Homosexuality or Hospitality – That is the question!

Continuing with my thoughts and opinions that flow from Mike Semmlers paper that was part of the ILC Conference 2012 in Canada. (International Lutheran Council)

Mike Semmler includes his submission to parliament concerning the changes to the marriage act. I won’t delve into this part too deeply – it has already been done well by someone else – if interested click here…..and  here.

He then talks about marriage……I am currently researching and reading up on this topic so I wont comment now…..but next he begins to talk about biblical texts and their “re-interpretation”. Being a pretty average electrician I may as well give theology a crack.

He begins with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah:

“The account of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:20-19:29) has been re-interpreted
to say that it was not homosexuality that was under judgement from God, but the
lack of hospitality!
Certainly proper hospitality was important, but Jude 7 does not allow for that

A good host offers tea and biscuits.

A good host offers tea and biscuits.

Punctuation marks help us to hear the tone of a message, we have an exclamation mark after the word hospitality. Perhaps he thinks about the word hospitality like I first did when I was considering the hospitality interpretation. When visitors drop in unannounced I offer them a cup of tea or coffee, perhaps some biscuits, if I don’t do this I am deemed inhospitable. The crime doesn’t seem to fit the punishment – hence the exclamation mark. We are not talking about tea and biscuits here, we are talking about the gang rape of unwelcome visitors! Notice the exclamation mark. The story is comparing the welcome of Lot and the unwelcome of the Sodomites. Similar acts are committed in battle  as an act of humiliation towards the losers. The important distinction here is that these acts are committed by heterosexual males, they have nothing to do with sexuality, they are acts of violence for a specific purpose; “You are not welcome here!”. To be more specific they are acts directed at angels – which may help to understand Jude 7 which talks about sexual immorality and perversion and “strange flesh” – yes the Sodomites were perverse and immoral I am not debating that, but to insist that the story of Sodom is about homosexuality is absurd. No thought is given to the actual content of this story, no cultural investigation, no understanding of what being gay is, no thought for pastoral care. The only thing I can conclude is that Pastor Mike Semmler reads this and summises “rape,violence,indecent sex, well that must mean gay people because that is what they are like” This kind of attitude is unacceptable for a leader of our church – any church! Tell me how I can see this any other way? If your interested in reading the whole document it can be found here.

One thing that I noticed was that the passage talks about “all” the men turning up to rape the angels – if  we were talking about homosexuality surely only 2-5% of the males would have turned up? Anyways, I am not saying hospitality is the correct interpretation but I am saying that it is definitely not talking about gay people, unfortunately if I say this I can’t use it as a hammer to bash gays anymore. Doh!

Just as a side note: Notice how different the culture was back then – Lot offers his daughter to the crowd. This apparently was a noble thing to do, Lot is the good guy in this story! (notice the exclamation mark)

Am I being too harsh on our President? What do you think?

6 Responses to “Homosexuality or Hospitality – That is the question!”
  1. lcamyopinion says:

    No. Not too harsh. He is disgusted by the thought of homosexual men having sex. He said so himself at the SA Pastors Conference where he referred to their “disgusting copulations”. His paper was presented at something called the ILC. I’m not sure but I think it was just some church leaders from the more conservative Lutheran Church in Canada and the LCA District presidents on an overseas junket. I don’t think such a paper would be tolerated at a truly international gathering of Lutheran Church leaders, many (most?) of whom are supportive of their gay members.

    BTW. With the story of Lot and his daughters, keep reading into the next chapter. Lot has no sons so the continuation of his name is at risk. His daughters get him drunk and have sex with him so that they can bear his children. The fact that they get him drunk means that they absolve him of any blame for such an act. No judgement is given positive or negative about what they do but it seems to me that in the end the daughters are help up as the heroes. Strange times and strange customs indeed! (Exclamation mark.)

    • aussietap says:

      I have read the story about Lot and his daughters – always did wonder about it. Not in a religious way, I just thought it strange that “brewers droop” didn’t exist in those days…or then maybe he wasn’t that drunk.

  2. I don’t think your being harsh at all, and I believe these thoughts are completely out of step with the society we live in today. Everybody that I know and talk too, does not see homosexuality as a sin at all, and regardless of sexual preference, all people are welcome to become Christians.

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks Michelle, problem is our leadership see the Gospel as being “counter cultural” – in other words if we’re not creating offence then we are not doing it right. I think the only reason the church is creating offense at the moment is because they are throwing law at a minority group (inappropriately) – not the Gospel 😦

    • stasisonline says:

      Regardless of sexual preference, all people are welcome to become Christians. But are Christians welcome to have gay sex?

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