Homosexuality: Why Does God Declare Homosexual Conduct Sinful? Part 4 (Sin’s Impact on Society)

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There’s an important implicit point that I wish to now make explicit. Some activities are sinful, not because they are unloving when tested at an individual level, but because of the harm occasioned by these activities when applied to an entire congregation, community, or country.

For example, premarital sex between consenting adults with proper birth control may not do much harm to that couple. It might. It might not. There certainly have been many cases where such sexual activity has not resulted in much in the way of harm or proved to be very unloving.

But when a society decides that sex outside of marriage between consenting adults, with proper birth control, is okay, terrible things happen. In the US, the illegitimacy rate is now approaching 50%. Countless children are being raised with only one parent, the abortion rate is in the tens of millions, and the data show that social pathologies are higher in single-parent households than otherwise.

Obviously, there are single parents — moms and dads — who’ve done marvelous parenting and raised great kids. But the odds are stacked against them; and in large numbers, kids get hurt.

And this is not at all the expected result because we were assuming proper birth control. Sex with proper birth control should produce virtually no illegitimate children. But people aren’t entirely rational beings, and once sex outside of marriage loses its stigma, then sex without protection outside of marriage loses its stigma.

Worse yet, as sexual license has been granted, divorce rates have increased, and this has also resulted in more single-parent households and more children being raised without fathers.

The Huffington Post reported in 2013,

Poverty is on the rise in single-mother families. More people are falling into the lowest-income group. …

The number of Americans in poverty remained largely unchanged at a record 46.5 million. Single-mother families in poverty increased for the fourth straight year to 4.1 million, or 41.5 percent, coinciding with longer-term trends of declining marriage and out-of-wedlock births. Many of these mothers are low income with low education. The share of married-couple families in poverty remained unchanged at 2.1 million, or 8.7 percent.

This 2012, Obama Administration U.S. Census Bureau report states, “Married parents were the most economically advantaged of all the family groups with children under the age of 18” (p. 13). Indeed,

The economic advantage of married families is consistent with research showing that marriage is associated with greater wealth. Married parents were more likely to be college educated and to be homeowners compared with unmarried parents and with mother-only and father-only families. Nine percent of married-family groups were living below the poverty level and 9 percent were receiving food stamps compared with 4 times as many mother-only families who were living below poverty or receiving food stamps.

So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the sexual revolution hasn’t hurt children or left countless women to raise their families without fathers, mired in poverty. Logically, it shouldn’t have happened because the sexual revolution was triggered by the invention of the Pill. But people aren’t logical.

I think God is entirely right when he insists that heterosexual couples only have sex as married couples. I think our rejection of God’s wisdom on this point has done great harm to children and to many of their parents. Even if it hasn’t harmed everyone who’s engaged in sex outside of marriage, the impact on society has been devastating.

I suspect that we’re going to find that God is just as wise in telling us that normalizing and approving homosexual sexual activity is bad for society.

So even if the theological arguments don’t convince you, surely the evidence of 50 years of the Sexual Revolution demonstrates God’s greater wisdom when it comes to marriage and sexuality.

And in both cases, the church needs to learn one lesson: You can’t fix these problems politically. The solution is found in the church being the church Jesus died for — a community of believers committed to the cross, to lives of service, submission, sacrifice, and even suffering for the sake of following Jesus.

It’s not easy, but neither is it complicated.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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30 Responses to Homosexuality: Why Does God Declare Homosexual Conduct Sinful? Part 4 (Sin’s Impact on Society)

  1. John says:

    Jay,

    Much of what you say is true. But what is also true is the reality of where we are now; and part of that reality is, because of the high divorce rate in the church, there is a high number of heterosexual single couples in the pew. And as it has been pointed out by Gary, most churches practice a “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy in regard to these couples. And the fact is practically all teaching in the past about sex being reserved for marriage has been aimed at teens.

    I believe your post sincerely deals with the problem of sex outside of marriage for all…period. But do you see churches, especially when Gay individuals start attending, being as balanced as you have sought to be when dealing with sex outside of marriage, especially toward adults? To be honest, I believe that most who always see Homosexuality as sin will leave the scale tipped.

  2. The inconsistency of railing against homosexuality while simultaneously winking at non-marital heterosexual activity has weakened the moral values of the church as a whole, not just the Church of Christ. This post is a much needed insight into the communal impact of disregarding God’s wisdom. The facts you present also support the ‘slippery slope’ that Paul seems to suggest in Romans 1. One sin leads to greater sinfulness until God finally ‘gives us up’ to act on the delusions of our collective heart. May God have mercy on us, and may his people begin to again be the light of a city set on a hill that is not hidden under the bushell of indifference and worldliness!

  3. Richard K. says:

    How productive is negative preaching alone?. ….. John makes a valid point; our teaching and practice has been unbalanced. It is easier to preach against the sins of youth than …. (In one congregation years ago a young person came to me with a problem with which I didn’t want to handle and suggested he talk with the elders. He replied, “I would go to them for financial advice, not spiritual advice!” Many years before that I was with a congregation in the South where the “chief” elder could have been the model for the judge on the Dukes of Hazzard. Among my Christian Church frilends I’m known for being pro-congregational singing rather than anti-instrumental music. However, our congregational practices are a challenge: Overhead projectors without notes; no longer are there singing schools to teach people how to lead singing, etc.)

  4. John says:

    A couple of observations. It is assumed by many conservative Christians that the Gay Rights Movement would have never taken place without the sexual revolution. We cannot know that to be a fact. I believe it was born and nurtured primarily from society beginning to take seriously the rights of individuals. Rights cannot be handed out like trophies to those whose lives we always approve of; they are for all or no one.

    The other is, much of the sexual revolution in our country had a lot of help from the church, even the conservative church. As a child growing up in rural, southern Church of Christ, the whispers of individuals within the church having affairs were always there, as well as a wide use of pornography. My first experience with pornography was finding it the closet of a family friend who happened to be a deacon; and this was the kind you had to obtain by mail order. And it has come to light through the media of how many Christians still use it.

    The truth of it all can be told by this example. I once heard a preacher say that his wife was very upset because she found a picture of a nude woman in their young son’s wallet. The preacher said he tried to console his wife, “Honey, be glad it was a picture of a woman”. Jerry, I believe that is one of the winks by the church. We are now entering an age when society refuses to be conned by the church that judges them while giving the wink to one another. The wink must be replaced by honesty, as well as mercy and understanding.

  5. laymond says:

    By the way, there are no illegitimate children. Maybe irresponsible adults, not knowing the price of what they are doing, especially for the children. actually the church of today is responsible because of their ignorant teachings of indwelled guidance by a personal God living within the baptized Christian.
    Jesus’ parents were not married, was Jesus an illegitimate child ? I do believe all children belong to God until they become of the age of responsibility, I really doubt that Jesus likes the words illegitimate children, since he was a child born out of wedlock. As Jesus said there are no marriages formed in heaven.

  6. Monty says:

    I think to compare the legalization of homosexual marriage to the plight of the civil rights movement of African Americans is a disgrace to African Americans. All men where created equal isn’t the same as all sexual relationships were created equal and are equally valid.

  7. John, I referenced Romans 1. Romans 2 begins, ‘Therefore you have no excuse, O man, everyone of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.’

  8. John, I referenced Romans 1. Romans 2 begins, ‘Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

    I’m also reminded of Jesus’ words, ‘Judge not, that you be not judged. Fot with the judgement you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’

    Until we start practicing what we preach, our voice will have no genuine moral authority. Also, we must quit picking and choosing the sins we denounce or ignore.

  9. John says:

    Again, rights are for all, or for no one. If only for a certain few, who has the final word? You, me, preachers…God forbid!!

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Pastor Niemoller

  10. Dwight says:

    In regards to this concept of “don’t ask, don’t tell” within assemblies, if a person has mudered another and comes in and sits down, we aren’t going to know whether he is a murderer or not. In most churches they don’t grill people, even ones they see all of the time, about thier past history of sin or activity. Somethings are less obvious than others and those things that are obvious can be and should be addressed, When Paul wrote about the son having an affair with his father’s wife, it was well known and not addressed. But it might have been possible that there was someone in the same place at the same time that was dong the same thing, that no one knew about. A person who practices homosexuality can come in and not be confronted, on the same level a person who is comitting adultury can, if no one knows about what they are doing.
    Now admittedly homosexuality is being preached on more than adultery, but that is only because adultery still has a taboo factor associated with it in society and homosexuality is all over the news & upfront in being accepted by society. But adultery, incest, etc are still preached against.

  11. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    John,

    The generations that follow us are much more sensitive to these issues. We old guys just need to be sure we’re succeeded by men and women well grounded in the scriptures. The concern for the oppressed classes will not be a problem. They see things much differently and, largely, much better.

    If we teach what I’m arguing for, the younger people will very readily accept that we should treat heterosexual and homosexual sin the same. They would be offended if we said anything else.

  12. Dwight says:

    I have never seen anybody pass over a heterosexual sin to get at an homosexual sin. Now I have seen people talk disparingly about homosexuals in general, but it is hard not to when it is being flaunted about. Not that it is right, but it is a reaction. If there were adultery or bestiality or incest pride parades you might see some of the same generalized reactionary attitudes emerge. It is easy to not see people as people and as a demographic, when the present themsselves as a demographic and promote this in how we see them.
    We have to teach love for the person and all people, but this doesn’t mean we let up on hate for the sin and all sin either. It would be much easier to seperate the sin from the person if people wouldn’t sin. Even in the OT they stoned the one who comitted adultery, as they could not stone the sin without stoning the sinner. The person who sinned was guilty of comitting the sin. Now if we reclassify the sin, it doesn’t seem like sin, but in reality God is the classifier and we aren’t.

  13. Richard constant says:

    Ok J I’m getting tired of all the smoke and mirrors.
    and all of the skewed number sets of sociological theory.
    number one I need your email address and I hope that’s just not secret.
    I have to send you a paper a short paper one of the most concise papers of this type that I have seen. this paper deals with why you don’t play Texas Holdem with God.
    to say nothing of being waited by prophecy.
    This is something that every 10 year old ought to know.
    this answers the question why God laughs in disgust. and holds them in derision.
    Psalms 2…
    and like anything else with a sociological set of number Theory is brought forward it is weighted. and waited by what by the predisposition of the sociological information. That people want to see that are running the numbers.
    Can can I address this question absolutely I can.
    I can make it quite simple.
    At what point does that bicycle that you got, when you were seven years old.
    For Christmas.
    that was the one thing that you could possibly want. a dream come true.
    And There it was under the tree.
    and you took care of it dusted it everyday clean the spokes clean the wheels made sure that everything was perfect.
    at what point in time did that bicycle become nothing more than a tool to get from one place to another. it laid outside and rusted didn’t even use the kick stand anymore.
    the same can be said of indiscriminate sexual relationships.
    the height of intimacy between a man and a woman. shared orgasm as close to being one as we’ll get in this tabernacle.
    Has been demeaned.
    you are no longer having sex in the form of intimacy.
    As like the intimacy that we should have with God through the Spirit.
    this intimacy has been lost altogether. we’re no longer friends were just acquaintances to get along together. we don’t even know the meaning of friends.

    And continues to be more and more exploited at the cost of what.
    you can have better sex and masturbating!
    let’s be honest why do you think there’s so many hi tech sex toys. to say nothing of the new drug for women.

    Only now you’re having sex with a body underneath you.
    A tool to get from point A to point B.
    Yes that’s what are old hermeneutic has taught me.
    IF that Is the reality of everything that is good and right with that which we have become. to attain to any idea of intimacy and shareD intimacy. and I am serious on this point as were all the other Ancients we need some seriously better drugs psychotropic drugs we need to manufacture these things So That what we say now is psychotic becomes the norm. becomes the normal sooner get the ride over with just like the ancients be done with it and be dead. and that be normal today
    Although
    I think not.
    Why do you think it says to keep the marriage bed holy.
    Are these bad things are these things to keep us from having good feelings absolutely not.
    God is good he wants us to share all good things with each other he wants us to be intimate with each other he wants us to be intimate with him he wants us to be intimate extra specially with our wives with our loved ones especially with our wives..
    we can’t be intimate with one another unless we are intimate with God and we can’t be intimate with God unless we believe that he exists. we have to love ourselves and our possibilities of having an intrinsic nature of having great great great relationships based in intimacy.
    I can’t do that the way that we’re going about it now.
    what all of the old ontological hermeneutics creates is nothing more nothing less than a stoic one plus one equals two, “SO WHAT” which speaks to love As nothing more nothing less than some abstract objective to be attained. and becomes nothing more nothing less than the exercise of the child laying hold of the new bicycle and keeping that as an intimate expression of self worth which is based in a paradigm of desire in the ever-changing world of lust and covetousness… and is fueled by situation ethics and fluid morality.
    As as we sail into the mystic of self deceit and deceiving others. Through that we Reap Our just desserts.
    It’s not relevant to me not relevant to anybody else it’s an exercise just like the exercise that I started this out with an exercise in futility.

  14. Dwight says:

    Rich, who are you directing your entry to? Whose email are you requesting? It is hard to make out whether you are accusing everybody or one person or generalizing and if so of what.
    More clarity and simplification and berivity would be appreciated in your post.
    Sorry Jay for stepping in with some words as if I am a moderator.
    God Bless

  15. rich says:

    I NEED JAYS
    I WILL Redirect IF JAY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IF HE Does he can speak to it.
    although thank you
    sorry for the cap’s
    blessings

  16. Thank you, Dwight. I’ve wanted to suggest to RC that he start his own blog where he could pontificate all he wanted. Then if he wanted to let jay’s followers know about it he could use 1 post to let us know – instead of the 20 we get from him sometimes.

  17. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rich,

    jfguin(at)comcast(dot)net

  18. Richard constant says:

    let me know if you got that article please JaY
    also what you thought of it I don’t know how to put that up on a post so if you put it up on a post it and speak to it or if you would like to just let me know and go right ahead but those are some numbers and those are some hard numbers that I like to deal with when I’m speaking to but the complexity of the universe.
    and to say nothing of allowing free will
    number probability nobody counts cards like God

  19. Richard constant says:

    J…..? ? did you get the photo of the paper J

  20. Gary says:

    Ecclesiastes 7:10 takes a dim view of seeing the present as worse than the past. The sexual revolution has no doubt brought problems for society but I’m not sure they are worse than the problems families and individuals faced in the past. Countless marriages began for no reason other than an unplanned pregnancy. About a third of American colonial brides were pregnant when they married. Some of those marriages no doubt were happy and loving. But it is sad to think how many people were locked in for life to loveless and ill advised marriages that birth control could have avoided.

    Children today growing up in single parent homes face daunting challenges. But we often forget today how many children even a century ago lost mothers or fathers to death while they were growing up. Remarriage after losing a spouse was common but the result was not always a happy family. Generations later in my family accounts still are passed on of how one set of stepchildren was treated unfairly. In one case the discord between a great aunt and her new stepmother was so bad she went to live with other relatives. Life was harsh for many families before the sexual revolution with large numbers of children and mothers dying in childbirth. Poverty was at least as prevalent as it is now and probably worse by today’s standards. Even young children had to do manual labor. One great uncle of mine came in from the fields one day and layed down and died evidently from heat stroke. He was seven years old. When you add in such past factors as the prevalence of child labor I’ll take the present over the past. The benefits of the sexual revolution have to be weighed against the costs.

  21. John F says:

    Gary said: “The benefits of the sexual revolution have to be weighed against the costs.”

    Gary, would you care to list some “benefits” of the sexual revolution?

    The “former days” are no better; human nature is largely the same.

  22. John F says:

    Gary: ” The benefits of the sexual revolution have to be weighed against the costs.”

    Gary. would you care to list some “benefits of the social revolution and some of the costs”? To me, fifty million abortions are certainly part of the costs, or do you see that as a benefit?

  23. Gary says:

    John F., how would you go about preventing abortions? Would you support imprisoning pregnant women who might try to get an abortion and using force by our government to make them bear a child? Conservatives love to criticize but rarely offer solutions.

  24. John F says:

    Gary: again you seek to deflect the discussion from the core issues. But I will answer your question and expect you to answer my previous question.

    Changed hearts and understanding leads to changed behavior. And yet governments should not legitimize amoral behavior; as I have posted before, every law has a moral base.

  25. John F says:

    Many of the “social rights” have moved to “protected behaviors” for the first time. And how is a society supposed to “identify” and “socially protect” behavior? How even in this Brave New Social World are we even to recognize male / female?

    When we “mess” with God’s intent and directives, it gets”messy” very fast.

    The point of Romans 1 in “God gave them over” IMHO is that some will see the the depths of degradation does not lead to fulfillment and repent.

  26. Monty says:

    We’ve become a nation of “Its.”

  27. need4news says:

    John F, every law has a moral base?
    The Fugitive Slave Law
    The Indian Removal Act
    Alien & Sedition Acts
    Patriot Act

    What morals were these (and others) based on?

  28. John F says:

    I believe that every law is representative of a moral choice, not necessarily a morality based on a Jewish or Christian morality. Some laws are immoral, but the immorality reflects a “morality” or moral view of the lawmakers, however wrongly based.

    Webster: concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior, : based on what you think is right and good

    No doubt the laws you reference above were “deemed” to be right and good by the lawmakers; they were wrong. Note that outside the recognition of a good creator, there is no basis for one “morality” to be superior to any other.

  29. Dwight says:

    John makes a good point. Law is usually based on morals, but sometimes the morals are bad morals or twisted or sometimes sense of social reality. Slavery wasn’t morally wrong or right. So to have laws for slavery wasn’t either. But to impose cruelty and lack of worth as a human on a slave is. I am not for slavery, but if I had to choose between starving or being a fed slave, I might go the slave route. Following God should impart in us a good moral center and base and this should be reflected in the laws we make.

  30. John F says:

    Gary, still waiting for you to “weigh benefits and costs” of the sexual revolution. I did answer your question. . . . . .

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