Archive for October, 2010


PASSAGE 2 GENESIS 19:1-14

 

Now let’s consider the second biblical text used by some people to condemn God’s gay children. You remember the ancient story of Sodom. First, what does the story of Sodom in Genesis 19 say about God?
When Gary and I arrive at a college or university to speak, there are often protesters carrying signs that read, “Mel White, Sodomite.” (Has a nice ring to it.) Actually, I’m not from Sodom.  That city was buried beneath the Dead Sea centuries ago. I’m from California—but perhaps that just confirms their suspicions!
Once again, this story is not primarily about sex. It is primarily about God. Some people say the city of Sodom was destroyed because it was overrun by sexually obsessed homosexuals. In fact, the city of Sodom had been doomed to destruction long before. So what is this passage really about? Jesus and five Old Testament prophets all speak of the sins that led to the destruction of Sodom—and not one of them mentions homosexuality. Even Billy Graham doesn’t mention homosexuality when he preaches on Sodom.

 
Listen to what Ezekiel 16:48–49 tell us: “This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy.  They were arrogant and this was abominable in God’s eyes.  Today, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike do well to remember
that we break God’s heart when we spend all we earn on ourselves, when we forget the poor and hungry, when we refuse to do justice or show mercy, when we leave strangers at the gate.

 
I admit, there are a lot of gay folk who are Sodomites (and a lot of straight folk as well). Sodomites are rich and don’t share what they have with the poor. Sodomites have plenty and want more.  While millions are hungry, homeless, and sick, Sodomites rush to build bigger homes, buy bigger cars, and own more property—
putting their trust is safer stock portfolios and more secure retirement accounts.

 

Whatever teaching about sexuality you might get out of this passage, be sure to hear this central, primary truth about God as well. God has called us do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our Creator. Sodom was destroyed because its people didn’t take God seriously about caring for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, or the outcast. But what does the story of Sodom say about homosexual orientation as we understand it today? Nothing.  It was common for soldiers, thieves, and bullies to rape a fallen enemy, asserting their victory by dehumanizing and demeaning the vanquished. This act of raping an enemy is about power and revenge, not about homosexuality or homosexual orientation. And it is still happening.  In August 1997, Abner Louima, a young black immigrant from Haiti, was assaulted by several police officers after he was arrested in Brooklyn.  Officer Charles Schwarz held Louima down in a restroom at the precinct, while Officer Justin Volpe rammed a broken stick into Louima’s rectum.  These two men and the three other officers involved in this incident and its cover-up were not gay. This was not a homosexual act. It was about power.

 
The sexual act that occurs in the story of Sodom is a gang rape—and homosexuals oppose gang rape as much as anyone.  That’s why I believe the story of Sodom says a lot about God’s will for each of us, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.

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AddictingInfo.org – The List: 101 Examples of Why Republicans Should Not Be Allowed to Regain Control of Congress.

Joseph John Campbell

via Character of the week: Joseph Campbell « Paulo Coelho’s Blog.

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Step four is an action Step. This Step grates on the alcoholic nature. We begin the process of reversing many of the survival behaviors necessary to sustain an active alcoholic/addict. We do no enjoy these self-destructive behaviors, but we have become accustomed to using them.

Made…This Step demands positive action.  It is not accomplished all at once, but gradually.  There are two theories about taking this step:

1.  Don’t take it until you are absolutely ready.

2.  Take it right away.

Possibly the combination of these two ideas holds more value.  Ease into it, remember to be gentle on yourself.

Searching and fearless means being as honest as you can be at the moment.  We are used to rationalizing, so sincerity is mandatory.

In doing a moral inventory we want to take advantage of our assets in order to work on our liabilities.  Our behavior indicates attitudes and personalities, but don’t get stuck in details.  Try to see through the phony behavior.

This is not an examination of conscience.  We are not only looking for sins and evil deeds we might have done in the past.  We are looking for personality traits and conflicts that cause us distress.

Inventory is from a Latin word that means to find. We are looking for character defects and shortcomings that cause us problems.

We are all endowed by nature with certain wonderful and powerful instincts; otherwise, we would not have survived.  Our problem is that in our disease we have exercised some of these instincts to the extreme, and it has become a way of life that we now see as destructive.  The Steps address these misdirected instincts.

Step Four is a vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what these liabilities in each of us have been and are now.  By discovering what our emotional conflicts are, we can move toward their correction.  We cannot do this without taking a good look at ourselves.

The alcoholic cannot live with discomfort for great periods of time without eventually seeking relief in alcohol.

There are many ways to take Step four.  Do it in whatever way appeals to you.  Make sure it is written down, however.  You must believe no one will ever read it-not even when you do the Fifth Step.  It is the only way we can be completely honest with ourselves.

The Little Red Book Study Guide©1998 by Hazelden Foundation