WILL THE CHURCH DIE ON THE STREETS OF SODOM?
FOUR DISTINCT LAST DAYS’ CHURCH POSITIONS ON SODOMY (HOMOSEXUALITY)
“…the great city which spiritually is called Sodom…” (Revelation 11:8 NKJV)
By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.
A firestorm of controversy erupted surrounding a message preached by gospel singer, Kim Burrell, recently, because of biblical values and views she expressed regarding homosexual activity. I will address Sis. Burrell’s remarks later in this message.
Interestingly though, according to the Bible, the very last two witnesses in the history of the Christian Church are slain in the streets; and the issue that the fight is surrounding may be the spirit of sodomy. The very last two witnesses of the church—before Christ returns—will lay dead in the streets of a city called Sodom. The history of the Christian Church will come to a fatal end in a great city which is spiritually called Sodom.
NOTE: The text says, “the great city which is spiritually called Sodom.” The spirit of Sodom had taken over the city where the two witnesses were slain. These two witnesses were slain in a city that was ruled by a spirit of sodomy. Even those who didn’t practice sodomy accepted it, applauded it or approved of it. The spirit of Sodom will be dominant in the world and in many churches at the end of the age.
The city is called Sodom for a reason. The name indicates the dominate sin of the city and the dominate sin of the church in the era in which her witness will die. The church will cease when Sodomy is pervasive on planet earth. Why was this city named Sodom where the witness of the church ceased? What was the sin of the city of Sodom in the Bible? I’m glad you asked. In Jude 7, the brother of our Lord reveals the dominant sin of the city of Sodom:
“as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)
The Greek word for “strange” means “different” from the norm, outside of the normal.
To be sure, sexual immorality was not the only sin of Sodom. Ezekiel 16:49-50 list other sins of Sodom:
“49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”
Jesus indicated that when He returned, the world would be reminiscent of the period in biblical history in the days of Noah and Lot, specifically as it related to marriage and the sins of Sodom (Luke 17:27-29).
America is on a bullet speed train ride to that “great city which spiritually is called Sodom” (Rev. 11:8).
Jesus said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (Luke 17:26).” “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot…but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:28-29 NASB). John, in Revelation 11:8, and Jesus, in Luke 17:29, clearly prophesied that sodomy and issues related to marriage—would be prominent and prevalent practices and issues before Christ returns. The spiritual state of the world could be summed up in one word: Sodom. Sodomy was a crime in the state of Texas and most of the South until about twenty years ago. What both Jesus and John are saying is, when we begin to see the acceptance and approval of sodomy, know that the end is near. This is the first generation in world history that is witnessing the approval of homosexuality in every sector of society including the church.
The Church of The Lord Jesus Christ must interact with individuals inclined toward homosexuality with compassion, yet without compromise. MY THESIS IS CONSENSUAL—HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY IS A SIN—PERIOD. Just as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, gluttony, pride, laziness, racism, sexism, ingratitude and a host of other vices are also sin. By sin, I mean missing the mark; or falling short of the Glory of God; thinking or behavior displeasing to God. Yet, God loves homosexuals as He loves all sinners. God loves us while we are yet sinners, but He loves us too much to allow us to remain in our sins. He has called us to maturity, growth and holiness.
Just as the historic Black Church has stood strongly against the legalizing, normalizing and institutionalizing the immorality and insanity of racism, we must do likewise with homosexuality and with the same intensity and tenacity. Many have said that this is a battle that the church will lose or has already lost. And I must admit, viewing this subject through the eyes of prophecy, I’m not overly optimistic myself. But even if we lose the battle, there are some battles you fight simply as a matter of principle. We are living in an age where some men would rather switch than fight. With regard to this subject matter, I’d rather fight than switch. In the movie, Glory, a regiment of soldiers strategically decided in order for the Union to win the war, they would likely lose their lives in a strategic battle. Yet, they determined, if we go down, we’re going down standing up! I’m not convinced that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ will even convince all of the Church, let alone the world, that homosexuality and homosexual marriage is displeasing to God. But if we lose this battle, we go down standing up. Standing for righteousness; standing up for holiness; standing up for truth; standing up for Jesus. And eventually, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Amen!
We will see four distinct models of church in the last days on the position of sodomy or homosexuality.
I. THE END TIMES APOSTATE CHURCH MODEL (1 TIMOTHY 4:1)
If you want to see where the Black Church may be in 40 years—if we don’t hit the brakes on this now—is to simply look at Yvette Flunder and Shirley Miller. They are legally married and pastor a gay church in the Bay area of Northern California. Yvette Flunder is the voice on Walter Hawkins “Love Alive IV” singing “Thank You Lord for All You’ve Done for Me.” Shirley Miller is the voice on Edwin Hawkins, “Oh Happy Day.”
While speaking at the American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, a National Baptist institution, in 2014, Yvette Flunder made a statement on the nature of Scripture:
“God will not be fixed; God will not be stuck; God will not be concretized.”
She made that statement while intentionally flipping both ends of the Bible, to symbolize that God could not be “concretized” in the canon of Scripture. She further stated:
“My theology is alive and shifting and it’s not stuck between the corners and the pages of a book. Just like God spoke to them, God is speaking to us. I’d like to see Martin’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” canonized one day…maybe in a Testament III—because God is still speaking…Thank God for theological evolution.” [Emphasis Mine]
Referring to the Third Testament, equivalent to the Bible, that Flunder proposes, because “God is still speaking” Flunder suggested that it could include “skype,” “in-vitro fertilization,” and…”somebody will write about me and Shirley in 30 years.”
And, of course, Flunder released a statement in opposition to Burrell’s statement:
“I will not reciprocate and attack or seek to diminish you, but you must know the injury of your words…” (http://blackchristiannews.com/2017/01/homosexual-clergy-members-are-coming-after-kim-burrell-for-her-sermon-condemning-homosexuality/)
Pictures of White Lesbian pastors: Maria Swearingen and Sally Sarratt: (historic Baptist Church (Calvary Baptist Church) (https://baptistnews.com/article/same-sex-married-couple-to-lead-historic-baptist-church/#.WJp8v1MrKM9)
Black Gay Church Opening in Cincinnati; Black Gay Church Opening In Cincinnati-Pastor Mike Heard And First Gentleman Leigh Set To Start The Good Life Church! (https://obnoxioustelevision.com/2012/10/15/black-gay-church-opening-in-cincinnati-pastor-mike-heard-and-first-gentleman-leigh-set-to-start-the-good-life-church/)
Their justification is that they say they were born that way. But science disagrees with them.
No Scientific Evidence That People Are Born Gay or Transgender, Johns Hopkins Researchers Say (http://www.christianpost.com/news/no-scientific-evidence-that-people-are-born-gay-or-transgender-johns-hopkins-researchers-say-168263/)
Another justification they use is that Jesus never spoke against homosexuality. Wrong again! When Jesus affirmatively addressed the judgment of Sodom in Luke 17:29, He addressed homosexuality.
“ but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”
Jesus taught that homosexuality is sin.
Mark 7:21, 23: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders…All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Where is homosexuality mentioned in this verse? The word “fornications” in Mark 7:21 is the Greek word “porneia” from which we get the English word “pornography.” The word “porneia” means illicit, various acts of various kinds. “Fornication” or “porneia,” here, means “of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.” This includes homosexuality. Jesus placed “homosexuality” under the broad category of “fornications.”
II. THE LIBERAL END TIMES CHURCH MODEL
Any Pastor that affirms same-sex marriage is a liberal pastor—at least on the subject of homosexuality. A liberal church may adopt an “evangelical” or theological conservative doctrinal statement that I could embrace as opposed to the apostate church. But the liberal pastor would “liberally” interpret texts of Scripture that addresses homosexuality and respond with great opposition to Kim Burrell’s traditional, conservative position on this subject matter.
A brilliant, gifted, scholarly young preacher pastor (Vanderbilt Divinity School graduate), bursting on the national scene—Reginald Sharpe, who affirmed same-sex relationships in a chapel message at Morehouse ITC recently, responded to Kim Burrell’s traditional message on homosexuality with these words:
“And let me say a word to all of you secret supporters of Kim Burrell’s comments. You are a part of the reason the church is trouble! It was the secret supporters of Donald Trump that put a megalomaniac in office. She may be a wonderful person but what she said DID NOT represent the Jesus, the God, or the Holy Spirit I have come to know. God is love. Let’s look at ourselves in the mirror and find a way to heal our country with more love and wisdom. Hatred and ignorance has never helped heal anyone.”
Reginald Sharpe Jr. appears to embrace an extreme liberal view of homosexuality that would not declare homosexual activity as sin. He’s a generation younger than his Pastor, and my concern is that if the current patriarchs of the Black Church don’t sound the alarm, when we go in our graves—Reginald Sharpe’s theology will be the ruling theology of the Black Church on homosexuality. It will also spell the death of the Black Church as we know it today. To label Burrell’s views as “hatred” and “ignorance” is to deny the Bible and to deny her the respect and love that he’s anxious to give to gays. Sharpe’s pastor, Dr. Smith, was careful not to do that, and I appreciate him for that. If what Burrell spoke was hateful and ignorant, then what the Bible teaches is hateful and ignorant. Sharpe’s published statement reflects liberal theology and a denial of biblical truth on this topic.
III. THE BIBLICAL BRIDGE-BUILDING END TIMES CHURCH
- THE TRIANGULATION END TIMES CHURCH
Building bridges with the LGBTQI Community in order to establish grounds for friendship evangelism and to communicate and interact compassion, respect, dignity and respect is a strategy that Jesus employed in reaching persons outside the sheepfold (Luke 15:1-2; John 4). Liberal and Conservative churches find common ground in the deployment of a Bridge-Building Strategy to reach the homosexual community. My personal practice and by extension—our congregation—is taught to build bridges of respect and friendship with all people groups with the hope of winning some to authentic faith in Christ and citizenship in God’s Kingdom. E. Dewey Smith is a great example of a biblical bridge builder to this community, while affirming the biblical view of marriage between a man and woman, exclusively.
Many who adopt a Bridge-Building Strategy sometimes also attempt to engage in a Triangulation View of Homosexuality also as a matter of church policy. In other words—Liberal, Moderate and Conservative theological viewpoints regarding homosexuality are all given some level of respect; and neither view is declared the official position of the church. This seems to be the position taken by Dr. Forrest Harris and American Baptist College. For two consecutive years, Dr. Harris invited Bishop Flunder to American Baptist College. However, the official position of the National Baptist Convention is marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman. Dr. Harris’ statement:
“It’s sad that people use religion and idolatry of the Bible to demoralize same-gender-loving people,”
When asked to define “idolatry of the Bible,” Harris said:
“When people say (the Bible) is synonymous with God and the truth,” he said. “We can’t be guided and dictated by a first-century world view.” [Emphasis mine] http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/03/10/pastors-oppose-lesbian-bishop-at-baptist-college/24727465/
IV. THE BIBLICAL MODEL OF THE END TIMES CHURCH
One could quiver with the tenor and tone of Kim Burrell’s speech; but the text of what she had to say is in line with Scripture and the traditional theology of the Black church on the subject. Burrell represented “The Old Landmark.” She spoke in graphic and no uncertain terms; but she captured the simplicity and summation of what the Bible teaches believers regarding engaging in homosexual activity.
“I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ…
You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted, and you cannot tell me ‘thus sayeth the Lord.’ You’re perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.” (http://www.dailywire.com/news/12057/gospel-singer-attacked-expressing-christian-views-frank-camp)
As I close, you ask what about those two witnesses lying dead in the streets of Sodom.
“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet…And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.” (Revelations 11:11-12)
In the end, the Church is going to win. Just like it appeared that the Super Bowl game was over, but in the end the best team won. I need to tell you that with all of the Church’s faults, she’s still the mother of the best in society. And in the end, we are going to win. Those of us who hold to biblical standards may be rejected and ridiculed; but hang in there, because on the third day, God is going to raise us up. In the end, we are going to win. He’s going to say “Come up here.” Churches that maintain biblical fidelity on homosexuality may experience verbal, physical and legal abuse, rejection and ridicule from the world and liberal churches; but if we are faithful to God’s Word, on the third day He will raise us up and restore us to new life. Therefore, I shall not be moved.
“I SHALL NOT, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED”
“I AM GOING WHERE THE WICKED SHALL CEASE FROM TROUBLING AND THE WEARY SHALL BE AT REST AND ALL OF THE SAINTS OF THE AGES ARE GOING TO SIT AT HIS FEET AND BE BLESSED!”