a rant on 50 Shades & why Jesus is GOOD.

50 SHADES

A question I always ask myself as a writer is: should I comment on current issues?

This of course always means that I have to state my opinion, and it also means that someone will ALWAYS disagree.

It’s easier for me, as a writer, to just leave hot topics off my blog, to keep the main thing, the main thing, you know? And besides, if I write on it, it means that I’ve spent some time pondering and researching it, and that means it mattered to me for that time. Some things I’d rather not give the time to.

For example: I could write on how terrible a book Fifty Shades of Grey probably is, but what do I say?

Because really, I am no journalist and I don’t intentionally read books or watch movies with pornography in them, even in the name of “research.”

What I do know and what I can write on, is God’s goodness and the fact that God is GOOD and we are not.

Whatever your opinion on the book series is, know that Jesus sees sin for what it is and HE HATES IT. He hates sin, and He hates that we argue over sin too.

“We show off our different scarlet letters. Trust me, mine is better” -Taylor Swift

He sees how we defile His creation and it has to break His heart. BECAUSE all SINS IN THIS WORLD ARE just TWISTED SHADES OF WHAT HE’S MADE. If a sin is reading a book about porn, then so is judging another as if you’re God come down from Heaven.

Books like Fifty Shades of Grey and the arguments that are caused by it are just LESS-THAN versions of God’s GLORIOUS intention. The book is merely a twisted shade of sex, and is, therefore not worth our time. It’s all the push and pull but void of the grace and intimacy. It’s empty. And pointless. It’s a mess and it’s LESS-THAN He intended for us.

Our arguments are futile, when we should be talking about how much God’s grace covers our sins. ALL of them, not just our choices of entertainment. Because, GUYS, we are sinners in need of grace. Period.

To clarify, for Christians to talk about this book as if it’s the worst thing that was ever published, is just ridiculous. And to say that people who read it are outside of grace, is heresy. And to say that our culture is SO MUCH WORSE than it’s ever been, is naive. And to argue over which sin is worse or better, is pointless.

Because all sin is, is taking God’s GOOD creation out of CONTEXT. And we’ve been doing that for pretty much ALL TIME.

but I digress.

SO, basically, ALL things can be traced back to GOOD things that God created.

John 1:3 makes that pretty clear that God made everything, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Which means that, you know, GOD MADE EVERYTHING.

And also, Galatians 5:1 stats, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Which means that we HAVE FREEDOM IN EVERYTHING HE MADE.

But in that freedom, we must follow God’s INTENTIONS & WAY (I’ll get there in a minute), as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.” Which means that SIN (a good thing used poorly) IS BAD FOR US.

So we have to ask ourselves this when it comes to what entertainment we pursue: is this helpful? Is this as God INTENDED?

I’m pretty darn positive that a book with descriptive sexual encounters that would be considered abuse in the real world, is not helpful to our everyday lives. And therefore, it is a twisted version (BAD) of something that God INTENDED to be GOOD.

This works in all things:

We have the gift of worship. We can WORSHIP God as intended, or IDOLIZE whatever we want.

We have the gift of food. We can EAT well as intended, or DEPRIVE our bodies of nurtrition.

We have the gift of sleep. We can REST in God’s good graces as intended, or be LAZY.

We have the gift of marriage. We can explore SEX as God intended, or SHACK up and SWITCH up and MESS up and fantasize (and literally) ABUSE each other.

We have the gift of creating. We can WORK diligently as intended, or we can EXHAUST ourselves.

These alternative choices are nasty, but we have to remember they were first GOOD things, that we have handled very, very poorly.

Which means, that the desires we feel, all stem from something deep within us that God originally INTENDED for GOOD.

When we misuse these desires and pursue things outside of God’s GOOD INTENTIONS, they become uncomfortable / tempting / frustrating to us. Our “sin nature” is what causes this bent towards defying God’s ORIGINAL INTENTIONS.

Because, whether we like it or not, we are made in God’s image and God’s image is a certain WAY (told you I’d get there). This way is a totally different worldview and it layers upon layers into the intricacies that make up what Jesus called a “life lived to the full.” So if there is a certain worldview to have to live in God’s way, then there is an alternate way that is not God’s way.

Therefore to live outside of God’s WAY, layer upon layer, is to DENY OUR VERY ORIGINS. That’s why life without God just doesn’t work. That’s why it gets dark and twisted.

The only way for us to DENY OUR ORIGINS is to twist SHADES of what He already called GOODS, to make them LESS-THANS. This way of life is still life, but instead of “a life to the full” it is “a life to the less-than.”

Because the truth is, it takes a lot more than 50 shades of sex to reveal and revel in the creation God gave us. And taking just ONE twisted shade out of CONTEXT makes it LESS-THAN God intended.

To take a SHADE of sex and twist it into porn or a trashy novel. To take a SHADE of anger and twist it into murder or a harsh word. To take a SHADE of nutrition and twist it into insecurity or disorder. To take a SHADE of wealth and twist it into pride or greed.

Before you moan and groan about a wasted life, know this: The only man who ever lived in EVERY GOOD & INTENDED SHADE of creation was Jesus.

I have so many twisted shades and I bet you do too. It’s because we are broken and we’ve exchanged the FULLNESS of God for a series of TWISTED SHADES of life void of Him.

That’s why Jesus came, to bring us out of the shade. To give us full access to His GOODNESS (freedommmm!) and to take off the blinders and give us “a life to the full”, in the LIGHT.

In the end, I really don’t think we should freak out over a book which will fade away and rot in a landfill someday. We hold onto ETERNAL things, remember? As incredibly dangerous as the content is and can be in these moments, we can’t forget that it’s nothing new.

In an age of “transparency” and no privacy, it’s not a surprise that a book like this would surface in “mainstream.” (As if mainstream is like, even a thing, because the porn culture has been “mainstream” since forever, now Christians are just calling it out more often, PRAISE THE LORD.)

The response to a book series like this DOES go to show us the depravity of our world, especially in the church. But the level of our depravity has never changed. Our darkest depravity has been there since Eve ate the fruit. The only difference today is that we can just click and click and be there with the technology these days.

Read Genesis and tell me I’m wrong.

Bear with me and put your Jesus goggles on. Think about how small this book must seem to Him. This is NOTHING NEW. He ALREADY died for every kind of sexual perversion, abuse, and neglect. 2,000 years ago. On a dirty, bloody cross. This isn’t any different. (also –don’t misunderstand that I’m saying some sins are small and some are bigger, but thinking of the enormity of the world and all it’s darkness, reading a book series is literally & figuratively small in reference to all sin in all time, because of quantity, not quality. The truth is, one “tiny” sin would break our relationship with Christ and is no small thing)

No matter what we do or read or say and as dark as this world can be, the blood on our hands is just a small SHADE compared to the blood that He SHED to cover us.

Because we took the fruit, we took sex (and everything else) out of context, and so we take our places in the argument over who’s sin is worse and it’s all a tool (a VERY effective one, dang it.) that the devil uses to take away our unity, thereby making us ineffective. BECAUSE, truth is, CHRIST ALREADY GAVE US THE FREEDOM TO LIVE IN UNITY, for freedom’s sake!

Because no matter how appalled we become, or how conformed we become, BLESS THE LORD, our actions and feelings don’t change who Jesus is and what He’s done.

Our sin (this book) is just a SHADE. Our sin (this book) is nothing NEW. Jesus died (today, yesterday, forever) to COVER US. It’s the same story, throughout the generations. Jesus COVERS our TWISTED SHADES & that is why Jesus is GOOD.

If we could just for one minute, stop thinking about how BAD our neighbor is, maybe we could focus on how GOOD Jesus is, and maybe then we could find FREEDOM, and UNITY, and “a life lived to the full.”

That’s all I have to say.

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