A Chiastic Catechism on Biblical Sexuality

NB: This is a little something written for a forthcoming book from Canon called How to Exasperate Your Wife.

Here are 25 questions, along with some suggested answers.

1. What is the first challenge of biblical masculinity?
To have enough of it to be willing to articulate what it is in public.

2. Is not the subject of human sexuality filled with nuance?

Yes, it is. And the first sign that you have worked through it with sufficient care is that nobody thinks you have any.

3. I am beset with sexual temptations. Does God have a solution for me?
Yes. The love of a good woman who is willing to make love to you for the rest of your life.

4. But I am not married. What should I do about sexual temptation in that case?
You should find out her name, and ask her.

5. What is the best thing I can do for my children?
On an earthly level, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother.

6. What is the next best thing I can do for my children?
Get a job where you have to work hard, make sure you do in fact work hard, providing their mother with the wherewithal to feed and clothe them, and to provide them all with a godly education.

7. What do I do if I don’t understand my wife?
God didn’t tell you to understand her. He said to love her. Try starting with that.

8. Doesn’t the apostle Peter say that husbands are to live with their wives with understanding?
Yes, he does. Mysteries are to be handled with understanding, which is not the same thing as understanding mysteries.

9. What are the most important things I can do to foster family unity?
Worship together, pray together, eat together, laugh together, and read together.

10. Why are men sexually attracted to other men?
It is the judgment of God upon our culture because we would not honor God as God and would not give Him thanks. Therefore God has given men over to the downward spiral of their renegade lusts fueled by father hunger.

11. How did God imprint His image on the human race?
He did this by creating us male and female. Any attempts to reconfigure this arrangement are therefore explicit assaults on the image of God.

12. What is the most important word in the marriage vows?
In our time, because of the peculiar form our disobedience has taken, the most important word is obey. And it is the most important word whether or not it is included in the vows. Like a father who has abandoned his family, that word can dominate through its absence.

13. What is biblical masculinity?
It is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.

14. How do I acquire the authority to live like this?
Authority naturally flows to those who take responsibility. Authority routinely flees those who seek to blame others.

15. What is the confessional issue of our time?
The confessional issue of our time is human sexuality, biblically defined.

16. Why are women sexually attracted to other women?
This also is the judgment of God upon our culture, and is the result of men — fathers, brothers, cousins, boyfriends, husbands, and ex-husbands — mistreating girls and women. Women ineffectively try to build a fortress that will protect them from rebellious male sexuality, but it cannot work. Despite this protest, many self-identified lesbians remain sexually accessible to selfish men, and the “burned by men” phenomenon just gets continually worse. This too is fueled by father hunger.

17. What are the most important things I can do to foster marital unity?
Worship together, pray together, eat together, sleep together, laugh together, and read together.

18. How can I communicate to my wife how hard it is to take this kind of responsibility?
You shouldn’t try. It is more important for you to be a protective father to her than for her to be a comforting mother to you. Your wife should know that you are faithful. She may or may not know how hard it is. If you are not a whiner, you will not make a point of letting her know.

19. What do I do when my wife doesn’t understand me?
She is not supposed to understand you. She is supposed to respect you.

20. What is the second best thing I can do for my wife?
Dinner for two at Angelo’s, followed by a leisurely walk on the beach in the moonlight.

21. What is the best gift I can give my wife?
On an earthly level, the best gift you can give your wife is to be a true and faithful father to her children.

22. What do I do about remaining sexual temptations, despite the fact that I am married?
Recognize that you answer to Christ for your sin, and not primarily to your wife. Unrepented sexual sin, including your internal lusts, is a violation of your marriage vows, but it is a more profound violation of your baptism. Deal with it on that level first.

23. So having repented, what do I do about it?
Recognize that you are not yet devoted to your wife as a complete woman. If she is your wife in the bedroom, but everywhere else is a servant (or dominatrix), you need to confess your overall husbandly neglect of her, and ask God to dismantle the standing wall of partition you have built up between the two of you. Sexual lusts grow on that wall like ivy.

24. What is the great danger sign that preachers and teachers in the church are compromised on the topic of sexuality?
The great danger sign is carefully-parsed, visible nuance, coupled with an unwillingness to attack sexual sin, particularly the perversions. As Chesterton noted, to be carefully wrong is a distinguishing mark of decadence.

25.  All of this is a high challenge. Will I be able to incorporate these truths into my life?
That is up to you. But even if you do not believe yourself to be enough of a man, you can at least make the effort manfully.

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Dan from Georgia
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Dan from Georgia

Amen to number 4! A rare piece of counsel that I almost never heard in my single days!

John
Guest

This is pretty epic. Keep up the great work. I can also tell when people give “carefully” nuanced answers/explanations of human sexuality—even in the PCA. “Human flourishing” is their tell….

Ministry Addict
Member

Just finished studying chiastic structures in Exodus, but I’m still confused. This catechism is chiastic because it begins and ends with the stuff about not being nuanced?

Jacob Schroeder
Member
Jacob Schroeder

Bernard, it’s more than the bookends. Start at 13 and work out from there (12 & 14, 11 & 15, etc.). I think you’ll quickly see more to the structure.

Doug, this was fantastic… and convicting. Thank you.

Jacob Schroeder
Member
Jacob Schroeder

I guess the structure is not quite obvious on some of these, but consider the link between obedience and authority in 12 & 14. Note the recurring theme of biblical definitions in 11 & 15. 10 & 16 are more clear, both being about same-sex attraction. And so on…

Tom
Guest
Tom

Eat at Angelo’s?
A crummy commercial?

nsmithwfusm
Member
nsmithwfusm

God give us grace to get past #1. Thanks, Wilson. Encouraged to continue standing for truth in Miami, where we are currently experiencing an epidemic of MDS (masculinity deficiency syndrome).

nathantuggy
Member

As a young man with no immediate marriage prospects at all (having recently moved from a remote area of one state, where I knew few young women of any eligibility, to a remote area of a state across the country, where the same applies and they further do not know me), what would you say in general is proper to deal with temptations in the 2+ years before I can, in fact, reasonably marry?

Doug Lloyd
Guest
Doug Lloyd

Awesome stuff.

Ted Ryan
Guest
Ted Ryan

Nathan: Move again. Seriously, there are many pockets of wonderful groups of believers across the country where you may have a better and more timely chance to meet godly women. For whatever reason you’ve chosen to live in remote places. I would evaluate whether that is serving you well, at least while you are unmarried. If it is your line of work that is driving this and you recognize that the prospect of marriage is long in the future I would reevaluate whether that line of work is what you should be doing. If it is, than spend this time… Read more »

Dan from Georgia
Guest
Dan from Georgia

Nathan Tuggy, I agree with Ted Ryan. You may need to make some drastic changes. The sooner you marry, the better (I wish someone had told me that when I was younger!). Try also not to assume you are two years from marriage (I don’t know you, so I don’t want to assume I know of your situations). The Bible says that it is better to marry than to burn (whatever “burn” may mean).

fred Thompson
Guest
fred Thompson

When we were kids preachers had manners, a couple could complete marriage counseling never hearing the word sex.

Sandra Koke
Guest
Sandra Koke

This is amazing. Thank you.
You and Nancy continue to bless my family.
I have read, and been blessed by, lots of Christian books on femininity, but God has used your words specifically to show me the high value He places on women. It has made a tremendous difference in my life. Thank you.

Brent
Guest
Brent

How does a man who experiences same-sex attraction deal with temptation? Should he find out her name and ask her, even if he is not sexually attracted to her?

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

So, based on point #3, and some of the “advice” offered to the young man who is so unfortunately single and settled in a remote area (and must immediately uproot his life to so he can find a woman to make him a proper wife and take care of his urges) the bottom line here is that purpose of women is to provide sex to men – under the glorious veil of holy matrimony, of course. And isn’t that just another example of the objectification of women?

scm
Guest
scm

Wow! (In a good way.)

Justin
Guest
Justin

#4A What if all women reject you?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

@Brent – Good question. My thought would be, not unless he understands and accepts #10 and #11.

@Justin – “#4A What if all women reject you?”. That’s a hypothetical. There’s pretty much no man all women reject. I’ve seen all kinds of guys get the girl. Men who are ugly, stupid, lazy, crazy, and mean manage to find women who accept them and even cling to them.

doug sayers
Guest
doug sayers

Thanks Doug, much to agree on here. I am encouraged any time I hear/read the words “that is up to you” by any Calvinist, on any subject. (Here’s to God’s right to delegate authority, responsibility, and ability to His creatures.) I might add “work together” to your recipe for marital unity. Also, to those singles (and frustrated singles) among us, I would encourage you to cultivate the presence of God. He is found in His word, His church, and in His service. Be picky… very picky. Remember, there is no marriage in heaven. Better to remain single than marry and… Read more »

Fuzzy Kiwi
Guest
Fuzzy Kiwi

For those looking may I suggest you try to be Mr. Right instead of looking for Mrs. Right. 2 Peter 1:5-8 is a good place to start.

Ministry Addict
Member

Jacob S: Thank you.

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

JohnM, for the sake of argument let us suppose hypothetically that I were a gay man. Now, if I understand No. 10 correctly, the reason I’m gay is that God is mad at society, so he decided to punish society by making me gay. Seriously? Please tell me I’m missing something and Doug’s argument isn’t actually that ridiculous.

Luken
Guest

On 6 did you mean “have hard work” instead of “have work hard”?

Jane
Member

I think it’s “have to work hard.”

Matthias
Guest
Matthias

“God has given men over to the downward spiral of their renegade lusts” =/= “making you”

Jacob Schroeder
Member
Jacob Schroeder

Eric, it’s hardly anything so mechanistic as God getting angry and zapping you with homosexuality– “Ha! Take that!” What Doug is saying (and he’s just paraphrasing the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 here) is that, when a people rejects God, God lets them do what they want. He “gives them up” to their “dishonorable passions.” But the passions are theirs, not something imposed on them by God. God tempts no one. Now when they do acknowledge God, he does intervene to help them overcome their temptations, keep with repentance, and live an increasingly holy life. Indeed, he purchases their victory… Read more »

mekt75
Member

Justin, I am a disabled man. If all of the women are rejecting you, ask older men and older women if they see something that would be causing the women to turn away.

mekt75
Member

Here are a few other questions that you should address.

What if I am attracted to other men? How do I repent of an attraction?

I messed up my first marriage and I am into my second one. How should I relate to my wife regarding the kids from my first marriage?( this is huge and very common)

How should I relate to her kids from the previous marriage when their father has split custody and he is in the picture? (Also huge and common)

How should I Relate to in laws?

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

Matthias, point taken on the way I phrased it, but the point still remains that per Doug’s theory, homosexuals are homosexuals because God is punishing society. And that’s just too ridiculous for words. It reminds me of the old Mormon doctrine that God punished the descendants of Cain by making them black.

Jane
Member

Eric, I believe Doug’s point is more accurately characterized something like this:

Homosexuals are homosexuals because all men are sinners, and some sinners are homosexuals because their sinfulness makes them want to be, rather than their sinfulness making them want something else. Because of the judgment society has brought upon itself, God is not at this time working to restrain that kind of sin.

David
Guest
David

Dear Eric, Doug did not say that God made people gay because he is mad at society, nor did he say anything which would require that conclusion as a good and necessary inference. Doug may not have cited Romans 1:18-2:1, but he was referencing it. In that portion of the New Testament, Paul does not say that God makes people turn gay because He is angry at other people in society. Rather, Paul describes a religious deterioration of society where they begin (as all men do in their natural state, including you) by suppressing the truth of the Triune God’s… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I’m new to this forum but familiar with Doug Wilson because my former church promoted his books. I read my way through his books on covenantal marriage and covenantal child rearing and was encouraged to lightly dismiss any red flags I saw because “Doug is a godly man, if a bit extreme.”

eric, keep asking questions. If Doug Wilson’s meaning has to be so constantly explained and defended by so many people at such lengths, it’s ok to ask questions.

Matthias
Guest
Matthias

Eric wants to make an argument something like “they’re gay because of God.” He wants to avoid saying “God made them gay” knowing we disagree with it (having a slightly more robust doctrine of sin than he does), while at the same time affirming “God made them gay” in different words. Feigning incredulity over an overly simplistic statement of an idea. So you find it ridiculous. You haven’t begun to understand it, but alright.

So what?

Isaac
Guest
Isaac

Re: #7, “Husbands, likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way….” I Peter 3:7. Seems like we are commanded to understand our wives, or at least make an honest attempt to.

Jane
Member

eric, keep asking questions. If Doug Wilson’s meaning has to be so constantly explained and defended by so many people at such lengths, it’s ok to ask questions.”

It’s always okay to ask questions. But it’s not so much Doug Wilson’s meaning that has to be explained and defended, as Eric’s unfounded and incorrect inferences that need to be corrected. He frequently asks for defenses of things Doug hasn’t said; I don’t think the fault of that lies at Doug’s door, whatever faults do lie there.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Eric the Red – You are missing something (on purpose I think) and Doug’s argument isn’t actually that (as in, at all) ridiculous. You’re welcome.

bethyada
Member

@isaac. I don’t know the Greek, but I assume Doug is saying “be understanding” in the sense of being considerate and sensitive to another especially when things are difficult. We don’t need to understand what all the details are or why this particular thing makes them so upset, nervous, cautious, etc. @Rachel. Red flag is a term that suggests someone/ something may be seriously wrong. Red flags are called that so they are not ignored but considered and thought through. It is not a term that means I disagree with someone. Are there specific actual red flags make you think… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

All: Yes, I know, the Bible teaches that God is not the author of sin, but the problem is that that statement is contradicted at every turn by the evidence. Merely saying, “God is not responsible” does not mean that God is not responsible, even if you say it a hundred different times in a hundred different ways. Look at it this way: Suppose I have chocolate bars that are laced with strychnine, arsenic and cyanide. Suppose I leave them where I know that a child who loves chocolate is going to find them. I don’t tell the child to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Eric the Red wrote: Look at it this way: Suppose I have chocolate bars that are laced with strychnine, arsenic and cyanide. Suppose I leave them where I know that a child who loves chocolate is going to find them. Ever the sentimentalist, notice how Eric the Red casts mankind in the role of child. This is to illicit an assumption of innocence and ignorance, and to deflect accountability. When it comes to hardness of heart and ingratitude, Eric protests that he be tried as a child, and not as an adult. However fitting that might seem through the lens… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Eric the Red wrote:

Merely saying, “God is not responsible” does not mean that God is not responsible, even if you say it a hundred different times in a hundred different ways.

Yet apparently Eric the Red thinks that if he says he has a foundation for morality a hundred different times, then we are to simply grant his claim, in spite of the evidence against him. Interesting double-standard he labors under.

Katecho
Member

Eric the Red wrote:

And that’s what’s ultimately so ridiculous about your entire paradigm.

Indeed. How dare God treat us so much like accountable adults. Utterly ridiculous. (According to the chain reaction that is Eric’s reactionary synapses.)

Katecho
Member

It’s interesting how much Eric the Red’s protests begin to resemble those of Christopher Hitchens. They descend to emotionalism. Rather than a reasoned or rational argument, we get increasingly shrill ad hominem against God for acting like God. Indignation is not the same as a logical objection, particularly when it comes from the mouth (keyboard) of a professing materialist. Eric may as well be arguing against the laws of physics that he thinks made us all theists in the first place. It’s not like we had any choice. We are just pure reactions, right? Talk about a ridiculous paradigm. Can… Read more »

Dan from Georgia
Guest
Dan from Georgia

If I may interrupt the daily debate between Eric the Red and some others here… Nathan Tuggy, if you are still reading here… I hope we didn’t discourage you with some radical counsel. Although I came from a major metropolitan area and had plenty of opportunity to date, I do feel for you in some way. I didn’t marry until I was in my early 40s. Why? One might have been immaturity and not being ready financially as well for marriage (not rich, but financially ready). However, I also want to tell you that, counsel like item number 4 on… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

Katecho’s comments might be relevant if we were discussing foundations of morality, or whether our decisions are made by random neuron firing. But we weren’t (at least until katecho hijacked the thread again). We were discussing the limited question of whether someone (in this case God) can leave out bait for people he knows to be too weak or stupid to resist it and then disclaim responsibility for the consequences.

Now, if katecho would like to respond to that point, I’d be interested in what he has to say.

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

And by the way, I would be much more inclined to take katecho seriously if he would actually offer argument or evidence in support of his own position rather than simply claiming I have no right to a position at all, which is what his argument boils down to. In all the time I’ve been here, I don’t remember one time when katecho actually offered anything favorable to his own case; he’s a one-trick pony whose sole trick consists of “Eric has no right to a position so I win.” Granted, I’m old and my memory isn’t what it used… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

Honestly Eric, you sound like a child demanding that God give you heaven right now! When you read a book do you immediately go to the end? This is the story of redemption. We are people who disobey and God allows it so we can see that when we disobey Him, bad things happen. He changes our hearts through this story so that we desire the happy ending, we desire heaven…but you stamping your foot demanding that we all have it now does not make Him speed up the story. Is this your argument: I don’t believe in God. I… Read more »

Jane
Member

Eric, your “child” is not finding strychnine laced candy bars lying around. He is throwing a tantrum demanding his mommy buy them, and then stealing them from the store when she refuses.

And sometimes, God doesn’t provide the magic antidote when the brat does that. And sometimes, He does.

Matthias
Guest
Matthias

It is indeed a rather devastating line of argumentation, to undercut the ability or justification of one’s opponent to even raise an objection to begin with. I can imagine it’s incredibly frustrating and annoying. But it does not follow that it is fallacious. katecho is unabashedly appealing to God’s Word primarily for justification. Believe it or not, this is perfectly appropriate – people reason from given axioms all the time, even Eric. However, Eric cannot attack katecho’s justification without putting something of his own forward. But the most he’s ever offered is “so what?” Or, in place of that, he’ll… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

Matthias, except for two things. In the first place, this isn’t a discussion about my paradigm; it’s a discussion about your paradigm. Doug’s posts usually start out with certain pronouncements based upon his paradigm, and my responses are to respond to that paradigm. So even if my own paradigm is completely invalid, untrue, and arrant nonsense, all of that is entirely beside to point to a critique of your paradigm. In other words, suppose someone says, “I believe pink unicorns created the world.” I respond, “You got any evidence for pink unicorns?” Katecho then chimes in, “But Eric hasn’t proven… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

Jane, assume for sake of argument that the children are screaming demanding that mommy buy poisoned candy and stealing it when she won’t. You’re forgetting that God in his wisdom could have created people with an inclination to be good rather than to be evil. Don’t forget that the first prong of Calvinism — total depravity — holds that it is human nature to desire evil rather than good.

Who created that nature? Who chose to give them a nature that would prefer evil rather than good?