Are you really going to see Fifty Shades of Grey? My honest reaction to news of this movie is “What a sad trash-heap!” Aside from the woman-degrading, abuse-endorsing, male stereo-typing that is sure to be on the screen, surely the film cannot be worthy of the love relationship you are in…or desire for you own life. Like other forms of pornography, whether created primarily for men or women, this material is self-defeating and destructive. But this book and movie is trash not just because it is pornographic, but also because it envisions a man treating a woman in a way that is the opposite of biblical love.
Compare a few quotes from the Bible with actual quotes from the best-selling erotic tale
Bible: My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me. I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the bolt. Song of Solomon 5:4-5
FSOG: “What is it about elevators?”
Bible: Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverbs 5:18-19)
FSOG: “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”
Bible: Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. (Song of Solomon 7:7)
FSOG: “My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five year old.”
Bible: And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. (Ruth 3:7)
FSOG: “My subconscious is furious, medusa-like in her anger, hair flying, her hands clenched around her face like Edvard Munch’s Scream.”
Bible: Love is patient and kind…Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
FSOG: “We need to walk before we can run.”
Okay, it is not fair to choose random quotes from a book I have never read. It is not fair to let goodreads.com and The Atlantic be my only exposure to the book. I have not seen the film. But there is enough media attention in the culture for a person to ‘get’ the movie without having to watch it…or get the book without having to suffer through its faux-writing.
But the point of this quick post is that there is so much more to sex than the pleasure/pain syndrome that our culture has fixated upon. What a sell out! The bible is filled with images and ideas, truths and hopes, that put sexual union in a completely different realm. It is God’s design. It is God’s plan. It is God’s gift to be shared by married couples.
In a deeply critical essay, The Atlantic has this quote from the book which should turn your stomach and make you weep for any woman who suffers this kind of abuse:
He hits me again … this is getting harder to take. My face hurts, it’s screwed up so tight. He strokes me gently and then the blow comes. I cry out again.
“No one to hear you, baby, just me.” (he says)
And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.
By contrast, read what Ephesians says about God’s best for us. It will make you long for world and a culture that holds marriage and sex as one of its highest goods:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-29)
Christopher West’s book “Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing” lifts our minds to this much higher vision for sex and marriage. I highly recommend it.
We are not who the pornified media tell us we are. We are not valuable only if we can attract and around another’s lust. In fact, lust devalues us by reducing us to the love of a thing to be used and discarded. Our true value, our true worth and dignity, comes from the fact that we have been chosen by Love (God) and for Love (God) … (pg. 108)
Don’t see the movie. Toss the book into the trash. Discover the higher purpose and plan that God has for you, whether married or single, that will bring you purpose and pleasure in this life, and in the age to come, life everlasting.
Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.