Dobson endorsed sermon blaming “lesbian sex” for God's “abandonment” of America, justifying destruction of a U.S. city by God


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On the June 4 edition of his Focus on the Family radio show, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson broadcast a sermon by John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, titled “A Nation Abandoned by God.” In the sermon, MacArthur said America had forsaken God and engendered the “wrath of abandonment” as a result. MacArthur declared: “You know a society has been abandoned by God when it celebrates lesbian sex.” MacArthur further argued that as a result of America's abandonment, the destruction of a major U.S. city “could happen” and that “God would be just in any calamity he brought upon us.”

According to Dobson's co-host, John Fuller, MacArthur's sermon was originally delivered on the National Day of Prayer, an observance established by Congress to encourage ecumenical prayer. The National Day of Prayer Task Force operates out of the offices of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is chaired by Dobson's wife, Shirley Dobson.

Dobson endorsed the content of MacArthur's sermon in his introduction of the broadcast. Dobson stated:

DOBSON: Some of our listeners are not going to agree with what he [MacArthur] has to say, but it's going to make you think, and it's also going to be somewhat disturbing. And I happen to agree with what John MacArthur was saying on this day, and I want to thank him and his team and Woodman Valley Chapel for allowing us to share this message. It needs to be heard, especially at this time in our nation.

In his sermon, MacArthur cataloged the symptoms of what he called America's “abandonment” by God and warned of dire consequences:

MacARTHUR: I don't believe we're waiting for God's wrath in this society. We haven't had a massive calamity such as the destruction of an entire city. We certainly don't want that to happen -- pray that does not happen -- but it could happen. And God would be just in any calamity that he brought upon us. We have not entered into eschatological wrath; that comes in the end times. We are experiencing -- all of us do -- consequential wrath of sin. But this massive concept of the wrath of abandonment, I'm convinced, is now at work in our society. We like to talk about the fact that America was founded on Christian principles, God was at the center of it, and all of that -- whatever it might have been in our founding, it's no longer the way it is, and I want to show you how you know that has happened.


MacARTHUR: The first thing that happens in a nation when it has been abandoned by God is a sexual revolution. Moral sexual perversion, pornographic desire describes the general character of the culture. You can't even count how many million pornographic websites there are. When a society is abandoned by God, it operates out of its own perverse sexual passion without restraint. You can go back to the '60s and the sexual revolution of the flower children, or Hugh Hefner and the Playboy world, and it has gone like a flood since then.


MacARTHUR: So the first thing that you look for in a society if you're trying to discern whether God has abandoned that society is whether or not that society has gone through a sexual revolution so that illicit sex, adultery, every form of immorality is accepted as normal in that society. And we're there. The second step in the progression, [Romans, chapter 1] verse 26: “God gave them over not just to passions that are explicable,” because they're men and women, “but to inexplicable, degrading passions. For their women exchange the natural function for that which is unnatural.” You know a society has been abandoned by God when it celebrates lesbian sex. God has given them over -- gross affections, unnatural, unthinkable. So you follow a sexual revolution with a homosexual revolution. And homosexuality becomes normalized.


MacARTHUR: The amazing thing of it is this, verse 27: “The men abandoning the natural function of the women, burning in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts, and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Right into this wrath of abandonment comes the wrath -- the consequential wrath. And even though it generates venereal disease and AIDS, they keep doing it.

MacArthur and his Grace Community Church were sued for clergy malpractice in 1985 by Walter and Maria Nally after their son, a church member, killed himself. Kenneth Nally was 24 when he committed suicide in 1979. According to the Nallys' lawsuit, MacArthur discouraged their son from seeking outside help and worsened his suicidal tendencies by telling him his depression was the product of sinful behavior. Though the lawsuit was ultimately thrown out of court, MacArthur pledged to reform his counselor training programs.