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Human sexuality timely theme of 1998

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–As allegations of salacious and possibly criminal acts swirl out of Washington, and into America’s homes through newscasts and the morning paper, parents are left wondering how to explain to their youngsters the news reports of rumors involving a 20-something government intern and the nation’s chief executive.
And the current rumors and allegations of White House misdeeds are being folded into a society that is already up to its neck in unfettered sexuality. Still reeling 30 years after the decade that ushered in free sex and loose morals, public opinion surveys reveal more concern with allegations of presidential perjury than the rumored adulterous sex acts.
The irony and the tragedy of marital infidelity purported to have occurred in the White House is that similar fare is not uncommon in the plot line of any one of several prime-time network television shows beamed nightly into homes across the country.
“We live in a sex-obsessed culture,” lamented Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Relaxed attitudes toward human sexuality have turned the biblical notion of wholesome and monogamous sexual relations between husband and wife on its head.”
And so we have millions of young people left without standards of right and wrong when it comes to their body, Land said. “The scriptural standard of sexual purity has in large part been abandoned, and teenagers and young adults feel pressured by society and their peers to engage in promiscuous sexual behavior,” he continued, noting the Baptist Sunday School Board’s True Love Waits campaign has provided many youngsters the means to resist the lure to engage in specious sexual relations and commit to sexual purity.
“The number one battle line now, and for the next decade, for the soul and conscience of America is the struggle over sexuality,” Land said. “The issues are clear and compelling. We must either reassert Judeo-Christian sexual values or be submerged in a polluted sea of pagan sexuality.”
The so-called sexual revolution has had a devastating effect on the United States, Land said, citing soaring incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional distress from adulterous behavior and premarital sex, as well the inroads made by those who want to legitimize homosexual behavior as normative.
Even more alarming than the possible presidential sexual infidelity, Land said, is the nation’s rather indifferent response: “When national opinion polls reveal 60 percent of Americans believe some of the accusations against the president are true, but that over 70 percent give him a positive approval rating, it says far more about the American society than it does about the president.”
Land said the survey results suggest the nation has lost its “moral compass” and “is wondering aimlessly in dangerous, uncharted territory.”
“These statistics and the most recent accusations of possible presidential philandering underscore why the ERLC is focusing on human sexuality during its 1998
annual seminar,” Land said. “We are a nation in pain, and only the church has the salve to heal the hurting and brokenhearted.”
Titled “The Family & Human Sexuality: Reaffirming God’s Design,” the SBC agency’s 32nd annual seminar is scheduled March 2-4 in Charleston, S.C. The three-day conference boasts a strong lineup of speakers, Land said, all of whom will offer aid to both pastors and laypeople in their ministries to people in peril.
“This seminar is designed to equip Christians to fully explain true biblical sexuality and to contend for the faith against the satanic counterfeits of pagan sexuality,” he explained, adding Americans cannot imagine the heartache and hazard ahead if this freefall into “pagan sexuality” is not halted.
Seminar speakers include Joe McIlhaney Jr., a physician and president of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health; Mike and Harriet McManus of the Marriage Savers Institute; Wade Horn, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative; Dorothy Patterson, adjunct professor of Christian family ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Houston’s Second Baptist Church pastor Ed Young; and evangelist Rick Stanley, among others.
The conference, to be held at Charleston’s historic Francis Marion Hotel and Citadel Square Baptist Church, is the latest in a series of annual meetings hosted by the SBC’s agency for ethical and religious liberty affairs to equip Southern Baptists to confront social ills and minister to the victims of society’s moral bankruptcy.
“There is no disputing that the traditional notions of human sexuality and the family — rooted and revealed in Scripture — have been both twisted and stretched apart from their biblical foundation,” Land said. “The church is uniquely positioned, and in fact commanded, to sound the clarion call to a nation of people drifting deeper into a morass of immorality.
“If the people of God do not step forward to stand in the gap for those who are being destroyed by this poisoned pagan sexuality, we shall soon see a culture ushered to death’s door,” Land continued, adding, “And their blood will be on our hands.”
For further information on conference registration and hotel information, contact the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission by phone at (615) 244-2495 or by electronic mail at [email protected].

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  • Dwayne Hastings