In order to make your Valentine’s weekend complete, cinemas will be releasing Fifty Shades Darker – the second installment in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. I know, what more can Christians say about Fifty Shades of Grey? Post-after-post was written last year as the initial installment hit screens and shattered box-office expectations (it grossed well over $500 million). Christians rose up and covered the blogosphere with heavy admonitions urging Christians to abstained from the film, which I couldn’t agree more.
As one may wonder what more could be said about this film, I also wonder what other perversions could be written to stretch this story out for a sequel. How could author E.L. James get darker in this next installment? How in the world could she make a trilogy out of this? I think the answer lies in the heart of humanity.
The Depths of Darkness
The verse that continues to run through my mind is found in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. As Paul is discussing those who refuse to see God as he’s revealed through creation, we read that God gave them over to their unrighteousness (1:18-28). From there, Paul moves into a list of evils manifested in humanity’s denial of their true Creator, and he tells us it resulted in people being “inventors of evil” (1:30). Perhaps we could say that they thought of new and creative ways to experiment with their depravity?
On the one hand, I am baffled by a sequel to a literary-porn novel, but, on the other hand, I completely understand it. I realize that just when I think I’ve mined the depths of human depravity, I stumble upon another crevice that sinks deeper into darkness. A place that finds new idolatry, wickedness, and perversion previously unthinkable.
Here’s a good dose of reality: Those perversions are in your heart and mine.
I have not seen Fifty Shades of Grey and I have not read the books, nor do I plan to. I am thoroughly convinced the films are sinful and no Christian should view the movies or read the novels. The truth is, however, I don’t need to read or view them to fill my heart with perversions – perversions are already in my heart.
Jesus Christ was very straight-forward when he explained to his disciples that it is not what is outside of us that makes us wicked, but what is inside of us (Mark 7:14-23). Therefore, Fifty Shades Darker would only feed the darkness that is already present in your heart and mine.
What About Young Minds?
Without a doubt, couples will flock to the darkened theaters and carry the darkness of the film into their own hearts, minds and bedrooms. In short, they will feed the lusts that plague the hearts of every fallen human.
Here’s the thing, though…not every viewer of Fifty Shades Darker will be an adult. It is no surprise that teenagers and pre-teens will find their way into the theater and behold erotic images their minds won’t be able to process. They will learn sex from Fifty Shades Darker.
So, as these curious hearts and minds wonder into the theater, what sexual “truths” will they learn? Since many teenagers are taught about sex from Snapchat, Instagram and Google, what else will Fifty Shades Darker teach them?
Here are just a few ways in which their hearts will be poisoned:
Pain is pleasure – I have no statistics to back this up, but I would imagine whips and handcuff sales increased after the release of the first film. I don’t know much about the stories, but I know Christian Grey is into perverted sex acts that involve elements of torture. Young minds will equate this with normal sexual behavior.
Sex has no boundaries – Not only will the boundaries of normal sexual decency between a man and a woman be absent, but I would imagine that marriage is nowhere to be found in this film. Monogamy will be discouraged, sleeping around encouraged and experimenting normalized. Young minds will be discouraged in the wrong ways, encouraged in the wrong ways and buy into a new normal that is anything but.
Darker is better – The sexual respect between husband and wife that God encourages in the marriage bed, is replaced with practices unthinkable to previous generations. The dark sex acts of the film will merge with the sex acts most teenagers are viewing on their smartphones. The sum total of these pornographic images will raise a generation of teenagers to think the darker they go, the better.
Monogamy is foolish – God defined sex as one man and one woman in marriage. Anything outside of that is not sex, but sexual immorality, perversion, and fornication. He did that not to confine our joy, but to increase our joy. God knew that any perversion of this monogamous relationship would be foolish, but mankind is claiming God to be the fool. Young minds will see God’s sexual ideal as old-fashioned, close-minded and just plain crazy.
Sexual entitlement – God is the Creator of all things and he is the one who gets to tell us the rules. Our culture, however, sees itself as sovereign over sex and it can do whatever it wants with sex. Teenagers will not learn that sex is a gift from God that should be stewarded by humans. Rather, they will be taught that sex belongs to the individual and they can use it for their own selfish desires in whatever way they want.
It is true that we must flee sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18), but living in today’s culture makes that seem like an impossibility. Sexual immorality is everywhere we look. And, if we could look into the contours of humanity’s heart, we would find it there. Truth be told, every human is sexually broken.
Therefore, we must pray for our hearts. We must ask the Spirit to incline our hearts towards what is pure and good when it comes to our sexuality. And, we must be filling our children’s hearts with biblical truth about sexuality in the midst of a culture screaming falsehoods.