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IS SEX SIN?
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Table of Contents
God Created Sex
Sex In History
Sex Laws: Past and Present
Sodom - Ancient and Modern
Is Celibacy Christian?
Sex and Family
God's Purpose for Sex
IT SEEMS to make little difference that famine, starvation and disease lurk in India, or Pakistan; or that the United States of Europe nears reality; or that nuclear overkill means each human being has, specially reserved just for him, at least 150 tons of TNT in explosive equivalent. The main thing for many to think about — it seems — is sex!
No matter the headlines of disaster. What about sex? Forget the international news — what's sexy?
The sensational airlines crash vies for attention with semi-nude ads; billboards with bodies are almost certainly going to attract more attention than those without. Sex is where it's at. Sex with crime; sex with violence; sex — above all — first of all — most important of all — sex!
You're living in the midst of a sexual revolution.
The "sexy European" is not a slinky female; it's a sports car. "Sexy" can mean clothes, automobiles, shoes, hair styles, music, after-shave lotions, perfumes, accents or an ancient, smelly pipe.
You can't avoid it. The blatant truth now stands evident before you. The sex revolution is running amok and reaching preposterous proportions.
But is it good?
What are its fruits?
What about the Scandinavian experiment in pornography, wife-swapping, extramarital affairs, transsexual operations, transvestism, lesbianism, homosexuality and auto-eroticism? Is it right for two males to "marry" each other if they both so desire? And what about "gay" ministers and "gay" congregations — or the association that reputedly held a "mince-in" on the governor's steps?
Meanwhile — what's happened to GOD?
Is society left to itself where sex is concerned? Or are there moral codes which are living — absolute?
This booklet needed to be written.
It's time the truth of God and His laws received equal time with the peddlers of prurient filth — time some Godly common sense was applied to the subject of sex to place it in proper perspective.
WHY THIS BOOKLET WAS WRITTEN
NO MATTER what the headlines, the world news, the international traumas, the agony, the potential for world suicide, it seems that so many people have their minds on only one thing.
That one thing is sex. Just plain sex. Weird sex. Violent sex. Extramarital sex. Pre-marital sex. Amoral sex. Immoral sex. Sick sex. And — maybe once in a lifetime — MORAL sex!
What makes sex "moral" or "immoral"? Modern thinking proclaims that any act between mutually consenting adults is moral. By whose authority? If there is no God, this kind of reasoning would be understandable, even though it leads to headache and heartache. But there is a God, and this booklet is unique in proclaiming what God says about sex.
Before any anti-supernatural bias creeps into your mind, please realize that any similarity between what God says and what most Christian churches believe about the subject is purely coincidental. Neither God nor His Word is prudish about this all-pervasive subject.
What is "Sexy"?
Sex is everywhere around us today. Cars are supposed to be sexy, so we dangle a beautiful blonde on a car roof and name the cars after wild cats or wild horses. Evidently wild means "sexy." You can't buy a car named after a fish, or an elephant, or an earthworm. Maybe you can buy a Caterpillar if you want to move some earth!
Clothes are supposed to be "sexy." It doesn't say "sexy" on the label, but you know that if there are buttons, pockets and lapels all over — cloth everywhere — you have a "sexy" jacket.
"Sexy" is the undue accentuation of masculine or feminine attributes. Big deal! Practically everybody you meet is one or the other sex. There are approximately two billion males and two billion females on earth. Sex is a fact of existence. It's how we all got here.
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 teen-agers, and by X-rated movies for anyone 17 years of age or older. But what has this knowledge taught us to do? A few of the sobering statistics should give you the answer.
These Are the Facts
Approximately 10 million homosexuals are in the United States, 3 million in Great Britain and a similar one-in-twenty ratio in most "advanced" nations. The United States figure includes about 2½ million full-time male homosexuals, one million lesbians (female homosexuals), and about 6 million part-time homosexuals, called "bisexuals." In the extreme fringe of this group, there are between 2 and 10 thousand individuals who have had an operation to change their sex.
There are 400,000 illegitimate children born each year in the United States. This represents one birth in twelve, and up to one in two among all births in central city black ghettos. This is not a racist statistic — the rate would be much higher among affluent whites except for abortions (1,500,000 per year), greater availability of contraceptives, illegal adoption (much easier among whites), and "shotgun" marriages among young girls pregnant before the marriage ceremony.
Nearly half (46%) of all American girls have lost their virginity before marriage, and the figure reaches 80% among 19-year-olds in the central city ghettos.
There are five million cases of venereal diseases per year in the United States, of which only one million are reported to authorities. It 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 communicative diseases combined! (Including hepatitis, mumps, measles, scarlet fever, strep throat, and tuberculosis.)
There are 2,000 divorces every day in the United States, many due to sexual incompatibility which masquerades as "mental cruelty." This represents 750,000 U.S. divorces per year, as compared to 2 million marriages per year. More than one in three marriages now end 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 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 his life, 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 excel both pornography in dollar volume and rape in the number of victims.
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 "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. Are "gay" people really gay, or are they miserable? 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. Do you know any HAPPY swingers, homosexuals, or sexual perverts?
In most 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 teen-agers and adults who cannot cope with life.
Despite these psychological kickbacks, man thinks he escapes free from wrong sexual practice if he's physically "careful." Despite these few "careful" people, the vast majority do NOT escape the physical penalties for wrong sexual practices. Our welfare roles are filled with illegitimate children; our employment statistics are filled with people who dropped out of school early to wed an already pregnant bride; our hospitals are filled with 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!
The Purpose of This Booklet
This booklet is a much-needed effort for true sex education to counter present liberal trends. This booklet is a sound, practical guide to parents for teaching children right values, and countering the wrong values. We're not against proper public sex education, as later chapters will show. However, the kind of sex education most people get is in the movies, novels, magazines, city streets, and painful experiences of a sex-saturated society. Very few learn a balanced and healthy sexual approach from their parents.
This booklet combines the work of many college graduates (all of whom are parents) using dozens of books and hundreds of research articles, but the main source which sets this book aside from all others is the fundamental source we use: the Bible. Although religions of this world are a main source of sexual confusion today, the Bible is very clear about sexual morality. It strikes the right balance between the false ditches of prudery on the one side and prurience on the other. And the Bible contains some quite frank examples of both wrong and right sexual behavior.
We'll start at the very beginning ("genesis") of sex in the Bible and continue through to the prophecies for the future of sex and the family. All these scriptures relate to today's world and the part you and your family can play in recapturing true sexual values.
When you've finished, share this book with others. Most importantly, share it and study it with your own family.
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 toward sexual perversion (also called "Christian")? After all, the Bible is supposedly the foundation for Western religion.
Most would acknowledge 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 Handbook for His product, mankind, and since sex is an important part of man's 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?
Recently in California, a 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 incestial "rape" by his daughters, Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines, the Song of Solomon, and 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 that God inspired 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, or 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.
The Bible is, among many things, a sex handbook to husband and wife and a sex lawbook revealing what kind of sex is sin and what is pure.
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 picture the pleasing details ("Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled," says Hebrews 13:4).
Religions commonly have taught that sex sins are somehow greater than other sins. There is no denying that sex sin is sin and it hurts you physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually, but to rate it as the worst of sins or an unforgivable 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, man 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 man. 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 chic or popular to believe in such a "god." But if you would like to prove to yourself that there is both a real God and a real devil, then write for our free booklets Does God Exist?, Seven Proofs God Exists and Did God Create a Devil?)
The God of your Bible says that "forbidding to marry" is a doctrine of demons (I Timothy 4:2-3). 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 incontinence" (I Cor. 7:5).
Satan is the author of celibacy, and he is the one who tempts through abstinence. Let's find out exactly how he did it.
Satan 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 come through Greek philosophy. Around 450 B.C., Empedocles put forth the doctrine of man's "fall" that later figured prominently in the writings of the "Church fathers."
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 naked couple a sense of shame about their naked bodies. How do we know this? The first words God asked them after their sin was "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 pubic region of our bodies except in the privacy of marriage — but the reason is not because 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 man and woman made of it under the influence of Satan's "sex is shameful" philosophy. The 6,000-year history of man's perversion of sex follows.
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 toward evil" (Gen. 6:5, The Living Bible). This society, "bent on evil" (Moffatt translation) no doubt had its share of sexual perversion and debauchery, although there is only a sketchy written record of these. One pre-flood leader, Lamech, had at least two wives, connoting some form of sexual excess (Gen. 4:19).
In the New Testament Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ gave an overview of the times of Noah as they compare to the time of the end. "For just as life went on in the days of Noah so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the Flood, people were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage ... " (Matt. 24:37-39, Phillips translation).
Combining Matthew 24 with Genesis 6, we know that "marrying and giving in marriage" — like eating and drinking — were legitimate human activities pursued in excess for selfish reasons. Undoubtedly polygamy, progressive monogamy (divorce and remarriage) and interracial marriage were prevalent in those pre-flood days.
This period accounting for the first one fourth to one third of human history is clouded. The Bible devotes only 11 chapters to a high-spot summary of those 2,000 years, so let's pick up man's "sex history" as the second 2,000 years begin.
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 is no exception. Many "modern" ideas of the "new" morality were quite old hat by the time of the early dynasties! If you've seen Egyptian hieroglyphics, you know that pornography is nothing new. If you've seen the bust (head sculpture, that is) of Nefertiti, you know that facial makeup is no novelty to the twentieth century. If you've read any of the Egyptian love poems, you know that women's lib is as old as the Pyramids.
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 farther 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 congenital deficiency. Many later pharaohs were homosexual.
Ancient Greece: Blatantly Bisexual
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 incest with other gods. The Theogony (literally, "begettal of the gods"), by the eight 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, the Greek citizens followed it. The ancient Symposium, 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 the majority of Greek men had more than a female mistress. They also had their "boy." The Greeks considered man to be naturally bi-sexual. A relationship of an older scholar with a younger man was as common as it was "legal." A number of the Greek philosophers had overt relationships with such young men. The great Solon, from which 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 had older male "lovers" by age 12, usually being their military commander. The rationalization, as today, was "population control."
Homosexuality in Greece was not limited to men, however. Women on the island of Lesbos were almost exclusively lovers of women (hence our word "Lesbians"). The poetess 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. 56-60).
How well this parallels the "new" morality of the 1970's!
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 incestial 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 skin of wild animals and attacked the private parts of men and women tied to a stake. 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 7-10 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.
From "Romance" to "Prudery"
Supra-romantic 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, rivers, and 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. A fact lesser known is that many French kings and at least four major English kings were actually closet queens.
The "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 risqué adventures of semi-secret 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 encourages the "play today, for tomorrow we die" philosophy, which also encouraged the introduction of sex into theaters, burlesque and the first movies. Sex entered songs such as Lili Marlene and in espionage, with the notorious Mata Hari.
Back in the United States, Prohibition presented a righteous facade but actually fostered bootlegging, prostitution, and sex-related gangsterism. The silent movies were risqué. 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 resulting "postwar baby boom" became teen-agers that the Sexual Revolution of the Sixties blossomed. "Free love" hippies brought the morals 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 is the United States, Britain, Western Europe, and Australia. 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 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," against fellow man, or 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, indecent assault, Peeping Toms, exhibitionism, child molestation, etc.) are universally condemned and prosecuted in modern societies. They are anti-social, 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% 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 similar to those God gave Israel in its Lawbook, 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.
The average prosecuted rape case, however, is one of deliberate planned aforethought (75% of all cases), NOT enticed by a woman's dress or behavior, and perpetrated against a member of one's own race (95% of all cases) and in many instances a known friend (30%). The typical rape attacker is an older teen-ager and the victim is a younger teen-ager, but over 40% of rapists are married men with a psychological sadistic streak. Such people are mentally sick and are usually sentenced to psychiatric care, although the Biblical penalty under the letter of the law was much more firm!
A more common anti-social sex crime is child molestation. An estimated one million such cases occur each year in the United States, with a few dozen such cases ending in murder of the child. The much-maligned "dirty old man" type represents only five percent of such attacks, 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 directly to hurt people. But the serious nuisance they cause is definitely an ANTI-social 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 overlooked 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 both ancient and modern societies which have Biblical basis and should remain. What are victimless crimes, and who are the real victims?
Victim #1: Yourself
Perhaps some may think that there should be no law on the books to prevent you from committing suicide. According to some it's your "right" to kill yourself. But it is also a crime: it's murder. And it definitely does YOU no good! What about the so-called "victimless" crimes of a sexual nature: incest, prostitution, homosexuality, sadomasochism, statutory rape, fornication, adultery, bestiality, transvestism, and fetishism?
Again, perhaps some do 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 one 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. Paul said "No man ever yet hated his own flesh" (Eph. 5:29); therefore such activity is "against nature." Homosexuality sears the mind of man from the God-plane family relationship of man-wife-children, and it also victimizes the homosexual physically (Romans 1:27) in greater chances for venereal disease, and some other (unmentionable) physical penalties.
Incest hurts yourself and your progeny by ruining the genetic line. There are victims! Fornication (intercourse before marriage) hurts future adjustment in marriage as well as possibly leading to venereal disease, illegitimacy, and gynecological difficulties.
Adultery hurts marriage. Prostitution hurts marriage and each individual involved even if 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 would kill one or both parties on the spot! (See Proverbs 6:29-35.)
Bestiality hurts the one who practices it. God calls it "confusion" (Leviticus 18:23) and pronounces the death penalty on the sick mind who would violate the God-given sanctity of human marriage by having relations with an animal. Masturbation, supposedly the most harmless case of "victimless" sex crime, severely hurts a young boy's or girl's social and psychological development. In fact, all inverted (turned toward self) sexual behavior — including fetishism, masturbation and transvestism — contains 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 of her 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, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband [does]: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife [does]. Defraud ye not one the other" (I Cor. 7:4-5). Paul was referring to family rights superceding individual rights in the matter of sex. (See the James Moffatt version for a clearer translation.)
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's rights to their breadwinner.
If you're not now married, this may all seem hypothetical to you, but married people know how dear such "rights" are if they've been "victimized." Married people also know that so-called "innocent" behavior of youth 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 waymark to 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 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" (The Journal of Marriage and 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 an 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 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 vomits 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 Leviticus 18:6-20). Such lands, like Sodom and Gomorrah, ceased to produce the most vital raw natural resource: its balanced, sane, hard-working leaders of families. Such "victimless" crimes always led to further degradation, crimes with victims, as in Sodom.
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. Some such laws of man (such as the prohibition of sex on a particular day of the week) are invalid in the sight of God who said "the marriage bed is undefiled" (Heb. 13:4). Like the Sunday Blue laws, some such 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 its fall. The next chapter describes that pattern in ancient Sodom. Modern Sodom will be no different.
[Chapter 3 INSET — Take Precautions Against Rape]
RAPE, the crime most feared by women, is skyrocketing with no immediate end in sight. According to FBI-indexed crime statistics, the incidence of reported rape rose 121% from 1960 through 1970. (The true incidence of rape is three or four times higher than reported. Because of fear and embarrassment on the part of rape victims, many rapes are never reported.)
In view of this pessimistic outlook, it behooves women to take the following precautions against rape.
If single or sharing an apartment with another woman, don't advertise it. Use initials rather than your full name in the lobby directory, the city phone book, or on your mail box: M. Smith rather than Mary Smith.
Keep a chain on the door at all times. Buy a chain if your door doesn't have one. Don't open your door for delivery men or strangers. If they have a package for you, ask that the package be left by the door. Demand credentials before you open the door for an expected business transaction.
Lock your door even if you are only going out for a moment.
Consider keeping a dog. It can provide a certain degree of protection.
To discourage Peeping Toms keep a light burning on the front lawn or in the backyard and keep your window shades down at night.
Avoid using a laundry room in an apartment-house basement by yourself at night.
If you suddenly find a potential rapist in your home and are unable to contact police — try to let neighbors know of your plight. Turn on the lights and SCREAM! Screaming is a woman's best weapon!
If you are forced to grapple with an assailant, put up a struggle and SCREAM! But leave your attacker a means of escape. In that way, he may think more about escaping than harming you.
Avoid wearing revealing clothing because it might incite a potential rapist. Most rapists, however, pick on any victim of any age, not necessarily the young, attractively dressed.
When driving a car, keep the car doors locked. Park only in well-lighted parking lots at night. Be sure you lock your car when you leave (even if you will be gone for just a few minutes). When you return to your car, check the back seat before getting in to make sure no intruder is hiding in wait for you.
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 "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 they 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 they practiced was only part of it. Jude says Sodomites were also "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh [probably bestiality]" (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 worshipped many idols as I watched. Therefore I 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 20th Century. (Write for our FREE booklet Is This the End Time?)
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 and 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 10 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. 6:9-11). 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 Jonathan with David, or John with 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."
One wonders which part of the Bible they do accept!
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"
All the stereotypes of homosexuals you may have heard are wrong. Most people would find it difficult to identify one. Only 15% of male homosexuals and 5% 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 men-with-men 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 diagnosis 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. Homosexuals are not born. They are made "queer" through a formula of dominant "smother love" from Mom plus a distant, cold, abusive or absent relationship with Dad! There are virtually NO EXCEPTIONS!
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 archtype, 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 a few 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 homosexuality is no more difficult than the others, 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). In the New Testament God has sent 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 idolators, 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. "To Him that overcometh, and keepeth my works to 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 tranquility, a greater opportunity to enjoy married love as God designed it, 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.
(Romans 1:18-32, The New English Bible)
[Chapter 4 INSET — Protect Your Child From Homosexual Tendencies]
MOST PARENTS associate the cause of homosexual tendencies with wrong companions. To a degree that may be correct. But, more and more psychiatrists are finding that the truly controlling factor is the family constellation in which the child is reared. The recipe for developing homosexuality in a boy is an overintimate, overprotective, emotionally smothering mother and a detached, hostile or indifferent father. Likewise, a close-binding, overly possessive, puritanically domineering father may trigger the emotional and psychological conditions that will produce homosexual tendencies in a girl.
It is clear that the character of the father and his interpersonal relations with the child during the impressionate years seem to be most crucial. Dr. Irving Bieber reports that he has never interviewed a homosexual man who had a close, warm relationship with his father. As psychiatrist Warren J. Gadpaille put it, "A healthy mother can prevent her son's having inappropriate apprehensions toward women and can foster healthy attitudes toward maleness, but ideally it requires a man to produce men." He concluded that, "A psychologically good father appears to be a specific protection against development as a homosexual" (Sexual Behavior, April 1971, p. 7).
A wealth of valuable information about how to be a good father is available in three of our free Ambassador College publications.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing
"A Conspiracy Against Fatherhood"
Write for these booklets and reprint articles. Addresses are available at the end of this booklet.
IS CELIBACY CHRISTIAN?
FOR CENTURIES, various Christian (and pagan) religions have defined celibacy (non-marriage) and lifetime virginity as the highest forms of human existence. To shun the duties and pleasures of marriage in exchange for the higher plane of transcendental 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.
There is a great deal wrong with celibacy. Paul the Apostle said that it is a doctrine of demons to forbid marriage (I Timothy 4:1-3). Jesus Christ was, in a special way, already married to ancient Israel by the terms of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was a marriage agreement between God — the One who was later born as Jesus Christ — and the nation Israel. The New Covenant will be a marriage agreement between Christ and the Church! That is why Jesus never entered into a marriage during His physical life. It would have been adultery.
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 hangups that they have. Here are a few examples of how far away from the truth some have gone.
False Homosexual Claims
Homosexuals justify their sinful practices by claiming Jesus as one of their own kind. One serious book about homosexuals in history erroneously labelled 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 a completely negative to all — for instance to an attractive and affectionate youth."
A famous churchleader 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 Saviour — Jesus Christ. And how can He be their Saviour when they claim He is a sinner like they are? Ridiculous!
Another famous 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 serve to 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 anti-establishment 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 (an "immaculate conception"), mothered by an eternal 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 12 rugged males like Himself. Most importantly, He had a special commission in life that transcended the physical sphere of sex and marriage. There was also a moral, legal, and spiritual reason why Christ NEVER married or engaged in sexual union with another person.
Proof That Jesus Christ Was Already Married!
The Jesus Christ who came to earth in the flesh was the God of the Old Testament. For proof of this amazing, little-understood key to Bible understanding, request our FREE article "Who — What — Was Jesus Before His Human Birth?" But, for now, read the following plain scriptures on the subject: John 1:1, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16, and I Corinthians 10:1-4.
Combine these verses with the account of the marriage covenant between that God of the Old Testament and the nation Israel. It is described in Ezekiel 16 and Exodus 19 to 24. Then read in Jeremiah 3:14 that the God of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, plainly told the nation Israel, "I am married unto you"!
According to God's laws (Matthew 19:1-12), such a marriage between God and Israel could never be severed unless one of the marriage partners died! Jesus Christ came to earth in physical bodily form in order to DIE for all humanity. By dying, He terminated the physical marriage with the nation Israel in order to be free to marry the New Testament Church, the Bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2). He has prepared for the "wedding feast" (Matt. 22:3-11; Rev. 19:7-9) at His second coming. By not marrying another woman while on earth, Jesus obeyed His own laws of marriage. He could not have partaken in a physical marriage union since that would transgress His former marriage to the nation Israel, and His future promised marriage to the resurrected Church.
Had Jesus been free to marry during His short human lifetime, there were a great many good reasons why He would not have.
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. 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 the 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 equally to 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 Apostles: Sons of Thunder
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 18:26). 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 marriage 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 the 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 many of his letters to the churches. Paul was possibly a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin prior to his miraculous conversion. Thus he should 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 difficult and 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 honorable 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 another ... (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 Corinthians 7.) First of all, Paul was speaking to a very profligate, libertine world. To "Corinthianize" even meant to "prostitute oneself." It 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, "It 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 (31-70 A.D.). 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 bachelors 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 extramarital sex to the extreme, believing that this made marriage unnecessary. Others abstained from all forms of sex.
The Essenes of Qumram 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. 220 A.D.) had severe hang-ups about sex, extreme guilt pangs, and he eventually castrated himself to avoid temptation — or perhaps to avoid fatherhood. 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" in Matthew 19:12.
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 first 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" ("Changing Social Mores," Current magazine).
At least 36 percent of 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!
Instead of treating causes — putting proper love back into marriage — sociologists are seeking for new kinds of marriage bonds. Here is a sampler of their ideas.
The Family of the Future
We list here just five of the dozens of new ideas being advanced as "families of the future." Notice that all of them attempt to take the work of character building out of marriage. Each is selfishly oriented when 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 that "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 to mankind "out of touch" with man's sexual yearnings? Is God trying to bind man to a "studiously hostile" union (in Shelley's words) instead of allowing man the "fun" of multiple sex partners? Or is there something good for mankind in that Seventh Commandment?
Just as "victimless" crimes have three ultimate victims — self, family, and society (see Chapter Three) — so adultery, in the long run, hurts multiple victims.
First, society is hurt by such activity. Sociologist Carle Zimmerman wrote that, "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 ancestor's name and lineage. Secondly, at a nation's peak, man 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 the atomistic family 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 your Bible are much the same! God is, after all, a capable "sociologist" — He created man! 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; Romans 8:14-17) of one wife, "the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26), the Church. The spiritual lessons of understanding the God family are impossible to learn apart from the God-given marriage unit!
"What If ..."
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 upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28).
If only mankind 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 non-existent, 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 peek-a-boo styles.
Streets would be safe from rapists and child molesters. There would be one third fewer marriages (the re-marriages would be turned down by the presiding minister or Justice of the Peace). No doubt the age at which one is married would increase, since a person would want to be doubly sure this 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 parent 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 "hearty" 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 Four 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 came from abusive fathers or fatherless homes. The Boston Strangler and the Marquis de Sade were cute babies, but their home environment was not so "cute."
Society is a "conspiracy against fatherhood" since nearly all social pressures around us point boys away from the fulfillment of their future fatherly role. The "Jackass formula" of television humor paints dad as a bumbling idiot, while most TV dramas have incomplete families or singular parents — a lonely male or lonely female — rather than a balanced, normal father-mother combination. The conspiracy against fatherhood is furthered by the image of women as sexual toys, and sex without marriage as the pinnacle of pleasure.
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 the majority 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% incidence among various sub-groups 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 pre-school 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 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 rule and not just society's (The Gay World, Dr. Martin Hoffmann, p. 116).
Here are seven basic points you can use to inculcate this proper sexual attitude in the pliable young minds of your children.
7 Pointers for Parents
The following seven points were first developed by Dr. Vern Farrow, Principal of Imperial Grade School, and Professor of Education at Ambassador College, Pasadena.
FIRST: Start Early. Early childhood is the time when humans are the most educable and when parents have almost complete control of their environment. It is the time when a child receives an indelible impression of what sex is all about. The male child will imitate the way his father lives, the way he treats his wife, and his relationship with other people. At no other time in life will these first early impressions be significantly altered.
SECOND: Be First. Beat the competition to the punch. Remember, there is no choice between providing or not providing sex education. The only alternative is how, what, and with whom your child will learn about sex. The vast majority of what a child learns is not in formal lessons, but rather in informal contacts and experiences. Sex education may go on in the school bus, at recess, in the locker room, in romantic novels, on TV and in movies — or by right parental example and teaching. Be sure to beat the competition. Be there "firstest with the mostest."
THIRD: Keep Communication Lines Open. Remember, communication is a two-way street, not just one-way lectures. Even in formal teaching, be sure to have plenty of give-and-take and questions-and-answers. If you don't answer your child's questions, chances are somebody else will — and their answers may be dangerously wrong. Don't worry unduly when your child turns into a teen-ager. If you've established good communication lines during youth, they should also remain clear during the child's adolescent years.
FOURTH: Anticipate Problems. Avoid sex education by crisis. Warn your child about sexual mistakes before they happen. Don't wait until after the advent of puberty for a traumatic "birds-and-bees" session. Prepare your child to anticipate his or her future bodily changes. Also, learn to expect curiosity about sex organs among the very young — teach them the privacy of that area of their body, without in any way instilling a sense of shame or "sex is evil."
FIFTH: Encourage Physical Exercise. During the advent of adolescence, body tissues, bone, and muscle are undergoing massive changes. Heavy exercise aids such physical development as well as helping relieve tensions produced by changes in body chemistry during sexual development. Other positive spinoffs of vigorous exercise are the proper development of social graces and a clearer masculine or feminine self-image.
SIXTH: Prevent Inverted Behavior. "Inverted" simply means any kind of selfish, inward-looking sexual activity during the developmental years. This includes masturbation, homosexual or effeminate tendencies, and transvestism, among others. Wrong companions can accentuate such activity, but the main cause is in the home — inward, overly protective "momism," a weak father, combined with simply "nothing better to do." Give your children better things to do!
SEVENTH: Use the Bible as a tool for sex education. Use the Bible's practical examples and practical teachings we've referred to in this booklet. Read the Bible yourself and share the lessons it teaches with your children.
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."
Maybe you don't feel confident about fulfilling this role. Most parents don't! To fill this void, Ambassador College offers various teaching booklets described at the end of this booklet.
In addition, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, Chancellor of Ambassador College, is preparing a series of three sex education "primers" for young children. This will be a parent-supervised course in God's approach to sex education. They will be written for three approximate age groups: Age 6 (first-second grade), age 10 (fifth and sixth grade), and age 14 (ninth and tenth grade). Be watching for their publication.
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" (Proverbs 22:6). This Proverb and other large portions of the book of Proverbs have direct application to sexual 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. No better teaching aids have ever been written!
[Chapter 6 INSET — Protect Your Teen-agers Against Sex Crimes]
KNOW THE person your daughter or son is dating. Don't let either go out with people that are strangers to you. Insist on getting to know those they date.
Today's teen-age girls have their own special problems.
J. Edgar Hoover, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, formulated a no-nonsense code that will help young girls steer clear of danger. Insist that your teenagers learn these points:
If any stranger — or even a slight acquaintance — makes improper advances, tell your parents immediately. Too often, young people dislike the idea of getting someone into trouble. Just remember that if you don't report him, he probably will get into worse trouble later on — to say nothing of the harm he may cause.
If you know of any pornographic pictures or literature being passed around, notify your parents immediately. Collecting obscene reading matter is a favorite habit of degenerates. If the authorities can run down the source, they may be able to rid the community of danger before it starts.
Know your date! Don't go on blind dates.
Stay out of lovers' lanes. They're favorite haunts of sex criminals. (And, these are not places where upstanding, moral teen-agers — who know the deep responsibility of dating, sex and marriage — ought to be anyway. Write for our free booklet about Modern Dating. This attractively printed Ambassador College publication will give you sound, sensible principles on how to date in today's troubled world.)
Don't wander away alone from the crowd at picnics and outings. Sex criminals are attracted to groups of young people and, given an opportunity, can strike with frightening speed.
Dress sensibly. Don't ask for trouble.
Be civil to strangers who ask directions, but never go part way with them. The "directions trick" is a favorite among deviates. They count on the natural helpfulness of young people.
Be careful about accepting work from a stranger. This is another insidious dodge. Always make sure that the person offering employment is a respectable businessman.
Don't go around the house half-dressed. It's an invitation to Peeping Toms and worse.
Never hitchhike! And never pick up a hitchhiker.
And you parents should really get to know your teen-agers. Do more things at home with them. The more they are in the sanctity and protection of the home, the less the chance for some disaster to strike.
Follow these common-sense rules! If you do, your chances or your loved ones' chances of being a victim of a sex crime will be greatly reduced.
[Chapter 6 INSET — Protect Your Small Children Against Sex Crimes]
KNOW WHERE your children are at all times! This common sense rule is broken all too often. Its violation is the CAUSE for many a heartbreaking situation.
Infants and young children at home should be within eyeshot of the parent. Take your children to school. Arrange to meet them when school is out. Don't allow your young children to roam the streets by themselves. Know where they are when they're out of the house. Train them to discern right from wrong, so they will walk away from wrong. Train them to run away from potential sex deviates. Before having the sad experience of being propositioned by a deviate offering a piece of candy on the street, your children should be taught to be polite ("No thank you"), but to run away from strangers offering gifts or rides.
Teach children to report suspicious persons to you, teachers or policemen. Teach your children that a policeman is their greatest friend outside the home!
Instruct your children against loitering in public places. Do not allow them out after dark by themselves. Tragically, a high percentage of child molestations are caused by FRIENDS AND BLOOD RELATIVES. As distasteful as this may sound, it is a hard fact of life. Be sure you know the character of people who might keep your children overnight, for a visit or on a trip.
There will be times when you need a baby-sitter. Take great care in the selection of one. Remember that the sitter is now in YOUR place as a guardian of your precious children. Insist that the baby-sitter take the SAME PRECAUTIONS as you do.
Take her on a security tour of the house; instruct her on not admitting strangers; give her the phone number where you can be reached. Explain how to reach the police. In short, educate your baby-sitter so that she will be able to handle a potential problem in the same way as you would.
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 the 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 of 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 carry-over 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 scripture 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!
God's Guidelines For Sex
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 (Leviticus 18; Exodus 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 creation. (Write for 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 (unmarried sex) probably heads the list. But it is followed closely by adultery (extra-marital sex), homosexuality (male-with-male sex), lesbianism (female-with-female sex), and even so vile a sin as bestiality (mankind-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 illegitimate 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 on 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" (Psalm 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. 6:6). This 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. 5:25). 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 pre-figures 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, marital sex was to express 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 husbands and wives — 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 lovemaking 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 only in a unique sexual guide combining the efforts of a minister of God and medical authorities. If the advice of this book were followed, NO marriage need end in divorce for "mental cruelty."
The name of this vital book is The Missing Dimension in Sex, by Herbert W. Armstrong, Dr. Robert E. Merrill and the Ambassador College Department of Theology. A "condensed" 236-page paperback version of the original 324-page hardbound book is available FREE to you upon your request. (The publishers must, regrettably, refuse to send 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. Those couples counseled for marriage by the authors of this book, and who have applied that counsel, have virtually a zero divorce rate! Such successful fruits prove that the message is right and true.
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 thousands of others.