Grace & 50 Shades of Grey


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The hype has calmed down a little bit and the bloggers have all weighed in. 50 Shades of Grey is a blockbuster movie, a bestselling book, and the hot topic of journalists, and reporters.  And I realize that I’m adding to that by being another voice jumping in on the topic, but the reason I’m doing so is going to be a bit different.

I have no questions that 50 Shades of Grey is a bad thing.

It presents a view of sex that is far from God’s design and the book is pornographic in its depiction of sex; the images that it has created in the minds of its readers and the images that are portrayed on the big screen are not the way God intended sexuality to work.

And this is why it’s been talked about so much.

And if you’re looking for a list of reasons why it’s wrong to read or watch 50 Shades, this isn’t the post for you.

Instead, I want to talk to you who already made the choice to read the books. I want to talk to you who made the choice to watch the movie. By now the images have played through in your mind already and as the conversation has hit the blogosphere and the social media newsfeed, you’ve felt nothing but condemnation.

And some of you didn’t even need to be told it was wrong, you already knew.

It, at times, made you cringe.

Maybe you walked out of the movie theater, somewhat thrilled by what you saw and somewhat disgusted at the same time.  Perhaps you’ve read the book and as you’ve come face to face with the reality of the images that are presented you feel ashamed.  Or maybe you haven’t read the book or watched the movie but you know enough the images in your head and you know that the book is nothing compared the sex scenes you’ve created in your own heart.

Many of us, when realizing the problems with a movie like 50 Shades respond to the convicted by heaping on the guilt. But if you already are dealing with the guilt and shame that comes from watching a movie like 50 Shades of Grey, I want you to hear another word.

Caught in the Act

There’s a well-known story in the Scriptures when a woman is caught in the act of adultery and she gets drug before Jesus so that the religious leaders could test him and see how he might respond.  She’s without a doubt guilty; she’s been caught in the act.  And as she is at the feet of Jesus, guilty of adulterous sex, Jesus responds in a way that she can’t imagine.

The religious leaders come to her with condemnation, ready to kill.

But Jesus, as she sits at his feet in guilt and shame, offers grace.  Her guilt brings her to Jesus and in that moment Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you.”

In the thick of 50 Shades of Grey discussions, there will be a lot of condemnation. There will be a lot of guilt and shaming of the people who have watched it.  Many of the articles that analyze the problems with the film and the dangers it presents to human sexuality will probably be accurate, but we cannot have condemnation alone.

Because some of you watched it.

And some of you read the book.

And it’s easy for us as Christians to bring out the stones. Now, if you don’t think there’s any problems with 50 Shades, I’d probably suggest some other posts to read. But if you are weighed down with the guilt, Jesus words to the woman caught in adultery are the same words to you.

“Neither do I condemn you.”

It doesn’t matter what choice you made when it came to this book and this film. It doesn’t matter how broken and twisted the images you put into your mind were. It doesn’t matter how sick and perverted your own thoughts might continue to get. It doesn’t even matter how much you actually liked reading the book and watching the movie.

The grace of Jesus covers even the perversion of 50 Shades of Grey.

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