McAtee Contra Doug Wilson on Sodomy

Below is a question to Doug Wilson along with his answer. I culled this question and answer from a very interesting video below that I highly recommend.


Dear Pastor Wilson,

What are your beliefs on concupiscence, and specifically, as it pertains to homosexuality?


Doug Replies;


I believe that the stirrings of such desire are temptation, to be resisted but not confessed, and that indulgence and expression of such desire is to be confessed to God as sin. Under no circumstances should it be made an aspect of your identity.



A few observations on my part now follow;

First a definition of concupiscence, since it is not a word we use a great deal today.



a.) A strong desire, especially sexual desire; lust.
b.) Improper or illicit desire; sensual appetite; especially, lustful desire or feeling; sensuality; lust.
c.) Strong desire in general; appetite.

As we examine Doug’s statement we note;

1.) There is a very thin line between temptation that is not yet sin and so to be resisted and temptation that already is itself sin and so needs to be both resisted and confessed. Indeed, we see that in the book of James;

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

James 1:14

Here we see temptation itself is driven by a desire that is not God glorifying. So, we quite agree that not all temptation is sin and we agree that temptation is immediately to be resisted and that temptation need not to be confessed as sin though humans, being inveterate deniers of sin, probably would not be hurt by confessing more of their temptations as sin since sinful desire is what drives temptation. In terms of concupiscence in relation to homosexuality we should note that in Romans 1:26 Paul says Sodomites are given up to “vile passions,” which is to say that the disposition preceding Sodomitic acts is itself vile, i.e. sinful. As such I would be inclined to say concupiscence in relation to homosexuality should both be resisted and confessed as sin. Because of this I have a qualified disagreement with Rev. Wilson on his answer to Noah.

2.) Elsewhere on this subject Wilson has said;

“I don’t think homosexual orientation is a sin.”

This is an odd thing to say and in my estimation reveals how much peace even the conservative church has made with sodomy. I say this because I am fairly certain that Doug would not also say;

A.) “I don’t think pedophilia orientation is a sin”
B.) “I don’t think necrophilia orientation is a sin”
C.) “I don’t think that bestiality orientation is a sin”

The only reason that the initial sentence sounds reasonable to people is because most people have made peace conceptually speaking with the sin of sodomy.

On this issue of orientation we must understand here that Wilson is using “Revoice logic,” and Revoice in turn follows Roman Catholic theology as it insists that one is only culpable for what they choose. The upshot of this in this theological matrix is that if one has allegedly unbidden homosexual desire/orientation one is not sinning in that desire since that desire was not volitional.

However, here we see the Pelagian (Non-Reformed) anthropology glimmering through. The sinfulness of sin is not found in our volition cooperating with the sin. The sinfulness of sin is found in the reality of sin — chosen or unchosen — present in our lives. It is Pelagian to say that it is our choice that makes sin to be sin.

Keep in mind that in the OT there were sacrifices for unintentional sins. The unintentionality behind the sin did not relieve the sinner from the guilt that came with having committed the unintentional sin.

Just so now. The fact that homosexual desire is allegedly not combined with volition does not mean therefore that the homosexual orientation that is a consequent of the homosexual desire is not sin. It is sin and we are not helping people who have, for whatever reason, a disposition towards this kind of desire/orientation when we seek to let them off the hook of responsibility. Those people are responsible for the sin of homosexual desire even if their volition to that end is absent if only because God says such desire/orientation is sin.

Scripture teaches Christians on this score …

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

The choice for all sinners in all the permutations of their sinful desires/orientations is to put to death (starve to death) all corrupt desires/orientations whether those desires/orientations are volitional or not.

3.) Doug says that under no circumstances should it (homosexual orientation) made an aspect of your identity.

This is to be applauded. Now if only Doug himself would not under any circumstances make homosexual orientation a part of Christian’s identity. Doug has admitted his church has “Homosexual members.”

Go to 44:15 mark.

How is saying that not working to the end of making the orientation part of their identity?

Let’s be clear here. Doug is saying that same sex attraction (Homosexual orientation) is not sin. It is not sin because allegedly there is no volition in the orientation. Yet sin is sin not because human volition makes sin sin. Sin is sin because God says sin is sin. Keep in mind also that there is no way to prove the presence or absence of volition in any given person.

Now, a Pastor might say, “I have people in my congregation who struggle with the temptation of homosexual orientation but as they do not identify with their struggle except so as to admit and confess their sin, they never refer to themselves as ‘homosexual Christians.'”

As an aside let’s try to keep in mind that when we refer to the “Homosexual” community or just to “Homosexuals” by using that language we are giving ontological status to those who are what they are not because they are ontologically a particular way. Rather they are who they are because of their patterns of sinful desire. Indeed, it would not be too much to say that homosexuals don’t even exist — at least as in the sense that we use that word today.  It is the work of Magnus Hirschfield and later Alfred Kinsey that created a whole new category of “homosexual,” as someone having some kind of unique ontological status.

Finally, let us admit that we destroy our language when we talk about things like “Homosexual sex,” or “Gay Marriage,” or “Homosexual intimacy,” as if we should think it even possible that homosexuals could have sex whatever they are doing or that it is even possible for two women to get married, or that it is even possible for sexual intimacy to occur outside it occurring as between a man and a woman in marriage. When we make our language bend to the zeitgeist by slamming these kinds of phrases together we are destroying our language and destroying our platform to defend the reality behind our language.


Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

One thought on “McAtee Contra Doug Wilson on Sodomy”

  1. This is discouraging and encouraging. It is a shame prominent Christian pastors have caved to contemporary distinctions that depart from the Reformed confessions and Scripture. It is encouraging that there are still men who will publicly rebuke when they do.

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