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So This is Love? (Follow-up to 50 Shades of Magic Mike)

I’m sitting here at my computer, collecting my thoughts, and on the surface, everything is exactly the same as it was yesterday. Same feeling of disapproval when I look at my face in the mirror (explanation). Same anxiety about leaning into the words that have been put on my heart. Heck, I’m even drinking from the same coffee cup (I washed it, don’t worry).

But below the surface, I’m overwhelmed. I’m completely humbled by the incredible outpouring of love and support I’ve received from strangers.

You know, when I first sat down to get that 50 Shades/Magic Mike post out, I’m going to be honest: it felt as if I was unloading a burden. I didn’t write it so much to please God, as to get him off of my back. (I wish I could say I had more righteous intentions.) I put off writing it for several days, but whenever I’d sit down to blog, or work on my book, or email a friend, I couldn’t write the words I wanted to write, because the whole 50 Shades/MM thing kept bubbling up. So late one night, annoyed that I couldn’t get any “real” work done, I finally addressed the issue that had been niggling at me for the past week. And I am so glad that I did.

God is Proving a Point

It is interesting, how even in the community of believers, one can feel so alone. At least, that’s my experience. I didn’t see much purpose in writing that post, beyond showing God that I was willing to let him interrupt my plans, even though I didn’t see a real point in it. (Though I’m well-known in my field, outside the tech-world, I’m nobody special, so the its not like anyone was going to read it anyway.) And in hindsight, I wonder if God’s purpose for me wasn’t necessarily just to address the 50 Shades/MM issue, but to show me that I’m not alone. That there are sisters (and brothers) all around me, and that I don’t have to feel so isolated.

So thank you. And “thank you” are pretty measly words, compared to how I feel. I am so grateful to each of you who has extended herself/himself in support, and has encouraged me to continue saying “yes” to God’s “interruptions.” You have blessed me immensely, and God is using you to prove a point to me: I can trust that I am not alone. I can find community and love in a group of people who used to intimidate me. A group that I used to openly despise. (Maybe sometime I’ll talk about my pre-Christian life a bit. What a change.) That I’ve been adopted by such a father, into such a family, moves me to tears. What a beautiful, beautiful gift that I absolutely do not deserve.

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This is not to say that there has not been resistance. I knew when I wrote it that it was not going to please everyone (and would probably upset some), but should pleasing people be my primary concern? Like so many people, I place too much value in how others regard me, and I often prioritize others’ comfort to a fault. Saying “yes” to the words that were placed on my heart was a way of willfully pushing myself out of my comfort zone, recognizing my error in allowing others’ opinions of me to dictate my identity, and deciding to place my security in the opinion of my Father alone. And it was hard. And just because I did it one time, doesn’t mean that it’s over. I’m afraid and excited that in this regard, my journey has only just begun.

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Feel-goods aside, I’ve learned a lot from the spectrum of responses I’ve received.

  • We can turn nasty when our earthly desires are threatened.
  • We are prone to justifying behaviors to satisfy our ideas of what is good, rather than God’s.
  • Many people have said that admonishment of wrong behavior is “why they left the church.”

“It’s people like you that caused me to leave the church.”

That third point, “Many people claim that admonishment of wrong behavior is “why they left the church,”” is an interesting one. I can see a lot of myself in that statement. Like I said earlier, even in the community of believers, I often feel alone. There is a lot that bugs me about Christians; some of it is vestigial frustration from my pre-Christian experiences, but some of it is rooted in legitimate concern. Probably the greatest factor that has influenced me to stay in the church over the past several years is that at one point I realized that authentic faith is not rooted in one’s feelings about Christians; deep, meaningful, authentic faith is rooted in one’s love for God their Father. 

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.

So to those of you who would say that being admonished by other believers is pushing you away from God, I encourage you to reorganize your priorities, and begin making decisions through the lens of God your Father. If you love God, seek after Him, and his will, and his purpose for your life. It will follow naturally that you will make decisions based on His approval alone. (Though that doesn’t make those decisions easy.) Once that becomes your new normal, I believe you will have a whole new perspective on admonishment from other believers.

God, The Dictator

If you’re trying to live under God without loving him, or without knowing his love for you, you’re missing out entirely, and you’re going to feel like you’re beating your head against a wall. If you feel as if God your Father is demanding, and oppressive, and you’re constantly struggling to please him, you’re not getting it, and my prayer for you is that something will happen that will reveal God’s overwhelming love for you, because it will change your life.

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Thank you, again, for encouraging me, and for correcting me that sharing God’s truth doesn’t have to be “quick, like a bandaid,” (my words), but “loud, and clear, like a trumpet call” (words of a particularly inspiring commenter.

I love you. I really do. And that’s the first time I’ve ever felt that for our big, crazy, sometimes loud-mouthed family. (Even though there are a few of you that fall into the “crazy uncle” category, and a few of you who I’m SURE would argue with me about politics over the Thanksgiving turkey.) 🙂

So this is brotherly love, huh? It’s a whole new world.

Xoxo,

mj

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121 Comments

  1. Kate

     /  July 4, 2012

    “authentic faith is not rooted in one’s feelings about Christians; deep, meaningful, authentic faith is rooted in one’s love for God their Father. ”
    Well said. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

    Reply
    • I whole heartedly agree…I have read this blog about 3 times, everytime, I am more encouraged. Thanks again MJ.

      Reply
  2. Nicely done.

    Reminding children of God of who they are is part of our job as followers of Christ. Whether they know Him or not, the call is the same.

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    John 3:16

    When you remind people of who they are, and increase their chances of making it back to Him with you, you are transmitting and amplifying that love.

    It may feel like judgement. It may be hard to hear at first, and initial reactions may be painful. You may indeed harsh someone’s mellow.

    It is love nevertheless, and it’s selfish to withhold it.

    The only opinion that matters, in the end, is that of the great Expert on human nature. It’s worth passing along.

    Reply
  3. Kaycee

     /  July 4, 2012

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on everything you just said, but I’d like to add one more thing I’ve personally learned from all of this: we ALL have our clear-cut definitions of what’s morally right. Christians obviously receive theirs from the Word of God. To the unbeliever, this makes us judgmental and self-righteous. But even the unbeliever has a strict set of moral codes. So why it is okay for them to come into a circle of Christian men and women and tell us this is why they don’t want to be a part of the Church. Sorry, but they are the very reason I’m afraid to NOT be a part of the church. That road goes both ways. It really makes me sad that so many are willing to follow the laws of men, but not God’s Law. And many are not even willing to follow the former.

    Reply
    • Kaycee

       /  July 4, 2012

      I apologize if my comment sound a little scatter-brained. I have a two-year-old crawling on me. 😛

      Reply
    • cleansedbygod

       /  July 4, 2012

      Wonderful comment Kaycee!!

      Reply
    • AMEN!!! Very well stated.

      Reply
    • Happy Life

       /  July 8, 2012

      I agree COMPLETELY!!! One time my husband’s cousin was trying to tell me (preach to me?) that I was a bad wife for “not letting” my husband look at pornography (he wouldn’t look at it even if I was okay with it) and that men need that to make life more exciting and stuff. Because he isn’t a Christian he thought that trying to encourage others to live his way of life wasn’t preaching. He was totally unable to see his hypocrisy. Preaching, correction, and encouragement come from both sides, it would be nice if everyone could see it.

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much for writing this article and the original one. You are brave for standing up for the truth, and the church needs more women like you!

    It makes me so sad that Christians leave the church because they are admonished. The New Testament explains clearly that evident sin should not be tolerated in the church. Paul told the church in Corinth to “mourn” over the man who committed adultery, and to remove him from their fellowship because he was unrepentant (1 Cor. 5:1-2).

    We are specifically told to judge those in the church (with righteous judgement- John 7:24). Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 5:11-12 that we are not to associate Christians who are openly sinning. It is not our job to judge the secular world, but “Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”

    Of course, all of this should be done with love, kindness, and respect. I would much rather see a Christian restored through repentance than see them fall away or walk away. One reason God gave us the church is to have a community of support so we can help each other get to heaven. We should not feel guilty about lovingly “holding up a mirror” to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Again, thank you for your well-written articles!

    Reply
  5. Stacey

     /  July 4, 2012

    If that’s the case, then all Christian men and women need to boycott most TV shows and movies. If you’re going to stand against a movie about male strippers and a book that has described the act of sex in full detail, it’s only fair to do it to a lot of other movies and books. These aren’t the first things to come about that “objectify” men. There are WAY more movies and books that “objectify” women. But wait, I guess that it’s women who tempt men when they dress provocatively right? It’s not the mans’ fault not being able to suppress those feelings if he starts having lustful thoughts about another woman. And who says that these women who read this book and see this movie even HAVE those thoughts about the characters? Maybe they are married women who actually have lustful thoughts about their husbands and cannot wait to fulfill their wifely duties because of reading the book and seeing the movie. But as I said, reject these two and I expect to see more of you speaking out against many other movies and books because it’s only fair. Right? In fact, how about none of you women go out of the house with any skin showing at all so you don’t tempt any men to be “lustful” towards you. You cannot wear tanktops, shorts or anything else that might put thoughts into another mans head (afterall, it’s the SEEING that does this for men and women, right??). And men you can only wear longsleeve shirts and pants. You are not allowed to shave or get a haircut anymore. Women cannot see you as attractive because God will turn his back on you. And men who agree with this, you are not allowed to look at any other woman EVER again. You cannot see what other women wear or what they look like. Ever. So therefore, stay inside your house, do not go out in public because “temptation” is everywhere. Am I right? But you see, it’s whether or not YOU ACT on those temptations that separates you. We are sexually active humans, and God designed us to be so. He did not design us to judge others, or cheat on our spouses. He loves each and every one of us no matter what. I wonder how many of you women have sex in other positions other than on their backs? Isn’t that how the Bible wants women to be? Submissive? You can’t pick and choose what you want to follow. If you’re going to go this far and say that a movie about strippers is pornography (which if you look up the definition of it, it is most certainly NOT pornography.. the book I cannot comment on because I haven’t read it.. I might now, though), you might as well give up all your vices. Plain and simple. If your love for God is so strong, and you want to please him and make him proud of you as his daughter (or son for those reading), then you must live a completely pure life.

    Reply
    • Kaycee

       /  July 4, 2012

      First of all, I believe the author singled out these two examples because they are currently the most popular media along these lines. The article was not designed to give everyone a list of similar books, movies, and television; that’s what Amazon is for. Second, you have no way of knowing that the author doesn’t obstain from all other objectionable material. You’re simply being defensive and argumentative. My final thought- it is no more your right to say what is not pornography than for someone else to say what it, but you offer your opinion on it regardless. The author at least has Scripture to back up her point. Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      Reply
      • Stacey

         /  July 4, 2012

        There is no “defense” in what I’ve said simply because I chose to post against her thoughts. Her entire argument about the book and movie is to keep pure thoughts and live a life that will make God proud. Everything I said is completely valid. Temptation is everywhere. If you really want to live a life that is pure and Godly, then every worldly possession that you own should be discarded. That means no TV, internet, movies, cell phone, fashion, etc. And if a Christian woman DID read this book, and see the movie, it makes her no less of a Christian than the author of this blog. You providing a piece of scripture makes it no more or no less acceptable.

        Reply
        • And yet other people managed to disagree with her article without being ridiculously over-reactive. There is so much about your post that was incorrect that I won’t even waste my time arguing point by point, but you cannot deny that original response was attacking and sarcastic. I would sure call that defensive.

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        • Suzie

           /  July 9, 2012

          Hi Stacey!

          We should aim to be like Christ because we are created in His image. That doesn’t mean we will do things perfectly, which is why we all praise God for His grace, but we are to make that our goal. Making a choice to read the book or watch the movie (which I agree was written about specifically because they are so huge at the moment) is where the line is crossed. We all do this, but we can correct that. Thank God for brothers and sisters in Christ who hold us accountable and thank God that He does love us even when we fall short.

          Nothing is ever about what we can do, but what He’s already done for us. Loving God because he sent his Son to die for our sins means living a life that glorifies Him in all we do.

          “We are God’s work of art created in Christ Jesus” ~ (Ephesians 2:10)

          Reply
        • Casey Grant

           /  July 20, 2012

          Agree 100% with Stacey! There is absolutely nothing that makes a Christian woman less of a Christian if she saw the movie and read the books. Before those of you judge Stacey for her response, perhaps you should know what you are speaking of. If you did not read the books then you are unfairly judging them and the person that read them. I’ve read all three. I saw the movie too. I did both and I am a Christian. Do I think Jesus will love me less? What about all the people that read “Harry Potter” – are you going to judge them in the same way? Do you really want to start resorting to telling Christian women what they can and can’t read. Should we just start having book burnings and banning what the libraries will allow? “Whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,” is in the Bible too and if you are picking and choosing quotes to follow then perhaps you guys might also want to interpret them for us. The Bible allows for open interpretation and if I’m not mistaken God did give us free will as well. If we make mistakes by reading a so called pornographic novel, then that will be for God to take up with us. I happen to think that reading is pure and lovely and just, and that’s my interpretation. I’m not justifying my choice to read the books but again God gave us free will. None of us are perfect and God wants us to make mistakes. If you really want to get cynical here, when was the last time one of you stopped to help a hurt or loss animal on the side of the road or performed random acts of kindness to strangers. If you want to live a Christian life, then do acts that reflect Christianity, don’t question the one or two acts that seem sinful. Stacey, I’m on your side. You do not have to quote the Bible back to us simply because we disagree with the author of this blog. This is all opinion and if you can’t be respectful of others problems with the blog post then don’t comment.

          Reply
    • Tiffany

       /  July 4, 2012

      Wow, now this is a rant and nothing but defensive! Never was it said that we can live perfect pure lives, but only that we try. We all will fall and are sinners, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. MJ gives biblical reasons why she feels it is a bad idea for Christians to jump on these bandwagons and follow what the world says is ok, but I don’t believe she ever says you CAN’T that is between you and your savior. I personally take offense at your “have sex on your back” comment, but that was completely uncalled for and RUDE! I love sex with my husband, and we have a great marriage bed in many positions. Just b/c I don’t think 50SOG or MM is good for me doesn’t make me a prude!

      Reply
      • onlythefields

         /  July 8, 2012

        Well said! And I totally agree. I was really offended by that comment as well. I just try to remember that people make personal attacks usually when they have no valid point to make. 😉

        Reply
    • Nice straw man, there, Stacy. Let me know when you’ve got it down, and how you did it. Until then, Melissa can post what God puts on her heart, and call people towards greater purity.

      I also must call foul on your follow-up. “If you really want to live a life that is pure and Godly, then every worldly possession that you own should be discarded.” Chapter and verse, or call it what it is; your own antagonistic, or trolling (I’m still on the fence between the two).

      You’re also off base when you claim that if she calls out one book and one movie, she must call them all out. That wouldn’t seem to be necessary, since you yourself seem to have made parallels to many other movies and books. If what Melissa has said is right on principle, and these books, movies, TV shows, etc. violate those principles, then by all means, discard them. There is so much filth out there that I doubt she’d have time to do much else. (This is the same argument I heard against soap operas when I was growing up, and I think it was right then too, FWIW…)

      I’m with you about 85% on the clothing standards, though. Today’s clothing standards are quite immodest, and DO pose a challenge to a man wanting to be faithful to his wife in both mind AND body, per the standard Jesus set forth in Matthew 5:27-28.

      Reply
      • I think we should draw a parallel with Daniel. He lived in an ungodly culture. The onus was on him (and by extension us) to not participate in the culture _where_ it deviates from what God wants. To be holy, seperate, set aside, sanctified.

        We can moan about how hard it is and what a challenge it poses but then someone might come along and take it as some sort of implicit criticism of their behaviour and an attempt to shift the blame for our failure to keep our minds pure on them plus control what they wear. And we don’t want to go there right? 😉

        Reply
    • JAM

       /  July 5, 2012

      Oh goodness!
      She only wrote about these 2 because they are the ones that are a “BIG” hit right now & everyone is talking about them.

      Reply
    • Many Christian men and women do choose to boycott TV and movies except those that have no objectionable content whatsoever. And many do choose conservative dress in an effort to respect themselves and to help keep the opposite sex from stumbling, at least on that person’s account. Those aren’t ridiculous ideas, those are prudent choices. There is no issue with someone disagreeing with the author. It is the vitriolic tone in your response as opposed to the peaceful tone the author used when sharing her thoughts.

      Reply
  6. You have so blessed me today. I am so glad that my friend from Texas shared your blog on 50 Shades and MM. By her following God’s direction, I found you and signed up for your blogs. Keep listening to God and you will do fine. Sending you love and prayers. You have a brand new “old Christian” friend in me. Sandy

    Reply
  7. First of all, thanks for writing this.

    You’ve touched on so many points that I’d like to blog about (one day).

    – Family of believers
    Yes we are to be a family. Yet we behave any way but as a family. Jesus said that by our love people will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35). Unfortunately many of us (myself included) are failing in that.

    – Criticism
    I think it’s an issue in this post-PC (and by here I mean politically correct not personal computer!) world that people can’t deal with criticism. It’s a by-product of a culture where, as long as one is not doing anything illegal, no-one is allowed to comment on it. A by-product of individualism – My will be done, not Yours, not God’s, not my family’s.

    As Christians we are told to tell the truth in love. I used to interpret that as tell them the truth but in a way which does not offend, causing me to mellow and dilute the truth.

    I am changing my mind, I now think it is to tell the truth in terms which they will understand. I.e. use their lingo not “churchy” language so there is no doubt they’ll understand but that does not mean I need to mince my words.

    See how Jesus spoke in John 6:60, he “offended” people so much that they abandoned His ministry! Similarly Paul spoke to the Athenians (Acts 17:16), and in lots of other places too – they got offended as well.

    Better stop here before it becomes a blog post…

    – Immorality
    The problem is as you said, we are In the world not Of it. Like frogs in a pot of boiling water we sometimes are oblivious to the temperature of the water we are in.

    I find it sad that when you point to someone that the water is hot, they say, well it’s hot everywhere else isn’t it? Why aren’t you complaining about that? (yes but I’m talking about this patch here…) You can’t point out that it’s hot, who made you judge and jury? You think you’re better than us (me)?

    Sorry getting dragged back to criticism again… 😉

    Yes, we Christians are weak. We watch questionable shows, unaware that we are being desensitised to moral issues. And we struggle, sometimes in our own strength, sometimes with God’s strength.

    And yet for every case of victory, some (like Paul) fail to overcome. Going back to the theme of family we should encourage one another in the race, for there is no condemnation in Christ. (feel like going back to criticism again, ie no condemnation doesn’t mean all behaviour, good or bad is above reproach, truth in love – not “love means I don’t speak the truth for fear of giving offence”).

    Well I’ll write up more on the three points, which all seem inter-related!, someday (hopefully soon!).

    Reply
  8. Awesome.
    I didn’t have time to post a comment on your “50 Shades of Magic Mike” post that I read yesterday, but it struck a nice big chunk of truth. And I will go ahead and be brutally honest here for a moment: I am one of what feels like the very few female Christian women out there who struggle with porn and sex addiction. As such, God has blessed me to be evermore vigilant and sensitive when dealing with things that might tip off that craving, and 50 Shades and Magic Mike popped up definite red flags for me. Something I think most people don’t understand is the quintessential difference between men and women when it comes to getting aroused. Men are very visually based, but women rely on imagination and concentration. That actually makes things like 50 Shades and other literotica and “romance fiction” even more insidious. Women don’t recognize it as porn, because a.) we think pron is a “man’s problem”, and b.) it doesn’t fit the definition of pron as sexually provocative pictures. Even though people are referring to these things as Mommy Porn, I think most don’t really consider it actual porn, with the same connotations as graphic smut you find online or in Playboy. We don’t think it’s causing a problem… until, of course, we cannot regain control of our own thoughts and desires. I am the last one to place limits on others’ freedom, but shouldn’t we remember Paul’s word? ‘“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.’ (1 Cor. 10:23). If the only purpose for reading a book that expressly defies several of God’s guidelines regarding lust, sex, marriage, and lewdness is entertainment, then it is clearly not constructive. And take my word for it, a porn addiction is not something you want for yourself. So why take that risk?

    Reply
    • thanks for pointing out the difference in sexual arousal between men and women. Ive been thinking that same thing while reading comments between these two posts. It is def something we need to take into consideration when commenting. I don’t wear provacative clothing because I have respect for men and their proneness to visual temptations…not because I fear I will be raped or just because God says not to (ok so maybe I should be doing it for God but I suspect, perhaps, my reason and Gods reason may have a lot in common). I am not an extremist however…I do wear shorts and tank tops when its hot..at some point I still need to be comfortable and I expect men to have a handle on themselves…I believe their lustful thoughts are between themselves and God and I can’t be to blame for them…but I don’t throw away my responsibility either. Who are we when we cause our brother to fall? Who are we when we do nothing to help keep our brother from a known fall? Seems like common sense to me but Im sure I will be held to a fundamental extreme by someone at some point on that. I also like how you skirt on the idea that what might not psychologically affect one negatively, might have a devastating psychological effect on another. Why take the risk to see if your one of the unlucky ones? It sure doesn’t seem wise or even remotely worth it to me. We know so very little about how our brains work…that I know of, the only cure to addictions like this, is abstaining completely and a lot of hard mental work…how do you abstain from sexual addictions and temptations when its plastered over every billboard from here to timbuktu? Why make it so extreme in our society so that those who do or will struggle will have to struggle more? There is a fine line that we should define. Yes, the temptations and addictions of others are their responsibility and between them and God, but at what point, do we as a society, decide not to respect others limitations? At what point do we discard those with addictions and take no responsibility for providing at least a semi healthy environment for them? We put handicap ramps all over the place to minister to those in wheelchairs…why shouldn’t we have respect for those with addictions as well? Believe me, Im not advocating closing all casinos or bars or strip clubs. Sexual addictions are a different though. Yes they can stay out of strip clubs, sex shops and away from beaches…thats the easy part. Sitting in a restaurant and seeing women with almost nothing on flaunting themselves in a sexual manner or watching tv and every commercial is sexually driven…it has got to be hard! Do we expect them to become hermits to avoid exposure to their addictions? I guess to sum it up, I think we, as a society, have become less caring and respectful of each other and our shortcomings. Because I don’t believe in Big government, I dont think we should make more laws but rather get to know our God and his desires for us, educate each other and hold up the occasional “mirror” as Melissa does so well to keep us on track. I realize that this will only be a small group of people as “society” goes its own way and becomes individualistic. This small group of people will no longer be of this world and we have very solid, healthy, logical reasons for it. We care about and respect each other. Thanks Melissa for shining your mirror!

      Reply
  9. Heather

     /  July 5, 2012

    Melissa,

    I know you’ve read a million thank-you’s…but I stayed up late last night just scrolling through all the comments about your post, and I want to THANK YOU so much for standing up for Christian women everywhere. As a Christian, married, young woman, who grew up as a PK, I struggled with going to see MM, because everyone was. I even looked up on my app from Focus on the Family (Plugged In) about the movie, and still chose to go. The Holy Spirit gave me a way of escape (like the Bible promises), and I failed miserably. If I can undo that hour and a half (and get my money back!), I would in a heartbeat. I know I will have to answer to God one day of why I chose to see that movie. I am apologizing to my husband the next time I talk to him (he’s out of town!). So, from someone who DID see that filth of a movie, I can say to the naysayers…it is NOT appropriate on every account that you spoke of in your blog. I felt my face was in a permanent cringe throughout the movie. Anyway, what you wrote convicted me to the core. God gave you those words for a reason…even if it was to help one person (which it sounds like a whole lot more!), you helped me! I am so grateful for women like you. Keep on keeping on sister!

    Reply
  10. I hope you don’t mind, I’m reposting your blog (to a non-WordPress Blog so I had to copy/paste the first couple paragraphs and then link to your blog). Please tell me if that is not okay, I will add this follow-up link to the article as well. 🙂 at http://emingus.com/repost-50-shades-of-magic-mike-in-which-i-am-very-uncool.html

    PS- I’m drinking out my same coffee cup from the other day too, but I didn’t even rinse mine out!

    Reply
    • That is a-okay! I’m happy that you find it valuable enough to share. And that scripture you shared ““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.”” Rings so true to me right now. What better words of encouragement than the words of Jesus himself? And don’t you worry about that coffee cup, I’m not judging. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Nikki

     /  July 5, 2012

    It is so hard living IN the world trying not to be OF the world. Being surrounded by people who in one conversation profess Christianity, then in the next hurry to see these movies and read these books. It does make me take a look at myself though. I am human and I struggle! It is frustrating when people make comments such as “How can so and so claim to be a Christian, go to church every Sunday, and still act like that? or do the things they do?”. Well, speaking for myself, I go to church on Sunday (and Wednesday, and other times there are gatherings) because I AM a sinner! If I were perfect I would not need Christ. Seeing others do things that are hypocritical just make me aware of things that I do that or may do, that could be seen as hypocritical as well. I struggle daily (as many Christians do) trying to be more Christ-like. Sometimes we get so caught up in living IN the world that the line gets blurred. We justify doing things we shouldn’t be “everyone else” is doing it. Sin isn’t as noticeable when you are surrounded it.
    Your previous blog about “Magic Mike” and “50 Shades” was exactly what I needed to hear. I had friends who mentioned going to see the movie and I knew it was something I shouldn’t see, though I was/am tempted. I knew it was something that my husband would not want me to see. I also knew why. It would be wrong! I have a friend who has had marital problems because of pornography. Many lives have been damaged because of pornography. Anyone who denies this, doesn’t really want to look at the truth. Christians aren’t the only ones who believe this.
    I am sorry that you have been verbally attacked by some who disagree with what you have written. Your responses were well written. As I read some of them, I had my own response written in my mind and you said it much better than I could have. It always bothers me that non-Christians don’t want Christians telling them what they should or shouldn’t do (even though you CLEARLY stated that your target audience was Christian women), but they are so very quick to criticize Christianity. I hope you will continue writing what you feel the need to write.
    We should pray that we would all have that courage!

    Reply
  12. Christa

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you, my sister in Christ, for having the courage to write the truth, the perserverance to deal with the aftermath, and for striving to keep the integrity of our Father as you answer hostile comments.

    Reply
  13. I was one of those who would have been defending my addiction to smutty fiction like 50 shades only a month ago. I\’m pretty sure if I had read this back then, I would have dismissed it as a misguided, legalistic rant. But there still would have been that spur of doubt in the back of my head that made me wonder if you might be right. It was the grace of God that put me in a church where, for once, people I look up to taught boldly, lovingly, consistently, about sin and righteousness, so that God slowly and surely prodded me back where I belonged. It took a lot of time and heartache to get to the point of repentance. I have a degree in Bible which basically helps me justify whatever I don\’t feel like giving up. And you\’re right. In the face of my arrogance and self-justification, it\’s only the ridiculous love of God, and sometimes the love of some more mature brothers or sisters, that can hold me back and motivate me to leave my excuses in the trash. I\’m so glad he loves us enough to not let us enslave ourselves forever. He keeps saving us, over and over again.

    Also, I realized recently that part of my problem (the reading whatever the heck I want until I can\’t stop problem) is that I had completely forgotten that there is still such a thing as wickedness. I don\’t know when I started to believe that what seemed right to me must be fine and dandy with God, but that\’s exactly the belief that made it okay to follow my curiosity into unhealthy places. As a culture we\’ve lost the concept of what God calls wickedness. If it\’s not outright, modern church-condemned sin, we think it\’s fair game. But that\’s unbiblical. There are plenty of things that God calls wicked, and I can do them. I can choose wickedness, often without anyone knowing, and most certainly without anyone calling me out. I can be wicked, apart from Christ. The way that seems right to me can lead to death. We all get good at pretending it doesn\’t apply to us, but it does. And spending our limited time reading/watching/fantasizing over sexual situations that have nothing to do with us or our real husbands is most definitely in the camp of wickedness. Those things belong to our old lives. We\’re right with God now, because of Christ and His righteousness. Wicked doesn\’t suit us anymore.

    Reply
    • Tina

       /  July 5, 2012

      Wow Rebecca! So very honest! I loved every word you wrote. Thank you for sharing your perspective. It applies to us all…if we allow it to sink in.

      Reply
    • Good for you Rebecca!

      Reply
  14. Allison

     /  July 5, 2012

    I’ve been struggling with this Magic Mike movie (don’t know much about 50 Shades) and seeing several of my married friends claiming to be Christians and going to see it (proudly, I might add). It disturbed me and broke my heart. I just couldn’t find the words to say or how to even go about approaching it on facebook since that was where I was seeing pictures and comments one right after another. After reading your post and a lot of the comments (not all of them, unfortunately, my toddler requires my attention. haha!) I found one that struck me hard. That was that being silent is misconstrued as acceptance! That hit hard because as sad as it is, it’s true! So I just wanted to tell you as a fellow young Christian, stay at home mom, happily in love with my husband, I SUPPORT YOU and am so GRATEFUL that you had the boldness to share! Thank you for doing so! You are taking a lot of heat from others that feel differently, but it’s persecution that I hope you proudly accept because you are following God’s command! Blessings to you my dear sister! Keep it up and I’ll keep reading and supporting!

    Reply
  15. Tina

     /  July 5, 2012

    I posted on the other thread that I haven’t read or seen either of these two pieces that you refer to in these blogs. However, it just occurred to me that I did hear about 50SOG on The Today Show. They’ve been promoting this book like crazy. Just this morning they were talking about trips that are being designed for men and women to go and re-enact scenes from the book.

    When I first heard about this book what I learned was that women love it because it puts men in a position of power over them.

    Really? Where is the battle cry from the feminist on this?

    As a society we’ve been trying to feminize our men for years and now that we have a whole generation of men who are terrified of the women in their lives, suddenly the truth comes out that these very same women who scream and yell at their husbands and demand to be treated as a princess/queen/what-have-you, deep down they’re fantasizing about the men being in control.

    Again, I haven’t read it. But I can understand why women would find a strong man to be sexy…and you don’t have to read 50SOG to make this happen with your own husband.

    Just a random thought.

    Thank you so much for the blog postings! You’re doing GREAT work!

    Reply
  16. Anne

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for these posts. As someone who used to work at a “club”, it resonates with me so much. At the time, in my sin, I used to think if an idiot wanted to give me money for what I see in the mirror every day, his loss and my gain. I didn’t realize the after-effects, the things that have changed me relationally and haunt me to this day, that would happen. For every one stripper or ‘person who knows a stripper’ that loves their job and the empowerment, I can give you 10 who have turned numb, who have trouble accepting loving touch from anyone who isn’t their immediate partner, who have turned to substance abuse simply to cope with the myriad of emotions that they have to fight just to get paid. The statistics of how much more likely we were to have violent crimes, both sexual in nature and otherwise, committed against us, which is seldom discussed, but why?. Books like 50sog and MM don’t show this. They show the lights and glitter and glamour and power that sucks us in. And then, like all sin, it fades into something ugly and dirty and abusive and controlling. Certainly, as stated by others, this is not the case for every sex worker. But, as someone previously in the industry, I can promise you that for the larger percentage of us, it was. The number of daddy issues in the place, my own included, was staggering, to the point of being a running joke. So when you speak out about this, when you speak the truth about the price of objectification, please know you are doing just that: speaking the truth, no matter what other voices may say. Even aside from the spiritual aspect, if the price of ‘sexual liberation and empowerment’ is even the POSSIBILITY of another person’s enslavement, what is it really worth then?

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your story. I have to say it brought me to tears to think what these women go through.

      Reply
    • JenniferK

       /  July 6, 2012

      Powerful testomony, thanks for sharing Anne

      Reply
  17. Hannah Rose

     /  July 5, 2012

    AMEN!!

    Reply
  18. Jan

     /  July 5, 2012

    Thank you for your words of wisdom regarding 50 SOG and MM. I had considered reading the book until I read what it was about. I wondered what the movie was about once I started seeing the postings on fb so I looked that up too. I will admit that just a few years ago I would probably have read the book and watched the movie even though I am a Christian too. But, I am in a new place spiritually and know that this really is the same as porn. I had just discussed this movie with my husband the other night and told him how it bothered me that no one was complaining or crying out about it was no different than watching a movie about women strippers and how the media and society have said nothing negative. If I were to read this book (and I love to read) or watch this movie then I am no different than the world and I have been called to be different. To be set apart. Thank you again and may God bless you and keep you.

    Reply
  19. I completely relate to you.

    Reply
  20. Michael

     /  July 5, 2012

    Short and sweet here: I think it is fantastic that you had the courage to let God speak through you. The Bible says we Christians will get ridiculed, mocked, persecuted, etc. for speaking His truths. It also says the Lord is our strength and His Holy Spirit will be with us in times of need. I don’t know you from Eve, but I’m proud to call you my sister in Christ. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that your Christian brothers and sisters are continually praying for you!

    Reply
  21. Two excellent posts (and I’m in full favor of the makeup fast, as I rarely wear the stuff anymore for similar reasons). I look forward to reading more of your blogs 🙂

    Reply
  22. Allie

     /  July 5, 2012

    Lovely posts. Everyone already said it all. God is glorified through your writing!

    Reply
  23. I’m very thankful for your posts on this topic! I have seen many professing Christian women talking about seeing this movie and reading the 50 book, and on one hand I was thinking it was wrong, but on the other, wondering if I were judging too harshly. But then I remembered Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

    It’s definitely a very touchy subject, and I applaud you for “playing for an audience of one” and being obedient to the clear conviction you felt. Thank you!

    Reply
  24. Lola

     /  July 5, 2012

    This was such an interesting read for me. You have hit on so many things that I have been crying out over for quite a long time now. I am so unpopular in my own circle that I have been called out of touch culturally and told that I need to read/see these books/movies so that I “know what a crooked stick looks like.” I don’t need to read 50SOG to know that I shouldn’t read it. I don’t need to see MM to know that I shouldn’t. I’ll go even one step further and say that I do not need to read the latest teenage rage novels and see their movies to know what is out there. I need to know one thing and one thing only, what a straight stick looks like. That makes me narrow minded. That makes me close minded. That makes me unpopular, uncool and one of those crazy Christians that take a stand for what is right. That’s okay. Thank you for standing right alongside me. Thank YOU for reminding me that *I* am not alone. That there ARE other Christians out there who are so obsessed with knowing that Straight Stick that we can eyeball a crooked one from thirty feet (or 50 shades) off!
    I have also read the negative feedback you have received and to this I will say what an old mentor of mine used to tell me when dealing with those who refused to see my side of things, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and upsets the pig.” For anyone reading this do NOT immediately fire off a reply bashing me for calling you a pig. I am NOT. That is the nature of an analogy. What I am simply saying to MJ is that often there will be those who just do not want to learn to sing. Do not try to be politically correct or “tickle their ears” as some have said. Stand boldy for your faith. It is YOUR faith after all and where God has led you. It may not be where He has led them yet or they may not be ready to be led. To borrow another old farmer’s analogy, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Thank you for singing your song, for talking about the glorious Water and how great it is. Your willingness to let God use your words will inspire, convict, hearten and anger the lives and minds of many. But remember what Paul said, “It is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”
    I am inspired to read more and to follow you on your other spiritual journeys as well. And I also count it a joy to call you my sister in Christ and to have this opportunity to know a sister I previously did not.

    Reply
    • Lola

       /  July 5, 2012

      Sorry, it was Peter who said that, not Paul. It is late at night and I am up way past my bedtime! 🙂

      Reply
  25. I’m sorry I’m failing at maintaining this thread. I’ll do my best to respond ASAP. There is SO MUCH I want to say to each of these comments. But right now it’s after 11, and I still have housework to do. :/

    Reply
  26. Sarah

     /  July 6, 2012

    Amen! Great articles! Very encouraging. Thank you. -Sarah

    Reply
  27. Kelli

     /  July 6, 2012

    Let me start this by saying I’m not as bad as I’m going to sound.. I think the fact that you wrote this blog is awesome.. you have the right to your opinion and what you feel is right and wrong and I commend you for standing up for that!! But just as I have said that I believe that what you do and feel is right for yourself shouldn’t be a governing factor in what anyone else believes is right and wrong. I believe as Christians we are joined by ESSENTIAL beliefs (the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, he was born as a man, was crucified, rose from the dead, and joined his Father in Heaven), but that we allow too many NONESSENTIALs to tear us apart.. Stating that church leaders should come out and be against this movie and these books is one of the things that really bothers me..If you feel like it is wrong for you that is perfectly fine, I actually invited a friend that said, nahh I don’t think I’m going to see it.. But its the fact that someone would make the assumption that if it is wrong for me it is wrong for everyone and everyone in my faith should stand up against it. To each their own.. I have read all three books and saw the midnight premiere of the movie (loved them ALL by the way) and my husband could care less, and it did nothing negative to my relationship with my husband.

    I have been around many people that feel all Christians are judgemental and if they don’t do things exactly as everyone else does then they feel judged and less of a person. They also feel like Christians aren’t allowed to have any fun.. that is NOT the picture of my faith that I want portrayed. Honestly I don’t think you mean it like that, I do believe your heart is totally in the right place. But I just wish some Christians could grasp the fact that going out for a girl’s night out and oogling some hunks doesn’t make me any less of a Christian, any less of a wife, or a “bad” person.

    The only other thing that I read that struck me is when you said that if our husbands were to watch something like this we would be upset.. and honsetly this is not the case for me.. My husband loves the movie Strip Tease, he loves Demi Moore.. that doesn’t offend me in the least. I trust my husband completely, I don’t care if he finds another woman attractive, he wouldn’t have any testostorne in his body, and I like that he does..

    I have complete respect for your opinion and what you have chosen for yourself, but I don’t believe that every Christian on the planet has to share the same view.. Nonetheless, it is a true blessing to see a woman believe in something enough to take a stand as you have!! God bless!!

    Reply
    • Tanya

       /  July 6, 2012

      “But I just wish some Christians could grasp the fact that going out for a girl’s night out and oogling some hunks doesn’t make me any less of a Christian, any less of a wife, or a “bad” person.”
      So just out of curiosity, let me ask you this: Do you really and completely believe that you saw that movie with Jesus approving of it? That watching it glorified God? Let me ask you this, what drove you to watch it?

      I’m really not trying to be “that” person or snarky, I’m really curious to know the answers.

      Reply
      • Kelli

         /  July 7, 2012

        I went to see the movie with about 5 of my close girlfriends.. It was a fun girls night out, that’s why I went.. Sure the men are good looking and it’s fun to watch them and the dancing was fun to watch as well..

        I believe sin lies in your intentions.. I didn’t go to watch that movie to have a mental affair with Channing Tatum.. So as for the question do I think Jesus approved, I would say yes, I don’t feel I did anything offensive and I believe that decisions on things like that are personal between me and God and not anyone else’s business, just like if I was to say how crazy it was people were making a big deal of it.. If you don’t think it’s right for you that’s your business not mine.

        I know mine and my husbands marriage, and I know my relationship with Christ and I 100% know neither would be hurt or disappointed in the fact that when the Fifty Shades movie comes out I will be camped out in the movie theater parking lot for the midnight premiere..

        Reply
  28. Emily

     /  July 6, 2012

    While I’ve never read 50 Shades of Grey and I don’t plan to see Magic Mike, I do think you’ve brought up a bigger issue of sexuality for Christian women. I think this is a divisive issue for so many people because it is confusing and the church (in general…I’m sure there are exceptions) has done a poor job of providing women with the tools for healthy sexuality.

    Growing up in the church, I struggled for years and was alienated by people condemning anything sexual and telling me that I was sinful for having sexual desires and needs. I know several people who married to quickly and too young because they were so ready for sexual intimacy that they married the first person they had any sort of romantic relationship with. Where are they now? Largely divorced. A close friend of mine is currently getting divorced, and she writes a riveting blog about how essentially the church’s current messages on the topic of sex mislead her and eventually led to a complete and total lack of intimacy within her marriage.

    Do I think your message about Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey is off? No. Do I think that there is a incorrect condemnation of all sexuality for women within the church, other than to say in a defensive tone that magically “My sex life is great with my husband,” even though you have no knowledge of sexual intimacy until magically you’re a sexual dynamo? Absolutely. So while your blog is interesting, I hope that it opens up more dialogue than it has so far, because as a Christian outsider, it sure seems a lot like of talking about one thing and patting each other on the back to avoid discussing a real and bigger issue.

    http://contestedsex.blogspot.com/2012/06/thank-you.html

    Reply
    • Katie

       /  July 9, 2012

      The belief of christianity is that sex should be between a married man and woman and that commiting adultery in your thoughts or actions is wrong. I got married 5 days after my 21st birthday. My husband and I waited 5 years to have sex. We had sex for the first time on our wedding night and it was awful! Awful in a funny laugh about now way. We had no idea what we were doing and we didn’t mind at all. I think it so funny how people act like they are going to have the most incredible first time ever when they have zero sexual experience. We now have a great sex life but like any couple we had to work at it and be open with each other about what works for us. We are so glad that we waited to experience the most exciting form of intimacy with each other. I love that I can say that my husband is the only person that I ever had sex with. I agree with you that alot of churches promote the idea that sex is wrong. However, the beliefs that they are sharing are not biblical. God prayed earnestly for God to give me the power to refrain from having sex before I was married. Was it really hard? Yes. Did I go farther with my husband than I should have? Yes. Do I regret waiting? Absolutely not. I am so glad that I will be able to answer my children honestly when they ask me if I had sex before I was married. I know that not everyone had the same experience as me because I have a close friend that sadly found herself in the same position as your friend. I just wanted to put out there that waiting doesn’t have to end in divorce.

      Reply
  29. If it were possible to hug you through a computer screen…I’d be doing so right now. ((((HUGS)))) If you EVER feel alone, I want to personally invite you to be a part of the most life changing-women empowering ministry I’ve ever been a part of! http://www.Oneand2.com

    Sending happy, loving, encouraging thoughts and prayers your way today, sister!

    Reply
  30. Rebekah Dorr

     /  July 6, 2012

    I have been reading your posts lately, as a complete stranger and fellow sister in Christ and I tell you, they have been a balm to my soul. I have felt so broken, shattered and alone within my own community of fellow Christians. I am concerned and heavily burdened for the church and often feel torn between speaking out and knowing that I will not be heard. It has been said that lonliness is Biblical and indeed, it often is but it was so VERY nice to know that I am not alone in feeling that “even in a community of believers I can feel so alone”. I have wondered why the Lord was punishing me, or not bringing friends with whom I could have a strong and like-minded fellowship with, but in truth, He is calling me (like He is calling ALL of His children), to a higher discernment and way of living. But unfortunately, only a few will answer that call. Paul echoes our sentiments and brokenness in Romans 11:2-6. I only pray for my fellow brothers and sisters that there be an awakening that only God can bring to them, before it becomes too late to turn back.
    Please, do not stop writing or being faithful to the Lord no matter the price. He always, ALWAYS make the sacrifice beautiful in the end. I am so proud of you (hope that doesn’t sound weird since we don’t know each other :D) and I am motivated by what you have said to pray about taking my own public stand, in love. I have taken many in the past and what I felt it cost me, I later learned, was not the cost I thought. The sacrifice and brokenness of losing what I thought was so precious, the Lord showed me, was not so precious but destruction, wrapped up in disguise.
    Keep writing for the Lord. You have a beautiful talent!

    Reply
  31. You’ve shown how to be Christ-like in calling out wrongdoing by calling for repentance, by being vulnerable and meek while not weak, and for pointing to the living God who wants better for us than what our wimpy gods want. Thank you.

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  32. Amy

     /  July 6, 2012

    Amen! The Holy Spirit is definitely working in you and through you! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Reply
  33. “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.” I love what you said here, and that is exactly how I used to feel. I was a PK (recently lost my Father to Cancer), and I often found myself trying to fit in and feeling all alone. I still feel quite alone at times, but I know that I serve my Heavenly Father and that I am never alone because I trust in Him. One verse that I have reminded myself of time and time again is Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” That has helped me numerous times to keep my focus on glorifying the LORD.

    I know I thanked you yesterday for your post on the movie and book, but I feel I should do so yet again. I read the comments yesterday (the majority) and read the ones on this post. It truly is a blessing to see so many Christian men and women come together in support of your post, to encourage each other, and support one another as we seek to serve our Creator. There is no doubt you have touched many lives, caused women to think twice about seeing/having seen the movie, and boldly given a defense of your faith and hope for the reason that is in you as Peter states. So, THANK YOU yet again!

    What I ask my fellow Christian sisters who are wondering if this movie is okay to see is this question: Whose standards do you follow? Your own or God’s? If we are (and WE ARE) commanded to bring EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ, then how is going to see this movie glorifying to our Lord? How is it edifying to us as we are commanded to be sanctified and die daily unto sin and live more and more unto righteousness? If we look upon another human and lust after him/her in our hearts we have committed adultery. God’s standard should be what guards our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and NOT what we think is okay.

    Soli Deo Gloria (To God alone be the glory)!

    Reply
  34. Megan

     /  July 6, 2012

    Thank you so much for writing your 50 shades/Magic Mike post. I have been asked by friends to go to the movie, been in lots of conversations with other moms who have been engulfed by 50 shades and I wasn’t sure how to respond. The points you made and the fact they were based on The Truth will give me some conversation starters and the courage to address this when I face this situation again. Thank you. The first thought I had when I saw the previews for MM was “be careful little eyes what you see”. Thanks for following God’s nudge and writing.

    Reply
  35. Tricia

     /  July 6, 2012

    I thought of something. The idea of talking about sex within the community of Christians (women in particular) is interesting. There seems to be very little of it. I went to a small Christian college and there were some discussions but very uncomfortable (I was as well- still am), and seemed to lack information. I remember asking (prior to marriage – I never have been intimate prior or outside of my marriage) what was “allowed” within marriage. I wanted to know if it was ok to do certain things sexually (non-abusive). I think that the people in the group were *trying* to be helpful- but I got the response of “Pretend that Jesus is in the bedroom with you”. Honestly. And I understand the *theory* behind that, but… I’m sorry, perhaps I am too heathen- but that is the creepist image. Although I don’t think that I should be ashamed for being intimate with my spouse, and what I was wrestling with at the time was if there are boundaries/ rules that apply even within the bounds of marriage; I think that having the image of God /Jesus actively watching is a bit too much (my husband agreed).

    I’m sorry… I’m losing the actual point that I had. Yes. Building true conversations about the struggles with being In but not Of. (Actually my struggles with this issue recently has been having to do with taxes, materialism, and our attitudes as Christians sometimes with “I *earned* this. I’m Entitled” (vs. Scriptures about the man building bigger barns and the parable of the Generous Landowner). I think that the more honest, open-hearted, Real conversations that we can have about these topics, the better.

    And btw- you are Much braver than I am- if I said my whole thoughts about money, etc, etc… I’d feel like I’d have to go into hiding for a Long, Long time. But you Did it- you made a stand, spoke your mind, openly and actively engaged in conversation to the betterment of yourself and others. Good for you!!

    Reply
  36. Lola

     /  July 6, 2012

    Dear MelissaJenna,

    My reading your response to Magic Mike and 50 shades of Grey was actually my first time on your blog, which I was directed to from a pastor friend on Facebook.

    Your post brought the biggest smile to my face. I had been amazed and troubled with why my married, Christian friends were responding in ways in which they were to these new things in our culture. You provided me with verses and loving responses to when I was asked to read 50 Shades or to go see Magic Mike. My sweet husband even said, “Wow! I’m so glad someone wrote publicly about this.”

    Thank you for encouraging your sister in Christ in such a humble and non-judgmental way.

    Reply
  37. Hillary

     /  July 6, 2012

    Thank you! I also read the prior 50 shades post, but all the comments stressed me out. There’s so much misunderstanding and hate in some comments it leaves me bewildered and speechless, but many comments were so encouraging! I’m gonna keep following your blog for sure!!

    Reply
  38. Julie M.

     /  July 6, 2012

    I just found your blog today when someone linked to your 50 Shades of Magic Mike (In Which I Am VERY UNCOOL) post. I just want to say thank you for taking a stand. I really appreciated your post today as well.

    Reply
  39. Kim

     /  July 6, 2012

    I had purchased 50 shades on my kindle because all of my friends said how good of a story it was. I don’t like reading erotic books like that and I knew it was before I bought it, but it as such a big deal that I decided, against my better judgement to read it anyway. I worked at a library and the waiting list was almost a year so I thought, “It has to be good right?” Well, I told my husband I bought it and later that night, he told me how he felt about it. My husband has watched porn in the past and had an addiction to it. We nearly lost our marriage over it. Porn movies have real people in them. That woman (or women) he was watching was someone’s daughter. They are real and are the same as cheating in my eyes (Everyone has their own opinion). My husband and I recently have become devout Christians together. I grew up a Christian, but he didn’t. He found God and realized it is wrong to lust after another woman.It is the same for women. Even a book with pornographic stories in it (which is what 50 shades is) brings our imaginations to life and I can honostly say that I DO NOT think of my husband when I imagine those scenes. So, it does seem the same as porn to me. I stopped reading the book after the first sex scene (and yes, I read it all the way through the scene too), but I didn’t chose to stop reading it because I thought it was wrong. My husband brought it to my attention. He never had a problem with porn before and actually encouraged me to read these types of stories in hopes of putting me “in the mood.” He told me that night that it was bothering him because if we are suppose to be devoted to one another and God alone, then how can we do that while lusting after others and/or their actions. He showed me this blog the next day and it really hit home with me. I read the comments and debate from the previous blog and have to say that this is a wonderful blog. The lady who so whole-heartedly debated and argued even though this blog is a Christian blog and she doesn’t agree with our beliefs, why argue so hard unless you feel the need to defend yourself and show that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Something in the back of your mind is trying to prove that you are doing something that isn’t wrong. If you truly believe that, and you are atheist and don’t agree with the people of this site anyway, why would you even care to say anything. My sister, who I love, saw Magic Mike and will probably see it again. I am not judging her for seeing it, that’s her business. I CHOSE not to see it and if I am asked my opinion, will try to discourage my friends and family from seeing it. I have no idea what God’s judgement will be on this issue, but I KNOW it is wrong to see and CHOSE not to. Obviously, the attacks on the blogger has touched me and brought me to feel I should defend her. I refunded that book immediately. I wouldn’t have thought much about it unless my husband had brought it to my attention. Bravo for the braveness and courage. If you disagree, disagree, but why do you feel the need to attack this blog because you do disagree when as Christians we are suppose to support each other and keep each other from falling in sin. It may be a great movie and book, but it doesn’t mean you SHOULD watch it. Nobody was being judgemental on here. It was a concern blog. Nobody said you CAN”T and nobody said you will go to hell. If it is that important to you, start your own blog. Or maybe you should read more of what she has to say.

    No agression intended. This was wonderfully written and moved me. I don’t usually write on blogs, but the agression thrown at the blogger was silly. She’s a wonderful Christian and the world needs more like her.

    Reply
  40. just want to make a note.. I am just reading this post. I left my comment on your previous post BEFROE reading this…lol…so guess you just needed to be reassured again by someone who didn’t know what you was going through, but I kinda did…lol. once again, thanks for being you. I believe our experiences in life, both good and bad, make us who we are. It is just how we chose to let those experiences effect us. Make a house with the bricks thrown at us, or let them bury us. I grew up in a “christian” home. To say it was disfunctional wouldn’t really discribe what I went through. I am almost 30, and my mother is just now realizing she NEVER listened to me. I was a very insecure, unhappy child. On the inside. On the outside..I seemed OK. However,the signs were there..in different ways. But on the inside, I was tortured. Because I was raised in church, I knew the “dos” and “don’ts”. Honestly, It was almost Hell…I Iived a double life on the inside then on the outside.I didn’t want to, it was just that way. I hated anyone and everyone. Including myself. I resented the fact that I had been taught the “right way” because I just wanted to live to be happy and free from the darkness that was inside of me…yet because of being a christian, I seemed to have more trouble. When I would try to tell people, they wouldn’t believed me. It has taken most of the last 10 years to begin unwinding the web of distruction that was in my mind…with God’s help. Today, I can look in the mirror, and know that all that I went through, it was worth it knowing that I made it and can maybe help someone who has been through what I went through. I believe the reason that Christians are held to a higher standard and the wrongs are remembered most, is BECAUSE we are held to a higher standard. To whom much is given, much is required. I knew that there had to be a reason I stuggled so hard to fit in as a teenager. Why I was always awkward, and my views never really seemed excepted by the “normals”. Many are called, but few are chosen…Why? because few take road less traveled. It doesn’t always feel good to be unexcepted. But, there is a greater reward. If Jesus had made the choice to go by what felt good, he would have never had to endure the pains of the cross. And we would have never known, and never experienced the freedom we have now. I am glad he chose to endure. I heard a friend today quote someone, but I cant remember who she said it was, but she said this: ” In the old Greek culture of the olympics, the person who ran in the race did not win by being first. The winner was determined by whos flame was still lit.” oh that our culture would adopt that mentality. Keep the flame of God’s love lit in our life until that blessed day. Keep the oil in your lamp…let the Holy Spirit wash over you as you type your words. You have a wonderful gift. I wasn’t gifted to write eloquently…obviously it is a little different. I don’t envy you…with each different gift comes a different burden…Write the truth of God in love. Love people with your words. Show them who he is and His love that has been revealed to you. The freedom you walk in wasn’t cheap or free. Jesus paid the price. you made the choice.

    Reply
  41. Lindsey

     /  July 6, 2012

    Thank you so much for writing this post. While I really had no interest in 50 SoG or MM, your blog revealed a great need in my life for change and a vulnerability regarding conforming my life to what society deems is acceptable rather than what God decrees is right. Reading the comments led me to biblegateway to find the verse about how Christians should rebuke one another in love. Instead, I found myself reading verses regarding God’s feelings about issuse in my life that have been a struggle for me. This comes less than 24 hours after a heartfelt prayer to God to rekindle the fire in my heart, the desire to live as the kind of woman that makes Him proud to have me as His daughter. Clicking on a facebook friend’s link to this site gave me answers that I was seeking, AND–through the discussions in the comments–showed me that I truly need to seek out more opportunities for fellowship with other Christians beyond just going to church on Sundays. God is so good, and I will share this, even though I am as nervous as you were about offending my friends that boasted in the same forum about going to see the movie.

    Reply
  42. laurke

     /  July 6, 2012

    I was going to leave a comment on the previous post, but it has over 1000 comments, so I’m here instead 🙂 I’ve posted on FB more than once that I’m not partaking in those things and am glad that you took a stand on your blog. You are not alone, and God used you, whether you liked it or not, LOL!! I know the feeling…
    “be the kind of woman that, when her feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says Oh no, she’s up!” love that quote 🙂

    Reply
  43. KS

     /  July 6, 2012

    I think it’s really great that you spoke out about these issues, but honestly, sometimes the drama that ensues from the conflict is just free advertising. Sometimes, it’s best to have our say, turn off the comments, and move on. Over 1,000 comments debating a senseless, cinematically inferior movie, and a mediocre “novel?” As Christians, if we know it’s wrong, aren’t there bigger fish to fry?

    The internet is such a drama queen.

    Reply
  44. mj, I felt the same push of the spirit that I did not fully understand. I just knew i was supposed to research this for both the Young Life girls I council & my youth group at church. Although I’m a 38 year old guy who would like avoid topics like this at all cost. God has called me to stay in touch with the challenges the young women are dealing with. I hated the Twilight series and the Hunger Games, but I read every word of each book to stay in touch with what the group was reading (including my wife) so I could better relate them. But between your post and reading the responses to this guys post http://sammyadebiyi.com/blogs/sammy-adebiyi/magic-mike-and-female-christians-response-sex, I feel like I have learned a ton about the young and not so young woman of today. Especially, the Christian woman’s point-of-view. Thank you for allowing God to work through you to get this post written. Your honesty is refreshing and I can tell you as a fellow Christian that I sense the overall feeling of “Well done, good and faithful servant”. I believe you feel this same feeling as well. Keep fighting the good fight sister. The fight for appreciating God’s grace and not flesh. May God protect and bless you and your family

    Reply
  45. MJ, I linked to your post on my blog. I hope you don’t mind. Should you not want that, please leave a comment on my blog. (I am overwhelmed by your comments and am afraid that I might not *see* your response.) I will remove it, should you desire. Your words are heart-felt and appropriate. Thank you.

    http://www.as-for-me-and-my-house.blogspot.com/2012/07/magic-mike.html

    Reply
    • That is absolutely fine by me, and thank you for having the courtesy to mention it! So polite. I love it! 🙂

      Reply
  46. cassandrawebb

     /  July 6, 2012

    This is all so tiresome, is it not? I get caught up in these comments and I’m not sure why. I think God is telling me to go to bed! Seriously! 😉 I want to know why 50 SOG and Magic Mike are suddenly the “it” things on which to take a stand. Where were all the Christian blog posts denouncing The Hunger Games series? Or the Twilight series? Or did I miss them? Because sex is the name of the game now, everyone is up in arms. Why? It’s nothing new. I’d hate to believe that this is just the next cool Christian woman thing to do. I see a lot of people on Facebook and/or other mediums denouncing 50 SOG and Magic Mike, but when you ask them why, they have no idea. At least you have your reasons. And I commend you for reading 50 SOG, feeling convicted, and putting it away. At least you KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that, for you, it was sinful. I am so bothered by folks who get on a bandwagon without knowing anything about the cause of which they are so passionate. It’s like when people don’t like a particular political candidate, but yet they can’t tell you anything about his/her stands on political issues. Sure, maybe Christian women shouldn’t read 50 Shades or go see Magic Mike (I saw the movie, but have not read the book). But that is a decision left to the individual, God, and their spouse. We certainly shouldn’t make others’ feel bad about their decision to see it/read it, just as we should not make others’ feel bad about their decision to refrain. In the end, the Lord knows the heart of the individual. P.S. There’s more female nudity in Magic Mike than male nudity, anyhow. Blah!

    Reply
  47. cassandrawebb

     /  July 6, 2012

    Lol, the “blah” in my last comment was to signify my indignation of having to see naked women, not my disappointment at the lack of male nudity in the film. I hope that makes sense! Goodnight! 🙂

    Reply
  48. Jennifer

     /  July 6, 2012

    This evening I had a ladies night with some friends ranging in age from 19 to 29, some virgins, some married, some born-again virgins. We all have a few things in common, we are all Christian, we all love God, and we all agree that sex outside of marriage is not something God wants us to take part in.

    That said I was saddened by my young 19 year old virgin friend announced that she would be having male strippers at her one day bachelorette party, she even acted out how they would dance based on what she has seen in the previews for MM. Her comment opened up the discussion and we quickly brought up the blog which several of us older girls read. We talked about the objectification of men and women and how we are called to higher standards by God. I know that God has taught us to love all people and to esteem others higher than we esteem ourselves. I have enough love for myself to not put myself in a position to be lusted after as a sex object, so therefore i should not put myself in a situation that would cause me to look at others in that same way.

    My married friend said she was really excited about seeing the movie until she really thought about how the content may distract her from her husband, or may “turn her on” while her husband is in Afghanistan. She wants to be pure in body and soul while her husband is away and he is doing the same for her. They could share in pornographic images but choose to fight for purity while apart so they can truly enjoy each other when he comes home. She doesn’t want to cloud her mind with images that may distract her from her husband and the love they share during intimacy. I think it is beautiful to hear her say that and inspiring.

    As for me I am a “born-again virgin”, I now truly understand the importance of following God and staying pure till marriage. My life before I was saved (when I claimed to be an atheist) I allowed myself to fall into the pitfalls of being used by men, and using men. All that came of that time was heart ache, HPV, a cancer scare, and now years of trying to heal the scars and broken dreams. God has restored me spiritually, and physically he will come through with healing. Mentally, I still struggle with lust everyday and every night. I still struggle with old images of past lovers and pornographic images I watched to feed my own sexuality. I want so badly to be completely pure, body and mind, for the day I marry the love of my life. My hope is that when I am in bed with him he is the only thing that will turn me on, and the only place my focus will be. I know that pure sex no matter what position or the moves, as long as it is motivated out of mutual love and adoration of God, will be amazing and sensual and orgasmic.

    Too much premarital and/or extra-marital sex in all it’s forms are a bad thing, a hurtful thing, and a hard thing to get over, I know from experience!

    Please pray for me that my memory will fade and my lustful nature will be forgotten.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  July 6, 2012

      PS- just to be sure everyone understands, I do not want prayer based on me feeling condemnation, but because I finally understand the beauty of being sexually pure for the one day I hope to marry. And also because I want with all my heart to be pleasing to God and be set free of something that has been so hurtful and distracting to me.

      Thanks ❤

      Reply
      • Loren

         /  July 7, 2012

        Memories do fade…I promise! Satan will still bring them up when you least expect it, but prayer, discussion with close friends/spouse does help the healing. You are not alone but I will pray for you. 🙂 thanks for sharing and know your someday husband will be everything you need him to be. Something that helped me was finding a friend to confide in and hold me in check. Wearing a ring – although silly to some – was a visual reminder to me to stay pure for God. Hope that makes sense…

        Reply
  49. Cassandra – where I can understand where you are coming from (why choose these 2 things, vs all the other junk out there) I DO think it is unfounded that one must read/watch in order to make a decision. I have never smoked crack. Yet, I know it is bad for me. I do not have to get high to know that I shouldn’t.

    As a Christian, we are to be on the look-out for those things that the enemy has put out to destroy us. We KNOW they are coming. We don’t have to go through it to suddenly say, “Oh….he really IS out there, waiting to devour us.” Just like a traffic warning sign comes BEFORE you hit the dangers in the road. It warns you of the impending problems, should you not heed them. You never see a traffic sign that says, “Wow…you should have slowed down there.”

    Will everyone fall to the temptation of lust/pornography/ that is in these 2 things? No. There will be some Christians that emerge unscathed. Just like many lifetime smokers will never get lung disease. But, really…..every time you put on your seatbelt, is it because you plan to have a wreck? Probably not…it’s *just in case.*

    OK…that was rambling. 😉 I apologize for that.

    Reply
    • cassandrawebb

       /  July 7, 2012

      ~ LL ~

      I don’t think your comparison to smoking crack and reading a book and or watching a movie is a good one. They are two totally different things, especially in that smoking crack is highly ILLEGAL and we are all aware of the physical ramifications of doing such a thing. The same argument that knowing that standing on a train track while a train is coming doesn’t hold any water, either – as I’ve heard it argued from other Christian women. Of course you’re going to get hit by the train. That’s ludicrous. We are all different, with different hearts, different backgrounds and different minds. I watched MM and haven’t thought about those “naked” men since then. Maybe it’s because this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a dude in a thong? Maybe it’s because I have a husband who works out and looks fabulous without his clothes on? I don’t know. I’ll stick to my statement about this whole thing being a decision between the individual, God, and his/her spouse. If we shouldn’t watch Magic Mike (again, I feel a lot of people have the wrong misconception about this film because it is NOT as light as the previews make it look and I don’t understand how women could have possibly screamed and giggled during the movie given the heavy plot and seriousness of the film), we probably shouldn’t watch The Bachelorette, Dancing with the Stars (as it glamorizes REAL married men and women bumping and grinding on people who are NOT their spouses, all the while scantilly clad), Twilight series, the Hunger Games (hello, child-on-child violence!), Sex and the City, etc. etc.

      Reply
      • I am not saying they are the same thing….same outcome….whatever. I was merely addressing the whole *don’t make a statement unless you have read it, seen it, tried it.*

        And, I agree with you about the other TV programs/movies/books….Personally, I can’t stand reality TV. It has nothing to do with the *sin-factor.* I just find them highly annoying. As far as the other programs, I agree that it is a matter of conviction. We, as Christians, are each in a different portion of our walk with Christ. While some might be told that they absolutely cannot *indulge,* others, I think it still warrants caution….not because of what will happen, but because of what COULD happen.

        I am a teacher. I read the Harry Potter series, first, to find out what *my* kids were reading. Boy, was I surprised when I discovered that I LOVE that series. I have taken much criticism for reading it. Is it a sin to read the book? For me? No. I don’t believe so. However, because it is *cool,* *fantasy,* and has a spiritual undertone, I have not allowed my younger children to read it. My older children are just starting, but I made sure their base in the Bible is a strong one.

        We, as Christians, are not to conform to the world. We are in it, but not of it. HOWEVER, we do not….we CANNOT isolate ourselves from those who participate in sin. First, because we too, are sinners. “So go I, but for the grace of God.” Second, because we cannot spread the message of the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. BUT, when we DO “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” we are to be sanctified….meaning set apart to serve God.

        Christianity has a bad rap. Non-Christians often try to *entrap* us in our words, using scripture (often-times out of context) in order to make us feel trapped. Most Christians…..OK…let me clarify….I cannot speak for others….MYSELF, as a Christian, admit that I do not have all the answers. I only try to serve my Savior in the best way possible. There are some things I am called to do, some things I am not. There are some things it is OK for me to “partake” of, and some things forbidden. One cannot nutshell everything. What is good for one situation (person) is not good for another.

        I believe MJ wrote what God put on her heart. It was not for everyone. It could have been for herself. It could have been for a small group of ladies. I, myself, have spoken against things, and been bashed and lost friends…..I was called judgmental and intolerant. I was really down. I felt like I hadn’t heard God correctly or completely. Until I got a PM from 1 person. That one person was my confirmation.

        My personal feeling (and I don’t know if others feel this way) is that when someone gets defensive then they (the *offended* person) needs to reanalyze the situation. If it is truly *no big deal,* then why make it one?

        OK….today is a day of bunny trails, to be sure. Heh….I don’t even know if I addressed your comment properly. Time to go fix some lunch for the natives.

        Reply
        • cassandrawebb

           /  July 7, 2012

          LL –

          I think we are in agreement here for the most part. 🙂

          1. I do not believe one should ever make a judgment, form an opinion, or condemn others for things of which they are not fully aware. They can have their own opinions and thoughts on the matter, but should keep it to themselves if they are unwilling to research the facts. This goes for ANYTHING in life. The First Amendment gives us the right to write/say whatever we want on the Internet, so the blog author indeed, has the right to say whatever she wants. However, this comes at a risk of looking foolish – no matter what one is writing – if one does not have all the facts. They ultimately possess an invalid opinion.

          2. I understand giving caution. That’s fine and appreciated. Perhaps caution regarding the book (only) would have been a better choice for the author. Several people have mentioned the story line of the film and it is NOT what everyone thinks it is. Those comments, however, have been avoided and/or ignored. This is religious bigotry at its finest. And I do not stand for that.

          3. I agree with everything you said in your two paragraphs that begin with “We, as Christians…” I feel the exact way.

          4. Sidenote #1: I have not read 50 SOG and probably won’t because I downloaded the sample on my Kindle and the writing was atrocious. I felt like I was reading Twilight all over again (gasp! hiss!). However, I was told by a fellow Christian woman that my choosing to even dabble in that book was a sin and I could become addicted to pornography (gross), and my heart wasn’t right with the Lord. This is the same, unmarried person who lives with her boyfriend. See what I mean? We are so quick to leap and jump down the throats of others’ for one “sin,” while we completely ignore the plank in our own eye! This disgusts me and I pray that I never, ever become so self-righteous. I don’t know why this book and movie are causing such a raucous. Are we really that afraid of sex?!

          5. Sidenote #2: Magic Mike is not pornography, by definition. I didn’t see any sexual organs. One does not reproduce with their breasts or buttocks. 🙂

          I am tired now and going to take a nap. Lol.

          LL, I appreciate the discussion and cherish the fact that you’re a teacher – the hardest job of all! May God bless you and your students this year!

          Reply
  50. Lisa L.

     /  July 7, 2012

    good job again!! another super article!! This so speaks to my heart. Thank you again for speaking truth : )) the words “it’s people like you that made me leave the church” have been thrown at me, also. And we keep trudging on…loving people right where they are… because they won’t understand His great enormous unconditional love any other way : )) I plan to read your blog daily!! Many prayers!!

    Reply
  51. you are an excellent writer, and such an inspiration! in fact, you have inspired me to share some “interruptions” God has been hitting me with on my own blog. i’m no longer afraid to open my mouth and speak for the Lord. He can take care of me, and it doesn’t matter as much anymore what other people think. of course, i probably won’t be able to put it as eloquently as you did… but i’ll try to be loving and just let the words that the Lord has put on my heart flow out. 🙂
    thanks, and i’ll be following your blog!

    xo, Jess

    Reply
  52. YoungMarriageIsAwesome

     /  July 7, 2012

    Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love this. Love it. Adore it.

    This is a victory for the Lord! As Christian women, we need to be equipped with the right tools to admonish others with love and without condemnation. Your way of writing has totally transformed my idea of “loving correction” with my fellow believing sisters. And it has better softened my heart for the times when I need correcting (which is quite often, mind you.). Hallelujah! Praise him!

    Ariel ❤

    Reply
  53. Absolutely amazing! I was sitting down to record my own thoughts on these two items and came across your article while doing research. My words would have been wholly inadequate compared to what you wrote. I hope you don’t mind that I shared your article and site with my audience instead. Blessings.

    Reply
  54. Barak Ben-Reuven

     /  July 7, 2012

    I was directed to this blog by a friend who found Christian Faith to save his marriage as a result of his addiction to on-line pornography. As a non-Christian myself, I was curious about how his view on the subject has changed since he found Christianity. In many of the responses from our conversations, as well as from what I have read from these posts, there seems to be an extraordinary amount of time and energy going into the discussion about sexuality and the morals of sexual life-styles. I am someone who always atttempts to understand as many sides of an argument/debate, so I am curious about why so much time is spent on these subjects? Is an equal amount of time dedicated as well in Church discussions, Bible study groups, etc? I ask because I have only limited knowledge of these experiences. In the synagogues I have attended, and currently attend, we discuss matters of relationships in terms of we can make the world around us a better place by standing up for injustices and identifying in ourselves when we have caused harm to others, both intentionally and unintentionally.
    I have read some very well thought and insightful comments from people along this thread, so don’t let me down 🙂

    Shalom.

    Reply
  55. I have done this…”I didn’t write it so much to please God, as to get him off of my back.” more than I like to admit! Great follow up post!

    Reply
  56. oh, favorite line… “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.”

    Perfectly put. THANK YOU.

    Reply
  57. Nulli Secundus

     /  July 7, 2012

    Reading this post, I am glad you chose to follow Paul’s Galations 1:10 mantra and not the opposite. Thank you for your beautiful words and thank you for continually sharing your heart. Your blog is sincerely uplifting.

    Reply
  58. Introduction (so you won’t think I’m weird). I used to be Jonathan and Sunshine’s pastor (we moved to Texas, and Sunshine posted your link of her facebook page). So much of what is “acceptable” today would be appalling to the church of just 30 years ago. When one makes a moral stand, there is always those who claim “judgmental!” However, it is never wrong (no matter how many people think so) to stand up for what is right. Thanks for taking a stand for righteousness and holiness.

    Reply
  59. Charity berk

     /  July 7, 2012

    Beautifully written!

    Reply
  60. Joan

     /  July 7, 2012

    I love this one even more than the first one about this subject. THANK YOU!!

    Reply
  61. I loved the first post…but this one is even better. Awesome!!!

    Reply
  62. Sue

     /  July 7, 2012

    Melissa, let me first say that I am a 57 yr. old female. Having said this, I want to thank you for boldly speaking what God placed in your mind and heart about these two things! Coming from me, to much younger women, nieces, friends, etc., I certainly would have immediately been classified a fuddie duddie! These are girls and young women raised in christian homes with christian values and morals. The devil has so permeated even the lives of christians via social media, movies, books, T.V. internet. We must be on guard. We are so desensitized to things of this nature that there is a very thin line of destinction for what is true and pure. I have shared this and pray that God will use it to help empower them to make wise Godly choices when faced with these temptations. I must agree that the same amount of discussion should have been used concerning the Twilight Series and The Hunger Games! I did talk to the young women who I know about being careful what these type of things put into our minds. The devil is simply looking for a toe opening in the door and then he will push it wide open if we are not on guard. God will bless you for opening the line of discussion and by speaking the words you might have chosen to keep buried. Thank you again and keep it up!

    Reply
  63. Olivia

     /  July 7, 2012

    “We are prone to justifying behaviors to satisfy our ideas of what is good, rather than God’s.” Isn’t that exactly what you did?

    Reply
  64. Emily

     /  July 8, 2012

    “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 just came across your blog this morning after following a friend’s facebook link to your “50 Shades of Magic Mike” post. All I can say is thank you for saying what I was too afraid to say. Ever since these works came out I couldn’t believe what I was hearing some of my Christian friends say about them. But what did I choose to do? Stay quiet and not involve myself in the conversation. I felt like my duty of honoring God and my husband was done by not touching either of these works. All that to say, thank you, thank you for finding the courage to write this. Thank you for making it blaringly (is that a word?) clear that I need to beef up my prayers to be bolder in my walk and not be a “people-pleaser” by just remaining on the sidelines. You are awesome and I am excited to become a new reader of your blog 🙂

    Reply
  65. Wait, so you’re against the exploitative sexual fantasies of Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey but are a fan of the real-life exploitative violence of UFC? You think God is a fan of the octagon?

    I’ve never understood how in our society / culture how disproportionately skewed our views have become with respect to sex and violence. You can’t show a woman’s breast on TV but you can punch / shoot / stab / maim / kill as many people as you want … So long as they keep their clothes on.

    Reply
    • Well, MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, and I haven’t found anything in the Bible that causes me to believe that martial arts are not okay. That being said, there are only two fighters that I watch: Anderson Silva, and GSP, because they are excellent martial artists (the best that the UFC has to offer), and GSP, specifically, exemplifies good sportsmanship. I would watch GSP or Anderson Silva with Jesus sitting next to me, so it passes the “Jesus test.” And I never said anything about shooting/stabbing/maiming, etc.

      Reply
  66. Thank you for your comments about 50 Shades of Gray and Magic Mike. I admit, I did read the first book of 50 shades. I had decided that I wasn’t going to read them, based on the reviews stating “Mommy Porn”, but quite frankly, I gave into temptation . In reading I was struck by the thin storyline amid all that other crap!! Yes.. Its crap, garbage!! I do not want to give the book any more press than necessary; seemingly that only creates more curiousity.
    Another thing , that kept running through my head like a loop was the littlle Sunday School song, ” Oh be careful little eyes (ears, mouth, fingers) what you see ( hear,say, do) “. As a Christian woman, wife and mom, I know that I must guard my heart. I had to go to my Heavenly Father and ask forgiveness. I’m gonna keep that song on the “repeat” pattern!

    Reply
  67. megan

     /  July 8, 2012

    i just want to thank you for actually having the courage to write these posts. a friend of mine posted it on her facebook and it was major encouragment. i was starting to feel like i was the only person that wasnt going to see the movie or read the book. and i your post actually put my jumbled thoughts on why i wouldnt onto “paper”.

    Reply
  68. Laura

     /  July 8, 2012

    I read the previose post but actually felt even more moved by your follow up. I, like many others, came upon your blog b/c a friend on FB posted a link. I totally agreed with everything you posted and could not have said it any more eloquently! I have also chose not to partake of the 50sog or mm movement. I also never read any of the Hunger Games- kids killing each other, really!? Harry Potter- witchcraft and questionable in a hundred different ways; or Twilight- this one b/c it just seemed stupid. Popular is not for everyone! it’s like your mother told you growing up “if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Even discounting the CHristian perspective, of which i am proud to say, I am ONE….morality is something sadly lacking in this country and it will take more than the Christians saying it….there ARE non-Christian people who also believe in morality. We should all stand together and make the move to re-introduce wholesomness! Thanks so much for your posts!

    Reply
  69. Ali

     /  July 8, 2012

    I use the guilt/defensive test, personally….if something someone says makes me feel guilty or causes me to react defensively, I know I am in the wrong. I agree wholeheartedly with your view on these two pieces and know they wouldn’t pass my “Jesus sitting next to me” test either!

    Reply
  70. Stephanie

     /  July 8, 2012

    So glad someone shared your blog with me! Thank you for standing up for what is noble, right, excellent, praiseworthy, and most of all, pure. 🙂

    Reply
  71. I just read the original blog post. I thought it was interesting and thought provoking. I have read 50 shades, all my friends who did read it said it was awful, but I did want to see Magic Mike…..my husband is in the middle of a nine month deployment (he’s home right now because of the wild fires near our home).

    But I hadn’t honestly thought about how he might feel about it….I hadn’t really thought about “What if this was a movie about female strippers and he kept telling me he couldn’t wait to go see it with his friends?”

    Yes, the culture has done plenty of objectifying of women. But I liked what you said about there is no way to balance the scales except to take everything off them. Don’t objectify ANYONE. That really resonated with me. Its not fair for me to go see this movie just because there are a thousand other movies like it for men. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and all that jazz.

    Anyways, thanks for this! Sorry it blew up all over your blog, but the good news is even if people didn’t agree with you TONS of people read what you had to say and at least had to think about it 🙂

    Reply
  72. http://biblerevelationsofjesuschrist.blogspot.com/

     /  July 9, 2012

    Addictions. We all have so many that interfere with a proper relationship with our spouses, girlfriends, family and, of course, God. An ancient word that might be used for addictions is idols. For many of us, it’s our smartphones. We’ve all done it. We’re sitting there with our kids or spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend and instead of taking in that moment of life that we should cherish, we are checking our Facebook updates, emails, tweets or other shallow distractions. So this is just one more escape from reality that separates us further from our God & our families. Even if you attend this movie with your mate and then go home and make great love. Is that love making based on the spiritual love that God blessed each of us with or is it raw, flesh-biting sex that you could find in any generic “soft-porn” flick. God wants our hearts and nothing else. Prayers are just words if your heart is not genuinely going out to the person you’re praying for. So let’s be honest with ourselves. If we see this movie, we are not being good Christians. If we watch Hangover, we’re not being good Christians and if we do not read our Bible on a regular basis, we are not being good Christians. The choice has always been ours. That’s the beauty of God’s free will. So we either draw the line here & now and choose God or we just keep allowing society to raise the bar on this type of content until it gets to the point that our daughters, sons & future grandchildren are walking around in public with just a string covering their parts with a neon sign on their chests that reads either “sex now” or “not now”. Remember, God is LOVE & Jesus is TRUTH. If those are not our definitions for love & truth then we invent our own definition of what love is and what truth is and we will never be fully satisfied or content. We were created to serve God & until we humble ourselves and accept the role of He is master and we are servant, we will constantly be fighting against our own nature and peace will always escape us. Rest in God. It’s the only way to find true peace.

    Reply
  73. Mandy

     /  July 9, 2012

    Wow. Your first blog about this was all over members of my church FB posts. Just in them posting your blog, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t the only freak in the crowd. Then, you write this (again, shared all over members of my church FB posts), and I was almost moved to tears. God is definitely using you to let others know to Stand Firm, Be Bold. I am reminded (and told this to my husband in leaning on him with the ridicule I’ve faced in turning down invites to participate in these activities) pretty much exactly what you said here-I don’t care if I lose every friend over it, and I will speak truth into their lives, especially when they ask! (If you knew me you would question like we do-why would they ask me if I support it, they know my answer isn’t going to be what the WANT to here!) I am here to please the Father, not the world. I am reassured in being reminded that I know I cannot please everyone in the world, so I am can to stay focused on pleasing Him. Satan is so good that he has been desensitizing women for years just waiting to devour them. I really feel like he is feeding on souls over this. Yes, I believe it’s that dramatic, and that real. And my heart hurts for my girlfriends that have fallen for his lies and deceit that tells them that there “are worse things [they] could be doing.” Thank you for giving Christians a voice when many are not gifted with one.

    Reply
  74. Lisa L.

     /  July 9, 2012

    Adding some good “reads” into this mix ….Song of Songs in the Bible : ))) and anything about Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, or explanations by Christopher West, Jason and Crystalina Evert, Brian Butler, or Katrina Zeno. All these will increase our understanding that we are worth so much more : )) thanks again, Melissa, for speaking truth !!

    Reply
  75. Jennifer

     /  July 9, 2012

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
    (Proverbs 27:6 ESV)

    Thanks for your obedience to the Spirit’s leading and for saying something that needed to be said! Allowing others to fall into sin without any resistance in the name of being “non-judgmental” is certainly the standard these days, but is not helpful or loving! If we are filled by the Spirit, we should embrace the one who God uses to bring conviction, even if it stings a little! That said, I know it’s hard to be the one making the stand. May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness!

    Reply
  76. KK

     /  July 9, 2012

    I was introduced to this blog by first reading the 50 Shades of Magic Mike post. And as a young seminarian, I walk alongside you in your support for more healthy sexuality among men and women. I do believe people are called to live healthy, holy lifestyles, and you have pointed that out very beautifully.

    However, there is much about this that I am resisting. The slight tag on your original post title …\”In Which I am VERY UNCOOL\” almost turned me away from reading the rest of the post. It struck me as false attempt at humility, and a cry for sympathy. The truth is, the majority of commenters on your site agree with you, and the majority of the Christian community would agree with you. You\’re not \”uncool\”. In fact, your beliefs are very much in line with other Christians. So, I have to ask, why?
    I\’ve seen this attitude displayed by MANY Christians who have jumped on the bandwagon of \”it\’s cool to be uncool\” and \”formed not conformed\” type of act. This type of attitude contradicts the entire basis of Christianity– to live humble, peaceful, holy lives, without judgment, or chips on our shoulders. When Christians attempt to harness false sympathy from others just so they can feel better about themselves, that\’s a problem.

    Also, If you really weren\’t being judgmental, you wouldn\’t have had to say it in your post. Yes, giving such a strong opinion can be intimidating and difficult. But if you are only making the caviat of \”I\’m not being judgmental\” to make yourself feel better, then that may be a call to reexamine what you are saying. And if you really were being \”uncool\”, then this post would not have had the affect on the cyber community that it has for the past few days.

    Again, I believe you are doing a wonderful thing by promoting a healthy perspective of sexuality, and it is not my intent to criticize that perspective. You have a perfectly valid opinion to share, and a positive one. Thank you.

    Reply
  77. Tiffany

     /  July 10, 2012

    “Probably the greatest factor that has influenced me to stay in the church over the past several years is that at one point I realized that authentic faith is not rooted in one’s feelings about Christians; deep, meaningful, authentic faith is rooted in one’s love for God their Father. ”

    This statement seriously just hit me so hard. I have been having a hard time with accepting/dealing with some of the people in my church, but we have to remember that people aren’t perfect, but Christ was/is.

    Reply
    • I hate to say it, but I don’t often get along very well with other Christians. It’s not that I’m not friendly, it’s just that I find that we don’t see eye to eye on a lot. But Jesus and I, we get along okay. 🙂 At least I know I’m not the only one!

      Reply
  78. Sarah

     /  July 11, 2012

    LOVE. Never cared to follow a blog before, but you talk a lot of sense and it’s all stuff I believe and has crossed my mind as of late. Love love love, thank you!

    Reply
  79. Teresa

     /  July 11, 2012

    Thank you so much for your 50 Shades/Magic Mike post and this follow up. You have been able to put everything into words that I have been feeling about both the book and movie. I recently stumbled across this blog and I feel very blessed by reading your words. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing God’s love with us all.

    Reply
  80. MJ – i admire you standing up for what you believe in and saying all the things I wish I had said first! You are a good example as a wife, mother and Christian. I wish everyone knew God’s grace and blessings and how only He can change lives but that aside, if you would be embarassed to watch/read with your mom, grandmother or other respected member of your circle of influence, that is probably your conscience, i.e. God-given morals – saying its not a good idea! Listen up!

    Reply
  81. Guest

     /  July 14, 2012

    The 50 Shades of MM post was the first post on your blog I have ever read & I am SO THANKFUL I came across it! Seriously! Thank you so much. I am blessed to have a couple of friends and a wonderful boyfriend who share similar views with me on these subjects, but I am so glad to see someone with a popular blog writing about this form of objectification. Speaking as someone who has been regularly involved in an anti-trafficking organization, I know the damaging effects that the pornography industry can have not only in marriages and other relationships, but also to those who are victims of sex trafficking. To those whom posted that porn stars willingly participate in America’s sex industry, I am sorry you believe that, but it is simply not always true. There are many women (and young girls) who are trafficked into America for purposes of sex, including pornography. It is awful. Trust me, I KNOW women trafficked both in the United States and to the United States from other countries who were forced to perform in pornographic movies. In addition to that, “free” pornography on the Internet is often supported by ads. Even if you are not paying for it, you are still contributing to the industry.
    As a Christian woman, I do not believe this is ok. However, I also know that I should not judge everyone based on my own personal spiritual standards. That being said, as mentioned above, I believe there are multiple secular reasons to not support unhealthy views of sex. And, I will continue to fight against pornography and its harmful effects on our society. Thanks MelissaJenna!

    Reply
  82. bonnie

     /  July 14, 2012

    I get your point about objectifying men -from previous post- but it’s pretty hard to have an orgasm thinking about how sweet my husband is….. 🙂 so really aren’t I objectifying him when I think about his muscly arms or broad shoulders? Or when I notice how ripped the guy on the beach is or how chiseled the cashier’s jaw is I guess I’m objectifying them too because really I don’t know anything about them but how great they look 🙂

    It is possible for most women to ENJOY and APPRECIATE the male body without becoming consumed by inappropriate sexual thoughts.

    I do appreciate your perspective though. My only real beef with your post is that you’re stating what is “okay” for everyone else. I’m sure everyone’s relationship with Christ is unique and so is their relationships with their husband. What works for you on your path to salvation might not be the trick for someone else.

    Reply
  83. Melissa, I am humbled by your blog, and am positive the Lord sent it my way to renew me. Thank you for speaking truth in a world that rarely hears it. You’re encouraging and uplifting and you ARE being used to produce good fruit. I often feel alone too, as if I’m the only christian that has a strong conviction about certain things that seem so blatant to me, and I wonder why noone else seems to notice- but thats exactly what Satan wants us to feel like. Don’t let him fool you, we are not alone, and we never will be. We might be few, and walking on a narrow road but we have been given the TRUTH that shines light into the darkness. I love hearing your heart, seeing your love for others, and hearing your convictions. Keep it up sister!

    Reply
  1. 50 Shades of Magic Mike (In Which I Am VERY UNCOOL) « melissajenna.com
  2. 50 Shades of Magic Mike (In Which I Am VERY UNCOOL) « Shari Snyder's Blog

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