A Question I Was Asked:

Was Homosexuality the Only Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

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Was homosexuality the only sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

UK Apologetics Reply:

No, the Bible does not state that it was. Go through Genesis 18:16-33 and 19:1-29. The angels who visited Abraham revealed to him that even if ten righteous people could be found in those twin cities, the Lord would not destroy them (18:32), so we know that their evil went to a very great depth, a depth in which even children were almost certainly being affected.

Firstly, even the older men (the elders) were steeped in sin and in sinful practices, this meant that they were not able to guide and correct younger people (19:4). All in all, this meant that sinful behaviour had reached a peak which God found intolerable (18:20-21). It appears that there have been times in human history when God has stepped in in such a fashion. Did this happen in Pompei? We don't know, but very possibly. In the very last century was it not God who stepped in and caused the allies to totally demolish Nazi Germany? Again, I say very possibly (which is not the same as definitely).

The men, apparently of all ages, who stormed the home of Lot (19:5), wanted to indulge in the sin of gang rape; again, these were men of all ages (19:4), this confirming that not even ten righteous men could be found in Sodom. Lot offered these evil people his two daughters to satisfy their lust (19:8), but this did not appease these people. Well, we know the rest of the story; these people were struck with blindness. Later on, Lot and his wife fled the city, but Lot's wife died when she looked back (she secretly still longed for certain things in Sodom).

But I am asked if this was simply about homosexuality. No. Obviously homosexuality was fully accepted as a normal behaviour in Sodom and Gomorrah but this was not - to use the modern expression - merely about what 'consenting adults' do in utter privacy, this was about pure gang rape being considered acceptable on a society-level basis; this was a very, very low evil in which even a town's elders were fully involved and apparently supportive of. Without question, other evil practices were also considered fully acceptable, we can only imagine what these things might have been, but we will soon learn that incest was considered perfectly fine, neither do I mean cousin to cousin incest, but incest even between close family members. We get to that later, but Sodom was considered sinful in other ways too. Look at this:

49. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

So homosexuality on a widespread scale was not the only sin of Sodom, those twin cities are described as arrogant, overfed and unconcerned about the poor and needy, they are also called "haughty" (arrogantly superior and disdainful). Not even ten righteous people could be found there. Perhaps they prided themselves on their intelligence, openness and 'learning' (like our modern western societies), but they were weighed in the balances and found seriously wanting.

The Sequel

There is a kind of sequel to this story and how Lot's family had been affected (whether or not they realised this) by living so close to Sodom. A little later in this very same chapter of Genesis, when Lot's daughters came to realise they were now unlikely to marry (the men who were to marry them had died in the destruction of the cities), they considered it perfectly acceptable to commit incense with their own father (19:30-38). Obviously this tells us that incest was fully accepted in those twin cities and Lot's daughters had been affected by this. So the sins of the twin cities went well beyond simply accepting homosexuality. Ironically the sons who were born to Lot's daughters would become the fathers of the Moabites and Ammonites, two tribes of people who would cause Israel endless troubles in the years ahead.

What Jesus Said About Sodom

We might think how despicable the people of Sodom were, but never forget what Jesus said about them:

14. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town. (Matthew 10:14-15).

We should take these words seriously. When Jesus said, "truly I tell you" he meant: this is serious, not just some play on words! In their complete ignorance, forgiveness will be more readily available for the people of Sodom than for those who reject the Gospel when they could have actually listened!

Robin A. Brace. April 29th, 2018.