Myths that Led to the Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States, Part 9

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.…The family unit—spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence—will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in a communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.
Michael Swift, homosexual activist—

Key point: The fact that militant gay activists had to engage in a massive public relations campaign to entice the public to accept homosexuality as normal shows that it isn’t normal in any of the ways they claim and that same-sex couples never can have a marriage. Homosexuality may feel normal to those with same-sex attraction, but there is a better way.

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The truth, Jesus said, will set you free. In following the truth, we find the way out of bondage! This is true for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike!

We move now in our series on myths that led to the recognition of same-sex marriage in America to consider two more myths, these about homosexuality.

Go here for a review of all the myths we cover in this series.

Myth #15: Homosexuality is on par with heterosexuality.

Fact: The dynamics of a heterosexual relationship—one man with one woman—stand in sharp contrast to the relationship held by two men or two women.

In an incredibly short period of time—in less than twenty short years, writes Al Mohler — “homosexuality has moved from ‘the love that dares not speak its name,’ to the center of America’s public life.” Mohler contends that this rapid and pervasive change in public attitude is attributable to one of the most successful propaganda strategies ever implemented. He’s right.

In 1987, an article titled “Overhauling Straight America” laid out a plan to win the country over to acceptance of homosexuality. It said in part,

The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion. Ideally, we would have straights register differences in sexual preference the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games: she likes strawberry and I like vanilla; he follows baseball and I follow football. No big deal. At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more. We do not need and cannot expect a full “appreciation” or “understanding” of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won. And to get to shoulder-shrug stage, gays as a class must cease to appear mysterious, alien, loathsome and contrary. A large-scale media campaign will be required in order to change the image of gays in America. And any campaign to accomplish this turnaround should do six things:

Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible
Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers
Giver protectors a just cause
Make gays look good
Make the victimizers look bad
Solicit funds: The buck stops here


You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.
— “Overhauling Straight America,” a strategic article for gay activism written in 1987 —


You’ll have to give these public relations experts a great deal of credit. Their strategy has been more successful than even they ever could have dreamed.

Consequently, many Americans, “with a shrug of their shoulders,” do indeed see homosexuality as “another thing.” As we noted in a post dated June 30 of last year,

A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center “found that two years after Obergefell, the Supreme Court decision that required states to recognized [sic] same-sex marriages nationwide, support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally is at its highest point in more than 20 years.” Among Republicans and those leaning Republican, support was essentially tied, with 48 percent opposing same-sex marriage and 47 percent favoring it. We need only go back to 2013 to find a large gap among Republicans. At that time they opposed the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples 61 to 33 percent!

The survey also found that while white Protestants in the evangelical tradition oppose same-sex marriage 59 to 35 percent,

younger white evangelicals have grown more supportive: 47 percent of white evangelical Millennials and Gen Xers—age cohorts born after 1964—favor same-sex marriage, up from 29 percent in March 2016.

Additionally, while African-Americans have generally been less supportive than whites of redefining marriage, since 2015 support among blacks has increased 12 points—from 39 percent to a majority—51 percent.

Overall, 62 versus 32 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage. Contrast that to findings in 2010, when Americans opposed the idea 48 to 42 percent.

These Perceptions Don’t Fit Reality

The overwhelming success of the homosexual public relations campaign notwithstanding, stark differences between a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual one remain. In other words, these perceptions of homosexuality as “another thing” and “a good thing” simply do not square with reality. Let’s take a hard, long look at reality.

  1. The bodies of a husband and wife fit together. This fitting is clear to us “in the outlines of the genitalia of a male and a female. This is a fitting that obviously is not present with two men or two women. Moreover, sexual intercourse involves precisely one man and one woman. The human bodies of the man and the woman therefore point to monogamy and sexual exclusivity—and those of same sex couples point to abstinence from sexual activity altogether.”
  2. Only a heterosexual union can produce children. But wait! someone will say. Some heterosexual couples are childless. First, exceptions do not negate the rule, and second, childless heterosexual couples are not the same as childless same-sex couples. If a heterosexual couple cannot produce a child, there is a reason other than the fact that their relationship involves a member of each of the two sexes. We know without doubt why two men never will become parents on their own, and why two women will forever remain childless between themselves: Same-sex couples have an innate inability to produce children.
  3. The bodies of a husband and wife work together during sexual intercourse to enhance the probability that the wife’s egg will be fertilized by her husband’s sperm.
  4. When a baby arrives, the tiny boy or girl “is totally helpless. She needs nourishment on a regular basis. He needs to have his diapers changed—repeatedly. We are truly deaf and blind in the most extreme sense if we fail to see that nature’s way of bringing a new human life into the world also makes a clear and bold statement about who should have the primary responsibility to care for newborns when they arrive.” The husband and father, who is physically stronger, is better equipped to protect and provide for his wife and the children that result from their union. The wife and mother is better equipped to nurture and care for her children. This does not mean a woman never can have a career outside the home, but let’s listen to what nature says in and through a woman’s body about meeting infants’ physical needs. She and she alone can produce milk that nourishes her children. While it’s true that some women can’t produce enough milk and that some prefer to bottle-feed rather than breastfeed (the couple’s choice), this does not negate at all the natural ability that women have to feed their newborns. Alarmingly, recently a biological man made national headlines because hormone therapy had made it possible for him to breastfeed—but at significant risk to his baby. Mark it down! It is undeniable that he was not “born that way”!
  5. Because of the innate differences between men and women, heterosexual couples experience a relational mystery that is non-existent among same-sex couples. While homosexuals often do experience a sense mystery with regard to their own sex or gender, the mystery of which I write here is focused on the opposite sex, and consequently, in a heterosexual relationship, on the other person. When a couple approaches this relational dynamic properly, it serves to enhance their relationship and cement their bond.
  6. Male-female differences can be seen in parenting styles. Children need both the strong influence of a father and the encouraging, nurturing touch of a mother.
  7. Natural reproduction “isn’t just about caring for babies and children so they will grow up to become responsible individuals; it’s also about maintaining a healthy society for years to come. The future of the human race depends on reproducing it so those dying out can be replaced. This can occur only with heterosexual couples. As Charles Colson put it, ‘The survival of the human race depends upon marriage as the institution by which we procreate and perpetuate civilization.’”1
  8. The majority opinion in the Obergefell marriage ruling states, “Four principles and traditions demonstrate that the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples. The first premise of this Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.” The decision also says, “The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs.” The ruling’s emphasis on autonomy (and here we’ve cited just two examples) stands in stark contrast to the interdependency that is inherent, and inherently necessary, in a marriage. To “become one,” selflessness and sacrifice are necessary. I realize that with regard to same-sex couples, we are speaking of “committed relationships.” So why is it that the ruling has to underscore individual autonomy so much? If it didn’t, the ruling couldn’t justify making same-sex relationships eligible for marriage. Yet in doing so, the ruling contradicts one of the core principles of marriage!
  9. Homosexuality is associated with increased risks to one’s psychological health (also go here). Although researchers may speculate that the cause of these risks is discrimination against gays and lesbians, this trend is evident even in the most gay-friendly places.
  10. Homosexuality is associated with increased risks to one’s physical health. Heterosexual intercourse, obviously, is not the same as homosexual intercourse. Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family puts it politely—but you readily can understand what he means.

One of the key reasons for the significant risk of disease and physical trauma associated with homosexuality is due to the design of human anatomy and how this anatomy is misused during homosexual sex. The bodies of two individuals who are of the same sex are not designed to be united sexually. Homosexual activity misuses parts of the body that produce no natural secretions to protect against infection and that are designed to carry out other bodily functions.

By contrast, body parts that unite in exclusive, marital, heterosexual sex were created for that activity by God. God also designed the human body so that it protects itself against abrasion and infection, and thus disease, naturally. Sexual fidelity between a husband and wife also keeps infection and disease at bay. In other words, a woman and a man were created by God for sexual union in marriage; the bodies of a husband and wife fit together.2

We therefore are back to item #1.

Another writer, Dr. Paul Cameron, doesn’t describe the situation as politely as does Mr. Stanton (also go here). Yet, we need their descriptions, because they help us more readily understand why homosexuality puts health and even life expectancies at risk.

While here we have not up to this point emphasized the biblical and theological reasons homosexuality is harmful and wrong, this perspective also is important. Go here to read an excellent article that cites biblical teachings on this matter.

Myth #16: Homosexuality is primarily an identity, not a behavior.

Fact: Despite the pervasiveness of the idea that homosexuality is an identity, it is inseparably linked to behavior. Thus, to effectively grapple with and understand homosexuality, it should be seen this way. This is not to say that we shouldn’t be sensitive to those who see themselves in terms of a gay identity, but it is to say seeing oneself in this way will hold a person unnecessarily in bondage to the gay lifestyle.

Writing for Focus on the Family, Jeff Johnston accurately observes,

Over time, the definition of homosexuality has shifted from being a behavior to a condition to an identity. In the Bible, for example, the focus is on the behavior. Scripture says don’t engage in this activity.

As Christians, we don’t want to define people by their attractions or struggle. We should look beyond homosexuality to see a person as a sacred human being created in the image of God. “Being straight” or “being gay” may be the way the culture likes to label people; however, it’s not how God determines our identity or worth. God bases our worth on His unchanging, unfailing, eternal love for us.

The idea that homosexuality legitimately can be considered an identity is reinforced if it it is natural and normal. But is it? Are individuals really “born that way”? I’d like to answer this question from three different angles.

First, in an important sense, everyone is “born that way” — meaning born with a pull to live apart from God and to do whatever he or she wants to do. Just ask Emily Thomes, who was liberated when she discovered that because she was first and foremost made in God’s image, her base desires did not have to enslave her. She admits to being born with an inclination to follow sinful desires. This is indeed the natural condition of every person.

Emily does not mean, however, that homosexuality is a biological trait. In fact, no “gay gene” ever has been discovered. Thus, no evidence exists that homosexuality has a purely genetic cause (go here, here, and here).

Homosexuality can legitimately be considered natural in a second sense as well. Mark it down, though! Our qualifications here are vitally important, so please read this section carefully. In the vast majority of cases, a person experiencing same-sex attraction (SSA) did not choose those desires. For some, the desires arise, and no specific environmental or experiential cause can be pinpointed. This doesn’t mean the urges are rooted solely in one’s DNA, without other influences. Just because an environmental factor can’t readily be recognized does not mean one or more aren’t present. Also, especially among the young, the cultural allure to “be gay because gay is cool” is everywhere. And while we cannot say that homosexuality is purely a choice, neither can we deny that choices—including deliberate, conscious ones—are involved. For such choices, individuals must indeed bear personal responsibility.

Perhaps an illustration will help. We readily acknowledge that in numerous instances the inclination to steal, lie, or cheat on one’s spouse is quite natural. Also, each of these feels natural. Would it be a good and healthy thing to follow through on any of these urges? No. Not everything that can be deemed natural necessarily is good!

Finally, from a third standpoint, homosexuality is unnatural because it violates God’s design for human beings, the human family, and society at large. The above list of ten items is rooted in the principle that human beings are designed a certain way, for a specific purpose. Homosexuality violates these purposes and thus produces hurtful and harmful results.

Again, it’s important to remember that we never should define people, or allow ourselves to be defined, by urges and inclinations. The identity myth does exactly this.


The identity myth defines people according to their urges and desires. This fails to treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve.


Not only did this myth, along with others, lead to Obergefell, it now reinforces it. Even so, no one has to remain in bondage to homosexual desires. Again, ask Emily Thomes. You also can ask Stephen Black, who tells his story here. Stephen is the executive director of First Stone Ministries and the author of Freedom Realized! Freedom from Homosexuality & Living a Life Free from Labels.

Don’t be taken in my the myths! Reality, in the long run, is far better! In other words, when we cooperate with reality, we find and can fulfill our God-given purpose on this earth. That purpose never involves remaining in homosexuality—even if same-sex attractions remain.

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The myths keep us in bondage, but reality—the truth in Christ—shows us the way out.

 

Part 10 is available here.

Copyright © 2018 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All rights reserved.

image credit: top image, www.lightstock.com

1Charles Colson with Anne Morse, My Final Word, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), 142.

2Glenn Stanton, “Homosexuality: A Christian Perspective” in A Single Pursuit, Winter, 1998-99, (Nashville: LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1998), 85.

Insights for the Long Haul: Understanding and Loving My Homosexual Neighbor

Five Things You Need to Know

At the very heart of the homosexual condition is conflict about gender. In the boy, we usually see a gender wound that traces back to childhood. He comes to see himself as different from other boys. Gender woundedness usually exists as a silent, secret fear—one that the boy’s parents and loved ones only vaguely suspect. The boy has felt this way for as long as he is able to remember. That differentness creates a feeling of inferiority and isolates him from other males.
—Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.1

A man boarded a plane and sat down with his three young sons. As passengers continued to find their seats and as other preparations were being made for takeoff, the boys became disruptive, argumentative, and loud. Even after the plane was airborne, their unruly behavior continued. The passengers seated near the family wondered why the dad didn’t take steps to reign in his kids; but in fact, the man seemed oblivious to their misconduct. He had a blank expression on his face and seemed even to be in a daze. Finally a lady spoke up. “Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but could you please get your kids to behave?” The man didn’t respond, so the woman tapped him on the shoulder and repeated her request.

As if pulled in instantly from another world, the man reconnected with his surroundings and offered a sincere apology. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Please forgive them and me. You see, their mom, my wife, just passed away. We’re a long way from home. She’s been in a hospital here because it offered treatments we couldn’t get for her anywhere else. She passed away just yesterday, and the boys have been taking it really hard.”

As you might imagine, the attitudes and responses of the surrounding passengers instantly changed. They offered their sympathy to the man and his boys. They began to relate to them in a different way, simply because they now understood their circumstances and the challenges they were facing.2

This illustration is instructive for us. We who defend natural marriage and religious liberty need to understand the “players” in the ongoing debate that is so critical to our nation’s future. One of those players, obviously, is the homosexual. He is our neighbor; she lives on our street. What do we need to know about those who are struggling with same-sex attraction or who may even consider themselves gay? The insights I’m going to offer here never should lead us to compromise the truth or to soften our resolve to contend for marriage and religious liberty. Yet hopefully, they will help us respond with greater patience and kindness to those who disagree with us. Remember that even in the midst of a strong discussion about God’s judgment in the first two chapters of Romans, Paul wrote, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4). We who have never struggled with homosexuality certainly have needed God’s grace just as desperately as those who have. Let’s pray God would use our kindness toward them to bring them to repentance, the same doorway we walked through to experience God’s grace.

Here are five things we need to know about homosexuality and the experience of the homosexual. Although we will speak primarily in terms of the homosexual male, the differences between male and female homosexuality don’t prevent us from making broader, corresponding applications where appropriate.

First, a “gay gene” has never been discovered, but you’d never know that listening to the mainstream media. Homosexuality is complicated and likely results from a variety of factors, some of which we will explore in a few moments. As an article that addresses the issue of the causes of homosexuality states,

At best, the evidence for a genetic and/or biological basis to homosexual orientation is inconclusive. In fact, since the early 1990s, numerous studies attempting to establish a genetic cause for homosexuality have not proven to be valid or repeatable—two important requirements for study results to become accepted as fact in the scientific community. Because of this, the current thinking in the scientific community is that homosexuality is likely caused by a complex interaction of psychosocial, environmental and possible biological factors.3

The acknowledgement that biological factors may be involved does not mean researchers have discovered a “gay gene” that determines a homosexual orientation. As we have said, no such gene ever has been found.4,5,6,7 At the same time, we need to acknowledge that all people, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, are born with an inclination to sin, and they sin by choice as well (see Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:23). God holds each person responsible for his actions (see Rom. 2:1-16). While a person may not choose whether or not he or she has same- or opposite-sex attractions, the individual clearly chooses what he or she will do with those leanings.

Second, people struggling with same-sex attraction and gender confusion obviously do make choices related to their leanings, but they do so in a cultural atmosphere that exacerbates gender confusion. Society has lost all objectivity. Bruce Jenner’s sex change is celebrated,8,9 despite evidence that such transformations are harmful.10,11 Yet, even apart from this, our society treats masculinity with destain.12,13,14 Moreover, the individual’s personal situation usually doesn’t provide any help or clarity, and the pressure to embrace a gay identity is enormous.

Alan Medinger was involved in homosexuality himself and came out of that lifestyle as a result of his conversion to Jesus Christ. One of the early leaders of the ex-gay movement, Alan wrote Growth into Manhood to help men struggling with homosexuality. Medinger writes, “The road to manhood is a long one. It is a road of learning, trying, failing, trying again, a journey of victories and defeats.” Most males, he says, make the journey without giving it a great deal of conscious thought, but they still arrive at the destination of manhood and are able to fulfill their responsibilities as men. Alan continues,

Some boys, however, did not reach this destination. At some point the striving became too much, the defeats and failures too painful, so they opted out. They got off the main road, and they took a detour. They arrived at a chronological age that classified them as men, they appeared to have all the parts that made them men, but deep inside, in the place of that nonverbal sense of manhood, there was a void. They did not feel as if they were women—most of them, that is—but somehow, in the world of men, they did not belong.15

Third, although homosexuality results from many factors, one of its root causes—typically, but not always—is a home environment that involves an overinvolved mother, a distant father, and an emotionally sensitive boy. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, an expert on homosexuality and on therapy for overcoming it, writes,

Repeatedly, researchers have found the classic triadic (three-way) relationship in the family backgrounds of homosexual men. In this situation, the mother often has a poor or limited relationship with her husband, so she shifts her emotional needs to her son. The father is usually nonexpressive and detached and often is critical as well. So in the triadic family pattern we have the detached father, the overinvolved mother, and the temperamentally sensitive, emotionally attuned boy….16

Alan Medinger authenticates this scenario:

My journey into homosexuality fits the same pattern that I have seen over and over again in many other men I have worked with. I was an unplanned child, born to parents who would have preferred a girl. My older brother was more athletic and generally fit the “all boy” model far better than I, and somehow, he became Dad’s and I became Mom’s.17

What often happens in this situation? Christian singers Steve and Annie Chapman have written and performed many Christian songs about the family and about family relationships. In 1990, Steve composed a song titled “Father’s Embrace” that explains the plight, the typical background, and the hope of the homosexual. The song also paints a true picture of a homosexual man’s emotional and identity needs.18 Here is the powerful message conveyed by “Father’s Embrace.”

Many people have a hard time understanding why a man would become sexually intimate with another man. Even though he would say he was born that way, the homosexual actually is looking for affirmation he never received from his father when he was a child. His dad was consumed with other things, and the boy waited in vain for his father to give him attention and affection. Now grown, he looks to other men to fill the void, even in relationships that are sexualized. He won’t find what he needs in those relationships, but God hears his heart’s cry. Human fathers are woefully imperfect, but God is the Perfect Father. God loves the homosexual. He hears him crying out for his father’s love, and, as the Perfect Father, longs to meet that man’s needs. No one has to violate God’s plan to get what he really needs. Yet sadly, no one has ever shared with this man that God can fill the longings of his heart, if he would just come to Him in humble repentance, seeking wholeness on God’s terms rather than his own.19

Let’s assume a scenario exactly like the one Steve Chapman has depicted (one that is, in reality, all too common). It’s important for us to note that the elements in the boy’s life are not his fault. He did not choose his parents, nor their temperaments. Nor did he choose his own temperament. Furthermore, he cannot be blamed for the fact that no one has yet told him about God’s wanting to fill his “father need.” The church and individual Christians must bear responsibility for this. Now, none of this takes responsibility away from this individual for bad decisions, especially decisions he makes as an adult. At the same time, an awareness of these realities should help us understand the man’s situation and should give us a greater sense of compassion and love toward him.

At this point we must add a word of encouragement to parents. Noting the commonality of the “triadic family pattern” does not mean that parents should live under a pile of guilt for their child’s homosexuality or same-sex attraction. In his book 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality, Mike Haley, a former homosexual, answers this question early on: “We just found out our child is gay. Is it our fault? Did we do something wrong?”20 Here is a portion of Mr. Haley’s response.

This is often the first question that comes to the mind of any parent who has just learned of their child’s homosexuality. Your heart may be broken, and your mind will probably race back to review every milestone in the life of your child to see what could have possibly gone wrong. But take heart. The answer to this painful question will rid you of any false guilt and free you to respond in a helpful way.…

You must remember that no person has the power to make another child of God anything. Homosexuality is not the result of one single factor. Many influences can contribute to the condition: the child’s perception, parent’s behavior, the environment (which is often beyond any parent’s control), interactions with others, predisposing personality characteristics, and so on. While some familial contribution may have weakened the psyche of your child, making him or her more susceptible to same-sex attraction, each person is accountable for his or her responses to circumstances. No parent would ever willingly cause sexual struggles in any of their offspring. We live in an imperfect, fallen world, and we all make poor decisions that we alone are accountable for.

Think of your own life—of your vulnerability to a certain weakness. What “makes” you indulge? Surely not your parents, regardless of how imperfect they may have been. As you continue to read and learn, I pray you will be comforted by these truths: You are in no way directly responsible for your child’s sin, and the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ provides a way out of that sin.21

Fourth, the nature of homosexuality compels the homosexual to be consumed with his sexual orientation. Here is a simple illustration. Consider a chocolate chip cookie. That cookie represents you, and each chip in it represents an aspect of your life. You might say that one of the chips stands for your career, another for one of your hobbies, another for your family life, and so on. You might assign your heterosexual orientation to another of the chips, but this idea probably wouldn’t even occur to you. On the other hand, a homosexual’s sexual orientation isn’t a single chip in the cookie, but the whole cookie. He cannot divorce his sexual orientation from anything else in his life.22 This is one of the reasons it’s very difficult for gays and lesbians to understand what a Christian means when he says, “I love the sinner, but I hate the sin.”

Fifth, one hundred years ago, people viewed homosexuality as a behavior. (By the way, this is exactly the way Scripture sees it and treats it.23) Fifty years ago, society viewed it as a condition. Our culture today sees it as an identity.24 This is yet another reason gays and lesbians have difficulty understanding Christians’ claim to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” A gay man believes, “If you hate homosexuality, you must hate me, because that’s who I am.”

For these reasons and many others, it is often difficult to reach a homosexual with the truth about his actions and lifestyle—and about God’s love. This is why I am excited about a new movie that not only helps Christians reach out to homosexuals, but that also helps gays and lesbians understand better why Christians are compelled to warn them. The movie is produced by Living Waters, a ministry headed by evangelist Ray Comfort. Titled Audacity, it is currently available for download from the Internet for $19.99. It will be posted on YouTube for everyone to see on August 19. Without being judgmental, Audacity tells a story that explains the urgent need for all people—not just homosexuals—to get right with God. It treats the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage sensitively, yet forthrightly and without compromising the Bible’s message. To learn more, visit www.audacitymovie.com.

audacity_OpenLetter_062915

As you continue to contend for marriage and religious liberty in America, pray for all who have bought into the lie about homosexuality. Homosexuals may not know it, but they are hurting and have deep needs. Be available to be used of God to open others’ eyes to the truth. For homosexuals it is no different than it is for all other sinners; God longs to meet their deepest needs but so respects them as persons that He will not violate their will. As Steve Chapman so eloquently put it, God hears the cries of the one who missed his father’s embrace. He is listening to him and is “reaching down in love.”25 In Him is true hope.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audacity may now be viewed here.

Notes:

1Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., and Linda Ames Nicolosi, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 19.

2Summary of an illustration given by Bill McCartney at a Promise Keepers conference.

3http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/understanding-homosexuality/understanding-same-sex-attractions/are-people-really-born-gay

4http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2014/06/17/the-latest-in-scientific-research-there-is-no-gay-gene#.VF_6Uoe5ZfQ

5http://www.wnd.com/2009/05/97940/

6http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2013/06/identical-twin-studies-prove-homosexuality-is-not-genetic/

7http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/19/nobody-is-born-that-way-gay-historians-say/

8http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/01/caitlyn-jenner-celebrity-reactions_n_7485900.html

9http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/celebrities-family-members-voice-support-for-bruce-jenner-1201479720/

10http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/27319

11http://www.sexchangeregret.com

12http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/05/13/cut-men-do-not-bleed.html


13http://www.shaunti.com/2014/04/malebashing/


14https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5F3_sG9fq8

15Alan Medinger, Growth into Manhood, (Colorado Springs, CO: A Shaw Book published by WaterBrook Press, 2000), 1.

16Nicholosi and Nicholosi, 71-72.

17http://www.peoplecanchange.com/stories/alan.php

18In Growth to Manhood, (p. 3), Alan Medinger writes that “homosexuality is much more than simply the direction of one’s sexual attractions. It has two other strong components: emotional neediness and identity.”

19paraphrase/summary of “Father’s Embrace” by Steve Chapman, 1990 Times And Seasons Music (Admin. by Crossroad Distributors Pty. Ltd.)

20Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004), 31.

21Haley, 31-32.

22This insight was shared at a Love Won Out Conference (informing and assisting the church and families in addressing the issue of homosexuality). These conferences were held in various places several years ago by Focus on the Family.

23Joe Dallas and Nancy Heche, eds., The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality: A Biblical and Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2010), 99.

24https://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/sexuality/how-to-talk-to-your-children-about-homosexuality/countering-the-cultural-confusion-answering-questions-about-homosexuality http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/10/27/understanding-male-homosexuality-–-god’s-power-to-change-lives-part-3/ (previous link 1); http://www.prophecydude.org/news/understanding-male-homosexuality-gods-power-to-change-lives-part-3/ (previous link 2)

25Steve Chapman, “Father’s Embrace.”

Compassion’s Mandate

In the public debate over same-sex marriage, advocates of natural marriage have defended God’s design for marriage in numerous ways. For example, we have talked about every child’s critical need for a mom and a dad. Sadly, divorce is real, and it leaves many kids without a mom or without a dad. Even so, in these kids’ situations the traditional definition of marriage has left them with at least the concept of a mom and dad. Same-sex marriage creates motherless and fatherless families by design. It is discriminatory in the worst sort of way to advocate a model of marriage that says that neither a woman nor a man has anything unique to bring to the task of parenting!

Another strong argument we have made is that if marriage is redefined to mean either two people of the opposite sex or two people of the same sex, then there can be no solid rationale for saying marriage must be between just two people. The door to polygamy—and to many other types of unions—will be thrust wide open. We cannot take this argument lightly, either.

Today I’d like to highlight one of the points that, for the most part, has been missing from the public case for traditional marriage. That point is this: Homosexuality itself is harmful. From one perspective, we can understand why this element has not been strongly emphasized. First, we respect people’s right to live as they choose to live. We are not vying to become the moral police. Also, we realize that the debate over the definition of marriage has not been about the legality of homosexual sex. Lawrence vs. Texas was a landmark Supreme Court decision that was handed down on June 26, 2003. In it the Supreme Court effectively struck down laws against sodomy nationwide.1 Pro-family advocates understood then and understand now that no one can force adults to refrain from engaging in homosexual activity if they have decided to do so.

Yet at the same time we also have recognized that laws against sodomy were the linchpin of a solid legal platform for maintaining the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. (No, these laws were not unjustifiably put in place.) Furthermore, we have understood the harmful and even devastating implications of redefining marriage. While redefining marriage has repercussions well beyond the issue of homosexuality (polygamy, for example, may not involve homosexual sex), the fact that homosexuality is being used as a crowbar to redefine marriage compels us to examine its dangers.

Let’s review some essential truths about homosexuality from a biblical perspective and from a health perspective. Though far from exhaustive, our discussion will highlight some critical issues. After even a discussion as brief as this one, we may want to consider ways to make the issue of homosexuality more central in the debate over marriage.

A Biblical Perspective

In a secular society, the strongest public arguments do not begin with “The Bible says….” Nevertheless, we as Christians—people who believe God’s perspective always is paramount—need to understand the Bible’s warnings against homosexuality. Unfortunately, discussions about these warnings have been woefully lacking in our churches. That needs to change! Among other things, Christian leaders need to equip believers, especially young people, to refute pro-gay theology, which “explains” why and how the Bible doesn’t really condemn homosexuality, even though Bible passages are clear on the subject and even though the pro-gay interpretation stands contrary to the historic position of the Christian church.

What has been the church’s position? It has affirmed clear biblical teaching. In Romans 1, the apostle Paul wrote that those who continue to rebel against God are without excuse because they deny what they know intuitively about God and worship His creation rather than Him. So “God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves” (Rom. 1:24). Paul went on to describe homosexual activity among women and among men but named other sins as well (see vv. 18-32).

James M. Boice observes that people tend to think of God’s giving people up to their desires (see vv. 24,26) as being akin to releasing a porcelain pitcher in outer space and letting it float harmlessly away. Not so. It really is like letting go of the pitcher on earth, where gravity causes it to drop to the ground and possibly shatter completely.2 Although Paul mentioned numerous sins in connection with his discussion about God’s releasing people to their evil passions, there is no question that homosexuality is associated with this divine action.

People tend to think of God’s giving people up to their desires (see Rom. 1:24,26) as being akin to releasing a porcelain pitcher in outer space and letting it float harmlessly away. Not so. It really is like letting go of the pitcher on earth, where gravity causes it to drop to the ground and possibly shatter completely.

Furthermore, homosexual sins are unique. In Romans 1:26-27, Paul wrote they were “against nature” or unnatural. By contrast, heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage, though sinful, is natural. Dr. Boice says that while we need God’s Word to know that heterosexual sex outside of marriage is wrong, we don’t even need it to know homosexuality is wrong: “A look at one’s sexual apparatus should convince anyone that practices of this kind are not…meant to be.”3 The fact that so many seem to be oblivious to this is strong evidence of Satan’s work to blind people to truths that otherwise would be crystal clear (see 2 Cor. 4:3-4).

Unfortunately, some have erroneously concluded from Romans 1:18-32 that homosexuals have strayed beyond God’s saving reach. We cannot conclude this at all! First Corinthians 6:9-10 sounds out an ominous warning: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” Then, thankfully, verse 11 says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” While verse 11 reassures us, it in no way should diminish the warnings against homosexuality we see in other places in Scripture. Even so, the Bible is unmistakably clear: Homosexual activity is like other sins in that it is disobedience and an affront to God. (By the way, in Scripture, homosexuality isn’t an identity, but an activity.4) God forgives homosexual deeds when the sinner repents and relies on Jesus’ death as full payment for them. Thank God for His grace!

A Health Perspective

A great deal could be written here on the health consequences of homosexual sex, because homosexuality is linked to numerous significant health risks. Actually, were they widely known and understood, the health risks associated with gay sex would be the Achilles heel of the gay rights movement. Here we’ll specifically note just two potential adverse consequences. Syphilis is now considered by the Centers for Disease Control as “predominantly an MSM [men who have sex with men] epidemic.”5 Also, the life-expectancies of homosexuals are significantly diminished—even by as much as 20 years for men!6 Read this article7 to learn about other serious health risks for both men and women. Be forewarned: This information is difficult to read. When we think about how these diseases are devastating people made in God’s image, our hearts break!

Conclusion

Joe Dallas, a former homosexual, a Christian, and an expert on pro-gay theology, writes that the contemporary divide between truth and practice has been large enough to set the stage for a number of falsehoods to make their way into the church and take hold. Mr. Dallas quotes J. Stephen Lang, who describes the situation this way: “Love is understandable—warm and fuzzy. Doctrine, on the other hand, sounds cold, difficult, and demanding.”8 We also could add that facts often can come across as offensive and harsh. Yet when we don’t counterbalance our desire for “warm and fuzzy” with a loyalty to the truth, says Dallas, pro-gay theology, even with its inherent dangers and falsehoods, is quite alluring!

You see, love seeks that which is best for the one loved—even when working toward attaining the best is difficult. “Clear thinking,” writes A. J. Hoover, requires you to learn “to control your emotions.”9 The church must not be so afraid of offending people that it fails to tell them the truth. Speaking the truth in love (see Eph. 4:15) actually is compassion’s mandate. In the end, failing to convey the truth actually is unloving in the worst sort of way.

We cannot, therefore, continue to remain silent in our churches on this issue. Love and compassion compel us to speak out. How will you respond?

Notes

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

2James Montgomery Boice, Romans: An Expositional Commentary—Volume 1, Justification by Faith, Romans 1–4, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991), 178-179.

3Boice, 181.

4Joe Dallas and Nancy Heche, eds., The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality: A Biblical and Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2010), 99.

5http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6318a4.htm

6http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/life-span/

7http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/physical-health/

8http://www.truenews.org/Homosexuality/pro-gay_theology.html

9A. J. Hoover, Don’t You Believe It! Poking Holes in Faulty Logic, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1982), 67.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.