Purity, the Gospel, and Fifty Shades of Grey


Most of you are probably familiar with Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, at least to some extent. For those of you who aren’t, Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic romance novel that features explicit descriptions of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism (BDSM).

The Fifty Shades series has had incredible international success, topping the bestseller charts in both the States and UK, becoming one of the fastest selling book series of all time.

I have had several people encourage me to read the Fifty Shades books, I’ve even been asked if I have plans to go see the upcoming movie when it comes out. And my answer has been no.

Why? Because it breaks my heart to see our culture embrace and celebrate the abuse of women. Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, it is time for us to stand up for the inherent dignity of women, and bring rape culture to an end.

And that is why Helen Thorne’s Purity is Possible is so important. Like it or not, we live in a culture where “mommy porn” is acceptable, where sexting is common among youth, where at least one in five Christian women regularly view pornography.

Purity is Possible is a reminder of how important it is that we guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Because not only does pornography and other erotic materials hurt us, it damages how we view those around us, causing us to view others as objects, rather than human beings created in the image of God.

If you are caught in the trap of pornography or sexual fantasy, there is hope! Not only did David sin by committing adultery with Bathsheba, he also had her husband, Uriah, murdered (2 Samuel 11). Yet because David recognized that his sin was not just against Bathsheba and Uriah, but also against the Lord, and repented, he was forgiven (Psalm 51).

God has called us to a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:15) and freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). But the Good News is that we are all broken, that is why Christ came (Psalm 147:3, Luke 4:18). Our past does not define us, but rather who we are in Christ, and the work that He is doing in us.

In Matthew 1, we see a short string of women in the genealogy of Christ, each with a past, each in need of a Savior. Tamar, the woman who played a prostitute and became pregnant with her father-in-law (Genesis 38). Rahab, a prostitute from Jericho (Joshua 2). Ruth, a Moabite (Ruth 1-4). Bathsheba, a woman who committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). Mary, a young woman who conceived while a virgin (Matthew 1:18-20).

I believe Purity is Possible is a wonderful resource, both for those who are struggling with pornography or sexual fantasies, and those who simply want to understand better how to come alongside their friends and family who are struggling with these issues, and address them biblically. Filled with Scripture, humility, and kindness, Purity is Possible offers hope and healing, and I would give it an “A”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the book free from the publisher through Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .



Filed under blog

5 responses to “Purity, the Gospel, and Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Pingback: Purity is Possible Blog Tour | Cross Focused Reviews

  2. Thanks so much for speaking truth in a culture where this has become accepted in churches. Thanks for this. Purity occurs before, during, and after marriage. May we continue to guard our hearts.

  3. I’ve read Fifty Shades, and I disagree that it is about abuse at all. (I do not disagree that it is pornographic! Certainly, if that is a problem in your religion, you should not read it.) There is always clear consent in the book and the woman truly has all the power, in quite a lopsided way, actually.

    I’m also torn. I am Catholic, and I don’t watch porn, but words on a page seem to enhance my relationship with my husband. The teachings of my Church conflict on that issue. If a book (no live people) enhances my marriage, it seems a good thing. It opened communication, it inspired a mood of romance, and it reminded me that everyone has different tastes and that is okay. (Fifty is not to my taste, for the record.)

    I hope this wasn’t too much. I fully respect your position and encourage you to share it. I just have a different one, as a Christian woman, and I thought I would share it.

    • Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      As I mentioned in the post, I have never read Fifty Shades, and can only work from my understanding of the book, pornography, and erotica.

      My problem with pornography and erotica (which is what Fifty Shades is considered), as a Christian, “I am not my own, but belong- body and soul, in life and in death- to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q.1; Romans 14:7-8; 1 Corinthians 3:23), and understanding that “sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2332; Matthew 5:28), is that we are taking something very good (sex), which God designed for marriage (Hebrews 13:4), and not only removing it from the proper time (Song of Solomon 8:4), but also causing it to become a spectacle (2 Samuel 16:22).

      Thank you again, for taking the time to comment and share your viewpoint! I always appreciate discussion, (particularly when it is about books!), even if we come to different conclusions. And I want you to know, that I have a deep appreciation for the Catholic church– I have both family and friends who are Catholic, and we agree on far more than we disagree!

  4. I agree with your points. I believe that purity is definitely challenged by the new trends that many consider “entertainment.” I have not read the book nor will I watch the show, because it is simply not something that I will find uplifting or edifying… I’d rather have a conversation with my husband or read a wholesome book with him. Those activities certainly help me get closer to him and help us on the journey to holy matrimony, as God established.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s