By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved
In reading back over my post about God’s perspective on abusive church leaders, I was struck again by God’s choice of wording:
…they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
I have long wondered at the particular venom church leaders within fundamentalist Christianity speak of homosexuals. In the unwritten “hierarchy of sin” homosexuality is the “big one.” Aside from the fact that there is no “hierarchy of sin” in the first place, I always wondered why this one particular issue rated such cruel teeth-bared name-calling, and complete denigration of the simple value of the humans involved. I noticed, too, the way homesexuals were spoken of was exactly the same way a white supremacist would speak of an African American, and the way I also heard Baptist preachers speak of Catholics and the Pope. It didn’t take a genius to see the attitude behind the verbage was motivated by extreme prejudice (an attitude specifically spoken against repeatedly in the Word, but that’s another issue), not protection of righteousness.
However, in looking again at this verse (Jer. 23:14) I find it ironic that God draws the parallel between these religious authorities and Sodom and Gomorrah. In church we are taught that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality.* I know that God does not view anyone with the wild-eyed prejudice many preachers demonstrate toward homosexuals. What strike me about this is that these preachers who have such a rabid attitude toward homosexuals are viewed by God as being equal to those whom they hate, IF you use their own logic. Since God does not state the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was because of homosexuality, He is not making the analogy between church leaders and homosexuals. My point here is the interesting connection between these preachers’ judgment of homosexuals and God’s judgment of the preachers.
*Actually, the Bible says Sodom and Gommorah were destroyed because they were “wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13) The Bible does not say it was because of homosexuality. Preachers have made the assumptive connection between the fact that there were homosexuals in Sodom and Gomorrah and the fact that God destroyed the cities, when the Bible does not say homosexuality was specifically the reason. This has opened up another “can of worms” so I’m going to address it in another post.