The Vine of Sodom
One of the most effective ways to break addictive behavior is to keep a journal. It is amazing what we can learn by seeing our feelings articulated on paper, especially when we have not been in touch with them, or have trouble expressing our fears and true selves. Some of the journalizing done by our people is so eloquent; we asked permission to quote from them anonymously for the benefit of our readers. Here is our first excerpt:
I really feel like I’m coming to the end of many of the misconceptions and delusions that have held me captive for so long. I almost feel like a new creation, but this new creation has no past… it is as if I have to relearn everything behaviorally… I even feel I could think about marriage (I must be nuts)… I’m growing up, and it feels so strange.
I have noticed several elements in myself in certain social situations…
unspoken assumptions… paranoia… people-pleasing… feeling coerced… frustrated… feeling unable to communicate or meet expectations… fear of rejection… obsessional thinking infused with some unnamed fear…
this unnamed fear/anxiety acts as a catalyst for homosexual fantasy and lust as a means of escape, leading to masturbation to relieve the building pressures caused by the previous factors… the fantasies are usually centered on feeling loved and accepted with great tenderness and care of my individuality…
(Typically, these would all be dealt with in the “real” world, and all held inside where everything would be gone over and over without any action ever being taken.)
…once the act of masturbation has taken place, this can lead to a kind of sexual binge via fantasy that becomes more and more blatantly lustful – non-human and non-relational… with a corresponding decrease in emotional satisfaction and a corresponding increase in guilt and feeling separated from God… general feelings of hopelessness, failure and depression which lead to more anxiety, isolation, etc…
SO, the challenge really is to correct the dysfunctional ways of dealing with problems that come up. As I have begun to function on the level of human interaction, and the fears that bound me to passive inaction are found to be baseless, then the world starts to take on a different coloration. Instead of alternating between avoidance of confrontation and outbursts of anger, I can become an active mover or catalyst in changing those things that bother or disturb me. The childish avoidance of confrontation and subsequent release in fantasy can become a thing of the past. The homosexuality became an effective short-term release of pressure but it did nothing to change the situations that caused the pressure. Homosexuality, on the contrary, (like all addictions) gave rise to a whole new set of problems and pressures of a magnitude far greater than the original ones.
Homosexuality is really a tiger chasing its tail (in my experience) it feeds on itself… the homosexual, like the tiger, sees only its own tail, and the world in which it lives becomes an unfocused blur. Like the tiger, the man wears himself out looking for a solution to his problem, but when his strength returns, he does it all again.
…closed circuit/avoidance of the world… separation/isolation… feeling unable to make any significant, positive changes, despite vast outlays of energy… relational problems are usually projected onto the other person… fear of rejection or not meeting expectations brings avoidance of responsibility and resistance to growing up… there is a feeling of connectedness in homosexual activity, therefore, THE ADDICTION LOOKS LIKE A HEALTHY OASIS, AND THE WORLD LOOKS LIKE A DISEASE!
the RESULT… chronic depression alternating with violent outbursts of anger and frustration at a world that just does not work or fit, and to which I seemingly have no input, as in my childhood. The complete relational breakdown in my home has made me unable to see myself realistically in relationship with others. Intense and debilitating self- hatred is inevitable, stemming from the reality that the hinge on which this life swings is lust, fear, hatred, and rebellion. The homosexual life becomes an elaborate “Rube Goldberg” contraption designed to keep one from facing this awesome and terrible fact. However much I hurt, I chose evil as the underlying principle and motivation of my life, and I must recognize this folly to repudiate it fully. Full repentance needs full comprehension.
The drug itself – the homosexual Xanadu – once it has been severed, in other words, when the contraption has been understood and dismantled, it will then become obsolete as an emotional necessity. The emotions have been reconnected to healthy and godly outlets, and the healing process is well advanced. This Vine of Sodom, this Xanadu, having been disconnected from my life force, dies a natural death – it sinks into the blackest pit whence it came. God justly calls it an abomination, for it is one of Satan’s cleverest tools to kill, steal, and destroy that which God created for beauty and life.
The Vine of Sodom is the satanic counterpart of the True Vine of Christ. (Deuteronomy 32:28-39)
Whereas Christ gives us life and flows through us in direct proportion to our giving up of ourselves, Satan, by our complicity in ungodly emotional reactions, attaches his vine to us. This vine’s force is inverted and it sucks the very life out of us, while at the same time dripping in poison at a steady rate.
The Vine of Christ gives us life that can then be imparted to others. The Vine of Sodom seeks our very life and pollutes everything we touch.
“I place before you life and death – choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)
Let us drink from the fountain of God’s love and forgiveness, which brings victory over sin. Cleanse me. Lord, of all the poison of the Vine of Sodom. I am delivered from the power of darkness and transformed into God’s kingdom. I am a new creation and strong in the Lord. I am holy and without blame before Him. I am set free, dead to sin, born of God, and the evil one does not touch me. I am firmly rooted, built up, strengthened in the faith and overflowing with thankfulness.
(This brother has been happily married now for many years.)