The Evangelical Universalist Forum

50 Shades of Grey and the Christian

50 Shades of Grey is probably not a literary captivating book. It’s certainly not a good movie, according to the collective rating at IMDB (i.e.Internet Movie Database - 3.8 out of 10 stars, with around 34 K votes). And I haven’t either read the book or seen the movie. Yet Patheos - a Christian newsletter - did have a couple of articles on it, in the past week or so:

50 Shades of Grey: when consent is not enough
50 Shades of Grey Glamorizes Intimate Partner Violence

So does the book or movie bring up issues for the Christian, like the articles elude to? If so, what are they?

My only concern is that it doesn’t spell out the importance of consent and understanding in a relationship. What people do together is their business, but a caring partner would make sure that the other was informed and risk aware, and that all activities would be done with safety in mind. I’ve read an article that said (rather scientifically) that couples in BDSM relationships are often very close, very honest, very trusting…that both partners in their CHOSEN roles look out for each other, and love each other in a way that involves much communication and gentle care.

For this particular “flavour” of relationship, i think the film Secretary is a lot more healthy (based on what i’ve heard. I’ve also not read the book or seen the film of 50 shades). It has two people find self-worth and their own personal power in a relationship that helps one get over her self-harm, which includes retreating into herself in fear and loathing, and traps her as a person, and another get over his deep shame in himself. she learns to take charge of her own life with his help, and he learns to accept himself with hers. Also, there is a slightly applicable concept to Christianity that i thought helped explain David’s strange love for the law in Psalm 119. “I realized that I had probably never had taken a walk alone. But because he had given me the permission to do this…because he’d insisted I do it, I felt held by him as I walked along. I felt he was with me.”
i can understand it’s hard to understand that, but there’s something in that about God saying In His most holy council that we ought to LOVE, that we ought to rest in Him…even if God is not physically present, which of us can’t feel Him with us when we follow those commandments?
But then, i am strange :laughing: I quite enjoy looking for aspects of God in places that might be a bit unexpected.

I haven’t read the book or seen the movie - SMBD just isn’t my thing.
But the woman who wrote this article (in the form of a letter to her children) has, and I found it pretty disturbing: … ades-grey/

(I like corpselight’s analogy above - sounds like there’s a lot more actual love in that film than in 50 shades though)

Spoilers ahead!

I saw the movie and found it to be a mildly entertaining romance movie, not all that different from many others. I can imagine that some of the sex scenes depicted would not be out of bounds for a Christian couple, but Christian Grey (and Anastasia) are certainly not Christians.

The real problem in the movie to me is not what they are doing, but why they are doing it. Christian Grey worships many idols, and particularly domination of women. Meanwhile Anastasia has cleverly discovered that she can use Christian’s sexual idolatry to achieve her ambition, which is to dominate him in non-sexual ways by trading a bit of herself in his “playroom”.

The movie may resonate well with viewers worshipping their own idols, but it clearly belongs to that very large category of movies that are “soulless”. There is no God in the movie because there is no love. There are only individuals chasing after their own agendas. Trading goes on, but not giving.

Hi Trey, i liked what you said. I agree that the activities are probably not harmful for consenting adults in a married and informed state (preferably Christian as well!). But what you said about the reasons…if it were mutual pleasure, i could get that. that to me may be hedonistic, but at least it could potentially not be that selfish, if both CARE about each other. it’s scary that they (and of course they are a depiction of characters that could reflect real people) would engage in something ultimately soulless, with no love or real care for the other. Nicely pointed out!I also like how you don’t rise to the bait of knee jerk reactions simply because of the activities, as i’m sure many people out there are doing.

In my opinion, there’s nothing really grey about this movie. They could easily just call it 50 Shades of Naughty.

Did the movie serve any purpose other than titillation, and the profits to be made from that?

Stay totally away from 50 Shades of Grey.

I haven’t watched it but it is a deceptive movie probably straight from the devil.

A friend of mine told me it was just a romance but I knew it was a lie.

I saw a picture of a beautiful girl beat up after a BDSM episode.

The dominant person is a bully and essentially he is a sick person who finds another person to accommodate his sick intentions…an exaggerated people pleaser and talks them into submitting to their meanness saying it will be fun.

It is really just two sick people. Only one of the people is taking a beating and paying the price for the other sick person.

The Canaanites in the Old Testament had the false spirit of exaggerated people pleasing and they were an evil people.

A Christian sister told me the heroine of the movie has some sort of arrested development…The psychological development of a ten year old or something like that.

A lot of people will be slipped the lie mainstream through the movies billed as a romance.

But there is a limit to what a person,tolerates in,this world and the bible says we aren’t suppose to tolerate evil and beating up on,people for pleasure qualifies as evil.