The Church and the Sin of Sodom
Is the Church and America in general guilty of the sin of Sodom?
Wow! What a provocative question. Given the political culture in the USA right now, the mind automatically goes to issues like same sex marriage and the Chick-fil-A controversy. But, that isn’t what I mean. Culturally, we have latched onto what we find most horrifying about Sodom and Gomorrah. But, I want to reorient us to what scripture says God found most disturbing about Sodom. Interestingly, in this passage in Ezekiel God is saying that Israel is worse at this than Sodom was and I can not help but wonder if American is worse yet.
“As I live,” says the Lord God, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”
God wasn’t railing on sodomy. He was railing on greed, idleness, pride, and a failure to care for those in need. I can’t help but reflect on how much this sounds like the United States. But even more, I can’t help but notice how much this sounds like the church. This is especially poignant at a time when the political forces of the church are rallying around Chick-fil-A and issues surrounding LGBT politics. I’m not trying to defend LGBT politics but I am concerned that the Church is missing the point. How often does the Church self-righteously support politics of greed or tacitly approve of it in our leaders, our churches, and our friends? And, at the same time protest loudly on other issues.
There is no doubt in my mind that the issue of homosexuality is addressed in Scripture, but only a few times. Greed, pride, and idolatry (which I would argue is a form of pride) on the other hand are major themes dealt with hundreds if not thousands of times. Sodom was destroyed for them, Israel was exiled for them, the pharisees were castigated by Christ himself for them, and God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead because of them. And yet, we are silent or near silent about them. In some ways we even praise and promote them. Maybe we need to rethink priorities? If we make our priorities God’s priorities maybe we will be seen just a little less as hypocrites.
Here is a great clip on this issue from a sermon by Pastor Greg Boyd. I had never heard of him before seeing this video but I think he nailed it.