Pride in One’s Own Design: Day 24
‘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. They were haughty and did detestable things before Me’ (Ezekiel 16: 49, 50).
‘Ezekiel thought that the inhabitants of the city became “prideful” and “haughty” as a result of the city’s prosperity, and in their prosperity they both neglected the poor and committed a particularly abominable act of sexual immorality. The two evils are linked by a flagrant disregard of God’s own priorities, putting the human self at the center of the cosmos. In Ezekiel’s view, the overarching rubric of the sin of Sodom is not inhospitality or homosexual behavior but human arrogance in relation to God. The focus is theocentric.’ (The Bible and Homosexual Practice, p. 85)
‘Pride, by definition, is the rejection of the Creator and the divinely sanctioned order of creation. Genesis 1-3, Lev. 18:22; 20:13, and…Romans 1:26-27 all suggest that same-sex intercourse was rejected on the grounds that it constituted a violation of the anatomical and procreative sexual complementarity of male and female in creation—by definition an instance of pride, a supplanting of God’s design in creation for sexuality in favor of one’s own design.’
(The Bible and Homosexual Practice, p. 86)
Besides an in-depth take on scriptures associated with homosexuality, Gagnon strengthens his case with important secondary ones, like Ez. 16:49 and 50. Ezekiel’s take on Sodom gives us two things. First, it provides some nuancing as to the source and strength of the city’s wickedness: pride. Prosperity had soured the city and puffed her up. Padded with money and time, Sodom citizens became self-reliant and self-concerned. Valuable to me is the link between disregarding the undesirable (poverty in myriad expressions) and cultivating instead one’s own and others’ desirability. The men of Sodom, obsessed with male beauty, tried to gang-rape the masculine angels that came to warn Lot.
I think of prideful big cities that tempt me with their deep pocketed commitment to human commerce, the dance of sexy idols. I think of kids who come from small towns to big towns just to lose themselves in such idolatry. It’s self-concerned, sensational, dangerous. Musing on one such West Coast city, famed for its shiny perversions, a pastor lamented: “If God doesn’t act soon, He will have to apologize for Sodom!” Mercy, Jesus.
Second, Ezekiel supports Gagnon’s thesis that homosexual intercourse constitutes an inexcusable rebellion against God. He claims Sodom’s sin was prideful denial of God. We could say that elevating the creature and its desires over the Creator’s drives homosexual sin. As it does many sins! But as we have seen, the desecration of God’s image in homosexual acts cuts deep into God’s heart.
We cry out for a generation that applauds vulnerable young people devolving into distorted sexual images that mock God and place them in spiritual peril. And we can see that young person as a pawn played by prideful humans, self-righteous and assured that they can make God whomever they want Him to be.
‘Lord Jesus, humble us, make us true. We say You alone are holy and worthy of our devotion. Strip us of the lusts that drive us into self-concern and disregard for persons who need our sacrificial love. Mobilize us to tend to the poor and rescue the lost, we who have come to our senses. Mercy alone, Jesus; mercy alone.’
‘Jesus, show us Your way through the uneven, deeply divided ground of our nation. Please compose and restrain explosive hearts. Use us as instruments of Your peace. “O blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Savior Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, we trust in You.”’