The Cry of Sodom

Barb Wire

A June 24, 2016 article by WTOP’s Michelle Basch reports that on Tuesday, July 5, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (LCBOS) will consider a resolution proclaiming June “LGBT Pride Month.” Leesburg supervisor Kristen Umstattd will introduce the proclamation, ostensibly in response to a fusillade of 30 emails (constituting “an outcry) from the local LGBT community, reacting to the June 12 mass shooting at a gay Orlando night club. If accurately represented in the article, Umstattd conflates race and sexual preference in the dubious assumption that sexual preference, like skin color, is hereditary, to make the inference that failure to support the proclamation makes one inhumane, uncharitable, and bigoted.

Evidently, the Leesburg supervisor’s concern for the lives of gay people does not extend to those who might die if her proclamation incites further attacks like the one in Orlando. Her manipulation of the Orlando tragedy to reinforce the idea that sexual preference is a civil right is scandalous.

The inducement to abandon evil inherent in the emergence of several existential threats over the last fifteen years—terrorism (in perpetuity), a significant increase in the number of Sunni mosques (up from 1,000 on 9/11 to 2,500 today), hostile regimes with nuclear weapons, weakened military forces, incomprehensible national debt, porous borders, and an ISIS-embedded flows of Syrian “refugees”—has been answered with obstinacy. Americans in cities and towns across the country, continue to empower godless leaders who enact policies that provoke Heaven’s ire, erode Liberty, and accelerate our national demise.

image2-26In 1674, Puritan minister Samuel Danforth wrote and delivered the first known “execution sermon.” The Cry of Sodom Enquired Into, was occasioned by the sentencing to death by hanging of Benjamin Goad, a young man from Danforth’s congregation at Roxbury, Massachusetts. Goad, who had been convicted of bestiality, specifically “copulation with a lady horse” (mare), had been caught in the act, out in the open in broad daylight.

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Danforth’s discourse was not the “puritanical” diatribe of a backwoods simpleton, spouting empty shibboleths against sexual vice, nor its author impervious to the anguish of a parent over the death of a child. Danforth had endured the deaths of eight of his own children before Goad’s day of reckoning. The arduousness of delivering the tragic polemic would have been compounded by the sobering knowledge that the condemned had been born into Danforth’s congregation, and grown up under his pastoral tutelage.

image3-29Danforth was no lightweight. His ministerial gravitas and command of the pulpit garnered an invitation to deliver the annual election sermon to the Massachusetts General Assembly in 1670. The discourse, A Brief Recognition of New-England’s Errand into the Wilderness, is considered one of the finest examples of the American Jeremiad (an oration or literary work reminiscent of the apocalyptic message of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah), alongside Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, preached at the height of the Great Awakening in 1741, and John Winthrop’s, A Model of Christian Charity, preached on board the Arbella en route to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630.

image4-32Danforth, a seventeenth-century “Renaissance man,” attended Harvard College where he graduated in 1643, and tutored until 1650. In addition to Theology, his studies included the natural science of Astronomy, which led to his publishing almanacs for 1647, 1648, and 1649 that included his own poetry, celestial tables, tide tables, calendars, dates of court sessions, and brief chronologies of significant events in New England history.

The Cry of Sodom Enquired Into describes several acts associated with the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, including masturbation, prostitution, adultery, fornication, incest, sodomy, and bestiality. Danforth’s message, which is filled with biblical examples, defends the sentence of death as necessary for the preservation of the church and society and applies the example made of the condemned to the need for general reformation among all who share in man’s fallen nature:

The gross and flagitious practises of the worst of men, are but Comments upon our Nature. Who can say, I have made my heart clean? The holiest man hath as vile and filthy a Nature as the Sodomites, or the men of Gibeah. The sins and abominations of “uncleanness” offer false promises of pleasure, secrecy, impunity, and the possibility of future repentance.

In today’s pornography-immersed culture, the thought of execution as punishment for bestiality or sodomy, is barbaric, and a sermon on the subject, unheard of. Puritan, a designation that in 1670 earned the imprimatur of a prestigious state legislature, and for the better part of three centuries, the respect and admiration of the American people, is today an invective.

As Americans and residents of Loudoun County, we would do well to ponder whether we as a culture are progressing or regressing. Each of us needs to answer honestly the question, “Am I prepared to set aside the faith and morality upon which this nation was founded by granting legitimacy to behavior that until very recently has been considered depraved?”

America has lost her moral compass, and in continuing to sin against great light, is careening toward national ruin. We can deny God’s existence, claim the Bible is a book of fables, and believe that a loving God would never send people to hell. We can claim the antediluvian flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the plagues of Egypt are allegories written to deter evil. If we do, however, we had better be right, for the Scriptures teach that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) See the website Ancient Mysteries for Archeological confirmation of the existence of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The truth cares not if men reject it. It is impervious to opinion polls and public sentiment. It will never accede to the will of man. We do not judge it, but it will most certainly judge us. Either we will fall on it and be broken, or it will fall on us and grind us to powder.

Jesus said, “there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2) He asked, “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) and said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

“We will,” as Ronald Reagan posited, “preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Will we allow this “last best hope of man” to suffer the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah? Whether fire and brimstone will fall from heaven and incinerate America’s “alabaster cities” and “amber waves of grain” is uncertain. But what is certain is our individual and national destruction if we persist in justifying evil.

Why should a seventeenth-century Puritan minister’s execution sermon matter to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (LCBOS), or for that matter, the citizens of Loudoun County?

Because it expresses the immutable, biblical, ubiquitous world view of its time, that birthed the freest, most prosperous, beneficent, and powerful nation in human history, and it evinces the conviction that God had and would destroy a city or an entire nation if it sank into the moral debauchery that left Sodom and Gomorrah in ashes. (Genesis 19)

Consider what the LCBOS and numerous other local governing bodies across America are throwing away for all of us, and for our posterity when they reject the biblical principles that guided the Founders, deprecate the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God that undergird Liberty, and normalize unnatural sexual behavior that has augured the inevitable demise of civilizations throughout history. Evidently, they must think themselves wiser than the Founders or resolutions like the one under consideration by the LCBOS would never see the light of day.

If approved by the LCBOS, the proclamation will also be “causing little ones to stumble” an offense for which the Christ promised the severest of eternal punishments, akin in this life to having a millstone tied around one’s neck and being tossed into a watery abyss (Matthew 18:6).
It is an outrage that any governing body would undermine the civil society and the general welfare of a community under its care, by entertaining the bestowal of civil rights on a terminologically polite phrase (“LGBT Pride Month”) for depravity.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Rev. William Cook
Founder and Executive Director of the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, a clergy-led army of Christian patriots who are committed to restoring Liberty in the Commonwealth of Virginia and America. Rev. Cook has served for more than fifteen years in full-time pastoral ministry, as Assistant Campus Minister and Director of Student Life at Regent University for seven years, as an associate pastor in two different churches for five-plus years, and most recently as a clergyman giving oversight and direction to the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia.

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