Roger Marsh: Welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. You know, our world today is filled with many distractions. Sometimes we don't even realize that we're moving away from God until we found ourselves stuck in a problem. Oftentimes, a person who has been through hurts or trauma doesn't see how close God really is to them at that time, but as Luke writes in Luke 15:3-4, "Then Jesus told them this parable, suppose one of you has a hundred cheap and loses one of them, doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost cheap until he finds it?" God certainly does, and we are so thankful for that.
Now, on today's classic edition of Family Talk, we're going to hear part two of Dr. Dobson's conversation with Anne Edward, formerly known as Anne Paulk. Anne is an author, a speaker, and an advocate for men and women struggling with unwanted same sex attraction. Anne is also the executive director of the Restored Hope Network. Restored Hope works to counsel and provide resources to help those who suffer from sexual confusion. Anne's story is powerful, especially how God redeemed her life and brought her peace. Sharing more about today's program now is Dr. James Dobson.
Dr. James Dobson: In the program we aired yesterday, Anne expressed her concern about the infiltration of LGBT ideology into the Christian Church, and then she shared her own personal journey, which is very powerful, so much so that I want you to hear that story for those who were not listening yesterday. We're going to roll back the recording just a little bit and then we will pick up my interview with Anne in a moment.
Anne Edward: 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. James Dobson: You walked away from Him then?
Anne Edward: 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 underage. 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.
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 confided in my Jewish jogging partner, Jodi. I said, "Jody, I had a couple dreams that here's this person I didn't want in the dream. Jesus showed up with the beard and the long hair and the robe." 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, and I said to her, "What do I do about this?" She laughed and shrugged her head and said, "I don't know."
Dr. James Dobson: He didn't talk to you?
Anne Edward: 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 bathwater."
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. And then I was at 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 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 just, I'm not interested in that. I don't want that to happen." And wouldn't you know it, within two weeks, God starts answering all of these lists that I'd promptly forgotten.
Dr. James Dobson: Anne, He wanted you.
Anne Edward: He did. He did. And I'm 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 praises God, He sought me out.
Dr. James Dobson: And you began living a straight life?
Anne Edward: 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 new, young believer or someone who was asking about Christianity would ask.
Dr. James Dobson: How dramatic was your conversion to Him?
Anne Edward: It was pretty crazy. The final night of that meeting, I was pretending to pray, just trying to fit in. And God revealed that He was there, that He was present in the room and that He was.
Dr. James Dobson: Did you cry?
Anne Edward: I did. And I was overwhelmed by this person who was in the room but not in me. And 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 me 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.
Dr. James Dobson: Was that an absolute turning point in your life?
Anne Edward: Oh my goodness. Was it? Yes it was.
Dr. James Dobson: It's before and after.
Anne Edward: 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 and eventually God wanted me to grow in my relationship as a woman of God and things like that. And I began to struggle with life about six months after becoming a Christian. And it was not to cause me to stumble, but rather for me to grow as a believer, for me to grow into the woman of God He intended.
And so that process began about six months into it. And I'm so grateful for that, that he didn't leave me as a baby Christian. He wanted me to grow up and that made me the woman I am today, able to raise kids. I have three sons whom I absolutely adore, but that was almost robbed of me. That future and hope was almost stolen away.
Dr. James Dobson: You're tender about it today, aren't you?
Anne Edward: I am. Yes, I am.
Dr. James Dobson: The Scripture tells us that all of Heaven rejoices when one comes home.
Anne Edward: That's right.
Dr. James Dobson: And there was rejoicing when you gave your heart to Him.
Anne Edward: Yes, indeed. And I am addicted to seeing that happen in other people's lives. And so I cannot step down from that place. I want to hold the door open for men and women who will follow that. And it's not my example only, there's so many others that went ahead of me. Frank Worthen and so many, Sy Rogers, Joe Dallas, you name it. A whole lot of people who stepped through that door of faith and led the way.
Well, I'm just another person along that chain. But last summer at our conference, I sensed that during the prayer response time on the Friday night that we offer everyone, do you want to respond? Do you want to surrender to Jesus? Are you wanting a breakthrough in your walk with Him? I sense that the people that went forward were going to have a new future and a new hope than they'd ever experienced before. That new generations would come out of the people they stepped forward and got prayed over. And I'm so grateful. It's something that's, I'm having a hard time not crying about it.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
Anne Edward: Because there's new life.
Dr. James Dobson: What a testimony.
Anne Edward: There's new life.
Dr. James Dobson: What a testimony. You had been in that other lifestyle and the Lord just wanted you out of it.
Anne Edward: Yes.
Dr. James Dobson: And you were receptive to Him.
Anne Edward: That's right.
Dr. James Dobson: And what you're doing now is trying to spread that good news onto others, isn't it?
Anne Edward: Yes sir. That's exactly it.
Dr. James Dobson: Tell people how they can reach you.
Anne Edward: They can reach us on the web at restoredhopenetwork.org. And our email is firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
Dr. James Dobson: Anne, we've talked about people who have accommodated the culture and have taken the Scripture and either ignored it or contradicted it, not lived according to the principles therein. Let's talk about those who have done things right. They're an awful lot of people out there that are living in a sinful world. They're surrounded by evil. We all are. It's everywhere. And compromisers are not difficult to find, but they're those who are standing firm. They haven't moved an inch. And I know the Lord sees that. He sees it in you, Anne, and what you've done with your life. What do you want to say to those who have refused to be warped by the culture around?
Anne Edward: I am so grateful to the men and women who stand firm, particularly the pastors who are faithful to Scripture and who actually take their charge from the Lord to guard the flock and to discern the times and to speak the truth no matter what.
Dr. James Dobson: You know better than most, they'll pay a price for that.
Anne Edward: Yes, many will pay a price, but-
Dr. James Dobson: You have, haven't you?
Anne Edward: Yes. But I'll tell you what, I would rather pay a price here than be rebuked by the Lord Himself. And each one of us has to walk in integrity before Him. We want to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant." And part of that is retaining biblical fidelity in the middle of cultural challenges regardless of the prices paid.
Dr. James Dobson: You have written that there are four fundamental views of homosexuality today, and I think you ought to explain them because you can tell quite easily which category your church falls into. Describe them for us.
Anne Edward: Well, there is the pro-gay view, which is believing that God made a person gay and therefore allows them to act upon it. So they are pro-acting homosexually, they're pro homosexual identity, behavioral feelings.
Dr. James Dobson: And the pastor is not calling to repentance and-
Anne Edward: The pastor doesn't have any problem with a homosexual acting out. In fact, they include actively gay partnered individuals in the membership or leadership of the church. And so that is a problem. That usually, in the past was the Metropolitan Community Church, which was known to be a gay church. That viewpoint is making its way into different churches these days. One vineyard up in, embraced that philosophy in the East Coast, I won't mention what city, that they dealt with the pastorate there. But a Southern Baptist church embraced homosexuality down in Southern California when the pastor's son came out as gay. The Southern Baptist movement then handled that church as well. There are reformed RCA groups that have gone towards this particular view. It's a struggle in an entire denomination as a result.
Dr. James Dobson: Okay. What's the next category?
Anne Edward: The next category is probably the most profoundly influencing of the church today. Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic. It's the gay identity viewpoint and it's a belief that a person is born gay and perhaps even God made them to be gay. And that homosexual desires have some positive about them, that they provide some degree of appreciation of other members of the same sex, which is a morphing misbelief actually.
Dr. James Dobson: Kind of a stretch.
Anne Edward: It's a bit of a stretch, but that God doesn't bless them acting on those feelings. So, it's almost as if you took the example of the Garden of Eden and you said, God prohibited us eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. And this group of people would say, "Well, you're determined to have to walk around that tree for the rest of your life, the one that's been prohibited. And if you smell it, if you put it up to your eye, if you hold it, if you put it in your pocket, it's all fine. Just don't bite it. And if you bite it just spit it out."
It's like, what? When He's calling us to so much more. He is calling us to the Tree of Life, which is Himself. Jesus is the Tree of Life and He's calling us into relationship and not to circle what's been prohibited, but rather to move into fullness of life in Jesus.
And so I find that to be deeply lacking and it makes God out to be some really mean person that he made you to struggle with that and He prohibits you from acting on it. It just doesn't gel. It doesn't fit together. That's not who God is.
The third column would be renounce, that you are to renounce the old identity and embrace your new identity in Christ, which I agree with wholeheartedly. But unfortunately, they don't generally believe that people can actually have any resolution to their feelings. That there's no way out per se. You're stuck with those feelings. You didn't ask for them. They're the result of the fall, which is true. All sin is the result of the fall of man, but there is also hope for actually becoming the new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5 talks about that. We regard all as new creatures in Christ. The old has gone and the new has come.
And so these folks miss out on that aspect of Scripture. In essence, they're encouraging people to perpetually struggle with homosexuality and there's no real help or resolve from it. And I have found that that's not true. I've found that transformation is possible, that God is not only in the business of caring about how we act, but who we are and how we feel, and all of it is called to line up with what He says.
I never would've guessed that I would've had attraction to someone of the opposite sex. I never thought that was even a possibility for me. But God had other plans and out of that came my sons and my future life, potential to grandchildren than I never would've guessed. But I'll tell you what, transformation is a process, process. Did I say that? Yes. Process. It is not an overnight thing. Yes, there are certain things about life that change instantly. Some people are delivered from certain things instantly, but there's often a process of growing into the man or woman of God that he intends. And that process is a lifetime and it's beautiful and it has hills and valleys and God can walk a person through all of that and more.
So, I believe in the fourth column, which is transformation, that God is in the business of transforming lives.
Dr. James Dobson: And we hear a lot today about conversion therapy and that is a subject of great angst within the homosexual community. In fact, that is their term, isn't it?
Anne Edward: It is.
Dr. James Dobson: Explain what it is and then react to it.
Anne Edward: It is an ideological term that's meant to vilify or demonize individuals who believe that life transformation is possible. And what they do is it's a kitchen sink term. It's something that they created in order to throw in every wicked thing like aversion therapy or physical abuse, coercion, harassment, shock therapy has even been stated, or ice baths or something like that.
Honestly, these wild accusations are thrown into this kitchen sink of bad ideas. Not one of us, I can't find anyone who practices this so-called conversion therapy, but within that kitchen sink, they also throw in talk therapy and spiritual care and praying for someone. And they made that term in order to vilify-
Dr. James Dobson: All of them.
Anne Edward: All of us, anybody who hopes that a person's life can be different. In fact, Scripture itself talks about that.
Dr. James Dobson: There are many states that actually outlaw that kind of counseling. Can you imagine that? Let's suppose you've got a 15-year old who's struggling and you can't go to a believer, a counselor who knows the Word and counsels according to it, and he becomes unable to do this work.
Anne Edward: It's all based upon the false premise that these things are occurring, which we can't seem to find real evidence of, number one. Number two, the counseling profession itself has ethical demands placed upon it. If a person was doing electroshock or ice baths or coercion or shaming or any of those things that are commonly being accused, they can actually be referred to an ethics panel within the counseling profession. And that's in all the different states. They already have ethics that are high and standards that stand, none of those things occur. We cannot find out where they actually do.
Dr. James Dobson: And what would you recommend for parents or even individuals, adults who need proper psychological counseling from a Christian perspective, but it's illegal in their state? Where do they go to get this help?
Anne Edward: Well, that's a very good question. First of all, I believe Alliance Defending Freedom is willing to defend counselors who hold to biblical truths because number one, the client is in charge of self-determination. They set the goal for the counseling. And if you're prohibiting a client from having that, then you're actually stepping on the entire counseling profession. A person can have their own goals. That's ridiculous.
And then secondarily, freedom of speech within the professional context has been protected by the US Supreme Court, and so that potentially could be a win for the entire country.
Dr. James Dobson: I would think religious liberty would be an issue too. You're telling people how to worship.
Anne Edward: That's right. You're telling people what their goals are allowed to be, how they're allowed to obey Him or not obey Him, and what support they can get doing that. And so religious freedoms, freedoms of speech, even in the professional context, all of those are coming into question and are heading all the way up to the US Supreme Court to be decided. There is strong anti-religious animus in this country now in certain places of government in the state in which we currently sit, Dr. Dobson.
Dr. James Dobson: In Colorado, I'm afraid there is.
Anne Edward: Yes. And that has been referred back to the states, Washington state to decide a case differently for Baronelle Stutzman, for example, and Jack Phillips, the cake baker. It is not okay to use the power of the state against religious believers. That is the founding of this government. It is the purpose of the government is not to impede religion. We are not to have a state religion, mind you, that was the whole point of the First Amendment. But they're not to impede the rights of believers in following their religious belief.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, Anne, these are extremely important questions. I wish we had more time to talk about them because there are many dimensions to it. Our time is about gone. We must not stop without your offering some advice to parents who are confronted with it at home. Out of nowhere, perhaps a son or daughter will come in and say, "Mom and dad, I'm gay, or I'm lesbian." Or maybe they just have questions they're asking or they are being influenced by their peers or by the culture, by a teacher or others. What advice do you have for parents in a moment like that?
Anne Edward: We often get calls from parents, emails and all the rest, and they're just devastated by their teenager or older adult who's being pushed towards LGBTQ identity when they're simply questioning their sexuality and their identity.
I think questions are not harmful unless they're pushed in the wrong direction. And so when people look for what the answer to their life contains, they ought to crack open the book of Scripture, the Bible, and take a look at what God says about you. That's what matters the most.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, Anne, now our time is gone. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your being here on these two days. They've been chocked full of important information and I hope you'll come back and be with us again.
Anne Edward: Dr. Dobson, I am so grateful to know you. I am thrilled that you are the courageous man that you are. So many of us are so grateful around the country and the world actually, and I just want to say thank you so much for having the courage to address really difficult topics. I'm so grateful for both you and your wife Shirley, and please give her my love.
Dr. James Dobson: That's mutual.
Roger Marsh: Well, what a powerful story of God's redeeming grace. Thanks for listening to Family Talk today as you heard the conclusion of a conversation between our own Dr. James Dobson and Anne Edward. Now, if you missed any part of the interview from today or yesterday, or perhaps you'd like to share this program with someone who would benefit from hearing it, please visit our website at drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. That's drjamesdobson/familytalk.
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Again, you can sign up for the 10 Day Marriage Challenge when you go to drjamesdobson.org. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for listening today, and may God's richest blessings continue to be showered upon you and your family. Join us again next time for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
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