Saturday, July 7, 2012

Do not be conformed…(Response to Magic Mike/50 Shades)

I read a great blog post tonight discussing the new Magic Mike & Fifty Shades craze…and how Christian women need to take a stand against it. I could NOT agree more.  I’ve been meaning to write a post on it, and thankfully she did a lot of the leg work and she and I share very similar thoughts on the whole thing. I love that she backed it up with Scripture too. Check it out here. 

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I have to be honest. I had never even HEARD of either one till I saw women posting about them all over FB. I don’t watch t.v. (at all, EVER), so I’m often out of the loop when it comes to stuff like this (which is okay with me!). (Jonathan has probably never heard of either one either….)And honestly, I’m not one to jump on board with this kind of thing anyway. I haven’t read the first Harry Potter/Twilight book, nor seen any of the movies. It’s not that I have anything against them…it’s just that I feel like I barely have time to read period, so when I do, it’s usually something for one of my Bible studies.  Right now I’m reading an Andy Andrews’ book called The Traveler’s Gift and rereading (for the eighteen thousandth time) Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet. May be lame to some, but I like to read books that I feel like are going to make me a better person. (That sounds really lame when I write it out, but it’s true.)

P.S. Still, one of my all-time favorite books is Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Set Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I talked my sisters into going to a Bible study on this book and they are LOVING it so far! If you’ve never read it, GET a copy!! SO worth it!! It was life-changing for me…

Anyway…when I realized what Magic Mike & 50 Shades are (and I still know very little about them both), I was a little disgusted. The thought of reading the series or watching that movie never even crossed my mind. I wasn’t tempted in the least.

I don’t say that with any type of self-righteousness or judgment.  Please hear my heart.  I am far, far, from perfect. And if someone else chooses to read those books or watch that movie, that is between them and the Lord and them and their husbands, boyfriend, whomever. It is not my place to judge, and I don’t.

With that being said, here’s my personal perspective on it. I would not appreciate Jonathan making the choice to be exposed to that type of “entertainment,” and I don’t do anything I wouldn’t want him doing. That type of mutual respect is an important aspect of our marriage, and he is the same way towards me. (Honestly, I have ZERO DESIRE to see/read either of them anyway. I mean zero.) I know women can come up with a thousand excuses to justify these, but let’s get real. If you’re a believer, this is not acceptable. These are NOT holy and pleasing to the Lord, and that is our only standard and measure.


A few verses popped into my head as I began to see these things take over social media statuses and updates.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:2

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;” –1 Thessalonians 4:3

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” –Colossians 3:5

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” –Matthew 5:27-28

These Scriptures do not only apply to this new “Magic Mike/50Shades” phenomenon. Christian women (and men, for that matter) are called to be SET APART. We are called to look different, act different, think different, dress different, speak different, and react different than the rest of the world.

Throughout each day, we make TONS of choices….from what we are going to eat and wear, to what we watch on t.v., listen to on the radio, read on the internet, etc. I think this is one of Satan’s number one ways to sneak into our lives, and unfortunately if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile. (Our preacher uses the analogy of a rat…if there is a hole big enough for a rat to get his nose into, he can squeeze his whole body through.)

I try to be very conscious of what I listen to, the movies I watch, people I surround myself with, etc. I know some people think I’m a total prude or stick-in-the-mud, but there is just SO MUCH garbage in the world…and I do not accept being around unwholesome things anymore. Even something as “harmless” as reality television can cause us to stumble. I have always felt a personal conviction when hearing or seeing something inappropriate, but it has taken me a while (and some spiritual maturity) to get to a place where I am bold enough to stand up for what I believe and not tolerate being around immoral filth (let’s just call a spaid a spaid).

Like I said, I don’t mean that with any judgment. It’s just something I choose not to be around because that’s what I believe the Lord expects of me….Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” If it’s a situation where I can’t help it, I politely (and with love) ask people not to talk that way around me. (Really, I do that.) Sometimes it’s awkward, but I know that it’s something I need to do, and usually people respect that. Jonathan and I have both agreed to be very conscientious about this when we have children as well, and there are some people/places we won’t be around after we have kids. {We JUST talked about that today actually, as we were eating lunch while on vacation and people were using some serious profanity at the table next to us.}

One thing I always teach my students and SS girls is to base every decision off whether they would do the same things if Jesus were standing right there in the flesh next to them. Would you still be listening to that music on your i-pod if Jesus had the other headphone in his ear? Would you still wear that if you were going to meet Jesus? Would you go to that party, speak that way to your spouse/parents/siblings, gossip, etc., if Jesus were standing next to you?? Would you be embarrassed to be watching that t.v. show/movie, or reading that book? If you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit IS living within your heart, and He IS always with you. That is the PERFECT solution to guiding your daily decisions, and if you use that as your guide, I can guarantee you WILL be set apart like we’re called to be. It’s a very REAL visual for us.

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Here’s my solution.

It’s plain and simple. Maybe not easy, but this is my goal each and every day. In a world where Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy” and take over our lives by trapping us in the bondage of sin, it is more important than ever that we cling to our faith and stand up against what is wrong.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” –Philippians 4:8

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Once again, I’m sure this is not going to be a very popular post. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not trying to win a popularity contest here….Just trying to share some truth and at least bring some perspective to the table. I’ve been thinking about this anyway and meaning to write a post on it.


Life in my shoes... said...

Danielle, your post spoke to me in so many ways. Thanks for being such an advocate for our spirits and not succumbing to the worlds ways. I needed to be reminded of how to feed my soul and how to react to what the world wants to feed it. Thank you! ~ Natalie

Unknown said...

I also enjoyed your post on this! It's so encouraginging to me to hear from other woman who are also striving to give god their best! My husband and I don't have a tv and we enjoy reading health books as well :-) nice to find things in common with other believers and thanks for the post!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing! It's so wonderful to hear from other Christian woman strong on living out what he/she believe from the word. My husband and I don't have a tv for this purpose (we enjoying being healthy too :)). It's encouraging to know we fight together!! Thanks and glad lindy shared on fb!

Daniella said...

Thank you so much for this! I work in the film and television industry, with the intention of making positive media because there is so much junk out there. It saddens me to see how much praise and talk Magic Mike and 50 Shades have received. I've always believed in the theory that as Christians, if we "put junk in, we get junk out." I also think the same is true for our bodies ;)

Elizabeth U. said...

Amen!! I couldn't agree any more with you!!! I just was talking with my sister about this very issue this week, because she was saying how it was okay, and not really a big deal.......I had to ask the Lord to help me speak in love but in TRUTH!!
We are the BODY of Christ and we are to look different than the world!! THis world is evil and wicked and satan DOES have an agenda to destroy us all, regardless of what people think. WE must cling to God and pursue righteousness! Always!!

I am so excited to hear of other women who are takinga godly stand for what is right! Stand fast sisters! It's not easy, but it's worth it!

Unknown said...

Very nice, Danielle! I'm with you on this!

Awn said...

That is a good word, as I've learned to say living down south. I'm so glad I'm following your blog!!!

Teana said...

Very postitive and thank you for sharing.

Lauren said...

You're spot on, sister!

A Girl. said...

Just found your blog, but I'm digging it thus far. I've fallen short far too often as of late. I feel like I'm lost watching someone who isn't me live my life, but the good news is that I'm pugnacious and the Lord is merciful. I'll continue in my efforts to reconcile myself to Him. I think reading some of your posts will help me. :D

P!nky said...

Good for you for taking a stand. I have been called prudish because I wasn't on the 50 shades of grey bandwagon. I don't need to or want to read that kind of stuff. No judgement to those who do.

I just want you to know HOW MUCH I appreciate your Christian posts. Very often I will catch myself going 'oops, missed that one' and I love having a blog that semiholds me accountable.

Your faith is something to strive for, thank you for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! I have chosen not see the movie or read the books. I was on Facebook earlier today and a "friend" had stated that she was tired of being preached at and that she knows what the Bible says on this and that God had bigger things to worry about like war and homeless people than a bunch of women sitting around watching Magic Mike and reading 50 Shades of Grey. I did a google search looking for Bible verses to prove them wrong and I found your blog. Her and her friends kept telling me it wasn't a big deal. To me and husband and God it is. It's nice to know that im not the only one!

brigette said...

This post is awesome. The "Travelers Gift"is an awesome book.

Leslie said...

Thank you so much for this!!! I wasn't temped to see the movie either, and it's wonderful to see someone who is bold enough to stand up for Christ. Thanks for sharing, i need to be a lot more conscious with the things i watch and listen to also, and what kind of messages they send off. I'm glad i found your blog, i know by reading this it will be a blessing!

Micaela said...

LOVE this post - I was genuinely amazed when a lady from my church was posting constantly about how much she loves 50 shades and how great it is. I just 100% agree with you and I do NOT see how you can pretend that it is anything other than entirely inappropriate.

Sarah said...

YES! Thank you for writing this. I have been cringing so much when I hear women getting all worked up about these books and movies. We were made for so much more! Thanks for listening to His voice and letting Him speak through you.

Unknown said...

I found your blog through SR's post today and decided to keep reading. This is a such a good post, and thank you for your honesty and great reminder that we are to be set apart (and to set ourselves apart) from the world. We can be in it, but we are not to be of it, and that is how the world sees that we are different. Stay strong, girl!

Janna said...

This is great and truly brought me to some conviction about some things (not this book or movie) We ARE supposed to be set apart and I LOVE the rat analogy. So many things are being shoved into our faces, some 'innocently' and some right out in the open, like these. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Andrea said...

I just found your blog and I SO appreciate your Christian perspective! I 100% agree.I was the only one of my friends that had not read 50 Shades (and had NO desire to at all). I felt the same that it was not something a Godly woman should do and I would certainly be upset if my fiance was reading or looking at that sort of thing. It is great to hear from other women...even online :)... who feel the same way I do! Love the blog!

Anonymous said...

Danielle, coming across your blog today has opened my eyes and heart so much. Growing up in a baptist family and regularly attending church was the only way I knew as a child. Going to college brought struggle as I fell out of that weekly routine of going every Sunday to church. After reading the 1st 50 shades book, many nights I remember thinking "this is wrong, this isn't honoring The Lord.. And woah I would be so embarrassed if someone saw what I was reading. But after I finishe that book I decided that reading the rest of the series wasn't something I wanted to expose my heart further to- nor did The Lord want that. Since then I am proud to tell people why I chose to stop reading it and why. I feel The Lord stiring in my heart as if me reading that book was leading me astray and The Lord bringing me back to my roots and finding his way back into my life. Thank you for this.