Which side of the Line? “Culture” or “The Lord”

Last week, I blogged for the first time in a long while.  You might have noticed that I stayed away from the “homosexual marriage” firestorm that was everywhere, but the temptation to get involved in the debate was tempting.  OK, I admit.  I fell for it once on Facebook.  My comments were not well received nor was the outcome what I hoped for.  I realize that for me and my family, the day is quickly approaching that I will be labeled a bigot and a homophobe because I follow the Word of God.  These labels will come even from those I once served.

It is difficult, I believe, for Christians to communicate to the world that . . . well . . . we do not have a choice in the matter of homosexuality.  If Jesus is my Lord, then he is the Lord.  That word, “Lord,” means something.  Even as I sit here and type, my heart is heavy.  I don’t desire the conflict, but I simply do not have the authority to move on this issue.  My Lord God (and yes – Jesus Christ) has proclaimed that homosexuality is a sin.  That is the Word, plain and simple.  God’s Word declares this to be true in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.  It will not surprise me if one of the first comments to this blog accuses me of being a “sheeple.”  If you are unaware of this term, the accusation is that I am a mindless animal who just follows . . . unable to think for myself.  It’s a “strawman” argument to label Christians sheeple simply because we follow the Lord and his authority.  I know the media likes to label Christians as uneducated and ignorant, and yet; in my church there are engineers, lawyers, healthcare providers, computer programmers, etc. . . not exactly people who do not think for themselves.  I guess I would ask the question, “Why is there such a mass conversion on this issue in only 10 years?  Why is it that so many are willing to follow this movement without thought . . . without consideration of the consequences . . . without any information?” (I will deal with that soon)  Why are many following because of emotion rather than logic?  Isn’t that the definition of “sheeple?”

Secondly, I cannot now, nor can I ever agree with homosexual unions of any type.  Perhaps there will be those who say that I will pay for such a decision.  If the Lord wills, so be it.  I write this with fear and trembling because I know who I am.  I have, in the past, compromised the authority for God in my life for so little at times.  This is what it is to be a sinful man.  I am prone to wander and I am so quick to fall prey to the ease of life.  Other than harsh words, this stance has, as of yet, cost me nothing.  I pray that I will be strong and never compromising on this issue and others.  You see, when it really begins to costs . . . will I continue to stand on the Word of God?  I hope so.  So, why not just change my view?  You see, the institution of marriage is the first institution established by God.  It was established even before the church.  I do not have the authority to change what God has established as marriage and I certainly do not have the authority to amend or change what God has ordained in regard to this institution.

I also realize that I will be accused of hatred.  I will be the first to admit that I struggle to love people, especially those who disagree with me.  We all do.  We all struggle to love those who don’t see things our way.  If you think this attitude or failure is exclusive to Christianity, perhaps you should open your eyes.  Have you ever been to a sporting event?  It’s amazing the animosity toward others when they simply cheer for a different athletic team . . . even in little league.  When it comes to homosexuality, there is harsh language on both sides of this issue.  The church certainly struggles to love the world as Christ loved the world, but love does not mean capitulation.  One person wrote to me that I should be like Christ, “showing love and compassion.”  I agree, but he was not too receptive of the truth that Jesus Christ never failed to confront sin.  He never accepted sin.  Jesus never looked the other way and acted like it was alright, no matter if it was the religious elite or the prostitute; he always confronted sin.

So, why write this blog now?  I realized that I had failed as a pastor the other night.  I had a church member ask, “So other than the word of God, other than a moral argument from scripture, how does one address the world in regard to homosexuality and more pointedly, in regard to “gay-marriage.”  Now, this person was correct that the authority on the subject is God’s Word.  So, how did I fail?  Well, as a pastor I am not only to preach the word of God, but I am to give practical applications, illustrations, and examples.  For example, I don’t think anyone would disagree that “lying” is wrong.  God calls it sin and it is quite easy for me as a pastor to give both scriptural and present day, real world, examples of how lying does incredible damage.  The truth is that God designed us.  God knows exactly what is beneficial for us and what is harmful to us.  This is no different than a car manufacturer knowing exactly what is good for the cars they design.  So, is homosexuality “bad” for people?  Is God’s command to not commit homosexual acts just a rule that has no real world implications?  Is it loving to simply allow, endorse, and promote the homosexual lifestyle because that is what makes homosexuals happy?  What about all the news reports that tell us this is a “good thing?”  Please remember, this world has an agenda.  It has been fighting against the authority of God since Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.  Perhaps, you have not gotten as Paul Harvey used to say, “The Rest of the Story.”

Most of the argument surrounding homosexuality is simply this, “People should have the freedom to do what they want, as long as it doesn’t affect others negatively.” On a side note, I find it ironic that this argument is used to support “gay-marriage” but the same people applauded the idea that I am denied a 17 ounce Coke in New York, but back to the issue. “Is homosexuality a “non-issue” when it comes to the health of society?  The short answer is, “No.”  It’s very dangerous, expensive, and negative on our culture.  By the way, the information following is not from the Bible, it is simply from statistics and studies reflecting our society, but no one is talking about it.

1) What about society?

According to CDC (Center for Disease Control) although 2% of the U. S. population is homosexual, it accounts for 61% of the HIV infection. (Center for Disease Control, http://cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HIV-Infections-2006-2009.pdf) Now don’t miss this, because you might be saying, “So, that doesn’t affect me or others negatively.”  Please don’t be that naive.  Let me quote from one of CDC’s reports.

STDs are a significant health challenge facing the United States. CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15–24. Each of these infections is a potential threat to an individual’s immediate and long-term health and well-being. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for HIV infection, STDs can lead to severe reproductive health complications, such as infertility. STDs are also a serious drain on the U.S. health care system, costing the nation almost $16 billion in health care costs every year. (http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/trends-2011.pdf)

 

Perhaps your thought is, “But Paul, if homosexuals were allowed to be in a committed relationship, then these numbers would go down.”  My first response is, “How are homosexuals not allowed to be in “committed” relationships right now?”  Secondly, if you believe this debate is about allowing homosexuals to simply have monogamous relationships, you might want to do some more research.  In 2010 a study showed that 50% of homosexual men had sexual relationships outside their partner’s knowledge.  A piece in “The Advocate, a gay-interest newsmagazine stated:

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing? (http://www.advoate.com/arts-entertainment/features/2011/07/07/monogamish)

As a matter of fact, let me give you some bone-chilling statistics when it comes to “open-relationships” which author Ari Karpel (and  let’s not forget Dan Savage who coined the term monogamish), thinks is not such a bad thing.

28% of homosexual men had more than 1000 partners.
43% of homosexual men had more than 500 partners.
83% of homosexual men had more than 50 partners. (exodusglobalalliance.org/ishomosexualityhealthyp60.php)

Many times we talk about the rough state of marriage in America, but let me hit you with some more statistics in regard to committed relationships.

Among married heterosexual females, 85% reported sexual fidelity
Among married heterosexual males, 75.5% reported sexual fidelity
Among homosexual males in a current relationship, 4.5% (yes, that is a decimal) reported sexual fidelity. (http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02) NOTE:  This study indicated that between 10.2% and 15.7% reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners)

So, this has a tremendous affect on all of society.  It is extremely hurtful and dangerous. But why not let people do what they want?  Why not let homosexuals simply be hedonist?  Let them have all that they desire?  Again, my first response would be, “Then why not allow that same freedom for all?”  Why not allow bullies to bully since that is what they want to do?  (Don’t forget that it was Dan Savage who began the “It Gets Better,” campaign)  Secondly, I would like to go back to the one that told me that I should be “loving and compassionate” like Jesus.  Am I loving and compassionate if I do nothing and even endorse such behavior?

2) What about the individual?

50% of homosexuals are more likely to suffer from depression and engage in substance abuse (BMC Psychiatry)
200% greater risk of suicide among individuals who engaged in a homosexual lifestyle (BMC Psychiatry)
Average lifespan of a homosexual . . . 24 years shorter than a heterosexual. (Reported at the Eastern Psychological Association on March 23, 2007 – Dr. Paul Cameron and Dr. Kirk Cameron.  NOTE:  The results were consistent no matter if a culture was more/less tolerant of homosexuality.  No difference between USA, Denmark, and Norway.)

NOTE:  Another study administered by pro-gay advocates also found that gay and bisexual men have a life expectancy of 8 to 20 years less than for all men. (http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/3/657.abstract)

Think about that for a moment.  Our government has spent millions and millions in order to tell people to stop smoking because cigarettes cut about 10 years off of a person’s life AND it is a burden on our healthcare system.  Where are the warnings about homosexuality?

3) What about the children?

We have often heard that children are so much better off in a home of same-sex partners than in a home of abusive parents.  Not exactly comparing apples to apples now are we?  Recently the media couldn’t wait to tell the world, “The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement endorsing adoption by same-sex couples.”  In their endorsement the Academy stated they (homosexual parents) can provide the same emotionally healthy family life as heterosexual parents.” Is that true?  Well, if one is honest, one must recognize that homosexual parents are such a recent phenomena that studies are few and what has come to light recently is that legitimate studies on the subject are even fewer.  If you doubt this, I would suggest you look at a study by Loren Marks.  (“Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American Psychological Association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 735-751; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580) BUT . . . one study does stand out among all the others.  It was published in the journal, Social Science Research, by the University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus.  In summary, the conclusion of Regnerus’s was simply this:

“Children raised by parents of same-sex relationships have more negative outcomes than those raised by married mothers and fathers.”

As reviewed by his peers these findings were irrefutable concerning children raised by either two homosexual men or women. Children raised by same-sex couples:

*  Much more likely to receive welfare (Biological parents 17%, Lesbian mothers 69%, Homosexual fathers 57%)
*  Have lower educational attainment
*  Report less safety and security in their family of origin
*  Report more ongoing “negative impact” from their family of origin
*  Are more likely to suffer from depression
*  Have been arrested more often
*  If they are female, have had more sexual partners – both male and female

The data gets even worse when one only looks at the data in connection to only lesbian mothers.  To quote the article: The high mathematical standard of “statistical significance” was more difficult to reach for the children of “gay fathers” in this study because there were fewer of them.

Many times we have heard that children raised in a same-sex house are not “more likely to be gay” than heterosexuals.  In other words, “You can’t force, teach, or influence others to be homosexual.”  Well, the study does not support such a statement.  Actually, Regnerus found that children of homosexual fathers are 3 times as likely and children of homosexual mothers are 4 times as likely to identify as something other than “entirely heterosexual.”

The most troubling outcomes from Regnerus’s study were those related to sexual abuse.  The study found that children raised by a lesbian mother were 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver and those raised by a homosexual father were 3 times more likely.”

The following was the conclusion to the article:

The myths that children of homosexual parents are “no different” from other children and suffer “no harm” from being raised by homosexual parents have been shattered forever.

If you doubt the conclusions you can read the study as published in Social Science Research at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610
Another study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family came to the same conclusions as Regnerus’s study. (Daniel Potter. 2012. “Same-Sex Parent Families and Children’s Academic Achievement.” Journal of Marriage and Family)

On a side note, if only 4.5% of homosexual males are faithful in the commitment to one another, then explain to me how that is “good” for the children.

I think I will simply conclude with this:

1)  Christians should adhere to scripture, no matter what the data may say, but once again the data backs up scripture.  The sin of homosexuality is no different than any other sin.  It is rebellion against God and it does incredible damage.  God is our creator and he knows what is best for us.  Please note, I simply presented data and no scripture in this blog.  That was the question, “How do I talk to non-Christians about this issue when they do not adhere to the Bible? Is there empirical data to show them that God’s Word is correct?”

2)  You will notice that the accusation that I am somehow “mindless” in this debate is wrong.  If you disagree with the data that is presented here, so be it, but data is presented here.  I did not present an emotional argument, but one backed up by research.

3)  Lastly, perhaps you are scared that you will, as they say, “End up on the wrong side of history.”  That is quite a scare tactic for those promoting homosexuality.  My friend, I am not worried about being on the wrong side of history, I am more concerned about being on the right side of the future.  God has already judged this behavior as sin.  Is he Lord or isn’t he?

There is really nothing more that needs to be said.  This blog was not posted in order to attack.  It was posted to inform.  It is to help my former youth that are in their late 20’s and early 30’s who are falling for the lie that “gay-marriage” is about rights, liberty, and progress.  I posted this because you are not being given the truth.  At some point in time . . . someone has to speak up.  I am thankful to other brothers and sisters who have not wavered on this issue.  Let us love and show compassion, but let us never fail to stand for truth.  Let us never capitulate.  Let us be right with our Lord before we are worried about being right with our culture.  You must decide, which side of the line do you stand.  There is no middle ground.

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  1. Lisa Wright says:

    Thank you!!!! This is the very thing I wanted to sit down and discuss with you. I have no trouble standing with the Truth of God’s Word on the issue….or for loving others regardless of their “sexual orientation”. It is trying to pull the two together, to judge right from wrong with out being judgemental, does that make sense?

  2. Really really great blog Pastor Paul, wow how I wish this information was widely spread throughout our country since you wrote it and things haven’t gotten worse and worse as they have. Thank you for taking the time to share all these facts and studies, some great resources to have when addressing this difficult issue with people today. Hope all is well, God Bless.

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