures. The “expectation” is that we are fallen, and that is our nature. A Christ-follower will strive after Jesus’ example, but it’s known and accepted that “perfection” will not be attained. Just look at all of the Apostle Paul for example. He was a murderer, among other things, yet God used him to carry the gospel far and wide, not just globally, but into future generations.

      You said “you and I both know it [50 Shades] wasn’t recommended to you as a PG rated novel,” but here’s the thing: you do not know that. You can’t, because you are not a mind-reader. It was passively recommended to me by a friend when I heard her talk about how she’s read the series, twice. Nothing more. So, the next time I was at Costco, I picked it up and dropped it in my basket. My friend’s favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice,” and she loves “The Sound of Music” and since we have such similar taste, I didn’t think twice about giving it a shot. And then I began reading it, and aside from realizing that it’s terribly written, I realized that it’s pornographic, and I stopped reading it.

      I can absolutely understand why women would read 50 Shades; the sex-scene that I read (through terribly written) was a page-turner. It took will-power for me to put it down, and decide that I was not going to finish the book. I am definitely not “into” BDSM, but I’ve also never condemned anyone for being into it. Women and their husbands can tie each other up, or spank each other, or whatever, and I couldn’t care less. I’m repeating myself now, but: I am not condemning sex. I love it. And I am not passing judgement; I am just as much of a fallen creature as you are. (And I read that sex scene until it was over.) What I AM doing, however, is admonishing the acceptance of pornography (in any form), and sexual objectification (Magic Mike, et al) within the Christian community.

      The Church (including both men and women, obviously), is often referred to as the “Bride of Christ” in the Bible. So my question is this: would the Bride of Christ sexually objectify people? Would she condone the sexual objectification of others? Would the Bride of Christ hop on Facebook and encourage her brothers and sisters to participate in that behavior?

      Your question “why create humanity with free will, 3 million eggs, unlimited sperm, insatiable sex drives and a natural aversion to monogamy then condemn even so much as thinking about sex unless you are in a committed and blessed relationship and even then only allow lust for that one person and no more,” is a tough one. I certainly don’t know, and I would guess that if you asked the brightest theologians, they might say the same. Why does God do anything? Are we to expect to understand the choices God makes? Regarding that being an “unrealistic expectation,” like I’ve said: the expectation is not that we will be perfect. We WILL fall short. The expectation is that those of us who say we “know God” will love God enough to choose obedience, and that when we stumble, that we’ll recognize our poor choice, and ask for His forgiveness. God does not expect us to be perfect, and I hope you can release that idea entirely.

      Again (and I’m sorry to keep repeating myself, but I’m trying to make sure I address all of your points), I am not “condemning women over a movie based on my religious beliefs.” I wrote the post for Christian women, a group of people who have willfully taken up the mantle as a representation of Christ on the earth, and a reflection of God our Father. You keep saying that I’m judging, but I’m not sure you understand the difference between “judgement” and “admonishment.”

      Maybe this will illustrate what I mean: Let’s say you got a cut on your hand, and the cut got infected. That area would get all red, and swollen, and sensitive to the touch. Now let’s say someone walks up, pokes the swollen spot and says “hey, does this hurt? You should get that looked at.” You’d likely recoil and say “OUCH! Don’t touch that, it hurts!” Is the problem the poke, or the infection itself? Was that person judging you for your infection? Or simply calling your attention to an unhealthy situation? I don’t know how else to explain this: I get infections, too. And if for some reason, I don’t notice, I would hope that someone would point it out to me. I am not judging anyone on their infection, just pointing out the problem.

      And like I said at the very beginning of the post: this is not going to win me any friends, and it’s likely to alienate some of the friends that I already have. I don’t blame people for not wanting to be poked in a sensitive spot, but it is wrong to walk around calling yourself healthy, when in fact, you have an infection. Likewise, it is wrong to go around misrepresenting Christianity to the world, which is what you’re doing if you’re sexually objectifying people and encouraging others to do the same.

      You said “I dont need anyone holding up a “mirror” for me and I’m sure you’re aware of the numerous verses condemning judgment by followers,” and I found that kind of funny. Do mirrors judge us? Or do mirrors allow us to see ourselves? If you are afraid of your reflection, that should be cause for some concern. You can continue avoiding mirrors, but that does not mean the problem doesn’t exist, it just means you don’t see it.

      Just because a stripper doesn’t mind being objectified, doesn’t make it okay to be the one doing the objectifying. If you apply that logic to any other situation, you will quickly see how unhealthy that behavior is. My mother was once in a relationship with a man who beat her up weekly. She not only allowed him to do so, but she would not leave him. Because my mother chose to remain in an abusive relationship, does that make the abuser innocent? You said “women in strip clubs or in pornography chose as adults with free will to be there, they don’t feel objectified,” and that’s inaccurate, They do FEEL objectified, but they LIKE it. They KNOW they are being objectified, and that’s what they are after. Does that make the objectifier innocent? Should my mother’s abuser not be told what he was doing is wrong, simply because my mother chose with her own free will to stay in the relationship?

      You said “Your suggestion that these books or movies are wrong or immoral are based solely on your opinion,” and I disagree. Like another commenter said I “have already gotten a couple of detailed replies about how “wrong” it is to even suggest that human sexuality might benefit from any degree of restraint. It has also been suggested that pornography is not harmful, and may be considered an unfettered good. This view is not supported in either human experience or in medical literature – I’ll leave research on this question to the interested student and his or her pet Google. Biblically, as you have pointed out, there is no ambiguity. Pornography in all its forms is addictive and profoundly destructive.” Sorry to quote such a large portion, but I couldn’t have said it better.

      You said “maybe it’s time we changed our focus and tried something new like not suppressing consenting adults and encourage them to do whatever makes their specific relationship “healthy,”” and I have to point out that I’ve never said anything about suppressing consenting adults, or discouraging them from doing whatever makes their relationship healthy. Like happened in your first comment, I think you’re bringing outside issues into this conversation. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but I am all for couples having awesome sex-lives. Great sex is not the issue here. Never has been. This issue is that Christian women, in their enthusiastic embrace of 50 Shades and Magic Mike, are misrepresenting Christianity to the world, by promoting sexual objectification and encouraging others to do the same.

      Reply
      • Victoria

         /  July 2, 2012

        Here’s the thing about “admonishing” others: you’re exalting yourself to be the “judge” of right and wrong based on your beliefs. Like I said, you’re assuming that you are interpreting the bible correctly where they have obviously failed to. The entire bible is left up to interpretation so maybe where you see sin they see a movie or a book of fiction or an exciting conversation starter with their spouses. You say that you’re not suppressing anyone’s sex life but telling people (or Christians) that watching pornography ( I say pornography only because thats what you called 50shades) in their own house with their spouse is wrong is making yourself the “judge” of right and wrong. Show me a bible verse that says pornography is wrong, pointing out verses about “lust” are irrelevant if that lust is directed towards your spouse. You’re not going to convince anyone that they were wrong for watching or reading something that YOU have deemed as inappropriate, the best you’ll get is like minded individuals or people bothered by your self righteous judgment… Ahem excuse me: “admonishment”. Which btw did Jesus ever ask you to admonish your fellow followers or did he say “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” or in your words: administer the first “poke”. You admit you have “infections” so your focus should be on you and you alone. Have you ever spoken to a stripper or go-go dancer? “Objectification”  is a degrading term and I assure you they don’t feel degraded for what they do, they feel empowered… They’re using their “god” given bodies to make massive amounts of money… If people pay for it why not? It hurts absolutely no one. A man paying in a strip club or a woman watching Magic Mike or reading 50 shades cannot be compared to a physically abusive spouse (sorry but that is just ridiculous) no consenting adult is wrong for being there… Saying otherwise is your opinion based on your religious interpretations. As for your insinuation about “being afraid of my reflection” that was out of context and twisted. I used the term “mirror” from your reply. I don’t feel the need to address it any further. Back to pornography: it took only one google search “Pornography Healthy?” and the first site that appeared: http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/201001/pornography-beneficial-or-detrimental 
        As you see the benefits are for couples. While at the same time saying there is no “harm” in anyone watching it. You say that you don’t suppress  marital sex but then you dictate right and wrong ways to make a “healthy” relationship by “admonishing” pornography and specific movies, books or strip clubs as wrong. Maybe those things aren’t “healthy” for your marriage but that doesn’t make it wrong. A great sex life can save a dying marriage so admonishing anything that can help a marriage is not biblically based, it’s opinion based. I’ve been to strip clubs with my husband as well as watched pornography with my husband and I know factually that after 14 years we have not only the healthiest sex life but as a result the strongest communication-based relationship of any married couples we know. Now I’m not saying these things are necessary to maintain a healthy marriage but i assure that they do not hurt in any way. My husband and I were both Christians when we met and evolved to become atheists together and not to be hurtful because you seem like a very nice and cordial person… People with ideologies like yours are what pushes people further away from the church. Look at the trends right now: more than any time before, people are disassociating with religion for whatever reasons. Telling other Christians they are doing wrong by God for something you have no authority on doesn’t make your or anyone else’s religion stronger. When my little sister was 16 she went from being a “pray-around-the-flagpole” girl at school, church (what seemed like) everyday and being the most God loving/fearing person I (even to this day) have known besides my father (the pastor) to one day completely relinquishing all ties with the church. When I asked her why?she replied “it was too hard, God says not to come to him lukewarm Revelations 3:16″ it was the craziest transformation for the craziest reasons Id ever witnessed but as an adult I get it now. She couldnt have just a relationship with Jesus (which is easy) because every other Christian in her life had convinced themselves that she had to live up to their standards, interpretations and admonishments as well, to be a good Christian. You say: “enthusiastic embrace of 50 Shades and Magic Mike, are misrepresenting Christianity to the world” I say: it’s not your place to deem appropriate and inappropriate behaviors or admonish such behaviors of other adults… It’s their relationship with Jesus (not with you) that brings them “salvation”.  Who are you to judge what’s “right” or “admonish” the wrong?

        Reply
        • Jennifer

           /  July 6, 2012

          Victoria, fyi, those that become rapists do so after many years of being exposed to strip clubs and porn. You say that these items never hurt anyone, what about the women that become victims because a man has become so aroused by this stuff? We don’t go to hell usually because we commit the big sins. Melissa is exactly right, it starts small and builds into much bigger sins. If you feel like she is pointing a finger at you, maybe you should turn around because it is actually you who is doing the pointing.

          Reply
        • Tanya

           /  July 6, 2012

          I just want to say this: the Bible does teach the church to use discernment about its members. We hold one another accountable. We are to “speak the truth in love” to one another (a practice that is not always perfect to be sure!). Part of why this is such an important concept is that the Biblical authors knew from experience that when one member begins to sin in blatant ways, it can “rub off on” the other members. The Bible says that Christians are to judge (and by that I mean to discern with wisdom, not to say that a person is going to hell because of a sin) each other, but not to judge the world because Christians are to hold one another to a higher standard than the world hold itself to, because a) we try to follow Jesus’ commands, and b) we are to be a witness to those who don’t believe. It’s hard to be a witness when your life is exactly like everyone else’s.

          1 Corinthians 5 says this: “9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[b] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

          Reply
        • Victoria-I have to stop right here. I only read one paragraph into your reply right here but already found two things that I wanted to address. When a Christian person “admonishes” another Christian, it does NOT mean you are exulting yourself above another and are trying to interpret the bible …the bible CLEARLY states in Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” So I don’t see that needing any interpretation. And for Christians ( I understand you said you were not one) we can’t go walking around thinking that the bible is up to interpretation, since the bible also clearly tells us that God’s word is true and that we are to take it exactly as it is and are not to add or remove a thing from it. Telling someone that they are doing something that is not good for them or that is in discord with what or who they claim to be is NOT judging them. that is like telling a parent that they are judging the character of their children when they correct a bad behavior. The thing is if I claim to be a Christian, yet I go to skin flicks like Magic Mike, that is not setting a good example…that is setting the example of a hypocritical Christian. Just like if my neighbor sees me leave for church every Sunday, but then overhears me gossiping about someone, that sets an example of being a hypocrite. I take the “problem” with this movie and book more to it’s core. Society is accepting of these ways, of sexual immorality and any number of other practices. Society wants the world to live in a do whatever you wanna do as long as it’s not bothering me way of life. But as Christians God tells us that we aren’t supposed to do what society does, we are to set ourselves apart. If we choose to do as society does, is that setting ourselves apart? Sounds to me like it is just proving to society that we are a bunch of hypocrites. I myself have dealt with a lust problem for years. We ALL have our inner demons, some have foul mouths, some have gossiping problems, some love drama, some are too greedy…for some it’s lust..so while these items, this movie and this book may actually not be a snare to some people, these would be like a drug addict getting a fix for me. I am happily married, have a great sex life with my husband but I still get that twitch to wanna look at something inappropriate or read something inappropriate so I have to stay strong and stand firm in my faith that my Lord and Savior can deliver me from these temptations and He does every time I ask Him to. When I think of these things I immediately think of Him and I remember why I can’t partake of these things. I hate to hear that you turned away from God for whatever reason, but He IS still there and He DOES love you. But again, back to the original reason I responded to this blog, admonishing others isn’t judging them, it’s trying to help them. Just like God has told us to do.

          Reply
        • Lust, even for your husband, is wrong. The bible teaches that anything that is put before God is wrong. This includes spouses, children, friends, movies, books, hobbies etc… I guess you can say the bible can mean different things to different people. However, for Christians, it should not be negotiable. It says exactly what it means. Plain and simple. The bible is meant to be used in it’s whole context. You can’t pull out one verse and make it say what you think but this is not how it was intended. You have to use it ALL TOGETHER, not in individual portions as you see fit or as you think it fits with your life. FYI…God does not care that you are a little uncomfortable or that your feelings are hurt. We were created to Glorify Him not ourselves. If you are not a Christian, you do not understand this b/c, as Jesus said “they do not know what they are doing”. People who are “lost” have blinders on. You can not be shown something you have no power to see. So if you read this blog and do not like what you are reading then you can probably say I am not a follower of Christ. This blog was not intended for you. I am a Christian woman and I was thinking of going to see Magic Mike with my mom but reading this has opened my eyes. All I knew about the movie was it had Channing Tatum and I like him. I actually just learned the movie was all about strippers. However, the blogger is right. I have to set my self apart from this world. It would not be a good thing to see this movie (I’m sure I would have felt this as I was sitting watching it). Watching this movie would be no different than me going to see them live. My husband would not do it and I will not do it. These are convictions for me and if I were to see it then It would be a sin. Though, I am not perfect and sin all the time (I will be the first to admit I like Channing Tatum with no shirt) I still have to avoid sin in all forms. This is an easy one!! Just don’t go! I would not expect a non-Christian to understand. However, I would like to thank the blogger for writing this. I was really excited to see Channing Tatum but I don’t want to see him like this. I can stick to “She’s the Man” and enjoy it the same :)

          Reply
          • Angela

             /  July 7, 2012

            “So if you read this blog and do not like what you are reading then you can probably say I am not a follower of Christ.”

            So just because someone might have a slightly different opinion than the author that means they aren’t a follower of Christ? You might want to rethink that statement and try again. That’s a pretty harsh conclusion to draw over an Internet blog.

            Reply
            • my6gifts

               /  July 7, 2012

              Angela, did you not read the portion where Victoria said she’s an Athiest? I could be wrong, but it seems you were bound and ready to pounce, on something you didn’t know about, because you did not fully read and that’s on you. So before you call someone out, you might want to make sure you’ve done your own research.

              Reply
        • Ariel

           /  July 7, 2012

          @Victoria:
          “Have you ever spoken to a stripper or go-go dancer? “Objectification” is a degrading term and I assure you they don’t feel degraded for what they do, they feel empowered…”

          Have YOU ever spoken to a stripper? I lead a ministry to strippers at a club near our church. Most of them get high or drunk before work to numb the pain that it causes. Honestly, it’s bunk to say that it’s an empowering job, even just on a practical level. You have to tip out to the DJ every night, and you have to pay for stage time (you pay to get paid), and some of them don’t even break even by the end of a shift. It sucks. Most of them are single moms, and most are attempting to seek alternative employment, but have trouble finding it due to lack of resources or experience. There is the occasional college girl who’s doing it for “fun” or “empowerment,” but she gets out of there pretty fast, because she finds out how crappy it is. I would consider revising your definition of “empowerment” if you include stripping in it (and would certainly consider revision your view of strippers). Better yet, I would stop using that word at all. It’s become a trite catch-all term that doesn’t mean anything at all anymore.

          @melissajenna:
          “You said “women in strip clubs or in pornography chose as adults with free will to be there, they don’t feel objectified,” and that’s inaccurate, They do FEEL objectified, but they LIKE it. They KNOW they are being objectified, and that’s what they are after.”

          Your article is very well-written, and your points in this comment thread are well-put, but I did want to call attention to some apparent ignorance about strippers (see @victoria above). What you said might be true for some, but it’s not true of most of the strippers I know; most of them are in the job because it’s a quick way to get paid, and it offers a flexible schedule, a must if you’re a single mom. Most of them are stuck in a cycle of trying to get out of stripping, but they keep coming back because of the convenience it offers them workday wise, or because they can’t find anyone who will take them in another job. Both you and Victoria made somewhat unfair assumptions that are out of your area of experience.

          That said, this article is spot-on and your writing is very articulate; I will most likely be back.

          Reply
      • I find it very hard to believe that you didn’t even ask the person who recommended 50 Shades to you what the book was about. If someone recommends a book to me I immediately ask, “What is it about?” And if this was a good friend she must have known what a good Xtian you are, one who would not stoop down to such filth. I’d bet you read it cover to cover; you know too many details to just have read a few pages. I’d bet it is sitting under your mattress.
        I read up to chapter 5, but only because it is so poorly written. I’m glad I didn’t spend a dime on it.

        Reply
    • It sounds like you’re (ironically) using the Bible as a legalistic set of guidelines, as in “well, if it doesn’t SPECIFICALLY say pornography in the verse, then pornography must be okay.” My questions remain: would the Bride of Christ sexually objectify people? Would she condone the sexual objectification of others? Would the Bride of Christ hop on Facebook and encourage her brothers and sisters to participate in that behavior?

      Yes, I’ve spoken to a stripper. She told me that her job ‘makes her feel powerful,’ and that she’d rather men ‘treat her like an object, because it makes it easier to separate her stripper-life from her regular-life.’ Another word for being treated like an object is “objectification.” Some people “own” their objectification, and claim it as a source of empowerment, others refuse to be objectified, feeling that it is degrading and animalistic. With regards to strippers “using their God-given bodies to make massive amounts of money:” is that what you think God had in mind for us? What about all of that “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” stuff in the Bible?

      I never compared a woman watching Magic Mike or reading 50 Shades to an abusive partner. Here’s what I said “Just because a stripper doesn’t mind being objectified, doesn’t make it okay to be the one doing the objectifying. If you apply that logic to any other situation, you will quickly see how unhealthy that behavior is. My mother was once in a relationship with a man who beat her up weekly. She not only allowed him to do so, but she would not leave him. Because my mother chose to remain in an abusive relationship, does that make the abuser innocent?” I was addressing your statement that not all strippers feel objectified in a negative way, and asking whether that makes the objectifier innocent. Not all victims feel victimized either, but that does not mean they are not being victimized.

      Limiting your reading on the subject of the effects of pornography to literally the first thing that came up when you googled is a sure way to remain ignorant on the subject. Personally, when I ACTUALLY WANT to KNOW something, I don’t just google a couple of words, read the first thing that comes up, and declare that the end of my “research.”

      You can share your personal experiences with pornography and strip-clubs, and that’s fine, but you have to understand that those are YOUR personal experiences, and are not reflective of the experiences of people in general. Also, (and though I’ve said this a few times already, I’m not sure you’re hearing me) I wrote this post to Christian women, specifically. I would not expect people of other belief systems to conform to the tenets of MY spiritual beliefs, because that’s just silly.

      If you do not identify yourself as a Christian, why apply any of what I said to yourself and your marriage? That’s like applying the rules of baseball to a game of basketball. Why should you feel compelled to bear the image of a God that you do not believe exists? That’s a big responsibility to bear for someone who doesn’t believe. Like I said “I wrote the post for Christian women, a group of people who have willfully taken up the mantle as a representation of Christ on the earth, and a reflection of God our Father.” That’s not you, is it? And if not, what happened to all of that “your focus should be on you and you alone” talk that you so easily lobbed at me? You and I are similar in that it appears neither of us can focus on ourselves, and ourselves alone. You would agree that it’s hard to turn a blind-eye to what you perceive as wrong behavior, otherwise, why carry on a conversation over a post that wasn’t aimed at you in the first place?

      Your sister’s story, though unique, is not uncommon. You said that “she couldnt have just a relationship with Jesus (which is easy) because every other Christian in her life had convinced themselves that she had to live up to their standards, interpretations and admonishments as well, to be a good Christian.” Who ever said that having a relationship with Jesus is easy? By its very nature it is difficult, and the more committed to it you are, the more opposition comes your way.

      There is a great deal written regarding admonishment amongst believers, and I’m sure if you googled a couple of words on the issue, and clicked on the first link google provided, you would be well-read on all aspects of the subject.

      Reply
      • Victoria

         /  July 3, 2012

        Hmm… “Bride of Christ” just means a Pastor or Priest. How do you know that there aren’t pastors out there that recommend that very thing to married couples? To go spice up their sex lives? You don’t. You are saying these things based on your beliefs not “The Bride of Christ”‘s beliefs. Like I said: “INTERPRETATION”. To exalt “The Bride of Christ” as being the unshakable source of all that is righteous leads me to believe that you are unaware of the scandals of the “Bride of Christ” raping little boys and then covering it up… thousands of times… for decades. I think watching Magic Mike doesn’t even show up on their radar. “Do I think stripping is what God had in mind for us?” I don’t pretend to know… Nor do I feel it my place to judge those individuals. Salvation is based on our own actions not the actions of those around us so No, As a Christian I never pretended that it was my place to judge what other Christians do with their lives… I’ve never “admonished” anyone for not living up to my standards. As far as my google search the only “research” I was doing was for you!… You’re the one who claimed pornography was “detrimental and damaging” to society. I am fully aware of the harmless effects of pornography so I think it is you who’s “ignorant” for making broad statements without research of the topic. You even specified that google would prove you right… I was just pointing out your mistake. You’re welcome. You say:  “I would not expect people of other belief systems to conform to the tenets of MY spiritual beliefs, because that’s just silly” YES! Just because someone calls themself a “Christian” doesn’t mean they follow your specific “belief system” so you are just another judge they must face. Which IS silly! You seem to be missing what I am trying to convey: you are not Christ or even the “Bride of Christ”. You do not KNOW with absolution the “rights and wrongs” of the bible beyond murder and stealing. You are exhaling yourself to be the judge of other Christians “wrongs” based solely on your specific interpretations of the bible. Matthew 23:12. If you feel that seeing Magic Mike or reading 50 shades tempts you to sleep around or do bad things without your husband than by all means you should remove the temptation from your life… But your lack of restraint shouldn’t be construed as a lack of restraint by all Christian women. It’s just a movie. It’s just a book. If their husbands are fine with it who are you to tell them otherwise? It’s not a “wrong” to a non-fanatical Christian. You tell me in this last post that basically you’re not talking to me when you say these things are bad but a Christian is not nearly as likely to say something to you but rather more likely to walk away from reading not just your post but any other religious based posts that will make them feel unnecessarily bad as a Christian… Which will potentially lead to them fading away from the church entirely… Which is no sweat off my back… But can you live with that? Like I said, I was recommended to your blog by a friend of yours… A non atheist friend… She’s no longer your friend but she may be one more person you’ve faded from view of Jesus… Is that your intent to weed out Christians that don’t interpret the bible the way you do? I’m writing for other Christians, to point out that your self-righteous post is by no means a marker of what it means to be a good Christian… You are quick to reference me to google (for whatever reason) to look for “examples of admonishment among believers” but if you think just because all the other Christians are doing it that makes it “right”… Then you should already have your ticket to Magic Mike ;D and don’t deny yourself the harmless indulgence of a book… Unless your husband says its wrong, what other judge do you need on the subject? 1 Corinthians 11:3

        Reply
        • Just a quick note: you’re confusing “Bride of Christ” with the Catholic idea that the Pope is the Vicar (i.e., the stand-in) of Christ.

          Reply
        • my6gifts

           /  July 7, 2012

          Victoria, you’re an atheist correct? Then why in the world did you write ” I’m writing for other Christians, to point out that your self-righteous post is by no means a marker of what it means to be a good Christian”…You don’t represent a single Christian woman. You DENY the Lord, and you will pay for your denial. No where did Melissa ever say she’s a “good Christian”. Honestly your hostility screams one thing: GUILT. You know the truth, but you deny it. Those who scream the loudest are often the ones hurting the most. When one talks about what an “amazing sex life” they have, it often turns out, it’s little to obsolete.

          Melissa’s post has obviously struck a chord in you, so instead of attacking her, I hope you’ll go take a good, long look in the mirror and figure out what it is about you, that you’re so unhappy about. It seems so obvious to me, you NEED Jesus, you long for HIM, you desire for Him to be in your life…but my guess is you’re too stubborn, self-righteous, and prideful to admit it.

          Reply
          • Mackenzie

             /  July 7, 2012

            Victoria, as a Christian I’d like to apologize for “my6gifts” authoritative attempt at leading you to God. This strategy is likely to push you farther from the Christian community and I am sorry for that. No one here should be telling you to adjust your life to fit their views. While I do hope that you will find your way back to God one day, I understand that I am in position to TELL you to do so.

            Reply
      • SteveBH

         /  July 3, 2012

        Wow, this Victoria lady is qualified nuts! Logic, basic knowledge, and reason do not prevail in her or her seemingly “perfect” understanding of human beings.

        Melissa, you don’t need to argue with the delusional of the world. Simply present the truth as you so very well did and be done with it. People like this exact judgement on truth, the most foolish thing ever. A clever mind would see that you make a clear and correct argument and wouldn’t internalize it as much as this lady did.

        Reply
      • VictoriA

         /  July 3, 2012

        @SteveBH- Wow. That was an incredibly mature, cordial and undeniably Christian way to react to to a dissenting opinion. I really feel for your wife if your reaction to someone not agreeing with you is to hurl multiple insults at them… you seem like a GREAT guy. Why do I offend you so much? Is it because I point our your flaws as a Christian or the flaws in Christianity itself? Its not really “faith” if its never been tested… I’ve defended myself to too many people on this blog. Most of you seem to have the same view: that its your place and right to judge, admonish and dictate the lives of fellow Christians for whatever reason and no crazy atheist is going to tell you you’re wrong. We have different realities and I’m just the crazy lady that doesn’t worship your supernatural dictator, you don’t trust me… I get it, I’m the outsider. I’ve wasted way too much energy here so this is my last post and my last visit to this blog. I apologize to those I’ve offended… except for you Steve… You can suck it, you narrow minded turd. ;) Happy 4th everyone!

        Reply
        • Kristen

           /  July 6, 2012

          Honestly, people treating you with hostility is wrong Vicotria. Unfortunately, when defending things you hold dear you can get a little over zealous (I am sure there are examples that you could provide out of your own life where you may have said something unnecessary about someone who you felt was unfairly approaching someone). Just because you disagree does not give any of us the right to talk to you like you are any less of a person or any less loved by God as His beautiful creation and child (although that point you probably don’t want to hear, sorry, it is what I believe about everyone in the world regardless if they believe it for themselves or not).
          In response to what you have said, I disagree with you completely. I may not have EXACTLY the same beliefs as melissa, but the Bible is clear that it tells us not to lead ourselves into temptation. There are so many young men and women who look at pornography because they feel societies pressures to do so. Most of my friends are guys, and I have had conversations with every single one of them about their struggles with pornography. This would be the opinion of 20ish men saying that watching porn leads them to see women as objects. And these are men who are all different races, ages, backgrounds, etc…
          I am only posting this because it is important to note that I (nor Melissa) are judging anyone for their reading or watching porn. It is not our place to judge, it is God’s. It is in the bible, however, that we help our brothers and sisters in Christ. And it is also in the Bible that lust (and I know how you dislike us using this word to define all things sexual and I will get to that as well) after anyone that is not our husband/wife is wrong. The Bible even says that if you have lusted in your heart it is just as wrong as openly lusting.
          As to Christians being repressive sexually, I don’t think that this is necessarily true. In fact, there are more repressed non-Christians that I know than Christians. Most of them because they do not fit in with the world’s standard of beauty. Late 20 year olds who are too scared to talk to a woman because of how much rejection they have faced. How is this not repressive? My standard as a Christ follower is that everyone is beautiful, because God made them in His image. End of story, but obviously I can’t speak for everyone on this point. Personally, I am engaged and getting married in two months and I would lying if I said I was not turned on by my fiance. We are both virgins and value our commitment to each other and our relationship with God, and that is the only reason we are still virgins. It will be such a wonderful day when we don’t have to hold ourselves back. And I am sure you will let me know that it is our human nature to feel that way and not wrong, but that is your opinion. I also think it is human nature, and something that God gave to us. He may have cursed us with horrible child bearing, and long days of labor for the sins of Adam and Eve, but He certainly blessed us with the intimacy that can be attained through marriage. What is also human nature is sin. And God tasks us with keeping our bodies (in scripture He refers to our bodies are the holy temple) pure and sacred. He gave us this task because He created sex to be sacred as well. So sure, things are difficult (and some days it would just be too easy to give in), but aren’t the hard things worth fighting for the most?

          And judging would mean that Melissa has placed judgement on people. No where in her post does it say, “whoever reads these books will go to hell.” If someone who professes love in Christ is offended by her words they should not go to their friends to complain about it. They should go to God and the word and search their heart as to why it offends them. Your posts offended Melissa (and at times me, although it was not directed at me) and her responses, for the most part, have been exceedingly civil. She has not complained about you offending her (other than some of your more over-generalized statements about her sex life, and even then I didn’t read her response as complaining).

          Just to close this all out because I don’t think I can make it all flow together since there is just so much I would like to say and can’t, this world is full of luke-warm Christians who sit in the front row at church every week but lives their lives outside of church like everyone else. We were not called to do so, as Melissa has pointed out. We were called to be the shining light in the darkness. The example of Christ’s love. I would like to again point out that hostility towards you is unjust and unfair, because we should respond to you in love. But we are also imperfect and need grace for our actions and words.

          Reply
      • Sandy

         /  July 6, 2012

        Wow, I was reading this Melissa and I know that this conversation was a few days ago…but I want you to know..You just have to inorge some people cuz..she is still living in the darkness and we are the light and like you said this was for Christian woman (Like I said “I wrote the post for Christian women, a group of people who have willfully taken up the mantle as a representation of Christ on the earth, and a reflection of God our Father.” ) You have made your point clearly…she made it know that she is a non believer…God Bless you and I thank you for your post on this subject!! Your sister in Christ!!! Sandy

        Reply
        • Sandy-We are called to be a light to the WORLD not just those who believe as we do. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because Victoria does not share our beliefs that she is not worth talking to. We need to pray and respond with love and kindness (I would say the same to Steve as well…), not name calling and telling Melissa to ignore her. I personally don’t have the proper gifts to debate against Victoria, but I want to give Melissa a HUGE thumbs up and mental hug for being such a good light and inspiration.

          Reply
      • Mackenzie

         /  July 7, 2012

        I am a Christian as well. And to be honest Melissa, this does come off as a little condescending. I can respect your opinion on this subject and your right to share it on your blog. I can respect your choice to bring up these ideas even though you seem aware some of your friends may not have agreed. I can also respect that you try to keep a calm atmosphere in the comments. However, often while reading your comments to Victoria I felt a large amount of condescension that is just the think that pushes away potential followers of Christ from our religion.

        Christians get branded with acting like uppity know-it-alls. We are stereotyped as a group that thinks we are better than others and can tell others what to do, and that includes Christians and non-Christians. Let us regard the opinions of others with tolerance and respect rather than a calm cover over rudeness. It is clear that you felt wary about posting this blog initially. I’m guessing this is because you are a person who normally strays from conflict. However, it also clear that you knew that bringing up such strong opinions was going to spark a debate. This is great, debates are healthy. That being said, I must ask you to please not use condescension when talking to others here who may disagree. It pushes people away from Christianity, and our society does not need that at all.

        Now I’d like to offer a little of my opinion. Not everyone’s relationship with God is the same. Actually, each person’s relationship with God is individual and unique. It is not to be judged by others. In fact, others should not even offer their opinion on someone else’s personal relationship with God. It is clear from above that no one has appreciated when others have stated opinions regarding their marriage. Why then would anyone want to hear someone else’s opinion on their own personal relationship with God. If someone asks for your guidance or opinion, that is the time to give it. Otherwise, none of us know where others have been or been through-so let us not offer our advice where we do not have the authority to give it.

        Regarding 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike. It simply has to do with how comfortable you are in your relationship with God. I can read a book or watch a movie and know that it is simply fiction. Reading 50 Shades of Grey will not make me want to date a man who abuses me in bed, has jealousy issues, or give me the desire to go out and have wild sex. It is fiction. I can enjoy reading a fictional account of a relationship that is NOT REAL and be entertained. That does not mean I will at all apply it to my actual life. I love reading Harry Potter, but I do not go around casting spells. The reason I can read this book and not feel temptation?-I am extremely secure in my relationship with God and with my significant other. I do not NEED a book to satisfy my sexual appetite, but that does not mean I might not enjoy reading a romance novel with sex scenes? If someone is capable of reading this book and separating fiction from reality, then who are any of us to tell them they are sinning in doing so? Now if someone cannot read these books without feeling temptation to sin, then sure maybe they should rethink their actions. However, in my state of adulthood I do not have trouble reading a novel and not applying it to my own life whatsoever. (Otherwise, with my intense liking of Harry Potter, I would have a pet owl named Hedwig with a cage full of letters to friends.)

        Regarding Magic Mike and it being an “objectifying” movie. No one was forced to be in this movie. No one was forced to watch this movie. And anyone who is offended by the previews honestly shouldn’t have cable because they were hardly even racy. If a grown Christian woman chooses to go watch a movie, (which is NOT a porn), a COMEDY, about good-looking male strippers- why is this so bothersome to others. Don’t worry about it. They aren’t forcing you to go. If they are secure enough in their relationship with God that they can watch a “racy” movie without being tempted to act upon any ideas in the movie and can take it for what it is, an entertaining comedy, then they are not harming anyone.

        As a sidenote- Channing Tatum’s wife was quoted as saying that he actually enjoys getting naked in movies. She joked about it, so clearly she is okay with it. He enjoys it, and still has a very healthy marriage. If mature adults go watch this movie and, as most of them do, separate it as a comedy rather than reality, no one is harmed.

        Reply
    • Victoria……I find it funny that you have targeted Steve’s immature but responded to him just as immaturly. I have to say here I am only 17 years old so im sure youll find a way to say i don’t know what I am talking about but i feel confident that I do.I Read everything between Melissa and your conversation and i find it irnoic that your telling Melissa shes judging when she was just stating what she believes God has her feel on the book and film..and this is a blog which is exactly where you are supposed to stat your opinion..as your doing…So wouldnt you say that is just a little hypocritical. As for the matter of the books and film..i agree with Melissa. I have read sections of Shades of Grey and i was personally offended. I see girls walking around my school reading this books between ages 13-18. How is that no worse then sending there bf/gf a nude photo( which i am not justifying) if they are under 18. Its wrong point blank. The bible tells us to protect our minds and keep our selves from sexual immorality. I respect the open minded relationsip you and your husband have on some aspects. But doesnt it bother you that when your husband is at strip clubs he is pleasing himself by another womans body not your own.I always thought that a husband and wife should have no desire to want other men or women if they were truly in a healthy relationship. Yes i know every marriage isnt going to be perfect and some will fail and not everyone will only enjoy there spouses body and pleasure but i know thats the way it should be. I believe that pornography and erotic novels are mentally cheating. Why do you need to see channing tatum stripping when you can see the man you love strip for you.Our bodies are temples and christian or not people should treat them as they are. I can not wait to get married and spent my life with my husband. I fully intend on saving everything I have for him. When i get married i want to be as clean as I can for him… i want my body to be a gift we can share so i will not part take in reading such novels and viewing such films. These books and movies are an unrealistic look at men and womens bodies and sex. And i would just like to say the only book my boyfriend and I read together to hold up our love life (not saying were having sex because we are not) is the bible!!!

      Reply
      • Rachel

         /  July 5, 2012

        Awwwww! This comment from a sweet beautiful 17-yr-old made me cry happy tears! Such a RARE treasure! Oh, keep it! I just prayed to God my daughter would be like this when she grows up! Thank you for standing when the world says to fall!

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      • Brittany Ketter

         /  July 5, 2012

        Rock it Lindy! So proud of you for taking a stand! You’re amazing! Love ya girl! :)

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      • Sandy

         /  July 6, 2012

        Wow, A 17 year old Princess of God…Well said Amen to our young girls taking a stand!! Praise God!!!!

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      • debbie

         /  July 6, 2012

        You’re 17? You don’t even know who YOU are yet, let alone how to judge others on their opinions regarding marriage and relationships. If you think you do, you’re absolutely wrong. I can appreciate the biblical citations used in the original post, however I have to ask if you have ever done any research on the origins of those verses. Have you ever taken a biblical history lesson (I don’t mean one taught by someone at an unaccredited seminary). Do you know anything about any other religions? I would recommend doing some research before you make up your mind about what you believe. That way you can be strong in your beliefs and not be questioned by people who have done research on the history of biblical teachings. Grow up before you start lecturing others about grown up topics.

        Reply
        • Well I am sad that you feel this way. I don’t think it is fair that you judge me by saying I don’t even know who I am when all the information you know about me is from one post. And I wasn’t in the least judging i was simply just voicing MY opinion on a blog…I am not absoultly wrong because i do know exactly who I am and i will take that to the bank Ms. I have grown up in the church for my whole entire life and I have a 100% full trusting faith in my Lord Jesus Christ. And I do know things about other religions i do not live under a rock i may not know everything bout them but i know enough to understand that they are not what I believe. You can sit down with me any day and I can clearly explain so much of what i believe. On many occasions I have been told I am a very well put together and mature girl for my age, so I do not appreciate your uneducated assumption about me. This conversation is in no way shape or form too ” Grown up” for me Ms, do to the fact I can pick up shades of grey or buy a ticket to Magic Mike if i so pleased

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          • Ronya

             /  July 6, 2012

            I think from the beginning of your first post you may have expected some criticism for your age, but Debbie’s post was still uncalled for. I thank you for sharing. I believe your view point is valid and true and that you do know what you’re talking about. It’s refreshing to know that we have teenagers who are standing up for what they believe in in the midst of the culture we are living in. Keep it up!

            And I love your gravatar picture – beautiful! :O)

            Reply
          • debbie

             /  July 8, 2012

            My intent wasn’t to insult you. I only wish someone had held up a mirror to me in this way when I was your age. I spent the first 20 years of my life in church 3, 4, and 5 times a week, until I stopped simply regurgitating things I heard from the pulpit and started doing my own research and forming my own opinions. That was my point. And yes, I was judging you based on your age and nothing else. But like you said, you were voicing your opinion. I’m doing the same. Just because I disagree and happen to think that a 17 year old may not know as much about the world as they might think they do, doesn’t make me rude or a downer or anything else. It just means I have an opinion. And we all know the saying….everyone has one.

            Reply
        • Ronya

           /  July 6, 2012

          Wow Debbie…this response was completely uncalled for and rude. Do you know how old Mary was when she gave birth to the Son of God? Much younger than our wise young friend here. And God entrusted her with the Savior of the world. I pray that you re-consider your comments and see what you can learn from her God given wisdom.

          Reply
        • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

          If you’re genuinely interested in this young woman’s well being and spiritual development, there is no place for such condescension. It’s certainly not in keeping with the fruits of the spirit, anyway. I understand feeling defensive, but before I go writing prickly things, I consult the Holy Spirit, and he always straightens me out. Sometimes I’m too hasty, and I skip consulting the Holy Spirit, and I say catty things. They are directly related.

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        • Ariel

           /  July 7, 2012

          Jeez, Debbie Downer! Don’t project your own insecurity onto someone else. If someone’s cogent, articulate opinion unsettles you so much that you feel you have to lash out at them, then it’s yourself and your beliefs you need to question, not them.

          Reply
    • Kayla

       /  July 5, 2012

      Victoria, I am so sorry that I did not read your entire comment but I just had to weigh in because of the part where you mentioned procreation and sex feeling good and such. I think the whole gist of what Melissa was trying to convey with part of her comments was that God designed sex to be between husband and wife and in that intimate setting only. That means not being shared with others outside of that confidence and not bringing things or people into the relationship sexually or mentally that corrupt that pure and good intimacy that God designed for husband and wife. The book and movie, which I have researched but not seen or read by choice, lead women and more specifically Christian women like myself to the brink of lust and temptation and this ultimately is threatening because that lust and sexual reference may obscure their view on sexual intimacy and the boundaries God intends for us to stay within when it comes to our marriage. I think that is why she brought up healthy ways to spice up a marriage without pornography or things closely related. Things seen and heard are hard to erase from the mind and that can also corrupt our hearts, as Christians and I think even as non Christians that sex is off limits outside the marriage if we want to honor that commitment as sacred as it is supposed to be. The off switch you spoke of I think comes with conviction and growth in Christ because as we grow closer to Him, the things of this World seem less important and the desire to be more like him grows also. There is usually never an immediate off switch that we as Christians turn on about anything and that also relates to sex. God designed sex as a means of procreation but I also think he meant for husbands and wives to enjoy it intimately and within the marriage only, Sorry this is long but I really wanted to share my perspective in relation to your thoughts. Thanks.

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      • Julie

         /  July 5, 2012

        @ Victoria.Thank you for voicing your opinion. There are plenty of us who agree with you, (although most of us probably stopped reading this article after the 3rd paragraph). I agree with your views on Christians, they are often the most close minded hypocritical people, blinded by their interpretation of the bible. While I may not share the same sex life as you, I would have to agree with the sentiment of what you have said. I don’t think there is anything about watching fiction such as Magic Mike that goes against the bible.

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    • Danielle

       /  July 5, 2012

      Sexual objectification of women, as seen in society’s “celebration of the male sexuality in our society, the endless movies, magazines and even the scantily clad female “supporters” of organized sports” is most definitely damaging. By sending the message through these various avenues of media that women’s bodies exist for the enjoyment and sexual pleasure of men we are concreting an ideology that women are indeed objects, and not human beings with thoughts, emotions, needs, and rights. This ideology is the root of such atrocities as human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry of forced sexual slavery. Do a bit of research on the subject and you’ll be able to see the damage done.

      It’s also at the root of pornography, including child pornography. When watching sex with a grown woman is no longer exciting enough (even when it includes sadomasochistic acts, as pornography often does) the thrill of sexual acts with children is used. It would be foolish to not recognize the damage done in these scenarios. And when the pornography and strip clubs are not satisfying enough, the actual act can provide a new thrill–enter rape and “purchasing” prostitutes (many of whom may be working against their will). Obviously this is not the path taken by everyone who watches pornos or goes to a strip club, but it is clearly related to the objectification,largely, of women, but also children and men.

      My apologies for this post being a bit graphic in nature, but the truth is that our society has perversed something God did indeed create as beautiful and enjoyable within the confines of marriage, into some kind of carnal need to be indulged whenever and with whomever, much like an obese person might indulge in cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Just because society accepts it as normal, doesn’t make it healthy.

      Reply
    • Bridget

       /  July 5, 2012

      @VictoriA I didn’t read through all of your conversation. Looks like yall hashed everything out. But, one point that struck interest for me was “Why create humanity with free will, 3 million eggs, unlimited sperm, insatiable sex drives and a natural aversion to monogamy then condemn even so much as thinking about sex unless you are in a committed and blessed relationship and even then only allow lust for that one person and no more. It’s a pretty unrealistic expectation if you think about it.”

      I’d expect it was because A. God wanted us to have a lot of sex. But on the very flip side of that coin, I’d also say, B. that some of other things God hopes for us are self-control and patience. Scripture actually says: Abstain from sex in order to pray – but only for a short time (a few days). (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) This verse also recommends an active sex life to prevent outside temptation. Just as you said – that our spouse would be fully satisfied, because of an active sex life. So, all of that to say, is it completely necessary to have sexual stimulation outside of our marriage in order to keep our marriage healthy? I’m not completely convinced it is. Although, I’m not completely convinced it’s not.

      I think where Melissa got it absolutely right is referring to Philippians 4, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” If we can remove ourselves from perconceived feelings of guilt laden on us from years of repression and Trust in God’s guidance in our lives (outside of what we’ve heard and what we feel we know), I believe God will guide us to exactly that which is NOT noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I agree… God made some hot looking human beings (hahaha), but perhaps my oogling them isn’t helping me be closer to God and my husband. I suppose if I want my husband to be satisfied by me alone, I too want to be satisfied by him alone.

      Reply
      • Aubrey

         /  July 5, 2012

        On the subject of judgement, here’s something that the Bible says about it.
        1 Corinthians 5
        “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

        6 Your boasting is not good.Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

        9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

        12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

        We are to judge those inside the church (verse 13). We’re to uphold each other for our actions “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28 That’s one of the ways we’re to be made perfect in Christ is through proclaiming Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom… That’s exactly what Melissa was doing, as she states “holding up a mirror.”

        “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

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      • Karen

         /  July 5, 2012

        @Victoria – There are many things that I could say on this subject, but I just want to bring out one point. You seem to think that Christians are wrong or judgmental when it comes to pornography. I agree that maybe pornography doesn’t affect you in a harsh way, but I strongly believe that it affects others in ways that can ruin their lives & the lives of their families. Ted Bundy, for instance, said that his murders & rapes were “largely fueled by pornography”. He even said, at the end of this article: http://voices.yahoo.com/serial-killer-ted-bundy-blamed-pornography-his-311774.html “others would say that they are able to watch violent pornography, be aroused by it and not go out an act on it. However, he said, addictions are like that, they affect some people and not others. It was a major component to him and he did not know why he was so vulnerable to it. All that he said he did know was that it had an impact on him that was just so central to the development of the vile behavior that he engaged in.”

        I just hope that you can see why Christians believe that pornography is so wrong and should be avoided at all costs. I don’t think a person knows when they start viewing pornography that they are going to become addicted to it. It can ruin lives and it can ruin families and it can turn people into terrible monsters. That is great that it does not affect you or your husband, but there are plenty others that have been destroyed because of it.

        Reply
    • Britt

       /  July 5, 2012

      Go Victoria! Glad to see not everyone is so close minded to a healthy married sexual relationship. Sex is not a dirty word people!

      Reply
      • Linda

         /  July 5, 2012

        If you read Melissa’s comments then you read that she was encouraging SEX in marriage. I have no desire to see Magic Mike cause I got magic Taylor (my husband) at home. We are Christians with a very active and fun sex life. Almost everyday in fact. We love SEX!!!! Sex sex sex!! Not a dirty word to Christians I know. It’s a word that has been in the past not spoken in churches but in the two churches we have been a part of in our five years of marriage they have spoken openly about sex and encouraged it for a healthy marriage. Our pastor and his wife spent a great deal of time in our premarital counseling going over the importance of sex and just having fun with it. We did not have sex until we were married so we got the chance to fall in love with eachother and not just sex. Needless to say we fell in love all over again on our honeymoon!

        Reply
      • Bec

         /  July 5, 2012

        Britt Im not sure if you read any of Melissas posts in reply to Victoria, but she REPEATEDLY PRAISED a virtues healthy sexual relationship within a marriage, and even alluded to how much she enjoyed her relationship with her own husband. You said ‘sex is not a dirty word people!’ and I believe that Melissa would agree with you wholeheartedly! What she wrote about was exercising caution in the types of things Christian women allow into their minds and hearts. The bible specifically speaks about having a guarded heart and mind, and being careful what you ingest. She was reminding women of a like faith to be careful what they watch/read/listen to because it can begin a slippery slope into a realm where the things that fill their hearts and minds are no longer uplifting to themselves and those around them.

        Reply
    • JAM

       /  July 5, 2012

      @Victoria:
      A “PASTOR” “WOULD NOT” recommend this to a couple to spice up there love life. Instead he would recommend that they do somethings to “REALLY” get to know each other again. Why? Well more than likely if there is lack of sexual intimacy in a marriage the biggest reason if not due to health would be “lack of communication”, “or drifting apart”, ect, ect!
      But again I agree with someone earlier who stated: “if your not a Christian then you won’t get it” & there is no point on going on & on explaining it.
      However I feel that those women who claim “to be Christians” & think this is okay, well they need to speak to their pastors or other church people & get their feelings about it.
      I highly doubt a church would approve & that goes for a Pastors wife viewing this same stuff.
      Oh & the whole view about women being sexual is wrong is so 1800′s.
      Women are allowed to be sexual & talk about sex now days. Women just have that mind set that they are not supposed to talk about it.

      Reply
    • Christina

       /  July 5, 2012

      Victoria,
      It sounds to me like your biggest issue with the Christian standpoint is that it’s too restrictive and takes away freedom form the individual. While I could argue that the greek in the bible for sexual immorality is porneo, and thus encompasses pornography, I don’t think you would find satisfaction in that answer. The truth is, even if I could argue my viewpoint with scripture, I don’t think you would be convinced because your conviction is that sexual liberation is true freedom. But having worked with victims of sex trafficking and women in or recovering from the sex industry, I would like to put forth a few things that I hope you will consider.

      One, the women don’t like feeling objectified. In fact, the ones I’ve talked to who work in the industry by choice hate it so much some even contemplate suicide while many take drugs to get through a shift. Quite opposite of empowered, they feel used and worthless because they are treated as objects, not people. The women who enter voluntarily, about 90% or so have been sexually abused prior to their entry. They don’t have high self-esteem, quite the opposite – they feel that they are only good for sex because that’s the only way they’ve ever been treated. Is this the face of empowerment? No, empowerment for these women would mean men treating them with honor and dignity because they are MORE than just a sexual object, they are a person whose worth exceeds their bodies. That’s true affirmation. The kind porn doesn’t provide an individual.

      Secondly, porn is known to drive the demand for sexual exploitation (legal or otherwise), because porn doesn’t relieve sexual frustration, it intensifies it. And where there is a demand, there will be a supply (whether child, forced prosititute, or willing prostitute). When a culture becomes hypersexual, it leads to an effect where the demand goes out of control, resulting in the issues of child porn, sex trafficking, and sexual abuse, leading to statistics such as the current – one in four women in the US have been sexually abused.

      At it’s heart, porn is all about the affirmation and empowerment you speak of. But to me, the tragedy is that this affirmation never actually satisfies but enslaves the individual to their increasing sexual appetite. Slavery to an appetite is not freedom, it’s bondage. Like a high, you will always need bigger and better. This affirmation is no affirmation at all – it comes at the cost of degrading yourself (sexual sin is described as sinning against your own body).
      Sexual immorality doesn’t leave us feeling worth more, but less. I believe God didn’t make sex and put limits on it to torture us, but sexual desire out of control hurts both ourselves and others. Most of all, however, it takes away from what I think God gave us sex for – intimacy. Sex is not about animalistic gratification, it’s about intimacy, intimacy that does not degrade, but affirms, which is only possible when we honor our bodies and treat each other’s bodies with the same dignity and respect. Your body and mine should be honored and treated honorably because that is what God made our bodies for, not sexual appetites (1 Cor 6:12-20, Thess 4:3-7), and that is true freedom. But it’s a freedom that does not come through sheer willpower, it comes through God’s grace.

      Reply
      • So…You should have written this post instead of me. I’m too exhausted to do your comment justice, but I love your words. That first paragraph is exactly what I’ve wanted to say, but have lost the mental-steam to do so. Thank you.

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        • Christina

           /  July 8, 2012

          Wow thanks, that’s encouraging. But no, I shouldn’t have written the post. You write beautifully and you are far more connected to a wider audience than I could have deemed to reach with my blog.

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      • Oh Christina. Did you pray to have God give you these words before you wrote. Reading through Melissa’s and Victoria’s words, I thought many times how I would answer if this was laid at my feet to answer. You put everything so beautifully. Well said.

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      • Esther

         /  July 6, 2012

        Amen!

        Reply
  5. I’m so glad you decided to write this! I couldn’t agree more. We need to celebrate healthy relationships and marital intimacy, not objectification of men and women for their physical features. I’m a hell of a lot more than my breasts and deserve to be treated that way! :) (Same goes for men, of course!)

    Reply
    • I’m still feeling iffy about posting it, but I had no choice. I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one feeling this way!

      Reply
      • Katherine

         /  July 3, 2012

        I’m so glad you did post, Jenna! Thanks for being willing to stick your neck out on what _shouldn’t_ be a sticky issue…Especially with Christian women!

        Reply
      • very glad you posted this. I actually was gung ho to go watch it, then the Holy spirit asked me why? i knew then why I shouldn’t. and you explained it all so well why I shouldn’t, as a christian women, go see the magic mike. I have try daily to renew my mind and not to conform to the world. Victoria, and others, have stated that christians are among the most close minded people, however, I have experienced much more freedom in my life now more than ever before by holding fast to God’s truths. In his truths, there is freedom. “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. All we can do as christians is continue to love God and love people. Right where they are. We don’t have to join in on the “fun” or except the ways of society to show them we love them. Keep up the good work, and just a note of encouragement. .. I find that God has to be pretty opened minded to have allowed us to have a free will, and to have not zapped us dead the moment Adam and Eve chose to sin. They did what felt right to them…and then cause a downward spiral from there. God must have been pretty open minded to send Jesus to give us a hope and a chance at grace and mercy. I find that those very people who point fingers saying Christians are close minded, are they themselves closeminded to many other things…such as the liberating truth of God’s love. Sadly, Christians have gained a bad rap for the sins of others…we shouldn’t all be held accountable for actions of others, however, we still do. But, we have to remember that it is God who knows and sees our hearts. Hurt people, hurt people. Victoria obviously feels strongly about her side of the story, yet she still reads your posts…hmmm…I belive she knows that there is truth in what you say, but her flesh does not want to agree. DO NOT ever stop posting these things the Holy Spirit prompts you to post. Take that stand always, even if it does mean being umpopular…Jesus still loved those who hung him on the cross. He died for us while we where STILL sinners. I applaud your boldness, and don’t the voice of 1, 2 or even 10 get you down…listen to that still small voice inside that compells you because you are His. :)

        Reply
        • And just a note…I am not a writer…after reading over my post…I see that I have a lot of typos and errors…look over them please…Thanks! lol

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      • Kait

         /  July 6, 2012

        Melissa, I read your article because a friend shared it. I’m in my 6th year of university and the general opinion, at least in my “progressive” Canadian university, is that the Bible and Christianity are schemes designed by men to enslave women, sexually and otherwise. I’ve lived by the ways of this world and I have, in the past, fallen prey to pornography (which, by the way, even humanistic Neuropsychology professors, as all of mine are, will argue that addictions to pornography are real and that they are violent), but thanks to Jesus’ endless love and grace, I’ve been forgiven and set free. I can say, first hand, that life found through Jesus IS empowerment. Pornography, in the form of a movie or erotic literature, IS enslavement. It is so absurd for anyone to say that the objectification of women is liberating to women that I truly question the sanity of such a person. So, let’s forget how utterly horrible that mindset is, why would a sexually liberated woman even think of supporting an industry that abuses so many women? I cannot express how much grief I have over this issue through written word. I am so grateful to have been liberated and empowered and freed by Christ. You may yet feel unsure of your posting of this article, but you’ve gained at least one follower. I can’t thank you enough for having the courage to write what was on your heart.

        Reply
  6. Chris

     /  July 1, 2012

    I completely agree with your point about the objectification of people. It’s bothered me lately that the objectification of woman is so opposed by the majority of the population ( as it rightly should be ), yet the objectification of men seems to be celebrated in almost every situation. I admire your ability to think empatheticlly, and I agree that many people wouldn’t act like they do if they could do the same.

    I do however have a problem with making the generalization that pornography is unhealthy. There are many, many couples in whose relationship pornography plays an active and healthy role. I’m not saying every couple is like this, or that every relationship can deal with this, or even that I’m in that situation, its just something to be aware of when making sweeping generalizations.

    I also have problems with supporting your very valid and fair point about something being a trend not necessarily being acceptable, with a book which in many places condones rape, human sacrifice, slavery, and even in places, adultery. These are topics which are unacceptable because they trended towards that, not because of scripture, so to say that we should ignore trends and stick to scripture would imply, or rather, require (in all fairness), the desire to return to the biblical version of those issues, which lets face it, none of us would agree is a good idea. Please don’t think I am trying to attack your faith, I just believe that it is something you should take into consideration, and I have problems with people picking and choosing, consciously or unconsciously, from scripture.

    Thanks for the article, you raise some very good points, and it’s nice to see I’m not alone with my bothers about objectification, and the double standards of its social acceptance.

    Reply
    • The double-standard of sexual objectification makes me crazy! Regardless of which gender is being objectified, it is disrespectful, to say the least.

      We disagree regarding the use of pornography in relationships. You’re right that many couples use it, but I do not think it is healthy. I could tell you all about why I don’t think it’s healthy, but in the end, it is still just my opinion, and it doesn’t weigh any more than yours. Christian couples, however, are called to live lives of purity (which is to say, free of contamination or immorality), and pornography is outside the bounds of purity. In a Christian context, pornography is unhealthy, and that is not my opinion.

      I understand what you’re saying regarding the Bible having some mixed messages. The old testament is rife with activities that we look at now as barbaric, but (and this may not be the dominant opinion, I’m not sure), we live in the post-Jesus age, being governed by his law. His law says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mat 5:28) I am not trying to justify the OT (I still wrestle with it), but I am saying that looking at our lives through the lens that Jesus would is always a safe and healthy choice.

      Thanks Chris, for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully, and be so considerate in your choice of words. I really appreciate that we can disagree without things getting ugly. I don’t know if we believe the same stuff, but I like you, and I like your style. :)

      Reply
      • bonnebelle1

         /  July 6, 2012

        I agree that if you look at the OT and the NT with natural eyes that it’s difficult to reconcile many of the gazillions of points of law given to the Jews with much of what the NT says…..it seems contradictory. The answer is, as I’ve heard preached, “the OT is Jesus concealed and the NT is Jesus revealed”. Jesus came and died to conquer Sin (capital S) so that we no longer have to be enslaved to it. The NT says over and over that the law was given to show us that we are sinners, but that Jesus death on the cross did away with the law and we are now, if we accept Jesus’ free gift, under grace. The law has been fulfilled in Jesus. It is for freedom that He has set us free, meaning that although we are not perfect and still may commit sins, we are no longer a slave to Sin and can live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Who will never violate God’s will or ways) and we will desire to live our lives in obedience to His Word. It isn’t a license to live a sinful lifestyle, but the freedom to know God intimately and follow His leading and voice on how to live. We are no longer bound a list of rules and regulations, but His Word is now written on our hearts and we have been given the Spirit to show us right from wrong and help us live lives that please God. WE are the bride of Christ and He is working in us to present us to Himself spotless and blameless, not by the law, but by the Spirit Who teaches us all things. That cures the dilemma of the OT vs. NT. It was only a shadow, but now we are saved by Grace through faith in the One that died for us to be free.

        Reply
    • Tanya

       /  July 6, 2012

      Chris, though I do not have an answer for everything in the Bible either, I would like to point out that much of the horrible things that occurred were not meant to be seen as right or good or prescriptive, but rather descriptive, and often with tragic consequences to such sin.

      Reply
  7. I’m up for the awareness campaign! :) Intimacy in marriage is definitely a worthy topic that garners more positive attention.

    I just expanded on my thoughts about the book/movie at my blog – http://www.mulberryandmagnolia.com.

    Reply
  8. What eludes me is why you specifically implore Christians to avoid 50 Shades and Magic Mike. It’s your belief that it contributes to the “poisons” of our culture so, in other words, it is destructive on a universal and societal scale. Wouldn’t that mean we should *all* avoid it all costs? Regardless of religious affiliation? When you say….

    “Christian women need to reject both of these works, and instead, use our voices in support of what is good, right and true. It is our responsibility, as daughters of the Heavenly King, to remain set-apart from the poisons of our culture, to rebuke temptation, and to celebrate and honor righteousness.”

    Regardless of your intentions, it does sound elitist. “Christian women”, as opposed to non-Christian women who are free to indulge to their own expense? I mean, you do include a non-Christian section but it’s far less passionate where morality and ethics are concerned and, just as a critique, you’re a bit blunt in your assertions….

    “Pornography is unhealthy. There, I said it.”

    A statement without any evidence to substantiate it isn’t a very compelling argument.

    I don’t know who you’re talking to but I’ve yet to find anyone inside or outside of my circle who is largely influenced by Magic Mike or 50 Shades in a profound way. There have been bodice rippers as long as there have been books and movies with far naked-er men have been made. In fact, what aggravates me about both is just how incredibly boring they are. A whole movie dedicated to male burlesque? A whole book dedicated to elaborate sex? They seem more products of repression and reluctance than indulgence and I’m sure all they really produce for consumers is self-fulfillment (putting it kindly).

    Somehow I’ve neglected both 50 Shades and Magic Mike without any real conviction. They do not effect me. A woman wrote 50 Shades, all those men signed up to be in Magic Mike’s and both parties consented and are being exploited to the extent they feel comfortable with. From my measure, nobody’s forfeited any morals in the process either. Some of those men you see are married. Channing Tatum? Married. Matthew Bomer? In a committed relationship. And by the way, there are hunnnnndreeedddsss of movies celebrating marriage and healthy relationships- a majority of them, really.

    Reply
    • I totally hear what you’re saying regarding coming off as elitist. Maybe when you hear what I have to say, you’ll change your mind. Or not, that’s okay too.

      There’s a saying among writers that says “write what you know,” as in, don’t write about things you are unfamiliar with, because you can’t speak authentically or authoritatively on the subject. I “know” Christian women, because I am one. I wouldn’t write anything directed at Muslim women, or Jewish women, or Atheist women, because I’m not one, and I cannot speak with any sort of conviction or authority to them. Christian women are what I know, so that’s why I singled us out. That does not mean that I hold us in a higher regard, it’s just that I would never DREAM of telling an Muslim woman, or a Buddhist woman that she’s not representing her faith well.

      Because I was writing to Christian women, I felt that I did not need to explain my statement that “pornography is unhealthy,” because (I assume) Christian women know what the bible says about sexual immorality.

      While 50 Shades and Magic Mike might not influence women I know in a PROFOUND way, each of them serve to chip away at our understanding of the sanctity of sex, and I hate to invoke the “slippery slope” trope, but there it is. These things have a way of sneaking themselves into our consciousness, and that’s enough for temptation to get a strong foothold.

      Thanks for your thoughtful and well-expressed contribution, and I appreciate how respectful you were. I’ said this to another commenter, but I don’t want you to think I’m being disingenuous: I really like that we can disagree without things getting ugly. I learn a lot from people as thoughtful as you, so thanks!

      Reply
      • That sounds fair to me, I knew you definitely weren’t malicious or unthoughtful in your intentions and I understand you’re working from your specific frame of reference. Within the context, I guess it would be pretty reasonable for you to say that practicing Christians are being contradictory in glorifying 50SG (I just get so sick of writing that tedious title) or Magic Mike. It’s a “practice what you preach” sort of thing.

        Could a Christian woman argue that fantasy doesn’t count as an indulgence though? I know that Charlaine Harris who wrote the True Blood books the series was based on is actually a Christian (a senior warden in her chruch, even). She has explicit sex scenes, even more so than in the Tv show but in her day-to-day life she’s married with children and always has been.

        I know that in writing you often find a release of sorts in being able to put things to paper and it does a good job of alleviating things. Maybe, in a sense, that’s her outlet for temptation and once she’s satiated there’s less room for that to find a place elsewhere in her life.

        Could these things be an effective way of dealing with temptation?

        Reply
    • What you said about “practicing Christians being contradictory in glorifying 50SG” is spot-on. Christians are often labeled as hypocrites, and often for good reason. The Christian church (encompassing men and women, obviously) is frequently referred to as the “bride of Christ” in the Bible, and I’m just not convinced that the Bride of Christ would sexually objectify people, or seek out pornography (in any form).

      And regarding Charlaine Harris’s work (which I am unfamiliar with), it certainly is A way of dealing with temptation, but publishing it for others’ consumption actually magnifies the problem. And, somewhat related to that: just because someone is involved in church leadership does not mean that they are above reproach, or that their actions are sanctioned by God. (Sexual abuse by church officials comes to mind.) I do not believe that kind of work is an “effective” way of dealing with temptation, unless by “dealing with” you mean “enabling” or “indulging.”

      And again, thank you for the good conversation. This is just awesome. :)

      Reply
  9. Minna

     /  July 1, 2012

    Thank you for writing this. It is truly disheartening to see women who claim to be Christians think that these things are acceptable in the sight of Jesus. It is without a doubt pornography, and is not pleasing to our Father in Heaven. We need to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus NOT do?” We have to live in the world, but we are not to be of the world.

    Reply
    • Yes! I find myself repeating “IN but not OF, IN but not OF” in my head quite a lot these days. It’s sometimes hard to remember whose I am, you know?

      Reply
  10. Anna

     /  July 1, 2012

    I’ve never read your blog before; I happened across it because it was shared on Facebook by a friend. Thanks for writing what you did and for sharing your convictions. Married couples definitely need good sex lives, but I don’t believe that God allows us to entertain pornography as part of our explorations of our sexuality or of our own intimacy. Crass expression of things God meant to be kept between one man and one woman should be avoided– not just this one book or this one movie, but other similar books and movies as well; I’m sure you’d agree with me there. Thanks for taking a stand.

    Reply
    • Hi Anna, and thank you! You’re totally right: It’s not JUST 50 Shades, and Magic Mike, there is so much more out there. This is just the first time that I’ve seen so many Christian WOMEN get led astray so easily. It doesn’t help that both the book and the movie are popular at the same time. In situations like this, it’s scary, but we’ve gotta shine light into the dark places, you know? Thanks again for stopping by and letting me know. :)

      Reply
  11. Tom S

     /  July 1, 2012

    Reading your blogs and watching your videos it is obvious that you don’t preach to others. You bend over backwards, {sometimes I feel too much so}, to make others comfortable.

    I applaud you for taking a stand. Wrongful, if not sinful ways need to be pointed out.

    We would hesitate at telling Mr. Smith to stop his adulterous affair, or Mrs. Jones to take better care of her children. We do this because we are all sinners and flinch at pointing out individual failings.

    But is our silence to be construed as acceptance? In pushing for higher standards of human behavior, are we to be relegated to speaking only in the vaguest generalities for the sake of political correctness? To do so seems to be ceding the high ground to Satan.

    I am tempted to list a half of a dozen modern practices that would have made Grandma/Pop roll over in their grave. I don’t because it might make some readers uncomfortable.

    You will see that I did not list any, but who did that serve?

    Reply
    • You’ve been following my stuff for a while, so I’m pleased to hear that you really KNOW my intent. And I think you’re right that I sometimes strive to protect people’s comfort to a fault. You said “we do this because we are all sinners and flinch at pointing out individual failings,” and I think you hit the nail on the head. I am SO UNCOMFORTABLE admonishing wrong behavior, because I myself have wrong behaviors, and I know it. I do not want to be the “pot calling the kettle black,” but like you said, “are we to be relegated to speaking only in the vaguest generalities for the sake of political correctness?”

      Silence IS construed as acceptance, and I don’t want to let my brokenness inhibit me from calling things as I see them, or rather, calling things as God sees them (because who cares what I have to say)? And I FULLY expect (and welcome) well-meaning people to admonish me in love.

      I’m going to write a follow-up post in the next day or so, regarding the difference between what people call “judgmental,” and what the bible calls “admonishment” or “reproving” or “rebuking.” I think people are so quick to lash out because when one is being admonished, they’re often not ready to acknowledge their wrong behavior, and as a result, it feels like they’re being poked in a sensitive spot. Like if you have a cut, and it gets infected: that area is especially sensitive, and if someone were to poke it, you’d recoil and likely snap at them “don’t poke me there, it hurts!” Is the problem the poke, or the infection?

      Thanks for inspiring some thought, Tom! <3

      Reply
      • sc

         /  July 7, 2012

        I’ve enjoyed your original column about 50 Shades and Magic Mike, and your replies to posters to your site. By enjoyed, I mean admired, from a writer’s point of view and Christian’s and American’s. I did flinch at your apologetic bookends to your original column, mainly because I know about it as a writer myself who has views and friends and likes having/keeping both, LOL. I even wondered, though, if you had some aversion to being seen as feminist instead of humanist (my words, not yours); and I wanted to say (as I did on fb to the friend who made me aware of your original post) feminists can be that and humanists, and most are. Not saying you need to adopt that label. Just saying, so often when I read Christian writer’s on topics like 50 Shades, and women Christian writers who write “in but not of” a lot, I feel (I feel) they try to put down feminists as their “next swipe” in the context of writing whatever else they write. You did NOT do that; I’m saying, that’s a conversation line that came up in my own thinking, wondering. So anyway, your goal was to write the personal and the literary and the pop culture response, not the political one (so words like feminism take us to the political). I might use the column in my English composition class. I just feel inclined to say the feminist line, “remember, the personal IS political.” / I also wanted to say, you know, I don’t know what PC means. In the same way that religionists want a culture less dominated by certain talk, so do some folks who get called “being PC.” I’ll just say I’m glad there is more room in the culture for certain formerly unpopular views today, as surely as I’m upset that some forms of crassness are way too acceptible now, as the price we’ve paid for letting some of the other stuff – necessary talk – bubble up. Back to your bookends: Being all nice and polite and apologetic is a good thing, maybe, but only sometimes, certainly; Civil is the thing, as you’ve said in earlier replies. Got to be civil. Rational is the thing. Balanced, or transparent, if you can’t be balanced. Supportive of one’s own statements (using texts like the Bible, totally fine, required if making a religious argument, lol), and even repetitive – good things. I encourage you in your writing and your voice. You encouraged me in mine. / Last thing on your column: we do not hear much from men who speak about healthy relationships in part because the culture is quick to label them pervs, or else they’re role models coming off as “perfect as Jesus” who no youth or men will listen to, or else they (the guys) really DO use the leeway they get to be the players they’ve always dreamt of becoming (eternal adolescents). So, keep your voice out there; men can and do learn from women. Sound feminist? “I apologize,” lolol.

        Reply
  12. @theonlymiles:

    “I know that in writing you often find a release of sorts in being able to put things to paper and it does a good job of alleviating things. Maybe, in a sense, that’s her outlet for temptation and once she’s satiated there’s less room for that to find a place elsewhere in her life.

    Could these things be an effective way of dealing with temptation?”

    Possibly. It does not follow that they need mass publication. :) In that sense, they rather undermine their goals.

    Reply
  13. Nice post, Melissa. The amount of nastiness you get from this will probably depend on how wide its distribution gets.

    You have already gotten a couple of detailed replies about how “wrong” it is to even suggest that human sexuality might benefit from any degree of restraint. It has also been suggested that pornography is not harmful, and may be considered an unfettered good.

    This view is not supported in either human experience or in medical literature – I’ll leave research on this question to the interested student and his or her pet Google. Biblically, as you have pointed out, there is no ambiguity. Pornography in all its forms is addictive and profoundly destructive.

    You seem somewhat apologetic for making these statements. While I appreciate the desire for diplomacy – this is one of those bright lines that needs to be defended vigorously.

    I just spent the last couple of days reading Jeremiah, who was tasked with preaching sedition and treason. The Lord’s word was that Judah should surrender to their enemies, because they had already completely blown it.

    That was really not popular. :) He paid for it. This was not an isolated incident, either.

    It’s fine to be uncool. It’s important to be able to engage your critics rather than offer blanket condemnation, and I think you’re doing great with that.

    But not quick like a bandaid. Clear like a trumpet call. They’re not going to be nice to you in the comments… but you have delete power over the abusive ones, at least.

    In the meantime, I repeat – great post. Hurrah for speaking truth to a hardened world.

    Reply
    • I have not read many comments that are as eloquent as this one. And I don’t mean to sound creepy, but I love your words. You said exactly what you wanted to say, without using words with connotations that are incongruent with your thought. Maybe this comes easily for you, but for the majority of people, using the wrong word (or rather, not using the BEST word) is a struggle. Why aren’t YOU writing more? And about non-Mac stuff? (I iStalked you.)

      And you taught me a lesson, without being condescending. I can tell that you’re “on my team,” but you still corrected me with authority, and without putting me on the defensive. You actually inspired me to embrace the “uncoolness” of what I have to say, which is a feat in itself, because I care SO much about what other people think of me. My concern with being regarded well among strangers is a sensitive spot for me (because I know it’s wrong) and you managed to address the issue without causing me to recoil. Bravo. You are an excellent writer, and I admire your ability to encourage AND correct. That is very rare, and it is exactly what I need to grow. Everyone needs someone like you speaking into their lives. Seriously, why are you not writing more?

      Thank you for your encouragement, and correction. I’m going to come back to this a lot over the coming weeks and months, as I approach more on “controversial” topics. (And how did you come across my blog?)

      Reply
      • Easiest first – I came by way of twitter, and that was by way of Kyle, and I followed him because I share much of his fix-it-up ethos. And I use iFixit guides all the time.

        After feeling some anxiety that my comment would be too brusque, I’m relieved that it was useful. As for the embarrassing compliments… thanks, blush, and I’ll write more.

        Even though there’s a lot to do at my day job. And a lot to do with the family. And church. Those are good excuses, right? :) I guess keeping one’s light under a bushel doesn’t come with an exception list.

        So thanks for your gentle correction as well.

        Reply
  14. Kira =]

     /  July 2, 2012

    Anna said it perfectly! And I am constantly struggling to be In but not Of as well.

    Reply
    • It seems I’ve struck a nerve with this subject. I think I’ll write a follow-up in the next day or so, specifically on the difference between “judging” and “reproving” (or “admonishing”).

      Reply
      • Im just going back through and reading more comments and playing catch up…just want to let you know that I would LOVE to see this if you haven’t already

        Reply
  15. Derek

     /  July 2, 2012

    Thank you, Melissa. This is exactly the article I was looking for…needed one from a Christian woman that was not in support of Magic Mike. I’ve been struggling with my wife wanting to see this movie ever since she first heard of it. We’ve had way too many conversations about it within the last month. Did they help? Nope. She’s still going to see it with five of her Christian lady friends from our church…those who I have always deemed as sisters in Christ. It’s tearing me. Chiefly because I believe that had I been a much better Christian man and better husband, avoiding lusting of women, rather than being too open and accepting of it, my wife would have had a more upright, noble, and God-loving example from me and not felt it okay to do the same when this movie came along. I feel to blame in all this. There’s nothing I can do about the past now. But I do pray that my actions going forward never give my wife or my two daughters a reason to feel that lusting after the opposite sex is not only okay, but should be accepted and not frowned upon at all.

    Reply
    • Hi Derek,
      I understand why you feel you are to blame, but I hope you know that that’s not the truth. Surely we can do our best to set a righteous example for our families, but our mistakes are not enough to cause those around us to sin accordingly. We all have agency, and it’s up to each of us to use our agency responsibly. (And to say that it’s hard sometimes is an understatement.) It’s awesome that you’re resolved to set a righteous example for your family. In my opinion, there is nothing more attractive about my husband than his righteous leadership of our family. That being said, it is really hard to change the habits of a family if it hasn’t always been that way. It might sound awkward, but it is totally okay to call a “family meeting” (even if you’ve never done so before) and address the issue head-on. The more intentional you are about the changes you want to make, the more likely your family is to reap the benefits of your leadership. (I’m super guilty of needing to be TOLD something, because I don’t often pick up on the subtleties of people’s behavior.) Anyhoo, I’m glad you found some encouragement, and I know that God will bless your leadership in your family. Pretty sure God loves empowering those that stand for him. :)

      Reply
      • ADC

         /  July 6, 2012

        I have to disagree here… but lusting after women he sowed lust in his marriage putting a stumbling block up for his wife… her sin is not his FAULT but that stumbling block is his responsibility… AND being that the husband is the leading in a marriage the state of the marriage is also his responsibility…

        Derek I am so glad you have seen what you’ve done as wrong and that you are seeing the FAR reaching effects of it… it’s NOT your sin that’s she’s doing but seeing how what you did set her up where it would be a temptation is the upstanding thing to do. She could choose to walk away from the temptation though.

        I do agree with calling a family meeting and talking about this and leading by example. God’s got your ear on this one, don’t stop listening to Him on it… even if you wife does go… start sowing purity now and forever more. You can do it. Praying for you all.

        Reply
    • Wendy

       /  July 5, 2012

      Derek, we need more men like you in the church! :D

      Reply
    • L.

       /  July 6, 2012

      WHAT?? I’m so sorry. I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO HAVE A GODLY HUSBAND. Let her read this—She apparently doesn’t know what it’s like to have someone scream at you for going to church (waste of gas, they’re all liars, you’re having an affair with the preacher, all sorts of garbage he screams.) I live with a man whom I love but needs mental help. She needs to suck it up.

      Reply
  16. daringdingo

     /  July 2, 2012

    Thank you so much for your post and for the support and encouragement over on mine. I had absolutely no idea it was going to blow up like it did but I am excited to use this as a spring board for other things.

    Looking forward to your follow up post.

    Reply
    • I was so glad to come across your post, and read a man’s perspective. If you don’t mind, I’d like to add a link to your post to the bottom of mine, so that people can find a male perspective if they’re looking for it. Is that okay?

      Reply
  17. skeptical sapien

     /  July 2, 2012

    Though I have never been to a strip club, I’ve been told that the audience of strip clubs with male dancers is rowdier than clubs with female dancers. I think that this is because men are used to objectifying women, so they think it’s no big deal. Whereas, the opposite is true of women. So when women do get a chance to objectify men, they take full advantage of it. Question: do you think that all erotica is bad? I mean, porn is porn, but erotica is less… ummm… porny (is that a word?) than porn.

    Reply
    • I’ve heard the same thing you have with regards to the difference between male and female strip-clubs. Interesting..

      Do I think all erotica is bad? Unfortunately, I don’t have a simple answer for this. Here’s how I would base my decision: Would my Father in Heaven find whatever it is I am considering partaking in pleasing? If not, then I’d stay away, and if so, then go for it. He knows my heart better than I do, and he knows exactly the types of things that cause me to stumble in my walk with him, so whenever something comes up, that’s my litmus test. I’m not saying it’s easy to be obedient to the result, though!

      Reply
  18. Katie

     /  July 2, 2012

    Hi! I just happened across your blog by accident as well. As a Christian woman who has read 50 Shades and watched Magic Mike, I have to say you have “stepped on my toes” a bit! I got lured into thinking this was all in fun too, but after reading your blog realize that I was wrong. I am deeply sorry for my actions now and am certain that it was no accident that I found your blog, it was just another time when God was trying to get my attention and point out my shortcomings. My husband was more bothered by both of these than I was aware of, but after sharing this with him, he just simply said, “yep!” I agree with you whole-heartedly and though I can not change my actions, I will not encourage my friends to do the same, and I will be more cautious of the things I let into my mind! Thanks again for sharing, it is helping other Christian women. :)

    Reply
    • Can I hug you? Like, from across the Internet? :) I read a portion of 50 Shades, and I’m not going to lie: rather than putting it down once it started getting pornographic, I finished the scene. It was SO hard for me to decide to stop reading. I guess what I’m saying is that you’re not alone. We’ve ALL been there, and I am so happy to know that my random words on the Internet could actually help someone. (Because until you posted this, I’m pretty sure all I did was piss-off my friends.) So, BIG HUG from across the Internet. Way to go, sister! <3

      Reply
      • lindsey

         /  July 5, 2012

        I want you both to know that I teared up when I read that someone verified that God used you in this. After all of these good and bad comments, you inevitably shared the gospel with hundreds, if not more, people.

        I admire both of your obedience to the Lord to either write what is not easy or turn away from past decisions. The Lord has been glorified in both!

        Reply
    • Rachel

       /  July 5, 2012

      I have not read it, but have been intending on reading it out of curiosity. From what I have heard tonight, I know it is something I have nit “just been putting off starting” but something my loving, wise heavenly Father has by His grace helped me avoid until He gave me the sweet opportunity to read Melissa’s blog on it. Praise God for you! Thank you! I agree! And I will share the word you have displayed so strongly yet truly! I will honor my husband as I would want of him.

      Reply
    • L.

       /  July 6, 2012

      Katie,

      I too almost got wrapped up in some–not-so-Christian-stuff. It is highly addictive. Be careful. Congratulations!

      Reply
  19. KM

     /  July 3, 2012

    Hello. I came across this article via The Generous Wife. I don’t know why you feel the need to apologize. This is your blog, these are your convictions and you wrote about them well. The Scriptures you used are relevant and support your point of view, with which I agree. Many of my non-Christians friends and I am sure some of my Christian ones are reading/watching these particular works. When asked what I think, I say what you said – I don’t need to read about it or watch, I’ll just enjoy the liberty I have to be intimate with my husband and do it instead!

    All the best, my young sister.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your encouragement. Something I struggle with is my desire to be approved of by people, and to not disrupt other people’s comfort. That’s probably why I’m so wishy-washy, and have a hard time not apologizing for what I have to say. I admire your strength in the spirit, and God uses people like you in my life to say “hey look, you can let go of other people’s opinions of you and find ultimate safety in identifying with me.” So THANK YOU for exhibiting strength, and pointing me in the right direction.

      Reply
    • Wendy

       /  July 6, 2012

      I agree with KM…STOP APOLOGIZING!!!! People aren’t going to agree with you and you may have stepped on some toes but aren’t we supposed to be challenged by our sisters and brothers in Christ?? Thank you so much for all your efforts in this subject. I wasn’t before but I will definitely not be reading the book or watching the movie. I think I’m going to have my husband read some of these posts. He hasn’t always taken the same stance as I have on this topic but I think this may open his eyes to a new view. Thank you again Melissa! Please keep it up and don’t apologize anymore!!!

      Reply
  20. Tiffany

     /  July 3, 2012

    I rarely comment on blogs, but thought you could use another THANKS for writing this comment! I have screamed at my computer screen over FB posts about 50SOG, and while the Magic Mike posts haven’t been quite as annoying, they are there from my Christian friends. It is the double standard that bothers me the most, and maybe that’s b/c I know the struggles men go through with lust and objectifiy women. I respect my husband and want to take all my desires to him…period. I LOVE sex and am all for an awareness campaign :)

    And to those who say that porn is not bad or destructive, I can tell you from personal expirence that it almost destroyed my marriage. A few years ago I would have thought like others, and even used porn as a way to spice things up if I thought it would help. I just didn’t know at the time that it was porn that had pulled my husband away from our marriage and created a distance that resulted in many other issues. We did recover and we are better than ever and things are HOT now…sorry for the tangent and personal testimony guess I don’t know where to stop, lol.

    Reply
    • Victoria

       /  July 3, 2012

      Everything in moderation, especially indulgences. Pornography is an indulgence. A small bowl of chocolate ice cream a couple times a month isn’t “destructive” but a pint of chocolate ice cream every night is extremely destructive and potentially deadly. Sounds to me that your “personal experience” required moderation… No one loses their husband to a little bit of porn. For marriages where both individuals came from very modest Christian upbringings how do these individuals know how to make their sex “hot”? And keep it hot for 50-70 years? We read books, magazines and watch movies. Sex is something thats learned… Looking for guidance is not destructive to a marriage… In moderation. I guess it’s all opinion. Our opinions differ. Only we know what’s best for our own personal relationships… But you shouldn’t condemn others for desiring the same knowledge you were granted “a few years ago”. Just because it didn’t work for you (and maybe it did if now your sex life is so “HOT”) doesn’t mean it won’t work for other couples. No hard feelings… I feel like everyone is targeting me in these comments and feel the need to address it. :)

      Reply
      • There are things that don’t follow this line of reasoning for anyone at all. Crack cocaine is one of these things. So is bleach.

        Many comments I see here ignore the profound differences in male and female wiring. I implore the women here to take some time and internalize this important issue.

        Pornography is addictive. Addictions are not apparent when they’re being fed – they’re apparent during withdrawal. Because you have not yet encountered this issue you may think it will never arrive.

        All of us will become old and unattractive. Enhanced and embellished actors don’t – they’re frozen in time. Will your husband be moving along to middle-aged, saggy, wrinkly actors?

        There are reasons for these guidelines. Short-term thinking is all too common. None of us possess excellent foresight. The Lord is not so limited. In the end, it comes down to trusting Him enough to be obedient.

        And if you think you *need* this gunk to spice up your marriage… chances are the cure is worse than the ailment. If you don’t *need* it – isn’t this the very definition of a “sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”?

        Reply
      • Tiffany

         /  July 3, 2012

        @Victoria, I think you have misunderstood some of my post, but without telling the WHOLE (15 yrs worth) of story, it’s just too much to try to explain. I do want to comment on the idea that just b/c you don’t read secular books about sex or watch porn that you can’t have an exciting sex life…that’s just not true. It seems to me you have the opinion that being in a monogamous Chrisian marriage means that you can’t have a fullfilling & hot sex life or that if you don’t bring in extra stimulation from the outside that it just won’t continue to grow, and that is where I feel you are mis-informed. There are many good resourses for Christians who want to “spice” up their sex lives or learn new things that don’t involve including other people. It is also pretty fun to just go with your gut and learn with each other.

        I don’t believe I condemed anyone for using porn, but from my experience and many others I have read about I feel that it is damaging to relationships in one way or another. When you read stories about 20 yo men who have ED b/c of their 5-10 yr history with porn, well it is just heartbreaking. Yes, I know you will say in moderation, but as stradling pointed out it is an addictive substance, and I feel the dangers far out-weigh the benefits. As I said, I didn’t always feel like this, and honestly lived much of my single life as someone who thought “sex is fun” so why not just do it! I now can see the fallacy in this thought process & know how much more fulfilling sex is in a God honoring relationship. But that’s just my opinion…

        I honestly hope that this new “women’s revolution” will bring to life the topic of sex more in Christian circles, as the church usually doesn’t talk about the GOOD of sexuality.

        Reply
      • JAM

         /  July 5, 2012

        @ Victoria: You said “No one loses their husband to a little bit of porn???”
        My husband became so engulfed in porn that it about ripped us apart. I felt unwanted & felt like there was something wrong with me. Even after sex he would venture out to the living room computer to watch it. Our sex life wasn’t dull in any way. He just craved the fantasy & look at what this book Fifty Shades of Grey & Magic Mike are to women. A FANTASY!!!
        How do you spice up your sex life after 50yrs or lets say even 11yrs???? You find new ways to get to know each other. Talk to your pastor or even a Christian therapist & I am sure they will give you several ways.
        Do things for each other like make a romantic dinner, put candles & rose peddles in the bedroom. Be spontaneous. Ect, ect!!!

        Reply
      • L.

         /  July 6, 2012

        Uh, porn isn’t the only thing that teaches people how to keep sex “hot”. It
        s also a healthy attitidue, a little psychology, and reading and studying Song of Solomon is incredibly exciting, if you happen to attend a church that isn’t afraid of studying marital sex.
        I also happen to think my husband is sexy because he doesn’t cheat, lie, steal, drink, do drugs or lie around refusing to work. He’s sexy because he’s an awesome father, and an awesome man. We’ve been through a lot since he went to Iraq years ago (Marine=SEXY) and things went bad for a while. He is now much better and has worked hard to overcome his PTSD. Porn? PFFFT. Everyone else can watch strangers, I have a hot hubby!

        Reply
      • Alissa

         /  July 6, 2012

        Victoria – please google and read multiple articles on the subject of NEUROPLASTICITY as it relates to porn, specifically. It is a truly fascinating subject. Our brains are amazing at adapting to stimulus of any kind – visual, auditory, physical, etc… Whether you believe our brains were designed by God, or evolved out of primordial slime, some things are simply incontrovertibly factual.

        Reply
      • Daniel Wesley

         /  July 6, 2012

        Victoria…I don’t really know what to say to you on the subject of “needing” pornography (whether written, filmed or audibly recorded). There must be a SERIOUS lack of imagination in this world if couples can’t discover their own ways to make their love life hot.

        Reply
    • I’m so glad you could identify with what I had to say. It’s hard to feel like you’re “alone” within a community, which is exactly how I felt when I was reading the endless stream of praise for 50 Shades and Magic Mike.

      And I am SO glad you shared your personal story! It’s one thing to read what the Bible has to say on a subject, but another thing entirely when you have a real-life experience. With so many people using “sexual empowerment” as a euphemism for perversion or destructive behavior, I’m glad that you have the courage to share their story. I think all too often we feel “unqualified” to speak to issues, simply because we’ve struggled through them ourselves, but I think that makes you especially qualified to talk about it. And I am SO happy that your marriage bounced back, and is hotter than ever. What a gift, right!? Definitely not TMI. Not to me, anyway. :)

      Reply
      • Tiffany

         /  July 3, 2012

        It is a gift for sure!! I am trying to figure out how to get a women’s study on married sex started in our church w/o having to lead it b/c I don’t feel qualified to lead, but I’d love to be a part of one.

        Reply
      • Victoria

         /  July 3, 2012

        First of all crack cocaine is illegal because it can kill you and bleach is a great addiction, sanitary houses rock! ;o} I thought we were talking about whether pornography was against the bible but now it seems both of you are arguing against it because it’s “addictive” if that’s the “logic” you suggest Christians should be following then you should also ban caffeine, alcohol, sugar, medications, internet usage and tv in general for that matter since they all have the same potential for addiction… I don’t deny it’s potential for abuse but that’s not a common occurrence. Adults should be treated as such, not told like children was is and isnt acceptable for them based on the potential of individuals without restraint… Like i said biblical interpretations are endless. God is omnipotent and the bible is filled with “prophets” if he felt something was wrong with porn wouldnt hint to it specifically in the bible at some point knowing it would be so rampant in future society? Like saying watching other people have sex is wrong? When I say it was involved in my marriage I meant as many times as I can count on two hands in 14 years… in moderation. I’m not suggesting that it’s a requirement to a great sex life, I’m saying a great sex life doesn’t involve anyone elses opinion of right and wrong. We need to worry about ourselves and not stick our nose in our neighbors bedroom window.

        Reply
      • ghphillips

         /  July 5, 2012

        Thank you for publicly addressing this subject. I found you through a friend who linked your blog on FB… and I will be sure to thank her for doing so! I too have been bothered by so called christian & non christian friends so excited about these books and the movie. NOT that these are the only ones out there. Even in moderation, no matter what you do in moderation, it’s all a slow fade… beware, every addiction started out as an innocent activity done in moderation. Thank you again, you’ve just gained another reader!

        Reply
  21. Melissa Mc

     /  July 3, 2012

    Jenna…I hear what you are saying and I do agree with trying to stay away from temptation.

    Before I read the book, I had seen many postings similar to yours on various Christian marriage blogs that I follow. While I understand where you are coming from, I have had a bit different experience with the books.

    My sister in law, a Christian, read all three books before I did and she gave me a little insight into them.

    I work 50+ hours a week, am a mom to twin toddler boys and a 21 year old. I get VERY little time to read. When I do, I have five minute chunks…if I am lucky. I honestly wanted to read it for the story. I think I actually only read the sex stuff a couple of times before it got old – it really didn’t do much for me. I am intrigued by the story though. I find it funny that people refer to it as mommy porn. As a mom, I don’t have time for porn. I barely have time to be with my husband. He is my escape…even if it is only a couple of times a month. And those of you that say that is unhealthy…well…that is what works for my husband and me. We know that is life for us right now…and we make it work.

    I haven’t watched Magic Mike. I don’t have time for movies.

    I do think many people are tempted each day by things that are outside of their control. However, we alone choose how we react to them. This has been my experience with 50SoG. I haven’t been tempted by it. I have been bored by the sex in it. But…I have found the underlying story interesting. I know many others who feel the same way.

    The only concern I really had with your post is that I felt instead of suggesting we Christian women not read or see, that you really seemed to tell me not to do so – without having seen or read it yourself. You are basing your opinion on a very small part of what you read and a few trailers about the movie. However, it is your blog…and you have every right to feel convicted to do so.

    I agree that we need to do what we can to keep from being tempted; however, it is really how we react to the temptation that counts.

    Take care and keep sharing.

    Reply
    • Victoria

       /  July 3, 2012

      I apologize for the blanket judgment of a “healthy” marriage involving frequent sex. I totally get crazy work schedules and that life sometimes gets in the way. You’re marital standards are set by you and your husband alone. :)

      Reply
  22. Chris

     /  July 3, 2012

    Excellent blog! Thank you for taking a stand like this. It was not easy, I am sure, but doing the right thing can often be difficult. The negative responses you may get will be credited toward you when we stand before God to account for the things we have said and done for Him.

    I quote an earlier comment, “My disconnect is why Christians accept that God created us to be such sexual beings and then condemns his own creations. There are species in our world more inclined to monogamy than humans. Why create humanity with free will, 3 million eggs, unlimited sperm, insatiable sex drives and a natural aversion to monogamy then condemn even so much as thinking about sex unless you are in a committed and blessed relationship and even then only allow lust for that one person and no more. It’s a pretty unrealistic expectation if you think about it.”

    God created us and He created sex for us to enjoy. What He didn’t create was sin. Sin has drastically changed what God created here on earth. God created many things that have turned away from His original intention for them. Sin puts a twist on the beauty of ALL of God’s creation. He gave us free will so that we could chose to love Him, or not to love Him. Would you appreciate someone’s love for you more if it was forced upon them, or they loved you willingly?

    In our sin-tainted human nature, we rebel from God, and that has ruined many things, including His design for sex. Lust is a sin. There is nothing wrong with being turned-on, that is appropriate, and by God’s design. It was intended to be between husband and wife. Lust is that healthy desire for your mate twisted by sin into something unhealthy and unintended by God. I am a man, and lust is the sin I struggle with most. There are so many things in this world that Satan uses to try to keep us from realizing our need for God, including the modern philosophy, “If it feels good, do it.”

    God doesn’t condemn us, our sin condemns us, because God and sin cannot co-exist. This is why it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins; to take the punishment I(we) deserve for our sin.

    Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

    Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are you saved through faith, not by works, it is the gift of God.

    I’m not perfect, no one is. The one thing I know for sure is, I am forgiven. We all need to do everything we can to protect our minds from the evil of this world, and focus our attention on Him.

    Thanks again, MJ!

    (Ps – My wife also agrees with you comments!)

    Reply
    • I love this: “God created many things that have turned away from His original intention for them. Sin puts a twist on the beauty of ALL of God’s creation. He gave us free will so that we could chose to love Him, or not to love Him. Would you appreciate someone’s love for you more if it was forced upon them, or they loved you willingly?” Isn’t that the truth? “Sin puts a twist on the beauty of all of God’s creation.” That’s going to stick with me for a while. :) And I think it’s the enemy’s greatest work, to take something pure and lovely, and then twist it into something “similar” but not the same. That’s why it’s so easy to be led astray, I think. It starts as little tiny steps, but quickly snowballs into a monster of an issue. Thank you so much for your insight, and I’m so happy you and your wife could identify!

      Reply
    • Victoria

       /  July 3, 2012

      God doesn’t create sin? We are all born “sinners” Genesis 8:21 (there are numerous verses supporting our “evil” hearts from birth but this is the only one I know off the top of my head) Secondly- The bible specifies that God created everything, that would include the universe, it’s inhabitants, and angels… Satan is a “fallen” angel. An omnipotent God would KNOW the potential of all, including an angel falling from grace. So he created the possibility and therefore Satan himself. Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6, Lamentations 3:38. God created all things including evil, calamity, and sin. Either you believe him to be omnipotent or you believe there are circumstances outside of his control (including Satan) in which is saying he’s not “all powerful” in turn he must have been created by an even more powerful being or he is just another by-product of the creation of our universe as we are. If Satan is the “creator” of sin and its outside of God’s control then wouldn’t that make Satan the omnipotent one? You can’t make up your own rules. You say we’ve “turned away” from God’s original intention but based on what you quoted of my writing above its seems to me his original intention was for us to be animalistic, promiscuous and procreate as much as we are able. How is his “love” NOT forced on us? In the bible he commanded or committed genocide on entire civilizations and at one point the entire population of humanity for not submitting to him… How is that free will? This was before the time of Jesus so “the word” hadn’t been spread to warn people of God’s wrath or that he existed at all. There were only a selected few who were “chosen” as God’s people. Christians don’t “love” God with their free will alone, they are expecting “everlasting life” in return for their love John 3:16… If you had no chance at heaven, that love would deteriorate real quick. Why God is feared(loved): Genesis 6-9, Genesis 19, Samuel 15:3 Also in regards to free will, in Exodus 14:17 god “hardens the heart” or essentially removes the “free will” of the Egyptians so that they will do as he asks even though they know it’s wrong. If he shows right there that free will is given and also taken then it’s not really free… He could have technically removed the free will of all Christians and you’d be none the wiser. You talk about Satan being responsible for the philosophy “if it feels good, do it”  but I haven’t been a Christian for a while but I KNOW, without any supernatural guide or temptation, that is a destructive and dangerous philosophy to live by one that will result in a very short lived life… So that is not a matter of denying satanic temptation it’s natural human restraint with the benefit of survival. You say “God and sin cannot coexist” but I’m not sure what you mean… God created a severely flawed species that are in a constant hamster wheel of guilt and repentance until their inevitable death. So are you saying sinners don’t go to heaven or sinners aren’t Christian? As for your last statement … I don’t disagree, in fact that’s the entire basis of my comments on this blog… Self realization is the basis of Christianity not deflection and admonishment of others. If Melissa/Jenna had said she felt guilty for reading that book and for wanting to see Magic Mike but chose not to and left it at that, there wouldn’t be any controversy, it was the fact that she judged, admonished, reproached, poked (or whatever you’re calling it) all other Christians for not having the same restraint she felt was imperative to Christian salvation. 

      Reply
      • IslandDan

         /  July 4, 2012

        As with so many others, this posting is a first for me. I was led to your writing by a friend. She felt I would enjoy your words to which I will say she is correct, but that’s normal for her anyway. You see her nickname for me is “Paul” knowing that I love God and His written Word so much that at times I can be all backbone forgetting to add the heart. “I was politely reminded one day of something Paul wrote, “Let all you do be done in love.” Goodness what a change those simple words have made in my approach when dealing with people. Don’t get me wrong…I’m still the fired up, headstrong “Paul” but I’ve also learned to add a little “John” in there as well.

        So when my friend read your wonderful writing she immediately thought, “Paul” will like this…someone taking a stand based on God and His word. Again, she was right!

        To Melissa,
        Bravo and thank you for “standing firm in your faith” and “letting all you do be done in love”! I see in your touch that you have spoken from the heart the Word of God and you’ve done so “in love”. Thank you for allowing His Spirit to guide your words.

        I only decided to write a response after reading and reading and reading and reading and reading. I was shaking my head at some of the responses I read in disbelief. Is it any wonder that while the crowd wanting to stone Mary was growling and shouting questions at Jesus; he simply bent down writing in the dirt?

        Controversy? Scriptures have been thrown about by some that make the “Paul” in me stand ready to take on Peter again. Yet our Lord gave another great example in a phrase He used that I absolutely turn to often…”It is written”.

        One respondent referenced John 3:16. Fantastic! But we can look at another 3:16 verse to see what Melissa wrote is not the start of a “controversy”. It is written in 2 Timothy 3:16; actually you read the scripture and explain the meaning. Remember this, reproof is defined as censure severely. Melissa not only followed 2 Timothy 3:16 she also followed 1 Corinthians 16:14. So far it seems to me she’s been right on the mark!

        Next “it is written” … we all know John 3:16, but most forget verse 17 and man if even we believers would remember 17…then there may not be so many non-believers looking harshly at true believers. Here again Melissa is right on the mark…for she is not condemning anyone. God does not even want to condemn us…only make us aware of our sin, then once acknowledging our sin, know that He freely gave His Son for our salvation.

        Yep, “it is written”, I use it all the time now, because I am dumber than a box of rocks so it’s the best thing I can do…turn to true wisdom. Melissa, you have truly allowed Him to work through you as “it is written” Galatians 5:25 and you have most certainly just conveyed a polite reminder to yourself and to us just how smart we would be to “keep in step”.

        Now Melissa the only bit of advise I have for you is not even from me.. LOL… yep “it is written”. In regards to softening your punch touch at times, while I understand I too have to agree with earlier respondents that pointed out no need to go easy with the truth. It is a simple fact…some people hate the truth; believers and non-believers.

        “It is written” John 3:20; oh how believers hate somethings coming into the light.

        As to those we love (and that is everyone as we most certainly believe “love others even as Christ loves us”) that do not believe, it is no surprise at all for God already points out it’s a fact. “It is written” Galatians 5:16-17 and the ever so clear Jeremiah 6:10; “…The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.”

        And for those “Passions and desires” for the “new creation” that have all the “old things gone”; “it is written” Galatians 5:24.

        Bottom line is there are scriptures listed for anyone to read and let Him explain there meaning to you; not what I say they mean.

        Melissa, you stay the course, run the race, you’ve got a great trainer working in you and you certainly follow the “it is written” philosophy as is clearly read in your wonderful commentary.

        Well done!!

        Reply
      • Bec

         /  July 5, 2012

        Victoria I am not responding to your entire post… I personally hate writing in general, and have tried to avoid it at all costs since grade school. ;) Not saying there is anything wrong with it, more power to you and all the women (and men) that write and blog! Its not for me, but I digress… I hear what you have to say and have no argument with anything you have written. I did see one sentence that stopped me and I feel compelled to write.The line that struck me was when you called Melissas ‘restraint’ “imperative to Christian salvation”. I do hope you understand that the ONLY requirements for salvation are these: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL BE SAVED.’ I paraphrased a smidge, but thats it. That all, and thats everything. I know you know the verse because you cited it previously. What you decide to do with your life after you choose to believe is an entirely different story, and that is what spawned Melissas blog post. However it has nothing to do with salvation. The hope would be that after salvation you feel compelled to live your life differently. That is not always the case. I don’t want to open up a can of worms that will cause me to need to write further ;)

        I do feel like this post deeply struck a chord with you, and Im not sure why. I am a happily married Christian woman, and I have entertained both seeing the movie and reading the book. I havent done either yet because demands on my time are many. However, I did not feel judged nor even admonished by this post. I felt like the general over all tone was ‘here is what I personally think, and something for you to think about (if you want to) before you make your decision on the matter’. It was not meant to me mean, or derogatory or condescending in any way. I felt like it was written sincerely and with kindness. I am sincerely sorry you felt differently.

        Reply
      • Christina

         /  July 8, 2012

        Victoria,
        I could counterargue against most of what you said using the Bible and explain God’s Old Testament actions in a way to show He wasn’t being a tyrant in any sort of way. But I am more interested in what you believe about God and why. It sounds to me like the God you believe in may have a goodside, but has a darkside as well. His intent is to harm, and He is a tyrant in His love. He is menacing and untrustworthy by the description you’ve given – and backed up with scripture. You said earlier you haven’t been a Christian for a long time. So what exactly is your belief of God and why? Is it because of the scriptures you’ve read that disturbed you? Or for other reasons? If it’s the first, we could discuss those scriptures you find disturbing. If it’s the latter, that’s a different conversation entirely.

        Reply
  23. Yes & amen. I have been so saddened by so many Christian bloggers talking about magic mike & laughing it up. One I read in particular has a deployed husband: “my husband has been gone too long” was the caption under the picture of her magic mike tickets. It really bothered me. Thank you for taking a stand! :)

    Reply
  24. Chrissi

     /  July 3, 2012

    Please do not feel as though you have not helped anyone with this post; I have struggled with my desire to see M.M., and I have 50 Shades on my Kindle. I started the book, and truthfully, the only reason I stopped reading was what I felt was an amateur writing style.
    I am a Christian woman, and while I personally believe that almost anything goes in the marriage bed between consenting husband and wife, porn is NOT ok. In my opinion, it adds other people to the act and it takes attention away from the person that is RIGHT THERE.
    Thank you for reminding me how I would feel (and in past relationships HAVE felt) if my husband were to find so much pleasure in another woman either in print or on a screen. The Lord gave me this amazing man that makes me feel adored, and I do not wish to dishonor either of them.
    God bless you. Keep doing and saying what the Lord puts on your heart and in your spirit. : )

    Reply
    • What you said about pornography adding “other people to the act and it takes attention away from the person that is RIGHT THERE,” has been my experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen pornography, and at first I thought there was nothing harmful about it, so long as I “kept it in check,” but it DID effect me, and it completely effected my relationship (before my husband). Not only that, but when my daughter is older, and she asks about my experience with pornography, I’m going to have to tell her all about that. Which, in a way I guess is good. Maybe she can learn from my mistakes? Sorry to go off on a tangent there. :) Thank you for your encouragement, it truly means a great deal to me. God is using people like you to strengthen me in the spirit, and I am SO grateful. :)

      Reply
  25. jordantatephotography

     /  July 3, 2012

    Do you mind if I re-post this on my blog? (With credit back to you of course.) Ever since the trailer came out I’ve been looking for someone to write something like this! My words couldn’t have done it as beautifully as yours! (http://adventuresofcplusj.blogspot.com/)

    Reply
    • By all means, go on ahead! And thank you for being considerate and asking for permission! I’m glad that you’re encouraged by the post, and I hope it touches people over on your blog. :) And when the resistance comes (because it inevitably will), know that we’re sharing it together. :)

      Reply
  26. Political correctness is definitely something that is a huge struggle for me, and I think for our society in general. I do think that, while you were nervous about writing your blog, you handled yourself incredibly well in your individual responses to people’s comments. While reading some of Victoria’s comments, I found myself mentally concocting my own reply and being so relieved by your answers! You’re absolutely right that there was some faulty logic happening there. There are a couple thought’s I would like to add, though!

    Back to the topic of why would God give us the physical pleasure and desires and then “require” us not to act on them. God wants us to enjoy ourselves and created sex as a beautiful expression of that. That being said, the original “rules” placed on sex were for the protection of his people. These “rules” of monogamy, waiting until marriage, ect. were to protect them from STD’s, unplanned pregnancy, etc, especially considering they did not have the contraception and medical technology we have today (not to undermine their importance; abstinence is still the best method). God was not up there wringing is proverbial fingers saying, this will be hard for them, (cue the maniacal laughter!).

    The other verses regarding sex are more matters of the heart.

    There was a great article on MSN the other day about how a study (and I hate that I can’t remember the name of the study…I’ll probably wake up in the middle of the night, remembering it) found that pornography can be detrimental to relationships because it instills expectations of the acts of sex as well as of the shape a human body is in, which are, often times, very difficult for people to live up to. If tons of people were about to see you in your birthday suit, would you not be as toned as you possibly could?!?! lol! So that is where, from a mental stand point, it might be detrimental in relationships.

    Victoria’s comments about open communication of desires, etc. are true, and it’s fabulous for them that they do that. Unfortunately, I can imagine that if someone developed a fetish that their spouse or partner wasn’t comfortable with, that could be a HUGE problem!

    All that being said, I do think that Victoria had a great point about how womens’ sexuality, especially within Christianity, is greatly overlooked. As a Christian woman, I remember sitting in youth group and listening to the sex talk. I feel like it was beaten into my head that guys are constantly thinking about sex and how it is a big problem, and girls are inherently emotional and we let ourselves get too attached too quickly. I remember sitting there and thinking, “Is there something wrong with me because I think about sex and struggle with this?” Absolutely not, but I will admit that when I rebelled against legalism (within Christianity) in college, sexual rebellion was the first way I (in a very backwards way) proved God’s grace to myself. My mentality was sort of, “see, I just did what I used to think was one of the worst things I could do, and God still loves me.” While it is true that God still loves me, despite my sin, there were definitely consequences to my actions. Those consequences were mostly in my relationship with God; it was quite a journey getting to this point where I feel like I finally get how to balance living in grace while upholding GOD’S commands (I got pretty caught up in legalism prior to my rebellion because I realized that I was trying to please people. What caused me to realize that made me pretty disgusted with myself.) I never questioned God, just why I had made all of the decisions I made in my youth.

    I’m sorry that I just wrote you a novel! Apparently I had some things to get off my chest! Thank you for the opportunity!

    Reply
    • What you said about your sexual rebellion in college proving God’s grace? You’re basically telling me my own story. :) It’s not the way I would choose for my daughter to figure things out, for sure, but from my perspective now, I’m grateful that I’ve had the experiences I’ve had. There are so many women who have similar stories to mine, and are struggling to see where God was in all of that junk, and I have a unique and personal way of interacting with them, because I’ve been through similar things.

      Thank you so much for your insight, and for sharing a bit of your story. I get more out of it than you know. :)

      Reply
  27. Anonymous

     /  July 3, 2012

    The only positive response you’re going to receive from this is from other people just like you, who agree with you and haven’t seen the movie or read the book and don’t plan to. All others you will repel. A post like this, that you felt you “could’t not write” is pretty pointless.This is in no way helpful. From someone who questions what she believes right now and is seeking out answers, you make me want to run away from the church and run fast. I understand to be a “real Christian” takes a lot of restraint but if you are saying I shouldn’t be watching a fun movie like Magic Mike or reading 50 shades of grey (which has improved my sex life with my husband), then I want nothing to do with Christianity. My issues with Christianity are this: 1. I see people go to church on Sunday and waive their Jesus flags but sin far worse than me. They have sex out of wedlock, have babies out of wedlock, get drunk etc…all things the bible says not to do. They are only Sunday christians and luke warm as the bible calls it. Or 2. They are uptight self righteous Christians that make Christianity look unattainable. If this is directed to your “Christian sisters” then print it out and pass it around at your church. You shouldn’t post it on your Facebook wall and on the internet knowing many other “non christians” will see it and then act surprised when you catch some heat and say “Hey it was only for the Christian ladies out there”. It comes off very self righteous and condemning and will not be beneficial to anyone considering becoming a Christian or returning to Christ. I can see why you would argue not to watch Magic Mike, although I completely disagree, I can understand it. But 50 shades of grey is a harmless novel. All romance novels are. You are reading something that is sexually arousing and often times reading it at night while you sit next to your husband. You create the images of the characters in your mind and get lost in a hot and steamy love story. And I don’t think any women after reading a romance novel will want to have an affair and who are you lusting after? A character you made up in your mind? Most if not all women will turn to their husband to release that sexual energy. This book is widely popular because it is notoriously helping ramp up sex lives between married couples. This is not something that should be condemned.

    Reply
    • I’ve already heard from several people who initially felt that I “stepped on their toes,” but were glad to have some light shed on an issue they might not have otherwise realized. So you can tell me that it’s not helping people, but there are people right in this comment stream, and on facebook, and on twitter, and in my email, that would argue otherwise.

      I’m sorry that the idea of restraint makes you want to flee the Church, but you have to understand that practicing restraint is not my idea, it’s God’s, and it doesn’t come easily to me either. It’s a struggle. But if you love God, and you know that he only wants what is best for you, then it follows that you will do your best to be obedient to his guidelines for your life. You do this because you love God, NOT because you’re looking to out-Christian other Christians.

      “Sunday Christians,” as you called them, upset me as well. But your statement that they are sinning “worse than you,” is telling. We are all sinners, equally, and though it is natural to be frustrated at the hypocritical nature of believers, it is unjust to say that their sins are “worse” than your own.

      The Christian community exists outside the boundaries of any church, and even though I may not know all of my sisters in Christ personally, they are equally valuable, and are equal members of the community. Beyond that, this is my blog, and you retain no editorial control. I’m free to write whatever I feel called to write, and I would never dream of showing up at your blog and telling you you shouldn’t post things there.

      You said “You shouldn’t post it on your Facebook wall and on the internet knowing many other “non christians” will see it and then act surprised when you catch some heat and say “Hey it was only for the Christian ladies out there.”” I’m not “acting surprised.” It’s plainly obvious that I’m speaking directly to Christian women, so why would someone with differing spiritual beliefs apply what I wrote to themselves? Like I said to someone earlier, I totally hear what you’re saying regarding coming off as self-righteous. Maybe when you hear what I have to say, you’ll change your mind. Or not, that’s okay too. There’s a saying among writers that says “write what you know,” as in, don’t write about things you are unfamiliar with, because you can’t speak authentically or authoritatively on the subject. I “know” Christian women, because I am one. I wouldn’t write anything directed at Muslim women, or Jewish women, or Atheist women, because I’m not one, and I cannot speak with any sort of conviction or authority to them. Christian women are what I know, so that’s why I singled us out. That does not mean that I hold us in a higher regard, it’s just that I would never DREAM of telling a Muslim woman, or a Buddhist woman that she’s not representing her faith well. If you want to continue calling me self-righteous and condemning, that is strictly your decision, as I’ve made it very clear what my intent is.

      Those that identify themselves as Christians are called to represent God to the world; openly celebrating sexual objectification, and indulging in pornography are incongruent to that calling. It is not unusual for people to attempt to justify behaviors that they’ve grown attached to, and that’s exactly what is happening in the case of Christian women and 50 Shades/Magic Mike. Rather than concerning themselves with their identity in God, they’re more concerned in maintaining their personal comfort and keeping their “habits of the flesh.” I am not judging that. I have wrong habits, too. And if I have wrong habits that I’m for whatever reason unaware of, I would hope that one of my friends would reveal it to me, because they love me and that want me to remain healthy. When you love people, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and acknowledge problems that are unhealthy, and they are free to reject your help.

      Reply
    • Thank you for your response as it does clear something up for me. As a male, I have some personal experience with pornography. I know that for me as a man, when I looked at pornography it created a picture in my mind that aroused me. When I would take that arousal to my wife, I had that picture in my mind, and even though my body was making love to my wife, my mind was not. As a christian I realized that this was contrary to Jesus adononition that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already in his heart.

      My only reservation was not whether this was true, as it certainly was in my case, but was it true for women also? Not being a woman, I wasn’t certain. However, you response has certainly cleared that up for me. To quote from your response: “You are reading something that is sexually arousing and often times reading it at night while you sit next to your husband. You create the images of the characters in your mind and get lost in a hot and steamy love story. And I don’t think any women after reading a romance novel will want to have an affair and who are you lusting after? A character you made up in your mind?” Wow, what a perfect expalanation. If you are creating an image in your mind that is the driver of your arousal, then that would certainly seem to be a good indication that both men and women respond similarly to such stimuli.

      The consequesnces of this go far beyond whether it is sin or not, but to both immediate and long term consequences.

      Regarding the immediate consequences, I am certain that my wife would be devestated if I told her I wasn’t really seeing her at that moment, but the image in my mind of another woman, whether real or imagined. Of course, I could keep that information to myself, so as not to hurt her feelings, but then, how is that representative of an open and honest relationship?

      This would mean that those who seem to be priding themselves an such an open an honest sexual relationship, are in fact deliberately walking in an agreed deception, to not acknowledge the truth to one another that using pornography to “spice up” their relationship is in fact lusting after others in their thought life, whether those others are real or imagined. Thus, the stated open and honest sexual realtionship where pronography is used for arousal is nothing more than a deception, meaning of course that it is the exact opposite of what they are believing that they have acheived.

      Why would any of this matter though, if, as you say, it is “…helping ramp up sex lives between married couples. This is not something that should be condemned.”? One only has to look at the long term consequences to get a clearer picture.

      Regarding the long term consequences, I have counseled many men who are now dealing with ED, because of years of using pornography and objectifying women. How can this be? Because, as has been stated before, most of our spouses, both men and women, are not the perfect human speciman that we create either ficticiously in our imagination, nor that we see in the photos and dvds. And even those of us that have been blessed to have a nearly perfect specimen as a spouse, will inevitably encounter the day when those looks and perfect skin and body proportions begin to fade, and/or age. At that point, if you have created this addiction for yourself, where your arousal is based upon super stimulation from the perfect fantasy, and the perfect image, you will soon find that your body will no longer respond to normal sexual stimuli, and ED sets in. This will cause the addiction to fester and grow, ever seeking more risky and more abnormal sexual stimulea, in order to acheive what used to be easy and natural. This often can result in the fantasizing and images of aberrant behavior, and the victimization of others, especially children, or those unable to defend themselves.

      Such images and fantacies have been the ultimate cause of vast amounts of desruction, both in marriages, and victimization in our modern world. It is not an accident, that a divorce rate hovering at 50% has become commonplace during the same time that pornography has become commonplace. The one feeds the other.

      To which point I would add in closing, that even this statistic is a deception, the one that says that 50% of marriages end in divorce. That is true, but only because those that have multiple marriages are counted for each individual marriage as a failure in the statistic. The truth is, that 70% of first marriages succeed. It is the remaining 30% that have multiple marriages that reduce the average for the entire pool of marriages. That means that monogamous marriage is a much more attainable goal than much of our jaded society has been lead to believe. In order to keep ones marriage, staying away from such input is vastly important, and this applies to both christians and non-christians.

      Peace…

      Reply
    • JAM

       /  July 5, 2012

      @anonymous:
      You stating information about “Sunday Christians”, only shows that those people are just that. “all the time Christians”, will always act the same way & give out the same advice & all the while be “waiving their JESUS flag”.
      She new she would get slack for posting what she felt, she just asked that you “NOT” be rude.
      If you have every right to post whatever you want on the internet or whatever, then so does the writer of this blog.
      I give her HUGE props for writing how she felt & what was on her mind.
      Not everyone does that especially Christians, because they are afraid of being persecuted.

      Reply
    • While I am no literary critic, reading the post from Anonymous, the writing seems very similar to Victoria’s writing, although not as diplomatic. It’s interesting that in Victoria’s comments she referred to a nameless, faceless character that may be a Christian questioning his belief and voila, here is one who is repeating a lot of what Victoria has already said. I’m no Matlock, Columbo or Monk, but it just read a little fishy.

      Reply
    • Alissa

       /  July 6, 2012

      Dear Anonymous – you state “You create the images of the characters in your mind and get lost in a hot and steamy love story. And I don’t think any women after reading a romance novel will want to have an affair and who are you lusting after? A character you made up in your mind? Most if not all women will turn to their husband to release that sexual energy.” That is part of the problem. Though the “who” you are lusting after is “a character you made up in your mind”, it is NOT your husband. And even though a woman may “turn to their husband to release that sexual energy”, she lusted after someone else (a fictional character , in this case), which is biblically equivalent to adultery. If you choose not to be a Christian, no one expects you to live by Biblically based Christian standards. But for those who do CHOOSE to be Christians, there is a standard (set by God) to live by. No Christian can live up to the standards fully, which is why God sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin – the basis of Christianity. God gave us Free Will. You get to choose. But once you choose Christianity, you choose all of it, difficult or not. Thoughtful, caring reproach by fellow Christians (such as Melissa’s) may sting a bit, but is both biblical and necessary for spiritual growth. Gentle reproach and/or admonition is not the same as judgement and/or condemnation. No, the Christian church is not perfect; its made up of broken individuals. Look around – You will find hypocrites in every organization made up of people, not just the church. Most of us have our hearts in the right place, even though we mess up sometimes. I hope you will find the church family that God has planned for you. I will be praying that you will.

      Reply
  28. dotpalmer

     /  July 3, 2012

    I am thanking my friend who posted this link on her Facebook page. I kept seeing 50 Shades of Gray as a best seller on my Kindle, but didn’t know what it was about. Now I know that it is something I won’t waste my money on. Terri Blackstock has some Christian novels that include chaste romance, And they are very well written. Let’s celebrate the Godly love between a woman and a man. Thanks for writing this.

    Reply
  29. After reading all of the comments and your replies, I have nothing more to add except to say thank you. I have thought time and time again about saying something on Twitter or FB about how I don’t understand why Christian women are jumping on the 50Sg and MM bandwagon but was always too afraid of the backlash. I just know it’s wrong for us as Christian women to support that kind of media. But I’m not very eloquent and you’ve done such a fantastic job of writing about it. I’ll be sharing this post on my social media sites. Thank you again.

    Reply
    • I’m flattered that you think I did a good job of writing it. We’re all our own worst critics, right? I re-read it this morning, and thought “I can’t believe I published that!” I feel like I could do a better job of writing it today, even though I only posted it a couple of days ago. Anyhoo, I really appreciate your encouragement, and I’m happy that you could identify. It’s hard to feel like the only one thinking a certain thing, while so many others are of a different mind. :/

      Reply
  30. LL

     /  July 3, 2012

    Very brave and well-done.

    Reply
  31. LL

     /  July 3, 2012

    Very brave and well done!

    Reply
  32. You get the prize for BOLD & PASSIONATE about Truth, Nobility & Honor. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  33. I didn’t even know what Magic Mike was until reading this….now I vaguely remember a preview at Hunger Games??? That said…..My first thought, having not seen the movie, was the standard ladies/girls that do see set for their man….I have 2 20′something sons….is keeping that body achievable? Is that what they want their potential wife to see? Just the outside? OK gotta go blog my thoughts

    Reply
  34. southtexaspistolero

     /  July 3, 2012

    Great post, with points that are just as valid from a secular perspective as a religious one. As I said over at my own blog, theists can’t be the only ones who have their marriages destroyed by pornography — and I am certain theists, atheists & anti-theists can all agree that objectification of men is just as wrong as objectification of women.

    Reply
  35. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Yes & Amen to this post!

    Reply
  36. thank you for speaking openly & honestly about this. i appreciate you & other bloggers speaking up for Christians & the Christian perspective. i still say, if i won’t go to a strip club, why will i go watch a movie about that? besides that, Matt Bomer, who i used to like, just “came out”. a double reason i won’t support this movie.
    Rachel

    Reply
    • Abby

       /  July 5, 2012

      So you no longer support him because he came out? Out of all the comments I’ve read, this one disturbs me the most. We all deserve love and support no matter our beliefs or choices. Doesn’t Jesus encourage that?

      Reply
  37. I was just discussing this same thing on my fb wall yesterday and you are right, no one likes the truth. But it must be said.

    Reply
  38. Kimmie

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you so much for your post. I recently spoke against both of these on my Facebook. Criticism? A lot of it. I was called judgemental, “holier than thou”… told I should not use scripture to make people feel convicted. I appreciate other Christian women speaking out even when they don’t want to. I am confident that I am called to lift my sister’s in Christ up and help to hold my “inner circle” accountable. It’s a shame that people live in such “offensive” modes that when you “call them out”–they shun you! Thank you again, and my prayers are with you (and please pray for me) as we withstand the persecution for stepping out and speaking up!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

       /  July 3, 2012

      Not use scripture to make people feel convicted, really? Good for you for standing up for what you believe is right!

      Reply
    • I’m sorry you’re on the receiving end of all of that ugliness, too. It’s surprising, huh? Coming from Christian sisters? And I’m with Tiffany– scripture is the only thing we SHOULD use to encourage people to feel convicted. Of course, only God can do the convicting, but we’re all blessed to carry his word, and that’s all we’ve got. I will absolutely pray for you to continue to be blessed with God’s truth, and to speak out with courage and boldness. :) HUG!

      Reply
  39. Ashley Riopel

     /  July 3, 2012

    I realize at this point you’ve had MANY people tell you ‘thank you’ and that this is a wonderful post, but everyone loves a little pat on the back. :) So, let me say; Thank you, and this is a wonderful post. You took everything I felt and wrote it down comprehensively in a way I never could. You have a beautiful gift for writing. Thank you a million times over.

    Reply
    • I’m very flattered that you think I have a gift for writing. I really do enjoy doing it, but it only ever comes out good when it is inspired. I did not hear the audible voice of God or anything, but I definitely felt convicted to write this, and once I did, it felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders, and I could finally go back to my normal life and stop thinking about Magic Mike. :) So, thank you very much for your encouragement. You’re right– everyone DOES love a little pat on the back. Especially when they’re feeling a little unconfident.

      Reply
  40. Terry Sutton

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you Melissa for saying perfectly what so many women, like myself feel about this book and this movie. In my opinion, They are both unacceptable choices for anyone who calls themselves a Christian. I appreciate yoy voicing the truth.

    Reply
    • Melissa

       /  July 3, 2012

      Terry – As Christians, we are called on to be above judgement, as the Bible clearly states. Saying “anyone who calls themselves a Christian” makes me feel judged without acception. My heart hurts for those out there who suffer under that type of scrutiny by our sisters in Christ. It is neither my or your place to question anyones relationship with Christ, regardless of if we approve or think it something they do is ungodly.

      As some have voiced on this blog…especially those struggling with their beliefs, we end up doing the opposite of what Christ clearly calls on us to do.

      I agree that we, Christians, need to be role models and live godly lives, but that includes loving all, regardless of their choices.

      This comments is not meant to be argumentative, just an expression something that gives me concern about how we as Christians come across to those we can clearly witness to and bring closer to Christ.

      Reply
      • Melissa, while I understand your sentiment and can agree with it to an extent, your underlying assumption is that admonition negates love. When my 18 year old daughter who is in nursing school (she started college when she was 16) is slacking on her studies I admonish her to tighten up. That is because I love her. We admonish people we love. If we did not love them then we would be apathetic, which is the opposite of love. If my brother (biologically speaking, not just religiously speaking) neglects his family then it is out of love that I may tell him that he isn’t being a very good father or husband. It isn’t because I judge him as a person. Loving others does not mean that we remain apathetic to things that are destructive in their lives.

        Reply
        • Thank you for this reminder. I’m too sleepy to do your comment justice, but thank you. I know what you said is true, but it’s hard to remember that when people talk about admonishment as if it’s equal to hate.

          Reply
  41. Awesome post!! I have been shocked at the women going to see this.. I sure wouldn’t want my husband seeing a movie about women strippers I certainly will not watch one about men.
    Pornography is very addicting and just like anything else takes more and more to achieve the”high”…
    Thank you for your post!

    Reply
  42. Jasie

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you for posting this. I too am not one to “get a rise” out of people, but I couldn’t keep from saying something the other day either on my FB page. I suppose the people who disagreed with me kept quiet and probably just blocked me from their newsfeed, but some of my Christian sisters took a stand with me:). I know that an earlier comment asked why you had so much to say about “Christian women,” and I actually want to thank you for separating the two bc I think that makes a big difference. As Christians we are supposed to and are actually commanded to hold one another accountable to the Word of God. Dare I say that we are actually called to “judge” other believers. If we actually delt with sin the way the early church did according to the Bible, people would really have some harsh things to say!! We can’t judge and hold “the world” accountable to the Word bc to them it’s just foolishness. I would be bold enough to say that how you regard the Bible would actually be a true testament to your Christianity. We can’t just believe part of it or just see it as some good ideas when it works for us. My brother is a pastor and we both are very passionate about the church rising up to be the church again instead of preaching a gospel that cheapens grace and tickles our ears. He said in a sermon a couple of weeks ago something so simple but profound. He said, “The Word of God was set in place long before your opinions were formed.” Our opinions must line up with the word. When the truth is spoken in love and not in the name of being accusatory, but in the name of not wanting to see your friends fall by the way side, and by offering up solutions and help to put each other back in the right direction according to the Word, the church is acting as it was designed to work. What happens when that is done is the thig that happened with the Christian woman by the name of “Katie” who commented earlier. You spoke the truth, called your sisters to a higher standard, and she, knowing this was done out of passion and love for Christ was led to a place of repentence, realizing the Lord was changing her heart. So beautiful. I want to say that I am not someone who goes around preaching at people either. I do not like conflict or confrontation, but I believe that healthy confrontation is needed. It would do no good to go to a Dr. and for him to know I had cancer or any other disease that is killing me, and for him to send me away thinking I’m ok bc he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. That would be absurd! He also wouldn’t tell me the news and then tell me I was on my own to figure it out. No, he would offer me every possible solution to the problem, walk me theough each step, and get others on board that could help. I think it’s the same for us as Christians. When we see things that are killing our brothers and sisters in Christ, we must tell them, then offer a solution for them, and have others rally around them for support so that we can continue to grow in decipleship. Thanks for calling us to a higher standard:)

    Reply
    • “The Word of God was set in place long before your opinions were formed.” Wow. You’re right. Super-simple, but totally profound. Doesn’t it seem like we’re (Christians) trying to fit the Bible to our opinions and desires, and not the other way around? Thank you so much for your encouragement, and for hearing the heart of my intent. I wonder sometimes, if people just don’t want to hear? Like, they’re willfully plugging their ears? And I really liked your doctor analogy– I’m going to remember that for future conversations. :)

      You said you and your brother are “both are very passionate about the church rising up to be the church again instead of preaching a gospel that cheapens grace and tickles our ears,” and that really hit home for me. I love my home-church, but I often feel as if our sermons are simply placating people, and not actually challenging people to rise up and actually reflect Christ to the world. :/

      Reply
  43. Joy

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I (and my husband – who read this post with me and heartily agrees) appreciate your insight and your way with words.

    Reply
  44. Good job. Just a word about “judging”. If we believe we can not speak out against evil for fear that someone participating in that evil will say we are judging them we won’t speak. And that would be a huge disservice to the body of Christ. How can you judge someone you have never met, spoken to, or even heard of? Certainly warning your sisters in Christ about a sinful trap the world has laid that would harm them is a good thing, not a judgmental thing.

    Reply
  45. I wrote about Fifty Shades of Grey on my marriage blog recently and then someone told me about this movie. Sigh…I feel like I’m beating my head against a wall. When in the world did discretion go out of style?!?! Thanks for writing about this. Definitely sharing with my readers as well.

    Reply
    • Right? The way people react, it’s almost as if “discretion” is a swear-word! I know it’s not “cool” to use discretion, but we’re not called to be “cool,” are we? I’m going to iStalk you now and look up your post about 50 Shades. :)

      Reply
  46. First time here on your blog (which is quickly going viral) and I just have got to chime in to say ”way to go, sister!” Seriously. Your thoughts have been my own for weeks now. Stay strong in Him and thank you for your courage. <3

    Reply
  47. Thank you for sharing about this! Just popped over on the recommendation of a friend, and am glad I did! I wrote (and didn’t want to) my own thoughts on the subject here: http://kristinsveranda.com/vignettes/2012/06/05/fifty-shades-of-grey-and-an-outfit/ — You are most definitely not alone.

    Reply
    • Good for you! I’m on my way to check out your post. I’m going to go ahead and quote Alisha, above: “Blessed is he or she that is persecuted for His name sake!” Because even though I haven’t read your post yet, I know you’re going to face some opposition.

      Reply
  48. Alisha Slay

     /  July 3, 2012

    I couldn’t agree more with this post! As a Christian, we are called to stand for truth. Satan loves to mask temptation and blur the lines between right and wrong. I’m thankful that God laid it upon your heart to stand for truth. Blessed is he or she that is persecuted for His name sake! May God bless you! As a wife and a mother and a Christian, I’m standing with you!

    Reply
    • Ah, you put it perfectly! “Satan loves to mask temptation and blur the lines between right and wrong” I’m writing that down so I don’t forget how to say what I’m trying to say succinctly. :) A thank you SO much for your words of encouragement. I love that we are bonded together as sisters in Christ, even though we don’t actually know each other. It strengthens me to know that I am not alone! And may God bless you! <3

      Reply
  49. Thank you so much for speaking candidly about this subject! Both the movie and the book are absolutely unacceptable!!! For women period! Not just Christian women. I too am appalled at the amount of Christian women talking about this. :/ So sad. Satan is surely here to destroy.

    Reply
    • Someone earlier made the comment that “God created many things that have turned away from His original intention for them. Sin puts a twist on the beauty of ALL of God’s creation,” and I thought that hit the nail on the head. Satan takes a beautiful thing, perverts it, and slowly but surely gets us to accept it as part of our culture. It’s clear that this conversation has been a long time coming.

      Reply
  50. As a Christian who read the books, with my husbands permission, and enjoyed the story… I disagree with your judgement of the books. You haven’t read them, so you don’t know what it’s about. The writing isn’t the greatest, and the sex scenes get boring. (I skipped through them after a while) But there is nothing wrong with having a kinky sex life- even as Christian Women!! What’s the difference between reading a sex manual or heck, even Songs of Solomon? If people feel reading it is a sin and will hurt their marriage, by all means, do not do it. But I don’t think proclaiming to the world why you won’t read it makes you any more of a Christian than anyone else. It helped my marriage a lot. Not just because it gave me ideas, but it led me to research other things (that don’t need to be discussed, but many Christian women are having issues similar. They just don’t talk about it or research it because we feel like we shouldn’t. The characters in Fifty Shades of Grey were in a monogamous relationship. Everything was consensual. I won’t ever look down on another woman for reading it. In fact, I bet she’s having fun with her husband tonight!

    By the way, I’m not trying to be mean at all. I just think these little things are causing a lot of tension among Christian. I don’t think other women should be made to feel shame for being sexual creatures, as long as it is with their husband.

    Reply
  51. It saddens me to read the comments on here about how women think watching or reading this kind of stuff is ok. I am a Christian women and I feel the calling of God to act according to His Word. My marriage is a blessing. I couldn’t fathom my husband reading or watching something like this. I would honestly feel cheap to have him come to our bed after these images were put in his head and try to act out what he read or saw. He’s not thinking of me. I may be there in the physical sense but pornography helps your spouse ‘see’ other women or men, not you! God says in the Bible that you commit a sin even by thinking of someone other than your spouse.

    But to truthfully state that pornography doesn’t hurt your marriage is dead wrong. You sitting next to your husband reading this book and then turning to him for ‘release’.. really? Your husband should be ‘the reason’ you are excited in the first place.. not an image you concocted in your head from reading a story or watching a movie. We live in a culture where sex is everywhere. Did you think that maybe the reason our country is at a 50% divorce rate is because we live in a sexually saturated society! You can’t turn on the TV, read a magazine, or walk down the street without seeing sex everywhere. We don’t ‘need’ to stay married to the same person because we can continue to get what we want from many people. This is not God ordained at all. It’s Satan ordained!

    If you had a ‘healthy’ relationship like some have posted here then you wouldn’t need ‘eye candy’ to get in the mood. I have been married almost 15 years. We have a committment that we won’t use this kind of stimulation in our marriage. We believe whole heartedly that this kind of stuff is a sin. I want only the image of my husband in my head when I go to sleep at night or when we are ‘together’. Anything else is a disgrace to our God ordained marriage.

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have seen so many of my Christian friends reading this series and talking about this movie. It saddens me how today’s society is so engolfed in our own personal desires that they can’t see the ultimate demise of our culture, country, marriage and ourselves. A sin is a sin no matter what you say. God doesn’t have a chart stating what sin is little and what sin is big. They are all sins in His eyes. Pornography, murder, rape, stealing, lying.. All equal sins in the eyes of God. All needing forgiveness from our Father.

    I am so happy to see other Christian sisters taking a stand and pointing out that these things are not ok, and ultimately not acceptable in the eyes of God. Bravo!

    Reply
    • The “healthy” in quotations mark is condescending. Who are you to judge what happens in another persons marriage, or bedroom? I have read Songs of Solomon with my husband and then we have sex. Am I wrong to get turned on by that?

      Reply
      • I only put ‘healthy’ in quotations because that was being used throughout everyone’s comments. I only voiced my opinion on this matter. You have your opinion and I have mine. That doesn’t make me right or you right or wrong. You can say or do whatever you see fit in your life, I don’t feel like I’m being condemning to anyone. Again, voicing my opinion like you are.

        Reply
        • Erin

           /  July 6, 2012

          yes, but in your opinion you say it troubles you that people think reading this stuff is ok. to imply that it isn’t is rather judgemental in my eyes. it troubles me when people feel compelled to admonish people just because they do something you don’t agree with. you don’t like the book (i didn’t either, by the way, horrible writing) don’t read it. don’t tell me i can’t or that it’s “not ok” if I do. judging others is not very “healthy” in my mind.

          Reply
          • Aimee

             /  July 10, 2012

            I don’t think she was admonishing people…if she were doing that she would be saying “if bothers me that YOU read or watch certain things.” I think the sentiment behind those words is that soft Christianity is bothersome….wishing more people would stand up for what she believes is right according to her own personal convictions coupled with the truths of the Bible that are not shades of grey.

            Reply
  52. Jari

     /  July 3, 2012

    AMEN!!! I agree with you about the book and the movie. I think our culture has been overly exposed to sex and it is in a negative way. Sex is supposed to be for a married man and woman, and in the ideal of sharing each others love and also having children. I think that Satan is working really well, because alot of Christian women are engaged in these books and movie.

    Reply
    • Yes! I think people call this “Boiling frog syndrome,” as in, if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water, and slowly raise the temperature, the frog stays in and gets cooked to death. I think what the enemy is doing is slowly turning up the temperature on what we deem is acceptable, and before we know it, we’ll be in “boiling water.”

      Reply
  53. Dear Melissa-
    I only have ONE disagreement with this post. It is in the first line when it says: “This post will not make me any friends”. I don’t think that is true. I would LOVE to be your friend : ) This whole thing has been very much on my heart and mind. It makes me feel sick to my stomach to see women thinking these things are harmless. When I read your words, it was like the words that have been swirling around in my head were right in front of me on the computer screen. I am so thankful for this!! I would love to sit down and write these things out and share them, but I am at a point in my life (5 children ages 5, 3, 2, 2, and 3 months) that I don’t have the luxury of time spent to clearly articulate the thoughts of my heart (on this and many other things) in a thorough and careful way. So to be able to read this and agree with it wholeheartedly and then share it with others is quite encouraging. I am proud to call you my sister in Christ and would love to call you friend. I am excited to have come across your blog and will hopefully be able to find time to read more! Praying that the Holy Spirit will continue to give you words of TRUTH and GRACE as you continue to be obedient to what you’re called to share.
    Love from a sister in Jesus- Dani

    Reply
    • Awww, Dani…You made me teary. I hate to admit it, because I feel like such a softie, but really, what you said really touched me. I remember when my little one (my only child, so far) was 3 months old, feeling like I might never find the time to write again. Bless you! You have FIVE children, and here you are, encouraging a stranger and lifting her up! What a woman! I know I don’t know you, but I admire your spirit, and I hope that if/when my family grows, I’ll have the grace to take time out of my day and extend love to other women. Thank you for your kind words, your prayers, and wanting to be my friend. (I’ll be in the market for some more friends if talks keep descending the way they are on my Facebook page. Haha. Only I’m only half kidding. :/ )

      Reply
  54. I’d also like to add, that my husband and i used to watch soft porn together… but I was never attracted to the man or fantasizing about the people in the movie. and my husband usually had his eyes on me the whole time. :) I think an *addiction* to porn is wrong. Fantasizing about someone other than your spouse is wrong… but if my husband and I were watching a movie and a sex scene came on, I wouldn’t make a huge deal about it. I know my husband and I know myself. Porn isn’t a temptation for us. I don’t think reading about sex is the same thing as porn… if that was the case, then we shouldn’t read some parts of the bible.

    I think whatever we do in our bedrooms is up to us, just as long as it’s between a husband and wife.

    Reply
  55. Laura

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thanks for sharing. This is my first time seeing your blog. I saw this post on a friend’s FB page. I am sure it was hard for you to put into words how you feel when the majority of people disagree with you. Thank you for the reminders that you stated above……..

    Reply
  56. Thank you for this post. You are NOT alone in your sentiments about either of these things and I agree. Happy to be unpopular with you. I can’t look at my children and ask them to live lives of integrity when I am blowing away mine (even if it is only in my mind). Praying for protection and blessing over you and your family as you stand for the truth and integrity.

    Reply
  57. Holy cow… Some interesting and provocative comments here, and I confess I haven’t taken the time to read through them all, because I only clicked over from a friend’s link in between working on projects.

    I haven’t seen Magic Mike, but I have a friend who saw it and enjoyed it. I agree with what you said about objectifying. Just because a husband and wife watch porn together doesn’t make it ok- you’re still using images of living breathing people to create a response for yourself, and those images stay with you and get in between what should be a completely intimate moment between two people. Sex is not a group sport… or at least, it’s not meant to be. Am I judging someone else for having a different idea than me? No. I’m speaking only for myself, and my choice not to watch those kinds of movies.

    As to 50 Shades… I am continually appalled at the raves and reviews it’s getting- not because of the content, but because it reads as if it were written by an emotionally crippled, illiterate preteen. It’s truly awful. I read extensively. I’m a writer and freelance editor, and I read and write fanfiction as a hobby. I’ve read a LOT of bad fiction, and 50 Shades reads like every badly written fanfiction I’ve ever read. The difference is, fanfiction is quite often written by 12-15 year olds who haven’t yet learned the art and craft of writing, so I’m FAR more tolerant of poor writing skills in that group. When I read a published book, I expect quality. It simply doesn’t exist in this book.

    Are we really so very desperately seeking SOMETHING in our sexuality as women that we’re willing to cling on to this bit of drivel, just because it’s got some sex in it?? If so, I am very sad for today’s women.

    JMHO, of course.
    Mary

    Reply
  58. Heather

     /  July 3, 2012

    I just want to let you know one more person agrees wholeheartedly with you! I love this article!!

    Reply
  59. Kaycee

     /  July 3, 2012

    Melissa, my heart goes out to you. I understand why you felt compelled to write this. I frequently find myself addressing similar issues and receiving some of the same negative feedback you’re getting. I feel very strongly about how our culture is steadily trying to make everything not only acceptable, but mainstream. Having two daughters, this concerns me. It’s to the point where I can’t go a day without having something I find objectionable forced down my throat. And the most frustrating part of all: being told we are not called to judge. I find that is the most widely used scripture from people who want to justify their own sin. It is the mantra of an “entitled” generation of people. This may not offer you any comfort, but I think you are brave for writing this, and I agree with what you’ve said. I will always appreciate someone who approaches an issue intelligently and with love, without attacking the opposition. I leave you with this….

    2 Corinthians 12:10
    That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Reply
  60. Bob Blair

     /  July 3, 2012

    There is a right way for every soul no matter what their “opinion” is. They have the words of the prophets just like we all do. Sad to say… too many do what is right in their own eyes as they justify their own short comings. Too easily and too often… we justify our own desires despite the supernatural laws of God… as Romans 1:25 says “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Read Romans chapter one…. it’s God’s Word… but you have a free choice to deny the truth and the consequences of ignoring it.

    Thank you Melissa for your brave stand.

    Reply
  61. Kat

     /  July 3, 2012

    THANK YOU!!! I mean seriously, I was beginning to think I was the only one with this opinion! I’m 23 and personally I can’t believe how popular these trashy things are with other girls my age who also want to portray a Christlike image! 50 Shades of Grey has the word “erotic” in the description. I mean, that right there should stop anyone even remotely interested in a Christian life. And strippers? Really? Because it’s only females who are “trashy” for being strippers.

    Reply
  62. An

     /  July 3, 2012

    Melissa, THANK YOU for this post. You were clearly touched by the HS when you wrote this. I often cringe when I see things like this fly around the internet, for so often the Bible is taken out of context and used to back one opinion or another, but this was TRUTH, pure and simple. We are called to be set apart, as followers as Christ. We should not look like the world! And thank you for reminding us that the devil IS prowling around, just waiting for a chance to trip us up. Thank you for caring enough to warn us so that he can’t continue sitting there, laughing as he pulls the wool over another of our Lord’s followers!

    I’m so impressed with how your original post was written, but also by how you’ve handled the questions and challenges. I’m proud to call you a sister in Christ and to see you stand up for us in a kind and loving way, continuing to speak truth. I don’t feel you came across as though you are judging anyone; you are simply warning your sisters in Christ, which we are called to do! Thank you for loving us enough to do so.

    Reply
  63. Rebecca D

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you for sharing in regards to both of these. I have seen “Magic Mike” mentioned several times on FB and had no idea what people were talking about. I know that for myself, I have to be careful with what I read and watch because what I put into my mind becomes a part of my thoughts for some time to come. God’s own word admonishes us to be cautious of such things. There are so many things I have read and watched as a teen and young adult that still haunt me at times. I can’t go back and undo those things, but I can be careful to obey God’s word today and the days to come. Thank you for taking a stand for what you believe is right.

    Reply
    • Loren

       /  July 5, 2012

      Rebecca – I’m in the exact same boat. I kept wondering about magic mike because everyone was posting about it. I also have to truly watch what I put in…as it also stays with me.

      MJ thanks of posting this in the first place. I’ve read through all the comments thus far nd I’m impressed with your boldness and truth!!! Thanks again!

      Reply
  64. Joeann

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thanks for stepping out on a limb and writing an excellent post. I have been thinking the same thoughts for us as Christian women. The verses you referenced are the same. We are naive if we think this will not affect us as Christian women or wives. God tells us that as women we are more easily deceived as Eve was (2 Cor 11:3) and not to be deceived bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33). “Bad company” can be in the form of books, movies, songs, people, anything that is going into our minds. I love Phil 4:8 as a standard. 1 Cor 2:15 states that we are to appraise or judge all things. Condemning? No, but in order to make right decisions by God’s grace. One of my favorite vs: Ps 19:14 May the Words of my mouth and the MEDITATION of MY HEART be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Thanks again for being a voice and blessings!

    Reply
  65. It’s refreshing to read your perspective. I agree whole-heartedly with you. It makes my heart glad to see that I am not alone. I refuse to read that book or see that movie. I don’t care if it makes me “un-cool”. That just means that whoever thinks me uncool shouldn’t be my friend anyway.

    Reply
  66. Bryanna

     /  July 3, 2012

    Woah! I almost burnt supper trying to read everything! lol! I can see His light shining through you. Your love for Him pours out of every word you write. Keep carrying your cross and following Him. He knows about the battles we face everyday. When He was on earth the Pharisees always tried to twist His words and to them they think they succeeded. However, He is risen victorious and He will reign forever!

    Reply
  67. Allison

     /  July 3, 2012

    AMEN! Thank you for being brave enough to write this! I am so confused by the fact that you have to defend your viewpoint. I guess I’ve always thought that saying “pornography is hurtful” within a Christian viewpoint was kind of a given. Apparently I’m wrong. It’s been interesting (and disheartening) to find that there are Christians that don’t know that.

    Reply
  68. Momo

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thanks so much for your post. I have been strongly convicted to avoid both. I have wanted to write an article, but just couldn’t put the words together. I am not a writer by any means. I have felt that these books and movie seem much like a modern day apple for Christian women. Everyone is talking about them. It just seems so tempting.

    Oh and by the way you seem pretty cool in my book ;)

    Reply
  69. Liz

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thanks for expressing these thoughts in public. Some of us are too chicken to do it. I agree with you completely. Unfortunately, not only are so many Christian women partaking in these things, but they are trying to justify their actions. That bothers me almost more than the fact that they read/watched these to begin with. When someone steps on our toes, we often go into defence mode. But what we really should do it take a good look at ourselves and decide if we are living the way we should.

    I have not one bit of interest in either the book or the movie. I know from personal experience how hard it is on a marriage to have even “a little” porn involved. Some may think that a little is ok, but it can quickly become a huge problem. There are many things that we think we can handle in life. “I can watch this, or listen to that and it won’t affect me, I know the difference between fact and fiction.” We let just a little in and it grows. That’s a huge danger that I think people not recognizing.

    {BTW, our marriage has healed from the porn, but although the scars have faded, they may not ever dissappear. That’s what happens folks.}

    Reply
  70. Denise

     /  July 3, 2012

    Very very well written! I posted the same type of feelings on my fb page and had similar reactions as you. So sad that these storylines are getting so much enthusiastic attention.

    Reply
    • Ggrox40

       /  July 3, 2012

      I completely agree with you. I have not read the book or seen the movie nor do I plan to. They both seem like porn to me and I want no part of it. As I explained to my daughter all these women seem to think these men in this movie are beautiful And she asked me if I thought so and I said I have not seen or talked to their heart. That’s what God looks at to determine beauty. Also to lust After another man would be adultery!!!!

      Reply
  71. Jen

     /  July 3, 2012

    Reading this and all the comments had made me glad I am not a Christian woman.

    Reply
    • Wow Jen, that makes me kind of sad. Not all Christians think sex is sinful. I sure don’t. I think it’s a beautiful gift God gave to us to express love, to have fun, to build intimacy and yes, to procreate. And no, not just the “missionary” position… there are so many creative and fun ways to enjoy one another.

      I do believe there are certain boundaries we’re told to keep, but reading the Bible, I see admonitions toward respecting oneself and others (not objectifying people), and taking care of ones’ spouse and putting them first in our lives (which, if BOTH partners do, creates a close, loving, abiding relationship). Never do I see where God says “don’t enjoy sex”. Duh. He made us with mouths to enjoy food, right? So does that mean we go out and stuff ourselves with every good-tasting thing we can find? Of course not. We strive for healthy choices, and yes sometimes that means saying no to things we’d like to say “yes” to… but often it means saying yes to things that are both good and satisfying and good for us… and, since I’ve been trying to make healthier eating choices, I’ve found more satisfaction in eating good and healthy foods than in the processed sugary junk. I think the same applies to our sexual appetites.

      Does being a Christian guarantee happiness or healthy relationships? Of course not. But I have seen cases in which Biblical truth transformed marriages, lives and yes, even sexual relationships.

      Guess what I’m saying is, don’t knock it til you try it. And don’t judge us all by the few.

      Reply
    • Ashley

       /  July 5, 2012

      seconded. i’m glad what happens in my bedroom – or anywhere else in the house we happen to be ;) – between my husband and i is our own business. no interest in the book (i’ve heard the writing is awful), i saw the movie with a good friend and had a great time laughing and blushing (dark theater, thank goodness). for too long women have been made to feel guilty or dirty for being sexual beings or having sexual desires or (god forbid) masturbating…i’m a health care provider and am amazed to see so many women and girls not using nuva ring because they’re uncomfortable placing it (and in the process touching) their own vaginas! girls shouldn’t be taught to be afraid of these feelings, but that they are a natural and beautiful part of becoming an adult woman and how to explore them safely. i believe both of these mediums are a safe way (although again with the writing and lacking story line of magic mike – not necessarily the most high quality way) for women to explore their sexuality and i don’t believe any woman should feel guilty for doing so. i respect you for living your beliefs but i don’t any person has authority to say where this stuff belongs in other women’s lives/sex lives/marriages.

      Reply
      • I’ve said this a few times already, but the comments section is about a mile long, so I don’t blame you for not seeing it. What I wrote has nothing to do with trying to stifle women’s sexuality. This post was written for Christian women. Christian women are called to live a life that honors God and reflects God’s character to the world. We cannot do that if we are glorifying the sexual objectification of men, or consuming pornography. Christian men are held to the same standard, and if Christian men were going around organizing “guys’ night out” to watch a movie about strippers, we’d quickly see the error in their ways. It’s a nasty double-standard that we’re accepting, as Christians, if it is okay for women to consume pornography and sexually objectify men, yet chastising men if they behave in kind. But bigger than that, what kind of image are we casting of God when we engage in those behaviors? What are we telling the world about who God is? Eventually we will be held accountable for how we represent God, and I wrote this because I love my sisters in Christ, and want to see them succeed, and live life they are called to live. (Which, for what feels like the thousandth time, includes amazing and mutually gratifying sex with their husbands.)

        Reply
  72. Virginia

     /  July 3, 2012

    Wonderful article! Thank you for your boldness!

    Reply
  73. Wow. Thank you for this!! You have put into words what I either couldn’t, or don’t have the guts to. I have been appalled at how many of my Christian girlfriends have gotten caught up in this junk. I mean, it really surprises me. Thank you so much for writing this. I am definitely sharing!!

    Reply
  74. Miranda

     /  July 3, 2012

    LOVE this! As a teen I read romance novels (which nowadays I believe to be a porn) and realize now how much those books clouded my view of the Godly husband-wife relationship. I had to completely put away those things from my possession but mostly my heart before I could open up to my husband entirely. “Others” (meaning characters from the stories I read) kept creeping up in my mind distracting me from the main attraction. It took a few years to clean and heal my heart from all that damage so I could enjoy the real thing. I am so grateful for Gods leading in that area because there was no one and I mean NO ONE pointing out to me what my problem was. God gave us a wonderful, fun, special gift.. and I almost missed out on it (thank YOU Holy Spirit!!!!) Young Christian women need coaching in this area. So many people are afraid of being labeled “judgmental” that they forget that God told us to admonish and sharpen each other. Yeah, its easier to ignore our convictions and go along with the crowd, but if a few people can be helped it is definitely worth the criticism. Sorry for my long comment… keep it up!

    Reply
  75. Joy

     /  July 3, 2012

    This is a good word, sister! I love how lovingly and graciously you have responded to the nay-sayers. Keep speaking the truth. Jesus said we’d be despised, ridiculed, hated, and even killed for his sake, so why are we surprised at opposition? Your post was very well-written to sisters in Christ and I pray it convicts where needed and encourages where heeded. Blessings!

    Reply
  76. Melodie Stiles

     /  July 3, 2012

    I thought for sure I was the only one who felt this way!

    Reply
  77. Thank you for writing this. I completely agree with everything you said and am glad that someone gave words to my thoughts. Keep on preachin’, sista!

    Reply
  78. Kathryn

     /  July 3, 2012

    I completely agree with every word you said. I am glad you have said the words I’ve been wanting to say. We serve an amazing God, and I think you are a brave, courageous woman to speak up about this! Proud of you!

    Reply
  79. Came here via Pinterest, and I just wanted to tell you to keep your head high! My friend and I were just talking about the perversion of intimacy in marriage (and how 50 shades and Magic Mike have sparked such recently) while walking this morning. It grieves me, honestly, to read some of the comments you’ve received here. Not because people are hateful, but because they are ignorant. Time and time again you’re told that you cannot know THE truth, but you can. Giving an unbeliever the Word does them no good, because they do not believe it as Truth and God’s word is meant for those who believe. This post is for Christian women, the ones who need to be admonished and held accountable to what God’s word says. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Those who do not believe God’s word as Truth can laugh, scoff, ridicule, and argue all they want. I like what you said to a previous commenter, about how she can’t expect to apply the same rules to her life as a non-Christian woman.

    God made intimacy within marriage something holy. It’s beautiful. It’s acceptable. It’s profitable. It’s FUN! And it needs no outsourced imagination to enjoy.

    These women who say they know Christ, yet advocate this filth need to read the Word.

    2 Corinthians 6:16-18 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…”

    Reply
  80. Zaneta Simpson

     /  July 3, 2012

    It is always interesting when God uses us for His purpose. Kudos! I have to admit I was looking forward to going and seeing MM next weekend with my sisters and a girlfriend but I am completely convicted by what you wrote. I believe I had been feeling the conviction for sometime but it wasn’t till I read your blog that I had to admit it. Thank you for being open to what God wanted said. Now I have to apologize to my husband.

    Reply
  81. I stopped reading the Bible because of all the sexy-sex and violence in it. Does it get “cleaner” at the end, or does it get dirtier and more violent? I’m almost in the New Testament, so no spoilers please I’m just asking for content. I don’t want any weird sex scandals or public executions or anything like that. Also, I’m afraid of horses that carry plagues, and eunuchs reading scandalous books of prophecy. I AM interested in cannibal-cults of the middle Roman Empire, so any suggestions you may have in that regard would be greatly appreciated. Thnxs in advance!

    Reply
  82. zachkoden

     /  July 3, 2012

    I’m about halfway through the Bible but I’ve given up reading because of content…it’s really violent and sad, and it’s full of weird sex acts. I’m wondering if I should keep going? I mean, does it get any better? Like, does it have a happy ending? I just don’t want to get to the end of the story and have the hero die, or there be some weird sex scandal, or a public execution (I TOTALLY stopped Game of Thrones after that episode, fyi) or weird eunuchs reading prophecies (weird/contrived plot device, right?), misogyny, or plague horses. NO SPOILERS. I just want to know if the content is too risque, I think I should just leave it alone. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Hazel Wright

       /  July 4, 2012

      you might have to plow through some unpleasant moments to get at the good stuff, but what you learn from it will more than make up for the test of faith you endure with all the sexualized passages—trust me, there are a ton of them in the New Testament. my husband and i even developed an interesting little role play based around the Good Book to get around those—i read him one of these passages, and if he starts to lift up heavenward i whip it back down and scold him roughly. we have never been a stronger pair.

      Reply
  83. Shannon

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you for addressing this topic. I read the 50 Shades series and wasn’t pleased with my decision to do so after the fact. There are no take backs, so I decided to commit to memory the feeling in my heart after reading the books, and have chosen to not see Magic Mike to prevent the icky feeling from resurfacing and to make more of an effort to glorify God in the choices that I make. I now understand that even entertainment can come between us and our relationship with God. I will be keeping a more watchful eye out for that type of entertainment from now on.
    Thanks again!

    Reply
  84. amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  85. While I commend you for sticking to your beliefs, I have to say that I think it’s unfair to sit back and label any woman that goes to see this movie, or one that reads the book, as un-christian or implying that the devil has a hold on them. This is one movie for women, compared to thousands of movies “for” men that objectify women and show them half naked or almost completely naked. Do you let your husband watch any of those “R” rated movies that show women’s breasts in them? Or that show women in a thong? Or ANY movie for that matter that depicts the act of sex? I think that the idea of living a complete Christian life devoted to God is great; however, we are sexual beings. If a God loving Christian woman wants to go see this movie, and then go home and rock her husbands world, why is that so bad? That does not make her any less of a Christian than you. It does not mean she does not love God or have respect for her beliefs or herself or her husband. I have several friends who are Christian who have read the book, and watched the movie and they are still the amazing God loving Christian women that I know. It has not changed them one bit. Also, lusting after a half-naked movie star is not adultery, to the person who said it was.

    Reply
    • Ronya

       /  July 6, 2012

      I’ve read every comment up to this point and I don’t think that I’ve read any that say that a person isn’t a Christian if they read this book or watch this movie. Not one of us has the right to judge a person’s salvation.

      I believe the point she (and many others) are making here, is that as believers we are called to a higher standard. Are we going to succeed perfectly? Heavens no. It’s impossible. But, does the fact that we’re going to fail mean that we are not to strive to be as Christ-like as we can be? No, on the contrary, with the help of the Holy Spirit, as we draw nearer to God, He will help us to be more and more obedient to His law. Therefore, if we are to strive to be more Christ-like, we need to examine the things that we do in this life and see if they are God pleasing – if they will help us draw nearer to God – if they will bring glory and honor to His name. Our purpose on earth is to bring glory to God. If we are doing something (anything) that does not lead to that end, then we need to check ourselves and consider if it needs to be removed from our lives. This blog post brings up the topic so that we can search our hearts and see if what we are doing is glorifying God.

      Who am I to say whether or not you can/should see a movie or read a book? I’m no one. But I serve the God of all mankind and He has set the bar high. I’m thankful to our courageous blogger for taking a stand and reminding us to consider our purpose.

      A couple of quick thoughts Tasha…you said “I have several friends who are Christian who have read the book, and watched the movie and they are still the amazing God loving Christian women that I know. It has not changed them one bit.” I am certain that you are right that they are still the amazing God loving Christian women, but I don’t see how you can know – especially across the span of all of them – that it has not changed them one bit. You are not privy to all of their thought life or all of the things that they struggle with. It’s possible that some may not be affected, but it’s just as possible that some have been and wouldn’t let on. For many people their thought life and their sex life are very personal. Although our best friend may share some thoughts, feelings, questions when we’re chatting, we will never know fully (nor should we) what she’s thinking or dealing with. Just a thought.

      And I have to respond to your last statement, “Also, lusting after a half-naked movie star is not adultery, to the person who said it was.” Matthew 5:28 speaks directly to this statement saying “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

      One other thought that has been recurring to me as I’ve read many of these posts…Many are commenting about reading a sex scene or seeing one acted out on screen and how they then are able to turn that desire to their spouse. I agree with other posters who have stated that that your spouse should be the one eliciting that reaction. But the question that it raised for me was, what about the single ladies, who don’t have a husband to turn to to express those feelings that were just stirred? Ladies (and gentleman) we need to be careful. Always seeking God first. As you truly seek His desire in this, what is He telling you?

      Reply
      • Melissa

         /  July 6, 2012

        @ronya
        I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. As Christian women we are held to a different standard.

        Maybe I am wrong for admitting this and some might feel I am encouraging others to read, I am not. I am just commenting on my experience.

        I have read the books…well I am in the middle of the third. I can honestly, with God as my witness, say that I was interested in the underlying story. I think I read the first two or three sex scenes and skipped through the rest of them. They did nothing for me…didn’t get me revved up or make me want sex with the character, much less run to my husband wanting him. I don’t feel that I have been profoundly affected by this series of books any more than another. I did enjoy the story. There is one…I promise. It all depends on the perspective and “glasses” you wear when reading this or anything for that matter.

        I do believe that I alone am the only one who can know if i can read this material appropriately.

        I would encourage anyone thinking of reading it to pray about it BEFORE diving in.

        If you are reading it to add spice or learn more about sex, i would suggest reading a Christian-based book about sex. Good Girls Guide to Sex is a great one. It did more to help my marriage bed than any fiction book.

        @ ronya I loved your response because it was filled with love and concern and heart. However, I’ve been following the responses to this blog entry for the past few days. I’ve been both proud and saddened by the words written by my Christian sisters. Yes, we are called to a highr standard and should encourage each other to live godly lives. But I’ve seen some of us on here refer to “so called Christian women”. That statement truly hurts my heart…and not because I take it personally. While your motive may be to cause self-reflection in our sisters, it can come off as passing judgement or questioning their faith. And maybe you feel that is ok. I disagree that God calls us to judge or question other’s faith. I do believe he calls us to seek him in all that we do, and encourage each other to live by the word of God…to me those are very different things. I encourage each of you to say a little prayer, as I did, as you write what you feel will encourage our Christian sisters.

        Love to you all.

        Reply
        • Ronya

           /  July 6, 2012

          HI Melissa…

          Thanks for your response. I do agree with you that we need to be very careful in how we phrase what is in our hearts to share. It is not helpful or God honoring to put others down, no matter who they are or what the reason.

          I also agree with you that we are not to judge or question other’s faith, in terms of salvation. We are however called to speak into the lives of believers with whom we have a relationship when they are outside of God’s will. We are called to shine light on (not judge) sin so that our brothers and sisters can see it clearly and hopefully choose to call out to Jesus and strive to live by the Word of God (or as you worded it “encourage each other to live by the Word of God.”).

          Reply
      • Tasha

         /  July 6, 2012

        Oh, I’m sorry. A “Higher Standard”. lol Please excuse me while I laugh continuously over and over again. I can speak for my Christian friends, because i do know them all personally and hang out with them on a day to day basis. I do know their hearts, because we speak openly and freely with each other. Apparently you seem to think that if a Christian woman reads a romance novel or an erotica novel, or sees a movie with guys showing their stomachs and dancing around on a stage is somehow going to transform a person into a deviant. There is nothing wrong with sexual desire. I do not condone cheating, mentally or physically, but I also do not think that reading this book or seeing this movie permits that act. Every person is different and if they have desires, Christian or not, about men other than their husband, they need help. I can sit here and say for myself that if I find another man attractive, that in no way makes me want to jump his bones. I am simply admiring a nice figure. I can also sit here and safely say that I find other women attractive. Does that make me a lesbian? No. It makes me human. I do not picture myself in sexual acts with gorgeous people. But that’s just me. Other women, Christian or no, might not be able to control those thoughts when they see a really attractive person and instead of cheating, which they know in their heart is wrong, they turn to their spouse. If they are picturing that person while engaging in sex with their spouse, they do need help. But those problems were there long before this book and this movie came out.

        You cannot shout out to the entire community of Christian women and say, “Hey, just because I find these works unhealthy, you should too” just because the person shouting it cannot control their desires. If a person is going to be a deviant, and go against God, they’re going to do it whether or not they see this movie and read this book. It’s in their nature. Some people need to fall and hit rock bottom before they realize. A book depicting sexual acts and a movie about male strippers is not going to make or break a person. Addictive personalities will. I don’t agree that the movie is “pornography”. To me, pornography is EXTREMELY graphic material SHOWING the act of sex, full on with male and female genitalia showing, whether or not it’s video or simply pictures. As far as the book is concerned, I have not read it. I probably will now so I can judge for myself. But I have read romance novels that have sex scenes in them. They weren’t graphic like people are suggesting that 50 shades is, but depicted sex all the same. Did that make me want to cheat on my husband? Nope. Did it make me have desires for other men? Nope. I’m not saying that it might not make someone else feel that way, but personally, it did not. In fact, it didn’t arouse me at all because I am not the type of person that needs to read or see things to do so. But again, we are all different. I cannot sit here and tell my friends, Christian or not, they should completely shun a book that talks about sex or a movie that shows half-naked bodies simply because I, myself, cannot control my desires (and I am not saying that is what is wrong with the author, it’s just an example). If you want to be in your “high standards” with God, then I think you should probably take a deeper look into yourself and figure out what it is that you, personally, need to do in order to achieve that. And as I say again, not everyone is the same. It’s terrible for Christians to sit here and “judge” other Christians loosely based on ideas they have for what it means to be on those “high standards”.

        I now challenge you to go back to your husband and truthfully ask him if he has ever had any lustful thought about another woman. But then you also need to define what “lustful” means to you. If he has, you should divorce him because after all, you believe it’s adultery. And you yourself, I’m sure you have probably thought there were some actors or a stranger on the street that was pretty hot. In that case, you’ve committed adultery according to the bible.

        Reply
        • mrskdavis

           /  July 6, 2012

          Hey there Tasha.. first of all let me say that I have friend who are Christians and have both seen the movie and read the books. I still love them the same and do not in any way think badly of them for doing so. I do not judge them for making that choice, nor do I anyone else. With that being said, I agree with everything said in this blog (I won’t go into that because the last thing I want to do is argue over the issue!) I would not encourage those of my Christian friends who have not already read the books or seen the movie to do so. Christians are called to live by a “higher standard”. If that offends you we can call it a “different standard.” That standard would be the one set forth in the Bible. The Bible is a Christian’s guide on how to live life. I know that I, as a follower of Christ, am called to live my life by that standard. I am called to try to be Christ-like. Am I perfect? Far from it! Do I still sin and make mistakes? Absolutely! I do try to only put into my mind things that are edifying to my relationship with the Lord. You are right that sexual desire is only human. God designed us to be that way. However, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express that. I do agree that you can admire a persons nice figure, male or female, without lusting over that person. If you can do that, I think that is fabulous, but because we are designed as sexual beings, many people (Christian or not) cannot do that. You are right again when you say that there are those who struggle with this so badly that they need help. I personally know some Christian men and women who struggle with sexual temptation and get counseling for it. I do completely agree that these problems were around before these books. I think all MelissaJenna is trying to do is to encourage her sisters in Christ to think about what they are putting into their minds, and to stay away from something that does not in any way benefit or build up their relationship, first, with the Lord, and also with their spouses. I hope you can understand and respect that.

          Reply
        • Ronya

           /  July 6, 2012

          I am not generally one to jump into the fray of these types of conversations, so therefore was trying to be extra careful in how I was responding, as to not offend, but rather give us something to consider.

          Forgive me for using words that apparently made me seem holier than thou because that was not my intention. When I said that God calls us to a higher standard, what I meant or was referring to was the laws that God put in place for us to follow. We are told in the Bible that living according to God’s laws will not be popular, that it will often go against what the world feels is okay. And yet He still expects us to do our best to follow his rules.

          I’m sorry that I put you on the defensive with my comments – it wasn’t intended. I still believe that no matter how well we know our friends, the only person that is privy to all of ours thoughts and feelings other than our friends themselves, is God. I didn’t intend to insinuate that you don’t know your friends well. I’m sure that you do and that they are grateful to have a friend that they can confide in. With that said though, no matter how well we know one another, it is impossible to know anyone fully.

          To be honest, I’ve gone back and reread my post and yours multiple times trying to see how you are interpreting what I wrote. I don’t believe that I specifically said anything against the book or the movie or anyone who has or hasn’t read/seen them, yet I’m personally being attacked in your response. It is a completely personal decision what a person chooses to spend their time on. I believe that as a follower of Christ that my actions should be weighed against His will for my life. As for reading romance novels, I do. But I realized a few years back that reading secular romance novels full of sex scenes wasn’t beneficial to my walk with the Lord, so now I have chosen to read only inspirational fiction (which I’ve learned I sometimes have to be careful with as well). Jesus wants a personal relationship with each of His followers. Some posters have commented that they have their husband’s approval – great! I’m just recommending that we get God’s approval as well, by asking Him. I’m not presuming to tell you how He’s going to respond to you. I’m just suggesting that we give Him the opportunity to have a say in our lives.

          I’m struggling here with not responding to all of your post. I feel as though I was attacked for things that I never said or even suggested. I understand as we read these posts how our thoughts all tumble together as we try to put our own thoughts in our post to make our point. I understand how my use of the terms “higher standard” pushed a button to start with, but other than that I don’t see how my response has been judgmental at all. Again, my suggestion is for each person to take this issue to God and see what He tells you. We personally have to make decisions and we are each at a different place in our walk with Christ (or outside of Christ). If a Christian who has taken the time to seek God’s desire on this matter (or any other matter) feels like He’s given them the go ahead, who am I to say differently? So, again, please forgive me if I came across as judgmental to you. I’m not judging anyone, rather trying to direct everyone to Christ.

          Tasha, I pray that you’ll receive my response in the spirit is written. I am not a confrontational person or a sarcastic person. Having conversations in writing, when we don’t each other can often have us misinterpreting the tone of what we’re reading. My intention here is solely to recommend that we strive to live our lives through the lens of God’s love while striving to to follow His laws and do His will.

          Reply
          • Melissa (the one who responded to you earlier)

             /  July 6, 2012

            Well done sister.

            Reply
          • Tasha

             /  July 6, 2012

            My entire point was that you cannot tell a person not to read/see something based on how you think a Christian should live. Let them find out for themselves is all I am saying. The author did not even read the entire series, nor did she see the movie yet she feels compelled to write to every Christian woman to reject the works. I was not personally attacking you. I do not see in my post at all where that is or even where it might be implied. Words can become misconstrued in writing and if the person reading feels threatened or attacked, it’s up to the person reading to seek out what it is that makes them feel that way and interpret it to the writer. I apologize if that how it comes off, but that was not my intention at all. I just feel like you cannot compare what you find healthy as far as living your life for God, to what other people feel. It’s great that she is trying to reach out to other Christian women about it, but as I said, she didn’t finish the series, nor did she see the movie.

            Reply
            • Alissa

               /  July 6, 2012

              “Let them find out for themselves is all I am saying. The author did not even read the entire series, nor did she see the movie yet she feels compelled to write to every Christian woman to reject the works.” I do not need to find out for myself that some things are unhealthy, unwise, dangerous or wrong. I do not need to smoke cigarettes or shoot up heroin to know they are bad for my health. I don’t need to leave my car unlocked on a city street to know its unwise. I don’t need to drive 100 miles an hour through my neighborhood to know that its dangerous. I don’t need to actually commit adultery to know its wrong. As a Christian, there is a pretty clear set of guidelines to live by – the Bible. “I just feel like you cannot compare what you find healthy as far as living your life for God, to what other people feel.” Christianity isn’t about what I “feel”, its about what I choose to do about what God says in His Word. If you do not choose Christianity, you do not choose the same set of guidelines, and if you are familiar at all with this blog, you know it is written for those who DO choose Christianity. Read something else if this offends you. I also choose not to follow blogs that offend me. No big deal.

              Reply
              • Stacey

                 /  July 6, 2012

                Not all Christian women are going to think this book and this movie are “unhealthy” for them. The things you’ve described are common sense. They have nothing to do with religion or God.

                Reply
              • Tasha

                 /  July 6, 2012

                I am not offended by this blog. Not really sure where you are getting that from. Everyone is entitled to feel how they want about this entire thing, and I don’t really need to say what Stacey already said. But she is right. The things you’ve described on “finding out on your own” are common sense. Just because one Christian woman finds the book to be pornographic, doesn’t mean all Christian women will. Please do not twist my words around and make it seem like NOT reading the book and NOT seeing the movie are common sense things. Because they aren’t. Not everyone is the same… as I reiterate over and over again.

                Reply
            • Ronya

               /  July 6, 2012

              Thanks Tasha. I appreciate your perspective. You said, “You cannot tell a person not to read/see something based on how you think a Christian should live.” I think herein lies the difference of how we’re thinking.

              Melissa was not writing this blog post on what “she” thinks. She was basing it on biblical passages. The Bible is a gift from God outlining His rules and guidelines for us. So it really has nothing to do with what we think and rather has everything to do with God’s commands. She was simply reminding us of what it says.

              As believers we should be directed to God and the Bible for answers to these kinds of things. You are right, it’s not my place (or that of anyone else here) to tell you what you can/cannot or should/should not do. Melissa points to the Bible passages to direct us in what we should or shouldn’t be doing.

              As for not finishing the series or watching the movie, I don’t think it’s necessary to do so in order to have an opinion or to be able to determine whether or not it would be God honoring. (Example, I can watch a trailer for a horror film and know that I should not go see it – I don’t do well with scary).

              Reply
  86. Janice

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you Melissa.. well spoken and very true. God bless you.

    Reply
  87. Laura

     /  July 3, 2012

    Thank you so much for standing out on tour faith and beliefs! Sometimes it is really hard for us to really go BOLD in our lives because of all the tough/strong/determined passioate people that we meet along the way that think totally opposit than us.

    Bold. Determined. Poised. Strong-minded and truthfull in GOD’S TRUTH IS ALL YOU NEED!!

    Reply
  88. Annette

     /  July 3, 2012

    @Tasha – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matthew 5:27-32(NIV)
    God says it pretty clearly right here.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the well-written post!

    Reply
  89. Sally

     /  July 4, 2012

    I just told a friend something very similar tonight. I said that yes I can see the appeal for some people, but I would not be happy if my husband watched something similar to Magic Mike, so I will not see it either.
    Thank you for your post, I think it was very well written!

    Reply
  90. I am a 17 year old high school student and I know this might not seem like much, but I appreciate this post more than you know. I am tired of being looked at as “weird” or “close-minded” because I wont read this book or see the movie. I refuse to be like the world because I know the lord’s will for me isn’t to go watch guys strip or to read graphic sex novels. I am all for women feeling empowered and confident, but opening the door for the enemy to crawl in through “indulging” in 50 shades and magic mike is just foolish to me….. So anyways, thanks for the post, I agree 100%.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  July 4, 2012

      I applaude you Andrea! I wish I had been more like you when I was 17!

      Reply
    • I have no idea who you are, and this is gonna sound really creepy, but I love you! I’m a 17 year old high school student, and I feel this way all the time! It’s so nice to know there are other people who are trying to live for Jesus, and it’s really nice to know I’m not the only “weird” one. :) Thank you! :)

      Reply
      • Lindsey

         /  July 8, 2012

        Andrea and Melodyfaith5, Let me say I’m so proud of you girls! Being 17 is tough. I’m 30 now and while I wasn’t always the most popular, I like to think that I was like you girls in High School. Let me tell you! It’s so worth it! I have friends now with whom I share my testimony and they all say the same thing “I wish I could have that testimony”. Not saying I’m holier than though, because I have defiantly had my share of sin in my life. Just wanted to encourage you to stay strong in the Lord and know that 10 years down the road you will be SO happy you did!

        Reply
  91. just to add a little male perspective…

    Bravo! ;o)

    Reply
  92. Thank you for writing this. I lead a men’s group in the Los Angeles area and we teach that pornography is not okay as well. We’re a secular group who support true masculinity and to live the standard rather than expect it from others first. Thank you for writing this from the other side of the spectrum.

    Reply
  93. Jane

     /  July 4, 2012

    I just wanted to stop in and tell you that i am so glad that you wrote this! I completely agree. Also, I scrolled through the comments, and saw you respond to a few people with objections to your words. You express yourself so well, and seem to respond to terrible misunderstandings and interpretations in such a loving, and patient way! Don’t let it discourage you when people are stubborn and twist and redefine every word to fit within their own argument. We know that it is the Spirit that gives us our understanding, so unfortunately, no matter how true your words, some people simply won’t get it. I hope you do what you’re doing for a long time, because you are truly blessed at it!

    Reply
  94. Jennifer

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for your blog! I can see God doing a GOOD work through you and it just goes to show you HE will not leave you alone in ANY storm!

    Reply
  95. I have not read every single comment posted because it was becoming very extensive. That being said, I apologize if I repeat something that someone else has already posted above :)
    I greatly appreciate your blog. I have had some of the same concerns with 50 Shades and Magic Mike and although both have intrigued me, I feel that it is my responsibility as a Christian woman to also stand up for healthy sexuality and for nonconformity to the world. I am a married woman and am so thankful for the sexual relationship that God created within marriage. It’s not boring, it’s not ONLY for procreation (in fact, we have been married for a year and a half and do not plan to have children for several more years), and it is beautiful. There is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to a sexual relationship between a man and his wife, along with many other passages regarding the topic (not every passage about sexuality is condemning it! In fact, sex is never condemned– when it is within it’s proper context).
    I love and respect my husband and I know how I would feel if he were reading a book about a man sexually abusing his partner or seeing a movie about strippers. While I realize that I cannot prevent my husband from seeing women in skimpy outfits and having thoughts that he shouldn’t have (and strives very hard not to!), it is unavoidable in our world today. Women show off all their business and men lust. Just because we can’t avoid attractive people and lust does not mean that we should put ourselves in situations where we are intentionally viewing things of a sexual nature.
    Thank you for what you posted. I know that you have received a lot of backlash for it, but I hope that you have seen that it is commendable that you are standing up for what you believe. Unfortunately, no matter what the opinion is, someone will be disrespectful or hurtful.

    Reply
  96. Hey, found your blog today because of this post. I totally commend you for having the guts to be unpopular! ;) This very subject has been on my mind a lot lately, too, and I haven’t been able to put it into words without sounding judgy…so I’ve kept it to myself. But you said it perfectly. To be honest, as a Christian, I find myself being tempted to “partake” in these two crazes. But one of the major things that has kept me from doing so is the thought of how it would make my husband feel. I would be so hurt if he went to see a movie about female strippers! I do not want to do that to him. I totally agree with you there. I also agree that as followers of Christ, we are called to be set apart. It has shocked me, how many of my Christian friends are reading and recommending 50 Shades…and how many are going out on “girls’ nights” to see Magic Mike. I understand the lure of those things, I really do. But I want to bring honor and glory to God in my life and I just don’t think the two can go together.

    Reply
  97. I’ve read the 50 Shades series and you may rest easy on their account at least. It’s not porn in any form, it’s not sexy, it’s just lame. If you really feel the need to warn against 50 Shades, it should be from a purely literary perspective. If you need something to warn about that actually qualifies as female orientated pornography, you should tell them not to read My Secret Garden or The Story of O.

    Reply
  98. Debi

     /  July 4, 2012

    Very well written and I completely agree! You’ve put my thoughts into words! Keep pressing on my friend….we need to keep shinning our light!

    Reply
  99. JoEllen Bare

     /  July 4, 2012

    I LOVE your article! I commend you for writing it as the hard things is never easy to share like that. Be blessed!

    Reply
  100. Rebecca

     /  July 4, 2012

    I am appreciative of this article. I think you carefully laid out the reality of what these forms of media are in contrast to God’s prescription for marriage. The varied response you are getting is a reflection of how easily it is to drift from the shore without an anchor. No matter how you package the core of sin, it still remains sin. What makes it more difficult to discern is how it is packaged, and if our friends, and so many others choose not to see it as such. Allowing the words and images from these books and movies to be branded in a person’s mind lays the groundwork for future compromises, and can cloud one’s perspective of what God really designed intimacy to be like. I thank you for taking the time and care to write such needed words of insight.

    Reply
  101. Emily

     /  July 4, 2012

    I have also felt very convicted about these two new popular forms of entertainment. What you said was perfect! I can’t imagine reading 50 Shades in my home beside my husband and small children. What if my daughter wants to know what I’m reading, how do you explain it? Or choosing to leave my family to go and see a male pornographic film which aside from the pornography, has horrific language. I have an app that reviews movies and apparently on top of the porn and other vulgarities, the f word is uttered 156 times. That’s shocking!!

    Another thing that hasn’t been brought up is the fact that everyone was up in arms over the movie, Striptease, which I do not condone, which starred one of the girls from Saved by the Bell. Why was this deemed so inappropriate but Magic Mike and 50 Shades are ok?

    I have been very saddened by the amount of people who have gone to see it and the hostility with which they argue for the book and movie. I dread the release of the 50 Shades movie!

    Thank you so much for your post. I hope more people read it and are inspired to reject these things. I am far from perfect and I do not want anyone to get the impression that I think I am. I sin daily, but am blessed to have a forgiving Savior who loves me despite my faults!

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi Emily, Can you share that app? I think the bigger problem is with entertainment in general and not just these two examples. I love going to the movies and am always looking for apps like you describe.

      Reply
      • Emily

         /  July 5, 2012

        It’s called Kids in Mind Movie Review. It gives a rating basedon violence, profanity, and sexuality. It also provides an explanation for each rating. You are exactly right, it is so hard to find good, clean entertainment!

        Reply
  102. Britt Burd

     /  July 4, 2012

    AMEN !!!!

    Reply
  103. Jason

     /  July 4, 2012

    A couple of years ago, I decided it would be appropriate for two of the guys that worked for me to treat me to a night at a local strip club to celebrate Bosses Day. As the husband of a woman who attended a “girls night out” screening of Magic Mike, I now completely understand why she was hurt at my decision to go. Ladies, Melissa advised to put yourself in your husband’s shoes. That’s a consideration I wish I would have given my wife.

    Reply
  104. mistypearson

     /  July 4, 2012

    Sometimes I think its okay for married women to read or view spicy things to help stimilate the libido for their husbands sake. Honestly, Ive found since menopause that it requires a little work. That being said, I absolutely agree with you. I have been shocked for quite awhile with all the married women on fb crowing about not only these works but posting pictures of “hot guys”. Ive wondered how their husbands must feel. I certainly would be hurt and upset if my husband was doing that but with women.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

       /  July 6, 2012

      Sadly, a friend started doing this because of how her husband verbally objectified other females with ‘she’s hot’, ‘look at her rack’, etc. It’s sad that he did that, but now even sadder that she did it in response to get his goat! Their relationship suffers, but also the decrease in self esteem and physical effect is also obvious. Words and actions go far deeper than we can imagine and even admit to.

      Reply
  105. Leah

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for posting this! It has been something that has weighed heavily on me lately and I’m glad someone with readers is able to offer this perspective.

    Reply
    • Leah

       /  July 4, 2012

      Also, when I was reading your intro I immediately thought about the prophets of the Old Testament. They didn’t want to write or say these harsh things, but they had to. (Not that I am saying you are a prophet, but going against the flow of society is never easy.) Know you are in good company. Hebrews 12:1-3

      Reply
  106. AngieS

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank so much for this post. It is wonderful that you have the courage to call attention to these things that are so socially accepted but which are truly harmful to our souls. Thank you for your gentle reminder to keep our thoughts and actions focused on what is good and right vs. what is currently popular. Unfortunately, as humans, we are so very good at taking wonderful gifts God gives us (such as our sexuality for example) and twisting them until they are no longer the good things God created them to be. Our sexuality is great — until we stop focusing on our spouse and use it for selfish, lustful fulfillment.
    Melissa — keep up the great posts — even when you receive negative responses from many who are unable to look into the light for love of the darkness….

    Reply
  107. Tony Peek

     /  July 4, 2012

    Got here because a friend had shared the post on facebook, really glad they did. GREAT article!!!! So glad to see there are still some people out there with Morales. Our culture is the way it is because people were afraid to tell people something they were doing was wrong or they figured well its not all that bad then it became accepted. Take television for instance, when I was young there were NO nudity, cursing and other such things. Then little by little they starting allowing more and more junk to be put on there and look at where it is today. We do not allow television (Cable, Satellite, or local) in our house. We also choose to homeschool, our children will be exposed to the evils of this world soon enough but we will teach them the way that YHWH meant it to be first. Sorry I got of topic. But GREAT job.

    Reply
  108. Lindi Kastner

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for boldly speaking truth. I, too, am very burdened over this movie and book. Many Christian women are being pressured to go to the movie and/or read those novels. My family went to see Madagascar last Friday. It was opening night for Magic Mike and Ted. Our theatre was at capacity!! My heart broke as we were leaving because I knew Satan was having a field day with all the compromises being made.
    I stood up at the end of our Sunday School lesson and voiced the same concerns as you. We must keep speaking up and making others aware of these “Twinkies” that the world offers!

    Reply
  109. Melissa- Thank you for being bold and courageous!

    Reply
  110. Mandy Mathews

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!!! Very well said and I couldn’t agree more!!!! I am so shocked to are how many of my sisters in Christ are condoning and promoting the “Magic Mike”!! It is a little discouraging, but you just encouraged me!! Thank you for taking this stand! I for one couldn’t agree more!! God will bless you and I pray that more and more women will see things the way you have. It is like the song we sang when we were young….”Oh be careful little eyes what you see….”

    Reply
  111. sheri eddins

     /  July 4, 2012

    THANK YOU HONEY!!!! You’ve said everything I’ve wanted to say on these two topics and no, it is not judging. We as Christians are called to hold each other accountable and you did that very well!! I am so happy to hear this from a younger person. This Granna gives you five stars! Well done!

    Reply
  112. You are a courageous young lady for speaking out. While Christians have a reputation (unfortunately, too often deserved) for being ‘judgmental’, speaking out to fellow Christians about what is “good, what is pure, etc.” is not being judgmental! It is, in fact, doing what the word says we are to do when a brother or sister is in error. It is NOT right for women any more than it has ever been for men, to avail themselves of such worldly things – that is from the word…not from you or me. Now that you have put them in remembrance…be blessed and let it go! Thanks for acting on the spirit of conviction that moves you. Would that more of us were so inclined. God bless! rob

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  113. I found your blog through pinterest. I think it takes a lot of courage to write what you did. To follow through with something that God put on your heart to do. I’ve been married for about 2 and half weeks now. I had intentions of reading 50 Shade of Gray. I’ll be honest. I didn’t know what all it was about but I like to keep up to date on reading trends. But when I mentioned this to my then fiance, he didn’t really agree with me reading it. He had read something about it and about the violence in it. I didn’t realize that there was so much bondage and other things in it. Out of respect for my now husband, I haven’t read the book. My husband and I have had several conversations about all these points that you brought up in your post. Thanks for giving another perspective and trying to bring a christian stand point to it. I’m going to be following your blog now.

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  114. D. Sparks

     /  July 4, 2012

    You keep apologizing for judging. Have you realized the context in which Jesus said, “Judge not…”? Jesus was talking to hypocrites, not to those who were following him. He went on to say, “First take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Did he say you shouldn’t remove the speck? No! So…you have removed the plank from your own eye; thank you for attempting to remove the speck from others’ eyes. The Apostle Paul said it is our obligation to judge those within the Christian community (not those outside, which is God’s place)–1 Cor. 5–as long as you are not doing the same thing (Rom. 2:1). But perhaps the best stated commission came from Jesus’ brother James in the self-titled book of the N.T.–”My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (5:19-20) Thank you for your honesty and this blog entry.

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  115. Carissa

     /  July 4, 2012

    My husband and I often discuss the shifting moral trends in America, and though it is disheartening, it is important to observe the shifting definitions of truth around us. I think you did a wonderful clean cut call to encourage your sisters in Christ to be aware of the reasoning of our actions. Your courage and insightful statements are a beacon of hope in dark times. Thank you.

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  116. I am not Christian(I think my name says it all), but I find both of these works appalling.

    First of all, “50 Shades of Grey” takes and perverts BDSM(in a very poorly written smut novel). BDSM, after very careful study, is not as horrible as media wants you to believe. Yes, there are people who incorrectly turn to it to ‘get past their past’….but many other people turn to it as a healthy emotional outlet, and they abide by the rule “safe, sane and consensual”.

    Second of all, “Magic Mike” just seems pointless besides near nudity. I mean, what’s the point? Unless you and your husband have previous agreements and arrangements, it’s mental cheating.

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  117. Great post! Thank you so much for your words. These temptations do damage to marriages and a healthy and biblical understanding of the proper place for sexuality (in marriage).

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  118. Jaimie

     /  July 4, 2012

    It’s hard to read you and others write these things about this book and say “I’m not judging you” when in fact, that is exactly hat your doing. Sitting there saying we are looking at porn and Christian women shouldnt enjoy this. What kills me is that everyone that has negative words about it hasn’t even read them, if you had you would understand that it is a love story that has suspense, romance and acceptance of the main charracter. It is a fiction book, it’s not a video of porn. I am a Christian woman along with alot of others that have read this book, who cares? Its very judgmental to speak about what people should or shouldn’t read or do. If you haven’t read it or don’t want to then don’t, but also don’t write what you think others should do.

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    • Megan

       /  July 4, 2012

      The way that I took her post is not that she is trying to be judgmental toward people. She never called them bad people or said that they don’t love God and are bad Christians. She is simply saying what the Bible says. She has scripture to back her up. Not to speak for her but I bet she would say that it’s not okay to lie, steal, cheat, murder…etc. Why? Because that is the law of God. I bet nobody would challenge her on those issues. So why this one? It all goes against the will of God. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth because we don’t want to. At first, when someone calls me out on something I am messing up on I automatically take the defense, but you have to realize it’s being done in love. Not judgment. I really believe that God has used her to a message across. If you don’t agree with her then taking a defensive attitude is the first thing that happens. If you really think about it, how could lusting after other men and filling your head with erotic works really help your life? I understand that some will say that it helps with your personal sex life. But, why can’t we just put more work into them with our husbands instead of having to get our arousal elsewhere? Please know that this is my opinion and I am not trying to put anyone down. Everyone has the right to their opinion and I respect each person.

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  119. Jaysea

     /  July 4, 2012

    Melissa, I completely agree with you! I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey nor saw Magic Mike and don’t plan on it. Like you said, if it was the guy doing all of this he would be shunned and their girl would be severely livid. Heck, I know I would! Well put Melissa!!! :)

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  120. apcreative

     /  July 4, 2012

    Sometimes we should judge and feel judged. When we consume smut, we should feel judged, guilty and unacceptable. It is truly a gift from God, Himself to be corrected by Him or one of His children. Now THAT’S counter-cultural!

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  121. Kristin

     /  July 4, 2012

    I love this post, I was planning on going to see magic mike with a friend of mine who happens to be a new Christian that I feel I have been mentoring in a way, and reading your post and realizing that this would be supporting something that “we” as Christians should stay away from. I also realized I would hate it if my husband went to a movie with guys about females being half dressed, and that being the focus of the movie. I am so glad I saw this post, it saved me from watching a movie then regretting it later. Thank you for speaking up and standing up for the truth that we believing in.

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  122. Vicky N.

     /  July 4, 2012

    A friend of mine shared this on Facebook – I have to say, I’m glad you forced yourself to write it! It’s clearly upsetting to some people, but no one likes to have other people draw their attention to something they may be doing wrong. (It’s so much more comfortable to pretend that you’re perfect) Anyway, thanks for writing this! My kids listen to a song all the time that says, “Be careful, little eyes, what you see” and it’s so true – I wish that I could ‘unsee’ so many things!

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  123. kelly

     /  July 4, 2012

    the dom/sub relationship in 50 shades is actually how many couples approach their sexual relationship with eachother… it’s more common than you’d think it would be… i haven’t read 50 shades, mainly because i’ve heard that it reads like a 15 year old wrote it, and i’m a bit of a book snob… it’s not the first book like this that has ever been written… you should check out anne rice’s sleeping beauty series… it makes 50 shades look like childsplay… my point is, it’s a way of life for many people, so it’s not just him hurting her b/c of his past… it’s what “gets them off”, and there’s nothing wrong with that…

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  124. Ann

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thanks for writing this. I think we all do get “desensitized” by our culture’s open acceptance of just about everything. Your post is a good reminder that, as Christians, we need to stop and ask ourselves, “Is this an appropriate thing for me to be doing”. And you wrote it so well. Thanks!

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  125. SeasonJoy

     /  July 4, 2012

    Love your comments here. What the US needs is more people (men and women) who have morals, convictions, and backbone. It seems unpopular and “not P.C.” to be conservative. I felt like a total dork when I bowed out of the “girls night” going to see “Magic”. My husband even thought I was being a little silly but he still supported my choice. (He obviously didn’t know what the movie included.) Im so glad I made that choice and I applaud your position.

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  126. Mother

     /  July 4, 2012

    I think its great that you wrote this bc gods will must be done and he chose u. Not too many ppl will like this but you need to reach out to ppl christian and non christian… I believe in god but I dont go to church. I think its amazing how god works through ppl and convicts them to do his will. I thank you for this post cause you have open my eyes and hopfully someone else…

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  127. Amy

     /  July 4, 2012

    Hi Melissa, I want to thank you for what you wrote and I also wanted to encourage you to not be ashamed nor apologetic for speaking the Truth of God’s word. Jesus himself said that he came to bring a sword, meaning that the gospel and the truth will offend people. From what you’ve said and how you’ve said it, not to mention the countless attacks that you’ve responded kindly to, I believe that you’ve done it in love. I know it wasn’t easy for you to post, but I want to encourage you to keep in front of you the Day of Judgment. On that day you will account for the words you’ve spoken, and I believe on this issue, you will hear “Well done.” Not that it means much from me, but well done, sister.

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  128. Thank you for saying this so openly, honestly, and eloquently. I have felt the same way – just never wrote a post. I won’t read 50 shades or watch Magic Mike.

    Thank you for this post! you are not uncool you are to be admired for your convictions :)

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  129. Penny

     /  July 4, 2012

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but at some point you mentioned interest in something Christian-based regarding marital sexuality…. You might want to check out Dr. Michael Systma’s Passionate Intimacy conferences. He runs Building Intimate Marriages, a non-profit; and is a Christian sex therapist and former pastor based out of Georgia, but he travels to teach and for the conferences.

    http://intimatemarriage.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=76

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  130. I hadn’t heard about either so thanks for the heads up! I’m totally in agreement. Thanks for writing what you didn’t want to write!
    Christiane

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  131. Mindy

     /  July 4, 2012

    It is quite clear to me after reading not even half of what has been posted here that you have put in alot of time on this blog. when you have small kids, I know this is a sacrifice and want you to know I appreciate it! This is my first time on a blog and first time to post on one. I saw this on facebook and was so happy to have someone feel the same way as me. I know you have been attacked which is a common tale in the Bible when someone really stands for Christ. One of my favorite parts of those stories is how God comes and ministers to His people when they have been done that way. May Jesus Christ bless you and protect you as you have helped His kingdom so much by this post. I loved how you responded to Victoria with love and patience without getting hateful and you used tact. I think your post was really directed towards us Christians and so others need to realize that you are addressing us and not the world. The Bible says not to judge others which I also do not think you have done. If we see a Christian brother or sister who is outright sinning and calling it good, the Bible says to call that out to them. It is to be done in love and with the purpose of restoring them. Our motivation is very important in this. I do not think you were attacking anyone and just wanted to post your opinion on YOUR blog. My purpose in coming here was to help myself feel better that someone else feels as I do, now my main concern is lifting you up in prayer and encouraging my Christian sister. God loves you and so do I, keep up the wonderful work here and gaurd your heart with prayer every time you come here and read any post left. Satan can try and use even what we do as good to hurt us. But thank you Jesus that you able to cover us with your power. Praise you Lord for this blog from a girl who seems to have her head on straigh and her heart on YOU!!!! God bless you sweetheart!!

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  132. You ROCK!!!! I got completely bashed on Facebook for tagging my husband in a post that said this…Everyone’s posts are boring me! I don’t need you Magic Mike when I have my amazing husband Magic Brent!” I wanted to not only let my husband know how much I loved and adored him as my husband but also let people know that Magic Mike is not acceptable. I think you are amazing for writing this and holding the people in your life accountable for their actions to which we stop doing. The people in our lives need to know!!!

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  133. Thank you for being willing to say this. It took courage to stand for what is right, and I admire you for it. I agree with your thoughts and might have a suggestion of an answer to one of the questions you proposed.
    Preachers and pastors will never denounce women in the pulpit. It is very easy to bash men from the pulpit because we have become a society that “needs to balance the scales” as you put it. Men are expected to become more and more feminine in how they deal with things and this is spilling into the church faster and faster. It would never be acceptable, for example, on Mother’s day to call mothers to be homemakers and spend more time at home with their husbands and children. To praise and lawd the mothers who rely on their husbands to bring home the support needed to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table. The pastor would not last long. However, it is quite all right to blame father’s for the downfall of our society from the pulpit on Father’s day. because they don’t take responsibility for the children they father. Is this a problem that should be addressed? Absolutely, and it should begin in the church. But I don’t hear pastors telling women that they shouldn’t be sleeping around and having children with multiple men on Mother’s day…
    I think we will hear some denouncing of the books and movie in some churches, but it won’t be the norm, as it should be.

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  134. James

     /  July 4, 2012

    going forward you will choose your choice of admonishments from a place of stronger knowledge rather than opinion. God Bless.

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  135. James

     /  July 4, 2012

    Hello Melissa this post is very well written and I appreciate your righteous intentions. I have been blessed with the most amazing wife of 19 years and she has read the series of books you speak of as well as seeing the movie Magic Mike with friends last weekend. She had my blessing to do both. As her husband, that is my God given right to do so. In 1Corinthians 11:3 God instructs a woman to look to her husband for direction, for the head of every woman is her husband and the head of the husband is Christ. If your husband feels that such a thing is inappropriate for his wife to participate in then by all means it certainly is as is the same the other way around we are to love and respect our our wives the way Christ loves us Ephesians 5:25 While I agree gently admonishing our fellow Christians is our responsibility Colossium 1:28 it must be based on factual evidence from the bible not just what you feel is in accordance with scripture. My wife lusts for me and me alone and I for her alone for almost 20 years we’ve managed a successful and healthy relationship of love and mutual trust. I hopegoing forward you will choose your choice of admonishments from a place of stronger knowledge rather than opinion. God Bless.

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    • Heather

       /  July 9, 2012

      1Corinthians 11:3 also instructs that man look to Christ for direction, as I see you also mention. So I have to ask, did Christ tell you that pornography is okay to use within your marriage? What about Matthew 5:2 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. And then there is 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
      The worst lie is the one closest to the truth. Evil is subtle in its ways and slowly erodes marriages. Be on guard is all I’m saying. To me it seems that the seed planted from the explicit sexual encounters in 50 shades is a perversion on the love discribed over and over in scripture. Pornography is sexually immoral. It is a seed which has been planted into the imagination of your wife which will come up during your intimate times and she will lust after the characters. She may not express this to you, but it is there.

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  136. Brittany

     /  July 4, 2012

    Amen MJ!!! I read all the comments that was left and I have to say as a Christian I am not offended with your staments. But am offended with victoria’s response to it.
    Keep On sista!! ;)

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  137. Amen and Amen! Well said.

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  138. Deb

     /  July 4, 2012

    @ Melissa: Lorraine Pintus & Linda Dillow write books about intimacy. You can find them at http://www.amazon.com/Lorraine-Pintus/e/B001K8B6CW

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  139. Lisa

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for being bold and standing by your convictions. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who would not let you bury this post. You honor our Lord with your words. Thank you for the reminder to us that we are to be holy for He is Holy. May we honor Him with our lives, bodies, thoughts, actions, and our marriages. May the Lord continue to bless you and your blog.

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  140. Wow. It’s so funny that something can not be on my radar at all and yet be such a big deal to so many people! Qualification: I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but I don’t think I have to. If it’s pornography, I shouldn’t be reading it or watching it. Your post is spot on, and I thank you for speaking the truth WITH LOVE, which I think a lot of people who feel that you’re judging them, might have difficulty seeing. (That doesn’t mean it’s not there.) There’s a big difference between saying “Hey, this thing that you’re doing, I believe it’s detrimental to you and other people” and pronouncing that someone is absolutely going to hell and that they’re a forever sinner and treating them with contempt and hate. When I love someone and I see that they are harming themselves or others, how can I be quiet? Many people will even disagree that pornography is harmful for marriages or even to unmarried women, but I believe it leads us to satisfy our WONDERFUL, GOD-INSTILLED desires outside of the loving relationship God designed for that and to focus them, however momentarily, on someone else, perhaps even a someone who doesn’t–and could never–exist. It creates unrealistic expectations, and instead of leaving us grateful for who we have, leaves us wanting something/someone we don’t have. We recognize that as unhealthy when it comes to material possessions, and there’s absolutely a parallel here. I would even say that for many women, certain romantic movies can be “emotional porn”. I particularly think of The Notebook. Because for many women, the emotional component is at least as strong as the physical, movies like this pander to our desire to be treated romantically, passionately, loved physically and emotionally with total wild abandon. Nothing wrong with wanting that, except that some people don’t realize that a real relationship with a real person is going to have its flaws and its doldrums, and that we can’t set up the person who’s really in our life against an idealized, simplified movie character (who, incidentally, is in the beginning stages of a love affair)–not if we want our husbands and ourselves to be happy.

    As for “just a book and a movie,” books and movies are the vehicle used to present ideas to people nowadays. They are powerful, and if fleeting in the media, the images and concepts stay with people for a long time. So yes, all this for a book and a movie.

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  141. Empowered Woman of God

     /  July 4, 2012

    I happened on this blog post via a friend’s fb post. As has been stated before, you should make no apologies for your post. It needs to be stated more. I applaud you for being bold and stepping outside of your comfort zone. It seems pretty obvious to me that The Spirit was leading you to do so. You were writing to Christian women and anyone else that tries to “get it,” probably won’t. Non-Christians in-particular cannot be expected to understand the truth of God’s word. 1st Corinthians 3:19 reminds us, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” I don’t understand why other’s would feel a need to respond when you were not addressing them!

    God is the creator of all good things and certainly many of us would say that sex is at the top of that good list. God created sex as a gift between a man and a women in a marriage relationship. Those of us that accept God’s word and strive to live by it don’t question this. It is wisdom to us, to non-believers it may not be. That should come as no surprise. As believers, we need to do our best to live out God’s word and we need to help hold each other accountable for doing so. As has been rightfully stated already, we are to be in the world but not of the world. We should hold our Christian friends to a higher standard (God’s Word) than our non-believing friends. We should also show His love to all those we come into contact with.

    What I am about to share is reflective of one thing we (my husband and I) have gotten right, please understand that there are many things we have not gotten right. I don’t mean this to sound like we are perfect, we are not. I just want to share our story of how following God’s plan blesses our lives. Lest others think that we are simply old-fashion, uneducated or culturally out of touch, I will let you know in advance that this is not the case. I am a college administrator and my husband is a professor. I work with young adults on a daily basis and my husband is a much sought after instructor on our campus. We are not out of touch with our culture.

    We have what we define as a very healthy marriage and sexual relationship. We have been married for 24+ years. We were both virgins (not just “technically”) on our wedding night. This was a goal for both of us but also an enormous challenge as we dated for 3+ years before getting married. This has proven to be an wonderful blessing in our marriage. No surprise that doing it God’s way has continued to bless us! We have a high level of trust as we know that we are both able to control our sexual desires. We have learned, played and grown together in our sexuality. We don’t need anything beyond the two of us and the creativity that God has given us to “spice” things up. We wouldn’t dream of inviting anyone else (including actors in pornography) into the intimacy that is ours alone. There is a comfort, security, joy, peace, pleasure and fantastic passion we have found in following God’s plan for our sexuality and our marriage. We are blessed by the gift as He intended it for us and words cannot express the WOW factor of that!

    All that being said, our God is a God of grace and redemption. It is never too late to follow His plan. When we slip up, we can turn to a better way. It is called repentance and it comes with forgiveness and we all need it! As Melissa, my words are intended for a Christian audience and don’t expect that non-believers would understand this. God will bless us when we follow his plan for us whether that involves friendships, marriages, sexuality, finances………..

    Keep up the good work Melissa and know that pleasing God will not always mean you are pleasing people. Your post brings attention and honor to His plan for us. It is also an encouragement to me and undoubtedly many others.

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  142. Dee

     /  July 4, 2012

    Great minds think alike! I posted about this today too, although my post celebrates celebrities who have long term marriages and live out Matthew 25.
    http://mommydomchronicles.blogspot.com/2012/07/sweetest-thing.html?m=1

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  143. Mindy

     /  July 4, 2012

    I forgot to post this on my earlier post. This movie has 158 “F” words in it six used in the sexual sense. It doesn’t seem to make sense to me anyone defending this movie, If you are a Christian or not. I don’t understand it. This movie is 110 minutes long and that is just the number of “F” words, not counting the other cuss words. how do you even fit that in with a straight face. The list on screen it.com of the sexual stuff was very long. Everyone knows the purpose of this movie and it is not a movie plot. I am talking to fellow Christians when I say this, and it IS said in love and concern-If you really are a Christian, you really are, then you truly believe that one day that comes for all of us, we will all stand before our King. Practice saying all these responses that I am reading (that are from people claiming to be Christians) and pretend you are in front of God (which you are becasue He know all). Do you think He will agree with you? I really need to do this myself with so many things also! Good advice for myself. I just have a concern for my Christian brothers and sisters. I am not talking about those who do not claim Jesus Christ. Not sure how I feel about blog posting, don’t like sounding like I am just sounding off!!!! To my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, I love you and thanks for all the encouraging post I have read on here!!! Jer. 17 5-10 (read all the way through)

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  144. Ruby McCluskey

     /  July 4, 2012

    I agree with you 100%. I think 50 Shades of Grey is an appropriate title. It’s the “grey” areas that get us in trouble.

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  145. Ashley Castle

     /  July 4, 2012

    This is the best article I’ve read related to all this “mommy porn”Thanks for being so brave and for taking a stand!!

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  146. Maggie

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you so much for putting into words what, as a Christian woman, I feel needed to be said. God bless you and yours :)

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  147. Amy

     /  July 4, 2012

    Wow, no need for me to leave a long comment. I agree completely and have been sharing your same views with others. I was thinking about blogging about it http://www.spiritualbreathing.blogspot.com but instead I can just point people to blogs like yours that lay out clearly exactly what I feel and the Bible says. The deception that is out there that these things are ok, and even good, breaks my heart. Thank you for joining the other women who are taking a stand for our hearts… our wellspring of life. I have suggested to many that want a real ROMANCE novel to read Francine Rivers “Redeeming Love”. It is a beautiful, beautiful story about what the love of a man should look like… highly suggest if you haven’t read. Hope the angry, disgruntled responses do not wound deeply… blessings!

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  148. Vicki

     /  July 4, 2012

    Yes, 50 Shades of Grey had gratuitous sex scenes and there parts that were not well written. I will give you that. But there is more to 50 Shades than sex. My friends and I read the books and we eventually skimmed those parts to get to the meat of the story. This is a redeeming love story of a boy with a terrible childhood, that loses his way, only to be transformed by the love of a woman. He thought he was unlovable because of his past, but once he saw that he was loved, it changed his life.
    You stated that you did not finish the first book, much less the whole series, so you did not find out that they were in a monogamous relationship and got married and had kids. You judged it with out finding out the whole story. That is like reading the story of Noah and being so mad that God flooded the world that you quit reading to find out about His promise to never flood it again or reading the story of the Jesus being murdered and closing the Bible in disgust and not finding out He rose again. Or judging a person because of some poor choices made in their past and not looking at their entire life.
    I wish that there was a censored version of this book, so that people could enjoy the love story that was written. The sex scenes are less frequent in the second and third books, as the author eludes to things more often and you do not have be tortured as often. I could have stopped reading after the second book and been satisfied with where their relationship at that point. The third one is more of a soap opera of all of the things that happen to them in their marriage.
    Maybe you would like to give it a second chance, maybe not, but I don’t think it is fair to pass judgement on a series of books when you do not have the whole story.
    And I agree Magic Mike is a gratuitous display of the male body, but again, maybe it is a modern version of the statue of David. I am going to go with my girlfriends and have a nice time at the movies! ;)

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  149. Glynna

     /  July 4, 2012

    First of all, thanks for putting your thoughts into words. I applaud you for your boldness.
    Secondly, my husband and I have said many times that what we are seeing on TV is getting worse and worse every day. The “media” is reaching its goal of desensitizing us by slowly putting things out there that we don’t like, but “overlook” because it is in small doses. This movie, apparently, because I have NOT seen it, nor do I intend to, is very blatant in its “sexuality”. From what you have said, it IS porn, pure and simple. It saddens me to think that women are allowing their minds to be filled with what my wonderful daddy called “filth”. Call me old fashioned. Call me a prude, but I believe it is sad that our “world” applauds things like this, especially those of “the younger generation”. My son learned a song a few years back called “Input, Output”. Basically, what goes IN your mind, is what will come out of your MOUTH.
    Thank you, again, for speaking words of truth…whether we want to hear them or not.

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  150. Jason McInnis

     /  July 4, 2012

    Preach sista. As a husband, father, and a man striving to be Christ-like in all I do, think, and say, I thoroughly appreciate you writing this. I am glad you needed to write this. Please continue to be a strong, Christian lady and great role model. I have two young girls and I shudder to think what they will be exposed to. Again thank you so much.

    Grace and Peace,
    Jason McInnis

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  151. Victoria Rene'

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for boldly stating your opinion and standing up for what is right in the eyes of God! Until I saw this post, I was planning on seeing the movie Magic Mike. Reading your post convicted me so much, that I want nothing to do with it. The 50 Shades book never really sparked my interest, but I had heard everyone talking about it. Thank you for saving me from making such a bad decision. I know that for if no other reason, God had you write this and change my mind. Thank you so much for listening to the Holy Spirit, and being obedient to His will.

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  152. Megan

     /  July 4, 2012

    I’ve been thinking about this movie and book a lot lately. Like you said, it’s absolutely everywhere. You can’t look at facebook or Pinterest without seeing something about it. I want to thank you for saying what I didn’t have the “guts” to say. It’s been on my heart so much lately because in our small group at church we have been studying James. It talks about getting rid of anything in your life that is of the world.

    James chapter 1
    21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
    22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

    It says to get rid of ALL moral filth. Even when it’s unpopular to do so.
    It’s hard now to separate yourself from what the world is doing. It’s not popular. I don’t think that people who are not Christian realize that God gives us rules and commands to protect us. Not to be hateful or hurtful. He knows what horrible things can happen to us when we disobey. For instance, I’m sure that most of the women who read 50 SOG and watch Magic Mike have no intentions of leaving their husbands and having sex with someone else. Everyone I’ve talked to who has gone through affairs always had pure intentions. It started of innocent. Putting even a little filth in your mind can cause a lot of danger. No I am NOT saying that if you read the book or watch the movie that you will have an affair and get divorced. What I am saying is why even put anything in your mind that could be hurtful to the one you love? Or, if you aren’t married, why put it in your minds to cause you to lust (which is against the Bible) and have unrealistic expectations of men? Like it was said, I couldn’t imagine my husband getting his friends together to go see a stripper movie. I know how annoyed I feel walking by Victoria’s Secret in the mall! I don’t want him looking at that. I want his eyes to only look at me. It’s hard because it is everywhere.

    I guess I can sum all of this up by saying this. I am a Bible believing Christian and I fully believe that if God says it, then it must be the right thing to do. He is only out for what’s best for us. He’s God. He knows all. I don’t always follow those rules and I’ve seen the hurt that it’s caused. I know I will mess up again. And again.

    Reply
  153. Jana

     /  July 4, 2012

    I absolutely loved reading your post. It is something that I struggle with a lot – how to communicate in a nice a respectful way to other Christians that we sometimes need to take a hard look at what we are letting in, i.e. movies, books, music, or even gossip. and ask ourselves “is this glorifying God?” If not, get rid of it and stay away. I am not claiming to be a perfect Christian and know I, of course, need to continually work on myself and my walk with Christ but it is not wrong for us to encourage or witness to others regarding the very things the devil temps us with. Kudos to you for your bravery. That was surely the Holy Spirit welling up in your to write the words that you did and I applaud you for doing so.

    Reply
  154. Terri

     /  July 4, 2012

    I enjoyed reading this post so much and am thankful that you had the courage and strength to stand up. I couldn’t agree with you more. What if we all had the same boldness for Christ? Thanks.

    Reply
  155. Kate

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you. Thank you for holding up the Word with love and with the obvious intention to HEAL rather than WOUND. Sorry for the flack you’ve received but thank you thank you thank you for being courageous enough to post knowing that you were going to be “uncool”

    Reply
  156. Thank you for this. I recently wrote a post about this on my blog *though it isn’t actually online yet* and then I ran across you post. I appreciate your thoughts so much. Thank you for the encouragement and for letting me know that I’m not alone, either. God is so great and has provided such a beautiful thing for us while we’re here on earth. Thank you for your boldness.

    Reply
  157. Jason

     /  July 4, 2012

    You didn’t read the books. And I’m pretty sure you didn’t go see the movie. Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture?

    Reply
    • Considering the content of either is easily accessible via book reviews and movie trailers, there’s little chance she will find any personally redeeming value in seeing them and THEN posting about not going to see/read them. Its not like a food you’ve never tried and you need to try it to pass judgment.

      Reply
  158. Kelly

     /  July 4, 2012

    In my humble but most accurate opinion . . .you hit the mark with this blog. I had never heard of either book or movie until they were introduced to me by my Believer friends. A kindred spirit posted your blog link to her fb page and I am so glad that I clicked it. Thank you for taking a stand- I along with many others are standing with you. Grow in Grace Sister in Christ.

    Reply
  159. Thanks for your boldness, conviction, and love for Christ and others… love enough to warn them from these snares.
    To those who want to dwell on the “redeeming” aspects of the book, there are other books (specifically God’s Word) that have incredible stories of redemption and love. As a new believer (over a decade ago) I was an avid reader of fiction when the Lord convicted me–if I haven’t read God’s word, that has the power to transform me to be more like Christ, than I don’t need to be reading fiction, that tends to turn my thoughts to more worldly things. How can we delight in His Presence, if our thoughts are consumed by worldly passions?
    I praise God for you and pray the Lord will continue to bless your marriage, family, and ministry through writing.

    Reply
  160. Lynsey

     /  July 4, 2012

    I really enjoyed reading this! I have heard lots about the movie Magic Mike all over the internet and at work and have recently heard some about the book 50 shade of Grey. I have been sort of unsure on how I should feel about Magic Movie, because I’ve seen so many Christian women posting on Facebook or pinning on Pinterest. At first I didnt even know what the movie was about, but after I learned what it was about I knew it was something that was bad. But I would like to say Thank you because you have put it into perspective for me! I will definatly be sharing this with many Christian women and others that I know.

    Reply
  161. Kathryn

     /  July 4, 2012

    Exactly. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m still in shock that so many older Christian women I look up to have no problems with filling their minds, even if only temporarily, with this. Phillipians 4:8 makes no concession for what is socially acceptable. Pure, noble, good, Think on these things :)

    Reply
  162. Charissa

     /  July 4, 2012

    @Victoria, and others.
    I know the perspective shared here can be hard to swallow with the label “christian” attached, but I have found similar concerns elsewhere in the blogosphere –
    http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/magic-mike-on-the-objectification-of-men/

    I agree that women have been oppressed, repressed, and objectified without our permission for far too long; but do we really want equality? Where we oppress, repress, and objectify men as well? Or do we want respect, love, and value?
    I urge my sisters to treat sexual equality on the same lines as economic and social equality – there should be constant improvement, not mutual destruction.

    Reply
    • Kaycee

       /  July 4, 2012

      Perfectly stated, Charissa. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Reply
  163. Susie

     /  July 4, 2012

    Amen Sister! Go on and preach it! I’ll stand behind you and stand for Christ with you in our culture!

    Reply
  164. Miley

     /  July 4, 2012

    Love it!

    Reply
  165. Jennifer N

     /  July 4, 2012

    Just wanted to say that you picked up a new “friend” based on this post. I will be following you now because of your well written post and thoughtful but firm responses. Thanks for being such a light for Christ!

    Reply
  166. Aalia Savanna

     /  July 4, 2012

    Sweet post that is completely biblically based! I completely agree with you and am grateful you posted this. Don’t be discouraged by the negativity, but trust that God has used you for a specific reason to further His kingdom!

    Reply
  167. Michael

     /  July 4, 2012

    Seriously? A 10 paragraph rant about a book you didn’t read and a movie you didn’t watch.

    Reply
  168. Heidi

     /  July 4, 2012

    How do I get a hold of Victoria? She is simply amazing and awesome! Stay strong Victoria!

    Reply
  169. Ashley W

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for this post. I fought this battle on Facebook last week with people I love dearly. Their point was…” What is so wrong with it? God knows my heart and knows I love him. I am a christian and will ask for forgiveness in the morning.” I was appalled and offended that those who call themselves christians would have this mindset. My point was…instead of asking what is wrong with something, ask what is right with it. By seeing and reading these things we are damaging God’s kingdom and it is almost unbearable to think that we are crucifying Christ over and over again when we participate in worldly things. If any good came fom this movie or book it is my understanding of the Holy Spirit and how I need to be more attentive to that still, small whisper.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

       /  July 6, 2012

      Exactly my point with others! Why put yourself in a position where you’ll have to regret and ask forgiveness later? I’ve done things I regretted and wonder why and how I got sucked into it in the first place. There is no reason in this age that we have to walk ‘blindly’ intk things. Read a book or movie review first. When i saw how many f words were in the movie, it turned me off. When i saw people saying reading 50 shades was like porn for them, i stayed away…after almost buying it! Thankfully we have a loving and forgiving God!

      Reply
  170. Hey sister, great article! Remember – “we were meant to be COURAGEOUS!” Speak the truth in love. I think that’s what you’ve done. It’s hard though when WE are judged so harshly by folks who don’t know the bible or cherry pick verses to suit their cause. I’ve been pretty surprised by so many happily married women posting pics of the near naked men in Magic Mike. This piece from an article I read yesterday sums up why I haven’t participated in those seemingly innocent conversations ~ ” According to Him, there is only one who should stimulate sexual desire in me: my husband. Since that’s God’s plan for my sexual desire, anything other than my husband creating arousal in me would be missing the mark of God’s intention. (Translation: it is sin.) Jesus said it this way: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The same is true of a woman looking at or reading about a man.”

    Reply
  171. Michael

     /  July 4, 2012

    MJ, you are going to get someone killed via your Youtube tutorials. Do you know what a capacitor is? You should do some research before posting more of your videos. I saw your fingers dangerously close in one of your vids.

    Reply
  172. Gayle

     /  July 4, 2012

    I agree completely. Since when did reading erotica socially become so acceptable? People are parading around work and church and everywhere in between with this book and if it isn’t with them they feel compelled to talk about it like they are in some sort of book club. I know that I am not without sin but I remember a time when a woman with a book like this would stash it in her second drawer of her nightstand…it’s something called class, today’s society just doesn’t have it.

    Reply
  173. Thank you! I have been bold when asked what I think, but wimped out on writing a post like this. You handled it beautifully…truth & grace. Thanks!

    Reply
  174. Nina Loard

     /  July 4, 2012

    The only thing is that 50 Shades is an erotic novel, but it is also a story of an injured, abused man who seeks to heal himself through the woman he loves and goes on to marry. It is about patience and acceptance and love as much as it is about a sexual relationship between two people. It certainly isn’t a novel series for everyone, but no book is. Exploring your sexuality isn’t anti-Christian and neither is reading a well-written work of fiction.
    With regards to Magic Mike. I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure it doesn’t come close to anything that would challenge my marriage or my faith. I am not sure I will see it, but it certainly won’t make me less of a Christian if I do.

    Reply
  175. BrandyT.

     /  July 4, 2012

    I saw your blog on a friends Facebook page. I will be gentle in my comments.
    I have read 50 shades of Grey. I thought it was ok. I don’t agree with S & M. But here’s a thought-maybe this book could repair broken marriages by bringing the spark back. I’m married & a Christian. I think the key is having a healthy & active sexlife like the characters in the book,could be a wonderful thing in saving marrriages. 75% of women hold back sex from their husbands when they are fighting. It should be the opposite. That’s when you need to reconnect with your husband.

    Reply
    • Samantha

       /  July 13, 2012

      The only thing that can TRUELY repair a hurting or broken marriage is God, not watching others have sex, reading about sex, or having more sex with eachtoher. Turn to the bible not to world for quick fixes that will acutally pull marriages and realtionsips further apart and further from God.

      Reply
  176. Lacie

     /  July 4, 2012

    “I fear, as the serpent deceived Eve by his crafiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:3

    Thank you for boldly speaking out against our modern day serpents..

    Reply
  177. Donna

     /  July 4, 2012

    We view life and respond according to how we see things. Can’t help it; you can’t change what you don’t see. In my 53 years, I have found that if I don’t have a strong moral and ethical compass, my human perspective will lead me down the wrong path – because that is just how we are – born into thinking and responding according to our broken and fallen humanity. Man’s wisdom is finite, God’s is infinite.

    For those that don’t think that we struggle with that, they need to look no further than the thousands upon thousands of pages of laws that we have come up with in our own human reasoning to legislate and govern what is good for the people. And new laws and legislation have to be written to cover all the loop holes the previous laws left. Kind of like all the prescriptions that have side effects and instead of dealing with the root cause, the symptom is addressed (again) leading to yet another prescription to help calm the side effect of the previous drug. We in our finite minds don’t have the capability to see the end from the beginning. We start out with good intentions only to find a flaw once it plays itself out. With that in mind, some questions were raised about some of the previous discussion.

    There has been talk about consenting adults. I am not sure what that really has to do with anything. I am not trying to come across arrogant, I just don’t understand the point. The only reason why 18 is the age of “adulthood” is because our law made it that age, so really . . . is that an adult?? As far as consenting goes, there are a lot of consenting adults making decisions that are tearing at the moral fiber of our society. Ask teachers what their students are seeing and now consider “normal behavior.” If it is wrong for a 6 year old to use gutter mouth language, it is wrong at 18, 28 or 80. Those are not things we “earn” as we become an adult by the law. I have never understood why we will correct or discipline children for behavior that we will pay to be entertained by in movies. If it is wrong, then it is wrong.

    As far as I know, the Bible doesn’t give an age for sex, but gives the proper context, which is marriage – not before, nor outside of it with another person, in deed or in heart. If one can continue to fill their eyes with images of another person in very erotic, sexual positions or situations and not begin to fantasize about that person in some form or fashion, I applaud them. When I see something sensual, I am not thinking about my husband, I am thinking about what I see in THAT context, not my marriage. In my own weakness, I have not been able to look at or read something and be able to enjoy my husband without the struggle of those images playing with my mind. It always did more harm to me than good. Without going into my personal life, I can say my husband and I don’t need to tap into someone else’s idea of what sexuality is to look like in order to tap into our own – and we have been married 32 years – happily.

    James 5 states “if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns him from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” If a person is about to drink poison, nobody would get upset if someone tried to stop it. There would be no argument as to why that person has the right to do that because they are an adult and can. There would be no debate as to if this is being “judgmental. Instead, there is no doubt in my mind, there would be a lot of support to the one who is “admonishing” the one with poison to think about what she was about to do. I see spiritual poisoning taking place in both of these forms of entertainment and it takes courage to admonish our sisters to consider what it is doing to their souls.

    I personally want to say thank you for caring enough to say “Stop and think about what you are doing.”

    Reply
  178. Amy

     /  July 4, 2012

    I’ll go as easy as I can. You haven’t read the books or watched the movie? If that’s the case, your entire article is junk.

    Reply
    • Donna

       /  July 4, 2012

      I really am not trying to argue with you, but I have to address your point. I don’t have to read or see a lot of things to make a determination that it isn’t in my best interest to engage in it. I read a few lines of one paragraph of the first book and I do not need to have all that explicit stuff poured into my mind to enjoy a story about a broken man who finds love and gets married and has kids in the end. For me that is what keeps me out of a lot of movies. I don’t need the junk added into a good story – for some that is what makes it a good story. Not reading the series doesn’t make her article junk

      Reply
    • aznthecapn

       /  July 6, 2012

      You don’t have to read the book or watch movie to know how you feel about them. Read a book review, watch a trailer online. The information out there is more than enough to make a judgment call about whether or not its worth seeing. If she was commenting on the quality (not content) of the material, then she would be expected to read/watch the whole thing. She isn’t. She’s commenting on the explicit material and its easy to see how much of it there is without setting foot in a thearer or turning a single page.

      Reply
    • TLW

       /  July 6, 2012

      I’ve never used cocaine, but I’m pretty sure warning people to think twice before they do isn’t”junk”.

      Reply
  179. Shelly

     /  July 4, 2012

    This is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard! I am a Christian, single mom who works full time as a school teacher. I am very educated and of sound mind!! And you know what???? Magic Mike was an awesome movie! I loved every second of it! I haven’t read 50 Shades, but have heard nothing but good about it! Just because some women are able to be in touch w/their sexuality does not mean that they are sinning!! I think that any woman who is against this movie and/or book is an idiot and needs to learn how to have an orgasm!!

    Reply
    • Well…I’m not sure that I can help you to understand, as it’s clear you’re not trying to do so yourself. And (as a school teacher and mother I’m sure you know this) insulting people will not get you very far if you’re actually trying to engage in conversation.

      But maybe I’m just too much of an idiot to see the maturity in your response.

      Reply
    • And, in all sincerity, if you have to tell people that you are “educated, and of sound mind!!” perhaps you should reconsider your tone. That kind of thing is generally communicated by writing well, and not sounding like a crazy person.

      Reply
    • Kaycee

       /  July 4, 2012

      Shelly, I’m sad that you feel the need to insult a human being, calling their feelings and opinions stupid, and referring to anyone who agrees as an idiot. All over a movie and book. I’m really not trying to be insulting, but as a Christian woman and school teacher, would you advocate your kids act like that or would they be scolded?

      Reply
    • Shelly, I have to apologize. I got snippy with you, and that’s out of character for me. Though, if you do want to participate in conversation on my blog, then refrain from insulting me, as that prevents good communication from happening. There are a lot of thoughtful, well-meaning people here, and I’ve given you no reason to be so insulting.

      Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  July 4, 2012

      I am a Christian woman who is against the movie and the book and am very offended by being called an idiot! You identify yourself as a Christian, you must be a new Christian, because a mature Christian would not express themselves in that way. A True Christian would not suggest for another Christian to learn how to have an orgasm. You are crude and rude. You are the reason so many people can’t tell the difference between a Christian from an un-believer. You yell I am a Christian and then follow it with insults and vulgar talk. Really? Is that Christian behavior? Is that how you think a Christian should behave? You know what? I forgive you. Because that is what a Christian does.

      Reply
    • aznthecapn

       /  July 6, 2012

      Sounds to me as though the author hit the nail on the head with you. Struck a chord. Maybe she’s telling you something you already know in the back of your mind but aren’t willing to admit and, therefore, get offended when someone else points it out. Maybe take a breath and come back and read it again. I think there’s a lot in this blog that you can make use of.

      Reply
  180. Ruth Jenkins

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you. I feel the same way. Thank you for posting.

    Reply
  181. Donna

     /  July 4, 2012

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Thank you for this article!!! I thought I was the only one who felt this way! The “in your face” temptation is so obvious, yet so many of are falling for it. I will definately be sharing your article!!

    Reply
  182. Amy

     /  July 4, 2012

    MJ, how about you go read the books and watch the movie? Don’t you think it’s a little irresponsible to do such a write-up without having done so?

    Reply
    • Do I think it’s irresponsible to keep my distance from something the Bible instructs me to keep my distance from?

      Reply
    • aznthecapn

       /  July 6, 2012

      Book reviews and movie trailers give all the info one needs to know whether or not reading a book or seeing a movie would be a worthwhile experience. You only need to read/see it all if you are doing a review of the quality of the work. She’s not reveiwing either – shes stating how engaging in either is contrary to the teachings of the Bible despite how many Christians think either is a good idea.

      Reply
  183. L. Moore

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you, times a million, for having the courage to step out & say what’s on your heart. Obviously, you will be met with resistance…it’d be way too easy for people who disagree to just shake it off and move on with their lives. What you posted is the Truth, and should be viewed as that by anyone who is a daughter or son in Christ. I re-posted this on my facebook page and also included the thought that I am not here to judge, only encourage…and that’s really what your post was intended to do. Keep on keeping on. There are many of us out there who greatly appreciate your words! :-)

    Reply
  184. Treata

     /  July 4, 2012

    I am not good at debating at all but I wanted to address the remarks left by Victoria on God creating sin and Satan being the omnipotent one not God. I contacted by pastor friend and got his answers because I am not good at wording my beliefs:

    1. Realize not everyone is a christian. The Bible teaches most of the world is NOT a christian.
    2. When we are familiar with our Bible one can quickly realize the incorrect facts that are in the blog you were reading. Some are:
    –Free will was given to Adam/Eve, angels and you and me
    –God didn’t create evil. God is perfect (PS 18:32), but God allows all people/angels to have free will.
    –God did NOT create sin. God knew (foreknew or all knowing, PS 139) that man and the angels would sin but God gave them the opportunity to do right.
    3. Most people who say they do not believe in God (Atheist) do not know the meaning of the word. Did you know a true Atheist does not believe in nor can an atheist love anything or anyone?
    4. Christians should NOT watch porn nor watch movies that are porn. Porn degrades what God created as an act of love between a man and a woman. God made man and woman to fit together and complete one another. Remember we are to lift up and show Christ in every aspect of our lives.
    5. What was the first commandment given to the human race? (Be fruitful and multiply). Why? Because you and I are created in the likeness/image of Adam; and, God wanted man to populate the earth so God could have fellowship with the human race. So, we love God because He loved us first and proved His love by sending His only Son to die for the human race.

    Melissa, thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work thru you. I’m sorry for all the negative flack you have had to take but we both know it is all for the glory to God. Porn in any form or to any degree does NOT glorify God.

    Reply
  185. Amy

     /  July 4, 2012

    I have never read the Bible. However, I disagree with much that it has to say. I know this because I’ve never read it.

    Reply
    • Donna

       /  July 4, 2012

      This isn’t an argument. Have a blessed night

      Reply
    • aznthecapn

       /  July 6, 2012

      But you know the gist of the Bible. I can see a trailer for Magic Mike and know I don’t want to see their bodies jiggling and man parts flopping in my face for 2 hours. I can read a review of 50 shades and know I’m not into S&M nor do I want to read it. I can do both of the above and know that the content of either is inappropriate for someone who is a Christian and looking to be an example for others.

      Try harder.

      Reply
    • Samantha

       /  July 13, 2012

      Amy- I am sorry but you cannot require Melissa to read that book and watch that movie before she makes a judgment if you are not willing to do the same thing with the Bible.

      Reply
  186. I don’t know u but I REALLY appreciate your stand and I FULLY agree with you!

    Reply
  187. Jacquelynn

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting this. I too have been cast out because I openly spoke of how wrong this book and movie is. The moment I posted my feelings on my facebook, I was IMMEDIATELY attacked! The more I tried to Calmly explain my reasoning, the more these women grew angry. I was then called a “judger”, and that I thought I was perfect, that I was “casting stones”. The women also told me that their husbands “gave them permission”, and that it was okay for them to see it! I am also disturbed that Christians, and the Church is not standing up and speaking on this issue! Most of the women attacking me, are every Sunday church goers, and one’s father is a preacher! I now have a lot of women, and most of my “friends”, not speaking to me. Also, after I made my post, 95% of my facebook “friends” made their statuses about me. It definitely wasn’t fun, and I also hesitated before making my post….but it is our duty as Christian women, to stand up for our beliefs! Since when is standing up for God embarrassing, yet going and seeing male strippers, and reading a pornography book is normal??? Anyway, I appreciate your post, and I am so glad that there ARE some women out there who are willing to stand up for what is right! God bless you! We need more women rallying together on this issue!

    Reply
  188. brenda

     /  July 4, 2012

    You can dd the Twilight saga to this list.

    Reply
  189. Donna

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you Tony. I have raised my kids and have a grandson now, and never once did I feel the need to take them into the red light district so they could then speak with any authority about the dangers of it. They were able to discern without having to experience it first hand. Just a small taste of some things can let you know there is no value in digging deeper – (written by one who has a few dry wells of her own, lol)

    Reply
  190. Jessica

     /  July 4, 2012

    I 1,000% agree with you!!! Thank you so much for writing this. I also read some of Fifty Shades. I read about the first 3 chapters, and then skipped forward to read a sex scene to see if I wanted to finish it or not. Almost all of the women at my work are reading this filfth, and one of my friends who is also a Christian said it is “the best book she’s ever read.” Man, is this spiritual warfare or what?! I felt conflicted and convicted about it, and yet when asked by women at my workplace if I had read anymore, I would never come out and tell them the basis of my decision in fear they wouldn’t like hearing what I had to say. Instead, I took a picture of the book in my waste basket, and posted it on my FB page with “This is where this book belongs.” I didn’t want to say anything about it, but I felt that I had to. I just had to. I also asked for forgiveness from my husband and my Heavenly Father.
    The point of the book is to arouse women. It’s erotica. It has absolutely no literary value at all. It is very poorly written, and I am so confused by women who are telling me that it has a good story line. I think it’s just an excuse to read it. In my opinion, anything else used to arouse us other than our spouses is a sin. Porn is absolutely a sin, which is what this book is. Porn on paper. Anything that would promote self-stimulation or arousal and lead us astray from our spouses is not what God had planned for us. Of course God created sex to be good. But sin created lust.
    Also, as a woman and sexual creature, I have no desire to be empowered or liberated, as Victoria argued in her earlier comments. My husband loves me and we love being together, and that’s all there needs to be.
    For the Christian women who get upset over reading the truth you’ve written, I’m pretty certain that deep down they are struggling with their own guilt over enjoying the movie or the books.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE AND FAITH!!

    Reply
  191. Akala williamson

     /  July 4, 2012

    I am glad to know there is other women out there that are not willing to compromise on this issue. It is not harmless fun. The Bible tells us to guard ourselves against all of this. Good for you for taking a stand. I stand with you my sister in Christ.

    Reply
  192. Charissa

     /  July 4, 2012

    *hugs* Careful MJ. You’re letting them get to you. What you have stated is truth, but they’re getting caught up in the details…
    What causes one to stumble doesn’t necessarily cause another. I plan on seeing Magic Mike with my girlfriends because they want to go laugh, not desperate to be turned on.
    Do I understand your argument? Yes, absolutely. Do I think it’s worthwhile? Yes, absolutely.
    The argument is that Christian women should be vigilant against anything that draws us away from the love of Christ and the gifts he has given us in our husbands (whom we have taken a sworn commitment to in his name).
    If you and your husband can share written or visual stimulation without being tempted away from each other, I applaud you. If you *think* you guys can handle this, but know it’s really an excuse to fill a void, you need to check yourselves. At most, if you feel like this post does not apply to you at all, then ladies, move on. No need to pick a battle and tear each other down over differences of opinion.

    To the dissenters who are arguing “don’t judge me” – isn’t MJ entitled to her opinion as well?

    To the Christian sisters who feel deeply hurt by this, isn’t sensitivity part of conviction? If you’re not seeing this as a mirror, or you see nothing you feel ashamed of – see above! Applaud MJ for sharing something she felt God put on her heart, and walk away.

    To all women – all I ask is that you flip the roles and truly ask yourself how you would feel about the rampant magazines and visual stimulus running around for men. ok, 50 Shades is written and romantic, but we are stimulated through emotions and words and men are grabbed through pictures. It’s the same thing as a Playboy or Hustler – how do you Really feel about that? The same goes for the movie – if you aren’t comfortable going to see a real strip show, why does it being on a big screen make it better? Like I said in my last post, are we reaching for “equality” or global improvement?

    to MJ – I pray for your peace and strength. Many of these negative comments are getting to you and you are getting snippy. Don’t feel like you have to respond to them if you can’t do so with a heart of love. God called you to share a message, not to defend it with your life. =) Don’t get sucked into being someone you aren’t in these responses.

    Reply
    • Donna

       /  July 4, 2012

      Great word of exhortation to us all. Your word on how different things can trip different people is well put. I would like to add that, while I am not threatened by some of the things that did in the past due to some very “religious” mindsets, I no longer live from the stance that I must avoid all appearances of evil. My goal is to reach for something that has a greater value. Sometimes I feel like, as Christians, we have lost sight of the worth of His sacrifice and we waste a lot of time on things that have no eternal or edifying value. I know we all do that, because we are all so immersed in this world, but I would hope that each day brings me closer to bringing Him glory in all that I do and say.

      Once again, thank you for your exhortation. It was well received.

      Reply
  193. This is why I love America. We have the absolute freedom to each have our own say about any topic. I am a Christian woman who completely agrees with you Melissa. Thanks for a thought-provoking topic and outstanding follow-up discussions. Have a blessed day.

    Reply
  194. Eliza

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for writing out of your convictions. ‘It is not okay’ needs to be said as much as the message that our culture is sending. Thank you for using your voice.

    Reply
  195. Steve

     /  July 4, 2012

    Hide yo kids, hide yo wife and hide yo husband….

    Ladies, go get a hobby. You all have way too much time on your hands to be so wrapped up in a silly topic.

    Reply
    • aznthecapn

       /  July 6, 2012

      And if you felt the need to make this post then you should take your own advice.

      Reply
  196. Micah

     /  July 4, 2012

    Melissa, I’ve never read your blog before, but I wholeheartedly agree with this post! You know why? Because it’s in keeping with the Bible’s views on sex, lust, and what we allow into our lives. Those who don’t like this post haven’t searched the scriptures for themselves concerning these things. If only the world would follow the Bible instead of their feelings we would have a much better world. Guess I’ll just have to wait for heaven for that.

    When I first saw the previews for Magic Mike I had a hard time looking away. Of course Channing Tatum is gorgeous. But the only man I’m to look at in that manner is my husband. I finally made myself turn my head whenever the preview came on. All of my desires are to be aimed towards my husband. Why? Because that’s how God designed it.

    For those who don’t understand why watching or reading these types of things isn’t good for you, read these verses with an open and honest heart.

    “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Rom 13:14

    “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:28

    “Flee youthful lusts: but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:22

    “For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16

    “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11

    Reply
  197. sheri coons

     /  July 4, 2012

    I have heard that the trilogy is helpful for marriages to spice things up. And the movie is just that…a movie….We all know what the human form looks like and some look better than others. As long as the talk is not around children I could care less if my husband looked at or bragged about a nice shaped woman in penthouse. I would not be irrate. That is called security. Things are bad, because hypocritical christians say they are. I was brought up in the southern baptist church and went three times a week for 20 years. Most of those same people spanking kids in front of church for an example are out riding their harleys, drinking and left family. Tired of “christians” saying one thing and doing another, just because they think it is the right thing to say or do in front of so called other “christians”…..DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS!!!!!!!!! BE YOUR OWN MIND, AND DONT WORRY ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLES MIND!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Kaycee

       /  July 4, 2012

      You say do not judge others or worry about other people’s minds, but that seems to be the entire point of your post- to do JUST that. So you’re entitled?

      Reply
    • Megan

       /  July 4, 2012

      But as Christians we should worry about other peoples minds. We are called to go out and preach the gospel. We care (or should at least) very much for people and want them to come to God. It’s all done in love. I understand that there are people who call themselves Christians and do not live that life very well. That is not a good thing. Please don’t judge every Christian based upon your bad experiences with some.

      Reply
  198. Karen Sloan

     /  July 4, 2012

    I am in agreement with you totally! The enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour and how it makes him happy if it is a Christian woman (or man)! God bless you for being bold and opening up for all of us in the name of Jesus.

    Reply
  199. Sarah S

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for voicing this!

    Reply
  200. L. Moor

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you. Simply Thank You.

    Reply
  201. Thank you for writing this! I, too, am not one to normally speak out on facebook or on my blog (bramlettbarometer.blogspot.com), but I had to write about this topic. And, my husband is a pastor, and he definitely spoke out against Magic Mike and Fifty Shades from the pulpit this past Sunday. Thank you for speaking out and being His mouthpiece!

    Reply
  202. sheri coons

     /  July 4, 2012

    After spending an hour and a half readin all the posts…I now have a better voice of what I was trying to say…..I totally 200 percent agree with Victoria from the earlier posts

    Reply
  203. Sarah C

     /  July 4, 2012

    Melissa- Do not feel ‘iffy’! You are an encouragement… Blessed is he whom is mocked and persecuted on behalf of Christ and the Word of God :) There are MANY scriptures that support this.. here is one for you to remember Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”
    As Christians we need to encourage one another and support good works to uplift our spirits…. bc I know and you know it does wear you down a bit when non christians beat you down and beat you down some more. Keep the Faith and never give up!

    Reply
  204. I stumbled across this on FB when someone posted it, and all I can say is, “Thank you!” I was just as surprised to find out how many women are so enthusiastic about the book and film that I would respect in so many other ways. In terms of Magic Mike, I could not stop thinking about how we as women are so angry whenever men objectify women, so why is okay to objectify men by enthusiastically supporting this film? I really appreciate the stance that you have taken about how we as Christian women should be set apart, while taking your stance in a mature way. Great post!

    Reply
  205. Nancy. H

     /  July 4, 2012

    Well said. Thanks for being bold.

    Reply
  206. Jenny

     /  July 4, 2012

    Great points and post. Don’t apologize for the truth. I am in an incredibly blessed and mutually respectful marriage and my initmacy with my husband is a beautiful thing and I don’t need a book or a movie to inspire my life. A woman who says they are open or don’t care what their husband does or thinks is just lying to themselves and anyone else.

    Reply
  207. Jennifer

     /  July 4, 2012

    I agree completely! And why is it that others view us as being “judgmental” when we are simply voicing our Christian beliefs? Well, it doesn’t matter what others think of us, only what God thinks of us .

    Reply
  208. Indy

     /  July 4, 2012

    I think you said it all very well, Melissa. I just want to add my 2 cents worth. I don’t think it is harmful to see the occasional movie with porn-like scenes in it, as a Christian woman. (Or man). No more than seeing a movie with murder, drugs, child abuse, or other harmful activities would cause you to run out and do those things. The only alternative would be to not watch tv or movies or read books. Just like anything else that is harmful when abused, if you cannot deal with it, don’t do it.
    This is just my own opinion, and I have not seen the movies or read the books and don’t intend to. I’m just talking about books and movies in general.
    I just want to add that I think it’s silly to enter someone’s blog and accuse them of judging you, when they are there of their own free will and can close the window at any time.

    Reply
  209. Dollie

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thanks you for writing this-my daughter (22) bought this book because of all the reviews it received. She contacted Amazon after beginning it and told them that she wanted to return it because it was misrepresented. They refunded her money without requiring her to return the book. After reading all the hoopla about it, I asked her about it-she reads even more than me. She gave me the book, and I started reading it. While reading it, I felt a strong conviction that it was wrong, so I put it down. I am between books and thought about picking it up again-was led to your blog via a facebook post (glad to know God is on facebook too). I just wanted you to know that God has used your post to speak to many people and to thank you for putting yourself out there.

    Reply
  210. This is my first time to your blog, regardless of this fact though, on this, I could not agree with you more. You have succinctly said so much of what has been on my heart and what I’ve been silently wondering. Thank you for writing what He’s put on your heart.

    Reply
  211. Hilary

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for writing this!! I had all of these thoughts running through my head and wanted to make a statement too. Thank you for allowing the Spirit to speak through you & being an instrument for God. I reposted your blog post from a friend of a friend on facebook and have received a lot of positive feedback. So many thanked me for sharing your words and people are praising God for your boldness and I wanted to let you know. Thank you sweet sister. I appreciate you!

    Reply
    • Awww, that makes me SO happy to hear. Knowing that people are being reached by what I had to say makes it much easier to deal with the criticism. I really appreciate your encouragement! :)

      Reply
  212. Ashley

     /  July 4, 2012

    Well said. Thank u for writing this, and good job keeping up with the responses the way you have. You’ve got to know God smiles at this post! Bless you. :)

    Reply
  213. Melissa, followed this from Cliff Graham’s share on Facebook. All I can say is ROCK ON and I’m with you. Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you shall reap a reward if you do not lose heart.”

    Reply
  214. lexy883

     /  July 4, 2012

    THANK YOU!! I have been told that my husband would be so happy that I read these books! If it takes that to make my husband happy, there is something wrong! I would not be okay with my husband reading a book like 50 Shades! And, I wouldn’t want him to go see a stripper movie! He knows that he doesn’t need to be in a strip club, what makes Magic Mike okay for me? I’m glad to see a woman that will speak out against these books and this movie! Thanks!

    Reply
  215. Jenny

     /  July 4, 2012

    You ma’am have remarkable patients! I must say I’m completely in your conrner, although you did’nt set out to pick a fight. I will NOT be seeing this movie or reading this book because of your insight. What a great thing to use your voice for grace rather than lust! I think that men hide their feelings so well that we don’t even realize we have hurt them (at least the one I’m married to does). Believe me ladies, they ARE hurt by this sort of idolization. We have no right to demand of them anything we would not do for them. As a mother I am terrified for my son if this (The movie,and I’ve only seen clips on tv.), is to become the mind-numbing norm for young men. How will they compete with this image?

    Reply
  216. Thank you! You did, indeed, make at least one friend (if only a net.friend) from this post. After I point my wife to it, you’ll have two. I love that you not only take on two of the uglier things thrown at women this year, but you aren’t afraid to talk about sex.
    Someone seemed to think that because so much of the Church (at least white USA church) has been so anti-sex that it’s OK to go wildly in the other direction to bring balance. While Star Wars was fiction (horrified gasps from many of my friends), I think it protrayed quite nicely how well that whole approach to bringing “baclance to the Force” works. We as a society have made both a science and art out of swinging to the opposite extreme to “balance” an extreme.
    The feminist movement was co-opted this way. Whereas it started out demanding the right to move up along side men in the areas women had been held down, it eventually toggled into crawling down into the slime many men inhabited. It’s akin to demanding equality as slaves instead demanding equality to be free.
    In case you’re curious, I found this through Addie Zierman’s “How to Talk Evangelical” blog. I’ll be back.

    Reply
  217. L.

     /  July 4, 2012

    Being a believer I have no problem with your post. Not gonna lie, I didn’t read the whole thing because it’s just not an issue close to my heart. My friends aren’t seeing the movie or reading the books, I’m not, my mom isn’t (she turns the tv off whenever that preview comes on lol what a lady), but I am just wondering if you think bondage/S&M inside a marriage with two consenting adults is a sin. My pastor addressed this recently but I didn’t want to ask him, because he’s a man and its a private thing. I’d appreciate it if you could email me a response with any scriptural reinforcement you can find, I’m not sure where to look or who else to ask. Thanks! P.S. I’m not gonna post my email address I’m just hoping its available to you on the editor’s end of the blog.

    Reply
  218. cindy

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking. Fortunately my closest friends aren’t into either that horrid book or the *roll eyes* movie. But I have several casual friends who are and I just feel sad for them. I take pride in being able to honor my husband and if that means I don’t read the latest “it” novel or have a girls night to watch soft porn then I’m ok with that. You’re 100% right, we as Christian women need to stand up for what is right and against what is wrong. I wish I could reach through the screen and hug you for doing just that.

    Reply
  219. Just Wondering

     /  July 4, 2012

    I definitely see where you’re coming from, but 2 questions: 1, have you read the entire book or actually seen the movie? and 2, What are we supposed to do if we don’t have a husband?

    Reply
    • Jessica

       /  July 5, 2012

      The Bible tells us to wait until marriage. Jesus made it 33 years on earth without sex and I know of people who waited longer.

      Reply
  220. this is so important. I thank you for this post. I want to point out that pornography is no longer a man’s problem. Women get addicted all the time, now. It’s easy when it comes in forms that are socially acceptable. I agree 100% that good Christian women should avoid these works at all costs. There is nothing lovely, of good report, of virtue or praiseworthy about them.

    Reply
  221. Rory

     /  July 4, 2012

    Loved this! Yes, yes, yes…a thousand times YES to your words, your encouragement, and your honoring of a Holy God who LOVES us. That rings loud and clear in your words, your tone, everything expressed by you in this post. It’s about continually choosing to give Him glory..and that should play out in our entertainment choices as well! I love 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is constructive.” I want to choose things that are beneficial and constructive according to the standards in God’s Word, not just according to what I might think is good for me. He never keeps us from stuff unless it’s FOR our good and for His glory, so THANK you for calling this to our attention, for doing that so eloquently, gently, and passionately. Shared this on face book because I think it’s a GOOD word! No wait, I KNOW it’s a good word! Stand strong and keep fighting the good fight. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, that’s for sure!:) Hugs and encouragement.

    Reply
  222. Rebekah

     /  July 4, 2012

    My sister in law just shared this on facebook, and I could not agree more. I’ve read through some of the comments in here (man, a lot of people want to argue with you), and I think some of the people don’t realize that Christians are commanded to “put off the natural man”. Yes, the natural man (and woman) was designed to lust and indulge animalistic desires. This doesn’t just apply to sex (although the words I used pretty much do). It applies to anything to which one might become addicted. It applies to anything that can remove your power to choose.

    Pornography addiction has reached epidemic proportions, but much of society accepts it. However, as my husband’s therapist explained it to me, “sexual addiction has as much to do with sex as an alcoholic’s addiction has to do with being thirsty.” So for people who are saying, “Oh, well, pornography is fine! It’s a tool for intimacy!”, it really isn’t. It’s training your brain to need it. I’m sure that sounds crazy to folks who don’t see it as a problem, but it is a verifiable addiction.

    Okay, so that was a bit rambly and deviating a bit from your original topic, but seriously, the general population doesn’t know about pornography addictions. It’s taboo, and it shouldn’t be. People should be aware and educate themselves and their children. Maybe they can save their sons and daughters from having a secret addiction for decades.

    Reply
  223. Tonya

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for writing this post! I could not agree more!

    Reply
  224. Amanda

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for writing about something that you didn’t want to do. I agree 100%. Thank you for speaking truth and rebuking Christian women on this subject.

    Reply
  225. Kit Katt

     /  July 5, 2012

    I think whether or not porn is unhealthy/healthy for a relationship it depends on the couple. I’ve known many couples where it HELPED the relationship rather than hurt it. Just saying. It’s a great way to come up with ideas to try on your significant other. Otherwise, you’re going in with no instruction and might not know what to do to spice things up.

    Reply
  226. 7whoami

     /  July 5, 2012

    Wow. You sure got a conversation going that got people fired up.
    I am a Christian man who is grieved when the church itself seems unable to have a civilized conversation within itself about much of anything, and who thinks the church in general spends too much time being negative about sex,and not enough talking about how to have a great sex life.
    I think we Christians should have the greatest most awesome sex lives because the Spirit of God, who created sex, lives within us and guides us. It would seem to me like we should be leading the world in great married sex lives.
    Here are some questions that have been rolling around in my head to spark some conversation.
    Christian Women who don\’t have a problem with things like Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey and who have a great sex life- what can you tell us about how to have a great sex life or what references can you provide?
    Christian Women who do have a problem with such things, but have a great sex life- what can you tell us about how to have a great sex life or what references can you provide?
    Christian women who really want to have a great sex life, but don\’t right now- what help do you need from your sisters and brothers to move to a great sex life?
    Non-Christians-what can we Christians do in talking about sex that would help you slow down and really consider what we are saying- rather than just feeling judged and condemned?
    Sorry for the length of this, I have been watching the conversation about these issues here and at other blogs with much interest.

    Reply
  227. I want to say thank you because it is so nice to see other standing up for what God told them to stand up for despite the worlds meanness towards them for it. Jesus told us to be prepared for that. He said the world will hate us because it hated him. We are in good company then, I would say. My 25 year old got bashed by some “Christian” woman from our former church (the one she grew up in) last week for posting a comment that didn’t even have the words to either of those in it but it was implied. She said “Girls get jealous when their husbands or boyfriends check out other women. They try to become these perfect figures they see their men attracted to. I’m SO incredibly blessed to have a guy who has NEVER said another girl was pretty. I don’t need to pay ten bucks to go see a movie with half naked men just because society tells me its acceptable. I’ve got a great man at home, and he’s all I’ll ever need.” I didn’t see anything wrong with this point. She was thanking God for the blessings in her life and had realized she didn’t need to do the things the world was doing. One of the ladies brought up her troubled teen years and threw it in her face. She handled it beautifully and said yes that she had gone through a lot and was trying to follow what God taught and learn from her mistakes. But as a mom I wanted to say something so badly. But I am glad I didn’t because she handled it just fine. I am proud of her for the growth in the Lord I see in her daily. She has a love for the Lord that shows in how she chooses to live her daily life and grow in many areas.

    We all grow at different rates in the areas the Lord needs us to change in. But that doesn’t mean we should be silent. She should share what the Lord is showing us. Keep up the good work listening to the Lord! Regardless of what others say His opinion is really the ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS! Hugs!

    Reply
    • shannon

       /  July 5, 2012

      MJ, I can understand your concern, but your article is pure rubbish. You did almost no research on the subject matter yet managed to write a multiple page rant.

      Reply
      • aznthecapn

         /  July 6, 2012

        There’s plenty of scriptural references in her post. What research did you need to see?

        Reply
  228. Well the Bible does tell us in Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside: it shall not cleave to me. It is not okay to watch that porn and that is what it is. God is holy and we are to be holy. Would you want to be watching that mess or reading it when Christ returns. Love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  229. Thanks for your courage in speaking up and out on this! I am a therapist who specializes in helping women married to men who compulsively use pornography or engage in other compulsive sexual behaviors- so-called “sex addicts” and I can tell you about the devastation this stuff can bring into a marriage or relationship.(My book, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal has helped a lot of women come to grips with the effects of this stuff). I can also tell you many women are getting caught up in compulsive porn use or online chat- robbing themselves and their families. As a culture and as Christians, we are burying our heads in the sand believing what we consume through our eyes has no effect on us. I have heard thousands of stories that tell me otherwise.
    Barbara Steffens PhD LPCC, CCSAS

    Reply
  230. Kristi Castro

     /  July 5, 2012

    You are very bold to stand up for your beliefs and personal opinions. I almost went to see this movie and looked up information about the book. Needless to say, I won’t be seeing the movie or reading that book. It’s funny, because whenever I was weighing whether or not to go to the movies, I thought to myself, “How would I feel if my husband were going to see some female stripper movie…”

    In today’s society, sex (of all types) is so open, accepted, and no longer a taboo as much as it was in other times. It’s so easy to be numb or more calloused about the media that’s constantly thrown up in our faces on a daily basis.

    Thank you for being obedient. :) Thank you for being a true woman of God that stands up for her beliefs.

    Reply
  231. You read my mind. Beautifully written, bravo for your bravery! I’ve expressed my sadness over these things several times

    Reply
  232. Erin

     /  July 5, 2012

    You took the words right out of my mouth. You have said what many of us have been thinking! I have been AMAZED at the women (mostly Christian women) who have suggested this book to me or who have posted their lustful thoughts on FB about “Mr. Christian Grey”. I was starting to think that I was the only person that didn’t see this as being ok. Thanks!

    Reply
  233. Tyler

     /  July 5, 2012

    I applaud you for not conforming or trying to justify your sin by watching or finish reading these works. Philippians says to keep your mind on the things above on whatever is right, honorable, pure… etc… Im not sure God intended for us to just read it and not apply it. However, like we both know, NO ONE is perfect. We can only strive to be as Jesus is. Again, I applaud you for posting this. May God Bless You.

    Reply
  234. Jeff

     /  July 5, 2012

    Hi MJ! New reader/follower here too (thanks to a facebook share)!

    What a great write up and great discussion! Just some quick info on me: I’m a 39 yr old Christian GUY, have been married for 20 years with 2 incredibly awesome kids, a social media savvy, artistic, tech kind of dude who cares about people, social issues, is undeserving of God’s love, and wants to share it with others.

    Two things I’d like to comment about:

    1) TO THE LADIES:
    So glad to see that you have stepped up and out, and spoken up on this important issue, as it’s one that I see growing in our culture as it relates to women. While I could talk about the Biblical side of lust, porn, God’s plan for amazing marital sex, etc, you’ve already done a great job of that. More importantly, I try to keep it real and honest, and so I’m going to admit that I experience more defeat than victory in these areas myself, and so I don’t really feel at liberty to take that kind of approach.

    What I do feel at freedom to say is this: For women who are beginning to take an interest in this type of lust-related stuff (movies, etc), I’d like to offer a suggestion. RUN THE OTHER WAY! If you’re looking for some entertainment, Netflix has another 10k movies for you. If you want some more interesting sexual fantasies, create them with your husband. I can nearly guarantee that he will NOT reject some new spice in the bedroom. But, stay away from viewing sex on the screen (and in the books). Period.

    I agree with you MJ, all this stuff is damaging at some level, but very often (and seemingly more and more) this slope can lead to porn addiction. And not just for men…I’m seeing it more and more in women also. Why? There are chemical reasons, emotional reasons, spiritual reasons, etc. I won’t go into that. Google some (Christian) websites…there’s more than enough info out there. Truth is, it appeals to many of us, for many different reasons..most of which are related to other areas of hurt and rejection in our lives, which unfortunately, we all have. You see, the enemy of our soul knows this, and he will use things like this to capitalize on these pains.

    I’m on the other side of this curiosity ladies. Past the simply checking out a sexy movie thing…but that’s where it started. I’m finding myself fighting a daily battle to stay off porn sites, and lately losing a lot more often than winning. Finding myself preoccupied with lustful thoughts…even at the most inappropriate times and situations. Finding myself quite often, having to give myself a grace-related pep talk before I feel worthy enough to go out and make the difference I’m supposed to because I’ve got this ugly crap I’m dealing with.Finding myself realizing the ongoing challenges this has created in my marriage, and the hurt is has caused my spouse.

    If you think this is a “men’s only” issue, you are being naive. You don’t see it or hear about it affecting women because women are still doing a better job of hiding and internalizing it. I’m willing to bet that this will continue to change though, especially with all of this new lust-filled, female-targeted media. I personally know women that are dealing with it. Don’t take the risk of putting yourself in the same spot that so many of us are already in. Lust is like a drug. It feels euphoric, but will consume you like a cancer before you even realize what happened. And, I hate to break your hearts, but the strength of your faith, marriage, church involvement, etc has nothing to do with whether or not this will get a grip on you. Nothing.

    I am by NO means saying that watching Magic Mike at the theater is going to lead to porn or lust addiction. What I am saying, is that it might. If it’s a bad idea as is, and there’s a risk of having something you are free from starting to take a hold on you, why would you want to? IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE MOVIE THAT BAD ALREADY, AND ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE WILLPOWER NOT TO GO WATCH IT, THAN I STRONGLY WARN YOU ESPECIALLY. YOU’RE ALREADY ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE.

    2) TO MJ
    Girl, you are awesome! Keep up the great work. I think more important than the actual article you wrote, is the way that you are responding to the people in the discussion…with sincere love and respect! So many people in the Faith are either terribly legalistic, and don’t consider or respect other people’s view. Or, they are on the other side of the spectrum and don’t know why they believe what they believe so they don’t have the ability to stand firm or explain what they believe.

    But, you have a great balance of being able to realize that you are in need of God’s grace as much as anyone else. And you present your knowledgeable points with understanding, love, and respect for others. The way Jesus did. I wish all blogging Christians would take the time to read through this entire discussion and your posts, as an example of how we, as Christians, should be responding to others; others who share the same and opposing views. I can only imagine the increase in impact we would have as followers of Christ if we all responded like you. Being open and honest about our need for God and our own failures.

    You’ve got a TON going on in your career (which makes your Christian blogging even more admirable, awesome and effective MJ). But, do me a favor will you MJ? Spend just a few minutes thinking and praying about how you could effectively share this “approach” that I’m talking about with other Christians. A somewhat silly analogy comes to mind: You’re feeding many people some incredibly rare and fortified food here, and making a difference to those eating it! But…what if you could share the recipe and the way you prepare it with other chefs who may be struggling to do the same?

    In regards to your communication as a Christian, you seem to have some natural gifts/abilities/wisdom. As my Pastor says, “Wisdom is the application of knowledge”. So many people hold the knowledge, but not the wisdom needed to deliver it as you do. Maybe a blog/vlog series on “Using your blog to discuss your faith – Jesus’ style”, etc?

    Sorry to ramble :) So many struggling to actively engage and communicate. Being an encourager, I want to encourage those with that gift to share it with others that so badly need it! Keep up the good work.

    Peace, hair-grease, and blessings!
    -jeff

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for offering you perspective as a male. I think one reason so many women are lashing out regarding 50 Shades/MM is because they are under the impression that we’re promoting sexual repression in an unhealthy way, but your post clearly communicates your intent. You are not interested in dampening women’s understanding and appreciation of their sexuality, just warning us to use caution and make good decisions in an area where many of us have little to no experience. It’s true that many women see pornography as “a man’s problem,” but the popularity of pornographic novels (well before 50 Shades, even), and celebration of the sexual objectification of men (Magic Mike) would prove otherwise. My prayer for you is that you’ll have a renewed strength on the issue, and that because you’ve used your words to build others up, you will in turn be built up also. Somehow I find that once I feel convicted enough to say something, the very act of vocalizing the issue doubles my conviction. I find renewed strength when I take the risk of speaking about it “in public,” and I pray that you find the same.

      With regards to part two: I’m humbled that you find anything exceptional about my communication style. I think your idea of “sharing the recipe” is an excellent one. All too often I’ve stayed away from Christian blogs, because it frustrated me, as someone who’s been a non-believer longer than a believer, to hear these Christian bloggers be at times disrespectful of their audience. Of course, none of us bats a thousand, so I understand that we all stumble. But the majority of blogs I read seem to have a hard time communicating with people of differing opinions. Because I wasn’t raised in the church, most of the people I grew up around (and loved) were either Atheists, or Agnostics, or just too busy with the crud in their lives to think about God at all. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with respect, or that their questions and concerns shouldn’t be addressed. Anyway, I’ve never really considered “the recipe,” because it’s just how I naturally am. But I will do like you said and pray about how I can share my “approach” with other Christian writers and bloggers.

      Honestly though I already feel resistance. I’m hearing “who do you think you are to be “teaching” people anything about how to communicate? You’re not qualified in any way. You’re not a pastor, and you’ve never even taken a communications class outside of Speech 1A in college. Be glad some people think you’re decent at what you do, and do get in over your head.” And that scares me. I’m nobody, you know? My head is telling me to leave the teaching to the professionals. Maybe I shouldn’t be so forthright in my insecurities, but there it is. ;)

      Anyhoo, THANK YOU for your awesome insight, and your encouragement. I really appreciate your taking the time out of your day to encourage a stranger. :)

      Reply
  235. Theresa Klacman

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for your courage and your truth into this matter. I wanted you to know, simply, that you are not alone.

    Reply
  236. Rebekah Taylor

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for writing this! Respect is a much more precious commodity than popularity, and you have my respect! Opening spiritual doors for the enemy to enter into our lives is a serious thing. Garbage in – garbage out! Thanks again girl :)

    Reply
  237. Onnica

     /  July 5, 2012

    I’m just gong to say this…WELL SAID. I have a ten-year-old daughter for whom I worry about constantly because of what society deems “acceptable”. Thankfully we’re a Christian family and she already has quite the mind-set for what she feels God will give her in a Christian man (basically traits she’s looking for in a man!) That might seems silly that a ten-year-old would be thinking about it already, but then again not for time flies so quickly and children grow up the same. She was watching television with me and a commercial for Magic Mike came on and she quizzically looked at me and asked “Why would anyone WANT to go see THAT? Isn’t sex and getting naked something God gave to married people and it should be kept private?” And then she went on to say “I don’t understand why anyone, men or women, would want to PAY to see somebody naked?! Aren’t the bill hards enough to pay anyway? Why would you waste money on THAT?” I’m just thankful she has that opinion and I want to commend you on your willingness to put it out there. Now if you need someone to start a campaign, I’m load and okay with that. I don’t judge people, but I definitely don’t mind talking about what I believe in!!!

    Reply
  238. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    Good for you for standing up for righteousness sake.

    I was on my Amazon Affiliates account and browsing popular book titles to add to my blog – “50 Shades” was the top seller for that week and I was like “oh, I wonder what it is about” – about 1 paragraph into the summary I was saddened by the state of our world’s decline.

    I’m saddened to know that it is popular in Christian crowds.

    I believe in grace and will pray for all these people, but saddened at the damage in the meantime.

    Elaine Mingus
    http://www.emingus.com
    http://www.poetryunveiled.com

    Reply
  239. As a stay at home mama of three small boys, I virtually have no time to read books or see movies. Especially on my own. And my friends all have children and better things to do and spend their money on. So when I saw all of the posts for both the book and this movie on my fb wall, I ignored them because they were of no interest to me. I did think passively, “Oh, I’ll just rent the movie, maybe, sometimes.” I went on with my life.

    However, I do feel very strongly about many things and presenting our lives as a living sacrifice for the King is one of them. We do not have tv in our house, we live simply, trying so, without distraction. We are careful, in these early years where the shaping takes place, to guard the hearts, minds, and souls of our younglings.

    Jesus! The very name of Jesus is offensive. He would not have sat passively, watching sin take place, without saying and doing something. I commend you for that. So often, we are bullied in our lives to not speak out because we might offend and “what would that say about Jesus?” Let me tell you, it says that His people are passionately seeking His heart cry that we should be blameless, without sin. That we should be Titus 2 women,”The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (3-5)

    There are no good reasons to argue your points or justify your convictions and interpretations of the scripture to people who are not of one mind and one accord with you. Their very nature repeals any reproach and and conviction they may feel is blanketed by a spirit of offense. You felt lead to speak on a subject matter, that you openly say, might alienate you. Yet you did so because it was a heart matter for you and you are awesome for that. Even those neither of these two things were on my radar of must see’s/reads, I am glad I found your post!

    I want women to look at me and be encouraged that being sanctified is honorable. I want my sons to see that I stand up for the Jesus that lives in my heart and honor and respect others and their bodies. I want my husband to know that my attraction is only for him and that our time together is unadulterated in any fashion. And we have three children in five and a half years of marriage–we have a healthy sex life! :*)

    All this to say, you are awesome and I thank you for standing tall on the Word of God to speak out about something many need to realize. You are showing the mirror and it’s something to be reflecting in honor. This is a stepping stone for you in your Proverbs 31 walk and your husband should be so proud that you are bringing honor and glory to him! I am proud of you and am praising God for your bold heart!

    Reply
  240. THANK YOU! just shared on fb also.. i was thinking the same thing and i’m glad you said this. good for you!

    Reply
  241. Well said! VERY WELL SAID! Just read a blog the other day regarding a similar topic about our modesty… here it is…you might want to add it to the post for others to read.

    I applaud your bravery on approaching this very tabboo subject!!!

    http://thenatos.blogspot.com/2012/06/trouble-with-looking-sexy.html
    http://thenatos.blogspot.com/2012/07/problem-with-looking-sexy-part-dos.html

    Reply
  242. Erin

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for a great article! I’m glad you had the courage to write it.
    I think that the reason that society has added the word “mommy” in front of the word “porn” is to make it seem cute, and to distract from the fact that it is indeed, pornography.
    People seem to hold different standards for books than they do for other things. It’s as though because there aren’t graphic images to look at, it is somehow less offensive than a movie or a magazine. But, a person’s imagination can be just as, if not more detailed than an image. It’s the reason that I don’t like to watch the movie version of a book that I’ve read: the movie is never the way that it was in my mind.
    Thanks for this!

    Reply
  243. Wonderful post. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  244. Aly J

     /  July 5, 2012

    I just wanted to say thank you! This has been on my heart and it kills me to see my fellow sisters in Christ falling into this pornography. When the subject comes up, I express my views and people think I’m crazy. I’m glad to know I am not the only “crazy” one. The Lord has used you to speak truth to your sisters in Christ, whether they decides to face their sin or ignore it is between them and God,and sadly many refuse to see it as sin. My husband and I feel the same on this subject and agree you are right on target. Thank you for your courage and bravery to speak Truth on this subject! God Bless you and your family!

    Reply
  245. Ashley

     /  July 5, 2012

    Wow! I have 50 shades of Grey and all 3 books downloaded but haven’t read them. A friend sent them to me for free and have not seen the movie yet but was making plans to. I don’t think I am now. I never thought of it like this because I wouldn’t appreciate my husband looking at porn.!

    Reply
  246. Carol McClure

     /  July 5, 2012

    You did good. You were obedient to God’s nudging and you spoke the truth in love. May we all be diligent to correct one another and protect each other as we truly live “set apart” not just in theory or word, but in our daily living. To God be the glory. May He richly bless you dear sister.

    Reply
  247. Sue

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for writing this post. I agree with it so much. Was I uncomfortable reading some of it? Yes. Because being a true Christian woman – as the Bible calls us to be – is HARD! We are called to do things that are right and to turn away from the wrong, but when you see 2 out of 3 women that you respect going on and on about these books and movies, it’s too easy to start to bend and justify that maybe it’s not so bad. But, truthfully, it is. Regardless of the justification, they are still components that lead to “the slow fade” – or the slippery slope, if you will. I read a small portion of 50 Shades and I’m very thankful for two things: 1. That it was written SO poorly, and 2. That my respect for the English language and grammar, in general, would never have allowed me to enjoy the book. lol Had either of these points not been there, I may have purchased it myself and “indulged” in it even though there’s no doubt that it is pornography.

    And on pornography, I agree with you that it is unhealthy. Have I always agreed? No. But that was before I’d seen the detrimental effects to more than one marriage. One of those was my own, but by the grace of God, I was granted the strength to stand up for my marriage and fight for what is right. Here’s the dirty secret about porn: Yes, it can “spice up” things in the bedroom. We see things and want those things. But what if, for some reason, one of the spouses can’t live up to the expectations set by the porn? Lust is lust. If someone wants something bad enough, they will go out and find it – whether it’s that spicy, taboo sex life or the newest generation iPad. We want what we want and too often forget to temper ourselves with what we’ve been called to do and to be as Christians.

    NO ONE ever said being a Christian would be easy. In fact, it says right there in the Bible that we will be hated and persecuted. That’s where you find your strength and your faith. Can you stand up for your beliefs amid the harshest of attacks? Frankly, I think you’ve shown us that you can through the publishing of this post and with the grace with which you have “countered” your attackers.

    Again, thank you for writing it.

    Reply
    • I wish there was a “like” button for comments on my blog. What you said about the “slow fade” was totally on my mind when I was writing this, but somehow I left that out. That and the old anecdote about boiling a frog. (Do you know what I mean?) And you are SO right about the book being written terribly. From what I read, I was nearly more offended by the awful writing than the raunchy content.

      And thank you for providing an alternate perspective with regards to using pornography within marriage. I think that many of us are reluctant to share personal stories for fear of being judged, but how else could we learn if not for listening to the experiences of others? And, once again, I’m with you. I didn’t always think pornography was a problem, either. It’s as if my faith has been a long, long road, and it isn’t possible for me to understand what I do now without first having to go thorough some very specific situations. Am I proud that pornography used to be a part of my life? OF course not. But it gave me the perspective that I have now, and for that I am grateful.

      So thanks again! I really appreciate your encouragement, and taking the time to share some of your story. :)

      Reply
  248. Kerri

     /  July 5, 2012

    I am not a Christian. I personally do not believe that pornography is objectifying, and I believe that it can actually be very healthy. That being said, I admire and applaud you. Not in your criticism of these works (although they are tedious and rather stupid), but because of your lack of hypocrisy. You are clearly an intelligent, strong person and a shining example of a Proverbs woman. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
  249. Julie

     /  July 5, 2012

    I love, love, love your post! Glad you followed your convictions and typed out what NEEDS to be said! I’ve been “writing” on this subject in my mind for the last week, and hadn’t taken the time to write it out. You are so very, very right. When were we as Christians ever called to forsake purity in pursuit of entertainment/pleasure?! And it is so true- if our husbands were out praising a book/movie of similar content, we would be appalled and outraged; we would question their character and be concerned about their hearts. So, why shouldn’t they be concerned that we as women are consumed with participating in such ‘entertainment?’
    Again- love your point on nurturing our own marriages. If women are filling their hearts and minds with images of Hollywood enhanced guys, and then expect their husbands to be even close to that image, most are going to be very disillusioned and disappointed, leaving them disgruntled with their own marriages and intimate lives. Protect your marriage and your heart, taking great care to guard the gift God has graciously given you!!
    Last comment: Psalm 101:3 “I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.” I’m praying God will bless you for your obedience to Him, for your willingness to say the hard stuff in order to honor Him. Beautiful!

    Reply
  250. crystal

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for saying what my heart was grieving over! God bless you!

    Reply
  251. Corey Cheek

     /  July 5, 2012

    Well said, MJ!

    When I see a Christian woman I know posting about either, it saddens me. Note to them: no follower of Christ will be impressed/interested in you if you are interested in that garbage.

    Keep preaching the truth!

    Corey

    Reply
  252. Marti

     /