Pretty bold statement isn’t it? Sometime’s what we have been taught about history or the bible isn’t what we’ve been told. I urge you to please read this other way of looking at the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah and understand that what you were taught about the sin of Sodom could be all wrong.
A few months back I was asked by a long time acquaintance how I could explain or condone living my life as a Gay man in reference to the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Was I offended at this question? Not really. But what does offend and sadden me is that Christian’s listen to their preachers, bishops, priests, etc.. and instead of reading and studying the Bible, they just accept what they have heard and been told for decades, and believe it to be the truth. Using it to knock down those they don’t understand.
Experts on both sides of the homosexuality issue agree that this story has nothing to do with homosexuality, but there are people that just can’t let it go. Their life long hatred and disdain of people they don’t understand, as well as not taking the time to invite them to the table to learn who they really are. It is a whole lot easier to stay in their mode of hatred and continue their lashing out. They just can’t be happy unless they are part of the haves and can push someone down as the have not’s. Believing that they are doing the work of God. Welcome to America.
If I sound bitter. I am sorry. But I have heard and read the hatred and bigotry against me and the gay community for 50 years, and just about every day, so I think I earn that right.
I personally don’t believe in taking everything my pastor tells me as total truth. Humans are infallible and will preach what they were taught in their theological seminaries. Often, most of them attending the same schools or thoughts of learning. This is why I host a bible study group. To get new insights and different opinions. This is why I jump at the chance to take the time to attend any class having to do with the study of the Bible. I have also been known to search the internet for hours on a subject that just won’t seem to leave my mind.
People find it easier to listen to and believe what they are told by their elders, then to study the bible for themselves, or take a class, or read a book of other perspectives.
I never really thought this story was about homosexuality, but when the chance came my way to attend a seminar, study the Bible and what it says about homosexuality, I jumped at the chance.
It should be well understood by now that being Gay is not something that we choose. So living my life as a gay man is wrong? This is my natural self. I can’t change. It’s like me telling you to change the color of your skin or your eyes. Even better yet.. telling you that you have to be Gay. We can’t just pray it away. Trust me, many, as well as I have tried and tried and tried. I have begged God and I have pleaded. It is what I am, not who I am. Just as there is not a heterosexual set lifestyle, neither is there a gay lifestyle of which I also blogged about in “You Don’t Get to Define Me or My Walk”
People tend to take the bible literally. I believe that the Bible should be taken in its historical context and how it related to the people, places and language of that day. And yes, the bible relates to us today and has meaning for how we should live out our lives but to take the entire bible literally just doesn’t work unless you fit it all together in it correct context.
The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah as told in Genesis 19:1-22 is the most widely known and used passage to knock down the gay community. The word sodomy was actually coined by Paul Cantor, who was a French Catholic Theologian in the 12th century **as mentioned below, and ever since that time. Sodom and Gomorrah’s doom has been linked to Sodomy.
What I personally find hysterical is you can look up the word sodomy and they distinctly reference that the word was not used until 1300AD yet they also link it back to the story of Sodom. How can this be possible if the word was not in use at the time? Nor was the word homosexual first used until the 1800s, nor was it even placed in any bible until the mid 1900s.
If this story was about homosexuality, there were about 20 words that were known in that day that could have been used to specifically call it out, of which none were used.
Genesis 19:1 Clearly states, “Two angels came to Sodom in the evening.” This changes the story. How can we be talking about homosexuality if these were not even human men, but angels. Even if they appeared as men, would not you consider that humans having sex with Heavenly beings to be unnatural? When we see later verses this becomes more clear. Jude 1:7 speaks of those in Sodom going after “strange flesh” (Greek words: sarkos heteras) which is equated to “going after one not of the same nature or class.” It is obvious that two people of identical gender would be of the same nature or class even more than a male and female. Humans are in a different nature and class to angels just as we are in a different class to animals. Therefore, “strange flesh” is referring to angel and human relations and/or inner-species sex, not gay/lesbian sex.
Also note in Verse 4 of the scripture, it states that ALL men (young and old). We estimate in today’s society that roughly 10% of the population are either of a gay or bi-sexual nature, and even that seems to be a high number. If this passage was about homosexuality, why is it that all the men (not the 10%) but all the men were interested in raping and having sex with these two men (angels)? I really find it hard to believe that all the men in one city were gay. And if these men were homosexuals, why offer your daughters to them for sex? They would have no interest.
During this time, forcing sex on a man was a way of humiliating them. During war, besides raping the women and slaughtering the children, the victors would often also “sodomize” the defeated soldiers. The idea behind this was to insult the men by treating them like women. The practice of male to male anal sex was that it took a powerful man and made them as inferior as women, and pieces of property at the service of men. Rape was seen as a way to humiliate enemies and strangers.
Your probably thought to yourself, what a cruel man Lot was to offer his two virgin daughter’s to be raped by all the men. As sad and corrupt as it sounds in our day, women in those times were simply possessions or objects, and because of their low status, what Lot did was considered a minor transgression. However, it seems as though in this case, when the crowd wouldn’t stop, the angels ended up saving Lot and his daughters and blinded all the men.
Another version of this story can be found in Judges 19:20-26 In both, sexual assault highlights the “wickedness” so often mis-attributed to homosexuality. In the Judges version, there is no mention (or hint) of homosexuality, further supporting the idea that the lesson was so important it bore repeating: meanness, cruelty, abuse, and hard-heartedness (all couched in in-hospitality) are the true sins here; therefore, the story should not be used to support anti-gay rhetoric.
Although this story in Genesis clearly is somewhat about sex, the big picture here is that the men in Sodom and Gomorrah were just jerks, and it was destroyed due to severe wickedness, in-hospitality and breaking the laws of God. The law to treat aliens well. Because the Israelites were once aliens in the land. Deuteronomy 24:17-18 Leviticus 19:33-34
Jesus also had this to say about in-hospitality in Luke 10:8-12
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them,‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. ’But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you.Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Lot was the only one kind enough to offer the travelers a place to stay. The city of Sodom was located in the Desert and to stay outside in the cold of night, would have been deadly. The rule of Lot’s society as well as those of the Semitic and Arabic cultures was to be hospitable to travelers. It was a very strict rule of that day , that no one was to harm even an enemy who had been offered a place to stay.
In the Middle East, a person’s survival could depend upon the charity of strangers. To help strangers was a solemn religious duty of paramount importance.
See Leviticus 19:33-34 and Matthew 25:35, 38 and 43.
Specific sins which Sodom is linked to include adultery and lying (Jeremiah 23:14), impenitence (Matthew 11:23), careless living (Luke 17:28), fornication (Jude 1:7 KJV), and an overall “filthy” lifestyle (2 Peter 2:7), which word (“aselgeiais”) elsewhere is rendered in the KJV as lasciviousness (Mark 7:22; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:19; 1 Peter 4:3; Jude 1:4) or wantonness (Romans 13:13; 2 Peter 2:18).
In Ezekiel 16, a long comparison is made between Sodom and the kingdom of Israel. “Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they.” (v. 47, NASB) “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me.
There is no explicit mention of any sexual sin in Ezekiel’s summation and “abomination” is used to describe many sins.
The Authorized King James Version translates Deuteronomy 23:17 as “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel,” but the word corresponding to “sodomite” in the Hebrew original, Qadesh (Hebrew:קדש), does not refer to Sodom and has been translated in the New International Version as “shrine prostitute“; male shrine prostitutes may have served barren women in fertility rites rather than engaging in homosexual acts; this also applies to other instances of the word sodomite in the King James Version.
According to the Wisdom of Solomon 19:13-14 the sin of Sodom was “bitter hatred of strangers…making slaves of guest who were their benefactors.”
The History of the word Sodomy or Sodomite
**By the latter half of the 12th century, an increasingly conformist Europe found minorities of all kinds, including homosexuals, to be irritating. Tracts against them began to appear, and propaganda intended to incite anger became common. One of the favorites was the accusation that minorities were guilty of killing Christian children.
The rise of intolerance did not subside, but as the years ticked by, it actually increased, resulting in the witchhunts in France, which depopulated whole regions of that country, and the Spanish Inquisition, which continued it’s harsh repression into the 17th century. While the Spanish Inquisition was without a doubt the harshest, the Inquisition itself was a church-wide phenomenon whose harshly repressive hand was felt throughout the Catholic world.
The Muslims and Jews were, of course, not the only ones to feel the heavy hand of the Inquisition. Sexual minorities were particular targets, as the pressure to conform increased. Social critics began to single out gay people for special persecution. Peter Cantor (d. 1197) was the first to argue that Romans 1:26-27 referred specifically to gay people. The term “sodomy” came, for the first time and against all theological precedent, to refer exclusively to homosexual sex.
At Cantor’s urging, the Lateran III Council of 1179 became the first to rule specifically on homosexual acts, along with moneylending, heresy, as well as the arch-heresies of Judaism and Islam. Even though the wording of the regulations on sex meant to punish all non-procreative sex, it was eventually construed, particularly in later centuries, as referring to homosexual sex specifically. It passed into the permanent collections of canon law in the following century, and became the basis of the Catholic ban on homosexuality.
I have to agree with what Daniel A Helmeniak PH.D. wrote in his book, “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” regarding the sin of Sodom in today’s society.
“Even Jesus understood the sin of Sodom as the sin of in-hospitality. Other passages in the Bible come right out and say the same thing. Yet people continue to cite the story of Sodom to condemn gay and lesbian people.
There is a sad irony about the story of Sodom when understood in its own historical setting. People oppose and abuse homosexual men and women for being different, odd, strange or, as they say, “queer.” Lesbian women and gay men are just not allowed to fit in. They are made to be outsiders, foreigners in our society. They are disowned by their families, separated from their children, fired from their jobs, evicted from apartments and neighborhoods, insulted by public figures, denounced from the pulpit, vilified on religious radio and TV, and then beaten in the schools and killed on the streets and in the backwoods of our nation. All this is done in the name of religion and supposed Judeo-Christian morality.
Such wickedness is the very sin of which the people of Sodom were guilty. Such cruelty is what the Bible truly condemns over and over again.”
So to those of you who oppress homosexuals because of the supposed “sin of Sodom” may yourselves be the real “sodomites,” as the Bible understands it.
40% of the young homeless teens and young adults are there because their parents threw them out for being gay/lesbian/transgender and did it in the name of God. Thrown in the streets to become forgotten. Living on drugs and alcohol to cope. And then you turn around and treat them and us like SHIT because we chose the dark path. Let’s not forget that YOU threw us there. YOU couldn’t love unconditionally as Jesus and YOU just couldn’t try to work it out in your head. YOU are the problem. You were the hypocrite. YOU are the cause of so much strife. YOU are far from being like Jesus. YOU are guilty.
The sin of many of today’s Christian’s is their love for hatred. Their in-hospitality to invite not only their gay neighbors into their community, into their church, their homes and into their hearts, but for their in-hospitality and hatred for their muslim neighbors, and illegal immigrants from near and far. Just listen to the rhetoric of the presidential candidates, and those who support them.
The sin of Christians’ is to separate and divide the church instead of coming together as one. Their sin is not to allow those who wish to know and follow Jesus to come and only wish to push them further away. Their sin is slander. You don’t know how we live our lives. Just like the heterosexual.. There is no set lifestyle. Stop worrying about us and start worrying about yourself. Many of us are better examples of living like Christ they you are.
The Good news is that God’s grace and mercy is for all of those who believe. I am not sure he is very concerned with our correct theology and 100% correctness of what the Bible has to say, but His biggest concern is love and that we believe in what he has done for us. Thank God.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
“Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the law demands.
Please do me a favor. If you read or liked my post. please rate it below and may God bless you always.