Don't Boycott "50 Shades of Grey" [for Christians only]

Ok, the Christian community is up in arms over the 50 Shades of Grey book and movie and for good reason. It’s one thing for this sort of erotica to be tucked in the pages of a book and contained in the lines of text. It’s another thing to take it to the big screen. So what’s the big deal with this movie? Should Christians be so upset? Here are some of my thoughts...

50 Shades of Grey is NOT the problem.
I do believe this movie represents a tipping point in the new sexual revolution happening around us. For decades now the bounds of sexuality in our culture have been slowly and steadily expanding. It takes more to make us blush. What used to be a primetime sitcom on network TV is being replaced with intense dramas that push the limits of how much skin, sex and “heat” we will tolerate. Advertisers are no idiots. They know sex, or more accurately lust, sells and they have pushed it to the limit. Literally, everywhere we turn we see the bodies of men and especially women on display as objects used to capture our attention and reshape our views on romance and sex. For those of us who long for more modest, private and decent times, perhaps we have become the frog in the kettle realizing, maybe too late, that the water is boiling around us. 50 Shades of Grey is NOT the problem; it is a symptom, granted a rather overt symptom, but a symptom of a shifting culture in regard to sex.

The snowball is rolling down the hill.
So, here we are in a culture where traditional Christian values are becoming lost in our rear view. The snowball of sensuality, explicit sexuality as entertainment and the societal celebration of a “do what I feel, don’t judge me” approach to sexuality is barreling down the hill. As this snowball grows ever larger, there will be (and already are) casualties. The most damaging of which we have only scratched the surface, our kids. In a world where we dare not speak against someone’s sexual preference, we end up contributing to a culture that encourages sexual practices that are purely self-gratifying. God never meant sex to be selfishly consumed, but rather selflessly enjoyed. I am sickened by the thought that young adult or teenage girls are expected to be glorified erotic actresses playing the script of their sex hungry boyfriends. The seemingly “innocent” exposures to sexually charged media only generates a hunger for more, which undeniably fuels an evil industry of sex-trade and sexual slavery that drives the pornography industry. Just as damaging is the impact all this will have on marriages. As a marriage coach, I see far too many fragile marriages that cannot handle another hit of disappointment, disillusionment or distrust.

Don’t boycott 50 Shades of Grey.
After all this compelling talk about the dangers of sexually charged media, you might feel I’m off base cautioning against boycotting this movie. Hear me out. I certainly DON'T recommend anyone go see this movie. As Christians, I think it is best to opt-out of seeing this movie and reading the book and frankly a number of other sexually charged media out there. That being said, I don’t think protests, boycotts or picketing are the way we turn our culture around and restore a sense of decency and godly morality. The reality is, our world is looking for something worth watching. Hollywood, advertisers, the porn industry and network TV is simply filling a void in our culture for compelling romance. If we could see that the world around us is searching for something better, maybe we would give them something better. The Church should OWN romance!! We have access to the greatest LOVE. Let’s not forget that God wrote the original romance novel, Song of Solomon. God is NOT a prude and He’s not against SEX. He just happens to be FOR respect, love and honor within romance, marriage and sex! I wonder what would happen if we as Christ-followers would recommit ourselves to purity, romance and respectful, regular and enjoyable sex within marriage. 

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed be kept pure." By all means, let’s start following this truth in our own lives and marriages. And to our neighbors who will go see the movie, love them. Resist the urge to judge. From the perspective of we who understand complete fulfillment in Christ alone, we don’t judge, we understand that they have not experienced the truth of Psalm 34:8 "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Let’s give this world the kind of God-honoring romance, marriage and love worth buying tickets for!

Posted by Andy Savage at 20:12
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