Fifty Shades of–What the Heck?

There’s a bestselling novel called Fifty Shades of Grey that has created plenty of buzz. My only feelings about it, as someone who hadn’t read it, was that I was impressed by the author for writing a bestseller. Then I heard two passionate, and diametrically opposed, takes on the book.

A man whom I respect described the book as being pretty obscene and basically said there was nothing good about it. Shortly thereafter, a woman whom I respect said she was really enjoying the book. She went on to say that she was doing fine in her Christian walk and in her marriage, and hey it’s just a book, and nobody should judge her, and if anybody thinks there’s a problem with the book they should read it themselves first.


This is an interesting time and place in the history of Christianity. In one camp, we have Christians demanding not to be judged for what they say and do. On the other side, we have Christians condemning behaviors they don’t approve of.

So which side should we be on?

Is there room in the middle?

Christians are supposed to be part of a Body. Christians are supposed to love each other. Thus, if a member of the spiritual family is doing something worrisome then it is the business of other believers. What I do/say/read/believe does affect those around me. Where we get in trouble, though, is when I see you doing something I don’t like and I blast you online, or I say something along the lines of “Knock it off, you lousy sinner!” This is especially bad when I don’t have all the facts, or the issue is a gray area.

I should approach you discretely, and motivated by love. My desire should be to encourage you to move towards more appropriate and fulfilling attitudes and behaviors. I should do this for you, and you should do it for me, not out of an attitude of superiority, but from a motivation of love.

We need to accept the idea that someone isn’t judging our souls when they want to hold us accountable. We need to love people enough to confront them at times. We do need to examine our motives before we act, though, to make sure we aren’t simply being judgmental pharisees after all.