Fifty Shades of Grey

February 11, 2015 Length: 2:27

Fr. John Parker, Chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America, encourages us to replace any impulse we might have to either see Fifty Shades of Grey or read the book with charitable acts done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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This is Fr. John Parker, the chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America. Fifty Shades of Grey, according to the plot summary which I read—I did not read the book, nor will I see the movie—is about a girl named Resurrection, whose best friend is named for one of the most beautiful and intelligent virgin martyrs in Christian history, St. Catherine the Great of Alexandria, and a sick and depraved male—we cannot call him a man—named Christian, meaning “little Christ.” From the plot summary and one review alone—I read it in The Atlantic—it is honest to say that Fifty Shades of Grey is a mocker of the resurrection, a spiter of Jesus Christ, a tantalizer of women, a titillator of men, a destroyer of homes, a corrupter of youth, a debaser of lives, a shipwreck of souls, a raper of love.

If anyone is tempted to read it or to see the movie, it would suffice, rather, to read one passage from the Bible and then go out and do acts of kindness in the name of the Lord. Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brethren. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.” Years ago I memorized the NIV translation: “You, brethren, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

If one is tempted beyond that, it would be behoove him or her to read the life of St. Mary of Egypt, which we will read in the Church in one month’s time, and the life of St. Catherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria, whom we commemorate in the Church on November 24. If anyone has read Fifty Shades of Grey or has seen the movie, let him or her beg the mercy of God to replace the sick and sad imagery from that book or movie with holiness and purity, and let him or her save every possible man, woman, and child from suffering the loss they voluntarily accepted.