Day 23: Deliverance from Evil
Editor’s Note: TOB is the abbreviation for Pope St. John Paul II’s book “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body” Pauline Press
How did we get here? What drives 30-40% of young adult America (Barna Study) to identify as LGBTQ+?
Spoiler alert: it’s not sourced in longstanding same-sex desires or hating one’s biological gender.
It’s the lure of belonging. Under a loose-knit, comfy rainbow shawl, one finds solidarity with persons who have done nothing but ‘come out’ to peer applause. No gender, one size fits all. Here, for 15-minutes of fame, one can be cool without a cost, rebels without a revolution, countercultural without resistance, warriors of gender justice by just being confusing. You need an adversary to be adversarial. Gender-bending in America is as down-home as Walmart and Trump’s patriots.
Our real unseen adversary loves this. He targets the sexuality of a generation, frames it as a ‘human rights issue’ then utterly dehumanizes all involved. The deceiver knows that man and woman’s identity clarity is fundamental to human dignity--our blueprint for growth and creativity in relationships.
The enemy makes a noble and necessary aspiration--sexual integration—one option among many, then a downer, and finally, an impossibility. Identity fractures? Major on what is fun and hip and charged with new pleasures. Doors open in the imagination and boundaries break to reduce love’s horizon. What was unthinkable a year or two ago is now boring. Splinter again, add a new letter to the LGBTQ+ unravelling of humanity.
Blame the virtual universe: the closest of twenty-somethings text, not talk. Virtual communities are biased, require little, and result in malformed members who fail to thrive in person, off screen. We become persons in person, face-to-face. ‘Man becomes an image of God not so much in solitude but in the moment of communion’ (TOB 9:3).
Blame it on covid—kids who’ve grown dull and soft, unseen, unheard. Even in person, masks mask the person. How can we take the next step in mature gift-giving when isolated yet seduced by sexy ‘selves’ we ‘could’ become?
Blame it on boomer blasphemies: porn, the pill, abortion, dissoluble marriages and dissolute lives--good old-fashioned idolatries we’ve handed down to our kids.
Blame it on the enemy. Fight for their deliverance.
The only hope for the rainbow generation? Jesus, whose eye is on searching hearts. We pilgrim from shame to shame until we find what is truer, more real, most ravishing among the gods. Foregoing the witness of our bodies ain’t that. Only Jesus can ransom captive hearts. May we bow afresh to our Deliverer and make every effort to embody His beauty to those still on the way.
‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’