How many married Christian women have been swept along by Mr. Grey and his winsome ways and in the process become even more disenchanted with the faithful husband who lacks the jet, the suits, the spontaneity, and the mystery?
But even more than that, engagement with erotica belies our identity in Christ.
Jesus is the one whose love is true. He is the one who has died for us, clothed us in righteousness and called us into the Kingdom of light. He is the source of comfort, hope and life in all its fullness (John 10:10). He is the one who, by his Spirit, enables us to become increasingly pure, increasingly holy, increasingly different to the world around us.
Yet erotica opposes that growth. Each time we indulge, we take our garments of righteousness and toss them back into the mud and mire of lust. The Ephesian call for “not a hint of sexual immortality” (5:3) is side-lined, ignored, trampled into the ground.
How can we, as a body, model what it means to flee sexual temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18) when we don’t think twice about spending money on tales of lust?
How can we be a body who faithfully fights temptation if we leave the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) languishing in the cupboard while we clothe ourselves in impurity instead?
How can we hope to maintain integrity in the eyes of our brothers and sisters if we say we will help them battle sex trafficking in one moment but pay to enjoy scenes of violent sex in the next?
How can we bring true hope to the abused, the lonely, those struggling with their married or single states if we act as if it’s just a bit of fun to dwell on casual sex with someone we barely know?
How can we expect an unbelieving world to flock to the light of the gospel, as displayed in our lives, if we act in ways that are no different to the world around us?
We are united in Christ, and when we sin, we sin not only against ourselves, but against the entire body.
In just a few short days 50 Shades of Grey will hit the big screen, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Are you going?