(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
Whenever addressing a topic as misunderstood as this one, it is helpful at the outset to reaffirm the fact that God loves everyone. He loves those who struggle with this or that temptation, as well as those who feel unlovable. "God is love." (1 John 4:8)
It is fairly obvious that heterosexual desire is natural. Most people experience it. There is much disagreement today, however, about homosexual desire. Is it also natural, or is it unnatural? Did God create man to have this orientation, or did same-sex attraction originate in some other way? Was it due to God's design, or man's revolt against God's plan?
Hopefully we can all agree on the fact that every human being is created in God's image, and is therefore loved by God. We should also be able to agree that since we are all sinners, it is wrong to look down on someone and judge that person. We are created equal, and we all have fallen short of God's standard for perfection.
So why the different desires in the area of sexuality? Why do most men and women find themselves attracted to those of the opposite sex, while a small percentage of men and women are attracted to those of the same sex?
Scripture addresses homosexuality, but almost always in the context of various sexual transgressions. For example, Leviticus 18 contains a long list of sexual boundaries which God said must not be crossed. One of them is this: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (Lev. 18:21) The verse right before it forbids sacrificing your children to Molech, and the verse immediately after it forbids having sexual relations with an animal. Child sacrifice to a pagan god, homosexual behavior, and sexual relations with an animal are three activities that will give demons a foothold in your body and your soul. But then again, so will going to bed at night angry while holding a grudge. (see Eph. 4:26,27)
Chapters 27 and 28 of Deuteronomy give a detailed list of "blessings" and "curses" which God told His people would come to them based on their behavior. Obedience brought blessing. Disobedience brought a curse. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, man's disobedience always opens the door for Satan and his demons to work in your life through the curse you bring on yourself by choosing to step into the devil's playground.
God issued clear warnings about the worship of idols. (see Deut. 4:15-31) It was strictly forbidden, and a quick way to provoke the Lord. But that didn't stop people from engaging in it. What began as idol worship would soon spark a sexual revolution, and same-sex lust would begin to spread among the people. You may be wondering, "How are those two things in any way related?" Good question.
In the first chapter of Romans, the apostle Paul describes the sequence of events which brought about the same-sex revolution. Notice the progression. First, God revealed His "eternal power" and "divine nature" to man through Creation. Next, man chose not to glorify or give thanks to God. Instead, he "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." (Romans 1:23) As a result of this idol worship, "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual immorality." (Romans 1:24) Man began to burn with this particular passion and desire only after he "exchanged the truth of God a lie." (Romans 1:25)
Did you catch that? Due to their rebellion and idol worship, God allowed their souls to enter an unprotected area. In that spiritual realm, the demons caused them to start burning with homosexual lust. The devil will always pervert God's design with a counterfeit approach.
Since they chose to worship a counterfeit god, the Lord "gave them over" to the counterfeit desires of same-sex lust. They became inflamed with these passions only after they persisted in deliberately disobeying God and engaging in idol worship. That worship of false gods is what spawned the same-sex revolution, and people have suffered greatly from it ever since.
Remember that God had given man the honor of being created in God's image. So how did man show his thanks to God? By crafting false gods made in man's image. No wonder this caused the Lord to burn with anger. And so God let them experience what life is like when Satan has control of your sexual appetite. "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural desires for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another." (Romans 1:26,27)
A particular Greek word is used three times by St. Paul in Romans 1:24-28 to describe how God "handed them over" to homosexual desires. Interestingly, it is the same Greek word which St. Matthew uses in his Gospel to describe what Pilate did with Christ. Pilate "handed him over to be crucified." (Matthew 27:26)
What a contrast! Jesus, the innocent One, was "handed over" by man to be executed. Whereas sinful man, after creating images of men and animals to worship, was "handed over" by God to even greater depravity. Since they chose to reject God, He allowed them to be overtaken by the demons that entered their life through their idol worship.
Demons were certainly active in Sodom and Gomorrah during the events surrounding Lot and his family. "All the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." (Genesis 19:4,5)
Jesus even referred to how their actions in Sodom brought down the wrath of God upon them. Jesus said, "The day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:29,30) Jesus didn't shy away from pointing out what happened to the people in Sodom who engaged in sodomy and other vices. My guess is that Jesus probably wouldn't be invited to speak at many public gatherings in our day unless He first promised not to say anything about what happened in Sodom.
If the people had only realized how their idol worship would place them in such danger. Homosexual lust was not the only sinful desire burning in their hearts after their idol worship. Other sins listed in the first chapter of Romans are gossip, slander, murder, envy, and deceit. All of these desires flow out of idol worship as we make gods of our things rather than praising our Creator.
What about today? Why do a significant number of people today, including teenagers, experience same-sex attraction? That "spirit" and those desires have been with us ever since the idol worship from centuries ago opened a "pandora's box" of sexual immorality upon the world. Once out of the box, sexual counterfeits tend to take on a life all their own. And there have always been plenty of people lining up to try out the latest sexual experiment, even if it's just out of a spirit of rebellion. Like many drugs, a sexual experiment will easily become an addiction.
If you are someone who experiences same-sex attraction, you can thank in part the "founders" of your orientation who decided to worship false gods many centuries ago. They of course had no idea at the time how their demons would "birth a movement" so to speak and instill this spirit in our world. There is a strong spiritual dynamic connected to sexual immorality. There is no getting around it. In fact, demons instantly begin oppressing anyone who engages in sexual immorality, be it fornication, adultery, homosexual behavior, etc.
Demons were certainly involved when male temple prostitutes and the false worship of gods like Baal and Molech provided a lethal injection of demonic possession. The demons were given a tremendous foothold through this wicked behavior, and it launched a global attack upon God's design for marriage. Since that time, the evil spirits have stirred up same-sex lust from one generation to the next, and the demonic attachments have continued to enslave those who choose to give their bodies over to these carnal lusts and affections.
By the way, evil angels are always heavily involved whenever a false religion is being introduced, or a counterfeit form of sexuality is being launched. How do you think these profane beliefs and unclean behaviors get planted so firmly in our world? These are a couple of Satan's biggest weapons against humanity in his losing battle against the truth.
Many Christians today are unsure how to speak about these issues in a culture where God's plan for sexuality is often mocked by those enslaved to false ideas. You are not being judgmental by believing that the sexual alternatives listed above are just as sinful today as they have always been. On the other hand, you are being judgmental if you look down on someone because of his or her lifestyle. Remember that we are all sinners. And we all need God's grace in Christ.
If you are personally experiencing same-sex lust or one of these other desires, God can help you. God can forgive you. God loves you. Bring your sin to the cross of Christ as you repent of it and prepare to go in a new direction. It will be washed away instantly by the blood of Jesus!
Only Jesus can deliver us from the curse and from demonic attachments. Only Jesus can forgive our sins. Even after being delivered and forgiven, many Christians still have daily struggles with their strongest temptation. Don't give up. Our only hope is in Christ. Thankfully, He is a Savior for sinners like us.
Blessing or Curse. Demonic oppression or the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Obedience or disobedience. Jesus or false religion. You get to choose.
The Lord never said it would be easy to deny yourself and live as a follower of Christ. But the benefits far outweigh the temporary inconveniences as we seek to remain faithful to the One who purchased us with His blood. (Rev. 5:9)
In addition to laying out how idol worship brought destruction to both souls and bodies, St. Paul also described the right way to worship God: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1)
In other words, it is impossible to engage in "spiritual worship" to the Lord if I am not offering my body to Him in a holy way. This is why the Bible says, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." (1 Cor. 6:18) Do you see now why the devil works so insidiously to tempt people to sin sexually? It is the only sin a person commits against his own body. No wonder this sin opens the door for demons to attach themselves to the guilty parties involved, and oppress those who have violated God's clear commands regarding sexual behavior.
Satan was the author of the first revolution against God when he rebelled in heaven, and since then he has had a hand in every religious and sexual revolution against the purposes of God. This includes the sexual revolution which began in America in the 60's and continues to this day.
If the devil can get your heart or your body engaged in a counterfeit approach, he will have a foothold in your life. No wonder God's Word gives this warning: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." (1 Peter 5:8,9)
By God's grace and through His power, you can stand firm in the faith my friend. There is no good reason to settle for anything less.