50 Shades of Opinions

I’ve seen hundreds of blogs lately about why we shouldn’t watch “50 Shades of Grey.” I’ve also seen hundreds of blogs lately about why you can watch “50 Shades of Grey” if you want to. Here’s the deal. Both sides are wrong. But both sides are right, too. 50 Shades is an explicit, erotic love story. It has a storyline – the love story and the way in which a strong, powerful man is weakened and thrown off by his feelings of true love, and how a shy, oddly beautiful woman falls for him and changes him more than he even changes her. It’s a beautiful storyline, really. It’s been done before, though. So, let’s throw in some crazy, weird, dangerous sex to really spice things up. I read the first book, and while I thought the way sex was portrayed in it was unnecessary and ungodly, I was in no way offended as a woman. I was offended as a person who takes sex and love very seriously and treats it as a gentle, beautiful thing rather than a rough, dirty act. That made me think about all the things I’ve read and watched in my life that have portrayed sex as a dirty game. “Sex and the City” is one of my very favorite shows. “Scandal” is also one of the best shows I’ve seen. Both of these shows are full of sex and adultery, but I don’t see any articles blowing up about that. If you’ve ever watched “The Hangover” then you’re supporting drugs, sex, and drunkenness. “Gossip Girl?” Well, the sin is in the title. “Girls” on HBO has more nudity than any show I’ve ever watched, but man do I enjoy the message and the wit that comes across through the writing. “Grey’s Anatomy” is another masterpiece on television that has some pretty corrupt stuff all in it. The bottom line is our world is filled with corruption. The idea of sex has been tainted. The “doing what we want” mentality is the most popular thing. Oh, and girls “acting like guys” when it comes to sex is yet another thing the world loves that allegedly empowers women. No. Just no. There are so many things we can do to empower women, and that isn’t one of them. Putting men down certainly doesn’t empower women either. We’ve just got it all wrong. Building others up is really the big secret to build ourselves up, man or woman. That’s why tearing people down for watching a movie is not helping the love movement in the world. If we can’t watch 50 Shades, we can’t watch 75% of everything else being put out there for our minds to absorb. While these movies, books, and shows have so many corrupt and sinful things going on in them, I watch and read a lot of them. Sometimes, they certainly do affect my thoughts, and that’s when I have to step back and push those thoughts out. I’m strong enough to do that most the time. When I’m not strong enough, when I’m at my weakest, I’m careful what I fill my mind with. We should certainly be careful all the time. It’s wisest not to fill our minds with anything unholy or unrighteous. We are to “set our minds on things above.” Music has some junk in it too. Some of the lyrics and the things they refer to are repulsive and demeaning, but no one is boycotting Beyonce or Maroon 5. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. When we let all these things become a part of us and a part of the way we act, think, and speak, it becomes a huge problem. If you aren’t going to watch 50 Shades because of it’s sexual content, then there are a lot of things you shouldn’t watch or listen to. I personally have to work on that often. There are so many things I love watching and reading that I know are not glorifying my God and that is a huge struggle of mine. I use the excuse that I love the writing of the show and the deep meanings and story lines. And that’s the absolute truth. But by watching it, I am supporting the corruption in it. And I understand that  that has been an argument for not watching this movie, but we can’t single out one sinful movie when there are thousands upon thousands we have supported for years. God sees all sin the same, so who are we to judge our brothers and sisters for this one sin? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I agree that 50 Shades is not an uplifting and glorifying movie, but I am also in no place to judge anyone for watching it. A very godly man once told me that judging is OK if we “judge out of love.” If we don’t struggle with the sin and don’t have issues with it, and if we encourage others not to fall into that certain sin in the most loving and uplifting way, then we are doing it out of the right place in our hearts. If we want to shine light on their sin and hide ours in the dark, we are not encouraging out of love, we are just discouraging bad behavior and discouraging the person. So, I say, we stop with the finger-pointing and discouragement, and lift each other up. Don’t go watch 50 Shades, but don’t do it to prove a point, do it because your heart is in it and you know it will not glorify God for you to watch it. Don’t go – because you know it will fill your heart with thoughts you don’t need in your mind. Don’t go – because you will think about things you shouldn’t and maybe even feel a little worse about yourself. But don’t not go and then tell everyone that went how awful they are. And if you do go, think about why you’re there and how you feel when you’re there, and really reflect on how it plays in to your relationship with God. But then, take that and apply it to every aspect of your life and everything you soak in. The world can’t tell you what to do. Only God can do that. And you get to pick who and what you listen to and look at anyway.

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