The book was the fastest selling paperback in history and ten studios battled for the film rights to make the movie. The erotic novel and now movie “50 Shades of Grey” is a witty title with some symbolic intent. The lead character’s last name is Grey and it implies the many sides to his personality but also the “gray” between right and wrong. I never read the novel or saw the movie but it did not take any time for me to get the implied meaning of the title and its profound description of culture today.
It should not be a surprise to me or anyone else that our Christian culture has created several shades of gray that accommodate people’s spiritual preferences. It’s not very popular today to clearly articulate “right vs wrong.” Our world bristles at painting lines that define morality for anyone else other than yourself. The modern motto is to define yourself however you want and that is what is right.
The word secular is defined as a spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship. Pluralism is defined as a theory that there is more than one basic substance or principle. In short the phrase secular pluralism then means “unlimited shades of gray,” no black or white. My struggle with this is that my Bible is full of definitions of right and wrong and Jesus himself does not allow for gray in our faith.
2 Timothy 3.1-7 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We would never allow for a heart surgeon to define what it means to be a heart surgeon. We do not allow for fireman to decide what it means to fight fire and save lives. We would never allow for a pilot to define what it means to be a safe and effective airline pilot. There is no gray. In most of our world defining a right way and a wrong way is not only tolerated but demanded. Why do we struggle when being a disciple of Jesus has a very clear definition of black and white, with no gray?
John 14.6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
May we all embrace the beautiful path set before us to follow Jesus and live under that definition of right and wrong.