A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Abuse and Pornography: 50 Shades of Grey, or Black and White Evil?

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


I know a Christian woman who recently was told by two of her co-workers (both female) how absolutely taken they were with E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.  It is a hot item in book sales right now, if you haven’t heard.  But don’t run out and buy it — it is pornographic and intentionally so.  E.L. James is a woman and the word on the blogs is that she was really into the Twilight series at one time and more or less tweaked some of the themes there into perverse forms of porn – the bondage and control kind.  Enough said of the specifics.

I would be very interested to have our readers comment here and give your insights into what women are doing when they grab this kind of thing up and make it a best seller.  I mean, my friend’s co-workers think this series is absolutely wonderful and they can hardly wait for lunch time so they can run off and read on in it.  I noted on the news that a whole new market of sex and bondage items is developing as a result of the popularity of Shades of Grey.

God’s Word is black and white on this — it is evil.  What I would like you to help me understand is, why in the world are women in particular running after this stuff and, further, what they are doing to themselves by it?  How does this kind of thing promote the very abuse that we are trying to expose and stop?

Let me know.  I just don’t get it.  (Also see related followup article at Deception and Abuse: This “Christian” Says Fifty Shades of Grey is Quite Alright)


  1. cindy burrell

    Hello, Jeff. I read an article about that same book recently. I have no intention of reading the book. Nevertheless, here are a few thoughts on this issue.

    I truly believe this is a result of the deliberate blurring of gender lines over the course of many, many years. Think about it: when once men had to take a risk to approach a woman, now women call men and ask them out. The challenge and pursuit of men intent on winning a woman’s heart feeds a man’s desire to conquer and win his “prize.” Yet, today, many men might expect women to throw themselves at them. Even on some of the teenage kids’ sitcoms today, girls kiss the guys. And I cringe.

    Men were meant to be pursuers, and women are supposed to be worth pursuing. Some will be horrified by such a chauvinistic statement. But really! I sincerely believe that we know that and want it, but have succumbed to sort of a cheap, easy, “whatever’ culture in our relationships. There is altogether greater power and beauty and romanticism when man and woman respond in kind.

    The same is true in marriage. Men may defer leadership and control to their wives, and many wives have either chosen to or learned to accept headship and take charge of everything that goes on in our homes. But in our hearts, it’s not what we want. Women want to follow a strong, capable leader, to know we are safe and provided for. And respect and honorable love and submission flow easily from a woman loved and led by such a man.

    In today’s culture, though, those elements are often missing, even ridiculed, and perhaps the popularily of that book shows that the pendulum is now swinging the other way. Women, longing for a man who will, even inappropriately, dominate them fills a longing that has been neglected. I truly believe that diminishing the strength and beauty and balance of the genders in our relationships has cost us dearly. I think the book’s fans want to try to get back that piece that has been missing.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks very much Cindy. Very good insights. Unfortunately, which I am sure you know, as these women yearn to get back what is missing, they are falling prey to a demonic, warped perversion of God’s order. These books promote the very power and control abuse that we are all trying to expose. You have to wonder what these women would do if their husbands actually started treating them in such a way as the male character “Christian” does in the book? And perhaps an even greater horror — what is going to go on in the mind of an abusive man if he gets hold of these books and reads them. And you can bet that with all of the publicity, that is exactly what is going to happen. “Yep, that’s what women want all along!”

    • Silver S. Parnell

      Cindy, I agree with you completely, and it is very well said. Another theme in this issue is that our culture has led women to believe that no man will have them unless they dress provocatively, are sexually available from the very beginning of a relationship and are willing to do anything sexually, with no “strings” attached. Just watch almost any TV program and you’ll see it there. If the woman is NOT willing to agree to these terms, especially if they have the “outmoded” idea that sex should be reserved for marriage, our cultural “norms” tell us that the decent woman will be abandoned in favor of any one of a number of sluts that are standing in line, waiting to snap up the man. Women have to be ready to be alone rather than succumb to this perverted system. I used to say that women should find their mates in church, but even Christian men seem to be expecting sex before marriage these days. These are rough times for women, but we have to make a stand at some point. We have to resume our role as the moral compass of society. The men will come around…and we won’t have to read “how to” manuals like 50 Shades of Gray.

      • laura

        Silver you make me remember many years ago the courtship of my husband and I.
        he came at a very turbulent time in my life when I was 19 years old. I had been rejected by the father of our unborn daughter. I felt unloved by my parents and had just survived a diagnosis of cancer. My friends also rejected me. Needless to say I was low on self esteem. My future husband expected sex almost immediately. Even though I knew it was sinfull and my conscience tormented me But relented. To this day I feel degraded and embarrassed about enjoying sex. My marriage has suffered as a result. The point of all of this is the book will most deffinitly arouse single women and very young women to do what they might not do otherwise and and do the job of creating the same feelings that I have endured for the last 30 years.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Thank you Laura for sharing so honestly and warning others. One day we will all be completely free from all shame when Christ comes for us. I suppose your experience helps you understand what Paul meant when he said that the whole creation yearns, and that all believers groan, for that day when Christ’s New Creation comes in all of its fullness. Perhaps your struggles mean that you simply aren’t satisfied with this present world, as no Christian really is.

      • Walt

        Very well written and, as a father of 2 daughters, regrettably very true. I often tell them that their biggest challenge is going to be finding a male even worth considering marrying. With broken homes, fathers who care more about their miserable golf game than they do their children, unbridled porn contaminating children, (and adults), females in our society are facing an uphill battle. Ah, such clear and indisputable proof Satan is alive, well and among us.

    • Donna Ellwanger

      Cindy, I agree with you wholeheartedly (except maybe the last paragraph)! Men’s and women’s roles have been blurred and it has led to many things that are hurting people. I think even all of this bullying that’s going on is a warped result of boys trying to find something to be a “man” about, since they are not taught what that means anymore. I am a woman who wants her husband to be the man in our relationship and my son to be the man in his. Also, for my daughters to be the woman in theirs! I have told my daughters for years that if they want a man who will respect them, they have to dress and act like a woman (girl) worthy of that respect, that if they dress like a slut, that’s the impression they will leave with whoever sees them.

    • TeresaR

      Maybe someone can correct me, but I don’t see where the Bible teaches that women are so much more valuable than men that men have to be the ones to risk all the hurt and rejection in romance. Didn’t Jesus command us to do unto others as we want done to us?

      • Dear Teresa
        I gather you’re commenting on Cindy’ statement that: “Once men had to take a risk to approach a woman, now women call men and ask them out. The challenge and pursuit of men intent on winning a woman’s heart feeds a man’s desire to conquer and win his ‘prize.’ … Men were meant to be pursuers, and women are supposed to be worth pursuing.”
        Cindy may offer her own response, but here’s mine. I don’t think that the Bible says women are so much more valuable than men that men have to be the ones to risk all the hurt and rejection in romance. I think you may have misconstrued what Cindy was saying a little bit. To me, Cindy was talking about how that risk-taking is consonant with man’s natural impulse to rise to a challenge, pursue a prize, win a goal, and that this is linked to the way a man of integrity will desire to protect and cherish his precious wife, once he has won her heart.
        It’s not that men should shoulder all the risk of rejection, and women shouldn’t have to bear any risk of rejection. After all, a woman who desires but finds no suitable husband, suffers rejection by default.
        To me, if a man is strong enough to take that risky initiative, that suggests something about his future strength in being able to protect and cherish his wife when times of trouble and difficulty arise during their married life together.

    • Jenna

      It looks as though we won’t find equality, in the 50 shades of grey or the evangelical church. Some of us women, do not need a protector and provider, we don’t need a man lording over us. It’s fine if evangelical women want it, but every woman has different needs, and I for one, want an equal relationship, not headship / submission. My church believes in egalitarianism. I do respect the wants of other women, but ever since I can remember, I have been turned off by the very thought of a man in charge. I will marry an equal partner.

  2. I have not heard of that book.
    I know of women, women I would describe as intelligent professionals (nurses) who are obsessed with the Twilight books/movies. But a porn spin-off from it? New to me. And like you, Jeff, I cannot explain what women are getting from or doing with this stuff. But I’m sure it would make it easier for abusers to entice and entrap their victims.

    There must be something satanic that is making women who get hooked on that stuff feel some kind of twisted pleasure from it. Like all that Satan does, it would have truth mixed with the lies.

    One further thought or insight: if a girl has been sexually abused in childhood and her response has involved a numbing or seizing up of her sexual response (to protect herself from the fearful memories) then she may feel that she’s inadequate because she cannot enjoy sex like everyone else seems to. This sense of inadequacy makes her an easy target for Satan’s ploys. If the devil can get her exposed to perverted sexual images or stories, and she DOES feel some sexual response to that (as opposed to NO sexual response to normal sexual activity) then she may start to think that she “likes” that kind of perverted sex. Not that she really likes it in her natural self, her soul or her conscience, but she “likes” it because at least she has SOME feeling of arousal when she reads that stuff. And something is better than nothing. If she has “some” sexual arousal, at least that means she is not entirely weird, dead, frigid, abnormal and defectively wired, like she thought she was. And of course, once she has been enticed the devil has got his hooks in and can go of from there, leading her into greater and greater addiction. A horrible mixture of ‘pleasure’ and self-loathing.

    • Jeff Crippen

      That makes sense. From reading the reviews of these books (it is a trilogy set), I gather 1) the writing is pathetic, as is the shallowness of the plot, 2) nevertheless it is a top NY Times seller. If we have masses of women coming out of a generation that robbed them of healthy development and the ability to sustain an intimate relationship (not just sexual, but really any meaningful relationship of any depth), then they are going to be deadened in their relational emotions. Did C.S. Lewis write something about “Men Without Chests”? People who lack heart. Who missed something when growing up. So they don’t feel. I can understand more easily how women get drawn into the Harlequin Romance type books, especially if their marriage is non-fulfilling. But this Shades of Grey series is apparently way, way, way beyond any of that genre.

  3. Honestly I am so glad you brought this up. I ran into a couple of old friends–your typical, long time married ‘all the right sort of things’ church-going friends– openly posting page numbers from the books and commenting back and forth. I went and read a review and got triggered so badly I was visibly upset for days. All I could ask myself was, why on earth? What is the appeal?

    And of course the next question… how could these christian woman possibly justify reading something like this? And to do so openly? Without any embarrassment at all? No wonder my beast of a husband could go back to church with all his perversion and I look like the bad guy– the one who’s deviant and uptight and refusing to ‘meet his needs.’

    Looking forward to the discussion.

    • So it sounds like we have opened up another giant can of worms here! Thanks for raising the topic Jeff, and everyone else for contributing. I find the comment from Ida Mae simply chilling. “Nice” Christian women are doing this? How far have we sunk?
      And would you believe, today, just after reading Jeff’s post, I read in “The Age” a broadsheet newspaper for the ‘intelligent’ readers of Victoria, an article that mentioned this book and said that women writers write better bedroom scenes than male writers. Women, being more verbally skilled than men (in general), write about sex better than men do! This is how I learned that E L James is a woman.

    • Jeff Crippen

      I cannot conceive of a Christian shamelessly posting admissions that they are reading, and enjoying, this stuff. Even the Corinthians got a clue and repented after Paul told them what the Lord thinks of sexual immorality. Your acquaintances here however seem to know full well what the Bible says, yet do this anyway. And sadly they are not unique. This seems to be increasingly common among professing Christians. I think that a better description of them is given in the following verse: Romans 1:32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

  4. speakingtruthinlove

    Jeff, Faith and I were connected with Ruth Graham’s ministry for a while when she was still doing conferences. And one of her speakers that dealt with the addiction to pornography sessions claimed that studies show that women spent more money on porn than men. It just doesn’t make sense. I have often wondered if it doesn’t go back to the abuse, when they were victims they had no control over what happened to them. But now in some twisted way this is their decision and makes them feel like they are somehow in control because they are the pursuers. Nothing about this makes any sense but it must come back to brokenness that comes out of abuse. If these are women who have not gone through abuse then what is the answer? Could it be that the passivity of the men in their lives has left them feeling unfulfilled in a twisted way? It is like everything that God made that was good, mankind has turned upside down and inside out so that nothing makes sense any more. Kind of like it was in Noah’s day. Could this one more indication that the depravity of man is at a saturation level?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes, it would be quite interesting to know, for example, if the two co-workers had histories of abuse themselves. One would think that books like this would function though as triggers that brought back the trauma of that past abuse. I read on Amazon that these books have already sold 10 million copies! When the women of a generation become perverse, in addition to the men, how far we have fallen!

      • SJR

        When a milder version of this stuff is the norm, then you end up normalizing what is wrong because 50 Shades is so much more intense and the pain and control is high.

        As far as history of abuse goes, I can only speak for myself, but my abuser in my childhood over a period of time tied together pain and pleasure and it has totally messed with intimacy in marriage. It sure didn’t help that my husband has been into BDSM from early in our marriage.

        As for it being triggers, that’s hard to explain. I’m not sure I can even explain it to myself.

  5. speakingtruthinlove
  6. Michael Juzwick

    As with Satan the power behind all pornography, the human beings behind these clever & deceitful ways to ensnare men & women into bondage to their profanity are full of demon spirits driving them to destroy souls. America is as Jesus Christ said it was in His book of Revelation chapters 16 – 18. ” ..the habitation of demons, cage of every unclean and hateful bird..” she has made the nations to drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication [ Greek – porneas – pictures & writings of fornication ]. Most church leaders refuse to preach against these corruptions of even the very people they claim God put them over. Many pastors are in bondage to pornography due to its easy access on the Internet. If people have any problems with pornography, they must realize they are being invaded by demonic powers that will destroy them in this world, then drag their souls into Hell when they die. No pornographer [ one who makes the vile material, or, someone who purchases it ] will inherit the kingdom of God. American Christians must repent of any exposure to the profane materials. My book – The Original Intent of the First Amendment – According to the Founding Fathers – would educate you on the fact it is not protected by the US Constitution. Our Federal & State judges have only become apostates & reprobates to the true purpose of God for our National laws!!! Repent America!!!

    • sallyhoo

      I really agree with this Michael fellow. This is about demonic possession…and the spiritual war we are currently engaged in…it is becoming more evident each day. And these deceitful beasts are capable of convincing the victim that the victim actually desires what the demon wants and feeds upon…it is very stealth and very serious. Every day, vigilant prayer is needed. I can’t help but know that this outlandish scenario is actually being played out in our world today.

      • Sally, thanks for your phrase “these deceitful beasts are capable of convincing the victim that the victim actually desires what the demon wants and feeds upon.” You have put into words what I have never been able to articulate.

        In my earlier life, before I was walking as a Christian, that happened to me. I did not entirely give myself over to the evil, but it certainly had its hooks in me for a while, and it had convinced me that “I” really did “like” those sick thoughts and images.
        I had been so damaged by (one single instance of) childhood sexual abuse that my normal healthy sexual-response wiring had been all tangled, messed up, fused and effectively ruined. So when I happened to be exposed to a perverted scenario in a book I was reading, it was easy for the demonic forces to get in and “convince” me that their arousal was “my” arousal. Does that make sense?

  7. Joan

    When all is said and done regarding abuse, whether it’s books, experts, programs, counseling or groups, what is revealed is someone’s driving need to control. It all comes down to control, and control is the evil bedrock of abuse. To control means that power needs to be taken and held, for there is no control without it. Ultimately, what does any one human being control? What power do we innately possess? Can we make one hair black or white? Even our very breath is animated by the power of our Creator, and were He to withdraw from this earth, would it be a cataclysmic event, or would this earth and life as we know it simply exhale with no Life to breathe in, and fold in on itself in a nothingness. When I talk to my kids about the Bible, the simplest way I can describe it is as a book of Relationship, from beginning to end. We were created to be in relationship with God. We broke the terms and crossed the boundaries, and caused the break in the relationship. The Holy can’t be in relationship with sin. God did Everything needed to offer us restoration of relationship, and our prideful hubris of carnal flesh can offer… nothing… to add to what He did. We can accept that with deep gratitude, relief, and joy, or we can feel irrationally affronted somehow. Isn’t that the battle? When Lucifer was the beautiful light bearer, given intelligence, beauty and talents, was it enough? Or did he stand on a mountain, enamored and inflated with pride, and scorn the true Power, the Alpha and Omega, that created him?

    The ancient and age long battle has always involved a power struggle, and it seems that struggle is laced with pride. The sins of kings and rulers are not so different from the sins of an ordinary woman or man, even at times in scope and magnitude of repercussion. What does any human being wrestle with in terms of control? Pride in our god-playing, or fear that the true Power won’t love us, protect us, and want us? Whether it’s a response to the trauma of being abused or molested as a child, or our innately sinful pride when the clay tries to dictate to the Potter, it seems to be the same human struggle repeated over and over. The book in question seems to be about playing with power, as though you could play with a tiger by the tail safely and not be gnawed and consumed, yet the temptation to hold power is enticing. It isn’t about good people or bad people, but all people, all humans who listen to the carefully crafted lie that says “You will be like God”.

    I would like to excuse the temptation and want to believe it springs from a prior trauma or struggle, but in the end, whether we have been sinned against or not, the choice remains ours, and ours alone, to surrender to the only true Power. Throughout history, humans have devised many ways to play with what we fear or secretly desire. This would be, without having read the trilogy in question, my response to the question of ‘Why?’.

    As to the impact and potential for contributing to future distorted thinking, unhealthy relationships, and justification for abuse, it’s a sobering and sad truth that people will find ways and excuses to do any wrong they are set upon.

    • Thanks Joan. So well said.
      I think that prior trauma may go some way to explaining why a person might be vulnerable to a temptation, meaning ‘vulnerable’ in the sense that a previously traumatized person has become badly-wired (by the trauma) so that, at the initial exposure to porn, they are more likely to feel a ‘quickening’ response and slip briefly into that evil land. But prior trauma does not excuse habitually and repeatedly surrendering oneself to the evil. The decision to live habitually in that evil land comes from to the person’s own choice. The old adage applies: a bird may rest briefly on your hair without it being your fault; but if you let the bird build a nest in your hair, it’s your fault.

      The image of playing with the tiger’s tail is very apt!

      • sallyhoo

        wow…reading your words about the badly-wired traumatized person being susceptible to continued abuse in the ‘evil land’…has definitely struck a chord with me…perhaps stumbling upon this website was no accident…

      • SJR

        The “it’s your fault” part at the end is very hard to hear. Saying it’s your “own choice” isn’t necessarily true either. It’s really a mix that’s hard to sort out. What part is forced on you and what part is you trying to believe its normal, because it could be more intense? You can’t say worse, otherwise you are admitting its some kind of bad and maybe even abuse.

        I’d definitely go with badly wired by past and present trauma. Certainly it has a major effect. Surrendering to the evil instead of fighting it, may be how it looks, but even that compromise is more a defense move and a way of coping by not allowing yourself to grasp that this isn’t some kind of normal. It’s more of a mid-range kind of thing without as much pain and humiliation and fear as it could be.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes, thanks from me as well, Joan. Very well said. Power and control. The vessel telling the Potter what to do. The choice does indeed remain ours and one day we shall all give an account. The frightening thing today is that the things that once were secretly desired and practiced in darkness are being brought right out into the streets, so increasingly our world is becoming one big Sodom. Perhaps the most significant Scripture for our time is simply “Remember Lot’s wife.”

  8. sallyhoo

    Here is how I came upon your website…
    I googled: “the evil of pornography” to see what I could find on the subject…
    I did this because of a very negative experience I just had.
    Last week I was twittering a friend when I discovered this friend was following a few porn twitters…i was a bit alarmed, and because i have 4 children of my own I started a little investigation into this unknown territory…reading up on what is available to kids online and all that stuff…also we began to talk in earnest about the subject in our family meetings.
    So here is the ironic part…yesterday, my son and I were at the mall checking out the local bookstore. A rack of “50 Shades” was presented at the front of the store and it caught my eye as i was browsing for a new summer book to read. I hurriedly picked up the book and scanned the back cover…it seemed to be an interesting…possible slightly risque story…like a silly romance…but the part that got me interested was that the protagonist had a moral conflict…something about “having to face herself”…I thought that might be an interesting read because moral dilemmas quite interest me….so I bought the book and saved it for bedtime reading. I had a feeling that the book might be a bit risque…but I had NO idea what I was in for!! Whilst reading at bedtime, I immediately thought what a crappy book it was…how disappointing…because the writing was so cheesy. So I flipped through the book to see if there would be any interesting parts…and WOA!!!! I was totally shocked and unprepared for what i was reading. It was total pornography…no holds barred. I felt dirty and sick…really sick…like i had participated in something really evil. Looking on the back cover again, I discovered the adult…sexual content label, which I failed to notice when I was buying the book. Honestly, I felt assaulted. In the morning I prayed to God to help me through this little trauma…and protect me from this evil (and I am not even an official Christian!)…this is how impactful this piece of trash was. I then proceeded to do the only thing my good conscious would allow me to do: I used the kitchen scissors and completely shredded every page of the book from cover to cover…I spat on it and threw it in the garbage. No other person…no human being should ever be subjected to reading that book ever again. That is how strongly I felt about it. I realize my naivety…but I also know that the book at a quick glance misrepresents the contents. Also…I do not think people who engage in pornography realize what they are involved in. Pornography is violence against women and children…period. I happen to believe that there are dark forces in our world that put this stuff out purposely. Pornography is linked to many aberrant and un-Godly activities…child pedophilic rings included. When people support “entertainment” like this book, pornography and even more acceptable media such as the demonic antics of nicki minaj (popular kids’ music)…they are directly supporting violence against woment and children. We need to wake up…big time.

    • Dear Sally, I wouldn’t blame yourself for any ‘naivety’. That book is clearly designed and carefully marketed to suck in people who have active consciences and would never normally go near anything that even had a whiff of porn.
      Your shredding of the book was wise, and spiritually correct. You probably know that the followers of Christ did a similar thing in the book of Acts:

      [13] Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” [14] Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. [15] But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” [16] And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. [17] And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. [18] Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. [19] And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. [20] So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. (Acts 19:13-20 ESV)

      What’s more, the parallels between pornography and magic arts are numerous. Both give a sense of power, and rapid gratification. Both can be addictive. Both enslave the person who gives himself over to them. Both have demonic spirits behind them who can overpower those who tries to resist in their own strength. The remedy for those who are trapped in them is confession and calling upon Jesus for help and power to overcome. The demons don’t have to obey anyone else who opposes them, but they do have to obey Jesus. Those who come to Christ in repentance, acknowledging Him as Lord, can be set free from these demonic powers. There is no other name by which we may be saved.

      Bless you, Sally, and thanks for contributing to our blog!

  9. Hello There

    I think there is no straight forward answer to your question. What I do believe, is that regardess of the baffling numbers this book has done. It will still dwarf the amount of men who watch porn/bdsm porn/snuff movies etc.

  10. anna

    I just finished this book. Everyone including my sister told me it was wonderful. I should have followed my Christian instincts. This is one of the worst books I have ever heard and evil is the best way to describe it. Its about male dominance and a woman that is scared to death of a man. I felt like I was reading the story of a domestic abuse victim –not a love story. It made and makes me sick to think about it. A woman who is so set on a physical feeling that she allows someone to abuse her. Why are we glorifying this!!! Worst of all I have Christian friends that told me they were addicted to the books-my only thought is–how can a real Christian approve of this! The author always uses the word “holy” like its an everyday word. Every paragraph is holy cow–holy sh#t–and of course holy f##k which disgusted me the most. Don’t read this book!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks for letting us know. I didn’t want to read it, yet I also wanted more first hand information as to some specifics. Your report confirms what I have read from others, particularly that it is really a promotion of male abuse over women. How foolish for anyone, and particularly women, to buy into this garbage. The woman who wrote it is no friend of women.

    • Thank you Anna. The so-called Christian women who are reading this book cannot be true Christians. If they were, they would have the same disgust for it that you have. I believe this book is on of the ways God is testing his church – using the word ‘church’ here to mean the visible church: all who are attending church services and professing to be believers, some (many?) of whom have never never been born again and are just going thru the motions of religiosity.
      God is giving non-regenerate women this book Fifty Shades of Grey in order to thresh the wheat from the chaff. Those who like it, are chaff. Those who are repulsed and disgusted by it are wheat. And we look at each other across the pews an can’t comprehend why the other one thinks and feels so differently, but it all comes down to which kingdom you are in, the kingdom of God, or the realm of the evil one.

       For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
      (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 ESV)

  11. rainshadow

    Unsaved people love evil and the book is just that “evil”, I am a nurse and it is an epidemic. At both of my hospitals in southern Louisiana you hear nurses talking about the book. These women are enamoured with the book and they all place themselves in the place of the main character as if they were her as they delight in the sin and find great pleasure with it. At one particular hospital I work, there are these nurses and techs who are extremely wordly and because they know the book goes contrary to everything I stand for they try to annoy me by talking about the profane details which they know are an extreme offense to me and my firm beliefs. I shut them down everytime they try to push upon me to read the book or even try to discuss the book with me. I rebuke and shun them and the book closed endedly end of discussion. When I hear them discuss it all I really hear is I hate the gospel of Jesus Christ but I passionately embrace profane evil because it feels good and I could care less what you think. Since I reject everything they embrace they have been doing malicious things to hurt my personhood. I have resigned from my job because of their hatred and team tactics against me without just cause. They refuse to assist me with critical patients in emergent situations when I help them with everything regardless of our differences. I resigned because I don’t want them to create a situation in which my professional license is at risk. Alot of nurses like the world are unsaved and will eat you up and spit you out. The influence of Satan is alive and well in the lives of these nurses. You would not believe the extent to which they have tried to destroy my peace.

    • Dear Rainshadow
      As a former nurse, I sympathise. I sometimes did night shifts with nurses who spent all their idle time during the shift (and there can be a fair amount of down time on a night shift) looking at smutty stuff on the internet. The hospital computer system prevented them accessing really dreadful stuff, but the smut they found was bad enough to disgust me. They giggled and chortled to each other about it, in my presence. The world is in the grip of the evil one, and we can only thank God that He chose us and is saving us from it.
      I never felt my professional practice could be compromised by the conduct of unsaved colleagues in the workplace, but I believe your account of how your workmates placed you in a position where you felt your license might be at risk. If there is no one in management who is prepared to stand up for the person who is getting bullied (and you were bullied, by the sounds of it) then there is little one can do.

    • Also, I’m not surprised that so many nurses are into Fifty Shades of Grey. When I was nursing, that book had not yet come out, but many nurses were into the Twilight series – and really addicted to it. They were excellent nurses, very intelligent, knowledgeable and competent in their technical nursing skills, but morally bankrupt and held in thrall by their foolish desires.

  12. Jenny

    My ex husband, who was into pornography, had a habit of when we were being intimate, at the key moment of my body responding physically he would begin to recite aloud his sick and disgusting fantasies. When I would tell him how disgusting I found this to be and how repulsed I was, he would try to convince me that because of how my body responded, I really did like his fantasy scenarios. Talk about messing with your mind! He, as a professed christian, would also counter my complaints by telling me I was too Christian and needed to loosen up and have fun.

    • Jeff Crippen

      The real mark of a Christian is love. Love for the Lord and love for others, and especially for other believers. If your ex was really a Christian, he would be done with that filthy and coarse talk, if not from conviction of his own conscience, but out of love for you when you expressed your disgust. Nothing holy is going to be derived from pornography. A Christian will be repulsed by it. Your ex obviously reveled in it. I believe that if a husband (or nowadays even the wife sometimes) is pursuing pornography and will not turn from it, they are guilty of adultery and the innocent spouse has grounds for divorce. Pornography is not sexual in so many cases. It is a perversion of human sexuality. It demeans. It promotes abuse. It leads to rapes and even murders. And those women depicted in it are someone’s daughter! One can only wonder how they were led down that path.

    • That was indeed messing with your mind! He was taking advantage of your body’s natural response to normal sexual activity to try to imprint his sick fantasies on you while you were at your most open and vulnerable. I hope you have ‘spoken off’ those words (if that is the right way to put it) and have found healing from Christ from that contamination.
      Telling you to ‘loosen up’ is just more inversion of morality: they call black white, and white black, and then they guilt trip us for not agreeing with them. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. Stories like yours can help other survivors remember what has been done to them, and remembrance is the first step of healing.

  13. It goes along with the sickness of the times….where there used to be shame in certain areas….evil today is pretty blatantly witnessed…..because the evil one’s time is now short so all barriers are down.

    If anyone inquired about the book (which I happened to hear of when Rush Limbaugh mentioned it as something the “feminists” wouldn’t like because it shows the power of women when they submit, and that it wasn’t any kind of usual romance novel if women who hadn’t read it might think so) I’d simply tell them that it is obviously sick and that if they are now that desperate in their unbridled curiosity then they ought to seek counseling from someone who can teach them (or refresh them) about their dignity as a human person made in the image and likeness of God.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Rosie. Absolutely – we live in sick and shame less times. “Rom 1:32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Your application of man being made in the image of God is very appropriate and well-cited. When human beings disregard God and suppress the revelation of Him that He has given clearly to all people, they become less human and more animal.

  14. ann

    It is satan! he has them in pro choice views, now this. Do you think these women say an ” Our Father when they put the book down????? satan is out for as many souls as possible, using all he can. We are going down in our society fast! It is a battle of good vs evil . The more we push God out, the more satan can enter!!! Smart women need to be prayer warriors. Without that, there is little hope for our children!!!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Ann. Very, very true indeed!

  15. ginny

    Satan makes evil attractive and unfortunately, this is attracting women from a curious standpoint, and then pass it on as exciting to read….Satan is winning souls of women and they don’t even know it…..sad…very sad

  16. mike

    50 shades of grey is female pornography

  17. Anita

    The problem is, like the Bible says, “the evil one is the prince of this world”. So many are being deceived by him and don’t have enough contact with God to see this and reject the evil that is all around us. Most people are very intent on keeping with the latest trends, of which this is one. Women’s clothing is cheap and trashy looking for the most part and they are wearing it anyway. They are surely selling themselves short and it is very sad indeed.
    In this, they are inviting abuse and mistreatment and disrespect.

  18. Kiki lynn

    I was really shocked to hear what this book was about . I first heard it mentioned on a womens web site for women 45 and over – I thought it was a book about how to color your hair when you are middle aged!! So when I heard what it was about I was then shocked that women are reading this garbage. This is Really Evil and it can pollute your mind so I would not read it if you paid me. This is a new thing it seems women getting involved in porn
    this stuff denegrates women and is to be avoided at all costs.
    Satan now is in charge of the world so nothing surprises me and that is why I try to watch clean stuff and only read clean books etc – which is difficult cause they slip in the dirt when you dont expect it so stuff is getting very limited that is really filth free.
    But you cant be surprised because people are getting lower and lower every day.
    Keep to yourself and pray the rosary and contemplate on good things etc
    I also think porn is like a drug it lures people in and they cant get away from it it is destructive

  19. Andrew Cano

    Here is my blog post on the same topic: http://www.cano-nization.com/2012/05/fifty-shades-of-disorder.html [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.]

  20. Michelle

    I just heard of this book yesterday on SpiritDaily or maybe it was LifesiteNews. Anyway, Jeff, I don’t know the answers to your questions above, but I’ll take a guess. In her right mind, a woman does not want to be abused nor does she find pleasure in another’s abuse, but so many people are not in their right minds, so many are lost. Did you read the advertisement for the book on Amazon? It says, “Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever”. The key words for me were OBSESS and POSSESS, that’s all I needed to read to know Satan’s involvement with this book. Maybe the answers to your questions lie in the fact that so many souls are lost and it’s easy for the devil to get his claws into them.

    My mother taught us girls to be ladies. Dress well, be gentle and gracious, no nasty talk, no swearing, and certainly no personal, private kind of talk. Maybe I’m just the last woman on earth raised this way, but it was quite shocking for me to learn how grotesque women really are after I was married and became a mother. The things women say are disgusting. I’ve actually been asked about my private life with my husband when pregnant with one of my children. Then this group of women had the nerve to tell me that they figured the reason we had so many children was because my husband must be great at ___! The drinking parties that go on my neighborhood of parents in their mid-30’s and older is incredible. So, lost souls abound among us women, too. Women can just as easily be sucked into the world of abuse/porn as men these days.

    Also, a lowering of all standards is normal today. We are immodest in every area of our lives now. We dress immodestly, we speak immodestly, we act immodestly, and we even eat immodestly. We care not about controlling ourselves for another’s sake, we throw ourselves upon others and expect them to deal with it, and we want immediate gratification. We have a serious case of arrested development going on, so it has become normal for women to be so crass as to desire this type of reading.

    Just my two cents. ~Michelle

    • Jeff Crippen

      Michelle – Thank you very, very much for all of these insights. You know, I find myself quite often wishing I could turn back the calendar about 50 years or so. I can remember as a child that we could walk in downtown Portland (Oregon) with no sense of fear at all. You could go to the main stores, like Meier & Frank, and the women would be pretty well dressed up (hats too). I think it is still much more like that on the East Coast than out West here. But my point is the same as yours — our society is decadent and growing worse. And the very sad thing is that so many people who claim to be Christians, and so many churches, are really no different. Honestly, if I were to think about moving somewhere and finding another church to pastor, I really don’t know where I would ever even begin to look. The same old compromises of God’s Word are almost everywhere, and as you say, one of the results is the rampant immodesty we find. No one wants to grow up. I have often observed that the average person from ages 20-50 today never got out of high school in regard to maturity. In Christ we grow up. So why aren’t all of these people who say they are Christians doing so?

  21. Mary Kay Acheson

    I was recently on vacation in Maui. A number of young women were reading this book, lounging around the pool. I had never heard of it and my son told me briefly what he had read about it. Yuk! I am from Port Angeles, WA and the Twilight sensation is still seen everyday, people taking photos outside Bella Italia restaurant.
    Our society is obsessed with sex. What our society is craving is love but our culture is selfish and woman reflect this currant attitude. There is a war on women out there. Woman are being massacred everyday by the men they love or are supposed to love them. Women are being murdered at such a rate that its become mundane news to us. The media run a story such as Laci Peterson or Stacy Peterson to such an extent, it becomes nightly entertainment. That Fifty Shades of Grey should becomes a phenomena is predictable and should be of no surprise. Women’s magazines use 12 year old models, in provocative poses to sell fashion. Sex sells.
    What it very apparent is that woman and men today are is desperate need of the love of our Heavenly Father,

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary – Yes, I rode my motorcycle through Port Angeles last year and saw all of the Twilight craze signs. Amazing. And not good. In addition to announcing the good news of the gospel, Christians and pastors and churches need to become wise to evil. Its nature, its tactics and its mentality. Otherwise evil people, wolves parading as sheep, infest our churches and work their wickedness as we have so often pointed out on this blog and in our upcoming book, A Cry for Justice. The wolf is enabled and believed while his victim is maligned and put out. This is the scenario that is happening over and over again when abuse victims, usually women, come to their pastors for help. The evil is minimized, justified, ignored, and the victim is told to go “do better.” If you are part of a good church there in Port Angeles, I would be happy to send you a copy of our book when it comes out and maybe you could get your leaders there to read it? Thanks again!

      • Mary Kay Acheson

        Thank you Jeff 🙂 I am part of a good church and am blessed to have as our pastor a very holy priest. He regularly speaks out on the dangers of pornography etc.Satan is the father of lies and as such, makes sin attractive. I think it has been pointed out on another post, most woman would not walk into a bookstore to purchase this book, if it was listed in a “porn section”. Yet, porn is cleverly marketed and unfortunately desensitizes, like daytime dramas or soap operas do.
        My teenage daughter read the twilight series. It began a great discussion between us regarding dating and relationships. She would get so frustrated with me as I pointed out that one reason Edward made such a horrible boyfriend was that he was “dead”.
        Kristin Stewart’s character lies to her father and he is completely in the dark regarding the path his daughter is going down. This is so reflective of our culture today, with text messaging and social media. Parents must be proactive. Ultimately, the message having sex before marriage does not mean you have a deeper, better relationship, it means you are having sex.
        Sex does not equal love. Its an ongoing conversation on God’s loving plan for us that mothers and fathers must continue to have with their daughters and sons.

  22. Nancy

    I wouldn’t read it. Don’t really want to know any more about this crap. A co-worker told me that her husband bought her the whole set and she is just devouring it! A co-Catholic friend is also admiring this series. I just don’t get the obsession. My Lord and my God provides all I need. Praying for these souls that are being deceived and exploited.

  23. Dani Marie

    I have heard of the book, it is all the rage on facebook and a few of my friend’s told me you have to read this!! I said well what is the book about? They responded with it will totally help you improve your sex-life…hmmm…that’s just awkward but to those who gravitate to socitail trends want to read this so they can contribute to conversations with there peers and friends. I explained to my friend’s that I find no rational reason’s why a fictitious book about sexual experience’s would ever be a healthy way to promote and contribute to intimacy with my spouse. I would assume it has taken the normal smutty romance novel to a whole nother level. It is disturbing that so many women have jumped on the band wagon of Fifty Shades of Grey, however in a society that is so desensitized to impurity it is not surprising. Someone should write a book “Fifty Shades of White”…glorifying all the traditional moral’s, principal’s and value’s of courtship and intimacy before society forgets it ever existed.

  24. john d

    this is all very sad. really. This stuff about this stupid novel is nothing. This is really tame stuff i am sorry to say and I would not want to disgust you with what I hear from many young women are looking at these days. I am a man, yes, and sigusted by my own peers, but the advance of feminisim (perhaps, I am not sure) seems to have had such a perverse affect…sorry, I am shocked what some ofthem tell me.Fifty Shades of grey is simply to move them on to a public sphere of much more horrendous stuff. Please don’t be curious. THis is the UK today.. no man can even begin to compete with this… thanks for listening.

  25. Bernadette

    I started reading this Fifty Shades more than a month ago and until now I am still midway through. I don’t find anything spectacular , special or whatever in it hence it is still unfinished. I doubt it if I’ll be interested in finishing it. I may conclude though that the popularity of the book may be due to the lack of (good) spiritual rootedness in the present generation. Like what they say he who doesn’t stand for anything will fall for anything. It is a pity to know that many today don’t even have anything to stand on.

  26. john d

    oops sorry about the spelling errors… how embarrassing!

  27. john d

    last comment Before I go to bed: there is a brilliant review of Fifty Shades of Grey in an English Newspaper called the Daily Mail (biggest readership in the UK) by a bloke called Craig Brown from about 4 weeks ago…it’s secular but he tears it to pieces in the most amusing fashion… sorryi can’t provide a link because i’m not to savvy with that sort of thing. But please search it out and you will, I hope.. laugh out loud at the stupidity of it!!!

    many thanks,

  28. Kathy Wrobel

    The spirit of EVIL has infiltrated everything in our culture… Sex has become the idol whose altar we worship at… even sacrificing our babies for it… Yesterday, I heard that a hotel has removed the bibles from the rooms and it has substituted this book in its place… does that tell you anything about what is occurring on the spiritual level of human existence?! God help us all…

    Kathy W.

  29. Mary Young

    This author is laughing all the way to the bank…..people who read this junk are fifty shades of dumb……

  30. JC

    Another book which title was introduced to me, it’s one of the most horrible, abusive, sadistic, masochistic, and degrading to women and upsetting pornographic book I’ve ever heard about and totally geared to men. What was more devastating was to learn that a woman wrote it. After so many years I still shake my head…I still don’t understand how that could be possible.

  31. Emilee

    The moral code of our society has diminished tremendously and people are feeding into selfish desires. Nothing about 50 Shades is unselfish. I have not read the book, nor will I. It isn’t something that we will see improve, as anytime a society decides to be selfish and perverse it leads to self destruction. I’m not fanatical, but once you pervert your mind it is impossible to totally remove the desire for more. That said, I imagine we will begin seeing more literature and such whose theme is lust.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Emilee – I think you are right on target here. Me, myself, and I. The religion of the day is hedonism. As the Apostle Paul put it, “whose god is their appetite.”

  32. Rebecca

    I know of this book. As an avid reader and reseacher, I see skim over most of the so called ‘latest and greatest’. Some are great, some are not. I don’t read them all. A fellow avid reader friend read ’50 Shades’ and suggested I have a look. So I did…I read 10 pages mid–book, closed the book and handed it back and said, ‘I will not read this book.’ As a survivor, it was traumatic. But as a human being, it is appalling. The book attempts to ‘normalize’ sadism, bondage and torture in the name of mutual consent. As a woman, I can’t wrap my mind around how any woman would desire to be objectified, disrespected or treated this way in the name of intimacy. I do understand how some of us as survivors have been forced into such scenarios before learning how to be free from it. So I’m not judging anyone who may be still struggling to be free from this type of abuse.

    My belief is that the bar has been lowered so much in society today, to accept abnormal sexuality, but it is no longer normal or healthy. It’s the slow boil of the frog in a pot of water. Sooner or later, there has to be more aggression, intensity, and twistedness to arouse the desires. This is not from God. It defiles everything God created intimacy for. The Porn industry has dramatically changed- most porn has turned to targeting torture and rape of women. I know this not because I view it, but because I attended the Ohio Attorney Generals Victims Advocacy conference in Columbus in May. One of the sessions I attended was

    “”Pornography and Violence Against Woment: The Current State of Social
    Scientific Knowledge” The speaker: Walter DeKeseredy, PhD;
    University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    The information he shared was based on his research and is quite startling. He ties the connection of the changes in the brutality and abuse of women to increased violence in pornography. Dr. DeKeseredy has been doing extensive research, along with some collegues, on Pornography and the changing themes of it. He is a strong advocate of
    women,and is on a mission to expose facts and ban most P (I spoke with him after the conference and have his permission to pass along this information and research to anyone who is interested). I don’t know if he is a Christian, but his research and passion to ban porn and help abused women is equal to what I see here.

    Awareness and speaking out is the first step to change. And something must change.


    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you for all of the insight and information, Rebecca. It does not surprise me at all that porn is going this direction and does such harm to women. We recently had one reader say that whatever happens between consenting adults, especially if they are married, is just fine. So, I suppose that as long as both husband and wife consent, anything (and I mean ANY-thing) goes? Follow that trail and see where it leads!

      • Rebecca

        That trail leads to abuse! You are so right, Pastor Jeff. I believe many women think that the only way to ‘keep a man satisfied’ and not leave, is to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, sexually. I’ve been on the Board of a support group for women of sexual addicts going on 3 yrs, and see this belief repeated over and over again. There is the belief too, that the sex addict will ‘change’ if the wife will do what he wants and see’s in pornography. When in fact what happens, is that the marriage becomes more abusive and the men more angry. We can’t change anyone’s actions or choices by our own actions. ‘Submitting’ (there’s that word again) to brutality and abuse in intimacy is not the fix for abusive relationships. To me, this seems like it’s desensitizing women to abuse and perverse intimacy as a way to save or remain in a marriage or relationship.

        There is a new pattern I’m seeing in sexual addiction, where the men are becoming much more abusive. Whats more, emotional abuse and verbal abuse is sometimes called ‘intimacy anorexia’ in some circles of sex addiction therapy….as if the abuser can’t help it. I don’t agree with that and feel that term minimizes what is really abuse- it is a choice and part of the cycle of control and oppression. But, while women are encouraged to confront this pattern, they are often also encouraged, by the man’s counselor, to work through the ‘intimacy anorexia’ and be understanding when the man ‘slip’s and struggles. So the pattern continues, and once again, women are led to believe that if we hang in there long enough, comply, and be understanding, their husband will eventually change…. if we do our part.

        I wonder if that’s why women are absorbing this book….it’s the new normal or
        expectation. Reminds me of the initial acceptance of slavery.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Rebecca: Your experience in this area is very helpful. Thank you much for sharing your insights and what you have learned in your work. Whenever human beings detour from God’s design, we can be sure that trouble is going to ensue. Fifty Shades of Grey is going to prove to be a Pied Piper siren song, calling women to come and follow along this merry way. But as God has warned us, there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death.

      • Wow, emotional and verbal abuse = “intimacy anorexia”? So we have new fan-dangled psychobabble jargon with which to blame the victim while sounding sophisticated and professional! That’s a new one on me, and I’m appalled. It exemplifies how some therapists are co-abusers, just like some churches are.

  33. Michelle

    The question was asked why are women so attracted to this book. So I thought I would share my opinion. I am a woman. I have not been abused. I am also happily married. Initially I read the book because I was so tired of reading academic dry books. I wanted to read something “different and mindless” This book is both. Unlike anything I’ve read before. I have read two of the three. I don’t want to read the third. Please brace yourself. This is my honest opinion. Keep in mind, there is a rumor that Believers have an issue with sex.

    ~ Honestly some of the scenes were weird, gross and a turn-off. By this I mean, I am not interested in trying any of it.
    ~ I am a bit old fashion and like the thought of men taking care of women. Initially I thought the male character was intriguing and creepy. I felt sorry for the female character because like most women she needed reassurance that she deserves better.
    ~ A few times I thought about putting the first book down. It was crazy, but in my experience most real life experiences can fit into the crazy category. (For a few years I counseled college students. Don’t be fooled about what goes on outside of church.)
    ~ I loved the passion. (I am just being honest.) I loved the emotion, but I also know that only a fool lives by feeling and passion alone. Even college kids know that.
    ~ At the end of the first book I was proud of the female character. She stood up for herself (sort of). I wonder how many Believers are willing to stick by someone going through some nasty stuff. To note, the main character had no one to talk to. She had tons of questions. She was confused, frightened, in pain, stressed…a mess.
    ~ I picked up the second book after reading reviews online. Honestly, I was pulled in by the plot. It read like a soap opera. I don’t have time for much TV. So again, this was something different for me.
    ~ The male character wanted to change. He thought the female character was showing him love without pain or “darkness”. The author wants you to believe the female character is showing him “the light” or love without pain.
    ~ I don’t want to read the third book. I heard they do more sexually daring things. Honest to goodness. I think I’ve already surpassed my max…enough is enough. The book ends on a fairly happy note…sort of.
    ~ I liked that the male character gave the female character lots of hugs. (I get those from my husband…yeah!) I hated that the male character like to see women in pain. (I really hated that part. It was a really turn off!) Again, I am glad I married my husband.
    ~ I understand the devil comes to rob, steal and destroy. This is a fact.
    ~ In the end, I still love my husband and appreciate him more. Perhaps the book will build-up our passion for each other. (It’s one of the benefits of marriage.) I like my husband and I like who he is as a man. I have no need, desire or curiosity about trying any of the strange things in the book. It’s just weird.
    ~ Finally if the book bothers you. Understood. It’s appropriate that you don’t read it. If you are interested in knowing how intriguing the devil can be…read it. Then pick-up your Bible and gain clarity. God is love…not crazy. Crazy is the devil.

    I know this is long, but thank you for reading. I am interested in your feedback.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Michelle – I don’t know how accurately I can answer your question. I have been tempted to read the series myself and do a detailed evaluation of it through the lens of Scripture. However, I have chosen not to. The reason? Because I don’t think that any of us are qualified to talk to or listen to the Serpent. In some ways, your comments (and I appreciate your tone and your honesty by the way) are the most troubling of all that have been made in response to our article. You make mention of the devil three times in your comments. This intrigues me. You seem to recognize that in your time reading these two volumes, you have been interacting in some way with the devil – learning about how “intriguing” he is, as you put it. But Michelle, the correct place to go to learn about the devil is not 50 Shades of Grey, written by a person who does not know Christ nor His Word. You should be reading His Word for that. And what do we find in that Word concerning the devil? We find that he was more crafty than any other creature. We find that he is subtle, deception, the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning. Whatever you may have thought you learned about Satan’s tactics from these books is only what he would want you to think about him. And I am very afraid that is the result that these books have had upon you. You think you have benefitted. I dare say that you have not and that you have probably been deceived. You write as if what the characters in the book did represents reality. It doesn’t. This is fiction. Evil can easily be represented as good and good as evil.

      I suspect that if 50 Shades of Grey had been in the libraries of those Ephesian ex-magician believers, it would have been burned up right along with the rest of their occult library.

      Thank you again for commenting and for being honest. I hope that I speak to your good and not in any way attacking you.

    • Hi Michelle, I’m coming in to your comment quite late, I know, but I’ve been traveling. Firstly, I want to thank you for expressing your views and engaging in the conversation without any acrimony.
      I’d like to quote some of your words, making my comments after each quote.

      “I like the thought of men taking care of women. Initially I thought the male character was intriguing and creepy. I felt sorry for the female character because like most women she needed reassurance that she deserves better.”
      The male character being intriguing and creepy and treating the female character worse than she deserved, makes the dynamics very similar or identical to many cases of real life intimate partner abuse. Maybe because you have a good husband, you didn’t see this quite so much as someone like me would have seen it.

      “… At the end of the first book I was proud of the female character. She stood up for herself (sort of). I wonder how many Believers are willing to stick by someone going through some nasty stuff. To note, the main character had no one to talk to. She had tons of questions. She was confused, frightened, in pain, stressed…a mess.”
      I think I would have been much more creeped out than you, and much more indignant about the fact that the author was depicting an abusive relationship but making it seem like the victim was admirable by ‘sticking with someone who was going through some nasty stuff’. Most victims, especially Christian ones, have this kind of martyr mentality, and it’s one of the reasons why they stay so long. They think it’s virtuous to stick with their mean-minded partner because “he’s just going through some nasty stuff” – as if the abuser is not to blame for his abusive conduct because he’s just a helpless tortured soul. Which is garbage.

      “The male character wanted to change. He thought the female character was showing him love without pain or “darkness”. The author wants you to believe the female character is showing him “the light” or love without pain.”
      My comment to that is what I said before, but with even more emphasis. That author is trying to make an abusive relationship look like the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. This fairytale thinking puts women at risk of getting trapped by abusive men. “I can love him so much that his wounds will heal and he will be full of light rather than darkness!” It’s a dream that becomes a nightmare as the abuser uses the victim’s best qualities against her and pulls apart her soul piece by piece.

      “I liked that the male character gave the female character lots of hugs. I hated that the male character like to see women in pain.”
      So the male character is double-minded and hypocritical; he lavishes affection AND inflicts pain. This is precisely the dynamics of abuse where the abuser beguiles the victim with his attentions, portraying himself as ‘better than other men’, so that, having won her trust and her heart, he can wreak his sadism on her.

      From what you’ve told us, I conclude that the author of 50 Shades has portrayed a relationshiop where a man seriously abuses a woman, but portrayed it in such a way that the readers think it’s glamourous, sexy and enticing.

      But it’s only enticing in fiction. In reality, it’s terribly frightening and very destructive.
      I think the author of 50 Shades is guilty of moral turpitude for spinning a web of deception that will greatly entrench the rotten thinking and beliefs that prolong intimate partner abuse in our society.

      • Jeff S

        “From what you’ve told us, I conclude that the author of 50 Shades has portrayed a relationshiop where a man seriously abuses a woman, but portrayed it in such a way that the readers think it’s glamourous, sexy and enticing.”

        I would believe it. As I understand it this series was originally Twilight fan fiction. I have not read those books, but from what I understand in the second one the main character, so upset over her love leaving here, throws herself of a cliff. She, and the multitudes who identify whith her, sees this as an acceptable response. Her love then returns to her, validating her behavior. So just to be clear, by taking a violent action against herself the heroine is able to change her lover’s mindr.

        As someone who has experienced threats of and attempted suicide as a means of responding to to things I’ve said and forcing me to stop communicating (and thus controlling me) I find this deplorable. When manipulation (and what I would go so far as to call emotional abuse) is presented as virtuous, is it any wonder the disciples of such work would further distort what is acceptable and virtuous in loving relationships?

      • Jeff S

        “From what you’ve told us, I conclude that the author of 50 Shades has portrayed a relationshiop where a man seriously abuses a woman, but portrayed it in such a way that the readers think it’s glamourous, sexy and enticing.”

        I would believe it. As I understand it this series was originally Twilight fan fiction. I have not read those books, but from what I understand in the second one the main character, so upset over her love leaving here, throws herself of a cliff. She, and the multitudes who identify whith her, sees this as an acceptable response. Her love then returns to her, validating her behavior. So just to be clear, by taking a violent action against herself the heroine is able to change her lover’s mindr.

        As someone who has experienced threats of and attempted suicide as a means of responding to to things I’ve said and forcing me to stop communicating (and thus controlling me) I find this deplorable. When manipulation (and what I would go so far as to call emotional abuse) is presented as virtuous, is it any wonder the disciples of such work would further distort what is acceptable and virtuous in loving relationships?

  34. Michelle

    Hi Jeff, I appreciate your comments and I do not feel attacked. Thank you. I did not pick-up the book to learn about the devil. Literally I was just bored and wanted to read something “different” I believe the Word of God is real and yes, I will dig deeper to learn more. A relationship with God is essential to living life. To note, I found your blog by googling “50 shades addiction” because so many people have been caught up by it…to much for my liking. Do you have any good scriptures to share?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Michelle – I would suggest an in-depth study of Ephesians as it addresses many of the issues that would arise in respect to these questions. You can’t beat Martyn Lloyd-Jones commentaries on Ephesians.

      Let me address some more things in regard to reading 50 Shades. First, I find it interesting (you were being very honest here) that you read it because, at least in part, you were bored. I wonder what that means? I don’t mean just with you, but with all of us. What is boredom and it what ways is it a dangerous condition. And what of its object? That is to say, we aren’t just “bored” but we are always “bored of” something. You don’t have to answer, just think about it. What were you bored of? What is a biblical theology of boredom and how the Christian properly responds to it. Just some things to consider.

      Second, you mentioned that in some ways your reading of these books has improved your marriage – at least in regard to your attitude toward your husband and so on. Now, let’s turn the thing around. Would you recommend that your husband read these books? Do you think they might have a similar positive effect upon him? What then would be the real difference if he chose to subscribe to Playboy magazine and look visually at porneia as opposed to reading and visualizing it? Would that improve your marriage?

      Third, I don’t know if you have a daughter. But let’s say you do and she is 20 years old, about to be married. Since these books benefited you, would you recommend them to her? I suppose some people would respond by saying they would leave the choice up to her. But if she knew that her mom and read them and believed to have benefited from doing so, would that not color her choice. So, would you want her to read those books?

      Our objections to 50 Shades is not about being prudish or having legalistic sexual hangups. The Bible has plenty to say about sex and marriage and in fairly graphic terms. But it is all true, and that I believe is the difference.

  35. Michelle

    Funny you mention my husband. I was embarrassed when he saw me reading it. We talked about it a little. He hasn’t read it and I don’t believe he will. Work keeps us pretty busy. One thing I love about him is that he accept me as I am. He told me he didn’t mind if I read it. Why? Well (again another honesty moment) he knows I am somewhat of a prude. I have always been and I believe that’s one of the reasons he married me. I don’t plan on changing.

    Every now and again I attend national Christian conferences. Some years ago I sat next to someone I would not have volunteered to sit next to, but the venue was crowded. She didn’t look like your typical Christian who would attend a conference. She dressed modestly, but very, very casual. Almost too casual I thought. After one of the prayers she told me she worked at a women’s homeless shelter. She shared some of her challenges in sharing God’s Word with the women. She spoke of prostitutes who came into the center literally smelling like their profession. I was more amazed that she was not bothered or shocked by their circumstance. This person was more interested in speaking to the heart of the women than she was in their appearance. I admired her work. It made me think. I don’t think I have the calling to minister to people living like that. It made me think how many Christian seek to talk to other Christians instead of reaching people who hurt. Life can be stressful. There is certainly enough hate and hurt in the world. There is enough finger pointing, back biting and meanness.

    I think of Proverbs 15:29 “The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” I want Him to hear my prayers. I know I am not perfect. I know I am not perfect. Who is…Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” I interpret a pure heart to mean someone who hungers and thirst for righteousness (something we have yet to attain).

    To note, I am not seeking a Bible battle. I posted the message in peace with no intention to harm or bother anyone. I was intrigued by the conversation on the post. I think Christians get a bad rap for having a “holy-er than thou” reputation. No one is perfect. I was just sharing my thoughts…

    P.S. My husband just walked in from a business trip. I told him about our conversation. He still love me…gotta go and focus on him…

    Be Blessed!

  36. Jeff S

    I’m going to dissent a little from many of the comments and say that I don’t think whether someone has read and even enjoyed these books (about which I knew nothing before this entry) is a good litmus test for whether he or she is a Christian or not. I also would not go as far as to suggest demonic influence.

    All believers are on a road of sanctification with our own areas of struggle. We all have areas of evil that we love more than good, and in a world where almost nothing is utterly depraved (that is, almost everything has some quality of good in it) the line between what is “profitable” can become blurred. Even Michelle called out some virtues in this particular book (apparently the heroin shows a quality of perseverance and possibly compassion if I read her comments right). In time, all believers should be growing in wisdom and discernment, and I would expect material like this would not stay in a Christian’s life as he or she reaches a greater level of maturity.

    It is all too common for Christians to read and participate in secular (and Christian, for that matter) activities with a non-discerning spirit. This leads to the embracing of material like this that, from my limited knowledge, ought to be rejected outright. Too often I talk to believers and ask “why did you like such and such?” and the answer is pretty much “I dunno, it was just something I found interesting”. I know that I like some material that others may find objectionable but I can generally always articulate where the benefit and what the cost is, and sometimes my evaluations change as I grow in faith. And I am certainly thankful when more mature Christians than I am have pointed out things I’ve missed in my evaluation (both positively and negatively).

    I think Michelle’s comments in particular might shed some light on why people are attracted to stuff like this. When she talks about feeling “prudish” and gives and example of being uncomfortable around a woman who deals with prostitutes, you get a sense she is uncomfortable as a sexual being. I think this is prevalent in the church, but it is not the Biblical view of sex- God does not want us to feel shame that we are sexual. It’s a dicey subject, and I’m not going to go into why I think this is, but I DO think in frustration Christians will start to turn to the world to feel like they are fully expressed as they are created. This is not a good thing and I think the church should re-examine how it may teach real Biblical truths in ways that lead people identify sex with shame. Books like this are certainly not the answer.

  37. Anon

    I would also have to highly disagree with the statement made earlier that a truly regenerate Christian would never read theis book . In our church we have a ton of brand new Christians who are just learning what walking with Jesus even looks like . Some of these Christians have read this book and maybe even liked it . I am not saying this is good or right , what I am saying is that they are just beginning their life with the Lord and as they learn and grow He will show them the things that they need to repent of or the things that they have accepted as normal in our culture that are wrong . We are all on a journey with the Lord and ALL of us have blind spots in our walk with God ! This is why we need other believers to walk alongside us to help us mature . To say you are not a regenerate Christian because you read a book that is evil is not a true statement . Have you sinned since you became a Christian ? Has your outlook on certain things changed as the Lord grew you up in Him ? I look back on the person I was even 10 years ago and even though I was a Christian , I have learned so much more about what it means to die daily to the Lord and follow Him . I in no way agree with this book and will never read it but it is not my place to judge someone’s salvation!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Heather. Yes, you are correct in saying that the fact that someone reads this book does not disprove that they are a Christian. That is indeed what sanctification is all about – we grow, we are constantly repenting and being renewed in our minds.

      However, I must disagree with, or at least qualify your last statement – “…it is not my place to judge someone’s salvation.” If by that statement you meant, in the sense of Matthew 7:1ff, that we are not to condemn self-righteously as the Pharisees did, then that is very correct. But in fact it is certainly every Christian’s place to judge the genuineness of someone’s profession of Christ. We are to test the spirits (! John 4:1). We can know if someone is in the light or not depending upon if they are walking in the light (obedience to Christ). Every true Christian has been taught by Jesus to love the brethren. Anyone who says they love God but hates their brother is a liar. So the Bible gives us many tests and we are to used biblical discernment. We can know them by their fruits. So, take this 50 Shades deal for an example. If a person is truly a Christian and they read this book, warning lights are going to be going off in them. The Holy Spirit in them, along with Scripture, is going to be operative and revealing the evil. It may take them awhile to get it. But if someone reads these books and wholeheartedly loves them and is of the same mindset as the author, then the Spirit of Christ simply does not reside in them. Listen to the Apostle John:

      1 John 4:5-6 ESV (5) They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (6) We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

      See it? In other words, what we are going to see in every genuine Christian is repentance. Ongoing repentance. And we have a right to expect it and to look for it in one another.

      • Jeff S

        “But if someone reads these books and wholeheartedly loves them and is of the same mindset as the author, then the Spirit of Christ simply does not reside in them.”

        Yes, this I agree with. I think what was reacting to, and opposing, is that I’ve heard a lot of sermons decrying a lot of books/movies/music and putting them on “the list of things Christians should not do” which I think can easily cause a works-oriented view of faith. Not to mention that often these lists are inconsistent at best (Harry Potter is on the naughty list, The Lord of the Rings is on the nice list).

        But the key in my mind is not so much what books we read, but how we respond to them. From what I understand about these books, a person who reads these and is not disturbed and goes so far as to promote them, well it does sound like that person is either not a believer, or is having struggles that are being revealed. But I experience this all the time with popular media- Atlas Shrugged being one that really gets to me. I think Atlas Shrugged is an important work and their are some good things in it, but ultimately it offers a philosophy that is unchristian and bankrupt- yet I hear it get a ringing endorsement from Christians all the time. This bothers me a lot, because I think to myself “was the Spirit in you not grieving when the author decries mercy as a vice?” I’m not meaning to say Atlas Shrugged has no value, I actually got tremendous value from reading it, but we cannot respond to it with completely open arms- we must identify the negative or we risk endorsing evil in our hearts.

        Now in truth there really are books that are wholly unprofitable (such as 50 SoG)- and yes, we should avoid them. But if we manage to stumble upon them for one reason or another, the real test is how the Spirit within us responds.

  38. Anon

    Yes , I would agree with your statement . I still stand by mine as well .. To say that someone is not a Christian because they read this book is utterly false .. The Lord will reveal the truth to them about t either by His Spirit convicting them or other people or both . I can certainly judge another persons actions but the Lord is the only one who can judge the heart .

  39. Anon

    And yes, I meant my statement in the sense of Matthew 7:1

  40. iagree

    Just plain evil!

    • Yep Iagree. And nice to have you on our blog.

  41. Elizabeth

    You can’t edit your soul, so be very careful what you allow into it via experience, media, tv shows, video’s, video games, books/reading, viewing pictures. What you see and experience you can’t undo – only heal from it. So, be very very careful what you allow in in the first place. It is one thing to not have any control over what you are subjected to, but it is a very different thing having control over your situation and choosing to put these things in your mind and soul.

    I have been very scarred by people I have dated and by things I have read and by watching pornography. I grew up on a farm and did not even know of sex toys until I was 26 years old. I remember watching Sybil and reading about the horrors of Linda Lovelace at a very young age. Nothing I ever read or watched left my mind. I remember reading about someone being held and tortured in the back of a semi truck with tools. To this day I can’t get it out of my mind. The stuff I watched on porno became the stuff that I had to think about in order to orgasm at all. From a very young age – age 21 I was never able to orgasm at all with a partner – only by myself. I became addicted to porno around age 30-31 and only over the past two years swore off of it and am trying to heal my soul.

    I had cheating partners most of my life, which ruined my self esteem and I am 49 and have never been married. The last person I was serious with was very into sexual fantasy talk. The first time I ever slept with him he called me a whore in bed and as I got to know him, I found out that he had a horrible porn habit and he could not even have sex without verbalizing all the disgusting sex/fantasy talk. It grossed me out and disgusted me – finally I threw him out of bed and we are not together. But, it was a very twisted relationship b/c I was very attracted to him and just wanted it to work out. I am very happy I am free of it. Prior to that I was with another man I had met when I was very easily influenced and looking back I think the devil really had his clench on me. The guy wanted anal sex and I allowed it a few times. I HATED him for it and to this day I am haunted by it. I fantasize about it to have an orgasm thus fantasize about what I hate in order to get off. I hate all of it. I hate him for it. I am praying every day for my soul to be healed. I grew up in a small town and I don’t think I have ever felt loved by a man.

    Every since I heard about this book it really struck a nerve with me and I couldn’t get it out of my mind worrying for all the people who are going to be scarred and have their soul haunted by reading it and only realize it years later after the seed of the devil has been planted in their mind without them even knowing how damaging it is going to be. I HAVE A WARNING TO ANYONE WHO HAS NOT READ IT – DO NOT READ IT – DO NOT ALLOW IT INTO YOUR MIND, THOUGHTS, OR SOUL. You are the only one after a certain age that can parent your own soul and you need to be very careful what you allow into it. I wish all porn, sex crimes, violent books were not available for people to access, but it is only going to get worse as the devil is gaining hold everywhere you look.

    I am sorry for all who are abused, but I really hope for everyone’s sake that if you have been abused you don’t take it to the next level and write a book about it and glorify it and inflict everyone else’s soul with the abuse. Please do the responsible thing and journal and talk to a counselor privately. It is frightening to me how many people are glorifying this book and singing it’s praises. It disgusts me that main stream media / talk shows have given this book so much life and attention by repeatedly talking about it on tv. I wish it had never been written and I hope people can do themselves a huge favor and not read it.

    You think torture and abuse is good reading.. you really want to be treated like this? If so, you are very naive in your thinking and have been able to trust people or you have been abused and in order to feel some control over yourself and your sexuality you have convinced yourself that you like being abused and that if you ask someone to abuse you then somehow you are in control. (I also think tattoos, strange piercings especially the ear gauges, tongue piercing, face piercing we are seeing are another similar sort of abuse of one’s self following the same psychology). This is the psychology behind most people liking this book. Either they have never been abused so they don’t even know what they are getting into, or they have been abused and this is a twisted way of trying to accept abuse as normal. Do you really think being tied up and tortured has anything to do with sex? Do you think having a lover who enjoys leaving you unsatisfied is normal? who enjoys seeing you in pain is normal? Is that the world you want to live in? Sick. Do you want your children or the children of this world to think this is normal and what love is? I am sure that if society is singing this books praises – things are going to get much more sick, sadistic and vicious in the treatment of women in the world. Please, God, remove this book from all book shelves and burn it. And please people, protect your soul if you are in a position to do so.

    • Elizabeth, thank you! Thank you for this comment! Thank you for being so open and honest. Your testimony is true, and your warnings are right.

      Bless you for sharing here. And I shall pray for your healing.

      I know a little bit of the kind of thing you’ve been through, having been through something similar myself. I’m grateful I did not get addicted to or dependent on porn. But for the grace of God your story could have been mine.

      I hope you find deep and abiding healing. Jesus is indeed the Wonderful Counselor.

      On a couple of other people’s blogs I’ve described some of my healing from sexual abuse. Here are links to what I wrote, but bear in mind that when I wrote those two comments I was married to my second husband and at that stage was very happy in that marriage.
      Sex in an Abusive Marriage, Part 2 [Internet Archive link]
      A hard post: part I by Ida Mae [Internet Archive link]

      Also, be aware that the Thoroughly Christian Divorce series titled ‘Sex In An Abusive Marriage’ might be very triggering, so take care when reading it; I encourage you to be gentle on yourself.

  42. Elizabeth

    Thank you Barbara for this website. I am praying every day to be healed. I am going to check out your links. This is a hard topic to bring up face to face, so if my warning stops anyone from scarring their soul, then it will have been worth it to me to have opened up here. One day I was scrolling through facebook and I saw a post that said “You can’t edit your soul” and it has stuck with me. Thank you for your prayers.

  43. Elizabeth

    I will say this. I am very strong willed. The last person I was intimate with I told in no uncertain terms that if he so much as tried to have anal sex that I would accuse him of rape, get an attorney and proceed with legal action to the fullest extent of the law. I had a guy roommate (platonic/just friends not intimate at all) and I made sure to relate this to him as well so he was very clear on how I would handle things if he had any ideas. He proceeded to tell me that some women like anal sex, I just gave him a go to hell look and didn’t even bother to enlighten him because I really did not want to discuss it further – I just wanted to make my point that I would not be subjected to any garbage. I am reading posts from other women and one thing I am gaining from this is to not be so envious of married women. Some people are lucky enough to find healthy love in this lifetime, but it seems more often than not – women get abused in the process. I always felt that no man was going to wreck my body. I always used to say I’m not gonna wear YOUR ___ on my body. I still say it and I still mean it. Maybe this is why I am not married, because I refuse to put up with the depravity. But, at the same time, I see married people so much more financially stable so I wonder how they do it and what goes on behind closed doors. I have been through a lot, but I’m still standing.

    On a last note – Anal Sex is the opposite of love. It has nothing at all to do with love or love making. It is HATE MAKING. Men who like to do this to women cannot love women, they like to abuse women. If you have convinced yourself you like it, then your soul is in a very dark place that needs healing. I used to bring up my boyfriends daughter when he would try to abuse me with his sick fantasies and ask him to try to envision a man treating his daughter this way. It would really annoy him and drive the point home. I refuse to be abused. Never again to my death. If you do not want to do something sexually, no human being has a right to make you do it. Never feel bad for protecting yourself and your soul from evil and never feel bad for taking the time it takes to heal, even if that is a life time. I often wonder what Michelle Knight would say to the people who think Shades of Grey is such a great book.

    [Eds note: some slight editing was done on this comment to make the language less offensive for our readers. Hope you don’t mind, Elizabeth. Most of our readers are Christians and they tend to not want to hear even allusions to bad language.]

  44. ruthie

    I hope you don’t mind my reply as a post from my blog where I addressed this issue. From the standpoint of swooning women buying this junk, it’s a matter of heart. For the author, it’s a matter of overly specialized culture that buys porn. I also made a point elsewhere if it weren’t for the main character’s wealth, position, good looks, and power (ie, if he were instead an average middle class blue collar man), he’d be seen for his psychotic, abusive ways. Sadly, young girls are buying into this and will undoubtedly fall into abusive relationships thinking it’s “cool.” Here’s more of my thoughts Dearest Readers [Internet Archive link]

  45. Round*Two

    Elizabeth, Wow! You said a mouthful! I admire that you have such strength to stand up to men and to be straight forward! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  46. Tsungilosdi

    What I have noticed is that women have begun to “act like men” in terms of trying to get equality in the same ways men have. This has ended up to mean “act in the sinful ways that men have acted” in order to have equality.

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