50 Shades of Grey became very Black and White by chapter three.
It was early spring of 2012 and I noticed a sleek silver tie on a black book cover at Barnes and Noble on the top 10 shelf. I go often to book stores and read all of the time and almost never take a book suggestion, nor do I read the back cover or any reviews because I like to be surprised by my books and my movies. I can usually tell by the cover however, where the story will go but this silver tie and black background made me wonder if it was a fiction novel about a high-end businessman and some kind of intrigue in New York. I was not expecting, as I read the beginning of the clunky written novel, what spiritually slapped me in the face by the third chapter.
‘50 Shades of Grey’ is the first fictional novel in a trilogy written by British author E.L. James. The trilogy was developed from a Twilight fan fiction series originally titled Master of the Universe and was self-published. Although the book had small beginnings being birthed from the characters of ‘Twilight’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has topped best-seller lists around the world. The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages. It has set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time and is now being made into a full-length motion picture set to be released for Valentines Day next year. And this doesn’t surprise me a bit.
I began reading the first few chapters with this spiritual unrest emerging as I turned the pages. I got to the part of the story where Anastasia Steele goes on a date with Christian, the main character. On this first date Christian insists that Ana sign a non-disclosure agreement forbidding her to discuss anything that they do together, (???!!?!) which Ana agrees to sign. (??!??!!!?) He also mentions another contract, but first takes her to his ‘playroom’ full of ‘equipment’ that is used to torture each other in the context of a sexual relationship. There Christian informs her that the second contract will be one of dominance and submission and that there will be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one which will include violent acts that they will agree on. The contract forbids Ana from touching Christian or making eye contact with him. (???!?!??!) At this point, he realizes that Ana is a virgin and agrees to take her virginity without making her sign the contract. Now if that’s not chivalry… I was like hah?
I literally pushed the book away from me and sat silent wondering what in the world I had purchased! Immediately the Lord began to speak to me about the dangerous impact this book would have on our culture. He moved me to understand that this book would become very popular and would open spiritual doors to violent sex that would have never been opened for thousands of women and men in the Western world. He also revealed to me that there was a serious demonic presence behind the story just as there was to ‘Twilight’. At the time I had no idea they were connected. I threw the book into our fire pit and torched it that evening. As it burned I asked the Lord to protect the Body of Christ from this stealthy evil.
I began to pay attention to who was reading it and who was talking about it. It seemed like everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike. I found it interesting that a number of unsaved women were hiding the title and even calling it, ‘The Book’; had it on their Kindles; or read it in private. It was interesting to me that they could tell the book was shameful but continued to read it nonetheless. Then later these same women and many others would seek me out to discuss their disappointment and anger with their husbands and the lack of an exciting sex life and so on. It got to the point where in a counseling meeting I would ask if they had read the book series because their complaints were becoming so typical of those who read the book. Many women were shocked as I proceeded to rebuke them for taking in pornography. I call it chic porn and it is just as devastating to a marriage as regular man porn.
[pullquote]All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished. ~Marshall Rosenberg[/pullquote]
Beyond the pornographic nature of the story and the trappings therein, there lies an even more dangerous evil: violent dominance. This is a story written in such a way as to entice people into violent dominance. Think about that for a minute. In the Bible it says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” We are not taken in unknowingly by satan because we are not ignorant of his designs or his plans or his intentions. Being in ministry for so many years with people who have been devastated by satan I have learned a great deal about how things decline in a persons life and how the devil makes that happen one step at a time. I have also through study of the Word of God and through revelation of that word come to understand that the devil wants what God has. He wants us. He wants our attention, our sacrifice, and our worship. But it takes submission for all of that to happen. God receives our submission from an act of love, through our own choice and our own doing. The devil on the other hand will subjugate us by violence, fear, manipulation, and coercion. And when he has even a bit of attention he devours, kills, and destroys. That is always the design of the enemy.
To begin to broach the idea of violent sex in a seemingly safe and erotic way opens a door to the devil in the deepest parts of our souls. It get’s us thinking and desiring something that is antithetical to God and the intended sexual relationship between a husband and a wife. It opens doors spiritually in our mind that were never meant to be opened. It’s literally asking satan in and letting him have his way in our thought life. And thoughts lead to feelings, to beliefs, to actions.
[pullquote]1 THESSALONIANS 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;[/pullquote]
The act of sex in the context of marriage is a form of worship. The Bible uses sex between a husband and a wife as an example of the intimacy that He has with His Body, His Bride. (Song of Solomon) Sex in the context of marriage is a holy and beautiful and healthy thing. And the devil hates it. He desires to destroy it. And one of the most impactful weapons of the destruction of our sex lives and our marriages is pornography. But it’s not just our sex lives that the devil is going after.
He is also going after our children.
The devil is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t stay away from children like we would want to believe. When we take evil in we open a door to that same kind of evil for our children. That’s how it works. The devil is wicked and roaming to and fro seeking who he can devour taking every opportunity we allow him to take. Last year, Planned Parenthood in their Federally funded sex education course geared to15 year olds suggests, “that the teens should read 50 Shades of Grey as a textbook on how to explore sexuality.” When anything becomes popular in our culture it almost immediately flows down to our children, thus changing our culture for some time to come.
Think 50 Shades of Gray.
I have a fire pit if you need one.
Song of Soloman 2:7 Young women of Jerusalem, swear to me by the gazelles or by the does in the field that you will not awaken love or arouse love before its proper time.