July 14, 2012 by Stacy McDonald

No Shades of Grey: A Black and White Seduction of the Mind

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beddreamstimeSexual sin hurts. It mangles and poisons. It attacks the potential beauty and closeness of one of God’s most mysterious gifts: The one flesh relationship of sexual intimacy. In addition to defrauding our neighbor, when we engage in fornication or adultery we are in a real way self-destructing (Rom. 1:24-27).

While most Christians understand the health risks of extra-marital sex, and many will even acknowledge the emotional and spiritual damage such relationships have on people, it is likely that few understand how much deeper the damage goes. Studies now show that physical damage to the brain may be an additional consequence of sexual sin.

The Gift of Bonding

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” (1 Corinthians 6:16)

God has given us a fascinating neuro-peptide hormone called oxytocin that is released into our system during physical intimacy—a hormone that causes us to bond either to our spouse or to that “friend with (deadly) benefits.”

Interestingly, oxytocin is the same chemical that is released into our system during breast feeding—an important hormone that God designed to help us mothers form a strong bond/attachment to our babies.

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

This warning may include venereal disease and other negative consequences of promiscuity; but, it may also refer to the physiological damage sexual sin does to our brains – a result of breaking God’s law. By the way, sadly, sometimes a husband or wife innocently suffers the physical consequences of their spouse’s infidelity. Still, the fact remains that it is because of someone’s promiscuity, even if one spouse is innocent.

Within the realm of marriage, the power of oxytocin is an awesome gift that promotes affection, excitement, and trust; it’s one aspect of the “glue” that God uses to bring two people together as “one flesh.” And within the mother-child relationship it creates a strong, foundational bond that is very difficult to recover if forfeited, neglected, or lost.

Pastor Mark Gungor in his article, The Danger of Sexual Promiscuity, points out:

As for the physiological damage, science shows us that when a woman has sex with a man, a chemical called oxytocin is released into her system… It seems to act as a human superglue and helps a woman bond with her infant. This chemical also helps a woman bond with her lover during sex.

This neuro-physiological bonding is a wonderful example of a good and holy gift from God that, when used sinfully, has negative consequences. Our bodies, including our brains, are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves us and created our relationships for His glory. He designed us to enjoy one another His way.

The Mind Altering Nature of Sexual Sin

But, it’s not just sexual sin in the physical realm that affects our brains. Scientists are just beginning to discover how pornography, and even video games, physically alter the brain. William M. Struthers of Wheaton College describes how pornography affects the minds of men in a way that is similar to a drug.

Men seem to be wired in such a way that pornography hijacks the proper functioning of their brains and has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives.

Pornography “acts as a polydrug,” Struthers explains. As Dr. Patrick Carnes asserts, pornography is “a pathological relationship with a mood-altering experience.” Boredom and curiosity lead many boys and men into experiences that become more like drug addiction than is often admitted.

Salvo magazine has a fascinating article that discusses the way pornography causes the brain to release chemicals into our system that cause a very real addictive result similar to drug addiction: Pornography Drugs and Changes Your Brain (this is a must-read). The article again confirms the important role oxytocin plays in bonding, and why it’s so dangerous outside of its God-given purpose:

Studies show that oxytocin is also important in increasing trust in humans, in emotional bonding between sexual mates, and in parental bonding. We are wired to bond to the object of our sexuality.

It is a good thing when this bonding occurs in a committed marriage relationship, but there is a dark side. When sexual gratification occurs in the context of pornography use, it can result in the formation of a virtual mistress of sorts. (emphasis mine)

In other words, the pornography user “bonds” in a sense with his use of pornography—rather than a real life person. There is a perverse attachment/bond to something that doesn’t exist—pornography becomes a cruel and unattainable false god. That’s why porn addicts will often lose interest in real life sexual relations, or they will suffer impotence, the inability to physically perform at all. In the Salvo article above, sex therapist, Dr. Victor Cline affirms this point:

“Porn impotence,” where the man experiences sexuality preferentially with porn instead of a woman, is a real and growing phenomenon.

Dr. Cline, in his essay, “Pornography’s Effects on Adult and Child,” describes the degenerative nature of pornography:

A frequent side effect is that it [pornography] also dramatically reduces their capacity to love (e.g., it results in a marked dissociation of sex from friendship, affection, caring, and other normal healthy emotions and traits which help marital relationships). Their sexual side becomes in a sense dehumanized.

Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and a release from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is addiction, and an eventual decrease in pleasure.

Of course, it’s important to remember that it is our sin that affects our brain, not the other way around. We can’t blame it on the brain.

Erotic Fiction: Mind Porn for Women

Statistics show that while only 28% of porn users are women, women are twice as likely to visit porn chat rooms as are men. This makes perfect sense when we consider that women tend to be more responsive to verbal and relational stimulation than men. And, consistent with a woman’s tendency to want real-life relationships and intimacy, according to Top Ten Reviews, “women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.”

This is particularly disturbing in light of all the hype over 50 Shades of Grey, a wildly popular piece of erotic fiction by British author E.L. James that has rightly been labeled by the media “Mommy Porn.” But, amazingly, even some Christian women are devouring this book and raving about it on Facebook and on their blogs!

Jesus points out in Matthew 5:28 that sin begins in the heart; and the battle against sin is first waged in the mind. That’s why pornography is sinful, even without any physical, sexual contact. But, I have news for you, ladies; literary erotica is the same thing. And it likely affects the mind and emotions in the same way pornography does.

On her blog, Dannah Gresh warns women about the lasting effects of reading erotica:

Biopsychologists and others are studying the effects of lust, pornography, and erotica on the brain and the body. They are finding that the Bible was, in fact, right. Over time, your body becomes conditioned to self-stimulation and gratification. It’s not just a preference. It’s physiological. The lust cuts a literal pathway in your brain tissue that’s kinda like a rut. A rut you better be prepared to get stuck in.

While at first a little bit of erotica might give you a taste for your spouse, over time that rut reminds you how great you are at self-stimulation and how powerful your imagination can be. You’ll become less interested in real sex with your husband. (Both SELF magazine and The New Yorker ran articles on this phenomenon in recent years. They both suggested that if you want to have a great sex life, you better push pause on porn!)

According to Jesus, fantasizing in your mind about someone other than your spouse or indulging in even literary sexual voyeurism is sin. Because sin is ultimately a heart issue, we can’t ingest titillating images or stories about the sex lives of other people without participating (at least in our minds) in their sin.

This includes magazines, books, websites, movies, television, or whatever “provision for the flesh” we dream up (Romans 13:4). A woman reading erotic fiction is sinning in the same way a man is when he views pornography.

If we read a frightening book, we get scared. Our blood pressure may change, our breathing quickens, and we may experience many of the same feelings of fear that our main character feels. If we read a sad story, our stress level increases, we feel emotional pain or empathy, and we may even cry. If you’re like my daughter, you’ll sob uncontrollably! So, what do you think happens when we read erotica – a book that describes for us in steamy detail the sexual exploits of fornicators (Eph. 5:12)?

You may convince yourself that it doesn’t affect you. You may laugh and believe the lie of the world that says books like this spice up your marriage and cause you to appreciate how other people live. But do you trust your own heart?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind… (Jeremiah 17:9–10)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.  (Ephesians 5:3–7)

This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wickedness.” (Proverbs 30:20)

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:11–13)

If you’ve been filling your heart and mind with porneia, do the verses above make you a little nervous? If so, I encourage you to repent! Ask the Lord to forgive you and cleanse you of your sin! Ask Him to renew your mind!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Start now to focus on and fill your mind with whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, anything excellence, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8).

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:12–14)

Further Reading:

Sex and the Kiddies (Discusses what our sexually-charged culture is doing to the minds of our youth)

Stained Sheets: Licking Ashtrays (Contrasts the beauty of Covenant Marriage with its cheap imitation)



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29 Responses to “No Shades of Grey: A Black and White Seduction of the Mind”

  1. Denise says:

    In Laurie Hall’s book _An Affair of the Mind_, published by Focus on the Family, she recounts how God gave her a picture of her husband’s brain. You know how brains are bumpy and lumpy, right? In this vision, her husband’s brain was completely smooth except for ONE deep canyon down the middle. (He was a sexual addict who ended up embezzling from his company to fund his prostitution habit.) He literally had a “one-track mind.” At the end of the book he was struggling to walk the straight and narrow. But he’d literally damaged his mind so much that he could no longer hold the management-level jobs for which he had once been qualified. He was reduced to a factory worker on an assembly line, counting twelve bottles in a box. That was as much intelligence as he had left after scarring his mind with innumerable repetitions of sexual thoughts.

    Don’t go there. And don’t start the journey.

  2. Tami @ ThisMomsDelight.com says:

    I’ve heard about 50 Shades of Gray in the media, but never paid attention to what to what it is. Thanks for the information.

  3. Randi says:

    I was wondering yesterday what you were talking about. Thanks for the heads up. I haven’ t heard of the book. Women and men need to guard their hearts.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Why in the world would women be more likely to have multiple partners?

  5. Julieanne says:

    While I didn’t know about the literal “rut” that forms in a person’s brain after being involved in sexual sin over a period of time, I’ve been saying for years that we, as Christians, should not be reading anything that is sexually stimulating.

    It’s amazing how many Christian women don’t agree with me. They think they can read erotica and be unchanged by it. Only if their hearts are so hardened to the Holy Spirit can they not realize the evil they are participating in.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Stacy McDonald says:

    Not sure, Jennifer. It’s just a statistic.

  7. lindsey says:

    Thank you so much for the work that you put into this post. It is so fascinating to learn that this physically effects and damages the brain. For people who claim we have no souls and it doesn’t matter what we do in our minds, this new research is bad news.Thanks again this was very insightful and also terribly sad to read.

  8. Sarah says:

    This was an interesting article. Thank you for sharing. I hope Christians will take note and choose to walk in righteousness. I know from first hand experience that the books you read can poison your mind. As a teenager I devoured (and was encouraged to by ‘christians’) very sensual, romantic books. This may be the first or second time I have heard mention of the “pornography of the mind” but it is true. However, I am thankful to say the power of Christ can free you from this sin! The Lord has been gracious to wash away my filthyness and cleanse me from all unrighteousness that comes with this poison. Repent and be changed – it has been a change in my life and reading habits that I never regret. <3

  9. Elena Rulli says:

    Dear Stacy,
    it’s been a long time since my last comment here, but I’ve always followed your blog with interest.
    If I may add some other reasons to the list of why people (and young women in particular) should not read “50 shades of gray” I would say that it is poorly written, its characters are ridiculously shallow and its s*x scenes are more comical than er*tic and they often make the reader cringe in disgust and puzzlement. The worst thing is, though, that it presents one of the best role models for women that I have ever encountered in my life as a reader. The main character accepts every condition imposed by the “dominant”, who, in turn, is just some whimsical, damaged and ridiculously rich young man. I mean, seriously? Do we women really need another frail, immature and insecure heroine to look up to? Yeah, I don’t think so either.
    P.S. I admit to having read up to half of the first book, before deleting it from my kindle and refusing to engage in more rubbish.

  10. Tammy says:

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post here. I recently spoke to a cousin of mine who had read the book and talked about how much it helped in her marriage. I had actually checked at my library but it was out so I wasn’t able to get the book. I’m so glad that God put that obstacle in my path. I personally understand the “rut” that is formed in the brain and am seeking God’s help on a daily basis to pave it over with truth and righteousness. It’s a daily battle, but one worth fighting. Praising God today for your encouragement and the truth you were called to share. Blessings to you!!

  11. Amanda Baggett says:

    Thank you….. For taking a stand against Evil…Don’t ever back down Stand for Truth!

  12. Andrea says:

    Thanks for your article. Now I won’t have to (thankfully) review this myself. So sad that this is “mainstream”. I have said for years that this type of stuff makes ruts in the brain that only the Lord can smooth out. Looks like I was actually scientifically right!
    Here is another review covering the book. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/books/when-sex-goes-grey

  13. This article is an excellent summary of the subject and how pornography and sexual infidelity effect the brain. Two further resources on this topic that you might find useful are:

    1) the chapter on pornography in Norman Doidge’s book The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. He goes into fascinating detail about the science of the brain and what actually occurs when people view pornography, especially internet pornography. It confirms the Biblical conclusions presented in Stacy’s excellent article. (See http://www.amazon.com/The-Brain-That-Changes-Itself/dp/0143113100/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342461638&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Brain+that+Changes+itself?tag=robsrearef-20)

    2) Another Salvo article, titled ‘Sex & the Kiddies The Sexualization of Children & How Advertising & Entertainment Change Their Brains’ http://salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo19/sex-and-the-kiddies-how-advertising-and-enertainment-change-their-brains.php

  14. Bill G. says:

    I hope you do not mind a 60+ year-old man making comments on your forum. First of all, let me congratulate you on talking about a subject that is so misunderstood by society. Not by the purveyors, but by the consumers. The porn industry is all about money, lots of it. The purveyors know that people are being hurt and addicted and that is what they want.

    Porn addiction is stronger than, say, addiction to cocaine. With a drug you ingest, you can detox. When men observe porn, they are aroused by the visual image and drugs are released in the brain that literally store the image almost forever. It is kind of like storing a file on a hard drive, except that it is not easily erased, if ever. Other drugs are released into the body through other acts that are often associated with viewing porn, and these drugs give a sense of euphoria, similar to those from actual intercourse.

    To maybe shed a little light on the effect of multiple partners, I heard a story about duct tape (you know, the stuff that holds the world together). When a newly married couple engage in the marital embrace, it is like they have had a piece of duct tape stuck to their bodies. That first application of the tape sticks very tightly. That is like the bond that God intended for a married couple to experience. If one of the couple has an extramarital affair, the tape is pulled off of them both. When the tape comes off, it takes hair, skin, and feelings(pain) with it. Substitute emotions, trust, love, etc. in the things that come off. If the couple reconciles, the bond may still be there, but, it is much weaker, because the tape is carrying leftover “stuff” from the first time. The same is true with singles as well. The more often they have relations with different people the weaker the bond gets for anyone.

    I believe that God created us in different fashions for a reason. What I am about to say does not necessarily apply in all cases, but, I do think it applies in most. God created men’s minds to be more logical, to help protect and provide for the family. Women’s minds are more emotional, to love and nurture her family. They are both complimentary to each other and necessary for a stable environment and society. Sometimes the roles are reversed, but that is another topic.

    That being said I believe that women are more seriously affected by the bond-breaking than men. The chemical reactions relating to bonding, especially in the woman, are very strong, and she takes a part of every man she has been with, with her. If the bonds are damaged, then certainly she is hurt, but, there is also the emotional need to try to re-establish a bond. Romance novels, especially some that are erotic, act in a similar fashion to the visual stimulation to men, with women because of the emotional issues. They are women’s versions of pornography.

    I think that one of the reasons for the rise of the “feminist movement” is due to a lot of women reaching a breaking point of the bond-break-bond-break situation. Don’t get me wrong; I firmly believe in equal rights, pay, etc. for men and women of all ethnic backgrounds. I also believe that the feminist movement has done more to damage true femininity than just about anything else. Maybe this will shed a little light to Jennifer’s earlier question.

    For those that don’t think porn is a serious problem, do a little in- depth research. You will be shocked.

    I hope I have not taken up to much bandwidth, but, hopefully this may help someone. Thank you

  15. I have not heard of this book but I thank you for the warning and for your entire post. :)


  16. Jennifer says:

    Your post is a good reminder, Bill. The affects of porn are worse than many know; I’ve never been addicted, but because of Satan’s perversions, I recently realized that I held the female body, partly, in contempt. I didn’t even realize it at first, but I found the ugly root recently, and realized that I actually looked at part of God’s creation with contempt. It began as an irritation, but today when I had a backlash of this horrible feeling, I began despairing and it feels like I’ve been climbing terribly wounded out of a tunnel ever since; it never feels worse than when you’ve already began healing. Please pray for me, guys.

    Thank you.

  17. Stacy McDonald says:

    Excellent, excellent points, Bill! Thank you!

  18. Norm Donnan says:

    Hi Stacy,Ive been following friendly atheist website for about a year now and found it a great place where atheists and people searching discuss issues that are usually anti christian.So as a christian i would be able to speak out when people were mis informed or plain lying.Last month they blocked me,why i dont know because they pride themselves on being freethinkers and asking questions,as long as you agree with them apparently,the point is i wanted to say how happy i was to see someone with your ability with words is also following the site to not let the devil have it all his way,so please continue to do so.I know life is busy but please speak out .There is a lot of atheist sites all with blogs with people talking about God,so if you have time check them out and encourage others to do so as well.Hope you have a great day.

  19. Norm Donnan says:

    Oh by the way,your artical above is excellent.Thanks for the info on the effects of porn on the mind.

  20. Stacy McDonald says:

    Why BDSM is Morally Wrong

    I’d like to first assert what should be an obvious point: In addition to practicing what I will prove is a perverse sexual relationship, many who are in the BDSM crowd are also committing fornication, adultery, and sodomy (homosexual relations). So, I’ll start with just a few Scriptures that condemn these practices.

    Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not condemning aggressive love making within a healthy, covenant marriage—one that is based on commitment and trust. Intimacy within marriage can and should be passionate, playful, and at times intense. What is disturbing within the BDSM crowd is the troubling focus on bondage for the purpose of humiliation, pain, and perversion.

    Regardless of whether or not this type of relationship is “consensual,” I believe it is damaging to all parties, as well as to the marriage bed in general, as marriage is to be honorable among all (Hebrews 13:4). In addition, I believe it is dangerous to present a concept of sexuality that promotes the abuse of women (whether or not it is just “acting out”).
    If we are taught that it is shameful to even speak of sexual sin (Eph. 5:12), then why would we want to act it out (rape, torture, sodomy etc.).

    For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man…” (Matthew 15:19–20)

    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting… (Romans 1:26–28)

    For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:4–7)

    Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:18–19)

    Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience… (Colossians 3:5–6)

    You should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God… (1 Thessalonians 4:3–5)

    Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

    Bondage: Slavery or involuntary servitude. The state of being bound by or subjected to another person or group. To be physically restrained, as by being tied up, chained, or put in handcuffs.

    Bondage is exactly what Jesus came to set us free from – bondage from sin, of course; but, the implications run further: “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

    Then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deuteronomy 6:12) NKJV

    I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. (Hosea 11:4)

    “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18)

    Loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” (Isaiah 52:2–3)

    But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22–23) ESV

    You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32) ESV

    Dominance: The disposition of an individual to assert control in dealing with others.

    Since we are called to deny ourselves and follow Christ, putting others first and dying to self, dominance and control over others for our own personal gain is antithesis to the Bible.

    In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts… (2 Timothy 3:1–6)

    Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteous be delivered? (Isaiah 49:24)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22–25)

    Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel [physically]… (1 Peter 3:7)

    Sadism is the derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain or watching pain inflicted on others.

    This goes without saying. Taking personal pleasure in humiliating and inflicting pain on others is just plain evil.

    Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:10)

    For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

    Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her… (Ephesians 5:25) (Christ does not use and abuse His Church, the Bride of Christ.)

    Masochism is the condition in which sexual gratification depends on suffering physical pain or humiliation.

    I have found that when a person has been damaged (especially during childhood) self-inflicted (or invited) pain is preferable to pain outside your control. This could be in the form of BDSM, abusive romantic relationships, self-destructive life choices, drug & alcohol abuse, and the list goes on.

    Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

    All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

    Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:1)

  21. Stacy McDonald says:

    Thank you, Norm. :-) Speaking the Truth in love is the goal. It is God who changes hearts. We can only be faithful to the Truth.

  22. Allegra says:

    Thank you Stacy for this post! I have many women Christian friends that I have tried to explain this to as they read their “romance” novels. It is seduction of the heart and does nothing but harm to their marriage.

  23. Kelly says:

    I am getting married in October. I was divorced after 21 years of marriage to an unbeliever who committed adultery and subsequent abandonment. I met a born-again godly man at church who is also divorced from an adulterer. Both my fiance’ and I had wordly lives before coming to Christ. The most precious gift he as given me is a REFUSAL to touch me before our wedding. He is 50 years old and I am 45. Not easy. What he said to me I will never forget. When he asked me to marry him he told me he had made a lot of sinful mistakes in the past sexually and there was no way he would ruin the sweet gift of purity he wanted to have with me. So I think it is true that a godly man wants a pure gift and not some smutty porn girl or an “experienced” goddess. A true man of God won’t lower himself to that.

  24. Jennifer says:

    God bless your man, Kelly :) What worries is what so many modern women seem to want.

  25. Linda says:

    Several of my friends have been taken in by these books and urged me to read them. I took a quick look through the first. I can’t imagine that women could be okay with this kind of behavior between a woman and a man. Not only be okay with it, but avidly read every word of it! Just sad…and horrors to think that this junk could be made into a movie. If anyone is wondering about their reading material, run it through the filter of Philippians 4:8. You can’t go wrong there.

  26. I wrote something similar to this on my blog and the attacks I received from women in my own church were surprising. I was accused to impropriety and one woman said that I was being judgmental of her and her marriage because I posted a link about the book being porn. It is a sad day when Christians are defending sin and a pastor (I’m a youth pastor) has to go on the defensive because he stands up to sin.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Those women are acting foolish, Jonathan, and are convicted of their sin. You were right; never let misjudging women shame or guilt you into silence.

  28. Andrea says:

    Sex outside God’s design hurts like a knife deep in the heart. I began as a young child growing up with sexual abuse. As a teenager, I thought I was worth nothing, and went with any male that gave me a kind word. I tried to drown my pain with alcohol, and was drugged and gang raped in a bar. I thought sex was a weapon, a punishment, something to fear. I know now that it is only that when it is outside God’s design. This fascination with dominance, the dark and forbidden, is playing with fire. There is nothing good in that type of intimacy. What I have now with my husband is what God intended- a loving and safe intimacy shared between a husband and wife. Nothing that any author or website can come up with will provide that. I know the horror of sexual sins, and there should be no glorification of it.

  29. Jennifer says:

    I’m so sorry Andrea :( Praise God for your recovery and thanks for the reminder that He can heal anything.

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