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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