Christians Concerned as Focus on the Family Watches, Reviews Porn Film ’50 Shades of Grey’

No Film Credit hisksChristians across the country are expressing concern as Focus on the Family’s “Plugged In” movie staff has released its review of the pornographic film “Fifty Shades of Grey”—especially that a critic at the professing Christian ministry watched the porn just to tell other Christians that they shouldn’t watch it.

Plugged In said that it received an email from a follower who asked them not to review the film, and thus penned an blog post about the matter to explain its decision to watch and critique the material.

“Fifty Shades of Grey is, without question, one of the most ‘popular’ elements of popular entertainment right now—a movie at the center of conversation in countless break rooms and living rooms and even churches across the country,” wrote staff film critic Paul Asay. “[T]he culture, including Christian culture, is deeply curious about Fifty Shades—not necessarily a prurient interest, but a deep-seated desire to understand why this book and now movie, which would seem to cater to a small subset, has become such a phenomenon.”

He said that he views himself as being a “watchman on the wall” in regard to Hollywood releases, and that is why he decided to go to a showing of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and write a subsequent review.

“[M]y prayer is that I can craft something that, while not necessarily revolutionary, will help all of us, myself included, think through the issues that swirl around the film,” Asay said. “I feel a sense of purpose here in that—a calling, if you will.”

But some state that Asay’s justification is faulty, as Christians shouldn’t be viewing porn just to tell others not to watch it.

“Should Christians visit porn sites so they can examine the content in order to warn others about the dangers of pornography?” wrote evangelist Shane Dodson in a blog post about the matter. “The Scriptures warn us to ‘flee from sexual immorality,’ not run toward it in the name of evangelism. Even the lost knows that this material is trashy, why is it that a supposed mature Christian ministry hasn’t quite figured it out?”

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“It is a sad state for evangelical film criticism that watching pornography is viewed as ‘important work, anointed by God as part of the Great Commission,’” he added.

Truth in Action Ministries, founded by the late author and preacher D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and Knox Theological Seminary, also wrote on Focus on the Family’s Twitter page in objection to its decision.

“You don’t have to watch it to know how it can burn you. Proverbs 6:27,” they wrote.

Others left comments as well.

“Unbiblical reasoning,” wrote wife and mother Lisa Metzger. “It simply makes you a ‘purely journalistic porn-watcher and missionary adulterer.'”

Blogger Hannah Grace made similar comments, stating that it should be obvious to Christians that the film should be avoided.

“Why is the Christian populous even thinking about it? Why do they even know what ’50 Shades of Grey’ is? Why do Christian leaders even have to tell us not to watch it—shouldn’t it be obvious?” she asked.

“Plugged In—in their unfortunate choice to bring pornographic films into their scope of film criticism—have committed the error of conflating porn as art. I hope and pray that those in control of such things repent of their blasphemy and of causing brothers and sisters to stumble,” Dodson said. “The Lord Jesus Christ warned of a horrible fate for those who would cause a believer to stumble (Mark 9:42). Focus on the Family should heed that warning, because there is more than just their credibility on the line here.”

Photo: Krzysztof Szkurlatowski


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