Fifty Shades of Dark Black by Milton Gillie: The following review is written by my close friend Milton Gillie. Milton was the manager of each of my 19 ministry trips to Australia. Today he is our Australian correspondent for reach morenow. This is the finest commentary I’ve yet read on a movie Hollywood has designed to carry sexual experimentation to a brand-new low. Here’s Milton’s assessment:
50 Shades of dark black
I was getting the family ready for work and school this week when the morning news program began promoting the movie 50 Shades of Grey saying things like “the movie lots of married people will go to in order to spice up their love life”. My wife asked me if I had read the post she shared on Facebook from a secular psychologist who was warning against the books and subsequently the movie. The reason for this was the psychologist had encountered a 30% rise in patients needing marriage counseling, entirely from people reading this book series.
I don’t consider myself an expert on the contents in any of E.L. James’ three novels. I have not scanned any of her books nor will I see the movie. But I have heard many discussions on the book from both secular and Christian sources. My wife saw a copy on a bookstand at her work when it first came out, picked it up and read a few pages before putting it down in disgust.
One of the radio interviews I listened to regarding the book now turned into a movie, was on Campus Crusade For Christ’s program Family Life Today. The interviewer was talking with Dannah Gresh, the founder of Pure Freedom, a Christian ministry that tours the nation and other nations helping teenage girls and their mothers understand how to relate to each other and to help strengthen the moral fiber of each girl. The author of many books for teenage girls, she became concerned when she learned that more than one hundred million people have read Fifty Shades of Grey and at least half of that amount were Christians. She too read it so that she could discover what new things she would be facing when counseling daughters and mothers. She subsequently co-authored a book on what she had found. She told the interviewer how badly it affected her. (You can listen to the interview here http://familylifetoday.com/program/fifty-shades-of-deception/#resources)
When Fifty Shades of Grey was released as a book it was considered “mommy porn”, ie pornography for females. Whereas pornography for males generally requires graphic pictures, films and videos; erotic words and situations that seduce their imagination are more apt to arouse the female libido. However, once anyone gives their mind to the destructive world of pornography, either sex can be seduced by all forms of lasciviousness. It is only the initial plunge into the world of carnal stimulation that is usually more stereotypical.
Anyone who believes pornography is harmless fun should watch the interview that serial killer Ted Bundy did with James Dobson hours before he was executed. You can see it here
I am not suggesting that everyone who reads this book or sees the movie will turn into a Ted Bundy, but I didn’t have to look very far to find lots of warnings about it. This one for instance from Huffington Post writer Carey Purcell should give anyone contemplating reading any of her books or seeing the movie a good wakeup call. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-purcell/fifty-shades-of-grey-feminism_b_2395932.html
Or this one from Dave Boehi from the Family Life Today web site
Here is another warning by Kathryn Casey a contributor to Forbes (hardly a bastion of morality.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/crime/2012/06/23/is-fifty-shades-of-grey-dangerous/
The list of people warning about the film and books goes on and on. It is not just that it is harmful to the human mind but it is actually dangerous for women according to Washington Post writer Terrence McCoy
Here’s another from a doctor:
It got me thinking “What is the allure for people to get into this fantasy world?” It’s no secret a large portion of the married population live in a less than perfect marriage with little or no intimacy. A couple of years ago a web site started that facilitates people having “no strings attached affairs” as if such a thing could ever really exist. About a year after it came to Australia an article appeared in a major newspaper interviewing people who had hooked up using the service. Names changed to protect them, they opened up on the frustrations they had been having in their marriages that led them to finally make the decision that although divorce was not what they wanted, they needed to find another partner to fulfil their unmet sexual and intimate needs.
One woman talked about her absolute frustration in having her husband ignore her even when she tried to make an effort to bring affection and intimacy to the relationship. She finally gave up, met a guy through the web site who had similar problems with his wife and they were now meeting regularly to have sex and share emotionally with each other. This, of course, is a completely unacceptable solution for a Christian. Nevertheless it goes on every day in the church world.
The pain of discovery that your spouse has been cheating and having sex with someone else, or the cheating spouse discovering they deeply enjoy the sex their spouse has denied them; both are major causes for divorce.
It’s interesting that people who go to church report higher satisfaction with their sex life than non-church goers. That may be because Christian married couples have more fulfilling sex lives with each other than the world does. When a married couple follows God’s directions in His Word and realizes the freedom God intends for them to enjoy with each other in their sex life together – the kind of freedom graphically expressed in the Old Testament book the Song of Solomon, a book which can’t be equaled by any other sex guide then or now – they can stop worrying and be as passionate with each other as they desire. That book is coupled by New Testament verses like 1 Corinthians 7:5 that clearly states that the devil will be stopped in any marriage where great sex between the husband and wife is celebrated often.
Of course, any marriage requires more than sex to insure its longevity. The best Christian marriages are strongly based on living out Ephesians 5:21-33 which directs both the husband and wife to constantly honor and serve each other. The more intimate the relationship is between a husband and wife the more fulfilling it is.
Here in Australia, a number of pastors have run “marriage intensives” where at a certain point during it they have asked married people to commit to having sex with each other every day for a month in order to counter the lack of sex in the marriages in their congregations. That kind of a daily schedule may be very unrealistic for many couples who are part of today’s busy pace. But what the pastors are doing is a good attempt at rekindling the “oneness” in each marriage that God ordained in Genesis 2:24-25 and Ephesians 5:31.
In today’s society we have more good marriage resources than ever before. Before 1970 this wasn’t the case. At that time nearly all pastors avoided preaching on the subject of marriage for fear that it might cause more problems than it would help. The word “sex” and references to it was completely taboo from pulpits. At that time one book alone was available on the subject of marriage in Christian bookstores – “The Christian Family” by Larry Christenson.
Then in 1970 the Lord led Ray Mossholder through the entire Bible to discover everything God said about His design for great marriages, families, and great sex between husbands and wives. Charisma magazine called Ray “The father of marriage seminars” because it was the first of its kind before others began teaching their own marriage seminars. Ray traveled all over the United States and in 24 foreign countries after he began ministering with his weeklong Marriage Plus Seminar. That resulted in more than 11,000 divorces being canceled between 1972 and 2001. Ray’s message the final night of each seminar – “Sex In Marriage” – covered the whole 9 yards of married sex and drew packed crowds everywhere he went.
Then in 1976, Dr Tim LaHaye published his explicit book The Act Of Marriage. He later wrote that right up until the eve of the first publication the publishers were still unsure if they should release a Christian book with such controversial material, lest a back lash from the church occur. As soon as it was released the publishers happily discovered they had had no reason to worry. The book became an overnight success, initially selling two hundred and fifty thousand copies, and that number has been increasing ever since. Along with Dr. Ed Wheat’s “Intended for Pleasure” it is now a must read for married and engaged couples who desire to know more about sex.
Of course, go into any Christian bookstore today and you will find aisles full of books on everything that pertains to marriage, including books specifically written to enhance the sex life of every married couple.
Why then does great sex in marriage allude so many? Why have the same percentage of churched women read 50 Shades of Grey as the unchurched? Why would a book or a movie that suggests women find pain irresistible have any appeal at all? It is as unbelievable that pain brings sexual enjoyment to mentally healthy females as it is that most men would be as wealthy as the mentally sick male lead in these same books and movie.
One of the biggest questions every married couple needs to decide in their sex life from the beginning of their marriage is what is right for them. When that question isn’t answered the result can well be summed up in an illustration from a marriage counselor who when each couple came to him had them fill in a questionnaire separately. To the question “How is your sex life?” the husband wrote “We hardly ever have sex. We have only had it twice this week!” The wife’s answer was “We are always having sex. We had it twice this week!”
The reason that so many in the church enjoy reading about or watching on the screen a sadist involved with a masochist is based on their real relationship with Christ, their understanding of the Bible, and their honest feelings about sex. If a person knows that the Bible applauds married sex and they participate regularly in the joy of it with their spouse, they would hardly feel the need to see a perverted movie or have a hunger for pornography. The latest trend in social experimentation or Hollywood doesn’t become an issue for them.
My final word is that there is so much help available for married couples that if you feel the need for more spice in your marriage bed, get help. Christian books, marriage counselors in many churches, marriage seminars and retreats, and a myriad of other resources are at your fingertips. The great news is that Gods wants you to have something far better than the tragedy portrayed by anything not based on His Word.
Here are some great books for your reading pleasure:
Men and Sex – Clifford and Joyce Penner
Red –Hot Monogamy – Bill and Pam Farrel
The good girls guide to great sex (and you thought bad girls had all the fun!) – Sheila Gregoir
Wired for Sex: What Christian wives should know about husbands and sex – Barry Franklin
The Married Guy’s Guide To Great Sex – Clifford and Joyce Penner
What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Sex: A Guide For Christian Men – Richard Rupp and Ryan Howes
Intended For Pleasure – Ed and Gaye Wheat
Sexperiment : 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse – Ed and Lisa Young
Solomon on Sex – Joseph Dillow
The Act of Marriage – Tim LaHaye
The Five Sex Needs of Men and Women – Gary and Barbara Rosberg