50 Shades, 40 Days…And None Of The Above

Most of my readers probably would have no problem with me denouncing 50  Shades Of Grey (book or movie), despite the fact that I’ve never read anything more than  Wikipedia’s synopsis of the book (which was bad enough). In fact, if I had read the book itself, a majority of those same readers would most likely write me off as a hypocrite for writing so much about personal holiness and then reading such pornography.

And such a dismissal of my integrity would definitely be warranted. If I read that sort of book, my readers shouldn’t respect anything that came from my keyboard ever again. I know enough about the book to understand that reading it dishonors the Lord. I really don’t need to read the book (or see the movie) to know that it’s sheer pornography that I must avoid. Obviously. I can’t imagine anybody arguing with me on this point.

So why, when I refuse to read books by Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren, do professing Christians believe I have no grounds for criticizing them? I have, actually, read some of their blog posts and Twitter feeds, as well as watching their YouTube videos. But that doesn’t satisfy those who ardently support these people. They demand that I invest hours slogging through books that will only reiterate the bad theology that I’ve already seen on their blogs, Twitter feeds and videos.

In other words, I don’t question these teachers before I’ve done my homework. For instance, several years ago, the church John and I attended went through Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose campaign. Both of us initially felt excited about the campaign, especially since the Sunday School Superintendent had asked John to lead the Adult class during those Sundays.

But as we watched the promotional videos leading up to the campaign, we noticed  how frequently Warren wrenched Scripture out of context in order to advance his agenda. Because I have a shameful history of misusing God’s Word in that way (the Lord has graciously brought me to repentance), I picked up on it quickly. In response to my discomfort about him, I researched him and discovered quite a few people who also saw serious flaws in his doctrine. After a few days of  fighting through his book, The Purpose-Driven Life, I could see that Rick Warren simply didn’t respect God’s Word. Therefore, John and I chose not to participate.

Of course, people scolded us for condemning Warren’s teachings without reading his entire book. Yet many of those same people would undoubtedly applaud me for writing against 50 Shades Of Grey, all the while respecting my integrity for not reading it.

If people commend me for pursuing moral and sexual purity, shouldn’t they also appreciate my desire for doctrinal purity? Obviously, I believe they should. The Lord calls for both types of purity.

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. ~~1 Timothy 4:16 (ESV)

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Author: DebbieLynne

Most importantly I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondarily, I'm married to my wonderful husband, John. We've both used wheelchairs since childhood (he from Polio and me from Cerebral Palsy). I type with a headstick because I can't control my hands. I enjoy reading, creating digital art, and exploring Boston with John.

5 thoughts on “50 Shades, 40 Days…And None Of The Above”

  1. I’m with you, DebbieLynne. I’ve actually been told by my pastor that I can no longer speak up about false teachers unless I have gone with our women’s group to attend a conference with them. Then, after paying for and sitting through the false teaching, only then do I have his permission to discuss the falseness of the teaching. Ugh. (I am looking for a new church..) Thank God for women like you (and Michelle Lesley and Erin Benzinger). I have recently found you and love your blog.

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    1. Very good comparison, in fact God does say if we stray into false teachings (which of course come from false gods) it is like we are committing adultery against Him with those false gods, so it is fitting to compare doctrinal integrity with moral integrity. Great post.

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  2. A friend of mine, who is an ordained pastor without a current church assignment, posted on Facebook a year or so ago that the church he attends was doing a sermon series based on The Circle Maker. I commented, tactfully and kindly, that a church shouldn’t be using a book for a sermon series that is based on legend, not scripture. Well, he got very defensive and nasty. He asked me if I’d read the book and I admitted I had not, just some reputable reviews. He called me closed-minded and that I should actually read the book before passing judgment. Then, he unfriended me on FB. PS – I printed out our exchange and showed it to a trusted Christian friend to make sure I wasn’t out of line, but she assured me I handled it well but it seems like I hit a sore spot with him. This article makes me wish I could have responded with something like “I don’t have to read 50 Shades of Grey” to know it’s pornography. The reviews tell me what I need to know.

    Cindy L – I also read Michelle, Erin, and Debbie’s blogs and listen to Erin’s Equipping Eve podcasts. If you don’t read it already, check out Elizabeth Prata’s The End Time blog. Another ‘watchman on the wall.’ Another good site is Berean Research–you can like them on Facebook.

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