The process that put us here is one that medical science can tell us about, one that is taught in classrooms from grade school to graduate school. It is learned in the "gutter" among children, through all forms of media by teenagers, and by X-rated movies for anyone 17 years of age or older. But how has this knowledge been applied? A few of the sobering statistics should give you the answer. There are approximately ten million homosexuals in the United States and three million in Great Britain; most "advanced" nations have a similar one-in-twenty ratio. The United States' figure includes about two and a half million male homosexuals (men with no apparent sexual interest in females), one million lesbians (female homosexuals), and about six million bisexuals (men and women who have both homo-and heterosexual desires). There are about 500,000 illegitimate children born each year in the United States alone. It has been estimated that one out of seven girls between the ages of 12 and 17 will give birth to a child out of wed lock — and proportionately four times as many black girls as white will experience premarital pregnancy. This is not a racist statistic. The rate would be much higher among affluent whites except for abortions (there were 900,000 legal abortions in 1974), greater availability of contraceptives, illegal adoptions (much easier among whites), and shotgun weddings among young girls pregnant before the marriage ceremony. There were two million cases of gonorrhea and 80,000 cases of syphilis treated in 1974, but health authorities say the number of reported cases should be multiplied by at least four to get an idea of the actual number of infections. Venereal disease is the largest pandemic of modern history, eclipsing the flu and venereal disease epidemics of 1917-1919, and now responsible for more infections than the next six communicable diseases combined (including hepatitis, mumps, measles, scarlet fever, strep throat, and tuberculosis). For a full discussion of the seriousness of VD, read our free article "The Silent Epidemic." There are 2,500 divorces every day in the United States, many due to sexual incompatibility which masquerades as "mental cruelty." This represents over 900,000 divorces per year, as compared to two million marriages. More than one in four marriages now ends in divorce in the United States. The rate is slightly less in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, but it is still at a very serious rate of about one in five marriages ending in divorce in some of these nations. Of course the vast number of separations, desertions, adulteries, and just plain unhappy marriages pushes the failure rate to about three in four in most Western nations. The Kinsey reports published some 25 years ago revealed that half of all husbands had cheated on their wives at one time or another, over one-third of all men had engaged in at least one overt act of homosexuality in their lives, and that one in six of all rural boys had experienced sexual contact with animals! And all that was before the sexual revolution of the sixties! Between 500 million and a billion dollars are annually spent on hard-core pornography. The incidence of rape has doubled in the past ten years, while crimes of sexual vice such as prostitution exceed pornography in dollar volume and rape in the number of people involved. There is no use in belaboring the facts — sick sex is all around us.
The Sea Around Us
British author Malcolm Muggeridge, writing in The New Statesman, has rightly observed that sex "permeates every corner and cranny of life, from birth to the grave." American mores, he says, are "drenched, if not submerged, in sex." We live in a sex-saturated society, and it seems you can't escape it. Why not then face the reality of sex and begin to look into the subject for yourself to find out what the real standard of sexual behavior should be? Is sex sin? What are the "right values"? Who made them, and why? Are the laws of sex as binding as the laws of gravity, inertia, electricity, energy, force, or motion? In other words, will they break you if you break them? Or can you indulge in any act you want, with whomever you want, whenever you please, and expect to walk away with a happy, fulfilled, pleasurable life? If all the grisly statistics listed above could be eradicated, would "free sex" then be free? If by use of careful contraceptive and hygienic practices, all venereal disease could be eradicated, all unwanted pregnancies could be halted, all marriages became "no fault" casual liaisons that would "self-destruct in five years"; if mankind put protection before passion, could he get away with free sex? You can see the answer for yourself in the lives around you. Do wife-swappers and adulterers have any more than a shallow facade of "swinging"? Those few extreme libertines who have participated in mass sexual orgies have been noted for their sheer boredom with the sex act and with life itself. Look at the fruits in people's lives. In many cases you see mental trauma, despair, inability to relate confidently with other types of people, to hold a job, or to help mankind. You see people turned inward like a painful ingrown toenail, interested only in self-gratification. You see warped, stoop-shouldered, vacant-eyed teenagers and adults who cannot cope with life. Despite these psychological kickbacks, man thinks he escapes scot-free from wrong sexual practices if he's physically "careful." Despite these few "careful" people, the vast majority does NOT escape the physical penalties for wrong sexual practices. Our welfare rolls are filled with illegitimate children; our employment statistics reflect the many young men who dropped out of school early to wed already pregnant brides; our hospitals cope with ever increasing sex-related diseases and abortions. There is a CAUSE for all these effects! Society is paying an awful price for overlooking the CAUSE of happiness and joy. "Free sex" is NOT free! It costs dearly!
God Created Sex
What does God's Word say about sex? Does the Bible support Victorian prudery (which prevailed "in the name of Christianity"), or the modern tolerant attitude (found increasingly in many "Christian" circles) toward sexual perversion? After all, the Bible is supposedly the foundation for Western religion. Most believe the Bible contains a few "Thou shalt nots" about sex, but that it generally keeps aloof from such a "dirty" and embarrassing subject. Just the opposite is true. Nowhere in the Bible is the sex act, of itself, called a sin! The Bible is the Maker's hand book for His product, mankind, and since sex is an important part of human life and history, the Bible is replete with sexual instructions and examples. Almost every main character in the Bible was involved in situations which teach a lesson about sex.
Should the Bible be Censored?
Several years ago, a California state measure advocating potentially stiff censorship (Proposition 18) was defeated. One point that opponents to the bill raised was that the Bible might well need to be censored if the bill passed. Beginning with the account of nudity in the Garden of Eden through the accounts of Samson and Delilah or David and Bathsheba, even into the New Testament records of incest in the Corinthian church, the Bible is filled with sexual instructions, and examples right and wrong! Each illicit sexual encounter in the Bible teaches a vital moral lesson. For instance, Samson's licentiousness with pretty Philistine women eventually cost him his eyes and later his life. David's adultery with Bathsheba resulted in the birth and death of his infant son, the rebellion and untimely death of yet another son and the public rape of his own wives (II Sam. 12:7-14). It is true that David did repent of his crime (II Sam. 12:13 and Psalm 51), but what a fearsome physical penalty he had to pay. The Bible also records Lot's narrow escape from Sodom and the subsequent incestuous "rape" by his daughters, speaks of Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines, contains the Song of Solomon, and describes the covenant of circumcision. All these examples point to a God who is no prude about describing matters sexual. Should these accounts be censored, or do they have any "socially redeeming value"? In a sense, the Bible is already censored by translators in the King James Version. The earthy and frank Hebrew texts are rendered into relatively harmless euphemisms of Old English. Strangely enough, however, even this relatively prudish version of the Bible was considered quite vulgar during the Victorian era. In 1833, Noah Webster (of dictionary fame) issued an amended King James Version which deleted such "shocking" words as womb, fornication, whore, and stones (already a euphemism for "testicles"). Onan no longer "spilled his seed" (which is in itself a soft translation), but he "frustrated the purpose. "Thankfully, Noah Webster's version is not the Authorized Version today.
Is the Bible Pornographic?
No, the Bible is NOT pornography, because the right use of sex is not dirty. The Bible is not pornography since God has carefully chosen descriptive words instead of lewd and suggestive pictures to communicate to man about sex. Intimate details are omitted, and spiritual instruction is the goal, not sales of Bibles. The Bible is true to life about sex, not blowing it out of proportion to excite. The Bible gives examples and overall principles and leaves the husband and wife to fill in the pleasing details ("Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled," says Hebrews 13:4). Many religions commonly teach that sex sins are some how greater than other sins. There is no denying that sex sin is sin and it hurts one physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually, but to rate it as the worst of sins or an unforgiveable sin is to distort the truth (James 2:10 defines all sin as worthy of death). Jesus forgave many a prostitute and said that the perverts of Sodom and Gomorrah would have an easier time in the general resurrection than the self-righteous Pharisees of His day. This says that self-righteousness is at least "as sinful" as sexual sins, and that it is harder to repent of.
How God Created Sex
Is God a prude? Did He turn His eyes from the naked man and woman He had created, or did He look right at their newly created bodies and say "That's GOOD"? Also, is the desire and attraction between the sexes built in by God, or is it a sin, the result of some mysterious "fall" of man? God could have created humans to reproduce like certain plants or fish. Like a plant, a person could cut off a finger, plant it in the dirt, and a new human being would grow. Like some other plants, man could be created to circulate spores or pollen in the air which would float to a female. Or like some fish, human females could lay eggs and the male could return days later to fertilize them. God created these sexual systems too. But God created a unique way of reproduction within marriage especially for humanity. Sex was not only intended for reproduction, but also for pleasure between husband and wife — to mutually endear themselves to each other for life. Genesis 1:27 proclaims "...male and female created he them." In verse 31 God reaffirms the wisdom of His male-and-female creation as He looked at ALL He created and said it was "VERY GOOD." In a naked male and female, nothing is more obvious than the sexual apparatus. God saw it all and said that sex was "very good."
Satan Introduces Shame
Many religions either teach outright that sex is evil, or that sex only for reproduction is the lesser of the two evils. Certain "Christian" philosophers have said that meditation is the highest form of worship. Sex is carnal and evil, they say, while celibacy is man's purest form of existence. Is this what the God of the Bible teaches? Absolutely not! But which god does teach this? A god that hates sex "the god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4); a god that introduced shame into sex; a god that proclaims sex as the "fall of man." This god's name is Satan, the Adversary, the Serpent of Genesis 3 — a god who is himself sexless, unable to reproduce. (In a world infused with antisupernaturalistic bias, it is not trendy or popular to believe in such a "god." But for proof that there is a real God and information about the origin of the devil, read our free booklets Does God Exist? And Did God Create a Devil?) The God of your Bible says that "forbidding to marry" is a doctrine of demons (I Timothy 4:1-3). The God of the Bible says the "marriage bed is undefiled." The God of the Bible commands husbands and wives to have frequent sexual intercourse "... lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control" (I Cor. 7:5). Satan tempts through abstinence. He has deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9) about the so-called "fall-of-man" account in Genesis 3. Sex had nothing to do with the disobedience ("fall") of Adam. And Satan was the one who fell (Luke 10:18). Adam and Eve only followed Satan. The "fall-of-man" idea is thoroughly pagan, having been handed down from Greek philosophy. But what does God's Word say? God created man and woman naked and they "were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25). He told them to "cleave together" (Gen. 2:24), which is a King James euphemism for interlocking in the sexual act. The Bible itself interprets this phrase as such in I Corinthians 6:16. It was Satan who taught the couple a sense of shame about their naked bodies. How do we know this? The first words God asked them after their sin were "Who told you you were naked?" (Gen. 3:11.) God had not told them. The Serpent (Satan — Rev. 12:9) is the only being who had talked to them (Gen. 3:1-5). This sense of shame was taught them by Satan the devil. Afterwards, the Bible records that God "clothed" them (the Hebrew word, labash, means to "select decorative raiment"). God did not ashamedly "cover their nakedness," which is another Hebrew word, kasah. Of course, God does not approve public nudity. We should not expose or exhibit the sex organs of our bodies except in the privacy of marriage — but the reason is not that the pubic region which God designed is degrading or evil, but rather, as a matter of public modesty and decorum. In Genesis 4:1, Adam "knew" Eve, which is a euphemism for having sexual intercourse. The verb "to know," however, captures much of the beautiful description of the purpose which sex portrays within marriage. A husband and wife in sexual union know each other in the deepest way, and their love is bound deeper by their mutually giving act. This closes the beautiful account of God's creation of sex, and the tragedy of what the first ma n and woman made of it under the influence of Satan's "sex-is-shameful" philosophy. And now let's look very briefly at 6000 years of man's perversion of sex.
Sex in History
As the children of Adam multiplied, and the population of the earth grew, the original purpose of sex was forgotten. By the time of Noah, "the trend and direction of men's lives were only towards evil" (Gen. 6:5, The Living Bible). This society, "bent on evil" (Moffatt translation), no doubt had its share of sexual perversion and debauchery. However, the Bible devotes only a few chapters to this entire pre-Flood period. It gives only the briefest high-spot summary, omitting any direct account of illicit sexual activity. So let's pick up man's "sex history" from there.
Illicit Sex in Egypt
Most ancient civilizations grew powerful and prospered under a relatively stiff code of sexual ethics. They then relaxed these standards at the height of power, and declined amidst widespread public immorality. Egypt was no exception. Many "modem" ideas of the "new" morality were quite old hat by the time of the early dynasties! If you've seen Egyptian frescoes, you know that pornography is nothing new. Women were very often the sexual aggressors, as shown through many examples in The Literature of Ancient Egypt (Yale Union Press, 1972). You need turn no further than Genesis 39 to see a vivid example of such an Egyptian temptress: Potiphar's wife attempting to seduce young Joseph. Sex also played a part in Egyptian magic and witchcraft. Priests, sometimes masquerading as gods, often took sexual advantage of gullible women. Queen Hatshepsut, for instance, was said to be conceived by her mother and the god Amon, but it was hardly an immaculate conception (see Ancient Records of Egypt, by James Henry Breasted, vol. II, p. 80). In later dynasties, incest became so common among pharaohs that many died very early of inbred congenital deformities. The widely known pharaoh Tutankhamen is a striking example, dying at the age of 18 due to a congenital deficiency. Many later pharaohs were homosexual.
Ancient Greece: Bisexual Problems
Many Greeks literally deified the human body, specifically the male form. The original Olympics were held in the nude, with young male bodies revered as the epitome of Greek "sexuality." Like Egyptians, the Greeks believed their gods were born through intercourse among other gods. The Theogony (literally, "begettal of the gods"), by the eighth century B.C. Greek poet Hesiod, related the stories of copulation, incest, rape, and orgy which resulted in the Greek pantheon of gods. Since their human-created gods set such a libertine example, many Greek citizens followed it. The ancient Symposium (dinner party), sometimes thought of as a literary discourse, was in actuality a drinking party and sex orgy for men. Houses of prostitution were common, and hetaerae (like modern call girls) were the high-class educated mistresses of the military and intellectual leaders. But many Greek men had more than a female mistress. They also had a "boy." Some Greeks considered man to be naturally bisexual. A relationship of an older scholar with a younger man was common. A number of Greek philosophers had overt relationships with young men. The great Solon, from whom we derive a name for modern lawmakers, was the first Greek politician to legalize "love of boys" (pederasty), and he gave powerful civil rights to those who practiced homosexuality. In militaristic Sparta, boys by age 12 had older male "lovers," who were usually their military commanders. The rationalization, as today, was "population control." However, homosexuality in Greece was not limited to men. Women on the island of Lesbos were almost exclusively lovers of women (hence our word "lesbian"). The poet Sappho ran a school on Lesbos for her girl-lovers. Note Grecian orator Diogenes' explanation of the "new morality" of Greece:
Diogenes set a Cynic fashion for public masturbation, and regarded incest as a matter of indifference ...intercourse is with those who will be gratified; and in the case of homosexual affairs the wise man will love those whom he alone will recognize as worthy of love.... Diogenes also held that sexual intercourse should be a matter of agreement between the parties concerned. If a man can persuade a woman that is all that is required....The only marriage he recognizes is that by mutual consent to intercourse. Man should be allowed to have intercourse with many women — women should be "in common" — and presumably with just as many, and as few, as they wish. Diogenes naturally also permits homosexual relations.... The Cynic view is that, at least among the wise, free choice of the parties is the basis of every action and every relationship... the same rights are possessed by women (J.M. Rist, Stoic Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 1969, pp. 5660). How well this parallels today's "new" morality!
The Roman Empire: Sexually Sick
The early Roman Empire was morally strong, helping Rome grow to its pinnacle of power. After the advent of the Empire, morals reached what may be an all-time low. The Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, "Lust is the primary satisfaction, and its consummation is the most common factor in the social frame." Emperors, supposedly the leaders of the people, were perhaps the most depraved of all Romans. Nero, besides having frequent incestuous relations with his mother, once turned a young boy, Sporus, into a girl by surgical means. He had a marriage ceremony with this young "it" with bridal veil and all. Later, when homosexual perversion was not enough to satisfy him, Nero dressed in the skins of wild animals and attacked the private parts of men and women tied to stakes. Eventually, even sadism could not arouse the jaded emperor's sexual desire. Nero was by no means alone, although his name still signifies depraved leadership. Caligula committed incest and other perversions; the Emperor Hadrian married a young Greek page boy, and orgies were a common royal activity. Eventually virgins were so scarce that seven-to-ten-year-old girls had to be drafted for the emperor's "service" as the only remaining virgins! Abortion was widely practiced. The Roman poet Juvenal wrote, "So subtle is the skill, so strong the drugs of the abortionist." And the "modern" transsexual phenomenon was also common in Rome. "Hybrids of men and women... desired to be completely changed into women and went on to mutilate their genital organs... " (Philo, The Special Laws, III, 39-42). Such depraved sex helped spell the downfall of ancient Rome. (For a fully documented assessment of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and its portent for today's world, read our free booklet The Modern Romans.)
From "Romance" to "Prudery"
Supraromantic love began in 12th century France. Women were idealized not as sex objects but as mysteriously noble creatures whose favor must be courted through acts of chivalry. Dashing young knights would fight mythical dragons, giants, and evil magicians, or scale mountains, cross rivers, and attack guarded castles, or even die in pursuit of the fair hand of the idolized maiden. This love-fixation, however, had only slight connection with marriage and family. Very few Prince Charmings existed, and even fewer were content to settle down after one conquest. Andreas Capellanus (Andrew the Chaplain) wrote around 1200 A.D. in The Art of Courtly Love that "love cannot exist between married people." Medieval palace intrigues and court romances among the royalty of France, Spain, England, and Austria are well known to readers of historical novels. "Victorian prudery" merely served to drive this sexual profligacy underground. Sex may have been hush-hush in upper-crust society, but the same top-hatted gentlemen often went "wenching" on the sly, visiting one of over 800 known brothels in London, or taking part in the bizarre adventures of semisecret witchcraft-sex-and-sorcery groups such as the Hellfire Club of London. "Incest was a common practice at the meetings. Needless to say, many of the male participants reached impotency at a very early age, and several died of venereal disease" (Arthur Lyons, The Second Coming, New York, 1972). Despite all pretenses to prudery, no society has been free from such sexual excess.
The Last Fifty Years
When war rages, the morals among the nation's young men inevitably break down. World War I introduced such overt immorality into the twentieth century. The greatest recorded venereal disease epidemic of modern times (except the current "pandemic" which has raged since 1970) struck down virtually all armies during World War I's closing years. The army commanders were no help, setting up brothels near the front lines of war. War encouraged the "play-today-for-tomorrow-we-die" philosophy, which also encouraged the introduction of sex into theaters, burlesque and the first movies. Songs such as Lili Marlene, espionage, with the notorious Mata Harian were part of this trend. Back in the United States, Prohibition presented a righteous facade but actually fostered bootlegging, prostitution, and sex-related gangsterism. Even the silent movies were risque. Although a strict movie code was laid down in the 1930s, World War II further eroded accepted standards of morality. However, it was not until the children of the resulting postwar baby boom became teenagers that the sexual revolution of the sixties blossomed. "Free-love" hippies brought the toboggan-slide to its nadir by the early seventies. Tolerant acceptance of nearly all sexual acts between "consenting adults" is the present standard for the modern Egypt, modern Greece, modern Rome, and modern Sodom that exists in many nations today. Any and all acts are portrayed blatantly on movie screens for those over 17 to see. Very few barriers remain in sexual matters, but there yet remain some such barriers. No modern nation has yet reached the complete degradation of Rome, Athens, Sodom or ancient Egypt. Will that day soon come? Will America and Europe soon match those ancient nations in sexual perversion? How can we define any sex act as "sick," as "sin," or as a crime against nature, humanity, and God? The next two chapters will answer these questions.
Sex Laws: Past and Present
What is a "sex crime"? Is there a difference between sex sin and sex crime? What about so-called "victimless" crimes, where concerned parties are "consenting adults"? When is sex "against nature," when is it against fellow man, when against God? Do man's sex laws really stop sexual criminals? This chapter will give you plain answers to these perplexing questions. Our title — "Is Sex Sin?" — relates directly to sex crimes, sex laws, and sex offenders in society. Personal morality and public morality are two sides of the same coin.
Sexual crimes with victims (rape, voyeurism, exhibitionism, child molestation, etc.) are universally condemned and prosecuted in modern societies. They are antisocial, that is, against a person or persons. Such crimes are forcefully condemned by the Bible, as they are by most societies today, for reasons just as obvious as the rationale behind prosecuting murder, armed robbery, or mugging. They violate personal rights, in this case the right to choose one's own sexual partner. Rape is the most feared and infamous of such antisocial sex crimes. In the decade ending in 1970, the incidence of rape in the U.S. increased 120 percent to 37,500 reported cases per year, with an estimated three out of four acts going unreported due to personal reasons. This makes the probable U. S. annual total of rapes around 150,000. The rape laws of today are somewhat similar to those God gave Israel in its law book, the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). A woman then, as now, had to scream or somehow resist assault in order to prove noncompliance, since the line between rape and a thwarted romance is often quite thin. However, when the offender was proved guilty, the biblical penalty was severe. Rape was equated with the crime of murder (Deut. 22:25-26). The average prosecuted rape case is one of deliberate planned forethought (75 percent of all cases), NOT provoked by a woman's dress or behavior, and is perpetrated against a member of one's own race (95 percent of all cases) and in many instances a known friend (30 percent). The typical rapist is an older teenager and the victim is a younger teenager, but over 40 percent of rapists are married men with a sadistic streak. Such people are mentally sick and are usually sentenced to psychiatric care. A more common antisocial sex crime is child molestation. An estimated one million such cases occur each year in the United States, with a few dozen ending in the murder of the child. The much maligned "dirty-old-man" type represents only five percent of such attackers, with the vast majority of molesters being young men (many married) between 15 and 40 — tragically, many times a relative or friend of the victim. "Passive" sexual offenders are those who like to SEE sex (voyeurs, or Peeping Toms), SHOW sex ( exhibitionists), or SPEAK filth about sex (obscene phone-callers). Usually such people are highly introverted, not wanting to directly hurt people. But the serious nuisance they cause is definitely an ANTIsocial activity and deserves prosecution and help from qualified members of society. But what about the so-called "victimless" crimes? The Bible has much to say about such crimes, including the over looked victims of such behavior. There may be some sexual "blue laws" which deserve to be repealed, but there are also other laws on the books in modern societies which have biblical basis and should remain.
Victim #1: Yourself
What about the so-called "victimless" crimes of a sexual nature: incest, prostitution, homosexuality, sadomasochism, statutory rape, fornication, adultery, bestiality, transvestism, and fetishism? Perhaps some think there should be no laws of man against such behavior, but that does not mean such crimes are not sex sins before God. The Bible forbids all such behavior since there are many victims, the primary one being the person who perpetrates the deed. The laws of God are for man's good, and harmful sex behavior hurts one's mind, body, and spirit. Masochism (desire for physical pain) is the most obvious form of self-victimization. Homosexuality sears the mind, causing one to reject the God-plane family relationship of husband-wife-children, and it also victimizes the homosexual physically (Rom. 1:27) in greater chances for venereal disease and other physical penalties. Incest hurts the individual and his progeny by possibly causing genetic defects. There are victims! Fornication (intercourse before marriage) hurts future adjustment in marriage. It also may lead to venereal disease and illegitimacy. Adultery hurts marriage. Prostitution hurts marriages and all individuals involved, even when there is no married participant. Both sins increase the chances for disease and depression. In a more practical sense, adultery hurts the perpetrator because — in most societies — an irate husband might kill one or both parties on the spot! (See Proverbs 6:29-35.) Bestiality hurts the one who practices it. God calls it "confusion" (Lev. 18:23) and pronounces the death penalty on the sick mind which would violate the God-given sanctity of human marriage by having relations with an animal. Inverted (turned toward self) sexual behavior — including fetishism and transvestism — carries a mental penalty which makes the perpetrator a psychological VICTIM.
Victim #2: Family
A society obsessed with personal rights ought to take time to think of the "group rights" of the family which is connected to the individual. If a sexual crime doesn't always victimize the perpetrator, it surely victimizes his present (or future) family. They too have "rights." Adultery robs the wife or husband of their rights, as well as the children. Divorce which often follows the "victimless" crime of adultery — obviously violates the right of the children to grow up in a happy, balanced household. In I Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul explains that both husbands and wives have conjugal rights with their mate's body and mind. He said, "A wife cannot do as she pleases with her body - her husband has power, and in the same way a husband cannot do as he pleases with his body — his wife has power. Do not withhold sexual intercourse from one another" (verses 4-5). Paul was referring to family rights superceding individual rights in the matter of sex. Incest obviously violates the family's rights. So does prostitution. It not only robs the sexual due of the legal partner, it robs the family's money to pay for such illegal activity. Any prosecutable act which could send a father to jail robs the family of their right to their breadwinner. If you're not now married, you may view this with detached indifference, but married people know how dear such "rights" are if they've been "victimized." Married people also know that the so-called "innocent" behavior of their youthful years HURTS their marriage and their ability to relate sexually to their legal (and loved) life partner. Backseat petting and hasty intercourse have not only robbed future mates of their "virgin" wife or husband, but such activity also taught warped sex habits: hasty, furtive, "quickie" sex, with no loving, no communication, and no foreplay. Early "victimless" sexual behavior has also caused severe psychological scars for youngsters which years of marriage, even to a patient mate, cannot erase. How about your future mate's rights? Don't make him or her a victim by today's behavior. Don't victimize your future children.
Victim #3: Society
Sexual depravity of the "victimless" variety has been a component of the downfall of every major society in history. The stability of the family has always been the backbone of any society. The opposite condition — the fixation on selfish sexual practices — has always accompanied, if not directly caused, the downfall of any great society. Noted sociologist Carle C. Zimmerman has warned of this family breakdown in our society for more than 25 years. The evolution from family unity to "atomism," or individual freedom, leads, in his words, "to anarchy. We now seem to be in one of those extreme periods verging on anarchy in family-controlled social relations.... "Frederic LePlay, who developed the first real school of modern family sociology," continues Zimmerman, "stressed that societies with strong family systems tended to recuperate rapidly from conditions of adversity whereas the opposite types recovered only with great difficulty" (Journal of Marriage and the Family, May 1972). What does the stability of the family structure have to do with "victimless" sexual crimes? Simply stated, crimes which hurt the family hurt society. This is why the God of the Bible forbids such crimes. Notice! "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants" (Lev. 18:22-25). This brief sample of God's law about "victimless" sex crimes shows that the entire land is cursed by God and nature itself for the crimes described: homosexuality, bestiality, and incest (see Lev. 18:6-20).
Freedom in Law
It is true that sexual intercourse between husband and wife is legally limited by some sexual "blue laws" still on some law books. Such laws of man are invalid in the sight of God who said "the marriage bed is undefiled" (Heb. 13:4). Like the Sunday blue laws, some sexual laws should be phased out, as most states and nations are doing. Man-made laws against homosexuality, adultery, incest, or prostitution, however, agree with God's law and should be properly enforced (Rom. 13:1-9). The important point is that God is the author of sex and His laws should be obeyed. When you see great nations legalizing homosexuality, prostitution, bestiality, and other so-called "victimless" crimes, remember that there are still victims. Also remember that such legally sanctioned sodomy is the beginning of the end for that nation! Dozens of nations have risen and fallen, none surviving the "sexual liberation" that immediately preceded their fall. The next chapter describes that pattern in ancient Sodom. Modern Sodom will be no different.
Sodom — Ancient And Modern
Sodom no longer stands for a city alone, but for any place "notorious for vice and corruption" (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). The act of "sodomy," however, refers to sexual relations between members of the same sex. Sodom, in short, stands for homosexuality. The prophets of Israel often referred to their nation's morality as a repetition of Sodom. Jesus Christ also pictured the time of His Second Coming as a kind of modern twentieth-century Sodom. Before examining these scriptures, let's first take a look at ancient Sodom.
The time is some 4000 years ago. The place is the Middle East, perhaps near the Dead Sea. The only witnesses the Bible records were the patriarch Abraham, his nephew Lot and Lot's two daughters. The only surviving record is Genesis 18 and 19 of the Old Testament. Originally a virtual "Garden of Eden" (Gen. 13:10), Sodom is now buried under some of the most desolate desert land on earth, as a testimony to the anger of God concerning homosexual perversion. Yet today, God is not raining down fire and brimstone on homosexual communities or specifically cursing individual homosexuals. How was the society of Sodom especially repugnant to God? Their attitude condemned them. "Like Sodom they proclaim their sins and do not conceal them" (Isa. 3:9, The New English Bible). Equal to their sexual sins were their spiritual sins of blatant pride and open hatred toward God's laws. They proudly cried aloud their sins (Gen. 18:20-21). Secondly, sin was unanimous. There were not even ten righteous men in the city! (Gen. 18:23-33.) There was only one righteous man, Lot. (See II Peter 2:7-8.) Promiscuity was so universal that a large number of the men of the city tried to have sexual relations with God's agents! Thirdly, their sexual activities were hardly "victimless." The men of Sodom practiced violent, abusive, criminal sexual assault against the person and property of others (Gen. 19:5-11). When God saw these combined sins, He warned Lot and his family to evacuate the city quickly before God's wrath descended. Lot's sons-in-law guffawed at the idea and stayed behind. Lot's wife escaped momentarily but yearned to return, looked back, and became a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26). Only Lot and his two daughters escaped, with Uncle Abraham viewing from miles away, as the only other witness the Bible records (Gen. 19:28). The awesome spectacle he viewed was the destruction by fire and brimstone of all the cities and crops of the plain (Gen. 13:10; 19:25). Why was Sodom destroyed? The sodomy its inhabitants practiced was only part of it. Jude says Sodomites were also "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh " (Jude 7). Isaiah 3:9 refers to their haughtiness and pride in sin. Ezekiel adds a further rundown of Sodom's sins. "Your sister Sodom's sins were pride and laziness and too much food, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She insolently worshiped many idols as I watched. Therefore crushed her" (Ezek. 16:49-50, The Living Bible). Jesus Christ related the sins of Sodom to this age today, when He said "...as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30). That prophecy refers to this time this modern twentieth century. (Read our free booklet entitled Are We Living in the Last Days?)
Homosexuality is not new. It has existed in every generation and in virtually every society. What is new (in today's society) is the attitude of tolerance by some so-called "Christian" churches, pride in homosexuality, and OPEN ACCEPTANCE of its once furtive perversions. "They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not" (Isa. 3:9). The Gay Liberation Front has become a strong political force and a respected voice in some circles of society. Marching homosexuals take pride in "Gay Power" and now openly write books proclaiming that "being different" is being good. A few church bodies not only allow homosexuality but welcome it and openly ordain gay pastors. Some few exclusively homosexual denominations have opened their doors in some major United States cities, while "missionary" operations have begun in smaller cities. Gay bars and other homosexuals' meeting places are not as secret and select as they used to be. Most reliable estimates place the number of homosexuals in America at ten million.
The Gospel According to Homosexuals
Homosexuals preach the Bible as selectively as most so-called Christian denominations do. Gay churches ignore the chilling tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, of course. They dismiss Paul's statement that no effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals) will enter the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10). The graphic description of both male and female homosexuality in Romans 1:26-28, and the clear admonition that "there shall be no... sodomite of the sons of Israel" (Deut. 23:17) are also ignored. Greater stress is given to a so-called "gospel of love." Any clean friendship between two men — such as between Jonathan and David, or between John and Jesus — is falsely deemed to be a homosexual liaison by these gay advocates. Here's how one homosexual "minister" explains away the Bible. "We Protestants have had the Book laid heavily on us, especially St. Paul. The Old Testament rejected homosexuality since it would diminish the number of Israel's descendants. But today's situation doesn't call for 'descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for their multitude.' In the New Testament, St. Paul frowned on homosexuality for much the same reasons, and because it was a common practice in the Graeco-Roman culture which he found to be undisciplined and sensual. But today we already reject many of St. Paul's particularities as inappropriate for our time; for example, his attitude toward women or divorce or slavery." Since the apostle Peter was somehow not dismissed by the homosexual minister above, read what Peter has to say about sodomy: "God reduced the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes... as a fearful example to those who wanted to live in defiance of his laws" (II Peter 2:6, Phillips translation). Until homosexuals quit wanting to cling to their perversion, no amount of clear scriptures on the subject will convert or correct them.
Profile of a Sodomite
Most of the stereotypes of homosexuals you may have heard are wrong. Most people would find it difficult to identify one. Only 15 percent of male homosexuals and 5 percent of lesbians are visually or audibly different. One homosexual minister said, "If all homosexuals turned green tomorrow, you'd see your neighbors, mailmen, ministers, kid sisters, best friends, policemen and others lighting up like St. Patrick's Day, and you'd say, 'Wow! I thought he was normal!' "Homosexuals themselves can't "always tell a queer." But the mind of a CONFIRMED homosexual is what sets him (or her) apart. To a homosexual, sexual relations with the opposite sex are as repugnant as man-with-man relations are to the "straight" man (heterosexual). Psychiatrists say, "You can no more change a confirmed homosexual's desires than you can change his eye color"! And tragically, all too often this prognosis is true. The psychological roots of homosexuality run much deeper than one's adult "preference." A homosexual is confirmed so by the age of ten! The seeds of homosexuality are sowed long before the child consciously partakes in such an act. In his book Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study, Irving Bieber reports that out of 106 homosexuals he studied, 77 of them had mothers who discouraged masculinity, but all 106 had a detached, hostile, or openly rejecting father! Not one had a normal father-son relationship. Bryan Magee, in his book One in Twenty, concluded, "There is one childhood pattern which is, as it were, the archetype, and everyone who goes into the subject has to remark on it before long: over and over again it is found that a homosexual person has had an intense relationship with the mother and a deficient one with the father." Are homosexuals therefore guiltless as some sociologists reason? Not at all! Alcoholism or drug dependence are just two of the social and psychological problems caused by a combination of poor genetics and poor environment during the formative years. All these problems may be difficult to overcome, but they can be arrested if one desires to change.
Can Homosexuals Change?
Jesus said it would be more tolerable for Sodomites in the Day of Judgment than for the Pharisees who consciously and self-righteously resisted the Son of God (Matthew 10:15 and 11:24). That mercy is no blank check to disobey God's laws, but rather it is an offer of unmerited pardon to all who desire to change, turn around, and obey God. Humanly, homosexuals face a difficult battle, but "with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). The New Testament records that God sends the Holy Spirit as an advocate to help us overcome such "impossible" problems. The Corinthians by the power of the Holy Spirit overcame homosexuality and effeminacy. Notice: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals] ... shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified [reconciled to God] in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:9-11). The battle is worth fighting, for the reward is great. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations" (Rev. 2:26). The rewards will also be greater in this life: a newfound peace and tranquillity, and freedom from legal hassles and social scorn. Most vitally, there will come a greater understanding of God as Father, the Church as His bride, and Christians as sons of that spiritual union. God is a family, and He wants Christians to learn of Him through the nuclear family unit. Otherwise, the Sodomite way of life will bring forth "poison fruits" (Deut. 32:32) that will destroy both man and society. The first chapter of Romans describes such personal and social downfall. First, man rejects God, then he rejects God's creation ("nature"), then rejects "natural" sexuality, then rejects sanity. The words of God speak for themselves:
For we see divine retribution revealed from heaven and falling upon all the godless wickedness of men. In their wickedness they are stifling the truth. For all that may be known of God by men lies plain before their eyes; indeed God himself has disclosed it to them. His invisible attributes, that is to say his everlasting power and deity, have been visible, ever since the world began, to the eye of reason, in the things he has made. There is therefore no possible defence for their conduct; knowing God, they have refused to honour him as God, or to render him thanks. Hence all their thinking has ended in futility, and their misguided minds are plunged in darkness. They boast of their wisdom, but they have made fools of themselves, exchanging the splendour of immortal God for an image shaped like mortal man, even for images like birds, beasts, and creeping things. For this reason God has given them up to the vileness of their own desires, and the consequent degradation of their bodies, because they have bartered away the true God for a false one, and have offered reverence and worship to created things instead of to the Creator, who is blessed for ever; amen. In consequence, I say, God has given them up to shameful passions. Their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and their men in turn, giving up natural relations with women, burn with lust for one another; males behave indecently with males, and are paid in their own persons the fitting wage of such perversion. Thus, because they have not seen fit to acknowledge God, he has given them up to their own depraved reason. This leads them to break all rules of conduct. They are filled with every kind of injustice, mischief, rapacity, and malice; they are one mass of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and malevolence; whisperers and scandalmongers, hateful to God, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent new kinds of mischief, they show no loyalty to parents, no conscience, no fidelity to their plighted word; they are without natural affection and without pity. They know well enough the just decree of God, that those who behave like this deserve to die, and yet they do it; not only so, they actually applaud such practices. (Rom. 1:18-32, The New English Bible)
Is Celibacy Christian?
For centuries, various Christian (and pagan) religions have defined celibacy (non-marriage) and life-long virginity as the highest forms of human existence. To shun the duties and pleasures of marriage in exchange for the higher plane of meditation was the supreme sacrifice a man could offer his God. Some of these religions say the ideal examples in Christianity were Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul, and the Virgin Mary. And indeed they were very good examples — but NOT because of celibacy. Actually there is a great deal wrong with enforced celibacy. Paul the apostle said that it is a doctrine of demons to forbid marriage (I Tim. 4:1-3).
False Homosexual Claims
Speculation about the physical life and times of Jesus is a popular pastime, but it is nothing new. For centuries men have tried to expand the Gospel account, read their own biases into it, or somehow make a god in their own image by wrongfully attributing to Jesus the same sexual hang-ups that they have. Here are a few examples of how far away from the truth some have gone. Homosexuals justify their sinful practices by claiming Jesus as one of their own kind. One serious book about homosexuals in history erroneously labeled Christ as a "repressed, latent, or sublimated homosexual committed to chastity by formal or self-imposed vows... the reaction of Jesus to John is quite typical of a naively innocent and repressed homosexual who suddenly discovers, in his thirties, that a negative sexual reaction to women does not necessarily mean [one] completely negative to all — for instance to an attractive and affectionate youth." A famous church leader and avowed polygamist saw Jesus through the refracted view of his own beliefs. "Jesus was a practical polygamist," said this prophet of recent times. "Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his plural wives, and Mary Magdalene was another." Apparently, some men are not afraid to attribute sexual sins to our SINLESS Savior — Jesus Christ. And how can He be their Savior when they claim He is a sinner as they are? Ridiculous! Another church leader saw Christ in the light of one of mankind's most common sexual sins when he said, "Christ was an adulterer for the first time with the woman at the well, for it was said, 'Nobody knows what he's doing with her.' Again with Magdalene, and still again with the adulterous woman in John 8, whom He let off so easily." These three examples show how far mankind has gone "off the deep end" — trying to justify his sexual practices by falsely attributing them to Jesus Christ. Some blacks see a black Christ, certain whites think He's a "WASP" (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant), hippies see Him as an antiestablishment type, and some women, strong on "women's lib," even think of God (the Father!) as feminine! The modern rock-opera version of Christ sees Him as a hassled hippie with Mary Magdalene as His confused mistress, but this view is not new to Jesus Christ Superstar. Libertines throughout the ages have practiced this mental mechanism of "transferral" — Jesus in their own image. What is not so widely recognized is that sexual prudes have also tried to picture Christ in their image, either as a repressed frustrated victim of "thou shalt not's," or a semi-human, semi-angelic being created without sexual desire, begotten without sexual intercourse, mothered by a woman who never ceased being a virgin, and protected from wrestling with the normal sex drives with which most males have to contend. Neither polarity is true, of course. Jesus Christ was "in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15), yet He was totally sinless. He was also totally masculine, a man's man, living with twelve rugged males like Himself. Most importantly, He had a special commission in life that transcended the physical sphere of sex and marriage. What kind of life could Jesus Christ have provided for a wife? He had to be on the move much of the time, never able to settle down permanently in one place and establish the proper home environment a wife needs (Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58). For three and one-half years Jesus dedicated every waking hour to the vital ministry God had called Him to perform. At the end of His public ministry, Jesus knew He was to die a bloody death at the hands of brutal Roman soldiers. He told His disciples, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised again the third day" (Luke 9:22). Christ knew it was unwise to marry for just a short time and leave a young widow and possibly children to face the howling mobs of His tormentors after the crucifixion. Jesus was too kind and considerate to put any woman through such an ordeal. However, always remember the reason Jesus remained single was NOT because sex is a sin — as some believe. As for Jesus' personal morality and His alleged relationships with women, remember that Jesus loved women as much as men. He honored His mother and father and His multiple brothers and sisters. After His legal father Joseph died, Christ probably even took the responsibilities of father and leader of the family. He had a unique understanding and mercy for women that few men of His day reflected. He forgave them while others condemned them. He protected while others abused. He related cleanly with women while others gossiped. He liberated women to follow the true God rather than mere physical rituals. How about the men around Jesus — were they celibate? The apostle John is sometimes maligned as a young and frail person, or even a homosexual, by men of corrupt and impure minds. However, he was called a son of thunder by the Jesus of your Bible! (Mark 3:17.) He was employed as a fisherman (Matt. 4:21), which was quite a rigorous occupation on the windswept Sea of Galilee. John had a fiery temperament, wanting at one time to call down fire from heaven (Luke 9:54.) Peter was also a fisherman. He was an impetuous man. He cut off a man's ear in defense of Jesus (John 18:10). He was usually first to argue with Jesus, first in offering defense of his Master, and also the first to attempt walking on water. And Peter was married, both during Christ's ministry and long afterward. Christ healed Peter's "wife's mother" (Matt. 8:14). How about the other apostles? No direct mention is made of their specific marital status, but the apostle Paul made this generalization about all of them: "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas [Peter — John 1:42]" (I Cor. 9:5). MOST of the original twelve apostles, if not all, were married!
Paul, the Marriage Counselor
Why then wasn't Paul married? Records are sketchy, but it is possible that Paul was married early in life, but his wife either died or left him while he was still unconverted. One criterion for public office of the day — whether Jewish Sanhedrin, Roman consul, or Christian minister — was that the man be "husband to one wife." Paul himself laid down this rule in two of his letters to the churches. Possibly Paul was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin prior to his miraculous conversion. Thus he would have been a married man at that time. After conversion, the apostle Paul remained unmarried for some of the same sound situational reasons that Jesus remained single. You read of Paul's arduous life-style in II Corinthians 11 and 12. However, Paul's teachings about sex are clear! Let his words speak for themselves:
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Heb. 13:4). Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; FORBIDDING TO MARRY (I Tim. 4:1-3). ... Do not withhold sexual intercourse from one an other... (I Cor. 7:5, Moffatt version). A bishop [minister] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife... (I Tim. 3:2).
Notice also the extended sections of Paul's letters on family relations, marital counseling, and the duties of each member of a family. Ephesians 5:22 through 6:4 is a good example of this. Why then did Paul counsel some people that marriage was temporarily inadvisable? (I Cor. 7.) First of all, Paul was speaking to a very profligate, libertine world. Corinth was a port town filled with vice and the bisexuality that flourished in Greece (see chapter two). Many of the Corinthian members had been tainted by sexual sins (I Cor. 6:9-11), and one man even committed incest with his stepmother and had to be temporarily put out of the church (I Cor. 5). Paul's main reason for counseling against hasty marriage was: "This is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be [unmarried]" (I Cor. 7:26). Continual famines, wars, and persecutions tested the first forty years of the true Christian Church (A.D. 31-70). Temporarily, the ideal condition (marriage) had to be sublimated to the practical realities (a crisis condition). In better days, Paul would have advised the opposite. He would have advised responsible single people to marry. Sex of itself — in marriage — is NOT a sin (Heb. 13:4). And it is NOT a sin to marry (I Cor. 7:28). Neither is it a sin not to get married (I Cor. 7:8). But, because the sexual temptations are great (especially in today's world), it is generally advisable to marry. Paul himself said, "It is better to marry than to burn [in lust]" (I Cor. 7:9).
Who Taught Celibacy?
If early Christians were mainly married folk, where did the tradition of "Christian" celibacy come from? Who regarded sex as evil and marriage as merely the lesser of two sex evils? Scholars admit that the Judeo-Christian ethic of the Bible is a "naturalistic" mode of right sexual expression within marriage. This contrasts to pagan "dualism," the belief that an evil body is inhabited by a righteous immortal soul, and that all works of the body (including sex) are to be rejected by the "soul." The Gnostics of Greece borrowed this concept of dualism from Egypt. The Gnostics had various conflicting beliefs about marriage, all negative. Some indulged in all types of sex outside of marriage, believing that this made marriage unnecessary. Others abstained from all forms of sex. The Essenes of Qumran segregated men and women strictly, allowing no physical contact. Some mistakenly believe this sect was the ancestor of modern Christianity. Another philosophical sect of the first century housed men and women in a commune together, but they kept "hands off" to devote themselves totally to philosophy, unencumbered by "baser carnal drives" (Philo of Alexander, On the Contemplative Life). The church fathers (few of whom were physical fathers!) were noted for their tormented sex lives. The doctrine of celibacy was actually an outcome of their personal repression. Origen (c. A.D. 220) had severe hang-ups about sex, extreme guilt pangs, and he eventually castrated himself to avoid temptation. Jerome (c. 400) led a monastic life, yet always stayed around women — whom he never touched apparently. He had wildly erotic dreams, the details of which he related to his women, glorying in how he had been "delivered." Augustine of Hippo (c. 400) lived with a mistress early in life, later had extreme guilt pangs, and eventually heavily influenced church ideas on celibacy. Later doctrinaires, such as Thomas Aquinas, basically repeated these earlier church fathers in matters of sexual morality. Amazingly enough, many of the Protestant "reformers" continued to teach the dualistic approach to sex and marriage, even though they allowed their ministers and laity to marry. Sexual intercourse was still considered at least partially "evil," even within marriage. But Christ and His apostles NEVER taught celibacy, nor did they denigrate marriage. Enforced celibacy was a "doctrine of demons" to these apostles, and in God's eyes it remains so. Nevertheless there are sometimes physical, psychological, environmental, and even religious reasons for postponing or refraining from marriage. Jesus referred to "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" (Matt. 19:12). Then He added, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Some few have the need AND the ability to abstain from marriage, but Paul added, "It is better to marry than to burn" with desire (I Cor. 7:9). In most cases, however, stubborn, purposeful denial of a pure, clean marriage of a compatible couple who love each other, solely based on a "religious" belief in celibacy, is a doctrine promulgated by a god who cannot marry, a sexless spirit named SATAN the devil. Again, sex in marriage is NOT a sin. It is the wrong use of sex that is a sin. And to get married is right and good in the sight of God. "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" (Prov. 18:22). "... And a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov. 19:14).
Sex and the Family
Contemporary marriage is a wretched institution," wrote a leading American sociologist. "It spells the end of voluntary affection, of love freely given and joyously received. Beautiful romances are transmuted into dull marriages; eventually the relationship becomes constricting, corrosive, grinding, and destructive. The beautiful love affair becomes a bitter contract" (Mervyn Cadwallader, "Changing Social Mores," Current, February 1967, p. 48). At least 36 out of 100 American couples must agree with this analysis, because that is the current divorces-per-marriages ratio in the United States. Considering the uncounted separations, desertions, foreign divorces, those held together by religious, financial, legal, or social band-aids — plus the just plain unhappy marriages — 75 percent of American marriages fit the above description. Over two decades ago, Kinsey reported over 50 percent of all the then extant marriages had been violated by adultery. No wonder sociologists are frantically searching for a better marriage pattern. No wonder man is no longer considered to be "naturally monogamous." Loveless sex is killing the marriage institution!
The Family of the Future
Instead of treating causes — putting proper love back into marriage — sociologists are seeking for new kinds of marriage bonds. We list here just five of the dozens of new ideas being advanced for "families of the future." Notice that all of them attempt to take the work of character-building out of marriage. Each is selfishly oriented — no outgoing concern for others is needed. Not understanding the God-ordained purpose of marriage, man has attempted to take the seemingly easy way out, rather than the more rewarding, yet more difficult, way. 1. Progressive Monogamy. This most "conservative compromise" calls for one mate, but in a recurring pattern of marriage-divorce-remarriage-divorce-remarriage, etc. For many this is already happening. "... Society must be content with the inescapable fact that serial marriage is now practiced by all social classes, both sexes, and all ages" ("Family of the Future," The Futurist, August 1971). 2. Student/ Parental Marriages. Noted anthropologist Margaret Mead advocates two types of marriage. "Student marriage" would be a "licensed union utilizing birth control and dissoluble at will." The second type, "parental marriage," would be "explicitly directed toward the founding of a family." Every parental marriage would have to be preceded by an individual ("student") marriage. 3. Intimate Networks of Marriages. "... Three or four families come together on a regular basis to explore their living arrangements, to exchange intimacies, to provide services for one another, and to develop new and more realistic, and more exciting, systems of values and attitudes" — more or less like a herd of elk! (The Futurist, August 1971.) 4. Tribal Marriages. Psychiatrist Joseph Downing advocates the hippie-style commune sex life as a viable alternative to marriage. The population of such "marriages" would range from 5 to 50. Such communes, to avoid the emotional entanglement of parenthood, would often conceive only "fatherless" children. Each of the males in the tribe would have intercourse with the chosen mother on the same night, thus deliberately camouflaging the true father! 5. Group Sex within marriage ("wife-swapping"). Within existing marriage laws, Dr. Albert Ellis sees "wife-swapping" without guilt as a healthy outlet for sexual frustration. Over a century ago, the poet Shelley wrote: "A system could not well have been devised more studiously hostile to human happiness than marriage." Was he a prophet? Or have some of the great minds of this world ignored a very important dimension in family relations which makes the above-listed "families of the future" look foolish? Is there any GIVE involved in this kind of thinking, or is it all GET?
"Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery"
Is the God who thundered these words from Mount Sinai out of touch with people's sexual yearnings? Is God trying to bind us to a "studiously hostile" union (in Shelley's words) instead of allowing us the "fun" of multiple sex partners? Or is there something good for humanity in that seventh commandment? Adultery is one of the "victimless" crimes which has three ultimate victims in the long run — self, family, and society (see chapter four). First, society is hurt by such activity. Sociologist Carle Zimmerman wrote: "When the ideological structure of the family system loses its virility and strength the social system generally gets into trouble" (Journal of Marriage and the Family, May 1972, p. 325). Precisely 25 years earlier, Dr. Zimmerman — then a solitary voice In the sociological wilderness — made this astonishing statement:
The United States, as well as the other countries of Western Christendom, will reach the final phases of a great family crisis between now and the last of this century. By that time the social consequences of this crisis will approach a maximum. The crisis will be identical in nature to the two previous crises in Greece and Rome. The results will be much more drastic for the United States, because, being the most extreme and inexperienced of the aggregates of Western civilization, it will take its first real "sickness" most violently. Efforts to meet this situation in the United States will probably be very exaggerated. We will probably try all the "remedies" suggested and tried in Greece and Roman civilization, profiting perhaps little from the mistakes already made in those periods. The violence and abruptness of the changes will probably be extreme indeed ... (Carle C. Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, 1947, p. 798).
Zimmerman believed in the "cyclical theory" of families. Great societies grew into great nations via the "trustee family," a family which reveres its ancestry and faithfully carries on the ancestors' name and lineage. Secondly, at a nation's peak, it would settle on the familial system or the "nuclear family": dad, mom, kids, and relatives. Thirdly, Zimmerman saw the decline of a nation when nuclear families became atomistic families of independent (selfish) individuals:
The atomistic family is both the cause and effect of decay in social life. In its later stages, there appear elimination of the real meaning of the marriage ceremony, widespread adultery, acceptance of sexual perversions, easy divorce, childlessness and delinquency. Concepts of loyalty and self-sacrifice wane; personal selfishness replaces them. Under these conditions the family cannot carry out its basic functions. Neither can the growing demand for individual freedom and personal satisfactions be met. Nor is there anything in the atomistic family which might produce a swing back toward familism. The experience of the past has been that decay continues until eventually a new trustee family emerges out of the darkness (Zimmerman, op. cit., paraphrased by Gerald R. Leslie, The Family in Social Context, Oxford Press, 1967, p. 228).
The solution? "We must swing back toward the domestic family and toward the personal and national greatness which are associated with it" (ibid.). This remedy and the solution proposed by the God of the Bible are much the same! God is, after all, a capable sociologist — He created us! He knew that a breakdown of family strength would spell the breakdown of a nation. It always has and it always will. God also realized that what is good for the nation's society is also good for the nation's individuals. The God-ordained family unit often limits the individual's freedom of motion, but the end result is a happier individual AND family. God designed it that way. Those who are presently trapped in unhappy marriages don't have the law of God to blame, but their own choice of the wrong mate or, more likely, unwillingness to work out mutual problems. The greatest reason for God's commandment against adultery is the missing dimension in marriage which ALL sociologists ignore. This missing dimension is simple: GOD is a monogamous family. God has begotten children (I John 3:1-2; Rom. 8:14-17) of one wife, "the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26), the Church. The spiritual lessons of understanding the God-family are impossible to learn apart from the God-given marriage unit!
What would happen if everybody kept the seventh commandment? "Adultery" itself refers only to extramarital sex, but other commandments of God expand the meaning of the seventh commandment to include prohibition of fornication (sex before marriage), deviant sex, or even lust. "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). If only humanity could obey this commandment, what changes would occur! First of all, a lot of sociologists would be out of work! So would divorce lawyers, pornographers, and private investigators. The story plots of great operas, movies, and books would be drastically changed. Welfare (Aid to Dependent Children) would be cut at least in half. Wards of the court, juvenile delinquency, and prostitution would cease. Venereal disease would be nonexistent, because a third party must be present if the disease is to spread. Daily TV soap operas would feature happily married couples only. The term "triangle" would be returned to trigonometry where it belongs. The garment industry would also make a 180-degree shift from its emphasis on peekaboo styles. Streets would be free from rapists and child molesters. No doubt the age at which one is married would increase, since a person would want to be doubly sure his or her future mate is the RIGHT one for life! Social stability would build greatness! What's keeping us from such a world? Disobedience to three little words: Don't commit adultery. The true family of the future will be living in an adultery-free world. The WORLD TOMORROW is going to be ruled by the laws of God. There will be no adultery — no progressive monogamy, no student or parental marriage, no network marriage, no tribal marriage, and no group sex. Instead there will be a lot more happiness! That true God-ordained family of the future exists today -but there are only a relatively few such families left! As Professor Zimmerman said, "The experience of the past has been that decay continues until eventually a new trustee family emerges out of the darkness." That is precisely what the biblical prophet Malachi prophesied would happen just prior to Jesus Christ's return to this earth. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:5-6). Those obedient to God and blessed with such a rewarding and healthy family life need not fear this "curse," but the "evil and adulterous generation" is already living a curse — the curse of adultery. The greatest curse to family stability today is the "conspiracy" against fatherhood. Innocent children subjected to an invisible, absent, abusive, or neglectful head of the house have suffered incalculable damage. As chapter five showed, studies of the family backgrounds of both male and female homosexuals reveal the almost unanimous incidence of one form or another of father-deprivation. Even when fathers are present and grudgingly give time to their children, the poor quality of that time may cause a boy to develop a weak male image of men in particular and family relations in general. Most prostitutes, sex deviates, homosexuals, and even girls who "accidentally" become pregnant out of wedlock had abusive fathers or came from fatherless homes. The Boston Strangler and the Marquis de Sade were cute babies, but their home environment was not so "cute." It is clear then that society doesn't offer the right image of sex for young children. Schools reach them too late. Churches too often don't reach them at all. Home is the only alternative for teaching children right facts and attitudes about life's most delicate subject.
Early Sex Education
Where do children learn most of their sexual knowledge? Friends and peer groups are far and away the largest source of such knowledge. Friends surpass all other sources combined, with as high as 90 percent incidence among various subgroups of sexual deviates. The second most common source of sex education is literature; mothers are third; schools fourth; "the street" is fifth; fathers are sixth; ministers are seventh; and doctors eighth (Human Behavior, November-December 1972). The quality and presentation of that information is another question. Knowledge alone is only half an education. Knowledge of sex is only effective as it overlays an earlier foundation of right character training. This is the missing dimension in the sex education argument. Place of education school, home, peers, church — is not as important as the quality of moral education that must precede or accompany it. Without character education, all sex education can teach youngsters is how to "get away with it." Granted, it may be better in the short term for a child to "get away with" illicit sex rather than suffer an unwanted pregnancy, and an early doomed marriage. But the lesser of two evils is still evil. Teachers are either ignorant or they are prevented from examining these important moral questions when they teach the "facts of life." TRUE sex education begins before birth. Parents should have a happy home already set up before a child is conceived and born into this world. The wrong environment spells wrong sex education immediately. Unless parents properly use the all-important preschool years, no amount of films and lectures ten years later will save the child from making serious mistakes. This doesn't mean parents should institute a program of lectures and teaching aids for toddlers. Adult example is the first and almost sole method of proper sex education for the first few years. As questions arise, of course, you should answer them. But before this happens — before the child can even form words into questions — he or she should have a pattern of obedience, respect, and family joy so that any information overlays a foundation of character. A psychologist analyzing homosexuals wrote a chapter on the "Development of Sexual Identity." In it he wrote:
...The child does not learn to act correctly simply by reading from a rule book. He does not learn what is proper social behavior in the way in which an adult learns, for example, the rules which govern the filing of an income tax report. He learns them through his environment, particularly his parents. And he learns these rules in intimate connection with the development of his own sense of self or his own identity. In other words, the rules are not learned in an intellectualized way, but they are incorporated into the very fiber of his being his self-concept and sense of his own identity as a person. Social norms are literally built into the individual's mind. If the process is successful, he will not view these rules as something imposed upon him from without, but will see them as something which developed "naturally" from within his inner conscience. They become his rules and not just society's ( The Gay World, Dr. Martin Hoffmann, p. 116).
Teaching Aids for Parents
The major reason for the sex education controversy is that most educators think most parents are unqualified to teach sex in the home. Maybe they're right. But that pessimistic analysis doesn't have to include you! You can be a qualified sex instructor to your own children. Parents alone can instill strong moral character in their children. Even first grade is a little late to teach character to any significant or lasting degree! The parent's responsibility is much deeper than the teacher's. Dr. Edward Tyler, assistant dean and professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, summed up the whole sex education issue: "There'd be no need for sex education anywhere if every child had parents who provided a model of loving tenderness, who encouraged inquisitive concern about any and all things human, and who answered all questions freely." If you do your best to instill right sex education and moral principles in your children, you can then have the confidence to claim this promise: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). This proverb and other large portions of the book of Proverbs have direct application to sex education. In fact, the book of Proverbs would be a good place to start teaching your school-age children about sex and general principles of living.
God's Purpose for Sex
Is sex sin? Why did God create sex in the first place? Did the Creator only intend that sex be used for procreation? As you have read in earlier chapters, God created sex differences in the Garden of Eden. He made human kind in two genders — male and female. He then joined them together in a marriage relationship. God's first recorded instruction to the newly created couple was to "multiply" — that is, have sexual intercourse and produce children. He then looked back on what He had created — including the sex and marriage relationship — and proclaimed that it was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Marital sex is not evil or sinful! It is very good. God says so. In Hebrews 13:4 we are told: "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled...."This is plainly referring to the sex relationship within marriage. But wasn't mankind's first sin sexual in nature — the "forbidden fruit" incident? For decades movies and literature have been grinding out with incessant monotony the fiction that the sin of Adam and Eve was the indulgence in sexual intercourse. But they have the story wrong! It was God who instructed the first husband and wife in the sex act — not the devil. The devil tempted Eve into eating the forbidden fruit of a literal tree that stood in the middle of a literal garden in Eden. It was called the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). The first sin was a matter of simple disobedience to the spoken command of God. But why have men read sex into this plainly written incident? For many reasons. First, religious sex guilt is a carryover from the Victorian idea that sex is evil, and since the tree was named "knowledge of good and evil," it must have had to do with sex! Secondly, since Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness after eating of the tree, some have erroneously assumed the sin was sex. Others say that sex was created by God, but sexual drives and passions were added by the devil. But to assume any reference to sex was involved in the devil's tempting is to read something into the Scriptures that simply is not there! Adam and Eve became ashamed of their "nakedness," but not because they had indulged in sex. They were ashamed mentally because they had disobeyed their loving Creator. They now felt vulnerable, ashamed and sinful. They were now tainted with sin. They wanted to run and hide from the eyes of the One who had formed them and given them life (Gen. 3:7-11). They were also ashamed physically due to Satan's doctrine that sex is shameful. It was Satan who had given them the idea that there was something shameful about their nakedness! Notice God said, "WHO told thee that thou wast naked?..."(verse 11). The only other "who" around was the serpent — the devil! As the human race began to spread around the earth, God gave guidelines for living, including laws which govern human sexual relationships. By the time of Moses, over 2500 years after Adam and Eve, these laws were codified and entered into the Book of the Law (the Torah). God clearly defined what was right and what was wrong with regard to the sexual conduct of human beings.
What Is Sin?
God's definition of sin is clear. "... Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). Strong laws were laid down against homosexuality, adultery, incest, bestiality, transvestism, and other practices (Lev. 18; Ex. 20-24, etc.). The seventh commandment — "Thou shalt not commit adultery" -was given to protect the marriage relationship. God intended that married sex be an exclusive relationship between two people. These laws are eternal. The seventh commandment against adultery was in force from the earliest times. (Read our free article "Were the Ten Commandments in Force Before Moses?") But mankind has largely ignored the laws of God which govern sex relationships. As in the ancient world, today's society is filled with all manner of sexual sin. Fornication (generally unmarried sex) probably heads the list. But it is followed closely by adultery (extramarital sex), male and female homosexuality, and even so vile a sin as bestiality (man-kind-with-beast sex). Pornography floods the newsstands, and men's minds are focused on sexual fantasies. Society has clearly lost its way in a sexual wilderness. Permissiveness dominates much of modern society.
Will God Forgive?
These sexual sins were just as common 2000 years ago, when the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion... will possess the kingdom of God. Such were some of you..." (I Cor. 6:9-11, The New English Bible). God clearly says that sexual violations will prevent a person from attaining His Kingdom! But will God forgive? Is sex sin so evil that God cannot or will not forgive it? Not at all! All sin is evil. There is no kind of sin that is "greater" than some other kind! All sin requires the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Sex sin is no worse or no better than any other kind of sin. It too can be forgiven. King David of Israel sinned. He broke God's commandments — especially the commands against murder and adultery. David — in his lust for Bathsheba — arranged the murder of her husband Uriah and the illegitimate use of Bathsheba as his own wife. Bathsheba then gave birth to a son who subsequently died, in spite of David's repentance and appeal to God to spare the boy. For the full account read II Samuel 11 and 12. But David bitterly and thoroughly repented of his sins. Psalm 51 contains the account of his prayer of repentance toward God for his adulterous and murderous acts. He said, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness ...blot out my transgressions...cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.... Purge me...wash me....Create in me a clean heart...renew a right (steadfast] spirit within me" (Psalm 51:1-10). And God did forgive David. His sin was blotted out. He repented toward God and will come up in the resurrection guiltless — free from the stigma of any sin! Nevertheless, his sins are recorded for our benefit. The lesson is for us. God will also forgive us if we repent and change our ways. No sin — no matter how ugly, how sordid — will ever be held against you if you repent of it toward your Creator. If you have been involved in any of the sexual aberrations described in this booklet, you can be forgiven. God will not only forgive, He will forget your sin. David later said of God, "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Ps. 86:15). We are further told, "... thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful..." (Neh. 9:17).
God's Purpose in Sex
Sin is not "fun" which must be repented of just to please a harsh, stern "old-fashioned" God. Sex sins rob mankind of fun, joy and marital bliss. God's laws were set in motion to give us happiness, peace, security, plenty, and thrilling, radiant joys. God's laws are the gift of His love to us. God wants us to enjoy the blessings they make possible, not the cursings they make inevitable when we break them. The greatest reason almost no one understands the proper role of sex and marriage is rarely explained. A thorough examination of the Scriptures reveals that God-ordained human relationships are merely types of a much higher set of relationships. God's relationship with His human creation is clearly shown to be a family relationship. He is described as our Heavenly Father (Matt. 6:9). The Church is our spiritual mother (Gal. 4:26). The Church enters into a marriage relationship with Christ (Rom. 7:4; Luke 5:34; Rev. 19:7-9). We are told that husbands are to be the head of the wife in the same manner Christ heads up the Church (Eph. 5:24). At present, the Church is the "affianced bride" of Jesus Christ to be presented to Him as a "chaste virgin" at His return (II Cor. 11:2). Human marriage prefigures and typifies this transcendental spiritual relationship with God and Christ! Is it any wonder that God is so particular about how such a relationship is conducted? But what is the purpose of sex within marriage? Marital sex was given by God to mankind for three beautiful and joyful purposes. First of all sex in marriage was given for reproduction of children, a God-plane family relationship. Secondly, sex was to be the deepest and most binding expression of marital love and devotion, outgoing concern for the one loved. Thirdly, the matrimonial bond safeguards the home, family, and the stability of the nation as a whole. God also created sex appeal. This world has perverted that term to mean only the flesh, the body, or the shape of the sex object. But true sex appeal between a devoted husband and wife centers in the face, the mind, the heart, the intangible romance between two compatible sweethearts-for-life. Sexual compatibility is, after all, a mental relationship. It has been said, with much accuracy, that the brain is the largest sex organ. Compatibility of sexual techniques usually follows when two minds are each attuned to pleasing the other person. This is the essence of married love. God designed sex in humans to express love in marriage! The love embrace, the love caress, the ardent love talk of husband and wife — each telling the other that he or she is the most dear, the most darling, the most precious person on earth — the sincere ardor of earnest love-making BIND two people increasingly together as their life together goes forward. Those who divorce for "mental cruelty" have given an appropriate name to the loveless sex that takes place on most marriage beds: mental cruelty. This kind of "legal rape" is as abhorrent in God's eyes as an adulterous union! Such couples desperately need the counseling available in a unique sexual guide combining the efforts of a minister of God and medical authorities. The title of this vital book is The Missing Dimension in Sex, by Herbert W. Armstrong, Dr. Robert E. Merrill and others. A 236-page online version is available free of charge. (The publishers must, regrettably, refuse to offer this book to unmarried minors. Although it is hoped that parents will recognize the urgency of placing this book in the hands of their own adolescent children, that must remain solely the responsibility of the parents.) No married couple should be without this book. No couple contemplating marriage, or engaged to be married, should delay reading it. If you know of such a couple in need — or if your marriage is not all it should be — be sure to secure this all-important book. It could save your marriage, as it has saved others.