50 Shades of Deadpool: Culture Near Midnight

OK, there was Fifty Shades of Grey (the book and the movie) and more recently, Deadpool. There are others, but  what I am talking about is “entertainment” that stretches the boundaries of taste and deliberately slaps at morality. What amuses us says something about us and our culture.

It’s Time We Had a Talk

I am not referring to a conversation on sexual expression and preferences. Rather, we need to talk about culture and where we are as a society—where we are going. It says something when a movie that explores sado-masochism is hyped on main-stream television, or when a super anti-hero snuffs life after life with raucous abandon. The normalization of deviant sex and graphic violence for comic effect says something about the dominant culture.  Furthermore, it begs the question: as Christ-followers are we going to be a part of the dominant culture or secede from it? Will we bend to the will of social norm, slowly and belatedly, but ultimately acquiesce? We must be honest with ourselves. Lagging behind cultural transition is not the same as claiming the moral high ground. When the cultural clock strikes midnight, we are not better for living in a different time zone.

A Plan of Secession

I believe we need to make a plan of secession. As followers of Jesus –the kind that believe, as He did, that there is such a thing as sin –we are becoming unwelcome in an inclusive society. Nevertheless, we will need to think in Kingdom terms and prepare to live by a different code. Kingdom values, in many key areas (sexuality among them), will exist for us in contradistinction to Western culture. We will be accused of being judgmental, restrictive and exclusive. The fact that we do not try to hinder those who do not to choose to live between the worlds as we do, will not insulate us from the charge of being the morality police — the new Mullahs. Even if we don’t try to pass laws to bring the masses into line with our peculiar standards, we will be targeted as discriminatory and hateful. That is the price for trying to live consistently with the values of our King.

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