"Sins of Sodom" What were they guilty of?

by Frank75 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Swan

    So do you actually believe this stuff? I always thought it was another Genesis myth like Adam and Eve and Noah's ark.

    Have you ever seen fire and sulpher raining down from the sky? The closest I have come is volcanic ash.

    I think some superstitious but imaginative people made up this story after a volcanic eruption, but it really has no relevance to our day.


  • Frank75

    Thank you so much for bringing out that scripture in Ezekiel. It is cross referenced in the NWT from the text in Lamentations. But since very few JW's read their bible, and even less look at the references, I was doubtful it would pop up. Kudos to you, I did not think someone would bring out the points you raised either, although the jury is still out on some of the points that you submitted.Well SFJim from Pennsyvania, I like this place better already. Below are some more comments I had prepared for the Jude 7 argument. (already referred to) Your critique would be appreciated. Very true, that is what Jude seems to say. But do you believe it is that black and white? Did he? There is little doubt in my mind that Homosexuality is cast in unfavourable light in the bible, but so was mistreating widows, orphans and foreigners. So before someone opens the bible to condemn the gay community, he better be stellar in regards to helping old ladies across the street, foster children and their Xenos neighbours. A simplistic read of Jude without context is as flawed as a prejudicial view of the Genesis account of Sodom. Consider what Jude wrote:

    (Jude 4) "My reason is that certain men have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ

    Loose conduct is Gr. Aselgeia, which other than the typical (stereotypical) means, "outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence and excess". Here Jude was speaking in context of the congregation, and before he mentions Sodom, he mentions the Angels who forsook their place. Although sex was involved to some degree, it was the outrageousness of the action taken that is really highlighted. They acted reprehensibly before God, they new better, given their station in life. Likewise with the Israelites, who are mentioned before the Angels. Even though sex was likely involved, it was the idolatry that condemned them, their simply lacking faith. They after being delivered knew better, and so such action was "shameless". Even still, the Angels materialised as men, and had sex with women. Although it may be termed "unnatural" it was not "men with men", nor was it likely that the idolaters at Sinai indulged in such "unnatural sex" to any great degree.

    Another argument against a simplistic reading of Jude 7 is that vs 4 talks of men who slipped in. Can you think of a worse place for Homosexuals or Fornicators than the uptight homophobic churches of Christendom? My mother was afraid of anything other than "missionary positioning" if you know what I mean. Surely there would be then, as now, far better places for such people to ply their trade, if that was what Jude was getting at.

    (Jude 5-6) "afterwards destroyed those not showing faith. 6

    And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place "

    (Jude 7) "after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire."

    Thayer's lexicon, comments on the word Jude uses (Porneia) here as "a lust that gluts itself or satisfies completely". Lust can easily be tied to pleasure, and often is. But the OT mentions that merely a political alliance was Adultery, or Fornication in God's eyes. Hardly pleasurable, ask any whore (Ask any Canadian how he feels about Nafta alliance with the USA). Power is a lustful, seductive force, that drives humans to do the most outrageous things. Could this be what Jude was getting at?

    Consider one commentary:

    "i. Jude speaks of a danger which is present today in alarming proportion: the gospel is under attack, by both its avowed enemies, and many who would claim to be its friends "

    a. They have crept in unnoticed; they don't wear "Danger: False Teacher" buttons; often they claim to be more "scriptural" than anybody else

    b. They are ungodly men; they lack the fear of God; they disregard Him completely

    i. We are not told specifically how these men deny the only Lord God; it may be that they denied Him with their ungodly living; it may be that they denied Him with their heretical doctrines - probably both were true "

    So true. And many who were formerly associated with the Witnesses, would now agree that this type of connection is far more plausible than the old homo rant. (I would say there is more molestation of minors than Homosexuality among the Homophobic JWs, with an exception at the branch and Bethel levels) Namely, that men who should know better, or at least who claim moral superiority, act in an "outrageous, shameless" way just like the Angels, Jewish exiles, and Sodomites did. The reproach heaped on God, Christ and the bible by such people is Himaleyan in size and scope. Look at what Jude says next.

    (Jude 11)Too bad for them, because they have gone in the path of Cain, and have rushed into the erroneous course of Ba´laam for reward, and have perished in the rebellious talk of Ko´rah!

    None of these men fit the description typical of the so called Gay Sodomites do they? Only Cain could get negative marks for sex with his sister (shame on you). The only common thread is that they all were responsible men who claimed to serve God. However in turn they each harboured jealousy, greed for material gain, and ambitious power. This lust or outrageousness came at the expense of others. Are we seeing something taking shape here?

    (Jude 12-13) "shepherds that feed themselves without fear; waterless clouds carried this way and that by winds; trees in late autumn, [but] fruitless, having died twice, having been uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea that foam up their own causes for shame; stars with no set course, for which the blackness of darkness stands reserved forever.

    None of this remotely has anything to do with Homosexuality, unless you want to lay it at the feet of Gay Catholic and Anglican priests in some convoluted exegetical way. It more or less describes the deceptive methods that many responsible men (and women) have used the message of truth and freedom left by Christ and his early followers to ensnare and enslave men. "Shepherds" who eat of the fatness of Christ's flock, without any fear of reprisal (Compare Matt 24:48-51) "Waterless clouds"! Ask any X-JW who still believes in God or the bible what years of meaningless talks and rhetoric means to them. Likely they would say that this term aptly describes the majority of the so-called teachers in the movement. Look at the shame in all the organized religious movements. They block out the glorious light from the Sun (Son) and lead and continue to lead men astray. (Matt 15:14) That is at the heart of it and is my submission.

    (Jude 16) and their mouths speak swelling things, while they are admiring personalities for the sake of [their own] benefit.

    Does this expression not fit well the men who align themselves with a religious body and submit to it at the expense of truth and/or conscience? Have you ever tried to Witness to a JW, a Mormon, or any other member of rank in a religious order. Most if not all would call the day night, and night day to maintain their status quo.

    That is my addition to the debate.

    Frank (not Ernest)

  • Frank75

    "Sodom was a city of immorality and that was why it was destroyed, I think it was destroyed to be used as an example to those who dare go the other way.." Is that so? What bible proof do you have to bolster your argument that this is why they were punished? What is the other way? Frank

  • Frank75

    Bravo! Bravo!

    I hope this means we are going to get along. What is your background anyway?


  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    Swan.... you claimed the story of Sodom to be a myth... this link claims otherwise (with pictures):


  • Swan

    Double Edge;

    Swan.... you claimed the story of Sodom to be a myth...

    I actually didn't claim that. I just happen to believe it is. There is very little in the Bible that I believe any more and I disbelieve Genesis almost completely. If you do believe, that is fine, but I just don't see any reason to any longer. The whole thing just sounds like another fairy tale, IMHO.

    I clicked on your link several times but all I get is an error page. I watched a Discovery or Learning Channel documentary on this subject about 6 months ago. They presented a lot of archeological evidence about S & G but nothing conclusive. They also talked about new thought among Bible scholars similar to that presented here; that the inhabitants were violent, inhospitable people who were possibly wanting to rape the visitors, not homosexuals. Rape is a crime of violence, not sex.

    It was interesting, but doesn't convince me the story is anything more than a fable. I also see no reason to pass anti-gay laws based on this fairy tale like some politicians want to do.


  • Frank75


    Fable or not, your documentary and comment on Rape, illustrate what I set out to highlight in this thread. It was Sodoms "pride, sufficiency of bread" and total disregard for others that drew attention to the creator.

    If it is not true, then it at least illustrates the need all of us should have to be decent to others, especially the disadvantaged.

    If it is true, then it extends hope to humans that God will not permit such things to go on indefinitely.

    What has caused you to become so doubtful of the bible? Was it your association with the JW's? Or something else.

    Sorry if you have explained it already, I am new here.


  • Ravyn

    actually Beryl that does make sense---think about it:

    Where are the mortals who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may get acquainted with them."
    Sorry, but why then did Lot offer his daughters to the mob? Chances are the mob were already "acquainted" with them.

    if they did not know whether or not the strangers were men or women it is possible they were asking to know the answer in order to use them for female virgin sacrifice....after all Lot had two dughters---maybe they thought these were female visitors from another city, friends of his daughters(after all they were already engaged and they could have been wedding guests arriving...). It would make sense in a sick sort of way for them to use non citizens for the sacrifices---haven't you seen the movies where white explorers stumble into the jungle cooking pot? And as far as fornication is concerned....that word can mean the sacrificial rites as well as sex for sexual reasons---most virgin sacrifices involved some kind of symbolic rape, that is how a virgin was 'sacrificed'. And how many times is spiritual infidelity described as spiritual fornication? So I can see the explanation od Sodom and Gormorrah's sins being of idol worship and extreme inhospitality(by using unsuspecting visitors as sexual sacrifices) as a very logical explanation.


  • Utopian Reformist
    Utopian Reformist

    How would some of you respond to Romans Chapter 1 where Paul mentions the male and female leaving the natural use of one another for one contrary to nature, male with male receving full recompense for their error?

    Many fundamentalists deploy these texts to oppose tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality. These texts do make the writer's position clear. Other texts may leave room for speculation, but this chapter appears decisively postured against alternative sexual practices.

    I need more information from sources other than scripture to draw temporary conclusions on this matter.

  • SanFranciscoJim

    Utopian Reformist,

    Thank you for asking. More from my essay on what the Bible really says about homosexuality at: http://www.gayxjw.org/bible.html

    But what of Paul's statement at Romans 1 where "females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust towards one another"? The answer lies in Paul's words in verses 22 & 23: "Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed creatures and creeping things." Obviously, Paul's reference here is to idolatry. As mentioned above in examining the Hebrew scriptures, many pagan idol-worshipping religions of Paul's day taught that by granting sexual favors to the high priest, the one giving the favor would be rewarded with fertility of crops and offspring. It then becomes clear that Paul's reference was not to same-sex, loving relationships, but his condemnations focused on heterosexuals who, going against their own sexual nature, granted sexual favors to the leaders of pagan religions in expectation of reward by the pagan gods.

    Hope this gives you a clearer understanding as to the true meaning of that passage.


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