Homosexuality and the 21st Century Church (Transcript)

Announcer: Today, on Family Talk.

Dr. Dobson: Well, hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Family Talk. I'm James Dobson and today we're going to talk about a very delicate and controversial subject. It may be one of the most controversial things I have raised on the air in 9,000 programs I suppose. So I bet I've got your attention now. It deals with the intrusion of the LGBTQ agenda in the 21st century church. Those who know more about this subject than I do tell me that they're very alarmed to observe that more and more believers... And I have to say it, pastors are reinterpreting Scripture to make it accommodate sexual relationships outside of marriage, whether it be homosexuality or lesbianism or bisexuality or a wide range of behaviors. Now I want to say again what you know. I've said it many times. I'm not a theologian, but I believe the Bible and I believe that it says what it means and that it is clear about its condemnation of all forms of sexual immorality. That's just the way it is. If you don't like it, argue with the Scripture. That has not changed, and it will not change. It's the word of God, which is eternal and it is not subject to revision.

Dr. Dobson: Now, there should be no doubt that the church has a responsibility. It's been called, I think to minister to people who are in all kinds of sin and a behavior that is outside what we would consider to be the Christian principles and way of life. And we do not reject those people. We have a responsibility. Pastors have a responsibility to care for them, to be compassionate to them, and by all means to lead them out of this behavior into a more consistent way of life. And we're going to talk about that today. Now, if you don't like what we say today, I ask you to hear me out because this is a discussion that needs to be held. Our primary purpose is to give help and hope to those who are struggling with the sexual identity and behavior that is condemned in Scripture. With that, let's get to our topic.

Dr. Dobson: I'm joined in studio today by my dear friend, Anne Paulk. My wife Shirley and I have known her for many years. We have great respect for her and the work that she does and she's got the courage to do it. She is the executive director of Restored Hope Network. That's a ministry for people who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Her mission is to help heal those who are broken by sexual and relational sin and to provide freedom out of homosexuality. Anne is the author of Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction. She has been an outspoken advocate and speaker for more than 20 years.

Dr. Dobson: Anne has appeared on numerous television shows. In fact, I was just preparing for this broadcast and I saw that she has been on Oprah, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, The 700 Club, and many others. She's also been featured on the cover of Newsweek. Anne's been profiled by People Magazine and goes on and on. She's got quite a history of going into the den of lions. Anne, where do you get the courage to do that?

Anne Paulk: I have no idea. I just went with opportunity that came up. I'm actually generally afraid of those things.

Dr. Dobson: Do you know of any subject in the whole catalog of human experience that is more dangerous and leads to more anger and hostility than this one?

Anne Paulk: No. I actually don't know of any other topic that has more hostility than LGBTQ issues.

Dr. Dobson: How did Oprah treat you?

Anne Paulk: She was pretty kind. The entire audience had about five Christians in it and then the rest of it was an absolute packed house of gay activists and that sort of thing. But-

Dr. Dobson: How long ago was that?

Anne Paulk: ... we did have a fair time. It was 1992.

Dr. Dobson: It's enough to know that the world has changed dramatically since then.

Anne Paulk: That's right. It has changed a lot since 1992. Strategically so.

Dr. Dobson: I think it's changed in the last year.

Anne Paulk: I believe you're absolutely right because I think most people in culture say, "How did we get to where we are so rapidly?" The slippery slope idea that many people mentioned long ago actually has come to fruition. If you give way in a certain topic over and over again, you end up having the results of giving away.

Dr. Dobson: And if you repeat a lie often enough?

Anne Paulk: If you repeat a lie often enough, it is simply believed regardless of lack of evidence.

Dr. Dobson: I'll go back to my comment about the church changing. Is that just a perception or do you believe it is occurring?

Anne Paulk: Well, I wish it was simply a perception. Unfortunately, what used to be believed that the church was essentially a monolithic body of people who all believed that homosexuality was sin is no longer the case. It's been eroded quite a bit in the last decade actually, and even more in the last year I'm sure. Many churches have given way towards the gay philosophy and pro-gay views and that I find tragic. And the reason why I find it tragic is because it shuts down hope for those who want to repent out of homosexuality.

Dr. Dobson: And there are those out there. Not Everybody is monolithic in this regard.

Anne Paulk: That is absolutely true. In fact, the gay community, many people are turning to Jesus out of the homosexual community, out of the transgender community, and we're delighted to be there. But I would love for the church to remain solid so that she can hold firm the truth that Jesus redeems lives, that he makes a way for sinners to turn to him out of sin.

Dr. Dobson: Do you agree with what I said about the Scripture? It does not change. It says what it means. Truth is true.

Anne Paulk: Yes, indeed. I absolutely do Dr. Dobson.

Dr. Dobson: And the only way that you can miss the very explicit meaning of these biblical teachings is to ignore or twist or deny it. Now, we all know those verses. We've read them many times, but for the benefit of those who are not familiar with the Scripture, let me read just a few of these passages that condemn all forms of immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor revilers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by this Spirit of our God." How can you not catch the meaning there?

Dr. Dobson: 1 Corinthians 10:8, "We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did. And 23,000 fell in a single day." Galatians 5:19, "When you follow the desires of your sinful nature the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures..." And it goes on from there. Ephesians 4:19, "Having lost all sensitivity, they've given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity with the continual lust for more." Ephesians 5:3, "Let there be no sexual immorality or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people."

Dr. Dobson: I've got two more. Romans 1:18-32, "God gave them over to shameful lust. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way that men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error." And finally, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, "We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is not made for the righteous, but for the lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for this sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for our slave traders and liars and perjurers and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine."

Dr. Dobson: Now, I hasten to say that I understand that some people don't like what's written on this topic in the Old Testament. They aren't especially in the new, but the meaning of sexual immorality is very clear and it is condemned in the Scripture. Nevertheless, we have to approach people who are dealing with same-sex attraction with compassion. There is typically a great deal of pain and agitation associated with this way of life. Homosexuals and lesbians and others in what we would consider to be a deviant lifestyle have often been rejected and ridiculed and deeply wounded, and that's not our task as Christians. Anne, you're not an angry and condemning woman. Your ministry is built on compassion and kindness, isn't it?

Anne Paulk: Exactly. And I came out of the homosexual life.

Dr. Dobson: Well, we're going to talk about that in a minute. Yeah.

Anne Paulk: Yes, I have very much. I have a great deal of a heart of compassion and love. And I meet gay people all the time and I don't come up into their face and tell them how they ought to live. I try and woo them with the love of Jesus Christ through my life. The truth of the matter is God's plans do not change. His truth supersedes and is greater than any culture on the face of the earth regardless of-

Dr. Dobson: It's liberating. Isn't it?

Anne Paulk: It is. It's beautiful and liberating and there's so much hope and life. Reduction of anxiety, hope and future and peace with God and peace with others. I think that treasure cannot simply be seeded. I cannot get rid of that. I cannot step down from this because it's too vital that people can still have freedom because of the power of Jesus Christ and get help to get there.

Dr. Dobson: Are they transformed? I know it's case by case, but the homosexual community will tell us that transformations never occur. That you cannot change. You're living proof that you can.

Anne Paulk: Yes, and happily I'm not the only one who has left homosexuality successfully. We did research on those who attended just one of the member ministries for at least a year. And out of those, 38% of the people who attended this large ministry no longer struggle with homosexuality. 38% is very, very high. All but 10%, 10% went back into the gay life, and those are the very loud 10% that make it look like it's everybody. And then the rest of the people, whether they struggle occasionally or not, are obedient to Jesus Christ and agree with his plan that sexuality is meant to be between one man and one woman. And so those are success stories as well. Even if they struggle, if they continue to walk with Jesus, that's a win for the kingdom of God.

Dr. Dobson: You know, what I rarely hear pastors talk about, especially those who have accommodated this cultural change and somehow made the Scripture fit what it is they want to tell them. But what I have noticed is that whereas the church can sometimes find a way to reinterpret Scripture and come up with a different conclusion, they rarely ever talk about bisexuality. How can you accommodate that? They talk about LGBT, but they don't explain what the B is. The B is sex with both sexes all the time, anytime you want to. How do you get there scripturally on that?

Anne Paulk: Well, there's a new movement-

Dr. Dobson: Do you understand?

Anne Paulk: I do. Polyamory is the term.

Dr. Dobson: Yes, that is the term.

Anne Paulk: Some people are defining themselves by being attracted to whomever whenever they want, and they're calling themselves pansexual as well. So bisexual, pansexual. The letters have become so extensive that they now just add a plus sign at the end of the Q. It's LGBTQIAA and so on. The truth of the matter is God instituted this amazing gift of sexuality to be between a husband and his wife, between a man and wife alone. And Scripture makes that very clear. And anything but that starts destroying the individual made in God's image. And that's the whole point. And beyond this, it's an image of God's redeeming love for mankind. He is the bridegroom, we are the bride. It's an astonishing picture revealed in Scripture in Ephesians. That is the big, big, big evangelistic picture throughout all the generations of man that makes me want to tear up just thinking about it. It's so beautiful. So whenever we make accommodation to miss the mark, we literally step on God's toes. We start to offend him. We rebel against the author of life. And that's dangerous.

Dr. Dobson: It is not been established scientifically at all that homosexuality or the lesbian lifestyle are inborn.

Anne Paulk: Right. Homosexuality has been stated repeatedly, as you mentioned, that people are born gay. It's been stated repeatedly over what? 30, 35 years, something like that. If something's stated so frequently, it's believed to be true. The fact of the matter is, there is no gene that's been established anywhere that proves someone is born gay. They cannot find a gene that doesn't exist. Sexuality is a very complex human experience and feeling that cannot be regulated to one simple gene. They can't even figure out where in a female's brain regulate sexuality altogether because it just is challenging.

Dr. Dobson: If homosexuality was genetic, it came from a gene and you have identical twins, they would both always have it.

Anne Paulk: That's correct Dr. Dobson.

Dr. Dobson: And it's not true. I mean it is about 50%, but that's still a long way from it being absolutely mandated by genetics.

Anne Paulk: Exactly. So the twin studies have been very broad. They've been at the entire Twin Registry in Australia for one, and it has been replicated and they did find the results that you mentioned. That 50% or approximately way less than 100%, less than 90%, less than 80 or 70 or 60%, show that if one twin with the identical genes is gay, that the other twin is also gay. So you're absolutely right. It actually proves the opposite point that it's not genetically determined. So, well stated.

Dr. Dobson: Well, Anne, I said we're going to get to your story, and we've got so much to talk about. We haven't even really turned that corner, but let's do it now. Tell us about what happened to you. Did it start with an experience early in life? Tell us about it.

Anne Paulk: Yes, actually it did. I was molested at age four, but I didn't recognize how that impacted my life until much later. I grew up having experience of attraction towards girls and dated boys through high school, trying to fit in. And then went away to college and decided this so-called God I'd heard of, that I'd read part of Scripture, didn't hold as much weight and I didn't know that he was really true. I decided to abandon God, my concept of who God was-

Dr. Dobson: You walked away from him. Did you?

Anne Paulk: I did. It was this minimal experience. It was almost a deist philosophy that God created the world but didn't interact with it. Completely opposite view from who God truly is. Well, I threw out this false view of who God was and embraced my feelings my first year in college. Started going to gay bars, even though I was way under age. Started hanging around with gay friends, joined the rugby team at college, a pretty liberal school down in California, and everybody, it seemed on the team was a lesbian.

Anne Paulk: So I was running as fast as I could into this until I had a couple of dreams about Jesus that I didn't want. I just remember I was in my freshman year surrounded by my Jewish friends, really kind of interested in their community feel. I confided in my Jewish jogging partner, Jodie. I said, "Jodie, I had a couple of dreams. Who's this person I didn't want in the dream? Jesus showed up with the beard and the long hair and the robe." Like I knew who it was, but not that I could see his face per se. But he kind of wasn't welcome. He wasn't welcome. I said to her, "What do I do about this?" She laughed and shrugged her head and said, "I don't know."

Dr. Dobson: He didn't talk to you?

Anne Paulk: He didn't talk to me. He just showed up. And then I came into one of the Commons, where we eat food at the university, and all my Jewish friends were sitting there and one made a crack about Jesus. And I got defensive. It was the oddest thing. I said, "Well, I don't talk about your God this way." And I'm like, "What? What did I just say? What do you mean my God?" I thought I'd thrown all that baby out with the bath water. And so I was confused about my own response and I thought, "Huh, Jesus is showing up in my dreams. I'm defensive of him."

Anne Paulk: And then I was in a gay meeting on campus, and in the middle of that meeting, I had this piercing thought that I knew was true. These were the words from heaven, "You're not going to find the love that you're seeking for here." And I knew it was true and it crushed me. And so I ran off to the library on a Friday night. As a university student at a liberal party school, the university library was absolutely empty. And I just sobbed. And I said, "Okay, well, whoever the real God is, and I hope you're not the Christian God, because I still want to do my thing. Whoever the real God is, please stand up and here are five or six things that you can show me who you really are. And if anybody else wants to step into this and pretend to be the true God, then I'm not interested in that. I don't want that to happen." And wouldn't you know, within two weeks, God started answering all of these lists that I'd promptly forgotten-

Dr. Dobson: Really? And he wanted to do.

Anne Paulk: He did. He did. And I was so grateful. He made me. He made every single human being on the face of the earth and he longs for us and he pursues us. He seeks us out and praise God, he sought me out.

Dr. Dobson: And you begin living a straight life?

Anne Paulk: Well, no, I wish I could say that was true right away. No, I was curious about who God says he really was. I began asking all my friends on campus, "So who does Jesus say he really is?" I began asking the right questions. And got involved with, believe it or not, a Baptist student ministry on campus that had a class answering all these questions. It was called evangelism training. Here I am not yet a believer, not ever given my life, my heart to Jesus, and I'm now attending a class that they're talking and answering all these vital questions that a young believer or someone who is asking about Christianity would ask.

Dr. Dobson: How dramatic was your conversion to him?

Anne Paulk: It was pretty crazy. The final night of that meeting, I was pretending to pray like just trying to fit in and God revealed that he was there, that he was present in the room. And that he was-

Dr. Dobson: Did you cry?

Anne Paulk: I did, and I was overwhelmed by this person who was in the room but not in me. What he revealed to me about himself is that he was full of authority and full of kindness. It was a unique combination that won me. I talked to the pastor that night and said, "Look, I'm a lesbian. I want to do this, but this person showed up tonight, and I'm aware that he's not in my life and what do I do?" So he told him about the sinner's prayer and told me to call him later that night. And I couldn't hold off that night, I asked him to be my Lord and Savior. And I didn't call the pastor right away who said, "By the way, Satan's not going to want to let you go easily." And I thought, "Me? Whatever." So I didn't call him.

Anne Paulk: And one of my lesbian friends who was also Jewish and on the rugby team called me that night and said, "Anne, you have to come over." It was 11 o'clock at night, on a school night. I doubled over laughing going, "The pastor was right. Everything is true. I'm a believer. I belonged to Jesus now." So went over and I told her all about Jesus.

Dr. Dobson: Was she receptive?

Anne Paulk: She said, "You can go now." She said, "No. Okay. All right, see you. Go on."

Dr. Dobson: How old were you?

Anne Paulk: I was a sophomore at the university, so it was 18, 19 years old.

Dr. Dobson: Was that an absolute turning point in your life?

Anne Paulk: Oh my goodness, was it? Yes it was.

Dr. Dobson: Its before and after.

Anne Paulk: It was a new creation was born. A brand new baby believer and a woman of joy that had not experienced joy. I experienced joy unspeakable. Something I could never have ever even touched on before. The God of the universe was in my life.

Dr. Dobson: Anne, that is such an inspirational story. I really wish everybody could hear it because it's uplifting to hear from somebody who had really committed themselves to a lesbian lifestyle and the Lord reached down and took you by the hand and led you out. I've been watching the clock as you've been telling your story and we're running out of time. So I'm going to have to have kind of a precipitous into our broadcast today, but be with us tomorrow and we're going to pick up right here with your story.

Anne Paulk: Thank you so much, Dr. Dobson. What a pleasure to be with you.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

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