The Saturday, April 1, 2017 issue of the Dayton Daily News contained an article by Tony Hall titled Focusing on spiritual aspect of fighting hunger. In the article, Hall (a former Dayton congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations hunger mission) made the point that the continued problem of world hunger can be laid at the feet of politicians who do not care for the poor.
While I have no contention with the primary point he made in his article, I do take issue with the following statement Hall made: "The scriptures teach us that the ancient city of Sodom was destroyed because its leaders were arrogant, overfed, and did not care for the poor." Interestingly, Hall did not cite any scriptures to support this claim.
This is not the first time I have read a revisionist version of the reason for the destruction of Sodom. In our PC, homosexual-friendly society there have been several ridiculous reasons suggested for why Sodom was deserving of God's wrath; all of them avoiding the obvious reason given in the Bible.
Genesis 13:3 tell us "the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord." When the Lord came to visit Abraham, He said, "the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and... their sin is very grave."
What was the exact nature of their sin? Was it arrogance, gluttony, or a lack of concern for the poor? We don't have to guess the nature of their sin. The Bible makes it very clear.
4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and
young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.
5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."
6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,
7 and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!
8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof."
While the passage may be uncomfortable to read, it is very clear in its meaning. The men of the city demanded to have sex with the men who were visiting Lot (v. 5). It was this demand that Lot called "wicked" (see Gen. 13:3). The fact that their sin was sexual in nature (not arrogance, gluttony or lack of concern for the poor) is seen in Lot offering his daughters as a means of satisfying their lustful appetite.
The sin of Sodom was homosexuality. Jude agrees with this conclusion when he writes, "As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7).
Mr. Hall did not have to mention Sodom in his article to point out what the Lord says about helping the poor. He could have quoted Psalm 41:1; Galatians 2:10; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17; or any number of other passages. His mistreatment of the Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom tells me as much about his view on homosexuality as his view on world hunger.
Homosexuality continues to be praised and accepted in our society, but this does not change one thing the Bible says about this sin (Rom. 3:4).