For all his failures otherwise, Abraham’s nephew Lot could not countenance the sordid ungodly deeds of the inhabitants of Sodom. The Bible says he was “vexed with the filthy conversation [sensual conduct] of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)” (2 Pet. 2:7-8).
From antiquity the name Sodom has been identified with homosexual perversion. This was not their only sin. Ezekiel adds the charges of “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness…neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (16:49). But it was “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh” that has especially perpetuated their disgrace and infamy (Jude 7). (The term “fornication” covers all forms of elicit sexual activity, which includes homosexuality.)
Sodom and her sister cities were removed from the earth when the “Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (Gen. 19:24). As The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible observes, “Sodom never occurs again in the Bible as a living city, but the memory of its sin and consequent destruction was kept alive by Moses, the prophets, Jesus, and the authors of the New Testament. Sodom and Gomorrah have become bywords and tokens of God’s wrath on sin.”
Lot’s error of selfishness has been the subject of numerous sermons because he “pitched his tent toward Sodom,” a place where “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Gen. 13:12ff). He moved his family into Sodom, and before long the influence of Sodom moved into his family! Still, Lot’s fundamental sense of morality was shocked by the open and vile depravity he witnessed around him every day.
To be “vexed” (KJV) means to be severely “distressed” (NIV), to be “tormented” (McCord). All sin should be troubling to God-fearing people. Righteous souls grieve that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19, NASB). However, some sins are especially egregious and homosexuality ranks among the most detestable of moral abominations, being classified alongside such things as bestiality and incest (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; cf. Rom. 1:26; 1 Cor. 6:9).
How did the society of Sodom and Gomorrah become so vile that there could not be found even ten righteous people among them? The lessons of history suggest that it was degeneration which occurred over time. What is at first repulsive comes to be tolerated. Tolerated, it becomes commonplace, and the more commonplace and accepted, the wider its appeal. Lines from the poet Alexander Pope describe the process:
Vice is a monster of such deadly mien [conduct],
That to be hated, needs but to be seen;
But seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
One can hardly fail to see that there is a devilish agenda in America to convince the majority of society that homosexuality is so commonplace that it ought to be accepted and approved. The evil expectation is that when people are sufficiently exposed to favorable portrayals of gay lifestyles, they will no longer find it repulsive. So, more and more sitcoms and movies must have at least token gay couples. Gays are depicted with upstanding and tasteful personalities. How could anyone not admire them? Newspapers and magazines include features about gays in almost every issue. When there is some hate crime against homosexuals the papers give it full coverage, but when gays commit hate crimes it is hardly noticed in the media. A major denomination elected a homosexual. Denominations consider ceremonies for uniting homosexual couples. When a Baptist church in North Carolina baptized a gay couple with no expectation of their repenting from that lifestyle, the media reported the event as if it were a milestone.
Various cities celebrate a “Gay Pride Week” with a “Gay Pride Parade.” Some of the parades involve such vulgar antics that TV news will not show it, perhaps because it would violate broadcast standards and perhaps because it would show the public how deviant the gay movement really is. The mayor of San Francisco granted marriage licenses to hundreds of gay couples. He knew this was against the law in his state, but doubtless expected liberal courts to back him. The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a state’s right to have laws against sodomy. Same-sex marriage is now legal in several states. in some places it is unlawful to distribute material which is opposed to homosexuality. Even quotations from the Bible are not allowed. What teacher would dare read such texts in class? Indeed, how many preachers will read them from the pulpit? Homosexual advocates claim that what the Bible says about it should be labeled “hate speech.”
Letters in newspapers reveal abysmal ignorance of the Scriptures as writers assert that Jesus never condemned homosexuality and lovingly accepted everyone regardless of lifestyle. (Jesus defined what marriage IS and thereby precluded what it is NOT – Matt. 19:4-5.) Other theologians (sometimes more ignorant than ordinary people) suggest that maybe Sodom’s sin actually was not in their perverted sexuality, or that maybe Jonathan and David were homosexual, or that Paul was gay, or that passages which condemn the sin really don’t mean what they say.
We are told that people are homosexual because they are “born that way” in spite of no evidence to prove it, and some blaspheme by saying “God made me gay.” Polls are regularly published to suggest that the trend is toward accepting gay practices and gay marriage. The gay agenda expects that moral sensibilities will become weary of objecting and that the majority will approve. Satan’s expectations is that the more we are exposed to it, the less shocked we will feel.
In all of this there is an underlying hatred of Christianity. People who hate God’s rules are haters of God. But gays and their fellow travelers have appropriated the word “hate” to apply it against Christians. Christians do not hate homosexuals. We love their souls and want to see them repent and turn to God. We do in fact hate their sinful lifestyle. (By comparison, we can speak of hating cancer while not hating the cancer patient. Homosexual conduct is a “malignancy” of character.)
Thus, we have sometimes expressed it: “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” A pro-homosexual and anti-Christian newspaper columnist ridiculed this as hate speech. The more Christians express their love and concern for souls, the more they will be despised by the ungodly. There was a time when most all churches were bold in their denunciation of sin, even specific sins. Now many are intimidated out of fear they will be accused of being intolerant and unloving. But while churches are hiding behind a curtain of timidity, the anti-Christian world marches with bold belligerence to trample underfoot moral decency and reverence for God.
The homosexual agenda is determined to bully people and churches into acceptance. Now, back to Lot. He was a righteous man and was vexed by the sin around him. But it was a society ruled by bullies. The Sodomites pounded at his door demanding submission to their ungodly lusts. That was an actual door, but it reminds us that the bullies of moral corruption are beating at the doors of our families and churches.