It is only a few days until the movie “50 Shades of Grey” is going to be unleashed on the public through local theaters. I find it sad that this movie is infecting audiences on Valentine’s weekend. I’ve not seen the movie, nor have I read the book. All I needed was to read reviews about the basic content of the book and movie to know that I wanted nothing to do with them. The book and the movie are part of an ongoing effort to recast love as something overtly selfish and self-centered. They are attempts by a fallen culture to denigrate women and deceive men into thinking that women want relationships and sexual intimacy to involve selfish demands, violence, and denigration. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, just as the Bible warns us, this movie comes to us dressed as an angel of light. The truth is that its message is demonic – even though it parades around dressed in characters like a wealthy mogul and a beautiful woman. Scripture would refer to the man as a whoremonger and violent abuser – and the woman as a ring of gold in a pig’s snout. (Sorry – but every once in a while biblical language is needed to shock us back toward reality – and away from the Hollywood glitz and glamor.)
Our culture has been imploding for years. The sexual revolution that began in the 1960’s promised us a less burdened, more wonderful, loving world. One sees something far more sinister in the decades old wake of this movement. It began with a turning from God in the matters of love and sexual intimacy. By removing the so-called Victorian era restraints from our lives we were promised freedom. What has come instead is an ever more perverse denigration of our lives and relationships. God intended sex to be embraced in marriage (between a man and a woman). 50 Shades of Grey is not about sexual freedom – it is only just another step into the perversion and slavery of sexual immorality.
Love is selfless – does not demand its own way – and is kind and gentle. This is what the Scriptures tell us. Love lays down its life for the beloved – and would rather die than see harm come to the one that is loved. A godly husband is one who protects his wife and family by giving himself over to a godly sexuality – even before he is married. He embraces full manhood – looking forward to the day that he can win a wife by showing her he will be like Christ in his love for his bride. He reveals, by his behavior and his character, that he does not see love as 50 shades of grey where the black and white of sexual morality is blurred by a selfish drive for whatever his flesh demands. He sees things in plain black and white, where his understanding of sexuality embraces the wisdom and blessing of God’s Word.
There is another film coming to theaters this weekend. It is one you will probably not see advertised all over television and print adds. This movie is entitled, “Old Fashioned.” It is worth seeing simply from the audacity of its content and shocking scenes of sexual morality in it. It is rated PG-13 not due to sexual immorality – but due to the dangerous things it says about purity, chivalry, and real manhood. I watched the trailer for this movie and was astounded by its audacity to speak of things like chivalry, respect for women, commitment to godly principles, and promises made to one’s future spouse (before we are married). The only reason I used the word audacity is because such things are usually mocked in our culture. There is a line in the trailer where the main male character says, “When did treating women with respect become the joke?” Unfortunately that is what is happening to our culture as it continues to run madly toward sexual immorality. Purity, godliness, sexual morality, virginity have all become things we mock and make fun of instead of things that we strive for and honor. Yet it is these things that God holds up for us to honor, embrace, and strive for as we live for Him. These things become even more important when we’ve had pasts before we came to Christ that have been lived for the world’s definition of love. This is a false definition that promised freedom and happiness, but instead only delivered bondage and broken lives in need of God’s healing. Thankfully His grace can and does bring forgiveness and a promise of something far different.
Another scene that shocked me was when the main male character was asked why he lived by the principles he did. His answer was this, “I don’t believe dating trains us to be good husbands and wives. It trains us to be skilled in the superficial.” When the woman asking him this answered, “Who talks like that?” His answer was only, “I do.” Who does talk like this? Theater reviewers may find that number to be many more than they think.
It was little surprise to me that when I looked for reviews on this movie – the majority of secular reviews blasted it saying that it was heavy handed and preachy. They hated the premise – and hated the things it lifted up for us to consider even more. To embrace a life that views sex as something other than a hedonistic plunge into whatever our desires demand is foreign to our current sex-crazed world. Yet, I believe that there will be a large group of people who will see this movie and feel relieved. They will be relieved that there are still people out there who embrace “Old Fashioned” values. They will rejoice over something that sees chivalry, respect for women, respect for God’s order, and romance that does not mean immediate demands for sex as good things. They will be excited over a movie that doesn’t attempt to drag us down to the lowest levels of immorality, but rather attempts to help us have something that is moral, good, and yes – godly (gasp). They will be grateful for a portrayal of purity that makes us want to strive for something higher and better.
What is truly amazing to me is that God’s way is not in hues of grey. Love, according to what He wants for us, is bursting with color and joy. Having been saved out of a sexually immoral lifestyle, I can attest that the world’s way is the one that is grey and lifeless. It doesn’t bring joy, and it constantly doesn’t live up to its billing. Each new relationship is begun with hope that it will be better than the last – but only winds up being fodder for additional country songs about broken hearts and broken lives. Every woman should know the joy of a man who pursues her because he truly loves God and loves her in a selfless and self-sacrificing way. Every man should know the manly call from God to pursue a woman by showing her his character and willingness to lay down his life for her. This is God’s way – not 50 shades of grey – but 10,000 bright and brilliant colors of true love.
Most of these articles are taken from the Calvary Courier, a weekly newsletter that is sent to the folks who attend Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. Due to the response to these articles, we've decided to print some of them which proved to be very helpful to God's people at the fellowship.
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