If I have to see one more post, headline, or news program about the movie Fifty Shades of Grey—I am going to scream!
I get it. It’s a movie I don’t want to see. Its glamorization of the darkness of sex actually romanticizes sexual abuse and it stands for everything I am against as a Christian. I didn’t read the book. I will not watch the movie but can we please MOVE ON!
Why, as Christians, do we dwell so much on the darkness?
When I was growing up my preacher father had a saying he used in some of his sermons. Referring to Christians he would say, “Sometimes we are so spiritually minded that we are no earthly good.” When it comes to living in this world and within this culture, we often fail at being good because we are stuck dwelling on the spiritually dark.
The Fifty Shades of Grey movie is a perfect example of how Christians often focus on the negative. It’s like there is a race to see who can be the first to point out the spiritual implications for watching a movie so laced with sexual sins. Now don’t get me wrong. We are supposed to warn others about the dangers of this type of movie. Heeding advice and wise spiritual counsel on matters related to culture is important in Christian circles. But why does it seem there is so much focus on the darkness and rarely emphasis on the light?
Culture is important. Movies, books, television shows, music, and everything that makes up our culture is a part of us. Yes, even a part of the Christian body. We can choose to embrace the culture and all its darkness (there is plenty more examples than Fifty Shades), we can hide from it (but word of advice- legalism does not work), or we can change it.
We know that sex sells. It’s everywhere. Movies and books like Fifty Shades of Grey are so popular because sex is the theme. But focusing all our spiritual warnings on the negative only makes these types of books and movies more attractive. It is time we focus more on the good found in our culture. Highlight the positive that shines through books, movies, plays, music and all artistic genres where the spiritual goodness of life shines through. It is out there. There are so many talented authors, movie producers, actors, musicians and all kinds of artists who are living for Christ but they are rarely recognized or supported because so much of our focus is all about the darkness of evil in our world.
Many times Christians think that culture has to only be in the context of a Christian environment. If you are a musician than you have to be a Christian music artist with a Christian label. If you want to produce movies than it has be through a Christian production company. That’s nonsense. We are supposed to be followers of Christ living IN the world. This also means living in the artistic cultural world.
If you know a Christian who went out of their way to produce a movie that celebrates the pure and good in our world, support it. Tell your friends and neighbors about an inspiring book. Use your God-given beliefs, embrace the culture using those beliefs, and sell it and make it popular. Encourage your children to use their gifts and talents to influence the culture for God. We cannot hide from the culture that we live in. We don’t have to watch Fifty Shades of Grey but we do have to be an example and share all the good that can come from being a follower of Christ.
I am so tired of being bombarded with images of sex on television. I am angry that our culture has taken everything sacred in this world like sex, childhood, the traditional family and everything that celebrates the goodness of life and has made it dark and evil. Fifty Shades of Grey is a product of what our society has become. But we as Christians are just as guilty of allowing it to become the theme in our culture because we dwell far too much on the negative and not the positive.
Spiritual freedom is about choosing to change the direction of our society for good not evil. As Christians, let’s curse the darkness by changing it, lighting a candle of virtue and not by dwelling on the darkness that is already out there.