Word of the Week: Transcendence

Why Christian women are drawn to 50 Shades of Grey

In Genesis 2:18 God made woman so as to be a helper for the man. It is in the very DNA of woman to want to help, to submit. She will want her husband.

John MacArthur writes that after the Fall,
"women continue to be naturally drawn and necessarily drawn to husbands and to children as the source of their fulfillment and their joy, even though they know that those are the realms in which there is the potential of the greatest pain and sorrow. [referring to Genesis 3:16a] They're still drawn there, almost inexorably because that's the way God made them. (source)
Though woman will want her husband, the Fall caused woman to be cursed with a rebellious nature against his authority, which in turn would cause men to want to rule harshly over them. (Genesis 3:16b).

MacArthur again,
In her sin Eve took the lead. She acted independently. She spurned her husband's authority. She was going to go out on her own and call her own shot, as it were, act on her own behalf. She took the lead, she led the man into sin, usurping his role, acting independently of him in the temptation, overturning the divine order. ... All of a sudden man is changed and becomes a selfish and dominating monarch. The subordination of women was always God's plan but in a lovely and enjoyable harmony of perfect fulfillment of mutual wills delighting in God and in each other. ... Your desire shall be for your husband." Now let's talk about the word "desire." What does it mean? It is of Arabic root meaning to seek control. (source)
On the other hand, verse 16, the end, "And he shall rule over you." Let's look at the word "rule" for a minute, mashal. It means to dominate, to reign, literally means to install in office. The idea is as the woman seeks to overthrow the rank, as the woman seeks to twist the divine order, as the woman seeks to master her husband, seek control over him, he dominates her. (source)

Satan perverts everything he touches.
Fifthly, Satan is a perverter. It’s amazing that Satan has gotten a hold of every good thing that God has ever made and perverted it. He perverts everything. God made fruit for us to drink of, and Satan perverted it into alcoholism. God made sex for us to enjoy, he perverts it into something filthy and adulterous. He is in the business of perverting everything that God has made good. (source)
50 Shades of Grey is a book about dominance and submission. It is adult porn related to the seamier sadistic elements of the aforesaid 'things satan perverts.' The book and movie are not romance and nothing about the storyline of either are in any way acceptable for mental or emotional consumption.

However, the unsaved, secular woman will gravitate to the notion of dominance and submission because of the biblical mandates of having been created to be a helpmeet and wanting her husband. That old 1970s original feminist slogan, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" is not true. Women need men and men need women. But because satan is a perverter, he will pervert the woman's innate need to submit and he will twist the man's innate need to lead. The result is a book like 50 Shades of Grey.

But what of Christian women? Surely they know to stay away from pornography and perversion like this? Any person even casually committed to reading the bible will know that this is a perversion of marital relationships ... right?

Not always. Christian women have the same need as secular women to be led and to be a helpmeet, and Christian men have the same need to lead as non-Christian men. The wonderful thing about it is that Christians have the biblical blueprint and the Holy Spirit in us to illuminate the blueprint to our minds. We know what we should do, but once again, satan is a perverter. He will grab the carnality in us and twist it. Women innately want to submit and will do so if they meet a dominating man. Alternately, if they cannot submit, some will follow their curse and lead, eventually dominating.

Many Christian women are falling for feminism, and with the poor examples that abound of women who step out of their role as helpmeet - and are not rebuked for it. Then as each generation comes along they entrench further into it. Sin takes hold. Women innately want to submit and will do so if they meet a dominating man. Satan will twist that into BDSM and 50 Shades. Alternately, if they do not submit, some will follow their curse and satan will urge them to lead, eventually dominating, becoming ministry feminists. Either way, satan wins, because the Christian woman's witness has been tarnished

Christian men likewise have allowed satan to twist any unaddressed sinful carnality in them, and they have abdicated their role as leader and done one of two things. Either they have abdicated their role entirely and simply do not lead, or they have grabbed on to their role a little too hard and they rule with an iron fist. We see evidence of this in the Covering Theology movement, rampant excommunications in the vein of Mark Driscoll and pastors like him, Pharisaical Pastors acting as tyrants operating outside the realm of accountability, and more. When some husbands "rule", they dominate, as in sado-masochistic domination.

50 Shades of Grey touches upon man and woman's most innate, intimate, unmet needs. This is true whether a person is a Christian or not.

Not that you don't already know this, but the entire structure of the BDSM movement with all its rules, protocols, and standards is simply a satanic twist on Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 and the submission and leading that God put in place. Christian wives or singles who enjoy this book need to be taught Godly submission. To that end we need stronger pastors who stand up to women who want to teach men, or who otherwise want to lead in an unGodly way, and pastors who are actively working to train up elder women to be good examples to the younger women. Men who enjoy this book or are curious about it need to be taught Godly leading. They need strong pastors and courageous brothers to call them to account, to encourage them to be gentle with their wives, and to actively study the bible and to pray.

The holy word is always the antidote for righting our thinking on any topic, especially God's ordinance of marriage and complementarian relationships.


Further Reading

50 Shades of Grey? It's really just black and white

Fifty Shades of Grey and Christian Women (HT Do Not Be Surprised)

More ‘50 Shades’ Ticket Preorders Have Happened in Mississippi Than Anywhere Else
In Mississippi and Arkansas and even Alabama, where sex toys are banned, the desire for 50 Shades of Grey tickets is stronger than anywhere else.


  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    Why has something so obviously filthy as 50 Shades infiltrated the church?

    Could it be perhaps because many prominent men in the visible church - pastors, preachers, teachers - gave a pass *for years* to the likes of Driscoll, who claimed Christianity but pushed the envelope of decency? Right? Remember what Driscoll had on the Mars Hill website years ago? References to things not kosher for me to mention. Remember what he preached in Scotland and how MacArthur (one of the few who handled Driscoll properly, IMO) rebuked him? Remember how Driscoll spoke in public and was known for a season as the 'cussing pastor'? Yet even though all this evidence was there that Driscoll was not even Biblically qualified to be a pastor/elder (according to 1 Tim and Titus, because his character was never above reproach), he was embraced, promoted, and defended by many prominent Christian men. Sadly, he still is.

    Seriously, sister, sadly, I remember reading one prominent reformed believer's recommendation of one of Driscoll's irreverent books, which something to the effect, "I wouldn't want my wife to read this, but it's ok for believers to read." I shook my head and nearly cried. My husband was disgusted at this man's lack of watch care over the flock.

    And so the camel has got way more than just its nose in the tent. And here we are, with 50 Shades of Gray when the Bible is BLACK AND WHITE. (Amen, Sola Sisters!)

    Sin crouches at our doors and its desire is to master us. But we are more than able in the Spirit be victorious in Christ! Let us honor the Lord!



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