St. Paul listed a variety of sinners who will not enter the kingdom of God. The list included adulterers, sodomites and thieves. He did not, however, say that no one who had ever indulged in those sins could be saved. In fact, speaking to his Christians he said, “That is what some of you used to be.”
I think It is not fair to say that in condemning sodomites the Bible was there condemning all sex acts between people of the same sex. I base my view on how sodomy was first portrayed in the Bible.
It referred to the story in Chapter Nineteen of Genesis. There, two angels, whom, Abraham’s nephew Lot addressed as “Gentlemen,” came to visit Lot in the town of Sodom. We read what happened after they had entered Lot’s house, and the door was locked.
4. All the people to the last man closed in on the house. 5.They called to Lot, and said to him, “Where are the men that came to your house tonight? Bring them out that we may have intimacies with them.”
That is different from the situation with the gays and lesbians we know. Our friends were oriented towards same sex love from their birth. The sodomites in the story from Genesis Nineteen were different. The Bible portrays them as males whose over indulgence in sexual activity had so blunted their libido that they had developed desires for what was originally unnatural to them.
Let me speak of my own orientation. Several times when I was a young man I was approached by men who asked me to have sex with them. They were good men, and I didn’t want to hurt them; but what they were suggesting had absolutely no appeal for me; but since I had similar strong inclinations towards women, I felt empathy with anyone who had equally strong inclinations the other way.
In last Sunday’s reading St. Paul told us that all the commandments are summed up in the one that tells us to love one another. For me that means I must love people who have sexual orientations different from the ones with which I had to struggle.