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

Roger Marsh: Thank you so much for joining us today here on Monday, December the 30th. We hope you had a blessed Christmas and as 2019 comes to an end, want to ask you to please consider supporting our ministry here with a financial contribution. Doctor Dobson is fervently dedicated to supporting the institution of the family. Your contributions will help us continue providing you with relevant programs and resources. And right now every donation you make will be doubled thanks to a special matching grant that we have in place. Now the match ends tomorrow, so don't miss out on this opportunity. Learn how you can help Family Talk financially by visiting DoctorJamesDobson.org. That's DoctorJamesDobson.org. Or by calling (877) 732-6825.

Roger Marsh: Now, as many of you know, throughout the month of December here, we've been highlighting our most listened to programs for 2019. Today we will revisit another popular broadcast from the previous year. So sit back and enjoy this special edition of Family Talk.

Announcer: Today on Family Talk.

James 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. 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.

James 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 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 sexual identity and behavior that is condemned in scripture.

James Dobson: With that, let's get to our topic. I'm joined in studio today by my dear friend Ann 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. Ann 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. Ann has appeared on numerous television shows.

James Dobson: 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 and has been profiled by People Magazine. It goes on and on. She's got the quite a history of going into the den of lions. Ann, where do you get the courage to do that?

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

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?

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

James Dobson: How did Oprah treat you?

Ann 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 we did have a fair time.

James Dobson: How long ago was that?

Ann Paulk: It was 1992.

James Dobson: Well, it's enough to know that the world has changed dramatically since then.

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

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

Ann 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 on a certain topic over and over again, you end up having the result of giving way. If you repeat a lie often enough, it is simply believed, regardless of lack of evidence.

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

Ann 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 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.

James Dobson: And there are those out there. Not everybody is monolithic in this regard.

Ann 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 from the truth that Jesus redeems lives, it makes a way for sinners to turn to him out of sin.

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

Ann Paulk: Yes indeed. I absolutely do, Doctor Dobson.

James 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. First 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?

James Dobson: First 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."

James 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 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." 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 law breakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and their religious. 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."

James 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 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 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. And you're not an angry and condemning woman. Your ministry is built on compassion and kindness, isn't it?

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

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

Ann Paulk: So 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-

James Dobson: It's liberating, isn't it?

Ann 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 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.

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.

Ann Paulk: 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. 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.

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 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?

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

James Dobson: You understand?

Ann Paulk: I do. Polyamory is the term.

James Dobson: Yes, that is the term.

Ann 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 his 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.

Ann Paulk: 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.

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

Ann Paulk: Right. Homosexuality has been stated repeatedly over what? 30, 35 years, something like that, that people are born gay. And 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.

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

Ann Paulk: That's correct, Doctor Dobson.

James 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.

Ann Paulk: Exactly. So the twin studies have been very broad. They've been 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. Actually proves the opposite point that it's not genetically determined. So, well-stated.

James Dobson: Well, Ann, I 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. I tell us about what happened to you. Did it start with an experience early in life? Tell us about it.

Ann 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 had 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.

James Dobson: You walked away from him, didn't you?

Ann 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.

Ann 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, Jody. I said, "Jody, I had a couple of 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." You know?

Ann Paulk: 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 on my dreams. I'm defensive of him." 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.

Ann Paulk: 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 it, within two weeks, God starts answering all of these lists that I'd promptly forgotten.

James Dobson: And he wanted you.

Ann Paulk: He did. He did. And I'm so grateful. You know, he made me. He made every single human being on the face of the earth. And he longs for us. He pursues us, he seeks us out. And praise God, he sought me out.

James Dobson: And you begin living a straight life?

Ann 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 new, a young believer or someone who was asking about Christianity would ask.

James Dobson: How dramatic was your conversion to him?

Ann 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 she was-

James Dobson: Did you cry?

Ann Paulk: 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. You know, 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."

Ann Paulk: 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, "Ann, 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 belong to Jesus now." So I went over and I told her all about Jesus.

James Dobson: Did you really? Was she receptive?

Ann Paulk: And she said, "You can go now." She said, "No. Okay. All right, see ya. Go on."

James Dobson: How old were you?

Ann Paulk: I was a sophomore at the university. So I was 18, 19 years old.

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

Ann Paulk: Oh my goodness, was it. Yes, it was.

James Dobson: It's before and after.

Ann 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.

James Dobson: And 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.

Ann Paulk: Thank you so much, Doctor Dobson. What a pleasure to be with you.

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