50 Shades of Controversy

50 Shades of Controversy

Everyone has their opinions on the “hot” topic of this weekend (pun intended). Yep, get ready for yet another 50 shades post… I wrestled with whether or not I should post on the subject but since my goal is to minister to women, this topic will be relevant now and unfortunately, for years to come now that they’ve announced sequels.

I’ve read several other articles and pro & con arguments on Facebook and I came down to one point, I don’t want anyone to feel judged for seeing this movie, especially if they don’t claim to be a follower of Christ. Now before I go on: No, I DO NOT support this movie and I would NOT recommend seeing it but I realize that inevitably, people will see it this weekend…if they didn’t already last night.

So instead of passing judgment on those in favor of the movie, let’s instead focus on how to pray for its effects. No good has ever come from judging others especially when they do not hold the same standards that we do. The enemy would love to make this topic the focus of the next controversy between Christians and non-Christians.

Just as other controversial topics have pushed people away from Christ, I pray that God will use this to bring people to him. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, prostitutes and many others who are not named have been redeemed by Christ and his unconditional love (present company included).

As far as Christian men and women in support of the movie, it is a very difficult subject for me to discuss because I fear pushing friends away. With that said, I only hope that you could see the movie (and its books) for what it is – exploitation intended take your money and keep you coming back for more. Hmm, that sounds a lot like the drug industry, doesn’t it? Anyway, my point is leave it alone. I do not think Jesus would be in support of this movie if he were alive today and I don’t think he would want to share our heart and mind with those images.

Ok if I still have your attention, please pray with me over the following:

  • Pray for the men and women who are 18-24 who might be tempted to see it. I think of the kids who were in my Youth Group, the generation who were obsessed with Edward and Bella. Today, most of these young people are old enough to see this movie. Pray that they won’t watch it strictly out of peer pressure but will instead choose something else to do with their time.
  • Pray for kids who are in junior high and high school who will see it. If you think there won’t be any underage kids who watch this movie, you’re mistaken. With technology at their fingertips and access to illegal downloads or their parental controls, I cringe to think of kids my nephew’s age watching this type of “accepted” pornography on dvd, their personal computers, ipads or smartphones. My pastor once said, “Sin looks normal in a fallen world.” With this movie and others out right now exposing more skin, f-bombs and graphic content than ever, I fear what will be the norm in fifteen years when my 3 year old is 18.
  • Pray for those who seek out the “love story” among the filth. From what I understand, Christian Grey is broken man. He grew up in the worst of situations and had been exposed to many things in his formative years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the author chose a character with his backstory for the female lead (aka the “good” girl) to come in and “heal” him. Ladies, if you’re wise, you probably already know that no woman can change a man – or vice versa. Pray for those who are naïve and want to believe in the love story of this and other romantic comedies that will never come true.
  • Pray for those with a skewed view of love and sex. Sex ≠ Love. Physical touch is a form of love but rarely does it lead to a long-lasting relationship if it’s the basis of your foundation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important ingredient to a healthy relationship but pure sex without communication, mutual respect and commitment is dangerous to those seeking romance with another. With that said, Love ≠ Sex. For my single friends who may be in relationships where the partner is pushing for sex or guilting you into it (or even forcing sex upon you), end the relationship now. That is what we call a “red flag”.
  • Pray for those who have been victims in relationships, both emotionally, physically and sexually. I think we stereotype most people who have been abused and think that once they’ve been freed of a situation, they’ll never go back. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many women (or men) who have been in abusive relationships are sometimes attracted to that dominating personality which sometimes leads them to a similar situation. Abuser/Victim relationships can be endless cycles with one or many people.
  • Pray for those who will see the movie this weekend because of the hype or because they are rebelling against conservative or Christian culture. Unfortunately, in my younger years, I would have considered seeing this movie because I wanted to be “cool” or show that I was a “progressive” Christian. (I almost want to roll my eyes because this hits home for me.) In the last few years, I have realized that I was so concerned with what others thought of me, I was living for them and not myself…much less God. If you’re only interested in it for the hype or the bragging rights, please take time to yourself to think logically through your decision and God forbid, don’t bring it up in conversation just to make yourself seem cooler. People can see straight through that façade.
  • Pray for those who will use this movie as another soapbox. Let’s turn the tables and pray for those who will condemn those who read the books or watch the movie. I see many Christians preaching to other Christians who will leave the church because of the hellfirebrimstone style of condemnation. We are told to preach the truth out of love. No one ever argued or condemned someone into believing in Christ.
  • Finally, for those who will see it regardless of their background, their belief system or their present relationships, pray for their minds. Unfortunately, we can’t “unsee” things once we’ve been exposed. Also, pray that the excitement that comes from seeing it doesn’t open a gateway to an industry that exploits men, women and children. The drug that many will experience this weekend is a lot easier to come by in the privacy of one’s home and internet.

Oh and one more thing, what a man and woman do in the privacy of their own bedroom should remain just that – private. And for me, I would much rather spend two hours alone with my husband than in a crowded movie theater watching a twisted “love” story that won’t do anything for my self-esteem OR the health of my marriage. Can I get an Amen?! (I had to add some comic relief in there somewhere, lol.)

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