i'm not reading (or watching) Fifty Shades of Grey | IntentionalByGrace.com

I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey

i'm not reading (or watching) Fifty Shades of Grey | IntentionalByGrace.com
Sometimes, I really want to be an ostrich, sticking my head in a hole and pretending something doesn’t exist. Sometimes, I wish that people didn’t ask my thoughts on certain things because there are topics that are hard to traverse.

Other times, I’m thankful for a voice and a platform to exhort women to a higher, holy calling of living a life that makes it impossible to not think about God.

So with that said, I want to tread lightly, but deliberately through the waters of talking about the new book series that has been dubbed “mommy porn.”

I will say at the outset that I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey nor do I plan on reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

As I said in my review of The Hunger Games, we are deliberate in our choices of reading material. We weigh our entertainment against the Word of God, and anything that is promoting an immoral or sinful storyline we stay away.

However, we do not veer away from shocking or hard topics. The Bible doesn’t, and so we don’t.

There are multiple stories throughout the Bible that speak of immorality, rape, incest, etc. The difference between the Bible and popular fiction, namely Fifty Shades of Grey, today is that the Bible does not glorify the immorality and sin within the story line.

For more information on what I mean when I say there is a difference between glorifying sin and using it to teach a lesson, I recommend reading Tim Challies interview with Russell Moore (though I don’t recommend all that Tim Challies says … but this is well said).

Before I dig too much further into why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I want to give a brief summary of the book so that we can all be on the same page when we start discussing whether or not Christian women should read this book series.

Fifty Shades of Grey was written by a British author using the name, E.L. James. Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in the trilogy followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Within six weeks of this series hitting the shelves, all three books quickly became best sellers selling more than 10 million copies. It was so popular that E.L. James was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World“.

Fifty Shades of Grey is erotic fiction that explicitly describe sexual bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM). Anastasia Steele, is a 21 year old virgin who meets rich, telecommunications tycoon, Christian Grey. He convinces her to sign a contract bidding her to submit to his every whim and fancy. ABC News explains their sexual encounters this way:

“Ana,” as he calls her, willingly and excitedly agrees to spanking, whipping and gagging, with props like ice, rope, tape — a repertoire right out of a BDSM [bondage, discipline, dominance and submission] manual.

Grey instructs her to call him, “sir,” and sets rules on everything from her diet to her most intimate grooming routines.

From what I gather, the Fifty series portrays BDSM in a romantic light that culminates in the characters falling in love, and Anastasia helps the billionaire overcome his troubled childhood through her submission and love.

Here’s the thing, ladies.

Generally speaking, men are turned on visually. Women are turned on emotionally. Men view porn. Women read porn. Fifty Shades of Grey, my friends, is pornography.

I don’t know about your marriage, but mine is hard enough as it is without bringing in a whole world of fantasy that is not based on scripture all while glorifying sexual sin. If women want to read something to encourage their hearts in marital intimacy, then read Song of Solomon not Fifty Shades of Grey. Song of Solomon records lovers fantasizing and longing for one another with intimate passion. They long for one another the way God passionately longs for us. The lovers long to be one together just as God longs to be one with us.

God intended for sex to be part of a marriage covenant not a signed contract between strangers.

Furthermore, the relationship between a man and a wife is to mirror Christ and His Church not dominance and humiliation.

You want a real life example of dominance and humiliation? Look no further than Calvary Hill, the Cross of Christ. Then, walk a few hundred years toward your life now and you’ll meet Mr. Hitler and the Nazi concentration camps.

I have to be honest with you.

I want to walk carefully through this topic, but I’m angry.

I’m angry that Christian women are reading these books and sharing it with their friends.

I’m angry that this book is called “mommy porn.”

I’m angry that the money that we pour into these books could feed hundreds of little mouths and adopt hundreds of children out of poverty from all over the world.

I’m angry that pornography has become mainstream.

I’m angry that pornography is not talked about in our churches.

I’m angry that pornography is not talked about openly within our own marriages.

I’m angry that we’re taught that this is a man’s issue when clearly women seek out pornography.

I’m angry that Satan has such a foot hold on our society’s view of sex, submission, and marriage.

I’m down right angry.

There has been plenty written on this topic from men and women that I respect. Men and women from all walks of the Christian faith are speaking out about Fifty Shades of Grey, and I’m proud of them.

Below, I have linked my favorite posts for your convenience, and I highly recommend reading each of them.

The only thing I want to add to what has already been said by others is this.

If you are a woman, specifically a Christian woman, and you have read these books, I want to encourage you to take hold of grace.

If you have read them, and have since become convicted that maybe you shouldn’t have read them, then know that repenting is enough because Christ paid the price. If you are a woman struggling with pornography in any form, know that Christ is enough.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Death no longer has dominion over [Christ]. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:9b-11). For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

If you are a woman who has not yet read these books, then remember this.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification (Romans 6:16-19).

And to all of us, let us remember this.

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (James 4:7b-8a).

Further reading as you evaluate the book series, Fifty Shades of Grey.

7 Reasons Not to Read Fifty Shades of Grey

Why 50 Shades of Grey is Bad for Your Marriage

Fifty Shades of Grey: The Phenomenon, The Invasion, and The Preparation

How We Are “Marketed” Into Reading Pornography

Fifty Shades of Grey and A Game Plan

Why Kindles Can Wreck Your Marriage

50 Shades of Danger

5 Ways to Spice Things Up

So tell me. Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on erotica fiction?

This post is linked to The Better Mom, Time Warp Wife, Women Living Well, Wifey Wednesday, and  Thrive at Home. 

 

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176 Comments

  1. I won’t be reading it. I was sexually abused as a child, and now have a beautiful marriage of almost 20 years. I went through a period of sexual addiction and still struggle with this (I’ve been “sober” since 2006 and God has blessed and healed my marriage). I am a female and highly recommend “No Stones” by Marnee Ferree for other women who struggle with this addiction. At any rate, I don’t need fantasy (especially unrealistic or disrespectful) to enter my thoughts. I have drawn a very strong line in the sand and will not read this book but I do wish I would quit hearing about it. It is good to hear people post against it, like your article….religious reasons are certainly wonderful reasons not to read the book but there are others!!! Hope you don’t mind me sharing here.

    1. Thank you for sharing! It is absolutely fine to share these stories here. I welcome them and appreciate them. With that said, praise God for His grace in delivering you from sin. Overcoming ingrained sin patterns (and sexual abuse) is most difficult, but He is able and willing to help those who seek Him. And like you, I wish we would quit hearing about it, but the problem has only just begun (actually it’s not a new problem, it’s an old one with a new face). I’m afraid we’re going to hear far too much about it, and we need to be armed with truth and ready to speak the truth in love. This is not the last of this series, especially with Universal Studios already buying the rights to produce the movies, nor the last of this marketing strategy. Thanks again for taking time to share with us and even offer helpful resources. Much appreciated!

      1. If you didnt read it then dont talk about it. This is the difference between knowledge and believes. … End of discussion. After saying that you didn’t read it, whatever you can say about it is meaningless.

        1. I agree wholeheartedly with NOT reading this book to enable the blogger to “properly review” this book and give guidance and Godly wisdom to women! I think what Leigh Ann is trying to say is that she doesn’t think that it’s wise to read the book when it’s premise is based on something that doesn’t glorify God. I also found myself shocked by the number of Christian women that I respected who read this book. Maybe they didn’t hear the gentle nudge of conviction in their hearts or even give it a second thought. This is why it’s so important to have these discussions. Many times we are completely unaware of what can be seemingly innocent pathways for the potential to sin and find ourselves “desensitized” to sin.
          Personally, I used to read romance novels until I realized that they were distancing my emotional bond with my husband. The enemy continually attempts to “blind us to sin”. This had a “stronghold” on my life without my ever realizing it. I believe that if we engage in these “fantasies”, resentment can build when your partner doesn’t “measure up” to the hero in this type of a novel. Once we learn to listen to these convictions in our spirit and respond in obedience, we are free from bondage. I know personally that once you trust God and walk away from strongholds it opens your eyes to other areas of your life that are also holding us “captive”. This allowed me to grow so much more in my faith and personal walk with The Lord!

        2. That’s like saying, “If you haven’t actually opened up a Playboy magazine and flipped through all the pages, then you can’t tell others not to read Playboy.”

          too many people are reading this explicit pornographic series and it’s quite all right for someone who does not wish to subject their heart, soul, and mind to this trash to warn others about it.

        3. Yes, totally agree. The only contract that the character in the books enters into is that of marriage. She never signs or agrees to the BDSM contract that everyone is up in arms about it. If you all educated yourselves about it, you would know this. The book is NOT about submission and sexual abuse, it is very sexual and could exerts only be considered verbal/written pornography but it is a FICTIONAL STORY!

          1. I am always so surprised when I read comments from people who have not read the books – but they believe they know what they are about. AmandaP is correct…Anastasia never signs the contract. Christian falls in love with her and realizes the life he has been leading will no longer work. He will change in whatever way needed to keep her in his life. She may very well be 21, but she spends an extensive amount of time grooming herself to go out with him with the plan of having sex. She is not taken advantage of – she goes in willingly. He is very controlling – but he was a child that was severely abused and when adopted at the age of 4 (after being left alone with his dead mother’s body for nobody knows how long) he did not speak and could not stand to be touche. He is damaged in ways I cannot imagine. His adoptive parents do the best they can, but for a child who had not control and never felt safe – he garners control in any way he can. BUT she pushes back at every turn – which changes his way of life. She loves him in a way no-one else ever has at a time when he is ready to receive it.

            There is ALOT of sex – granted. But there is an amazing story of love at the forefront. Ultimately, his love for Ana heals his heart, improves his relationships within his family and they marry and have children.

            If you choose not to read the books that is your right, but I implore those with a voice not to use it without full knowledge of what you speak about.

        4. Some books are better left on shelf
          I belive Anne Shirley said that 🙂 and it is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
          Thank you for sharing Ann, what was on my mind unspoken for so long! I live in UK and find it really disturbing the way it is advertise during Valentines period! Plain porn being sold as a romantic movie to watch at Valentine’s Day.

    2. I have not read it nor have I seen the movie. First reason is I work 80 hours a week, 2 different full time jobs and I attend graduate school. My husband is disabled. Quite frankly, if anything takes any of the precious time I have left for me, it has to be quality. I subscribe to the garbage in garbage out theory. As a rule I watch little TV (however I will multitask and fold clothes or something while Dancing with the Stars is on). But more importantly there is nothing remotely positive about it. I think this book/movie has set women back many many years. We were made to be our husband’s helpmeet not be subserviant to him (which many people Christian or not have issues understanding). Finally, I don’t think this is good for younger folks either. I am 48 years old and in my second marriage which has been 15 years in the making of a good one (my first marriage where my children were born lasted 13 years and his lack of desire to be married and respect our vows destroyed what we had). Thankfully my daughter and daughter in love (ok daughter in law but I would love her whether my son chose her or not-she is very special as is my son in love) have no interest in this type of literature though they are both avid readers. They have told me about their peers reading this and the influence it has had on their marriages and relationships. It concerns me that this is the example that young married or unmarried women look to for entertainment and inspiration (Christian or not). This kind of thing influences not only an individual, their marriage and their children and long term not in a positive manner. I really wish Hollywood and the media would not give this type of material this kind hype and attention that this book/movie has gotten because it simply creates a curiousity and also if one person sees another doing it, it must be ok attitude when clearly it isn’t. (Stepping off my soap box now).

  2. Thanks so much for this post, Leigh Ann. I’ve been struggling recently with the fact that it’s perfectly acceptable, by society’s standards, for women to read this book, but it’s “outrageous” that women nurse their babies in public. REALLY?!? Have we spiraled down so far that a natural, God-given method of nurturing our children is obscene but reading books like this is encouraged? It breaks my heart. Thanks for telling it like it is. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kimberly, for your thoughtful comment. I had not even thought about it from that angle yet. But you are dead on. It makes me so sad. :-/

    2. Get over yourself. They are books…works of fiction, and it bothers me that you blame and shame women for exploring their own sexuality. If you don’t think they are right…by all means, don’t read them, but don’t shame the women who did and do enjoy the books. What I do is none of your business.

        1. Isn’t the intent of this article to convince people that reading this book is wrong? That was my take from it…thus shaming the women who do enjoy it.

          1. Her intent of the article is to inform us of her belief about the book. And she isn’t shaming anyone. Furthermore look up the definition of porn, because she is right, that is what it is. You are shaming her for having an opinion and getting all huffy when she’s already replied that that wasn’t her intent…hypocrisy at it’s finest!

          2. Whether you agree with her or not, certainly someone can take a stance that something is wrong without shaming everyone who has done that, or who disagrees! Shouldn’t we do that for our children? And I expect that from my Christian sisters as well.

        2. Would it be so bad if the book were written so Ana and Christian were married from the start? From the other book you described( “Song of Solomn”)it sounds like the main issue here is that this couple is not married. And as far as BDSM goes, there are plenty of married couples out there that enjoy this kind of sexuality and are happy. As women, we have been conditioned to view sex as dirty or shameful and quite frankly I’m tired of that! And just to clarify, I am not anti marriage. I have been married for 5 years. And sometimes I like a good hair pull and a slap on the butt. No shame here!!!!!!

        3. I have not read the books but I recently watched the movies back to back so they’re fresh in my mind. In my experience, in the bedroom, women tend to prefer the man to take charge, lead the way, and “dominate” as it were. I mean this in the sense that women’s desire for being taken care of by a masculine man extends to the bedroom as well. They don’t want to be in control, they want to be a helper to a man who is in control–who is “worthy,” let’s say. If a man is submissive in his life, a woman will lose respect for him, and when respect is gone, she will lose sexual attraction to him. That is a fact that has been proven countless times in the scientific and sociological record. In the film, Christian Grey’s traumatic childhood abuse (sexual and otherwise) has perverted his natural male inclination towards control, direction, and leadership in romantic/sexual relationships. He understands that it has become perverted, and so he erects a frame around his sexual relationships whereby he becomes the dominant BDSM master to a willing submissive woman. And we can say that this frame “works” for him for a time, in the sense that it allows him to contain and express his sexual desires without inflicting undue harm to society at large. But it’s ultimately imperfect because it doesn’t actually address the underlying substratum of abuse that caused the sexual desires in the first place. This is where Ana comes in: her innocence, femininity, and love and affection begin to rock his world. First, they show him that within his sexual desires, there is still a place for romance and true love. Once he’s reached the point of accepting that, then he’s free to explore THOSE aspects of sex more often. Ana, probably unknowingly, is breaking the frame of his sexual relationships, which is itself a physical representation of the frame around his heart. By simply being who she is and acting out of love towards him, even when he repels that love, she is taming the beast within that was allowed to run rampant when his childhood trauma let it off the leesh. And it works, which is the romantic part of the story. It rocks his world and he resists over and over again, but eventually realizes that being with her is much more important than his fetish. She innocently yet fervently retrains him towards proper sexual desire a man should have for his wife. And then they get married and have kids. Sexual trauma is real, and it affects people on a fundamental level that then ricochets into every aspect of their life. The movie proposes that unconditional love can heal that. Which is essentially true, as we know from Jesus’ unconditional love for us. As a 30 year old male I don’t care much for romance movies, but I have to say that these are probably the best I’ve ever seen.

      1. I agree I thank God that books are not banned like back in the day catcher in the rye huck Finn open your mind and yes I am a Christian woman don’t judge less yr be judged

      2. I’m grateful I don’t have to delve into witchcraft or read its books to know it is wrong and goes against God’s Word. I don’t have to watch pornographic movies to know they are ungodly and do damage.

        God’s Word tells us “…I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (Romans 16:19b NIV).

        I don’t need to read Fifty Shades of Grey to see how damaging pornography is to peoples’ minds and hearts–and it is a slow-acting poison, which makes it particularly dangerous. “Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23 ISV).

        Too many people swallow the lie that you won’t know if something is bad until you experience it. That’s where wisdom and discernment step in–and rescue us. Leigh Ann, thanks for taking a stand.

        One more thing–sexual passion is like fire. In the safe boundaries of a fireplace fire gives warmth, comfort, pleasure… but if you go exploring with it, destruction follows. Same with sexual exploration. These are not my ideas, they are a loving God’s ideas–and He wants the absolute best for His children. That’s WHY we should run far away from pornography!!!

  3. Thank you for this, I have a few friends who posted about the books on Facebook but I’d never heard of them and the things being said beyond ‘so good’ made me weary of searching more about them and I’m glad I didn’t. It is horrifying to me how pornography is becoming more mainstream and acceptable to the world. I appreciate having you review them, even if it is a review of why you are not reading them, because I know I can trust your view point and moral basis!

    1. Like you, I kept hearing, “so good.” It made me sad. The ABC article was probably the best synopsis I read from a mainstream source. I cried several times reading it, and it took me over an hour to get through it. Honestly, I feel so helpless sometimes, but I know that God has given the gift of a platform through Intentional By Grace. I’ve been convicted for several weeks to write about it, but fear kept me. I”m sorry I didn’t post sooner…I’m passionate about fighting pornography and bringing it to light. It needs talked about. This book is a good example on why it needs talked about. Our society is becoming numb, and this is not a good thing. Praying for faith to keep plugging through and helping others peel back the layers of deception.

      1. I know I’m seriously late reading this but I wanted to give you some encouragement. I think your post was beautifully written with wonderful content. I know I saw a lot of negative feedback but I really respect you for loving people enough to speak the truth. God will bless you for that. In fact I’m sure He already has! Keep pressing in my friend!

      2. I remember when I first heard about that worthless series of books and wanted to vomit. I have openly criticized it and have made it crystal clear that I will NEVER read any of them for any reason. I have also been active in calling out professing Christian women who say they’ve read it and enjoyed it. Any woman who claims to follow Christ has absolutely no business reading such trash and drivel. One young woman insisted that she read them because “it’s a great love story. It’s about a strong, independent woman and she’s strong because she chooses it. He’s not forcing it.” My response was, “Then read Jane Eyre.” Strong, independent women have been written about for centuries. We don’t have to debase ourselves and contaminate our minds with this trash just to read about them. We can also look to the scriptures for women like Esther, Jael, Ruth, and Deborah, just to name a few. I think peoples’ excuses for reading this nonsense just highlight the unabashed rationalization that is running rampant in our society. Thank you for speaking out on this and encouraging women to stay true to Christ and themselves.

  4. Leigh Ann thank you for taking a stand against these books. I as a christian woman will nto be reading them either. Yes I am angry like you I have a christian woman that is very close to me that has read these books. I told her what I think of them and she did not waver in telling me “but they are good books.” I will continue to pray for her, but I find these books ( what they stand for ) and the thoughts of a christian woman I look up to reading them just makes me physically ill. I thank God everyday for people like you and the other christian lady bloggers that are not falling into this trap of satan. God bless you and your family !

    1. Your response is totally correct to pray for your friend. We are not each other’s Holy Spirit. That’s probably the hardest part of all of this for me. I want to scream and shout from the roof tops and make people listen to me. But praying for God’s eyes for not only me, but for those around me and dear friends is the absolute best thing we can do to evoke change. Thank you for being faithful to follow your convictions. And thank you for your encouragement. Your words encouraged me!

  5. I haven’t read too much about this book. From the articles I thought these two were married. I guess not. I won’t be reading this book. When I was younger I used to read the romance novels. Boy does that distort your vision of real life and happily ever after. I’ve stopped reading them. I just don’t understand why people are prasising this book!!!

  6. Thanks Leigh Ann for speaking truth this morning. We need to watch ourselves and make sure that IN ALL THINGS we honor God.

  7. I am not going to read this book. I love to read, but more and more I find that I have to close the book (turn off the show, leave the movie) because our media is becoming saturated with depictions of sexuality. I know many will defend this book (or that movie, or that TV show) by saying “But it’s a good story with a great message.” To that, I would reply: ‘Well, would you eat a really wonderful, gourmet pizza if you knew there was some dog poop in it? Even just a little bit?’
    If we eat food that is spoiled or poisonous, our bodies react by getting that stuff out of us as soon as possible. We throw up. But your brain can’t throw up, and whatever you put into it stays there, and will surface when you least expect it to. We need to guard our minds, and leave them as free and clean as is possible in this world. There are many wonderful love stories out there. Let’s read something that doesn’t also carry a load of pornography with it.

    1. I find your argument regarding dog poop laughably extreme and unreasonable. If one really wanted to avoid eating “dog poop” one would become a reclus, staying away from any of the world’s “poop” that bombards us on a daily basis. With that being said, I do acknowledge the wisdom of not looking for “poop” to consume. However, categorically rejecting anything that might even have the smallest amount of “poop” is equally unwise.

    2. I totally agree with what you said. Exactly. People dont think about how what they read, watch or hear contaminates their minds.

  8. If you’re going to review a book, you should read it. The fact that you didn’t read it (I have not either and do not intend to do so) makes your post seem incredibly judgmental. I think it’s more important as women of faith to express love and acceptance of others choices, not bash them or resort to labeling and name-calling. As you said in a comment, we are no one else’s Holy Spirit but your post screams otherwise.

    We should be praying for people that are addicted to this genre of literature. No man has ever been told “don’t watch this pornographic video because it’s just terrible for you.”and quit then and there with no problems. They all have to make the decision to turn their back on that aspect of their life and addiction and begin a very long and difficult path to recovery. The same stands for woman who are emotionally addicted to romantic novels, let’s not judge them but pray for them as they decide to be released of this burden.

    We may only be passing through this world to join our heavenly father but it’s vital that we pass through with love otherwise we become stumbling blocks to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

      1. You both read the title of the post, correct? She never said it was a review, only why SHE wasn’t reading it and her opinions on it. And there is absolutely zero judgement in her post. If you felt badly or guilty as a result of this post, that is something you put on yourselves. If you read it and enjoyed it, that is your choice. I am with the author with the sadness that these types of books and situations are considered mainstream and normal.

      1. Fictional novels that are centered around love, romance, sex etc. I read your reply as well and I have heard very similar things from friends of mine. The premise of the books just doesn’t interest me. I think that any book that would help you examine your own relationship with sex is probably an okay thing and I don’t see a problem with it. Like all addictions, it becomes a problem when a person is compelled to use an object to fulfill a deeper emotional need. Not all readers of the romance genre are addicted to it but some are and I feel as though they should be prayed for…pretty much in the same way that I would pray for a person who is trying to recover from a meth addition. lol meth vs literature!

    1. Veronica, I want to clarify that this was not a book review in the terms that you mean. I want to draw out a few things that you mentioned as means of clarifying for both of us.

      “I think it’s more important as women of faith to express love and acceptance of others choices, not bash them or resort to labeling and name-calling.”

      I’m not sure that I see where I bashed, name called, or labeled those who read this book series. That was certainly not my intent. I welcome an example for me to evaluate.

      As for the women of faith expressing love, I agree totally. As for women of faith expressing acceptance of others choices I disagree. Jesus can be found challenging choices and viewpoints all throughout his life. He did not accept the status quo and urged us to weigh our choices against God’s Word. Proverbs is full of exhortations for the faithful wounds of a friend. My readers are my friends, and they have come to trust my words and opinions.This post was not meant to be a condemnation, but an aid to making informative choices. Because I’m afraid this was missed the first time, I will copy and paste here:

      If you are a woman, specifically a Christian woman, and you have read these books, I want to offer you grace. If you have read them, and have since become convicted that maybe you shouldn’t have read them, then know that repenting is enough because Christ paid the price. If you are a woman struggling with pornography in any form, know that Christ is enough.

      There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Death no longer has dominion over [Christ]. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:9b-11). For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

      Christ gives us hope to overcome any and all addictions! There is grace available and for that I am grateful.

      1. To imply that someone is a user of mommy-porn is name calling, in my opinion.

        Honestly, this is the third or forth time I’ve been directed to your site from friends because I am an avid media/popular literature reviewer and each time I shrug off your opinions because while I don’t see eye to eye with you, I do believe that freedom of speech and press is one of the last remaining freedoms that we have in this country and you, like anyone else are free to say whatever you will.

        Here’s why I commented, you offered to extend grace to those that you felt made a poor decision but grace (in the context by which you are referring) isn’t something that we can extend. Grace alone comes from the sinless, holy and merciful God. As sinners, and we’re all members of The Extraordinary League of Sinners, we can no more extend grace to another human being than we can slip them in to heaven unnoticed. It’s a laughable concept and quite frankly, it’s offensive, not just to the unbeliever but to believer that trusts only in the provisions from God.

        Another person that responded also felt that same judgement and here’s the truth from someone that keeps company with atheists, agnostics and other like minded Christians. Jesus didn’t come down to Earth with a picket in one hand and a bull horn in the other making people feel judged. His presence is what changed people…he was alive for 33-36 years and we can read what has been preserved of His spoken words in less than 2 hours. Jesus spent an enormous amount of his time socializing with sinners and enjoying their company and becoming their friend, not just their God. It is vitally important that we not breed hate and intolerance because it only breeds more hate and intolerance and consequently that hate gets directed at us, the body of Christ. I’ve never met a single American atheist or agnostic that hasn’t expressed to me that the reason they can’t come to Christ is because of the hatred and judgement that His followers cast out. It’s shameful and not a single one of us can cry innocent of being a stumbling block to another but thank GOD for grace and the blood of Jesus that covers our sins from the eyes of God.

        1. Your name calling example, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

          If we cannot extend an offering of grace to one another, then I just wonder why Paul and Peter and the letter writers in the NT always begin and end their letters with “grace to you” or something equally alike? Again, I believe we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          I have to say that I’m a little sad that a call to hold brothers and sisters accountable to the Word of God is considered judgment. My post was not directed at unbelievers, but believers. I cannot expect one who does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to have any reason to deny this line of fiction. To imply that was I passing judgment on an unbeliever is, I think, wrong. But this post was a call to believers, a warning to heed, a thought to ponder as you evaluate your stance on this book and other books like them. As a believer, with an audience of readers who ask me for my opinion, an audience who reads because they trust my words, it puts the fear of God in me, and as much as I don’t want to be the one to draw into account, reprove, rebuke, or even warn, because it’s far easier to just love them in the worldly sense of the Word, I can’t do that. It’s not upholding the Word of God and it’s not guarding the deposit entrusted to me.

          I think with all that has been brought up we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m not certain further discussions would bring about favorable outcomes for either of us.

          In Grace,
          Leigh Ann

    2. I really have to disagree about having to read a book to warn against reading it. I think that kind of defeats the purpose. While I really just thought Twilight was dumb (and I did read those), this book is just inappropriate in so many ways. If a man was watching what women are reading in these books, we would be sooo hurt and angry. Why are women getting a pass on it??

      Elizabeth@Warrior Wives
      http://www.thewarriorwives.com

      1. You make a great point, and very true. This is one of the main arguments from many on this book. Not to mention, it’s being marketed as mommy porn. I think there is something to be said for that. Its certainly not harmless. Thanks for your comment. I look forward to reading your post tomorrow.

    3. I have not read the books either but I know enough about them to form an opinion and warn others not to read them. There are certain things you don’t need in your head, kwim. I didn’t have to smoke weed or shoot up with heroin in order to warn my children of its dangers. It isn’t judgmental to warn people away from dangers and make no mistake, these types of books ARE dangerous and harmful.

      If I knew a bridge was out up ahead on the road, I’d be flagging people down trying to keep them from driving off the edge. I wouldn’t need to actually drive off the edge myself to realize it was a bad idea. I also would not be judgmental of the people speeding toward certain harm. In fact, I’d dare say it was the LOVING thing to do to warn them.

      Love is not just being warm and fuzzy. Love and kindness are looking out for someone else’s best interests. This is why God has set boundaries about sex – not because He is trying to be unloving but because He loves us way too much to let us settle for a destructive counterfeit!

  9. I am a Christian and I’ve read the books. This article is very judgmental not just of the books but of it’s readers. I started reading them not knowing about the sexual parts, I just had heard they were good books. So, thanks for basically condemning me to hell for liking the books. Awesome. Second, you obviously didn’t read the books. He never restricted her diet, he just got irritated when she didn’t eat (because as a child, he was deprived of the basic neccesities). I know, terrible boyfriend for looking after her health right? And he never told her how she should groom herself. She did that on her own. And, the books actually made me look at my relationship and how I should be more willing to forgive my husband when he screws up. This man was sick, yes. But he didn’t have alcoholism or a drug addiction, he was more or less addicted to sex. Outside of the “playroom” he was more than a perfect gentleman to her and even in the “playroom” he was careful not to hurt her. I HATE when people don’t read books then try and criticize them. Please, keep your comments to yourself unless you are fully informed…

    1. 1) If you are a woman, specifically a Christian woman, and you have read these books, I want to offer you grace. If you have read them, and have since become convicted that maybe you shouldn’t have read them, then know that repenting is enough because Christ paid the price. If you are a woman struggling with pornography in any form, know that Christ is enough.

      There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Death no longer has dominion over [Christ]. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:9b-11). For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

      2) I said at the outset that I never read the books. I did take my information from around the web.

    2. Hi there, I would love for you to read my comment above and check out a comment that was left on my blog. It gives a great picture of the “real” behind the fiction.

      Blessings to you

    3. Pornography is defined as printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than emotional feelings. I have not read the book nor will I ever. If that book contains explicit sections graphically describing her bound by contract, participating in sexual escapades in a room designed solely for sexual gratification, no matter how much you try to point out that he was a nice man, or wanted her to be “healthy” and eat doesn’t change the fact that it is a pornographic book. You can wrap sh*t in a gorgeous box with pretty bows and yummy candy on top, but guess what? Inside, it’s still sh*t. Last time I checked, pornography was a sin. As Christians we are obligated to make MORAL judgements and help others to do the same. We are not obligated to accept everything anyone does because we all have to be happy and coexist. No. Sorry.

      Leigh Ann does not have to keep her comments to herself, no more than you do. It’s a two way street and you prefer to only be tolerant of your own opinion rather than both. Her post is not a book review and no where does it state that it is. She also in no way condems anyone, but simply encourages Christians to make the morally sound decision to avoid smut that is sinful and promotes and glamorizes sinful acts. Sex is not a toy or a game for a playroom nor is it a utility.

      You can read the books and do as you please, and by the same token others can decide not to read the books and try to encourage like minded Christians to do the same. Two way street. We are all called to make morally sound choices and help encourage others to do the same. Life isn’t a free for all.

  10. Well done, Leigh Ann! This is the best post I’ve read on the subject, and I’ve read all of them I think!

  11. Thank you for having the courage to post this!! “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20. The closer we get to the 2nd coming of Jesus – the more we see this happening. I think this [the book] is a prime example of something being evil that is called good.

  12. Leigh Ann,

    I applaud you for taking a stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-18) I haven’t heard of these books (which shows you how sheltered I am! ;)), but I am grateful for the heads up! I think it is our responsibility to warn fellow believers of satan’s schemes, while not always easy I can tell that you are doing it out of a heart of love. How much does it break our Father’s heart that so many believers are being deceived into thinking that this is somehow okay? It is not okay and I think that you are showing love to your readers for making this known. If it were easy to follow Christ it would not be a narrow path.

    1. Thank you, Dusti. As always, I value your input. This is such a difficult topic, but one that needs talked about, no doubt. You’re not sheltered btw! 🙂

  13. Leigh Ann, your post is filled with truth. Truth often times brings us to a place of discomfort because we realize on some level that we have bought into the enemy’s scheme that tells us not to believe God’s best for us.

    Whether Christian or NonChristian, growing Christian or stagnant Christian, nothing at all, whatever, there is another issue that we can all understand is beyond a serious issue. The bondage, particularly sexual bondage, that women are in all over our world. I am going to use a very harsh word here, but it’s simply the truth, it is a form of slavery. And believe it or not there are more slaves (of all kinds, not just sex) today than there were even during the African slave trade.

    So what? It’s extreme? Well, the bottom line is that books like this don’t help this epidemic or mindset. Whether you don’t read it for Biblical reasons (which for me as a Christian are reasons enough), don’t read it for the million of women who are enslaved to sex. Who are being brainwashed, manipulated, shipped in crates to other countries, to become sex slaves.

    I encourage all of you to read a comment on the post I wrote on my blog. I’m not even asking you to read my post. I’m just asking you to read the comment by the reader “Redeemed”. Read her testimony. Read her story. See the real life behind the fiction. Then decide if it’s worth it.

    http://triplebraidedlife.com/2012/06/fifty-shades-of-grey-and-a-game-plan/

    Don’t let Satan steal from you all that is yours.

    1. Read this amazing testimony which makes me want to rejoice for her and cry for the others. Doesn’t this just make you wonder what could be the author’s motive behind writing a book like this!? Obviously it sells, but it also introduces and makes light of a fairly unknown lifestyle. A rather nonchalant way of introducing a very dangerous thing and making main stream practically overnight.

    2. Brenda, I couldn’t agree with you more, and your post was encouraging to me as well. The testimony is a beautiful testament of God’s amazing and abundant grace. My heart longs for Jesus to return.

  14. Leigh Ann,
    This is such a tough topic to take a stand on. Well, not really tough in that the stand is hard to make, tough in making a public pronouncement of your stand.
    I do not get the draw these books seem to have either. Reading the synopsis is enough for me.
    It was bad enough to see Facebook all “aglow” with reports of ladies reading these books. What was worse was seeing all the “cute” buttons about the lead character and the expressions of wanting to be his next “woman”.

    I just really do not understand it all. I’ve been married for 21+ years. We have a very satisfying marriage, in all areas. We are extremely open with each other about everything. The marriage bed does not have to be tainted by books and images in your mind in order to be exciting.

    Kudos for your post. And kudos to Brenda and all of the other posts you shared.

    Hang in there. It’s no fun being on the receiving end of negative comments, but you’ve handled each one with grace. 🙂

  15. Fantastic post Leigh Ann! Thank you for going out there and stating exactly what needs to be said. I think many get up in arms about this topic because they think it’s just “romantic fiction” so there is nothing wrong with it.

    The problem is, this is explicitly sex. I know some Christians can get upset about Twilight that it could bring up lust. This book is different. This will definitely bring up lust because it explicitly details sexual scenes. We should not, as Christians, watch or READ sex like this. The Bible is very clear about sexual sin, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18. Thank you for posting this today Leigh Ann!

  16. Oh my! Thank you thank you thank you for writing such an awesome post on these series! Someone else that feels and see that series the way I do as a christian woman!! o_o

  17. This post is excellent and needed. And your responses have been kind and gracious.

    We recently watched a movie that I REALLY wish we wouldn’t have. In part, because we didn’t take the time to research it beforehand. I felt guilty afterwards, but have asked God’s forgiveness and I know I’m covered by His grace. I’m also asking Him to erase those images from my mind. We all make wrong choices and have probably done and seen and read things we wish we wouldn’t have. And God’s forgiveness (through the costly sacrifice of His son) covers all that.
    BUT–I would’ve been really really thankful for a warning ahead of time. I should have looked for one.

    That’s how I read this post…as a warning. There is danger in opening the door to this kind of content. And I’m thankful for that warning.

    We’ve just seen SO much damage come from the attempt to mesh evil & pornography with God’s design for sex. We’ve seen it in marriages all around us and it has given me a healthy fear of taking too lightly the portrayal of bondage and addiction (as it seems is part of this book).

    And I LOVE that Russell Moore article. I appreciated the way he helped clarify why two books or movies can both contain some of the same difficult-painful-sinful-content (murder or rape or…) but the effect on the reader/viewer can be totally different–one can be used for good and the other as a means of drawing the viewer towards what is evil, and therefore…dangerous.

  18. Leigh Ann, I thought this post was very sensitive to your entire audience and well-written. For me, not having read the book, it speaks more to the cultural shift in our country. It saddens me that sexual immorality is glorified and sexual purity is alienated. Regardless of a great story, you have to wonder about the message it sends. That sin is fine, because it always works out in the end? Thank you for this, I was wondering what all the hype was about. 🙂

  19. Oh Leigh Ann. I am literally in tears here. Tears at the insidious evil nature of sin. Tears at the entrapment that these books represent – for the readers! Tears at the spiritual callouses already showing evidence. I wish I could *make* people read and think about what you’ve written.

    I am in tears . . . because I know the trap! And I know the scars it leaves, and I know the appetite that sin ignites, that because of the nature of sin, will forever be a battle . . . which our Heavenly Father would have preserved us from. Innocence is PRECIOUS!!! Guard it ladies, fiercely!!! Yours, your loved ones, that of your sisters in Christ! And don’t think that the one who prowls about seeking whom he might devour, won’t set an unseen trap geared exclusively for your weakest points of defense, and rip you to shreds in his jaws!

    My story: I was raised in a Christian home, a missionary family far away from US culture. When I was in HS, we had a summer in the US staying in someone’s home, and that was my first exposure to Christian romance literature; Grace Livingston Hill to be exact. Pretty innocent, right? Think again. As I grew older, and my appetite for the emotional and mental stimulation grew, I consumed more and more, going outside the Christian realm, but still within mainstream “romantic fiction.” It dulled me to God’s standards and to what real relationships were about. I began to look for and seek out more “hard core” stuff – the real “bodice rippers”. The more I exposed myself to this stuff, the more I lost perspective on the very real sin, debauchery and evilness of what I was reading. It was “romantic” and “thrilling” and an escape from the stresses of college, nursing school and starting a new career.

    I was in my early 30’s when the Lord of Heaven and Earth graciously ripped the scales from my eyes and drew me to Himself in saving faith. I was a new creature in Christ! But I also had a sin habit and an appetite that I’d fed for many years; and tho’ I ramped back to “Christian romances” again, within a few years I progressed to the hardest core erotic fiction on the Internet. I was literally addicted to it for several years and things that disgusted me at first, began to be appetizing, the longer I was immersed. And this was all as a brand new Christian (who should have known better!). Sin does that to us, it inures us to the truth of the filth we’re wallowing in, hiding from our eyes the reality of holiness.

    The Lord has rescued me from that past, praise His name!! I know I am forgiven and His grace is active in my life. BUT there are memories and feelings that will always remain (tho’ dulled and fading by His grace as long as I guard my mind and my heart!), consequences of this sinful habit pattern that I will always bear in some form, blessings forfeited (altho’ He blesses continually despite this). And the battle will always remain: an appetite that was created where none should exist, sin crouching at the door that will always seek to take advantage of even such a circumspect review as the one that Leigh Ann has written; and the fierce battle to not give sin an inch, knowing that the slope is *very* slippery.

    Please heed the warning ladies!! Don’t let the deceitfulness of our hearts and the deception of Satan and the world system we live in draw us in and make us think “it’s ok”; or even the more sneaky approach of “It won’t bother me; I’m just reading it so I can tell others about it.” ANYTHING that enters our minds through our ear or eye gates, enters our soul. Please don’t play with fire.

    1. Wow! What amazing grace God has poured out on your life! Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I believe it will encourage many women. I know that it has certainly built my faith.

      I weep with you, friend. The Devil is crafty, but his material is not new. We’ve only to go back to the garden of Eden to see the same trick the serpent is playing now. “Did God really say you can’t read this material?” or “Did He really say that it would defile you?” or “Didn’t God say he gives you everything to enjoy?” It’s twisting of scripture, God’s goodness, and God’s beautiful design and packaging it in a nice, tantalizing fashion much like the fruit Eve but tasted. She only took a bite and knew she was naked. She only took a bite and God questioned what she did. We’re playing with fire with this book and books like them. Your testimony is but a beautiful example of God’s redeeming grace!!!! I have my own past and my own sins that God’s grace must cover. And it started much the same way. A taste here and there that became full blown destruction.

      Thanks for sharing. It’s one thing for me to write about it, but another when someone gives a clear testimony of their lives. That took courage and much humility. God gives grace to the humble. May you be strengthened in your faith today!

  20. I have read the books and love them. You have the story line wrong. Ana never signed a contract. She never agreed to the strict diet or workout plans. He wanted her to, but she refused. He ends up falling in love with her because she helped him learn and understand that he is worth more than that. Ana proves that women can be strong and stick with their morals even when placed in a situation like that. Yes, there are a lot of pornographic scenes, but the books dont degrade women. If anything, it empowers them. A gorgeous, wealthy man falls into her life and she makes him fall in love with her. The story is beautiful. I encourage you to read the books before you jump to conclusions.

    1. Regardless of whether Leigh Ann got the storyline correct, the point was that the book contained pornographic content. As a Christian, if my husband watched, in video form, one of these scenes from the book, I would be highly upset. Porn is porn is porn. It creates expectations for the world and portrays sex and sexuality in an unrealistic manner. It cultivates acceptance of actions in real life which should be unacceptable. This kind of fantasy is dangerous.

  21. I’ll be honest. I read a lot of erotic fiction in the past – in high school actually. My friend’s mother had it laying around and loaned it out to the kids who would come over. I haven’t read this book and absolutely will not. For many of the same reasons, I won’t read romance novels – even Christian ones. I don’t want those romantic images to taint the relationship my husband and I have. It’s amazing how deeply and quickly images and words implant themselves in our minds. I saw about 10 minutes of a pornographic movie once nearly 20 years ago. I hated it. I can still see those images in my mind as clearly as if I saw them yesterday. Those images and words are intrusive. I’ve watched friends sink into the land of pornography – going deeper and deeper as what “worked” for them has lost it’s appeal. I’d rather strive to keep that spark alive with my hubby without all that extra baggage!

    Thanks for linking up at Thrive @ Home Thursday! (oh – I think you have a typo in your post title on the linky – I think you can change it if you’d like)

  22. I appreciate you writing and explaining your view point on how you make decisions on what you read. I totally agree with you. May God bless you.

  23. Hey Leigh Ann! Thank you so much for writing and publishing this post. I haven’t heard or read a single thing about these book until your post. I can struggle with having the wrong view of sex if I allow myself to read books or watch tv shows or movies that are too graphic. My marriage doesn’t need that so I, by conviction, have decided to stay away.

    I’m grateful for your passion to encourage women to live for Jesus, even if that means you get negative comments.

    Ps. Are you still doing Intentional Conversations? (I haven’t seen one posted but I very well could have missed it.)

  24. I am reading the books right now. First of all..you have it wrong. Anna never signs the contract and refuses to become Christian Grey’s “submissive”. Yes this is erotic fiction and it is full of sex. However that is only part of the story. It is also a very complex and engrossing love story. I’m more liberal than some Christian women and I personally find these books OK for myself and my marriage. In fact they have sparked my libido and I am finding myself feeling more amorous towards my husband than I have in years. Aftter 22 years of marriage that is busy with schedules, bills, kids and distractions…I see nothing wrong with reading a steamy romance novel that captivates my imagination and makes me think about how wonderful monogomous sex with someone you love can be. (the main characters ARE in love). Again…I’m very liberal in what I read…it may not work for every Christian woman, but it works for me.

  25. I want to take this a step further, and say that I abstain (I use this word on purpose) from any romantic fiction, women are sexually stimulated in an emotional and physical way. Yes, erotica must be kept from our lives, but even the “Christian Romance” novels that saturate our lives are dangerous. Romance is is the center of most cultures and themes, and is equally as addictive and damaging as pornography. Why? Because it takes what God has intended to bring us closer to him, and makes it the idol and definer of our lives. We think and live Romance rather than thinking and living God’s grace and purposefulness! We incorporate the message of being romanced into our everyday lives. If we are married we unknowingly measure our spouses against the ideal of a Christian lover, if we are single we saturate our daily lives by who we are romantically involved with, and desperately search for a partner to meet the need in our hearts which has been fed an extremely unhealthy and damaging diet, and we view other women in our lives as competition rather than companions. Women, we throw ourselves into service of men as our husbands, without first throwing ourselves into service of our God. We align ourselves with men who reign over us, without aligning ourselves with the God who designed us for His reign. As a single woman, who genuinely desires to wear the mantle of Wife and Mother, I have come to a place where I genuinely desire to be a servant and daughter of my Most High God and should I never marry, never have sex, never bear children I can finally say that I am free from the bondage of craving that position, and am useful and purposeful in my life of meaning, free from confusion and fear, which an addiction to “Love” can create. And “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Power, (true)Love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7)

  26. Ok, just wanted to slap up a quick thank you! for this post. I wasn’t really considering reading the series, b/c I currently have a horribly backlogged reading list, and I didn’t know enough about it to know if I’d be interested or not. Now that I know more about it, I’m definitely NOT!!! Thanks for the heads-up!

  27. Thank you for writing this! I have felt the same way you described but wasn’t able to voice it so blatently. Thank you for confirming my feelings. I don’t feel like such a weirdo for NOT wanting anything to do with this book.

  28. Yes, by all means this book is offensive but for MANY reasons. So, here is a shocker….you and your husbands throw away your contraception! God’s plan for intercourse is about bonding but it is also about pro-creation. The two go together naturally! True love as in a Marriage Covenant is full because it is faithful, total (nothing help back) and fruitful . If you cannot have children or (prayerfully) have a serious reason to not have children then take a class, learn about the fertile time and abstain from intercourse when necessary. Children ARE a blessing and abstinence is a sacrifice. This book could not exist had contraception not been used. get it?? This is not about legalism this is about HOW GOD DESIGNED US and HIS NATURAL law! The marital bond reflects His true love for us., faithful, fruitful, total….like Jesus

  29. Jewish men were not allowed by law to read Song of Solomon until they were over 30 years old. Why? Because it was considered that men needed to reach a level of spiritual maturity before they read it – and may have a propensity to put a sexual connotation to the book that isn’t and shouldn’t be placed there. By encouraging women to look at Song of Solomon as an erotic book shows that you are obviously not mature enough to understand it – and the fact that you are misleading other Christian women to view the book through such a lens is shameful.

    1. Brie, I don’t think it is misleading to offer an alternative to erotic fiction by pointing women to the Song of Solomon for it is a pure, uninhibited example of the way we should long for Christ. As women, we love a good love story. It is part of our DNA of being women – nurturers, intimate, and relational. The Song of Solomon provides a wonderful example of a Christ exalting relationship! Sex is not a shameful topic for it was created by God and for His glory to be experienced within the confines of marriage. Song of Solomon is just such an example, as well as a wonderful warning to those not married to not ignite the passions of love before you are married and able to release those “feelings” (for lack of better words at the moment). So I disagree, and do not find it shameful to offer an alternative that God has provided through His Word to the temptations of this world, namely Fifty Shades of Grey.

      1. If you have studied the Song of Solomon you would know that it is about God and his love for the church – it is not erotica. I have no problems with women who have enjoyed FSOG – but it is what it is – erotic romance. I would not judge anything a woman used to rev up her libido as long as it does not become an idol or detract from intimacy with her husband. However, because you disapprove of women reading this book you counter that there is erotica in the Bible? In the Song. I attended a Christian conference where I studied this book – and the pastor had trepidation in having us study it because it can be misinterpreted with an erotic context – and it shouldn’t be and if it is the reader is missing the whole message of the book. I understand you don’t like FSOG – but if you are going to try to encourage women to look for erotica in a more acceptable venue to you don’t do so by demeaning the Bible and encouraging a wrong interpretation of it. There are plenty of Christian romance novelists and even a few Christian erotic writers out there. Your comparison of Song to erotica again shows you don’t understand it – and it is wrong to place your mid perception on others . I often am a person who is short with those who interpret scripture for their own purposes without giving it considerable study – but come on putting Song in the category of erotica and as the option for a woman seeking out entertainment like FSOG – seriously!

        1. Brie, I never said that Song of Solomon was erotica. I countered with a place you could go to get a right interpretation of intimacy as laid out in scripture. I certainly don’t condone any sort of erotic fiction, Christian or not. I point them to scripture because that’s the only place to find truth, and the place where God can speak to them through His Word and provide fertile soil for the Holy Spirit to work. I believe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for stopping by.

  30. ” If women want to read something to increase their libidos, then read Song of Solomon not Fifty Shades of Grey. Song of Solomon records lovers fantasizing and longing for one another with intimate passion.”

    That is what you said about Song of Solomn – a blatant encouragement to Christian women to read it to increase their libido – on top of a blatant falsity of its premise – it is not a story about lovers fantasizing and longing for each other. Erotica is literature intended to increase libido – and I respect anyone’s choice to read or to purposefully not read erotica – and there are reasons why the Song of Solomn has been and still is treated with great care in its study so immature Christians do not put a sexual slant in its reading. I understand you do not understand the book of Song – your statements prove that – and I may have stopped by some more if you had been willing to correct or at least have an attitude that you may take a deeper look into this scripture – maybe you had a teacher that incorrectly instructed you to erotisize this book of the bible or you have only read it shallowly – but to further defend your statements and instructions to Christian women to do the one thing that any sound teacher will tell their students to be wary of in reading Song – that s shameful – yes we will have to agree to disagree.

    1. I can certainly see how that statement can be misconstrued. On the whole, we have a different interpretation of the Song of Solomon, a sensitive and often highly debated book of the Bible. I’m well aware. And that interpretation is our largest barrier at the moment for we are both equally convinced of our interpretation. But this I know. I am not perfect. I am passionate and will not be quiet when I feel the Lord’s prompting to speak as I did on the issue at large – women reading pornography. And though I’d never purposely take scripture out of context, I can see where it is a stumbling block for those who see the Songs differently. I do apologize for that because it was not my intent to place a block of stumbling before you or any of my readers (and those they inevitably shared this post with). It is my intent to point them to Christ and to honor the marriage bed as God always intended for it to be honored and even enjoyed. I think it is clear in this conversation that my pride took precedence. I do hope you’ll forgive me. I do take every comment seriously and do evaluate all of them, and often can be found pondering them in my morning quiet times. You have no way of knowing that because I didn’t tell you that. I was arrogant, and frustrated, and no excuse for it, Brie. I’m sorry. I can guarantee you that if God brings about conviction or a possible different interpretation of the Songs, I will heed it. So with that said, you’re welcome to stick around here. Although, I understand if you don’t.

  31. Thanks for your thoughtful response. And to add I don’t think there us anything wrong per se in eroticizing Song – one just misses the point of the scripture in doing so. I have never heard any real debate on interpretation of this scripture – this is really not what theologians would call a problem text with numerous plausible interpretations – however there has been since its authorship concern that the meaning of the text can be lost in an erotic context. I have heard certain teachers claim that this book is the last book one should read in scripture in order to grasp its meaning spiritually (I heard one teacher call it the holiest of holies in scripture!) – yet if it turns one on they would hardly be the 1st to be aroused by it – and I personally don’t take issue with any arousal that guides your libido into satisfying sex with your husband (to each their own) – but the purpose of this book isn’t arousal or sexual in nature – granted it may turn some people on with a surface read – but that is not the higher spiritual wealth the passages offer – and arousal from this book should be an accidental by-product from a person not yet ready to understand it not the goal when approaching to read this sacred text. It is interesting that those who argue for the use of erotica in Christianity often use this book to prove that erotica is a good thing – they have also missed the point of this text entirely.

    1. “but the purpose of this book isn’t arousal or sexual in nature – granted it may turn some people on with a surface read – but that is not the higher spiritual wealth the passages offer – and arousal from this book should be an accidental by-product from a person not yet ready to understand it not the goal when approaching to read this sacred text. It is interesting that those who argue for the use of erotica in Christianity often use this book to prove that erotica is a good thing – they have also missed the point of this text entirely.”

      This I agree with wholeheartedly!

  32. I stumbled onto your blog for some recipes. (Which I can’t wait to try, BTW)

    I had heard about this book but didn’t really want to read it.

    After reading this post, though, I do want to read it. I want to see what has people so up in arms as to warn others off of a book they hadn’t read. I don’t understand how people put so much reliance on a book that not only doesn’t speak to various sexual forms of sexual expression, especially a book that was greatly edited by Constantine many, many, MANY centuries ago, and for less than holy reasons. I think it is fine to choose how you want to behave yourself, but to impose requirements on others because of what the existing patriarchal system preaches is, to me, simply wrong.

  33. TRASH, BUT FOR MORE REASONS THAN YOU MENTION: I am a recently-born-again Christian woman in my early 40’s, divorced after ending an abusive marriage. I read these books. At the time, I never thought of them as being “wrong” or “sinful” other than the fact that the couple engaged in the sex were not married to each other. Now I just think I wasted time on something that didn’t enhance my spiritual life. I’ll have to read more on the subject.

    The biggest problem with the books, in my opinion, is that they are VERY POORLY WRITTEN. Two phrases stand out in my mind even now, months after having read them. “Clambered” seems to be the author’s favorite verb. I wish I had kept a tally sheet of how often that word was used – it got to the point that I cringed every time. The other is “beneath my lashes” – as in “I looked at him from beneath my lashes,” etc. This might be overlooked the first or second time, but the author uses it far too often until I found myself wondering who in the world looked at someone any other way? (Who doesn’t have eyelashes above their eyes?) Very strange choice of words.

    As for the sex scenes, sometime over the course of reading I stopped reading those passages and skimmed ahead — they bored me. I was interested in the story line outside of the “red room” etc. and I guess I was amused at the juvenile writing style. I guess it’s like seeing a car crash on the side of the road when you can’t help but look, or when you have a sore in your mouth and you can’t keep your tongue away from it.

    In the end, however, I did learn something from the experience. I learned that I need to judge more carefully how I spend my leisure time and ask myself whether it draws me closer to God, explores my growing relationship with Him, or whether I would want to engage in the movie/book/etc with God sitting on the sofa beside me.

    1. Thank you!! An honest opinion from someone who has read the book!! Omg I can’t believe the number of hate filled posts including the original article here that are based in nothing but media hype and rumor.

      Please bring some credibility to your rants, christian or not, and read the material you’re reviewing, supporting or condemning.

      I have also read the book and I completely agree with this person that they’re so badly written it’s distracting.

      But as far as the horrible immorality of it all, I was surprised to find that Christian’s bdsm tendencies are portrayed as a result of him having mental health issues and Ana refuses to play by his rules very long and ultimately brings him around to a more healthy form of sexuality without the rules etc. He loves her and they end up married with a child.

      They’re terribly written and yes there is bdsm but ultimately there is some thread of redemption and love conquering a very dark and abused past.

  34. Leigh Ann! I just realized this is the blog post a friend shared with me last summer, before I was a blogger 🙂 So cool to go back and see that you inspired me so much back then!!!

  35. I’m so glad I found this post! Unfortunately, I feel out numbered by the number of friends who want to read this vs. the ones who don’t (me!). I think it’s ridiculous that this book series has gained so much popularity. What I think is even more ridiculous is the fact that if this same series came out for MEN, women would be in a uproar about it. So why is this okay for anyone at all? In my world, it’s not! Thanks for sharing.

  36. Thank you for be real to share what u are angry abt.. is it the godly way abt it..

    thank you for even talking abt this topic.

  37. Thank You for this post! I was shocked by how openly my christian friends talk about this book sires. I’ll admit, I had entertained the idea of reading it just to satisfy my curiosity but what I’ve heard about it killed that curiosity. I have a beautiful marriage of 12+ years. I didn’t know that my husband was addicted to porn before we got married. His addiction progressed and I had no idea what was going on with him. Things became so bad that by our 6th anniversary he had lost interest in me completely and even asked me not to change in front of him. I was crushed. I had no clue why these things were happening. We were married very young and I worked 2 jobs our whole marriage so I just never knew to suspect porn. My husband finally realized (with the Lord’s help) that he had a problem he didn’t want anymore. He confessed to me (which took a lot of strength) and was able to get the help he needed. He still struggles with visual temptation. And I still have scars. But the relationship we have now is a beautiful work of God. When I was asked by friends if I’ve read 50 shades or told that I should read it, I’ve had to explain that I have to have high standards for the things I consider entertainment so that I’m not perceived by my husband as having a double standard. I don’t feel right about banning pron from my husband’s life and then partaking in it myself. I have felt very alone on this issue. I have been shocked and confused by the acceptance of this series in the christian world. I whole heartily believe it’s the work of the sneaky devil. I’m even surprised by some of the content of “christian” fiction and as a result have stopped reading many books. I really appreciate you taking a stand against this book and female pron in general! Thank you!

  38. If you have not read the books, how can you judge them? First off, she NEVER signs the contract and everything she does is by HER consent only. Second, who are YOU to judge what anyone reads? Jesus and God don’t judge so why should you? Who are you to decide what is ok for other people to read. The books are not for everyone, I will admit that. However, it is ok to read these books. I have read them and I do NOT consider them Porn. It is a different way of life and sexuality. Many people practice BDSM and that is their choice. As a Christian woman, I do not judge and neither should you!

    1. I will have to disagree that God does not judge. We will be called into account on the day of judgment. We will give an account for every sin, and it will be by the blood of Jesus and our faith in Him that saves us on the day of judgment. So yes, God does judge. I don’t have to read the book to know that it is not edifying or God glorifying to read it or take my husband to see the movie when it comes out. My purpose was to lay truth before us and allow God to transform our hearts and minds. It is my prayer that you would search scripture with an open mind and heart and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your decisions. I’m not your Holy Spirit. This post was meant to bring to light God’s truth and instruction. I trust the Holy Spirit to do the work set before Him. And just because many people do it, doesn’t mean it’s right or good.

  39. If you want a well written published book on this topic, I recommend “Pulling Back the Shades – Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart” by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery. One of them read “50 Shades of Grey” as part of the preparation for writing their book. I found it insightful and well worth reading, as someone who has struggled in this area before. I haven’t read “50 Shades of Grey”. Initially it was because everyone was raving about it – when something is so popular, my knee-jerk reaction is to avoid it until I can see whether the hype is justified or whether it’s just a fad. (Because of this habit, I never read the Hunger Games, Twilight, never listened to Justin Bieber, and it delayed watching Frozen for a year or two.) When I came across Gresh and Slatterly’s book, it was refreshing and helpful to find such a spiritually sound God-honouring take on this book and erotica in general for Christian women today.

    Leigh Ann, your article is a wonderful call to Christian women to be wary of the trap of erotic fiction. I found it full of grace and truth! Thank you for writing it.

  40. I don’t get the point of bashing sex (no matter its form). All of the comments I have read on here is people all trying to pretend that they are better than everyone else. Wake up! You have five kids, you can’t pretend that you don’t enjoy sex. It is a natural GOD given ability and if he didn’t want us to be doing it he wouldn’t have even made it possible. And if sex and bondage bother you so much go live in a convent or go become a nun, you won’t have to worry about it anymore. Just because you are not comfortable with your own sexuality don’t bash the rest of us who are.

      1. That only reinforces my point. God first off is not going to condemn you for reading a book. Second, he will not condemn you for thinking about sexuality, or even fantasizing about it. Sex is a part of human nature. These kinds of attitudes is the whole reason why I quit going to church in the first place. People who are no better than me acting as if they are, and judging you when they have no right to. No thanks. I will stay at home away from the hypocrites and worship Him in my own way.

        1. But I think you’re missing the point. God is a holy God. We are called to holiness. Of course, left to ourselves, we cannot attain our own righteousness. It is only by faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone. However, we are called to work out salvation. I don’t think anyone here is being hypocritical or acting “holier than thou.” We don’t get to be Christians and live according to our own ways or ideas of what God might find pleasing when His word is clear on this particular point – what we will and won’t allow into our minds when it does not align with God’s Word. As Christians we are called to hold one another accountable and call to light sin by speaking the truth in love. That’s what is happening here. We are a group of women concerned for God’s children and His idea of what glorifies Him in our sexual relationships.

          1. … I read the book and I would just like to say that while Christian is into BDSM, Anna actually really isn’t into it that much, being a virgin, in fact, at the end of the first book, she ends up leaving him because she “doesn’t want the rules, the contract etc”. She’s really big on self respect, as far as I can tell.
            So actually, while I respect your views on sexuality, after all to each his own, and although I think its presumptuous to even think you know what God wants or doesn’t want – and I’m not here to debate it…

            The fact you haven’t read the book, is kinda telling.
            Because the entire series is basically the story of Anna healing Christian through her love. There wasn’t actually any dominance and humiliation in it. In fact, Anna refused it… and they got married at the end. And had 2 kids.
            In fact the entire book was really about Christian growing as a human being, and healing from his past trauma. Thanks to Anna.
            So, your entire article is actually basing itself on something that didn’t actually happen in the book. ABC news probably didn’t read it either, because although Christian TRIED to get Anna as a sub, she refused.
            In fact, Anna helped Christian overcome his issues not through her submission but through her LACK of submission… That was kind of the point.

            I find it quite funny that you’re angry about something you didn’t even read. Especially in this case, because, what you’re angry about, didn’t actually happen.

            This is exactly why I’m not a Christian any more. Because I’m not angry, I’m sad. Sad that a bunch of Christians are getting angry about something they didn’t even read, when a child dies of hunger every 7 seconds…

          2. What I’m angry about has nothing to do with what did or did not happen in the book. I’m angry with Christian women who are reading these books without thought or care and telling others it’s okay. Erotica fiction is not “okay.” I’m not speaking to women who are not a Christian and telling them what they can or cannot do.

            As for why you aren’t Christian. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sorry that your relationship with God is based on what others do and don’t do. I’ve been there. 🙁 Regardless of whether or not I’ve only affirmed your view of God, I pray that you would turn to His Word. He wants a relationship with you. He loves you. Greatly. Christians, and people in general really, are going to fail you. But I think what we find in the message of the Cross is the power of forgiveness. The power of redemption found in the greatest love story ever told – Jesus Christ crucified. Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Conquering sin. Defeating death. I pray that you would see that in this post, I’m interested and concerned for holiness, purity, and God’s love for us.

  41. Seriously you all need to get a life. What buisness is it of yours or anyone elses what a woman reads in her spare and private time. Maybe if you paid as much attention to your own life and worry about it as much as you do about reading these books you all might not be such prudes. I read all three of these books with my husband. He listened while I read them out loud. Now who is any one to tell my husband and I what is ok or not in our bedroom behind closed doors. I will tell you who no one. You people need to get off your high horse and start practicing what you preach. If all of you are real Christians than stop worrying about what other people are doing in their lives and let God deal with it when the time comes. What is that spript that says judge not for ye be judged yourself. If you were a true Christian you would let it go and trust in god to take care of what needs to be taken care of. Stop worrying about something that is so trivial and really none of your fraking buisness and put you energy into something worth while. Like the homless, or orphans, or child abuse, spousal abuse, sex trafficking or any othr number of issues that need attention and stop with the crusade against a stupid dam book that some british woman wrote. Grow up get a life and start living that Christian life you keep talking about. Oh and by tthe way my husband and I enjoyed those book s very much.

    1. Leola, I’m not going to dwell on the irony of your comment – us Christians getting worked up over this book. But I do want to take a moment to truly address what you attacked on here.

      The scripture is found in Matthew 7: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and twith the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

      6 “Do not give wdogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

      Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t tell us to not hold one another accountable. It tells us to deal with ourselves first and then bring to light the sin of your neighbor.

      This passage can be paralleled with Psalm 51:10-13: Create in me a nclean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

      11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not qyour Holy Spirit from me.

      12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

      13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

      We deal with ourselves first so that we may see rightly to teach and admonish others. But in the end, it comes down to the Holy Spirit’s work in each of our individual lives. As Christians we are called to be holy because God is holy. God is a jealous God and He is a loving God. And we are called to abstain from every form of evil. As Christians, we are called to make His name known to those who don’t know Him and to one another we have a duty and calling to keep one another accountable. This post is written to the Christian woman. To the non-Christian, I would say seek the truth revealed at the Cross of Christ. Know that you are loved by an almighty God and make it your mission to figure out if this whole Christianity thing is true or not, but guard against basing your opinion of Christ on the fallen and brokenness of man.

      1. Are you sure you read this? I mean you’re quoting it and everything.

        The scripture is found in Matthew 7: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and twith the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

        If for you the bible is the Word of God, shouldn’t you apply that first? The bit about taking specks out of your eyes first?

        Also, please don’t presume to know what I do or do not believe in.
        I may not identify as Christian any more, although I may have been brought up this way, however, my relationship with God is unaffected.
        You don’t need to have a religion to believe and cultivate a relationship with God.

        With respect, when I look for love, I don’t got to see a prostitute.
        I don’t think God needs to be pimped. And that is exactly what all forms of religion are.

        If the temple of God is within is, then I don’t think one should look for His word elsewhere then in our own hearts.
        God has given me Free Will. Everything else is a construction of man. I look for His Truth in my own heart.

        I don’t see where it is your duty to keep Christians accountable. In fact, keeping others accountable seems to contradict the “Judge lest ye be judged” quote. How do you know you don’t have a speck in your own eye? Do you consider yourself perfect? And if you’re not, how can you be sure you see clearly? I’m just asking, because I admire that kind of self confidence in believing that you hold the truth – sometimes I envy that, being so sure of yourself.

        In any case, the bible also says that if I get raped I have to marry my rapist if my father says so.
        Deuteronomy 22:28-29
        Exodus 22:16-17

        You’ll excuse me if that just confirms to me that the Truth of God comes from within, and no where else.

        I’m not here to debate what you believe in – you have free will after all, and you are free to submit to what you think is the will of God as much as you want (though how you can then have a problem with 50 shades is beyond me).
        However, just please don’t presume to know what kind of relationship I have with God. This may come as a shock to you, but for me (and I won’t presume this is THE truth, just MY truth, because I choose it), you don’t need a religion to have a relationship with Him at all. You don’t need the bible, or any other book, you don’t need a church or any other building, because for me, He is inside us all.
        I don’t need a book to tell me what is right or wrong. I have a brain, and I enjoy using it…

        God Bless.

        1. To keep God’s commands, we must first judge what is right and what is wrong. For example, 1 Cor. 5:11-13 say, “… you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you'”. In these verses, God tells us to judge church members and expel them if necessary. Then we are told in Rom. 12:9, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good”. How can we do that if we don’t first judge what is good and what is evil? So, we must make judgments about what is right and what is wrong so that we can live according to God’s commands. 50 Shades and what it glorifies is evil. That’s what I’m standing against. I’m not presuming to judge the hearts of each and every person who happens by my site today, tomorrow, or in the future. Sex apart from God’s way is evil.

          The only way to have a relationship with God is through faith in Jesus Christ’s atoning work for your sins. There’s no way around that. You’re right. You don’t need religion. You need the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. May you know freedom in Christ.

  42. Actually I can : Jesus Christ said :

    John 13:34-35
    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

    First John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

    Romans 12:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

    I don’t recall Jesus ever telling me to Hate the Wicked.

    “The only way to have a relationship with God is through faith in Jesus Christ’s atoning work for your sins.”

    I wonder how people had a relationship with God before Christianity?

    Whatever. Our journey is our own. You can whatever you perceive to be evil as much as you want, and “cast out” of your church whoever you judge unworthy (and they will probably be better off anyway). I prefer to follow my own path.

    God bless.

  43. Thank you for your skillful articulation.
    I appreciate your defense of the truth and lioness heart for justice. :.)

  44. there is a constant struggle I have with my son in regard to mainstream media and helping him understand why what seems innocent and responding to the comments from him such as all the other kids are playing this game or it only has a little bit of violence etc… I have taken to letting him decide his own standards of morality with saying…. If Jesus was here on earth would you play this PlayStation game with him…. Often the answer is no!
    We as adult Christian women can also apply this, let me ask if Jesus was physically here on earth and he came to your house would you proudly display this book on your coffee table, do you think he would be happy to watch you read it, could you read it with him sitting on your couch!
    After thinking about this just remember he is always with us! Have no bible verses to back this up just this simple analogy on how I help my son to develop his own Christian morals!

  45. ive never read the books, but I did read a few snippets. My thoughts ? I thought it was a poor wirting. Also, if my husband watched what I was reading , I would be heart broken ! I didn’t read any further because I knew that it would hurt my marriage. As a Christian woman who loves her husband and the father of her kids , I won’t read the book because I respect him.

  46. The book would have been a lovely love story – minus the sex scenes. He could have had other issues that made him hard to be with. I found it disturbing.

  47. I am a Christian woman and I’ve read the books. The story is amazing (I’m not focusing on the sexual theme here). But because you haven’t read the book you lack facts. She never signed a contract, she was presented with the contact, read it and decided it wasn’t her. She never agreed to be his submissive because he said, “there’s not a submissive bone in her body”. They experience real true love together and after they are married they continue to explore their sexualities. He cherishes her and loves her to no end. That’s what makes this a beautiful love story. I still believe that it’s judgmental to comment on a person’s sexual preferences. So if a person likes to be tied up, does that make them less of a person/Christian? No, I’m a firm believer of “judge not lest be judged.”

    1. Tied up?!? How is that loving?? That’s giving that person control over you which some people love to have that power. It’s not healthy.
      if you do this, I wonder if you told your spouse, “no more” would he respect you to never do it again? Would he be angry? Would he look for that elsewhere? Try it and Ask, and see the true heart.

  48. I really don’t understand how you can be so judgemental about something you haven’t read and actually you are wrong because she DOES NOT ever sign his contract in the books…so your statement that he “convinces” her to sign is wrong
    Also I did read all 3 books and I am a Christian woman… I believe in God and have faith in God.. I have been married for 26 years and have 2 wonderful sons and my husband and I adore them
    These books did not effect my life, my husband, children or my faith! They are fiction!! COMPLETELY made up!!!! And you didn’t read them!!!! I am very diverse in what I read so that I can make an honest decision about what is right for ME!! I have a friend who likes Stephen King… His books are not for me but I don’t judge the person for reading them.

  49. To each their own but honestly I take offense to what you have written. I understand that you have your opinions and beliefs regarding this topic, but I feel like this article is disrespectful and full of judgement for those of us who enjoy these books. It is NOT pornography. Yes there is sex and it is not conventional to a lot of people, but behind that there is love and respect. There is never any humiliation of any kind. I honestly love these books and have read them each several times and am going to see the movie. There are so many hater and people who love to judge these books based on what you think it’s about. If you have not read all 3 books then don’t make an assumption on what you think goes on in them. I understand that you have your stance on these books and that’s fine but what I don’t understand is why you feel you can tell other christian women that they should not be reading this and basically saying that those that do read it are bad people. I respect that you have your opinion on this even though I think that opinion is dead wrong and extremely judgmental. So with respect I say that I will no longer be following your blog because of this post.

    1. I don’t believe she said you were “bad”
      How can you say this relationship in the book is loving when it’s abusive? He is controlling, demanding certain things from her so much so she signs a contract. and she falls into “I’ll do anything to please you” bc she is so insecure.
      Too many people in real life abusive situations like this that are clueless.
      you want to leave her blog??? is it from conviction, maybe?

  50. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. Did you know that there’s an ad for a “50 Shades of Gray” teddy bear (VT Teddy Bear) on the side of your post?

  51. Beyond the pornographic nature of the book, the relationship between the two main characters is abusive. He is an emotionally & physically abusive controlling stalker & she is an immature girl with poor self-esteem & no backbone. It is a classically codependent relationship between an abuser & an abused woman who relies on him for her identity. For it to be portrayed as “romantic” is completely ridiculous. I have not read the book. However, I have read enough articles (Yes, from Christians, but also from secular feminists & non-Christians), as well as excerpts from the books. Whatever your view is on reading erotic fiction, this book is NOT showing a healthy relationship or anything that anyone’s relationship ought to copy. Codependency & abusiveness ought not to be romanticized. (As an aside, as a clinical counselor, my view on the book is based on my own clinical judgment & training, as well as my beliefs. I don’t believe that this book or any other pornography is healthy for any relationship. Often it brings the opposite effect of creating dissatisfaction with one’s partner. Bringing other people into your relationship – even if they are only on screen or in a novel – is rarely healthy. )

  52. The money poured into these books could help feed and adopt children out of poverty? You haven’t bought the books, so how many children have you adopted to save them from poverty? Although hesitant when hearing about the books, I did read them and found I really enjoyed them. The whole sexual aspect is essential to the character development in the story. And by the way, I adopted five children who had been abused and destined for a life on the streets. Please don’t use the plight of children to support your opinion of books you haven’t even read.

  53. Thank you for this post. I haven’t read the book and have been wondering what all the hubbub was about. Your article helps others to reflect on their choices. I don’t see shame being placed, but a call to be watchful of what we are receiving. We must guard our hearts. God bless!

  54. It makes me sad, also, that Christian women would read and absorb a series like this. I use 1 verse to help me decide if I should read a series likes this, or watch certain movies.

    Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

  55. Yes, yes, and yes. You’ve spoken well and true, with grace and love. I’m surprised how many find this post offensive, but maybe I shouldn’t be. Your words are needed, because clearly a large number of Christian women are reading them and enjoying them, and perhaps unaware of how they could be warping their sense of godly love and sexuality. Stay strong!

  56. I always enjoyed reading novels, romance novels and when I became serious in my walk with the Lord, I had a conviction, a personal conviction to stop reading romance novels and it hasn’t been easy. This article has given me the encouragement I need not to succumb to reading the novel or watching the movie. Thank you so much.

    1. I read romance novels 20 plus yrs ago and nothing but gentle love in it, but I was convicted and stopped, too, because I felt it was easy to compare a fictional character to my husband. I thought then, that was porn enough.

  57. I understand being angry about millions of dollars not spent on feeding hungry little mouths or adopting children out of poverty. I feel the same way when I see giant mega churches generating millions and using it to build even bigger churches or buy expensive sound equipment or projectors. Megachurches bring in insane amounts of money and the majority is spent on things for the church and not spent on feeding starving children or improving their quality of life. It’s infuriating.

  58. there are so many things wrong with this article. “However, we do not veer away from shocking or hard topics. The Bible doesn’t, and so we don’t. <—- not true. How come the church doesn't talk about the numbers of rape committed by priests and church personnel? How come the church doesn't like to talk about sexuality? Also, there is nothing wrong with BDSM. It might not be something every person does, but it is part of a healthy sexuality and has been being practiced for centuries. Maybe if you picked up a text book and put down your bible you would know more about human behavior and how un-human the expectations in the bible are. We are sexual beings. Sex is not a sin. It is part of life. And how come men aren't held to these same standards that women are? I don't see any young men with promise rings..

    1. I wasn’t speaking for the church at large. I was speaking for my family only. I want churches to talk about these things more, which is one of the reasons why I wrote this article.

  59. Hi, let me first say I really enjoyed reading your article! Honestly, I have had no desire to read it. Several people I know have read them and gushed about how much they enjoyed it. Before I got married (1 year come 4-5-15!) I tried hard not to read “smutty” books. If I did and regretted it I would just get rid of them and try again! Now that I am married I don’t want to get caught up in a fantasy instead of living out my own life. I had 5 years of dating my husband to dream about our life together, ha. Thanks for reading my two cents! Hannah

  60. Leigh, I agree with you, I’m so happy you wrote on a difficult subject.
    It saddens me that our society has become so acceptable to perversion more and more, but I suppose it’s not a surprise as that is what will happen. I’m really sad that many followers of Christ are being pulled astray. The people getting angry with your post that are believers, I wonder, are they being convicted, maybe feeling bad for liking it and even excited to see the movie?. Maybe their husbands have viewed porn and they wanted to do anything to get his eyes on her so she’s willing to stoop low, having “fun”, to please and keep him. Believe me, he will still go to porn, but bring you into it. This series is not okay.

    A few months ago, one of my teen daughters talked with me about bondage sex. I was taken back and surprised she seemed interest in it. Fifty Shades was brought up. She had a very good question, “well if the couple both agree to it, then isn’t it okay?” I told her it was not loving at all. It was not God’s way, and it’s very unfortunate to hear that people get some sort of sick pleasure out of hurting others. After talking, I realized her interest came from her past. Before she was adopted, she saw people having sex when she was younger and she saw a very distorted way of what sex was about. She saw sex as very selfish, doing whatever to whoever if it brings some sort of pleasure. She saw that if she pleased the person she would marry one day, in this way, she would make him happy and therefore be happy herself. From seeing this kind of sex, she doesn’t realize how controlling the guy is….telling her how to be, what to say, how to dress. I am quite shocked the women of this society are for even for that. This is taking submission to the level of abuse. For someone to demand this of their spouse, even in a fun way, something tells me they were hurt when younger, they saw parents not getting along, not seeing what a Christ centered home was suppose to be, etc With that, views become distorted. To inflict pain in anyway sexually, is not of God. It’s not healthy. Never in Solomon did you see him hurting her, but instead treating her with such tenderness.

    I have been married and enjoy sex more than I ever have. Over the years you learn more about your spouse and fall in love over and over again. I would wonder if these people who are into this bondage and inflicting pain on others, how was their life with their spouse before that? Did they love each other and care for each other selflessly outside of the bedroom? Is this bondage becoming popular because it seems to be the only pleasure you can bring to your spouse? What if the spouse were to say, “I don’t want to have sex like this anymore?” Would the other be fine with that? I encourage people who have this kind of relationship to see what the answer would be. The response will tell what his or her heart really is and if he truly loves you as a person or just loves to hurt you. To use abusive tools to inflict pain is in no way loving…..at all.

  61. May I humbly ask that not all romance novels be lumped together with such a wide brush. I wrote my first novel before Fifty Shades came out and, when it did, I was so glad to have a novel with the words “Rock Star” in the title that appeals to women who might have a taste for erotica. However, my favorite reviews are from those who bemoan the fact the book contains no sex but go on to say, “But I loved the story and couldn’t put it down!”
    I do believe there are some called to write Christ-centered romance novels. I’m one of them. Plus, I’m thrilled beyond belief when I hear from a mom that her daughter was encouraged in her morality by reading my book.
    Overall, please be careful to not throw all romance novels under the bus. There are some authors who are called to portray a healthy longing for the kind of love God intends between a man and his bride. Young women have a myriad of examples of people reducing sex to its basest ingredients–no more meaningful than a dog in heat.
    But what of an example of a young woman choosing morality smack-dab-in-the-middle of temptation? I call that offering a role model. That was one of my key motivations behind writing a “romance novel.”
    I know a couple other authors who truly view their writing of moral love stories as an outreach and ministry.
    Bottom line, (no pun intended) all of us need to honor our relationship with God first. If obedience in that relationship includes writing a novel that helps young women know the difference between love and lust when they run into it in the real world, then by God’s guidance, that’s what I’ll keep doing.
    Overall, I find this article to be very helpful, spoken straight from the heart and uber necessary for just such a time as this.
    Just, please, let’s not lump all novels about love–and their authors–into the same generalized category.
    Rant complete. 🙂

  62. Pornography is absolutely a trap, a snare. It is wrapped up in vivid emotion and pleasure-charged wrapping paper that can and will destroy life and meaning. Self exploration was never mean to be done in the darkness but in the Light of Gods grace. The slavery to this illicit “form of expression” only draws one in deeper and into darkness unimaginable. My life has been impacted in many ways by pornography, and NONE of them made me feel more like a woman, more complete. It has left gaping wounds and emptiness. NEVER give in to the pull if you have not ever indulged. It is like quicksand. Never give up hope if it has wrapped its thorny roots around your mind & heart. The God of grace and Light can break the chains of darkness. Gray is an ironic twist to the depths of darkness that the world of pornography explores. There is NOTHING gray about it. And those who declare its value and benefit are sadly deceived. It is a devastating struggle I know all too well and it does NOT one thing to enhance or build anything of value.

  63. Leigh Ann:

    I have not heard of this book (I won’t even mention the name because that would give it some acceptance) but having been abused when I was between the ages of 3-5 I don’t need that type of garbage in my home.
    You said that you were angry that all these things were becoming common in our world and our churches today. Yes I too am angry but I am looking up. The Bible says when you see the signs you know that the time of the end is coming near.

  64. I couldn’t get past Chapter 8. At work, a co-worker said she had the book and wanted me and other co-workers to read it so we could do like a ‘book club’ thing at lunch time. I kept asking what it was about but she kept smiling and saying ‘read it, read it’. So I read it. She knew I liked reading, so …….I’m not quite sure what chapter I started getting uncomfortable at, but I had to stop. I can’t speak for anyone else but myself, but that was nasty. It is pornography. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and sounds like a duck……AFLAC!

  65. I am glad that there are still many evangelical christians that oppose pornography in all it’s varieties today. It has been my observation that our Christian values in western culture have become so eroded that the trend is to believe that one can live any lifestyle and still be a good christian. I am horrified at the consequences of this attitude. Our country, our communities, our very lives are jeopardized by our disobedience to Gods eternal laws. I love being a Letter-day Saint (Mormon) because we believe that the key to happiness and joy and spiritual growth is found in obedience to God, and his son Jesus Christ. Pornography used to be a male problem, but now 40 % of people addicted to Porn are women!

  66. I find this article heart breaking, not the words from the blogger at Intentional by Grace those are seasoned with salt. But the comments in the stream from women who are fervently defending this uninspired book. Ladies is you came home and found your husband watching BDSM (well produced with an interesting plot line) would you be appalled or would you congratulate him on exercising his freedom? Sisters I would encourage you to immerse yourself in the living Word and defend and confirm it(Phil. 1), not ‘Mommy Porn’. Oh Lord Jesus you are our propitiation.

    “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

    “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”1 Cor 6:18

  67. I appreciate your blog post. I have not read all the comments, but I find the ones interesting that at upset because you choose not to read the book. You clearly gave reasoning and other posts to delve further.

    I did it read because I read many of the things that some days my kids may read as teens and or other young adults in my life. Just a brief background, I was goth for many years (still have many friends in the scene), was sexually abused as teen, and am familiar with actual BDSM. I am a Christian and carefully review various item. I have always had a questioning nature and God has been good to help me navigate many areas in my life.
    I am actually in the demographic that says I should “love” this book. I read it because I knew it was fan fiction of the Twilight series; which was popular amoung my nieces and a few friends. I tried several times to read Twilight series, but I couldn’t get past the first few chapters and the whiny heroine. I was very turned off about many things in the story and the writing did not draw me in. A close friend she really loved the 50 shades book and really wanted me to read it. I think I flung the book several times because it read more like a teenager’s puppy love journal. Naive in so many ways and extremely frustrating that she could be that clueless. I struggled through all three books to find any redeeming value. I love books! I read and enjoyed Hunger Games, MazeRunner, and even Harry Potter, but I also understand that is the choice I made for myself. These are considered teen fiction with written story lines. The 50 shades series was highly frustrating to read and any depiction described as “BDSM” is highly inflammatory to that community. There are rules that are completely disregarded in the book. It is sexual abuse in the book;not BDSM. And it should come with a warning about trigger alerts for any who have been through any sort of sexual or domestic abuse.

    1) Any BDSM lifestyle would not include a virgin. Too many reasons to name
    2) She feared him and his anger if she didn’t comply. In the community, the relationship is based on mutual respect for each other and genuine concern for their well being. Real anger is not part of the “play.”
    3) Even though she signed a contract, she was coerced. She had no idea what she was getting into. She was right in that he had serious control issues. She wasn’t anything more than SOMETHING to be conquered. It was a game and for me, I’m not interested in being with a player. No commitment.

    His was not love for her, but wanting something he could not fully control. Her love for him was more like Stockholm Syndrome. She fell her captor.

    I read the book with every intention of trying to find something redeeming, but I couldn’t find anything. And trying anything in the book is not BDSM, it’s abuse. Even the community who practices this form of intimacy is angered by how they are depicted.
    In a time in which rape culture is the buzz word, why would you encourage your daughters or friends to allow themselves to become victims. We are daughters of a great and mighty King. Be the strong warrior princess you were created to be and not indulge in this story.

  68. Thank you for sharing this. I thought I was alone. My group of friends were on their way to watch it coz it’s showing now in cinemas today. Indeed, regardless of how wonderful the story, it’s important to ponder about the contents or the message it conveys. Honestly, I was seriously tempted to read it or even join my friends today, but I decided not to because I know it would break God’s heart plus it would hurt me as well and that I don’t wanna compromise my conviction of honoring my future husband by not indulging myself with those stuffs.

  69. Thank you, Leigh, for being a voice and for taking a stand against this book and for stating what it truly is- pornography. I wanted you to know that my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does speak out against pornography. https://www.lds.org/search?lang=eng&query=pornography+general+conference
    I can’t help but think that any Christian woman who embraces this type of book does not understand the law of chastity. I would encourage Christian women to study the law of chastity and apply it to their selections of reading material. Leigh, you are a beautiful example to me of someone who knows she is a precious daughter of God.

  70. Thank you Leigh Ann for the article.

    23 “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.1 Corinthians 10:23

    Our eyes are doors to our souls so we should choose carefully what we watch, read. I remember I watched briefly some police investigation programme on tv (my father used to watch it) and that disturbing information just got stuck in my mind and lead to fears ingrained in my mind – I am still in the process of complete healing from those fears, by God’s grace everything is possible!

    So we should be very careful with what we put in our mind and porn is a very alluring and subtle hook it can be imprinted in our mind innocently but consequences can be not so innocent but very destructive.

    The porn calls our attention to fleshly deeds it does not lead to God, would you agree on this? It is not by accident the porn addiction (why addiction?) has become a huge issue by the spread of easy, affordable internet access and popularity and approval of porn in the society in general…”with negative impacts on peoples’ sex lives, relationships and even career. Again and again we find that what starts out as fun, curiosity and the relief of sexual tension ends up as an ingrained habit taking up more and more time, done increasingly in secret and away from peoples’ partners. “(http://www.helpaddictions.org/porn/about/why/, you can read some sad porn statistics here: http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/)

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

  71. I know this article was written awhile ago, but with the movie that recently came out it was good for me to read. I have NOT read the books nor seen the movie, and have no intention of doing so.

    I just wanted to write to say thank you for writing this. I am shaking my head at the people who have combated you (or attempted to!) on YOUR page. Wow. Just wow. This is your website and it is your opinion. You were not judging others (though someone said judge lest thee be judged – that cracks me up – the Bible is CLEAR that we are to hold other Christians accountable!! We are not to judge those who are not of the same faith). I am so sad to see people talking down to you and putting you down for your writing and your opinion. Honestly – if this were my site I’d remove a lot of those posts, but that is just me 🙂

    I just wanted to say God bless and thank you – for this and for all the other amazing writings that you do.

  72. Even though I agree with most of what you have written as to why you will not read the books or watch the movie I DO NOT agree with what I understand you condemming the BDSM lifestyle.