Why Christians Should Not Read Smut

If you’re reading this, I’m already surprised. Why? Because most people will probably a) not read because they’re afraid I might get explicit because of the title, b) don’t want to be preached at, c) already think they know what I’m going to say and not read it anyway.

However, if you are reading this, thank you. This is something that I feel passionately about and more people need to be aware of how dangerous this type of literature is.

For sake of a better word and because I don’t want this blacklisted if you have filters, I’m going to use a word I coined some months ago: smut+trash=smash.

So, why shouldn’t we read smash literature?

The answer’s probably obvious, but it goes a lot deeper than “because it’s bad yada yada.”

There’s a lot of stuff labelled bad that people still read. (And I’m not getting into music or films; this is going to be long enough already.) And there’s stuff labelled bad that shouldn’t be labelled as such and there’s more stuff that’s not labelled bad that is bad. Now, because there’s a lot of things that make up “bad” literature as far as content goes, I’m only going to focus on one aspect: the infamous smash.

Smash is rather inescapable in today’s world of literature. A few hundred years ago, (yes, it was published) you had to be particular if you wanted to read it. Now, it’s almost inescapable. Even if you watch out for authors known to write it, it still shows up in the published world. I’ve read multiple books for school that had smash in them—some that were even Christian and had good Christian themes! And on websites like fanfiction.net (yes, people actually read fanfiction) and wattpad.com, it’s everywhere. You can’t escape it. Even books that seem fine that aren’t marked mature, halfway through the story it can just pop up out of nowhere.

My point is, smashy literature is kinda unavoidable. At some point, whether it’s an accident or not, you’re going to read it. And, whether this surprises you or not, a great many people actually want to read it.

Why?

Because it’s part of our sin nature. It’s the same reason that people enjoy the smash on television, whether it’s in movies or in popular television shows. And there is, of course, a sort of scale to how serious it is. It can be mild to—shall we say—extreme. In any case, no Christian if not any person should be reading it. Yes, as sinners we might enjoy it. But we shouldn’t. And here’s why.

As born-again children of God, we are to “abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; . . . For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 7) And in another place, “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” (1 Peter 2:11) It doesn’t have to be a physical act, as Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Whether it’s committing it ourselves, seeing it on a screen, or reading it in a book, it’s still a sin. And whether it’s noticeable or not, it pollutes us just as much as we were doing it ourselves.

This isn’t even about your personal preferences. And I’m talking to writers as well. Just with our writing as with everything else, we are to glorify God. Writing smash that can be a stumbling block for so many people does not do that. It can be detrimental to peoples’ faith and can, in some instances, destroy their innocence.

Am I against sex?

No. When done within the bounds of marriage between a man and woman lawfully married to one another, it is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It was created by God as a way to procreate children and to love another person in a special way that you should not love anyone else. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Marriage is a beautiful thing and was designed by God. There is nothing wrong with it, when done within marriage between a man and wife.

But do I want to read it in a book?

Eh, not really. Not only can it be a stumbling block, but it’s not my business! It is private and to be shared only with a man and his wife. Not in a book for some reader to read and absorb or to be revealed on a screen. Especially when it’s adultery. Please. I have no interest or desire to read that.

Now, speaking to writers here, should any hint of it not be in literature?

Well, this is really for the individual to decide, but remember your writing should always glorify God.

Personally, I would say no in a general sense because it is a delicate matter. There are books (and I’ve done it myself) where I’ve hinted at, for instance, consummation of marriage, but it was innocent and done within the bounds of marriage and it was nothing explicit.

For example from one of my novels: (Back story, two characters that have loved one another are finally married in ancient Rome; being both Christiani, they could at any time be taken away and face execution, but they have returned from meeting with Aquila and Priscilla who married them both.)

‘But I do have one question for thee.’ There was something in his tone that struck me as quite mischievous. 

‘What might that be?’ I asked cautiously. 

‘Sleep with me tonight—and every night,’ he said ever so softly, his breath tickling my ear. 

My face grew hot, the tips of my ears burning, even though I longed for it as much as he did. ‘Lucius, thou needest not to ask me that. We are wedded now. I will be apart from thee no longer.’

‘Come then, the night grows old.’ With another kiss, he took my hand and together we left the atrium to the wet blackness of Aprilis night. 

And I’ve read similar things in other books that I highly recommend for other reasons.

My point is, you can hint at the beauty of marriage and intercourse without being explicit, disgustingly detailed, and sensuous. Such things are dishonoring because it is essentially word porn. Yes, I am not mincing words here. It is dishonoring to God because it is the same as watching or being a partaker in the act. Intercourse between a man and his wife is a beautiful thing, but it should not be explicitly laid out in literature because it is a private matter between them and no one else! And in any other instance, it is adultery and fornication—things which God both hates because it is sin. Marriage—and sex—is supposed to be between a husband and his wife and no one else, whether they are partakers or witnesses in any form.

As Christians, we should be uplifting clean, God-honoring literature. Books that have such explicit material are dishonoring to God and can be a serious stumbling block to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. And to the world, it is not a good witness.

Please:

  • Writers, honor God in your writing, and especially in this matter. If your writing is sensuous, and I mean this in the broadest of senses, make sure it holds against Scripture in honoring God. If you’re not sure, check with someone you trust who is a Christian, even if it’s your pastor or a mentor in Christ. And this is not just about intercourse, but even descriptions of someone’s body can be very harmful as a stumbling block. Don’t make things sensuous like this. You never know how it can harm someone. Always seek to glorify God.
  • Readers, be careful what you read. Always evaluate it against God’s Word. If it contradicts (and I’m not talking about theology here) what’s clearly laid out in Scripture, you probably shouldn’t be reading it. Especially if it’s detrimental to your faith and a stumbling block, whether to you or someone else.

I’ve said this many times throughout this post. But I’ll say it again.

Whatever you do, it needs to glorify God. (See 1 Corinthians 10:31.) This includes our writing and our reading. Always—ALWAYS—hold it against Scripture. There is no better guideline than the Word of God when it comes to the things we read.

 

I hope this post was helpful. It was a challenge to write, not only because it is a delicate topic, but because it’s something I feel passionately about and I think more people need to be aware of it. I hope it was helpful to you and please don’t hesitate to ask questions or state any concerns. I appreciate any feedback!

 

5 thoughts on “Why Christians Should Not Read Smut

  1. Awesome post! I was hoping you would get to some non-biblical reasons about why smash is bad in addition to the biblical reasons, but maybe leave that for another post for another time. 🙂 Still excellent!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi!
    This has helped me a lot, thanks for grounding me back with this post. It was a real blessing to me! You can’t imagine how grateful I am. This topic is not one freely written or spoken and I myself felt embarrased searching for help.

    I became obsessed with a particular ship and began reading fanfics last year, when I chose a work to read I usually took care of reading works without the ‘smash’ tag but sometimes it was inevitable.
    Sometimes I have read it because the author didn’t tag it and other times the plot was too good to skip the chapter that had those tags. Either way, after reading them I feel embarrased and my mind wanders for days on those contents.

    When I read it I find myself struggling between reading more or reading again that particular part, but something deep inside me tells me it is wrong, between the reading of it there is not peace in me, and I am glad you set a clear position based on what the bible says about this.

    I have been struggling with arguments about why should I stop or why is it bad, trying to find excuses or find gray areas for keep reading it. One time I even questioned the bible principles, just to be okay at reading!
    The more I read it, the harder it is to stop, and the more self indulgent I become to the ‘smash’. But being reminded of the biblical principles of our behaviour as Christians gives me strength to keep fighting and pursuing to glorify God even with what I read, hence with what I think.

    I’m sorry for the really long comment, I am really thankful and I think I’m going to take the verses in my memory.
    I am really grateful for your post, I’ll keep it with me, I can’t stop thanking you :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m very glad this was so helpful to you! I know it’s something I’ve struggled with a bit in the past and can be a difficult thing for so many people, even if it’s all to different extents. I’m really glad to hear that this has helped you, thank you for telling me!

      Like

  3. I can agree with all of this, but at the same time it leaves me puzzled. If this content is bad, then why does the Bible itself have some smutty, incestuous, adulterous content that we’re supposed to read cuz its in the Good Book? If we can’t read this content in general, should we skip everything to do with sexual sin in the Bible too?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s