Spiritual Warfare Forum: DEMON or SPIRIT
DEMON or SPIRIT QUESTION from Bob on November 13, 2002 Br. Ignatius,
I have been enjoying reading many of your postings. However, I am confused. If you are unsure as to whether or not people are born with homosexual inclinations, then why is there a demon or spirit of homosexuality?
If they truly are born that way, and I personally believe they are, then certainly they would not be born with a demon in them, but original sin, like everyone. Also, I cannot find one mention in Catholic Theology or Doctrine regarding spirits/demons of adultery, homosexuality, etc. I believe in the New Testament there was a woman with a demon of lust. I certainly would not deny that demons would influence people to do certain things, but the view that there are demons of the kind specific to adultery, homosexuality, etc. seems to be a fundamentalistic point-of-view and seems to leave out personal responsibility and scientific fact. My intention is not to argue, just to get your perspective. Thanks again!
ANSWER by Mr. Joe Meineke on November 20, 2002 Dear Bob,
Thank you for your questions.
Before I begin, it needs to be pointed out that there is no conclusive evidence to support the conjecture that there is a genetic explanation to homosexuality. This is something that has been promoted by the media as fact for quite some time, and has been largely successful in shaping public opinion. At least one media personality has come forward and admitted this media manipulation of the facts (click here to view this article)
One additional article that may be of interest can be found by clicking here. It discusses the history of the discovery of the alleged homosexual gene in addition to how it has since been disproved. Also, it is worth mentioning that the second edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has completely removed the wording that once seemed to support the notion of genetic causes. This is certainly not to deny the possibility of a genetic cause for homosexuality -- it simply may not be discovered yet (Although this is doubtful: scientists have concluded that the likelihood of there being single genes for complex behaviors is remote). Rather, since there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that there is a genetic cause, we should not pretend that there is.
Now that we have put the gene theory in its proper place, we can go ahead, speculate, and say, what if there is a scientific explanation that has merely not been discovered? Well, quite honestly, it makes no difference any more than it makes a difference that the genetic connection to obesity, which has been proven, cannot be an excuse for gluttony.
The only way we can assert that these genetic tendencies, if they do exist, makes a difference in the practice of sin is to subscribe to the notion that genetics overrides the Truth of God in his revelation to us concerning sin, in this case the sinfulness of the homosexual act (see Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13). God, being God, is of course fully aware of any genetic influences. Yet He has still revealed to us that homosexual sex is a violation of natural law and an abomination before Him. In fact, homosexual sex is one of the few sins that God calls an abomination.
God is the God of science and science cannot pretend to know more than God. God being a loving and merciful God does not declare a sin something that is impossible for man to avoid -- that would be cruel. God also does not allow us to be enslaved to temptation so that we have no choice but to submit:
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. In addition, science affirms what God has already revealed to us that we are not the total sum of our genetic structure. Environment certainly has the ability to either trigger genetic tendencies or to override genetic tendencies. Thus even if we have inherited a homosexual gene this does not mean that we are absolutely certain to be a homosexual. In addition, even if we are a genetic homosexual this does not automatically mean that we will act out as a homosexual. Man is not an animal that behaves in toto to genetic instincts and environmental stimuli. Man has the ability given to him by God to reflect upon our selves and our behavior and to act in accord with divine morality to override and overcome primal desires and genetic or psychological tendencies. We are not slaves to our genetics or our environment. If we were indeed a slave to our genetic (or environmental) tendencies then we must necessarily abrogate personal responsibility completely -- something of which you expressed a concern. Genetic tendencies (or environmental influences) does not excuse sinful behavior any more than it excuses criminal behavior (which some researchers also suggest may have a genetic connection). We have the ability to choose. We have the ability to repent from aberrant behavior (though sometimes we may need help to accomplish that repentance such as from a psychiatrist, physician, counselor, etc.).
This leads us to the issue of demonic elements in homosexuality or with any sinful behavior.
Demons are never the cause of our sinful behavior. We are always responsible for our behavior to the level in which we have the freedom of reason, deliberation, conscience, and will to choose to act sinfully.
Demons can be instigators, that is, be the source of temptation, but we are not forced and cannot be forced to succumb to the temptation and God will always provide a way for us to resist the temptation (see quote from 1 Cor 10:13 above).
Most often, however, the source of our temptations is our own flesh. Genetics and environment may make us more sensitive to the temptation and more vulnerable to the temptation, but it is a temptation, not a forced act. This is where demons may have a role.
Seeing our vulnerability demons hitch-hike on our problem and temptation to try to influence us to go ahead and submit to the temptation. Once we give in, demons have a vest interest in manipulating us and influencing us to remain in bondage to the sin and to increase our bondage to the point that we may not be able to free ourselves without help.
Demons, who hate God and hate God's creation of Man who was made in God's image, have a very vested interest in seeing that Man debases himself, sins, and remains apart from God. Homosexuality, as one of the sins that is an abomination to God, is a favorite of demons because it spits on God so thoroughly. Homosexuality attacks the image of God within Man, it attacks the virtue of sexuality within Marriage, it attacks the nature and purpose and dignity of Marriage, it attacks the dignity of the human person as God created him. Thus demons take great pleasure in trying to influence people to submit to homosexual tendencies and temptations.
This is what is meant by the demonic element in homosexuality.
Here is an example: It is not at all uncommon for people to have homosexual fantasies. This is especially true for teenagers and it appears to be a normal aspect of pubescence. However, if a teen chooses to act out on one of these fantasies, a fantasy that may even be exacerbated by a demonic temptation, and he commits the sin of sodomy with one of his same sex peers, he can very easily and very likely invite in a demonic spirit associated with that sin.
Now, about the issue of being born with demons: It does happen sometimes. Although we normally associate demonic attachments resulting from our own personal decisions and sin, it is also possible that an innocent person can have demonic attachments as the result of other people's actions. For example, children can be cursed from the womb by mothers, fathers and grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. They can be dedicated to Satan by their father and mother. Many times these children suffer from demons of fear, rejection, death, infirmity and many others - including homosexuality. In fact one of the most famous documented and verified exorcism cases was a result of an innocent girl being cursed and offered to Satan by her father.
The Bible itself gives us a clue on this and clinical experience and evidence affirms it. The Bible reveals a spiritual principle that the merits or sins of the father are visited upon future generations:
2 Kings 10:30 And the LORD said to Jehu, Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
Ex 20:5b ...for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me...
Concerning your final points, deliverance counselors refer to demons by their functional name because those demons are behaving according to that function. In practical application, it is not necessary to know their actual name. We only need to recognize their function. As with any problem, the first thing necessary is to recognise the problem. We cannot help a demonized person unless we know what the demons are doing to the person. The Clinical experience and evidence of exorcists and deliverance counselors have shown that identifying demons by the function with which they are bothering the demonized person is effective to helping the person deal with the underlying problems and effective in getting demons to leave the person. For example, if we identify a demon of hate, that we know there is a demon with this function is effective in getting the demon to leave, AND to know that hate is one of the issues helps the counselor to deal with the underlying hate the person is feeling.
This has nothing to do with fundamentalism. What I have expressed here is the facts according to Scripture, the teachings of the Church, the experience of the Saints, and the clinical experience and evidence of deliverance counselors and exorcist -- including the official exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.
Unfortunately modernism and liberalism has tried to dissuade us from believing in the reality of the demonic. Fundamentalists have been one group that has refused that dissuasion. Truth is truth, however, no matter who professes it.
We must remember, however, that the Fundamentalist are not the ones who invented this area of ministry. Catholics did. Whatever the Fundamentalist know about this subject that is true, they got from the Catholic Church and from the experience of Catholic exorcists.
As to this subject mentioned in Catholic Theology or Doctrine, it is mentioned. There are many theological documents on the subject of Satan. There is also the formal Rite of Exorcism in which some of these details are explained. But the nitty-gritty details are not a subject of theology or doctrine, it is a subject of practical ministry and clinical experience and observation. Theology and doctrine provide the overall principles and understanding of the phenomena, but it is clinical experience that gives us the practical and specific details. One typically has to consult the wise counsel of the Saints and the writings of Exorcists and experienced deliverance counselors to glean this type of detailed information.
God bless you,
Joe Meineke Assistant to Bro. Ignatius
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