At first glance, you might assume that a giant billboard erected in Henrico County, Virginia, is an advertisement for the new erotic film "Fifty Shades of Grey," but upon closer examination you'll see that it's actually quite the opposite.
The giant placard announces a Virginia pastor's pointed response to the popularity of the movie and the culmination of an idea that he said God recently "dropped" in his head: a sermon series that tackles sexual ethics.
Pastor Rick McDaniel of Richmond Community Church in Glen Allen, Virginia, told the Christian Post that he's planning to tackle gay marriage, pornography, divorce, cohabitation and adultery in a preaching series he's dubbing "Five Shades of Grey."
McDaniel, who began his sex-themed sermons on Sunday, said that he felt God had given him the idea to respond to the mass chatter about the film with a series of bible-based messages.
And didn't take long for him to come up with the relevant subjects to tackle from the pulpit, though there's one in particular that he told the Christian Post he thinks will be especially difficult to speak on.
"I think the hardest one in some ways will be the one on cohabitation, although I think that many people would probably think the hardest one would be gay marriage," McDaniel said.
The pastor, who told WTVR-TV that he believes the main characters in the erotic "Fifty Shades of Grey" involve themselves in things that would not "please God," also explained why he believes some tend to avoid talking about sex publicly.
"To talk about sex publicly is not an easy thing to do," he said. "It's just a fine line to talk about these things and so probably that shies people away from doing it."
The preacher said that he's hoping he can get people talking in a "cultural conversation" that he believes is essential. In addition to impacting his own church, McDaniel wants to help the broader community focus in on "morality and sexuality."
"I want them to have a positive view of sexuality, but I want them to understand the dangers that are out there," he told WTVR-TV.
His sermons, which started February 15 and will continue through March 15, are titled, in order, "Affair Proof Your Marriage," "Till Death Do Us Part," "Poison Of Porn," "Cohabitation Station" and "A Moral Impossibility."
(H/T: Christian Post)