Homosexuality and the 21st Century Church - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome everyone to Family Talk, it's a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Welcome to Family Talk, I'm Roger Marsh and in our world we are hearing all too often of bad things being called good and good things being called bad. In Isaiah 5:20, we read, "Woe, to those who call evil good and good evil. Who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." More and more confusing ideology is being pushed upon our children as to what gender they are and who they can and should love. Remember when Jesus came he led by example and showed us all how to love our neighbors. In Ephesians 4:25, we read these words from the Apostle Paul. "Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor for we are all members of one body." Now, today's guest here on Family Talk is Anne Edward. You may know Anne under her former last name of Paulk. She's an author, speaker and spokeswoman, as well as an advocate for men and women struggling with unwanted same sex attraction and is the executive director of the Restored Hope Network.

Restored Hope works to counsel and provide resources to those who suffer from sexual confusion. Dr. James Dobson has always spoken out to protect the sanctity of the family as well as the individual. Well, today he will discuss with Anne Edward the biblical truth about homosexuality. Let's join them right now right here on Family Talk.

Dr. James Dobson: Today we're going to talk about a very delicate and controversial subject. It deals with the intrusion of the LGBTQ agenda in the 21st century church. 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. 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 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. Anne has appeared on numerous television shows. In fact, I was just preparing for this broadcasting 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, and has been profiled by People Magazine, it 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 Edward: I have no idea. I just went with opportunity that came up. I'm actually generally afraid of those things.

Dr. James 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 Edward: No, I actually don't know of any other topic that has more hostility than LGBTQ issues. Most people and 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 result of giving way.

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

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

Dr. James Dobson: Go back to my comment about the church changing, is that just a perception or do you believe it is occurring?

Anne Edward: 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 believe 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. James Dobson: There are those out there, not everybody is monolithic in this regard.

Anne Edward: 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, it makes a way for sinners to turn to him out of sin.

Dr. James Dobson: You agree with what I said about the Scripture? It does not change, it says what it means. Truth is truth.

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

Dr. James Dobson 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 the spirit of our God." How can you not catch the meaning there? 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, impurity or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people." I got two more. Romans 1:18 to 32, "God gave them over to shameful lust. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the 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." Finally, 1 Timothy 1:8 to 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 lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious. For those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine."

Now, I hasten to say that I understand that some people don't like what's written on this topic in the Old Testament and 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 and 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 Edward: Exactly, and I came out of the homosexual life.

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

Anne Edward: So yeah, so I have 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. James Dobson: It's liberating, isn't it?

Anne Edward: 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 seated, 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. James 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 Edward: Yes, and I happily am 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.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Anne Edward: 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. 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. James 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've 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 Edward: Well, there's a new movement-

Dr. James Dobson: You understand what I'm…

Anne Edward: I do, polyamory is the term.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes, that is the term.

Anne Edward: 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 a 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. 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.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Anne Edward: 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. James Dobson: Yeah. It has not been established scientifically at all that homosexuality or the lesbian lifestyle are inborn.

Anne Edward: Right. Homosexuality's been stated repeatedly as you mentioned that people are born gay. It's been stated repeatedly over what, 30, 35 years, something like that and when it's something 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, it 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 regulates sexuality altogether because it just is challenging.

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

Anne Edward: That's correct.

Dr. James Dobson: And it's not true.

Anne Edward: Right.

Dr. James Dobson: I mean it is about 50%, but that's still a long way from it being absolutely mandated by genetics.

Anne Edward: 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. 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. James Dobson: Well, Anne said we were 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 Edward: 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. James Dobson: You walked away from Him, didn't you?

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 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 Jody, 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." 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 that 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 did I just say? What do you mean my God? I thought I'd thrown all that baby out with the bathwater. So I was confused about my own response and I thought Jesus is showing up in my dreams, I'm defensive of Him. 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. 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. What you know, 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, 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 praise 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 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. 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 sinners 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, 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 11:00 at night on a school night, I had doubled over laughing going the pastor was right. Everything is true, I'm a believer, I belong to Jesus now. So I went over and I told her all about Jesus.

Dr. James Dobson: Was she receptive?

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

Dr. James Dobson: How old were you?

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

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: This is 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.

Dr. James 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 a kind of a precipitous end to our broadcast today. But be with us tomorrow and we're going to pick up right here with your story.

Anne Edward: Thank you so much Dr. Dobson, what a pleasure to be with you.

Roger Marsh: Well, that was the conclusion of part one of Dr. Dobson's interview with Anne Edward right here on Family Talk. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for part two of this powerful interview. Now, spring is almost here and that means the celebration of Easter or Resurrection Sunday is just around the corner. Consider a new tradition this year that shares God's Word with neighbors by giving them a Life Basket. If you are not familiar with what a life basket is, it's a way to bless one of your neighbors with a wonderful basket of gifts that introduces them to Jesus Christ and invites them to enjoy the loving Christian community at your church on Easter. Life baskets are a fun activity that you can do with the entire family. Now, if you have any questions or if you'd like more information about life baskets just give us a call. 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825, or for more information online go to lifebaskets.org. That's lifebaskets.org. I'm Roger Marsh and you've been listening to Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love.

Thanks for listening today, and be sure to join us again next time right here for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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