Yo Pat, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was NOT about homosexuality

So apparently Pat Robertson, with his very own special blend of cray-cray (bless his heart) is playing the part he and his ilk play so well.  As he read from his ever predictable script on the 700 Club Thursday, he warned his faithful viewers that, in response to the SCOTUS ruling this week, God could do something ‘drastic’ like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Thank you Pat for providing me the opportunity to share once again that the narrative about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was NOT about homosexuality.

It is a story about wantonness and dominance over others, about radical inhospitality (a grievous sin according the the bible we share), about malignant power used to reject God’s shalom.

In fact, the Bible itself expressly describes the sin of Sodom elsewhere as radical inhospitality. Check-it, good ole  Ezekiel claims the real “guilt” of the Sodomites was the fact that, although they had “pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease,” they “did not aid the poor and needy” and were “haughty” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Even your main man Paul in a little note he scribbled out to the Hebrews warns Christians by alluding to the true sin of the Sodomites as inhospitality: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

Never mind the little part about the story of S & G where a father offers up his virgin daughters to be raped as a consolation prize.  Yeah, thanks dad.

BUT, if’n you want to talk about the judgement of the nations, well our very own J-Man, Jesus himself has a dicey word or two about that in the book of Matthew.  Let’s pause and read that passage now (conveniently labeled in bibles all over the world as The Judgement of the Nations – go figure):

The Judgement of the Nations

31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” 44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

Let me boil it all down for you. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus Christ ever condemn LGBT people. However, Jesus does expressly condemn people who turn their backs on strangers and the most vulnerable citizens among us.  Jesus says straight up that whoever fails to welcome such people has failed to welcome Jesus himself. Hmmmm, kind makes you think huh? Oh wait, maybe not.

The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson helps us out a bit with a wise and faithful word on the text of terror in question today.

Whatever else one makes of this story, it cannot be used to decry loving, committed, lifelong-intentioned, monogamous relationships between two people of the same gender. It is simply not about that kind of relationship. The story is about homosexual rape – and like any rape, it is an act of violence, not an act of sexuality. In short, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all references to it elsewhere in scripture, provide no guidance for modern day believers about the morality or immorality of same gender loving people. It simply does not offer an answer to the questions we are asking.

So say it with me real slow…the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had noooooothing to do with homosexuality.

Thanks for being on the show.

Buh-bye.

About Kimberly Knight

Kimberly has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She's lucky enough to have made her technology addiction a career and serves as both the Director of Digital Strategy as a southern liberal arts college and Minister of Digital community with Extravagance UCC.

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  • michaela

    I found it interesting when I learned the laws in Sodom that had been put in place to deter visitors. It was a very rich city and It was punishable by death to give a needy person food or water or welcome a stranger into your home without first going to the elder. They had highly held customs of robbing strangers blind and sending them away naked. They had mats for strangers to sleep in the streets, but when one did, they would gang up and either stretch them to the length of the mat if he was shorter than it, or squeeze him onto it if he was too long. They were worshippers of Baal and Asthteroth, a common fertility cult in that time, and worshipped with orgies and they had a party once a year where they raped each others wives and daughters. Inhospitality waslike the worst crime imaginable in the desert with the climates as harsh as they were. Obviously a person needs to research outside the bible if they want to understand stories like Sodom and Gomorrah. Homosexuality was not even mentioned. A lot of times when people read “the men from the city came” They think males, but the original word means all people, not just males. The women were just as guilty of the crimes.

  • Cat Bismuth

    Finally, this whole *morality war* that is being waged against our culture by *conservative church folk* is tantamount to the same pitfall that plagued Father Abraham for his entire life. It is * h u m a n *. It is NOT CHRISTLIKE.

    Jesus died to get us past the judgment phase and into the “Come and See” phase. Walk with me..

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 6 comments, continues here) Imagine that Jesus was in the place of Abraham, receiving the news about the sentence against the citizens in the valley below.

    BECAUSE HE WAS.

    Unlike Abraham, JESUS did NOT bargain for the lowest fraction of the population. He also didn’t HIDE HIS MOTIVES OR GOALS. He laid down His own RIGHTEOUS life for the sake of those who could do NOTHING TO IMPROVE THEIR LOT.

    (pun intended.)

    And THAT is what we are meant to see and understand. THAT is where the seminaries have failed the sinner/saints. The holiness of all those failures named in JRayPearson’s thread IS NOT THEIR OWN. Neither is mine. Or yours. Or Pat Robertson’s.

    As Jesus says: “Only God is good.” But when s/He chooses to splatter us with a few drops of that — God’s Holiness becomes part of our flavor. Forever.

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 5 comments, continues here) Nevertheless, after giving the human plenty of rope and intellect with which to parse the experiences of the past into a new hope for the future, God finally ends the bargaining session (a very normal method of human interaction FOR THAT CULTURE) and commits to save the least number of souls that Abraham bargained for.

    Did God know what Abraham really wanted? Clearly, s/He did!
    If Abraham had found the gumption to ask God to bring back his nephew into the Abrahamic fold, could all of that widowing and incest and long line of disappointing acts of faithlessness been averted? Possibly. WE DON’T KNOW.

    The thing we do know is this: It is included in the Book for a Divine Reason. The Divine Reason for communicating with humans is that we may have a clearer picture of THE CHARACTER OF GOD. It. Is. NOT. About. The. humans.

    And how are we meant, in THIS PERIOD OF HUMAN HISTORY, to understand the Divine Reason? By the LIFE OF CHRIST.

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 4 comments, continues here) WHY DIDN’T ABRAHAM PLEAD WITH GOD TO SPARE THE CITY?
    I’m not here to judge the patriarch. Trust me. As a longtime believer and a former rape victim myself, I know quite a bit about fear and rage. More than I want to. Believe me, you don’t want to know anything about my fantasies of revenge with a meat fork. And I don’t really think Abraham’s response was at all about revenge. It was, however, the continuation of the SAME OLD PATTERN THAT HE’D DISPLAYED ALL ALONG: HE NEVER LEARNED TO TRUST GOD ENOUGH TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST WITH s/HIM.

    Instead of coming right out and saying, “Dear Lord, with all due respect, my name and my love are tied to my nephew who lives there. Maybe it’s my fault that he went down there. Maybe I shouldn’t have forced him to choose between the high plains and the lowlands. Anyway, it will break my heart if you destroy him. Could you save him? Could you at least spare him?”

    NOOOOO! He didn’t EVER get down to his own bottom line with God. He never asked God to spare the city and he never asked God to forgive his nephew of any wrongs. Instead, he BARGAINED WITH GOD ON THE BASIS OF POSSIBLY EARNED RIGHTEOUSNESS! saying, “If you find 50 righteous, 40 righteous, 10 righteous…” HE NEVER CAME CLEAN WITH GOD ABOUT HIS NEED. (more to follow)

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 3 coments, continues here) I started this set of remarks, but lost them in the ether. Please forgive if they show up twice >>> Let’s take a deep breath and step back from the *seminary-approved POV*. Let’s place this story (or historical event, whichever way you choose to see it) into it’s larger frame. There’s this dude named Abram that God decides to love in a very special way. God decides to make Abram sort of the fulcrum of the simple tool by which God chooses to reveal a better way of being in this world, a way that means so much more than the animalistic urges to breathe, eat, copulate, work and die; a way that reveals the goodness of God to the mortals made by s/Hem (I’m doin’ a little thing there with gender, trinity, and Judaism).

    God invests time, energy and interactions in the unfolding experience of Abram. God fulfills Abram’s most secret hopes and dreams, changes his name and his future, gives him TWO LINES OF GENETIC HERITAGE WITH NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, makes him wealthy and famous, then comes to him with a VERY THORNY PROBLEM. Those people, those sinners in Sodom. God informs this human that s/He has befriended IN ADVANCE that They (the Triune God) will have to destroy the city. IT’S A TEST, PEOPLE. God was proving the human heart in the form of someone WHO HAD EVERY REASON TO KNOW AND TRUST THE CHARACTER HE WAS SPEAKING WITH. (more to follow)

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 2 comments, continues here) I completely agree that homosexuality is NOT THE SIN FOR WHICH SODOM WAS JUDGED! NOT AT ALL! The thread of RJayPearson (below) pretty much knocks it out of the park about that! It was a horror show of greed, self-gratification and corruption. Just for a moment, imagine that everyone in that city was all the same gender and there was no such thing as sexual intimacy. If you read the story that way, it will become quite obvious what the sinful behaviors were. And God considered them so offensive that, as Creator 3-in-1, s/He determined to blow them right off the face of the Earth. Sit with that. It’s NOT about SEX! Or GENDER! and, the thing that the THUMPERS never ever get around to is this: That judgment is neither the beginning of the story OR the end of it. (more to follow)

  • Cat Bismuth

    (see Prev 1 comment, continues here) Cliches are simply not useful. Bumper Sticker mentalities may amuse the ToonHeads, but they won’t actually move any soul closer to the Truth that calls them into fellowship with God. Neither does proof-texting — the single most thoughtless tactic ever invented by humans. Dear Church: Get. Over. It. Jesus is calling His beloved ones into the *new thing* that He is doing in OUR TIME AND CULTURE. He doesn’t change. You are right. We agree on that. But His Gospel is good news for every one who hears it, not just the ones with the most money and the biggest guns (or sticks) (or stones). As I have come to say often lately: If God wanted you to witness in a FIRST CENTURY flavor, s/He would have brought you into THAT world — or else, s/He would give you a TIME MACHINE! (more to follow)

  • Cat Bismuth

    So, first off, I’d like to chime in & say, thanks to BobW for maintaining a tone of courteous civility in the course of articulating vastly different points of view. And to KimK for creating an environment in which the dialogue can happen candidly and without acrimony! Wow!

    I am a liberal, Jesus-Loving, God-Worshipping CHRISTone and I *do* believe the Bible is the Holy Word of the Holy God, but I do not think it is useful or God-honoring to try to pin the Living Word to the temporal page like some kind of a specimen that we can examine for our amusement and/or benefit.

    NO, I believe the Word is READING YOU and all have sinned in this regard, falling short of the intent of God in giving us both Word and Spirit. We are meant to become very good listeners and DO-ers of the Word that we hear, sometimes uniquely (see Walter Brueggeman’s *Prophetic Imagination*). We are meant to LIVE the Word in such a way that others WANT to sit with us and hear what it means to us. Instead, too many *conservative Christians* are busy beating the plowshare into a club so that they can use it to prove that they are correct and the *liberals* are NOT correct.

    How far we have fallen from where we were called… (more to follow)

  • Bob Williford

    The real issue that I find, that is the Divide that Separates is our quite different views of Holy Writ. I accept, without question that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God whereas Progressives/Liberals do not. For this reason alone we will never come to agreement on the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    I think that I wrote to you, Kimberly, that Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with Homosexual sin. My words are in agreement with you in the context in which you write. The Homosexual Community of our Nation or elsewhere would never agree with the Bible about the sin of homosexuality because that Community does not view themselves as living in sin. For that reason alone the Bible and modern day Homosexuality will not agree. However, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is clearly about the sexual acts of homosexuals……clearly. Check into this blog….an interesting view of said subject: http://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah#.UpNRR9KRC6Q

    The strain between us only begins with our biblical world views. For me, the Bible says what is means and means what it says….I am certain that you have encountered that. I cannot quote exactly, therefore this is a paraphrase of what I remember what you wrote, “The Bible has been manipulated by sinful hands….” I believe that you are indicating here that those texts that we now have are not true to what God intended for us to have today.

    My question in turn is this, “How Sovereign is God?” Is He just a little bit sovereign or is He totally sovereign? If He is completely sovereign, and I believe that He is, then He protected the original texts through all of the manuscript copying that was done for many generations and preserved the originals to their original intent and integrity. The literal truth cannot be denied for if that is done there is the denial of God’s integrity as well.

    Progressives have it their way and manipulate the Word of God to fit the needs that they have for the moment from generation to generation.

    Have a blessed day and remember that Jesus is Lord. BW

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      God is sovereign but the bible is not God. The bible is the work of man (men) trying to understand that which can not be understood fully by finite minds. God does not control our behavior (free will) and so the bible as we now have it has gone through many, many willful hands. Your defense of the bible teeters on bibliolatry…

      You are right, we have a very different biblical world view. I believe that fundamentalists/hyper-conservatives are the ones manipulating the bible. Jesus is the Word, not the bible.

      You are welcome to remain in conversation as long as possible but please do try to be open to the people and ideas around you. Please begin from an assumption that I am faithful and biblically literate as you. Please begin from a place of grace and we will likely remain there.

      And don’t preach here, you can always start your own blog if you need to – :)

      • Bob Williford

        You are correct. This space is yours and unless everyone agrees with your agenda there is openness. I do not believe that you are faithful to your way of biblical interpretation as you most likely feel the same about my own. Most who have been responding to things that I have said are quite open about what they say about their own perceptions about who I am. Yes, you are as biblically literate as I am, no doubt. However, our far different perceptions prejudice every word we write. You are free to speak of your feelings about what you say about my own biblical understanding as being near bibliolatry, and I disagree. Am I free, on your space, to disagree with the same passion? You have suggested something about me that is Calvinistic in nature…that He does not allow our freedom of will….Kimberly, I am far from being Calvinist. However, there are things within His Word that we do not violate without that being sin. He has a perfect will that we cannot violate without that being sin. We have the freedom to choose to follow His parameters of behavior or not. Oh, and I am not preaching here….just pointing out some things that you have pointed out to me. One thing that you suggested when I first posted….that I be graceful and not be ugly in what I write. Passionate I am, but I will refrain from calling names and being hateful. This is not who I am. However, I am totally honest and will call a ‘spade a spade’ when challenged to do so. In this, I am transparent. Again this is your space and your call. Thank you……have a blessed evening. Jesus is Lord. BW

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

          The bible is NOT The Word. Christ is The Word. I am transparent. I am clear. I am passionate. I invite dialogue with different people but I do not welcome full scale hijacking of my space. Perhaps we can carry on our dialogue (if you is really what it is and not two people shouting past one another) in private. We seem to share quite a few FB friends in common. If you want to keep talking, you can find me. Your questions here are not sincere questions, they are questions you mean to twist into your own teaching moment. I think you need to have a blog of your own (not to say I want to to go away) but I do think you are obsessing a bit and using my soapbox as your own.

          • Bob Williford

            But my questions are from my heart, Kimberly. I am simply responding to some very difficult issues. But, yes, these moments are ‘teaching moments’….and for everyone to read. But you are so very inaccurate to say the the Bible is not the Word of God for this is stated often within its pages and you are correct to say that Jesus is the Word, the expressed image of the Father in flesh. The two are quite different…one is the written expression of God’s will and the other is the living expression in His Son who was given for the salvation of mankind……Jesus is Lord.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

              Bob,

              A circular argument is a logical fallacy. By definition, a circular argument is when a premise is used as a conclusion.

              Just because the bible claims that “scripture is without error” (2 Tim 3:16) hardly makes the case that all scripture is truly “God-breathed.” In fact, there is no holy book that does NOT claim to be sent directly from God.

              Consider this: all holy books claim to be divine.

              O people, the messenger has come to you with the truth from your Lord. Therefore, you shall believe for your own good. If you disbelieve, then to GOD belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise. (Quran, Sura 4:170)

              Know ye not that I speak the truth? Yea, ye know that I speak the truth; and you ought to tremble before God. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 12:30)

              • Bob Williford

                And now you have placed the Bible on the same plane as that of other, how do you say it, ‘holy’ books??? Come on, now, Kimberly. This is where I will and must say that you are completely off base and most likely not a Christian. There is absolutely nothing more that we have to say. Good grief……and try to remember that Jesus is Lord….He says that of himself in the Bible…the one of three ‘holy’ books that you have mentioned. Do you read them as well? Sorry, but this is just ludicrous…….I suppose that you may have thought you would get a ‘rise’ from me with this….you did. Good bye. BW

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  You entirely miss the point of my comment Bob. I am pointing out the logical fallacy of circular logic you keep using. A work cannot be true simply because it claims to be true within the work. If you took the time to look at the attached photo you’d see the point more clearly. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether I think the other holy texts are in fact holy (any more than I think the Napkin Religion is true) and has everything to do with the fact that they all claim to be true – just like the bible. There has to be more than the words within ANY text to confirm or deny its truth.

                  May I ask which translation of the Bible you believe is the one true translation and interpretation?

                • Bob Williford

                  Now you sound like the KJV folks I know…..I use several, but I use the NASB and the HCSB most often and compare them to the GK text that I have. So far as the Hebrew, I must depend upon the scholars for that one, completely.

                  I must go…..going for long Thanksgiving vacation to South La to visit my wife’s family. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Leaving this computer behind…lol. Blessings, BW

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  Thought of this discussion when I saw this today.

                • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

                  Hmmm … one for each hour of the day … coincidence? Well, yeah. *chuckle*

              • Dan Sloan

                “God breathed” doesn’t imply inerrancy, but life. God breathed into the dirt and created Adam but he sinned at his first opportunity and was obviously flawed from the start. God breathed into the dry bones in Ezekiel but it did not produce perfect beings but regular people. In ancient Jewish thinking “God breathed” (“ruach” in Hebrew) implies animation. Scripture is a *living* document, not necessarily an inerrant one.

                And the Timothy endorsement of “Scripture” (which hadn’t even been canonized yet . He certainly wasn’t referring to the 66 books of the Protestant canon.) is fairly lukewarm. It is “useful” for teaching, correction, etc. It’s hardly the high endorsement fundamentalists make it out to be. It doesn’t say it is “without error” anywhere. That is an interpretation of a passage, but not the actual text of the passage.

                Which brings me to my other point: what fundamentalists miss is that those who believe in inerrancy can’t agree on what Scripture *means*. Even if every word was dictated by God, no one’s interpretation, even a literal interpretation (or so-called “plain reading”) of scripture, is inerrant. Fundamentalists seem unable to grasp the distinction between what Scripture says and what it means and confuse their assumptions about what it means for what it says. Inerrancy is the most meaningless claim one can make.

                I used to attend a Christian college and for many years thought as Bob did. But then I prayerfully examined my own assumption about how I approached Scripture and realized that much of it is more based on evangelical/fundamentalist culture than on the Bible itself and it missed the fact that communication is symbolic and human beings are going to interpret symbols differently.

      • Bob Williford

        I have just now reviewed again your “Comment Covenant” which reads, “When we choose to engage, not evade, the tension of our differences, we will become better equipped to participate….” this is a very good thought, “we will become better equipped to participate”. I would challenge you to think about that. You have a great blog here and I certainly do not want to be an issue here. But, again, you make the call. Blessings…..BW

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

          Bob, I can’t spend all my time in conversation with just you. If so I’d never have time for other people, my own writing, my job or my family. Keep hanging around, be open or not and we shall see what happens.

  • OneCellOfMany

    Never mind the little part about the Man (Lot) offering up his daughters? You mean the part where the man is so distraught after welcoming messengers from God Almighty into his home, that he is willing to push his own daughters out the door to spare them from being raped by a Mob of men who want to have sex with the messengers of God? Rather than “never minding” this part, maybe we should look closer at it. Imagine to be so overwhelmed with the awesome truth of having those who come from God in the home, and then to have to deal with an immediate threat to them. To spare them this violence Lot is willing to sacrifice his own daughters to protect these Messengers. It is a horror so heavy it is beyond words – it’s not a joke – to be tossed off as a “never mind”. The sin that happened in Sodom? A gang of men came to Lot’s door demanding to have Messengers of God come out so that they might have sex with them. Yeah, there is a message in the story for sure. A message about a town that has so lost its way that its men have gave themselves over to the fulfillment of sexual gratification, by any means, instead of justice. A group of men who define themselves by their actions. They are so disturbed that normal desires are beyond them – to the point that even the perverse desire to rape virgin women has become secondary to raping young men to satisfy a desire for what is an even more “perverse”. “No we don’t want your daughters – send out the men so we can have sex with them”. Pretty sick bunch of non-hospitable people. This story specifically speaks to the fact that the men came unsatisfied with normal desires and wanted to satisfy themselves through the act of homosexual sex with the messengers of God. It is about as specific as can be. The story tells what depravity looks like and who is depraved.

  • Mike Arienti

    Yes it was about homosexuality. The local people wanted Lot to introduce them to the angels (disguised as men) so they could “know” (engage in sex) with them. Lot told them not to be wicked. Introducing someone to another person is not sinful, is it?

  • Lawrence Mckechnie

    for me, the gospel has a really radical message of inclusiveness at its heart-whoops, I really said that? It is curious how the homosexual debate just dominates the scene, when, in my view, Jesus doesn’t mention it. In fact, Jesus hangs out with people who are excluded in the times the gospel was written. How to account for earthquakes? Well, I think they are simply physical phenomena. To talk about God exacting judgement in the way Pat Robertson, etc, is surely putting God into a box and even making God less powerful and less mighty. If anything, apart from the huge exegetical issues I have with somehow fitting Sodom and Gommorrah to homosexuality, S and G becomes more relevant when we consider those who discriminate against gay people

    • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

      Amen. My former senior pastor would often refer to Jesus’ assertion that accidents DO happen:

      “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’” –Luke 13:1-5 (NIV)

      • Lawrence Mckechnie

        indeed. Jesus is basically telling us not to read judgement into or project judgement (that tendency to anthromorphise God, I guess, for people are so quick to judge and try to get revenge) onto things… Romans 3:23 also accentuates that we have all sinned. And, a lot of believers are caught up in earthquakes and natural disaster, so Robertson’s thesis is suspect and unstable.

      • Lawrence Mckechnie

        and, I would say, Jesus is also saying “u might have some sort of self-contained system where this stuff makes sense somehow in our own bubble, but you are not to speculate but to focus on God’s Mercy for sinners and how much He loves you”. Our thoughts are not God’s. This need to say earthquakes are manifestations for God’s judgement is symptomatic of the need to have everything worked out at some level, however judgement, for me, has another meaning in scripture: putting the world to rights.

  • Hannah Riley

    Is with my parents for the summer, I had similar reprehension as you sending your youngest to “church camp”. Reading through your posts has allowed me to feel comfortable to go “home” to pick him up and be absolute in not getting into a religious “debate” over what we need to resolve as “to agree to disagree” on. I am so thankful for your blog and “formerly fundie” on helping me to see the love of God in the church and not continue to shun it in our lives. You help me get thru the day to day of living unequally in society, please do not give up or think it futile, it means the world to me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Hannah, thank you so much. You can not know how much your words mean to me. If only you could see the tears in my eyes…

      Grace and peace sister,
      K

  • Hannah Riley

    I follow you on FB as well and really hope you “do not give up” or truly think it is “beyond futile”. I began following your blog after a friends repost of your “lifestyle” blog post. I was apprehensive at first, growing up in a consevative baptist home and just having come out to my family and extended friends at 30 years old. I thought more condemntion was to be the backbone for what would strengthen my parents resolve to calling who I love a sin/abomination. I find absolute truth in your blog in the way the christian should live life. We have a 7 year old son who

  • Takoda Manhuban

    Thanks for this awesome article! This is slightly off-topic maybe, but your discussion on “excess of food and prosperous ease” reminded me of this quote: “We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food!
    Hungry people ain’t allergic to s***. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got
    f***ing lactose intolerance?!” — Chris Rock

  • Diocletian

    Jesus very clearly affirmed the law against homosexuality in Matthew 5.

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For
    truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest
    letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from
    the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven

    That is a clear affirmation of every word written in the law. In fact Jesus goes one step further and says we should not even THINK evil thoughts.

    You are clearly setting aside the law against homosexuality and teaching others the same.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Ok cool, so that means you are currently following all 600+ laws outlined in the Hebrew Scriptures? Avoiding all shellfish and pork? Never wearing clothes made of blended fabric? Do you spend time also leaving bible drive by comments on banking sites (they charge interest).

      If you are following all 600+ laws that Jesus claims to be fulfilling then maybe we have something to talk about here.

      • Diocletian

        Are you saying you don’t believe Jesus? Are you saying that he lied?

        Both of us will be judged for our adherence to all of the law. For myself I do not pretend that my sins are not sins. I am most like the man in the temple beating his chest and saying “God forgive me a sinner.”

        The only difference is that I do not dispute the law. I do not disregard the Old Testament law and tell others to do the same.

        Jesus affirmed the standards so I do not dispute his words.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

          No, I am asking you if you are even trying to live by all 600+ laws that are what Jesus says he came to fulfill.

          • Dr. M

            Interesting how he can’t answer a direct question. Typical “christian” response – I’m not perfect, I’m forgiven… yeah whatever, you’re a hypocrite if you “sin” knowingly and consistently.

            • Diocletian

              Homosexual activity is a sin knowingly and consistently done against the law of G-d.

              It is one thing to sin and ask forgiveness it is another to sin and tell G-d that it really isn’t sin. You have become an authority to yourself ignoring the word of G-d.

              • Tom P

                Yeah, you’ve said that you’re a sinner, Diocletian, and I think we all get that. I think the big question here is whether you believe that wearing mixed fabrics or eating shellfish are actually sins. The Bible is “absolutely clear” that they are. But when you say that you are a sinner, do you count these among your sins?

                That gets at the fundamental matter, I think. If you don’t believe you are sinning when you eat a crab cake, then maybe the Bible isn’t quite so “absolutely clear” as you think it is.

                Capisce?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  Bingo!

                • Diocletian

                  Are you admitting that homosexuality is a SIN?

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790239900 Barbara Vaughan

                  You appear to be the only one on your thread that believes that. So no. No one but you is saying that. Let me clarify for you… Homosexuality is not a sin.

                • Diocletian

                  Thank you for your honesty.

                  Here is my challenge to you.

                  Jesus affirmed the law? (Matthew 5) which prohibits homosexuality. Death penalty actually.

                  And also said…
                  Luke 13

                  5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

                  And affirmed the condemnation of sexual immorality.

                  Matthew 15

                  19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

                  Nobody in Jesus time would have disputed that homosexuality was and is sexual immorality. Including Jesus. Or just refer to his affirmation of the Old Testament law in Matthew 5.

                  How will you enter the kingdom if you do not confess your sins and repent? Or don’t even believe you have sinned when the bible and Jesus clearly say homosexuality is a sin.

                  How will you be forgiven when you never believed G-d or Jesus about the sin of homosexuality and never asked for forgiveness?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  Who I am is not a sin. The sexual relationship I have with my wife (married in a Christian church) is nothing about which I need to seek forgiveness.

                  You are wrong, you’re “understanding” of scripture is willfully ignorant and Your efforts here are futile. I know who I am and Whose I am and I know that you are fueled by fear, ignorance and likely a little hatred. Your hubris is not a fruit of the Spirit.

                  Now, you have said your peace. I am asking you to excuse yourself from my table. If you want to host a party of your own to speak this way, you are free to do so, but just as I would ask someone like you to leave my home, I am asking you now to leave this table.

                  I will only ask once. I will not reply to you again.

                  Others who are here reading, please don’t feed the trolls.

                • mrichardson84

                  You obviously haven’t explored much of this site. Anyone who is a regular reader here does NOT view homosexuality as sin. And you aren’t changing anyone’s mind by constantly copying and pasting scripture and raving about “God’s word.” And you’re a coward, too. Too afraid to spell GOD because you actually believe “God” is the direct translation of YHWH. Come on, Dio. Get a life and go somewhere else.

                • toujoursdan

                  No homosexuality isn’t a sin. The law you say Jesus quoted says: To lie with a man as with a woman is a to’evah (ritual sin). The historic interpretation of the text is that anal sex between two men is a sin – no more, no less.

                  “Homosexuality” of course, encompasses many things apart from anal sex between two males. In fact, many sexually active gay men don’t enjoy anal sex. And of course, women don’t have male-to-male anal sex at all.

                  If one is going to keep frum (Mosaic law) it is perfectly possible to be a sexually active gay person. One just has to avoid that particular act. (This is the policy of Conservative Judaism: it affirms and blesses gay relationships while ruling that men abstain from anal sex alone.)

                  Of course, while Jesus did affirm the law (while breaking it on many occasions) it didn’t end there. The Christian Church argued over which laws were to be kept and which weren’t, most notably around circumcision and the food laws, while evangelizing to the Gentiles. St Paul left them as a matter of individual conscience in Romans 14. The Council of Jerusalem issued “advice” in Acts 15 against eating rare meat and fornication (sex without commitment) but said that did not want to burden people any further than that. So obviously there has never been an agreement on which laws apply and which don’t apply.

                  St Paul himself said (Romans 13:8-10):

                  “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

                • Diocletian

                  So you admit that Homosexuality is a SIN?

                • Tom P

                  You’re woefully misreading my comment, Diocletian. I might even go so far as to say that you’re bearing false witness.

                • Diocletian

                  Simple question. Is homosexuality a sin?

                  By the way eating a crab cake means a person is “unclean” until the end of the day.

                  Not the same as the death penalty for homosexuality is it?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  No

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  You have made your point (as wrong as it is) and as you can see we believe quite differently about the action of Christ in the world. There is no reason for you to continue with your line of badgering. My experience of Christ tells me that what you bring here is neither the Gospel nor love.

                  I will pray for you tonight that the veil of fear and darkness that has imprisoned your heart and mind be gently lifted by the Holy Spirit.

                  Grace and peace brother,
                  Kimberly Knight
                  Your sister in Christ

                • Diocletian

                  I can see you don’t have a specific answer or scripture to refute Jesus statement of affirmation of the OT law so I will leave you to consider Jesus words.

                  The Gospel is about repentance and if you refuse to repent or accept Jesus admonitions that is entirely your choice.

                  You assume fear and darkness when the reality is far from that. I know the word of G-d, I know Jesus and I have been given an army of angels.

                  I know the Holy Spirit very well and I have been shown things that you would probably never believe.

                  I am not sure why I was lead to your site. I honestly heard that Pat Robertson had said some crazy stuff and when I searched Google your blog came up.

                  I am confident that G-d wanted to make sure that you would not be able to plead ignorance when you are judged.

                  My admonition to you is that you stop promoting sin and telling others to do the same.

                  If you continue I will not accuse you or give a railing accusation. I only say May the Lord Rebuke You.

                • Dr. M

                  Like I said to you before – you can get medication to fix a lot of this… I’m not being sarcastic or nasty – but you obviously suffer from delusions.

                • Dr. M

                  You’ve been asked several “simple” questions you refuse to answer. Do you believe eating crab is a sin? simple – yes or no?
                  As for me – no I do not believe homosexuality is a sin.

                • Diocletian

                  Yes, when the time comes G-d will measure us against the Old Testament Law and our adherence to Jesus commands. Which included adherence to the law.

                  Revelation 20

                  11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

                • Tom P

                  Sorry. You think you’re sinning when you down the mussels at the Chinese buffet? Forgive me, but I call BS.

                • Diocletian

                  So you don’t think that homosexuality is a sin?

                  I don’t want to be accused of repeating myself again so please see my response about how we will be judged.

          • Diocletian

            I can understand why you want to make this about me but the word of G-d does not rely on my adherence.

            Jesus affirmed the law which includes the death penalty for homosexual behavior. Not my words they are the words of the Law of Moses.

            I have answered several of your questions and you have yet to answer any of mine.

            To answer your last question I absolutely do try to live up to the law. I do not struggle with the fibers in my shirt or not eating shellfish. Those are easy.

            Which law do you want to accuse me of breaking? If I have not met the mark I will admit it.

            I will not stand before G-d and dispute whether the law applies to me. It does. If I have broken it I will admit it and repent.

            You seem to be denying Jesus affirmation of the law and your responsibility to obey his commands which include following the Law of Moses.

            Luke 6:46

            “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

            Is it difficult? Of course because….

            Matthew 7
            “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

            The law and Jesus commands are very narrow and exclude many.

            • Seth

              Diocletian, your beginning premise was that you take the OT law seriously and Kimberly does. Based on that idea, I’d like to know when you last sacrificed a goat, sheep, or dove for your sins or had a priest do it for you? I’d like to know if you kept the feast of booths last year? If not, why did you feel comfortable breaking the law? And why does someone so dual minded like your self feel comfortable lecturing someone else on how to keep the law?

              • Seth

                And here’s a puzzler for someone who seems to so love the law/covenant of Moses, Abraham lived long before Moses and God set up a superior covenant based on faith and grace with him. It was before and supersedes Moses law. The mosaic law was a tutor to bring humanity to futility first and then to faith in God to cover what they could not achieve in weakness

                • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

                  Niiice, fellow Biblically named person! ;-D

                • Diocletian

                  Jesus is the one who said to love the law and adhere to every stroke and every word. Not me.

                  Matthew 5

                  18 For
                  truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest
                  letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from
                  the
                  Law until everything is accomplished.

                  If you claim to follow Jesus do what he said. Ignore me if you like but do not disobey Jesus.

              • Diocletian

                Are you saying Jesus lied? Are you saying that Jesus is not your authority?

                I am not the one that said.

                Matthew 5

                17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I
                have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For
                truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest
                letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from
                the
                Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets
                aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly
                will be called least in the kingdom of heaven

                Kimberly asserted that Jesus never said that homosexuality is a sin. The above statement clearly affirms the law which includes the death penalty for homosexual behavior.

                You say I am dual minded but you are the one accusing me of not holding to the law.

                We will all be judged for our actions according to the law.

                Revelation 20

                13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                  So you are now repeating yourself and continuing to ignore invitations to real dialog. You are not contributing intelligently or faithfully. You are simply being a troll with his fingers in his ears, stamping his feet and refusing to answer questions. Mind your manners or please move on to bug others with your willful ignorance and wholly un-compassionate approach.

                • Diocletian

                  The other person asked the same questions and made the same statement you did. That is why I repeated myself.

                  You still haven’t answered my point.

                  Do you accept that Jesus affirmed the Old Testament law including the law against homosexuality?

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790239900 Barbara Vaughan

                  I wonder what you think the phrase “until everything is accomplished” means. For Jesus, is that not the fulfillment of his role as Messiah? His death on the cross and his resurrection? Upon his ascension, was not everything fulfilled? Does not his grace and forgiveness coupled with God’s love free us from the law, as the apostle Paul said?

                  When you lock yourself into one particular passage, Matthew 5 in this case, I think you take the chance of missing the beauty of all the gospels and the overarching message of God’s love.

                • Diocletian

                  You left out the part that says “until heaven and earth disappear.”

                  There are many other verses I could quote but I was specifically addressing Kimberly’s statement which was that Jesus never said homosexuality was wrong.

                  By affirming the law of the Old Testament Jesus made it clear that we are to obey G-d’s commands in the Old Testament.

                • Seth

                  You are dual minded because you are pushing Kimberly to follow the OT law, but cannot keep it yourself. Maybe hypocrite is a better word for you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790239900 Barbara Vaughan

      Jesus FULFILLED the law so that we could be about the business of loving and welcoming others. There are now only two commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And Jesus wasn’t speaking eros here. But agape – the love that embraces and wishes for the best for everyone. Hence using the example of the Judgement of the Nations. It’s about how we treat each other in obedience to God, in love, through God’s love.

      • Diocletian

        So you are “setting aside” all of the commands of the law?

        That is exactly what Jesus said not to do in Matthew 5.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

        Aaaamen!!!!

        Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” –Matthew (my favorite Gospel ;-D) 22:37-40 (NIV)

  • Frank

    “So say it with me real slow…the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had noooooothing to do with homosexuality”

    “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)

    I have never heard a Christian in favor of gay marriage refute this. And please don’t say the Jude doesn’t actually mean it, or that only some parts of the Bible are true while others are false. If you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God then you have to believe this verse is true.

    • Baby_Raptor

      “Fornication” does not mean homosexuality, it means sex outside of marriage, or with someone other than who you’re married to while being married. On the few occasions homosexual sex is mentioned in the bible, it’s plainly laid out; like in the “they abandoned their wives and lusted after each other” verse. Or it’s referred to as “sexual immorality,” if you wish to look at the New Testament verses that people claim are about homosexuality. “Fornication” is always used to refer to straight sex outside the laws God had passed down at the time.

      And “strange flesh” refers to the intention to rape the angels Lot was offering shelter to.

      There’s nothing about non-straights in this verse. If you’re seeing something, you’re projecting it.

    • toujoursdan

      The entire passage is:

      “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their
      proper abode He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the
      judgment of the great day. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities
      around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross
      immorality and went after strange flesh. In the very same way, on the
      strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.”

      The original Greek mentions fornication (ekporneusasai) but fornication in any context doesn’t mean intimacy outside of marriage but intimacy with other people (or gods) without intent of commitment. (The church didn’t solemnize marriages until after the first millennium and only after civil authorities pushed it onto the church, so marriage in the modern sense wasn’t always the only means to start a family)

      In this passage however, the other key words are hetero sarx (Literally chasing after “other flesh”, or “strange flesh” which probably better captures the intent of the passage.) In the context of the entire passage, the first and last parts of which you left off, it has to do with men mixing with angels and vice versa.

      Remember, the townspeople of S&G weren’t intent on gang raping human beings, but wanted to gang rape angels (who may have looked human in appearance but were not human.) That aspect of the story is always left out of anti-gay prooftexting. However, in this Jude passage there are too many references to angels and celestial beings for it to be a condemnation of homosexuality, much less long term relationships between two adult people.

      Also it has to be remembered that Jewish teaching at the time the Book of Jude was written said that the people of Sodom were trying to have sex with angels so they could have “super-children”, like the Nephilim (giants) in Genesis 6:4, who were the product of sex between earthly women and “the sons of God” (angels).

      It’s also important to remember that God already decided to destroy S&G before the attempted gang-rape (Gen 18:16-33) so the claim that it was destroyed because of the gang-rape is out of the order of the story.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Wow, it saddens me to see ignorant/hateful comments here. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, Kimberly.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you friend, I really appreciate your kind words. I am willing to take it if my words can be a balm to anyone out there who needs to hear and know how amazing God’s love is and how open some Christians can be.

      • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

        Yes- thank you for writing this blog. :)

  • Susan_G1

    It is amazing how many times I have told this and they look at me as if I were crazy. Sometimes people just want to hang on to sorry ideas.

    I was channel surfing a few nights ago and came across Robertson. In only about 10 minutes, he managed to express prejudice against three groups of people. I changed the channel again. I don’t know how anyone can listen to him.

  • David Madison

    This is a well done article, Kimberly. Once upon a time, I gave lectures on what the Bible really says about homosexuality (I have PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University and for ten years was a Methodist minister), and I stressed the same points. There are a few comments I’d like to make. I’ve always wondered if the S&G story is even about homosexuality. Rev. Robinson says it is about homosexual rape, but we have to be careful about jumping to that conclusion, because it depends on how “to know” should be translated.
    Most of the time in the OT it means to know in the usual sense, rarely is it
    used a euphemism for sex. The men of Sodom could have been alarmed about the unknown visitors who had been given hospitality by Lot, who was a stranger in their midst. And if they were homosexuals, why would Lot offer them his daughters? Doesn’t make sense. So “we want to know who they are” could be the sense of the text.
    But it’s not history all, of course, it’s an etiological myth—but that’s
    another story. Conservative Bible translators take the liberty of translating the text, “Bring them out so that we can have sex with them”—which is totally unjustified, as well as an
    offensive infusion of their own bias into the text. The older translators stuck
    to the original Hebrew, “Bring them out so we may know them.” My only criticism is your reference to Hebrews being written by Paul. It is so
    commonly accepted these days that Paul was not the author of Hebrews. In the interest of full disclosure: I gave up on Christianity a long time ago, among other reasons because of the text that you quote. You said, “…our very own J-Man, Jesus himself has a dicey word or two about that in the book of Matthew.” I think it’s one of the great negatives about Jesus that he believed that people who failed to be compassionate would burn in eternal fire. Ouch. That’s not just a ‘dicey thing’—that’s a horrible thing. To me this means that Jesus fails as a great ethical teacher. The 25th chapter is justly lauded for its noble thought about being compassionate….but then it goes off the rails. Also in the interest of full disclosure: I am gay and have been with my husband for
    35 years.

  • Capiscan

    I think its funny that Pat Robertson etc is quick to blame whatever natural disaster on gay people but has yet to make the connection between the wildfires in Colorado – which is where Focus on the Family is headquartered or last year when Rick Perry held a day of prayer for rain – and got wildfires. . . .Hmmm.

  • Roger Wolsey

    Kimberly, Alas, helping people to realize that the word “sodomy” was hijacked by homophobes is an ongoing effort. Thank you for your attempt at it. Here’s how I put it a few years ago. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2012/02/mardi-gras-dont-be-a-sodomite/

  • http://spiritofpeacekingston.org/ David Starbuck Gregory

    I remember an old tract someone handed me in the 70′s warning about the evils of homosexuality, and of course it was all about the Sodom and Gomorrah story. It took me years and years to undo it in my head. That’s the danger of Pat Robertson and of ministries like his. Some angst-ridden teenager out there is hearing his words in an unfiltered way, and it amounts to abuse.

    • Mike335

      That 70′s tract you read was correct – homosexuality is evil! Nothing’s changed!

      The problem is that how to be free of homosexuality – God has provided the answers to this in His Gospel!

    • Ian

      David, it wasn’t a Chick cartoon tract, was it? Try them on Sodom and Gomorrah. I was a (rather disturbed but not realising it) teenager in the ’60′s when I came across such horrible material. I was also carrying the trauma of a male sexual assault that I’d never spoken about. Suffice to say I found myself one night listening to a sermon on S & G by a highly respected preacher, who followed the traditional interpretation. ‘God so hated the sin of the homosexual that he destroyed two great cities!’ he declared. With a shock, my mind connected this with the assault and took full responsibility (I know this was irrational, but that’s not the point; I was not a well boy). The experience triggered the beginnings of a psychotic breakdown (at age 15) in which I developed a fixed idea that I was for the flames with no possible way out. I literally believed this; I just had to live out my life and then go downstairs. I can’t describe this to you. And all because of a sermon with terrible exegesis. Beware, preachers: you don’t know who’s listening. I resolved the psychosis, but at a price, and it has taken me many years to shake that sermon, its aftermath (it still haunts me) and the idea that God hates me because I’m gay – that assisted me in becoming very ill indeed in later years. Like you, David, I’m greatly distressed by the effect this kind of this kind of thing could have on young or vulnerable people. I’m an artist, and a while ago drew this cartoon as a response. It’s called ‘The First Stone’ for obvious reasons and is a kind of interpretation (if you’re theological, a hermeneutic!) of John 8. I could not have drawn it a while ago, and it’s an indicator of how a perception of the grace of Christ has helped to heal me. If anybody would like to use it in any way, feel free: consider it public domain. Bless ya, David, and all of you guys.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

        Wow … exactly what we must prevent from happening in the future! Your story is painful to read, even though I’m a straight ally … thank you for the cartoon, which WILL be spread around. I also find this one powerful:

        • Ian

          Thank you so much for your empathy, Matthew. I’d be so happy if the cartoon was helpful to someone, and I’m so encouraged that you want to use it. When I drew it, I’d recently ‘discovered’ Westboro Baptist, which left me in shock. Then it occurred to me that Jesus would try to protect people from this kind of treatment, not go along with it (I’ve also noticed that Jesus doesn’t get mentioned in anything I’ve seen from, or featuring, Westboro – maybe I missed it, of course, but it’s all about a hard-hearted being called ‘God’, who doesn’t sound like the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ). A lot of people must just assume, unless they’ve been told differently, that this really is a part of Christian belief and life, or at least a part of Evangelical life. I so want LGBTQ people to understand that Jesus is so in love with them and always will be and would like to help undo the damage done by Westboro-like attitudes and words. I really like the cartoon you posted: very strong and straight to the point (as I understand the US situation from this side of the Pond). I like the subtle details: the little kid who isn’t sure if this is really okay, the lady on the right who is accidentally (?) holding her Bible upside down, etc. Here’s another one I did, a response to the murder of Ugandan gay activist David Kato. i was so shocked and disgusted by the hate-filled rant AT THE FUNERAL by the priest who was supposed to conduct it, I drew David welcomed and comforted in heaven by a weeping Black Jesus (David’s portrait is based on a media photograph). Please feel to share that around too if you wish. Thanks again, Matthew and God bless you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

            Beautiful! :-D It’s a cartoon duel!!! But now I got nothin’. Thank you — I’ve already shared it in some of my Facebook Groups.

            May God continue blessing you, too!

      • http://spiritofpeacekingston.org/ David Starbuck Gregory

        Yes indeed! It was the “Chick” tract on Sodom and Gomorrah. It took you saying that to jog my memory. I am so sorry to hear of your painful journey, but am glad that you have found your way through it. It’s amazing how the turn of a phrase can change the trajectory of our lives, especially when we are young. “Careful the things you say, children will listen,” that’s how the Sondheim song goes. . . and it’s an excellent reminder.

        • Ian

          Thanks, David; thanks very much. ‘Finding’ my way would be a bit more correct, but I’ve certainly moved. I only did the cartoon a few years ago, but there was so much fear around it would have been impossible before. Chick tracts are extremely disturbing, I think: they obsess over demons, hell, suffering, judgement and disaster and seem to be against almost everything outwith their own perceptions. All problems are solved by a whizz-bang conversion (and an abandonment of Catholic faith where necessary). Gay people tend to be portrayed as grotesque, amoral, bizarre deviants attended by demons (tell a lie: the gay guy in ‘Sin City’ is drawn as ‘normal’-looking, but he’s put right by the macho, condescending straight Christian). Very worrying is the character of Li’l Suzy who, at 6 years old, is very well-informed about S & G and their goings-on, as well as what modern gay people are allegedly like (ie, the gay weirdos who visit her school with demons on their shoulders). I always thought that kiddies who know a lot about sexual matters probably need a visit from Social Services. BTW, are these portrayals still legal in the US? Gross distortion is about the kindest thing you could say about them. And you can smell the fear. I wonder what people feel about the legality of these comics. The whole library of tracts can be viewed online at Chick Publications’ website http://www.chick.com/default.asp Click the link ‘Read tracts online for free’. I’m afraid to say they seem to have expanded operations. Not for the faint-hearted, though. And, as we’ve said, don’t read if you’re at all vulnerable emotionally – I’m serious there – this is very toxic stuff in various ways. Bless ya, David.

      • Jerry Balderas

        This is an amazing picture. Just remember what Jesus told the woman… “Get up and sin no more.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

    Yep — you’re pretty much one of my new best friends. (-:

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    Do you have any idea when the notion of S&G = gay sex is bad started to arise? I could see it arising from the 20th century fundamentalist/conservative evangelical movement, but it may also be a more historically-accepted doctrine, as well — I just don’t know. It is pretty clear this was not the original meaning, mind you.

    • http://www.emergentfaith.org/blog R. Jay Pearson

      It no doubt stems from the passage at Genesis 19:4-5: “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’” (NASB)

      I think it’s also worth mentioning that verse 9 is a key indicator that the fervor exhibited by the men of the city was a signal of violent intent, not sexual desire: “We’ll treat you worse than them,” the mob said to Lot, where “them” referred to the two men (angels) who were guests in Lot’s house. This was about violation and dominance, and they told Lot he’d get it “worse” than the intended victims. It was an act of attempted rape, not attempted love-making. And that was the core element of their wickedness.

      • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

        You misunderstand. I don’t mean when during the Biblical narrative does “S&G = gay sex is bad” arise; I mean when does this line of thinking historically gain dominance in Christian thought. When does this become a fairly mainstream way of interpreting the passage?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790239900 Barbara Vaughan

          Homosexual wasn’t a word until the mid-19th century. So yes, while people were aware of same sex attraction, it wasn’t labeled or overtly persecuted until fairly recently. And the early church couldn’t have cared less about it.

        • Lisa Heilig

          According to scholar Mark Jordan, about the 11th century.

  • http://www.emergentfaith.org/blog R. Jay Pearson

    I’m sure conservative Christians, while claiming Sodom and Gomorrah was about homosexuality (oh how wrong it is!), would have no problem with the incestuous drunken rape of Lot committed by his own two daughters. (see Genesis 19:32)

    “No, that incest was evil!” Christians would no doubt proclaim.

    Ahh, but wait a minute! It must be holy. Why? Here’s why: there would be no Jesus without the incest.

    Both of Lot’s daughters got pregnant by him (v. 36-38). We can understand it, though, right? They were stressed. They almost got traded for some angels to an angry mob of rape hounds. Their home town just got obliterated. Mom got turned into a pillar of NaCl. Rough times. Anyway, one of the daughters gave birth to a son named Moab (who would be both her son and her brother; weird), who later became the father of the Moabites. Later on, a guy named Boaz (who was a descendant of the Canaanite prostitute Rahab; see Matthew 1:5) would marry a woman named Ruth . . . who was a Moabite. (see book of Ruth)

    Ruth is part of Jesus’ lineage. And there would be no Ruth if Lot’s one daughter didn’t get pregnant by getting her father drunk and committing incestuous rape.

    So Jesus is descended from a Canaanite woman who spread her legs for money, and a Moabite woman whose ancestor spread her legs for daddy.

    But yes. Homosexuality is just awful. Because the Bible’s ethic is so clear and consistent.

    • Mike335

      You know nothing of the Scriptures! You’re just looking for biblical accounts to justify your evil, homosexual behaviors!

      For whatever reasons, those biblical accounts did happen (Lot and daughters), but you can find nothing in the Bible that says that incest is holy because it happened to Lot and his daughters!!

      You’re so messed-up, I don’t even know where to start…

      Saying blasphemous things regarding the Lord JESUS Christ is very dangerous and sinful behavior R. Jay Pearson…watch what you say, because the Lord JESUS sees all things and you will have to account for what you’ve said!

      My advise is that you repent and think twice of what you’re going to say!

      • Baby_Raptor

        Lot was called holy by one of the writers in the New Testament. No condemnation of his actions was mentioned.

        So incest might not be holy, but it’s not enough to even get mentioned as a detracting point from a man’s holiness either.

        Also, did it ever occur to you that maybe *you’re* the one sinning by saying blasphemous things, and that you’ll have to account for your words to Jesus? Or are you so pridefully confident that you have it right?

        • Mike335

          Are you kidding me?

          You’re the one justifying something that is clearly against God’s law, and you accuse me of the one saying blasphemous things!?

          You’re very funny!!

        • Aydan_Selby

          The incest was not at all Lot’s fault. He was drunk. He was raped. He’s no more at fault than any other rape survivor.

          Now, offering his DAUGHTERS up to be raped? Yeah, it’s kind of disturbing how THAT doesn’t detract from his righteousness.

          • Baby_Raptor

            …You know, I’ve had probably more than my fair share of discussions about Lot, amongst other Old Testament stuff, but you’re the first person to ever call what happened to Lot rape.

            I’d never thought about it that way, which is actually kind of embarrassing, because I’m a rape survivor myself.

            • Aydan_Selby

              Actually, R. Jay Pearson put it that way, in the first comment in this thread. :-)

              • Baby_Raptor

                I guess I got too caught up arguing with the now deleted troll to read everything else.

                Either way, thank you fro bringing it to my attention.

        • OneCellOfMany

          Think of it this way. You are certain that the men who are in your home have been sent to your home or are in fact God in physical form or – Angels – or what we can’t understand and probably neither could lot (if we are taking the story as a literal), but what Lot does know is that they messengers of God Almighty creator of all and a gang of men wants to pull them out the door to rape them. So distraught is Lot that he offers his daughters to protect them. Yes a horror of horrors on top of horrors is Lot’s situation. Lot cannot be faulted for this.

          • Baby_Raptor

            Sorry, not buying it. Lot could have asked god to defend his messengers. He could have asked god to defend his house, told the crowd to bugger off and locked the door. He could have asked the messengers if they were capable of defending themselves…Pretty sure a god whose supposedly powerful enough to create an entire solar system wouldn’t have helpless mice for message deliverers. He could have asked god to handle the situation some other way. Dude had options.

            Instead, he tosses his daughters out like so much trash. And he got called holy for this action.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

        Mike335,

        This is your first and only invitation to read the comment covenant and alter your way of commenting. Personal attacks are in no way tolerated here and this comment crosses that line at least twice. Comments should be focused on disagreeing with content of a post or other comment NOT directly attacking another person with phrases like “You’re so messed-up.”

        If you leave another comment like this addressed to anyone here you will be banned from this blog.

        Regards,
        Kimberly Knight

        • Mike335

          Go and ban me then – that would just be more evidence that you willfully go against the word of God, and the truth that it reveals!

          I’ve done my job – that’s all that counts to me! Judgment will come to you if you don’t change your ways!

  • LhK

    “Jesus says straight up that whoever fails to welcome such people has failed to welcome Jesus himself. Hmmmm, kind makes you think huh? Oh wait, maybe not.” I’m not sure I follow your point here. If I am not “welcoming” your opinion on gay marriage, I am failing to welcome Jesus? (And, FYI, I do not agree with the statements made by Pat R either.)

    • Robert Martin

      What is trying to be said here (and the core of the issue) is that when a professed Christian begins to condemn others (to include gays and lesbians) in any form they are, in essence, walking away from Jesus and the Cross (and denying His Holy Spirit) and towards the gates of Sodom. In a way a Christian should have to follow through some logical steps here. A professing Christian should ask themselves the following questions: Am I going to condemn gays and lesbians in general based on a surface reading of Scripture? If not and I am not going to condemn gays and lesbians then what do I want for them in their relationships with each other? Celibacy or a committed loving relationship? If I want to force celibacy on them am I not yet again condemning them by having them conform to my judgement of their sexual relationships? If however I want them to have a committed loving relationship how do I term that? If I am going to say “Civil Union” am I not, in fact, treating that gay or lesbian as a second class citizen and yet again condemning them (i.e. I am going to reserve marriage for myself but you gays and lesbians get another term because I don’t want you to have marriage)? You see where this logical progression ends. If any of these questions start making a professing Christian squeamish or uncomfortable then they are allowing their flesh and not the Spirit of God to inform them. A professing Christian should truly think about it, pray about it. He will lead a professing Christian into Truth and may even help them experience radical, agape love which the Church is sorely short of today (especially in its fundamentalist aspect). My prayer is that the Church begin this radicalization of agape love and stop its constant condemnation of gays and lesbians. Agape love can be transformative.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

        Well. Said.

  • http://compartmentliving.wordpress.com/ Katie Hurd

    Thank you for the thoughtful, intelligent Biblical reading and interpretation. We need more of that and less taking things out of context to fit political aims.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    It really baffles me how people think the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is condemnation for LGBT people. Like, God destroyed those cities because… everyone was gay. Really? Everyone was gay? Everyone in the whole city? I don’t think that’s what it’s about.

    • Mike335

      A lot of people there were gay – that’s why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah!

      Don’t twist the Scriptures! You can find more evidence that homosexuality is evil when you read Romans 1:18-32 KJV.

      • Baby_Raptor

        By “twisting the scriptures” I assume you mean reading them in a way that doesn’t draw the same conclusion as you? Because if you look at the scriptures, they plainly say that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was lack of hospitality. The verses were clearly posted in Ms. Knight’s writing.

        Further, the proof isn’t plain simply by looking at Romans. What we see condemned in Romans is homosexual rape; the only real kind of man-on-man sex that Paul knew of at the time. “Homosexuality” was not a word or even a concept then. Male-on-male sex was a man raping a younger man, usually a child.

        So when you can provide proof that God actually hates what we now know of as homosexuality, get back to us. And even then, your opinion matters to nobody but the people who believe as you do. You have no right to force it on people who don’t, or into law.

        • Mike335

          Hello!? Didn’t you read that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?

          What proof are you talking about when it’s hitting you right between the eyes?

          Again – more twisting of Scriptures and meanings in an effort to justify homosexual behaviors!

        • Mike335

          I have every right to uphold what is written in the law of God, and make ignorant people like you aware of their sinful behaviors!

          The problem is you want to walk around blind, while heading to the edge of the cliff!

        • http://www.facebook.com/MBWinkel Matthew B. Winkel

          Aaaaaaaaaaaaamen!!!

        • AG

          “Because if you look at the scriptures, they plainly say that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was lack of hospitality…”

          Not ‘just’ the lack of hospitality.

          ‘…They were haughty and did abominable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.’ (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

          ‘…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire…’ (Jude 1:7)

          What was the ‘thing’ that was (is) ‘abominable to God? There are so many ‘things’ that God detests and I’m sorry to say, Homosexuality is included.

          ‘You shall not lie with a male as [a]one lies with a female; it is an abomination.’ (Leviticus 18:22

        • AG

          Not sure what happened to my comment but here’s a rewrite in a nutshell.

          Sodom&Gomorrah wasn’t just about the lack of hospitality. In Ezekiel, it mentions that they ‘did detestable things before me.’

          There are so many things that are detestable to God and having ‘sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman’ is one of them. (Leviticus)

          The bible also mentions that they ‘gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion’ which ‘serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.’ (Jude)

          Am I missing anything?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

            You missed all the parts about loving your neighbor as yourself, maybe the 300 + verses about caring for the poor, could be your ignoring passages about prohibitions against wearing mixed fiber clothing, or maybe you’re missing the part about freedom in Christ and NOTHINIG separating us from the love of God.

            Whatever it is you are missing I will keep you and your obsession over other people’s sex life in my prayers.

            In the meantime, you might want to get a different hobby than trolling blogs and calling yourself a Christian… http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/yo-christian-you-can-go-away-now/

            • AG

              ”…trolling blogs and calling yourself a Christian…”

              What in Zeus’s beard was that! You don’t deserve a rebuttal. Wait a minute, is this some type of reverse psychology? Sheesh! You need to work on you debating skills. It’s an art.

              Tips: Try not to come out hard at the beginning. Produce your proof if you are truthful.

              Come to common terms me lady.

              Regards, AG

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

                Guess what, you don’t get to talk to me like that at my table and retain your invitation. Buh-bye :)

          • Baby_Raptor

            Yeah, you’re missing the part where everything in the Old Testament doesn’t apply anymore except for the statement against gays and lesbians. Could you explain that?

            While you’re at it, could you explain how you’re so certain that the “detestable things” phrase isn’t just a reiteration of the lack of hospitality?

            Next, explain how you get modern day homosexuality (which did not exist back then) out of “sexual immorality and perversion” without pointedly deciding to read what you want to read there.
            .

            And to finish up, you can explain what Leviticus and Jude have to do with the story in question.

            Edit: And for extra credit, you can justify reading more into the text than is there just to condemn people. If you actually read the text, it only mentions and condemns the lack of hospitality.

            (Disqus, please stop eating my formatting. It’s embarrassing and it makes me look dumb.)

            • AG

              I try to avoid these type of debates because there is no point on debating with someone about what the bible actually says due to being corrupted according to historical and scientific research
              .
              We’ll eventually be stuck in the ‘Circle of Boredom’.

              Keep in mind, It’s pretty hard defending the (corrupted) Bible due to the moot it has been in.

              Thank you for being my ‘bait’ though (my intention from the beginning).

              I’m actually writing a research paper on Christianity titled, ‘Christianity’s path to Self-Destruction’. Sounds harsh, but quite an interesting read. Though, you have to wait a bit for it’s completion.

          • Aydan_Selby

            … you don’t think rape qualifies as “detestable,” “sexual immorality,” and a “perversion”?

            It kind of disturbs me when people ignore that part of the story because it doesn’t even occur to them that’s what the writers could be condemning.

  • Ben

    Great post; I was discussing the same thing a few weeks ago, and expected Pat to join the chorus.

    http://www.formerlyfundie.com/sodom-gomorrah-a-story-about-us-and-not-for-the-reasons-you-think/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Great post Ben. I love this:

      “Anytime we can take a biblical story and reduce it to being about someone else, we’re in trouble.

      The Bible is a story about us.”

      Thank you for sharing the link here!


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