Post date: 06/17/2024 | Chris Nelson | News

Understanding the True Lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah

gay man wearing pride hat at LGBTQ affirming church in katy tx houston

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-11) is one of the most frequently cited passages in arguments against LGBTQ individuals. It’s essential to understand the historical and cultural context to grasp the true meaning of this passage and why it should not be used to condemn LGBTQ people.

Context and Content Genesis 19 describes how two angels, appearing as men, visit the city of Sodom. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, invites them to stay at his home. The men of Sodom surround Lot’s house, demanding that the visitors be brought out so they can “know” them, a term often interpreted as a desire for sexual relations.

Historical and Cultural Context The cultural context of the ancient Near East places a strong emphasis on hospitality. Lot’s actions, offering protection and hospitality to the visitors, align with these cultural norms. The men of Sodom, on the other hand, violate this code by threatening sexual violence and inhospitality.

The Sin of Sodom Ezekiel 16:49-50 explicitly states the sin 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. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.” This passage points to arrogance, neglect of the poor, and general inhospitality rather than consensual same-sex relationships.

Jesus’ Interpretation In Matthew 10:14-15, Jesus references Sodom in the context of inhospitality, not sexuality: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Again, Jesus is comparing the disciples being unwelcome and treated with inhospitality to how the men of Sodom treated their heavenly visitors.

Conclusion The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about a severe breach of hospitality and a threat of violence, not loving, consensual same-sex relationships. It is a caution against inhospitality and cruelty, aligning with the broader biblical message of love and justice.

If your church does not show hospitality toward the LGBTQ community and your congregation houses individuals who threaten them with violence, it stands to reason that you are more guilty of the sins of Sodom than your LGBTQ siblings in Christ.


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