Fifty Shades of Sin

Time Magazine, in the February 16 edition, tries to understand the film, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It releases on day before Valentine’s Day, ironically enough. This film, spawned from the best-selling books (100,000,000 sold so far), speaks to the state of the American soul and body.

I know little of this, and by choice. I opened to a page of one of the books at the check out of a grocery chain and read a page of perversity. That was enough, too much. The Cinderella of this story gives herself to a sadist for her keep. She is a kept and abused woman who consents to it all: bondage, domination, injuries–taken and received. Human beings were not meant to do such things to each other.

Time, of course, cannot bring itself to condemn the film. It has neither the moral authority or discernment to do that. Christians can and should evaluate it, since we have been given a revelation of what is good and evil.

As R.J. Rushdoony said years ago, when a culture rebels against God and his creation mandate (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 8), it immerses itself in sexuality. Sex is severed from family and culture-creation for the glory of God. Sexuality is exalted above all other concerns and personal qualities. As such, virtue is lost and vice is embraced. Every quirky and kinky orientation and activity (see Leviticus 18) is justified because of the thrill it gives empty selves in an otherwise meaningless world. Nerve endings speak louder than conscience.

Illicit ecstasies (if that is even achieved through evil actions) have their cost–human flourishing under God. The Apostle Paul explains it all in Romans, chapter one, verses 18 and following. By denying the Creator, the creature is left only with itself, untethered from ultimate authority and meaning. Idols beckon and bludgeons their worshipers, who consent to its perversions.

Here we are: “Fifty Shades of Grey.” This is no grey area where we pick our pleasures. No, it is perverse, unhealthy, and sinful. It offends the God who created us as sexual beings; it debauches us as sexual beings; it enriches the sad and sickening souls who peddle this pornography.

If you have read any of the books, there is hope. God calls everyone, everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Jesus cried, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:11). The love and justice of God, shown in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (the sinless One), can overcome all evil. Come to Christ, for forgiveness, for a new life lived according to the Master’s Book. Come and learn to enjoy virtue, self-discipline and the true meaning of love.

Author: Douglas Groothuis

Author of Christian Apologetics, Truth Decay, On Jesus, On Pascal, and others. Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary since 1993. Head of The Apologetics and Ethics Masters Degree Program and Co-Director of The Gordon Lewis Center for Christian Thought and Culture. Senior Fellow for Apologetics.com.

8 thoughts

  1. We should be fleeing this sort of sordid, soul eroding garbage. I am utterly astounded at the number of copies this book sold. Think of the masses of people around the globe whose souls are being deadened, whose potential for true joy is being destroyed. It saddens me so. “Come, Lord Jesus”.

    I support this excellent organisation: http://pornharms.com/

    This is their top 12 list of the worst pornographers in the USA…..
    http://endsexualexploitation.org/dirty-dozen/

    Note that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is on the list. Eric Holder, our supposed leading law enforcement officer in the country, is the number one worst offender. This organisation does great work and I think anyone who wants to help fight the evil should support them.

    BTW, is anyone else sick and tired of Fox News anchors gawking over nudity? The phenomenon seems to be getting worse – the recent ‘Sport Illustrated’ cover of some shameless pathetic woman model pulling her clothes off seemed to be the lead story last week on the morning Fox news program. The TV that was on in the lobby of the hospital where I work was blaring it so all the families and kids there could further desensitize . I decided then and there that I hate Fox News (I had already made that choice for the other main networks about 40 years ago).

    Once again, I say, “Come, Lord Jesus”.

  2. Dr. Grouthius,

    Yikes, somehow my guitar playing video (that I posted today) was attached instead of the link I intended, which is this…….http://endsexualexploitation.org/dirty-dozen/

    Please correct this! And delete my guitar!!! (It was not even a good recording; actually one of my worst sound quality wise) – I just share these with my family and a few guitar buddies). Very embarrassing; so sorry.

    Also, Eric Holder was the top of the the 2014 list, not the most recent 2015 list.

    Thank you and God bless.

    –Wm. Brown
    Forest, VA

    PS – I am reading you “Christian Apologetics” and it’s been great. I love he science especially – it’s so fascinating and my awe of God’s power and creativity only grows the more I learn in cosmology, physics, and biology.
    May I ask your opinion of Gerhard Schroder (a rabbi and MIT physicist who wrote some interesting books about Genesis, cosmology, etc. His extrapolations from rabbinical lit. are strange. I think his idea the next deeper ontological level is “Wisdom” , from which energy came into being, rings with some truth. He believes that in similar fashion to how we came to see mass as energy, we will come to see energy as ‘Wisdom”, Seemed very odd at first but maybe it’s not.

  3. I must say the culture is deteriorating at a much faster rate than I could have imagined. Even in the last 5-10 years we have gone warp speed down the sink hole of depravity. Stuff like this is bad- but millions upon millions sold? That’s the frightening thing. This stuff has been around forever only the old caricature of the man in the trench coat walking into a dirty book store and theater has been replaced by a cultural applause of this trash. Jesus is needed always but now more than ever. I feel very sad for boys in particular whose hormones and development makes them particularly vulnerable.

  4. Amen. Spot-on summary of Romans 1: “untethered from authority and meaning. Idols beckon and bludgeon [willing] worshipers.”

  5. I’ve always been anti 50 shades for many reasons but what troubled me was that – no matter how difficult, no matter how out of our comfort zone it is – I somehow realised that the Christian response to it couldn’t be to just ignore it or simply dismiss it as porn.
    I think Jesus would have gone head to head with it – as He had that knack of doing in all difficult situations – and engage with it on some level that glorified God’s love over the ‘love’ portrayed in the series. I had no idea how to do this though and I like that Christian blogs and writers have tried to do so. The problem was always that – non believers – had no interest in this standpoint and I didn’t have the skill to get over that wall.
    I tweeted a lot about my opposition to it and someone sent me a link to a Christian fiction response that takes the original format of the book and then ‘mirrors’ it with a story about God’s love taking in concepts like ‘doulos’ and salvation along the way. I’ve given it to some friends – the same ones that had no interest in Christian blog posts – and they’ve really been engaged and informed by it and have gone on to engage in real talks about faith underpinned by it. One is (tentatively) attending church. I think it works by simply being a good fiction read in it’s own right but by maintaining a definate focus on God’s awesome love. It certainly doesn’t duck issues like sin etc
    For me that underpins that the key in the debate is – not to preach to one another about it – but to use it as a chance to outreach. The link – should anyone be interested is
    amzn.to/1Ac2x9c

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