50 Shades of Grey okay “as long as…”

I wasn’t going to go there because it seems like the entire world is but I finally gave it up and decided to say a few words about 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve read enough articles and comments from Christian men and women defending 50 Shades that I had to speak out on my own tiny platform.

I know many people are disgusted by 50 Shades and there are articles declaring why it’s so wrong and all that. I get that. But there is also a side being presented that says it’s okay “as long as …”

And it smacks all to well of the little situation in the Garden of Eden when a slippery little snake in the garden rationalized the very thing God warned against. God set up boundaries to protect Adam and Eve but Satan, in the form of a serpent, lied and said the opposite. He said that doing what God said not to do would actually help them. They listened and they ate from the tree God forbade. And that is where our struggle with sin began. And we will fight it until the day we die. Or we won’t fight it and we’ll believe the lies that rationalize our sin. Lies that if acted on will always have devastating  consequences.

I admit I’ve only relied on summaries and movie reviews to know what the book and movie 50 Shades of Grey contains. One survey showed that 92% of people agree that 50 Shades is pornographic. I think we’re safe to say that most people are not trying to say it’s a clean movie. Even actress Dakota Johnson playing Anastasia Steele (main character in the movie) admitted in an interview that she hoped her childhood friends wouldn’t see the movie. And then she laughed it off saying she was kidding. But you could hear the underlying shame masked in flippancy.

What some Christians are saying is that it’s okay to watch 50 Shades of Grey and other sexually explicit movies involving nudity “as long as…”

*You only envision your husband/your wife. Fantasy is okay as long as you replace yourselves in the scene.

*It’s okay to watch and read about steamy sexual scenes as long as you know it’s wrong outside the context of marriage and covenant in your heart to not have sex outside of marriage.

*It’s okay to watch 50 Shades and other pornographic material as long as it will enhance your own love life with your husband.

*It’s probably not the greatest idea to watch the movie but as long as it will help get the spark back in our love life then we’ll just go out of town and watch it and not tell anyone. We know it will help us and that’s all matters.

I’m concerned about the excusing of sexual sin among the Christian community. Lust is a sin and we cannot watch or read about nudity and sex without it taking us to a place we don’t belong in our hearts. God created us with a sexual desire and in it’s proper place it is an amazing and beautiful union between two people in a covenant relationship. God designed it and He blesses it. And even if your marriage is going through a season where your sex life needs to be spiced up – watching porn together is not the right way to get there. It violates God’s boundaries of protection for us. There will be many voices out in our world rationalizing this type of entertainment and “therapy” for us but we will do our marriages well to stay far from it.

Instead, how about a Christ-centered approach to spicing things up in our marriages. A few resources that might be helpful:

A Celebration of Sex by Douglas E. Rosenau.

Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat, MD and Gaye Wheat

Crazy Good Sex  by Dr. Les. Parrot



  1. Any time you have to make stipulations and draw borders around something, you probably know in your heart it’s a sin.

  2. Elizabeth Harris says:

    Melody. I feel the same as you and have always taken a stand. I love that you offered alternative material for those who think they need it. Great response and much needed post.

  3. Thoughtfully written Melody.

  4. Well said, Melody. I’ve mainly avoided reading anything concerning 50 Shades but I appreciate your approach to caution us against “as long as” justifications. We can apply that to so many areas of our lives where we want to flirt with danger. I appreciate you passing along wisdom here.

  5. I agree. My husband and I both agreed not to read the book, nor see the movie. God did not intend sex to be demeaning or hurtful. Thanks for taking a stand against it.