Why Christians Seeing 50 Shades of Grey Should Be Embarrassed (and Repent) – Part 1
It seems West Virginia has yet another dubious honor: pre-release ticket sales for the pending movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” are higher than expected.
Yep, apparently the controversial movie is seeing higher than expected ticket sales in states known to be “conservative and Christian.” These states include Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Louisiana. According to ticket tracking groups, it was surprising to see pre-release ticket sales so high in these so-called “conservative and Christian” states.
What has also been commented on as the movie is set to release is the number of Christian women planning to see it. Not only are they eager to see the movie, they are getting all their gal-pals together for a night at the theater. (I suppose Magic Mike 2 will be next on their list.)
Somehow our Christian culture has entirely lost its moral compass. The very idea that groups of Christian women would be planning to see this movie is indicative of the fact that we’ve lost our way. The fact that they would so casually trump the movie as some epic story worthy of attention indicates a complete lack of biblical understanding regarding sexuality, intimacy, and marriage. And the fact that what would have been considered porn just 25 years ago is now accepted and celebrated by our culture…our Christian culture.
Let’s be clear, what a married man and woman do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business. As long as that activity does not violate any explicit or implicit biblical principle then it’s entirely up to them. This means viewing pornography together and threesomes are wrong even if the man and woman consent. This simple fact also means that gathering my buddies to go watch a sexually explicit movie together is wrong – as in the case of “50 Shades of Grey.”
Let’s review the basic premise of the movie.
A very wealthy, somewhat mysterious man engages a woman in order to seduce her. Once he has successfully seduced her he begins to expose her to more of his sexual appetite which includes many aspects of BDSM activity. His ultimate goal, as stated in the movie trailer, is to own and dominate her. The woman becomes a sort of sexual play thing for this man as he exerts control over her and exposes her to increasing BDSM activities in his sexual play room.
In a culture rampant with sexual violence and abuse it is hard to find anything remotely redeemable in this movie. For women to be the one’s heralding it is a sordid irony. Is it being controlled that is so appealing? Are more women secretly excited by the BDSM lifestyle than are letting on? Do women actually like being controlled and exposed to pain during sexual activity? I confess I’m a bit confused by it all.
One article I read explains the success of this book very well:
“The only reason Christian Grey has become a recent icon in popular fiction – albeit a trashy one – is because he is filthy rich. Being a wealthy, debonair playboy has overshadowed being a manipulating sexual predator and has inexplicably made a seemingly quiet, sexually repressed audience swoon. How else could “Fifty Shades” be as successful as it is? If Christian Grey was a balding, pudgy minimum wage-earning convenience store clerk we’d have a very different story on our hands, one more closely resembling Castro in Cleveland. And that Christian Grey would be rightly described by the media as a vile, evil creature.”
The difference between being Ariel Castro in Cleveland – described by the media as vile and evil – and being Christian Grey is, apparently, money. The reality is, if Christian Grey was any average man he would be ridiculed as having a complex of some sort; probably the one where he is compensating for something. But, because Christian Grey has lots of money he is perceived as being worthy of respect and swooning women.
Also disturbing is the reality that most of the women drooling over this movie would never want their own husbands to behave like Grey or perform the same actions. Why is that? I thought they liked the way he controlled Anastasia, the way he owned and dominated her in every way? I thought they liked the way he tied her up and smacked or whipped her? If they like it so much in the movie why would they not want their husbands doing it?
Clearly this movie is nothing less than pornography as it incites images and fantasies for women that have nothing to do with their husbands. The very definition of adultery as given by Jesus in the Bible is to lust after another person that is not your spouse (Matt. 5:28). Christian women are giving in to lust as they imagine being in Anastasia’s place. They don’t want the same treatment from their own husbands, just from a Christian Grey.
To further show the absurdity of supporting this film we need look no further than commentary from non-Christians that condemn the abuse and violence of the movie.
“Though Anastasia does submit to Christian’s predatory actions, they aren’t exactly what she wants. She wants a ‘normal’ relationship – one where she can go to dinner, a movie and then have a pleasant post-coital snuggle. Christian refuses to give her that, denying her everything she wants in a relationship. Furthermore, he is domineering in the most frightening way; Anastasia may have the freedom to leave Christian’s sex chamber and return home at any time, but she is far from a free woman. One scene has her fleeing to Georgia for a respite with her mother. Angered that she left him in the lurch, Christian flies from Seattle to Georgia to reclaim his ‘property.’ That’s scary stuff, yet Anastasia is just pathetic enough to accept her psychological captivity in the name of romance and ‘pleasure’.”
We would quickly condemn any person that behaved in this manner, or treated another human this way; such as Ariel Castro from Cleveland. We would encourage the woman to seek help for her abuse and press charges against her tormentor. And yet, women in droves – many of them Christian – are swooning over this abusive figure. Here’s some tweets from women excited to see the movie:
Perhaps the saddest of these Tweets comes from a female that wants guys to learn the “skills Christian Grey carries.” What skills is she referring to? Maybe psychological control and abuse? Or maybe she likes how he degrades women by thinking of them as property rather than humans? Would she really be interested in being controlled and feeling inferior? Or maybe she likes that Christian grey withholds affection and intimacy from the relationship. I doubt it.
Part 2 of this commentary will be posted tomorrow.