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by Don Costello
5/11/2008 / Bible Studies
One of the arguments used by homosexual sympathizers is the false teaching that homosexuality was not at all a factor in God's decision to destroy Sodom, that other sins were the cause for such a reaction from heaven. To bolster this false theory, advocates for homosexuality say that of all the references to Sodom in the Bible, only the passage in Genesis 19 specifically mentions any form of homosexuality. All the other passages they say, point to other sins.
I have found that although these Scriptures do mention 'other' sins that Sodom was guilty of; these 'other' sins are also characteristics of the contemporary homosexual movement. In their effort to do away with the Scriptures that condemn homosexuality, these preachers of sodomology have inadvertently strengthened the indictment that God condemns homosexual behavior in every time period. When we study these 'other' sins of Sodom we see that the homosexuality of 21st century America is no different than that of 20th century B.C. Sodom or of 7th century B.C. Israel or of 1st century A.D. Corinth. This is one of the most intriguing parts of this study.
In the Bible whenever there is a resurgence of homosexuality within a culture, no matter what century, no matter what continent, there are certain characteristics linked to the homosexual culture that manifest. No doubt the most bizarre is the religious characteristic. In their effort to shift the sins of Sodom away from homosexuality, these devil's advocates have recklessly pointed us toward a previously hidden but now revealed glimpse of the homosexual movement in ancient Sodom. Their effort has also provided us with a glimpse of what the homosexual movement will do in the future.
Ezekiel 16:49, 50
"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
The first sin listed in this scripture is "pride". Now pride itself is sin, but Sodom's pride was IN their sin. Sodom was proud of their sin. In Isaiah there is a very revealing verse that shows us how Sodom was proud of their sin. In Isaiah 3:9 (KJV) the prophet is speaking about Jerusalem and Judah but he compares them to Sodom in the following manner. "The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not" The New International Version translates verse 9 this way: "The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it." The use of the word "declare/parade" is not only accurate but also very interesting. The Hebrew meaning of the word "declare" is nagad. It means "to stand boldly out against, to manifest, to announce (by word of mouth), to proclaim, to celebrate with praise". Remember that the context is sin so the various definitions fit right in with the NIV use of the word "parade". "To boldly stand out (in their sin), to announce (their sin) by word of mouth, to proclaim (their sin), to celebrate (their sin) with praise", are all very revealing.
Anyone who has witnessed a Gay Pride Parade has seen these definitions literally come alive before their eyes. In these parades the homosexual is celebrating the pride he or she has in their homosexuality. In their ignorance, the homosexual movement's use of the word "pride" indicts them as a prophetic link to ancient Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49. "This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride," Their behavior at these parades, according to Isaiah 3:9, also is a prophetic link to ancient Sodom, "they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not"
The first homosexual "pride" parade was held in 1970 in New York City celebrating the 1969 Stonewall riot, when homosexuals rioted for three days in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a homosexual hangout. Twenty nine years later in 1999, Interpride: The International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered Pride Coordinators listed 108 homosexual celebrations in 108 U.S. cities and 15 others in Canada. A group across the Atlantic, The European Pride Organizers Association listed 53 homosexual celebrations in 19 different European countries, for a total of 176 homosexual "pride" celebrations worldwide.
In 2004, I found at least 310 homosexual "pride" celebrations. This increase is not only amazing but obviously a fulfillment of the prophetic word spoken by Jesus in Luke 17:28, 30: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Loteven thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
"I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah."
In this passage we see the Lord comparing the prophets of Jerusalem with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are like them in that, "they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness" The evildoers do not repent because they are strengthened in their evil by lies. In Ezekiel 13:22 there is a comparative passage that expands on this thought: "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life". In this passage, the lies they are telling are making "the heart of the righteous sad". These lies have "strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." There is no doubt that a contemporary application of this passage is the invention of the term 'sexual orientation' and the mythology that supports it. The so called science surrounding this lying vanity has blinded hundreds of thousands of homosexuals from the truth that there is hope for them in Jesus Christ; they can be forgiven and changed.
I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.
This passage becomes applicable to the contemporary debate when the Hebrew definitions are studied. The Hebrew word for "reproach" in verse 8 is (cherpah * 2781) and it means a scornful insult. The Hebrew word for "revilings" in verse 8 is (guddupah * 1421) and it means "to use abusive, slanderous language about someone, to scornfully insult." The Hebrew word for "reproached" in verse 8 is (cherupah * 2778) and it means "to find fault particularly with out reason." Within the context of this verse, the nations of Moab and Ammon were guilty of the following sins. They scornfully insulted the people of God, using abusive and slanderous language against them, finding fault with them without reason. They boasted and magnified themselves in pride. For these sins they were to receive the similar judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. And true to the prophetic element of the scripture, they are also characteristics of the modern homosexual movement, secularly and within the church world.
When homosexuality is presented to normal people they react with disgust, and rightfully so, because its behaviors are repugnant. In the last 50 years or so, hell has re-belched out the devilish wisdom (there is no new thing under the sun), that if this normal reaction to homosexuality is packaged as an emotional and mental weakness or sickness people will be intimidated from saying what they really feel because they don't want to be seen as mentally and emotionally weak or sick. Hence we get the word 'homophobia', the fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. This "slanderous language" and "fault finding" is being marketed to intimidate modern culture to accept sexual perversion and used as a sledgehammer to intimidate the Church from calling homosexuality a sin. A perfect example of this was demonstrated by a homosexual group called Soulforce. In the Spring of 2006 this group traveled across the United States to Christian Colleges and Universities protesting the school's Biblical stand on homosexuality. In their effort though, Soulforce mimicked Moab, Ammon, Sodom, and Gomorrah by using "abusive and slanderous" language. On April 24 of 2006, Soulforce, issued a press release telling Christian Colleges and Universities to "Repent of your homophobia". In the press release, the group accused the Church, i.e., "the people of the LORD of hosts" of discrimination against homosexuals, because of their Biblical stand against the sin of homosexuality. www.soulforce.org/article.php?article_id=778&action=print.
I have to admit that the term "homophobia" and the definition are very accurate, but it is directed at the wrong people. What the Church is exhibiting is Theophobia, a God-fearing reaction to what the Bible says is an abomination and hopefully responding with the love and compassion of God in declaring that Jesus can forgive and set free from any sexual sin and bondage.
What homophobia really looks like is being demonstrated by cities such as New York, whose leaders ordered police officers not to enforce public nudity laws on June 26, 1994, for the Stonewall 25 parade. As a result, along with 120,000 plus marchers, were marchers from the group 'Radical Faeries", who marched down Fifth Avenue totally naked in full view of police officers (World Magazine, 7/2/94). The real reason for the orders was fear that the homosexual community would react violently to enforcement of the law. After all, the parade was a celebration of a riot 25 years previous, by homosexuals against police enforcing the law.
Another example of genuine homophobia was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle in a letter to the Editor in its 9/30/93 edition. The letter was from a San Francisco police officer who was assigned to patrol the city's 'Folsom Street Fair. In the letter, the officer wrote, "Being in full uniform and walking the streets of the Fair, I observed couples in bondage attire, men and women displaying their body parts, i.e., bare breasts, bare genitals and buttocks. There was also a flogging demonstration. Worst of all, I observed male couples, totally naked, engaging in acts of mutual masturbation and oral sex." When repeatedly asked why he wasn't arresting these people, he writes, "At least a dozen times I had to painstakingly explain that we were to take a position of "high tolerance" and not create an incident."
Those are just a few examples of what homophobia really looks like. There have been and are similar incidents like that that have occurred all over the world.
Further examples of the sins of Moab and Ammon within the homosexual community of "reviling" and "reproaching" and "magnifying" themselves against God's people are becoming more common. One occurred in July of 1998, when a group of Christian organizations launched a campaign called "Truth in Love". These groups placed a number of ads in national newspapers proclaiming the Biblical truth that Jesus can set free and forgive the homosexual. It was done in a very loving and gentle way. Many former homosexuals set free by the power of God, contributed and took part in the ads. The homosexual community responded to the Christian ads in exactly the same way the nations of Moab and Ammon responded to Israel, the people of God. They scornfully insulted the Christian groups and used slander against them. On July 27, 2000, Family News in Focus, a website of Focus on the Family, reported that in San Francisco, the city Board of Supervisors said the ads contributed to "horrible crimes against gays and lesbians". They even claimed the ads were partially responsible for the death of Matthew Shepard. www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/A0011944.html. Folks, that is slander. Concerning these same ads, the Washington Times reported on July 15, 2000, that a group called the Interfaith Alliance issued a press release. In it, several spokespersons said the following: Rev. J. Phillip Wogaman, this "narrow agendathreatens the sanctity of religion, the integrity of the political process, and our on going struggle to create a more just society." The Rev. C. Weldon Gaddy said, "These ads offer a false choice to gays and lesbians." Sister Maureen Fieldler called the ads "psychologically destructive, anti-family, anti-biblical and anti-Christian." Mel White, a leader in homosexual movement and founder of the group Soulforce, characterized the ads on his website as "attacks on lesbian and gay Americans". The site went on to say, "anti-homosexual rhetoric leads to intolerance, suffering, and death forgay [sic.], lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans." www.melwhite.org/AntiAdvert.htm. Folks, that is slander also.
These groups, these individuals have done exactly what Moab and Ammon did, "they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts."
It was the Apostle Peter who wrote in 2 Peter 2:1, 2 warning of this kind of apostate teacher. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." Jude also writes about these same individuals in Jude 4. "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." One of the things that Jude writes of in regard to these ungodly teachers is homosexuality. Jude writes in verses 7 & 8: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh,Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh,"
In many parts of the world and in the United States, Biblical opposition to homosexuality is beginning to be compared to hate speech. This "slanderous and abusive" attitude "against the people of the LORD of hosts" is exactly what the nations of Moab and Ammon were guilty of, and it brought God's judgment upon them.
The May 8th 2004 edition of World Magazine, Lynn Vincent wrote an article entitled, Remaining Silent, and reported that on April 28th of 2004 in Canada, the Canadian Parliament passed a bill that added "sexual orientation" to that nation's hate speech law. The law reads, "Every one who, by communicating statements, other then in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty ofan indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years." World goes on to report "Even without C-250, London, Ontario, officials recently slapped a Christian mayor with a $10,000 fine for refusing to proclaim "Gay Pride Day." A Christian businessman in Toronto was fined $5000 for refusing to print materials for a gay-rights group."
On October 10, 2004 a group of Christians demonstrating at a homosexual event in Philadelphia were arrested and put in jail for 21 hours. World Net Daily reported on December 16, 2004 that the prosecutor in the case, "Charles Ehrlich, attacked the defendants as "hateful" and referred to preaching the Bible as "fighting words", www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.sap?ARTICLE-ID=41969. It wasn't until February 17, 2005 that the charges were dropped, charges that should have never been brought against the Christians. In all these developments we are seeing a prophetic word spoken by Jesus being fulfilled before our very eyes. "as it was in the days of LotEven thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
It is not difficult to find on many homosexual websites, where they accuse Biblical Christianity of hate speech simply because they believe and teach what the Bible says about homosexuality.
"Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beast; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make your clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relive the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
This link is one of the most fascinating of all, it is the religious one. In the passage from Isaiah we see that Sodom and Gomorrah had "a multitude" of sacrifices. They had their "solemn meeting", their "calling of assemblies", and they said "many prayers". But all their religious ceremonies were in God's eyes and in his words, "abomination" and "iniquity". Yet with all the condemnation from the Lord for their behavior, the only sins listed are in verse 17, "Learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow", and verse 15, with the phrase, "your hands are full of blood". Except for the mention of blood on their hands, in verse 15, which is not explained, it appears these sins do not justify the reaction of wiping these cities off the map; but when we look at the whole indictment against Sodom shown in all the passages that mention Sodom, we see the justification of God's judgment. This passage in Isaiah is only one piece of the picture that shows its vain religious ceremony. Another piece is given in Jude 7 in the New Testament. " Even as Sodom and Gomorrah 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." The Greek word for "going", according to Zodiates Word Study Dictionary, is aperchomai and it means "to go after someone, to follow as companions or disciples." The Greek
word for "after", from the same source is opiso and it means "following as a disciple or otherwise." We can see that Jude was using the same terminology. The "cities of the plain" were religious disciples of perversion.
Looking forward into our contemporary circumstance, it seems incredible that anyone would accept that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible, but many do. They are grossly deceived, but they still believe it. In this incredible scenario I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 1:9. "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and the thing which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun."
Just as there was a religious element to Sodom's homosexuality and a religious element to the contemporary movement, there was a religious element to ancient Israel's homosexual movement. In Deuteronomy 23:17, 18 God warned Israel. "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Unger's Bible Dictionary says of the term "sodomite" "They were not inhabitants of Sodom or their descendants; but men consecrated to the unnatural vice of Sodom as a religious rite." But this is not the only scriptural evidence of a religious element to homosexuality in ancient Israel. In fact the same Hebrew word for sodomite used in Deuteronomy 23 is used in at least two more occasions. One is 1 Kings 14:24: "And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." The time this was occurring was about 930 B.C., during the beginning of Rehoboam's reign as King of Judah. This verse gives us a couple facts, these homosexuals were not only in the land of Israel but they also engaged in every behavior the Canaanites engaged in previous to the LORD kicking them out, which implies a religious element to Canaanite homosexuality. About 300 years later Josiah became King of Judah. Josiah was no doubt the greatest King of Judah. During his reign he implemented godly reforms, one of which was he destroyed the places where homosexuals engaged in their behavior. 2 Kings 23:7 says, "And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove." 300 years previous they were just "in the land", now they "were by the house of the LORD". In fact the New American Standard Version says of this verse, they "were IN the house of the LORD". These "houses" according to Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon were nothing more than "a moveable house, a tent". If they were in the temple or next to the temple is open to debate, but a couple facts remain, there was a religious element to ancient Israel's homosexuality, and in the 300 years between Rehoboam and Josiah, Judah's spiritual culture had degenerated to the degree they allowed homosexuality to infiltrate the temple worship. Just as it was a gradual change in Judah's spiritual culture, and ours, I believe it was a gradual change in Sodom's culture as well.
In conclusion we can see the religious element in the homosexuality of ancient Sodom, ancient Israel and the contemporary church world, which fulfills two passages. The first being Ecclesiastes 1:9, "there is no new thing under the sun." The second being the prophetic word spoken by Jesus in Luke 17:28, 30, "Likewise also as it was in the days of LotEven thus shall it be in the days when the Son of man is revealed."
Yes, Sodom was guilty of other sins. They were proud of their perverse sexual desires, just as the modern homosexual movement. They walked in lies by strengthening the hands of evil doers and kept them from leaving their sin, just like the modern homosexual movement with their use of the term sexual orientation, and declaring that male and female homosexuality is as normal as the created order of heterosexuality. Moab and Ammon shall receive the same judgment as Sodom because they used slanderous language against God's people, just as the modern homosexual movement: When Christians declare what the Bible says about homosexuality in the love of God, the people of God are accused of being mentally ill of using "hate speech" and "fighting words" for preaching the Gospel. Yes, these other sins were factors in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the modern homosexual movement is also guilty of these same sins which reveals the homosexuality of these ancient cultures was no different than 21st century America.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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