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Lighter Shades of Off-White February 14, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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To be honest I’m not expecting many of my friends to go and watch 50 shades this week but statistically there are likely to be a few who are struggling with where the lines should be drawn on a few issues around sex, and many who frequently cross even the lines they draw for themselves.

My own church linked to an article To Everyone Who Thinks Fifty Shades Is All Sorts of Awesome: Please, Stop and Think . I’m hoping this will lead to more discussion about sex at church (think that sentence might be open to misinterpretation).

I wasn’t the first Fifty_Shades_of_Graceto come up with the idea of “50 Shades of Grace” I googled and found this book cover at knightopia.com. John Piper would have been a good one to write such a book but his executive assistant at Desiring God Marshall Segal opted for a blog post on 50 shades of Nay, Sin is a needle not a toy

The message that sex is selfish, manipulative, and even playfully violent will abuse and violate you. It might feel like a fun and harmless fantasy, but it’s not so subtly redefining the power and beauty of sex, creating spiritual blockages in your heart that will eventually kill you, and impairing your ability to enjoy real and lasting pleasure. – 50 Shades of Nay

The post is followed by one from Piper on “You can say no to Porn” and a link to the not so enticingly titled “Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins.” which like most books from Desiring God is available free in electronic form.

Sadly Christians talking about sex often ends up sounding terribly legalistic and puritanical even if we say that sex is really good (in the context of marriage with appropriate love and respect).

My former Church History lecturer, Meic Pearse shared a few of his favorite Puritan Valentine cards (again)…

puritan_valentine1 I need you... puritan dancing is forbidden

…just to underline a point. More recently (20 years ago) I came across an article in a Brethren book which stated that it was okay for men and women to dance …provided they didn’t do it together, and in a recent book I read a joking reference to Christian preachers in the US speaking against adultery and fornication because these things had been know to lead to smoking.

Society has changed but there are still boundaries. Thanks to Darren for sharing this one on facebook (along with 11,000 other people.

one shade of grey

In 2002 xxxchurch.com was launched in the US as a ministry to help Christians struggling with porn and sex addiction. Surveys in US evangelical churches suggested that over 50% of Christian men struggle with porn and over 30% of pastors had viewed porn within the previous month. Don’t assume that Christians in UK, Canada, or wherever else you are reading this from are immune either.

It’s amazing that in 2015 there are still a lot of people struggling without realizing that many others face the same problems. Sadly there are also many that have ceased to recognize that it is a problem.

In Matthew 5 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Many of us will draw a line and not engage in the abusive practices in 50 Shades, many will draw a line and not watch the movie. A small number of us will draw the line where Jesus did, and most of us that do will cross it.

Thank God for grace.

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