Wayne Hendrix (this blogger's father) and Bill Watson of the Church of God International (CGI) are featured in yet another web chat on that organization's website. It is entitled "Satan and Demons," and can be viewed here: http://cgi.org/armor-of-god-web-chat/2015/10/15/satan-and-demons As with many of the group's recent offerings, the discussion is eventually diverted to a negative commentary on homosexuality. Hence, if one was expecting a serious theological discussion on the nature of the Devil and his minions, that person will be sadly disappointed in this program.
In the piece, homosexuality is labeled as a satanic perversion of the God ordained purposes for sex and marriage. Although they stop just short of saying that homosexuals are demon possessed, they strongly imply that Satan and his minions are behind the phenomenon. They reason that since human reproduction is a reflection of God's plan of salvation for mankind, and that human reproduction is only accomplished through the union of one man and one women, that a sexual relationship between two members of the same gender is thereby shown to fall short of God's standard. They go on to imply that homosexuality is an addiction that must be overcome by those who are afflicted with the condition and equate it with drug addiction and alcoholism! They conclude their discussion of homosexuality with a warning that those who indulge in the behavior are opening themselves up to demonic influence. Really guys?
What about sexual intercourse as an expression of love between two people? What about sexual intercourse as the symbolic melding of two souls into one? If marriage is solely for the purpose of reproduction, then why are heterosexuals who are physically incapable of having children permitted to marry or have sex? What about older folks who remarry after the mother/father of their adult children has died? What about those couples who choose not to have any children? Are same sex couples who adopt or care for children contributing to human reproduction? Isn't this CGI argument against homosexual relationships a little simplistic and tired?
As for their reference to addiction, most experts would say that almost ANYTHING that humans enjoy has the POTENTIAL for turning into addictive behavior. Smoking, drinking, eating, taking drugs, gambling, shopping, sporting, watching television, internet surfing and having sex can all become addictive behaviors. For instance, there are some heterosexuals who are addicted to pornography and having sex with multiple partners. There are some heterosexual men who think about women, their bodies and having sex with them all of the time (some would characterize that as an addiction). Likewise, there are homosexuals who are afflicted with the same kind of sexual addictions.
Nevertheless, we should all be able to see that it would be inappropriate to say that all heterosexuals or homosexuals are in the grips of a sexual addiction. We should also all be able to acknowledge that sexual attraction does not qualify as an addiction. Are young heterosexual males who think about young females sexual addicts? Is physical attraction or sexual desire inherently addictive? Does the enjoyment of an occasional beer or glass of wine make one an alcoholic? I would be very interested to hear some answers to these questions from Mr. Hendrix or Mr. Watson, but I'm not going to hold my breath until I do.
As for the "Prince of the Power of the Air," I expect "he" is having a good chuckle right now. Satan must find it extremely amusing and satisfying that "he" has so thoroughly deceived the world about the nature of human sexuality. That Old Serpent has been very successful in making most of us ashamed of our own bodies. Lucifer must be extremely proud of the fact that "he" has succeeded in turning something that God ordained to be enjoyable, beautiful and good into something that is regarded as disgusting, hideous and evil by a majority of Christians. We are told in Scripture that Satan is the father of lying - that "he" likes to twist and pervert that which is holy and good. I don't know about you, but it certainly seems to me that the Prince of Darkness has scored a dramatic triumph relative to the way that most people (especially Christians) think about sex.
I know that God has the power to change hearts and minds, but "He" clearly has "His" work cut out for "Him" on this one! And I'd like to leave my readers with a warning of my own (well, OK, I wasn't the first person to issue this warning): The standard you use in judging others is the standard by which you will be judged by Almighty God!