Summertime & The Livin’s Sleazy


According to many sources there are LOTS of people reading Shades of Grey.

Lots.  Of.  People.

Like, even people that are sitting in church on Sunday.

Um hum.

That’s really curious to me. Shades of Grey is erotic fiction. As far as I can tell, by the description of erotic fiction and the words of many who are referring to the book as “mommy porn” – that means everybody pretty much knows Shades of Grey is a sleazy novel.

Those who are followers of Christ reading said sleazy novel, know what they are reading and yet say – “What’s the big deal? There’s no harm. Don’t judge me. That’s my business.”  I am not judging them, but I do think they need to grow up and have the guts to admit exactly what they are reading and not try to pretend what they are reading is more than what it admittedly is. Just read the blog post written by my friend Dannah Gresh and then spend some time reading the comments (over 250 at last count) from those who are Christ followers and you will see that there are some seriously compromised people out there.

Make no mistake, if you are reading Shades of Grey, you are reading a sleazy novel.

At a very basic level, gross – the last thing any of us need to do is peer into someone else’s bedroom and read about what goes on there in explicit and graphic detail.

At a Godly level, God’s word tells us that we are to think about “whatever” is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable (Philippeans 4:8), that we are not to conform to the world (Romans 12:2) and we are to put off our old selves and not be corrupted by its deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22).

I don’t get those striving to follow Christ defending reading Shades of Grey. However, if that’s what they are going to do they need to stop kidding themselves – they are reading a sleazy book.


Trying to rationalize it, points out that they lack true wisdom. (Proverbs 4 & 5.)

And yes I am a sinner and I have my own set of issues to deal with daily. But I am also not trying to put lipstick on a pig.

It is what it is and what it is is…sleazy.


  1. says

    We are told not to judge with a self-righteous judgement, and to make sure we take the log out of our own eye first….There is nothing wrong with, in humility, after we have taken the log out of our own eye… using that log as is crutch (LOL) and limping over to a sister in Christ, being aware of our own weakness, and telling another that they shouldn’t be reading something that is not God glorifying. That would be godly judgement. Your post is a God glorifying, godly judgement on those who choose to read this.

    Good job, my friend!!!

  2. says

    From what I’ve heard about the novel, I think you’re correct in your analysis.

    Honest question:
    Why do you think it’s struck such a chord? It’s not like it’s the first sleazy novel out there. I seriously doubt it’s either the most- or least-explicit romance novel on the shelves right now.

    So why this novel? Why right now? And why among so many segments of the population, especially white suburban Christians?

    I think the answers to those questions point to a much more interesting problem that’s closer to the heart of our faith.

    The popularity of 50 Shades is a symptom, not the disease itself.

    • Tracey says

      I agree with your analysis – but how can a disease be treated if people will not admit they have it? If you don’t think your sin is sin, then you are unable to be convicted by and turn from your sin. Therein lies the problem. Too many are conforming to the world and being “duped” into believing their sin is not sin. One must daily seek knowledge in God’s word to find knowledge and gain wisdom. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Draw near to sleaze and you will find a way to justify, rationalize and compromise – the enemy is too happy to help us all do just that. I have experience myself with JRC ‘ing. So know that of which I speak.

      • says

        I’m right with you on naming sin and resisting JRC (with whom I too am old friends).

        I find more and more as a church leader (I’m a teaching pastor) that a widespread sin needs to be dealt with at the root. In this particular case, I think it points to the failure of the Evangelical Church to offer a biblical, theological and consistent picture of marriage to our culture. More and more marriages in suburbia are becoming live-in partnerships devoid of romance and authentic relationship.

        We should definitely speak to the individual sins, but even if we somehow convinced every Christian not to read 50 Shades, if we don’t deal with the deeper problem, it’s just going to stick its head up in a new disguise.

        I also fully recognize that all these comments have strayed well outside the scope of your original post… apologies 🙂

  3. says

    Tracey, spot on. Your commentary and responses to other readers was Biblically sound and mature. I find it challenging as well as a responsibility to set people straight on these types of sin issues. Whether we’re talking about this book or a movie or even alternative living arrangements, people aren’t willing to address the sin. I liked your disease comparison in the reader response section. It really is black and white.
    I have my issues and I’m a sinner, too, but it’s not a pass. 🙂

  4. says

    I feel like I’m from Mars or something because I honestly haven’t heard of Shades of Grey. But, judging from your blog-post I have to completely agree!!!! I think the problem with a lot of people is they forget that true love means provoking people to do “good,” (Hebrews 10:24) especially believers who are striving to walk like Christ. It’s our responsibility to gracefully share the truth!

    Mrs. Tracey, you did just that right here!!! Thank you!!!!!


  5. amy says

    Tracy, I have had the same feelings about many, many sources of “entertainment” with other grounds for concern. I am definitely in the minority but I feel like Harry Potter is not innocent reading– witchcraft, sorcery, shape-shifting, spells, etc… But, many of my Christian friends read them and bought them for their young children. Then, there’s the Twilight series; vampires, lust, the netherworld, the violent conception of a child, the violent ripping out of the womb of said child… Entertainment? Why?? Why fill your mind with such stuff? Especially pre-teens! My family, my kids, have skipped it all and we’re no worse for the wear. In fact, I have no regrets skipping spiritually conflicting reading material/movies. Often those books/movies started out semi-benign and then grew darker, more menacing, more violent and then what? Who stops their kids at “number 3” after allowing 1 and 2?? The info I have on those books is from parents’ guides and Christian debate sites. I think “Shades of Grey” is an adult book that has the seed-planting potential in the same way the others I’ve mentioned does for kids. Just my 2 cents…

  6. Suzanne says

    I heard about this book on the news. And, what are non-Christians saying about it? It’s porn and poorly written. So, why are Christians even thinking about reading it? I remember my mom telling me many years ago, don’t ever do anything that you couldn’t stop right in the middle of and pray over. So, I would ask these women to stop in the middle of a paragraph of this book, and ask themselves if they could thank God for the book? Or, read it with their church friends, or bring in some kind of accountability. Something. I don’t know. It’s mind-boggling. And, Tracey, thank you for being willing to ask women to put on their Big Girl Pants!

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