I walked down the broad, dirty street of the Red Light District in a daze – my first time in the midst of such evil. Little boys and girls ran around, growing up beneath their mom’s beds. While I wore conservative Indian clothing, young Indian women dressed in mini-skirts and got ready for the night – thousands of them.

Our ministry contact brought us to a little shanty where we sat and were introduced to an “electrician.” Young women came in and out of the shanty, and they called him “dad.” As we communicated, I finally realized where I sat – next to a pimp. I had been in tiny homes with crammed mattresses, so that was not out of the ordinary. But when I saw curtains that could be pulled to separate the mattresses, I understood where I sat…

As we talked, I noticed a curtain shake and saw a hand reach out. 10 feet from where I sat, a slave worked. We were immediately rushed out of the room and our contact explained, “Another customer is waiting outside.”

GB RoadAbuse. Power violations. Exploitation. All common nouns in a Red Light District. All too common occurrences for 1 in 3 women globally who suffer from at least one form of abuse.

Then comes Hollywood…making yet another a movie glorifying the nouns that shatter lives by the second. Of course those who do not know Jesus simply live out the “broad path” standards of the kingdom of darkness. And for the non-Christians who go to the movie, they too simply act out of that kingdom of darkness.

But can Christians on a “narrow path” find entertainment in such a film? That is the bigger question.

The movie Fifty Shades of Gray glorifies Satan’s war on women. Satan hates women as prophesied in Genesis 3 and uses blatant abuse and exploitation to devour women.  In the upcoming movie Fifty Shades of Gray, Satan the Deceiver uses the producers to spin abuse as a form of love.  So warped, so evil, so Satan.

In college a Christian friend once told me, “Leslie, you just have to ignore things that are in movies.” Yet as I follow Jesus I find myself asking over and over. Am I being entertained by things Jesus died for? Would Jesus relax and be entertained by this movie? This often helps me identify the broad path and the narrow path pretty easily.

When we teach university students, the topic often emerges, “Does entertainment affect you, and how?” Sadly, numerous Christian students (and many preparing for ministry) feel that entertainment choices do not affect their ministry or their Christian witness. Wow! Every time we watch or listen to anything that dishonors Christ and that opposes His character and kingdom, our hearts can become hardened and our consciences can become seared (1 Tim. 4:2). Eventually, even as Christians we will not be able to discern the Holy Spirit. How Satan seeks to place his tentacles around those who claim Christ and deceive them!

The images of Red Light Districts are etched in my mind. They are there because I chose to enter that evil to shed Christ’s light and announce Christ’s redemption to those Satan seeks to devour. But I wait with anticipation for those images to be erased from my mind when I enter into heaven with Christ.

The broad road depicted and glorified by 50 Shades of Gray leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  Let us as Christians find our ultimate purpose, joy and hope in Christ.  May we walk daily the narrow way that leads to life through the One Shade of Red – Jesus’ blood. 

What can we do?

  1. May we as Christians pray for and love the non-Christians who find entertainment in Satan’s war.
  2. May we as Christians mourn the plight of women around the world and pray for wisdom.
  3. May we engage in practical strategies to end the abuse of women – sexual exploitation and domestic violence.
  4. As Christians may we walk the narrow path of Christ’s holy standards.
  5. In honor of the millions of women caught in the horrible web of sexual slavery, domestic violence, and exploitation let us NOT go or find entertainment in Fifty Shades of Gray and encourage others as well to avoid this type of “entertainment”.