A more interesting spectacle was watching the liberal Mayors vociferously oppose Chick-Fil-A plans to build more restaurants in their cities only to back track their statements because to do so would have been illegal – the President was just exercising his first amendment right. Here is a really funny video made by a gay dude asks the Mayors to chill. All of this ‘tempest in the teapot’ not withstanding, what really caught my eye was an article quoting Billy Graham quoting his late wife Ruth saying
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.”
I don’t know about God needing to apologize to anyone, but let us go with this for now as there is a bigger point to be made.
Billy Graham in his letter ‘My Heart Aches for America‘ quotes the statement above and then the passage from Ezekiel 16:49-50 from which this quote is purportedly derived from and then goes on to talk about the sins of abortion and sexual depravity leading to impending judgement from God. Yes, abortion and sexual depravity are sins as per the Bible. Yes, America is like Sodom and Gomorrah, but there is a key point to be noted. America’s similarity with Sodom and Gomorrah is not just in it sexual depravity, but in its indifference to the poor and needy.
Read Ezekiel 16:49-50 (ESV)
49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.
Yes there was rampant sexual sin in Sodom and Gomorrah, but God’s primary objection against Sodom and Gomorrah (and Israel) is not sexual immorality, it is indifference towards the poor while living in excess. The crime is in not treating a fellow human being as someone with dignity – the dignity that comes in one having been made to reflect the Image of a fiercely loving God.
God equating Israel to Sodom and Gomorrah in Ezekiel has more to do with Israel’s indifference to the poor and needy than its sexual depravity. In the New Testament, Christ brings similar complaint against the Jews in the Story of Lazarus and the Rich man – the Rich man did not do anything wrong per se, he was just indifferent to the poor man at his doorstep.
This complaint of indifference applies as much to Evangelical Christianity today as it did to Israel back in the day. Ruth Graham is probably right that if God is to use the same yardstick, He will have to judge the America, but not so much for the sexual depravity of the non-Christians as much as for the indifference of Evangelical Christianity towards the poor and needy around them. Unfortunately, Christians today often tend to exaggerate the consequences of sexual sins while trivializing the consequences of sins of indifference towards people that need our love.
Of course, Evangelical Christians give more to the cause of social upliftment than the non-Christian counter parts, but the question is do we give enough to offset God’s impending judgement, if God were to use the same yardstick that He used against Sodom and Gomorrah. I suspect that answer is no. As much as Evangelical Christians pray and work towards a National revival of the non-Christians, we should also pray and work against Christian indifference incurring the wrath of God that was directed at Israel and Sodom and Gomorrah.
As much as Christians love to show their solidarity with the ‘Christian’ President of a Fast Food Chain, it might be a better idea for the Evangelical Christians to show equal care and concern for the plight of the poor and the oppressed. The day when we see a 150 Evangelical Christians at 10 PM at Nationwide ‘show compassion for the poor and needy’ campaigns, Evangelical Christianity would have inched closer towards a more God-pleasing state of existence. Pray that that day would come soon, before it is too late! Least God should have to apologize!! Of course, He needn’t.