By Harry R. Osborne
Are you shocked by the rapid movement of our society to an approval of behavior previously rejected as immoral? Are you ready to accept the label of “narrow-minded, religious-right bigot” when you stand for values of morality? Anyone reading or watching the news events of the past few months has seen the pace of movement away from biblically defined values of morality. It has been almost unbelievable to me how many ungodly concepts have been pushed in such a short time. Worst of all, however, is that there has been no major uprising from the people of this country to reject such rank immorality.
Time magazine (24 May 93) had a cover with the picture of a teenage boy and girl with the heading, “Kids, Sex & Values.” The story inside documented and defended the demise of moral codes in sexual conduct. The article was entitled “How Should We Teach Our Children About Sex?” The main concentration was on the topic of sexual activity among teenagers and sex education in the public schools. However, it overlooked the obvious facts regarding the issue.
The article did correctly relate the symptoms of the problem. Among the statistics and statements included were the following:
”By the time they are 20, three-quarters of young Americans have had sex.”
“One-fourth of teens contract some venereal disease each year.”
“Kids are continuing to try sex at an ever more tender age; more than a third of 15-year-old boys have had sexual intercourse, as have 27% of 15-year-old girls up from 19% in 1982.”
“Teenagers typically watch five hours of television a day which in a year means they have seen nearly 14,000 sexual encounters.”
”Many social scientists argue that there is nothing wrong with increased sexual expression among teens.”
”There is a fishbowl full of condoms in the nurse’s office, help yourself.”
The fact that sexual activity, pregnancy, abortions, and venereal disease among teenagers is increasing was noted in the article. What was the reason given? Who is responsible for such a tragedy? I could not believe the answer given in the article by Joycelyn Elders, President Clinton’s Surgeon General and one of the leading advocates for condom distribution in schools. Here is what this high government official said:
We’ve spent all our time fighting each other about whose values we should be teaching our kids. We’ve allowed the right to make decisions about our children for the last 100 years, and all it has brought us is the highest abortion rate, the highest non-marital birth rate and the highest pregnancy rate in the industrialized world.
How in the world can anyone seriously make such a charge? Our problem with the huge increases in such statistics does not go back a hundred years. It can be traced directly to the permissiveness of the so-called “sexual revolution” of the past few decades, especially since the 1960s. That was the decade when people like our current President were organizing marches where such thoughtful slogans as “Make love, not war” and “Turn on, toke up and tune out” advocating free love and drug use were in vogue. After refining their ethical code at such bastions of morality as Woodstock, they began to help institute the liberal sex education curriculums presently cursing our public schools. The fact is that all of the rates Elders mentioned have gone and continue to go up with the introduction of the explicit sex education curriculum in the schools.
A study commissioned by Planned Parenthood in 1986 showed that teens who have a sex education course that discusses contraceptives have a 50% higher sexual activity rate than those who have a sex education course omitting contraceptives or who have not had any sex education (American Teens Speak: Sex, Myths, TV and Birth Control, Louis Harris & Assoc., 1986, p. 50).
Despite the fact that repeated studies confirm these findings, we hear an increasing cry for such sex education in Texas schools. The attempt to introduce a mandatory sex education program for kindergarten through 12th grade has become a monthly effort in the state legislature. Our governor has repeatedly stated her support for school based clinics to hand out birth control devices in the schools without parental consent. Any thinking person can see that many of the places with the highest teenage pregnancy, sexual activity and venereal disease infection rates are the same places that have the most explicit sex education courses and birth control distribution in the schools.
Where will these attempts to reshape accepted values and behavior lead? They will not only result in increased physical problems (disease, pregnancy, etc.), but will cause a further weakening of families in this country. Since the family is the basic institution of society, its weakening will inevitably lead to the destruction of our society. When values are not taught and exemplified in the home, they will not be respected or practiced in daily life. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
This analysis is not unique to this writer. The fact was stated long ago in these words: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). Whether it be that the ungodliness naturally eats away the strength of a nation until it crumbles under its own valueless weight, or whether its destruction be the result of God intervening through providential action, the result is the same. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). That is so for individuals, but it is a principle true for nations as well.
The righteous standard of God regarding sexual conduct is stated simply in the following words:
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also fore-warned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us his Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4:3-8).
What is the difference between sexual morality and immorality? The Hebrew writer said, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). God provided for lawful marriage as the only place wherein a man and woman can rightfully be joined in a sexual union for mutual fulfillment and procreation (Gen. 2:20-24). Fornication is condemned as a sin against God and one’s own body in that it violates the purpose for which the sexual aspect of mankind was created (1 Cor. 6:18-20).
Efforts to use public schools and tax dollars to demolish the standard of morality declared in the Bible may alter the values of many in this country, but they will not change the will of God nor the effects of disobeying such. If we are to endure as a nation, we must stand up to the current efforts to reshape moral values and go back to the standards given by God in the Bible. As Christians, we must speak up in an effort to let government and school officials know that we oppose the efforts to introduce ungodliness at our expense. We must also warn our children against the evils being accepted today and teach them God’s standard for morality. Silence is not an option!
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 7, p. 18-19
April 7, 1994