Clobber Passages: Genesis
For those who are still searching for answers on the debate of whether or not homosexuality is sinful, I would like to direct you to some findings that can help guide you. I had many of the same questions when I set out on my personal faith journey. If it isn't a sin then why is the term "homosexual" used over and over in the Bible? Why was it a sin in the first place? The holy book speaks about love being a priority, yet it would call the love for my husband an abomination? How can this be?
Let's first address the terms that are used against the lgbtq+ community. The most commonly used is Homosexual, yet the word is from the Greek "homo" meaning "the same", and the Latin "sexualis", meaning "sex". This invented term wasn't added to the Bible until around 100 years ago, first used in the 1946 RSV Bible. There is not a Greek or Hebrew Biblical word that is equivalent. Another term is Sodomite or sodomy of which has been misused tremendously. Sodomite actually refers to the inhabitants of Sodom.
Next, I would like to take a closer look at the "Clobber Passages", which are texts in the Bible notoriously used against our community. They are Genesis 19:1-9, Leviticus 18:22, Deuteronomy 23:17-18, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, and Jude 1:7. We will discuss each of these in turn, which will develop into a multipart blog series as we move forward. Stick with us as we dive deep into a battle going back centuries.
If we go by order of the Bible in regards to Clobber Passages, we first come across Genesis 19:1-9 which tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
"Genesis chapter 19 is about the wicked city of Sodom. There was a lot going on in there and not just what people talk about on TV. It began with the two men with God from the previous chapter. However, now the men properly are called angels. They go to Sodom and are asked to come into the home of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. The wicked men of the city saw the angels that they thought were men earlier. At night they came to Lot’s residence demanding they 'know' the men. Lot offers his daughters, 'Get to know them.' But the wicked men of the city turn his offer down vehemently. The angels, seeing enough, blind the wicked men of Sodom, and prepare Lot to leave the coast. They confirm they will destroy the city with fire. Lot, his wife and two daughters are commanded to leave at once." (Source 1)
In order to fully grasp this story we must first understand its context. God had every intention of the destruction of Sodom long before he sent his angels to the city. Why did the Lord wish wipe this town off the map? Many who are anti-lgbtq+ want to shout that homosexuality is the root cause of the city's downfall, but when you read this passage, the only thing that screams out to me is rape; THAT is what the gang of men are trying to do to the angels of God. But what about Lot offering up his daughters you might ask? Well, Lot gave an answer for this, "Don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." This is crazy from our societal understanding. How could a loving father sacrifice his daughters to a mob? No matter how we try to understand this there isn't a good answer. This was a horrible incident that cannot be explained away. It does, however, show the societal views. In Lot's time period, hospitality was more sacred that just about anything else, even his own child. And with that belief, he was willing to sacrifice for his guest's well-being.
In conclusion, the "synn of Sodom" as the Wycliffe Bible coined, Genesis 19:1-9 is in no way about same-sex relations but everything to do with the horrors of rape and in-hospitality. Ezekiel actually explained what this sins of Sodom, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." Ezekiel 16:49-50. Nowhere did he say it was because of the GAYS! No, he spelled it out! And so, we can let this clobber passage rest and move onto the next.
To Be Continued…
Meet the Author
Alex Burchnell is the President of Queer Christian Family Values (QCFV). His passion is to help the marginalized in every aspect of society. He is married to Chris Burchnell, our editor, and together they have three cats who rule their home.