Bondage. Whips. Trauma. Romance. ??? Fifty Shades of Grey, the 2011 erotic romance novel written by British author E.L. James, criticized for its poorly written prose, sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages. In a world that pushes limits to constantly satiate the flesh, the book has been repurposed into a movie to release in theaters nationwide this Valentine’s Day weekend. “Fifty Shades of Grey” seeks to thrill audiences with erotica and sexual fantasy without true intimacy.
But there’s no storybook ending here. In society’s crush with the world, they’ll find they’ve cheated themselves out of true love and true intimacy. Long after the characters’ chains are removed, the chains remain for viewers.
While those in relationship with Christ Jesus enjoy the true love and intimacy He provides, our spirits are pricked with an urgency to address the state of emergency that plagues our world and its inhabitants: the persistent satanic agenda at work. A satanic agenda of counterfeit and deception. While Christ Jesus came to bring us true freedom and love, Satan presents counterfeit freedoms that destroy.
Many have been lulled into supporting more worldly freedoms such as fornication, porn cloaked in this satanic agenda—only to be perplexed by the unintended outcomes (destroyed families, broken childhoods, emptiness, objectification, etc.).
Sex is good because God created sex—in the context of a loving, God-ordained marriage between man and woman. Satan seeks to pervert everything good and of God, particularly sex. Our overly sexualized culture has bought into the lies, even justifying it as “entertainment.”
Excellently stated by our friends and ministry partner pureHOPE in their blog post “From Selma to 50 Shades,” about counterfeit schemes, “good” is viewed as “evil” and “evil” is viewed as “good” (Isaiah 5:20). We stand with pureHOPE to pursue a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness.
Voices Against the Grain delivers God’s truth to a spiritually blind, broken, deceived and dying world. We reveal Satan’s counterfeit schemes to help direct audiences to the One whose Word, who through relationship brings true freedom, true love: Jesus Christ. Like this song by Tasha Cobbs, our desire is to “break every chain” and bring restoration through the powerful Name of Jesus.
Authentic freedom (one that does not enslave) is found only in Christ Jesus. No other substitute. This is black and white. The world will always present counterfeit freedoms that operate in “shades of grey,” never delivering full freedom. They entice, offer temporary pleasure, then lead to life-long brokenness, enslavement and spiritual death.
Romans 8:5 tells us that, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Furthermore, Romans 8:2 promises us that “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (New International Version)
Are you truly free—or are you chained by shades of grey?
Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.