It opens in theaters on Valentine's Weekend. How ironic.
"Fifty Shades of Grey." A 100-million selling book, called by many "mommy porn." Evidently, it's known for its portrayal of a young virgin's seduction into sado-masochistic sex in a charming man's "room of pain." Now a movie with the fastest-selling advance ticket sales in online history.
A friend just told me it's the talk of the women in her office. Forty and 50-year-old women "giggling like schoolgirls." Dying to see it. To see a woman submitting to sexual violence in the name of "exploring her dark desires."
The top ten ticket sales are from Bible Belt states. A lot of anecdotal evidence and Facebook postings suggest the "buzz" about it includes many people from Christian backgrounds.
Christian. The ones of whom the Bible says, "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19). To whom God says, "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity...you are light in the Lord...have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness" (Ephesians 5:3, 8, 11).
It's not that God's against sexual passion. Far from it. He invented it! To unite and ignite the lifetime love of a husband and wife. "Rejoice in the wife of your youth," He says. "Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19 - NLT).
But sex the Inventor's way always means honoring a woman, respecting a woman, uplifting a woman. Never hurting her, using her, violating her. "Husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:28 - NLT). "The two will become one flesh," Jesus said. A holy, tender, loving merging of two lives, expressed with the passionate merging of their bodies together.
But "Christian" interest in a morally bankrupt, "must-see" movie exposes much larger issues. More troubling issues.
The compartmentalizing of our faith. Like one slice of pie lathered in whipped cream, we have a "Jesus slice" of our life where all the "spiritual" goes. Then there's the rest of our life where we do what we please. "Sure, I believe in Jesus. But this is my business...how I treat my family...my love life...my entertainment."
Nope. "You must be holy in everything you do" (1 Peter 1:15 - NLT). Everything. If I'm deciding where Jesus is in charge and where He isn't, then He's not Lord. I am. I have dethroned the Son of God and made me my de facto God.
Then there's our naivete about entertainment. "It's only a movie...a song...a TV show." Entertainment is our hellish enemy's "stealth bomber" that brings death into our soul - under the radar.
And "desire, when it is conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1:15). We'd run from a frontal temptation to do this thing we think we'll never do. So the enemy of our soul just plants a thought, a desire, an indelible image. Sin first fascinates you. Then, it assassinates you.
The terrorist from hell says, "Watch this. It won't hurt." The Savior who loves you says, "Guard your heart...it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23). A little poison in the reservoir becomes death in the water.
There are a thousand shades of dark, inviting us to what looks like a party. But ends up a prison.
A prison Jesus Christ, Prince of Heaven, came to save us from. To show us we are more than a body to be used.
We are a soul to be cherished. Too precious to degrade or defile. Worth dying for.