Friday, January 27, 2006

Just wanted to point out

In response to a recent comment from the Desperate Houseplants post which makes reference to Sodom and Gomorrah:

It is not totally accurate to say that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the practice of homosexuality. It is true that homosexual behavior was rampant in Sodom. So much so, that Lot knew better than to allow his visitors to spend the night in the town square. (See Gen 19.)

BUT, because that account in Genesis is immediately followed by the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, I think we often assume that they were destroyed because of said behavior.

However, Ezekiel 16:49-50 says:

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

One may argue that homosexuality qualifies as one of those "detestable things." But to say it was THE reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is to ignore the specific behavior that IS cited as the reason for their destruction.

And I think we need to guard against ignoring things clearly stated in Scripture.

And just so you know, this isn't something I figured out for myself. I learned it in a book by Ron Sider.


Blogger Heather said...

preach it! Hey by the way - I got that book on sheparding your kids - I started it. It's really GOOD. Thanks for the recomendation!

Fri Jan 27, 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lor - I am so glad you clarified why the cities were destroyed. It is a common misunderstanding about that story. You are quite the reader lately. I need to catch up with you! Shelby

Sat Jan 28, 12:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you agree that
1. homosexuality is a sin (abomination before God)
2. it was a factor in the destruction of the cities
3. their is no tolerance for the behavior but love for the person

Mon Jan 30, 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger PEZmama said...

I can agree that Scripture teaches that homsexualilty is a sin.

Whether it was a factor in the destruction of the cities, I can't say for sure, because Scripture never states it outright. (To the best of my knowledge, anyway.)

I think the people of Sodom lost the vision for being about God's work. And that left them with all sorts of time on their hands to engage in detestable activities. (But this might be a post in and of itself.)

The issue of tolerance is a bit of a trap because that word means different things to different people.

My point here is this: we are told in plain language that a city was destroyed because its people were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned, and did not help the poor. If we are talking about intolerance, I think many evangelicals are already plenty intolerant of homosexual behavior to the point of ignoring the others. (How to practice intolerance, biblically, is another issue entirely.)

I guess what I am trying to say is that we often make use of the Sodom and Gomorrah example, albeit weak, whenever we talk about homosexuality. But, despite the fact that we live in a world where millions of people don't have enough food to eat, we rarely hear anyone say "You know, neglecting the needs of the poor is an abomination before the Lord. God judged Sodom for it by destroying it." And Sodom is a much better example of the latter case than it is the former.

Mon Jan 30, 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still believe sexual sins were a big part of the destruction not discounting the poor and needy stuff as well as the gluttany. I think most people recognize the plight of the poor and needy, but some want to see the aborant sexual behavior as gray area

Tue Jan 31, 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

I think the scripture is pretty clear. Pride, self absorption, and apathy toward the poor were Sodom's downfall. Homosexuality, while a serious issue, in my opinion is merely a symptom of the rotten state of the Sodomites' hearts. Just my humble opinion.

Thu Mar 15, 01:36:00 PM  

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