Was Sodom Really Destroyed Because it was a Gay City?

Please grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee before you dig into this. I also suggest you grab a Bible or e-Bible and a concordance.  I will not be brief. When a section of the Book I love is used as a condemnation on the a group of people I love, I want to be as detailed as needed for clarity. Hopefully, at the end of this reading, your understanding will have reached a higher level of clarity at minimum.

Put on your sandals and let’s go

I think the verses from Genesis 19 are in the top two selections that people use when they cite homosexuality as the sin seemingly so egregious to God that He would destroy the city.   This is certainly one of those sections of the Scripture that I believed was proof enough that God held the GLBT community at bay.  I held that belief before I cared to look into it for myself.  Please go to this video for the back story.  I certainly did not care enough to independently study these verses until I was faced with a real person and real relationship.

When we look at this section of Scripture together, it may become clearer that the crime in the event was actually a brutal rape and not a “homosexual act”. And the “sin of Sodom” may not be homosexuality as we are often told.  So, let’s look at the verses, the common interpretation, the implications within the culture of the times and perhaps, a new view on the verses:

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2“My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”  “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

The traditional interpretation of these verses is as follows: the people of Sodom intended to engage in homosexual activities with the visitors. Not just some of the men of the city, but “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.”  Is this a city so filled with gay men that all of them descended on Lot’s home with the intent of fulfilling sexual lusts? Did the men of the city really all have a homosexual bent?

Sodom  was a wicked city indeed; the angels’ were assigned  by God to go see if ten righteous people could be found in Sodom.  Looking back to Genesis 18: 20-30, we see the account of the exchange between Abraham, Lot’s uncle, and Lord God Jehovah.  Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom, the city in which his nephew Lot lives with his family, and its inhabitants if God can find men of righteousness.

It is essential when looking at any section of Scripture to try as best we can to get into the culture, time and audience of the message. We need to place these verses in context. The time frame for Genesis 18 and 19 is about 1900 BC. This  is over 400 years before God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and well before the coming of Christ. So how then do we define “righteous”  before the death of Jesus?  Righteous means just and lawful.

Also important to note is that the events in Genesis 18 and 19  precede Levitical Law by 400 years, and the Book of Deuteronomy by over 450 years.  This is noteworthy because many people will quote Leviticus 18, 20 and  Deuteronomy 23 as “rules” that define righteousness.   “The people of Sodom were breaking God’s law,” they will say.  Not possible; those guidelines and God’s Law were not yet written down.

What was in place however  was a covenant made by God with Abraham  over a thirty years prior to the Sodom incident. God would protect the descendants of Abraham and bring a blessing to the world via that progeny. These people were to follow a different God; they were to act justly and morally.  Abraham was deemed righteous by God because he had faith in the God that had given this message, this God that Abraham had followed  out of the Chaldeans. Abraham then took his family on a journey of 300 miles and settled in  Haran.

Three years after emigrating to Haran, the land could not support the growing families and flocks. To halt the ensuing quarreling between the herdsmen, Abraham and Lot decide to separate. Lot moves about 30 miles away with his family and flocks to outside the gates of Sodom.

Do I hear fifty?

And thus the stage is set. It is now over twenty years later and the angels visit Abraham and the bargaining for Lot and the city begins. The angels say they will not destroy the city if they can find fifty righteous people.  Abraham is likely counting in his head and recalling his last visit to the city thirty miles away.  He negotiates the angels down to the number ten. In a culture where women were not of equal import , the number ten surprisingly was to include them.  The word “people” here does  includes women. The angels head to Sodom seeking  ten people  who had the faith to believe in the promises of God to the descendants of Abraham.

Lot is sitting in the gates of the city (he is no longer on the plains outside the city) when the angels arrive. It was evening and rather than allow the visitors to stay in the town square for the night, Lot invites them to come to his home.  Remembering that Sodom was know for evil, what we can imagine here is a town square filled with danger and violence much like the worst cities we can envision.  Lot brings the men to his home for the night.  Culturally, ensuring the safety of the strangers is highly valued.  It brings honor or shame to a family.  In the middle of the night, after Lot and his guests had eaten and gone to sleep, the men of the city call to Lot to bring the men outside so that they might know “ya-daw” them.

I have seen “ya-daw”  interpreted many ways. What I see in the Strong’s concordance is the most common meaning is to “see” or to “ascertain proof by seeing”.  The word appears 943 times in the Old Testament and, of those, there are ten times when the word has a sexual connotation.  In both verses 5 and 8, there are sexual connotations. Surely, when Lot offered his daughters as not having “known” a man, he is not stating a triviality such as they have never met a man.

Oh, those people of Sodom were a baaaaad bunch

Common in that time period, male rape was used as a means to discourage strangers from coming near a home or a city.  Statues of gods with phallic symbols, or simply phallic symbols, were erected to protect the gardens and doorways of citizens’ homes in Ancient Greece and Rome.   The god Priapus evoked that protection and the message was clear: “you come in here to our space and we will rape you.”  People entering an area would stroke the god for protection.   I do not imagine the angels complied with that tradition that evening.  They had the protection of the I AM God.

After dinner, the townsmen descend on Lot’s home demanding  to know them. And Lot does something culturally insane to us;  he makes the offer of sending out his two virgin daughters.  The women of the house in that era were  owned by the head of the house, in this case, the father.  They were his property and in total submission to him.  Knowing that the daughters would be “unmarryable” after being used by the men of Sodom, the father still preferred to offer the rape of his own daughters rather than let the men of the town abuse his house-guests. The laws of hospitality were held with utmost respect, another thinking so foreign to us.

What was going on?

Putting together these pieces, the townsmen wanted to rape the strangers for coming into their city; it was a warning and an act of utter humiliation.  Knowing that women were property, there was a further intent  to treat them like women making them passive in the sex act  and further insulting them.  Being a receiving/passive person in the act of anal sex was considered unmanly and effeminate.

So, what was the sin of Sodom?
This is the time and culture in Sodom in Genesis 19.  No Levitical Laws, no Book of Deuteronomy, not an act of consensual sex.  This is rape; it is violence.  It the sexual violence in the city the only reason the city was destroyed? Even if one were to believe the sexual violence and activity is akin to modern day same sex, committed loving relationships, we need to look to  Ezekiel  16: 49-50:

Eze 16:49  Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
Eze 16:50  And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

With BIll & Ryan

 So, is the sin for which Sodom was destroyed homosexuality?  God chose to destroy Sodom because it was full of arrogance, abundance of resources but showing greed, fully lazy, and doing nothing to help the poor and needy.  They were also proud and committed abominations in the face of God.  “Wait a sec!” , you may say.  “Aha! There it is!  That word abominations, there is the homosexuality.”  The word is  for abominations is “toebah”.Toebah” means something  morally disgusting, especially  associated with idolatry. The men of Sodom were invoking the protective power of their idol gods in rape to protect their city. Idolatry, humiliation and rape.  Does this reflect any of the same sex relationships you know?  Does this passage have any similarity to the committed homosexual couples you may live near or work with?

I know  over a thousand  gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (glbt) Christian people. Not one of them, that I know, is involved in sex for idolatrous worship or  has the intent to  rape and  inflict violence.  Can we maybe rethink the simple traditional  view of Genesis 19 of Sodom having been destroyed for homosexuality? Can we, at minimum, move away from the belief that Sodom was destroyed because it was a city filled with homosexuals and that is what God saw as the evil begging its destruction?

And, further is you ever get tempted to use the word “sodomite” in a slandererous attack or in a joke  against a GLBT person, consider this: Biblically, a “sodomite’ is one from Sodom. Further, they were guilty of not sharing with the poor and needy, greediness, inhospitality, idol worship and arrogance. I see a lot with those traits floating around in our society today.  Amongst all sexual orientations and people. Unfortunately, the word “sodomite” has come to mean “homosexual”, but, for those of you who aim to follow the Bible, this is not the Biblical meaning.  Even several translations of the Bible have taken  the term “people from Sodom” and changed it to “sodomites” and then  to “homosexuals”. Oh, we have done a grievous thing to a group of people!  And we hold our traditional view as “truth”. I offer that the above is a more Biblical view.

Blessings, peace and wisdom to you, Kathy

Related Posts:

MUST READ:::

“Dear Church, | Ten Insights on the glbt Christian Dialogue”

Leviticus 18 & Deuteronomy 23 |  Hello, I’m a  Detestable Abomination”

“Are You In or Out? |   I Corinthians & I Timothy”

“Romans1:26-32. . . To Whom Was This Directed?”

“Request to Those Who Use Romans 1 as a License Against the Gay Community

“Three Things My GLBT Christian Friends Want You to Hear”

“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made or Fear?”

No part of this original work may be quoted in part without permission. Entire article with author name, Kathy Baldock, must be linked or appear with text.  www.canyonwalkerconnections.com

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This post was written by who has written 180 posts on .

Bruce says:

Hi Kathy,
Yes… I am a furniture/cabinet maker and that name is part of my business name. I do believe in a plumb line of truth though, which is Jesus’ nature, and person, the Word of God, and the Spirit of Truth, all three bearing witness together of God’s eternal Truth. (If one of them is out of line, then something is amiss)

….I also do not claim to have the sum of that truth.

The fact that LGBT christians exist, doesn’t really mean much… there are christians doing all kinds of things that are not in God’s will, so that doesn’t give credence to anything.

I just don’t see any way to justify a same sex marriage (which I would guess that you believe is the only “acceptable” relationship in which to have sex?) using scripture (the whole of it) as a standard. You just simply have to find that acceptance in some other venue. I have no bone to pick with the LGBT community, nor am I condemning them or do I have a chip on my shoulder. I am just a lover of God, His truth and His people, and in trying to find justification for same-sex unions, (which I do honestly), it always comes up short.
That is just the way I see it….

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I am comfortable in my opinion. I recall you from a few years (?) back. Clearly we do not agree. I respect that you have come to your theological dogma in an authentic way that is Scripture based with the aid of the Spirit. I have done the same. We are both sincere. One of us is sincerely wrong. I am fine with that. I see fruit in the work I do and in the lives of gay and transgender Christians. I see wonderful Christ-honoring relationship in the marriages and long-term committed relationships of my LGBT friends.

Thank you for reading my blog. We are not going to change one another’s opinion. I am not going to invest more time in exchanges with you. I have important work I am trying to finish.

You might be interested in reading some of these. The testimonials and stories are birthed in a fund raiser I ran. These are REAL people that have had to often fight their way back to God or fight for their piece of God. They are LGBT and straight. They are parents and pastors and friends of gay and trans people. They love God and are growing in number.

You certainly appear to have a chip on your shoulder. Even when you try to cover it up, your dismissiveness of me and LGBT Christians drips from you words.

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Bruce Reply:

Yes… our conversations seem to be round and round, I will not waste your time. But as to the chip on the shoulder, the anger expressed seems to be coming from the proponents, not from me. If you sense anything from me, it would be pure sorrow, certainly not a chip on the shoulder.
Sincerely.
Take care.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Here is a link to affirming churches nearby to you. Be brave and challenge your dogma. You might be wrong. The Word of God is inerrant; however, there are no inerrant interpreters.

http://www.gaychurch.org/find_a_church/

Bruce says:

You may not believe that the bible addresses what we know as homosexuals today… but it most surely does. When it comes to sexual immorality, it is clear that anything other than the marriage bed is immoral, (Hebr 13:4) and marriage is strictly defined as one man and one woman. (bigamy was never God’s intention though he permitted it for a time)
If you go to Lev.18 and look at the list… what one of them would you overturn today besides vs. 22? They are ALL under the ban, and are the very definition of immorality.
What to do about this is an issue to discuss… but whether the bible condemns the behavior or not is really not debatable.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Clearly it IS debatable — this blog exists as do gay Christians. Where do you live? I will direct you to meet some. You sureness could use some challenge. Whether LGBT Christians exist or not is already settled in the live of people who are. If you are interested in seeing how true that plumb line is, let me know. Whether LGBT Christians exist or not is not up for debate with me on further with you on this blog.

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Mary says:

I don’t understand this whole matter. It seems like there is to much hate from both sides. Everyone talks about being born G/L and that it’s not a choice and that God does not make mistakes. Than please tell the part in your beliefs on transgender people? I know God makes no mistakes but by what power do you have to have a sex change? Praise God that He loves us all, and it is not our right to judge who or what you are. Each person will find out for themselves when they meet God if they were right or wrong. I love everyone, as God does. Let God be The judge, and we do our part as Christians by showing Christs love for each person no matter who they are!

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Start with this and ponder the existence on interest people — life and sexuality are more complex than pink and blue

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Robert says:

Just came across this blog and I realize this is two years late, but there was nothing offensive about that post, merely an examination from the issue from an Islamic point of view. There are no “base” terms even used. If you don’t want a discussion of your ideas, which is how our ideas evolve, then just delete the comment section. Unfortunately, it seems that you are only interested in hearing comments of affirmation, even though a principle tenant of this blog seems to be changing the ideas of Christians who disagree with your views on the LGBT community. I don’t understand how you fail to recognize that dichotomy. This isn’t a blog I’ll be returning to.

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Lisa says:

I am appalled that you would use the bible which clearly said that homosexuality is an abominable sin against god . In Deuteronomy and Leviticus clearly says that thou must not lie one man with another in the same way a man lies with a woman . It does not matter when it was written god does not change his standards on morality. I would like to ask Kathy if everyone in the entire earth decides to be gay what will happen to the human race… Do you think it is his design to see his creation wiped off…. This seems to be the devils agenda…homosexuality could never be of god. It is a demonic act.

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James Reply:

Just curious, how do lesbians factor into your view? I don’t recall the bible saying “woman shall not lie with woman as with a man”.

And also, did you read ANY of the actual article? Your criticism doesn’t actual address any of Kathy’s clearly explained points.

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christopher Reply:

I pray for you. The Bible is also clear as to say those who judge will be judged. He who is without sin should cast the first stone. And that all scripture is to be weighed for its fulfilment of the spirit to find what is the true and perfect will of God.
I know that the Bible says to stone an unruly child. Also Jesus reffered to anger against someone to be the same as murder. Have you ever been angry? Because I can see your anger through your words.
Please, if you must speak of God’s will, think before you spoil your faith; for it is not what you take in that defiles you, it is what comes out. May God find you and soften your hardened heart.
Thank you Kathy for bringing light into this world. You will be blessed for all you have done to further understanding and defending those who cannot defend themselves.

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Nathan Reply:

I agree that Lisa’s comment above is brash and insensitive and if I may be so bold as to apologize on her behalf to you and any others she may have offended. With that said; however, her main point still remains. The bible clearly identifies homosexual acts as sin.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I will boldly say that I DO NOT BELIEVE THE BIBLE ADDRESSES what we know as homosexuals today. The Bible is SILENT on the issue.

It does not matter how sweetly you say it — you message is just as damaging.

I suggest you go to the VIDEO link and see there is a valid opposite POV. The Bible is NOT clear on your POV, at all.

I have friends in VA Beach who are gay and Christian and in churches. Would you like to challenge your thinking? You may be surprised. The issue of gay Christians existing and thriving is settled. It is time to go meet them. Let me know if you are open to learning beyond your fences.

Angela says:

sarkos hetras means alien flesh. They are talking about angels.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

Yup, I do get to decide.
Funny, my Mom is here for the holiday and I read it to her. Her comment “WHAT is wrong with these people? How do they quote the Bible and then say that stuff?” EXACTLY Mom. How does blessing and cursing come from the same mouth? Salt and fresh water from the same source?
There are PLENTY of places that are open to trash talk, NOT mine. Period.

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Bruce says:

Hi Kathy,
I respect your right to decide what is off the skids and not…. period.
I did review his posts (I’m on the subscription) and I only found two words that might be offensive, but it was just a street lingo statement calling a door in their way the “b” word, and a loose non-specific “a” word describing the angels letting the men have the daughters of Lot.
Nevertheless… it is your call.

Thanks again,
Bruce

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Bruce says:

Kathy,
I guess you gave this person “someguy” a chance to make amends? “Please repost with obcene remarks edited” or something? If not, it seems quite intollerant and unaccepting of opposing viewpoints. He actually had some interestng perspective from other ancient writtings… it caused me to look into the Apocrpha and Psudapigrapha to see what the ancients had to say about Sodom’s sins, and there is more evidence there to support the sexual immorality aspect of their ways, including some graphic description of homosexuality.
Well, I hope you gave him a chance to amend his ways before blocking him from commenting.

Take care,
Bruce

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I can see if he chooses to reply and then make a decision as to his intentions. I do NOT play around with inappropriate language; it is not how I live my life. For now, his comments must be approved before they post. I watch exchanges completely spiral to the toilet on other sites. I am not intolerant or unaccepting; I am respectful however. I have done this long enough to see patterns and tip offs to when an exchange will utterly derail. “Someguy” hit that skid.

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someguy69 says:

People seem to percieve homosexuality as an “orientation” and it really is just an “act”. This is what the Bible deals with. Heck even the Quran is against this act. Here are a few verses dealing with the act of homosexuality:

7:80-1 “And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk.”

26:165-6 “What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, And leave the wives your Lord created for you ? Nay, but ye are froward folk.”

27:54-55 “And Lot! when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination knowingly? Must ye needs lust after men instead of women ? Nay, but ye are folk who act senselessly.”

29:28-29 “And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Lo! ye commit lewdness such as no creature did before you. For come ye not in unto males.”

So yeah, you might say homosexual acts are not sins but they sure are not the way Allah mean’t it to be. No person is born a homosexual just as no person is born a thief, or president, or preacher or whatever you might come up with. People choose to do this acts. The Quran teaches you that it is not a sin to be homosexual the sin the actual sexual act between the couple of a similar sex. if you transform your desires into a struggle and a challenge to overcome it and not physically commit it, then insha’Allah, you will get the reward for it.

Hadeeth (saying of prophet Muhammad) regarding homosexuality “A man should not look at the private parts of another man, and a woman should not look at the private parts of another woman. A man should not lie with another man without wearing lower garment under one cover; and a woman should not be lie with another woman without wearing lower garment under one cover. (Abu Dawood)
As Muslims when we have a conflict with the Quran, which is the word of God verbatim, we do not ask where the Quran went wrong but rather why are we, limited beings, in conflict with the wisdom of the absolute, God Almighty.
God has created everything in pairs each endowed with physical and psychological characteristics to complement and complete one another. The Quran (4:1) indicates that human beings have been created from one living entity (nafs), which represents the origin of both the male and the female. The human species though has included male and female since its existence. The “mating” or “spousing” of male and female sexes is original in human nature and out of this instinctive relationship the human race develops, continues and spreads.

Between the two sexes a gravitating combination of love, tenderness, and care is engendered, so that each finds in the other completeness, tranquility, and support (Quran 30:21). Having children and loving them represents another fulfillment of the human nature (Quran 42:49-50). It is through this spousal complementation and completion, according to the Quran (7:189), that each spouse achieves comfort, and enjoys peace of mind, satisfaction, and fulfillment. These relationships extend beyond the physical sexual contact and to psychological, spiritual relations.

The blessings of this completeness are not ended by their accomplishment, but they continue and develop through bringing forth children, raising them, and providing the whole family with material, emotional, and moral needs.

The pleasures of completion and procreation may well be extended and multiplied, when one is granted grand children, who not only represent genealogical continuation, but are also a dynamic revitalization of the human race.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Someguy–you crossed the line for commentary on my blog. If you choose to evaluate an entire community of people on how they express love, emotional attraction and sexual attraction in VERY base terms, you will not be allowed to comment here. I write in a respectful manner and choose to keep that tone on MY blog. You are banned from the further publishing of you vulgar commentaries.

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Someguy69 Reply:

I thought the topic was open for discussion? My intentions are not to offend anyone in anyway. don’t get me wrong. Am not here to bash anyone. Am here to discuss the issue. If I was vulgar/disrespectful am sorry.

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really says:

is this your way of saying that homosexuality is not a sin..cuz you would be very hypocritical if you say it is not..the same bible does condemn homosexuality maybe you are saying it is not a sin because you know people who are & they are nice but that does not hide the fact that God forbids it..dont be like peter and deny jesus to please man or that you have fallen into man’s wicked way of thinking..homosexuality is a sin

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Leila—Yes, I am saying being homosexual or having a homosexual orientation is NOT a sin. Go to this link and view and read as much as you care to and then you will see what i think and another point of view. http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/category/verses-resources/

[Reply]

Kay Thomas says:

Kathy,
I have heard a lot of arguments about Sodom and all the “men” of the city. That word in the orginal (according to Strong’s #0582) “xwna” transliterated to “enowsh” means:
man, mankind, person
Here is a question: If all the people (mankind) of Sodom surrounded the house and everyone was “homosexual”, where were the lesbians when Lot said here take my daughters? I have always wondered about that. Yes women were considered as property, but I have heard over and over that everyone in Sodom was “homosexual”. What do you think, were there only Males living in Sodom? Only homosexual males? Not even the most “GLBTQ” city in the world is made of entirely of homosexuals. So where were the lesbians, out camping???
Just wondering if you had researched this aspect of Sodom.
Thank you for what you do. If I had met someone like you in 1975, I would not have left God when I was kicked out of the church. (After years of prayer and study, I am now a pastor and I am a lesbian in a covenant relationship for 25 years.)
May God Bless you richly in your life.
Kay

[Reply]

kobesofficial says:

Kathy, you’re very eloquent. You make a point about God’s law not being given till 400 years later. By that reckoning, I have to ask this; how did Joseph know what sin was, if God’s law didn’t technically ‘exist’ until about 400 years later when he said to Potiphar’s wife, “No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

A question I can surely “discuss’, but not pertinent to the point I am making. Thank you for reading.

[Reply]

Bruce says:

True Agape,
Wow… you really have a bone to pick, huh? A little quick to lump me in with every person you have offence with and label me as one… with every negative assumption? You don’t know me from anyone, and really didn’t hear what I said.

BTW, I’m not afraid of gays… I’m afraid for them… that is not homophobic.

I never called it a gay city, I said they were guilty of sexual immorality, according to Jude. I’m not saying Ez 16 doesn’t apply, but gays have been using that to try to obscure the other things they were guilty of, as if those other things didn’t count.

ALL the Canaanite cities were infested with all kinds of evil practices… Sodom was amongst them, (though well before the Israelites came in.) I expect you have parsed Lev. 18 to death, but most who do miss a glaring fact: (after listing “the list”)
Lev 18:
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by ANY of these things; for by ALL these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.
25’For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.
26’But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and SHALL NOT DO ANY of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you
27(for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled)

It is ALL of these things mentioned in Lev 18 that they were practicing… ANY sexual practice (that’s Lev 18) that is listed is abhorrent to God, and caused not just the destruction of Sodom, but ALL of the Canaanite peoples… He destroyed them all for it. It’s right there…. Maybe God has changed, and I didn’t get the memo… the New Testament bears witness… “Let no one in any way deceive you”, no sexually immoral people (of any kind) shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

Why do you put such emphasis on just the Jerusalem Bible? Do you trust all of it’s interpretations as infallible? One out of how many existing translations that happens to agree with you…. That is not wise.

Sincerely, I don’t hate anyone… but this issue needs to be discussed without the polarized emotions… I hear what the LGBT Christians are saying, but all they seem to hear is what a few are saying, and then project it onto everyone that doesn’t agree with them. I know it is a “hot” topic, because it involves real people with real lives, but it needs to be worked out in the realm of love, AND truth.

Bruce

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Bruce–what do you do with Matthew 10:14-15? Jesus speaking to His disciples and telling them “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Were they inhospitable or unreceptive because they were all gay? Or were they condemned because they were inhospitable?
And what will you now do with committed, long term same sex couple in NY State that are married? As opposed to those in CT?
If a lesbian reads and adheres to the ESV Bible, she is better off than the KJV. If all lesbians die with an ESV on their shelves–are they in according to you?
Are you aware that the Jews do not see the “sin of Sodom” as a sexual sin, but one of inhospitality?
Before slaves were citizens in the US, they did not get “married” by the law or any instittution, they had no right. They had a ceremony before God and community of love and commitment. Were they married, or was every child born in that arrangement a bastard? Is it the legal paper that makes a covenant relationship or what you do before God?
Why is the church tolerant of people who do not divorce for anything other than adultery and allow those people full standing in faith communities? If they remarry, both they and their partner are called “adulterers” Biblically. Jesus spoke DIRECTLY about this twice and Paul once. They are subject to I Cor. too, yes?
And I believe “strange flesh” is angels. Cross referencing in Catholic Bibles will show you that there were ‘giants’ in the land in Sodom–Nephtali–angel/woman mixes and it created a particularly nasty group of people.
Bruce, I would very much encourage you to go meet glbt people especially Christians and test the Spirit with the Spirit in you. Not a one of us has all the truth of the Bible. I would hope that the Holy Spirit is alive enough in you to testify. There are at least a dozen in your area http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_connecticut.htm It is easy to go back and forth on verses–let’s see how you do when you are faced with people of God that happen to be glbt. I know what it did to my theology on the issue. I was so sure I was right. Until I saw the Holy Spirit in them. And if you do not, that is your problem. Not theirs. I know over 1000 glbt Christians. My Spirit says so. Go be brave Bruce and put the back and forth on hold. You may be very surprised.

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Bruce Reply:

Hi Kathy,
Nice to hear from you and get your point of view. I don’t know if you read my previous post, but I am willing to put any “gay” reference out of the conversation for the sake of identifying some truth. Sodom may have been inhospitable, but they practiced all of the evil that the Canaanites did. Let’s forget Sodom altogether…(which removes the Ez 16, Jude 7 and Matthew 10:14-15 issue completely).. use the Canaanites as an example…. God doesn’t like anything written in Lev. 18. and He destroyed Canaan as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah because of them.

You brought up many of the real challenging issues concerning the present reality of conditions in the church and the world, and those to me are very important, but unless we can agree about the basic nature of this according to God, we can never really solve them.
I’M NOT SAYING I’M RIGHT!! But, I have yet to hear an honest argument from scripture… (taken as it is, in it’s whole counsel)

You’re right, back and forths can be very fruitless… these are real issues facing real people and affecting real lives. I will endeavor to visit an affirming/gay fellowship and see if what you say is true. I have been in a fellowship a half dozen times or more where the pastor was gay, and he was a great orator, thoughtful expositor, compassionate pastor, servant of the body, kind, gentle, understanding, intelligent, biblical, accepting, engaging, inclusive and much more…. but he was lacking the Spirit…(as far as I could tell… no spiritual substance or leading) His being gay did not color my opinion, because it was not know that he was gay until later…. I only went there because of some friends of mine were there.
Thanks for the challenge though… I’ll give it a try.

Bruce

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

go no further than your computer. This is a friend of mine I just spent time with in Tulsa. Again, if you do not “see” the Holy Spirit here, it IS your problem . Get beyond your bias–there ARE gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians. Put this on all day as you work, and listen to the worship and the sermons. When you are done here, I will link you to another close friend in Atlanta, then Dallas, then Nashville, then numerous ones in CA and WA and on and on. You need a witness? I will send it to you. Move off the Scripture battle and let your Spirit speak.
http://www.diversitychristianfellowship.com/online/sermons/video.php

Zane Zirkle Reply:

I don’t understand why we need 20 versions of the Bible.

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Tru Agape says:

You may want to get your hands on the Jerusalem Bible of 1966 it is a CATHOLIC bible. Even this Bible, which is the Church’s own material, doesn’t equate Jude 7 with homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah. See the commentary within that translation for yourself. It’s a fact the church would like to sweep under the rug. Sodom and Gomorrah had absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality- history proves this, scripture captures this, and even the Church’s own publication shows this.
2 Peter shows that their intent was to defile flesh because what ever they had in mind for the visitor’s they were willing to do WORSE to Lot for trying to play the judge as Genesis 19:9 shows. All of this coincides with the Jewish Talmud, the book of Wisdom, and the book of Ezekiel – Sodom’s inhospitality was epic. The “people of Sodom’s” intent was abuse!
A similar story appears in Judges and even there the mob’s intended victim understood their inhospitable intent: “It was i that they figured on KILLING” (Judges 20:5) The account starts in Judges 19:22

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Bruce says:

Hi Kathy,
Thank you for your study and labor in trying to build a bridge between glbt folks and the church. In all of the defense of the inhabitants of Sodom that I have seen in the multiple articles/blogs and discussion groups I have been in, I never hear anyone explain to me how these two verses can be woven into your conclusion. Jude blatantly associates the reason for their destruction to sexual immorality, Peter calls it “unbridled lust” (sensual conduct of unprincipled men )… in the original Greek…

Jude 7 …just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

2 Peter 2:6-8
6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
8(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),

Can you help me in this?
Bruce

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Tim Reply:

Perhaps you can answer what “strange flesh” is.

I don’t see how the 2Peter verse applies.

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Sandbur says:

Ms Baldock, if you do not have an answer then admit that you do not know. When you say that my question is off topic, when it is clearly not, is the height of rudeness! I would only expect to hear such as that from the likes of a right-wing money hungry televangelist.

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Kathy Reply:

@Sandbur, What you interpret as rude ,I can’t alter. With limited time, I try to stay focused on what I am called to do. I can answer all kind of questions and don’t take the time to. If your question is connected to the FOCUS of this blog, do let me know how and perhaps I can help you. Otherwise, please use any good Bible research site for your question. Thank you.

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Sandbur says:

Why was Gomorrah destroyed along with Sodom?

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Kathy Reply:

off topic for me and perhaps that is something for you to investigate elsewhere. Thank you.

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Tru Agape Reply:

Sandbur,
Because they were wicked plain and simple, – not “gay”, “not homosexual”, “not practicing homosexuals”, by the way, the visitors were not even human, they were materialized angles so the possibility of that encounter even being a HOMOsexual one (same-sex) is zilch!, nada!, zero! whether the mob new they weren’t human or not.
That is simply the biblical and historical facts. So based on the scriptural facts alone, not even a homosexual interpretation (like the churches would have you believe) of this scriptural account is plausible! And Jude cements this fact by maintaining the accuracy of all of the components within the Genesis account by accurately referring to the visitors as “sarkos hetras”, literally “flesh different.”

Jehovah references Sodom in Ezekiel for their lack of hospitality, Jesus mentions them alongside those who wouldn’t welcome his deciples, the book of Wisdom emphasis their cruelty, the Jewish Talmud emphasis their cruelty, 2 Peter 6:10 mentions those (gender/type not specific) who go after flesh (gender/type not specific) with the DESIRE to DEFILE it.
Try as you might, scripture and biblical history do not equate Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexaulity ANYWHERE. But religion does! In fact, religion, a.k.a. the Catholic Church went as far as to INVENT a word that would later serve as the catylist for such dishonest translations as “homosexual”, “practicing homosexual”, “men who lie with men”, etc. That word, that LIE, is the deception known as “SODOMITE!” And that home would later find a place to roost within lexcions and concordances which many “Christians” like refer to as their “Christian Resources”. It’s a shame!

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Bruce Reply:

Sandbur,
The fact that they were not real men, but “materialized angles” (I like that… “what’s your angle anyways??) doesn’t really apply, since they were there to observe what was already happening. (The obviousy thought they were men, by the account)
I’ll take your point for the sake of discussion, that it wasn’t homosexuality…
But, it was literally in Greek according to Jude:

NT:1608
ekporneuo
perverse sexual practice.
to be utterly unchaste:

So.. whether a person is hetero or homo sexual, if they do anything like they did in Sodom, it is condemned. This is not about a lack of hospitality…. though that might have been additional to their sin, Jude…. NT authority doesn’t mention that obscure Ezekiel diversion, but calls it what everyone in His day would know… he was not giving them a new revelation, but one they had always known.

So, look in the scripture and find every kind of sexual practice mentioned that is condemned by God and you can plug it in…. it is perverse. This is not rocket science, any sexual activity outside of marriage is not acceptable…

So, any homosexual that wanted to have sexual relations would have to be married, and have exclusive relations with that one person, or else he/she is a fornicator or adulterer.

Is that what you preach and practice?

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Tru Agape Reply:

Sorry buddy, but you’re wrong especially about Jude 7. Your imagination completes your homophobic reading – not the Greek, not any Scripture anywhere, and not even the Jewish Talmud. Continue on in Jude 7, take any translation that uses the phrase “unnatural lust”, “perversion”, etc that agrees with your prejudice, and you’ll find that such a biased translation completly departs from the literal Greek for the following word (sarkos hetras) to further support their homophobic attempt. But even that fails. If you don’t want to hear it from me maybe you’d prefer the homophobic Catholic church’s bible to tell you. Check out the Jerusalem Bible of 1966 and read the commentary at Jude 7. You’ll either accept this fact or not. But in the meantime, look past your prejudice and please let God speak for himself.

And to answer your last question: Yes! So please don’t take away homosexuals right to marry each other. Glad to see New York moved towards this direction.

Take care!

P.S. A literal reading shows you addressed Sandbur, but your context was pointed at me. As you can see context and content really DOES matter wink! wink! ;-)
And one more thing, since when is Ezekiel an “obscure diversion”, my friend?

Tru Agape Reply:

Bruce,
“The fact that they were not real men, but “materialized angles” ………….doesn’t really apply, since they were there to observe what was already happening.”

I almost decided to let this point of yours slide but decided it was too important to pass up plus your statement is downright ignorant and you need to be called out on it.

Okay so get this, the materialized angels go down to check out this “gay city” so you say and “observe what was already happening” and low and behold there’s no “gay”. What’s the deal? No report of Sodomite men with other Sodomite men. No report of Sodomite women with other Sodomite women. Not even a biblical stigma that survived to later be used in scripture to correlate with say the Benjamites mentioned at Judges 19:22. None of that.
But what the angels did experience is the same thing other outsider’s (who’s ‘cry of complaint’ God heard- Gen18:20) experienced. That’s right outsiders were devasted to find there were no “Please” and “Thank you’s” and therefore God wiped them clean for it. (I have reason to believe that’s what you’d imagine I’d be implying if I agreed with the “obscure” Ezekiel passages and mentioned their LACK OF HOSPITALITY.)

So lets see, what were their sins? Was it sexual sin? You bet there was, Jude 7 makes that clear- fornication baby!, the most popular HETRO sin! Was it cruel intentions? 2 Peter 6:10 certainly frowns on those who go after flesh with the DESIRE to DEFILE it. Then you have Jesus mentioning the two cities in the same sentence as those who do not “what, come again,” oh that’s right WELCOME his deciples. But I get it Bruce, what you really want to know ( actually show) is was Sodom and Gomorrah a condemnation of homosexuality? Well, sorry to dissapoint you buddy but there isn’t a single element within all of scripture that shows that it was. You’ll have to look else where to buy your ammo. You may want to go outside of scripture for that one. Have you tried….hmmm let’s see….”man-made traditions” they’re selling ammo-for-gays at a discount i hear?

Sandbur says:

What was the reason Gomorrah was destroyed along with Sodom? No reason is given in the Bible. Did GOD have bad aim? Were the citizens of Gomorrah just chalked up as collateral damage?

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Kathy Reply:

Can you clarify the point of your question please? It seems off target and line of investigation.

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RJ Walker says:

If you read Matthew 10:14-16 (and the same story in Luke 17: 10-12) Jesus mentions Sodom, telling his disciples that if they go to evangelize in a town and are not welcomed, that town will suffer the same fate as Sodom.

This certainly suggests, if not proves, that Jesus considered the Exodus story of Sodom to be one of violation of the hospitality code, and not of “homosexuality.

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Jennifer Reply:

And the story straight after the one in Luke, is the story of the Good Samaratan.

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kerry says:

I agree totally with Kathy on this. I have come across numerous bible people and or biblicists that take the bible litterally -no exceptions, and they absolutely refuse to accept any other points of view on this. Then there are those who chose to try to be more open minded and I can appreciate those..the others- I just have learned to leave them alone on their own paths.

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Kathy Reply:

absolutely and THANK YOU

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Lloyd Peacock says:

Excellent commentary Kathy. I have read the story of Sodom many, many times, and a lot of things didn’t make sense to me. First of all, if all the men were homosexuals, would not Lot be one also? He had two daughters, was he perhaps a graduate of an ex-gay group? Why would Lot offer his daughters to a mob of homosexuals? As the late Sylvia Pennington said in one of her books: I can’t understand why Lot would offer his daughters to a mob of homosexuals, unless they wanted to blow dry their hair.

What really bothers me though is that Lot took his daughters from the city and spent the night in a cave. In a drunken stupor they all had sex. I’ve always wondered if my being a homosexual was worse than that act? I have never heard a pastor preach on this chapter of the Bible, I wonder why? Thank you Kathy for what you do.

Blessings

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