The web is ablaze with comments on the blog post by Jared Wilson, who quotes Douglas Wilson, titled The Polluted Wayers of 50 Shades of Grey. The controversial comments are:
In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.
What this seems to be saying is that the biblical picture of sex is not mutual pleasure between the husband and wife but rather the man taking authority over the woman and the woman submitting to that authority.
I would like to give the Wilsons the benefit of the doubt and suggest they were trying to understand the popularity of the 50 Shades book. They saw in those sexual fantasies, a perversion of what is supposed be healthy and good. I do not think that they were saying that Christian men must become more aggressive and force their wives to submit to their sexual desires.
But it sure sounded like it. My response to this is that what Douglas Wilson said was unwise, and it was even more unwise the way Jared Wilson cited it. How does it move the kingdom forward to say such a thing in a public forum that looks so unloving? Non-Christians read that and assume that is the Christian position. They will read this and use this as an excuse to reject Christianity. In a world where men have abused their power sexually, we do need the addition of “biblical authority” to the situation. People should know that there are many Christians who would strongly disagree with what Wilson says. I am one of them.
Now some supporters of Wilson, might say that it does not matter how non-Christians react. The Bible supports what Wilson says and if people do not like it, they are rebelling against God. I don’t see how the Bible supports this. I am a pastor and I will tell you that when my daughters get married, you will never hear me say to them: “You might think sex within marriage is about enjoying each other but what Jesus really wants is for you to simply submit to the sexual desires of your husband.” I just do not see that in the Bible. Yes there is a place for submission, but it is mutual submission. When it comes to sex, there is very little in the Bible aside from warning against certain sexual sins. We have to be careful when claiming to present the biblical view of sex. While Paul’s teachings on submission will influence the Christian concept of sex, so should the much more predominant principle of loving each other. Why not apply the golden rule to sex between a husband and wife? That sounds fun.
This controversy frustrates me. Christians put forth controversial comments that have no positive benefit, little biblical support and plenty of harm toward the cause of expanding the kingdom. We need to think about the consequences of what we write.