Timing is everything in a culture that is on the make for the next buck. And 50 shades of Grey doesn’t disappoint . . . just in time for the multinational holiday about true, romantic, sincere, beautiful, passionate, committed love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
This cerebral sewer delivery system is near universally condemned as an artistic failure – mediocre, at best – but don’t worry, that is no impediment to its Box Office receipts. And no wonder, the “terrible,” “poorly written,” “sophomoric” book by the same name sold a cool 100,000,000 copies.
Like fast food french fries made with 19 different ingredients (chemicals) we don’t care how artistically bad 50 Shades is, we’re chowing down because, well, the flesh wants what it wants.
Even the Vermont Teddy Bear company is in on the act with their Dominate Valentine’s Day, advertisement, along with the caption accompanying the little bear in the grey suit, “We’re obsessed with Grey.” Get it? Wink, wink. Even comes with handcuffs so, “yeah, we really are advertising sadomasochism and bondage, just in case someone didn’t get it.”
The company with the cuddly name wants us to know that their morals are on the bottom of the tank along with 50 Shades of Grey.
Same sewer. Different delivery system.
One movie reviewer said, predictably, “Don’t knock the movie until you’ve seen it.”
Really? You have to experience bobbing for apples in a septic tank before you can judge whether or not it’s a bad idea for your next Valentine’s Day party?
No thanks. I’ll just go with my gut on this one.
And then there’s the Bible, where moral lines are not in the grey zone.
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 virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Not that we’re not curious, as the purveyors of 50 Shades of Grey know perfectly well. It’s no accident that the ads for the movie ask the question:
The Bible warns about such questions. Long ago, there was a garden where everything perfect and beautiful grew. One day, in the middle of that garden, the same temptation was offered.
And ever since, the grey of sin has covered the whole earth.
50 Shades of Grey is part of the result of that curse, taking what God intended as hot but wholesome and turning it into something fetid, ugly, and destructive.
This movie is twisted and sick. Not that we’re not curious, because, let’s be honest, your flesh and my flesh is twisted and sick (In my flesh dwells no good thing. Romans 7:18). The flesh wants what it wants and many will choose Eve’s response this Valentine’s Day,
“Yes, I am curious . . . I want a bite of that!”
The road for the believer leads away from 50 Shades of Grey and toward the direction Jesus is traveling.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily (the instrument of the death of the flesh), and follow me. Luke 9:23
The tragedy of this movie and any similar lie isn’t that mankind in his immoral appetites wants so much – is greedy for unrestricted filth. The tragedy of 50 Shades of Grey isn’t that we want so much but that we are ready and willing to settle for so little.
Compared to what?
Compared to what God is offering those who will yield their hearts to Him and walk in fellowship with him, not in the grey dimness of a world without a moral compass but in the purifying light of His Truth.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Now that’s something to be curious about!
In the mean time, God has given us all things richly to enjoy (1Timothy 6:17) within the beautiful boundaries of the Moral Law he has written on our hearts (Hebrews 10:16).
Restrictive? Not hardly.
The world has nothing to teach Christians about romantic love. Just open the Bible and read about the hot-as-tar romance in the Song of Songs. Remove the euphemistic references to fruit and you’ve got a solid “R” rating.
And that’s something to be curious about, too!
Happy Valentine’s Day . . . God’s way.
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).