I typically make a point of staying away from writing publicly about current issues. I don’t want to come across as trite or the usual hate blogger. With the movie coming out this weekend and the popularity and acceptance of “50 Shades of Grey” my heart has been broken. I’m too concerned for me not to weigh in on it’s dangers. I know my title seems extreme but let me elaborate on what I believe is the incredible appalling, insensitive, and dangerous nature of what E.L. James has created. If you have already read the book please try and read the following with an open heart and mind. Since I do not have the desire to read the book in it’s entirety I researched the reviews, interviewed others, and read the online cliff notes style description available. Here is what you and I must be warned:
1 – It Devalues Women
The content of this book centers on an abusive relationship between a rich domineering man and a young impressionable college girl. It’s not romantic. It’s not love. It’s not even sex. What scares me most is that millions of people are intrigued by “alternative” ways to sexually interact. There is nothing acceptable about the kind of behaviors that demean women or invite violence into love. Submission sex or BDSM isn’t a new thing, sadly it’s been around for a long time. But, it has always been seen by the mainstream as unacceptable and even illegal. “50 Shades of Grey” attempts to make what should be illegal not only acceptable but appear romantic.
It boggles my mind how popular this book has been. “Fifty Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists around the world, including those of the United Kingdom and the United States. The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into 52 languages, and set a record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time.” (Wikipedia, various sources)
Social Scientist Amy Bonomi published a study in which they concluded: “The study group also observed pervasive sexual violence within the CDC’s definition, including Christian’s use of alcohol to circumvent Ana’s ability to consent, and that Ana exhibits classic signs of an abused woman, including constant perceived threat, stressful managing, and altered identity.” (Bonomi AE, Altenburger LE, Walton NL; Altenburger; Walton (September 2013). “”Double crap!” abuse and harmed identity in Fifty Shades of Grey”. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 22 (9): 733–44)
Unlike a crime novel where the good vs. evil is clearly defined, “50 Shades of Grey” purposefully attempts to blur those lines. It spends no effort reprimanding the behavior of the main character Christian. Every day in our country thousands of women are trapped in abusive relationships. There is nothing acceptable, let alone romantic, about the abuse of women! When did this kind of evil become entertainment? Why will millions of people go to the theaters this weekend to watch such disgusting content?
2 – It Perverts Real LOVE.
The name of the main character, Christian, is the worst possible irony. There is nothing Christian about the character of this man. God forbid that any believer in Jesus Christ would allow any ounce of submissive/domineering sex to enter their marriage! Evil is masterful at being deceitful. It loves “grey areas”. It attempts to take something good and twist it just enough to tempt you to try it. It’s incredibly poor taste for Focus Features to release this movie on Valentines Day weekend. There is no possible way that this movie portrays real love or romance. But evil wants to package it’s destruction with a pink ribbon and a promise of enjoyment. I fear for anyone who could watch this movie and say they enjoyed it.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthian 13:4-7)
REAL love does not dishonor others or delight in even the hint of evil! It protects those it loves not pressure them, gets them drunk, and physically harm them. There are millions of youth in our world that are trying to figure out what love is. They will be sold the lie that a pure love of kindness and gentleness is archaic and boring. The sinful excitement of erotic experimentation will lead them down a path of destruction. Even the grey areas offered up by 50 Shades now warp they way young boys view women or romance.
3 – It Ruins Romance
What happened to the days when Valentines Day movies were actually romantic? Romance should be about the activity of honoring someone and delighting in the good. Romance should be kind words in a poem or generous acts of appreciation. It should be about heroic deeds or a gentle touch. Romance builds someone up and helps them to be the best of themselves. There is no room for fear in love. Rather, perfect love drives out fear. Perfect love seeks the highest good for someone. 50 Shades offers no happily ever after story but rather an abusive relationship in ruins. It steels all the joy and goodness from what love and sex can be. God created sex to be an intimate expression of affection for a husband and wife.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) What did Jesus Christ do for us? He honored us above even his own life. He died so that we could be set free from sin and death. Through Jesus we are no longer slaves to fear and sin but rather set free to live life to it’s fullest! God’s love is about freedom not domination. God’s love is about joy not fear.
Husbands, make sure that you love your wife by honoring her above even your own body! Treat her as the treasure that she is and romance her with kindness and gentleness. There must not be even a hint of sexual perversion, or of any kind of impurity. There is no honor for men in “50 Shades of Grey“. The role of a good man is also devalued in it’s content. Christian is the kind of character that should be locked up not envied. There is no redeemable value in this destructive content.
So, what will you do this Valentines Day weekend to love as God loves and to flee from evil? Will you stand strong for REAL love even when Hollywood is trying to pull our attention into the “Shades of Grey” areas?
Pray this weekend that millions of people, especially youth, will decide not to spend their money or their time being lied to.