What Will Happen If America Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage? – Program 4
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: JJohanna Michaelson, Dave Hunt; ©2004|
|The Bible has some critical things to say about human sexuality and about marriage. But are those just outdated ideas that have no place in the modern world? What are the consequences of ignoring God’s plan?|
What is God’s Design for Marriage?
Today, on the John Ankerberg Show, the truth about same-sex marriage.
We are witnessing a cultural revolution concerning marriage that, if successful, will have repercussions for our children, our grandchildren, for married couples, and our freedom of religion. Those advocating we legalize same-sex marriage are promoting at least five false assumptions about marriage and children:
First, children do not need a loving mother. In same-sex marriage between two men, the assumption is that children will not be harmed in their development if they never experience a woman’s love. Women are unnecessary. But scientific studies show this assumption is false.
Second, children have no need of a loving father. In a same-sex marriage between two lesbians, they assume men contribute nothing of value to the development of boys and girls. This assumption is also unsupported by scientific studies.
Third, marriage between two men or two women is beneficial to their health and happiness. This is false. Studies show that, on average, gay marriages do not last very long; that both gay men and lesbian women have a much higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide and higher incidences of infidelity.
Fourth, that homosexuals are born gay. No scientific study has demonstrated this.
Fifth, that homosexuals can’t change their sexual orientation. This is false. Both lesbians and gays can change their sexual orientation.
If same-sex marriage is legalized in America, this action will eventually rob us of our religious freedoms. What has happened in Sweden, Canada, France and the Netherlands will happen here. That is, no one will be able to counsel or write against the negative effects of gay marriage, preach sermons or publicly state that it is morally wrong.
To explain how harmful same-sex marriage can be to people in our culture and why natural marriage between one man and one woman is so important, my guests are:
Glenn T. Stanton, Director of Social Research and Cultural Affairs, and Senior Analyst for Marriage and Sexuality at Focus on the Family. He is author of the new book, Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage.
Also Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, IL. He is the author of The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: Six Things You Need to Know About What’s Really at Stake.
We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. I think you would agree that we live in an era when people are engaged in sexual relationships outside of the marriage relationship. Maybe that’s you, or, if it’s not, maybe you know someone who is.
- And we want to talk about human sexuality today. In actuality, we want to talk about, what is God’s original idea for how you can have maximum sex? Because a lot of you are having sex, but it’s not maximum sex, it’s not everything that you thought it would be. And whether it’s heterosexual sex or whether it’s homosexual sex, we want to talk about, what was God’s original design?
- And also, if you’ve gotten off of the track of where the Designer wanted you to go, how do you get back on? And the fact is, He is willing to help, and He’s willing to forgive; and is it possible? So this is really important, and I hope that you’ll stick with us.
- And Erwin, we’re glad that you’re here. Start us off today, what’s in the Designer’s Manual?
- Lutzer: John, this is so important, I’m glad you already underlined it, because there may be young people who are listening to this and they need to hear what God has to say on this subject. This is absolutely critical.
- When God created Adam and Eve, isn’t it interesting that He said “Let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air.” God wanted men and women to be co-rulers in His universe.
- But it’s interesting. He created Adam, and after that, He said, “It is not good.” Well, the Bible says that everything that God created was good. What then, wasn’t good? Well, the answer is, God says, “it is not good for man to be alone.” So God says He is going to find a helpmeet for Adam.
- Interestingly, Adam is created from the dust of the ground. When God creates Eve, He does not create her from the dust of the ground; rather, He creates Eve from Adam. And so, what God did is, He separated femininity and masculinity in the original creation. And then He implanted within them a desire, a great desire, for intimacy. I’m sure that when God brought Eve to Adam, it must have not only been a surprise, but a very, very pleasant surprise. “God, thank you for Eve.” And then the Lord says that “the two shall become one flesh.”
- In Hebrew, the word is ‘echad, which is one. But isn’t it interesting that in the book of Deuteronomy you find the very same word used for God: “Hear, O Israel, The Lord, our God, is one” [Deut 6:4]. In the New Testament, particularly, we see that God is three, God is a trinity [E.g., 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6]. So you have plurality and yet unity.
- In the very same way in the marriage relationship, God says there is to be a plurality—there are to be two—and unity. So that when you stop to think of it, the original purpose of marriage was to mirror the image of God. God says, “Let us create man in our own image” [Gen. 1:26].
- What we need to understand is that when God brought man and woman together, it’s in this very special relationship that is not just biological, or sexual, or pleasurable, though it is all that; it’s also a spiritual relationship. And unless we understand that, we will never understand sexuality.
- In fact, the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 gives us a verse of Scripture which, if we understand, is more helpful to us than all the books that have been written on sex that can be found on the bookshelves of the world.
- Ankerberg: Tell us what it is.
- Lutzer: And Paul says this. He says in 1 Corinthians 6 that even if a man has sex with a prostitute,… Now let’s think about this: sex with a prostitute—no love, no pretense of love, nothing but raw lust, for money. Paul says, even then, they become one flesh [verse 16]. That means that there is a metaphysical oneness that takes place, with or without commitment, and with or without love. And once we understand that commitment, we can begin to understand why sex outside of marriage is always so serious. It is because it establishes a bond with someone else, this bond of intimacy.
- And I need to say, also, that actually, marriage is constituted by two bonds. There is this bond of intimacy, but there is also the bond of the covenant. And it was God’s intention that the covenant protect the intimacy of the sexual relationship.
- Ankerberg: Yes, so you need the promise, and then you need the sexual intimacy. Because some people have taken what Paul said in Corinthians and have postulated that, alright what you are saying then leads to this conclusion: that if a kid, two kids, have sex together before they’re married, [then] scratch the marriage ceremony, just get on with it. In other words, get married, because you already are married in God’s sight. That’s not what you’re saying. Sex does not constitute the marriage.
- Lutzer: That’s right. I as a counselor, you see, disagree with that interpretation. Because what that means is young people have often married very badly. You know, “I had sex with this guy,” a girl says, “therefore, I feel obligated to marry him.” Now there’s a powerful reason why she feels obligated, and that has to do with this bonding that we’re trying to explain.
- Ankerberg: Right
- Lutzer: But the fact is that that, in itself, is not a basis for marriage, nor is she married. In the Bible, there is always the covenant that was part of the marriage ceremony. You entered into a covenant, in the same way that God says He has married Israel, you know, “You are mine by covenant” [Jer. 3:14; Hos. 2:19]. So, the answer is no, just because you’ve had sex with a person, and you feel inclined to marry them, or even feel obligated to, if it’s an unwise decision, don’t. Many marriages have turned out very badly under those circumstances.
- Ankerberg: Okay, let’s go the opposite way. The fact that you’re saying that something does happen, in the sense of this bond that’s established, so that a girl that has sex with a guy that she doesn’t intend to marry, she’s still drawn to him. She might even get into a relationship that’s abusive, and not even understand why, because of this bond of sexual intimacy.
- Lutzer: I want to comment on that, but John, I need to even underline what you have just said, because now we are talking about something that is absolutely fundamental and critical to those who are listening: that sexuality creates this metaphysical bond. That’s why we have to say to young people, do not become involved sexually before marriage. See, the average MTV generation young person says, “Oh, I can have sex with this person, this person, this person, and then in the end, I’ll march down the aisle and I’ll marry, and we expect to be happy.” No, you will not be happy. And the reason is because all of these bonds are still in existence. You actually have been bonded to a number of different people.
- Ankerberg: Glenn?
- Stanton: Can I jump in and just add something to this? It’s what the research says. We talked about in the earlier program: two books, the book of Scripture and the book of nature. Research coming out of The University of Chicago, a number of years ago, wanted to find out who the most sexually satisfied people are, both physically and emotionally. And their findings were stunning. You know who they were? They were married couples. Married couples had the highest levels of sexual satisfaction, physically and emotionally. Men and women coming together. But, it wasn’t just married couples, it was married couples who came to the marriage with no prior sexual experience. It’s exactly what you’re saying.
- Lutzer: That’s right.
- Stanton: That when you come to the marriage union, with no prior sexual experience or intimacy, you’re able to give yourself completely to that other person. And the research shows us that that is the most satisfying, that’s the most compelling. And we have to be interested in that. God is interested in making sure that we’re satisfied, making sure that we’re content. And sex, the way that God intended it, the research shows us, is most satisfying, most humanly fulfilling.
- Ankerberg: Yes. Another way of saying it, if you want to have maximum sex all of your life, then save yourself for marriage.
- Stanton: Exactly as God told us.
- Ankerberg: We’ve got about thirty seconds before we take a break. Wrap this part up and tell us where we’re going in the last part.
- Lutzer: Well, where we’re going is to answer your question, namely, how do people who have had previous sex experiences clear the deck, so to speak? What can God do for us to really, genuinely, give people a second chance? And I have an exciting testimony I’m going to tell the people about in just a moment.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, and I just wonder, how many of you folks are really, you really want to know, “What does God have that He can bring to this part of your life, when you have destroyed it with so many different sexual relationships? And you are depressed, and it’s not all that it was cracked up to be, and you want to say “Is there hope?” “Can God help me?” “Will He help me? Does He love me?” The answer is “yes,” and we’ll explain why in just a moment.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re talking about the truth about same-sex marriages. And we’re talking, actually, about how does God say that a couple can have maximum sex? Because many of you have had sex, and it’s not been maximum. And you’re hurting, and you’re wondering, what went wrong? And you want to find out, what does God have to say, and if you have gone wrong, and it’s not maximum sex, how can you get back on track, and is there forgiveness? And what about all the relationships you’ve had, and the brokenness, and the lusts, and some of the things that have developed off of those relationships.
- Erwin, we need a lot of help here, for people who have entered alien bonds, as you call it. Explain what that means, and where’s the hope?
- Lutzer: An alien bond is any sexual bond outside of the marriage covenant, the man-woman marriage covenant. It can be pre-marital sex, homosexual experiences, etc. Some of the things that we know about alien bonds is, in the end, they’re always empty. I’ve talked to people, you know, the emptiness.
- When I preached on same-sex marriages at Moody Church, giving reasons why we’re opposed to that particular movement, a young homosexual came, and he was weeping and he said “Thank you, thank you.” He said, “I’ve been in the homosexual movement for many, many years.” He said, “Can you imagine the sense of despair and emptiness that comes about as a result of these relationships, without love, without caring, and the relationships that are unnatural?” So, whether they’re homosexual or heterosexual though, they fall into the same category of an alien bond.
- Something else about alien bonds, before we give people help, specifically: alien bonds give a young person certain direction. For example, a young woman who is involved with a man, and she may be in love with him, but the relationship breaks up—if they’ve had sex, almost always, it does—she will begin a life of promiscuity, because now, she’s bonded to this man, and she wants to be bonded to another, and she’s going to seek fulfillment. The problem is, she doesn’t understand why she will never find fulfillment until she deals with those alien bonds. And so it’s one relationship after another, after another.
- Furthermore, alien bonds can give a person direction in terms of their sexuality. I remember interviewing a male prostitute whose name was Roger, who told me he’d had at least 1,500 relationships easily, maybe more. And how did he get into it? As a boy of seven or eight, a neighbor befriended him, taught him many things in his garage; began to molest him sexually. Roger said he both hated it and loved it simultaneously; ended up thinking to himself, “Well, of course, I’m gay,” because now the bonding, you see, if you understand, the bonding has taken place. And that is a very, very interesting notion.
- But, getting back to the help that the people who are listening today need. I can’t think of a better place to begin than an email that I received several weeks ago from a prostitute.
- This woman says that finally, in her despair, in her self-hatred, in her guilt and shame, desperately, she called out to Jesus to forgive her, to cleanse her, to break this terrible cycle that she was in of prostitution. She was fearful because she said that prostitution was all that she knew. She was thrown out of her home at the age of fourteen. And this is why we have to deal with people like this with so much compassion. We ourselves need to be broken, because we’re talking about broken people who are into various forms of alien bonds and illicit sexuality. And so, in her despair, she comes to Jesus. Jesus so forgives her and cleanses her that she said, on the email she said, “I feel like a virgin.” And she has been able to live without any sexual relationships now for about a year or so, since she received Jesus Christ as her Savior.
- So, what we’re saying to people out there today, is that Jesus can cleanse you and make you so clean, that you can begin again. But of course, you may need help. You know, I often tell people, if you fall into a pit, you can do that on your own; but, getting out, you may need the help of others. For example, there are some who are listening who are into homosexuality. Without accountability, without friendships, maybe without discussion groups; they can’t get out. But, Jesus Christ can cleanse them.
- And I need to say one other thing about the cleansing of Jesus. You remember when David committed adultery? That was an alien bond. He said, “Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow” [Psa. 51:7]. I used to say to myself, “I can’t think of anything whiter than snow!” And then, someone who had a science background told me, he said, “You know how snow is created? Snow is created by little particles of dust that crystallize,…” and so they develop. Well, I like to think of it this way, that when Jesus really washes us, when we turn from our sins, He so cleanses our consciences, that even the little particles of dust are removed, so that we are whiter than snow. And it is this Jesus that we offer to those who are listening today. Come to Him. That’s the beginning of breaking the alien bonds.
- You say, well, what about the memories? Well, we can talk about that, at some length also.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, I was thinking about, when you were talking, I had Hugh Hefner’s favorite [Playboy] bunny on the program as a guest. And she talked about the group sex and all this stuff that was going on at the Playboy Mansion, and the abortions that the bunnies were having. And she got to the point where she wanted to commit suicide. Came to Christ, Christ forgave her. And she went from having nothing but sex on a continual basis, to all of a sudden, for three years, she was without sex. God just dealt with her and got her away from that. And then God brought into her life a wonderful man that she married and has had kids with.
- And I’ve thought of all of the people that need that word of hope, that whether it’s the multiple experiences of a Playboy bunny, or the multiple experiences of those that are gays or lesbians. And the statistics show that there are many. There is this phrase that, when you get married, you are not only marrying the one person that you’re marrying, but you’re marrying all the people they’ve had sex with and all the people you’ve had sex with. Say a word about that and how to get rid of those memories, if you want. One more time around the block. We’ve already said it, but say it again, because people, we’ve got their attention.
- Lutzer: Well, the first step is forgiveness. And even those who still feel guilty after they are forgiven, they need to claim their forgiveness through Jesus. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” [Psa. 32:1]. God covers it like a blanket of snow.
- Let’s visualize two trails. One is very messy, goes into the ditch. The other is, what shall we say, well traveled. And you can tell the difference very easily. But after a blanket of snow comes, perhaps eighteen inches or two feet, you can’t tell the difference, because they’re both covered. And that’s what God does. And that’s the beginning.
- The second thing is to grow in the Christian life, the renewing of the mind through the memorization of Scripture and meditation on the Scriptures, to so cleanse our minds that even those memories lose their power. And the memories might come back, but we reject them in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ who has made us clean, and we go on from there.
- Ankerberg: Three questions. Gays will say Jesus never said anything against homosexuality, so He must not have been against it. Number 2: Say something to the gays inside of our churches, okay; and Number 3: Say a word to those who are single that are in our church, that may not get married.
- Lutzer: Well, first of all, regarding Jesus and homosexuality, if that’s your first question, Jesus said, “He who looks upon a woman to lust, has committed adultery in his heart” [Matt. 5:28]. Can anyone seriously think that Jesus, who upheld the Old Testament with all of its prohibitions of homosexuality, would have approved of it? Someone has well said that He never said anything against child sacrifice either. So we can’t argue from that standpoint.
- Regarding the gays in our churches, this is why we as pastors need so much sensitivity. In my ministry, I always distinguish between those who are in our churches and the radical agenda that we oppose. The people who come to our church, they’re looking for a word of hope, they’re looking for a word of help. And if all that we give them is condemnation, we’re going to turn them away. Nobody changes his sexuality because he’s heard a word of condemnation. He may change if he hears a word of love and acceptance and the grace of God. And that, ultimately, is our message.
- And to singles, whether homosexual or heterosexual, we say, be sure to live chaste lives. Live celibate lives. Because when you violate those standards and develop those bonds, they will always return to haunt you.
- But the first step is to come to Christ as we are.
- Ankerberg: We’ve got one minute left, Glenn. What about some of the homosexuals that you’ve known that have come to Christ? Tell me about them.
- Stanton: They’re wonderful stories. These are people that lived homosexually for many, many years. One friend of mine was a male prostitute. Worked very hard in that life, and now has a wife, has two beautiful children. And there are thousands of people like that who have lived homosexually, found help to leave that, found the hope that Dr. Lutzer is talking about, and now they are living heterosexually successfully.
- You know what? They have struggles, they have relapses in the sense of, you know, some of those old feelings come up, but God is bringing them through that to healthy, productive, heterosexuality. And it does happen, there is hope; you do not have to live this way.
- Ankerberg: How many people in the population are homosexual?
- Stanton: Very, very small. Research shows this time and time again. Anywhere from like 1.2 to at most 3 percent. Certainly not ten percent like we’re often hearing. Very, very small population. And many people who have a homosexual experience one time never engage in it again. They kind of tinker with it; but, very, very few see themselves identified as homosexual.
- Ankerberg: One last word, Erwin.
- Lutzer: Well, the last word is that Jesus Christ has His arms extended to everyone. And I’m glad that the grace of God is not limited to heterosexuals. It also includes homosexuals. There may be alcoholics; addicts of whatever variety; and we come to Christ as we are. One of the most impressive poems that was ever written was written by an invalid. It goes like this:
- Just as I am, without one plea; But that thy blood was shed for me. And that thou bidst me, come to thee, Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come.
- Ankerberg: That’s terrific stuff. Next week we’re going to talk about the three myths of homosexuality; that homosexuals are born gay; that it’s normal and natural; and that they can’t change. It is something that you probably won’t hear anyplace else, so please join us.