Bryan Fischer
March 6, 2013
"The Bible": If you didn't know the sin of Sodom, you still don't
By Bryan Fischer

The long-awaited and much promoted series "The Bible" premiered on the History Channel on Sunday, and achieved record ratings. Just over 13 million people tuned in, making it the No. 1 cable entertainment telecast of 2013 to date. The producers – Roma Downey and Mark Burnett – are by all accounts sincere Christians who were dedicated to making the production faithful to the scriptural record.

And by my lights they largely succeeded. The flood of Noah was depicted realistically, even in its worldwide scope. The seven days of creation were presented without anybody trying to turn them into epochs or geological ages. Abraham obeyed God's command to offer his only begotten son on an altar of sacrifice. Moses is called from a burning bush, confronts the most powerful man in the world, performs signs and wonders by the power of an almighty God and leads his people to freedom from bondage.

I'm not much for biblical and historical epics, but as Abraham Lincoln once said, this is the sort of thing that people who like this sort of thing will like.

I had only one major bone to pick with the producers in episode one, and it is this: if you didn't know what the sin of Sodom was before you started watching, you still don't. Sodom was presented merely as a party town, and the only hint of sexual activity I saw portrayed on screen was of the heterosexual variety.

True, the men of the city surround Lot's house, and demand that he bring them out to them, but for what purpose is never made clear. Lot's desperate attempt to protect the sexual integrity of his male guests by offering his own daughters to be raped is glossed over entirely. If you had to draw a conclusion from this TV show about why God destroyed Sodom, you'd think it was because they drank too much Jim Beam, listened to too much loud music and partied too late into the night.

But the biblical text is unmistakably clear. The men of Sodom surrounded Lot's house, quite explicitly demanding that he send his guests out to them "so that we can have sex with them" (Genesis 19:5, NIV), literally, that we may "know" them in the biblical sense.

Lot – who insisted that these two visitors spend the night in his home rather than in the public square, knowing what would happen to them there – calls what the men of Sodom want to do an evil thing, saying, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly." Ignoring his pleas, and the offer of Lot's daughters, they "drew near to break the door down." So consumed were they with homosexual lust they "wore themselves out groping for the door" (Genesis 19:11).

The New Testament confirms that it was the sexual depravity of homosexual behavior that brought the hand of God's judgment down on this ancient city. As Jude says, "...just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 7, emphasis mine).

The sin of this ancient city was so notorious that it even gave its name – sodomy – to what Western jurisprudence has always referred to as "the infamous crime against nature." Yes, it is infamous, it is a crime, and it is contrary to the laws nature as well as the laws of nature's God.

Ezekiel points out that homosexuality was not the only sin of Sodom: "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." The fact that Sodom was guilty of more sin than homosexuality, of course, does not mean it was guilty of less.

Lesbian actress Jane Lynch, a friend of the producers, gave the show a hearty endorsement on Twitter over the weekend. The infatuation of Hollywood with all things homosexual is probably the reason the two Christian producers obscured the Bible's plain teaching about Sodom.

Likely intimidated by and fearful of the prospect of a fierce backlash from the homosexual lobby, they must have decided that wimping out on the truth was the path not just of least resistance but of survival in Hollywood. They're not the first and they won't be the last.

© Bryan Fischer

 

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