Let me confess that I am about to make comments on a movie I have never seen. Furthermore, I have not read the book. And, in most cases, it is not appropriate to provide a critique under these circumstances. It would, of course, be relatively easy to go out and see the movie. But I deliberately choose not to. I believe that Christians have no business entertaining themselves with porn, bondage and inflicting pain as sexual expression. We must get back to the idea that some things are out of bounds – and this most definitely is. So how can I comment on that which I have not seen? I have read numerous reviews of both the movie and the book to get the idea. From what I understand, Fifty Shades of Grey presents us with the next “thing.” What is that next “thing?”
Answer: Pornography designed for women!
For a long time, pornography was considered only a man’s problem, but filmmakers have found ways of appealing to the very different psychology of women. Now, both men and women can be equally depraved. And rather than seeing it as a problem, it is now seen as an acceptable form of self-expression. From this, I want to share several thoughts.
Pornography is pervasive
We are living in, what some have called, “the golden age of porn.” Porn has become mainstream.
Pornography is not satisfying
Once the mind and soul is flooded with porn, it yearns for ever increasing stimulation. In our day, Playboy Magazine is now seen as almost puritanical to the current generation. And so porn leads its purveyors on a restless search to continually up the ante.
Pornography is on the move
Having won the war on premarital sex and homosexuality, our culture must now overcome new taboos through the porn movement. What might be bondage today, could tomorrow become a general acceptance of adultery, sex with children, incest and so forth. In essence, culture must find new ways of stimulating a bored, insatiable audience – a direction that pornography has steadily influenced.
Pornography is now mainstream
Porn has become an expression of western cultural values. Anyone not “on board,” will be thought of as either badly repressed, or dangerous. The general population is already being taught to resist those who disagree, and see them as enemies.
As Christians, we might wonder where God is in all of this. I believe Romans 1 provides us with the answer. Once a culture suppresses the truth of God, God actively gives that culture up to lust, impurity, the dishonouring of their bodies and dishonourable passions. Of course, all cultures, just like all individuals, are sinful. But there is a movement towards ever increasing depravity that is very frightening. According to Romans, this ever-increasing corruption is itself the judgment of God.
How should Christians respond?
Let us consider three ways.
1) We need to become honest about our own tendency to be attracted to that which draws our souls away from the true God. Repentance, accountability and honesty need to mark our ways.
2) We need to learn to confront the culture in which we live from a New Testament perspective. In reality, ancient Roman culture was actually more sensual than ours! Evangelism, then, needs to be an urgent call for people to abandon darkness and come into the light.
3) Lastly, we need to prioritize churches to not only represent sanctuaries of healing and forgiveness, but also of discipleship. We need to train people how to live out the principles found in Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
So, let’s pray and seek the Lord that we may be a piercing light into the pervasive darkness of our culture.
Check out our indoubt podcast episode where we talk with Dr. John Neufeld on what Biblical sexuality looks like.