By Craig Hardegree | 

Twin sin-cities Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God for a pervasive and perverted lifestyle that flagrantly violated one of God’s fundamental and foundational commandments; a concept that was essential and existential — the very essence of society was built upon it; the continued existence of society depended upon it.

Men had become lovers of their own selves.

In amongst the laws prohibiting men from wearing wool-blend suits and eating oysters on the half shell and the law requiring a man who has sex with a slave to make sure he pays her master, is an often-overlooked, seldom-practiced law:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Leviticus 19:18.

Yet the people of Sodom were in love with themselves and took no thought for others. Everything they had, they owed to the goodness and generosity of God, but in their pride and arrogance, they began to think that they had pulled their own selves up by their own bootstraps; that what they had was the result of their own hard-work, their own work-ethic, their own ingenuity, their own sacrifices; that others didn’t have the same life of prosperous ease because others were shiftless, others were lazy, others were bunked-up all day playing on their Obama-phones watching sixty-inch widescreens; that people were poor because people made bad life-choices.

The Prophet Ezekiel:

“This is the sin of Sodom: They were proud, had plenty to eat, and enjoyed peace and prosperity; but they didn’t help the poor and the needy.” ~ God, Ezekiel 16:49.

It’s a concept that requires us to view the core essence of humanity in the collective, rather than in popular-today rugged-individualism. The continued existence of society depends on us giving up individual pride, in favor of lifting up collective good.

It’s a concept so vital to an orderly society and a life-pleasing-to-God, that Jesus brought it forward from the old period of living under the condemnation of the law, into the new period of living life free from guilt, in the grace provided by His substitutionary sacrifice.

When cross-examined by the conservative religious leaders on the hyper-technical fine-print in the old law, Jesus gave them a cross-purchased answer:

“The greatest law of all is to love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul. And the second-greatest law is a lot like the first: love your neighbor exactly the way you love yourself.” ~ Jesus

Jesus then reiterated and reinforced by expressly telling them that all other laws of God, rules of man, and directives from prophets, hang on these two fundamental commandments.

Years later, the Apostle Paul admonished us not kill, steal, bear false witness against President Obama, have sex with the church secretary, or attempt to keep up with the Joneses. Then he added:

“If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying; namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” ~ Romans 13:9

My marriage isn’t crumbling. It’s not under attack. My wife loves me and I love her, as deeply and solidly today, as before the Supreme Court decision-day. We love God and he loves us…just as he loves you…just as he loves those upon whom you heap hot coals of condemnation.

End-Post-Craig-Hardegree

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