Fifty Shades of Grey: A Dangerous Distortion of God’s Design

There are innumerable pressures put upon us by society, especially through the media, to abandon God’s blueprint for sexual purity. The new movie Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the bestselling book by the same title, is the world’s latest attempt to make appealing and “normal” what God says is sin.

Sadly, many people, possibly including some Christians, will go to watch the movie—and in the process, be amused and entertained by what offends a holy God. Scripture tells us, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13) and “sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3)

Part of what makes Fifty Shades of Grey so dangerous is that it twists and distorts God’s design and intentions for sex. Often we fail to understand that the most magnificent gifts of God, taken outside their God-intended boundaries, become utterly ruinous.

Think about two of the most powerful things God has created: fire and water. What would we do without them? But have you ever seen water out of control? Flood, tidal waves, and tsunamis are devastating. Have you ever seen fire out of control—a forest fire or a house burning to the ground? Have you seen somebody’s body covered with burns? It is absolutely horrific. So it is with sex. Its potential for great good has a flip side—potential for great evil.

There’s much more that could be said about the movie and its dangers. But I think Kevin DeYoung sums it up well when he writes in an excellent post, “Some movies do not deserve sophisticated analysis. They deserve sober repudiation. If the church cannot extend grace to sexual sinners, we’ve lost the heart of the gospel. And if we cannot tell people to stay away from 50 Shades of Grey, we’ve lost our minds.”

Of course, some will think I’m overreacting when I say this: Satan is behind this movie. But there you go, I—who do not see the devil behind every bush—believe it, because I have a Christian worldview, and the Bible says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This is a movie that will devour many people, as the book has done, and drag them down into the black hole of immorality.

Am I being an alarmist? I don’t think so, because I’ve seen in people’s lives the utter ruin and devastation that comes from sexual perversity. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last strategy from the pit of hell. But make no mistake, that’s where it’s from. I’m especially sad that many young people will be dragged down with this in the “read it/see it because it’s cool” culture.

If you’d like to do some more reading about how to dialogue with others about the movie and book, I recommend these resources:


photo credit: DSCN0880 via photopin (license)

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries