Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sex / Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex (Part 2)
If anyone is far more qualified than Douglas Wilson to speak of adult celibacy, and what it takes to be and live celibate, it’s me – someone who is, you know, an actual lifelong adult celibate.
Christians harbor many unbiblical, false, and mythical views about adult celibacy, and Wilson is no exception. I don’t have to assume anything about celibacy, since I am living it first hand.
This post has been updated below regarding Wilson’s comments about Celibacy vis a vis the Steven Sitler situation (SEPTEMBER 2015)
At the other end of the spectrum are nominal Christian bloggers, authors, or preachers such as Douglas Wilson, who write false nonsense such as:
(Link): Sex and Smithereens (posted in March 2013)
Pertinent excerpts (emphasis added by me):
- by Douglas Wilson
- The men who drafted the Westminster Confession believed, as do I, that a lifetime of celibacy for a man not specially gifted by God for that calling is an impossibility.
- In short, a man may not lawfully vow to do something forbidden by the law of God. Neither may he bind himself with a vow to a sin of omission — as when men dedicated as Corban the resources needed to take care of parents (Mark 7:11).
- To vow celibacy outside the will of God is to wrong a future spouse. And last, he may not vow beyond his abilities to fulfill. It is a superstititous snare for a man to believe he can get along without a woman, absent an unusual gift from God.
As I was saying in my previous post in regards to recent comments by another Christian personality regarding a similar topic as Wilson’s:
There [is usually an underlying] vibe in [Christian response to sexual topics – if not an out right declaration on occasion] that all humans are going to slip and literally sin sexually (i.e., actually engage in physical acts, not just engage in sexual fantasy). However, this is simply not true.
There are some [Protestant] Christians who remain virgins past their 20s [and it is not because they have a “special gift or calling” in this area; that itself is superstitious hog wash].
It is a very damaging assumption and fallacy to keep suggesting, as evangelicals, Neo Calvinists, Baptists, and fundamentalists do, that nobody can resist sexual desires for years or forever.
People can in fact resist giving in to sexual desires and acting upon them- but they choose not to.
I am a Baptist woman who is a virgin at age 40+, and I did not take a ‘vow of celibacy.’
Nor did God gift me with celibacy.
–ADDRESSING WILSON’S FIRST ERROR / MISCONCEPTION (COMMON AMONG OTHER CHRISTIANS)–
—1. [This is the Correct view, Wilson adheres to the opposite of this]:
GOD DOES NOT GRANT CHRISTIANS WITH A ‘GIFT (OR CALLING) OF CELIBACY,’ OR WITH SUPER POWERS THAT MAGICALLY ERASE SEXUAL DESIRE—
God did not grant me any “special gifts” or magical powers to remain chaste, nor did God remove my desire for marriage or sexual urges. I still desire marriage and to have sex.
–ADDRESSING WILSON’S SECOND ERROR / MISCONCEPTION —
–2. CELIBACY IS NOT FOR ROMAN CATHOLICS ONLY, BUT DEMANDED BY THE BIBLE OF ALL UNMARRIED CHRISTIANS INCLUDING PROTESTANTS–
Protestants and Baptists who do not marry are called to remain celibate – this teaching that celibacy is only for Roman Catholics, or an institution peculiar to them as Wilson portrays, is false.
The Scriptures call all unmarried people to celibacy, for however long they remain unmarried.
It is also false to assume that people remain unmarried due to “God’s Will” (or from deliberate choice of theirs.)
There is an epidemic among Christian women today of unwanted, protracted singlehood.
These are women, such as myself, who want marriage, but who are remaining single in to their 30s and 40s because there are not enough eligible, unmarried Christian men to go round, and many of these ladies took the “do not be yoked to an unbeliever” teachings seriously.
–ADDRESSING WILSON’S THIRD ERROR / MISCONCEPTION —
–3. BECAUSE IT IS TRUE FOR YOU DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN IT IS TRUE FOR OTHER PEOPLE–
I see similar attitudes from the likes of preacher Mark Driscoll, and others, that I do in Doug Wilson, which is:
Because they themselves are horny horn dogs who feel that they cannot live without sex for three days in a row (or even for five seconds), they assume this must mean that all other Christians are equally weak in the area of sex and cannot remain abstinent for more than a few days or months.
This is wrong. There are plenty of Christians past the age of 40 who are still virgins.
Just because you cannot fathom or picture yourself abstaining from sex over your lifetime, does not mean it is impossible for other people.
I also find it interesting, and a little sexist, that Wilson’s page focuses on the male gender (Roman Catholics have female nuns who abstain from sex, you know), as if to say males cannot live without sex – as if to assume or imply women do not have libidos.
That women supposedly have zero interest in sex or hate sex, is another falsehood among conservative Christians, particularly the males. Christian women- and secular ones- can get just as randy and horny as men do.
But I suspect that Wilson, who is an extreme gender complementarian, like many in Christianity, has a hard time thinking of women as truly wanting sex, or having an interest in sex.
Sex is considered “man’s territory,” while women are thought to be interested only in house cleaning, being protected, sewing, and baking cookies. -Men who think that way are incredibly naive.
But this notion that no human can live without sex for more than five days/ months/ ten or thirty years / a life time, that abstaining for years is an impossibility, as Wilson assumes, is one of the very, precise reasons Christians are having sex outside of marriage these days: there is no expectation that they can indeed control their sexual lusts and desires.
While it is true that most humans experience sexual urges, it is a false hood that they have to be acted upon or that they cannot be resisted.
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives self-control to each believer.
But the Doug Wilsons, Pat Roberstons, Mark Driscolls, and other Christians of the world want to keep spreading the false teaching that a person cannot control him- or her- self sexually, and that the Holy Spirit is incompetent in this area.
–ADDRESSING WHAT I ASSUME WILSON BELIEVES ABOUT MARRIED COUPLES —
—4. “MARRIAGE ENABLES CHRISTIANS TO RESIST SEXUAL SIN” – CORRECTION: OH NO IT DOES NOT! —
If Wilson is operating under the assumption that marriage keeps a person from sexual sin, he’s very wrong on that score as well. Married Christian couples commit sexual sins OFTEN.
Married Christian couples have dirty magazine addiction, dirty web site addictions, dirty movie addictions, and married Christians, even preachers, are having extra- marital affairs and are also looking at X-rated material online.
Here are a few links about married Christian problems with sexual sin:
Excerpt from “Pastor Comes Clean About Porn Addiction”
- Pastor Jones knows he is not the only person in church leadership that deals with a porn addiction. The statistics are startling.
- Fifty percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women admit that they are addicted to pornography (Christiannet.com June 07).
- Fifty-one percent of pastors say cyber porn is a possible temptation; 37 percent say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today Leadership Survey, December 2001).
- Of Promise Keepers attendees, one of the largest Christian men’s conferences in the U.S., 53 percent admitted to viewing pornography regularly (Internet Filter Review, 2006).
- Forty million adults in the U.S. regularly visit porn sites on the internet (Internet Filter Review). Forty-seven percent of families say pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 2003).
—September 2015 Update—
Doug Wilson is, once more, (in context of the Steve Sitler uproar), insisting that God “gifts” certain people with celibacy, and he seems to maintain that celibacy that lasts for more than a month or ten years is an impossibility for any mere mortal to achieve.
Steve Sitler, by the way, is a serial pedophile, and Wilson oversaw his wedding ceremony (more about that (Link): here).
Wilson thinks it is impossible for anyone, unless they are “gifted” with celibacy, to remain sexually inactive. He is totally incorrect and informed.
I am over 40, still a virgin, a heterosexual, and I still have a healthy, normal sex drive: God did not gift with me celibacy. God did not decrease my sex drive or remove it altogether.
Celibacy over a period of months or decades is entirely possible if a person is devoted to obeying God and God’s word, and if one practices self-control.
Quoting Wilson via Love, Joy, and Feminism‘s blog, (Link): Doug Wilson Explains Why He Oversaw Wedding of Serial Child Molester by Libby Anne:
- [excerpts here by Douglas Wilson]
- Now because he [a pedophile] has been welcomed into your fellowship, as he ought to have been, he meets a Christian woman whom he would like to marry, and she would like to marry him. He manifestly does not have the gift of celibacy. Do you bless it? Do you okay it, but make him get married by the justice of the peace? Or do you forbid it?
- …Then there is another thing. If you forbid marriage to someone who is not gifted with celibacy, under pain of excommunication if he marries, then you have painted yourself into quite a medieval corner.
- If you forbid it, one reason might be because you think he should live as a celibate because he did things that would have resulted in his execution under Moses.
- …But if we are to use equal weights and measures, there are other offenses like that in your church also. Must adulterers live in perpetual celibacy? Homosexuals?
There are in fact some Christians of homosexual orientation who are living celibate lives; I have blogged about them before on this blog.
And yes, I think that a serial pedophile and one who finds his own infant son sexually stimulating and enticing, such as Sitler does, should remain a celibate so long as he should live.
I myself am a hetero woman, attracted to men, was engaged to a man for several years before breaking off that relationship, get very randy at times, yet I have controlled my libido well past the age of 40 – if I can do so, and I have, I know that Steve Sitlers and those like him can as well. And no, I do not have a “gift of celibacy.”
There is no such thing as a “gift of celibacy” – the Bible does not teach this concept at all.
Being celibate does not mean that one does not get or will not have sexual desires and urges.
Asking a pedophile, or any adult single of any orientation, heterosexual or homosexual, to remain celibate over a life time is not asking the impossible.
For someone who heads some church in Iowa (or where ever it is), Wilson sure doesn’t know anything about celibacy.
Celibacy is a CHOICE a person makes, and an exercise of self control; it is not a divinely appointed orientation, nor in celibacy are sexual urges removed or diminished in a person by God.
Please see Part 1 to this post:
(Link to Part 1): Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism
Related posts this blog:
(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One
(Link): Conservatives Have Now Abandoned All Pretense of Advocating For Sexual Abstinence and They Actually Lament the Lack of Fornication – The Bradford Wilcox Piece, 2019
(Link): Our Bodies Were Not Made for Sex by T. Swann
(Link): Editorialist at WaPo Argues That Single Christian Adults Can Have Sex So Long As They are Chaste About It – Also Speculates that Jesus Was “Probably” Celibate
(Link): Christian Radio Host Busted for Slapping Woman’s ‘Butt Cheek’ Inside Target Restroom – And How This Conflicts With Preacher Doug Wilson’s Propriety of Rape Commentary
(Link): The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy
(Link): Self Control – everyone has it, is capable of it, but most choose not to use it (New Study Says Conservatives Have Better Self Control Than Liberals)
(Link): When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped by A. Goldstein
(Link): Groundbreaking News: Women Like Sex (part 1, 2) (articles)
(Link): Why are we denying that women used Ashley Madison? by R. Margolis
(Link): When society isn’t judging, women’s sex drive rivals men’s
(Link): Women are buying more sex than ever before, new research claims (May 2015)
(Link): Ramifications of Pre Martial Sex – Sky Diver Husband; Also: Stereotypes About All Men Wanting Sex Constantly and Being Visually Stimulated Disproven Again
(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles
(Link): When True Love Keeps Waiting – What Celibacy Feels Like for Older Singles by A. McCracken
(Link): Christians and Cheap Grace Concerning Sexual Sin
(Link): Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages
(Link): A Father Tries to Deny His Daughters Birth Control Coverage – I take this as another indication that conservatives do not truly believe in celibacy or sexual purity
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage
(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)
(Link): Some Christians Have Some Very Strange, Unsettling, Creepy, or Authoritarian Ideas About Marriage, Divorce, or Mate Selection – and they think they should make your life choices for you
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): Male Christian Researcher Mark Regnerus Believes Single Christian Women Should Marry Male Christian Porn Addicts – another Christian betrayal of sexual ethics and more evidence of Christians who do make an idol out of marriage
(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity
(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin (parallel to topic of sex, celibacy) / Why some Christians turn agnostic