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
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
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!