The New Morality and an Old City

Nine states and the District of Columbia have now legalized gay marriages, continuing America’s long trend in redefining right and wrong. What does God say?

Last November, Maine, Maryland and Washington became the latest states to approve gay marriage. And now, the National Cathedral—long recognized as America’s symbolic house of prayer—announced it will perform same-sex marriages. These events show the drastic changes in society’s views on homosexuality over recent decades.

This new morality is part of a much larger trend of Western society accepting actions as okay that the Bible teaches are wrong—sin.

Consider just a few examples: Premarital sex is widely accepted— in America 53 percent of babies born to women under 30 are born outside of marriage (The New York Times). America not only allows pornography, it exports it around the world. Prime-time television includes themes that were unthinkable a few years ago.

As more states continue to legalize gay marriages, my thoughts continue to go back to the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Many understand that God destroyed those cities because of their homosexuality. But the Bible shows that it was more than sexual immorality that led to their destruction.

Western society needs to remember why God wiped out those ancient cities, because we are heading down the same road of destruction if we don’t change our ways.

Why was Sodom destroyed?

The prophet Ezekiel lists six things that led to Sodom’s downfall. They are found in Ezekiel 16:49-50 in the following order:

  1. Pride in ourselves and our achievements.
  2. Fullness of food.
  3. Abundance of idleness.
  4. Mistreating the poor and needy.
  5. Haughtiness (looking down on others).
  6. Committing abominations (including sexual immorality).

Just look around, and we see these same things in America today.

Thousands of Americans are sedentary and overweight. How many hours do we idly waste away with our noses in front of all our different screens?

How many schemes prey on the poor and needy? How many of the greedy get richer while the poor get poorer?

Homosexuality continues to increase, pornography is rampant, child molestation devastates tens of thousands and premarital sex is considered normal.

And, of course, pride and haughtiness are everywhere.

Yes, the very things that led to the destruction of Sodom are prevalent in America today.

And the Bible clearly says that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed to be an example for all who live in an ungodly way (2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7).

That should concern you and me.

Remember Lot’s wife

Jesus said that those in Sodom were living their lives as usual when their sudden destruction came. He said sudden destruction will happen again just before His return. And then Jesus said to remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:28-32).

God removed Lot, his wife and his two daughters before the fire and brimstone destroyed Sodom. The angels who accompanied them out told them not to look back. But still Lot’s wife did. Why?

We can only speculate. Did Lot’s wife like it in Sodom? Did she really want to leave? Had she grown accustomed to and thus had she begun to be comfortable with ungodly behavior? We do not know for sure. However, she did disobey God’s instruction when she looked back. As a result, she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:15-17, 26).

Do we accept and tolerate what is happening in our world today, or do we “sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it” (Ezekiel 9:4)?

Will America be punished as Sodom was?

God says that the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, which include many Americans, would eventually live a life that is more corrupt than Sodom (Ezekiel 16:46-48, 51-52). Because of our ungodly behavior, God will punish us (verse 59).

Many aren’t even ashamed of biblically-defined immoral actions, as many of them are glorified on television and movies. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says that His people “declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves” (Isaiah 3:9).

Sodom didn’t repent. Jesus said that if Sodom had seen the mighty works He had done, they would not have been destroyed (Matthew 11:20, 23).

Will we heed the warnings and repent?

Remember Lot

When God told Abraham that He was going to see if Sodom was as bad as He had heard, Abraham asked God if He would spare the city if there were only 10 righteous people in it (Genesis 18:20-32). But there weren’t.

The only righteous one in Sodom was Abraham’s nephew Lot, who was deeply troubled by the corrupt city. And although God destroyed the entire city, He had His angels personally escort Lot to safety (2 Peter 2:7-9).

Yes, America needs to learn from Sodom’s mistakes, not repeat them. But even if America refuses to repent, you and I can escape God’s just punishment by repenting, turning to Him and living a righteous life.

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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