Friday, July 27, 2012

50 Shades of Magic Mike and Chicken

It has taken me a while to address this  hot topic in a public way.  As a Christian, I never want to come across as preachy or judgmental - two labels that too many Christians have earned for our group.  While some may say I'm conservative, I think I'm more of a fence rider on several topics, although I can see myself quickly moving more to the conservative side.  (I'm not talking politic here, by the way).

Before I share my thoughts: some background on how I've come to them...

I've been participating in a daily Bible study that our youth group is doing.  There is a verse or passage to read every day.  Then you write down your first thoughts, your version, how to apply it to your life, and a prayer.  Many of these verses are familiar or even some that I have committed to memory, but it's like I'm reading some of them for the first time.  I'm so thankful to Cody, our youth minister, for putting this together and giving me a book.

Romans 7:14-16  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
My thoughts on this passage: This is addressing the battle of sin and the Holy Spirit.  We all know the difference between right and wrong and we want to be good people, yet we continue to sin.  Why???  Because of sin in the world.  None of us can claim perfection and sin has a grip on us as long as we are still in this world. The more of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us, the stronger our ability to resist sin.  That will not be perfected in us until we reach Heaven.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
There are times when things of the world appear normal to us when they shouldn't.  Every generation says that the next generation is more lost than the last.  It seems that every day more and more is acceptable to the world that is offensive to God, so maybe that is true.  But, the more we see, the less we think of it as offensive.  Peer pressure continues into adulthood.  When "everyone else is doing it" it doesn't seem so bad.

2 Timothy 1:7  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
My thought: I've been timid for way too long.  I've been afraid of hurting feelings or looking like a weirdo to my friends.  I don't want my friends to think I do not respect them, but we are also called to help each other GENTLY, while avoiding temptation, to stop sinning.  Why is that so hard??? I want to avoid being judgmental so I avoid being helpful as well.
But this passage also says the Spirit gives us power, love, and self-discipline.  We've got the power to stand up for what is right and against what is wrong, but to do it in a loving way, with HIS strength, and without letting ourselves get out of hand.
***I am not passing judgment on my friends or even strangers who happen to read this.  I am simply sharing my thoughts and how I've come to them through my most recent bible study.  This is why I will not be reading this book, not watching this movie, and continuing to eat yummy chicken.***
First up...Fifty Shades of Grey.
 No, I haven't read the book(s).
 And I'm not going to.
I don't think sex between a married couple is dirty in any way.  It is a beautiful gift from God that is an expression of love and the one-ness that God created us to have.
Sex between two people who are not married is a disrespect of that gift and can never be as spiritually or emotionally beautiful as God created it to be.  This book makes that type of relationship seem wonderful.  Unfortunately, that is now the norm.  This isn't the first book or movie or TV show to do that.
The reason I really can't stand the idea of this book is that it is referred to as "Mommy porn."  Pornography has been a huge stumbling block in relationships for a long time.  Marriages have been destroyed over it.  Women have lost self-esteem because of it.  Men have been viewed as dirty or weak because of their addiction to it.  So, now it's ok for women???
Pornography is never ok.  Never.  Not for men.  Not for women.  Proverbs 6:25
While women everywhere are wishing for their own Christian Grey and wondering where all the good men are, there are REAL men out there who aren't getting this type of attention.  What about the men in Colorado who died to protect the women they love?  That is true love (John 15:13).
Of course I am intrigued by what is in the book because it seems like everyone else in the world has read it.  My natural curiosity makes me want to know what everyone else knows.  But, that's why we have the Holy Spirit.  Even though I know it is wrong, I am tempted, but the Spirit keeps me from doing it.

Next...Magic Mike.
They sure knew what they were doing when they cast this movie!  I don't know many women who don't find Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum extremely attractive!  This one was a temptation to me - again, because "everyone else is doing it" but also because I've always like Matthew.
Before the movie even came out, I knew I wouldn't go see it.  The thought that kept going through my mind was this:

If my husband wanted to see a movie about female strippers I would be hurt and mad.

Simple as that!  He wouldn't do that and I wouldn't do that to him either.  Most of what I said about Fifty Shades applies here as well.  This movie is pretty much soft-core porn and I don't have to see it to know that much.

Last Hot Topic: Chick-fil-a
Adam Ford, a Christian Cartoonist, summed it up for me here:

I won't say how I feel about gay rights, etc. because I'm still torn on the topic.  I know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but I also know what the Bible says about loving each other.  It is too sensitive of a subject to make harsh judgments in writing without alienating people.  It is a topic I would rather address face-to-face in a loving way.
I do think that Chick-fil-a did a brave thing by standing up for what they believe.  I do agree with that.  We should all stand up for what we believe in, as I said before.  The Spirit of God is not timid!!!
I will continue to eat their tasty chicken simply because it is tasty chicken.  I have complete respect for their right to have beliefs other than what is politically correct.

Now that I've made everyone angry for either being too judgmental or too liberal, let me say this - 

Jesus died so that I may live.  I sin daily.  I struggle with temptation, but I want to do what is right.  I don't want anyone to feel judged by me, but to be able to answer to God for their own sins.  I want everyone to know the joy I feel now that I have TRULY given my life to Christ.  

John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
I love you all because Christ first loved me.


Scott & Lindsay said...

Mandee--thanks for your thoughts here. I know it doesn't matter if I agree with you because you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but I wanted to let you know that I agree with everything you said here. All the mommies going to see Magic Mike surprised me and made me wonder how I would feel if my husband went with a group of guys (as did some of my girlfriends) to see a movie about female strippers. Such a double standard here. If it's wrong for one, it should be wrong for the other. It seems women get to slide by easier with stuff like that. Ditto on 50 shades and the Chick-fil-A thing, too. One thing that really gets me lately is how if you don't agree 100% with everything the homosexual agenda is pushing in today's society, somehow you are a hater, a hatemonger and a bigot. And no one wants to be called those things. I am just so sick of the name-calling. Like you, I am torn in so many ways on this issue. We should always react with love first.

Carol Fights said...

I agree with most of what you say, Mandee. As a Christian, I too, have come to the decision that reading 50 Shades of Grey is not a good idea. On the gay marriage issue, here are my thoughts. I don't agree with the gay lifestyle or gay marriage but I will leave the judging part to God. But I don't think its a good thing at all for society that we have gay marriage, that's why if I had to vote, I would vote against it. I don't hate or dislike gays, I've had several gay friends at different jobs I've been in. I like them like I would anybody else. But what gay marriage does is start a slippery slope that as a society would be detrimental. My question is this, if I felt that gays should marry out of the "equal rights" or "its not fair to them", why not all people in alternative lifestyles? Polygamists, marrying brother and sister, etc. They're people too so shouldn't they then have the same rights. I truly believe if we go down the gay marriage path, it is the beginning of the end for the civilization known as the U.S.A.

brianticsblog said...

Great job tackling these sensitive subjects. Not too preachy at all! Loved it!