Fornication, Adultery, and Homosexuality
By Joe Keim
August 28, 2015
Throughout my growing up years, I was very much aware that one should not use the word “sex” in public. Let me go one step further. I was of the mindset that the word itself was dirty—right up there with all the other swear words. Furthermore, it was my understanding that only moms and dads were allowed to use the forbidden word, and then only behind closed doors. I’m not sure why I felt that way. Somewhere, somehow, someone taught me to think that sex was connected with the dark side and was sinful.
From the time I was old enough to carry on a conversation to the time I got married, I don’t recall any mature grownup ever sitting down with me and explaining even the smallest detail about married life, sex, and pregnancy. No one! Not even my parents.
As I remember it, when mom got ready to deliver another baby (she had 14 in all), we were led to believe that somehow the Lord just dropped baby Johnny in my parents' laps. Johnny could have come from ten different places and we would not have known! No trustworthy, mature grownup ever took the time to explain it.; that is, until I reached my early teen years.
I was just a youngster when I first heard the word “sex.” It happened while some of my first cousins and I were hanging out behind the barn. My oldest cousin, Paul, knew more about sex than the rest of us. As he shared bits and pieces of what he had heard, we laughed. Each one of us boys laughed and joked until tears rolled down our cheeks.
I could go on, but you get the drift. From the very beginning, my view of sex was twisted. It was at best half-truth and half-lie. Had a mature grownup talked to me about this topic, I would have been ready to discuss it with truth and confidence. But wait! Consider if all of us cousins had learned the truth about sex from our parents. The barn yard discussion would never have taken place the way it did.
Let me go one step further.
If mature grownups—specifically our parents— would have taken the time to sit down with each one of us and discuss the truth about sex and pregnancy, we may very well have looked at sex as the gift from God that it is. Rather than sex becoming a joke and a dirty word, we may have started our life out looking at sex as something beautiful and worth waiting for until we got married. Instead, everything but that happened.
It is not my desire to offend anyone; however, I feel the Lord is leading me to write about the topic of sex for the following reasons:
1. God’s Word talks a lot about sex. If it is important to Him, it should be for us also.
2. Sex is not a dirty word, but a gift that God gave to married couples for enjoyment and to replenish the earth.
3. Sex was not created for couples outside of a marriage relationship. In fact, the Bible calls fornication (sex before marriage) sin and goes on to say that anyone who practices fornication will not inherit the kingdom of God. (See I Cor 6:9-10.)
As much as sex is a gift of God, it can also bring an immense amount of emotional pain to those who refuse to heed God’s guidelines. Not only does it affect the one who commits the sin, but it also affects other individuals, family members, and friends, who may be totally innocent in the matter. Whenever you and I walk away from God’s original plan of living out our lives and do it our own way, we will pay the consequences. There is no way around it. We will reap what we sow.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
Look at your own life! Look at people around you! Many of us have been deceived into thinking that somehow we will get away with sin, somehow the Lord will overlook, wink at us and let us slip by. It is a lie, my friend! There is no such thing! “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Sadly, many young people refuse to listen to the message of saving sex for marriage. Later in their marriage, the couple will suffer the awful consequences of disobeying God, and their children will also. Why is it so difficult to follow God’s simple guidelines?
Every culture in the world, including Amish and Mennonite communities, is affected by the sin of sexual wickedness. A man does not have to watch sex-filled movies, play ungodly video games, or be around women who are immodestly dressed to fall into sexual temptation and wickedness.
Note: I’d like to share something with you that I’ve learned in the past 10 years. It appears the more legalistic or rigid a person becomes with man-made rules, the more he will struggle with masturbation, incest, fornication, and yes, even sex with animals. Rigid and unnecessary rules can lead to depression. Depression can lead to sexual wickedness. It is not uncommon for the three (rules, depression, and sexual wickedness) to go hand in hand.
The final reason I want to discuss the topic of sex is something that has recently happened in America.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the highest court in our country, the Supreme Court, passed a law that all 50 states in the union must recognize same-sex marriages. This means it is now lawful for men to marry men and women to marry women. If you or I openly refuse to cater to gay people, we become law breakers. The court now has the right to punish a person for hate speech by putting him or her in prison.
Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.
For the rest of the article, I’d like to discuss the Supreme Court ruling and same sex marriages.
You might be thinking that since I’m Amish:
1. The Supreme Court ruling will not have any effect on me or my family.
2. I’m separated from the world around me and have my own rules to go by; I don’t have to submit to the government laws.
3. My family and I are protected from all the stuff that goes on in the outside world. They (the outside world) need police, judges, lawyers, and prisons. We don’t.
As you reflect on these things, it might give you reason to feel puffed up and think of yourself as a little bit better than outsiders. Should you or I feel that way, let me remind both of us what the Lord says in His Word:
There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Romans 3:10-12).
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
As you read the next scripture verse, please do so carefully and let the Apostle Paul’s words sink deep into your heart. In fact, I ask you to read it twice. Slowly.
But by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10).
This scripture first became real to me when I was just 25 years old. I had been invited to serve as one of several leaders at our church congregation. At the time, I felt far too young and wet behind the ears; however, I accepted the invitation and asked the Lord to use me for His eternal glory. Soon thereafter, a member in our church fell into the sin of adultery. Everyone was devastated and sought the Lord for direction. The church leaders came together and discussed the biblical way of handling this member who had fallen. As we sat there in a circle, each man taking his turn to share, an older gray-haired deacon named Bill raised his head and said the words which would profoundly impact me for the rest of my life: “but for the grace of God, there go I.”
Dear reader, with that humbling thought in mind, may I challenge you to consider this fact: if you have never been tangled up in the sin of sexual wickedness, such as masturbation, incest, dirty magazines, loose talk, fornication, adultery, or homosexuality, then you might do well to agree with the Apostle Paul and my gray-haired deacon friend when they say: But by the grace of God I am what I am.
Let us continue our discussion on same sex marriages, the Supreme Court ruling and how that is affecting every person in America, including those who live in the Amish and Mennonite culture.
Many of us, including myself, have had our heads buried in the sand when it comes to Amish and Mennonite homosexuality. We have said it just won’t happen in these two cultures. But the truth is, it is happening in those two cultures! It is happening everywhere. It is happening in all tongues, nations, and cultures. Sadly, the Scripture tells us clearly; it will get worse before it gets better.
Consider the following portions of God’s Word:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves...without natural affection...despisers of those that are good...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:2-4).
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie...For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another... (Romans 1:24-27).
I am not aware of any Amish churches in America accepting gays into membership. However, that is not the case with all Mennonite churches. There is one Mennonite conference (Mennonite USA) that not only accepts the homosexual lifestyle, but appoints homosexual leaders in church positions. Other church denominations in America are also bowing under the pressure, and giving in to the loud and forceful homosexual crowd.
You may be surprised to know that a man, originally from the Amish, runs a gay and lesbian website. When you first go on his home page, you will read the big bold headlines:
WELCOME TO LGBTAMISH.COM, THE WORLD'S FIRST AND ONLY NETWORK FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDERED AMISH AND EX-AMISH.
The owner of this website, Thaddeus Schlabach, goes on to say that his ultimate goal is to reach out to Amish, former Amish, and Mennonites who are living in the closet. He believes there are many.
How in the world did we ever get to this place? Not only are the scriptures clear about God’s view of sexual wickedness, but the very act of homosexuality is far removed from common sense. Two men cannot reproduce, and neither can two women. How blind and ugly can it get? When will all this crazy stuff end?
Think of the wicked cities known in the Bible as Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the New Testament book of Jude, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities were burned to the ground for two reasons:
- Sexual wickedness
- For our example
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7).
If we look at Genesis, chapter 19, we find that brimstone and fire came down from heaven. When Abraham looked toward the cities, he saw what looked like a smoldering furnace.
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven (Genesis 19:24).
And Abraham got up early in the morning … looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace (Genesis 19:27-28).
In Matthew 11:24 Jesus said: But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment, than for thee.
Is it possible – Oh, God forbid – that someone in my family or yours would ever turn out to be gay or lesbian? The thought sends shivers down my spine! It all seems dirty, impossible, and just plain sick to the core! But when I consider the scriptures, I am reminded again that no person, no family, no community, and no culture of people will escape the last days of horror.
My comfort and strength comes from knowing I am born of the Spirit, as Jesus said in John chapter 3. Also, I find great comfort in knowing that others before us were able to endure because they had their eyes set on Jesus and His kingdom. Consider Hebrews, chapter 11:10, 13-16:
For he [Abraham] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
These all [Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah] died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
—Written by Joe Keim
Additional Helpful Resources:
1. To read "Teaching and Equipping Children for Life," another article author Joe Keim wrote that corresponds with the article above, please click here.
2. You can purchase an in-depth book series that you can read through with your children - to teach them about God's design for sex at their level. To go to our online store and see this book series, please click here.
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