Gary: Now, Religion in the News…. This week’s item is from the Religious News Service, August 2000: “Many people assume the Bible has just one message about sex: ‘Don’t do it.’ But a careful reading of the Holy Scriptures reveals a much more nuanced complex approach to physical intimacy. ‘When I studied the Bible, I was surprised to discover a much more positive view of sexuality than I had ever known,’ says Debra Haffner, a former sexologist, who is now studying to be a Unitarian Universalist Minister in New York City. ‘It wasn’t what I was taught in Sunday School growing up.’
“Indeed, more and more people are turning to the Bible and their own religious traditions for help with sexual relationships. Last year rabbi Schmuley Boteach wrote, Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy, which draws its lessons from the Bible. In a similar vein, a recent book about sex aimed at Mormons has been flying off the shelves. Between Husband and Wife: Gospel Perspectives on Marital Intimacy, by Steven Lamb and Douglas Brinley, has sold more than 70,000 copies, even outselling Standing for Something, a recent book by Gorden B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints , in church-owned bookstores.
“Though the book is liberally sprinkled with churchy advice from LDS presidents and apostles, Lamb, a Salt Lake City Obstetrician, and Brimley, a Brigham Young University Church History Professor, also offer candid advice on many sexual topics. The overall message is clear, even revolutionary, for some Mormons: ‘God intends married couples to enjoy sexual intimacy. That idea began in the Bible.’”
Tom: Dave, one of my least favorite things about what we do here in the ministry is we look at some of the trends that are going on in the church, and because it’s influencing many Christians, we have to address them. Things that we would rather not address or would rather not get into. But this is a good example here. Who wants to talk about this, except that, just on the basis of what Gary read, this is a growing…this is an item in the church. There are more books…I was just at CBA, Christian Booksellers Association—their convention—and you just find everything there that’s of the world, in the world. Is the Bible a book on sex? Is this something that we ought to be writing about with some basically biblical support?
Dave: I suppose we could go back to Adam and Eve, and God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, as people will often say. And I don’t know that He had to give them a course in sex. I think it comes fairly naturally. The Bible does say, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
So, the Bible does address this in some ways, but the Bible is not a “how to” book on sex. And I think when you get involved in that sort of thing, you have strayed from the scriptures, you begin to occupy your mind with thoughts that are not profitable, and I don’t think should be aired in public and so forth.
But now it’s in our schools. They have to teach our kids about sex and, of course, let them know that there is an alternative lifestyle, homosexual or lesbian, and maybe they should experiment to see whether that’s the way they should go, and so forth.
No, I think there is something built into human beings by God, as there is in animals—we have “animal bodies.” It’s horrible to admit, but we do. We’re not descended from animals. We are not related to them by some evolutionary chain. But we have certain fleshly passions…
Tom: Right. Drives…instincts, and so on.
Dave: Right. And they are to be utilized in a marriage relationship, and in a marriage relationship only. And when the Bible talks about marriage, it does not talk about two men and two women. The very first commandment God gives, and probably we’ve talked about this in the past, but it’s helpful to remember—the first commandment wasn’t “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” There was a commandment before that. Well, the commandment before that was, “Don’t eat of this tree.” But that wasn’t the first commandment. There was a commandment before that! The very first commandment God gave man and woman when He created them was, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”
And homosexuality and lesbianism is a direct disobedience to that command. It is a defiance of God, who made man and woman for one another. If everyone became a homosexual or lesbian, it would be the end of the human race. They don’t procreate. And I don’t know how you can have “Gay Pride Parades” about something that would end the human race if everyone adopted it, and which spreads disease, and which is unnatural.
So, I think every person recognizes certain natural instincts and a love relationship that there ought to be between a husband and wife, and I don’t think the Bible has to go into—it doesn’t go into great details about this.
Tom: Right. But you read the material that’s out there, just from the titles of books and the people behind it, all of a sudden it takes a psychological edge, that these are a man’s greatest needs, and you’re never going to have a great relationship with your wife if, you know, you’re not sexually intimate in the way they prescribe, according to this psychologist or that psychologist or sexologist. That’s what’s really the heartbreak here. This is worldly stuff. This is not what the Bible’s about.
Dave: What we need is a love relationship, like the love that is portrayed for us in 1 Corinthians 13, and when there is love between a husband and wife, there will be a proper relationship.” It is when one person wants to benefit their pleasure at the expense of the other, or they’re thinking selfishly of themselves, that’s when we have problems. But if there is the love of God, the love of Christ, in our hearts, husbands and wives will have a wonderful relationship.