In the ancient times of Abraham and his younger brother, Lot (2000 BC?), the Angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre, where he and his family dwelt in tents (Genesis 13:18; 18:1). Lot had separated from his older brother after violence had broken out between their herdsmen (Genesis 13:6-7). He had headed east– towards the plentiful “valley of the Jordan,” because it was “well-watered everywhere … like the garden of the Lord, …” (Genesis 13:10). Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and he “moved his tents as far as Sodom” (Genesis 13:12). The Scripture gives us a glimpse of what the Lord must have thought about Lot’s choice of Sodom as his dwelling place. It states: “Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord” (Genesis 13:13). Five chapters later (Genesis 18:21,19:24), the wickedness of Sodom is so great that the men of the city intend to rape the visitors of the Lord who had taken overnight housing with Lot (Genesis 19:4-5), only to be saved by the strong hand of the Lord (Genesis 19:7-11). The Lord’s righteous hand can endure the evil no longer, as fire and brimstone are rained upon the city and its countryside (Genesis 19:24-25). Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed– and the after-affects of the destruction are the empty desert wastelands of today, and the greatest salt pit in the world, the Dead Sea, aptly named; for nothing lives in a salt pit.
If God saw fit to judge Sodom and Gomorrah for its wickedness, what makes America think she will not be judged? Recently, the president of Chick-Fil-A Restaurants, Dan Cathy, made this statement:
We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.
Cathy then reiterated his stance on the Ken Coleman weekly radio program, and added his interpretation of God’s Word:
I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.
In response to Dan Cathy’s statement on the definition of marriage, mayors of Boston and Chicago responded. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino stated it was “an insult” to his city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated,
Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values,” the mayor said in a statement … They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty. Chicago politicians publicly stated that no building permits should be issued for any Chick-Fil-A franchise.
If there is one name that represents integrity, righteousness, and character, it is Billy Graham — to both Christians and non-Christians. Recently, the 93 year-young evangelist posted an open letter on the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association entitled, “My Heart Aches for America.” The letter offers a word of warning to America, and, of course, the church. One of his most poignant remarks is his opening paragraph as he recalls a statement made by his late wife, Ruth:
Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
A Scripture passage that helps us to know where we are as a country is Romans 1:18-32. The significance of the passage is that it reveals humanity’s pride that leads us to conclude that “we know better” than God (to use Cathy’s words above). Specifically, the Scripture states that “professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man …” Romans 1:22-23. Not a good idea; in fact, downright foolish, according to the Scripture! The consequence is that the wrath of God is revealed against humanity’s suppression of truth in unrighteousness choices (Romans 1:18). The wrath is actually not revealed as a quick-burn, fire and brimstone, Sodom and Gomorrah. Rather, humanity’s suppression of truth in unrighteousness is accompanied by a consuming consequence: God’s “giving over” of humanity to his unrighteous choices (Romans 1:24, 26). Humanity eats the fruit that it has picked; and perversion is his sickness; degradation the result. The exchange of God’s wisdom for humanity’s wisdom bears fruit in the exchange of the natural function of the woman (or man) for that which is unnatural (Romans 1:26-27). Homosexuality is simply the unnatural choice that replaces the natural. It is the natural consequence of a society sick by the fruit of “knowing better than God.”
There is actually another fulfillment that is even more disturbing. Romans 1:32 states —
and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Emphasis supplied).
In the public statements of the mayors of Boston and Chicago, our politicians, our elected leaders, give “hearty approval to those who practice them [homosexuality].” In so doing, they bring condemnation upon America as a whole. Why? Because politicians only say what they believe will get them elected. Rahm Immanuel’s statement, “Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values,” is chilling. It is as if Romans 1:18-32 was written with Immanuel’s statement in mind.
I am afraid that America is headed for the “salt pit,” one way or the other. As Graham states, “My heart breaks for America,” and I also pray that she will turn. But I am doubtful. Repentance in the end-times is a rare event (Revelation 9:20-21; 26:9, 11).