I’m not the first to write something about this subject. My good friend and fellow minister of the Gospel, Tim Whitney, wrote concerning the same idea here. Marshall Segal wrote on it as well over at Desiring God. So, this is by no means an original thought, but is still very relevant and important.
Tomorrow (and in most cases, tonight for advance showings), the worldwide phenomenon novel Fifty Shades of Grey will come alive on large-format screens across the country.
By no means have I read this novel, nor will I make plans to read it or see the movie. I have a very limited knowledge concerning the book and its content, besides the fact that it is a very sensual and erotic piece of literature, and have only seen the trailer during the Super Bowl. So, I am no authority on it whatsoever.
Here’s what I do know: it isn’t something Christians should read or watch. It essentially is a pornographic film, in the sense that it will be portraying sexual acts in detail. Not just portraying the act, but subliminally communicating that intimacy without foundation is okay (at least that’s what I’ve gathered).
I don’t care whether or not it’s becoming a staple in our culture. This is evil and sinful material that can and will hinder your connection and oneness with the Father.
This isn’t real love. This isn’t true intimacy. It’s a sham. It’s a sorry excuse for the physical oneness that God designed for the marriage relationship.
I’m no expert on love. I’m more of an expert on heartbreak and doing things wrong. But, I’ve seen it exampled properly, and I’ve learned how to identify what real love is and isn’t. So, here are 3 things about what real love is/isn’t:
- Real love isn’t selfish. Based on reading articles about the book/movie, the kind of “love” portrayed screams, “This is all about me and I don’t care what you want.” And people will buy that physical submission and selfishness is okay. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Real, God-established love is selfless and seeks to help others through personal sacrifice.
- Real love is relational. The physical aspect of love is meant to be an extension and outward expression of an inward and strong relational connection between two people, not the foundation or basis. From what I can gather from the Genesis account (which I may be wrong about), God didn’t introduce physicality into Adam and Eve’s relationship until after they sinned. Everything in their relationship was based on friendship and companionship, serving as a model for what real love is.
- Real love doesn’t seek to harm. The type of relationship the main characters have is filled with abuse and hurt, and sends the idea that this is what love is. Marshall Segal writes this about the message the movie conveys: “The message that sex is selfish, manipulative, and even playfully violent will abuse and violate you.” Real love seeks to protect, build up, and encourage the person, not abuse and harm them.
This list is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. But, we need to be able to identify basic components of what real love is. Movies don’t show us what true, God-ordained love is; God’s Word does.
Teenagers, young adults, everyone: hear me when I say this. Do not fill your mind with images, thoughts, or ideas that will steer you away from what true love is. I urge you not to fill your mind with this garbage.
But, if you’ve read the book, or have seen the movie by the time you’ve read this, and feel the conviction that this is sin, forgiveness is possible. God is a God of grace and forgiveness for those who are in His family.
I don’t know if you agree with what I’ve said, or disagree. This is my opinion and personal stance. If you’re a believer, I hope you share the same view.