THE SPIRIT OF SODOM IN
THESE END TIMES
By David W. Cloud
In the book of Jude, end-times false teachers are described in connection with the moral filthiness of old Sodom and Gomorrah.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ … Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities" (Jude 4, 7-8).
THE SPIRIT OF SODOM IN ROMAN CATHOLICISM
We see the spirit of moral perversion is evident throughout the apostate element of Christianity. It has always been evident in the Roman Catholic Church, with its wicked forced "celibacy." The history of Roman Catholicism reads like something out of the pages of a Sodom and Gomorrah chronicle. Large numbers of the popes, even, were morally perverse, and countless Catholic priests were given over to homosexuality. Even Roman Catholic histories admit this, and they are usually less than forthright about the moral failure of the "mother church." The widespread perversion continues to this day. The Catholic Church in America has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in fines because of lawsuits won against homosexual priests. The November 13, 1989, issue of Time magazine contained an article titled "The Battle Over Gay Clergy" which reported that there may be some 10,000 homosexual Roman Catholic priests in the United States alone. In Australia, a code of conduct was recently recommended which would forbid Catholic priests to be alone with children. The Catholic Church there has admitted its priests have abused hundreds of children. A report produced in New South Wales this year highlighted the homosexual problem among the "clergy." The report said that many of the priests thought "their celibacy vow concerned only heterosexual relations and did not address indecent acts with boys or adolescent males" (Religious News Service, Sept. 25, 1997). In other words, they knew they were forbidden to marry a woman, but they did not understand that they were forbidden to have sexual relations with boys! Examples of the moral perversion among Catholic priests could be given for country after country.
THE SPIRIT OF SODOM IN PROTESTANTISM
Moral perversion has also been part and parcel with the liberal element of modem Protestantism. Many of the fathers of modernism and neo-orthodoxy, such as Tillich and Barth, were adulterers and moral perverts, and their children follow in their footsteps. The mainline denominations are rushing to accept homosexuality as a legitimate Christian lifestyle. I will give just a few examples. In 1968, a denomination called the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches was formed to provide a haven for active homosexuals. Today it claims to have 330 congregations with more than 30,000 members. In 1972, the United Church of Christ allowed the ordination of William Johnson, the first openly homosexual person to be ordained by a mainline denomination. In a 1979 book, Victor Paul Furnish of Southern Methodist University (United Methodist) questioned whether Paul really condemned homosexuality in the New Testament. In 1980, the Unitarian Universalist Church passed a resolution to hire openly homosexual and bisexual persons to leadership positions. In 1982 a report published by the United Methodist Church titled “A Christian Understanding of Human Sexuality” stated that homosexual men and women should not be barred from church ministry and leadership. The report claimed that "many people are homosexual by nature and they are as capable as other people of full Christian discipleship and of deeply loving and committed relationships with each other." In 1984, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship became the first major denomination to acknowledge marriages between homosexual couples. In 1987; the Episcopal diocese of Newark, New Jersey, called for the recognition of homosexual marriages. In November 1987, "clergy" delegates to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approved a resolution to develop a blessing for homosexual couples similar to a wedding. In 1988, the United Church of Canada became the first denomination in Canada to authorize the ordination of homosexuals to the ministry. Since then the number of United Church congregations which welcome "gays and lesbians" into all aspects of church life has steadily grown. Also in 1988 Episcopal Bishop John Spong published “Living in Sin: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality” (Harper & Row). Spong wrote: "I regard the blessing of gay or lesbian couples by the church to be inevitable, right, and a positive good" (p. 198). In May 1992, the British Columbia conference of the United Church of Canada ordained Tim Stevenson, an openly homosexual man, to the ministry and passed a resolution which "affirmed the validity of same-gender covenants as authentic expressions of interpersonal Christian commitment." The Religious News Service reported that some United Church of Canada ministers were performing "covenanting" ceremonies for homosexual couples. That same year the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario conference of the United Church of Canada voted to allow homosexual couples to be married in the churches. The next week, the Saskatchewan conference of the United Church of Canada voted to open at least 10 pulpits to homosexuals and lesbians in the next three years. A 1993 survey by the National and International Religion Report indicated that 75 percent of U. S. Episcopalians think sexually active homosexuals can still be faithful Christians. In November 1993, the World Council of Churches (which represents more than 300 denominations) sponsored a Re-imaging conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, attended by 2,000 women. Many of the speakers promoted lesbianism, and a group of roughly 100 lesbians were given a standing ovation when they went forward to celebrate their homosexuality. One workshop was called "Prophetic Voices of Lesbians in the Church." Nadean Bishop, the first "out" lesbian minister called to an American Baptist church, claimed that Mary and Martha in the Bible were lesbian lovers. Janie Spahr, a self-avowed lesbian clergy man in the Presbyterian Church USA, claimed that her theology is first of all informed by "making love with Coni," her lesbian partner. In 1994, United Church of Christ leaders, including its president, Paul Sherry, joined the "March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equal Rights and Liberation." In November 1995, speakers at a forum in the Foundry Methodist Church (United Methodist) in Washington D.C. (the church attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton) described Paul as "a self-hating gay man," praised homosexual marriage, and speculated that King David might have been bisexual and Jesus Christ might have been a homosexual "drag queen." The conference included a "clergy processional" led by flags showing the homosexual rainbow symbol. In July 1996, the Unitarian-Universalist Association of Congregations formally called for the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. In October 1996, the 500-member synod of the Uniting Church in South Australia rejected a proposal to put a moratorium on the appointment of homosexuals to positions of leadership. On November 16, 1996, more than two thousand supporters of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) in the Anglican Church held a 20th anniversary celebration in London's prestigious Southwark Cathedral. For 20 years this organization has pressed for the recognition of homosexuality as a natural condition which should not be condemned as immoral. Anglican Bishop John Gladwin, speaking at this anniversary, declared "that the nature of human sexuality was a gift from God." In February 1997, the aforementioned Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), composed largely of homosexuals, was admitted to the Southern California Ecumenical Council. In July 1997, the United Reformed Church in Britain has agreed to accept "practicing homosexual ministers in churches that choose to elect them. During its triennial General Convention in Philadelphia in July 1997, the Episcopal Church in America apologized to gays and lesbians "for years of rejection and maltreatment by the church." In 2001, the Archbishop of York, David Hope, the second highest official in the Church of England, commissioned a new catechism that treats homosexuality as a blessing from God. This Anglican catechism says: "Homosexuality may well not be a condition to be regretted but to have divinely ordered and positive qualities. Homosexual believers should be encouraged to find in their sexual preferences such elements of moral beauty as may enhance their general understanding of Christ's calling."
We could continue this sad list with hundreds of other illustrations, but this should be sufficient to prove our contention that the mainline denominations are rushing to accept homosexuality as a legitimate Christian lifestyle.
THE SPIRIT OF SODOM IN CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC
In his biography, popular CCM singer Kirk Franklin admits that he lived in deep sin during his teenage years and into his early 20s, even while acting as music director in churches and performing Gospel music in a wide range of forums (Kirk Franklin, Church Boy, pp. 136, 175, 176, 195). He fathered a son out of wedlock in 1990, and as late as 1995 he was still living a promiscuous lifestyle. He formed his group called The Family in 1992, and by 1995 they had produced two hit Gospel albums and had won Dove, Stellar, and other awards. He was living in fornication all of this time. Franklin testifies that such immorality is widespread within the Gospel music industry, and that homosexuality is also a MAJOR problem:
"In the church, especially the African-American church during the seventies and eighties, homosexuality was a big problem. It still is in some places. It's a problem today in gospel music--A MAJOR CONCERN--and everybody knows it. ... It seems that more than half the young people involved in dance, music, and the theater are openly gay. ... and the gospel music scene has not been exempt from that" (Franklin, pp. 39, 40).
THE SPIRIT OF SODOM IN THE WORLD
The recent DEATH OF GIANNI VERSACE and that of Princess Diana have highlighted the widespread sympathy toward homosexuality that has taken root in the world during the last few years. Versace, gunned down by homosexual prostitute and sadomasochist Andrew Cunanan, was a multi-millionaire clothes designer famous for "introducing homoerotic and sadomasochistic themes into his fashions." He "is credited for his role in glamorizing pagan symbols and promoting a neopagan, hedonistic culture. His trademark was the snake-covered Medusa head, and he drew richly from Greek and Roman paganism" (The Wanderer, July 31, 1997). A homosexual publication, The Advocate, praised Versace's "out gay lifestyle" and "his affection for young male models." Versace's underwear advertisements featured men in homoerotic poses. In spite of the man's moral perversion, he was praised during a large funeral service at St. Patrick's Church in Miami, Florida. Catholic priest Patrick O'Neill said Versace was in heaven and that God had already put him "in charge of redecorating Heaven and dressing everyone in Versace-orchestrated colors." (We wonder why Versace was allowed to pass right by Purgatory.) The priest also sang several verses of a Madonna song from the movie Evita: "where do we go from here, this isn't the way we thought it should be..." The women attending Versace's funeral were described as wearing "a collection of short cocktail dresses with spaghetti straps, see-through blouses, and at least one skintight leopard-print dress" (San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Pat Flynn). The preferred male apparel was "an all-black suit, with black T-shirt, black designer sunglasses, cellular phones in black leather cases, all highlighted by gold earrings." (Men who wear earrings and necklaces are imitating the homosexual and Hollywood world.) Another funeral mass for Versace was held in the Catholic cathedral in Milan, Italy. The 2,000 celebrities who attended included the late Princess Diana, rock singer Madonna, and bisexual pop star Elton John.
The mainstream secular media mourned Versace as a slain hero and gave his death and funeral front page coverage.
We should note here that the fashion world is largely under the control of homosexuals. They are setting the pace for what men and women wear, and for decades they have pushed a unisex agenda that has its roots in an anti-God, anti-Bible philosophy. Few people could afford a genuine Versace dress, but the homosexual unisex styles created by Versace and other immoral fashion designers have found their way into the least expensive department stores and have influenced this entire generation.
The pervasive and rapidly growing influence of homosexuality was also evident in the events surrounding THE DEATH OF PRINCESS DIANA. Openly homosexual rock singer Elton John dedicated his song "Candle in the Wind" to the deceased Diana, and at her funeral in London's Westminster Abbey, September 6, 1997, he performed the song. The song was originally written about Marilyn Monroe, but John's lyricist rewrote the words for Diana. A few hours after the funeral, Elton John recorded the song for distribution, with the profit to go to Diana's favorite charities. He vowed never to perform the song again. When the single went on sale in America on September 23, customers flooded the record shops and stood in long lines to purchase the single. Many stores sold out the first day. The single was certified as eight times platinum in its first day of release, meaning there were advance sales for 8 million copies in the United States alone. This has never happened before. Already it is the top-selling single of all time in the United Kingdom.
The end-times spirit of Sodom was also evident in the events surrounding THE DEATH OF FREDDIE MERCURY (real name Frederick Bulsara), lead singer for the rock group Queen. Mercury was bi-sexual, and the group flaunted immorality and rebellion against biblical laws. Many of Queen's hard-rocking songs perennially remain popular rock anthems in sports stadiums and other forums. These include "We Will Rock You," "We Are Champions," and "Another One Bites the Dust." Their song "We Are the Champions" is an unofficial anthem of the homosexual liberation movement. Many of their songs are filthy and vile. Freddie Mercury said, "We want to shock and be outrageous" (Circus, April 1974). He whipped "concert audiences into a frenzy with erotic body contortions. &MacI83; Their tours have featured snake charmers, strippers, transvestites, and a naked lady&Mac183;" (Larson's Book of Rock, p. 179). Drummer Roger Taylor said, "I'd love to own a whorehouse." The group staged an all-female nude bicycle race in 1978. Freddie Mercury died in November 1991 of AIDS. Five months later, 72,000 fans of this lascivious rock musician gathered for a memorial at Wembly Stadium. It was called the "Concert for Life" and featured Elton John, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Axl Rose and other immoral, anti-Christ rock stars. It was estimated that ONE BILLION people viewed the event on television worldwide!
"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen" (Jude 20-25).
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