The story of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-38) is often used by non-affirming Christians as one of the “Clobber” verses to say that God prohibits all forms of homosexuality.
To summarize the story, two angels in the form of humans, come to the city of Sodom and a follower of God named Lot shows them great hospitality and invites them to his house. All of the men of the town come to Lot’s house to attack the visitors. The men of the city cite that they want to gang rape the two visitors and are struck with blindness as they attempt to overpower Lot and barricade themselves safely in Lot’s house with his family. The angels tell Lot to leave the city because God is going to destroy it because of its wickedness.
The verse Genesis 19:5 along with 19:13 is the verse used as an interpretation that God is against homosexualtiy.
Genesis 19:5,13 [NABRE]
5 They called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have sexual relations with them.”
13 We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the Lord against those here is so great that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
At first glance, it would appear that God is going to destroy this city because of the wicked acts of homosexuality. The problem is that assessment is lacking the full context of what is happening. Other scriptures referring to Sodom and Gomorrah give reasons to God destroying these cities and we see that the cities were not destroyed because of acts of homosexuality.
What were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Later in the Old Testament of the Bible in Ezekiel 16:49-50, the prophet Ezekiel clearly states the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and does not include homosexuality.
Ezekiel 16:49-50 [NABRE]
49 Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy. 50 Instead, they became arrogant and committed abominations before me; then, as you have seen, I removed them.
The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were they were proud, arrogant, gluttonous, greedy, and most grievous to the Lord, inhospitable to the extreme. Looking back at the story, we see that Lot showed hospitality and the men of the city acted the opposite.
So what about the gang rape that was attempted. This is often equated to homosexual acts by the non-affirming church without any context of the culture of the time. Gang rape is in no way an act of homosexuality. It is an act of violence, dominance, and in this culture, reducing the victim to the lowest identity by humiliation. This act in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is in no way referring to the morality of consensual homosexual intercourse. It does exemplify the wickedness of the city.
Using the story of Sodom and Gomorrah against homosexuality is ignorant and lacking any understanding of who God is. God does not condemn homosexuality but he clearly will bring judgment to those who have twisted His words and will.
To my LGTBQ+ friends, my heart is heavy for the suffering brought on to you by misguided Christians and churches. Please know that Lord loves you and accepts you regardless of what has been said to you.