A CLOSER LOOK AT SODOMY

Given O. Blakely

Our appeal to sinners and our attitude toward sin are two different matters. They ought not be confused at least not if we want to really be instrumental in the turning of men from darkness to light (Acts 26:18). Accommodating views of darkness, and explanations of why men reside there, are never appropriate when dealing with the extrication of men from "the fire" (Jude 23).

When Jesus commissioned that the Gospel be preached to "every creature," the sodomite was not excluded ... nor was the murderer, rapist, or witch. But such is never the approach of holy men to the preaching of the Gospel. No man of God ever dealt with the proclamation of the Good News in a manner that created earthly sympathy for the sinner. "The love of Christ constrains us," not the condition of the transgressor (II Cor. 5: 14). This is a vital distinction to be made.

The most noble of men can come up with too many explanations for sin. There are no acceptable explanations for transgression! Sin is ever, and has always been, an act of the will. No person, be it Eve, Cain, or Judas, ever sinned without wanting to do so! Satan cannot force a person to commit transgression. He can only tempt, lure, entice, and provoke. To sin, one must yield to temptation. Sin cannot exist until lust has conceived- and that involves the deliberate act of the human will (James 1:11-15).

There are sins of unusual magnitude, and sodomy is one of them. No city was ever destroyed because it was covetous, or thieving, or adulterous. Sodom and Gomorrah were "cities of the plain" that "were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly" (Gen. 13:13). Like those in Romans 1, they had descended beneath the crude limitations of nature. God never spoke accommodatingly of them, nor attempted to offer a plausible explanation for their condition.

There is no special gospel for sodomites; no special approach, no unique provisions. Recovery from this sin requires the hatred of it, sorrow for it, and repentance from it - just like other sins. Because of the nature of the sin, unusual effort is required for recovery from it. Our approach to those ensnared by this transgression must reflect that situation. "Escape" (II Pet. 2:20) from this sin is attended with great difficulty, because it has thrust men into the nether regions of immorality.

Let no person conclude that these words indicate mere "disgust and anger." These are simply the facts in the case. We are for preaching to the sodomite, for rescuing them, and for assuring them of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18-20). But this cannot be done in a manner that creates fleshly sympathy for their condition. Neither can we honor God by approaches that encourage attempts to explain one's involvement in this heinous sin.

Sodomy is not simply "wrong." It is a form of corruption hated by the God who sent His Son to the world. The enormity of sin has alluded too many religious folk for an informed person to speak haltingly about it. God hated sin enough to "deliver" His Son into the hands of wicked men, as well as the devil himself (Rom. 4:25; 3:32). "Jesus was smitten of God and afflicted" (Isa. 53:4) because of sin. God Himself was so repulsed by sin that He could not tolerate His own Son when He bore the sins of men "in His body on the tree" (I Pet. 2: 14). It was God Himself that spoke so harshly of sodomites (Lev. 18:22-23; 20:13; Deut. 23:17). It was Paul that said such "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 6:9). He also declared that the law was made for such lawless ones (I Tim 1:9, 10).

One lady mentioned that one preacher "declared from the pulpit that all homosexuals should be killed." Such does not reflect the spirit of Christ or the Gospel. He did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke 9:56). But make no mistake about it, if Christ had not come, the injunction of the law against sodomites would still stand; "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death..." (Deut. 20:13). God's attitude toward sodomy and the sodomite has not changed. He has, however, made provision for their reconciliation and renewal. If those provisions remain unheeded, the curse shall be carried out by God Himself, with eternal consequences.

The sodomite must be told that if he does not abandon his sin, he will not be able to enter God's kingdom. There is no place in heaven for such! There is no middle ground, and no Divine tolerance of sin - none at all! This is not a heartless approach, but a truthful one that deals with the gravity of the situation.

I speak to those who know the Scriptures. The proclamation of the Gospel is a matter of preeminent concern in God's Word. But it is never approached with a segment of humanity in mind - any segment. It is universal in its scope, and is for "every creature." Jesus is never said to have died for murderers, adulterers, thieves, or covetous. That is too provincial, and encourages loose thinking about sin. Christ died for "sinners," "the ungodly," and for "the world" (Rom. 5:6,8), not for a segment of it.

That the Gospel can be received by sodomites is evident from Christ's own words; "for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee (Capernaum), had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day" (Matt. 11:24; Lk. 10:12). There were also those in Corinth that had been delivered from this grievous sin (I Cor. 6:10-11).

Preach the Gospel to them, but do so in full awareness of the magnitude of their transgression. The Gospel makes fully known the wrath and indignation of God against sin (Rom. 1:17), as well as His marvelous provisions for remission and recovery! We would all do well to think more deeply about this matter.