Friday, February 20, 2015

Fifty Shades of . . . . Grey?

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever."
1 John 2:15-17

First off, I will say I have not read the book nor seen the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, neither do I plan to.  So, how can someone critique something they have not read nor seen?  Let me just say I don't need to wallow at the dump to know it will stink!

I have recently read several articles, blogs, commentaries and comments written by both Christians and non-Christians alike.

I am both amazed and fascinated that women, especially Christians women, don't think there's anything wrong with the premise of this movie.  Christian women, who have said they thought the book was good or maybe not great, but don't really see the problem in it.  Or most who wonder what all the fuss is about!!

Will you go to hell just because you read the book or see the movie?    NO
Will you lose your salvation just because you read the book or see the movie?  NO, I don't believe so.

But, my question in all of this is Why?  
Why would you want to see this movie?  
What possible reason is valid?

I will admit I simply don't understand.

I have been taught, and I believe it to be God's design, that the intimate act of sex is experienced best between a husband and wife, and it is simply that - intimate (which means personal; very private). I've also been taught, and believe it to be true, that the intimacy experienced via the sexual union between a husband and wife is a picture (type) that represents the intimacy that Christ desires with His Church.

The Lord wants to have a personal, very private relationship (via prayer) with each one of us, which was the very purpose of Jesus' death on the cross - to restore relationship between God and man.

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it: that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, 
even as the Lord the church:"
Ephesians 5:25-29

Would Christ treat His bride the way Ana is treated in the movie?  I don't believe so.
Is this the example Christ set for a husband to follow?  Definitely not!

His admonishment (via Paul in Ephesians) is that husbands should love their wives to the point of giving their own lives, just as Christ did for His church; sounds pretty unselfish to me.  His admonishment is that men would nourish and cherish their wives.

So, here are my observations/main objections to the book and the movie:

#1 - the lead character's name is Christian.  Really???

#2 - Christian and Ana (I think that's her name) enter into an unholy relationship (even apart from the kinky sex); it's what the Bible refers to as fornication (sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other).  1 Corinthians 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3 expressly tell us to flee fornication.

#3 - the movie is pornographic and voyeuristic and while the Bible nowhere uses those two words, it does talk about the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes (see above Scripture).  It also says in Luke 11:34-36:

"Your eye is the lamp of your body.  When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.  See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.  Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."

It does matter what you take into your body via your eyes.  The dictionary definition of a voyeur is an "enthusiastic observer of sordid or sensational subjects."  Does this sound like something that Christ would want us to pursue?

#4 - this relationship is abusive, pure and simple. BDSM; I don't even know what all those letters stand for, but I do know that this is not the kind of relationship God intended.  There is nothing tender, cherishing, gentle or kind about this relationship.  It is a relationship based purely on pleasure - his, mostly, which is a selfish, self-serving addiction.

I believe this movie intentionally perverts everything that is supposed to be pure about the marriage bed.  The enemy of our souls has so perverted the sexual relationship because He knows how holy it is to our God.  He seduces and entices with promises of pleasure, never revealing the cost that will be paid as we travel down that road. And we will pay a price!

I don't believe there is anything "grey" about this movie.  It is a black or white call to me.

But what I really don't get is what seems to me to be a double standard.  I came of age during the Women's Liberation Movement.  I remember the days of bra-burning, women refusing to do housework and picketing for equal pay.  They fought hard and long to be seen as equals, especially in the work force.  A woman wants to be her own person, open her own doors, take care of herself, pay her own bills and no longer take her husband's name, if she even decides to get married.  After all this, she will allow herself to be dominated in the bedroom by submitting to handcuffs, chains and whips???  And physical and emotional abuse??

As a woman, I believe we should set our standards high.  I believe we should cultivate enough self-respect for ourselves that we will expect a man to treat us with respect.  Respect for who we are - a child of God, just as women should treat men with respect - as a child of God.

If you are a Christian who truly loves the Lord, are diligently seeking Him and really pursuing freedom through the process of sanctification, ask yourself these questions:

Why would I want to see this movie?
Will it draw me closer to the Lord?
Will it help to "set me apart" for the process of sanctification in my life?
Why would I want to use my resources - money and time - on something that is blatantly 
against the teachings of God?

A story is told of a wealthy man who was looking to hire a new chauffeur.   He had many applicants for the job, but he narrowed the field down to 3 promising candidates.  They had all 3 filled out the application, handed in resume and reference letters, but he had one more process for them.  He wanted each of them to drive him to a certain hill not far from where he lived.

The first driver took him out on a clear, sunny day.  As they ascended the hill, they came to a point where there was a very narrow shoulder on one side of the road and a severe chasm of several hundred feet with no guard rail.  The chauffeur skillfully maneuvered the car as close to the edge as he could, drove the car through the area and continued on home.  The second driver also had clear, sunny conditions and though he seemed a bit nervous, he drove just as skillfully close to the edge also and then drove the man safely home.  The third driver, too, had clear, sunny conditions, but as he drove to this dangerous place in the road, he hugged the yellow line, as far away as he could safely be from the cliff and then slowly drove away toward home.

The next day the man assembled the 3 candidates to explain his decision.  He chose to hire the 3rd driver and he explained why - When you drive me around in my car, he said, my life is in your hands. While drivers #1 and 2 exhibited excellent driving skills, it was driver #3 I want to entrust my life to. You see, I don't want to know how close to the cliff you can come without falling off, I want to know how far away from it you will go to keep me from danger.

I believe the mindset we should have in our walk with the Lord is like this -

We shouldn't "test" how close to sin we can be without being affected by it, rather we should "flee" from any resemblance of sin to keep ourselves holy and in right standing before our God.

It troubles me to think that young, impressionable girls who see this movie will accept and believe that this type of treatment is "normal" and is representing of a relationship of love.  But what troubles me even more, is that Christian women who are older in the faith and should be wiser, won't be able to give these women sold counsel from God's Word and what it says about real love and intimacy within the context of marriage.

Sex between a husband and wife is a beautiful gift from God in the kind of relationship He has ordained.  It is not always perfect, but it is like marriage itself, it can be explored and worked on through a loving, submitted relationship one to another.

I know my thoughts on this are going to be controversial and many will think they are harsh, "old-fashioned" and not relevant to the cultural we live in.  I believe, however, that God's Word is always relevant, we just don't always choose to accept it and live by it.  And just because our experiences don't always line up with God's Word does not mean His Word is irrelevant.  His Word is the standard that we should continually strive to live up to, by His power and enabling grace.

God has so much more, so much more, for us as women than the world is offering right now.  He wants us to feel loved, cherished, and sexually desired...within the context of marriage.  That's the safest relationship, that's the relationship that He wants us to commit to - to learn how to love one another - unselfishly and in a godly way.

His laws, His commandments are given to us for our own good.  They are not to prevent us from "having a good time."  They are to prevent us from hurting ourselves through behavior that God knows will cause us pain, bondage and ultimately, consequences we will not want to deal with.  There are always consequences of our choices - either good or bad.

The love of God woos us to Himself because He wants relationship with us.  The love He offers is unconditional, everlasting, unselfish, pure and holy.  As we respond to His pursuit of us and understand that kind of love, we won't be as willing to accept the abusive, selfish "love" that the world offers.

Saints, Women of God, we are not meant to conform to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in His Word, that we may be able to prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God  (Romans 12).

I sincerely don't stand in judgment of you if you have chosen to read the book or see the movie.  It would be sin for me to do so, but I can't make that determination for you.  But my heart aches for the degradation of our society in the falling away of believing God's Word as true and relevant for today.

May we, as Christians, not be afraid to raise a standard, a standard that may cause us to look foolish and simplistic, but it will be God's standard.  Ultimately, it is Him we have to answer to.

So, 50 Shades of . . . .  Grey??  No, I don't think so; nothing grey about this movie!

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

No comments:

Post a Comment