After Fifty Shades

Film still from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, photo from

Film still from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, photo from

The highly talked about movie and book, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is the driving sales force in many theatres and bookstores across the globe. The book alone has sold over a hundred million copies. It tells the story of a young attractive billionaire named Christian Grey and the young woman he sexually dominates, Anastasia Steele. Fifty Shades of Grey explicitly depicts sexual practices between a successful business man and a young college graduate.

As I was writing this article I stumbled across a few reviews with some people expressing their shock and horror at such a movie and others praising the splendor of E.L. James’ work. So as Christians, how should we think about the movie regardless of having watched it or heard about it? Should we pretend it is just a piece of fiction and move on in life or should we react against this in a mature Christian manner?

The fact that James does not depict true love is disappointing. Christian takes advantage of this young girl’s innocence just to fulfill his desires. We see a lustful, self-seeking, selfish desire, not an act of love. But what is true love? True love gives and serves; it does not lust. True love can never be found in selfish, self-seeking desires; it can only be found on the cross. Christ’s love on the cross is selfless, unbounding and truly genuine. Only someone who is beaten, flogged, spat on and trampled can love you in the most unimaginable way possible. He was treated like dirt just so that we will get the crown of eternity.

As the Covenant community and as Christians, we are living in a world that is constantly in battle with God’s word. Who cares about God’s word when a movie can hit the million-dollar mark? But Jesus never has and never will use us for His selfish gain. On the cross He lost His life so we could gain eternity. As Paul Jenkins writes, “Grace allows itself to be trampled and then extends itself to the very ones who trampled it.” Take heart because this is true love.