By Edward Wood
Genesis 18:20-21 “And the LORD said [to Abraham] Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.”
Genesis 19:4-5 “But before they [the two angels which previously visited Abraham with the LORD himself - Genesis 18] lay down, then men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out to us that we may know them” [Here the term "know" means to have sex with them.]
Genesis 19:15 “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take they wife, and thy daughters, which are here; lest they be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”
Genesis 19:24-25 “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of he cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”
Deuteronomy 9:5 “Not for thy righteousness [God is addressing the people of Israel], or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD they God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
1 Kings 14:22-24 “And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree [all of which were practices used to worship pagan gods]. And there were also sodomites in the land; and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”
Though it is likely Sodom and Gomorrah’s sins against God were not restricted to sexual immorality, that the Bible mentions homosexuality specifically is, I believe significant. In the passage from 1 Kings, we see it mentioned again as having infiltrated even Israel's society. One might have understood the practice occurring pagan nations but Israel. who recognized the one true God and received his laws, certainly had no excuse. (Nor for that matter, does any modern Christian nation!)
In truth, if one takes a look at all the great empires of the past, there is a commonality of the rise and fall of their respective cultures. Starting off small and then growing in science, architecture, the arts, literature, they all peak, then decline into stagnation, decadence, corruption, and decay, this final stage characterized by a corresponding descent into sexual aberrations. History has shown that once this course has been undertaken, there is no return.
When the prophet Daniel described the civilization of Babylon of his own time and those which would follow according to King Nebuchadnezzar's enigmatic dream (Daniel 2). And then in a confirming and more detailed vision of his own (Daniel 7), they revealed the fall of Babylon which he would live to see, and the rise and fall of Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome.
And one final short-lived world empire that would combine characteristics of its predecessors, particularly those of ancient Rome, in which a despot controlled by Satan himself would bring the world to the brink of total destruction.
That a profusion of immorality characterizes a society's last days should come as no surprise because this particular vice has the insidious effect of undermining its basic and fundamental unit—the family.
Examining the history of America, we find that when the traditional family composed of father, mother, and children was strong, so were we as a nation. It may sound hopelessly old-fashioned on my part in the Twenty First Century, but having dad earn a living and also helping a stay-at-home Mom bring up the kids best instilled in them their parents’ values.
Understand that I am not objecting to a woman seeking to fulfill career aspirations of her own, but if she does choose to do so she should either put having a family on hold, or wait until the kids are in school before embarking upon it. In my view, once children are in the picture, they must come first, and they will know immediately if this is not the case.
When I see new mother’s schlepping off their infant or preschool children onto a daycare provider, I cringe because in so doing they are putting them during their most formative years into a stranger's house or business where they inevitably absorb a stranger's values, and those of the other kids around them, good or bad.
The trivialization of marriage is yet another factor which undermines the strength of the family because it detracts from the sense of stability a child needs while growing up. When either of the two people a child should be able to trust the most proves unreliable, I have no doubt this impedes the child's ability to ever fully trust anyone else, perhaps for the rest of their lives. This, of course, is exacerbated by those parents that decide not to get married at all.
But in my opinion, the worst scenario of all is the growing legalization of so-called "civil unions" and "gay marriages" into which children can now be adopted. One can only guess at what negative long-term effects this will have on a society as a whole (presupposing there is all that much time left, that is).
Perhaps the biggest enabler of all these problems is the abdication of "organized religion" from the Great Commission mandate to preach and teach God's Word directly and without compromise. It has not only sat back to watch our morals crumble, but has actually joined the secular world's acceptance of behaviors that the Bible clearly defines as sin. It has now become virtually impossible to tell a Christian from a non-Christian these days, except perhaps that the latter are much more committed, and therefore correspondingly more successful, on applying and legislating their beliefs upon the rest of us than the former have been!
For example we have seen New York and other states join the growing roster of states legalizing homosexual “marriages” and the U.N. declaring that those engaged in this or similar lifestyles (transgenderism, etc.) not be subject to discrimination.
Recently several states have approved their own statutes toward this end and our current president has included homosexuals, transgendered, and the like, under "hate crimes" protections. Unfortunately, endowing any group with this status effectively removes the “equal protection under law” foundation upon which our country was built creating what might be called “super-protected” segments of the population.
The consequence of this is that someone whose actions lead to violence against a heterosexual male or female will receive less charges and therefore be subject to less penalties upon conviction than if that same person perpetrated the very same crime against a homosexual, lesbian or “transgendered” individual, since “hate crimes” could not be added to the charges against the former. In my opinion, this also renders the “all men [human beings] are created equal” statement found in the Declaration of Independence null and void.
To be candid, at the time these noble words were written, this was NOT so with regards to women, Native Americans, or African Americans. It took almost two centuries to remedy this situation and now it appears we are going backwards on this progress.
Another disconcerting aspect of this is the nebulosity of what exactly constitutes “actions leading to violence.” If someone should gather a crowd with bats and rocks to terrorize an establishment where gays congregate, certainly that would qualify. As a Christian, a person should rightly condemn such persecution.
But what of the pastor or lay person who criticizes this lifestyle based on Biblical teachings? Or who expresses the plain facts that active homosexuals have greater health issues and a diminished lifespan directly due to their behavior? (Having personally watched a friend die in his mid-twenties of AIDS because of his homosexual lifestyle drove home this very point to me much more vividly than any list of statistics.)
How long will it be before some enterprising lawyer aided by a liberal judge determined to legislate from the bench decides to undermine our First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of religion on this basis? How long will it be before the sentiments I have expressed here actually become ILLEGAL?
At this point in history, I believe we are now replicating for the first time on a global scale the very things that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanite nations God commanded Israel to displace, and even the conquest of Israel itself when it, too, turned from God and became corrupt.
Idolatry is not just confined to worshipping a “graven image” or false god, but includes anything that one would put in his place - including ourselves and our own judgment. Would you be surprised that much of what we see around us, including the acceptance of homosexuality, is a consequence of this very thing? If you don't believe that, read what Paul wrote in Romans 1:20-32.
Based on the events described in the Bible passages which opened this essay, and the lessons of history itself, the rampant acceptance of immorality at every level appears to be a prominent sign that manifests itself at the very end of a civilization's existence. If this is so, this “tipping point” at which directly God intervenes in our world must indeed be very close.
Paul’s words cross the centuries ring true in a way that it is like reading a societal commentary sounding more as if it was written this week on a modern electronic keyboard, rather than a sheet of papyrus or parchment nearly twenty centuries ago. In a very real sense it also goes to show the authority and accuracy of the Bible which is increasingly ignored and disrespected even by much the so-called church of today.
The thing is, it doesn’t really matter how most of the human race views the Bible because its opinion has absolutely no effect on its truth nor its revelation of the past, present, or future. As King Solomon wisely expressed it, our limited human judgment is not always correct:
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, the end thereof are the ways of death.”
So, I suppose the question then becomes: Who are you going to believe?