How do we talk about guns in America? All we seem to do is posture and platform all the while innocent lives are in the fray. We need a better way to dialogue.
Let’s hear your thoughts…
Let’s talk about Fifty Shades of Grey. The books have sold over 100 million copies. The advance ticket pre-sales on Fandango are skyrocketing for the upcoming film’s release this week. Love it or hate it, it’s become a cultural phenomena and it’s happening right in front of us. For the faith-based folks, it’s time again to ramp up boycott and condemnation. But I want to change the conversation and take a deeper look into this interesting cultural moment.
So, buckle your seatbelt or in this case… grab your riding crop, handcuffs and blindfolds while we dig into this Fifty Shades moment in culture though the lens of faith and spirituality.
What I want to offer here… which is sort of like agreeing on a safe word… is a few alternative points to having a constructive conversation about Fifty Shades of Grey.
A few ground rules before we enter into this conversation:
Now let’s whip up (pun intended) constructive/alternative talking points about Fifty Shades of Grey from someone who has read the books. This is by no means an endorsement or praise, but a few topics of push back against what is being said. It always bugs me when conversations play out over the media (social and otherwise) in attacks that are one-sided platitudes.
To have a constructive conversation about the book/movie here are a few alternative talking points about the story:
Now, the books aren’t written very well and have been called, “mommy porn” for good reason. That being said, one area I think people connect with the book (besides the salacious sex…) is that broken people can be mended. Overall, the scope of the book/film is that you’ve got two broken people looking for healing. Like the rest of us, we don’t always go looking for healing in the right places or within the healthiest of means. If you want to have a constructive conversation about the books… it should be geared in this vein. Who among us isn’t hurt, broken and messed up. Who among us hasn’t sought healing in self-indulgent or destructive places?
And if you want to further engage the conversation within faith… here’s a wakeup call for pastors… most of your congregation is made up of broken and flawed people. Some have sexual issues and others, maybe, have emotional or physical problems. None of this is new. But like the book, the place for healing begins where there is acceptance of one another in a safe and loving environment. When people don’t feel free to deal with their brokenness and pain, we tend to hide it in the dark… and in the dark the pain isn’t healed… it just gets twisted and bathed in shame. We need communities of faith to embrace people. To love people. To help people. To be a place of healing and not condemnation.
Often our churches come off as a red room of pain. Like in the book, we flog and whip people into feeling beaten down with life. We give them a god that isn’t an accepting and loving God. We give them a god of bondage and pain and not one of freedom love and hope. Jesus came to give freedom and not bondage. It’s funny how the thing people vehemently condemn the most is often the thing they secretly struggle with.
So again, I’m not endorsing the book or the film. I’m just calling for a different posture amongst the faithful as they engage culture.
Ultimately, I’m saying that we need to quit condemning culture and begin speaking life and hope into people… teaching them that a life lived under the way of Christ is a pursuit of healing and freedom…. one in which we eventually use to help other people.
Thoughts on how Christianity is not wrestling well or playing nice with one another when it comes to gay marriage.