I have been thinking about what to write on this blog, I feel compelled to address the five main arguments I have seen women making in defense of these books and the movie. I am not an experienced writer or debater, but I will do my best to explain their arguments and the answers from both Christian and logical perspectives, in hopes that everyone can see my point.
1) Don’t Judge Them Unless You've Read Them
There is major fault in this line of logic that is very easy to see. I will illustrate by asking a few questions.
- Do I have to be try cocaine to know that I don’t want to be addicted?
- Do I have to have a heart attack to know it doesn't feel good and should be avoided?
- Do I have to experience suicide to know its consequences?
I think these examples should be sufficient to illustrating the error in this line of logic. I don’t have to experience any of those things to know that they are not wise or good for me. In order to know pros and cons in any of these cases, there are two ways to figure it out before diving in: research and wise counsel.
Research should be an important part of every decision we make if we want to be wise. For the Christian, the first place we should look is the Bible, to see if God’s word reveals the truth about a particular subject. Then, we should look to those who are well-informed to seek out the right opinions. Sometimes, your best friend’s opinion or your friend's recommendation isn't going to cut it, if you want to make a wise choice. Look up reviews or articles to see if something is worth your investment. Then, go seek out the wisdom of someone you trust, like an older mentor, to see if they think it is wise to pursue. If after all that all lights are still green, then you can go into it without regrets. If not, then you should probably avoid it.
As far as Fifty Shades is concerned, I have not, nor do I plan to, read the books or see the movies. But this does not mean I cannot have an educated opinion about it. I have done my research. I have read Pulling Back the Shades, several posts and articles, and plot summaries. I have several people in my life older and wiser than me that think it’s not beneficial, and I trust their counsel. I have done the same thing (researched and sort out counsel) for both the Twilight saga and the Harry Potter saga, and I came to similar conclusions (Those stories may be saved for other posts). I do not walk into this discussion with uneducated answers, and assuming that everyone who disagrees can’t have educated answers is faulty logic and an arrogant assumption of their part.
2) But It’s a Love Story
Women are so swept away by Christian Grey’s charm, money, and sexiness that they fail to see him for what he is – an emotionally disturbed young man that became a manipulative and obsessive control freak with a lot of money. And just like Ana, by the time you discover how messed up he is, it’s too late. You have become obsessed in him, to the point that you are blinded into thinking that what he is doing is out of love. But I know that what Christian does is not out of love for her, but out of his desire for self-gratification. As I stated in my last post, I dare to argue that neither Christian nor Ana knew the true definition of love. If either one of them have known the truth, their story would have ended differently.
3) If They Both Consented, What’s the Problem?
Many try to argue that because Ana agreed to go by Christian’s contact, then there is no problem with anything they do behind locked doors. They say it’s not rape or abuse if it’s consensual. They say all that they are doing is spicing up their love life the way that Christian knows how. They claim that we have no right to judge because it was their decision.
However, there is so much more to this problem than consent and abuse. The bigger problem from the Christian standpoint is that it distorts the reality of all God intended sex to be. In fact, that kind of behavior doesn't make sex better; it’s cheapens it to be merely a game between consenting adults. It grieves me to think that our view of sex has fallen so far.
4) But They Get Married
This is another argument that is faulty in its logic, for two reasons. First, the end does not justify the means. Before he actually married her, he manipulated her and even dehumanized her by using her to fulfill his twisted sexual desires. After he put her through all that, he decided he didn't what to be without her and wanted to marry her. How could she fall for that? Can anyone say Stockholm Syndrome?
Second, they bring baggage into their marriage that doesn't immediate heal. Marriage is not meant to fix your relational problems in the real world. Yet somehow, we are supposed to believe that despite everything they brought into their marriage, and even Christian's anger about Ana’s first pregnancy, they still manage to have a normal marriage and normal children! Those type of situations never work out that way in really life. Don’t be deceived.
5) If You Don’t Like It, Just Leave It Alone
There is some validity to this argument if you are a Christian and they are not, and let me explain why. We cannot hold a non-Christian accountable to your personal moral standard if they haven’t chosen to live by that standard themselves. In that respect, they are totally right. I feel like that is one of the easiest moments for hypocrisy to creep in and taint our witness to non-believers.
That being said, I don’t think Christians should keep their mouths shut if they believe this to be wrong. If you do your research, you will find that these books are doing damage to many marriages, are drawing women towards the BDSM lifestyle, and are tainting God’s design for sexuality. We should be grieved to hear these stories, to the point that we want to take action, but how? If you are convicted that this is wrong, then how to we tell them the truth without judging or “Bible-thumping”?
We must be careful when approaching the situation because these stories have created a moral and emotional fantasy in their minds, and that is one of the reasons they are quick to call anyone out for judging them. Did you catch that? This story alters a moral reality, one in which things that were once black and white are now grey, and this alteration is hidden behind all the emotion and good feelings the women get from reading them. Because their moral reality has been effected, they have become quick to judge anyone who questions their choice. We need to keep this in the back of our minds and the front of our prayers as we come to these discussions.
I believe that we should think of what we are doing as a warning. If I know someone is going the wrong direction while traveling, I will tell them to reconsider their route if the opportunity comes for me to tell them. If I think someone is about to walk into a dangerous situation, I will do my best to warn them if I am given the opportunity, but in the end allow them to make their own choice. This is the way I try to think of it. That is the best mindset we can have in this discussion, especially when dealing with non-Christians. If you have a personal relationship with the person you discussing this with, they will hopeful be able to see the concern you have for them if you use this approach.