Two extremes are to be avoided: (1) that sex is dirty, to be ignored or at best endured; (2) that sex is the main drive and love of life. Both are perversions. Sex is what you are-- all the time. But today sexuality is often separated from personhood. Sex becomes something people do rather than an expression of who they are. The mystery of sex is but one particular aspect of the mystery of our personhood. We are constantly trying to unlock this mystery of personality, but a society that tends to segment life and attach undue importance to sex makes it difficult to find who we really are.
The first thing the Bible tells us about the human being is that he/she is made in the image of God. He/she is a trinity-- body, soul and spirit-- a moral being with the capacity to choose between right and wrong. Animals are not so blessed. ''So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them'' (Genesis 1:27). Here we see that God made humans in two models-- male and female. Sex is extremely important in knowing who we are. The person who doesn't know what ''model'' he/she is, or knowing but doesn't accept his/her gender, is a very confused and sick individual. God made humans in ''haves'' distinct from each other, in need of each other, and complimentary to each other. Apart from sexual intercourse we need social intercourse with both sexes in order to learn and enjoy who we are. God plans for all of us to enjoy the sexuality of each other.
We lose this enjoyment by going the devil's way of lust and sexual perversion. One man said he was tri-sexual: ''I will try anything that is sexual.'' And why? Because he couldn't find lasting satisfaction in any of his activities; he keeps searching for something that is truly meaningful. No wonder some people are so angry, defensive, frustrated and pushy about their sexuality. They are having more sex but enjoying it less-- in spite of all the sex talk and sex manuals. Fulfilling sex can only be found in a loving, lasting relationship between one man and one woman who are involved in a trusting commitment through marriage. Anything else is to fight against our Creator and own own created makeup.
''And the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him'... So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. 'At last!' Adam exclaimed. 'She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called ''woman, because she was taken out of a man.' This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame'' (Genesis 2:18-25). God created Adam and Eve-- not Adam and Steve.
In this light the New Testament declares: ''Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery'' (Hebrews 13:4). In sexual surrender one give his/her personality as well as body and receives the same. Sex is a sacred and significant act which, when violated, demeans and damages one's personality (I Cor. 6:12-20). A piece of tape that is used over and over loses its adhesiveness; people who go from partner to sexual partner won't find an intimate bonding with anyone.
God created sex for three reasons: communication (a special way to show love), propagation (to continue the human race) and recreation (to have fun together). Mature, responsible sex accepts the whole package. This triangle of human sexuality is God's precious gift to us. To violate His purpose is to bring harm to oneself and others. God made the home the basic unit of society. The immoral sexual revolution wrought havoc on the home resulting in increasing divorce, child/spouse abuse, neglect and murder, sexually transmitted diseases, and overall unhappiness with inter-personal relationships.
If we enjoy each other, including sexuality among many aspects, we will have a deep appreciation for one another instead of using each other as sex objects. We will also accept our God-given gender roles and not try to masculinize girls and feminize boys. We will compliment each other rather than compete against one other. One writer has said, ''The weaker sex is the stronger sex because of the weakness of the stronger sex for the weaker sex.'' Each gender has peculiar strengths and weaknesses, making the opposite sex so attractive. There really is no such thing as a homosexual since all people are biologically male or female. But we can pervert our God-given sexuality in homosexual or heterosexual ways.
How does the Creator-God teach us to discover lasting marital fulfillment? (1) Have sex only in marriage with your opposite gender who is a committed Christian (I Corinthians 6:14-18). (2) Be determined to be a one-woman man and a one-man woman (Proverbs 5). (3) Submit to one another and serve one another in unselfish love (Ephesians 4:31-5:33). (4) Have a family ministry to each other, to the church and to the world (I Timothy 5:1-20). (5) Work to overcome sexual perversions in our society: frigidity (I Corinthians 7:3-5), cruelty (I Corinthians 13:4-7:), fornication (Galatians 5:19-26), adultery (Matthew 5:27- 30) , bestiality (Leviticus 18:20-23), homosexuality (Romans 1:18-32).
The Church needs to ask forgiveness from the homosexual for three reasons: (1) He/she has not always been treated with respect as a valuable human being that every God-created person is. (2) He/ she has too often been ignored and not given the loving, caring help that each individual seeks. (3) He/she has sometimes been told it is okay to live in the sin of homosexuality. For these we have been terribly wrong and humbly ask: ''Will you please forgive us?'' We need to reach out to you with Christ-like compassion, to dialogue with you, to see you for the total person you are and not just as a homosexual. God loves all people; Christ died for all sinners. Every person has extreme value in the heart of our heavenly Father.
And that is love: to value someone with great worth. It is not to have gushy, mushy feelings or to tolerate any kind of behavior. It is to care enough about a person to provide, protect and promote him/her. The Golden Text of the Bible is John 3:16. It teaches us that God unselfishly, unconditionally loves all people. The primary demonstration of His caring heart was to sacrifice His special, perfect Son in payment and punishment of our sins. And this sacrificial, substitute Lamb atoned for our wickedness by absorbing in Himself the anger that the Father had for you and me. This Jesus died of a broken heart being forsaken by the Father-God because our evil was upon Him. Does this sound like an easy-going love, or a tough love?
To live in sin is to be in rebellion against the Authority of the universe. One who is in such rebellion cannot be a Christian (a devoted follower of Jesus Christ). ''Live a life filled with love for others following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes-- these are not for you.
''Instead let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world. Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. Don't participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!'' (Ephesians 5:2-8).
To be living a life of adultery or homosexuality or lying is so inconsistent with the holy Christ that one cannot be in that lifestyle and be in Christ at the same time. And yet, praise God, one can be changed and healed by the power of the resurrected Christ.
God loves all people. So should we. The homosexuality issue is not a matter of love versus hate, but of right versus wrong. Good people do not condone bad things, even in people they love. It is because they love-- individuals and the community-- that they want healing for and protection from homosexuality. With compassion, as a Christian counselor, I have entered into the struggles of men who are plagued with this perversion. I care deeply for them, ensnared in this terrible sin. Genuine tough love always weighs in on the side of truth by warning of the consequences of choosing and living immorally.
A parent who allows a child a drink poisonous cleaning products is not loving at all. The Bible says of the loving God: ''For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children'' (Hebrews 12:6). And listen to this important distinction that most people miss: God loves everyone-- but He accepts only those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Master of their lives. ''Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God'' (John 1:11-12). Though God's love is unconditional, His offer of salvation is conditional-- it is only for those who link up their lives with the Messiah who had a gory death and a glorious resurrection for our salvation.
Nor is ''homosexual rights'' a matter of tolerance versus discrimination but of setting limits to the public promotion of a deviant lifestyle. Some things that consenting adults do in private we do not tolerate in public. To discriminate is ''to distinguish from another.. .to use good judgment'' (Webster). We do it all the time. The manager of the mall discriminates against smokers; they can't puff away on the premises. Banks discriminate against people with bad credit by not giving them loans. Affirmative action discriminates against white males. Some rental properties are only for people without pets, or without children, or for senior citizens.
We discriminate against women when we prohibit them from entering men's restrooms. Convicted sex offenders, when released from prison, must register with the police when they move into town; other aren't so required. The law also discriminates against children by not allowing them to drive a car or purchase alcoholic beverages-- or vote. A non-member cannot vote or hold office in most organizations. An unqualified person cannot be licensed for certain vocations. Christian public school teachers are discriminated against when prohibited from praying or teaching the Bible to their students or displaying a picture of Jesus who they dearly love.
The debate is not about whether we discriminate or not, but over which type of discrimination we tolerate in our society. In fact, we are not discriminatory enough when it comes to such things as the choice of our politicians and our TV programs; we are simply too tolerant for our own good. Interestingly, the Human Relations Commission of Galesburg (whose supposed goal is to eliminate all discrimination) itself discriminates by not covering such people as polygamists, rapists and pedophiles.
And some of those who cry the loudest for tolerance are themselves most intolerant of a certain minority-- the conservative Christian. During the present debate in Galesburg they have been called lunatics, hypocrites, Bible-toting bigots. Would such judgmental name-calling be tolerated if referring to a Jew, a homosexual, a woman? Is the Human Relations Commission going to take up the cause of ''right wing radicals'' who are being harassed?
Among the political correct elite in this country it is open season on the ''religious right''. They and their leaders (preachers) are castigated without mercy in both news and entertainment. Another example is rock star Marilyn Manson (whose real name is Brian Warner) who decorates his stage with Nazi-style banners and leads thousands to chant his theme mentra: ''We hate love! We love hate!'' He then tells his young fans, ''Don't be oppressed by the fascism of Christianity.'' This type of talk is going on in Galesburg-- including Knox College (the nesting ground of so-called ''homosexual rights'' in our city). Where is tolerance and multiculturalism and love and justice and diversity now?
A young man in Chicago killed a younger boy because he wouldn't have homosex with him. It was not reported on national news, of course. John E. du Pont murdered Olympic wrestler David Schultz; that has made news except his sexual leanings have been kept Hush Hush. Homosexuals defaced a cathedral in New York City. The gunman who burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, killing 16 children, a teacher and then himself, had been involved in sexual perversion with children. Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven's Gate cult, who led 38 others to commit suicide with himself, was a homosexual.
Homosexual parades in San Francisco include semi-nude and nude participants, people with grotesque outfits and signs, as well as tax-supported police and fire vehicles. They even have tax supported homosexual worship services (from people who fight conservatives for not having a strict separation of church and state). Policemen, in uniform, kiss in public. Do we want these displays in our city? In the promotion of homosexuality by the radical left we are not being told the whole truth.
In San Francisco, Pastor Chuck Mclhenny and his wife Donna took a public stand against sin while showing loving concern for all people, including those with AIDS. They were sued by gay activists. They were also threatened with the abduction of their children. Then both their parsonage and church were burned. From that persecution came a book, Bitter Sisters, Suffering Sons, by Doug Robinson. Did the national media, dominated by the irreligious left, give coverage to these incidents? Of course not. But what if it had been a ''right winger'' who killed an abortion doctor or a homosexual? It would have been plastered on front-cover news for days and weeks. In many public hearings even thoughtful, mild-mannered conservatives are shouted down and blamed, with perverse logic, for the spread of AIDS.
Besides a prejudiced press, Americans have to put up with un-factual educational material. Truth is being suppressed. We were told for years that 10% or more of the population was homosexual. Now we know it is less than 1%. It really is abnormal. We are given a homey picture of a homosexual couple who love each other dearly and therefore need health insurance. The facts: 74% of male homosexuals had more than 100 sexual partners during their lives, with 28% having had more than 1,000 partners. Homosexuals are 5000 times more likely to get AIDS, while 50% are HIV positive. The average life span of a heterosexual is 74 but it is only 41 for a homosexual (without AIDS). Homosexual teenagers are 23 times more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease than heterosexual teenagers. The suicide rate among homosexuals is much higher than it is among straights (and the latter somehow get the blame for this).
Dr. Richard Isay chaired the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues of the American Psychiatric Association; he is an open homosexual and therefore hardly objective. But he did admit that ''most, though not all, dynamically oriented psychiatrists in general and psychoanalysts in particular'' still believe that homosexuality is an abnormality that can and should be treated by therapy in order to eliminate psychological problems that interfere with normal heterosexual development.
It is an insult to Blacks and other racial minorities to have their battle for equality linked with so called ''homosexual rights.'' Homosexuals do not meet the three criteria for minority groups: (1) Economic deprivation. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, male homosexuals reported an annual household income of $56,863, while married heterosexuals earned $47,012 and unmarried heterosexuals earned $37,602. (2) Political powerlessness. Homosexuals have far more political power than their tiny numbers should dictate. They have one of the largest and fastest growing political action committees in Washington and they donated $4.5 million to candidates last year. They are ''darlings'' of the rich and powerful Hollywood, media and political elites of today. (3) Immutable characteristics. True minority groups share unchangeable, non-behavioral aspects like race, disability, or national origin. Homosexuals claim minority status on the basis of their behavior-- with no reliable scientific evidence to support their position.
Dr. William Byne and Dr. Bruce Parsons of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, after reviewing all the current evidence, concluded: ''There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biologic theory of sexual orientation.'' Biased studies led by homosexuals have claimed otherwise, of course. Theodore Lidz, Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, complained about the quality of the Bailey-Pillard study and said it was the ''current fashion to find a major genetic component to all behavioral conditions'' and called for more and better scientific studies. Ruth Hubbard, professor emeritus of biology at Harvard, points to flaws in the Hamer study and concluded that ''studies of human biology cannot explain the wide range of human behavior.''
If homosexuality is genetic it would soon die out because it can't reproduce itself. If you believe in evolution (I instead believe in the Creator) than you hold to natural selection of the best genes and the casting off of mutations that are negative and those that can't reproduce. There probably can be an inherited tendency to this sickness as there is to cancer, for instance. But in both cases one can get help and make adjustments to minimize the risk. Why are homosexuals promoting their lifestyle to our precious children and youth? Since they can't reproduce, they evidently feel like they must recruit.
The tragic spread of AIDS should not have been treated as a civil rights issue (to protect homosexuals) but as a sickness (to protect everyone). As a result, the disease has been contracted by even more people. So leaders of the homosexual movement have more of an interest in preserving a lifestyle than in preserving life. And what they are really promoting is a deathstyle. People of God want to promote life-- not death. The first letter in AIDS stands for Acquired-- people did something to acquire this disease. It is the one sickness that could have been stopped if some people's perverted lifestyles (deathstyles) had been eliminated: shooting up drugs and participating in immoral sexual behavior. Now innocent children and others are contracting the disease due to the poor choices of some people.
The cure for AIDS is moral abstinence and truthful research. But no matter how a person acquired AIDS, he/she must be ministered to with Christian compassion. They need our love and care. The many who are dying are in pain physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. They must not be abandoned or used a pawns in a political chess game as many in both the straight and homosexual communities are doing. God loves them and so should we. All people are due respect because all are made in the image of God!
Many homosexuals are homophobic-- they are afraid of the deathstyle that has them in its grip. They spend years in therapy and thousands of dollars to psychiatrists trying to change their sexual orientation. Others hope to get relief by a sex change operation. To tell a gay person, ''God made you that way,'' is to illicit a response like, ''Then God must be a cruel trickster.''
A former lesbian wrote a letter of warning to her young nephew who thought he was gay: ''It's lonely because my gay friends were out for self-gratification and I was an object toward that end. I moved from relationship to relationship, pursuing that fleeting feeling of 'this time it's right.'... It's a hard life, too.... My gay friends took me on a whirlwind ride of parades, demonstrations, and political activism-- backing sexual freedom and minority rights. But behind the scenes, I saw that the gaiety is a mirage. The older I became, the more I noticed the tired, empty faces....
''Members of the gay community exploited me physically to satisfy their desires, but they told me they were fighting for my sexual freedom.... In all my years of living that life, I never found one relationship that was exclusive! Couples may have lived together for a few years, but they had encounters with others in sexual activity....l wanted to believe their logic and tried to ignore the things I knew from the Bible.... It's been over a decade now since I found out that Jesus can change a life and make it what He intended it to be. HE can, when we want to be delivered from the demonic hold of perversion that grasps our minds.''
There are groups of caring people who can and will help homosexuals find healing: Exodus International, P.O. Box 2121, San Rafael, CA 94912 ((415) 454-1017); His Way Ministries, P.0. Box 400, Ottawa, KS 66067 ((785) 746-5418); National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, 16633 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1340, Encino, CA 91436 ((818) 789-4440).
Mature Christians have great compassion for homosexuals while fighting the sin and sickness of homosexuality. They love the person enough to desire him to be delivered from his perversion.