The Seventh Commandment:
“Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”
“Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image… Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain… Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it… Honour thy father and thy mother… Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal.
Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Neither shalt thou…covet…” —Deuteronomy 5:7-20
I. The Seeds of Biblical Ethics
God gave the Ten Commandments to apply to the whole spectrum of human life. As Jesus told us in the New Testament, God never intended for the Ten Commandments to be applied only literally and narrowly, but broadly. They are like seeds, and from them spring the entire range of biblical ethical teaching. For example, Jesus taught that the commandment forbidding adultery goes beyond the actual act, and includes the thought life and the desires of the heart (Matthew 5:28). The commandment requiring one to “honor” his father and mother” extended beyond mere respect for them, and included the requirement to insure their financial support as long as they live (Mark 7:10-13).
Therefore, each of these Ten Commandments should be viewed as summarizing a broad range of human behaviors that fall within the scope of that commandment. Also, because they are broad-ranging, ethical principles and not merely culturally-limited regulations, the Ten Commandments are timeless, applicable to all societies for all time.
Man’s Duty Toward God
Accordingly, the broad meaning of the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” establishes the fact that God and God only is to be worshiped, i.e., given our ultimate loyalty, our love and reverence, our time, our treasures, our very lives. We owe it, because He alone has made us and brought us this far. The second commandment, “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image,” establishes the fact that every other god is created—only one God self-exists—and thus all attempts at worshipping something other than Jehovah God can never be anything more than the foolish worshipping of another created thing, not the Creator. If we do not worship God, then we automatically end up worshipping something that either God Himself has created (animals, trees, precious stones, heavenly bodies, evil spirits, etc.) or that we ourselves have created (money, sex, popularity, power, prestige, or the like). Worshipping the creation rather than the Creator is both inane and an insult to the true Creator, and, as He promised, will be punished severely.
The third commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” establishes the fact that God will not tolerate any profaning of anything pertaining to Him, i.e., disrespecting the sacred and holy by attaching it to or associating it with the non-sacred and unholy. This applies not only to our attaching the Lord’s name to our oaths, but also to any other way in which we dilute and tarnish His holiness with our baseness and humanness, then hold it up and claim that it is still sacred and godly. Our world is filled with the spirit of profanity and blasphemy, commonly calling good evil and evil good. Such is profane, a personal affront to God.
The fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (i.e., dedicated to God), establishes God’s requirement that no matter how busy we are or how much we get involved in, we must not let things squeeze Him out of our lives. We must reserve a sizable portion of our lives for the One Who gives us life in the first place. We owe it to Him. It is not merely about a sacred day; it is about a portion of our lives that we must set aside for Him and Him alone, without fail, despite everything else happening in our lives during those symbolic “six days of labor” of the week. It is all about making room for God, in reverence and acknowledgement of His worthiness and holiness. He is seriously warning us that, no matter what, we had better not let living squeeze Him out of our lives! We will regret it.
Notice that these first four commandments govern our relationship and duty to God. The next six commandments govern our relationships with each other. This is how spiritual matters always work: the first order of business is to bring man and God together, which then serves as the proper basis to bring man and his fellow creatures together.
Man’s Duty To Man
The first and most important man-toward commandment establishes the sanctity of the family as the institution God Himself ordained as the way He deals with human beings. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” This is what theologians call a “creation ordinance,” something built into human nature at creation, just as the need for food is built into our bodies, and the law of gravity is built into physical reality. No matter what we may try or how we may theorize, the family is not an institution that can be replaced by some better form of organization.
God’s divine order for human beings is through the family: the bonded pair of man and wife and their children. God gives His knowledge to the parents who, in turn, pass that knowledge, those morals, and that experience with the Creator to their children, generation after generation. When this chain is broken, by rebellion and failure to “honor” the parent generation, the knowledge that should be passed down is lost. Morals are forgotten. Experience with the Creator is lost. Ultimately, each successive generation knows less and less about God, His requirements, and His provision, all to the detriment of the whole society. In importance, the sanctity of the family is second only to the worship of God. A society in which the family is undermined is a time bomb, a disaster just waiting to happen.
The second man-toward commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” establishes the sanctity of life. A society in which there is no respect for life is a society only one step from being hell on earth. A natural regard for death serves to limit people from endangering their own lives and the lives of others. Where this regard is absent, there is no limit to the evil human beings will perpetrate upon each other. Respect for life and the fear of death represent the bottom line to keep evil in check throughout society.
The commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” enjoins respect for the concept of ownership, which is natural in all humans. Even the smallest child will get mad if you take something he claims is “mine!” This is the sanctity of ownership. For any society to run smoothly, there must be a great respect for the possessions, rights, and privileges of others.
The commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (i.e., lie), establishes the sanctity of the truth. For any society to endure, the truth, i.e., the correct perception of reality, must be available. Lies, deception, concealment, and other forms of falsehood breed only confusion and ultimate destruction of society. Losing sight of the Truth or rejecting the concept that there is even a such thing as absolute truth results in a society calling good “evil” and evil “good.” This eventually leads to chaos. For example, for any court of law to operate effectively as an arbitrator of human problems, there must be a way to get to the truth. Hence, the practice of calling in witnesses, swearing to tell only the truth, enforcement of honesty, punishment of perjury, etc. Or another example is when we reject the truth that biological sex is the same as gender, resulting in the preposterous claim that men/males can have babies and menstrual periods. The truth is that any human body that has periods and babies is female by definition. Case closed.
The tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” establishes the sanctity of satisfaction. Satisfaction means that desires have either been fulfilled or, most likely, brought under control. As long as everybody is coveting, reaching, and grabbing, we will be certain to have a restless “dog-eat-dog” world. Unrestrained human desires are the source of all turmoil and evil in the world. Only when human desires are under control can any semblance of peace prevail. Thus, the tenth commandment is the seed commandment that teaches man to be satisfied with his own stuff and leave his neighbor’s stuff alone.
The Seventh Commandment
Obviously, these are some very important commandments. They take in just about every major aspect of human existence. But it is on the Seventh Commandment that we want to focus our attention at this time: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It establishes the sanctity of marriage. On the surface, this commandment does not seem to be so awfully important; it may even seem somewhat out of place if we interpret it only literally. As media mogul Ted Turner once said, “If you’re only going to have ten rules, I don’t know if adultery should be one of them.”1 But remember, these commandments all have broad meaning and application. Therefore, when taken together with the rest of the Bible (including Jesus’ expansion of this commandment in Matthew 5:28), the purpose and significance of this commandment soon appear: The Seventh Commandment is the one that deals with that all-important concept of human sexuality. It reveals God’s views about sex.
Going back to the beginning, we see that God Himself created sex: He made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). He told them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), which permits and commands them to have sex. But He attached some very significant strings to the whole concept: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25). Thus, God established marriage as a sort of “container” for human sexuality. This process and privilege of being fruitful and multiplying was not to be done indiscriminately between any male and any female, but between “the man and his wife,” the couple that was regarded as “one flesh.”
God’s Definition of Marriage
Here, once again, we have a creation ordinance. It was defined by God Himself, not by society, history, evolution, custom, convenience, or the like. A creation ordinance does not change just because society or culture decides to redefine things. In this marriage ordinance, a man (male) leaves his father and mother in order to start a new family entity. He chooses a wife (female) and “cleaves” unto her, i.e., he is “cemented” unto her. The Hebrew word translated “cleave” includes a group of words that mean “adhere to, be joined together, follow close and hard after, keep fast, stick to, make a joint, solder.”2 Notice the permanence of this act. It can never be completely undone, even through divorce. Even though separated or divorced, some pieces of one’s spouse will always remain with you. The permanence of marriage was God’s original intention at Creation, even though throughout history He has allowed divorce for various reasons. But Jesus Christ Himself, arriving on the scene after several millennia of sub-par marriage policies and practices, emphatically stated, “From the beginning it [free and easy divorce] was not so…” (Matthew 19:8).
After this “cleaving” takes place, the man and his wife are to be regarded as “one flesh.” As male and female, they fit together in an interdependent, complementary union that contains within itself all of the ingredients necessary to complete God’s purposes for the human race. No other union—man with man or woman with woman—can thus be regarded as “one flesh,” even if society allows them to “marry” and even if they can share wonderful emotional and social bonds. The phrase, “one flesh,” alludes to (a) the complementary physical bonding and (b) the potential combining of genes in a new life occurring during the sex act between a male and female, also called the “marriage act.” In other words, the very act of sexual intercourse is essentially marriage in God’s sight. It is what symbolizes the transformation of two into one flesh. It was His plan for this act to take place with only one mate for life. Never was it His intention for people simultaneously or serially to have multiple sex partners throughout their lives as is so common today. The concept that God regarded the sex act essentially as marriage is supported later in the laws of Moses, Deuteronomy 22:28-29: “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” In other words, once he lay with an unattached woman, she was his wife for life.
“One flesh” means one entity, in every way possible—physically, socially, emotionally, etc. The married couple is to make all the physical ties, social ties, emotional ties, financial ties, spiritual ties, and other ties that they can possibly make together. They are bound and tied together permanently; hence, this permanent commitment can truthfully be called “tying the knot.” This binding together is the very thing that scares many couples and causes them to merely live together unmarried: they are afraid to be permanently tied together.
According to this definition at the beginning in Genesis, it follows that certain “marriages” violate God’s intentions:
(1) Marriage, as defined by God, cannot occur between members of the same sex. It is defined as a “man” (male) cleaving to his “wife” (female). Male and female complement and complete each other, enabling the family unit to be independent. Same-sex unions are not complementary or independent units: If all human units were same-sex unions, the human race would eventually die out because no reproduction could take place without dependence on other, natural family units. All reproduction in any same-sex unions must take place artificially, never naturally. This fact alone should be enough to prove that same-sex unions are against nature and should not occur, whether our system of belief is based on a Creator God, Mother Nature, evolution, or whatever. Even in a godless belief system based on evolution, natural selection, and the “survival of the fittest,” homosexuality could not survive naturally because homosexual couples could not possibly pass their genes to their offspring because they cannot have any. This applies to all homosexual couples, but especially to male homosexual couples. Using the principles of evolution, any so-called “gay gene” that may have contributed to gay-ness would have been weeded out millions of years ago. So being gay is a behavior that requires recruitment and choice, not reproduction, to persist.
(2) Marriage cannot occur between humans and animals; they are unmatched in every way.
(3) Marriage cannot occur between humans and inanimate objects, or humans and spirit beings.
(4) Marriage should not occur between members of the same immediate family: the man should “leave his father and his mother,” i.e., his family. This establishes the principle that marriage and the act of marriage should not occur within the same family, although within the Bible God apparently allowed exceptions to this rule in certain instances. Later, God described to Moses between which specific family members physical bonding is forbidden.
(5) Marriage cannot involve multiple wives and/or husbands, groups, and other such arrangements. It must occur only between one man and one woman. First of all, according to God’s definition in Genesis, marriage means to “cleave” unto a wife, and it is impossible to “cleave” to two or more wives. Second, “they shall be one flesh.” Jesus Christ clarified this phrase in Matthew 19:4-6 by quoting Genesis 1:27: “Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, And said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two of them [not the three or more of them]shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate)” (Amplified).
The “Container” For Human Sexuality
Thus, marriage, as defined by God Who created it, is the permanent social, physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic bond between a male and a female. Marriage is the only container God has ordained to contain human sexuality. By this we mean, human sexuality can be expressed morally only within the constraints of marriage. There are at least three reasons why this is so and why human sexuality is subject to moral considerations at all.
(1) Human beings are eternal creatures. Once again looking at Genesis 1:27, we note that in the beginning, “God created man in His own image.” In verse 26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion...over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Later, in Genesis 2:7, we read, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Thus, we see that, because of the nature of his creation, humankind was taken out of the realm of being merely an animal and placed in a spiritual realm with God. Man is physical like animals, but he is also spirit like God, i.e., “in His image.” Man is eternal: once he begins to exist, like all other spiritual beings, he will never cease to exist. He will exist forever either in heaven with God or in hell without God. What a disturbing thought!
It is then quite mind-boggling to think that every time a male and a female get together and produce a baby, they have not merely produced another transient animal but another never-dying soul. They have helped to create, you might say, another little piece of God. In a sense, this mated pair has joined with God in an on-going process of creation. What a profound power lies within human sexuality, to be able to produce beings that will live forever and forever somewhere! This power simply cannot be taken lightly. This power must be controlled, lest we indiscriminately and uncontrollably produce billions and billions of souls, most of whom may end up in hell! If we are going to have this kind of power, then we need lots of strings attached to it. It is absolutely essential that we be governed by some kind of guidelines or restrictions to keep things from getting completely out of hand. It is absolutely essential that this power not be used selfishly and sinfully. It is absolutely essential that our sexuality be contained, that it stays within the moral boundaries of the Creator Who gave us this awesome power.
(2) The sex act is a spiritual as well as a physical act. As mentioned above, humans are mostly spiritual beings rather than physical, animal beings. Therefore, everything in their lives has spiritual ramifications. Notice the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 6:13-19: “...Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body...Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
From this passage we gather the concept that the sex act is actually a spiritual act as well as a physical act. Indeed, the ancient pagans believed this, too, and practiced this by providing male and female prostitutes in their temples as part of their religious ceremonies. This is why Paul was telling these new Corinthian Christians, former pagans, to avoid this type of sexual immorality. Even today, many cultic and pagan religions include openly sexual rites and practices as an integral part of their worship. By contrast, however, Christianity is characterized by sexual purity. A Christian’s body is the holy sanctuary of God, Who lives in the Christian in the form of the Holy Spirit. To take that sacred body and use it for any kind of sexual immorality, i.e., sexual activity of any kind outside of marriage, is equivalent to desecrating or profaning any other sacred temple. Thus, Paul calls this “sinning against his own body.” Obviously, sex has spiritual connotations that carry meaning for everything we do, and the only permissible sexual activity, either physical or mental, that the Bible allows is within marriage.
(3) In addition to this, it is obvious to all who study human behavior that sexuality among humans involves much more than the mere physical act of mating. The physical act is inseparably interwoven with the emotional, mental, and other intangible aspects of the whole person. Human beings cannot mate like dogs even if they wanted to. Every sexual act is complicated by the spiritual, emotional, and mental complexities of the whole being, thus preventing any sex act from being only physical. Human sexuality simply cannot rid itself of the dimension that involves love, bonding, self-worth, feelings of being used or abused, power, social meaning, feelings of acceptance or rejection, etc. This is why unwanted sexual acts such as rape or child molestation violate the whole person, negatively and profoundly affecting the victim forever, even when there may have been no actual or lasting physical damage. All sexual activity between humans carries lots of non-physical meaning, even if it is only a so-called “one night stand” that the participants hope to soon forget. The fact is that it is unforgettable and indelible, forever affecting the participants in many unforeseen and invisible ways, precisely because of these spiritual and emotional factors that are innate to human sexuality.
Recent scientific evidence proves that Paul’s statement that he who engages in sexual immorality “does evil to his own body” is true in ways previously unrecognized. Research into the effects of dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, and other hormones and neurochemicals now reveals that illicit sexual activities, including porn, actually reprogram the brain. The brain neuro circuits are rewired while oxytocin (females) and vasopressin (males) cause emotional and physiological bonding to occur during the illicit sexual activity. It has also been found that certain areas of the brain are altered by sexual abuse, rape, and even premarital sex. In any case, it is now easier to see that God wired and designed our brains for a specific purpose: to sexually bond ourselves only with the person we are committed to through marriage.
Very few people would disagree with the idea that sex powerfully affects the whole person, although they might disagree with our explanation. Still, because of these various sexual complexities, this is one more reason that the New Testament allows for sexual activity only within the safety and security of a marriage between a man and woman who are permanently committed to each other alone.
Thus, because of these three more-than-physical aspects included in the very definition of human sexuality, sex is unavoidably a moral matter. Human sexual activity by definition involves a right way and a wrong way for it to occur. Every human society past and present has had some kind of sexual regulations to define what is and what is not right and acceptable sexual behavior. Although these societies have not all agreed on what those rules should be, they have all agreed that sex must have some kind of rules regulating it. Of course, many people may dispute this, but here is what they should be asked: Would it be “right” for some man to rape your wife or your daughter? But—since we live in an age of increasingly acceptable wife-swapping, swinging clubs, and pedophilia, and all men might not be very protective of their wives and daughters—here is a question that cuts even closer: Would it be “right” for some man to rape you? If their answer is “No!” then plainly they have at least some idea of what is sexually right and wrong. And by that we know that they believe sexuality innately involves morals—some idea of right and wrong.
Now that we have established the fact that human sexuality involves—and requires—some moral considerations, we can continue with the defense of our assertion that human sexuality can be expressed morally only within the constraints of marriage. In the third chapter of Genesis, right after Adam and Eve sinned, they awakened to the fact that they were “naked.” They tried to hide their nakedness by sewing fig leaves together to make “aprons.” Whatever these “aprons” were, we know they were not adequate, because God Himself made them some “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). Why? Because He knew that in what was now destined to become a sinful, depraved world, a couple’s sexuality must be hidden and protected from the rest of the world. Their nakedness, representing their sexuality, is to be shared only within the confines of their private relationship, hidden from all the rest of the world. The potential to overwhelm and destroy the whole of human society lies within the abuse and misuse of human sexuality. This incident is another indication that God ordains human sexuality to be contained only in marriage, between a bonded male and female.
Of course, the above concepts are the very ones the world disputes. The general idea of anthropologists and others is that God did not create human beings. Instead, they evolved from a lower form of animal. Thus, humans are still only animals, albeit very sophisticated animals. Accordingly, it is unrealistic to expect us to have higher standards of sexual behavior than our brothers, the animals. Therefore, if we let nature take its course, we would find that it is natural for people to indulge in adultery, sexual promiscuity, and sexual deviation. They would say that monogamy is completely unnatural—and unattainable. They would point to the fact that throughout history, the practice and acceptance of such loose sexual behaviors have characterized most societies, including Old Testament societies. Only in these last few centuries of human history has Christianity tried to impose a strict and unnatural sexual morality upon the world.
Such an argument does contain a few true elements. Definitely history shows that human life has been characterized by low standards of acceptable sexual behavior. We definitely have lived like animals when it comes to sexual matters. It is definitely natural to be sexually loose and promiscuous. However, the basic idea that humans are animals is false. History may show that we have lived on an animalistic level sexually, but it has also shown that, unlike all animals, there is something within humans that causes us to be worshippers of some kind of god. Something within us, besides our physical brains, causes us to have a vague feeling that life has some higher, nobler purpose than simple physical survival and pleasure.
Every ancient and recent human society contains evidence that its people have gone to great lengths seeking for a god or gods, and spent prodigious efforts trying to please him, her, or them. This “something” is the soul and spirit within man, and it takes him out of the realm of being only animal and makes him into another creature entirely. It is as Job, one of the oldest book in the Bible, states: “But it is the Spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding” (Job 32:8). This is the only possible explanation why human beings are worshippers by nature, but no other animals, not even the higher apes, possess this dimension. A dog never worries with concepts such as finding a purpose to life, seeking immortality, or asking questions like “Why am I here?” or “What happens after I die?” or “Is this all there is to life?” The answers to these questions can only come from outside of this world, and the very fact that we ask them indicates that something somewhere within us belongs to another realm. These concepts are all part of the spiritual dimension of human beings.
Thus, because we belong to an additional realm and dimension, we cannot hide behind the idea that sexual infidelity, promiscuity, and deviation are acceptable human behavior simply because they are natural. They are natural in the physical realm, but we belong to the spiritual realm also. And the very purpose of the spiritual realm is to lift human beings up and out of the corruption and devastation of the natural realm into the peace and equilibrium of the spiritual realm. This is the very message of Judeo-Christian ethics: There is a Jehovah God in heaven Who has made us for His noble purposes and Who has provided a way through Jesus Christ, His Word, and His Spirit, for us to escape the corruption and victimization that is in the natural world. We can live above nature, and, since He has made it possible, we are without excuse and obligated by God to do so. And one key element of this nature-defying, spiritual system is the Ten Commandments; in this case, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
II. The Tragic Results of Unleashed Sexuality
The Family Is Fundamental
God’s intention in establishing the family as the fundamental human institution was so that the family could provide adequate training and nurturing for the human child, and thereby insure the proper perpetuation of the human race. Children need spiritual, moral, and emotional care, as well as physical care. They need lots of love, nurturing, and emotional input, lots of role modeling and proper examples, lots of spiritual input to introduce them to God their Creator, lots of moral instruction and experience, lots of sheltering from the wrong and exposure to the right, lots of loving but firm and consistent discipline, and lots of consistent character-building training. This training should come from a pair of strong, wise parents possessing full authority, wisdom, and ability to train children “in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6) and to keep them from the way they should not go. This lengthy process must continue consistently until children can stand alone and wisely make their own right decisions. Only then will they be able to live like their Creator expects them to live and avoid destroying themselves and their society.
But such training and nurturing takes almost twenty years to be done properly. Human offspring do not start walking, talking, and taking care of themselves in a few days or weeks like a horse or a dog. Thus, it is obvious to see why God requires a strong, long-term commitment from a permanently bonded male and female who have a child together. It requires a set of parents that will see the job through, from beginning to end. It requires marriage, as God defined it, not a series of uncommitted, short-term relationships with some member of the opposite sex.
If children do not get this kind of care and training, they will grow up “wild,” i.e., without adequate spiritual awareness. They will learn to live like animals, very aware of their physical, social, and emotional lives, but completely ignorant of their spiritual lives. The biggest tragedy in all creation is for man, a noble, eternal, spiritual being created in the image of God, to live no better than an animal, a lowly creature that could never be expected to live higher than its own base physical desires, selfish ambitions, and enslavement to what feels good. Without adequate spiritual training and nurturing, children become no more than cute little monsters without character, which we eventually (and rightfully) learn to fear. Witness the recent rash of school shootings and the persistent high juvenile crime rate. Time magazine reports on the disturbing growing incidences of uncontrollable kindergarten and first-grade children in school districts all across the country, in all socio-economic levels. Examples given included the 3-year-old day care student who stabbed another child in the forehead with a fork, the 5-year-old kindergartner who deliberately punched a pregnant teacher in the belly, and the 6-year-old who told his teacher to “shut up, b—ch!” According to Ronald Stephens, director of the National School Safety Center in Westlake Village, California, “Across the country, violence is getting younger and younger. In the past five years, an increasing number of school districts in the U.S. have instituted special elementary schools for disruptive youngsters.”3 This shows how important proper moral training and a loving environment within the family are to the general well-being of human society. And it shows the desperate need for properly-formed, intact families that can concentrate on providing that moral training and love.
The Tragic Results of Unleashed Sexuality
In our world today, human sexuality has been almost completely unleashed and allowed to operate unrestrained. We have accepted any kind of sexual behavior as normal, as long as the parties are “consenting.” The feminist National Organization of Women (NOW) holds the position that sex with under age girls is okay as long as it is consensual.4 We have gone through the “sexual revolution,” in which we threw off most of our sexual rules, taboos, social restrictions, moral guidelines, etc. Nearly everything immoral that was “in the closet”—homosexuality, incest, bestiality, cohabitation, polyamory, pedophilia, pornography, so-called “gentlemen’s clubs,” various other forms of legalized nakedness, etc.—has come out of the closet and demanded to be accepted and legitimized. And it has nearly destroyed us. Indeed, our whole society is being overwhelmed beneath the tragic consequences of human sexuality running rampant and out of control. Notice these facts:
· Illegitimacy is Skyrocketing – Illegitimacy—defined for the young among us who may never have heard the word as birth out-of-wedlock—swells the welfare rolls, produces poverty and its associated social and spiritual evils, and overburdens the government. One out of every three children in America, a total of 1.35 million in 2000, is born out of wedlock, and the rate is rising every year. In 1960, 5.3 percent of all U.S. babies were born to unwed mothers, according to government statistics. In 1997, 32 percent of all babies were born to unmarried women and the rate is steadily rising. 5 In 1995, U.S. News & World Report reported that “early in the next century, unless we change, 1 out of every 2 American children will be born out of wedlock.” 6 Among whites the illegitimacy rate is 25 percent. In some minority cultures the rate is much higher. For example, among African Americans, the rate of illegitimacy is more than two out of three—69 percent.7 This results in a lot of fatherless boys who get in trouble with the law (one-fourth of African American men between 15 and 35 are either in jail, on parole, or on probation, and one-third of them have been convicted of a felony8) and fatherless girls who perpetuate the tragedy of having babies out of wedlock.
Consequences of Illegitimacy - Following are some of the tragic consequences for children born out of wedlock: They are 50 percent more likely to be born with a low birth rate, and their infant mortality rate is higher. Over 29.7 percent must repeat a grade in school, compared to the overall rate of 11.6 percent. Children from single-parent families or step-families are two to three times more likely to suffer emotional and behavioral problems. Girls of single parents are 53 percent more likely to marry as teenagers, 111 percent more likely to have children as teenagers, 164 percent more likely to have babies out of wedlock (300 percent more likely if their mother is also on welfare!), and 92 percent more likely to end their future marriages. A boy from a single parent home is twice as likely to engage in crime than a similar boy who is poor but living with his father and mother. Seven in ten juveniles in long-term correctional facilities did not live with their fathers while growing up. Children born and raised outside of marriage will spend an average of 51 percent of their childhood in poverty. By contrast, children born and raised by both parents in an intact marriage will spend an average of 7 percent of their childhood in poverty. 9 Even at 30 years old, illegitimate children earn an average of $11,500 less than those from two-parent families—regardless of race or parent income. They are seven times more likely to be poor than those born to parents who stay married.10
But the children are not the only ones to suffer. Single mothers also suffer many social, financial, and health disadvantages. A study of 700,000 women discovered that women who live alone with their children are 70% more likely to suffer premature death.11 Suicide, violence, and alcohol-related deaths were the biggest causes of this phenomenon. Psychological stress, stigma, and financial difficulties associated with single parenthood have significant adverse health consequences. Single mothers’ risk of suicide was four times higher than married mothers and their risk of being a victim of domestic violence was five times higher. They were also six times more likely to be on welfare and two times more likely to receive unemployment benefits.12 Illegitimacy hurts children and their mothers.
Father Absence - The percentage of U.S. children living without their father present also has ballooned. Visiting fathers (who do not live with their children) now outnumber welfare moms and unemployed men.13 In 1960, only nine percent of children lived in a single-parent household. In 1998, 28 percent of all children and 55 percent of black children lived with a single parent. Children in single-parent households overwhelmingly live with their mothers only, experts report, with disastrous results.14 While children growing up without intact families are not invariably doomed, father absence significantly increases the risk that a child will suffer many negative outcomes. Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on the average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.15 Fatherless children are three times more likely to commit suicide as adolescents.16 According to Harvard professors and others, the violence and crime characterizing American society is a direct result of the lack of an authoritarian father-figure in the home.17 Males born out-of-wedlock are 22 times more likely to be incarcerated, and those from divorced homes are 12.4 times more likely to be incarcerated.18 The American Journal of Public Health, reports that violent children are 11 times more likely not to live with their fathers and six times more likely to have parents who are not married.19 The crime rate in America is down for everyone but our juveniles.
Put another way, fatherless homes account for 63% of youth suicides, 90% of homeless, runaway children, 85% of children with behavior problems, 85% of youths in prison, and over 50% of teen mothers.20
The Cost of Illegitimacy and Family Collapse - The cost of illegitimacy is economic as well as human. It is estimated that the economic cost approaches $750 billion—and growing yearly.21 The federal government is spending over $39 billion a year to support families begun by unwed teen mothers, according to Advocates For Youth.22 This figure does not include families begun by the biggest group of unwed mothers: those in their 20s and 30s.
Divorce, too, is costing the government billions of dollars. According to the first study of its kind to look at the financial burden that failing marriages have on society, Utah State University has concluded that divorce costs the United States government more than $33 billion a year—roughly $30,000 per divorce.23 Others think that figure is far too small. Mike McManus, founder of Marriage Savers, said the federal government spends $150 billion on programs to subsidize single-parent families, with about $70 billion of the federal cost alone due to the breakup of marriages.24
All of these economic estimates are astronomical. Still, feminists and other social engineers resisted the attempts by the Bush administration to strengthen American families with a comparatively paltry $1.5 billion proposed Marriage Initiative.
Cohabitation Is Skyrocketing - Since 1990 there have been 2.5 percent fewer marriages in the United States while the number of cohabiting (“shacking”) couples has skyrocketed from 500,000 in 1970 to 4.2 million in 1998 and more than 5 million in 2005. Fifty to sixty percent of all new marriages now involve couples who have lived together first.25 The majority of these couples separate within five years.26 The number of children having lived with cohabiting parents before age 16 has increased to almost 50 percent.27 Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting parents are three times more likely to experience father absence, with all of its detrimental consequences described above.28
Forty percent of all supposedly single-parent families are really two-parent cohabiting families. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that kids in those households fare as well as kids with two married parents. “The nonparent partner… has no explicit legal, financial, supervisory, or custodial rights or responsibilities regarding the child of his partner,” notes Linda Waite in the Winter 2000 issue of The Responsive Community. There is also a greater risk of physical or sexual abuse in those situations.29 Living together outside marriage increases the risk of domestic violence for women and the risk of physical and sexual abuse for children. One study found that the risk of domestic violence for women in cohabiting relationships was double that in married relationships.30 In fact, between 1979 and 1997, only 9 percent of domestic violence was committed by actual legal husbands.31 The rest was committed by “significant others” who most surveys erroneously include as “husbands.” The risk is even greater for child abuse: a child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse, and a child living with a single mother and a man who is not the biological father is 33 times more likely to suffer physical abuse!32
Cohabitation Increases Divorce Rates - According to the University of Wisconsin, those who cohabit before marriage increase their odds of divorce by 50 percent or more.33 Dozens of other studies have generated the same results: Premarital sex and cohabitation before marriage only create higher rates of divorce later on. A 1988 joint study at Yale and Columbia Universities found that the divorce rates “for women who cohabit premaritally with their future spouse are, on average, nearly 80 percent higher than the rates of those who do not.”34 One recent study by Professor Jay Teachman of Western Washington University bucked the trend and reached the conclusion that if a woman has premarital sex or cohabits only with the man she later marries, then she “can take comfort from the finding that…it should have no effect on their future chance of divorce.”35
However, that’s the catch: Only 26 percent of the women in the study engaged in premarital sex or cohabited only with their future husbands. Most of them, over 55 percent, had multiple sex partners before marriage.36 This is because more than 42 percent of cohabiting arrangements break up short of marriage (usually within 16 months37), so people tend to successively move from one live-in partner to the next (“churning” partners) before finally marrying one of them. Then most of them divorce within a few years. Of 100 couples who begin cohabiting, only 15 are still married after ten years, an 85 percent failure rate!38 Thus, the Teachman study was forced to admit that “having at least one other intimate relationship prior to marriage is linked to an increased risk of divorce (from 53 percent to 166 percent).” And the more premarital sex partners and cohabiting arrangements, the greater the risk of divorce later.39
This phenomenon has at least two causes: (1) Couples who are sexually intimate before marriage are often deceived into thinking that they are meant for each other because of the great physical compatibility they are experiencing. When it’s all about sex, people fail to truly develop their relationships in the areas that strong marriages require; and (2) Couples who indulge their physical desires for sex without accepting the responsibilities of marriage often have a serious problem with commitment. They tend to want the benefits of marriage without all the strings attached. They have fears and negative attitudes about fidelity and commitment, as is demonstrated by the following statistics: Cohabiting men are four times more likely to cheat on their partners than husbands, and cohabiting women are eight times more likely to cheat than wives!40
Divorce Rates Are High - This does not mean that couples that do get married have a smooth ride either. Fifty percent of first marriages end in divorce. Sixty percent of remarriages end in divorce.41 The U.S. divorce rate now is twice what it was in 1960, although it has declined moderately since its peak in the 1980s. The number of divorces ballooned from 9.2 per 1,000 married women in 1960 to 19.5 in 1998.42 Interestingly, the most frequently cited reason for divorce is the experience of unhappiness in marriage and the presumption that leaving the relationship will result in a happier state of life, self-fulfillment, and self-worth. However, only 1 in 10 divorced couples reconstruct happier fuller lives.43 Obviously, marriage was meant to be a permanent state of affairs, and a safe, healthy, and complete dissolution is almost impossible to achieve.
A lot of our social ills mentioned above are direct results of our “culture of divorce.” According to a study of a gifted, white middle class sample, a parent’s divorce knocks 4 years off the life expectancy of their children.44 Another study found that minor children whose parents divorced had an average life span 10 years shorter for men and 6 years shorter for women! Also, females are 60% more likely to divorce later themselves and males are 32% more likely if their own parents divorced.45 Adult children of divorce describe their relationships with both their mother and father less positively, and, on average, are about 40 percent less likely than adults from intact marriages to say they see either parent at least several times a week.46
Health Consequences of Divorce – Simply stated, divorce kills. According to researchers at the National Institute of Mental health, “The single most powerful predictor of stress-related physical, as well as emotional, illness is marital disruption.”47 This is because the emotional trauma of divorce radically stresses the body, thereby lowering the immune system’s defenses to physical disease. Therefore, it is no wonder that premature death rates from various diseases are several times higher for divorced people than for married people. The premature death rates for divorced men due to stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer are twice that of married men. Early death by pneumonia is seven times higher for divorced men.48 Suicide and automobile accident rates are four times higher for divorced men than for married men. Divorced men die from cirrhosis of the liver at a rate seven times higher than normal. Death rates for divorced women due to all forms of cancer are two to three times higher than the rates for married women.49 Dr. Walter Gove of Vanderbilt University found that divorced men are over nine times more likely to die from tuberculosis and over four times likely to die from diabetes than their married counterparts. A divorced man who does not smoke has the life expectancy of a married man who smokes more than a pack a day. All told, a divorced male is 3.4 times more likely to die from any cause than a married man, and a divorced female is 2.0 times more likely to die from any cause than her married counterpart.50
Divorced men have nine times the rate of psychiatric outpatient visits compared to married men and 21 times the rate of psychiatric hospital admissions. Divorced women have a five times higher rate of psychiatric care than married women. The divorced of both sexes have more than double the depression rates of those married.51 From 1973 to 1992, the violent crime victimization rates for females (per 1000 females age 12 and over) were 45 for divorced women and 11 for married women.52 In addition, suicide rates for children of divorce are much higher than for children of intact families.53 Literally, divorce kills.
Early Sexual Activity Can Have Harmful Effects – Early sexual activity has manifold harmful effects. At least 75 percent of youths have had sexual intercourse by age twenty; only 1 in 5 young people are still virgins after their teen years.54 However, most are not really ready for sex, neither are they married. The first harmful effect is guilt and regret: Some 67 percent of teens who have had sex regret it and say they wish that they had waited until they were older. The figure for teen girls is 77 percent.55
Early sexual activity increases the likelihood of becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Also, girls who begin sexual activity at an earlier age are far more likely to have abortions.56 Women who begin sexual activity early are far more likely to become pregnant, give birth out of wedlock, and become single mothers. All of these conditions are linked to higher levels of child and maternal poverty.57
But the negative psychological effects are equally serious and more long-lasting: Teens who are sexually active are more likely to be depressed and are more likely to attempt suicide.58 Furthermore, early sexual activity seriously undermines the ability of girls to form stable marriages as adults. When compared to women who began sexual activity in their early 20s, girls who initiated sexual activity at ages 13 or 14 were less than half as likely to be in stable marriages in their 30s.59 This is because having many sexual partners at an early age undermines an individual’s ability to develop love, intimacy, and commitment. However, beginning sexual activity at an older age is linked to higher levels of personal happiness in the adult years.60
Teen Pregnancies - Every year there are one million teenage pregnancies, with over 78 percent of them unmarried (Alan Guttmacher Institute).61 Every day in America there are 1,300 teenage births and 1,100 teenage abortions.62 Nationally 11 percent of unmarried teenage girls become pregnant each year.63 However, most unwed mothers are in their 20s,64 so the real problem is not in the age but the attitude of the mother.
Abortion - According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1.31 million induced abortions in 1999.65 The rate is slightly down in recent years, but still outrageous. More than 40 million babies—almost two whole generations—have been murdered since Roe vs Wade in 1973.66 Every 20 seconds in America, a baby is torn from its mother’s womb and discarded. This still pales in comparison to the number of abortions worldwide: 40 to 60 million per year (one every half second).67 Two-thirds of all abortions are performed on unmarried women—women who, according to God’s plan, should not be pregnant in the first place.68 What is even more unfortunate is that one in six of these women claim to be members in the Christian church:69 43% identify themselves as Protestant and 27% identify themselves as Catholic.70
Abortion not only kills the baby, but also negatively affects the mother. A recent study of 170,000 low-income California women found that in the eight years following their abortions, aborting women were nearly twice as likely to die as women who carried their babies to term. Aborting women were found to have a 154% higher suicide rate, an 82% higher risk of death from accidents, a 44% higher death rate from natural causes (chiefly cardiovascular disease and depression), and a 400% greater risk of secondary infertility (the inability to have a baby later).71 And, although abortion is legal worldwide, over 70,000 women still die from abortion each year.72
According to three large worldwide studies, a woman’s risk of suicide is 6 times higher after abortion than after giving birth to a child.73 Twenty-seven studies, including thirteen U.S. studies, reveal a greater breast cancer risk caused by unprotected internal estrogen exposure a woman receives after an abortion. A young woman who aborts her first pregnancy nearly doubles her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.74 These very reliable studies and statistics have been largely ignored or disputed by the abortion industry and its supporters. So the controversy rages on.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases – According to researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 18.9 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occurred in the year 2000 in America, with half of them—9.1 million—involving people under the age of 25.75 Some sources estimate the yearly number of new cases of STDs to be more than 400 million worldwide.76 More than 55 million Americans are currently infected with an incurable viral disease such as genital herpes or human papillomavirus (HPV).77 One-quarter to one-half of all Americans will get an STD in their lifetime.78
Harmful Effects of Homosexuality - Debilitating illness, chronic disease, psychological problems, and early death suffered by homosexuals is the legacy of this tragic lifestyle. The litany of serious diseases that afflict homosexuals should be alarming enough for someone to reach the conclusion that something about that lifestyle must be wrong. Homosexuals account for 64 percent of the total of male AIDS cases.79 Human papillomavirus (HPV), a collection of more than seventy types of viruses that cause warts on various parts of the body, is also rampant among gays. At least twenty types of HPV are incurable STDs. According to the homosexual newspaper, The Washington Blade, “A San Francisco study of gay and bisexual men revealed that HPV infection was almost universal among HIV-positive men, and that 60 percent of HIV-negative men carried HPV.”80 The rate of gonorrhea associated with homosexuality is 3.7 times higher that the rate among heterosexuals.81 Homosexuals acquire syphilis at a rate 10 times that of heterosexuals.82 Many of the pathogens associated with Gay Bowel Syndrome (proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis) “appear only to be sexually transmitted among men who have sex with men.”83 Besides the diseases mentioned so far, homosexuals are afflicted with greatly above normal rates of hepatitis, chlamydia, anal and genital cancers, liver disease, and other diseases.
In addition, gay and lesbian relationships are characterized by extreme promiscuity (see “The True Gay Agenda” below) and high rates of violence. Surveys have shown that 90 percent of lesbians suffered verbal abuse from their intimate partners, 31 percent reported one or more incidents of physical abuse,84 and domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population.85 Also, understandably, there is a high incidence of mental health and substance abuse problems among gays and lesbians: Seventy-five percent have pursued psychological counseling of some kind,86 lesbians are three times more likely to abuse alcohol,87 and a study of twins revealed that the homosexual twin was 6.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than the non-homosexual twin.88 Also, incest with a parent occurs 50 times more frequently in homosexual parent families than in heterosexual parent families: 29 percent versus 0.6 percent of the children were sexually molested by their parents.89
Because of these serious negatives associated with the homosexual lifestyle, the International Journal of Epidemiology concluded that homosexuals have a significantly reduced life expectancy—“eight to twenty years less than for all men… [N]early half of gay and bisexual men [in this Canadian study] currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday.”90
III. Marriage and the Survival of Society
Society and the Sanctity of Marriage
All of these trends—and others—are indicative of the steady disintegration of the family, the attack on the concept of marriage, and the redefinition of sexual moral standards. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” emphatically means do not tamper with marriage or restraints on human sexuality. Keep all sexuality within Creator-defined marriage. Outside of marriage, human sexuality is a powerfully destructive force whose negative consequences simply cannot be controlled—neither by the government nor by any other social power or institution. As Maggie Gallagher, renowned scholar and researcher at the Institute for American Values and co-author of The Case for Marriage, succinctly states: “There’s hardly any social ill that we deal with domestically that’s not driven by the decline in marriage. Men and women do better in marriage, as do children.”91
Another expert, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, says something similar: “There is no known society that has gotten along without marriage and has done a decent job of rearing and sponsoring the next generation.”92 The National Marriage Project reports, “Marriage is a fundamental social institution. It is central to the nurture and raising of children. It is the ‘social glue’ that reliably attaches fathers to children. It contributes to the physical, emotional, and economic health of men, women, and children, and thus to the nation as a whole.”93 Forty percent of married people, compared to only about 25 percent of singles or cohabiters, say they are “very happy” with life in general.94
Experts from the abstinence movement say that science has proven that sex is better if delayed until marriage. “People think abstinence is the idea of shaking your finger at someone and saying don’t have sex,” said Lakita Garth, an abstinence advocate at a 2002 conference in Columbia, South Carolina. “Abstinence is mastering the art of self-control, self-discipline, and delaying self-gratification.”95 In that same conference, Anne Badgley, founder and president of the character-based abstinence program, Heritage Community Services, in Charleston, noted that “people often treat drug abuse, incarceration, violence, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases as if they aren’t related. They are very related to self-control and responsibility.”96
Because God is well aware that healthy marriages are absolutely critical for a healthy society, He orders us, via the Seventh Commandment, to honor and protect marriage. An attack on the sanctity and necessity of marriage is an attack on the sanctity and necessity of the family. An attack on the family is an attack on the very social and spiritual survival of the human race, as the above statistics prove. This severely damages and destroys the moral fabric of human society, and remember, man is foremost a moral and spiritual being, not a physical being. Thus, sins involving sexual immorality not only create severe problems in this world, they will probably send more people to hell than any other kind of sins.
For these reasons, no attack on the sanctity of marriage should be tolerated. Efforts to redefine marriage to include “domestic partnerships” (i.e., homosexual couples or cohabiting heterosexual couples) should be discouraged, and the various social benefits and recognition given to traditional, Creator-defined marriage should be given only to those who abide by those standards. Nor should we let down the standard for elderly couples, who often claim that, since there are no children involved and marriage may adversely affect their taxes and pension benefits, they should be allowed to cohabit. True, by cohabiting they might not be hurting any children directly, but they are hurting the institution of marriage. To depreciate marriage in any area or age group devalues marriage across the board. How can society make it socially acceptable for Grandpa and his elderly girlfriend to live together but hold grandson and his young girlfriend to the standard of marriage? In order to avoid inconsistency and apparent unfairness, marriage would soon be viewed as optional for all age groups and social conditions.
If it is politically incorrect or unconstitutional for the government to strengthen marriage through benefits and incentives for religious or moral reasons, then it should be done anyway for social reasons. Family formation through traditional marriage is the only type that actually strengthens society and does not overburden it. Therefore, the government ought to be allowed to give incentives to strengthen marriage just as it gives incentives to employers who hire the disadvantaged or drivers using environmentally-protective fuels.
Divorce also presents a serious attack on the sanctity of traditional, Creator-defined marriage. Both the Christian church and the government should take bold steps to change the social attitudes and laws related to divorce and marriage. Divorce laws should be rewritten to discourage the ease of getting out of a marriage via no-fault divorce and other methods of dissolution. Alternative laws should be written to make marriage more permanent as it used to be. One hundred-twenty years ago, at the turn of the twentieth century, only one marriage out of a hundred ended in divorce. Today, almost one-half of marriages will be dissolved sooner or later. Society no longer practices true, permanent monogamy (a single mate for life), but a paradoxical monstrosity some call “serial monogamy,” in which people endlessly move from one mate to another. No society can long endure the negative consequences resulting from such a watering-down of the institution of marriage.
The Case for Creator-defined Marriage
Having seen the negative effects of trying to redefine or abolish marriage, let us quickly list some of the positive benefits of marriage to both individuals and society:
1. Life Span– A man aged 48 who is married has an 83 percent chance of living to age 65, but a divorced man’s odds are only 63 percent.97 Nine out of ten married women alive at age 45 made it to 65, while only eight of ten unmarried women did.98 Even sick people who marry live longer than their counterparts who don’t. For women, being unmarried is more dangerous than being poor, twenty pounds overweight, or having cancer. For men, heart disease can be added to this list. Surprisingly, the researchers found that it is not just the companionship that makes the difference, but the presence of a marriage license.99 In fact, non-marriage is one of the largest behavioral health risks people voluntarily assume.100
2. Happiness – Married people are twice as likely as those who are single for whatever reason to say that they are “very happy.” Some 38 percent of married couples say they are very happy, compared to 14 percent of divorced men and 18 percent of divorced women, 18 percent of the separated, and 21 percent of the never-married.101
3. Wealth – On the whole, married couples accumulate more wealth. On the verge of retirement, the typical married couple has accumulated a total of about $410,000--or $205,000 for each person—as compared to $167,000 for the never married, $154,000 for the divorced, $151,000 for the widowed and just under $96,000 for the separated. Since married households accumulate far more than twice the amount of any other households, something more is happening here than the simple aggregation of individual earnings.102
4. Sex Life – Married sex is really better sex, according to Waite and Gallagher in The Case for Marriage. Although cohabiting couples made love, on average, one more time per month than married couples, cohabiting couples are less satisfied with their sex lives: 50 percent of married men and 42 percent of married women find sex physically and emotionally satisfying, while only 39 percent of cohabiting men and 39 percent of cohabiting women do.103
5. Other benefits – When it comes to violence against partners, marriage is the safest place for a woman to be. The National Crime Victimization Survey by the U.S. Department of Justice reports that of all violent crimes against partners occurring between 1979 and 1987, husbands committed only 9 percent of the crimes while boyfriends and ex-husbands committed 65 percent.104 Regarding mental health, researchers have consistently found the lowest rates of mental disorder among the married, the intermediate rates among the single and widowed, and the highest rates among the divorced and separated. They also found that a cohabiting partner could not reproduce these benefits of marriage.105
These benefits are evidence that people who are married are happier than those who are single for any reason, much wealthier, healthier, and live longer. And our first set of statistics in Section II clearly reveals the damage done to society as a whole when families based on strong, traditional, Creator-defined marriages cease to be the norm.
Marriage and the Survival of Society
Many years ago, before the study of sexual behavior became such a popular science, an English anthropologist named J. D. Unwin studied the sexual behavior of 86 societies through 5,000 years of history. His results were published after his death in 1936 as Hopousia: The Sexual and Economic Foundations of A New Society. He was especially interested in these civilization’s prenuptial and postnuptial behavior, i.e., their sexual behavior before and after marriage. Such behavior is a sure indication of the prevailing social attitudes about marriage in general. Unwin noticed a definite correlation between this pre- and postnuptial behavior and what he called a nation’s “expansive energy.” Expansive energy is the ability of the nation to remain productive and maintain a position of influence and leadership among other nations. He observed that “expansive energy has never been displayed by a society that inherited a modified monogamy or a form of polygamy…”106 His analysis revealed that “in human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on prenuptial and postnuptial continence.”107 Unwin concluded that “the evidence is that in the past a class has risen to a position of political dominance because of its great energy and that at the period of its rising, its sexual regulations have always been strict. It has retained its energy and dominated the society so long as its sexual regulations have demanded both prenuptial and postnuptial continence… I know of no exception to these rules.”108 [Italics added.]
In other words, a nation rises to prominence only when it keeps its sexual drives before and after marriage under strict control, thus demonstrating its great regard for the sanctity of marriage. It remains strong only as long as its marital bonds are strong. When marriage is “modified,” sexual regulations are relaxed, and the family is thereby redefined, that society invariably begins to rapidly decline.
In addition to Unwin, the eminent Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin, in his analysis of human cultures, argued that no society has ceased to honor the institution of marriage and survived. Sorokin regarded traditional marriage and parenting as the fulfillment of life’s meaning for both individuals and society. “Enjoying the marital union in its infinite richness, parents freely fulfill many other paramount tasks. They maintain the procreation of the human race. Through their progeny they determine the hereditary and acquired characteristics of future generations. Through marriage they achieve a social immortality of their own, of their ancestors, and of their particular groups and community. This immortality is secured through the transmission of their name and values, and of their traditions and ways of life to their children, grandchildren, and later generations.”109
Even Hilary Clinton, former First Lady, in her book, It Takes A Village, refers to some indelible “laws of nature” when she observes that “every society requires a critical mass of families that fit the traditional ideal.”110 Evidently, most of us know that certain lifestyles are not natural and therefore, detrimental, but society insists on normalizing them anyway. Alternative “families” created by arrangements such as same-sex unions, cohabitation, unwed parenting, etc., are allowed to exist in any free society, but history shows that any society that makes such arrangements the new norm at the expense of traditional, natural marriage imperils its own survival.
The True Gay Agenda: A Breakdown of Society
While we are on the subject of social breakdown, something should be said about the so-called “gay agenda.” The true gay agenda is both shocking and alarming. It is not the intention of homosexual activists simply to make it possible for gays and lesbians to partake of conventional married life. By their own admission they actually aim to change the essential character of conventional married life, removing precisely the aspects of fidelity and chastity that promote stability in the relationship, in the home, and in society. That is, the gay agenda is not merely to accept and legalize same-sex marriage, but to completely redefine the very nature of marriage and revamp society in general. This is gathered from the teachings of their own advocates, as quoted below.
Paula Ettelbrick, the lesbian former legal director of the gay rights Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, has stated, “Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so… Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society… We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s view of reality.”111
According to Michelangelo Signorile, homosexual writer and activist, the gay agenda is “to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution…. The most subversive action lesbian and gay men can undertake… is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”112 And in another one of his works, he redefines the term, monogamy: “For these [gay] men the term ‘monogamy’ simply doesn’t necessarily mean sexual exclusivity… The term ‘open relationship’ has for a great many gay men come to have one specific definition: A relationship in which the partners have sex on the outside often, put away their resentment and jealousy, and discuss their outside sex with each other, or share sex partners.”113
In other words, “marriage” to most homosexuals has absolutely nothing to do with fidelity and commitment. It’s actually all about changing the whole notion of marriage to mean nothing more than sexual liberation without any constraints at all. The views of Ettelbrick and Signorile are widespread throughout the homosexual community: According to the Mendola Report, only 26 percent of homosexuals believe that commitment is most important in a marriage relationship.114 And they prove this by their extremely promiscuous actions: One classic 1978 study found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having 1000 or more lifetime sex partners!115 A later study revealed that 24 percent of gay men had had more than 100 sex partners in their lifetime, and 40 percent have had over 40 sex partners.116 Only 2.7 percent claimed to have had sex with one partner only.117
The average male homosexual live-in relationship lasts between two and three years,118 with few homosexual relationships lasting longer than two years.119 Most lesbian relationships are similarly unstable. The homosexual newspaper, The Washington Blade, citing a 1998 study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, reported that the “data confirmed previous scientific observations that most women who have sex with women (WSW) also have had sex with men.”120 In fact, “WSW were significantly more likely to report more than fifty lifetime male sexual partners” (in addition to their female partners).121
Contrast this instability of homosexual “marriages” with the statistics regarding heterosexual marriages: Four different surveys show that 75 to 81 percent of husbands and 85 to 90 percent of wives have never violated their marriage vows.122 So when homosexuals and heterosexuals talk about “marriage,” they are clearly not talking about the same thing at all!
According to some experts, “all [gay] couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.”123 Former homosexual William Aaron explains why even homosexuals involved in “committed” relationships do not practice monogamy: “In the gay life, fidelity is almost impossible. Since part of the compulsion of homosexuality seems to be a need on the part of the homophile to ‘absorb’ masculinity from his sexual partners, he must be constantly on the lookout for [new partners.] Consequently the most successful homophile ‘marriages’ are those where there is an arrangement between the two to have affairs on the side while maintaining the semblance of permanence in their arrangements.”124
Thus, sexual freedom, not merely the right to “marry” a member of the same sex, is really what the gay agenda is about. After the December, 2003, Massachusetts high court ruling legalizing gay “marriage” was handed down, a New York Times survey found that many couples are interested in marrying. But many more in the gay community oppose gay “marriage,” saying it would restrain the sexual freedom that is an integral part of the homosexual lifestyle.125
Other recent evidence proves that gays and lesbians aren’t really that interested in marriage after all. The state of Vermont has permitted civil unions for homosexuals since 2000, conferring 300 privileges and rights enjoyed by married couples upon same-sex partners who get “married.” The country of Sweden has allowed civil unions since 1995, and the Netherlands has allowed same-sex “marriage” since 2001. It would seem that if homosexuals really wanted to get married and really longed for what they call their “equal rights” of having lifelong, committed relationships like heterosexuals, then they would jump at the opportunity to do so in these extremely “gay friendly” locations.
But such is not the case: Only a small percentage of gays and lesbians take advantage of civil unions or same-sex “marriages.” Dr. Timothy Dailey, senior fellow in the Center for Marriage and Family Studies at the Family Research Council and co-author of Getting It Straight: What the Research Says About Homosexuality, quotes USA Today that, as of January 2004, only about 21 percent (about 936 couples) of the gay-lesbian population of Vermont had entered into civil unions (i.e., 79 percent choose not to). And only 2.1 percent of the gay-lesbian population of Sweden and 2.8 percent of those in the Netherlands had entered into civil unions or same-sex “marriages.” That is, in both countries, about 98 percent of gays and lesbians reject same-sex marriage! Obviously, it’s not about the right to marry at all. It’s all about sexual freedom and immorality. (These statistics can be found in Tim Dailey’s “Comparing the Lifestyle of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples,” pages 7-10, Insight #260, March 24, 2004, www.frc.org).
But the most alarming revelation of the true gay agenda from its leaders is this quote from pro-homosexual, pro-pedophile, pro-polygamy author Judith Levine in “Stop the Wedding!: Why Gay Marriage Isn’t Radical Enough:” “In 1972 the National Coalition of Gay Organizations demanded the ‘repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit; and the extension of legal benefits to all persons who cohabit regardless of sex or numbers.’ Would polygamy invite abuse of child brides, as feminists in Muslim countries and prosecutors in Mormon Utah charge? No. Group marriage could comprise any combination of genders.”126 This same 1972 Gay Rights Platform also called for abolishing all age of consent laws. In her book, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, Levine herself has proposed to lower the age of consent to 12 years old for sex between children and adults.127
So the true gay agenda apparently seeks complete sexual liberation without any constraints at all—neither gender, age, number, commitment, moral limitation, tradition, or any other reasonable expectations of behavior. Very few controls governing sexual behavior could be maintained because, outside of moral law, nothing exists on which such controls could be based. And yet society would be expected to build some type of social and familial stability on such an anything-goes model of human relationships. It would indeed be, as the lesbian Ettelbrick stated above, a “radically reordering [of] society’s view of reality.”
The debate over the morality and legality of homosexuality centers around the true cause of homosexuality: If it is caused by genetics alone, then it is a behavior that cannot be helped and gays should be viewed as perfectly normal and acceptable. But if it is caused primarily by environment and upbringing, then it is an abnormal behavior that is chosen and deserves no special rights or recognition. So far, nothing is conclusive: experts consider that homosexuality is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The truth is, even if it is discovered that homosexuality is a genetic tendency, this does not legitimize that behavior. Studies show that many other behaviors are genetically influenced: alcoholism, nicotine addiction, level of heterosexual appetite and libido, a predisposition to violence, etc.128 But all of these behaviors must still be morally and legally controlled. Just because some behavioral tendency may be partially caused by genes does not excuse it from moral requirements and justify its indulgence or right to special social status. We are all genetically wired wrong. That is why we need the grace of God: to change and deliver us from our natural selves. And thousands of Christian ex-homosexuals have proven that permanent deliverance is possible.129 (See www.exodusglobalalliance.org, www.desertstream.org, www.lovewonout.com, and other ministries of love to those with sexual identity issues.)
IV. The Seventh Commandment
and Daily Life
By the time the Seventh Commandment arrives in the New Testament, it is no longer narrowly interpreted to merely forbid sex between married persons, but is expanded to include all immoral sexual behavior. “Immoral” means outside of God’s standard for human behavior. Thus, sexual immorality means outside of the confines of marriage. Jesus Christ and His disciples generally used the word porneia to mean all sexual immorality, and that is how most translations translate it. From this word we get “pornography” and “fornication.” See Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, where porneia is translated as “fornication” and actually includes prostitution, adultery, and incest, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Hence, most of the two dozen or so occurrences of porneia are translated as “sexual immorality” or “sexual impurity” by most non-KJV Bible translators. (See Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:13 and 18, 7:2; Acts 15:20 and 29, 21:25; et. al.)
What This Means In Daily Life
What this means in our daily lives is that all human behavior involving sex, either directly or indirectly, must occur only within the confines of marriage. Everything pertaining to human sexuality must be in the “container” God prepared for it. Sex outside of marriage is strictly forbidden. This includes premarital and extramarital sex. This also includes other behaviors when they are practiced outside of marriage, such as necking, petting, romantic kissing, flirting, oral sex, masturbation, etc. It also includes a practice which the old people called “trifling”—better known today as “dating,” “playing the field,” and the like—defined as cultivating relationships and making emotional and physical ties without marriage being the primary goal. Also, certain practices outside of God’s definition of marriage are forbidden—homosexuality, bestiality, incest, etc.
Here is the rule: Do not take any physical liberties with another person’s body, nor give another person any physical liberties with your body, without that person being permanently committed to you by marriage (not merely engagement, “being in love,” or “committed to each other”). God gives you the right to get physically close only to that one person who officially commits to you in every other way, and this is called marriage. Your fiancé or fiancée does not have any rights or privileges to your body until you are married to them. Only then does he or she have a right—“conjugal rights,” as they are called—to your body. Anything less than this standard is immoral.
In addition, the Seventh Commandment forbids mental sexual indulgence outside of marriage. Jesus Christ Himself makes this perfectly clear in Matthew 5:27-28: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Thus, the broad definition of adultery includes fantasizing, watching videos, movies, and TV shows that contain sexual material and innuendoes, looking at magazines and other pictures that contain sexual messages, books, and other media that include material of a direct or indirect sexual nature—for the purpose of direct or indirect sexual gratification or titillation. This definition of adultery would include all of the various “virtual” sexual activities: Internet pornography, sex-oriented chat rooms, email relationships, phone sex, and any other newly-invented sexual outlets. It would also include music that contains either lyrics having direct or suggestive sexual messages or rhythms that conjure up sensual and sexual feelings. This is the problem with most dancing: the music, the mood, and the moves are basically sexual, sometimes blatantly so. The music, the mood, and the moves are generally designed to place one’s sexuality on public exhibit, and to exult in it. Such moods and moves are to be kept within the confines of marriage.
Clothing and Sex
No discussion of this type would be complete without mentioning some of the other areas in which sex plays a major role. One such area is that of fashion: the way we dress—or undress—ourselves. God Himself ordained and made the first clothes for good reasons. Since that time people have been trying to think of various ways to take off their clothes or to wear them in such a way that they might as well not have them on. From the Christian perspective, the way we dress is governed by four Biblical principles: (1) Clothing must be decent, i.e., it must cover and adequately hide our sexuality from the world outside of our marriage (Genesis 3:7, 21); (2) Clothing must be modest, i.e., it must be moderate, not extreme in style or costliness (1 Timothy 2:9-10); (3) Clothing must protect the body from the elements; and (4) Clothing must identify us with the good and noble, not negative, elements of society. It is with the first two principles—decency and modesty of style—that this discussion is mostly concerned.
From Genesis 3 we find that God was the first real clothing designer. Adam and Eve made the first attempts, but they were not possibly adequate: How could fig leaves work after they withered in a few hours? When God designed His “coats of skins,” it was obvious that His intentions were to hide human sexuality, not to enhance and accentuate it. However, modern clothing designers, driven by the spirit of fornication in the world today, have the very opposite intentions: to insure that all clothing is in some way sexually appealing. Therefore, Christians must be extremely careful in selecting, buying, and wearing their clothing. Clothes that are styled to accentuate sexuality or expose one’s body take it out of the marriage container and place it on exhibition for the entire world to see and desire.
We have grown very accustomed to these practices, and they may seem to be perfectly normal to us, but using clothing to make ourselves sexually attractive—either intentionally or unintentionally—was not God’s original desire at all. Sometimes we Christians seem to be deliberately intent on revealing as much of our flesh as allowable, knowing all along that revealing flesh is an integral part of the world’s sexual system, not God’s. In the world’s sexual system, females are allowed—even encouraged—to follow a lower standard of modesty than males. Females are expected to be sexual; they are judged to be “beautiful” by the degree of sexual attractiveness they exude. So it is common and normal in the world’s system to see a female in tight pants or a short, tight skirt, with a skimpy top, walking next to a male who is covered almost from head to toe.
But in God’s system, the woman should be covered too. Christians should not support in any way a sexual system that is contrary to God’s intentions regarding the purity of human sexuality. Every Christian woman should examine her own motives and desires, because most females in today’s society want to, and are definitely pressured to, display themselves—at least a little, to whatever degree is supposedly safe, “decent,” or “socially acceptable.” But what kind of corrupt system is it that says just because you are female, you should give a little visual sexual pleasure to every guy that wants to see and admire you? And why would any Christian woman want to go along with such a system? And the same goes for men also.
Thus, Christians should be very concerned about how they dress, and not take the attitude that “God doesn’t care” or “What does it matter? I’m not a legalist. I’m free to dress however I want to dress.” God definitely cares a lot about our modern modes of dress. If the slit is too high, or the neckline is too low, or the fabric is too sheer, clingy, or form-hugging, or the hemline is too high, or the pants or skirts are too tight, or the midriff is exposed, or too much arm or leg is uncovered, or other similar conditions exist, clothing then becomes sexually revealing, attention-attracting, suggestive, or even provocative, and thereby displeasing to God. These principles apply to both women and men. Wearing clothing that is sexually accentuating, calling the attention of the outside world to one’s body, violates the biblical principles of decency and modesty that would keep one’s sexuality within the container that God ordained for it. Sexually accentuating clothing should be saved for the marriage bedroom alone.
A special word of wisdom should be addressed to young women, who, in general, are the most sexually attractive members of the human race: You catch who and what you bait. Females wear clothing and carry themselves as if they want males to notice them for their physical attributes. But as soon as a male notices her, she wants him to respect and admire her for her sharp mind, inner beauty, or other non-physical values. However, that is not the bait she used. If a woman wants a man to value her for her true, non-external value, then she should modestly cover herself and give him a chance to get to know and appreciate her non-physical attributes. She should give and show herself only to the man who values her for her true worth and marries her. If she does not cover herself and withhold her sexuality, then he never really gets the chance to know her.
This concept is important because it is a known fact that, deep down inside, most men view woman primarily physically, regardless to how much the woman may want to be viewed as a great thinker, a shrewd business woman, a wonderful worker, or a talented athlete. If she wants to be viewed and valued as a person, then she should refuse to cooperate with a system that views her as an object. Ultimately, it’s all about body parts and sex appeal, and woman aid and abet this exploitive system and greatly cheapen themselves when they do not carry themselves with the utmost modesty.
Along this line, Christians should be careful of anything else that is used to enhance one’s sex appeal to the rest of the world. Often this is done by wearing clothing, decorations, or outlandish paraphernalia that is designed to attract, give certain meaningful messages, or identify one with a certain negative element of society. It is also done by submitting to the different types of surgery, implants, augmentation, etc., that are used to change the shape and size of a person’s natural body parts. This is almost always done outside of the needs of marriage. That is, such is very seldom done because of the needs of one’s spouse. It is usually done, in the case of a woman, to make her look more attractive and sexually appealing to the rest of the world, to advance her career, to boost her self-admiration, etc. Or, in the case of a man, sexual augmentation is done to increase his pride over his sexual prowess and ability, to make other women desire him, etc.
However, husbands and wives do not need artificiality in order to be physically attracted to their spouses, who they obviously were already attracted to before they got married. Furthermore, the human race has functioned for thousands of years without our new sexual inventions, and sex was still the most delightful of human enjoyments. So care should be taken in this area. Any type of behavior designed to increase and enhance one’s sexuality and appeal beyond the confines and needs of the marriage container is a violation of the Seventh Commandment, no matter how widely accepted that behavior may be in our so-called “decent” society.
Christians should be wary of any other thing that society interprets as giving off sexual messages, whether it be something we do, say, wear, watch, associate with, or otherwise indulge in. This includes not only the clothes we wear, but also the way we carry ourselves, the way we fix ourselves up, the places we frequent, the people we run with, the words we speak, etc. We should make a conscious, deliberate (and if need be, radical) effort to separate ourselves from and not be part of or supportive of the loose sexual standards of behavior, dress, and attitude permeating our society today. Our objective should be to obey 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” And God is not glorified by the rampant flaunting of human sexuality taking place today.
What Must We Do?
Plainly, when it comes to sexual matters, our world is a million miles off base from God’s standards of sexual purity and family health. Actually, we are all messed up. As the Scripture says, “God made us upright but we have each gone our own little downward way” (Ecclesiastes 7:29 paraphrased). Few, if any, are sexually pure. The family is disintegrating. A majority of us are either the victims of a dysfunctional family or, unfortunately, the creators of one. Illegitimacy has become such a common way of life we no longer label it “illegitimate.” Things have gotten real messy and entirely out of hand. The average person leaves his or her family of origin so broken and wounded inside that fractured people have become the norm. And “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” seem absolutely unable to put this “Humpty Dumpty together again.”
So now, what is to be done? There is only one thing that can be done: Repent, turn from our wicked, perverse (against-God) ways, then bring everything in our lives under submission to God. He is the God of second chances—and even more. Perhaps you have not followed His plan in the past. Perhaps everything in your life is out of whack, showing signs of imminent collapse. But absolute submission to God, His Word, and His way of life from this point forward will do a lot to remedy the situation. There is hope in God, but only if you follow His plans explicitly from here on out. You must go back to the Bible, back to the beginning. God’s Word and God’s way is your last chance for bad matters to get better.
For those who are suffering the negative consequences of someone else’s violations of the principles of the Seventh Commandment, here is the good news of the Gospel to you: Jesus Christ can heal your life today. Perhaps your parents divorced and you fell, feeling hurt and rejected, through the cracks. Perhaps you are plagued with low self-esteem because you never knew your father. Perhaps you were sexually abused as a child and you have been living with the horror of it for years. Whatever your problem, submit it to God by forgiving the people, forgiving yourself, and forgiving God, because, no doubt, you have charged Him with being unloving, unfair, and asleep. Release the fears by deciding now to trust Him and believe that He loves and accepts you now, and that no matter what has happened or will happen, He will be there for you as a loving, all-knowing Father. He will be your true Father, a real Father, no matter what your earthly father has been. Give God the chance to prove Himself and His awesome love to you. Refuse to have a victim mentality any more. Rest assured that once you put your life into His hands, nothing can happen to you that He does not permit. And even then He allows it only to make you stronger and no longer vulnerable. Trust Him in this manner. This is called submitting your life into His hands. Refuse to make any more moves that are contrary to His principles of life as revealed in His word, the Bible. If you do this, He will heal your whole life—from the inside, out.
But what about those of us who have deliberately violated the principles of the Seventh Commandment? The New Testament is very clear in prohibiting sexual sins. In Ephesians 5:3-5, the Apostle Paul writes: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” And again, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
The strictness of God here is pretty plain. Sexual sin disqualifies a person for entrance into the kingdom of God. No excuse is acceptable, no matter how reasonable and no matter how many other people are doing it. God sees through every alibi and lame justification. It is useless to try to make such sin a small thing, because it is a big thing with God. Indeed, all unconfessed sin is a big thing with God.
But God has a remedy for every sin, no matter how big or small it may seem. There is hope for the homosexual. There is deliverance for the sex addict and adulterer. There is help for the one bound by porn, lustful thoughts, and fantasies. There is forgiveness for the woman who aborted her baby—and the man who encouraged her to do so. The thing to do, then, if you fall into sexual sin, is to admit that you have done it, acknowledge that you are unjustifiably guilty, and confess that you deserve the judgment of God for your sin. Then, throw yourself upon the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive, save, and deliver you. God’s promise is that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Notice that the same grace of God that forgives us our sins also cleanses us from our sins. That is, His grace enables us to put these sins in the past. In 1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul continues, “And such were [past tense] some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” We can be forgiven, but we must leave our life of sin. We must take deliberate and radical measures to build a life of discipleship and submission to God, whatever that may demand. Perhaps you will have to find an accountability partner, cancel your TV or your Internet service, take your wife with you on all your business trips, quit your temptation-laden job, walk out on your live-in boyfriend—or get married, completely avoid certain people and certain places, fast and pray and withdraw from being so close to the world—whatever it takes. Within the same passage where Jesus defined adultery to include visual lusting as well as physical actions, He challenged us: “And if your right eye cause you to offend, pluck it out… It is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be cast into hell…” (Matthew 5:27-32). The message is that if we are really serious about it, we can be sexually pure in a damnably corrupt and perverse world. This applies to both heterosexual sins and homosexual sins, which are equal in magnitude to Him. Listen to the words of Jesus Christ Himself, spoken to the woman caught in the very act of adultery (John 8:3-11): “…Jesus…said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?’ She said, ‘No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’“
And He gives us the grace and ability to do that very thing!
1 Newsweek, March 1, 1999.
2 Strong, James, LL.D., “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TN, 1984), p. 29.
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38 McManus, Mike. “Churches Are Accomplices In Multiplication of Divorce,” Reading Eagle, October 26, 2002.
39 Teachman, Jay D., “Premarital Sex, Cohabitation, and Divorce: The Broken Link,” Journal of Marriage and Family, May 2, 2003.
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51 Cox, Melissa, and Michelle Burford, “Divorce: The Forgotten Trauma,” Physician, October 1997. Cited in the Colorado Chiropractic Journal, June 5, 2002, Vol. 2, No. 6, www.chiropractors.org/26altern.htm.
52 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Highlights From 20 Years of Surveying Crime Victims: The National Crime Victimization Survey, 1973-1992 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1993), p. 18. Cited by Glenn Stanton, “The Broken Promises of Divorce: How Divorce Hurts Children and Adults,” www.divorcereform.org/mel/apsychdivorce.html.
53 Willits, Brian, Breaking Up Is Easy to Do, Michigan Family Forum, quoting Drs. Susan and David Larsen, M.D., “Divorce: A Hazard to Your Health?” Physician, May/June 1990, p.16. Cited in “Children of Divorce: Sickness and Death,” Americans for Divorce Reform. www.divorcereform.org/phys.html.
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62 The Sunday Times, January 12, 1997.
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68 “Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, October, 2003. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html.
69 Sav-A-Life East, Inc. website. September 3, 2003. www.savalifeeast.org.
70 “Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion,” The Alan Guttmacher Institute, October, 2003. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html.
71 “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of [170,000] Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal, August 2002.
72 Head, Sarah Jane. “Abortion Information,” For Faith and Family, October, 2003. www.faithandfamily.com.
73 “Abortion Risks Higher Than Expected,” deVeber Institute, April 22, 2002. As reported in the British Medical Journal, December 7, 1996, pp 1431-4. www.deveber.org/.
74 “Abortion Risks Higher Than Expected,” deVeber Institute, April 22, 2002. As reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, November 2, 1994, pp. 1584-92. www.deveber.org/.
75 “Report: Half of STDs found in teens, young adults,” CNN summary of a report from Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a journal of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, February 24, 2004, www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/02/24/stds.ap/index.html.
76 Darroch, Jacqueline E. and Jennifer J. Frost, “Women’s Interest in Vaginal Microbicides,” Family Planning Perspectives, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. Vol. 31, No. 1, January/February 1999. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/2908797.html.
77 Donovan, Patricia. “Confronting a Hidden Epidemic: The Institute of Medicine’s Report on Sexually Transmitted Diseases,” Family Planning Perspectives, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. Vol. 29, No. 2, March/April 1997. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/2908797.html.
78 Darroch, Jacqueline E. and Jennifer J. Frost, “Women’s Interest in Vaginal Microbicides,” Family Planning Perspectives, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. Vol. 31, No. 1, January/February 1999. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/2908797.html.
79 “Table 9. Male Adult /Adolescent AIDS Cases by Exposure Category, Reported Through December 1999, United States,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cited by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232.
80 Roundy, Bill, “STDs Up Among Gay Men: CDC Says Rise Is Due to HIV Misconceptions,” The Washington Blade (December 8, 2000) available at www.washblade.com.
81 Vincelette, J., et.al., “Predicators of Chlamydial Infection and Gonorrhea Among Patients Seen by Private Practitioners,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 144 (1995): 713721. Cited by Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232.
82 Hutchinson, C.M., et.al., “Characteristics of Patients with Syphilis Attending Baltimore STD Clinics,” Archives of Internal Medicine 151 (1991): 511-516.
83 Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p.55.
84 Lockhart, Lettie, et.al., “Letting Out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9 (1994): 469-492.
85 Island, D. and P. Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p.14.
86 Bradford, J., et.al., “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 62 (1994): 239. Cited by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232.
87 Hall, Joanne, “Lesbians Recovering from Alcoholic Problems: An Ethnographic Study of Health Care Expectations,” Nursing Research 43 (1994): 238-244.
88 Herrell, R., et.al., “A Co-twin Study in Adult Men,” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (1999): 867-874. Cited by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232.
89 Cameron, P. and K., “Homosexual Parents,” Adolescence 31 (1996): 772.
90 Hogg, Robert S., et.al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657. Cited by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232.
91 Burris, Roddie, The State: South Carolina, “Experts At Conference Advocate Marriage,” September 13, 2002. Quoted at www.smartmarriages.com.
92 Dunham, William. “Decline of Marriage Called Threat to U.S.,” Desert News (Reuters News Service), September 21, 1999.
94 Waite, Linda, and Maggie Gallagher. The Case For Marriage, (Doubleday, 2000), as quoted at www.smartmarriages.com (case.for.marriage.quiz.html).
95 Burris, Roddie. “Experts At Conference Advocate Marriage,” The State, South Carolina, September 13, 2002. Quoted in www.smartmarriages.com.
97 McManus, Michael J., “Why Is It in the Government’s Interest to Save Marriages?” Public Hearing on Marriages Sponsored by The New York Family Policy Council, 2001.
98 “Marrying Well: Book Review from Christianity Today,” March 7, 2001, citing Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage.
99 Stanton, Glenn T., “What’s Marriage Got To Do with It?” Why Marriage Matters Series No. 1, the Divorce Statistics Collection, www.divorcereform.org.
100 Waite, Linda, and Maggie Gallagher. The Case For Marriage, (Doubleday, 2000), as quoted at www.smartmarriages.com (case.for.marriage.quiz.html).
101 McManus, Michael J., “Why Is It in the Government’s Interest to Save Marriages?” Public Hearing on Marriages Sponsored by The New York Family Policy Council, 2001.
102 “Marrying Well: Book Review from Christianity Today,” March 7, 2001, citing Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage.
105 Stanton, Glenn T., “Only A Piece of Paper? How Marriage Improves Adult Health,” Why Marriage Matters Series No. 4, the Divorce Statistics Collection, www.divorcereform.org.
106 Unwin, J. D., Hopousia, 1940, p. 82. As quoted in The Good News (Special Edition), United Church of God, 2002, p.12.
107 Ibid., p. 84-85.
108 Ibid., p. 89.
109 Sorokin, Pitirim, The American Sex Revolution (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1956), pp.6. As quoted by Dr. Tim Dailey in “Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children At Risk,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 238. www.frc.org.
110 Dailey, Tim, “Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children At Risk,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 238. www.frc.org.
111 Ettelbrick, Paula, “Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation?”, in William Rubenstein, ed., Lesbians, Gay Men and the Law (New York: The New Press, 1993), pp. 401-405.
112 Signorile, Michelangelo, “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do,” OUT magazine, May 1996, p. 30.
113 Signorile, Michelangelo, Life Outside (New York:HarperCollins, 1997), p. 213.
114 Mendola, Mary, The Mendola Report (New York: Crown, 1980), p. 53.
115 Bell, A. P. and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308-309.
116 “Sex Survey Results,” Genre, October 1996, quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998, p. 20.
117 Van de Ven, Paul, et. al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997), p. 354
118 Sagir, M. and E. Robins, Male and Female Homosexuality (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1973), p. 225; L. A. Peplau and H. Amaro, “Understanding Lesbian Relationships,” in Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues, ed. Weinrich and Paul (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).
119 Pollak, M. “Male Homosexuality,” in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejim, translated by Anthony Forster (New York, N.Y.: B. Blackwell, 1985), pp. 40-61.
120 Smith, Rhonda, “HPV Can Be Transmitted Between Women,” The Washington Blade (December 4, 1998). As quoted by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232, September 18, 2003. www.frc.org.
121 Fethers, Katherine, et.al., “Sexually Transmitted Infections and Risk Behaviors in Women Who Have Sex with Women,” Sexually Transmitted Infections, 76 (2000):348. As quoted by Dr. Tim Dailey in “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” Family Research Council, Issue No. 232, September 18, 2003. www.frc.org.
122 (a) Michael, Robert T., et. al., Sex In America: A Definitive Survey (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1994); (b) Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170; (c) E. O. Laumann, et. al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 217; and (d) M. Clements, “Sex in America Today: A New National Survey Reveals How Our Attitudes Are Changing,” Parade, August 7, 1994, pp. 4-6.
123 McWhirter, David P. and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentiss-Hall, 1984), pp. 252-253.
124 Aaron, William, Straight (New York: Bantam Books, 1972), p. 208, cited by Joseph Nicolosi in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, p. 125.
125 Jordahl, Steve, “Gays Ambivalent About Marriage,” Citizen Link “Daily Update,” December 15, 2003. www.citizenlink.org
126 Levine, Judith, “Stop the Wedding!: Why Gay Marriage Isn’t Radical Enough,” The Village Voice, July 23-29, 2003.
127 Levine, Judith, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, p. 88.
128 McInerney, Joseph, Human Genome Project Information: Behavioral Genetics, U.S. Department. of Energy Office of Science (doegenomes.org), http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/behavior.shtml.Retrieved May 23, 2005.
129 Throckmorton, Warren, I Do Exist: Is A Changed Life Possible?, Truth Comes Out Project, www.truthcomesout.com or idoexist.net. Retrieved May 27, 2005.