God's Opposition to Homosexuality Part 4
By Robert Schaeffer
In part three of this article we showed that homosexuality is an evil desire. The Bible speaks of homosexual behavior as an objective evil action, in itself repulsive to God no matter what form it takes and no matter how it is rationalized. The person with homosexual feelings is cautioned against identifying with them and saying, “Since I have these desires, I must be a homosexual by nature.” Homosexual desire, though evil, is not inborn and can be uprooted. If the painful childhood emotions which were placated with evil thoughts and actions are dealt with, and the evil behavior is turned from, the desire to do evil can be replaced by the desire to do righteousness. Jesus said, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad…The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Mt. 12:33,35).
In part four we will look at the counterfeit nature of the homosexual experience.
Homosexuality as a Counterfeit for God’s True Design
By definition, a counterfeit is an imitation or copy intended to deceive. Counterfeit signatures are forged to convince the observer that they are authentic. Counterfeit smiles are feigned to convince the recipient that all is well when it really isn’t. The counterfeiter works hard so that the finished product is indistinguishable, or even superior, to the genuine article. Counterfeits, therefore, are not accidental or naturally-occurring. They are crafted with the deliberate intent to beguile and trick.
One of the chief activities of the devil is to deceive the world (Rev. 12:9, 20:10). His strategies for doing this include telling lies, casting doubt on the integrity of God’s revelation and God Himself, seducing with flattery, performing miraculous signs and wonders, working violence, and suggesting evil. The devil is skilled at counterfeiting God’s good gifts. Satan can use prosperity and a life lived free of care and sickness to beguile persons into arrogance, believing they are superior to others and have knowledge beyond God Himself (cf. Ps. 73:3-11). The serpent convinced Eve that the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was “good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6) when in fact God had warned that the taking of its fruit would bring death (Gen. 2:17). The true source of wisdom was not the tree’s fruit, but obedience to God’s Word!
Perhaps the most blatant example in the Bible of the forging of a counterfeit was the golden calf. Moses was long in descending Mt. Sinai with the laws of God, and the people grew impatient. They persuaded Moses’ brother Aaron to fashion a calf out of pure gold so that they might worship it. When the idol was finished, the people bowed down to it and proclaimed, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Ex. 31:4) and indulged in lewd revelry. In the end, God punished the idolaters by giving them what they desired: the idol’s burned and pulverized dust was mixed with water and the people were forced to drink it (Ex. 32:20). Those who persisted in their rebellion afterwards were put to death by the sword (Ex. 32:28). Similarly, St. Paul declares that God turns over some whose hearts are turned against Him to sexual perversion which they crave (Rom. 1:24-28). In refusing to honor God and give Him thanks, they open themselves up to a deep deception and darkening of the mind which manifests in foolishness, depravity and lust for unnatural homosexual relations. In their unwillingness to yield to God they make other gods they believe are good and practice uninhibited sexual desire. In the end, such rebellion can only lead to death.
A homosexual relationship or sexual experience, though a putrid counterfeit, seems to offer to the wounded, isolated person something they believe is love and friendship. Consider the initial pursuit of/by another person, seemingly affirming words spoken during intense sex, promises of life together with a “perfect match”, exclusive attention, gifts, a welcome by family and acquaintances or the embrace of a faith community that accepts homosexuality, hours spent in revelry and play, the rush of emotion just thinking about the other person when apart, a sense of being “someone special” by being chosen, shared experiences of pain, and the euphoria of escaping from a cruel and harsh world the relationship or sex seems to bring. The homosexual relationship is Satan’s counterfeit for the true model of heterosexual marriage and unity presented in Genesis 2. Even though a homosexual relationship is a demonic counterfeit for the true experience of marital love and oneness, it is seductively attractive to the person who has never known or grown up with godly love and affection. When experienced against a childhood backdrop of abuse, rejection, abandonment or depression, inappropriate attention from another person of the same sex produces an intense reaction that eclipses all previous experiences. The person who has felt weird or queer registers feelings of attraction that crave for more of this seemingly positive attention.
When the plumb line for determining what is love is a reservoir of buried negative emotions interpreted by a twisted mind, false identity and false concept of God, it is easy for such a person to be seduced by the counterfeit. To the frustrated adolescent who has reacted in ungodly ways to pain, the true experience of godly love does not seem possible. Many of our counselees grew up feeling that true love or friendship didn’t seem to “be in the cards”. They felt rejected or disqualified by God from ever having a real friend or a godly spouse. Many have practiced homosexual sex and became addicted to the “rush” it produces. As they go deeper into sin, they find it difficult even to comprehend the concept of true love and friendship. Still others, aware of the sinfulness of homosexuality, feel unfit for a godly relationship. They do not know how to act with a “normal” person, but exhibit a skill or “confidence” in things homosexual. One of my counselees who is angry at God fights the idea of pursuing godly heterosexual relationships. “I didn’t ask to be born or to have these homosexual feelings,” is one of his common justifications for staying in the homosexual lifestyle. Others reject heterosexuality as the divine model by pointing out the hypocrisy or abusiveness of heterosexuals they see. Many are deceived into thinking that heterosexual sex can never be as exciting as homosexual sex.
True love requires the patient work of building a relationship based on respect and sacrifice; the homosexual counterfeit requires no such self-control and is characterized by narcissistic, impulsive gratification. The person with homosexual feelings is in a state of arrested emotional development. Their emotions were stunted at the age when the pain or trauma was most acutely experienced. While their bodies and mind have grown, their emotions and ability to relate remain “stuck” at a pre-pubescent level. They can not receive true love because they have been hurt and taught by cruel experience to expect bad things or disappointment. These individuals have reacted to this hopeless prospect by seeking things that bring relief. Anything that seems to offer some degree of pleasure or joy will be cherished and idolized. This emotional craving for love is at this point characterized by a desire for an unrealistic experience of intense pleasure. Fantasy and masturbation make it even more difficult to relate in a healthy way with others.
The homosexual experience seems to “fix” these persons for the moment. It seems to make all the pain go away for a time, and gives these wounded individuals a “lift” or escape they have never felt before. It seems to come close to matching—in some cases, even surpassing—the fantasies they have dwelt in. To some, it feels like they have suddenly come alive and have finally found a real friend or soul-mate. Sexually, they rush to orgasm, and subsequently desire to reproduce this experience. Over time they may come to justify or celebrate homosexuality believing that this counterfeit is the answer to a life of cruelty, boredom and fear. Like the ancient Israelites and contemporaries of St. Paul, they proclaim the counterfeit the thing that has brought them deliverance.
It is important to remember that the standard by which we judge the legitimacy or appropriateness of any experience is God’s Word. The Bible stands as the Almighty’s inerrant, infallible, eternal revelation of Truth (cf. Ps. 119:160). No experience, emotion or person can stand above it. No doctrine in contradiction to it can be considered true. It alone rightly proclaims the perfect Law of the Lord, God’s Truth. His Word is alive and exposes the true intents and desires of the heart (Heb. 4:12). According to it, homosexuality is an abomination and depravity, a satanic experience designed to deceive and ensnare. Only God’s revelation can begin to dispel the demonic haze that engulfs the mind of those who justify homosexuality.
No homosexual relationship or experience can ever be genuinely good, even if the relationship appears ideal or the pleasures unrivaled. Though there is a temporal, “here-and-now” dimension to homosexual unions, they remain a spiritual and physical falsification. Even if a homosexual partnership lasts a lifetime, it will, according to the Lord, be judged an unreality. For reality is that which is true. Homosexuality, by contrast, is a lie. It originates with the father of lies, the devil. It is a satanic mockery of God’s ideal of heterosexuality. There is no security or freedom in it, only dependency, bondage, neediness, perversity, addiction and death.
God has pledged to deliver those who agree with His judgment of homosexuality and do the work of uprooting the homosexual desires and identity. By pursuing God’s truth the person in bondage to homosexuality will be washed, sanctified and justified (1 Cor. 6:11) and set free (John 8:32, 36)! The person who turns from the pursuit of the counterfeit will be blessed with the genuine experience of love and friendship! Our Heavenly Father does not wish to deny us the wonderful knowledge of true love. He desires to purge from us the craving for that which is a deadly substitute for real intimacy. Though he leads us through a time of affliction, it is through this affliction that we will be delivered (Job 36:15). In calling us to work against our craving for things homosexual, He is actually wooing us from the jaws of distress to a place of wide-open freedom (Job 36:16).
One of the necessary steps to freedom is declaring homosexuality a counterfeit. This opens a breech in the false justifications and emotional reasoning that keeps you returning to homosexual sin. Such a declaration pulls your mind out of darkness into God’s light. You will not find freedom if you continue to see homosexuality as some type of love you are asked to “sacrifice” for the Lord. You must declare homosexuality an absolute unreality—a lie to expose, a poison to shun, a bondage to break, a sham to reject! Purge from your speech any positive or affirming words about homosexuality. Do not speak of it as an inborn condition. Do not see in it a reason for another’s talents or attractiveness. Do not talk of it as an alternative lifestyle or “cross to bear”. Speak of it as God does, and you will establish a place for truth to dwell in your members. Only as you pursue Truth will you be able to know true love and share it with others (1 Peter 1:22).
On February 21, 2006, British historian David Irving was sentenced by the Austrian national court in Vienna to three years in prison. As the verdict was read after a one-day trial, the stunned author of thirty books was handcuffed and led away by prison officials. Irving’s crime? In two speeches he delivered to a right-wing Austrian student group in 1989 he denied that the Nazis had exterminated millions of Jews during the Second World War. (In several of his books, most notably Hitler’s War, Irving claims that the Holocaust was a contrived exaggeration.) In 1992, Austrian lawmakers passed a law which makes it a crime--punishable by up to ten years in prison--to deny the Nazi atrocities. This law applies to anyone who “denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media.” In other words, the Austrian government has declared it grossly unacceptable to deny the reality of what happened during the years under Adolf Hitler. The truth about the Nazi Holocaust is a verifiable fact. The lawmakers believed that to deny truth is to commit gross evil and is worthy of serious punishment. How much more serious an offense to deny God’s truth about homosexuality in pursuit of a demonic counterfeit!