Friday, March 28, 2014

Charismaticism

Roughly 1/3 of professing Christians around the world associate themselves with the Charismatic Movement (Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, etc.). Sadly, many of these individuals are greatly deceived into believing lies. These people are very emotional and allow their emotions to govern them and interpret Scripture for them, which is a very dangerous place to find oneself. Many of these individuals attempt to defend the ungodly activity that takes place within their churches and attempt to attach the name of Christ to it, attributing this nonsense to the Holy Spirit. What we have is a lack of discernment on the part of these individuals. I have no doubt that a few of them are genuine Christians, but unfortunately the majority of them are not.

Demon Possession
Individuals belonging to the Charismatic Movement will argue with you about this. Their argument will resemble something like, "Obviously you've never spent much time in other countries, because casting out of demons happens a lot. But demon possession happens in America, too." Yes, demon possession is a real thing. However, it is impossible for a Christian to be possessed by a demon, let alone multiple demons (as many Charismatic churches erroneously practice and teach). Open your Bible and provide me a single example of a Christian being possessed by a demon.
These churches also falsely teach and encourage people to "bind" these various demons, as if you somehow have control over them. Look what happened to Eve when she tried to stand toe-to-toe with Satan and match wits with him. Satan is wiser and stronger than you are. Michael the archangel, who is also wiser and stronger than you are, answered Satan, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 9). The Bible tells us to "Resist the devil" (James 4:7b)—not to try and go toe-to-toe with him... because you will lose! You need that verse in its entire context: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." The second part of that verse only occurs when you are in entire submission to God.
The Bible nowhere commands you to contend with Satan or to "bind" him. If you are going to attempt to refer to Matthew 16:19 for your proof-text concerning "binding," I suggest you compare Scripture with Scripture by reading Matthew 18:15-20 and John 20:22-23. This is what the binding has to do with. This is just one of the examples of the Charismatic Movement's erroneous and egregious interpretations of Scripture.

Miraculous Healings
Individuals belonging to the Charismatic Movement will argue with you about this, too. Their argument will resemble something like, "I have seen them happen inside my own church. I can even provide video tapes of these healings." Is it not amazing how most of these so-called "healings" that happen in Charismatic churches tend to involve unverifiable things like "carpal tunnel" or "back pain"? When was the last time someone had a rod in their spine and you laid hands on them and the doctors verified that the rod they put in has since been replaced by a real spine and the scars from their surgery are gone? When was the last time someone was visibly missing a limb and you laid hands on them and the doctors (and everybody who knew this person) verified they now have all their limbs? When was the last time someone had a severe mental disorder (even to the point of being unable to communicate or even fully acknowledge your presence) and you laid hands on them and they were fully restored to the kind of mental health you and I enjoy?
If you want people to believe your claims, then provide verifiable evidence thereof. Jesus, when He performed His ministry, did not hide inside a building and claim He was doing miraculous healings. He was out in the world performing them so everybody could see. He did not put on a show to scam people and get money for Himself. You claim you have the gift of healing? Then walk into a hospital or psychiatric ward and start healing and casting out the demons that affect these poor, sick, and needy people. You cannot? Dispute settled! You are a charlatan and a fraud.
Study the difference between "signs and wonders" and "charismata" in the Bible. Charismata healings are generally (though not exclusively) and primarily spiritual, emotional, or psychological in nature. Miraculous healing is to be sought by prayer (James 5) and emotional, spiritual, and psychological healing (1 Cor. 12:9) is to be sought from an individual who is gifted in that particular area (e.g., a counselor). “Signs and wonders” healing is limited to God’s special authentication of a messenger with his message and is extremely rare, even in Scripture.

Tongues
Individuals belonging to the Charismatic Movement will argue with you about this, as well. Their argument will resemble something like, "I've spoken in tongues on many occasions, therefore it is true. Tongues is the initial sign that one is a Christian." Funny, I am not aware of a single verse that informs me that my experiences dictate and determine what is true or not. In fact, Scripture would seem to warn against it.
According to what we find in the book of Acts, the tongues that occurred there were natural human languages. No doubt the apostles thought they were speaking in their own language, but Scripture informs us that they "began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit was giving them ability to speak out" (Acts 2:4). Three times we are informed they were natural human languages, as can be seen from (1) "each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language" (Acts 2:6); (2) "how is it that we each hear them in our own language in which we were born?" (Acts 2:8); and (3) "we hear them in our own languages" (Acts 2:11).
According to what we see in 1 Corinthians, tongues does not edify the church, but only serves to edify the individual (1 Cor. 14:4). The Corinthian church, just like the Charismatic Movement, is seeking the showy gift, so they may pretend they are more spiritual than they really are. They would do well to pay close attention to Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 14:6-10. A language that is unintelligible to the hearer has no benefits! Hence why tongues has no place inside the church. "Tongues are a sign, not to those who believe [the church] but to unbelievers" (1 Cor. 14:22), because "Jews require a sign" (1 Cor. 1:22). Paul made it clear that if we are zealous for spiritual gifts, we should "seek to abound for the edification of the church" (1 Cor. 14:12). Something tongues does not do (1 Cor. 14:4).
Those inside the Charismatic Movement are guilty of ignoring context. In 1 Corinthians 13:1, Paul said, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels..." Charismatics read it as "I speak with the tongues of men and angels," and stop there. The key word here is IF. He is making an argument. IF I can speak every known language, and IF I possess all the spiritual gifts, and IF I do many good works, but I do not have love, then it all profits me absolutely nothing! In 1 Corinthians 14:18, Paul says, "I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all." The Charismatics fail to realize and understand that Paul could speak in four languages fluently, and thus this statement explains itself.
The fact the Charismatic Movement has people who travel around to various churches in order to teach others how to "speak in tongues" demonstrates powerfully that this is not from God. Something that is a gift from God happens on its own without teaching and without enticement or coaxing. Those of you who claim you have this gift and have spoken in tongues, what purpose did it serve? Whose language were you speaking in and to whom were you witnessing the Gospel? The apostles, while speaking in other languages, thought they were speaking in their own language. The understood exactly what they were saying. What were you saying? Unless it is something that occurred in private and was the utterance of your soul to God (1 Cor. 14:2), then all you did was babble and it was not the biblical gift of tongues nor did it come from God. If you claim to have spoken in tongues, what was the purpose thereof. God does not give gifts without a specific purpose in mind for their use.
One Cuban woman who came to the USA in 1959 and was saved in 1972 said, "The next morning as I knelt to pray, I asked the Lord to give me the gift of tongues if He wanted. To my surprise, I started to speak in so many different languages it took by breath away." Okay, and which languages did you start speaking in? What was the purpose in you receiving this gift? To whom were you speaking that they understood these "many different languages"? Unless you have a reason for asking, such as being able to communicate the Gospel to a tribe whose language is unknown, there is no sense in praying for the gift of tongues. It will serve you absolutely no purpose.

Other Foolishness
Individuals belonging to the Charismatic Movement will argue with you that there are many godly individuals doing many wonderful things in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yeah..., and I suppose you think "snorting Bible lines" (where you hold the Bible up and snort your nose across it as if you were doing cocaine), "toking the cross" (putting a cross in your mouth and pretending your toking on a joint), playing "spin the Bible" (where you open the Bible after spinning it, point to a random verse and then try to "claim" it—entirely out of context—for yourself),  acting like you are "high on the Spirit" (staring off into nowhere and forcing drool out your mouth and down your chin), and one hundred other foolish nonsense like this, is somehow attributed to the Holy Spirit? These kinds of things are demonic and illustrate the fact that these individuals do not know the Holy Spirit in the least.
Open your Bible and provide a single verse reference to this nonsense known as being "slain in the Spirit." Show me one instance of someone in the Bible shivering, shaking, quaking, and writhing on the ground in receipt of the Holy Spirit. No? I can demonstrate hundreds of cases where demon possession demonstrates these exact characteristics, including Voodoo.
Furthermore, gold dust appearing on people, or gems appearing in people's hands, or gold fillings appearing in people's mouths are not evidence of the Holy Spirit being there. Try reading your Bible seeing the things the Spirit is responsible for and the kinds of things He will see to when He is present. None of it has anything to do with this kind of superstitious nonsense.  Show me where any of this kind of thing happened in Scripture. Show me where any prophet or apostle of God had to beg for money from you and lie to you, telling you that if you give $100 or $1000 that God will return it to you ten-fold or one hundred-fold. When people were in need of healing, or in need of money, the prophets did not scam them for money, they provided what that individual needed. When you write these Charismatic frauds and share your struggles and poverty with them, if they were genuine men sent from God, they would not write you back repeatedly begging for you to give them money (when you clearly have none); they would provide a miracle and give you the money you need.
How many people have been duped into giving these charlatans every penny they have and yet they have never received answer to any of their prayers. They are in a worse financial state than when they began, and yet they still believe these frauds are men of God. If you reached out and touched your TV screen, you clearly had enough faith, otherwise you would not have done it. Remember, faith as small as a mustard seed. The fact you were not healed (or whatever else was promised) is evidence enough this Charismatic preacher is a liar!

John MacArthur does an excellent job exposing the false and demonic components of the Charismatic Movement; however, in trying to answer the fraudulent things these people attribute to the Holy Spirit, he errs by putting God in a box and denying that God could do such things if He so desired. In answering the Charismatic errors on one end of the pendulum, MacArthur swings to the other side of the pendulum in error. The balance is in the middle.
The fact is, there are genuine cases of these sorts of things happening (according to what we see in Scripture), but they are rare! The fact that counterfeit stuff exists is evidence that the genuine must exist, otherwise why attempt to counterfeit it? If America did away with paper bills, why would anyone counterfeit them any more seeing as how everyone would recognize them as being fake? Regardless of whether it was crooks (cults) or banks (Christians) doing the counterfeiting.
The biggest problem with the Charismatic Movement is their failure to examine the context of the random, isolated verses they quote in attempt to back their false teachings. I have no doubt there are some genuine Christians stuck inside this movement, but the majority of them do not know Christ, nor does He know them. The other problem is that the members are open to hypnotic suggestion, which has been testified to and documented on a number of cases, including by those who once used to stand in those pulpits and proclaim those lies.
Years ago I decided to have a bit of fun, so I wrote Peter Popoff (better known as Peter Ripoff), one of the Charismatic Movement's greatest frauds. Every letter I received back over the course of the next year included a new form of superstition that I was supposed to enact upon while also sending him money. The verses he quoted were entirely ripped out of their immediate context and applied in order to claim that I would become rich if I sowed my "seed gifts." After receiving several of his letters, I sent him a letter back correcting him on his eisegetical misuse of Scripture and demonstrated what Scripture actually taught on the matter. I quoted to him several cases from Scripture where people came to the prophets/apostles and their prayers were answered without paying "seed gifts" that are supposedly meant to get God to move on your behalf. Funny, last time I checked Scripture never taught any such things. I never received a single letter from him ever again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Church Discipline

It simply amazes me with the height of ignorance possessed by many professing "Christians." Trying to act "holier than thou," putting on an air of spirituality (something they otherwise are not concerned with except when talking to other Christians), they commit the great sin of tolerance in the name of "grace" and "love."

For example, consider my previous blog entry of Darren Wiebe's Open Letter to Mark Driscoll. After having read the eye-witness account of someone who was there, and seeing the video clip(s), how can any honest Christian sit back and say, "I can't say one way or another who was wrong in this situation"? To say, "I can't judge the situation," is to be entirely dishonest with yourself and proclaim your ignorance of not only the situation, but also of Scripture. God has given you everything you need with which to accurately judge it, so do not misquote and misrepresent Jesus by twisting His words: "Judge not..." Do yourself a favour and read this blog entry: Judge Not....

People who respond this way are weak-willed spineless cowards. They feign "love" and "grace" in an attempt to look more spiritual than they actually are, without understanding a single thing about love and grace. They argue that we should never discipline someone who is called a brother/sister publicly, but that we should always go to them privately to confront them and resolve the issue. Excuse me, Mr. Jellyfish Christian (if indeed you are a Christian), but I suggest you blow that dust off of your Bible, open it up, and read it for once in your entire life. Jesus confronted the Pharisees publicly on many occasions. Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphira publicly concerning their lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11). Paul confronted Peter publicly concerning his hypocrisy "in the presence of all" who were present (Gal. 2:11-14). And you somehow find it "offensive" to follow their example? Discipline must be as public as the sin! Mark Driscoll's sin was entirely public, messaging half a million people or more and speaking lies. Therefore, the privacy option is off the table.

These wish-washy individuals try to argue that they do not know what Mark Driscoll's motives actually were. Really?!? So he always just happens to have a reporter and a photographer with him? He just happened to show up as the first segment of the conference came to a close and people were exiting? Grow up and get a clue! You so-called "Christians" are an embarrassment to the name of Christ.

The ironic thing here is that at the same time all this took place, Driscoll was enrolled to speak at a conference called Act Like Men.

Here is a bit of wisdom for you jellyfish "Christians" out there: tolerating someone's sin(s) is neither "loving" nor "graceful." It is spineless and cowardly because you have no back-bone to confront them about it and are afraid of what they might think of you for doing so. And you pretend to be a "loving" Christian? I suggest you study the subject "love" throughout the entire Bible, because you are under some extremely misguided information concerning what it means to love. You might do yourself a favour and read what the book of Proverbs has to say about wisdom and the wise in contrast to complete and utter fools.

1 Corinthians 5:1-13 illustrates precisely how seriously we ought to be taking sin—especially sins of a public nature, as was the case in this passage. Paul's instructions demonstrate that the discipline must be as public as the sin itself. The Corinthians thought they were being "holy" and "loving" (as many professing "Christians" do today) because they overlooked, and said nothing of, this man's sin; but Paul condemned their behaviour as condoning the man's sin and making excuse for it. Paul said they had "become arrogant" (v.2) and were "boasting" (v.6) when they should have "mourned" (v.2) over this man's sin. His public sin was mocking Christ, Christianity and the church.

Many of these professing "Christians" cry out, "Matthew 18!!! Matthew 18!!!" Have you actually read Matthew 18? Matthew 18:15-20 is the full process of church discipline, while 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 is the final step. 1 Timothy 5:20 is in full accord with Matthew 18:17. The degree with which the sin is committed will determine the response required for it. Matthew 18:15-20 is the general response to sin we see in the lives of other believers. However, if their sin is so blatantly public, none of that applies. With regard to verses 18 and 19 of this passage, see this blog entry: The Keys of the Kingdom.

1 Timothy 5:20 informs us that "Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning." This passage carries with it the need for and weight of accountability. It causes "the rest" to either live more holy, God-honouring lives, or to learn how to hide their sin better (a demonstration of the fact they do not belong to Christ in the first place).

These sin-tolerating hypocrisy-filled "Christians" like to rip verses from their context in order to force them to agree with their emotional manipulation of the text. Apart from Matthew 18, they will almost always turn to Galatians 6:1 and 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15, as if they somehow teach something contrary and contradictory to the whole of what Scripture has to say concerning church discipline. They know how to quote the verses regarding restoration, but they deliberately and purposefully ignore and reject the verses regarding actual discipline. They have bought into the lie that any and all forms of discipline are bad.

Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; etc., all demonstrate discipline in action. This kind of discipline will produce godly sorrow (see 2 Cor. 7:10-11) in the individual for his/her sin(s), which will result in the person's repentance and reconciliation: "[Correct] a wise man and he will love you" (Prov. 9:8b). If it produces something that drives them away from the Saviour's arms, they were likely never saved to begin with; their pride means more to them than their confession and repentance of their sin(s): "He who ignores [correction] goes astray" (Prov. 10:17b).

Many godly women have confessed their dismay at the fact there are far too many "girly" men inside the church today. Is this the kind of sniveling coward-of-a-man you want to be: "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go" (Judg. 4:8; Barak to Deborah)? The men ought to be out on the front lines, giving the women someone godly whom they can look up to and follow—not the other way around! Men should not be cowering behind women. Men are supposed to be leaders within the church and within their homes. When you see a brother/sister caught in sin, be a man and approach him/her about it. Looking the other way and saying nothing is not demonstrating Christian love for him/her, nor is it showing him/her grace. Contrary to what many seem to believe these days, you are your brother's keeper. We are not islands unto ourselves.

Church discipline is needful and necessary. If Christian A is attempting to discipline Christian B, do not wave your ignorance around and attempt to undermine Christian A. If Christian A's disciplinary methods are not being performed completely out of love, approach Christian A privately and help to correct these methods so that discipline can be administered properly. But if Christian A's methods are biblically sound and are calling Christian B out—in love—to be held accountable, then do not undermine Christian A's attempt to discipline Christian B. How would you like it if another parent undermined your parenting in front of your children and basically let your children off the hook? You are doing nobody any favours by interfering with needful disciplinary actions and accountability. Pretending to be "holier than thou" and putting on an air of spirituality while interfering with discipline and accountability makes you look like a complete and utter ignorant fool. Nobody needs your help to compound the issue and make excuses for Christian B's sins. If you are not going to help discipline Christian B and hold him/her accountable for the purposes of repentance, restoration and reconciliation, then keep your mouth shut! There is nothing worse than one fool—or a set of fools—providing excuse for another's sin(s) by committing the great sin of tolerance in the name of "grace" and "love."

ADDENDUM:
In our day and age, because of the many churches and denominations that exist in an area, if an individual is under church discipline, they will simply switch churches. Firstly, this is demonstrative of the fact that this individual has no godly sorrow over their sin and refuses to repent thereof, which is most likely an indication that this individual has never received salvation in the first place. Secondly, if an individual is under church discipline, it is the home church's duty and responsibility to inform the other churches in the area of this so that, if they are God-fearing, they may deny this individual entrance while under church discipline. The church that ignores this and brings him in is guilty of sin because they undermined the disciplinary process, providing acceptance for the individual's sin and allowing occasion to continue in that sin.

Yes, "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8; cf. James 5:20), but not by tolerating, overlooking, or ignoring those sins. That is a false "love" that does not demonstrate in the least the grace of our Lord Jesus. Look up every passage pertaining to church discipline. Notice how they do not provide excuse for those sins? Rather, they call them to be confronted and addressed. It is unloving to cover sin by tolerating, overlooking, or ignoring it in the false names of "grace" and "love." By doing so, not only are you committing sin of your own, but you are also taking part in the sin of others.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Born This Way 2

from Curt Kennedy's album Frustrated Christian

V1
Even as a kid I knew that I was different,
Don't know what it is, but I know what it isn't.
I was never one, to be the soft type,
When they would play with toys I would play with knives.
My momma always said, she was scared for me,
But I would say, "Momma, this is who I be.
I can't change that," and she would say, "I know," but society,
Would never let it go. So in grade school, I really tried to hide,
But the violent streak never stayed inside.
I would ask momma if she would pray for me,
Cuz the preacher said its not how I should be.
But I always knew, this is who I am,
That I was always violent so when I killed a man,
I told the judge, "Yeah, it's what I did,
Cuz I was born this way and knew it as a kid."

Hook
It's not really fair to say, that only they are born this way,
It's not really fair to do, when I was born this way too,
You can't claim that what they do is alright,
When I have felt this way my entire life.

V2
I thought it was a phase, when I was five,
They told me tell the truth but I loved to lie.
It felt more natural, to not tell the truth,
Even though they said, it's not what you should do.
And I understood what they was trying to say,
But I can't change, I was born this way.
I told my parents that, about when I was nine,
So we went to church, to try to change my mind.
For a while it did, but it was really hard,
To hear the Bible say, that if I worship God,
I have to stop lying, but I was like, "Why?
If God made me this way why even try?"
God loves me, if I don't tell the truth,
So saying I should change, is really just for you.
Some say the Bible is wrong about being gay,
So we got to re-examine everything it says, hey!

Hook
It's not really fair to say, that only they are born this way,
That's not really fair to do, when I was born this way too,
You can't claim that what they do is alright,
When I have felt this way my entire life.

V3
I always thought, I had enough love,
For more than one person, it came from above.
I love a few women, and they love me,
And we wanna marry, and have a family.
But society says that this is wrong,
That I can only marry one, I can't have them all.
And I don't think it's fair, cuz even in the Bible,
They had many wives, and God seemed fine
To let it happen, so why do you judge me,
And create laws, like polygamy.
Restricting me, from who I know I am,
Imposing your interpretation like I give a damn.
If I love them, and they love me,
And we ain't doing harm, why can't we marry?
Cuz it's against the law? Don't even bother me,
Cuz not too long ago so was sodomy.

Hook
It's not really fair to say, that only they are born this way,
That's not really fair to do, when I was born this way too,
You can't claim that what they do is alright,
When I have felt this way my entire life.

Spoken
Hear what I'm not saying, because this is the future.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Temptations: The Truth Behind Homosexuality

Temptations toward lying, stealing, rape, murder, homosexuality, pedophilia, etc., do not make you a liar, a thief, a rapist, a murderer, a homosexual, or a pedophile. These sorts of temptations come upon everyone to varying degrees; although every person is not going to experience the same temptations or even experience them to the same degree as others. Temptations press upon us every day. If I shared with you all the temptations I have had growing up, you would avoid me like the plague. But before you look down your nose at me and try to judge me based on information you do not know, understand that the same is also true for you—and you know it. If we were to broadcast every thought that has ever entered into your mind, you would go into hiding for the rest of your life.

I will give you one example: When I was an adolescent, while cutting up some vegetable or other, the strangest temptation entered my mind and told me to cut my wrists. My immediate thought was, Why would I want to hurt myself in this way? I dismissed the temptation and carried on with what I was doing. Why would such a temptation enter my mind? I have never had the desire to hurt myself, nor do I have such a desire now; and that temptation has never returned.

Many people are tempted with homosexual thoughts at varying times in life, but having such temptations—even strong temptations—does not make you homosexual nor does it mean you were born that way. To give in to those temptations and act upon them makes you homosexual, just as giving in to and acting upon the temptations to lie make you a liar and giving in to and acting upon the temptations to murder make you a murderer. Those who profess to be homosexual and/or bi-sexual, because of having these temptations—perhaps strongly and/or frequently—falsely conclude, Well, I have these desires, so therefore I must be gay/bi-sexual. If you have the temptation or the urge to have sex with an animal, and if that temptation or urge occurs frequently and/or strongly, it does not mean you were born with an orientation toward bestiality, nor does it mean you ought to go ahead and have sex with animals.

Temptations, no matter how frequent or how strong, do not determine what is true, right, moral, or natural. A child may have temptations to kill animals, and as he/she grows older those temptations may increase toward the point of killing a person. Yes, you were born in sin, but no, you were not born a murderer, let alone a homosexual. You became that when you committed the act, and you can become part of the "such were some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11) if you renounce and forsake that behaviour and repent and trust in the Lord. Temptations are not sin. When you entertain those temptations in your mind, or you act out upon those temptations physically, then you are guilty of sin because the intention of your heart is made known.

Do not equate temptations, urges, or desires with who you supposedly are!



Let's be honest... If you were raised in an isolated environment with other boys and girls, without receiving any knowledge one way or the other in regard to heterosexuality or homosexuality, the very first time in your life that you see a gay couple holding hands or kissing, something inside you would cringe and innately inform you that what you were seeing is unnatural and wrong; simply because it has been intrinsically imprinted upon your heart by the Maker. Conscience, logic, and common sense inform us that it is unnatural and wrong.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Does the Bible Forbid Homosexual Behaviour and Not Homosexuality?

William Lane Craig, a renowned apologist, had this to say:
[I]f the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

I’ve emphasized this point because it’s so foreign to what a lot of people in our society think today. Today so many people think of right and wrong, not as matters of fact, but as matters of taste. For example, there isn’t any objective fact that broccoli tastes good. It tastes good to some people, but tastes bad to others. It may taste bad to you, but it tastes good to me! People think it’s the same with moral values. Something may seem wrong to you, but right to me. There isn’t any real right or wrong. It’s just a matter of opinion.

Now if there is no God, then I think these people are absolutely correct. In the absence of God everything becomes relative. Right and wrong become relative to different cultures and societies. Without God who is to say that one culture’s values are better than another’s? Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong? Where do right and wrong come from? Richard Taylor, who is a prominent American philosopher—and not a Christian, by the way—, makes this point very forcefully. Look carefully at what he says:
The idea of . . . moral obligation is clear enough, provided that reference to some lawmaker higher . . . than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God. . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense?1
He says the answer is “No.” I quote: “The concept of moral obligation is unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain, but their meaning is gone.”2

He goes on to say:
The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, without noticing that in casting God aside they have also abolished the meaningfulness of right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and meaningful. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion.3
Do you catch what even this non-Christian philosopher is saying? If there is no God, no divine lawgiver, then there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, then there is no real right and wrong. Right and wrong are just human customs and laws that vary from society to society. Even if they all agree, they’re still just human inventions.
He continues with this argument:
Does the Bible in fact forbid homosexual behavior? Now notice how I put that question. I did not ask, does the Bible forbid homosexuality, but rather does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? This is an important distinction. Being homosexual is a state or an orientation; a person who has a homosexual orientation might not ever express that orientation in actions. By contrast, a person could engage in homosexual acts even if he has a heterosexual orientation. Now what the Bible condemns is homosexual actions or behavior, not having a homosexual orientation. The idea of a person’s being a homosexual by orientation is a feature of modern psychology and may have been unknown to people in the ancient world. What they were familiar with was homosexual acts, and this is what the Bible forbids.

Now this has enormous implications. For one thing, it means that the whole debate about whether homosexuality is something you were born with or is a result of how you were raised really doesn’t matter in the end. The important thing is not how you got your orientation, but what you do with it. Some defenders of homosexuality are very anxious to prove that your genes, not your upbringing, determine if you’re homosexual because then homosexual behavior is normal and right. But this conclusion doesn’t follow at all. Just because you’re genetically disposed to some behavior doesn’t mean that behavior is morally right. To give an example, some researchers suspect there may be a gene which predisposes some people to alcoholism. Does that mean that it’s all right for someone with such predisposition to go ahead and drink to his heart’s content and become an alcoholic? Obviously not! If anything, it ought to alert him to abstain from alcohol so as to prevent this from happening. Now the sober truth of the matter is that we don’t fully understand the roles of heredity and environment in producing homosexuality. But that doesn’t really matter. Even if homosexuality were completely genetic, that fact alone still wouldn’t make it any different than a birth defect, like a cleft palate or epilepsy. That doesn’t mean it’s normal and that we shouldn’t try to correct it.

. . .

So, once more, the question is: Does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? Well, I’ve already said that it does. The Bible is so realistic! You might not expect it to mention a topic like homosexual behavior, but in fact there are six places in the Bible—three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament—where this issue is directly addressed—not to mention all the passages dealing with marriage and sexuality which have implications for this issue. In all six of these passages homosexual acts are unequivocally condemned.
He is, of course, partially wrong. His words make one point while completing missing another point: homosexuality and homosexual behaviour are one and the same. To argue and say that you were "born this way" is to admit that you were born in sin! Being born in sin does not make what we do or desire right or normal by any means. Nevertheless, let us use his above argument to prove our case against homosexuality.

Since the Bible merely condemns the acts of homosexuality (according to the argument above), and not the homosexual himself, then, likewise, the Bible merely condemns the acts of lying, stealing, murdering, etc., and not the liar, thief, or murderer themselves. I am sure you can already see the problem with this line of reasoning, but let us continue.

If a person is born a liar and the Bible says that "You shall not [lie]" (Ex. 20:16), and informs us that "all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8) because liars "will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11), what ought we to conclude? If this person is born a liar, they looooove their lying. Since the Bible condemns lying behaviour, and tells us not to lie, that means the liar has to renounce and forsake his lying ways and live in a manner that is honouring to God. But notice how the text does not say "practicing liars" or "those who engage in lying behaviour" will have their part in the Lake of Fire. It says "all liars." Again, you can see the problem with this line of reasoning.

Likewise, if a person is born a homosexual, the Bible informs them that "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22). In like manner, it means that all homosexuals "will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8) because "homosexuals...will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Since the Bible condemns homosexual behaviour (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27), that means the homosexual has to renounce and forsake his homosexual ways and live in a manner that is honouring to God. In other words, regardless of their desires, they are to abstain from and exclude same-sex relationships because that behaviour is strictly prohibited in and by Scripture. To do otherwise is to be in rebellion against God's standards and created order.

Since the Bible says "such were some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11), indicating not only behaviour or acts, but also the intentions of the heart (Jesus made everything about the intentions of the heart), it implies changes that took place in these individuals—by renouncing and forsaking their behaviours—to make them different from what they once were and/or once practiced.  Since God's standard is truth, lying behaviour must be condemned. Since God's standard is heterosexuality—one man and one woman united together for life, homosexual behaviour must be condemned. The argument above still supports the fact that homosexuality—not just homosexual behaviour—is condemned by Scripture. If the behaviour alone is condemned, the person committing that behaviour, in order to find favour with God, has to live a life contrary to their desires. If they desire to lie, steal, or murder, they have to fight those urges and live contrary to their desires. The same is true for homosexuals. For someone who desires to be saved, this is precisely what they need to do, and then Christ Jesus will change them and remove the sinful desires from them, conforming them to His image. Many ex-gays have confessed this precise point.

The problem with the above argument, as I am sure you have noticed, is that in order to renounce and forsake something, that means you have to be doing it in the first place. Otherwise, how do you come to the point of "such were some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11)? To say you can be a liar without ever committing the act of lying, or that you can be a murderer without ever committing the act of murder, or that you can be a homosexual without ever committing the act of homosexuality, is ludicrous and ridiculous. It is sheer nonsense. If you fight the urge to lie, because your natural disposition loves to lie, how can you be called a liar if you have never committed the behaviour of lying? If you fight the urge to murder, because your natural disposition loves to hurt people, how can you be called a murderer if you have never committed the behaviour of murder? Likewise, if you fight the urge to commit homosexuality, because your natural disposition loves to lust after people of the same sex, how can you be called a homosexual if you have never committed the behaviour of homosexuality?

If some people have a natural orientation toward the same sex, then so too (according to the argument above) do some people have a natural orientation toward children, beasts, etc. So too do some people have natural orientations toward rape and murder. So too do some people have natural orientations toward lying and stealing. Modern psychology is a joke; telling people whatever they want to hear just so they can milk you for your money. You might want to read this: http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=11517. Whether or not you have a natural orientation toward anything does not make it right or natural. You cannot argue that one is natural while the others are not, especially when conscience, logic, and common sense inform us that they are all unnatural; you know, those little things God instilled in us that inform us something is wrong regardless of our attempts at convincing ourselves otherwise. Furthermore, orientation has to do with direction. Directions can change. Have you ever heard someone say, "Let me get my orientation"? Or "I'm feeling disoriented"? Homosexuals might want to learn a thing or two from that...

The Bible does not merely condemn the behaviour alone, but the practitioner of that behaviour also. "You shall not [lie]" (Ex. 20:16) because liars "will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11) and "all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). Likewise, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female" (Lev. 18:22) because "homosexuals...will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11) and all homosexuals "will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). The Bible does not just condemn the behaviour, but those who commit that behaviour. Homosexuality is homosexual behaviour.


1 Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason, 83-84.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid, 2-3.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If You Go To Hell...

by Curtis Allen

If you go to hell, the only thing that will be worse than the fact that you are there, is that you'll remember that you didn't have to go. One of the most tormenting parts of hell will be the reality that your memory is in tact. And if the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, that Jesus told in Luke 16, has any true descriptions of hell, one terrifying aspect will be that you will remember the life you had on earth, and how it made a place for you in hell. 

The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31
19 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house-28 for I have five brothers-so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

In verse 23, the scripture tell us that the rich man was in hell and was being tormented. He asks Abraham for some relief (v.24), which gives us a picture into his torment which verse 23 doesn't tell us. His agony consists of flames and immeasurable heat, so he asks that a drop of cool water be placed on his tongue. That means it must be really hot in hell if the tip of Abraham's finger would be some sort of relief. Wow!

But Abraham's first words in response  are "remember." He tells the Rich man to remember that in his life he had everything and the poor man had nothing. This is an important realization about the place of eternal punishment. And one in which I think is extremely important. This idea of remembering  goes even further. In verses 27-28, the rich man remembers his family. He remembers their spiritual condition and begs Abraham to send someone to rescue them from the punishment that he is experiencing. Notice that he doesn't disagree with Abraham. For, implicit in Abraham's statement to him is a rejection of God for the riches he acquired in this life. He knows Abraham is right because he remembers. His cognitive abilities remain fully intact in the after life. And that adds to the torment. 

To me, this reality of hell can be easily forgotten. But it's one that should be soberly remembered, especially by those who have grown up in the church. In a day, where a good portion of the people that we'll try to disciple, were at one time disciples (used to be believers), but have walked away from the faith, the reality of memory is a scary one. In other words, people will remember all of the times that God provided them chances to repent but they chose the pleasures of this life instead. And while that may not be the main point of the Rich Man and Lazarus story, it is still a point worth considering.

I Will Be Happy Tomorrow

from Wretched Newsletter November 2013
When I am married, then I will be happy.  Until you tie the knot.

When I have children, then I will be happy.  Until you have kids.

When my children are more self-sufficient, then I will be happy.  Until they are out of diapers.

When my children are in school, then I will be happy.  Until they ride off on the bus.

When my children leave the home, then I will be happy.  Until you are an empty nester.

When I retire, then I will be happy.  Until you don’t have to wake up to your alarm clock.

A Syllogism
Here is a syllogism that is trustworthy and true: Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  Satan is in control of the world system.  Therefore, the world system is a lie.

The world system tells you that happiness lies just around the corner.  Happiness is not where you are, but where you think you should be.  Happiness is anything but this.  That is a lie.

Perhaps you have purchased the lie.  Perhaps you are in a funk because you are not living this God ordained moment with joy.  Perhaps you have worked yourself into a state of frustration because today is not tomorrow.  You need a Biblical re-orientation.

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps.118:24) So how do we do that?

Good Theology
Once again, our worries, problems, anxieties, frustrations and confusions have a solution in good theology.
  1. The doctrine of sovereignty reminds you that the day you are living is exactly the day that God has ordained for you.  (Ps.37:23).  You are supposed to be in the season you are in.  You will NEVER be content with any season until you realize that you are in the season that God has pre-arranged for you.

  2. The two verses before Ps. 118:24 give us our reason to be glad today, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.  This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Ps.118:23,24)  Knowing that we have a Savior allows us to rejoice today, not tomorrow when we perceive that things will be easier or better.
If you have grown discontent because you perpetually long for tomorrow, re-orient your thinking.  Today is the day God wants you to live, and He wants you to live it for Him because He has provided a cornerstone for you.

Greek, Latin, and Hebrew!

by Alexander Smellie

"And an inscription was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS!" Luke 23:38

Over His head they set up His accusation written, This is Jesus the King of the Jews. In Greek, Latin and Hebrew they wrote it, and "God," as George Herbert says, "God held their hands while they wrote!" For this title was a little gospel, told out in the three great languages of the earth.

If, like the Greeks, I prize beauty and wisdom above everything beside, it says, "Here is Jesus your King!" He, He alone, can create beauty within your soul, can banish its ugliness and make it lovely! He, He alone, can teach you the truest wisdom—the wisdom which answers all your questions and gives you peace.

If, like the Latins, (or Romans) I prize law and government and empire most of all, it says to me, "Here is Jesus your King!" He will bring you under the best law, the most beneficial law, the most gracious law. He will teach you how to govern yourself. He will win for you the empire over my own heart here and now—an empire over all things before very long!

If, like the Hebrews, I prize righteousness far above every other blessing, it says to me, "Here is Jesus your King!" There is none but He who can clothe you in a spotless righteousness, who can cancel your hideous guilt, who can justify you at God's bar, who can lift you into a new realm of pardon and purity!

His enemies meant it for evil—but God meant it for good! He is King of the human heart! And I, too, will bring forth the royal diadem, and will crown Him Lord of all!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Re-thinking "Proving God Exists"

by Curtis Allen

Recently, I got into a twitter battle with an atheist who somehow got a hold of a statement about God that I had tweeted. She immediately objected to my perspective, challenging me to prove that God even exists. With my mind racing, and realizing I was limited to 140 characters on twitter, I replied back with what I thought to be a witty and insightful response. I said, "I'll prove that God exists when someone proves that he doesn't." It didn't work. She wasn't impressed. And we went at it for over an hour on twitter. 140 characters versus 140 characters. It was epic.

After giving that situation some thought, I started to ask myself, "What is the best way to prove the existence of God?" This is an age old question that has multiple answers to it. Most of them really good, but none of them getting to the heart of the issue. At least not to me. Here's why. The question of God's existence is not just a litmus test for proof of a transcendent being. It is a question that probes at the deepest level of a person's soul. They are inquiring about the purpose of life. And they are trying to answer why all of the perplexing things in this world happen the way that they do. When someone is asking for proof of God's existence, they are really asking for the purpose of their own existence. And how to make a difference in this life. That question comes from the Imago Dei (made in God's image) of a person whether they know it or not. It's that side of them that was created to glorify the creator. And like a child who's been adopted but still has a strong desire to know his or her birth parents, so are the people asking about the existence of God. This question is missional.  

Usually when the question "Can you prove God exists" is asked, people go the scientific route. They start with the Cosmological Argument (every effect has a beginning cause), then maybe the Teliological Argument (Intelligent Design) and/or the Ontological Argument ("a priori" --if one can conceive of God then he must exist), often trying to explain God from the metaphysical, scientific perspective. On many levels this is good, but no one seems to stop and ask, "How does God want us to prove his existence?" 

It has been said that each of the 3 arguments listed above can be seen in scripture. If that is true, then there is one more argument that can be seen in scripture, that gets at the heart of this question. And this one is the one I think God wants us to use to prove his existence. But what's sad is, I have missed it all this time. So, how does God want you to prove his existence? Easy. When asked that question, the answer should almost always be this, "I believe that God exists because he has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ." Wait for it... Wait for it...

In this sense we prove the existence of God by proving that Jesus was God. Why is this the best way? Because ultimately (missionally), we are not trying to get people to believe in Yahweh of the OT. Or some metaphysical being, distant, but out there somewhere waiting for us to find him. Most of us shouldn't even try to prove that God exists from areas that we can't explain very well (like the arguments stated above). But we can prove that God exists in the way that he wants us to, by his self-revelation in Jesus Christ. In doing this, we get to the heart of the matter of what, or better who, people must believe in. As well, since Jesus was a legitimate historical figure, it puts the onus on the questioner to disprove that a historical figure claimed to be God and demonstrated that claim solidly enough that gazillions of people believe in him (In other words, Jesus is either Liar, Lunatic, Legend, or Lord). 

So what does that look like? Well, John 1:1-4 is our introduction. "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men." 

We see that the Word was there in the beginning, that it was with God, and in fact was God. Then we see that this Word was a He (vs.2). Not to mention that this He-Word is responsible for all creation (vs.3). So the inevitable question becomes who is the He that is also called the Word in the beginning of John? John 1:14, 16-17 helps us. "14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." While no method is full proof, you can see that already this argument does what some of the scientific ones do not. Don't get me wrong, the above arguments are good (though Immanuel Kant and a few others have crafted very good responses to them, thus minimizing some of the strength of those arguments), but at best, most of what they do is bring one to the brink of salvation when explaining them. But, you still have to cross the bridge of faith in Christ even if the person agrees with one or all of the above arguments. But, by proving God's existence through Jesus, it cuts to the chase of what they're really after, and what we're really after. 

Someone might say that this doesn't prove that Jesus was God (is, to be exact), or that he thought he was God (these are slow pitch softballs I'm throwing at you, though they are still often used to denounce Jesus' divinity). To that, you return to the scriptures ( There's plenty of verses to use in the gospels, I'm just staying in the gospel of John).

John 10:22-33 "22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ (You'll probably have to explain what the Christ meant to those who were asking), tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one." 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" 33 The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."

Or this...

14:8-11 "8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves."

And this...

John 19:6-8
6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him." 7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God." 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.

At the very least we can demonstrate that Jesus claimed to be God, and that his claim was verified by the men who hated him. They knew he was claiming to be God (Blasphemy). Again, this doesn't satisfy every question, but it puts the responsibility on the questioner to wrestle with the claim that Jesus made of himself, just like the people did when he walked the earth in human form. You'll probably have to get to the validity of the scriptures being the Word of God (which is not really that hard to prove either), but that is a different post.

It is a monumental task to prove that God exists, and that he created the world when much of the data proving it relies on faith (Hebrews 11:3, 6). But, if we can learn to see those questions as missional (evangelistic opportunities), we can focus our attention, primarily, on Jesus' divinity, rather than on facts that we have to try to remember from Wikipedia. Let's stay in the scriptures. And bring that question down to where it needs to be. For it is not as difficult as we think to prove the existence of God. We just need to do it in the way he lays out in the bible.

The Keys of the Kingdom

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19
What is meant by this passage? Have you ever read it and remained baffled, asking yourself what these keys are and what is meant by the binding and loosing? Are they physical keys? Does it have to do with the binding and loosing of persons and demons? In order to bring a little more clarity to what is meant by this passage, we need to be good students of the Word and compare Scripture with Scripture. We find the second part of Matthew 16:19 repeated in Matthew 18:18. The context here should shed some light on precisely what was meant by these allegorical keys that were given to Peter.
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that 'By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Matthew 18:15-20
Does that help you? Have some things been clarified for you? If you still have not understood what Jesus is saying, then perhaps it is time we looked at a clearer passage that leaves no doubt as to what is meant.
"...[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.'" John 20:22-23
These keys are not literal, physical keys. They are symbolic. The binding and loosing has nothing to do with persons or demons, contrary to some of the many false teachings that come from the Charismatic movement. John Cotton put it this way: "Whatsoever you bind on earth, is as much as whose sins soever you retain on earth; and whatsoever you loose on earth, is as much as whose sins soever you loose on earth." He went on to say this:
"Now this binding and loosing of whatsoever sins, in whosoever commit them, is partly in the conscience of the sinner, and partly in his outward estate in the Church, which is wont to be expressed in other terms, either in foro interiori, or in foro exteriori. As when in the dispensation of the Ordinances of God, a sinner is convinced to lie under the guilt of sin, then his sin is retained, his conscience is bound under the guilt of it, and himself bound under some Church-censure, according to the quality and desert of his offense; and if his sin be the more heinous, himself is shut out from the communion of the Church: But when a sinner repents of his sin, and confesses it before the Lord, and (if it be known) before his people also, and then in the ministry of the Doctrine and Disciple of the Gospel, his sin is remitted, and his conscience loosed from the guilt of it, and himself hath open and free entrance, both unto the promise of the Gospel, and into the gates of the holy communion of the Church."
As Matthew Henry notes:
"He doth not say, "I have given them," or "I do not;" but "I will do it," meaning after his resurrection; when he ascended on high, he gave those gifts, Ephes. 4:8; then this power was actually given, not to Peter only, but to all the rest, ch. 28:19, 20; John 20:21. He doth not say, The keys shall be given, but, I will give them; for ministers derive their authority from Christ, and all their power is to be used in his name, 1 Cor. 5:4."
What are these keys? John Cotton believes them to be "the Ordinances which Christ has instituted, to be administered in his Church; as the preaching of the Word, (which is the opening and applying of it)." Matthew Henry believes them to be the "key of doctrine" and the "key of discipline." Matthew Poole refers to "the key of knowledge and doctrine" used by the apostle's preaching to open the kingdom of heaven to men, and "the key of discipline." Whatever is exactly included by these keys, we can be sure of the fact that this passage is expounded more clearly by John 20:22-23.

Exegesis Avoids Abusing Scripture

In his typical tunnel-vision fashion, Alex Haiken, a Jewish homosexual who mistakenly thinks himself to be a Christian, sent me the following quote:
“Exegesis does not take a quote from the Bible to prove the Bible. It scientifically scrutinizes the text according to historical context, cultural context, literary context and usage, multiple languages that might have been used, archeological finds, etc. A good way to support your thesis is to ignore all evidence to the contrary.”
—Manfred T. Brauch, Abusing Scripture: The
Consequences of Misreading the Bible
, 293
Once again, Alex is talking the talk without walking the walk. He quotes all these people with regard to exegesis but fails to apply what he reads to his own work. He is continuously guilty of doing the very thing his quotes inform him not to do. To make our case, we will examine Alex's eisegetical interpretation of both Leviticus passages once again. Alex asserts that these passages have to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution.
Leviticus 18
Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that uncovering the nakedness of your father or your mother (18:7), of your father's wife (18:8), of your sister (18:9), of your son's daughter (18:10), of your father's wife's daughter (18:11), of your father's sister (18:12), of your mother's sister (18:13), of your father's brother (18:14), of your daughter-in-law (18:15), of your brother's wife (18:16), or any other blood relatives (18:17) has anything to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution? Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that having intimacy with a woman during her menstrual cycle (18:19) or having sex with your neighbour's wife (18:20) has anything to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution? Alex would do well to try and retain the context. The only verse that has anything to do with the practices of religious idolatry is verse 21, which is borne out through the entirety of Scripture. The heathen nations would sacrifice their children to their various gods. Nothing else in this chapter has to do with idolatrous practices, nor with cult prostitution.

By what great exegetical miracle does Alex expect to convince us that having sex with animals was religious idolatry (18:23)? People were doing it when God decided to flood the world, and they are still doing it today without the slightest trace of religion attached to it. The passage does not connect it with idolatrous practice whatsoever. It condemns it entirely, just as it does with homosexual behaviour (18:22). If Alex paid close attention to verse 21, he would notice that "nor shall you profane the name of your God" has nothing to do with practices of religious idolatry or cult prostitution either. This is the third commandment reiterated. It is not connected with the first half of verse 21. Alex would do well to be reminded that the chapter and verse divisions did not exist in the original Hebrew and Greek. He should try and remember that when considering what context truly is and what it consists of.

Leviticus 20
If Alex paid attention to the context, he would see that the verses speaking of the practices of religious idolatry again address child sacrifice (20:2-5). None of the rest of this chapter has anything to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution. A person could try and argue that verse 6 does, but he/she would be in error. Does Alex honestly expect us to believe that cursing one's father or mother (20:9), or committing adultery with another man's wife (20:10), or lying with one's father's wife (20:11), or lying with one's daughter-in-law (20:12), or marrying a woman and her mother (20:14), or having sex with an animal (20:15-16), or discovering one's sister's nakedness (20:17), or having sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle (20:18), etc., etc., etc., has anything to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution? Alex is reaching yet again, as all the evidence is against him.
You see, dear Reader, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have nothing to do with religious idolatry or cult prostitution. Alex is reading this into the text, which is called eisegesis. Everything in these chapters are prohibitions set by God. The behaviour of homosexuality is prohibited by God and condemned as an abominable perversion of both human and sexual nature. So as you can see, dear Reader, Alex manipulates, maligns, and twists these passages to say what he wants them to say, when a clear study of the context reveals otherwise. So, once again, Alex Haiken provides a quote that supports my position and condemns his own.

Was Peter the Rock?

"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it." Matthew 16:18
What is this "rock" upon which Jesus would build His church? The Roman Catholic Church claims that Peter is the rock upon which the church would be built. Their argument is that if you take this verse literally, you can come to no alternative interpretation. Is this what the text teaches us? Are they correct in their beliefs and teachings? I submit to you that they are not correct. Here is the verse in Greek:
κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω, ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς.
Anyone who knows anything of the Greek language, or of languages such as Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish, knows that if the object is masculine, everything pertaining to that object will be masculine also. If the object is plural, everything pertaining to that object will be plural also. In English, the singular "the red car" would simply become "the red cars" in the plural. But in Spanish, for example, the singular "el coche rojo" becomes "los coches rojos" in the plural.

In the verse in question, the Greek word Πέτρος for "Peter" is masculine. However, the Greek word ταύτῃ for "this" is feminine, as is the Greek word πέτρᾳ for "rock." If this was a reference to Peter, it would have been masculine. However, it has nothing to do with Peter whatsoever. Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15). Peter responded, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). According to 1 Corinthians 3:11, Christ Jesus is the "Rock" upon which the church is built: "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Peter believed that Jesus was the Christ. All true believers throughout the centuries have also believed that Jesus is the Christ. This is the "rock" in question. It refers back to Peter's testimony concerning Jesus. It is upon this testimony—"You are the Christ"—that the church would be built. The testimony points to Jesus. Jesus is the Rock, the foundation upon which the church is built. All those built upon this foundation will have this testimony: "[Jesus] is the Christ."

Jesus starts out by saying, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona" (Matt. 16:17), and ends by saying, "I also say to you that you are Peter" (Matt. 16:18). Just as with Abraham and Sarah before him, and Paul after him, Jesus was giving him a new name. His receiving a new name has nothing to do with the actual conversation. After Peter's confession, Jesus tells him that "flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17), to which He could have left out the renaming and immediately followed with, "upon this rock [upon this confession, upon your confession] I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it" (Matt. 16:18).

Contrary to the erroneous teachings and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church, Peter was not the rock upon which the church would be built. If one looks at the Old Testament, one will see that Jesus is the Rock in question in several passages. Jesus is the foundation of the entire church—not Peter.

The Health Risks of Gay Sex

by John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D. 

As a physician, it is my duty to assess behaviors for their impact on health and well-being. When something is beneficial, such as exercise, good nutrition, or adequate sleep, it is my duty to recommend it. Likewise, when something is harmful, such as smoking, overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, and homosexual sex, it is my duty to discourage it.

Introduction
Back in the early 1980s, while working at Beth Israel Hospital, I vividly remember seeing healthy young gay men dying of a mysterious disease that researchers only later identified as a sexually transmitted disease — AIDS. Over the years, I've seen many patients with that diagnosis die.
As a physician, it is my duty to assess behaviors for their impact on health and wellbeing. When something is beneficial, such as exercise, good nutrition, or adequate sleep, it is my duty to recommend it. Likewise, when something is harmful, such as smoking, overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, it is my duty to discourage it.
When sexual activity is practiced outside of marriage, the consequences can be quite serious. Without question, sexual promiscuity frequently spreads diseases, from trivial to serious to deadly. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 65 million Americans have an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD).1
There are differences between men and women in the consequences of same-sex activity. But most importantly, the consequences of homosexual activity are distinct from the consequences of heterosexual activity. As a physician, it is my duty to inform patients of the health risks of gay sex, and to discourage them from indulging in harmful behavior.

I. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL AND HETEROSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
The current media portrayal of gay and lesbian relationships is that they are as healthy, stable and loving as heterosexual marriages — or even more so.2 Medical associations are promoting somewhat similar messages.3 Nevertheless, there are at least five major areas of differences between gay and heterosexual relationships, each with specific medical consequences. Those differences include:
A. Levels of promiscuity
B. Physical health
C. Mental health
D. Life span
E. Definition of "monogamy"
A. Promiscuity
Gay author Gabriel Rotello notes the perspective of many gays that "Gay liberation was founded . . . on a 'sexual brotherhood of promiscuity,' and any abandonment of that promiscuity would amount to a 'communal betrayal of gargantuan proportions.'"4 Rotello's perception of gay promiscuity, which he criticizes, is consistent with survey results. A far-ranging study of homosexual men published in 1978 revealed that 75 percent of self-identified, white, gay men admitted to having sex with more than 100 different males in their lifetime: 15 percent claimed 100-249 sex partners; 17 percent claimed 250- 499; 15 percent claimed 500-999; and 28 percent claimed more than 1,000 lifetime male sex partners.5By 1984, after the AIDS epidemic had taken hold, homosexual men were reportedly curtailing promiscuity, but not by much. Instead of more than 6 partners per month in 1982, the average non-monogamous respondent in San Francisco reported having about 4 partners per month in 1984.6
In more recent years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has reported an upswing in promiscuity, at least among young homosexual men in San Francisco. From 1994 to 1997, the percentage of homosexual men reporting multiple partners and unprotected anal sex rose from 23.6 percent to 33.3 percent, with the largest increase among men under 25.7 Despite its continuing incurability, AIDS no longer seems to deter individuals from engaging in promiscuous gay sex.8
The data relating to gay promiscuity were obtained from self-identified gay men. Some advocates argue that the average would be lower if closeted homosexuals were included in the statistics.9 That is likely true, according to data obtained in a 2000 survey in Australia that tracked whether men who had sex with men were associated with the gay community. Men who were associated with the gay community were nearly four times as likely to have had more than 50 sex partners in the six months preceding the survey as men who were not associated with the gay community.10 This may imply that it is riskier to be "out" than "closeted." Adopting a gay identity may create more pressure to be promiscuous and to be so with a cohort of other more promiscuous partners.
Excessive sexual promiscuity results in serious medical consequences — indeed, it is a recipe for transmitting disease and generating an epidemic.11 The HIV/AIDS epidemic has remained a predominantly gay issue in the U.S. primarily because of the greater degree of promiscuity among gays.12 A study based upon statistics from 1986 through 1990 estimated that 20-year-old gay men had a 50 percent chance of becoming HIV positive by age 55.13 As of June 2001, nearly 64 percent of men with AIDS were men who have had sex with men.14 Syphilis is also more common among gay men. The San Francisco Public Health Department recently reported that syphilis among the city's gay and bisexual men was at epidemic levels. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Experts believe syphilis is on the rise among gay and bisexual men because they are engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, many of whom they met in anonymous situations such as sex clubs, adult bookstores, meetings through the Internet and in bathhouses. The new data will show that in the 93 cases involving gay and bisexual men this year, the group reported having 1,225 sexual partners."15
A study done in Baltimore and reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that gay men contracted syphilis at three to four times the rate of heterosexuals.16 Promiscuity is the factor most responsible for the extreme rates of these and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases cited below, many of which result in a shortened life span for men who have sex with men.
Promiscuity among lesbians is less extreme, but it is still higher than among heterosexual women. Overall, women tend to have fewer sex partners than men. But there is a surprising finding about lesbian promiscuity in the literature. Australian investigators reported that lesbian women were 4.5 times more likely to have had more than 50 lifetime male partners than heterosexual women (9 percent of lesbians versus 2 percent of heterosexual women); and 93 percent of women who identified themselves as lesbian reported a history of sex with men.17 Other studies similarly show that 75-90 percent of women who have sex with women have also had sex with men.18

B. Physical Health
Unhealthy sexual behaviors occur among both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Yet the medical and social science evidence indicate that homosexual behavior is uniformly unhealthy. Although both male and female homosexual practices lead to increases in Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the practices and diseases are sufficiently different that they merit separate discussion.
1. Male Homosexual Behavior
Men having sex with other men leads to greater health risks than men having sex with women19 not only because of promiscuity but also because of the nature of sex among men. A British researcher summarizes the danger as follows:
"Male homosexual behaviour is not simply either 'active' or 'passive,' since penile-anal, mouth-penile, and hand-anal sexual contact is usual for both partners, and mouth-anal contact is not infrequent. . . . Mouth-anal contact is the reason for the relatively high incidence of diseases caused by bowel pathogens in male homosexuals. Trauma may encourage the entry of micro-organisms and thus lead to primary syphilitic lesions occurring in the anogenital area. . . . In addition to sodomy, trauma may be caused by foreign bodies, including stimulators of various kinds, penile adornments, and prostheses."20
Although the specific activities addressed below may be practiced by heterosexuals at times, homosexual men engage in these activities to a far greater extent.21
a. Anal-genital
Anal intercourse is the sine qua non of sex for many gay men.22 Yet human physiology makes it clear that the body was not designed to accommodate this activity. The rectum is significantly different from the vagina with regard to suitability for penetration by a penis. The vagina has natural lubricants and is supported by a network of muscles. It is composed of a mucus membrane with a multi-layer stratified squamous epithelium that allows it to endure friction without damage and to resist the immunological actions caused by semen and sperm. In comparison, the anus is a delicate mechanism of small muscles that comprise an "exit-only" passage. With repeated trauma, friction and stretching, the sphincter loses its tone and its ability to maintain a tight seal. Consequently, anal intercourse leads to leakage of fecal material that can easily become chronic.
The potential for injury is exacerbated by the fact that the intestine has only a single layer of cells separating it from highly vascular tissue, that is, blood. Therefore, any organisms that are introduced into the rectum have a much easier time establishing a foothold for infection than they would in a vagina. The single layer tissue cannot withstand the friction associated with penile penetration, resulting in traumas that expose both participants to blood, organisms in feces, and a mixing of bodily fluids.
Furthermore, ejaculate has components that are immunosuppressive. In the course of ordinary reproductive physiology, this allows the sperm to evade the immune defenses of the female. Rectal insemination of rabbits has shown that sperm impaired the immune defenses of the recipient.23 Semen may have a similar impact on humans.24
The end result is that the fragility of the anus and rectum, along with the immunosuppressive effect of ejaculate, make anal-genital intercourse a most efficient manner of transmitting HIV and other infections. The list of diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of anal intercourse is alarming:
Anal Cancer
Chlamydia trachomatis
Cryptosporidium
Giardia lamblia
Herpes simplex virus
Human immunodeficiency virus
Human papilloma virus
Isospora belli
Microsporidia
Gonorrhea
Viral hepatitis types B & C
Syphilis25
Sexual transmission of some of these diseases is so rare in the exclusively heterosexual population as to be virtually unknown. Others, while found among heterosexual and homosexual practitioners, are clearly predominated by those involved in homosexual activity. Syphilis, for example is found among heterosexual and homosexual practitioners. But in 1999, King County, Washington (Seattle), reported that 85 percent of syphilis cases were among self-identified homosexual practitioners.26 And as noted above, syphilis among homosexual men is now at epidemic levels in San Francisco.27
A 1988 CDC survey identified 21 percent of all Hepatitis B cases as being homosexually transmitted while 18 percent were heterosexually transmitted.28 Since homosexuals comprise such a small percent of the population (only 1-3 percent),29 they have a significantly higher rate of infection than heterosexuals.30
Anal intercourse also puts men at significant risk for anal cancer. Anal cancer is the result of infection with some subtypes of human papilloma virus (HPV), which are known viral carcinogens. Data as of 1989 showed the rates of anal cancer in male homosexual practitioners to be 10 times that of heterosexual males, and growing. 30 Thus, the prevalence of anal cancer among gay men is of great concern. For those with AIDS, the rates are doubled.31
Other physical problems associated with anal intercourse are:
hemorrhoids
anal fissures
anorectal trauma
retained foreign bodies.32
b. Oral-anal
There is an extremely high rate of parasitic and other intestinal infections documented among male homosexual practitioners because of oral-anal contact. In fact, there are so many infections that a syndrome called "the Gay Bowel" is described in the medical literature.33 "Gay bowel syndrome constitutes a group of conditions that occur among persons who practice unprotected anal intercourse, anilingus, or fellatio following anal intercourse."34 Although some women have been diagnosed with some of the gastrointestinal infections associated with "gay bowel," the vast preponderance of patients with these conditions are men who have sex with men.35
"Rimming" is the street name given to oralanal contact. It is because of this practice that intestinal parasites ordinarily found in the tropics are encountered in the bodies of American gay men. Combined with anal intercourse and other homosexual practices, "rimming" provides a rich opportunity for a variety of infections.
Men who have sex with men account for the lion's share of the increasing number of cases in America of sexually transmitted infections that are not generally spread through sexual contact. These diseases, with consequences that range from severe and even life-threatening to mere annoyances, include Hepatitis A,36 Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica,37 Epstein-Barr virus,38 Neisseria meningitides,39 Shigellosis, Salmonellosis, Pediculosis, scabies and Campylobacter.40 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified a 1991 outbreak of Hepatitis A in New York City, in which 78 percent of male respondents identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual.41While Hepatitis A can be transmitted by routes other than sexual, a preponderance of Hepatitis A is found in gay men in multiple states.42 Salmonella is rarely associated with sexual activity except among gay men who have oral-anal and oral-genital contact following anal intercourse.43 The most unsettling new discovery is the reported sexual transmission of typhoid. This water-borne disease, well known in the tropics, only infects 400 people each year in the United States, usually as a result of ingestion of contaminated food or water while abroad. But sexual transmission was diagnosed in Ohio in a series of male sex partners of one male who had traveled to Puerto Rico.44
In America, Human Herpes Virus 8 (called Herpes Type 8 or HHV-8) is a disease found exclusively among male homosexual practitioners. Researchers have long noted that men who contracted AIDS through homosexual behavior frequently developed a previously rare form of cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma. Men who contract HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex or intravenous drug use rarely display this cancer. Recent studies confirm that Kaposi's sarcoma results from infection with HHV-8. The New England Journal of Medicine described one cohort in San Francisco where 38 percent of the men who admitted any homosexual contact within the previous five years tested positive for this virus while none of the exclusively heterosexual men tested positive. The study predicted that half of the men with both HIV and HHV-8 would develop the cancer within 10 years.45 The medical literature is currently unclear as to the precise types of sexual behavior that transmit HHV-8, but there is a suspicion that it may be transmitted via saliva.46
c. Human Waste
Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes.47 This practice exposes the participants to all of the risks of anal-oral contact and many of the risks of analgenital contact.
d. Fisting
"Fisting" refers to the insertion of a hand or forearm into the rectum, and is far more damaging than anal intercourse. Tears can occur, along with incompetence of the anal sphincter. The result can include infections, inflammation and, consequently, enhanced susceptibility to future STDs. Twenty-two percent of homosexuals in one survey admitted to having participated in this practice.48
e. Sadism
The sexualization of pain and cruelty is described as sadism, named for the 18th Century novelist, the Marquis de Sade. His novel Justine describes repeated rapes and non-consensual whippings.49 Not all persons who practice sadism engage in the same activities. But a recent advertisement for a sadistic "conference" included a warning that participants might see "intentional infliction of pain [and] cutting of the skin with bleeding . . . ." Scheduled workshops included "Vaginal Fisting" (with a demonstration), "Sacred Sexuality and Cutting" with "a demonstration of a cutting with a live subject," "Rough Rope," and a "Body Harness" workshop that was to involve "demonstrating and coaching the tying of erotic body harnesses that involve the genitals, male and female."50 A similar event entitled the "Vicious Valentine" occurred near Chicago on Feb. 15-17, 2002.51 The medical consequences of such activities range from mild to fatal, depending upon the nature of the injuries inflicted.52 As many as 37 percent of homosexuals have practiced some form of sadism.53
f. Conclusion
The consequences of homosexual activity have significantly altered the delivery of medical care to the population at-large. With the increased incidence of STD organisms in unexpected places, simple sore throat is no longer so simple. Doctors must now ask probing questions of their patients or risk making a misdiagnosis. The evaluation of a sore throat must now include questions about oral and anal sex. A case of hemorrhoids is no longer just a surgical problem. We must now inquire as to sexual practice and consider that anal cancer, rectal gonorrhea, or rectal chlamydia may be secreted in what deceptively appears to be "just hemorrhoids."54 Moreover, data shows that rectal and throat gonorrhea, for example, are without symptoms in 75 percent of cases.55
The impact of the health consequences of gay sex is not confined to homosexual practitioners. Even though nearly 11 million people in America are directly affected by cancer, compared to slightly more than three-quarters of a million with AIDS,56 AIDS spending per patient is more than seven times that for cancer.57 The inequity for diabetes and heart disease is even more striking.58 Consequently, the disproportionate amount of money spent on AIDS detracts from research into cures for diseases that affect more people.

2. Female Homosexual Behavior
Lesbians are also at higher risk for STDs and other health problems than heterosexuals.59 However, the health consequences of lesbianism are less well documented than for male homosexuals. This is partly because the devastation of AIDS has caused male homosexual activity to draw the lion's share of medical attention. But it is also because there are fewer lesbians than gay men,60 and there is no evidence that lesbians practice the same extremes of same-sex promiscuity as gay men. The lesser amount of medical data does not mean, however, that female homosexual behavior is without recognized pathology. Much of the pathology is associated with heterosexual activity by lesbians.
Among the difficulties in establishing the pathologies associated with lesbianism is the problem of defining who is a lesbian.61 Study after study documents that the overwhelming majority of self-described lesbians have had sex with men.62 Australian researchers at an STD clinic found that only 7 percent of their lesbian sample had never had sexual contact with a male.63
Not only did lesbians commonly have sex with men, but with lots of men. They were 4.5 times as likely as exclusively heterosexual controls to have had more than 50 lifetime male sex partners.64 Consequently, the lesbians' median number of male partners was twice that of exclusively heterosexual women.65 Lesbians were three to four times more likely than heterosexual women to have sex with men who were high-risk for HIV disease-homosexual, bisexual, or IV drug-abusing men.66 The study "demonstrates that WSW [women who have sex with women] are more likely than non- WSW to engage in recognized HIV risk behaviours such as IDU [intravenous drug use], sex work, sex with a bisexual man, and sex with a man who injects drugs, confirming previous reports."67
Bacterial vaginosis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, heavy cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, intravenous drug use, and prostitution were present in much higher proportions among female homosexual practitioners.68 Intravenous drug abuse was nearly six times as common in this group.69In one study of women who had sex only with women in the prior 12 months, 30 percent had bacterial vaginosis.70 Bacterial vaginosis is associated with higher risk for pelvic inflammatory disease and other sexually transmitted infections.71
In view of the record of lesbians having sex with many men, including gay men, and the increased incidence of intravenous drug use among lesbians, lesbians are not low risk for disease. Although researchers have only recently begun studying the transmission of STDs among lesbians, diseases such as "crabs," genital warts, chlamydia and herpes have been reported.72 Even women who have never had sex with men have been found to have HPV, trichomoniasis and anogenital warts.73

C. Mental Health
1. Psychiatric Illness
Multiple studies have identified high rates of psychiatric illness, including depression, drug abuse and suicide attempts, among self-professed gays and lesbians.74 Some proponents of GLB rights have used these findings to conclude that mental illness is induced by other people's unwillingness to accept same-sex attraction and behavior as normal. They point to homophobia, effectively defined as any opposition to or critique of gay sex, as the cause for the higher rates of psychiatric illness, especially among gay youth.75 Although homophobia must be considered as a potential cause for the increase in mental health problems, the medical literature suggests other conclusions.
An extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex relationships than other Western countries — in fact, same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands.76 So a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with homosexual behavior in the Netherlands means that the psychiatric disease cannot so easily be attributed to social rejection and homophobia.
The Dutch study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did indeed find a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex.77 Compared to controls who had no homosexual experience in the 12 months prior to the interview, males who had any homosexual contact within that time period were much more likely to experience major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Females with any homosexual contact within the previous 12 months were more often diagnosed with major depression, social phobia or alcohol dependence. In fact, those with a history of homosexual contact had higher rates of nearly all psychiatric pathologies measured in the study.78 The researchers found "that homosexuality is not only associated with mental health problems during adolescence and early adulthood, as has been suggested, but also in later life."79 Researchers actually fear that methodological features of "the study might underestimate the differences between homosexual and heterosexual people."80
The Dutch researchers concluded, "this study offers evidence that homosexuality is associated with a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders. The outcomes are in line with findings from earlier studies in which less rigorous designs have been employed."81 The researchers offered no opinion as to whether homosexual behavior causes psychiatric disorders, or whether it is the result of psychiatric disorders.
2. Reckless Sexual Behavior
Depression and drug abuse can lead to reckless sexual behavior, even among those who are most likely to understand the deadly risks. In an article that was part of a series on "AIDS at 20," the New York Times reported the risks that many gay men take. One night when a gay HIV prevention educator named Seth Watkins got depressed, he met an attractive stranger, had anal intercourse without a condom — and became HIV positive. In spite of his job training, the HIV educator nevertheless employed the psychological defense of "denial" in explaining his own sexual behavior:
"[L]ike an increasing number of gay men in San Francisco and elsewhere, Mr. Watkins sometimes still puts himself and possibly other people at risk. 'I don't like to think about it because I don't want to give anyone H.I.V.,' Mr. Watkins said."82
Another gay man named Vince, who had never before had anal intercourse without a condom, went to a sex club on the spur of the moment when he got depressed, and had unprotected sex:
"I was definitely in a period of depression . . . . And there was just something about that particular circumstance and that particular person. I don't know how to describe it. It just appealed to me; it made it seem like it was all right."83
Some of the men interviewed by the New York Times are deliberately reckless. One fatalistic gay man with HIV makes no apology for putting other men at risk:
"The prospect of going through the rest of your life having to cover yourself up every time you want to get intimate with someone is an awful one. . . . Now I've got H.I.V. and I don't have to worry about getting it," he said. "There is a part of me that's relieved. I was tired of always having to be careful, of this constant diligence that has to be paid to intimacy when intimacy should be spontaneous."84
After admitting to almost never using condoms he adds:
"There is no such thing as safe sex. . . . If people want to use condoms, they can. I didn't go out and purposely get H.I.V. Accidents happen."85
Other reports show similar disregard for the safety of self and others. A1998 study in Seattle found that 10 percent of HIV-positive men admitted they engaged in unprotected anal sex, and the percentage doubled in 2000.86 According to a study of men who attend gay "circuit" parties,87 the danger at such events is even greater. Ten percent of the men surveyed expected to become HIV-positive in their lifetime. Researchers discovered that 17 percent of the circuit party attendees surveyed were already HIV positive.88 Two thirds of those attending circuit parties had oral or anal sex, and 28 percent did not use condoms.89
In addition, drug use at circuit parties is ubiquitous. Although only 57 percent admit going to circuit parties to use drugs, 95 percent of the survey participants said they used psychoactive drugs at the most recent event they attended.90 There was a direct correlation between the number of drugs used during a circuit party weekend and the likelihood of unprotected anal sex.91 The researchers concluded that in view of their findings, "the likelihood of transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases among party attendees and secondary partners becomes a real public health concern."92
Good mental health would dictate foregoing circuit parties and other risky sex. But neither education nor adequate access to health care is a deterrent to such reckless behavior. "Research at the University of New South Wales found well-educated professional men in early middle age — those who experienced the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s — are most likely not to use a condom."93
D. Shortened Life Span
The greater incidence of physical and mental health problems among gays and lesbians has serious consequences for length of life. While many are aware of the death toll from AIDS, there has been little public attention given to the magnitude of the lost years of life.
An epidemiological study from Vancouver, Canada of data tabulated between 1987 and 1992 for AIDS-related deaths reveals that male homosexual or bisexual practitioners lost up to 20 years of life expectancy. The study concluded that if 3 percent of the population studied were gay or bisexual, the probability of a 20-year-old gay or bisexual man living to 65 years was only 32 percent, compared to 78 percent for men in general.94 The damaging effects of cigarette smoking pale in comparison -cigarette smokers lose on average about 13.5 years of life expectancy.95
The impact on length of life may be even greater than reported in the Canadian study. First, HIV/AIDS is underreported by as much as 15-20 percent, so it is likely that not all AIDSrelated deaths were accounted for in the study.96 Second, there are additional major causes of death related to gay sex. For example, suicide rates among a San Francisco cohort were 3.4 times higher than the general U.S. male population in 1987.97 Other potentially fatal ailments such as syphilis, anal cancer, and Hepatitis B and C also affect gay and bisexual men disproportionately.98
E. "Monogamy"
Monogamy for heterosexual couples means at a minimum sexual fidelity. The most extensive survey of sex in America found that "a vast majority [of heterosexual married couples] are faithful while the marriage is intact."99 The survey further found that 94 percent of married people and 75 percent of cohabiting people had only one partner in the prior year.100 In contrast, long-term sexual fidelity is rare among GLB couples, particularly among gay males. Even during the coupling period, many gay men do not expect monogamy. A lesbian critic of gay males notes that:
"After a period of optimism about the longrange potential of gay men's one-on-one relationships, gay magazines are starting to acknowledge the more relaxed standards operating here, with recent articles celebrating the bigger bang of sex with strangers or proposing 'monogamy without fidelity'-the latest Orwellian formulation to excuse having your cake and eating it too."101
Gay men's sexual practices appear to be consistent with the concept of "monogamy without fidelity." Astudy of gay men attending circuit parties showed that 46 percent were coupled, that is, they claimed to have a "primary partner." Twenty-seven percent of the men with primary partners "had multiple sex partners (oral or anal) during their most recent circuit party weekend . . . ."102 For gay men, sex outside the primary relationship is ubiquitous even during the first year. Gay men reportedly have sex with someone other than their partner in 66 percent of relationships within the first year, rising to approximately 90 percent if the relationship endures over five years.103 And the average gay or lesbian relationship is short lived. In one study, only 15 percent of gay men and 17.3 percent of lesbians had relationships that lasted more than three years.104 Thus, the studies reflect very little long-term monogamy in GLB relationships.

II. CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF PROMISCUITY
"Don't tear down a fence until you know why it was put up." ~ African proverb
The societal implications of the unrestrained sexual activity described above are devastating. The ideal of sexual activity being limited to marriage, always defined as male-female, has been a fence erected in all civilizations around the globe.105 Throughout history, many people have climbed over the fence, engaging in premarital, extramarital and homosexual sex. Still, the fence stands; the limits are visible to all. Climbing over the fence, metaphorically, has always been recognized as a breach of those limits, even by the breachers themselves. No civilization can retain its vitality for multiple generations after removing the fence.106
But now social activists are saying that there should be no fence, and that to destroy the fence is an act of liberation.107 If the fence is torn down, there is no visible boundary to sexual expression. If gay sex is socially acceptable, what logical reason can there be to deny social acceptance of adultery, polygamy, or pedophilia? The polygamist movement already has support from some of the advocates for GLB rights.108 And some in the psychological profession are floating the idea that maybe pedophilia is not so damaging to children after all.109
Lesbian social critic Camille Paglia observes, "history shows that male homosexuality, which like prostitution flourishes with urbanization and soon becomes predictably ritualized, always tends toward decadence."110 Gay author Gabriel Rotello writes of the changes in homosexual behavior in the last century:
"Most accounts of male-on-male sex from the early decades of this century [20th] cite oral sex, and less often masturbation, as the predominant forms of activity, with the acknowledged homosexual fellating or masturbating his partner. Comparatively fewer accounts refer to anal sex. My own informal survey of older gay men who were sexually active prior to World War II gives credence to the idea that anal sex, especially anal sex with multiple partners, was considerably less common than it later became."111
Not only has the practice of anal sex increased, condom use has declined 20 percent and multi-partner sex has doubled in the last seven years,112 despite billions of dollars spent on HIV prevention campaigns. "In many cases, the prevention slogans that galvanized gay men in the early years of the epidemic now fall on deaf ears."113 As should be expected, the health-care costs resulting from gay promiscuity are substantial.114 Social approval of gay sex leads to an increase in such behavior. As early as 1993, Newsweek reported that the growing media presence and social acceptance of homosexual behavior was leading to teenager experimentation to the extent that it was "becoming chic."115 A more recent report stated that "the way gays and lesbians appear in the media may make some people more comfortable acting on homosexual impulses."116 In addition, one of the goals of GLB advocates' quest for domestic partner benefits from employers is to motivate more gays and lesbians "to come out of the closet."117 If, as suggested above, being "out" results in a greater incidence of promiscuity, employer decisions to provide domestic partner benefits may have a negative impact on employee health. Indeed, giving gays and lesbians the social approval they desire may ultimately lead to an early death for employees who otherwise might have restrained their sexual behavior.
Research designed to prove that gays and lesbians are "born that way" has come up empty — there is no scientific evidence that being gay or lesbian is genetically determined.118 Even researcher Dean Hamer, who once hoped he had identified a "gay gene," admits "there is a lot more than just genes going on."119

CONCLUSION
It is clear that there are serious medical consequences to same-sex behavior. Identification with a GLB community appears to lead to an increase in promiscuity, which in turn leads to a myriad of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and even early death. A compassionate response to requests for social approval and recognition of GLB relationships is not to assure gays and lesbians that homosexual relationships are just like heterosexual ones, but to point out the health risks of gay sex and promiscuity. Approving same-sex relationships is detrimental to employers, employees and society in general.

APPENDIX A
Definitional Impediments to Research
Unfortunately, endeavors to assess the actual practices and the health consequences of male and female homosexual behavior are hampered by imprecise definitions. For many, being gay or lesbian or bisexual is a political identity that does not necessarily correspond to sexual behavior. And investigators find that sexual behavior fluctuates over time:
"[P]eople often change their sexual behavior during their lifetimes, making it impossible to state that a particular set of behaviors defines a person as gay. A man who has sex with men today, for example, might not have done so 10 years ago."120
Defining the terms becomes even more difficult when people who identify as gay or lesbian enter heterosexual relationships. Joanne Loulan, a well-known lesbian, has talked openly about her two-year relationship with a man: "'I come from this background that sex is an activity, it's not an identity,' says Loulan. 'It was funny for a while, but then it turned out to be something more connected, more deep. Something more important. And that's when my life started really going topsy turvy.'" While critics complain that "You can't be a lesbian and be having sex with men," Loulan sees no contradiction in the fact that she "adamantly refuses to call herself a bisexual, to give up the lesbian identity."121 Several high-profile lesbian media stars that have abandoned lesbianism further illustrate the difficulty in defining homosexuality. An article about the now defunct couple, Anne Heche and Ellen Degeneres, said, "Although the pair never publicly discussed the reason for their breakup, it has been heavily rumored that Heche decided to go back to heterosexuality."122 Heche married a man on Sept. 1, 2001.123
As recently as June 2000, pop-music star Sinead O'Connor said, "I'm a lesbian . . . although I haven't been very open about that, and throughout most of my life I've gone out with blokes because I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian. But I actually am a lesbian."124 Then, shocking the gay world that applauded her "coming out," O'Connor's sexual identity fluctuated again when she withdrew from participating in a lesbian music festival because of her marriage to British Press Association reporter Nick Sommerlad.125
Although women get most of the press coverage of fluctuating between same-sex and heterosexual relationships, men can experience similar fluidity. Gay author John Stoltenberg has lived with a lesbian, Andrea Dworkin, since 1974.126 And a 2000 survey in Australia found that 19 percent of gay men reported having sex with a woman in the six months prior to the survey.127 This fluctuation in sexual "orientation" inhibits the creation of a fixed definition of homosexuality. As one group of researchers stated the problem:
"Does a man who has homosexual sex in prison count as a homosexual? Does a man who left his wife of twenty years for a gay lover count as a homosexual or heterosexual? Do you count the number of years he spent with his wife as compared to his lover? Does the married woman who had sex with her college roommate a decade ago count? Do you assume that one homosexual experience defines someone as gay for all time?"128
Despite the difficulty in defining homosexuality, the one thing that is clear is that those who engage in same-sex practices or identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual constitute a very small percentage of the population. The most reliable studies indicate that 1-3 percent of people — and probably less than 2 percent — consider themselves to be gay, lesbian or bisexual, or currently practice same-sex sex.129



Endnotes
  1. "Tracking the Hidden Epidemics: Trends in STDs in the United States, 2000," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), available at www.cdc.gov.
  2. Becky Birtha, "Gay Parents and the Adoption Option," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 04, 2002, www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/editorial/ 2787531.htm; Grant Pick, "Make Room for Daddy — and Poppa," The Chicago Tribune Internet Edition, March 24, 2002, www.chicagotribune.com/features/magazine/chi- 0203240463mar24.story
  3. Ellen C. Perrin, et al., "Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents," Pediatrics, 109(2): 341-344 (2002).
  4. Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men, p. 112, New York: Penguin Group, 1998 (quoting gay writer Michael Lynch).
  5. Alan P. Bell and Martin S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A study of Diversity Among Men and Women, p. 308, Table 7, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.
  6. Leon McKusick, et al., "Reported Changes in the Sexual Behavior of Men at Risk for AIDS, San Francisco, 1982-84 — the AIDS Behavioral Research Project," Public Health Reports, 100(6): 622-629, p. 625, Table 1 (November- December 1985). In 1982 respondents reported an average of 4.7 new partners in the prior month; in 1984, respondents reported an average of 2.5 new partners in the prior month.
  7. "Increases in Unsafe Sex and Rectal Gonorrhea among Men Who Have Sex with Men — San Francisco, California, 1994-1997," Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, CDC, 48(03): 45-48, p. 45 (January 29, 1999).
  8. This was evident by the late 80's and early 90's. Jeffrey A. Kelly, PhD, et al., "Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/ Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk Behavior Among Gay Men in Small Cities," Archives of Internal Medicine, 152: 2293-2297, pp. 2295-2296 (November 1992); Donald R. Hoover, et al., "Estimating the 1978-1990 and Future Spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in Subgroups of Homosexual Men," American Journal of Epidemiology, 134(10): 1190-1205, p. 1203 (1991).
  9. A lesbian pastor made this assertion during a question and answer session that followed a presentation the author made on homosexual health risks at the Chatauqua Institute in Western New York, summer 2001.
  10. Paul Van de Ven, et al., "Facts & Figures: 2000 Male Out Survey," p. 20 & Table 20, monograph published by National Centre in HIV Social Research Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of New South Wales, February 2001.
  11. Rotello, pp. 43-46.
  12. Ibid., pp. 165-172.
  13. Hoover, et al., Figure 3.
  14. "Basic Statistics," CDC — Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, June 2001, www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats.htm. (Nearly 8% (50,066) of men with AIDS had sex with men and used intravenous drugs. These men are included in the 64% figure (411,933) of 649,186 men who have been diagnosed with AIDS.)
  15. Figures from a study presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America meeting in San Francisco and reported by Christopher Heredia, "Big spike in cases of syphilis in S.F.: Gay, bisexual men affected most," San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2001, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/26/MN7489 3.DTL.
  16. Catherine Hutchinson, et al., "Characteristics of Patients with Syphilis Attending Baltimore STD Clinics," Archives of Internal Medicine, 151: 511-516, p. 513 (1991).
  17. Katherine Fethers, Caron Marks, et al., "Sexually transmitted infections and risk behaviours in women who have sex with women," Sexually Transmitted Infections, 76(5): 345- 349, p. 347 (October 2000).
  18. James Price, et al., "Perceptions of cervical cancer and pap smear screening behavior by Women's Sexual Orientation," Journal of Community Health, 21(2): 89-105 (1996); Daron Ferris, et al., "A Neglected Lesbian Health Concern: Cervical Neoplasia," The Journal of Family Practice, 43(6): 581-584, p. 581 (December 1996); C. Skinner, J. Stokes, et al., "A Case-Controlled Study of the Sexual Health Needs of Lesbians," Sexually Transmitted Infections, 72(4): 277-280, Abstract (1996).
  19. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) recently published a press release entitled "Ten Things Gay Men Should Discuss with Their Health Care Providers" (July 17, 2002), www.glma.org/news/ releases/n02071710gaythings.html. The list includes: HIV/AIDS (Safe Sex), Substance Use, Depression/ Anxiety, Hepatitis Immunization, STDs, Prostate/ Testicular/Colon Cancer, Alcohol, Tobacco, Fitness and Anal Papilloma.
  20. R. R. Wilcox, "Sexual Behaviour and Sexually Transmitted Disease Patterns in Male Homosexuals," British Journal of Venereal Diseases, 57(3): 167-169, 167 (1981).
  21. Robert T. Michael, et al., Sex in America: a Definitive Survey, pp. 140-141, Table 11, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1994; Rotello, pp. 75-76.
  22. Rotello, p. 92.
  23. Jon M. Richards, J. Michael Bedford, and Steven S. Witkin, "Rectal Insemination Modifies Immune Responses in Rabbits," Science, 27(224): 390-392 (1984).
  24. S. S. Witkin and J. Sonnabend, "Immune Responses to Spermatozoa in Homosexual Men," Fertility and Sterility, 39(3): 337-342, pp. 340-341 (1983).
  25. Anne Rompalo, "Sexually Transmitted Causes of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Homosexual Men," Medical Clinics of North America, 74(6): 1633-1645 (November 1990); "Anal Health for Men and Women," LGBTHealthChannel, www.gayhealthchannel.com/analhealth/; "Safer Sex (MSM) for Men who Have Sex with Men," LGBTHealthChannel, www.gayhealthchannel.com/stdmsm/.
  26. "Resurgent Bacterial Sexually Transmitted Disease Among Men Who Have Sex With Men — King County, Washington, 1997-1999," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, 48(35): 773-777 (September 10, 1999).
  27. Heredia, "Big spike in cases of syphilis in S.F.: Gay, bisexual men affected most."
  28. "Changing Patterns of Groups at High Risk for Hepatitis B in the United States," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, 37(28): 429-432, p. 437 (July 22, 1988). Hepatitis B and C are viral diseases of the liver.
  29. Edward O. Laumann, John H. Gagnon, et al., The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States, p. 293, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994; Michael, et al., p. 176; David Forman and Clair Chilvers, "Sexual Behavior of Young and Middle-Aged Men in England and Wales," British Medical Journal, 298: 1137-1142 (1989); and Gary Remafedi, et al., "Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents," Pediatrics, 89: 714-721 (1992). See appendix A.
  30. Mads Melbye, Charles Rabkin, et al., "Changing patterns of anal cancer incidence in the United States, 1940-1989," American Journal of Epidemiology, 139: 772-780, p. 779, Table 2 (1994).
  31. James Goedert, et al., for the AIDS-Cancer Match Study Group, "Spectrum of AIDS-associated malignant disorders," The Lancet, 351: 1833-1839, p. 1836 (June 20, 1998).
  32. "Anal Health for Men and Women," LGBTHealthChannel, www.gayhealthchannel.com/analhealth/; J. E. Barone, et al., "Management of Foreign Bodies and Trauma of the Rectum," Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, 156(4): 453-457 (April 1983).
  33. Henry Kazal, et al., "The gay bowel syndrome: Clinicopathologic correlation in 260 cases," Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, 6(2): 184-192 (1976).
  34. Glen E. Hastings and Richard Weber, "Use of the term 'Gay Bowel Syndrome,'" reply to a letter to the editor, American Family Physician, 49(3): 582 (1994).
  35. Ibid.; E. K. Markell, et al., "Intestinal Parasitic Infections in Homosexual Men at a San Francisco Health Fair," Western Journal of Medicine, 139(2): 177-178 (August, 1983).
  36. "Hepatitis A among Homosexual Men — United States, Canada, and Australia," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, 41(09): 155, 161-164 (March 06, 1992).
  37. Rompalo, p. 1640.
  38. H. Naher, B. Lenhard, et al., "Detection of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in anal scrapings from HIV-positive homosexual men," Archives of Dermatological Research, 287(6): 608- 611, Abstract (1995).
  39. B. L. Carlson, N. J. Fiumara, et al., "Isolation of Neisseria meningitidis from anogenital specimens from homosexual men," Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 7(2): 71-73 (April 1980).
  40. P. Paulet and G. Stoffels, "Maladies anorectales sexuellement transmissibles" ["Sexually-Transmissible Anorectal Diseases"], Revue Medicale Bruxelles, 10(8): 327-334, Abstract (October 10, 1989).
  41. "Hepatitis A among Homosexual Men — United States, Canada, and Australia," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, 41(09): 155, 161-164 (March 06, 1992).
  42. Ibid.
  43. C. M. Thorpe and G. T. Keutsch, "Enteric bacterial pathogens: Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter," in K. K. Holmes, P. A. Mardh, et al., (Eds.), Sexually Transmitted Diseases (3rd edition), p. 549, New York: McGraw-Hill Health Professionals Division, 1999.
  44. Tim Bonfield, "Typhoid traced to sex encounters," Cincinnati Enquirer, April 26, 2001; Erin McClam, "Health Officials Document First Sexual Transmission of Typhoid in U.S.," Associated Press, April 25, 2001, www.thebody.com/ cdc/news_updates_archive/apr26_01/typhoid.html. A representative of the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, confirmed this report and provided a link to the AP story on October 4, 2002.
  45. Jeffrey Martin, et al., "Sexual Transmission and the Natural History of Human Herpes Virus 8 Infection," New England Journal of Medicine, 338(14): 948-954, p. 952 (1998).
  46. Alexandra M. Levine, "Kaposi's Sarcoma: Far From Gone," paper presented at 5th International AIDS Malignancy Conference, April 23-25, 2001, Bethesda, Maryland, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/420749.
  47. "Paraphilias," Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, p. 576, Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Karla Jay and Allen Young, The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences and Lifestyles, pp. 554-555, New York: Summit Books (1979).
  48. Jay and Young, pp. 554-555.
  49. Sade, Marquis de, Justine or Good Conduct Well Chastised (1791), New York: Grove Press (1965).
  50. Michigan Rope internet advertisement for "Bondage and Beyond," which was scheduled for February 9-10, 2002, near Detroit, Michigan, www.michiganrope.com/ MichiganRopeWorkshop.html. The explicit nature of the advertisement was changed following unexpected publicity, and the hotel where the conference was scheduled ultimately canceled it. Marsha Low, "Hotel Ties Noose Around 2-Day Bondage Meeting," Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2002, www.freep.com/news/locoak/ nrope25_20020125.htm.
  51. Allyson Smith, "Ramada to host 'Vicious Valentine' Event," WorldNet Daily, February 14, 2002, www.worldnetdaily. com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26453; "Vicious Valentine 5 Celebrates Mardi Gras, Feb 15-17, 2002," www.leatherquest.com/events/vv2002.htm.
  52. The sadistic rape of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising on September 26, 1999, left him dead. See Andrew Sullivan, "The Death of Jesse Dirkhising," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 1, 2001.
  53. Jay and Young, pp. 554-555.
  54. Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, "MSM: Clinician's Guide to Incorporating Sexual Risk Assessment in Routine Visits," www.glma.org/medical/clinical/msm_assessment. html.
  55. S. Bygdeman, "Gonorrhea in men with homosexual contacts. Serogroups of isolated gonococcal strains related to antibiotic susceptibility, site of infection, and symptoms," British Journal of Venereal Diseases, 57(5): 320-324, Abstract (October 1981).
  56. As of January 1, 1999, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimated the cancer prevalence in the United States to be 8.9 million. "Estimated US Cancer Prevalence Counts: Who Are Our Cancer Survivors in the US?," Cancer Control & Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, April 2002, www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/ocs/prevalence. In 1999, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated 1,221,800 new cancer cases in the US and an estimated 563,100 cancer related deaths, "Cancer Facts and Figures 1999," p. 4, American Cancer Society, Inc., 1999, www.cancer.org/ downloads/STT/F&F99.pdf; in 2000, the ACS estimated 1,220,100 new cancer cases and 552,200 deaths from cancer, "Cancer Facts and Figures 2000," p. 4, American Cancer Society, Inc., 2000, www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/ F&F00.pdf; in 2001, the ACS estimated a total number of 1,268,000 new cases of cancer and 553,400 deaths, "Cancer Facts and Figures 2001," p. 5, American Cancer Society, Inc., 2001, www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/ F&F2001.pdf. This results in an estimated growth of 2,041,200 new cancer cases over the past three years and an estimated 10,941,200 people with cancer as of January 1, 2002. In 2001 there were 793,025 reported AIDS cases. "Basic Statistics," CDC — Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, June 2001, www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats.htm.
  57. The federal spending for AIDS research in 2001 was $2,247,000,000, while the spending for cancer research was not even double that at $4,376,400,000. "Funding For Research Areas of Interest," National Institute of Health, 2002, www4.od.nih.gov/officeofbudget/ FundingResearchAreas.htm.
  58. Ibid.; "Fast Stats Ato Z: Diabetes," CDC — National Center for Health Statistics, June 04, 2002, www.cdc.gov/nchs/ fastats/diabetes.htm; "Fast Stats A to Z: Heart Disease," CDC — National Center for Health Statistics, June 06, 2002, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/heart.htm.
  59. Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Press Release, "Ten Things Lesbians Should Discuss with Their Health Care Providers" (July 17, 2002), www.glma.org/news/ releases/n02071710lesbianthings.html. The list includes Breast Cancer, Depression/Anxiety, Gynecological Cancer, Fitness, Substance Use, Tobacco, Alcohol, Domestic Violence, Osteoporosis and Heart Health.
  60. Michael, et al., p. 176 ("about 1.4 percent of women said they thought of themselves as homosexual or bisexual and about 2.8% of the men identified themselves in this way").
  61. See Appendix A.
  62. Skinner, et al., Abstract; Ferris, et al. p. 581; James Price, et al., p. 90; see Appendix A.
  63. Katherine Fethers, et al., "Sexually transmitted infections and risk behaviours in women who have sex with women," Sexually Transmitted Infections, 76(5): 345-349, p. 348 (2000).
  64. Ibid., p. 347.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Ibid.
  67. Ibid., p. 348.
  68. Ibid., p. 347, Table 1; Susan D. Cochran, et al., "Cancer- Related Risk Indicators and Preventive Screening Behaviors Among Lesbians and Bisexual Women," American Journal of Public Health, 91(4): 591-597 (April 2001); Juliet Richters, Sara Lubowitz, et al., "HIV risks among women in contact with Sydney's gay and lesbian community," Venereology, 11(3): 35-38 (1998); Juliet Richters, Sarah Bergin, et al., "Women in Contact with the Gay and Lesbian Community: Sydney Women and Sexual Health Survey 1996 and 1998," National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales, 1999.
  69. Fethers, et al., p. 347 and Table 1.
  70. Barbara Berger, Shelley Kolton, et al., "Bacterial vaginosis in lesbians: a sexually transmitted disease," Clinical Infectious Diseases, 21: 1402-1405 (1995).
  71. E. H. Koumans, et al., "Preventing adverse sequelae of Bacterial Vaginosis: a Public Health Program and Research Agenda," Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 28(5): 292-297 (May 2001); R. L. Sweet, "Gynecologic Conditions and Bacterial Vaginosis: Implications for the Non-Pregnant Patient," Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 8(3): 184-190 (2000).
  72. Kathleen M. Morrow, Ph.D., et al., "Sexual Risk in Lesbians and Bisexual Women," Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 4(4): 159-165, p. 161 (2000).
  73. Ibid., p. 159.
  74. For example, Judith Bradford, Caitlin Ryan, and Esther D. Rothblum, "National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care," Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(2): 228-242 (1994); Richard C. Pillard, "Sexual orientation and mental disorder," Psychiatric Annals, 18(1): 52-56 (1988); see also Mubarak S. Dahir, "The Gay Community's New Epidemic," Daily News (June 5, 2000), www.gaywired.com/story detail.cfm?Section=12&ID=148&ShowDate=1.
  75. Katherine A. O'Hanlan, M.D., et al., "Homophobia As a Health Hazard," Report of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, pp. 3, 5, www.ohanlan.com/phobiahzd.htm; Laura Dean, et al., "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: Findings & Concerns," Journal of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, 4(3): 102-151, pp. 102, 116 (2000).
  76. "Netherlands Ends Discrimination in Civil Marriage: Gays to Wed," Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Press Release, March 30, 2001, http://lambdalegal.org/cgibin/ pages/documents/record?record=814.
  77. Theo Sandfort, Ron de Graaf, et al., "Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders," Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(1): 85-91, p. 89 and Table 2 (January 2001).
  78. Ibid.
  79. Ibid., p. 89.
  80. Ibid., p. 90 (emphasis added).
  81. Ibid.
  82. Erica Goode, "With Fears Fading, More Gays Spurn Old Preventive Message," New York Times, August 19, 2001.
  83. Ibid.
  84. Ibid.
  85. Ibid.
  86. "Officials Voice Alarm Over Halt in AIDS Decline," New York Times, August 14, 2001.
  87. "A uniform definition of a circuit party does not exist, partly because such parties continue to evolve. However, a circuit party tends to be a multi-event weekend that occurs each year at around the same time and in the same town . . . ." Gordon Mansergh, Grant Colfax, et al., "The Circuit Party Men's Health Survey: Findings and Implications for Gay and Bisexual Men," American Journal of Public Health, 91(6): 953-958, p. 953 (June 2001).
  88. Ibid., p. 955.
  89. Ibid., p. 956.
  90. Ibid., pp. 956-957, Tables 2 & 3.
  91. Ibid., pp. 956-957.
  92. Ibid., p. 957. The authors' recommendation was more education.
  93. Julie Robotham, "Safe sex by arrangement as gay men reject condoms," Sydney Morning Herald, June 7, 2001. Data source: 2000 Male Out Survey, National Centre in HIV Social Research, Australia.
  94. R. S. Hogg, S. A. Strathdee, et al., "Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men," International Journal of Epidemiology, 26(3): 657-661, p. 659 (1997). Death as the result of HIV infection has dropped significantly since 1996. "Life Expectancy Hits New High in 2000; Mortality Declines for Several Leading Causes of Death," CDC News Release, October 10, 2001, www.cdc.gov/nchs/releases/01news/mort2k.htm. Nevertheless, it remains a significant factor in shortened life expectancy for homosexual practitioners.
  95. Press Release, Smoking costs nation $150 billion each year in health costs, lost productivity, CDC, Office of Communication, April 12, 2002, www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/ pressrel/r020412.htm.
  96. Hogg, et al., p. 660.
  97. Ibid.
  98. "Hepatitis A vaccination of men who have sex with men — Atlanta, Georgia, 1996-1997," Morbidity and Mortality Report, CDC, 47(34): 708-711 (September 4, 1998).
  99. Robert T. Michael, et al., p. 89.
  100. Ibid., p. 101.
  101. Camille Paglia, "I'll take religion over gay culture," Salon.com online magazine, June 1998, www.frontpagemag.com/archives/guest_column/ paglia/gayculture.htm.
  102. Gordon Mansergh, Grant Colfax, et al., p. 955.
  103. Joseph Harry, Gay Couples, p. 116, New York: Praeger Books, 1984.
  104. Marcel T. Saghir, M.D. and Eli Robins, M.D., Male and Female Homosexuality: A Comprehensive Investigation, p. 57 Table 4.13, p. 225 Table 12.10, Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1973.
  105. The existence of limited homosexual relationships in primitive cultures, or even extensive homosexuality in declining civilizations, such as those cited by advocates of same-sex marriage, does not challenge the existence of a prevailing norm. See, for example, William N. Eskridge, Jr., The Case for Same-Sex Marriage, Chapter 2, New York: The Free Press, 1996.
  106. Joseph D. Unwin, "Sexual Regulations and Cultural Behaviour," pp. 18-19, reprint of Oxford University Press publication of speech given before the Medical Section of the British Psychological Society, March 27, 1935.
  107. For example, see the website of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Inc., www.ncsfreedom.org.
  108. "The ACLU believes that criminal and civil laws prohibiting or penalizing the practice of plural marriage violate constitutional protections . . . ." 1992 Policy Guide of the ACLU, Policy #91, p. 175.
  109. Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002; Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bauserman, "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples," Psychological Bulletin, 124(1): 22-53 (July 1998).
  110. Paglia, June 23, 1998.
  111. Rotello, p. 42.
  112. Goode, August 19, 2001.
  113. Ibid.
  114. See Michael Hamrick, The Hidden Costs of Domestic Partner Benefits, pp. 3-4 (Corporate Resource Council, 2002).
  115. David Gelman, et al., "Tune In, Come Out," Newsweek, p. 70, November 8, 1993.
  116. "Iowa study suggests tolerance of homosexuals is growing," Associated Press, March 23, 2001.
  117. Sally Kohn, The Domestic Partnership Organizing Manual for Employee Benefits, p. 1, the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, www.ngltf.org/ downloads/dp-/dp_99.pdf.
  118. John Horgan, "Gay Genes, Revisited," Scientific American, p. 26, November 1995.
  119. Matthew Brelis, "The Fading 'Gay Gene,'" The Boston Globe, March 20, 2002, p. C1.
  120. Michael, et al., p. 172.
  121. Lynn Scherr, "Lesbian Leader Loves a Man," ABCNews.com, April 17, 1998.
  122. "Former Lesbian Anne Heche Engaged to Cameraman," ABCNews.com, June 1, 2001 (emphasis added), reprinted at www.gaywired.com/index.cfm?linkPage=/storydetail.cf m&Section=68&ID=5304.
  123. "The Facts: Anne Heche," Eonline.msn, April 1, 2002, www.eonline.com/Facts/People/Bio/0,128,31319,00.html.
  124. "Sinead O'Connor to Marry a Man," Reuters, June 27, 2000, www.q.co.za/2001.2001.06.27-sinead.html.
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