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Fifty Shades of Lust

“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 8:12, NKJV)

Later this week, Hollywood is releasing another movie filled with lust and fornication. It is based upon the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” by Erika James which has been described by some as pornographic. Based upon what I have heard about this book it is about a man and woman (unmarried) who engage in a series of sexual encounters. The book has sold over 100 million copies and has been translated into more than 50 languages.

To see such a work released by Hollywood is not surprising as such things are very profitable in a society driven by lust and sensuality. Our media is known for pushing the boundaries and its support of immorality and I credit them with being one of the contributing factors to the amoral attitude in this nation.

But what is more disappointing to me is how our society is accepting such with great enthusiasm. The news media is supporting this as something wonderful and good . This past week, the NBC Today show (and probably other networks as well) aired daily excerpts from the movie, as well as interviews with various cast and crew from the movie. And there is not a hint of such movie being disturbing. Instead the cast is speaking about it with excitement and anticipation. This bothers me as we find our media touting such immorality as no only normal but something to be celebrated. I have always had my problems with the news media, but in seems to have gotten more brazen in that which it treats as acceptable. The book itself is not just being read in the privacy of homes, it is found in public. A few weeks ago while on jury duty, copies of it could be seen by waiting jurors. Sadly, this describes the soul of our county and an indicator that we are headed in wrong direction morally.

The Bible, while never using the word, strongly condemns pornography. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30) Among the works of the flesh, (in fact, leading the list) we find adultery, fornication, uncleanness (filth, moral impurity) and lewdness (behavior lacking moral restraint) (Gal. 5:19-21). Paul warns in that text, “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Colossians 3:5 says, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1) Fifty Shades of Grey, both in book form and at the movies, is pornography. As Christians we should have nothing to do with it.

Beyond that it is also an indictment of where we are in this society and throughout much of the world. Our nation is just plain immoral. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.” As a nation, we have abandoned God, especially the God of the Bible. As a result, there is no shame with immoral conduct. But this should not really surprise us. Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” While written nearly 2000 years ago, you would think it was an editorial from a local newspaper last week. We truly are living in perilous times especially for being a Christian.

So what can we do about it? The answer is, we need to act like Christians. We need to avoid books, movies and other forms of media like this and NOT be shy about letting that be known. Paul told the Philippian brethren, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14–16) The best thing we can do is be a proper example!

We need to pray for this nation! “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4) Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

We need to try and win souls. There may be little things we can do to improve the environment around us (such as voting, being involved for good, etc.), but the truth is we are unlikely to change the culture of this nation (at least overnight). BUT, we can try to win somebody to Christ. Everyone who obeys the gospel is a soul removed from the camp of the enemy. That is how we are going to change the world – ONE soul at a time!

One day this world is going to come to an end. At that time, men and nations will be judged. All the evil and lusts of this life will be purged. When that happens, where will you stand before God? Don’t let a movie or book or anything else put you on His left hand! (Matt. 25:31-46)

Thomas A Thornhill Jr, Bellflower, CA

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