Paganism and Homosexuality: Cultural Self-Destruction. Genesis 19:1-14
Continuing from the previous lesson:
(9) As a result of this degeneracy there is developed either anarchy or tyranny. Why? Because what happens is that there is a rejection of God as ultimate authority, and in the resulting vacuum, something has to move, something has to become the ultimate authority and it is always some element of creation or society or government. Therefore you end up with some kind of polar opposite, either tyranny or anarchy. If it is anarchy everything is in chaos and someone has to come in and bring order, so once again that goes right back to tyranny and some sort of bondage or tyrannical despotism that is established. This is exactly what we see in the earliest civilizations.
(10) As biblical truth impacts a culture it transforms that society with biblical norms and standards, establishment truth, and the result is stability, order, peace, prosperity, and cultural advance. The classic example of this is what happened during the Reformation. If we look at where western Europe was and where the Roman Catholic church had taken it in the late Middle Ages there were a number of different problems with society. People were basically down-trodden, there was no freedom, there was not a lot of economic growth. Things were starting to break out in the 1400s but that was because of the same factors that influenced and provided for the Reformation. There was a pre-Reformation, as it were, as a result of Wycliffe in London and his followers who were translating the Bible into the common language of the people. They were persecuted. There were the Hussites in Bohemia teaching the truth and were persecuted as well by the Roman Catholic church. But as the Reformation began to have its impact there was an environment established in western Europe for real freedom. If we were to identify the nations where we have experienced the greatest levels of freedom that would be North America, Britain, the English-speaking countries. Then in the next level of freedom we would identify other Reformation impacted nations such as Germany, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland. Then the next tier is the Roman Catholic countries like Spain, France, Italy, eastern Europe which never experienced the kind of economic freedom and prosperity or individual freedom that there was in either the Germanic countries, northern Europe that was impacted by Protestant theology or English-speaking. Then we look at the rest of the world which never developed concepts of freedom and never had the kind of economic prosperity across the board, available to every individual citizen, that there was at the other end of the spectrum, as for example, the United States of America and English-speaking countries. What makes the difference is ultimately theology. It is one of the most practical illustrations that theology matters when it permeates the culture. What came out of the Reformation was that there were leaders who were taking the Word of God and using it to think through all the different areas of life. That laid the foundation for modern civilization. That foundation was laid in the 16th century, 17th century, and on into the 18th century. It wasn't until the shift from the 18th century to the 19th century where pagan enlightenment ideas began to permeate the university structure of western civilization there were seen the start of the foreshadowings of our collapse. So the principle is that as biblical truth impacts the culture it transforms that society with biblical norms and standards and establishment truth, and the result is going to be stability, order, peace, and prosperity.
(11) On the other hand, you have the opposite. As biblical truth is rejected and diluted biblical norms become demonized. The result is social instability, disorder, chaos, a loss of prosperity, and cultural decline.
(12) We have to recognize that there are biblical norms of divine establishment that God built into creation. These are established for everyone, both believer and unbeliever. The institution of marriage breaks down because of, among other things, sexual perversion. Sexual perversion is an outgrowth of self-absorption, a key element in arrogance. So the more arrogant a culture becomes, the more it is divorced from God, the more self-absorbed they are, the more they are interested in their own sexual pleasure. With this hyper-attention to their own sexuality there is a breakdown in marriage.
(13) As society utilizes and applies establishment principles it is going to stabilize, strengthen, and prosper.
(14) But when a society rejects these norms it is going to fragment, destabilize, and lose prosperity. It all starts falling apart.
(15) Sodom is a picture of what happens at the end of the cycle. Some principles from the chapter:
a) People are viewed in terms of how they can be used for the benefit and pleasure of others. As soon as these messengers go into Sodom the residents of Sodom want to sexually abuse them all night long. In this pagan culture people are viewed only in terms of how they can be used for benefit and personal pleasure of others. It is all about me!
b) Women and men are no longer viewed as individuals in the image of God, they are simply sex objects, objects of pleasure.
c) As paganism dominates a culture there is an increasing connection between sex and violence.
d) Sexual violence and abuse of women and men increases and becomes normative in a culture.
e) There is a rise of criminality with little concern for the victim.
f) Homosexuality and bi-sexuality, as well as sexual gratification outside of marriage are accepted and approved. These become normative in the culture.
g) This emphasis on personal gratification is the eventual result of an increase in self-absorption and self-gratification that at its roots destroys the possibility of a healthy society.
h) We have to recognize that sex was not only designed for pleasure but for procreation. When we talk about procreation we are talking about the future, so it looks to the future of the race and the future of society. Homosexuality ignores the future and is willing to sacrifice the future for the pleasures of the present.
(16) Sodom pictures the end of the cycle. This is the most perverse culture that we have seen in human history and it was necessary for God to judge it and destroy it. The problems in Sodom and the cities of the plain are a microcosm of what is going on in the broader Canaanite culture as a whole and where that it headed.
(17) Which is why God destroys Sodom, not only as a warning to Israel but as a warning to all subsequent civilizations that if they allow themselves to deteriorate and follow this pattern then they are going to destroy themselves in the same way.
(18) Sodom is a direct refutation of the myth that sexual orientation and what goes on in the privacy of the bedroom is a neutral issue as far as society is concerned. That is the lie that we are told. For example, why do we have laws that make adultery illegal? Why do we have laws that make homosexuality illegal? It is because there was an understanding that if there was a permissiveness towards these acts then it was self-destructive for the culture, that they didn't just stay in the bedroom, that there was a connection between sexual activity and sexual orientation and spirituality and the integrity of the nation. Once the dyke is allowed to collapse in one area it affects all the other areas. What Genesis 19 and the book of Judges demonstrates is that it does affect us. It is both a cause and an effect.
(19) Divine viewpoint teaches that homosexuality is a direct attack on the first three divine institutions: on individual responsibility, on marriage, and on family. And it results in an assault on the fourth and fifth divine institutions.
(20) There are parallels between this episode in Sodom and the episode in Judges chapter nineteen.