Was Homosexuality the Only Sin of Sodom?


Are we hijacking the Sodom story and missing the point?

I’ll never forget it.

I had just watched the second plane collide with Twin Tower number two the morning of September 11. I was huddling around a T.V. with a few other people from the community in our church gathering room.

That’s when I heard someone say something I will never forget.

It just kind of rolled off his tongue with giddy anxiety and a dash of righteous indignation—”This is great, God’s finally getting America’s attention!” he said.

What?! I Thought. I couldn’t believe he actually said those words.

It was a complex moment; America was in utter chaos, and we were all trying to make sense of it. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I took the bait, “What are you talking about?” I asked.

That’s when he went into a tirade about America and homosexuality, sin and judgment.

It made me angry that someone who followed Christ would come to such a merciless application at a tragic time like September 11. This was a time for compassion and prayer, not judgment and prophetical blaming, right?

That’s when I came to the conclusion there are two kinds of Christians in the world: 1) Those who see homosexuals as people in need of God’s grace, and, 2) Those who see homosexuals as a target and their anger toward them as an extension of God’s wrath.

In other words, after 2,000 years, the church is still wrestling with Sodom.

There’s no doubt the story of Sodom has created a cultural rippling effect throughout history. Many churches today believe homosexuality is a distinct and wicked sin, above others, worthy of its own level of punishment and damnation.

In this worldview, it’s easy to peg our downfall as a “Christian” country on the sins of homosexuals. But, are they really getting Sodom straight? And are we?

Yes, the Bible says there were homosexuals in Sodom. Yes, they were engaged in sexual immorality. And, yes, this was detestable to God, but it’s only part of the story.

In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel God is in the middle of scolding Jerusalem for their many sins and God tells them that they are, in fact, morewicked than Sodom. Leaving no room for self-righteousness, God clarifies why he destroyed the city of Sodom:

“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” (Ezekiel 16:49).

Further on in the passage God even says that Jerusalem’s sins make Sodom look righteous.


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SOURCE: Church Leaders
Brian Orme