I haven’t seen Fifty Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the book. I have no intention of doing either and I encourage such a stance in others. This is despite the sold out cinema sessions and record book sales. It is not necessarily irresponsible or ignorant to criticise what one doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of. Reliable sources consistently and sufficiently report content that violates acceptable standards of decency and morality in this case. We just don’t need to see the movie to be able to know very clearly why we wouldn’t (read shouldn’t) see it. And we don’t need to be tied to railway tracks to know that we don’t want to be run over by a train, either!
I am a proud prude, not because I wish to flaunt some ethical badge of honour, but because I want to actively respect the God who created sex and sets the standards for its best enjoyment and who is appalled by sexual exploitation and moral decadence. The repugnance of sexual crimes within churches over many years in no way negates the right or need to oppose what is a different category of repugnance now.
I personally avoid all R-rated movies (and have never actually seen one) because I don’t want to support the industry that trades on smutty voyeurism. I would take a similar stance with any film that has a lower rating, too, if I have reason to believe that it degrades and abuses women, cheapens sex, shamelessly attacks godly values and promotes destructive relational patterns as 50 Shades appears to. This does not, however, mean that I will impose my own standards on others, only that I will feel free to discuss them and advocate a higher path of virtue.
As for me, I simply won’t pursue such explicit and obvious pornography that is thinly veiled in the guise of art. And how could I actually presume to enjoy such content if the mere thought of doing so grieves me deeply for fear of dishonouring God whose standards do not change, just because those of society do?
This is not about pointing the finger at others in judgment, but is very much about modelling the highest standards of decency and honour so as to turn the growing tide of turpitude by encouraging a stand of silent (and purposefully absent) protest against the moral morass so as to rescue the arts for greater nobility.