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Today's Family Issues

Homosexuality, abortion and discipline.

What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality?

The Bible says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with a man as with a woman, or a woman to lie with a woman as with a man (see Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). The Bible says that because of certain abominations such as homosexuality, a land will vomit out its inhabitants (see Leviticus 18:25). The apostle Paul called it "shameful," the result of being given up by God to "vile passions" (see Romans 1:24-27).

In the Old Testament, those who practiced these things were removed from the congregation of Israel by execution. We are told in the New Testament that those who practice homosexuality will not enter the Kingdom of God (see I Corinthians 6:9-10). The apostle Paul, in the book of Romans, indicates that homosexuality is the result of the final rebellion of people against God. He says that when people exchange the truth of God for a lie, and begin to worship the creature instead of the Creator, they are given up to evil. At a moment in society when values are turned upside down and moral anarchy appears, men burn with lust for other men and women burn for women, and they will receive in their own bodies the punishment for their actions (see Romans 1:22-27).

From a biblical standpoint, the rise of homosexuality is a sign that a society is in the last stages of decay.


Should A Christian Divorce A Spouse Who Is Homosexual?

Terrible heartache is being visited upon homes by the spread of homosexuality. Imagine the feelings of a wife who knows she is sharing her husband with one or more male lovers. Imagine the feelings of a husband who is contending for the affection of his wife with one or more female lovers.

In addition of heartache, given the known proclivity of homosexuals for multiple sex partners, the possibility of contracting venereal disease from a homosexual spouse is very high.

But God is always redemptive. In this situation, I would advise the heterosexual spouse to use every means possible to get the mate delivered from homosexual bondage. Homosexuals can be set free and begin very satisfactory heterosexual relationships. They will never be delivered without love, understanding, and forgiveness. Very perceptive spiritual counselors are needed because many homosexual mates have so deceived themselves that they turn into remarkably convincing liars to cover up their conduct.

Finally, if all else fails, divorce from a homosexual mate is both wise and proper. Children should not be subjected to that type of influence. Whatever happens, the husband or wife should not feel guilty--wondering, "How have I failed?" Let Jesus Christ give you a new start for your life.


Does God Have A Perfect Mate For Everyone?

Marriage is not for everyone, but for those who should be married, I believe God will lead you to the mate best suited to you, although possibly not a "perfect" mate. Here is why.

Each person has a unique personality made up of hundreds--probably thousands--of intangible spiritual, mental, and environmental characteristics. Each person has a genetic code made up of millions of physical characteristics. To find a "perfect" mate would involve a special act of creation of another person by God with millions of characteristics, each of which would exactly complement your own characteristics. God does not form each human being by a special act of creation, but by natural biological processes.

What God will do, however, if you ask Him, is lead you to the person who best complements your personality, background, and desires, and whose genetic makeup, when joined to yours, can produce offspring pleasing to God, to you and your spouse, and to your fellow man. Since the variables involved in this are mathematically staggering, it behooves us to seek God's infinite wisdom in the choice of our mates. The secret of knowing His leading is expressed in Proverbs 3:4-5.

That does not mean people who are looking for a husband or wife should sit at home and wait for God to send someone to knock on their doors. It is certainly appropriate to ask God to lead you to various places where there are single people to meet, whether it is a social gathering at church, an educational opportunity, or some other place where there are people of like interests and beliefs. There are many places that provide opportunities to meet a prospective mate. God will bring us the right person if we will let Him.

Remember only a mate who has Jesus Christ living within can ever be considered "perfect" or suitable for you.


Is Abortion Wrong?

Abortion is definitely wrong. It is the taking of a human life. It is my feeling that abortion is tantamount to murder. We read in the psalms that God fashions us while we are in our mothers' wombs (see Psalms 139:13). We also read of a prophet named Jeremiah who was called by God before he was born (see Jeremiah 1:5). The apostle Paul believed that he was called to serve God from his mother's womb (see Galatians 1:15). We are told that John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb when the voice of Mary, the mother of the Lord, was heard (see Luke 1:44). Obviously children in the womb have spiritual identity.

From a biological standpoint, there is absolutely no basis for believing that human life begins at any time other than conception. From the moment of conception there is a progression of development that continues through adulthood. The flow of life never stops. It is a continuing process. Abortionists claim that a person becomes fully human at the moment of birth, but a five- or six-month fetus may be delivered by Caesarean section and have its life maintained outside the womb.

Abortion is terribly wrong. God condemned the Israelites who were offering their children as sacrifices to the heathen god Molech. Such children were burned up in the fires of sacrifice (see Leviticus 20:2). But we are offering our children to a god of pleasure and sensuality and convenience. By doing so we are saying that human beings are not worth anything. This is a terrible sin and a blot on our society.

The Bible is not more specific on the matter of abortion because such a practice would have been unthinkable to the people of God. For instance, when Israel was in Egypt, a cruel Pharaoh forced the Israelites to kill their newborn babies. In the Bible this was looked upon as the height of cruel oppression.

The thought that the Hebrews would kill their own children would have been anathema to them. All through the Old Testament, women yearned for children. Children were considered a gift from God. Women prayed not to be barren. How could a righteous woman have turned against her own children to destroy them?

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said she fears for America because the women of America are killing their own babies. She believes society is doomed when women become so heartless that they will kill their own young. Abortion is not only unthinkable, it is also the height of pagan barbarity.


Are Inter-racial Dating and Marriage All Right?

In the Old Testament, God told the people of Israel not to intermarry with the nations that surrounded them. The reason for this was not the color of the skin; it was the condition of the heart. These people were idol worshipers who engaged in all manner of filthy practices, sexual and otherwise, that would have corrupted Israel.

This prohibition against the godly marrying the godless is still in effect today. God's children should not marry Satan's children. But this has nothing to do with the color of skin or country of origin.

However, young people need to be aware of the unfortunate truth that prejudice still exists. There are people who take offense at a racially mixed couple. Children from such a marriage are often scorned by both racial communities. From a sociological standpoint, couples who enter into interracial marriages will face prejudice and rejection. There is nothing spiritual about it, but it is a fact of life.

Since the pressures upon them can be enormous, a couple contemplating an interracial marriage must be absolutely sure of each other, their own motives, and especially God's will in the matter.


What Training Should I Give My Children?

The Bible says that we are to bring up our children in "the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). It also says that "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him" (Proverbs 22:15). More than anything else, a child needs to know love, because a child's relationship with a loving father will teach him the love of God. Parents must show their children loving concern, fairness, and stability.

But along with love must be a measure of physical punishment to teach right and wrong, good and evil. That is what God gives us. He gives us love, fairness, and stability, but He also punishes us if we go wrong because He loves us.

Children cannot be allowed to be subject to their own biological or emotional needs at the expense of everybody else. A loving parent will set certain guidelines for his children, and let them know in a kind but firm fashion that these limits must be observed.

Then, as they get older, they may be given more freedom and responsibility. They must depend less on their parents and rely more and more on God. The goal of child rearing is to produce mature, responsible adults whose lives are governed by the Bible and centered in Christ.


Is Physical Punishment Of Children Allowed In The Bible?

Yes. The saying, "Spare the rod and spoil the child," has a biblical basis (see Proverbs 13:24).

Sexual and physical abuse of children is unlawful, immoral, and deplorable. Loving discipline, however, is absolutely necessary to produce mature, well-rounded adults who can handle the give-and-take of marriage, child rearing, and a competitive world. A self-willed, undisciplined child who grows up to be a husband or wife is a danger to society.

When a child flies into a rage, or breaks something, or displays behavior that is obviously malicious and wrong, there is nothing wrong with smacking him sharply once or twice on his bottom. That is much better than berating him for an hour verbally. It is much better to administer punishment and get the matter out of the way than to let the thing fester or to let the child think he can get away with doing something wrong.

We face a great danger in society from those who abuse children sexually or physically. But an even worse danger could come from public officials who, in overreacting to abuse, might forbid intelligent parental discipline--giving us a generation of youthful tyrants and emotionally stunted adults (see Isaiah 3:12). We forget that indifference also is a form of child abuse.


Should Grown Children Continue To Honor Their Parents According To The Biblical Commandment?

The Bible teaches, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12). Since the relationship of parent to child endures until death, so does the honor due parents from children.

Jesus condemned the Pharisees for breaking this commandment. They did so by saying to their parents, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban," which means dedicated to God (Mark 7:11). They did not give the money to God; they merely dedicated it to the temple for a future time and thereby avoided their obligation to their parents. People today need to understand that grown children owe their parents the duty of material financial support as a part of honor and respect. The apostle Paul said that if a believer will not take care of his own, "He has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (I Timothy 5:8).

The Bible also teaches that in marriage "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" (Matthew 19:5). At that point the husband and wife are responsible before God for the conduct of their marriage. Despite their position in life or their marital responsibilities, they still owe honor and respect to their respective parents.

The Bedouins of Saudi Arabia in 1925 bore some resemblance to the early Hebrew nomads of the Bible. To illustrate true honor for parents on the part of these people, we have only to consider the late King Abdul al-Aziz ibn Saud who so honored his father that, even after he had conquered most of what is now Saudi Arabia, he knelt on the ground before his father so that the old man could dismount from his horse or camel by stepping on his son's back. It is a wise parent, however, who avoids presenting a grown child with a conflict between marital responsibilities and the honor due the parent. That should not occur if the relationship between parent and child is right.


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