September 30, 2014

50 Shades of Grey Areas in the Church

Editor’s note: The following is a brief discussion presented by Chelsen Vicari at Family Research Council’s Values Voter’s Summit 2014 during the “Sexuality in the Hook-Up Culture” breakout session.


Like most Millennials, I understand first-hand what it’s like to live under the weight and pressure of today’s Hook-Up Culture.

I know what it’s like to be called old-fashioned, because I believe that sex is only meant for marriage between one man and one woman.

I also understand how heartbreaking it feels to be dumped by that boyfriend, because you wouldn’t go far enough. And I know the immense feelings of shame because I went too far.

(Side note: whatever your story is, know that it is welcome here too. Because in the Almighty’s story there is forgiveness, healing, transformation and sanctification. In His story, there is no such thing as damaged goods.)

I believed it, for a time, when our pop culture told us “virginity” is a way that our so-called patriarchal society oppresses women. This reason, I’m told, that feminism must prevail.

Then I watch the hardcore-porn novel “50 Shades of Grey,” whose themes glamorize the enslavement, sexual violence and female inequality of a young woman contracted by her old, white businessman, break sales records worldwide. However, feminist did not cry out. Instead they’ve championed it. Newly declared feminist Beyoncé’s music will underlay the 50 Shades of Grey movie soundtrack next year.

Cue the Double Standards. This piece of pop culture with its glaring objectification of women goes absolutely viral, yet virginity is a new dirty word.

This is our hook-up culture. Sexually immoral and oppressive entertainment that we as a culture aren’t shocked to find in the hands of soccer moms at our nail salons, laundry mats and bus stops. Add to that, sadly, we’re no longer shocked to find the hook-up culture in the Church either.

If you haven’t noticed, sex has morphed into a “grey area” in our chapels.

I’ll never forget hearing about sex as a “grey area” while a sophomore in college, and I had just got involved in this Christian campus ministry. Little did I know that the Evangelical Left was alive and well in this ministry, but that’s a discussion for another day.

While sitting in a girl’s small group, a professing follower of Christ told us that she was going to have sex with her boyfriend because she believed premarital sex was one of those “grey areas” not outlined in Scripture. To her, the Gospel was a gist to attain salvation, not a guideline for moral, Christian living. She believed that she and her boyfriend were not doing anything unbiblical and, most of all, she did not want to hear our opinions on the matter.

I can see now that she was wanting, hoping for affirmation. She wanted us to accommodate something, which she knew— tugged by the Holy Spirit’s conviction— that was sinful and ultimately harmful for herself, her relationship with her boyfriend and her relationship with God.

Maybe you’ve come into contact with what I’m talking about? Maybe you’ve noticed the growing bitterness towards what some so-called Christians have dubbed the “purity culture” in our churches?

This was evidenced by a few blogs I’ve read lately. But sadly, one stood out the most. It was titled “Rethinking Sex…” In it the author, a young man fresh out of college wrote “As I have studied the bible and theology, I have come to the conclusion that sex and sexuality is nowhere near as ‘sacred’ as conservative Christians make it out to be.”

Of course, so-called progressives in the Church don’t just see premarital sex as the only “grey areas.” You should also note that the author of this blog is also the spokesman for the new group, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Included is certainly homosexuality, one of the most hostile debates of our time, as well as pornography, masturbation and all acts treading around the periphery of sexual intercourse are new “grey areas.”

But let me remind us all, that preserving sex for marriage is not something “conservative Christians” invented to be strict, oppressive to women, or used to point fingers and embarrass those, like me, who have crossed boundaries in the past. Sexuality in marriage between a man and a woman is something God Himself invented.

The bottom line: whether we like it or not, as single Christians living in a Hook-Up culture, we must acknowledge and obey God’s commandments regarding sexuality. Because the Almighty’s moral codes were never intended to bow to the suppositions of our Hook-Up culture.

Here’s my challenge to you: the hook-up culture will continue to make inroads into the Christian community unless we stand up against it. To do that, you’ve got to know enough about what Scripture really says about sexuality to defend your faith. And friends, there are no grey areas on this matter. It’s black and white.

To get you started, I’ve listed just some of the verses in Scripture that clearly outline sexual morality. Study them, memorize them, obey them, and then defend them.

Friends, sexuality in the Hook-Up culture, as well as sexuality in the Christian culture, is a culture war all it’s on. Get equipped.



1 Corinthians 7:2; Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 13:4; 2 Corinthians 12:21


13 Responses to 50 Shades of Grey Areas in the Church

  1. the_enemy_hates_clarity says:

    Thank you for this. I have older teens. They know Christ, and they know Scripture, but they also face pressure. We will use this in family devotions. They will roll their eyes. But they will remember.

    In Christ,

    The enemy hates clarity

  2. Communism is behind much of the moral ambiguity in Amerika today !

    • Claus von Stauffenberg says:

      TO: JohnnyAngel & the_enemy_hates_clarity

      You make a strong point for more consideration by the American public !

      Stunningly, our nation is morally declining perceptively all on it’s own, but I also believe that the influence of Communist – Socialist – Marxist – Progressive ideologies have greased the slide.

      Just a small sampling of what we are still faced with:

      I am one of those who contend that the influences of Cultural Communism isn’t dead, it’s just been renamed the “political correctness movement”.

      After all of the dreams and anticipations of the early pioneers began to evaporate with hardships, losses, and disappointments,

      all they had left was their Christian religion and their traditional values and mores, including an instinctive prejudice favoring strong families — all viciously hated by Cultural Communists. If it were not for these virtues, they would have dissolved into the eastern landscape.

      If a man from America of the 1950s were suddenly introduced into America in the 1990s, he would hardly recognize it as

      the same country. This is not by accident. Every step in the decline of Western culture has been planned for years. It started in Germany in the early years of this century. Germany was the original target of the communists. When Hitler took over, they

      came here.

      Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian psychoanalyst, one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry, and author of “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” (1933) where he essentially stated: “We, as communists, used to debate people about the existence of God and after a while, I came to a conclusion that this was a waste of time. You aren’t going to debate people away from the existence of God. But what we found was that if you get people involved in deviant sexual behavior, the whole idea of God just disappears automatically.” Reich was very interested in sex education for young people, not only because of his own compulsions, but because he understood the political implications of it.

      So we have here the strategy for the Communist cultural revolution, and it involves deviant sexual behavior: sex outside of marriage along with perverted lifestyles. That was Reich’s profound insight and that was the insight that got implemented in the United States during this period of cultural revolution of the 1960s.

      • MarcoPolo says:

        I think your conclusion over sexual deviant behavior is misdirected.
        Surely every political faction has it’s deviant inclinations (even Christian), but to intone that the Sexual Revolution owes it’s beginnings to Communism, is an over simplification.
        I know how celebrated the times were in the late Sixties to see some of the societal constrictions of the Victorian era finally put behind us, but some of us just wanted to live in a Commune…we weren’t Communists by party affiliation, just loving people trying to break the stranglehold that puritanical elites insisted upon maintaining.

  3. MarcoPolo says:

    Ms. Vicari defends a moral standard that fits her religion, and for that, I honor and admire her.
    I read somewhere in the Bible about “spilling one’s seed” (sorry for the poor paraphrasing), but I seriously wonder if masturbation is really frowned upon as much as is sexual intercourse for the unmarried Christian?
    And I presume that JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group is just being comical in his reference to Communism? LOL!

    • marmichaelabportus says:

      The spilling of ones seed, was not so much against masturbation (which the church traditional forbids), but a case of obeying God. When a woman’s husband died, without her having children, she was to become the wife of his brother, so she could have children to take care of her. Onan refused to do this, knowing that the first child would not technically be his, so he spilled his seed on the ground, and God punished him for it.

      This law does not apply to Christians of course.

      • MarcoPolo says:

        Thank you marmichaelabportus, for the clarification.
        If Onan refused to marry her, was it because he couldn’t be certain that she was not already pregnant with his brother’s child?
        I trust that I might glean the answer if I read that passage…so, please advise where to find it?

  4. Tina Bentley says:

    wow what a powerful message, thank you for sharing this, I am going to pass it along. God bless you

  5. marmichaelabportus says:

    Genesis 38

  6. JBubs says:

    “…whatever your story is, know that it is welcome here too.” Every young person needs to be assured by one’s adult mentor that her particular story had already been the story of some else. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:4-11.

  7. Gary Butner says:

    “Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen, from the grave.” John Chsostom

  8. Amy K says:

    I’ve always been anti 50 shades for many reasons but what troubled me
    was that – no matter how difficult, no matter how out of our comfort
    zone it is – I somehow realised that the Christian response to it
    couldn’t be to just ignore it or simply dismiss it as porn.
    I think
    Jesus would have gone head to head with it – as He had that knack of
    doing in all difficult situations – and engage with it on some level
    that glorified God’s love over the ‘love’ portrayed in the series. I had
    no idea how to do this though and I like that Christian blogs and
    writers have tried to do so. The problem was always that – non believers
    – had no interest in this standpoint and I didn’t have the skill to get
    over that wall.
    I tweeted a lot about my opposition to it and
    someone sent me a link to a Christian fiction response that takes the
    original format of the book and then ‘mirrors’ it with a story about
    God’s love taking in concepts like ‘doulos’ and salvation along the way.
    given it to some friends – the same ones that had no interest in
    Christian blog posts – and they’ve really been engaged and informed by
    it and have gone on to engage in real talks about faith underpinned by
    it. One is (tentatively) attending church.
    For me that underpins that the key in the debate is – not to preach to one
    another about it – but to use it as a chance to outreach. If you find the debate difficult to engage in u may find it helpful.

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