Well, we knew it was just a matter of time before the Church of Laodicea latched onto a hot cultural money-maker the world is talking about. Even if it is considered chick porn (meaning, pornographic content that women are buying), the book series, 50 Shades Of Grey, is so popular among even Christian women that bookstores can barely contain themselves.
Book stores are probably one of the more, shall we say, spiritually challenging retail outlets to navigate. Every two feet is another kiosk display of the latest dark, mystical landmines just waiting to be triggered. Last week I walked into a national bookstore chain (two words, the first starts with a "B"), and meandered through the aisles rife with vampires, dark angels, supernatural murders and more, until I paused at the central resource desk. I couldn't help but be wowed at the gigantic tower of books soaring from the biggest and brightest display in the entire store, so picked up the latest 50 Shades paperback to study the back cover. A manager walked over to me an snorted, "Might as well buy the entire boxed set; everyone else does."
But I digress. Over at the Christ Church in North Carolina (with four satellite locations across the state), the leaders have capitalized on this latest craze by creating an entire sermon series based on what brings 'em in faster than free doughnuts: Sex.
Our new series, 50 Shades of Grey Meets Song of Solomon, talks about what the Bible says about sex, romance, and marriage. Drawing parallels between the NY Times best seller and the Old Testament book of the Bible, we’ll talk about what true love really means, and tackle common myths about sex & romance.
Does this mean attendees need to be familiar with the book series to understand what God's Word says? Should we buy a few extra copies for those who can't afford the book, or perhaps maybe do some 50 Shades of Grey book club readings in our small groups? Okay, perhaps I am being snarky here. I'm sure this particular church is doing some great things and introducing the unchurched to those who haven't heard of Jesus. And maybe they're just using the lusty book title to get these folks in the door to hear the real truth. But let's just think about this.
Why do we need to take the worst of what the world has to offer, and marry it with the best of what our faith has to offer -- Jesus Christ and the Gospel -- to shepherd the flock?
Will this really equip the saints to go and make disciples, or is it just another example of fodder to feed the goats so that more tithes can be collected?
I'll leave you with this to consider:
- Hotel: Bible Out, Grey In (foxnews.com)
- '50 Shades of Grey' to return to Florida library shelves
- Vicar condemns hotel after it replaces Gideon Bible with 50 Shades of Grey (telegraph.co.uk)
- 50 Shades Of Grey: Let's Talk (intentionalwarriors.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey becomes bestselling book ever in Britain (guardian.co.uk)
- "Fifty Shades of Grey"-inspired sex festival takes place in Dublin (irishcentral.com)