Mar 16, 2007

The sin of Sodom

At times we Christians are accused of being anti-gay, which is highly debatable. What is not debatable is the Scriptural condemnation of homosexual sex, although the Pro-gay marriage lobby certainly tries to make Scripture debatable.

Homosexual sex, like adulterous sex, is a sin. More grave, both are forms of idolatry. The Israelites were told not to seek after strange gods; St. Jude wrote in the New Testament that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was seeking after strange flesh.

One silly attempt at revisionism, which has made its way into Wikipedia as well as Rev. Dr. Jerry Maneker’s teachings, is that Jesus Himself said that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality to strangers. Matthew 10:14-15 is cited in this regard, because Jesus says “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.” The idea is, when Jesus sends His disciples to preach, if their preaching is not accepted in that city, “it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of Judgment, than for that city.” This interpretation not only ignores all the rest of Scriptural teachings against the sin of homosexual sex, it even ignores the context of this passage.

Jesus explicitly told his Disciples not to go to lands where they would be strangers; not to go to the Gentiles, not even to the Samaritans, only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” [Mt10:5-6]. God’s plan appears to have involved conversion of the Jews before conversion of the Gentiles. And the Jews were held to a higher standard by Jesus, because they were the chosen people, in effect the older children of God. And the older children are held more accountable than the younger children by any good parent.

The lesson of Ezekiel 16:48-50 is not that homosexual sex, one of the sins of Sodom, is only wrong if it is rape, the lesson is that as bad as the sin of homosexual sex is, turning your back on God, especially if you know better, is worse!


bill bannon said...

Your position on sodomy's sinfulness is quite correct. However our own hierarchy must therefore back all scripture and not edit out things that they have trouble with. Read Evangelium Vitae on the death penalty and note that it no where mentions Romans 13:4 and in section 39, it removes the shedding of blood passage from Gen.9:5-6. Modern Biblical scholarship was not as closely monitored as dogmatic theologians were in the past 40 years and the result has been some mistakes in papal writings that imbibed modern biblical scholarship's bad habit of picking and choosing relative values of scriptures and dismissing some as peculiar to their times (see section 40 of Evangelium Vitae and note its dismissal of certain levels of violence in the OT).
In short, thank Our Lord that on the gay issue, Rome did not see Romans 1 as peculiar to that time as John Paul apparently did regarding Romans 13:4 and the death penalty....which was affirmed by Pius XII in 1952 and he had modern penology at his time and life sentences were safer at his time.

bill bannon

JayG said...

I share your concerns Bill, but hesitate to call the overemphasis, by some people, of certain parts of Papal documents, "mistakes". I think there is enough room in Evangelium Vitae to allow limited use of the death penalty, especially the paragraph immediatly after the one in 56 quoted by all the Social Justice types:

"In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: 'If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person'"

"If" still means "If", and therefore "If not" would still mean "If not", no matter what the Social Justice interpeters say.

bill bannon said...

Well....if you think mistakes never happen in the papal documents, I urge you to check Pope John Paul in both Dignitatem Mulieris, sect.24, par.3&4 and the Theology of the Body section 89.3-4 wherein he stated a belief in mutual subjection only of husband and wife based on Ephesians and he obliquely refers to other passages as the old cultural view (the ones that command husband jurisdiction...5 below).

Pope Pius XI in 1930 in section 74 of Casti Cannubii condemned such a view in the strongest language. And John Paul once again avoided quoting 5 clear endorsements in the NT of husband headship which should go hand and hand with mutual subjection but at different moments in a marriage.
He had a repeated pattern of avoiding to quote scriptures that went against him. In the area of marriage, he probably contributed to divorces without knowing it. The catechism and Vatican II which I love in general both were silent on husband headship....try and find it in either and then read Casti's section 74 or I Cor. 11:3/ Col.3:18 / I Tim.2:11-12 / Titus 2:5 / I Peter 3:1. Vatican II said that the Church constantly walks the path of some cases though, we have not begun to face the inadvertent sins (Leviticus) of our leaders who we have defined as always infallible which is not Catholic dogma at all...yet we keep
doing it again and again.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Jay is correct in noting that: "One silly attempt at revisionism, which has made its way into Wikipedia as well as Rev. Dr. Jerry Maneker’s teachings, is that Jesus Himself said that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality to strangers. Matthew 10:14-15 is cited in this regard, because Jesus says “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.” The idea is, when Jesus sends His disciples to preach, if their preaching is not accepted in that city, “it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of Judgment, than for that city.” This interpretation not only ignores all the rest of Scriptural teachings against the sin of homosexual sex, it even ignores the context of this passage."

In recent times, some Scriptural exegetes have tried to downplay the fact that Sodom and Gomorrah were chastised with fire from Heaven because of the sin of homosexuality. These exegetes attempt to change the focus of the chastisement from sodomy to other sins which Scripture says the inhabitants of those five cities also committed: rape, violence, lack of mercy, injustice, idolatry and even lack of hospitality.

This is problematic because the Fathers of the Church were all in agreement that the nature of the wickedness for which Sodom was punished was the homosexual practice of sodomy. The authority of the Church Fathers and Tradition are normative for a Catholic exegete. There is just no way around this.

Furthermore, to suggest that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because the laws of hospitality and morality were violated and not because of the homosexual practice of sodomy, is dishonest and easily disproven.

In the Gibeah rape of a traveling Levite's concubine (Genesis 19:23), the laws of hospitality and morality were violated as well. However, unlike the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gibeah was not destroyed with sulphurous fire from Heaven.

Dr. Maneker and others who attempt a new "exegesis" which is aimed at downplaying the fact that Sodom and Gomorrah were chastised with fire from Heaven because of the sin of homosexuality do a tremendous disservice to souls.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

My apologies....I meant to cite Judges 19:23 and not Genesis 19:23.

JayG said...

On Christian Marriage

"27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact .

29. With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: "The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church."[30]"

Note: subjection is a concept that is not understood by the late 20th Century mind the same way an ancient mind would, because the modern mind often thinks of subjection as being done by force or by a conquorer. Hopefully the above quote from Pius XI will help the late 20th Century person understood what the Church historically meant by the term.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

There is no doubt about it, the persecution has begun in earnest:


JayG said...

If you have trouble linking above, Paul's permalink is here,
Paul's website is here,
and Paul's post links to this Zenit article.

Renee said...

"On Christian Marriage"

Yeah, I get it. Whenever I want my husband to do something I want I just tell him, "You're the head of the family. Act like it!." Being the 'head' is not ceremonical, it is a duty not to be taken advantage of.

Anonymous said...

I wish to salute you JAY for opposing the demands of the homosexuals in todays world. Homosexuals' ideas and minds are one among the major causes of obscene fashion, music and movies in the media. We should stop this sinful behaviour.. if not they will continue to spread their disease....coz they are contagious!!

Tom said...

Hi. I was just poking my nose around in various sites, and came upon this discussion, and I feel like I might have a little something to add to it, too. Namely, the remark by Bill above, about John-Paul II inadvertantly causing some divorces due to his failure to teach a husband's authority, is what made me stop and consider writing this comment.

My wife and myself may well be court's evidence to affirm this argument. We were married in the early years of JP's pontificate, both quite serious, if not quite devout Catholics, from quite traditional and good Catholic homes. We both grew up in homes where our Dads were the chief decision makers, not in some Archie Bunker "Woman fetch me a beer" kind of way, but just because that was the way things were done back then. By the 1980's, we had seemed to turn our backs upon this, though not deliberately. Neither my wife nor myself would relate very closely with feminist ideals. We just sort of went along with the cultural program, you might say. And now, in retrospect, i have come to believe that that is where we went wrong. Myself in failing to shoulder the responsibility that was mine, and my wife and the entire culture for failing to hold that up as the model. Two independent persons, who just never quite got around to figuring out how to live together. Nothing terribly traumatic or dramatic. Perhaps these words from a 1980's rock song fit best:

It's never easy and it's never clear
who's to navigate and who's to steer,
and so you flounder, drifting ever nearer
the rocks.

Not to make excuses for my own failure, but I can't help thinking how differently our marriage might have fared had our culture, or at least our Church told us clearly what respective roles we ought to assume. I believe both my wife and myself would have responded willingly to such clear direction.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Thanks for giving me a chance to share it. God bless.

JayG said...

Since our Holy Father the Pope is earthly head of the Church, I’d argue that we need to be subject to him, and I think we need to be careful that when we point out our Father’s failure to teach clearly about the subjection and obedience due the husband by the wife, that we ourselves do not undermine the subjugation and obedience that we ourselves owe to the Vicar of Christ, our earthly Spiritual Father.

This is why I hesitate to call a failure to teach a mistake. One man’s mistake is another man’s error, which I do not believe is what happened here. This is also the tact taken by Protestant opposition to the doctrine of Papal infallibility, essentially that Pope Honorius’s failure to teach clearly on the issue of Monothelitism in a private letter constituted an error in an ex-Cathedra pronouncement on a matter of faith and morals. And me I never even knew there was a debate about how many Wills Christ had!

JayG said...

I think one of the sad consequences of the Cultural War, the Spiritual War, is the almost visceral disdain many people have of Authority, as if Authority itself is always wrong, that only Influence is allowable, and then only if you do not try to influence too much.

bill bannon said...

Our concept of authority is supposed to be different than the world's. Christ tells the apostles that; and notes that they should not "lord it over" others. Later in Galatians Paul says, "I resisted Peter to his face for he was deserving of blame."

What we needed in the cases I documented with cites was a Paul...a Cardinal.... at the Vatican who could have walked up to John Paul and say, " I really think you are wrong as to this direction you are taking with mutual subjection only in contradicts Casti Cannubii and thousands of years of Christian understanding."
The reason we have no such Cardinals is historically we have endowed the Pope with a level of respect that borders on worship and excludes anyone fraternally correcting him. And that is not what the Holy Spirit already showed us that he wanted.... in Galatians in Paul's example.
Indeed God providentially arranged the New Testament in such a way as to establish Peter as the Pope but to then not give him first place as to print coverage which goes to Paul who after Acts is the most interesting and fleshed out prime character of the epistles and far more prominent than Peter. Again....God was telling us to honor the Pope but not worship him and what did we and Europe do. We gave him a summer residence and a winter residence and a helicopter now and prada loafers now....and we still tell the world he is poor like Christ. And we wonder why they smile.
There are accretions added to the Church by Euro culture and they are not the essence of the Church which can be more clearly seen in the early apostolic Church where Peter is sent by others despite being Pope...he is sent:
Act 8:14 "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John"

Now can you imagine anyone sending John Paul anywhere when he was here? can't because we made him king instead of servant of the servants of God....which we say about him but it has little reality in it. He has a large budget for hosting dinner guests any night of the week, total dental coverage and the best doctors.... and no nun on earth has that dinner budget and the majority of lay don't. He has a summer residence and few Catholics within our one billion number have that.
If I met him, I would speak respectfully but I would not call him "holiness". Introduce me to one of Mother Teresa's nuns who only has two changes of clothes and works with the dying poor and I will gladly call her holy..." Holy Sr. Mary...glad to meet you."
Frankly I'll bet many Popes wish they could stop that custom of people calling them "holiness". Can you point it out in the NT Peter being called holiness by anyone? No. And he was sent. And our "Holiness" is never sent.
Peter was sent and so was two persons of the Blessed Trinity but the Father was never sent. But the Pope is not a vicar of God the Father but is a vicar of Christ the Son who was sent....just like Peter was sent.....but not our concept of Pope...we are like the Jews who demanded a King against God's wishes...1Sa 8:6 "But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD."

JayG said...

I agree that our concept of authority is supposed to be different than the world's, and I can't deny that the trappings of authority may affect some of our Apostles today, but I would have thought that the College of Cardinals “sent” the Pope when they elected him, and while I can't say what fraternal correction takes place within the walls of the Vatican, I can say that our holy father takes a considerable amount of public abuse, ridicule and disobedience in the name of fraternal correction.

I also disagree that we call the Pope his holiness because of his merit, we call him his holiness because he is our earthly spiritual father, who, like us, is called by Jesus to be holy, because Holy does not only mean perfect, it means to be consecrated or dedicated to God, e.g. Jerusalem is the Holy City Mt 27:53, Mt4:5, holy things dedicated to God should not be given to dogs Mt.7:6, and even the firstborn child is called holy unto God (Lk2:23).

We are called to serve God in Holiness and justice all our days (Lk1:75), which Pope Benedict is also called to do, so I think we can remind him and ourselves of that call. Perhaps we should work to change the appearance of the Pope as king, when he really is the Prime Minister like Eliacim, but stop calling him his holiness, I think that would be an overreaction.

bill bannon said...

"Holy" does not mean consecrated to the normal listener in this time in history. And being elected is not the same as being sent with another man to a far city. But change takes time within people.
bill b

Jerry said...

Jayg said:
"...the almost visceral disdain many people have of Authority, as if Authority itself is always wrong, that only influence is allowable, and then only if you do not try to influence too much."

Amen. I may save this quote and repeat it, if you don't mind.

I also heartily agree with the recognition that this disdain for authority is one and the same thing, whether directed toward the Pope or toward the husband's authority in the home.

I would only add that this disdain often works both ways. That those who ought to be leading seem afraid to. I may only be speaking for myself, but i have a deep hunger for my bishop to teach, to govern, to act like a true apostle. Is this hunger, and the frustration i feel when it is lacking, is that disdain for my bishop's authority, or is it quite the opposite?

JayG said...

Well Jerry, those who used to rightly weld authority, after years of attacks and disdain, are shall we say gunshy. The attacks continue, which is why I think the Military is under attack, because it's one of the last bastions where Authority is exercised on a regular basis. And the attacks against Gen. Pace are part of that overall attack on Authority.
I also would guess that your feelings toward your Bishop are not disdain, so much as the disappointment of the faithful that is the fallout of the years of disdain by the dissenters. Does that make sense?

Bill, we have much work to do. Amen.

Jerry said...

Yes, JayG, that makes perfect sense. Good answer.

William said...

Times of persecution are coming

JayG said...

"They not only fail from resisting this frailty (of fallen human nature)...but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My divine justice, which could no longer bear them...It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves."

JayG said...