Twenty Truths to Consider about Fifty Shades of Grey

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50-shades-of-greyI’ll admit it: Sometimes we Christians are known more for what we’re against than what we are for in this world. Sometimes we make a big deal about things that may not be that important and forget to focus on the things that really do matter most. Sometimes we get all high-and-mighty and act as if we’re better than others.

I know.

But sometimes we do need to take a stand and speak the truth in love. William Wilberforce was a devout believer who fought against slavery in England. Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a believer who stood against racial inequity. In fact, throughout history, Christians have often been at the center of the battle for truth and justice.

Typically, I loathe jumping on trendy bandwagons. I’m well aware that many Christian bloggers are sounding off about the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. However, I am terribly disturbed by our culture that continues to normalize the abnormal. Inch by inch, we are marched to the edge of immorality and degradation and told, “It’s okay, this is normal, and if you challenge me on that then you’re just intolerant!”

50 Shades Bandwagon

Well, sometimes it’s good to be intolerant, especially when we are standing with Jesus who loved all but hated sin. For the record, He hates sin because of what it does to the people He loves.

So here are some good reasons to avoid this bad movie like the plague:

  1. It breaks Jesus’ heart.

  2. Jesus would never treat another human created in the image of God this way. As Christ-followers, neither should we.

  3. This kind of “love” is harmful and destructive rather than selfless and wholesome.

  4. The Bible describes love as “kind . . . it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking . . . it does not delight in evil . . . it always protects.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

  5. It’s not just BDSM (which sounds harmless); it’s bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism.

  6. Emotional, physical, and spiritual bondage is always bad.

  7. Dominance is the exact opposite of supportive, selfless love.

  8. Sadism is defined as a desire to inflict pain on others, especially for sexual gratification, or is defined as getting pleasure from being extremely cruel. Seriously? This is okay?

  9. The definition of masochism is getting sexual or emotional pleasure from being mistreated or mentally or physically abused.

  10. Anything that promotes abuse of any kind should be offensive to us.

  11. We won’t tolerate a football player knocking his girlfriend out in an elevator, but as long as it’s consensual and erotic, it’s okay. Are you kidding me? It’s still abuse.

  12. It promotes lust.

  13. Lust is never satisfied.

  14. We don’t need anything else filling our minds with garbage (there’s enough of that on TV).

  15. When it comes to pornography or sexual abuse, the “law of depreciating returns” means that the more one participates, the more graphic or intense our experience needs to become to get the same erotic response. Simply put: we become emotionally calloused and need weirder, wackier stuff to arouse us.

  16. Consenting adults (married or not) who claim BDSM enhances their relationship are broken. Something, somewhere in their past has created a fracture in their soul, and they need healing, not abuse.

  17. This movie (from what I’ve read in reviews and seen in trailers and posters) appeals to our human nature that tends to drift out of curiosity to what can kill us (think Adam and Eve in the garden). Unholy curiosity (i.e. unwise experimentation) can kill more than a cat.

  18. As a parent and grandparent, I would never want my daughter or son treated this way.

  19. In an interview on NBC the female star, Dakota Johnson, said, “I don’t want my parents to see this movie.”

  20. Everything we do should honor and glorify the One who gave His everything for us (1 Cor. 10:31). Can anyone truly make a reasonable argument that BDSM honors Jesus?

50 Shades Collar

I realize I’m swimming upstream on this one. Over 100 million people have read this book, and the movie grossed over $250 million on the opening weekend (a new record). However, my challenge is simple: Would you sit next to Jesus and watch this film? I think not.

As James Emery White recently wrote, “Celebrate sex this Valentine’s Day. Every day, for that matter. But not the fallen kind. Not the Fifty Shades of Grey distortion.”

So guard your heart, protect your mind, and honor Jesus. He died to set people free.

50 Shades Fish

 

For you know that we dealt with each of you

as a father deals with his own children,

encouraging, comforting and urging you

to live lives worthy of God,

who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (NIV)

 

Mr Mrs Front PanelMr. & Mrs. is a great Valentine’s Gift! Read what Kurt has to say about marital sex and other important topics! Order it today here.

 

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31 Responses to Twenty Truths to Consider about Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Thank you Kurt for swimming upstream. I couldn’t have said it better! If we don’t stand for something do we really stand at all and are we just then settling for something.

      • I totally agree with Lisa. The upstream mode is increasingly rare. Christians seem more inclined to blend in rather than stand out. ISIS, for all its radical savagery, makes every effort to gain a high profile. “Shall I be carried to the cross on flowery beds of ease, while others fight to win the Cause, and sail thru bloody seas?”
        Absolutely not! With right motives and pure hearts.we must stand unashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the powerful means by which God brings people to salvation when they believe.
        Thank you, Kurt.

    • Thank you, Pati. Always appreciate a kind word. Hope this post reaches and challenges many who have no idea how far we humans have fallen and yet how much God loves us.

  2. I’m about as curious to read this book and see the movie as I am to discover what poop tastes like. But if I’d been on the fence at all, this post would have convinced me. Good reminders– thanks!

    • Funny, some have already challenged me with, “Did you even read the book?! How do you know it’s bad?” My new response (in light of your comment), “I don’t need to taste poop to know that it’s bad . . . just the look and stench of it is enough to convince me.” Enough said.

    • Yes . . . even though sometimes those who are the most vocal about the “intolerance of Christians” are often terribly intolerant of Christians. Grace AND truth must stand.
      Love ya, Joe! Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  3. thank you Kurt for writing down so well all the thoughts I have had about this subject but haven’t been able to express.

  4. As always a wonderful article Kurt and gets straight to the point. I’d like to say though that a great teacher told me once it is neither right nor wrong it just is. When saying this I am not saying that I condone the behavior of the acts in any means but I will not crucify others for their choices and make them wrong about them and I know that if they like myself are to get out of such behavior they need not feel that they are wrong or they will push back hard. Yes Jesus would be sad, yes I agree that this type of behavior shouldn’t be mainstream norm, yes it goes against the teachings of the Lord. But, my question is what exactly can we do about it? It will be main stream regardless to watching the movie or not one because the books are already out there people have read them, BDSM also has been around for a long time and the big thing is that the book pales in comparison to the real deal out there which I am grateful. Again no argument here it is what it is just wanted to get your opinion. Please understand I ask this as someone who lived in that world once. Again thank you for your article very moving.

    • Hi Kolae, my hope is, as Christ-followers, that we can and will be “salt and light” in this world. We can’t just give up on this culture and walk away in disgust. Instead, with a tender heart, grace AND truth, we must speak the truth in love. As I stated in the beginning, I make no pretense of perfection, but as people who love Jesus, we must challenge and encourage one another to glorify Him in all that we do. Most of the negative “push back” has come from those outside of faith in Christ. My primary goal was to speak to believers about making good and holy choices, regardless of what’s considered “normal” or okay in our culture. Thank you for your insight. I hope my response helps.

  5. I’m a Christian. I’ve read the books all three. I’m planning to watch the movie tonight. I’m not broken. I’d sit in that theater with Jesus by my side and watch that movie. Here are my reasons why. Jesus loves me no matter what I see. His love for me will never stop. This series of books is about two consensual adults who have sex before marriage. If anything that should be your concern. That can be found in the bible. These two individuals end up falling in love. Just like pretty woman, dirty dancing, the divinci code, and many other movies there will always be something that someone else deems in appropriate in any movie on tv or in theaters. Nearly every Disney cartoon ever made has witch craft of some sort in it. And yet no judgement has been made about movies like Snow White and frozen. Are those any better in your eyes? According to some of your theories they should be. Do you watch shows on tv? Half of the sitcoms and dramas are inundated with homosexual couples or references. That bother anyone? Does anyone blog about that or turn their televisions off? This post won’t be popular on here I’m sure. Before you blast me let me add a few more thoughts. Jesus associated with sinners. Prostitutes and tax collectors were his friends. While many (not just those on this blog) are passing judgement on this movie, I can’t help but wonder what are you doing to spread the love of Christ? How about passing out tracks to the people in line at the theater to watch this. Or better yet get them a cup of coffee while they wait in the cold. Or maybe offer to buy them a ticket to the next courageous type movie that comes out so they can see what Christian love looks like? Showing His love trumps passing judgement anyway.

    • Thank you for you comment. I value the opinions of everyone, even when I disagree, and I appreciate your contribution to the “conversation”.

      I wrote what I wrote to express my concerns and opinion as someone who loves Jesus, and as a pastor.

      As I stated, fiction or not, I am deeply bothered by something that normalizes the abnormal, and by a way of “love” that is far from the path of godly love described in 1 Corinthians 13.

      So let me humbly add a few words from Jesus and others for your consideration:

      “Blessed are the pure in heart.” Matthew 5:8

      “I tell you, anyone who even looks at a woman (lustfully) with a sinful desire of wanting her has already sinned in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 (NLV)

      {Speaking to the spiritually abusive Pharisees, but using a principle that applies to all who rationalize their sin Jesus said…} “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:15 (NIV)

      “If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 (VOICE)

      19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
      Galatians 5:19-24 (NIV)

      “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16 (NIV)

      Thank you for reading my blog. May you know God’s mercy and grace in your life for you are loved.

    • You’re right. There’s a lot of crap out there that we don’t write blog posts about or encourage people to avoid. Yes, that may point out a level of hypocrisy. But that doesn’t make the truth of Kurt’s post Any. Less. Valid. It’s just another attempt to rationalize.

      To add to the verses in Kurt’s response … Romans 6:1 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”

  6. Thank you Kurt for reminding us that we should always take a stand in Love and Respect. Any behavior that would make Jesus sad is something we followers should avoid. And, if asked, be a light unto the darkness. I have challenged commenters in the past for not reading/seeing what they are commenting about. In this case, however, your comment on the “poop” question was brilliant and pointed!!!

  7. Hey Kurt, Steve Jones here… I agree with this blog 200% – The enemy is sure battling for the hearts and minds of, well… everyone it seems.

    Even though Cathy and I are attending services elsewhere, both you and Eastpoint are in our prayers and I wanted to take time to “chime in” with resounding affirmation to your wonderful blog.

    God Bless!! :o)

  8. It seems only fitting that the biggest financiers of pornography would want this book and movie out there. Gateway drug? Also, these flicks tend to be consistently panned by the critics (such as the equally horrid “Striptease” of several years ago) yet they do so well at the box office. That great businessman Al Capone once explained that he was just giving people what they wanted. Thanks for the good word. I will pass this on.

  9. I’ve always been anti 50 shades for many reasons but what troubled me was that – no matter how difficult, no matter how out of our comfort zone it is – I somehow realised that the Christian response to it couldn’t be to just ignore it or simply dismiss it as porn.
    I think Jesus would have gone head to head with it – as He had that knack of doing in all difficult situations – and engage with it on some level that glorified God’s love over the ‘love’ portrayed in the series. I had no idea how to do this though and I like that Christian blogs and writers have tried to do so. The problem was always that – non believers – had no interest in this standpoint and I didn’t have the skill to get over that wall.
    I tweeted a lot about my opposition to it and someone sent me a link to a Christian fiction response that takes the original format of the book and then ‘mirrors’ it with a story about God’s love taking in concepts like ‘doulos’ and salvation along the way. I’ve given it to some friends – the same ones that had no interest in Christian blog posts – and they’ve really been engaged and informed by it and have gone on to engage in real talks about faith underpinned by it. One is (tentatively) attending church. I think it works by simply being a good fiction read in it’s own right but by maintaining a definate focus on God’s awesome love. It certainly doesn’t duck issues like sin etc
    For me that underpins that the key in the debate is – not to preach to one another about it – but to use it as a chance to outreach. The link – should anyone be interested is
    amzn.to/1Ac2x9c

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