Archive for the 'Sex' Category

Pedophiles: It’s not their fault!!

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Sin Paint

(image courtesy ChristArt)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

There are some outrageous views in the world of secular journalism. I came across an opinion piece in the Melbourne (Australia), Herald Sun newspaper online, ‘Should we help paedophiles? What choice do we have?‘ (Shepherd 2015).[1] The sub-heading was, ‘If people are born straight, or gay, is it possible that paedophiles can’t help being what they are?’ The article began:

Evidence shows that it might be true; paedophiles are born that way. Recent research suggests some faulty wiring in the brain. Things about children that are meant to elicit a protective response instead elicit a sexual one.

A published paper from Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found paedophiles are far more likely to be left-handed, and have a lower IQ, which indicates there’s a problem with brain development.

Which would make it not their fault.

Why don’t you take a read of what I consider to be an extremist view of an alibi for sexually deviant behaviour of paedophilia in ‘The Science of Pedophilia: Is It a Sexual Orientation?’ This article states, ‘The good news, though, is that, if researchers can figure out how the brain’s wiring becomes crossed, scientists could figure out ways for mothers to minimize their chances of giving birth to pedophiles’ (Brice 2012).

What an excuse for justification of wicked sexual abuse of children by adults (mostly males).

A. What is paedophilia?

Michael Seto,[2] who wants to legitimise paedophilia as a sexual orientation, provided this definition, ‘Pedophilia can be defined as a sexual attraction to prepubescent children, as indicated by persistent and recurrent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, arousal, or behavior (“or” because the diagnosis can be made on the basis of thoughts and urges alone)’ (Seto 2012:231-232).

Margo Kaplan, assistant professor of law, states that paedophilia ‘refers to a type of sexual interest – specifically an intense and persistent sexual interest in prepubescent children. Pedophilia need not entail any behavior; one may be a celibate pedophile, similar to how one may have sexual desires for adults while remaining celibate’ (Kaplan 2015:86-87).

In common language, these two professionals define paedophilia as adults having a sexual attraction to children through thoughts, fantasies and sometimes involving sexual behaviour between an adult and a child.

B. Why is paedophilia a crime?

Here in Australia, those who are found guilty of paedophilia have committed a criminal act and these are five examples of penalties for such crimes.

1. Dennis Ferguson

clip_image002(Dennis Ferguson 2009, photo courtesy Wikipedia)

 

One of Australia’s most notorious paedophiles was Dennis Raymond Ferguson. In sentencing him to jail for his crimes, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph:

The evil man Ferguson seems intent on forgetting he ever was.

Such vile criminals don’t come much worse.

As one judge put it, Ferguson is a “cunning and scheming man – not without some intelligence – a danger to children and foolish parents”.

Justice Derrington said Ferguson’s chances of rehabilitation were zero when sentencing him to 14 years in a Queensland jail in 1988 (Lawrence 2009).

2. Forty-one year old paedophile

The Australian newspaper reported in 2010 on the disparity between the length of sentencing for the crime of paedophilia in the USA compared to the drastic leniency in Australia. The report stated that an American pedophile was sentenced to 21 years jail for pleading guilty to photographing a 2-year-old girl and trading the child pornography on the Internet. His Australian (Canberra) cohort was jailed for a quarter of that time for doing the same actions with 4 children.

The 41-year-old [Australian] – who cannot be named – was sentenced … to seven years jail, and must serve a minimum of 4 1/2 years after pleading guilty to 13 counts of indecency against children, using a child to produce child pornography and transmitting child pornography.

Four children, including his own infant son, were captured in the images, which the ACT Supreme Court was told were regarded as “trophies” by the man.

The other children were aged five, seven and nine and included his godchild (McKenna 2010).

3. Brett Peter Cowan

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(Daniel Morcombe, phogo courtesy Wikipedia)

One of the most prominent and extremely sad examples of the action of a paedophile here in Queensland was the death of Daniel Morcombe, a 13-year-old, who was abducted from the Sunshine Coast (Woombye) and killed by paedophile, Brett Peter Cowan. Cowan’s paedophilia is confirmed in Olding (2014). This article states:

  • ‘A man who was raped and almost killed by Brett Peter Cowan 27 years ago, when he was seven years old, says the predator destroyed his life’.
  • ‘Cowan had a shocking record of paedophilia and a hole in his alibi but he told the inquiry he would not have taken Daniel because he liked boys that were six or seven years old, not 13’.
  • ‘A former girlfriend of Cowan’s told the program about the night he abducted a six-year-old boy from a Darwin caravan park in 1993 and raped him. He left the boy for dead with horrific injuries but the child survived’.

4. Abuse by clergy or workers at Christian institutions

Then there are horrifying examples of sexual abuse of children by clergy. Here is but one example of many about which I, as a Christian, am utterly ashamed. This abuse victim wrote:

I would think seriously about donating a kidney if I am given the opportunity to stand before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. And after eight years of battling the Anglican Church for answers, something exciting has happened concerning the sexual and physical abuse of more than 200 children.

Yes, to hell with the kidney, it means nothing compared to the horrific and violent abuse children suffered at the hands of Anglican clergy and staff over the five decades the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home was functioning.

I was raised in that Anglican home for 14 years, 10 of which were brutal. I was sexually violated and physically abused. To this day I bear the scars on my back from a flogging.

The scars in my mind are deeper (Campion 2013).

5. Fifty-six year old paedophile

As I was writing this article, there appeared a lead item on the Brisbane Times website, ‘Convicted paedophile who raped stepdaughter to be watched until 2021’ (Branco 2016). Here it was stated that this 56-year-old was convicted of raping his 7-year-old step daughter. ‘The man was sentenced to eight years in jail in January 2008 after pleading guilty to offences including rape and grievous bodily harm. He was released on parole in September 2010 but hauled back into prison four years later when he was found living with a 15-year-old girl but had since been released again’. Although released on 17 January 2016, he has to report to authorities for another 5 years. Psychiatrists diagnosed him with paedophilia or a similar condition of paraphilia and ‘classed him a low to medium risk of reoffending’ (Branco 2016). These are the kinds of despicable acts in which he engaged:

He raped the girl when she was just seven years old, beating her, holding her upside down and smacking her.

When the girl was only eight, he punched her so hard she fell down the stairs.

In some cases, the offences occurred while the girl’s mother was asleep in another room….

[The psychiatrists] each noted a tendency for the 56-year-old to minimise and deny his crimes, with Dr Josephine Sundin even noting he perceived himself as an “unhappy and unlucky victim” (Branco 2016).

Now scientists want to label this kind of predatory, sordid behaviour as something over which the paedophile has no control as it is wired into his physical being – the brain (see Shepherd 2015).

C. The victims

Bill Glaser wrote in 1997:

Paedophilia: The health problem of the decade – Dr Bill Glaser

Imagine a society afflicted by a scourge which struck down a quarter of its daughters and up to one in eight of its sons.

Imagine also that this plague, while not immediately fatal, lurked in the bodies and minds of these young children for decades, making them up to sixteen times more likely to experience its disastrous long-term effects.

Finally, imagine the nature of these effects: life-threatening starvation, suicide, persistent nightmares, drug and alcohol abuse and a whole host of intractable psychiatric disorders requiring life-long treatment. What would the society’s response be?

The scourge that we are speaking of is child sexual abuse. It has accounted for probably more misery and suffering than any of the

great plagues of history, including the bubonic plague, tuberculosis and syphilis. Its effects are certainly more devastating and widespread than those of the modern-day epidemics which currently take up so much community attention and resources: motor vehicle accidents, heart

disease and, now, AIDS. Yet the public response to child sexual abuse, even now, is fragmented, poorly coordinated and generally ill-informed.

Its victims have no National AIDS Council to advise governments on policy and research issues; They have no National Heart Foundation to promote public education as to the risks of smoking and unhealthy

lifestyles; They do not have a Transport Accident Commission to provide comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services for them.

A massive public health problem like child sexual abuse demands a massive societal response. But firstly, we need to acknowledge and understand the problem itself, and this is, sadly enough, a task which both professionals and the community have been reluctant to undertake despite glaringly obvious evidence in front of us.

Source: Excerpt from Glaser, W. “Paedophilia: The Public Health Problem of the Decade” – Australian Institute of Criminology Conference on Paedophilia, Sydney, April 1997.[3]

As a long-term counsellor and counselling manager (now retired), I have deep compassion for helping victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse. However, as will be evident in this article, I do not support the solutions offered by a secular worldview because I’m convinced it does not get to the core of what motivates a person to violate another sexually – especially a child.

This I will admit: The need is urgent to do something substantial about finding a solution to the problem. However, I’m not convinced my secular society has the understanding for doing this. Some have the will to do something, like Bravehearts, but what is the best long-term solution?

I’ll declare my colours as we examine two radically different worldviews and their impact on the paedophilia issue, using Shepherd’s (2015) article as an example.

D. Worldview of a difference

What is a worldview? All of us have one. It may be defined as ‘a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic make-up of our world’ (Sire1988:17). James Sire explained that these are the seven rock-bottom questions that need to be answered to uncover the elements of a worldview:

(a) What is prime reality – the really real?

(b) What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?

(c) What is a human being?

(d) What happens to a person at death?

(e) Why is it possible to know anything at all?

(f) How do we know what is right and wrong?

(g) What is the meaning of human history? (Sire 1988:18)

What are the worldview dimensions in Tory Shepherd’s article (Shepherd 2015) in her proposing that for the paedophiles, it is not their faults that they have these thoughts towards and then sexually abuse children?

Whether she wants to acknowledge it or not, she is promoting a worldview that deals with at least 3 dimensions of such a view. My analysis of her article reveals three primary dimensions of the following worldview dimensions: (a) external reality, (b) the nature of human beings, and, (c) the nature of right and wrong.

(a) The nature of external reality

This deals with ‘whether we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit, or whether we emphasize our subjective, personal relationship to the world or its objectivity apart from us’ (Sire 1988:18)

Shepherd was into the ‘it feels’ subjectivity when she stated that the uncovering of every dirty secret and hints of new ones ‘feels unending, unendable’[4], and ‘it also feels as though giving any kind of helping hand to paedophiles is an insult to survivors’. This is an example of subjective emphasis.

The personal relationship to the world of external reality is seen in Shepherd’s statement that ‘under the Circles of Support and Accountability program’ volunteers would ‘support paedophiles … emotionally and practically to reintegrate into society’. This assumes that this will help them to be autonomously functioning paedophiles. Nothing is said here about the paedophile being cured of his disorder, disease, malfunction, or – dare I mention it – sin.

(b) Teaching on the nature of human beings

Are people only physical beings, highly complex machines, without a soul and spiritual dimension?

Shepherd points to ‘evidence’ of the possibility that ‘paedophiles are born that way’. So the nature of human beings is driven by the worldview of naturalism. Human beings are physical beings with ‘some faulty wiring in the brain’. Thus, when these physical beings are supposed to have ‘a protective response’ to children instead of ‘a sexual one’, it is because of bad wiring in the brain.

This brain development, according to the Toronto research, also is driven by naturalism as paedophilia is associated with being left-handed and lower IQ, ‘which indicates there’s a problem with brain development’.

It needs to be noted that naturalism, in philosophy, is ‘a theory that relates scientific method to philosophy by affirming that all beings and events in the universe (whatever their inherent character may be) are natural. Consequently, all knowledge of the universe falls within the pale of scientific investigation’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2016. S v naturalism).

The Virtuous Paedophile website (quoted by Shepherd) stated, ‘We do not choose to be attracted to children, and we cannot make that attraction go away’. This affirms the physical being dimension of paedophilia. Their view is that they can’t do anything about it as it is physically caused (genetic). This is further confirmed by the language, ‘We did not choose it, cannot change, and [we] successfully resist’ the ‘temptation to abuse children sexually’.

(c) Demonstrates a perspective on what is right and wrong

Are human beings made in the image of a good God whose character is righteous, or are right and wrong ‘determined by human choice alone, or the motions simply developed under an impetus toward cultural or physical survival’ (Sire 1988:18).

Shepherd raises that question that, like straight and gay people, paedophiles ‘can’t help being what they are’. However, she does speak of ‘every dirty secret’ being uncovered and ‘hints of new ones’ cropping up and this goes on and on. But there is no discussion of how one knows it is a dirty as opposed to a clean secret. She wants to disclose some aspect of what seems wrong or ‘dirty’, but no criteria for identification are given.

She mentions the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health study that found paedophiles are more likely to be left-handed and have lower IQ, thus indicating ‘a problem with brain development’. Then she draws the moral conclusion that this ‘would make it not their fault’ because it is physically caused by the brain. She did admit that ‘not all experts agree’, claiming ‘it’s genetic’ or ‘learned behaviour’ that could be ‘triggered by trauma or abuse’, but Shepherd did not get into discussion of right or wrong actions and what makes it morally one way or the other.

Then there is a push to try to differentiate ‘between a paedophile and a sexual offender’, which she claims is a ‘seldom-made distinction’. Here definition is that ‘it is possible to be deviant’ (presumably referring to a sex offender) and not deviant (‘attracted to children, but to never act on it’). I found it puzzling that no criteria were given to make this differentiation and then extending that to an understanding of how being attracted to children and thinking on children may lead to acting out paedophilic behaviour. This read like a relativistic attempt to explain and justify attraction to children.

In speaking of a USA based group, Virtuous Paedophiles,[5] Shepherd wrote, ‘I suspect the mere idea of a paedophile calling himself or herself virtuous will have the self-appointed virtue police shuddering in their jim jams, but it’s an interesting concept’ (Shepherd 2015). This is Shepherd’s judgmental, value-laden assessment of how those who oppose ‘virtuous paedophiles’ could respond. She wants to make a right vs wrong assessment against those who oppose any thought of a group of Virtuous Paedophiles. So, she is making a value judgment but her view is loaded with anti-conservative values. She judgmentally labelled those who opposed ‘virtuous paedophiles’ as ‘self-appointed virtue police’ whose behaviour is to shudder ‘in their jim jams’. She is the one who has morally decided it is suitable to engage in put-downs of those whose values she rebels against. To label them as ‘virtue police’ is an extremist, rebellious opinion.

Shepherd’s value judgments of right and wrong continued. She could not see politicians having the ‘will to spend the money’ to roll out a nationwide program to help paedophiles (and thus save children) as it ‘will never be a vote winner’. She adds that ‘only the brave and petrified’ would be courageous enough ‘to try to get help’. Her value judgment is that ‘shame and fear would stop most of them’. From where did she gain that information to reach that verdict?

She is not identifying the criteria for her to determine what is right or wrong. Her moral challenges continued: Financial compensation for the children sexually abused in institutional care and considering ‘the actual cost to society of the pervasive trauma’ were raised by Shepherd. There is no discussion here of the impact on the psyche, soul or spirit, although one has to read between the lines to see some possible hint with the language of ‘pervasive trauma’ – but that’s a remote indicator.

She wrote of ‘every dirty secret uncovered’ and hints of more cropping up. There was no indicator of how to know it was a ‘dirty secret’. If it is ‘not their fault’ (her language, borrowed from ‘recent research), to call it a ‘dirty secret’ is provocative, contradictory language in my understanding. A ‘dirty secret … (that is) not their fault’ is an oxymoron way of putting it.

What about this value judgment? ‘What if, for less than the price of helping one survivor to heal, we can stop several from being hurt in the first place?’ (Shepherd 2015). I ask: Why should one pursue that which is right when it is not the paedophile’s fault and morality is not the issue? Why should a paedophile be morally blamed when it is an issue with wiring in the brain? How does one choose to save children (which I would do) and prevent paedophiles from committing acts (which I would do)? It is honourable to choose the vulnerable over the perpetrator, but what values of right and wrong are being used and how are they chosen? Shepherd does not articulate these and give a moral framework for deciding right from wrong.

What morality is contained in Shepherd’s (2015) statement, ‘If paedophiles get sympathy, respect and treatment, they say, there would be fewer offences. Fewer children raped. Surely that’s something worth thinking about?’ I find that to be another oxymoron. How can they receive ‘respect and treatment’ if it is ‘not their fault’? Why not accept these values: If we let paedophiles do what comes naturally to them (because their paedophilia is not their fault), why should we be worrying about how they practise paedophilia? It’s their natural desire being expressed and surely it would be inappropriate to inhibit something they can do nothing about? The way I’ve just stated it represents the values of a relativistic worldview that is expressed in this article by Shepherd. If the paedophile can say, ‘I will think and do what is right for me’, he/she is expressing relativism in action.

This journalist reported on phone calls to the Centres Against Sexual Assault from ‘people fantasising about children’ and they want help but there is little help available and ‘hardly any publicly funded programs’ for these paedophiles who are ‘potential offenders’. So these people have to be turned away from getting help. Wait a moment! These are the paedophiles for whom it is ‘not their fault’ and the problem is related to a physical malfunction in the brain’s wiring over which they have no control. This is another oxymoron. They can’t have it both ways: (i) It’s not their fault; (ii) it’s caused by a brain problem, but (iii) they need help through government funded programmes.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is ‘only just starting to bring home the horror’ how ‘institutions have forever attracted and then protected paedophiles’. What makes child sexual abuse a ‘horror’ when this abuser is not the fault of paedophiles? The problem is wrong wiring in the brain (Shepherd 2015).

Can’t you see the anomalies of trying to obtain help for paedophiles and victims when a journalist wants to label childhood sexual abuse as a ‘horror’ without providing a framework of morality to determine that sexual abuse is wrong and the abuse by the paedophile is a ‘horror’? I do not support child sexual abuse nor the paedophile’s behaviour, but again we see the values of relativism in action as promoted by Shepherd in her article.

For a more detailed analysis of worldviews, see Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, ‘Questions about worldviews’ (Geisler & Bocchino 2001: 55-69).

Are values relative or absolute? This issue will be investigated now.

C. The paedophile cure

Three factors are exposed in Shepherd’s article: (1) Moral relativism, (2) Humanism, and (3) Secularism. The paedophile cure involves dealing with these three threats and promoting absolute truth. Let’s examine the issues.

1. Moral relativism

Moral relativists

argue that there are no objective moral values which help us to determine what is right or wrong. They claim “everything is relative.” In order to defend this position, the relativist puts forth two arguments: (1) Since people and cultures dis agree about morality, there are no objective moral values; (2) Moral relativism leads to tolerance of practices we may find different or odd (Beckwith 2009).

I find it to be a deceitful tactic to raise the expectation of a paedophile’s reputation to, ‘It is not their fault’, when not even bothering to explain how paedophilia and child sexual abuse can be regarded as wrong or ‘a horror’ (language cited by Shepherd). Please understand that I oppose paedophilia and child sexual abuse with vehemence, but Shepherd gave no grounds for determining what is right or wrong with these views. Moral relativism and secularism were assumed.

We live in a world that has many following the theme of Frank Sinatra’s song, ‘I Did It My Way. If I’m allowed to choose my own values and do it my way, I need to allow you to do it your way. That means paedophiles, rapists, terrorists and thieves need to be allowed to pursue their own morality. The logical outcome of moral relativism is that nobody can stop anyone from doing what they want to do. That system of values will lead to chaos in society. Could we be seeing that in certain examples around the world? I’m thinking of,

What is the other value system that counters this? Truth is absolute! What does that teach? More on that below.

2. Humanism

This term is a little more difficult to define as it has at least two dimensions. In one of its forms, ‘humanism itself is the overall attitude that human beings are of special value; their aspirations, their thoughts, their yearnings are significant’. This is an emphasis that I support as it asserts ‘the value of the individual person’. Since the time of the Renaissance there have been many thoughtful Christians and non-Christians who were pleased to call themselves humanists in a positive sense. These have included some Christians, including John Calvin (1509-1564), William Shakespeare (1564-1616), and John Milton (1608-1674) [Sire 1988:74-75].

There has been another negative view of humanism. Its tenets were drafted in Paul Kurtz & Edwin H Wilson’s Humanist Manifesto II (The American Humanist Association, 1973). Secular humanists would probably find the first 6 tenets of this Manifesto to harmonise with their secular values for the practice of secular humanism. In the words of the Preface to this Manifesto, ‘varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include “scientific,” “ethical,” “democratic,” “religious,” and “Marxist” humanism. Free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture, and liberal religion all claim to be heir to the humanist tradition’ (The American Humanist Association, 1973).

However, what is secular?

3. Secularism

What does it mean to have a secular view of life? Albert Mohler states that ‘secular refers to the absence of any binding divine authority or belief. Secularization is a sociological process whereby societies become less theistic as they become more modern’ (Mohler 2015:5).

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies claims that ‘Australia is and has always been a country with secular values’ (Harrad 2015). We know that this is not the case because when the first fleet arrived in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 with convicts from Great Britain, Richard Johnson was the first chaplain on The Endeavour and he represented the Anglican Church of Great Britain.

(image courtesy Wikipedia)

Rev Richard Johnson (ca. 1756 – 1827)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were to go into downtown Sydney, there’s a place where I would like you to stand.

clip_image004It’s down at the Circular Quay end of Castlereagh street – on the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets. In a little square, there’s a monument – passed by and unread by hundreds of people every day.

Imagine you are standing in that spot, but instead of looking up at the tall buildings, and hearing the noise of the cars and the buses, above you is a great tree. You are in a wilderness – and the sounds you hear are the sounds of kookaburras – and the sounds of marching feet. For it is very near that spot – at the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets – that, on Sunday 3rd February 1788, the first Christian church service was held in the Colony of New South Wales.

Just imagine it… Out in the harbour are moored eleven ships – the ships of the First Fleet, having carried just over a thousand people from Southampton.

There’s the Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip, twenty officials and their servants, 213 marines with some wives and children, more than 750 convicts – one chaplain and his wife – as well as one eternal optimist – a certain James Smith, the man who had actually stowed away on the First Fleet! (Marcus Loane, Hewn from the Rock, 1997-2016).

clip_image005

(photo courtesy Anglican Church League)

Marcus Loane explained the conflict between evangelical Christian values and secularism in the start of the Australian colony.

In 1792, he [Richard Johnson] wrote to the inhabitants of the Colony. It was a booklet he had published because the population of the Colony was increasing, and there was no way he could see everyone … so he wrote this booklet to set forth the gospel and to call upon men and women to repent. This is a part of what he wrote, and it gives us a good insight into what Johnson saw was his task and his message….

I have told you again and again, that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that there is no coming to God with comfort, either in this world, or in that which is to come, but by him. He has told you so himself. And the apostle assures you, that there is no other name under heaven, given unto men, whereby they can be saved. Look unto him, and you shall be saved; if not, you must be damned. This is the plain truth, the express declaration of the Bible. Life and death are set before you.

Permit me then, as your minister, your friend, and a well-wisher to your souls, to press these serious and weighty considerations home upon your consciences once more. I hope and believe that I have asserted nothing, but what can be proved by the highest authority, the word of the living God.

They certainly deserve your closest and most careful attention, since it is plain beyond a doubt. that upon your knowledge or ignorance, your acceptance or rejection of this gospel, your everlasting happiness or misery must depend.

Yes, Richard Johnson was a man of the gospel – but there are two other men of whom we should take note –

Two other Men

The clear preaching of the gospel by Johnson soon brought him into conflict with the Governor, Arthur Phillip.

Phillip had no time for such strong Evangelical stuff and asked Johnson to “begin with moral subjects”.

This shows the fundamental division between these two key people in the new colony. Johnson was an evangelical, called to preach the gospel. He was concerned for the eternal welfare of the men and women of the colony. He wanted to see them turn to Christ and be saved.

Phillip, on the other hand, was called to establish the new settlement, and what he was concerned about was good order and a solid moral fibre for the community. He was happy to use what he saw as “religion” as a means to an end. It was OK to have a chaplain, as long as he didn’t take things too seriously.

But, as we know, Johnson did….

Let’s face it – if we preach the pure gospel of Christ today, we are not going to have civic leaders or social commentators or the media queuing up to thank us. The message we are called to proclaim is a lot more demanding than the polite morality many want to church to teach!

But there was another reaction to Richard Johnson’s preaching that was less favourable.

When, due to ill health, Arthur Phillip returned to England in December 1792, Major Francis Grose assumed control as Acting Governor.

Grose hated Johnson and the gospel he preached, and he set out to make life as hard as possible for the Chaplain.

In 1793, after continued government inaction on the construction of a promised church building, Mr Johnson built a church – largely with his own hands. It was big enough to hold 500 people and it opened on 25th August 1793 (Loane 1997-2016).

Yes, there were secularists with the first fleet who wanted to promote their agendas and oppose the faithful, evangelical chaplain, Richard Johnson, who planted biblical Christianity at Australia’s beginning. The result is that today the evangelicals have a large Anglican evangelical diocese in Sydney. The Bible Society reported:

In the Anglican Church, the presence of the evangelical diocese of Sydney makes things clear. Unlike other dioceses, it is the only one with better than expected attendance, according to the report’s criteria based on Census data.

In Sydney, 68,000 Anglicans are in church each Sunday. In Melbourne 21,000 Anglicans are in church on Sunday. It was pointed out at General Synod … that the growing churches were evangelical such as City on a Hill in Melbourne, and the Trinity group of churches in Adelaide (Sandeman 2014).

You will note in the Shepherd (2015) article that she does not provide any worldview framework for determining that the practice of paedophilia is wrong or a ‘horror’ and the sexual abuse of children is wrong. God did not come into the picture in determining values, so she is promoting a secular perspective for determining values. When this happens, the morals are determined by the government in power and there is no divine standard to which one or a government can appeal for determining morality and what is legal vs illegal.

My understanding is that Shepherd, in relying on the research she quoted, has arrived at an ethical view of paedophilia that could be described as relativistic secular humanism. However, Shepherd is espousing a view that I find prevalent in the daily radio & TV news and news online. The emphases are:

flamin-arrow-small The are no absolute values of right and wrong;

flamin-arrow-small Progressive liberalism and free thought;

flamin-arrow-small Belief about paedophilia that has no relationship with God’s values;

flamin-arrow-small Paedophilia related to a physical attribute – wiring in the brain.

In avoiding a Christian solution through a theistic worldview (which is expected from a secular newspaper journalist), Shepherd has avoided dealing with a core issue that could help fix the problem.

That is also the case with Kylie Miller’s assessment. She is a senior analyst of the National Crime Authority in Australia, who concluded her presentation on ‘Paedophilia: Police and Prevention’ with this viewpoint:

Given the very low rehabilitation rate for paedophiles, their tendency towards lifelong offending, and the high number of potential victims, it is clear that the resources expended on the detection of child sexual abuse, need to be balanced against resources devoted to the prevention of child sexual abuse. Although law enforcement plays an important role in detecting and countering child sexual abuse, the criminal justice system cannot deal with this problem alone: it needs to be tackled holistically. Police, lawyers, the courts, community services, teachers, doctors, parents and the media all have a role to play in countering child sexual abuse, and a cooperative and coordinated effort is vital to successfully reduce paedophile activity (Miller n d).[6]

Miller, although her emphasis was on a law enforcement perspective, in this summary conclusion has omitted an important dimension of a holistic solution. This is now addressed.

4. A diagnosis and cure provided by a Christian worldview

Scripture is very clear that the problem of sinful humanity, with its many manifestations, has to deal with a deceitful human heart that not only affects paedophiles, writers dealing with paedophilia, and those of us reading this article on paedophiles. In addition, the problem of sexual immorality is a sin that is an unrighteous action that will prohibit people from entering God’s kingdom. The language from 1 Corinthians 6:9 is very clear, ‘Do not be deceived’. There is a deception being practised when one does not want to deal with the sins of sexual immorality (including paedophilia). See the context of this statement about deception in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV).

Try convincing a 5-year-old raped by a paedophile that it’s not the paedophile’s fault but the paedophile was born that way and he can’t help it because of a brain malfunction. I find this to be straining at a gnat to justify immoral, wicked, devastating behaviour.

Scripture’s perspective is:

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV).

Where does the paedophile fit into this list of ‘wrongdoers’? He would be among ‘the sexually immoral’ or ‘men who have sex with men’. The ‘sexually immoral’ term is based on the Greek, pornos, which means ‘the sexually immoral persons in this world … differentiated from an adulterer ( 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4)’ (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:700).

I find it to be half-baked or whacko when the world’s standards can become such that they want to redefine sexually immoral behaviour into that ‘which would make it not their fault’ and ‘if paedophiles got sympathy, respect and treatment, they say, there would be fewer offences. Fewer children raped. Surely that’s something worth thinking about?’ (Shepherd 2015)

Yes, it’s certainly worth thinking about for one second and no more and then dumping the idea because it is right off base when compared with a biblical worldview of the cause of sexual perversion, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)

Where is the cure? It is through a heart change, an inner change of one’s being, that brings a change of view towards the nature of human beings, the human dilemma, right versus wrong, and how the Lord God is involved in the change process through Jesus Christ. Let’s examine some of these emphases:

flamin-arrow-small Psalm 51:10 (NIV), ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me’.

flamin-arrow-small Proverbs 4:23 (NIV), ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’.

flamin-arrow-small 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV), ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[7] The old has gone, the new is here!’

flamin-arrow-small Colossians 3:1 (NIV), ‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God’.

What does ‘heart’ mean in the Old Testament Scriptures here cited? In Psalm 51:10, ‘“Heart” is in the Hebrew the center where thoughts and plans originate. This is to be redone, as is also the spirit of the man [human being] himself, which had wavered in uncertainty and vacillated between hope and despair’ (Leupold 1959:405).

That new creation for every person, including the paedophile, requires acknowledgement of the real problem. It is not primarily a wiring in the brain issue, it is a sinful human heart. See the article by Greg Herrick, ‘The Seat of Sin, the Heart’ (Herrick 2004). But a relativistic secular humanist will run a mile from wanting to label the paedophile’s problem sin. But that’s exactly what it is. If researchers spent more time on allowing the Gospel to be proclaimed to paedophiles and then those who responded to be discipled, we should get closer to the cure. However, it still leaves us with punishment in prison for those who do not respond to Christ’s salvation. For them, there is no cure and they will have to be constantly monitored whenever they are out of jail. That’s the sad situation we face with paedophile back-sliders (recidivists)

The Christian worldview difference that provides a diagnosis and cure for the paedophile problem, which is the problem for any sinner, is covered in my summary article, The Content of the Gospel . . . and some discipleship.

However, don’t expect a secular audience to accept this diagnosis.

5. Sin and an antagonistic, secular, Australian culture

The rejection of the Christian diagnosis is seen in what happened to a Christian street preacher on Queensland’s Gold Coast in December 2015. Family Voice Australia covered the story:

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A member of Operation 513 preaches in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast (photo courtesy Family Voice Australia, 7 December 2015).

George, a Queensland street preacher with the Operation 513 group, was arrested on Friday night, despite being authorised to assemble and preach peacefully in the Surfers Paradise Cavill Mall under the state’s Peaceful Assembly Act. Operation 513 had preached in Cavill Mall on several previous occasions without any complaints.

At about 10.30 pm, a police sergeant approached George and told him to “move on” after he had mentioned some sins listed in the Bible (eg 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) – such as adultery, slander, theft, greed, swindling and homosexual conduct.

George and the group organiser Ryan Hemelaar asked for clarification.  The female sergeant said (in part): “You have talked about homosexuality, offending members of the public about homosexuality.  You are talking about other religions – [saying] that they aren’t right, aren’t God’s way.  Now we have members of the public here who are of other religions. Your words over this speaker are causing anxiety. A member of the public has had a go at you and this man here [George] is antagonising him by quoting [from the Bible] in the opposite of what he is trying to say.”

Ryan Hemelaar tried in vain to explain that the group had official authorisation, so that under section 45 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, police could not lawfully give a “move on” order.

An acting senior police sergeant and an inspector then arrived and told George to move on immediately or be arrested.  George refused to move on. He was handcuffed and arrested for disobeying a police direction. He was later released and  issued with a notice to appear in court later this month.

Family Voice Queensland director Geoffrey Bullock is deeply concerned by the police action.

“Since when has it been an offence to discuss Bible teaching in Queensland?” he asked. “Whatever happened to religious freedom?  Are we rapidly becoming a ‘police state’?” (Family Voice Australia 2016)

I don’t expect that a relativistic, secular humanist perspective like that promoted in Shepherd’s article will want to be open to the biblical worldview in this article because ‘the heart is deceitful’ for paedophiles, paedophile researchers, journalists, and me. Without changed hearts, we’ll be seeking all kinds of secular alibis to explain or justify sinful behaviour.

D. What makes paedophilia immoral and unlawful?

Notice how a secular, anti-Christian expresses it crudely and blasphemously online. The topic was, ‘What does the Bible say about pedophilia?’[8] This person wrote:

Bugger what the bible says or does’nt (sic) say. IT’S WHAT WE BELIEVE IS RIGHT OR NOT AND IT’S NOT. Believe it or not we live in a different century to when the bible was written and we deal with things according to the current bible which is the book of law and common ethics.[9]

That’s a crude, moral relativist’s way of expressing it. However, the fact remains that for paedophilia to be immoral, there has to be an absolute law of right or wrong. ‘It’s what we believe is right or not’ is not the way to build a just society. That’s the means of promoting moral relativism of all people doing what’s right in their own eyes.

We had an example of such in the Old Testament: ‘In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes’ (Judges 17:6; 21:25 NLT). What was the result? They departed from the Lord God and made ‘household gods’ and ordained priests to lead worship to these false gods (Judges 17:5 NIV). There were no judges in the land of Israel to point out the wrong and how this behaviour deviated from God’s law. There were no judges in the land of Israel to point out the wrong and how this behaviour deviated from God’s law.

The essence is: For paedophilia to be unlawful, there needs to be laws made by the governments to convict paedophiles. Here are the laws proposed by the Australian state of New South Wales, as reported by Brittany Hughes of Triple M:

Paedophiles who prey on children younger than 10 for sexual intercourse will face life behind bars under new laws to be introduced to NSW Parliament….

Attorney General Gabrielle Upton will introduce legislation increasing the maximum penalty for the offence from 25 years to life behind bars.

The proposal is part of a series of measures taken by the government following a pre-election promise by Premier Mike Baird to get tough on child sex offenders.

If passed, Ms Upton says the laws will see paedophiles hit with lengthy jail terms and “bring sentences into line with community expectations,”

“These are the worst crimes against the most vulnerable in our community, our children, our young people and too often sentences handed down don’t align with community expectation” (Hughes 2015, emphasis in original).

This NSW legislation was passed on 24 June 2015 that increased the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under age 10 from 25 years to life in prison (Mamamia News 2015)

How do the laws in my home state of Queensland (Qld) against paedophilia compare with other states. Sadly there is no uniformity of legislation across the Australia. However, this is the Qld situation when compared with Victoria and South Australia:

In Victoria the crime of sex with a child under 10 attracts a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment.

In Queensland and South Australia, many serious sex offences against children already carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment (Mamamia News 2015).

The Queensland government has made available online a copy of its Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 (effective at 19 March 2014 when this legislation was published online), that states that ‘criminal activity’, including criminal paedophilia, ‘involves an indictable offence punishable on conviction by a term of imprisonment not less than 14 years’ (Queensland: Crime and Misconduct Act 2001).

Paedophilia is illegal because the law of the country in which one lives makes it illegal, along with punishment for the perpetrator.

However, who or what informs the content of this legislation? Obviously people in government and in the community consider that it is wrong for an adult to sexually violate a child. But what makes it wrong?

That’s not how Tory Shepherd (2015) reported it. Her article began with:

Evidence shows that it might be true; paedophiles are born that way. Recent research suggests some faulty wiring in the brain. Things about children that are meant to elicit a protective response instead elicit a sexual one (Shepherd 2015).

Notice the language, ‘It might be true’. It did not begin with a statement such as, ‘Paedophilia is wrong. The law of the land states that it is morally reprehensible behaviour that is always immoral. It is an indictable offense and that conduct should never be tolerated in a civil society. Children should be protected from such vile predators’. Could you imagine a journalist in a secular newspaper writing what I created in this paragraph?

Why could she not conclude that way? It seems that her relativistic, secular humanism worldview enables her to brush aside the absolutes of morally repulsive paedophilia because if it is a problem with ‘wiring in the brain’, then it ‘would make it not their fault’ (Shepherd 2015).

What is morally right or wrong does not appear in Shepherd’s worldview, based on her article.

1. What informs government legislation?

This is where the crunch comes. Can people be good without God? Can they develop truly just legislation for all in society? Is it possible for both paedophile and victim to be treated with compassion in a secular society?

Peter Hitchens, a world renowned journalist and brother of the late Christopher Hitchens (leading British columnist and prominent atheist), attempted to address this in his article, ‘Good without God? Morality’s Foundations Crumble in the Absence of Christianity’ (Hitchens 2014). Peter’s claim was that Christopher’s dismissal of absolute theistic morality and his claim that ‘the order to “love thy neighbour as thyself” is too extreme and too strenuous to be obeyed’. Christopher claimed that human beings ‘are not so constituted as to care for others as much as themselves’. Peter contradicted this as being ‘demonstrably untrue’ by examples of mothers devoted to children, doctors and nurses risking infection and death to care for others, husbands and/or wives caring for sick, incontinent and demented spouses at the ends of their lives. Peter noted that ‘the absolute code has been jettisoned, and we have all become adept at making excuses for shirking such duties’ and ‘selflessness of this kind will become less common’ with many spin-off effects in diverse disciples and situations. Part of his assessment was:

Christianity is without doubt difficult and taxing, and all of us must fail to emulate the perfection of Christ himself, but we are far better for trying than for not trying, and we know that there is forgiveness available for honest failure. My brother’s suggestion that we are urged to be superhuman “on pain of death and torture” reveals a misunderstanding both of the nature of the commandments and of the extent of forgiveness. There is also some excuse-making involved (Peter Hitchins 2014).

Some of the comments online about Peter Hitchens’ article included:

  • ‘The freedom to pick and choose what one feels is appropriate provides both perspective and flexability [sic] (tolerance and harmony). A fixed or ‘absolute’ stance leaves no room for compromise or accommodation’ (GR8APE in Hitchens 2014).
  • ‘I think this article is wrestling with how do you say something is right or wrong if there is no higher authority or giver of morality?
    ‘I don’t think it is saying that unless you are a Christian you cannot do good things. Indeed, the gospel says nothing of the sort. It says we are all sinners and have fallen short. Unlike every other religion, the gospel says we are not saved by works, we are saved by the grace of God, so no one can boast. It also says we all know right from wrong, not because we have accepted Christ, but because He has written it on all our hearts’ (Belinda in Hitchens 2014).

These two comments represent the divide I’ve been attempting to expose in this article:

  1. If everyone has the ‘freedom to pick and choose what one feels is appropriate’ with tolerance and harmony and there are no ‘fixed’ absolutes, why should I choose ‘tolerance and harmony’? That’s one person’s point of view (I happen to agree with the person, but my foundation is biblical Christianity). If anyone picks and chooses what is appropriate, the paedophile, murderer, thief and terrorist must be allowed to do the same thing. This is relativism in action and will lead to disaster in society.
  2. However, the second example demonstrates the need for a higher authority than human beings to determine right and wrong of morals. God has written this on the conscience of all human beings (see Romans 2:15-16 ESV).. To be able to put this into action, a person needs a changed heart that only Christian conversion can bring. Other attempts at doing good works are sustained by human energy and have a serious potential to fail when there is no change of heart that Jesus brings to a Christian believer.

Romans 1:19-23 (NIV) is clear that all human beings know the attributes of God clearly, but they suppress the truth of this ‘by their wickedness’ (Rom 1:18). The consequence of this is that there is no such person as an atheist as all people know ‘God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature’ from creation and all people are ‘without excuse’ (Rom 1:20) So those who claim to be atheists are really agnostics who don’t want to know what God has revealed to them because of ‘their wickedness’ which causes them to ‘suppress the truth’ of God’s revelation to them (Rom 1:18).

From the beginning of time, there have been two options for moral direction in any society and they are demonstrated by those two examples: (1) Human beings choose their own values and this could involve turning to world religions (including relativistic, secular humanism), or (2) People turn to the God of Scripture for his absolutes on moral behaviour and use these values for personal and societal morals.

This leads to my concluding evaluation, an issue that has faced humanity throughout its history:

2. What is truth?

These are the words of Pontius Pilate at the time when Jesus was handed over to him. Pilate said to Jesus, ‘“So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”’ (John 18:37-38 ESV).

The Christian answers this question with what Jesus said. He did not want his disciples taken out of the world but that they be kept from the evil one. Thus his absolute is paramount, ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth’ (John 17:17). Jesus’ further word was in what he said to Thomas, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). What the Scriptures say is true, is absolutely true. ‘You shall not murder’ is true for all people at all times (Ex 20:13; Matt 5:21; Rom 13:9). How is that so? The Scriptures endorse that command. There are two covenants revealed in Scripture: (a) The Old Covenant for the Israelites, contained in the Old Testament, and (b) The New Covenant revealed in the New Testament. Christians pursue the New Covenant.

But what about the other view, ‘I will do what’s right for me; you do what’s right for you’. This is a relativistic view of truth and has these consequences according to Paul Copan:

  • If my belief is only true for me, then why isn’t your belief only true for you? Aren’t you saying you want me to believe the same thing you do?
  • You say that no belief is true for everyone, but you want everyone to believe what you do.
  • You’re making universal claims that relativism is true and absolutism is false. You can’t in the same breath say, ‘Nothing is universally true’ and ‘My view is universally true.’ Relativism falsifies itself. It claims there is one position that is true – relativism!
  • You’re applying your view to everyone but yourself. You expect others to believe your views (the ‘self-excepting fallacy’) [Copan 1998].

How then does one determine what is true?

This actually happened when I was aged 6 years. I had just begun primary school and used to walk to our one room, one teacher school, with about 6 grades in the one room, from our cane farm just up the road. One morning I woke up with horrific pains in my knees and ankles which were so swollen and painful that I could not bear to have the sheets touch them.

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(Ford Prefect A493A utility – photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.com)

My parents rushed me to hospital from our cane farm near Bundaberg. It took 30 minutes in our old Ford Prefect utility to where I was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital (now known as The Friendly Society Private Hospital – the Friendlies – Bundaberg, Qld., Australia). I was there for some weeks as the doctors sought a diagnosis. It was there that Thelma Stay, radio announcer of ‘Hello the Hospitals’ on 4BU Bundaberg became my friend as parents, relatives and friends sent me get well greetings through that programme and one of my favourite country music songs was sung – often by Slim Dusty with a song such as, ‘When the rain tumbles down in July’.

I had contracted rheumatic fever and must remain in bed, flat on my back, not raising my head as that would cause further heart damage. When home from hospital, my Dad made a special wooden trestle to put over my body as I lay on the bed, on which to place school books to do school work.

This same kind of experience happened again with further bouts of rheumatic fever at ages 10 and 12 that left me with leaking heart valves.

These descriptions of my rheumatic fever attacks and the excruciating pain remain with me today in my mature age. I live with the truth that corresponds with reality of three rheumatic fever attacks. I can make truthful statements about what happened in those years that could be confirmed by my parents (they are at home with the Lord now). My brother and sister can confirm the events that happened. They were younger so they probably remember the bouts at ages 10 and 12 better. However, with plausible accuracy, we can remember the health issues that happened in my early years. There is evidence that could have been accumulated from doctors, hospitals and others. We live with this view of truth – that which corresponds with the facts of reality.

If objective truth were not available (through correspondence with the facts) and the absolutes of God’s moral laws in Scripture were denied, society would be swimming in the sea of relativism with no absolute view of right and wrong.

For a more detailed explanation of the nature of truth, see, ‘Questions about Truth’ by Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino (Geisler & Bocchino 2001:31-53).

E. Conclusion

A seemingly inoffensive article appeared in the Herald Sun in April 2015 that promoted the view that ‘if people are born straight, or gay, is it possible that paedophiles can’t help being what they are?’ (Shepherd 2015) She introduced the possibility that research into paedophilia has attempted to confirm that for paedophiles they have some faulty wiring in the brain that ‘would make it not their fault’.

A closer look at Tory Shepherd’s article found some other dynamics in the agenda being promoted in the article. After defining paedophilia and revealing why it is a crime, several examples of convicted paedophiles were given and this included acknowledgement of the impact on victims.

After explaining the nature of a worldview and the dimensions of such a view, it was shown that Shepherd appears to promote a worldview of relativistic secular humanism. An attempt was made to demonstrate that that worldview misses a critical diagnosis and cure for paedophilia and other sins, that are available through a Christian worldview. The diagnosis and cure relate to dealing with the heart of the matter, the sinful heart that needs a radical change provided by the Gospel and a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The final section examined why paedophilia is immoral and unlawful and how one informs the content of government legislation. This involved an examination of the nature of truth – relativism versus absolutes. Truth is that which corresponds with reality when the evidence is gathered.

Why are people not listening to the truth of Jesus and God’s absolutes revealed in Scripture? ‘But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness’ (Rom 1:18 NLT).

Jesus said: ‘The reason I was born and

came into the world is to testify to the

truth. Everyone on the side of truth

listens to me’ (John 18:37 NIV).

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Works consulted

Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature.[10] Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).

Beckwith, F J 2009. Philosophical problems with moral relativism. Christian Research Institute (online), April 6. Available at: http://www.equip.org/article/philosophical-problems-with-moral-relativism/ (Accessed 26 January 2016).

Branco, J 2016. Convicted paedophile who raped stepdaughter to be watched until 2021. Brisbane Times (online), January 17. Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/convicted-paedophile-who-raped-stepdaughter-to-be-watched-until-2021-20160115-gm6xat.html (Accessed 17 January 2016).

Campion, T 2013. Tommy Campion and Phillip Aspinall – the road to redemption. news.com.au (online), May 25. Available at: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/tommy-campion-and-phillip-aspinall-the-road-to-redemption/story-fnii5s3x-1226650281095 (Accessed 16 January 2016).

Copan, P 1998. That’s true for you but not for me’ (Relativism). uccf: thechristianunions (online). Available at bethinking, at: http://www.bethinking.org/truth/thats-true-for-you-but-not-for-me-relativism (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Family Voice Australia 2016. Gold Coast preacher arrested for talking about sin (online), December 7. Available at: http://www.fava.org.au/news/2015/gold-coast-preacher-arrested-for-talking-about-sin/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Geisler, N & Bocchino, P 2001. Unshakable foundations. Bloomington, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers.

Harrad, S 2015. Australian Humanist Conference – Brisbane 2016. Council of Australian Humanist Societies (online), September 28. Available at: http://www.humanist.org.au/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Herrick, G 2004. The seat of sin, the heart. Bible.org (online), June 9. Available at: https://bible.org/seriespage/3-seat-sin-heart (Accessed 29 January 2016).

Hitchens, P 2014. Good without God? Morality’s foundations crumble in the absence of Christianity. ABC Religion and Ethics (online), December 3. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/12/03/4141760.htm (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Hughes, B 2015. Paedophiles who prey on kids under 10 to get life in jail: Laws tightened to crack down on offenders. Triple M (online), May 11. Available at: http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/news/blog/2015/5/paedophiles-who-prey-on-kids-under-10-to-get-life-in-jail/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Kaplan, M 2015. Taking pedophilia seriously. Washington and Lee Law Review (online), 72(1), Winter, 75-170. Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4438&context=wlulr (Accessed 16 January 2016).

Lawrence, K 2009. Inside the mind of evil predator, convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson. The Daily Telegraph (online), September 19. Available at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/inside-the-mind-of-evil-predator-convicted-paedophile-dennis-ferguson/story-e6freuy9-1225776838465 (Accessed 15 January 2016).

Leupold, H C 1959. Exposition of The Psalms. London: Evangelical Press.[11]

Loane, M 1997-2016. Hewn from the Rock. In ‘Richard Johnson – first Chaplain to Australia’, Anglican Church League (online). Available at: http://acl.asn.au/resources/richard-johnson-first-chaplain-to-australia/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Mamamia News 2015. New laws mean life in prison for convicted paedophiles, June 25. Available at: http://www.mamamia.com.au/paedophiles-maximum-penalty/ (Accessed 30 January 2016).

McKenna, M 2010. Aussie pedophile’s jail sentence a fraction of US term. The Australian (online), September 9. Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/aussie-pedophiles-jail-sentence-a-fraction-of-us-term/story-e6frg6nf-1225916110205 (Accessed 16 January 2016).

Miller, K n d. Paedophilia: Policy and prevention. Detection and reporting of paedophilia: A law enforcement perspective. Australian Institute of Criminology (online). Available at: http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/conferences/paedophilia/miller.pdf (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Mohler, Jr., R A 2015. We Cannot Be Silent. Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson Books.

Sandeman, J 2014. Two Australian denominations face big challenges. Bible Society (online), July 11. Available at: http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/two-australian-denominations-face-big-challenges (Accessed 30 January 2016).

Seto, M C 2012. Is pedophilia a sexual orientation? Archives of Sexual Behavior 41, 231-236.[12]

Shepherd, T 2015, Should we help paedophiles? What choice do we have? The Herald Sun (online) April 7. Available at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/rendezview/should-we-help-paedophiles-what-choice-do-we-have/news-story/8bdfbee176a10520706f67c19a3bb8fd (Accessed 15 January 2016).

Sire, J 1988. The Universe Next Door: A Basic World View Catalog, b updated & exp. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Notes


[1] Throughout the body of this article, I have used the Australian (British) spelling of paedophile and its derivatives, but have used the American spelling, pedophile, in the title for Internet recognition by search engines.

[2] Dr Michael C Seto is a Canadian clinical psychologist, associate professor, and a director of forensic rehabilitation research. His CV details are at: http://individual.utoronto.ca/michaelseto/ (Accessed 16 January 2016).

[3] Bravehearts 2012. Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics, December. Available at: http://www.bravehearts.org.au/files/Facts%20and%20Stats_updated141212.pdf (Accessed 15 January 2016).

[4] The word ‘unendable’ was not found in Oxford dictionaries (online), Merriam-Webster dictionary (online), dictionary.reference.com, and The Macquarie Dictionary. There is a brief discussion of the meaning and use of ‘unendable’ at: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/unendable.2351375/ (Accessed 26 January 2016).

[5] This is not the correct spelling as paedophile in the USA where the group is called ‘Virtuous Pedophiles’. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuous_Pedophiles (Accessed 15 January 2016).

[6] No date is given for this presentation, but she cites statistics from 1994 and footnotes from 1996.

[7] The footnote at this point stated, ‘Or Christ, that person is a new creation’.

[8] Yahoo! Answers n d. Available at: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070703010944AAI5VAc (Accessed 17 January 2016).

[9] Ibid., knackers

[10] This is ‘a translation and adaptation of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wörtbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur’, 4th rev and aug ed, 1952 (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:iii).

[11] This is a 1969 reprint edition. The original publication of 1959 was with The Wartburg Press, assigned to Augsburg Publishing House in 1961.

[12] Only the abstract of the article is able free online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-011-9882-6#page-1 (Accessed 16 January 2016).

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 May 2016.

Please do not support same-sex marriage

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Close Up Of Happy Lesbian Coup...
(courtesy dreamstime)
Young Couple In The Park
(courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

In 2014-2015, Senator David Leyonhjelm in the Australian federal Senate has been promoting a Bill to legalise same-sex marriage (with support from other politicians). It was reported: ‘Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm introduces same-sex marriage bill’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, November 26, 2014). The Sydney Morning Herald also provided information on ‘the surprise visitor [Senator Cory Bernardi] at David Leyonhjelm’s gay marriage press conference’ (SMH March 19, 2015). What has happened to the Bill? Leyonhjelm told Sky News that he expected the Bill to be debated in federal parliament in 2016. See, ‘Gay marriage vote in 2016 says Leyonhjelm’ (Sky News, 2 June 2015).

I wrote to the Queensland Senators to provide evidence why they should not support homosexual marriage. I wrote as a Queensland elector, one who has been a counsellor and/or counselling manager for 34 years, and someone who isnot a homophobe.

Reasons not to support homosexual marriage

I urged the Senators not to support or promote this legislation for these reasons:

1. While there have been widows and single parents since the beginning of time, the marriage of a man and woman has been the norm to have the potential to produce children naturally. To change this is to change a necessary fundamental of society.

2. To go down the road of same-sex marriage would be a potentially dangerous social experiment in Australia for the following reasons:

One of those is the impact on children born to surrogates and then parented by a same-sex couple. Too often, the man who donated the sperm or the woman who donated the ovum is not known to the child. Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states: ‘The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents’. All children, wherever possible, have the right to know and they need both mother and father. Such is not possible with many homosexual couples where there are children.

3. All is not well with children from some homosexual parents. On 19 March 2015, The Courier-Mail published the article, ‘Heather Barwick, the daughter of lesbians, against gay marriage, defends Dolce & Gabbana’. Part of what she wrote was:

“I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think. It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself,” she said. “Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mum’s partner, but another mum could never have replaced the father I lost.”

‘Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognise the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me,” she said. “It’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting”.

(Male same-sex couple with a child, courtesy Wikipedia)

 

A new study of children raised by homosexual parents by sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin reverses the conventional academic understanding that such children are not at a disadvantage when compared to children raised by a married mother and father. The article in the journal, Social Science Research, has found that ‘the children of homosexuals did worse (or, in the case of their own sexual orientation, were more likely to deviate from the societal norm) on 77 out of 80 outcome measures. (The only exceptions: children of “gay fathers” were more likely to vote; children of lesbians used alcohol less frequently; and children of “gay fathers” used alcohol at the same rate as those in intact biological families)’.[1]

This newer study contradicts earlier research which was reported in, ‘Children of same-sex couples thriving: study’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, April 6, 2013).

Therefore, the same-sex relationship, even in marriage, does not have the same dynamics as those for the man-woman relationship and may have detrimental consequences on children and our society as the following points illustrate.

4. The rectum is not designed for sexual penetration; the vagina is. Anal sex is a high risk sexual activity. One of the many hazards is the vulnerability of the tissues to tearing and bleeding. Damage can be done to the sphincter muscles that may lead to incontinence and rectal prolapse. There is a high level of organisms that may cause disease in the rectum. Do you want these medical issues to be added to the already overloaded Medicare system?

5. Some research has shown that the risk for transmission of HIV is higher for anal sex than for vaginal sex. This report from 2008, “Inequitable Impact: The HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men in Massachusetts“, demonstrates the increased HIV rate among MSM (men having sex with men) in Massachusetts

6. Please read this assessment by Brian Camenker in 2008 of “What same-sex marriage has done to Massachusetts: It’s far worse than most people realize“. Examine the impact in Massachusetts on education in schools right down to the primary school level. Observe how it influences public health, increased domestic violence, business, the legal profession, adoption of children, Government mandates, the public square and the mass media.

Diagram showing stage 1 anal cancer CRUK 189.svg(diagram anal cancer, stage 1, courtesy Wikipedia)

 

7. The anal cancer problem. ‘For HIV-positive Gay Men, the risk is even further elevated. In a recent meta-analysis of all studies describing anal cancer incidence in Gay Men living with HIV, it was reported that anal cancer incidence increased to 78-100 per 100,000 per year in reports published after 1996. These data demonstrate that the incidence of anal cancer is increasing in HIV-positive men, despite the improved general health associated with effective HIV therapies.

The incidence of anal cancer in men and women who identify as heterosexual and have HIV is about 20 per 100,000’ (Submission, June 2014, ‘Anal Cancer-Diagnosis, Monitoring and Management in Sydney and South East Sydney Local Health Districts’, Positive Life NSW).

So, the occurrence in anal cancer for homosexual men is 4-5 times higher than for heterosexual men and women. Marriage is not likely to stop this incidence in the homosexual population, but Senators should be promoting the message in Parliament and to the mass media that the homosexual lifestyle has some deleterious medical consequences.

Another report on anal cancer indicated that ‘in the general population, anal cancer is a rare disease…. Among men who have sex with men (MSM), the incidence of anal cancer is significantly more prevalent and increasing annually’ (National lgbt Cancer Network, ‘Anal Cancer, HIV and Gay/Bisexual Men’, 2013).

8. The foundation of Australia’s healthy democracy and laws has been built on a Christian worldview that promotes heterosexual marriage for the health of the nation, which states that ‘a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). Jesus Christ affirmed heterosexuality for the norm of society when he repeated the Genesis mandate, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ (Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). If Australia moves away from this foundational law for a just and fair family, it will be violating a fundamental of Australia’s national cultural health.

In light of these details, I urge all politicians not to vote for any Bill that legalises homosexual marriage.

Notes:


[1] Mark Regnerus 2012, ‘How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study’, Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4, July, pp. 752-770. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610 (Accessed 21 March 2015, emphasis in original).

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 2 December 2015.

What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Marriage cover photo

Courtesy Salt Shakers (Christian ministry)

By Spencer D Gear

Those who oppose a Christian view of homosexuality often come up with some interesting provocative resistance. Here is one I encountered on an online Christian forum:

There is no justification for a proscription against homosexuality as a “moral” law, although as a practical matter, it may have been forbidden as a violation of the stricture to “be fruitful and multiply”.

What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality?[1]

My response was:[2]

There was no need for Jesus to make a direct statement against homosexuality because He had established the boundaries of sexuality.  What He spoke clearly about was sexuality in general. Of marriage, Jesus stated, ‘At the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate’ (Matthew 19:4–6).

Jesus here cited from Genesis and the relationship of Adam and Eve and affirmed God’s design for marriage and sexuality. It was heterosexual and not homosexual as Genesis 2:24 states, ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (NIV).

Thus, Jesus did not make a direct statement such as, ‘Thou shalt not commit a homosexual act’, for Jesus to confirm he was against homosexuality. The affirmation in Matthew 19:4-6 was all that was needed to provide God’s parameters for sexual relationships.

Homosexual behaviour as sin

I wrote to Jim: You don’t seem to grasp that in the New Testament, Jesus’ words have no more authority than other NT Scripture (2 Tim 3:16). What Paul wrote about homosexuality is just as inspired (breathed out by God) as that by Jesus. Paul wrote:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[3] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV).

Paul is clear that homosexuality is among the sins that will cause a person not to inherit the kingdom of God. There are other sins that are included in this group.

Homosexuals can be changed

But the fantastic news is, ‘That is what some of you were‘ (1 Cor 6:11). Like the sins of sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling, homosexual sins can be forgiven. Thus, Paul places homosexual sin among sinful behaviour that can be forgiven and not as a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a secular, contemporary labelling. ‘Such were some of you’ is a clear indication that all these sins can be changed by the living God – including homosexuality.

Without faith in the buried and resurrected Christ of Golgotha, Jim and other sinful rebels are not likely to understand the biblical view on homosexuality. They need a heart change that involves, ‘that is what some of your were’ – an encounter with the living Christ – before their views of homosexuality will change. If that happens, hardening of the heart will continue.

What is a hard heart?

A hard heart is an obstinate and calloused heart that fails to respond to God or obey him. A hard heart is blind to the precious value of the gospel and refuses to embrace Christ (Rom. 11:8). Most precariously, a hard heart is synonymous with spiritual ignorance and alienation from God (Eph. 4:18) (Reinke 2014).

That’s what I encountered with Jim, the atheist.

Works consulted

Reinke, T 2014. You Asked: Does God Harden a Believer’s Heart? The Gospel Coalition (online), March 18. Available at: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/you-asked-does-god-harden-a-believers-heart (Accessed 21 November 2015).

Notes


[1] JimOdom#106, Christian Fellowship Forum, ‘Five things I wish Christians would admit about the Bible’. Available at: http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Christian_Fellowship_Forum/_/_/ws-fellowship/123829.106?scrollTo=os_message_106&nav=messages (Accessed 2 March 2015).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen#113.

[3] At this point in the NIV (New International Version), the footnote was: ‘1 Corinthians 6:9: The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts’.

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.

Traditional marriage = anti-marriage equality

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Wedding Rings

(courtesy ChristArt)

By Spencer D Gear

I was alerted to what SBS television had done with censoring heterosexual marriage by an item on news.com.au. The heading of the article was, ‘Anti-marriage equality ad pulled from SBS TV’ (March 09, 2015).

AN ADVERTISEMENT critical of same-sex marriage was pulled by SBS management ahead of their telecast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Sunday night, the ad’s sponsors say.

The Australian Marriage Forum said in a statement that the ad was booked and scheduled for broadcast during a Sunday night Mardi Gras special.

Dr van Gend says the ad was booked and paid for before he received an email on Friday to inform him it had been pulled from the Sunday night schedule. “I’ve unfortunately been instructed to advise you that we choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast,” the email from SBS sales manager for Queensland, Nick Belof, said….

Dr van Gend said: “It is outrageous for a taxpayer funded broadcaster like SBS to apply censorship to one side of the debate on same-sex marriage.”

“SBS is funded by taxpayers on both sides of the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate”, Dr van Gend said.

Dr van Gend called the cancellation of the ad a “suppression of free speech on a matter of public importance”.

An SBS spokesperson told Fairfax Media that it reserved the right “to determine what advertisements it broadcasts” (emphasis in original).

My complaint about this censorship

Image result for clip art marriage public domain

(courtesy clker)

SBS TV is an Australian public broadcaster. It receives government funds to the tune of approximately $275,000 a year (see below) from the Australian taxpayer. So, on 11 March 2015, I sent this email:

The manager,
SBS television comments@sbs.com.au

Dear manager,
I object strongly to what SBS, a publicly funded broadcaster, did to an advertisement by the Australian Marriage Forum (AMF) on SBS on Saturday evening, 7 March, when SBS was telecasting the Gay Mardi Gras.

Here is a link to the advertisement that your network censored: youtu.be/s80wL5al5NA.

The AMF advertisement was booked and paid for to be shown on Saturday night, 7 March, during the SBS delayed broadcast of the Parade – but only on Friday 6 March did the AMF agent receive this message from SBS management: ‘We choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast’.[1]

No explanation was given. This is disgusting discrimination against the heterosexual community and traditional marriage. It is censorship to be condemned.

Please advise me why your publicly funded network engaged in this kind of discriminatory censorship of an advt that had been paid for and scheduled to be telecast?

Yours sincerely,
Mr S Gear

SBS reply

On 11 March 2015, SBS replied:

Dear Spencer,

Thank you for contacting SBS.

SBS reserves the right to determine what advertisements it broadcasts.

Regardless, I have passed on your comments to our relevant departments as viewer feedback.

Regards,

SBS Audience Relations

In other words, SBS continues to promote its censorship with ‘SBS reserves the right to determine what advertisements it broadcasts’. That’s not how Sam McLean of The Drum saw it.

‘SBS should have run this offensive ad’

Sam McLean of ABC’s, The Drum, even though he objected to the content of the advertisement, complained that SBS should have telecast the ad:

I was offended by the Australian Marriage Forum’s new anti marriage equality TV ad, but we shouldn’t censor any one side of a political debate, writes Sam McLean.

A lot of people have been in uproar over the Australian Marriage Forum’s new anti marriage equality TV advertisement – chief among them, my fellow progressives.

The ad, which the AMF pitched for a provocative first run on the night of Sydney Mardi Gras, implies same-sex marriage poses a danger to children. I was offended by the ad, but frankly, so too by SBS refusing to run it.

Yes, the ad is incendiary. Yes, it is wrong. But yes, the AMF has absolutely every right to run it – and no broadcaster should be able to deny them that. An email from SBS sales manager for Queensland, Nick Belof, reads:

Our review board has instructed that SBS has the right to choose what ads we run, and I’ve unfortunately been instructed to advise you that we choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast (Mclean 2015, emphasis in original).

The following represents a summary of the ABC and SBS funding from the Australian government over the next 5 years (Turnbull 2014):

clip_image001

Therefore, for the 2014-2015 financial year, $287,023 was funded from government proceeds to run this operation. The conclusion is that ‘80 per cent of funding for the SBS Corporation is derived from the Australian Government through triennial funding arrangements. Funding is legislated annually through the Budget Appropriation Bills…. The remainder of SBS revenue is derived from independent sources. These include advertising and sponsorship, production services and sale of programs and merchandise’ (Jolly 2007).

Conclusion

Image result for clip art marriage public domain

ringsview.com

Several issues are playing out in our Australian culture and the promotion of homosexual marriage:

6pointblue-small The promotion of heterosexual marriage in the language of anti-marriage equality, is deconstructing language to make heterosexual marriage mean something else.

6pointblue-small SBS has censored one side of the debate, the discussion that supports traditional marriage. That is abhorrent for a public broadcaster that receives 80% of its funding from the Australian government. It is supposed to represent ALL Australians and not just the homosexual community and its supporters.

6pointblue-small Those who support ‘marriage equality’ are ‘fellow progressives’ (Sam McLean). This again is deconstructing language. In an era of political correctness, to be conservative and supporting traditional marriage is to be radical in a mass media environment that wants to silence the traditional marriage voice.

6pointblue-small Sam McLean rightly concluded, ‘The anti marriage equality lobbyists said it was unfair for SBS to apply censorship to one side of the debate on same-sex marriage, and I agree’ (McLean 2015). I would have stated it this way: Those promoting traditional marriage consider the censorship of their advertisement was unfair for SBS to withdraw the advertising.

6pointblue-small It’s impossible or extremely difficult to get through to public mass media with an alternate message to their allegedly progressive, anti-conservative views. Penetrating the barrier is like pounding a brick wall with a foam hammer.

Image result for hammer brick wall public domain

hanglogic

Works consulted

Jolly, R 2007. Special Broadcasting Service (SBS): Operations and funding. Parliament of Australia: House of Representatives, 28 March. Available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/SBS (Accessed 10 August 2015).

McLean, S 2015. SBS should have run this offensive ad. The Drum (ABC), 13 March. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-13/mclean-sbs-shouldnt-censor-anti-gay-marriage-ad/6314748 (Accessed 10 August 2015).

Turnbull, M 2014. Communications and Broadband: FAQs on the ABC and SBS, How much do the national broadcasters receive from taxpayers in the budget each year? (online) Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, 19 December. Available at: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/communications-broadband/faqs-on-the-abc-and-sbs#budget (Accessed 10 August 2015).

Notes:


[1] Included in McLean (2015).

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.

A Christian discussion of homosexuality & sexuality

Friday, July 10th, 2015

It's Just Love

(image in public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

I have spent many years in counselling individuals and families and sometimes dealing with their sexual expressions. I retired in 2011 after 17-years full time as a counselling manager and counsellor of youth, families, relationships and marriages – most of it in a secular environment.

To raise the topic of homosexuality and sexuality from a Christian perspective, automatically raises suspicion in some quarters, especially with secularists in the mass media and in online forums. There is quite a bit of confusion in this area today because of the increasing promotion of homosexuality and homosexual marriage as an acceptable lifestyle choice.

How should evangelical Christians (including myself) respond to this kind of explanation of homosexual behaviour? On alleged Christian wrote:

For many years of my life, I also believed that all homosexual behavior was wrong — whether it consisted of anonymous hookups or committed relationships. I believed, based on what I had read in the Bible, that even the most loving and monogamous of same-sex relationships was evil in God’s eyes. But as I studied the Bible, my view on that subject changed. I now believe that homosexual behavior is appropriate within the confines of a committed, loving, monogamous, lifelong, Christ-centered relationship. Essentially, I’m arguing that a Christ-centered marriage is a good thing, regardless of the gender of the people involved….

But a growing number of Christians believes the church has made a mistake and that the church’s position ought to be reformed. In this essay, I’m going to refer to these differing Christian viewpoints as “the Traditional View” and “the Reformed View” respectively. I support the Reformed View.[1]

That was promoted by Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network. This paragraph includes his basic understanding of homosexuality:

  • He used to believe that all homosexual behaviour was wrong;
  • He gained that view from the Bible and believed that even monogamous, same-sex relationships were evil before God;
  • He changed his view after further study from the Bible and now believes that,
  • It is appropriate to have a Christ-centred homosexual relationship that is committed, loving, monogamous and lifelong. So,
  • Christ-centred marriage is a good thing whether homosexual or heterosexual.
  • The traditional view of the church needs to be reformed.

If your children and youth are exposed to that kind of approach, how will they view homosexuality? It will send them a positive message that it is possible to have a Christ-centred homosexual marriage.

That is not the assessment that will be reached in what follows. Let’s look at some definitions.

I. Definitions

A. Sexuality

How would you describe your sexuality and the expression of sex in your relationship?

Students from the University of Western Australia in 2012 provided this definition: ‘Sexuality: Is about sexual feelings (who we are emotionally and sexually attracted to), sexual behaviour (how we express our sexual feelings) and sexual identify (who we say we are to ourselves and others based on our internal beliefs)’.[2]

Andrew Comiskey, a former homosexual who has been redeemed by Jesus,[3] gave this explanation:

Sexuality involves a lot more than mere behavior. It includes a heartfelt yearning for connection with another. At the core it’s not a lustful seductive exercise. It grows from that God-inspired desire within each of us [unless you have the gift of celibacy] to break out of the walls of the lone self and merge with another human being. [Sexual] intercourse is only one expression of this merging, albeit the most obvious (Comiskey 1989:37).

B. Homosexuality

Here are some biblical explanations of what is involved from Romans 1:20-30,

Romans 1:24, calls them “the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (ESV);

Romans 1:26 as engaging in “dishonorable passions” and “exchanging natural [sexual] relations”;

Romans 1: 27, Women were “consumed with passion for one another.” “Men [were] committing shameless acts with men.”

II. A biblical view of homosexuality (based on a biblical worldview of sexuality).

 Purple Homosexuality Button

A. Sexuality involves a longing and desire for unity/union

cubed-iron-sm The body longs for human touch;

cubed-iron-sm The human soul longs for companionship to ease our aloneness [unless you have the gift of celibacy].

cubed-iron-sm BEFORE the fall into sin, God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone; ‘I will make a helper suitable for him.'” (Gen. 2:18).

This intimate desire for another happened in the pristine state of a human being, prior to the fall into sin.

cubed-iron-sm What was God’s answer? [Please understand that man had access to God, but that was not enough.]

B. God’s plan is male and female

Background understanding comes from these two passages:

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV),

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[4] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Gen. 2:22-25 (ESV) states:

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[5] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

C. The origin of all depravity (incl. heterosexual  & homosexual depravity)

Sex Pit

(image courtesy ChristArt)

1. Genesis 3: the fall into sin

No matter what the sin, whether it be theft, adultery, rape, homosexual acts or genocide, the origin happened at the beginning of the human race.

Romans 5:12 explains how sin and all of its dimensions entered the human race: ‘When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned’ (NLT). Read the full fuller story of how it happened in Genesis 2 and 3.

How could a sinless human being whom God declared to be ‘very good’ (Gen 1:31) commit sin and condemn the whole human race, as our head, to depraved sinful actions? While admitting that Adam’s sin was the original sin of the human race, theologian, Henry Thiessen stated that

it still does not show how the sinful disposition found a place in Adam’s nature. We can be sure that God did not put motives before man that led him to sin. That would make God responsible and absolve man from guilt. Nor did God remove from him His sustaining grace, in which case He would likewise bear the responsibility. Nor is it sufficient to say that the power of choice with which God had endowed Adam was bound to lead to this result, for as [Augustus] Strong says, ‘The mere power of choice does not explain the fact of an unholy choice’[6]…. We cannot tell how the first unholy emotion arose in the soul of a holy being, but we know the fact that it did. The only satisfactory explanation is that man fell by a free act of revolt from God (Thiessen 1949:247-248).

All sin entered the world as a result of this disobedient action by Adam and Eve. That’s when the sin of homosexuality entered the world. Please note what I wrote. It is the sin of homosexuality and not the genetics of homosexuality that led to its being a sin that prevents one from entering the kingdom of God. But I’m jumping ahead of myself.

Here is an extended example from the Book of Romans that shows how homosexuality is one of the sinful desires that issues in sinful acts and God’s wrath is revealed against this godlessness and wickedness of human beings. Let’s take a read:

2. Romans 1:18-32 (NIV),

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

3. The male-female relationship fell from innocence.[7]

When sin entered the human race, our sexuality was cast into disorder. Comiskey explained: “Every one of us is in turn is sexually vulnerable to some degree. People with a heterosexual orientation are no less fallen than those with homosexual tendencies.”[8]

Therefore, for anyone to experience homosexual healing, there needs to be, at the very base,

coil-gold-sm A clear understanding that brokenness comes from the fall into sin;

coil-gold-sm A humble recognition that “God never intended for man or woman to seek completion in the same sex. Thus, homosexual pursuit of erotic and emotional bonding [with a person of the same sex] violates something basic in our humanity.”[9]

coil-gold-sm The homosexual MUST accept that “homosexual pursuit of erotic and emotional bonding violates something basic to our humanity.”[10]

coil-gold-sm PLEASE also recognise that homosexuality is only one of the sinful sexual behaviours that is woven into our sinful humanity – the others include, any kind of sex outside of marriage, including pre-marital sex as singles, defacto sex as singles, prostitution (male and female), bestiality,

coil-gold-sm “The Genesis account underscores the futility of trying to become whole through a member of the same sex.”[11]

D. That is what some of you were

Who are the people who will not enter the kingdom of God? What are the possibilities of change? These verses put these issues in context and provide answers.

I Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) reads:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous[12] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,[13] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Please note that one of the kinds of unrighteous deeds preventing a person from entering God’s kingdom is the sin of practising homosexuality. It is important to emphasise that it in only one among a number of other kinds of unrighteous actions that will prevent people from entering the kingdom of God. Those who practise homosexuality are included with idolaters, adulterers, thieves and drunkards. ALL UNFORGIVEN SINNERS will be prevented from entering God’s kingdom and that includes those who practise homosexuality. Too often the homosexuals have been singled out by Christians without emphasis on the other kinds of sinners in this passage.

However, God’s view of sinners from 1 Cor. 6:9-11 is, ‘Such were some of you’. It is not, ‘Such ARE some of you’. It is in the past tense which means that these sinners have changed and that includes homosexuals – thanks to God’s redemption through Christ. Jesus changes all sinners if they confess their sins, repent and receive Christ alone for salvation. And that includes homosexual sinners. Yes, homosexual SINNERS. God’s assessment is that homosexuality is a sin that can be changed through Christ.

E. Accept/Receive one another

#

(image courtesy openclipart)

There is an important verse to help the church deal with recovering homosexuals in the church. Romans 15:7: “Accept [or receive] one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

When I preached this message at a local church, I said: I could have brought a redeemed homosexual along to share his testimony, but I resisted UNTIL we know the truth of Rom. 15:7 in the Christian fellowship. I know of redeemed homosexuals who have been so hurt by Christians in the church that they may never return to the church – and that is tragic.

When I shared this verse in a devotional at a ministers’ association meeting with a group of pastors, one pastor shouted me down before I finished the devotional – objecting strongly to the biblical view that I was sharing that we ought to accept ALL believers, including redeemed homosexuals, redeemed paedophiles, redeemed prostitutes, etc. Please understand that I am talking about redeemed sinners who are being discipled and growing in grace. We are seeing the fruit of change in their lives. It is always wise to have others supervising redeemed sinners who have come from a dangerous, reprobate lifestyle. However, we need to remember that ‘there but for the grace of God, go I’.[14]

III. The genetic hypothesis for homosexuality has some holes in it.

Ribbon Homosexuality ButtonThe basic root is sin, as has been explained above.

A. Hasn’t it been proven that people are born homosexual?

There have been a number of examples of those who try to prove homosexuality has a biological cause. These are only two examples.

1. Simon LeVay[15]

This neuroscientist, Simon LeVay, has admitted he is gay.[16] He published research in 1991 (see LeVay 1991), indicating that there was an area of the hypothalamus in the brain that allegedly governs sexual activity and this is supposed to be smaller in homosexual men than heterosexual men.

LeVay has admitted that his findings do not prove “cause and effect,” but the media have reported it differently.

Zetlan’s assessment of LeVay’s research was:

‘as far as I can tell, LeVay has not found a biological substrate for sexual orientation. All LeVay has reported is that in groups of people

with unknown medical and sexual histories there is a significant difference in the size of a structure whose function is not known’

(Zetlan n d).

For a pro-homosexual expose, see Richard Horton’s article from Frontline, ‘Is homosexuality inherited?’ (1995)

2. Bailey and Pillard

Shortly after LeVay’s research, Michael Bailey, a gay-rights’ activist, together with psychiatrist, Richard Pillard, who is a homosexual, showed research on identical twins versus fraternal twins. They suggest there is a link between homosexuality and genetics. However, this research has many questions needing answers. We need to ask:

Was the research conducted in an unbiased and fair way?

What are the true implications?

Are they accepted universally by the scientific and medical community?

Are they compatible with biblical truth?

We do know this: The media were quick to jump on this bandwagon and promote homosexuality’s supposed biological cause, when the research did not prove that. There are too many questions about this research. Don’t let anybody convince you the biological cause of homosexuality is proven. Not so!

Even if at some point in the future it is proven that there is a biological association with homosexuality, we need to conclude as the Bible concludes: genetic origins do not justify sinful behaviour.

The Bible praises sexuality and sexual enjoyment within the boundaries of marriage. Homosexual behaviour is consistently condemned in both Old and New Testaments and there is no exception in this condemnation.

[I recommend the article, “Born Gay?”, by a redeemed homosexual, Joe Dallas, in Christianity Today, June 22, 1992, in which he assesses this research and comes to some thoughtful conclusions.][17]

3. Frank Worthen’s view

A lot of money has been spent on research to try to link genetics with homosexuality, but Frank Worthen stated in 1991 that “no concrete proof has been found” (Worthen 1991:6). In their book, Human Sexuality, Masters and Johnson say, “The genetic theory of homosexuality has generally been discarded today.”[18] However, as indicated below, more research has been done on this topic since Masters and Johnson.

Elsewhere they say, “Despite the interest in possible hormone mechanisms in the origin of homosexuality, no serious scientist today suggests that a simple cause-effect relationship applies.”[19]

Why are homosexuals so determined to believe they are born gay? Frank Worthen, a redeemed homosexual, gives two reasons:

a. “The idea that a choice exists as to whether or not they remain homosexual is both frightening and threatening. The gay person has a real investment in his/her identity.”[20]

b. “Most gay people cannot remember a time when they did not have homosexual feelings. They actually believe they were born gay. What research has proven is that the paths we take in life are laid down at a very early age.”[21]

4. A 2012 study put the cat among the pigeons

A new study (published in 2012) by William R. Rice, Urban Friberg, and Sergey Gavrilets of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, California, has an interesting twist to this genetic view. The abstract of their article states:

Male and female homosexuality have substantial prevalence in humans. Pedigree and twin studies indicate that homosexuality has substantial heritability in both sexes, yet concordance between identical twins is low and molecular studies have failed to find associated DNA markers. This paradoxical pattern calls for an explanation. We use published data on fetal androgen signaling and gene regulation via nongenetic changes in DNA packaging (epigenetics) to develop a new model for homosexuality…. Our model predicts that homosexuality is part of a wider phenomenon in which recently evolved androgen-influenced traits commonly display gonad-trait discordances at substantial frequency, and that the molecular feature underlying most homosexuality is not DNA polymorphism(s), but epi-marks that evolved to canalize sexual dimorphic development that sometimes carryover across generations and contribute to gonad-trait discordances in opposite-sex descendants (Rice et al 2012).

This research concludes that

A major strength of our epigenetic model of homosexuality is that it makes two unambiguous predictions that are testable with current technology. Therefore, if our model is wrong, it can be rapidly falsified and discarded.

First, future, larger-scale genetic association studies will fail to identify genetic markers associated with most homosexuality.

Second, future genome-wide epigenetic profiles will find differences between homosexuals and nonhomosexuals, but only at genes associated with androgen signaling in the later parts of the pathway (e.g., AR cofactors or miRNAs that regulate them) or be restricted to brain regions controlling sexual orientation, i.e., not affecting sexually dimorphic traits like genitalia or sexual identity (Rice et al 2012).

While this is not a definitive study, it does progress the scientific evaluation of the origin of homosexuality beyond concluding that genetics is the cause of homosexuality.

5. What about the identical twin studies?

I highly recommend that you read Dr N E Whitehead’s research, MY GENES MADE ME DO IT! Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence (2013). Neil Whitehead (PhD biochemistry) has worked for 40 years as a research scientist in New Zealand and around the world. The book is written in association with his son, Briar Whitehead, who is a journalist, writer and editor.

Dr Whitehead wrote:

Over the last decade, studies of twins have provided some of the strongest numerical evidence that “Our genes do not make us do it”…. Results from twin studies are quantitative, so they greatly focus and sharpen the results of many other studies we’ve mentioned so far. In a nutshell, if you take pairs of identical twins in which one twin is homosexual, the identical co-twin (a monozygotic (MZ) twin) is usually not homosexual. That means, given that identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. No-one is born gay. The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors’ (Whitehead 2013:175).

His continued assessment was:

These very complex comparisons of identical twins and non-identical twins definitively rule out genetic determinism. Identical twins with identical genes are about 11-14% concordant for SSA [same-sex attraction]. If homosexuality were “genetic,” identical co-twins of homosexual men and women would also be homosexual 100% of the time. In classic twin studies the genetic fraction is less than 22% for men and 37% for women, and may be as low as 10%. Twin studies continue to find steadily lower genetic fractions for homosexuality as methodology improves and samples become larger’ (Whitehead 2013:267).

IV. What causes gender confusion?[22]

How secure we feel in our maleness and femaleness can significantly affect how we relate to those of the opposite sex. A major study in 1981 (Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith) found that one consistent theme among homosexuals studied was gender confusion. Looking back as adults, homosexuals have sensed a number of factors that influenced them to have a sense of being different from their same-sex peers in childhood. This confusion seems to be linked later in life with an erotic preference for the same sex.

What factors contributed to this gender confusion?

A follow-up study was conducted by Blanchard & Zucker with these results:

The authors compared parental age, birth order, and sex ratio of siblings for 575 homosexual men and 284 heterosexual men, matched on age and education. They were originally part of Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith’s large-scale study of male and female homosexuality. The results confirmed the previous findings that homosexual men have older fathers and later births than do heterosexual men but not the finding that homosexual men have larger proportions of brothers. The collective findings suggest that birth order is perhaps the single most reliable demographic difference between homosexual and heterosexual men (Blanchard & Zucker 1994).

A. The role of parents

Parents have a powerful influence on a child’s acquisition of gender identity. This is natural, since Mum and Dad are our first and most influential models in life of a man and a woman.

1. Perhaps the most powerful influence on our gender identity comes from our relationship with the same-sex parent. The nature of the relationship is very important (see George Rekers, Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Identity). That parent will influence your views of intimacy and how you identify with the same sex positively or negatively. If it was an affirming relationship, you will be approved in your gender role.

a. If that relationship is broken (e.g. physical or sexual abuse, personal victimisation, emotional detachment, death, illness, neglect, etc.) it can block the lifeline of intimacy and identification. Secure gender development may be obstructed.

b. The child responds to this breach by moving away from (detachment) the same-sex parent, the need for healthy same-sex love is repressed.

c. This detachment may limit the child’s ability to take on the characteristics of the same-sex parent. More than that, the child may develop a tendency to shy away from a person of the same sex.

d. But in adolescence, when one is aroused erotically, this repressed need for same-sex love may be expressed homosexually.

2. The parent of the opposite sex may play a vital role in affirming or hindering your sexual identity. If you do not see the parent of the opposite sex as a caring individual with whom you want to identify, you may be repulsed by that parent. How you relate to your opposite-sex parent will convey your `adequacy’ with the opposite sex.

a. Male example:

A dominant mother who is usually intense and emotionally smothering, may breed a fear of women. Gender confusion may develop along with perfectionism and contempt. A young man who detaches from his mother may generalise this contempt to other women.

b. Female example:

An abusive, erratic father fosters fears of the possibility of being violated. In future relationships with men, the woman may close down emotionally. Because the mother is most often the main nurturer in the family, the female child may develop a neurotic tie to mother’s love with no bonding with the masculine.

3. What impact does marriage have? How parents relate as a heterosexual couple will impact children. The children will be either attracted to how they see Mum and Dad interact or they may be repelled by it. Will the children want to repeat what they see in the parents’ response to each other, or will they be attracted to a same-sex model? This may be influenced by:

a. Evidence of abuse in marriage.

Does one partner seem to be victimised by the other? With which one does the child identify? This becomes somewhat complicated when there is a separation and/or divorce.

b. Siding with one parent against the other.

c. Inner vows that a child makes —

swearing never to be like him/her/them. This vow may handicap prospects for marital intimacy.

The child’s relationship with his/her family will determine many of the attitudes to life later. It is the seedbed in which attitudes grow: co-operation, competition, perception of self and one’s body, submission or domination. It is in the family that we nurture our hopes, fears and feelings about sex.

B. Some other contributors to gender confusion

1. Early sexual experiences.

By whom have you been erotically stimulated?

a. Heterosexual:

For young girls and women, sexual abuse by men can easily create a fear of, hostility and a repulsion towards men.

b. Homosexual:

Especially for boys, if there have been sexual advances by men and these have affirmed the boys, this can create a perversion of same-sex intimacy.

2. Peer rejection because of gender confusion.

a. This may alienate one from the peer group.

There is ambivalence—a yearning to be accepted, but there may be rejection by both the peer group and the same-sex parent.

b. There may be an over-identification with opposite-sex peer group.

c. You sense there is a difference about you, the peer group rejects you, you are labelled as ‘homosexual.’

So you experience a profound sense of inadequacy.

d. High anxiety linked with gender identity in your peer relationships.

So gender identity becomes a point of conflict (Satan the accuser).

3. Gender alienation:

a. If you are secure in your gender identity and it is being positively affirmed,

You relate reasonably well with males and females. However, insecurity leads to your being rigid and maybe fearful. So, in such circumstances one feels a need to work on trying to be ‘normal.’ One feels cramped and anxious.

b. The alienation leads one to suppress opposite-sex attraction.

c. A self-fulfilling prophecy, especially in adolescence.

4. What gets lost?

a. A clear and realistic picture of the opposite sex.

b. Legitimate needs for same-sex intimacy and identification.

c. The realisation that our need to have same-sex associations without being erotic.

d. The grace to allow God to separate sinful lust from legitimate desire.

The result of this gender confusion is often loneliness and fear. We have a fear of our sexuality—gender, bodies, ourselves—so we launch into homosexual expression in spite of the guilt that we experience.

IV. The steps that lead to healing for the homosexual.

Books by redeemed homosexuals:

  • Andrew Comiskey, Pursuing Sexual Wholeness: How Jesus Heals the Homosexual (1989).
  • Jeanette Howard, Out of Egypt: Leaving Lesbianism Behind (1991).
  • Frank Worthen, Helping People Step Out of Homosexuality (1991).

A. Summary of Steps out of Homosexuality[23]

https://i1.wp.com/www.christart.com/IMAGES-art9ab/clipart/114/b3-homosexuality.png

1. Making the decision

This is not a decision to be made lightly. Weigh the costs. Note Luke 14:25-35.

2. Brokenness

Change comes out of brokenness. Homosexuality is sin and you have grieved God. Deep sorrow is needed for your actions. Please take seriously this Scripture:

James 4:7-10, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up” (NIV).

Before you find peace, there may be a time of grief.

3. Your need of a Saviour

“Brokenness must be so complete, that we no longer have any desire to regain control of our lives, but allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Victory is dependence on Jesus.”[24] (John 3:16)

4. Doing the ordinary with other believers

designBlue-sma Join with a group of Christian believers. You need the love and support of God’s people.

designBlue-sma There may be difficulties in fitting in with a church.

designBlue-sma Need to spur one another on to love & good deeds.

designBlue-sma Intercessory prayer is vital for victorious Christian living (with Christians). (Heb. 10:23-25)

5. Spiritual Warfare

Every step out of homosexuality will be challenged. (Eph. 6:10-20). Do not expect the secular world to be favourable towards the steps you are taking to be healed of the sexual sin of homosexuality. The mass media will be hostile towards your change if journalists hear about it.

6. Holding a correct view of God

His majesty, His unlimited power and His everlasting love. (Jer. 29:12-14: ‘Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” and will bring you back from captivity”)

7. Hold a correct view of others

Part of brokenness is that you realise how selfishly you have used others for your own gratification. They may have hurt us; we may have hurt them, but we need to respond to them as people made in the image of God.

8. You must have God’s view of you

designBlue-sma You are made in the image of God;

designBlue-sma You are fallen;

designBlue-sma In spite of your sinful, wicked condition, God loves you enough to die for you.

designBlue-sma God loves you too much to leave you that way; he wants you to change.

9. The belief principle

Walk by faith. Christ lives within you. He is alive in you. This is not blind faith, but faith build on the evidence of Jesus revealed in Scripture.

10. Submission

For the person seeking salvation and healing from homosexuality, accountability is part of the healing process. You need to submit to God, but you must also submit to one another. “Submission is death to self-interest and birth to God’s interests.”[25]

11. Fruitfulness

You must bear fruit consistent with repentance. Your old life, its attitudes,

associations, the ties that held you to that sinful lifestyle must be broken. Growing in grace (sanctification) is clearly God and us working together. (James. 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”)

12. Walking in the light

designQuiltsmall I John 1:5-7, walk in the light;

designQuiltsmall I Thess 5:17, pray continually;

designQuiltsmall 1 John 4:4, Live daily in the light of God’s presence; “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”.

I agree with Frank Worthen’s assessment: “In our ministry, we are frequently asked: ‘Do you make homosexuals into heterosexuals?’ Our answer is, ‘No, we only point the way to wholeness in Christ”’ (Worthen 1991:137). Why take this approach? It is because God’s design for heterosexuality has been so distorted by this worldly system in which we live.

V. God’s design

A. There is a deep spiritual factor involved in the sexual relationship – worship.

First Corinthians 6:16-17 says: “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (NIV).

Young people, if you forget everything else I have written here, please remember this: sex is a spiritual issue. It is impossible for you to commit sexual immorality and still be one with God. Sex has a strong spiritual dimension, as I Cor. 6:13 says: “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body.”

The infamous Jim Bakker of PTL Television Network fame, USA, commented as his ministry lay in tatters: “It’s amazing how fifteen minutes can ruin your life” (Comiskey 1988:31). What he didn’t say was: Not just any fifteen minutes, but fifteen minutes of sexual immorality.

While Paul, the apostle, speaks of becoming one with a prostitute in I Cor 6:16, he expands it to general immorality in I Cor 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”

B. DO YOU WANT SEX AT ITS BEST?

#

(image courtesy openclipart)

Surrender your rights to Jesus Christ. You must choose with your actions (not just words) to follow Jesus as Lord. This means refusing to yield to sexual temptation and fleeing sexual immorality. Does your walk match your talk? You will find it impossible to “flee sexual immorality” if you are in the back seat of a car at midnight in Queens Park.

God says through Paul, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:16).

But, you might ask:

C. ISN’T A FAITHFUL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE OK?

A little while ago, a man in his seventies said to me: “The young ones these days have sure cottoned onto a great idea. They are very progressive. It makes sense to try her out before you marry her.” He was thinking of living with her first and sampling each other sexually.

But is living together before you marry very smart? Back in November 1977 the American edition of Seventeen magazine included an article, “The Case Against Living Together” (in Remsberg 1977). It included an interview with Dr Nancy Moore Clatworthy, a sociologist at Ohio State University.

For about 10 years, she had been studying unmarried couples who had been living together. When she began, she was like the elderly man with whom I spoke. She thought it was a good idea. The young had told her it was wonderful and she believed them. It seemed a sensible, practical arrangement. Then, as now, it seemed to have a reasonable ring to it.

But her research led to a change of mind. She said, “The things people say living together is doing for them, it’s not doing.” She found that this was especially so for girls who were uptight, fearful and looking past the talk ‘to the possible pain and agony.’

She stressed two points. First, “In the areas of adjustment, happiness and respect,” couples who lived together before marriage had more problems than those who had married first. They argued more about money, friends and sex.

“In every area the couples who had lived together before marriage disagreed more often than the couples who had not.” It was evident to this researcher that living together first did not solve problems. In fact it created difficulties.

Second, Dr Clatworthy discovered that defacto relationships had an impact on commitment. She believed that “commitment is what makes marriage, living together or any human relationship work.”

But “knowing that something is temporary affects the degree of commitment to it.”

So, unmarried couples living together are not wholehearted in working at and protecting the relationship. She found that 75% of them break up. And girls are badly hurt.

Nancy Clatworthy concluded: “Statistically, you’re much better off marrying than living together. For people who are in love, anything less than a full commitment is a cop-out.”

More recent studies have similar results. Newsweek magazine (1983) reported that 16% of college students thought that it was harmful “for a man and woman to live together before marriage” while 61% said it would be “helpful.”

But a study in the same year (1983) by the National Council on Family Relations (USA) found that those who lived defacto first were less happy in marriage. Women complained about the quality of communication after the wedding.

Yale University sociologist, Neil Bennett, discovered that defacto women were 80% more likely to separate or divorce than women who had not lived with their spouses before marriage.[26]

It is startling to realise that one study discovered that those who shacked up before marriage were almost twice as likely to dissolve within 10 years compared to all first marriages.

What does all of this say? Marriage is one shoe you cannot try on before you wear it. When it comes to marriage, try before you buy is not a smart idea.

This confirms what the Author of marriage commanded: “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).

This is a puzzle many people grapple with–not just the young. Why should sex with a permanent partner outside of marriage (in a defacto relationship) be any different than marriage to one woman for life? Many think the essential elements of both are identical.

The government thinks so and has given legal status to this kind of immorality (according to the Bible). The government treats the defacto couple like marriage.

The difference is this: God designed marriage; human beings designed the live-in, look-alike, defacto relationship.

I am indebted to Al Haffner for this illustration:

“Consider this: `It is possible to analyze an apple and ascertain its chemical constituents; but all the chemists in the world cannot make an apple, nor anything that can substitute for it.’ Neither can the world make any relationship do what marriage does, not even a monogamous love affair” (Haffner 1989:34).

In our way of thinking, there is a vast separation between a faithful lover and one who sleeps around. From God’s point of view, He lumps all sex outside of marriage into the same heap because sex makes a spiritual statement.

In Al Haffner’s words: “Inside marriage it is the melodious beauty of spiritual serenity; outside of marriage, even in a monogamous relationship, sex cries out a cacophony of spiritual chaos.”[27]

When you indulge in “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed” this amounts to idolatry, according to Col 3:5-6 because it is self-serving selfishness, opposed to serving God and “because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”

I refer you to these links for further details:

flamin-arrow-small 5 (Secular) Reasons Not to Live Together Before Marriage (Jennifer Fulwiler 2013);

flamin-arrow-small Seven Reasons Why Living Together Before Marriage is not a Good Idea (Pastor Arron Chambers 2009);

flamin-arrow-small 5 Great Reasons to Live Together Before Marriage & 1 Better One Not To (Pastor James Hein 2010);

flamin-arrow-small 20 good reasons not to cohabit before marriage (Don Weston 1998).

D. WHAT ARE GOD’S REASONS FOR INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT SEX?

We must begin by understanding the character of God.

flamin-arrow-small He is not a killjoy wanting to ruin your fun.

flamin-arrow-small He didn’t make us to enjoy sex and then frustrate us.

flamin-arrow-small God made and designed us.

flamin-arrow-small He knows everything.

Only God knows what is best for us. Deuteronomy 10:13 says, “Observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.”

Those last four words are critical: for your own good. All of God’s commands to us, all of his requirements are not to break us and kill our joy, but they are for our own good.

Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

God knows how you are wired–body, mind and spirit. God knows how human relationships function most fully and joyfully. God is not trying to stop us from having a wonderful sex life. He is giving us the positive instruction to have the most wonderful sex life possible.

I have found many Christians ignorant of this perspective.

If you look on God’s commands, such as, “You shall not commit adultery, flee sexual immorality, etc.,” as negative and designed to frustrate your enjoyment, you will miss what God wants for your sexual enjoyment. Remember, these negatives are given for positive reasons.

When my children were young, I warned them: do not touch a hot plate on the stove. That was very negative and it looked like I might have been stopping them from having fun. But it was really a positive command. If my Paul, Wendy and Jeff had burned themselves, it would have prevented them from enjoying life for a while–maybe permanently.

That’s how it is with God: Whenever he gives a command, there are at least two positive reasons behind it:

1. He’s trying to protect us from some harm, and

2. He’s trying to provide something good for us.

If you abstain from sex now, it is because God wants you to experience greater intimacy later–in marriage. But God is also calling you before marriage to greater intimacy with Himself.

E. CONCLUSION

There are many valid reasons for you to say “NO” to premarital sex. God really is acting in love when He commands that sex be enjoyed in the bonds of marriage only.

This is a message of prevention for those who are virgins. God loves you and wants to protect you from entering into the damaging consequences of illicit sex.

On the other hand, I know there may be some for whom this message is too late–you have lost your virginity, you are loaded down with guilt, you know what I have been saying is true. What can you do? You do as I had to do because the message I’m sharing with you was too late for me also.

Run to Jesus! You cannot undo what you have done, but you can be forgiven. God will lay down all charges against you if you repent and seek his forgiveness. The biblical message for all Christians who sin is I John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

You can be forgiven today. If the Lord has convicted you about sexual sin in your life, respond to him.

1. Do you want sex at its best?

blue-arrow-small Wait for the sexual relationship until marriage.

blue-arrow-small  If that is too late, confess your sin and abstain from sexual relationships until marriage.

blue-arrow-small Be faithful in marriage.

blue-arrow-small Homosexual thoughts and practice are not consistent with biblical revelation of sex in Scripture.

The story is told of Alexander the Great who was reviewing his troops after a fierce battle. He encountered one of his captains disciplining a soldier for being a coward. Alexander approached.

“What is your name, soldier?” he asked.

“Alexander,” replied the soldier.

“What?” exclaimed Alexander the Great.

“Sir, my name is Alexander!” said the soldier.

Trembling with rage, Alexander the Great yelled, “Soldier, either change your ways, or change your name” (Haffner 1989:91).

As soldiers in Christ’s army, we must stop acting cowardly in the face of sexual temptation, or we should change our name—which will have eternal consequences. In this sexually perverted generation, the words of I Corinthians 4:20: come thundering through: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Change your ways or change your name.

As noted in this article, there is a radical difference between a secular approach to the research of homosexuality and the biblical diagnosis of the condition and its treatment.

See also: Why is the Mass Media Promoting ‘Gay Rights’? – YouTube

Works consulted

Bell, A P, Weinberg M S & Hammersmith, S K 1981. Sexual preference: Its development in men and women. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Blanchard, R & Zucker K J 1994. Reanalysis of Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith’s data on birth order, sibling sex ratio, and parental age in homosexual men. American Journal of Psychiatry, September 15(9), 1375-1376. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8067496 (Accessed 10 July 2015).[28]

Comiskey, A 1988. Pursuing sexual wholeness (Guide). Santa Monica, California: Desert Stream Ministries. [You can read Andrew Comiskey’s blog at: http://andrewcomiskey.com/].

Comiskey, A 1989. Pursuing sexual wholeness: How Jesus heals the homosexual. Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House.

Haffner, A 1989. The high cost of free love. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers.

Howard, J 1991. Out of Egypt: Leaving lesbianism behind. Eastbourne: Monarch.

LeVay, S 1991. A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men. Science 253, August 30: 1034-1037.

Malcohn, E 2014. Review of Gay, straight, and the reason why: The science of sexual orientation by Simon LeVay (online). PsychCentral, available at: http://psychcentral.com/lib/gay-straight-and-the-reason-why-the-science-of-sexual-orientation/0005404 (Accessed 17 April 2014).

Remsberg, C & B 1977. The case against living together. Seventeen, November, 132-3, 162-3.[29]

Rice, W R, Friberg, U, & Gavrilets, S 2012. Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development. The Quarterly Review of Biology (online), 87(4), December, 343-368.[30] The University of Chicago Press. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167 (Accessed 10 July 2015).

Strong, A 1907. Systematic theology, 3 vols in 1. Philadelphia: The Judson Press.

Thiessen, H C 1949. Introductory lectures in systematic theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Whitehead, N E & B K 2013. My genes made me do it! Homosexuality and the scientific evidence (online), 3rd ed. New Zealand: Whitehead Associates. Available at: http://www.mygenes.co.nz/ (Accessed 10 July 2015)

Worthen, F 1991. Helping people step out of homosexuality. Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc.

Zetlan, S n d. LeVay critique: Neuroscience or nonsense (online). Women’s Studies Program. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. Available at: http://mith.umd.edu/WomensStudies/ReadingRoom/AcademicPapers/levay-critique (Accessed 17 April 2014).

Notes:


[1] Justin Lee 2014. Justin’s view, Homosexuality & Christianity, The Gay Christian Network (online). Available at: https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php (Accessed 17 April 2014, emphasis in original).

[2] Current students, University of Western Australia 2012. Sexuality definitions (online), 15 May. Available at: http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/life/health/fit/share/sexuality/definitions (Accessed 17 April 2014).

[3] See The 700 Club 2014. Ex-gay encourages the church to welcome the sexually broken, The Christian Broadcasting Network (online), Available at: http://www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/andrew_comiskey_082504.aspx (Accessed 17 April 2014).

[4] The NIV footnote here was, ‘Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Syriac); Masoretic Text the earth’.

[5] The ESV footnote here was, ‘Hebrew built’.

[6] This citation is from Strong (1907:585).

[7] The following is based on Comiskey (1989:43).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., p. 44.

[12] Or ‘wrongdoers’ (ESV footnote).

[13] ‘The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts’ (ESV footnote).

[14] For discussion on the origin of this phrase, see The Phrase Finder, available at: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/there-but-for-the-grace-of-god.html (Accessed 16 April 2014).

[15] For an assessment of the research, see Zetlan (n.d.)

[16] Malcohn stated, ‘LeVay, who is gay himself’ (Malcohn 2014).

[17] I was not able to locate the article online on 16 April 2014.

[18] p. 319, in Worthen (1991:7).

[19] Ibid. p. 320, in Worthen (1991:7).

[20] Worthen (1991:8).

[21] Ibid.

[22] This section is based on Comiskey (1988).

[23] This is based on Worthen (1991:142-147).

[24] Worthen (1991:143).

[25] Ibid., p. 146.

[26] Psychology Today, July/August 1988. Also available at, ‘Sociological reasons not to live together ‘, from All About Cohabiting Before Marriage. Available at: http://www.leaderu.com/critical/cohabitation-socio.html (Accessed 16 April 2014).

[27]Ibid., 34.

[28] This online reference only provides an abstract of this research.

[29] Some of this material is available online at the University of Alberta, in Paul Flaman’s ‘Chapter 7: Some contemporary arguments for premarital sexual intercourse and responses’, 1999. Available at: http://www.ualberta.ca/~pflaman/PSAL/Ch7.pdf (Accessed 16 April 2014).

[30] The online edition of the article had no pages indicated.

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 1 May 2016.

Cakes, lesbians and Christianity

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Image result for wedding cake public domain

(courtesy public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

This article has nothing to do with the constitutional rights of USA citizens but is to address whether the ‘Sweet Cakes’ case presents the only Christian response.

The battle over cakes for lesbian weddings

There has been a long running battle in Gresham, Oregon (with implications across the USA) over a cake shop that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding. The couple who own ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’, Aaron & Melissa Klein, are Christians and cited their Christian convictions to support what they did in refusing to make thecake.

This is the outcome, as reported in The Oregonian, July 02, 2015:

The owners of a shuttered Gresham bakery must pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake, the state’s top labor official said Thursday.

State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay the women for emotional and mental suffering that resulted from the denial of service. The Kleins had cited their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage in refusing to make the cake.

Avakian’s ruling upheld a preliminary finding earlier this year that the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had discriminated against the Portland couple on the basis of their sexual orientation.

The case ignited a long-running skirmish in the nation’s culture wars, pitting civil rights advocates against religious freedom proponents who argued business owners should have the right to refuse services for gay and lesbian weddings.

Avakian’s final order makes clear that serving potential customers equally trumps the Kleins’ religious beliefs. Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a news release.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.

“Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry” (Rede 2015).

This article, ‘Sweet Cakes owners respond to firestorm over wedding cake decision’ (Kopta 2013), indicated that the Klein’s business, ‘Sweet cakes by Melissa’, has closed its shop in Gresham OR and is operating from the couple’s house. The website indicates it is now called, ‘Sweet Cakes’.

Image result for wedding public domain

(public domain)

A different Christian approach

I am sympathetic to the stand that the Kleins have taken, based on the media evidence available to me. I think I understand why they did it (even though I’m an Aussie, my family and I have lived for 7 years in the USA and Canada). I take a different perspective to that of the Kleins of ‘Sweet Cakes’ in my response. Here is my thinking.

If I were running an automotive and industrial spare parts’ business and a lesbian couple came in and wanted parts for their motor vehicle, I would be faced with a normal sales pitch. I would sell them the parts. Before I sold them, I would not ask about their sexual relationship because helping with the fixing of the vehicle is not an endorsement of the homosexual relationship. To be honest, my asking about the sexuality of the relationship is irrelevant when selling car parts to them. I would not be checking if the car was being used for their lesbian wedding. Even if I knew that were the case, I would still sell them the spare parts because that would be a business decision that had nothing to do with sexual behaviour.

The cake shop, just like a florist business, that sells all kinds of items to all kinds of people for a wedding should not be dealing with the sexual relationship. The cake shop is selling cakes to whomever – all people in the community – including homosexuals, adulterers, promiscuous sex addicts, murderers, thieves, good living people, etc. The cake shop’s business is to sell cakes, without asking about their morality. That’s a non-issue when selling cakes, is my view.

Marrying them is another issue

When it comes to marrying the couple, we are in a different league as homosexual marriage is clearly endorsing homosexuality if the celebrant marries such people. It then does become a moral issue. As a marriage celebrant, I would refuse to marry them because of my being convinced from Scripture that homosexuality is wrong and I should not be sanctioning it through celebrating a homosexual marriage.

I see a difference between doing business with homosexuals – which all businesses should want to do – and advocating for homosexuality through a church minister or civil celebrant conducting a homosexual marriage.

Biblical reasons against homosexual marriage

Image result for wedding public domain

(public domain)

These are the biblical reasons against homosexuality that flow on to homosexual marriage:

blue-corrosion-arrow-small Take a read of Leviticus 18:22 (NLT): ‘Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin’. So the Old Testament law identifies the practice of homosexuality as committing a detestable sin. No genuine Christian should want to promote such a view.

blue-corrosion-arrow-small Romans 1:26-27 (NLT) puts homosexual actions into the category of shameful desires and those who practised them suffered the penalty before God that they deserved. They were the actions of men and women who burned with lustful desires: ‘That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved’.

blue-corrosion-arrow-small Where will these unrighteous sinners be with God at death? The sin of homosexuality is among a list of other sins. First Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT) is very clear: ‘Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God’. Those who practice homosexuality and these other sins will not inherit God’s kingdom. By inference, they will go to the other kingdom – of darkness and of Satan.

So the Bible is crystal clear that those who have homosexual, lustful desires and who practise homosexual acts, practise detestable sin, have shameful desires, and will not inherit God’s kingdom. There does not have to be a statement in the Bible, ‘Thou shalt not practise homosexual marriage’, because Scripture is clear that homosexual desires and practice involve practising sin that, if not forgiven, prevent one from entering God’s kingdom. Thus, homosexual marriage is always against God’s will because it involves sinful thoughts and actions of homosexual sin.

There’s a further reason: God’s view of marriage

God’s view is in support of heterosexual relationships that lead to marriage. This is seen in the ‘one flesh’ heterosexual relationship that is stated in the Old and New Testaments:

designBlue-small Genesis 2:24 (NLT): ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one’. Thus, the one flesh relationship (probably referring to sexual intercourse) is between a man and his wife, i.e. between a man and a woman. Heterosexuality is God’s order and not homosexuality or bisexuality.

designBlue-small Jesus repeated the same teaching in Matthew 19:5 (NLT), ‘And he said, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one”’.

designBlue-small The apostle Paul affirmed the same message in Ephesians 5:31 (NLT, ‘As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one”’.

I recommend the article from the Got Questions? site, What is a Christian definition of when marriage begins?

See my articles:

Conclusion

Image result for wedding public domain

(public domain)

These are just some thoughts from a Christian who is in the process of growing in Christ and who does not endorse the Christian view taken by the ‘Sweet Cakes’ owners.

The view adopted here is that Christians in business sell to whoever wants to purchase their products. No business that seeks to make a profit from sales needs to ask questions such as: Are you an adulterer, paedophile, homosexual, prostitute or promiscuous sexual addict? That question does not relate to selling car parts, burgers, furniture or cakes.

However, it does become an issue when a marriage celebrant or Christian minister is required to perform weddings of homosexuals. That would be endorsing sinful homosexual behaviour (from a biblical perspective) and should not be promoted – as I, a Christian, understand the Christian view from Scripture and conscience. It would be a matter of conscience and Christian conviction at that point and I would refuse to conduct a marriage ceremony for homosexual marriage.

Works consulted

Kopta, C 2013. Sweet Cakes owners respond to firestorm over wedding cake decision. Investigators 2, KATU News, September 2. Available at: http://www.katu.com/news/investigators/Sweet-Cakes-responds-to–222094901.html (Accessed 9 July 2015).

Rede, G 2015. Sweet Cakes: State orders Oregon bakery owners to pay $135,000 for denying service to same-sex couple. The Oregonian (OregonLive), 02 July. Available at: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2015/07/sweet_cakes_state_orders_orego.html#comments (Accessed 9 July 2015).

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.

The bashing of Fred Nile’s views on ABC TV (Australia)

Friday, April 17th, 2015

By Spencer D Gear

The Reverend and Honourable
Fred Nile
MLC

Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC.JPG

Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales

(courtesy Wikipedia)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation logoType
Statutory corporationAvailability
WorldwideHeadquarters
ABC Ultimo Centre
700 Harris Street
Ultimo 2007, SydneyBroadcast area: Australia

Owner
Government of Australia

(courtesy Wikipedia)

If you want to see the mass media bias against Christians, watch what secular journalists do to a politician who is an evangelical Christian operating from a biblical worldview in his or her policies. That’s what I saw on Thursday, 16 April 2015 in the Australian ABC TV programme, 7.30. See, ‘Fred Nile: Controversial Christian Democrat MP poised to hold balance of power in New South Wales parliament’.

Here the ABC proceeded to expose Fred Nile MP (Upper House, New South Wales parliament), who is ‘renowned for campaigning on social issues. He opposes gay marriage, gay adoption, Islamic face coverings, and wants limits on halal food in Australian supermarkets’. The ABC’s bagging of him continued, ‘But despite his long history of activism, he does not understand why some people call him controversial’.

Fred’s response was:

“It always surprises me, because I’m the most non-controversial person you could get,” he said.

“Everything I believe is just so – in my opinion – mainstream and ordinary.

“The only controversy comes because there are groups of people who oppose what I’m saying.”

Then 7.30 proceeded to expose Nile’s approach to Muslim immigration:

Rev Nile once called for a halt to Muslim immigration, and now he fears that a larger Islamic community will try to impose sharia law.

“There are some dangers that Australians should appreciate,” he said.

“Once [the Muslim population] gets to 5 per cent or 10 per cent, it’s not that the Australians change [but] the Muslims change and become more militant and more demanding.”

The opponents on ABC TV

So who does the ABC call on to oppose Fred Nile?

Islamic Friendship Association Spokesman Keysar Trad condemned Mr Nile’s statement.

“I’m very disappointed with Fred Nile’s contribution to New South Wales,” he said.

“As a man of God, as a Reverend, you’d expect him to be inclusive, you’d expect him to reach out with love and compassion and peace towards others.

“But what we’ve seen from him over the last couple of decades is vitriol, divisiveness and fear mongering about Islam and Muslims.”

Then there was Greens MP, John Kaye, who spruiked his opposition to Nile’s policies:

“Fred has always been the pilot fish of the lunar Right,” Greens MP John Kaye said.

“When homophobia was the cause of the day, Fred was right there as their man in parliament.

“Now it’s hatred of Muslims, and fear of Muslims, whether it’s mosques or halal food, Fred is their voice in parliament.”

Mr Kaye said he expected Rev Nile to vote with the Government on most issues.

“He is the Government’s patsy,” he said.

Enter illogical thinking

By calling Fred Nile ‘the pilot fish of the lunar Right’, John Kaye is using an ad hominem logical fallacy to put down Nile. What is a logical fallacy? It is illogic in action. But the journalist who did the interviewing of John Kaye did not call him for using such fallacious reasoning. If he called him to task, he could have said something like, ‘Why are you labelling Fred Nile’s character and actions when you should be dealing with the truth or falsity of his claims about homosexuality, Muslim immigration, halal food and mosques? That’s false reasoning that you are using’. Hearing that from an ABC journalist would send this viewer into an unnatural tizzy fit. The ABC, based on my past listening and viewing, is not in the habit of giving favourable coverage to Christians who are engaged in the public culture.

Does this contemporary journalist not have the common sense to know what John Kaye did in that kind of response? Kaye did not deal with the issues Nile is raising and their impact on Australian society.

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fallacies

The supporters on ABC TV?

Who would you think that ABC TV’s 7.30 would bring in support of Fred Nile so that there would be ‘balance’ in the programme? Outside of his wife, there was

Not a soul. Not one! clip_image002[4] clip_image003[4] clip_image004[4]

The ABC receives approximately $6.61 billion (over 5 years) in Australian government funding to run its broadcast operations. There are many Christians who live in Australia, so who would any journalist worth his salt choose to engage positively with Fred Nile’s views? There was not a single person. So, I sent

A complaint

This is the online bellyache I had against the ABC and its bias:[1]

I’ve just watched your 7.30 programme featuring Fred Nile and his wife in which you proceed to bag Fred Nile for the things he stands for. This was a classic example of ABC bigotry towards this Christian parliamentarian. Who did you choose to oppose him? A Greens MP who proceeded to slam him for what he wants to do about Islamic migration and Fred’s support for the James Packer casino.

If the ABC was to present a balanced programme I’d just about have a heart attack. For every one who opposed Fred on 7.30, you should be presenting one in favour of Fred’s views. That would at least be fair. But Leigh Sales had only the bag in hand to bash Fred Nile’s views.

I’m tired of the bigotry that the ABC presents against those who don’t support the ABC’s agenda. If you did to a Muslim, what you did to Fred, you’d have a Jihad on your hands. But you think that it’s perfectly OK to bash Fred Nile, a Christian, while you receive $2 billion[2] in funding from the Federal Govt. It’s time that the ABC learned what fairness and justice are about.

You slammed Fred Nile with your dose of injustice. What will 7.30 do to change its approach to people who have views with which it disagrees?

P.S. I don’t live in NSW so I can’t vote for Fred Nile but as a Christian, I found what you did to be utterly offensive.

I omitted to mention that one other opponent was featured on 7.30, Islamic Friendship Association Spokesman, Keysar Trad.

The ABC’s reply

How do you think that ABC would reply to what I emailed to them? Well, I’m not allowed to tell you. But I can say, from my perspective, it was not favourable towards the content of my complaint to it about Fred Nile’s views.

But it did make sure that I couldn’t tell you exactly what it said, by making this claim at the end of the email received from a person at ABC’s ‘Audience and Consumer Affairs’ on 20 April 2015. It stated:

The information contained in this email and any attachment is confidential and may contain legally privileged or copyright material. It is intended only for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are not permitted to disseminate, distribute or copy this email or any attachments. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email from your system. The ABC does not represent or warrant that this transmission is secure or virus free. Before opening any attachment you should check for viruses. The ABC’s liability is limited to resupplying any email and attachments.

I can’t even give you my response to this reply because I included some quotes from the ABCs reply.

Conclusion

The overall emphasis of the 7.30 story on Fred Nile was to paint this politician who could hold the balance of power as an extremist who doesn’t represent what the Greens MP or the Islamic association promotes.

There’s a lesson here for all Christians who want to engage in public issues through cultural apologetics. Be prepared for antagonistic bashing from mass media journalists and their producers.

New South Wales Legislative Council (55th Parliament)

Coat of arms or logo

Upper house (since 1856) of the Parliament of New South Wales

(Courtesy Wikipedia)

Notes


[1] I sent this via an online complaints form to the ABC on Thursday, 16 April 2015, and at my request I received a copy of my complaint by email reply. I await a response from the ABC, but I’m not holding my breath expecting them to do anything by way of change of editorial policy. However, they need to hear my protests and reasons for it.

[2] Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, on his website stated, ‘the Government’s continued investment in national broadcasting of more than $6.61 billion over the same five year period’ (FAQs on ABC and SBS, 19 December 2014, Malcolm Turnbull MP).

 

Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.

Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah not being hospitable?

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

John Martin’s rendering of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction (Courtesy Creationwiki)

By Spencer D Gear

I find it disconcerting how wide of the mark some secular journalists can become in their understanding of Scripture. A recent example was that of Elizabeth Farrelly in The Age, a Melbourne newspaper (also online). The article was titled, ‘Tenets of democracy get lost in hate storm’.[1]

The first line was, ‘The sin of sodomy, say biblical scholars, was not homosexual sex but a failure of hospitality’. Really?

Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe give this reason behind the ‘hospitality’ interpretation of Gen 19 rather than sexual sodomy:

Some have argued that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality, not homosexuality. They base this claim on the Canaanite custom that guarantees protection for those coming under one’s roof. Lot is alleged to have referred to it when he said, “Don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (Gen. 19:8 NIV). So Lot offered his daughters to satisfy the angry crowd in order to protect the lives of the visitors who had come under his roof. Some also claim that the request of the men of the city to “know” (Gen. 19:5 ) simply means “to get acquainted,” since the Hebrew word “know” (yada) generally has no sexual connotations whatsoever (cf. Psalm 139:1 ) (Geisler & Howe 1992:48).

Farrelly’s view is that biblical scholars claim that the issue for Sodom & Gomorrah is not the sin of male homosexuality but of being inhospitable.

That is not how the Hebrew scholars who translated the New International Version of the Bible saw it. Their translation of Genesis 19:5 is that the men from every part of Sodom who ‘called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them”‘. That’s not hospitality but sexual perversion.

While the Hebrew word, yada (know),[2] is not mandatory to be translated as ‘to have sex with’, in 10 of its 12 times in Genesis (see Gen 4:1, 25), it does mean that. We know from Gen 19:8 that it means sexual intercourse as Lot refers to his virgin daughters who had not ‘known’ a man, obviously meaning sexual intercourse.

‘Know’ cannot mean a hospitable person getting acquainted with someone else because it is associated with ‘a wicked thing’ in Gen 19:7. In addition, God said he would be destroying Sodom & Gomorrah in Gen 18:16-33, before the evidence of Gen 19:5, 8.

Elizabeth Farrelly, as a journalist, has violated a fundamental of interpretation in her statement that the sin of Sodom was not homosexual sex but failure to be hospitable. That fundamental of hermeneutics is that the meaning of any text, including Farrelly’s writing in The Age, is determined by the context in which it is used. To determine the context for the Sodom situation, one has to go to Genesis 18 and 19. There one finds evidence that the sin of sodomy definitely refers to sexual intercourse between men (homosexuality) and not to inhospitality.

Farrelly concludes her article with these words:

When the men of Sodom demanded that Lot relinquish his angel visitors, his asylum seekers, God punished Sodom for this breach of the sacred duty of welcome. A sodomite was a hard-heart, a jackboot, a repeller of blow-ins.

So I ask again, is Scott Morrison a sodomite? Is Tony Abbott? Are we okay with this?

Farrelly is right off track because she can’t be on track with her interpretation of Sodom and the sodomites in Genesis 19. If she gets that context wrong, how can she be correct with her application to Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott?

Am I okay with Farrelly’s interpretation of sodomites and application to Morrison and Abbott? Absolutely not! She is pushing her politically correct agenda and it has nothing to do with an accurate, contextual interpretation of the Sodom and Gomorrah events of Genesis 19.

Therefore, based on the above exposition, it is reasonable to interpret the Genesis 19 passages as referring to something other than Farrelly’s view of not being hospitable. It definitely refers to the sin of sexual sodomy, i.e. homosexuality.

Works consulted

Geisler, N & Howe, T 1992. When critics ask: A popular handbook on Bible difficulties. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books.

Notes


[1] The Age, 25 September 2014. Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/tenets-of-democracy-get-lost-in-hate-storm-20140924-10lbp4.html#ixzz3EHScfs7W (Accessed 25 September 2014).

[2] Some of the following information is based on Geisler & Howe (1992:48-49).

 

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 November 2015.

The failures of defacto relationships

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Symbols Sex Clip Art(courtesy clker.com)

By Spencer D Gear

 It is not unusual to hear people advocating sex before marriage and the benefits of defacto relationships – cohabitation. Why do people decide to shack up together without marriage? There are many reasons for it that I have heard in general and relationship counselling over many years.

I encountered this fellow, who states he is a non–Christian, on a Christian forum online. He stated:

It IS all about sex.  All objections about shacking up, from time immemorial, are fundamentally based on the belief that sex outside of marriage is wrong.

What else about a couple living together would someone have objections to?  Sharing meals together?  Sharing housework?  The man seeing the woman early in the morning without her makeup on?  Let’s at least be honest:  a romantically involved couple who decide to live together are announcing to the world that they’re having sex, and this is fundamentally what upsets so many people.[1]

How should I respond? Here goes:[2]

I have two objections to cohabitation before marriage:

(1)   God says it is wrong (see 1 Corinthians 7) and I want to please him. And,
(2)  The statistical information is clear that cohabitation does not lead to long-term relationships, and marriage after cohabitation leads to a high level of break down of marriage.

Let’s look at some basic statistical information:

Take a read of these articles

The second article (Fitzgibbons 2005-2011) states:

In the U.S., cohabitation, not divorce, now poses the biggest challenge to marriage. In 1960: 500,000 and in 2010: 7,529,000 couples cohabitate. More than 60% of marriages are now preceded by cohabitation (Wilcox et al. 2011).

A 2013 report on cohabitation from the National Center for Health Statistics was based on in-person interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010 with 12,279 women, ages 15-44. It demonstrated:

as a first union, 48% of women cohabited with their male partner, up from 43% in 2002 and 34% in 1995;

designQuiltsmall 22 months was the median duration of first cohabitation, up from 20 months in 2002 and 13 months in 1995;

designQuiltsmall 19% of women became pregnant and gave birth in the first year of a first premarital cohabitation and

designQuiltsmall 70% of women without a high school diploma cohabited as a first union, compared with 47% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (Jayson 2013).

About 40 percent of children spend time in a cohabiting household, while 21% of children are born into cohabiting unions (Fitzgibbons 2005-2011).

Also, from the same article:

A. The Harmful Effects of Cohabitation in Relationships

Red Heart

(courtesy i2clipart)

  • A 1992 study of 3,300 cases found that couples who cohabited prior to marriage have a risk for divorce that is about 46% higher than for non-cohabiters (Journal of Marriage and the family: February 1992).
  • Annual rates of depression among cohabiting couples are more than three times what they are among married couples (Journal of Health and Social Behavior: September 2000).
  • Women cohabiting relationships are more likely to suffer physical and sexual abuse than married women (National Marriage Project, Rutgers University: 2002).
  • The more months of exposure to cohabitation, the less enthusiastic couples are about marriage and childbearing (Journal of Marriage & Family: 59, 1997).
  • Cohabiting couples report lower levels of happiness, lower levels of sexual exclusivity and satisfaction, and poorer relationships with their parents (Journal of Family Issues: January 1995).
  • Cohabiters tend to not have an ethic of commitment that is as strong as non-cohabiters.  This could explain the high rates of divorce among couples that cohabited prior to marriage (Journal of Marriage and the Family: August 1997).
  • Cohabiting unions tend to weaken the institution of marriage and pose special risks to children (Just Living Together: Implications of Cohabitation on Families, Children and Social Policy.  New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 2002).
  • By 2000, the total number of unmarried couples in America was almost 4.75 million, up from less than half a million in 1960 (U.S. Census Bureau: 2001).
  • Cohabitation increases acceptance of divorce among young people (Journal of Marriage & Family: 59).
  • Cohabitation can contribute to selfishness and later a lack of openness to children.
  • Respondents who cohabited after divorce or cohabited with their partner in a subsequent marriage reported, on average, lower levels of happiness in the remarriage than remarried respondents who did not cohabit at after the initial divorce (Journal of Marriage and Family: Vol. 68, Number 2. May, 2006).
  • Compared with peers who had not cohabited prior to marriage, individuals who had cohabited reported higher levels of depression and the level of depression also rose with the length of cohabitation. (Alabama Policy Institute: August 2006).
  • The longer couples cohabited before marrying, the more likely they were to resort to heated arguments, hitting, and throwing objects when conflicts arose in their subsequent marriage. A longer length of cohabitation was linked to a greater frequency of heated arguments, even when controlling for spouses’ age. (Alabama Policy Institute: August, 2006)
  • Women in cohabiting relationships are nine times more likely to be killed by their partner than were married women. Within cohabiting relationships, middle-aged women were at greatest risk of being killed. (Shackelford, T.K. & Mouzos, J., 2005. Partner Killing by Men in Cohabiting and Marital Relationships: A Comparative, Cross-National Analysis of Data from Australia and the United States.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol.30, number 10, 1310-1324.)

The above details are from Richard Fitzgibbons (2005-2011).

Did you notice the first point of this last list? ‘A 1992 study of 3,300 cases found that coupled (sic) who cohabited prior to marriage have a risk for divorce that is about 46% higher than for non-cohabiters (Journal of Marriage and the family: February 1992)’. And that’s a 1992 study.

Cohabitation is NOT a good way to go with relationships and marriage. The statistics are out there for all to see.

The Fitzgibbons (2005-2011) article tells of the harmful effects of cohabitation on children. Why don’t people take a read and contemplate the harm that cohabitation is doing to the couples in our nations. My friend’s marriage ended in divorce a few years ago (she is in her 30s). Since then she has cohabited with 3 different fellows. Only a few weeks ago the third fellow, whom she would have liked to marry, walked out on her, leaving her devastated. She thought the relationship was going well, but he did not want the commitment she was wanting.

What would the stats be like in 2013? We do have some more recent statistical information. See, ‘Is Living Together Before Marriage a Good Idea?

B. Effects of cohabitation on children

This Fitzgibbons (2005-2011) article tells of the harmful effects of cohabitation on children. Why don’t people take a read and contemplate the harm that cohabitation is doing to the couples in our nation.

1. The defacto results

Those who cohabit have relationships that don’t last very long. Those who cohabit and then marry also have limited relationship longevity.

The statistics should scream at us that shacking up together in a defacto relationship is a bad idea.

C. The claim that porneia did not mean sex before marriage

Red Heart(courtesy 12clipart)

In this same thread on the same forum, I was somewhat shocked to read this kind of statement on a Christian forum about sex before marriage.

“Fornication” was an English word. The Greeks used the word “porneia” which meant “whoremonger, audultery (sic), idolatry.” It never meant sex before marriage.[3]

My counter punch was:[4]

I don’t know where you are obtaining your information about the Greeks and their use of porneia. I suggest that you go to Arndt & Gingrich’s Greek lexicon for the NT (I read and teach NT Greek) and you will find that porneia means ‘prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse’ (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:699, emphasis in original).

We know from what Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he was dealing with the problem of unlawful sexual intercourse outside of marriage. He wrote:

‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. But because of the temptation to sexual immorality [porneia], each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband’ (1 Cor 7:1-3 ESV).

It is clear from this passage that God’s requirement was against unlawful sexual intercourse – fornication (porneia) – outside of marriage. Therefore, Paul urged the Corinthians ‘concerning the matters about which you wrote’ (1 Cor 7:1) to marry and not have illicit sex outside of marriage. Therefore, it is against God’s Word to advocate sex outside of marriage.

Let me be very practical about the implications. I have just retired after 34 years as a counsellor and counselling manager, mostly with secular Australians. I have spent the last 17 years in a full-time counsellor / counselling manager position and also supervising counsellors.

I wish I did not have to deal with the consequences of illicit sex and what it does to a relationship and marriage. A significant portion of my counselling would have been eliminated if I didn’t have to deal with porneia (fornication) before and after marriage.

I could not begin to tell you of the damage that multiple sexual partners does to a relationship and the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on a person and relationship. Only 2 weeks ago I was in the emergency department of a major Brisbane public hospital being treated for a collapse associated with my heart disease. In the bed beside me, only separated by a curtain, I heard the horrific screams of woman that went on and on. I overheard an emergency nurse ask her: How many sexual partners have you had in the last 12 months? She had many and the nurse told her that she could have an STD. These are the practical consequences of the practice of porneia (fornication).

What happens with anal sex and the diseases caused? See my articles; (1) Reasons to oppose homosexual marriage and (2) The dangers of anal sex and fisting

I hope you understand by now that there are practical reasons why God tells Christians to avoid fornication, adultery, sex outside of marriage.

And we haven’t dealt with what God says that happens when a man and a woman join in sex – the effects of bonding. See my article, God’s view of sex.

There are biblical and practical reasons why God forbids sex outside of marriage – porneia.

D. Sex outside of marriage not forbidden, she says! Really?

Male Female Symbols Clip Art

(courtesy clker.com)

This person wrote:

I wouldn’t place the idea of sex before marriage in the same category as murderers. No where in the Bible was a personed (sic) punished for having sex out of wedlock, nor does the Bible say a single word about unwed mothers sinning. Mary became pregnant with Jesus before she was married (emphasis added). [5]

This is factually untrue.[6]

1. Old Covenant consequences

I suggested that this person should go back to reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation where she will find the truth about illicit sex outside of marriage.
Take a read of Leviticus 20:10-14,

‘“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbour, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 14 If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you (ESV).

Here, under the Old Covenant, the punishment for illicit sex outside of marriage was death for both perpetrators.

Why, therefore, did this person promoted the lie that nowhere in the Bible was a person  punished for having sex out of wedlock?

As for Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus, it was not caused by a joining of a man and a woman so could not be regarded as porneia (illicit sex).

Also, take a read of Leviticus 18:20, ‘You shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her’ (ESV).

2. What about the New Covenant?

I encouraged this person to be accurate in what she wrote about this subject on the forum.

E. God’s view of sex before marriage

Google (public domain)

 

See my articles,

bronze-arrow-small  God’s view of sex.

bronze-arrow-small  Cooch grass and a biblical view of sex

bronze-arrow-small Sex at its best

bronze-arrow-small  Conned by the Condom

bronze-arrow-small  Why should we oppose homosexual marriage?

 

In summary: Do you want sex at its best?

clip_image002 Wait for the sexual relationship until marriage.

clip_image002[1] If that is too late, confess your sin and remain chaste.

clip_image002[2] Be faithful in marriage.

First Corinthians 7:2-5 (NLT) is a key passage in understanding God’s view of sex at its best (in marriage):

But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

All of that sounds all fashioned, but sex at its best comes with God’s approval and research supports it.

F.  Works consulted

Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English lexicon of the NewTestament and other early Christian literature.[7] Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).

Jayson, S 2013. Cohabitation first is new norm for unmarrieds with kids (online), USA Today, April 4. Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/04/cohabitation-families-pregnancy/2050073/ (Accessed 30 January 2014).

Fitzgibbons, R P 2005-2011. The risks of cohabitation (online). maritalhealing.com, available at: http://www.maritalhealing.com/conflicts/risksofcohabitation.php (Accessed 30 January 2014).

G.  Notes


[1] Jim Odom #19, 6 November 2013, Christian Fellowship Forum, Christian Morals, ‘Shacking up before marriage’. Available at: http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=11&nav=messages&webtag=ws-fellowship&tid=122551 (Accessed 27 November 2013).

[2] Ibid., Ozspen #41, 27 November 2013.

[3] Ibid., Melissa #34.

[4] Ibid., ozspen #39.

[5] Ibid., Melissa #34.

[6] I wrote the follow as ozspen #40, ibid.

[7] This is ‘a translation and adaptation of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wörtbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur’ (4th rev & augmented edn 1952) (Arndt & Gingrich 1957:iii).

 

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 18 November 2015.

The dangers of anal sex and fisting

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Sex On The Brain

(courtesy publicdomainpictures.net)

By Spencer D Gear

Anal sex is intercourse via the anus/rectum rather than using the vagina. It is sexual activity that involves inserting the penis in the rear end (anus) rather than the front end (vagina).

What is fisting? ‘Fisting is a type of sexual activity that involves using the whole hand (fist) to penetrate the body. People engage in both vaginal fisting — inserting the hand inside the vagina — and anal fisting, inserting the hand into the rectum’ (Elizabeth Boskey 2011, Fisting: Sexually Transmitted Diseases [STDs]).

In a reply on a Christian forum, I wrote:

I cannot begin to tell you what happens with anal sex and the diseases caused.

There are practical reasons why God tells Christians to avoid fornication, adultery, sex outside of marriage.

And we haven’t dealt with what God says that happens when a man and a woman join in sex – the effects of bonding. But that’s for another time.

There are biblical and practical reasons why God forbids sex outside of marriage – porneia.[1]

A mature Christian responded:

I just wanted to add, you mentioned anal sex. This is growing in popularity among the younger generation that doesn’t seem to have a clue how physically destructive and dangerous this is.

Our family had a huge discussion on this very subject. My sister who is a counselor talked very frankly to all the young people in our family about how it became such a common practice among heterosexuals and the disastrous physical effects it has on the body.[2]

How should I reply? Be honest, avoid the topic, or give a compromised position that will not cause offense? I chose the line of honesty and gave a[3]

A.  Warning rather than falling victim

If people find this topic too offensive (what follows), I or the moderators can delete it. But I thought that we needed to get back to grassroots here. Warning might be better than becoming a victim. I can put the topic on my homepage and give a link to those who want to visit it.

The topic I have introduced is not new to the medical, psychological and counselling professions. I speak as a long-term counsellor and counselling manager who has recently retired.
For some of the evidence and the danger of anal/rectal sex, I recommend a read of,

You’ll appreciate that this is not a disease restricted to the homosexuals as I know of heterosexuals who are getting into the practice as well. As a counsellor, I’m deeply concerned at what people don’t know about anal intercourse and the damage of fisting.

B.  Vaginal vs. anal intercourse and the dangers

Here’s a graphic of the rectum and anus:

clip_image001
Courtesy WebMD

God made the vagina with thick walls for sexual penetration. The rectum and its entrance, the anus, are not designed by God for sexual penetration. Therefore, anal/rectal sex is at a higher risk of disease as medical experts tell us. I’m not inventing this.
God knew what he was about when his law restricted sexual intercourse to a man and woman and in the place that God made for such sexual activity.

Then there is the added problem that comes with ‘fisting’ in vagina and rectum. See the article, ‘Sexual trauma associated with fisting and recreational drugs‘.

These may not be nice topics to discuss, but I have to be honest in exposing the consequences of what is happening in our sexualised society.

I don’t enjoy having to deal openly with this kind of topic. I’m grieved that people get into it without knowing the consequences. One doesn’t have to be a Christian to know of the harm that anal/rectal intercourse and fisting do to the human body.

There are disgusting photos online of fisting action.

C.  Is anal sex safe?

I went to WebMD Sexual Health Center and the article, ‘Anal sex safety and health concerns’ and learned that anal sex is risky sexual activity:

An estimated 90% of men who have sex with men and as many as 5% to 10% of sexually active women engage in receptive anal intercourse.

Often referred to simply as anal sex, anal intercourse is sexual activity that involves inserting the penis into the anus. People may engage in anal intercourse, which has health risks, because the anus is full of nerve endings, making it very sensitive. For some recipients of anal sex, the anus can be an erogenous zone that responds to sexual stimulation. For the giving partner, the anus may provide a pleasing tightness around the penis.

While some people find anal sex enjoyable, the practice has downsides and requires special safety precautions.

Anal sex has a number of health risks. Anal intercourse is the riskiest form of sexual activity for several reasons, including the following:

6pointLight-smallThe anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. This can result in the spread of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure. Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also lead to the development of anal warts and anal cancer. Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.

6pointLight-smallThe tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus.Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection. The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection.

6pointLight-smallThe anus was designed to hold in feces. The anus is surrounded with a ring-like muscle, called the anal sphincter, which tightens after we defecate. When the muscle is tight, anal penetration can be painful and difficult. Repetitive anal sex may lead to weakening of the anal sphincter, making it difficult to hold in feces until you can get to the toilet. However, Kegel exercises to strengthen the sphincter may help prevent this problem or correct it.

6pointLight-smallThe anus is full of bacteria. Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. Practicing vaginal sex after anal sex can also lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections.

Anal sex can carry other risks as well. Oral contact with the anus can put both partners at risk for hepatitis, herpes, HPV, and other infections. For heterosexual couples, pregnancy can occur if semen is deposited near the opening to the vagina.

Even though serious injury from anal sex is not common, it can occur. Bleeding after anal sex could be due to a hemorrhoid or tear, or something more serious such as a perforation (hole) in the colon. This is a dangerous problem that requires immediate medical attention. Treatment involves a hospital stay, surgery, and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Surely this should be sending a strong message to avoid anal sex. The anus and rectum were not made for penetration. The vagina is.

As for fisting, get the gist of the feisty, fantastic, outlandish way of abusing your body – sexually. Become an advocate for healthy living and give up the practice and recommendation of sexual fisting.

D.  A feisty response

One fellow got rather feisty when I provided a link to this article on Christian Fellowship Forum.  He wrote:

You cited a single article by a doctor as your soul scientific reference — completely without peer review, then launched into an opinion piece based on nothing more than your personal opinion about a subject you’re not qualified to write about with any authority.

Bring in real scientific studies and facts, then your credibility will rise (‘Five things I wish Christians would admit about the Bible’, George #130).

My response was (ozspen #165):

For heaven’s sake, I was writing a popular level article on fisting and the dangers of anal intercourse and I cited an article that was written by Elizabeth Boskey, written or reviewed by a board-certified physician that dealt with the dangers of this activity. It was not written for an academic audience to provide peer-reviewed research articles. However, the information is consistent with the peer-reviewed articles I have read down through my 34 years as a counsellor and counselling manager.

It’s time he got with the programme of why I have a homepage and the nature of my audience. In addition, he is as capable as I to Google peer-reviewed articles that deal with the dangers of anal intercourse. But no, he spoofed at my article because it didn’t provide peer-reviewed information. That was not its purpose. My homepage audience, based on the feedback I receive, is not interested in peer-reviewed material . They want the practical facts of the dangers of such risky sexual behaviour as anal intercourse and fisting.

In this article, The dangers of anal sex and fisting, I included information from the Cancer Health Center which concluded that ‘Gay Men Should Be Checked for Anal Cancer, Experts Say‘. I provided a link to an article by John Riggs MD on ‘The health risks of gay sex‘. ‘The Gay Bowel Syndrome‘ provided details of the problem and then had a bibliography that provided links to peer-reviewed articles.

As for peer-reviewed journals that document this problem with anal intercourse, see:

  1. Prevalence of Unprotected Anal Intercourse among Men Who Have Sex with Men in China: An Updated Meta-Analysis;
  2. Anal sex practices in heterosexual and male homosexual populations: A review of population-based data (Anal sex is known to be an important risk factor for anal cancer);
  3. Anal sex among young people and implications for health promotion: A qualitative study in the UK (British Medical Journal);
  4. A qualitative assessment of health seeking practices among and provision practices for men who have sex with men in Malawi (It found that men who have sex with men (MSM) in Malawi have a disproportionate burden of HIV compared to other adults)
  5. A systematic review of HIV interventions for black men who have sex with men (MSM) (It found that Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by HIV/AID);
  6. Anal sex and associated HIV-related sexual risk factors among female sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, India (Anal sex is associated with STI symptoms, a factor for HIV risk. HIV intervention programmes need to educate female sex workers about the risks associated with anal sex).

Notes:

[1] Christian Fellowship Forum, Christian Morals, ‘Shacking up before marriage’, ozspen #39, available at: http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=33&nav=messages&webtag=ws-fellowship&tid=122551 (Accessed 28 November 2013).

[2] Ibid., Noelle #43.

[3] Ibid., ozspen #46.

 
Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 12 November 2015.