By Angela Royse Pelleman
Confusion and Lies
This Valentine’s Day, everyone is talking about the movie that glamorizes a sexually abusive relationship. I don’t even want to write the title, Fifty Shades of Grey. As God quickly gave me words and verses to share, I started wondering: Do they really know that’s it’s wrong, and why it’s wrong? To me, it’s obvious, but it may not be obvious to those who are lost or confused, or to those who have been taught to believe lies. Even Christians can be blinded by the lies of the world. “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (Isa. 35:5 NLT).
This may be a “gray” area in the minds of some people, but God speaks to us, in scriptures, from pages that are black and white. The words of Jesus can be found in red. God hates sexual abuse. His word says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure” (Prov. 15:26 English Standard Version). If God’s word says NO on a particular issue, then God doesn’t want His children involved in any way, shape, or form. That includes reading books and watching movies about it. Walking down an ungodly path, leads people into temptation. “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires” (James 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).
“No! Sexual abuse is not okay!” I want to scream it. Neither is emotional, verbal, physical, or spiritual abuse. Usually, several of them are tied together, as they are in this movie. My hope is that people will not change their minds because of what I have to say about violence and porn, but what God has to say about it. Maybe lives will be changed for the better. Maybe lives will be…saved.
Sin and Sensationalism
Is our world so broken, that the newest form of sensationalism is the sexually abusive relationship? Yes; God already knew it would happen: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Tim. 3:2-4 New International Version).
A sin is a sin, and the devil is a deceiver. He knows that people will think it’s okay to watch a pornographic movie, if it has an acceptable R rating and is being shown at a public movie theater. The devil also knows that people get their ideas about love from the fallen world around them. Lies can be found in books, movies, commercials, and magazines. They all shout out the lie that sex is love.
God says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28 NIV). When people view pornographic material, they are inviting sinful thoughts to surface. This can lead to further sin. Why jeopardize the chance to have a fulfilling, godly relationship, based on love? “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27 NET Bible).
Sex and Abuse
When sexual abuse gets added into the mix, and it causes even more chaos and confusion. Sexual abuse is not love. It is the opposite. Sexual abuse is hatred. It is a sin. Sexual abuse is unhealthy, damaging, and evil. It is a lie to believe that it’s romantic to dole it out. It’s a lie to believe one must take it, in order to prove love. It’s a bold-faced like to believe love can be found in a sexually abusive relationship.
Sex without marriage already causes damage. God’s laws are in place to protect us. God intended sex to be an intimate act of love, within the confines of marriage only. The marriage bond is sacred. God says this: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4 English Standard Version). Sex forms an intimate bond between a husband and wife, and it’s one way for them to express their love toward each other. In fact, it is so special, that the couple can create a baby together.
If God does not approve of sex outside of marriage, then He certainly does not approve of an abusive sexual relationship. God also does not approve of sexual abuse within a marriage. He gives clear instructions about how men should treat their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5: 25-28 NIV).
Temptation and Thievery
Anything in opposition to God’s commandments, is sin. The devil is at work, enticing people to sin. He does this subtly, through entertainment. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and also have it to the full” (John 10: 10 NIV). These are the words of Jesus. The thief is the devil. The devil steals virginity, innocence, childhood, and peace. He kills by inflicting pain, turning people against each other, and he will do whatever he can to kill hope, faith, and joy. He destroys purity, marriages, families, and lives. He is a tempter. One vile way the devil does this, is through sexual abuse. He also seeks to deceive people into thinking that certain situations aren’t so bad. The devil is a deceiver and a liar. Only Jesus can redeem and restore the beauty that is lost, and bring new life.
The comments in favor of this book and movie, are excuses to sin. Erotica is not valuable literature. It’s a fancy word for “porn.” It’s sexual fantasy. When the graphic sex and violence are removed, there is nothing left. When a man degrades a woman, he is saying she’s worthless. This is a lie from Hell. God created women to be loved and cherished. In a sexually abusive relationship, lost souls are being led down a dangerous path full of manipulative lies. These souls are being damaged.
Reality and Redemption
Why on earth would it be okay, then, to watch a movie with a selfish, sadistic, narcissistic, sexual abuser as the star? What is entertaining about watching women be demeaned, mistreated, battered and abused? How does this give glory and honor to God? It doesn’t. Death would be a better alternative for the character from Shades of Grey. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 NIV). These are the words of Jesus, in red. If someone thinks that is harsh judgment, it can be discussed him. Jesus is real man, a man without sin, and he can take it. In fact, he already did. He took it all, for you and for me, when he died on the cross. He died for girls and boys who are, and have been, sexually abused. He even died for the abusers.
God’s people can be forgiven their sins. Even sexual abusers can be forgiven for atrocities that would otherwise land them into the pit of hell. Why does a sexual abuser, get a chance to go to Heaven? If an abuser asks Jesus into His heart, God lets him in. Why? It’s because Jesus already paid for the sin! He took the punishment for you and me! It’s a gift! God loved us all enough to send His own son, as a living sacrifice, to die for each and every one of us, so that we could live with Him eternally. Hell is not a place anyone wants to go. The devil may buddy up to some people here on earth, but he’s a deceiver. He’s making promises he doesn’t intend to keep. But God does keep his promises, and He has every intention of fulfilling every single one of them for His children.
God wants a clean, pure relationship with His children. God forgives all sins, only through His son, Jesus Christ. To receive eternal life, a person must ask Jesus to come into his heart, while acknowledging that he is a sinner, and that Jesus died for him. This is an act of faith, and God calls every man and woman to receive His gift. Since we have to wait until he comes, he offers healing to those who have suffered the pain and agony of physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). Jesus understands suffering. He willingly suffered for our sins.
Dear God, please forgive your children when they struggle with temptations. Please give them wisdom and discernment. Heal those who are hurting and damaged. Fill your children with your Holy Spirit. Give them eyes to see the truth. Turn your children away from evil, and into the arms of Jesus.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8 NIV).
Black and white bible page. Words of Jesus in red. Life-saving verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).