Some time back, one of my seminary professors who remains a dear friend wrote taking issue with my use of the word 'sodomy' to refer to same-sex carnal knowledge:
I find your use of the word 'sodomites' a bit inaccurate, because the sin of Sodom was not solely homosexuality, but also (maybe primarily) lack of concern for the poor.
Ezekiel 16:49-50 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
Jude 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
I hear this objection frequently. Just yesterday, a reader commented:
Using a word like sodomite , while largely accurate , is not helpful or proper in dialog . Here's why. Many in the world ,especially young people are just cruel to homosexuals , calling them such names , showing no mercy or opportunity for God's repentance . So 'Gay' folk are conditioned by this verbage to see it as name calling . And I don't see Jesus calling folk 'names', except for the religious hypocrites . and thirdly , we don't like folk using names on us that we don't like - haters , anti- choice , etc . 4) Jesus was friend of such folk . One of things I really like to do is go to a local gay pride type event . These folk are used to Christ followers only heaping pointing fingers at them . They really open up each year I go and just begin to friend them and dialog . I met some deaf guys this year who still text me . Who wants to go sometime and be 'friends of sinners ' ?
One of my closest friends agrees. He told me he thought my use of 'sodomy' and 'sodomites' made me look to our readers like I was a member of the lunatic fringe.
First, a little street cred...