I like to watch a movie before giving a strong opinion or recommending it. But, then there are times when I don’t need to see before giving a definite opinion. Fifty Shades Darker, the new sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, is one of those movies. I believe there are several reasons why followers of Jesus should NOT see Fifty Shades Darker.
Fifty Shades of Grey, an erotic romance novel (made into a movie), tells the story of Anatasia, a college student, and Christian Grey, a successful entrepreneur. The two meet, have a sexual relationship that becomes increasingly abusive, where Ana suffers the most harm.
Timed for Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades Darker, the new sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey (based on the best-selling romance series by E.L. James), opened last night in the UK and is opening in U.S. today. Several secular critics threw shade at the film, calling it a “travesty,” “Fifty Shades Dumber,” and its “own punishment.”
If you had already planned to see the movie then nothing I will say will convince you otherwise. However, if you are still on the fence about it and there is a UFC fight going on in your conscience, I advise you, as one of the shepherds of your soul, to NOT see the movie. I believe Fifty Shades Darker:
Cheapens the beautiful gift of sex
God created and ordained sex (Genesis 1:27-28). It is a beautiful gift, intended for human beings to enjoy. Men and women are designed to complement one another and to take sexual pleasure in one another. But, God has provided us with this beautiful gift for the full and glad expression of it in marriage (Genesis 2:23-24).
Glorifies sexual sin.
Originating in our fallen nature, sexual sin is any sexual activity that goes beyond the limits that God has set for the enjoyment of sex. This list includes, but is not limited, the following:
- Pre-marital sex – any sexual activity before marriage (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
- Adultery – any sexual activity with anyone other than your spouse (Exodus 20:14)
- Prostitution – exchanging sex for money or other favors (Leviticus 19:29)
- Homosexual sex – sexual activity and relations between the same sex (Leviticus 18:22)
- Rape – sexual violation of an individual, usually by force or against the person will (Deuteronomy 22:25-29)
- Bestiality – having sex with animals (Exodus 22:19)
- Pornography – using images – movies, pictures, and magazines – that show or describe nudity or sexual activity. These images are intended to arouse erotic and lustful, rather than emotional feelings (Matthew 5:27-30).
As in Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker glorifies sexual sin, and it perverts the good gift of sex. Paul tells us to flee sexual sin, not run towards it (1 Corinthians 6:18). When we glorify sexual sin, it becomes easier to create our standards and desensitize our hearts to the holiness of God.
Sensationalizes sexual and emotional abuse.
In the both movies, according to reviews, there are scenes of emotional and sexual abuse between Anastasia and Christian. I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma women and men have experienced at the hands of others. When we see abuse on the screen, disguised as romance, it desensitizes us to abuse and normalizes crime against women and men. Every man and woman is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and deserves to be treated with dignity and honor. Dominating of another human being through emotional, physical and sexual abuse violates the Imago Dei in another person. This grieves the heart of God.
In both movies, according to reviews, Christian objectifies Ana by making her his sexual slave. What is means to objectify women is to degrade them to the status a mere object. We reduce them to just their physical appearance and sexual parts. This is reprehensible. Period. God created women as beautiful gifts from his gracious hand. When we fail to recognize this, it becomes easier to treat women as objects. Also, the objectification of women will always end in emotional distance in a relationship.
God desires men to engage with women according to their full range of humanness, not just their physical appearance. We sacrifice emotional closeness when we see women as objects. Therefore, we must recognize that women are infinitely more than their bodies and objects to fulfill men’s sexual fantasies and desires.
Because porn invites and hosts lust, we know that it does not bring glory to God (Matthew 5:27-30). According to GQ Magazine (apparently not known for biblical insight), gives ten compelling reasons why people should stop watching porn. Among some of the reasons are it negatively impacts the brain and people who look at porn are always looking for new sexual experiences and partners. Satan is using Fifty Shades Darker to disguise pornography as romance. Porn has ruined marriages, families, careers and churches. Let’s not allow Satan to continue to win the war of enslaving our hearts. I love how Christian rapper, Trip Lee, talks about pornography in this brief video.
Soils our souls
What we place before our eyes, eventually seeps into and stains our souls. Because my heart is already wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) I don’t need to help my flesh out by watching a movie that would stimulate my flesh and soil my soul. The Psalmist was so desperate for life and the preservation of his soul, he prays that God would turn his eyes away from worthless things and guard his heart through the Scriptures (Psalm 119:37). Job made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look with lust at a woman (Job 31:1). Trip Lee, in his song Covenant Eyes, encourages us to submit our eyes to King Jesus.
If you are still on the fence about seeing the movie, ask yourself several questions:
What desire in my heart am I trying to fill that Jesus cannot fill?
Will seeing Fifty Shades Darker draw me closer to Jesus or be instrumental in pushing me away from Jesus?
As God’s holy people, we are called to think and behave according to kingdom values. Personally, I don’t see how watching Fifty Shades Darker will promote kingdom values and shine our light in a dark world.
What are some other reasons why you believe Christians should not see Fifty Shades Darker?