The Love and Judgment of God
Sodom and Gomorrah condemned for homosexual behavior
By David W. Virtue
January 11, 2013
It is now standard wisdom, held by most Episcopalians and not a few liberal Protestant denominational fellow travelers, that an all loving God would never judge people with any degree of harshness (if at all) and that His love, in fact, rules out such a possibility, over-ridden by His all embracive inclusive love.
But Scripture declares that God is both judge and lover. The two cannot be divorced from each other. "God is not at odds with himself, however much it may appear to us that he is. He is 'the God of peace', of inner tranquility not turmoil. True, we find it difficult to hold in our minds simultaneously the images of God as the Judge who must punish evil-doers and of the Lover who must find a way to forgive them. Yet he is both, and at the same time," wrote the late Anglican preacher John R.W. Stott. God's righteousness and love are inextricably intertwined.
For we mere mortals, judgment is for those who judge others we are told. Verses like "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you," haunt the lips of any would be judgmental person.
Yet God's love does not override his judgment. We are told that judgment begins FIRST with the household of God (1 Peter 4:17), and that He will come again to judge the living and the dead (Apostles Creed).
A friend of VOL and regular reader recently made a trip to Gomorrah, which is on either side of the road that leads to Masada. It had no signs indicating its location, probably because it is virtually impossible for police to cordon off visitors, he told VOL.
Then he wrote, "However, when one gets to the top of Masada by cable car the contrast between the ash ziggurats of Gomorrah and the surrounding area is very obvious. I wandered among the ash covered ziggurats and dug into the walls with my pen knife. After about a 20 minute search I dug out some small pieces of 'brimstone' and took them home to test. They duly gave off a blue flame and a strong sulphur smell.
"Interestingly, another searcher had done the same and had his samples analyzed by an industrial chemist who was surprised at the purity % of the samples. Apparently, sulphur on earth is rarely more than 60 to 65% pure, but the Gomorrah and Sodom samples were 95% +.
"It seems that the Biblical report in Genesis 19 is, in fact, correct.
"It will amuse VOL readers to note that when I show my 'brimstone'. to people, there are varying reactions: Most change the subject quickly because they cannot handle the possibility that Genesis 19 is an accurate report or fascination that Genesis 19 is true."
His point is that God does judge and Sodom and Gomorrah is a case in point.
And what was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? In light of Leviticus 18:22, the most common response to the question "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" is that it was homosexuality. That is how the term "sodomy" came to be used to refer to anal sex between two men, whether consensual or forced. Clearly, homosexuality was part of why God destroyed the two cities. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to perform homosexual gang rape on the two angels (who were disguised as men). At the same time, it is not biblical to say that homosexuality was the exclusive reason why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were definitely not exclusive in terms of the sins in which they indulged.
Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, "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..." The Hebrew word translated "detestable" refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an "abomination." Similarly, Jude 7declares, "...Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion." So, again, while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction of the cities.
Those who attempt to explain away the biblical condemnations of homosexuality claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality. This is certainly what Bishop Gene Robinson says in his efforts to explain away the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and to justify his behavior. He is wrong. Dead wrong.
The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were certainly being inhospitable. There is probably nothing more inhospitable than homosexual gang rape. But to say God completely destroyed two cities and all their inhabitants for being inhospitable clearly misses the point. While Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many other horrendous sins, homosexuality was the reason God poured fiery sulfur on the cities, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland. Sodom and Gomorrah serve as a powerful example of how God feels about sin in general and homosexuality specifically.
Now I wonder what the LORD might decide to do to a cathedral in which a sodomite bishop is enthroned...will He do as He did to the masonic chapel in the south transept of York Minster when David Jenkins was made Bishop of Durham...and strike it with lightning on an evening when there was no rain near York?
Whatever He does, I suspect that He will not just sit and watch without taking some action. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20).
The Edict of Justinian to the people of Constantinople about debauchery contrary to nature.
Justinian Novel 141
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