“Clobbering ‘Biblical’ Gay Bashing”: Sodom’s Behavior: Homosexuality Or Gay Rights?



Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skiesMany people attempt to reconcile homosexuality with the Bible. However, such efforts fail. You cannot reconcile truth with error. The battle to legitimize homosexuality begins with an all out attack upon the Biblical record of Sodom. This assault changes the story of Sodom from homosexuality to inhospitality. It further misinterprets the other references to Sodom in the Bible to refer to acts other than homosexuality.

When all else fails, and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community cannot alter the clear meaning of a Biblical text that refers to homosexuality, they simply reject it as irrelevant to the issue. Thus, they, in essence, remove any passage of Scripture that remotely describes the sinfulness of homosexuality.

These misinterpretations and denials developed into an accepted error. They form the foundation of the homosexual movement. Those in the LGBTQ community believe that the Bible legitimizes their behavior. In fact, many professing evangelicals accept and promote these errors, too. Consequently, it appears that the Bible not only fails to condemn homosexuality, it actually permits it.

Do we believe falsely that Sodom and Gomorrah exemplify the sin of homosexuality? What happened that night when the men of Sodom confronted Lot? How does the Bible characterize Sodom? Has the homosexual community interpreted the Bible correctly? Should evangelicals and non-Christians accept the LGBT version?

These questions deserve a response. The Bible provides ample confirmation of God’s attitude toward homosexuality. In particular, the Bible explains what occurred that night in Sodom. It makes it an example throughout all of Scripture. A comparison of Bible texts confirms the Bible’s stance on Sodom and homosexuality, which contradicts the version promoted by the LGBT community.

The proper understanding of the events in Sodom actually begins many chapters before the record in Genesis 19. It begins prior to the flood as recorded in Genesis 6. As God viewed the world before the flood, he described the wickedness of mankind and the total corruption of humanity. (1) This awful wickedness included the full range of sexual immorality: fornication, incest, and homosexuality, even homosexual marriage. (2) The practice of homosexuality predates the flood.

After the flood, the Bible records another homosexual event. After Noah and his family departed from the Ark, Noah planted a vineyard. Sadly, he drank too much of the fruit of the vine and became drunk. The wickedness of Ham ensued. Ham uncovered the nakedness of his father, whom Ham saw lying drunk on the floor of his tent. (3)

This description sounds innocent. When Ham saw his father, it literally means that he gazed with satisfaction upon his nakedness. (4) His look occurred with purpose and intent, not accidentally or harmlessly. (5) When the Bible says that Ham uncovered the nakedness of his father, it describes sexual immorality. (6) Rabbinic exegesis of this passage indicates that Ham’s gaze turned into homosexual rape of his father. (7)

After the incident between Ham and Noah, Ham delightedly told his brothers what he had done. With great care, his brothers covered their father without observing his nakedness. After Noah awoke from his drunkenness, he learned of Ham’s behavior toward him. Then, because of Ham’s wicked act, Noah cursed Ham’s son,Canaan. (8)

The effects of Ham’s wicked act upon Noah and Noah’s curse upon Canaan do not appear until Genesis 13. This chapter records the split between Abram and his nephew Lot. Abram gave Lot the first choice of land, which allowed Lot to separate from Abram and to take his family and herds to a new location. Lot chose the Plain of Jordan and moved his family toward Sodom in the Plain of Jordan.

The Canaanites occupied Sodom. (9) Genesis 13.13 describes the people of Sodomas “wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Adam Clarke, in his commentary upon this passage, said that it describes persons breaking the established order of things, openly before God. Radically evil, they sought satisfaction in sensual gratification with depraved, shameless, out of order passions. (10)

Not long after Abram and Lot separated, God appeared to Abram in the form of three persons. God renewed his covenant promise to Abram and then prepared to leave. As the three men rose up to depart, they told Abram of their plan to visit Sodom. They told him that they had heard the outcry of Sodom, because of their grievous sin. They planned to visit the city to see first hand the condition of the city. (11)

In fact, the practice of homosexuality permeated the Canaanite peoples long before the record of Sodom. The Mesopotamian, Middle Assyrian, and Hittite peoples (descendents of Canaan) openly practiced homosexuality in those days. Eventually, this wicked practice became commonplace in Grecian and Roman cultures. (12)

Two of the three men who visited Abram continued on there way to visit Sodom, knowing its wickedness. At Lot’s insistence, they did not stay out in the city square at night as planned, but went into Lot’s house. While there, the men of the city came toLot and demanded that he release the men to them in order that they might know them. The two men protected Lot by sending blindness upon the men of the city. In the morning, the two men dragged Lot, his wife, and his two daughters out of the city and then destroyed it. (13)

In contradiction to the LGBT version of these events, the Bible clearly depicts the homosexual wickedness of Sodom, which began many years previously. This passage contains several key elements that require explanation. Together with the context in the Bible (and non Biblical records) these delineate the homosexual behavior of Sodom. A proper understanding begins with the meanings of key words in the text.

The men of the city

The LGBTQ community has diminished the emphasis of this phrase. They describe it merely as a delegation of men who came to see Lot. Yet, the text clearly states that “all of the men of the city, including young and old, from every part of the city, came to Lot’s house.” (14) They did not come to Lot’s house to welcome his guests into the city nor to interrogate them. They came with one purpose: to have homosexual sex with them.

Know

The understanding of the intent of the men of the city comes with the proper use of the word know. This word has different functions in the Bible. Therefore, the context of its use provides insight to its meaning within the text. The context for the meaning of this word in this text begins early in Genesis. On three previous occasions, it appears as a euphemism for sexual intercourse. (15)

In the immediate context, the conversation between Lot and the men of the city show that Lot understood their meaning as sexual intercourse. He called their demands wicked. Further, he offered his virgin daughters to them in an immoral attempt to satisfy their sexual desires. When he did, he described them as virgins who had not known man. (16)

Lot did not misunderstand the men’s demands as a request for an interview with his guests. He fully understood their sexual demands and rejected them, hoping he could persuade them to satisfy their passions upon his daughters. This event does not describe an attempt by the men of the city to interview Lot’s visitors. Nor does it hinge upon the failed interpretation of inhospitality by the men of Sodom.

The wicked behavior identified with Sodom and the surrounding peoples confirms this interpretation. Even Egyptian texts and traditions use know to describe sexual intercourse. (17) The LGBTQ community fails in its attempt to distort the true meaning of this term to support their agenda.

The Bible offers numerous references to this occasion and confirms its homosexual application. A brief review of these passages will verify it. Many passages use it as an example of how God detests wickedness and judges it. Sodom provides a vivid illustration.

Isaiah 1.1-9, 3.8-9, 13.19, Jeremiah 23.14, Zephaniah 2.8-11, etc.

From these and other references, the LGBTQ community attempts to interpret them as itemized lists of the sins of Sodom. They attempt to bypass the descriptions that identify homosexuality as the sin of Sodom. However, most of these references simply list the sins of Israel and warn it of impending judgment as God brought toSodom.

Ezekiel 16.48-56

In particular, the homosexual community uses this verse as their trump verse. It does list the sins of Sodom. The last sin in the list, abomination, does not serve as a summary of the previous list of sins. A singular noun, it identifies a separate sin in addition to those previously listed. The Bible calls homosexual behavior an abomination, describing it as sexually perverse behavior. In this text,  abomination describes Sodom’s sin of homosexuality. (18)

2 Peter 2.1-8

Peter refers directly to the wickedness of Sodom and God’s judgment upon it. Here he calls the inhabitants “wicked” with “filthy conversation,” and their acts “unlawful deeds.” In verses 1-3, Peter warns his readers about false prophets and teachers. In the next five verses, he identifies three specific examples of God’s judgment upon those who followed the sinful ways of false leaders, the last one Sodom and its sister city Gomorrah.

The “filthy conversation” of the people of Sodom does not refer to their speech habits. It means their manner of life. Their behavior lacked moral restraint. They practiced sexual licentiousness. (19)

Peter’s description does not call their lawlessness “lusts for angels.” The men of Sodom did not recognize Lot’s visitors as angels. They called them men. No, the men of Sodom experienced defiling desires and sexual lusts for Lot’s visitors. (20)

Jude 1.7

Jude mentions Sodom in his warning of judgment upon the wicked. He described their sin as “fornication” and going after “strange flesh.” The word “fornication” describes sexual immorality of any type and kind. (21) The phrase “strange flesh” does not refer to the angels from verse 6. It describes the practice of unnatural uses. They did not content themselves with sexual intercourse with their wives and other men’s wives. The men of Sodom sought perverted homosexual sex. (22)

Summary

Contrary to popular error, Sodom exemplifies the sin of homosexuality. When all of the men of Sodom attacked Lot’s house, they demanded that he release his two visitors to them so that they could indulge their homosexual passions. In other texts, the Bible reverberates this same understanding of those events. Sadly, the LGBTQ community and many professing evangelicals have misinterpreted the Bible’s declarations of Sodom’s wickedness. We must reject the homosexual community’s interpretation of their behavior and accept God’s explanation of their sinfulness.

Thankfully, God made provision for sinners. He gave his son, Jesus Christ, as a substitute for sinners. Jesus took the punishment that people like you and I deserve. His resurrection completed the task that God sent him to fulfill. As a result, Jesus Christ will reconcile to God every sinner who turns from self-trust and trusts Christ as his/her substitute.

God gives new life to those who come to him through faith in Jesus Christ. He washes away the sin and guilt of their past regardless of its wickedness, forgives their sin, and makes them new creatures. I recall vividly the day that I first trusted Christ. He truly made me a new creature, and I know many others with the same testimony. If you have never trusted Christ in this way, I pray that God by his Holy Spirit will bring you to experience it today.

References

01. Genesis 6.5-12.

02. Wold, Donald J. Out Of Order: Homosexuality In The Bible And The Ancient Near East. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 49516; 1998; p. 66-76.

03. Genesis 9.20-22.

04. QuickVerse 10 Bible Software. WORDsearch, Corp. “The Genesis Record.”

05. Leupold, H. C. Exposition of Genesis. DeWard Publishing Company, Ltd., Chillicothe, OH 45601; 2010. p. 214-215.

06. QuickVerse. “Wilmington’s Guide To The Bible.”

07. Wold. p. 66-76.

08. Genesis 9.24-27.

09. Genesis 13.7.

10. QuickVerse. “Adam Clarke’s Commentary Upon The Old Testament.”

11. Genesis 18.16-21.

12. Wenham, Gordon. “The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality.” Expository Times 102 (1991):L 259-363.

13. Genesis 19.1-25.

14. Genesis 19.4.

15. Genesis 4.1, 17, 25.

16. Genesis 19.5-8.

17. Wold. p. 77-89.

18. Leviticus 18.22; 20.13; Gagnon, Robert A. J. “Why We Know That The Story Of Sodom Indicts Homosexual Practice Per Se.” Posted online in January 2013.

19. Logos Bible Software. “Louw and Nida.”

20. Gagnon.

21. Logos Bible Software. “Louw and Nida.”

22. Logos Bible Software. “Word Pictures.”

Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron via Wikipedia (CC By 2.0)

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Comments

  1. Aries256 says

    Well no matter what the buybull says or doesn’t say about gay people is irrelevant. Gay people have the right to be who they are, the right to love who they love, the right to marry, and the right to have sex. Xtianity nor any religion has any right nor privilege to inhibit them.

  2. BobSimonhouse says

    Wow those are a lot of wasted words. Rewrite it, this time make an argument to prove the existence of a deity, part 2 will be to show who the One deity is. Well, I guess that would be a waste of time too , huh. Never mind, you guys will work it out on your own. The rest of us will continue to recognize gays as people no lesser or morer than anyone else. God made them the way they are, its natural a person wants to be accepted, so it seems to me the only hand-wringing left to do is… oh, write articles like this that are only meaningful to someone who knows the answer but is unwilling to accept it. Good luck. I mean that.

  3. Gregory Peterson says

    Back when I was young, the “sin of Sodom” was miscegenation. The Sodomites were swarthy, you see, while the angels were as white as the driven spittle. God caused Noah’s flood because of the “unnatural sin of miscegenation.” Ham caused Black people to be forever cursed to subservience, while the alleged father of Europeans was blessed.The smoothed tongued, seductive serpent in the Garden of Eden was dark skinned….

    In any case, I wonder about people who can’t see the difference between gang rape and mutually consensual adult relationships. I mean, not being able to tell the difference between the gang rape of strangers in order to enslave them, and loving mutually consensual, adult relationships would have to be some sort of pathological condition, wouldn’t you think? Gang rape, then and now, is about violently controlling the victims, of impressing them into being completely broken, abjectly compliant, enslaved. Attempted gang rape was chosen to illustrate Sodom, and it’s certainly an extreme example of inhospitality.

  4. Robert says

    Excellent article and true, with so much wickedness in the world and perversion, it is refreshing to hear the truth.

    • Norman Dostal says

      just respond baaa baaaa ok? thats what thinking people hear when non-thinkers like you speak

      • says

        Insults are not arguments. So is your lack of punctuation (in a previous comment) and capitalization due to you being a “thinker”? Basic sentence structure doesn’t apply?

  5. Springdale says

    Thank you for the time and research that you put into this article Thomas P. Hill. The practice of homosexuality is clearly taught as an abomination in various passages in both the Old and New Testaments. In reading down through the article I do not think that you included the reference to homosexual practice in Romans chapter one. The lengthy portion of Scripture from Romans 1:18-32 speaks of the wrath of God against an ungodly, wicked world. In this passage that gives an outline of the declivity of humanity into departure from God and into human depravity, homosexual lust and practice among both women and men (verses 26-27) is included as a prominent feature of the road to hatred of truth, righteousness and of God Himself.

    • Norman Dostal says

      dumb-thank god we have science which proves homosexuality is just a normal variance of sexuality-your god does not exist-sorry-pretty sure it would stop gays if it were against them-instead, gay rights have progressed faster than any other civil rights in history

  6. Norman Dostal says

    religious kookery has no place in secular law. what next? women must marry their rapist as ordered in Deut 22:28?

    • says

      You obviously don’t understand the culture or the passage itself

      The woman is not commanded to marry her rapist. The rapist is commanded to marry, but in that culture it would be up to her father. There is no instance recorded in the Bible of a woman being forced to marry a rapist.

  7. Brian_Joness says

    Gay people are not trying to use the Bible as their basis for being. Some people just point out the truth of what is really in the scripture. The real problem is when people use the Bible to legitamize hate. This was not what the Bible is for. Side note: do you really think sodom was only about gay people? Not rape decadence and savagery? Please stop using the Bible this way.

  8. says

    Whether or not homosexuality can be “reconciled” with the Bible is utterly irrelevant to me. I am far more interested in fair and equal treatment under the Constitution, regardless of one’s own sexual orientation.

    Consider how Straight (i.e. heterosexual) people have never had to worry about being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their rental properties, turned away from businesses, targeted with vandalism or violence, or denied the right to marry the person they love, solely on the basis of their sexual orientation … nor SHOULD they have to worry about these things. Is it asking so much that Gay people shouldn’t have to worry about such things, either?

    Unless the Constitution (specifically for 14th Amendment) applies only to people who are Straight, there is no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits, protections, and opportunities that Straight couples have always taken for granted.

  9. Baltimatt says

    I look at Genesis 9:20-22 and read that Noah was lying naked in his tent. How did Ham uncover him? What actually happened?

    Also, if there was any sexual activity, this would be incest, not just homosexual activity.

    Needless to say, I don’t think many LGBT people care what the Bible says about homosexuality, any more than they (and most Christians) care about the rules for slaveowners, about women keeping silent in church, or the prohibition on divorce and remariage.