A Message of Purpose from Pastor Brad Sherman

The Four Sins of Sodom 
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 
- Ezekiel 16:49 
The Infrastructure of Evil
Homosexuality is commonly equated with the "sin of Sodom."  But you may be surprised to learn there were four sins that apparently led to Sodom's sexual perversion. Sin #4, socialism, may be the most surprising of all!

Sin #1: Pride
It depends on the translation you read as to whether pride, arrogance, or haughtiness is used.  But arrogance and haughtiness describe pride in a more graphic way, indicating a pride that has come out in the open and no longer attempts to disguise itself in false humility. This kind of pride is so self-absorbed that it justifies any action, no matter how evil, on the basis of personal desire. It places the desire of self above the Word of God. The result is an "entitled" mentality. The people of Sodom had become so proud that they even felt entitled to rape strangers that came into the city!

Sin #2: Fullness
Sodom was in a fertile and prosperous area, which is why Lot chose to go there when he parted from Abraham.  Produce was surely plenteous and the people must have become wealthy. They had forgotten what it was like to be hungry and had given themselves over to excess in many forms, not just fullness of food.  Jesus warned about such excess saying,

"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34 KJV).

Sin #3: Laziness
Having plenty led to excessive idleness, which is very dangerous.  We were created to "DO" the will of God (see Eph. 2:10). It was when King David was idle, and should have been in battle, that he was tempted and sinned with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam. 11:1-5). Proverbs 6 speaks of the lazy/worthless man and says, "Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually..." (See Pr 6:9-14). An old saying says, "The idle mind is the devil's workshop." How true!

Sin #4: Socialism
Even in a land of plenty, there will always be those who are needy. At first glance this sin seems to be a failure to give to the poor. But this is not simply about giving to or feeding the poor, which we certainly are called to do. Most translations use the phrase "strengthen the hand." Strengthening the "hand" speaks of enabling the poor to work and helping them become independent, not dependent, upon others. Dependency is a dead end that is kin to slavery and oppression. In other words, this is a description of socialism, which kills the incentive to work, creates a permanent class of poor needy dependents, and perpetuates idleness.

These four sins form the foundation, or the infrastructure of evil, that existed in Sodom. The people of Sodom continued to build on this foundation until God said:

"But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD" (Genesis 13:13 NKJV).

The Sins of Sodom in America 
We don't have to look very far to find the sins of Sodom in our nation. But the sad part is that these four sins exist in the nation because they exist in the church. In 2 Chronicles 7:14,  God promises healing for our land if WE, those of us who are called by His name, pray and repent.

Our Pride
Pride manifests in many ways. But nothing proudly cries out, "I don't need God." like the lack of prayer. The first step in healing our land, as prescribed in 2 Chronicles 7:14, is to humble ourselves and pray.

Our Fullness
Fullness of bread has made us spiritually dull and blind. Fullness, or having plenty, is not in itself evil, but it does present the opportunity for excess in many areas that would not otherwise exist. Jesus spoke to the Laodiceans regarding their attitude about riches:

"Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see"  (Revelation 3:17-18 NKJV).

Our Laziness
Because of our abundance of idleness, we have forgotten how to work and are under deception. James put it this way: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).  Under this deception, we resist the work of engaging the non-Christian culture and we think that attending church and keeping its machinery oiled equals doing God's work.

Spiritual Socialism
Besides buying into socialism in general, we have created our own form of spiritual socialism. This naturally follows from the abundance of idleness and an aversion to work. Our style of "Churchianity" has created a spiritually dependent class of Christians who are perpetually in need of milk instead of maturing to eat meat.  The book of Hebrews describes these Christians:

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."  Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)

Growing from infants to mature adults is a normal process, but when that does not happen and a person remains a perpetual infant, failing to take on responsibilities, something is wrong. Some have called it the Peter Pan syndrome, i.e., not wanting to grow up. God intends us to grow up, become dependent upon Him more than others, and help others do the same.

Repenting From the Sins of Sodom
Yes, these four things are a stinging commentary on the condition of the church. No, all these may not apply to you. All I can say is, "If the shoe fits, wear it."  But as members of the church in general, we can all participate in a corporate repentance from the sins of Sodom by
  • Embracing humble prayer,
  • Avoiding excess and materialism,
  • Doing the work of reaching out to the culture, and
  • Moving away from neediness toward maturity and responsibility.
If we all seek God and repent where needed as individuals, it can grow into a corporate seeking and a corporate repentance that brings healing to our land.

Hope for America

I have hope for our nation. Unlike Sodom where there was none righteous, except Lot and his family, there is a remnant in our land crying out to God. As Isaiah said,

"Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah" (Isaiah 1:9 NKJV).

God is calling His prophetic remnant to stand up and call for repentance, no matter how unpopular it may be. As Isaiah said:

"Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1 NKJV).
For The King and the Kingdom,

Brad Sherman

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-Pastor Brad Sherman