What was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? These cities are a famous set of names for two reasons. First is that God literally sent a meteor “sulfur and fire” from heaven to strike the cities. Second the description of the citizens behavior that justified this action. When I was younger and I read this chapter of Genesis it was hard to get my head around the description of the people. The verses Genesis 19:4-5 tell the story: “the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”
There are many reasons how this could be confusing. All of the men in the city both young and old were there unified in their lusts for some new travelers that came to stay. Bizarre. It is like they are zombies undead and unthinking. Let us assume that they are a sexually permissive culture then how could they make demands to have their way with a visitor to their town? I never understood this description or how it could be possible. (how culture is broken)
However, in the last few years as the sexually permissive culture that I find myself in has continued to assert itself I am starting to see how such a virus can spread. Gender is now fluid and heteronormative culture is becoming a minority. My discussions with people about when it is appropriate to discuss these sexual topics with children has opened my eyes to the belief that all people are part of the LGBT+ community to some degree or another and that as a society we must expose children to this reality so they can choose where on the spectrum they will fall. Just like in Sodom all people in the current culture are moving to a state of being defined by sexual desires. So what was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah
Here is a description of the people of Sodom and I believe this description applies to the culture I live in today.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:18-22 ESV
It is not About Sex
Sodom and Gomorrah’s sins may be linked to homosexual lusts but this misses the point of what had become of the people of Sodom. They rejected the truth of God, they no longer honored God, and their hearts became darkened to the point that in lock step they all wanted the same thing. Unthinking and undead zombies. But Paul in Romans continues and tells us what God does when our hearts reach this broken state.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:24-32
State of Disobedient
Sex is not the problem. A broken sinful heart leads to a fixation on sex. Better stated it is one part of the fruit of rebellion. What we must recognize in our own culture is where we stand in relation to God. Are we full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness? Has the culture become gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents… Yes these all apply.
Have you dear reader been captured by this culture? Do you love the culture around you? Lot was torn when the angels told him it was time to leave. Sodom and Gomorrah whatever their sins were his home. It states that he “lingered”.
But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. Genesis 19:16 ESV
Breaking Free from Culture
Dear reader are you lingering in a life that is not good for you? Are you staying in a situation that pulls you away from God who loves you? You can break from culture. Read how Peter describes Lot and ask yourself if it applies to you.
and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment 2 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
Lot, who is righteous, was distressed by the behavior around him continued to torment his soul by staying. Salvation is possible dear reader. You can be free from the torment. God knows how to save and he will save. Turn to him. Renew your mind in Christ. Jesus has the keys to life we do not need to live as zombies undead, unfeeling, and unthinking anymore.