Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bible Gives Two Accounts Of "Sodom's Sin." The One You Favor Reveals You

Alan: Below this introduction I have pasted two widely divergent biblical accounts of "Sodom's Sin," one that seemingly decries anal intercourse between men; the other declaring "arrogance, gluttony and failure to provide for the poor and needy" as "The Sin of Sodom."

Contemporary Christians are divided into these two "camps," a process of self-selection that provides a "spiritual litmus" for determining a Christian's chief moral concern.

Some Christians are preoccupied with the understandable-and-readily-forgivable "sins of the flesh." Peter the Apostle (who served as Christendom's first pope) referred to these sins with his well-known observation that "Love covers a multitude of sins."

Typically, uncharitable Christians are focused on "sins of the flesh" -- real, imagined and often denied or hidden within themselves -- and remain assiduously ignorant of the "other" biblical account which equates The Sin of Sodom with the sin of pride,  the central spiritual sin on which all other sin hinges.

Notably, it was the sin of pride that plunged Archangel Lucifer from the parapets of Heaven.

Not only is it easy -- it is also tellingly easy -- that self-satisfied Christians with little intention to stop indulging their self interest in order to care for "the poor and needy," are instead blindly fixated on condemnation of sexual sin.

What could be more dangerous than to treat "secondary sins" as if they were "primary," and to treat "the primary sin of pride" as if it were "secondary?"

The choice is real: nearly every Christian sorts himself "along this gradient."

At minimum, Christians -- whichever side of The Great Divide they occupy -- must realize that a decision needs making and that an individual's informed conscience requires knowledge of "particulars" -- as well as knowledge of contextualization -- in order to make an informed decision that escapes the orbit of invincible ignorance.

However we slice it, deliberate ignorance of humankind's central need to curb self-satisfied arrogance in order to enhance service to the poor leaves "the ignorant" out to lunch, stuffing their faces with "the bread of the poor," blithely unaware that it is they who commit the Sin of Sodom.

If there is an argument against the indispensable need to "curb pride to better serve the poor," I am eager to learn such self-serving sophistry.

Nor can we discharge our duty to the poor by monetary charity alone.

Instead we are called upon to enact social, political and interpersonal justice -- including the creation of just socio-economic structures. 

Without justice -- particularly economic justice -- charity devolves to self-exculpation, a bribe we pay to God. 

There is no getting around it: anyone determined to play "Cafeteria Christianity" must admit that "menu bias" cuts both ways.  

When we all recognize we are on a two-way street, we are half way home.

In moral matters half a loaf is better than none.

Hey Christian! How Many Of Jesus' Moral Stands Do You Approve? 
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"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

"You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do."
Tom Weston S. J.

Dorothy Day: “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

Ezekiel 16:19
New International Version

The Sin of Sodom

"'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

In Genesis 19, just before Lot's daughter's have sexual intercourse with their father, we read the following account which is commonly interpreted to mean that anal intercourse between men is The Sin of Sodom.

Multiple Translations Of The Sin Of Sodom According To Ezekiel

Genesis 19 

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house.He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lordagainst its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry[a]his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,[b] please! 19 Your[c] servant has found favor in your[d] eyes, and you[e] have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.[f])
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then theLord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

Lot and His Daughters

30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family linethrough our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[g]; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites[i] of today.

Hey Christian! How Many Of Jesus' Moral Stands Do You Approve? Take The Test!

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