I have been mourning the last days over the terrorist attack that happened in my country, Denmark, and the murder of 21 Christians Egyptians. I have been in chock, angry, sad, felt powerless, confused, and my thoughts have been racing back and forth, not knowing where to go. I mourn that a 22-year-old “kid” whose parents were refugees from Palestine, and he was born and raised and went to Danish schools, and he ended up the way he did. He was taught to hate Jews and apparently, he was radicalized in prison. I wish someone had preached the gospel to him. I cannot understand how he became an extremist. I cannot just blame his parents or the Islamic teaching he had received.
I and many Danes feel that we have failed, as a society, and individually. We feel guilt that he didn’t feel he was a part of our society and didn’t believe in our values. It can happen again. I pray my nation’s politicians, judges, police, teachers and social workers can improve their work to integrate people in my nation.
I have a feeling I haven’t done enough. Recently I’ve been more aware of what it means to follow Christ. I have not loved enough. These days, I’m studying the commandments of love. As a part of my study I’m reading the Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s book, Works of love, which is about Christian love, agape, and I will refer to this book in the following text.
I shall love my neighbor. My neighbors are not just my family and friends, my neighbors are everyone. We are all human beings. The Danish philosopher K.E. Løgstrup said
“We never have anything to do with another human being without holding some portion of his life in our hands.”
I have a continuing debt to love other people (Romans 13:8).
I read five sentences and thought this was poorly written. I read the whole page and I began to have an unpleasant feeling in my chest, I felt insecurity and fear. This book is supposed to be romantic.
The book I’m talking about is “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I remember when the book was launched some years ago, it was very popular in Denmark, but I didn’t pay much attention to the book. When I heard the book was dreadfully written and contained bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism, I decided the book was not worth of my money or time.
Now the book has been adapted into a movie, and I found it was important for me to take part in the discussion about the film. I had not read the book, but I found a free excerpt on the Internet and decided to read it, since I thought I should read some before coming to a judgment. The excerpt was 19 pages long, but I couldn’t endure more than three pages. I love reading and I am a writer myself, but these sentences were a pain to read. However, the quality of the text was not the worst part, the content was the worst. I read that one of the female protagonists Ana wakes up confused, doesn’t know where she is. When she sees Christian, the male protagonist, she has a strange feeling, she starts feeling like a 2 year-old, feels very small and whispers to Christian. He is described as a control freak, he hardly expresses any feelings, but seems cold, we are told he has stalked Ana, and she feels he scolds her. I get the impression that she’s afraid of him. I will also tell you that Ana is a 21-years-old virgin when she meets him.
A quote from the movie: “No, please. I can’t do this, not now. I need some time. Please.” “Oh Ana, don’t overthink this.”
How people choose to spice their marriage and sex life with role play, sadism and masochism is none of my business, but I’m concerned about the young people of our society. What does this book and movie teach young women (and young men) about love and relationships?
The mud of rotten flesh seduces
Lying shadows build castles in the air
the castles are prisons
sinners are prisoners…..How is it possible for sinners to learn to love?
A slave of the law
I grew up with the commandments of love. My parents taught me the values of helping and loving other people, but in many ways, it was impossible for me to follow the commandments of love. I believed there was a God, but that was I all I knew. I didn’t love myself and it was hard for me to love other people, because I didn’t know Jesus.
When I was 17 years-old, I met Jesus and became a Christian, but for many years, I did the evil, which I didn’t want to do. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19). I often read my Bible, but I couldn’t understand why Paul all the time said I was not allowed to sin. I mourned that it was impossible for me to stop sinning. How was I a new person and how had my old person died? (Ephesians 4) How could I live in the Spirit, and what were the fruits of the Spirit? I tried, I tried and I tried, but I failed. I tried by my own strength and thoughts to love my neighbor, and I never succeeded. Why?
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Gal 5:2-6)