Sunday, July 2, 2023

Excessive Righteousness 1: Sodom, et. al.


“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children.”

(Queer March Chant, 6/25/23)

In late June, the chant quoted above was shouted by marchers in the Queer March in Manhattan. NBC News defended the chant, saying that it had been “used for years at Pride events.” Not true. The chant “we’re coming for your children” originates from lyrics sung by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir in 2021 (https// Other lyrics from that song are: “We’ll convert your children, happens bit by bit, quietly and subtlety and you will barely notice it” ( NBC News implies that it’s just gays joking about this unfounded charge leveled against them, but that’s not really true, either. We have only to look at Walt Disney World, in my own back yard, to see that this is not a joke. The LGBTQ+ movement is very serious about converting your children.

They are also serious about quieting any resistance from you. Corporation after corporation is being enlisted in an effort to “normalize” what was generally considered “abnormal” behavior a few short decades ago. The corporations and colleges have DEI codes and re-education programs to ensure that their employees and professors fall in line with their new “normal.”




If Mark’s Gospel is the Gospel of Extreme Self-Denial and Luke’s Gospel is the Gospel of Extreme Impoverishment and John’s Gospel is the Gospel of Extreme Faith, then Matthew’s Gospel is the Gospel of Extreme Righteousness. Only Matthew (in 5:20 NKJV) records Jesus’ warning: “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Righteousness that EXCEEDS can be called “Excessive Righteousness,” the main title of the next several blogposts in this series. While Luke’s account of the Beatitudes states: “Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled” (Luke 6:21 NKJV), Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) states: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Along with Matthew, the very first New Testament book written, according to J. A. T. Robinson (the book of James), emphasizes personal righteousness. As Jesus’ own brother, James corroborates how important “righteousness” was to Jesus. The concept of righteousness permeates Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Since our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees in order for us to enter the kingdom of heaven, we will be considering the righteousness of the Pharisees in the next few blogposts, for comparison.


It is no great leap to suggest that, if our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, it must most certainly exceed the righteousness of the inhabitants of Sodom. You may be currently attending a church that welcomes LGBTQ+ activities. The Roman Catholic Church released a document on June 20, 2023 stating: “Roman Catholic bishops should discuss how the Church can be more welcoming to LGBTQ+ people” ( Other denominations have already been more welcoming: Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB), Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Episcopal Church (United States), Evangelical Anglican Church In America (EACA), Alliance of Baptists, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF)Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), United Methodist Church (UMC), Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals (GAAAP), Gay Apostolic Pentecostals, Presbyterian Church (USA), Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Reformed Church in America (RCA), United Church of Christ (UCC), Friends General Conference (FGC), Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), to name a few ( One might suggest that there is a difference between engaging in such sexual sin and tolerating or supporting or welcoming those who do so engage. Nevertheless, those in Sodom who stormed Lot’s home in order “to (carnally) know” the angels who were his guests may have been a minority of the citizenry of Sodom (since, for instance, the city also contained women, yet, no women were mentioned as being guilty of the active crime). These remaining citizens, however, apparently tolerated or supported or welcomed those who so engaged. Genesis 18:19 states that Abraham’s family should “do righteousness,” but in Genesis 18:24, Abraham negotiates with God to save the city of Sodom, if there were only 50 “righteous” in it. Then, Abraham re-negotiates for saving the city if there were only 45 “righteous” (verse 28), then 40 (verse 29), then 30 (verse 30), then 20 (verse 31), then 10 (verse 32). Hence, the “unrighteous” included many who did not seek to commit the sin against the angels, but the entire city was destroyed with fire and brimstone (except for Lot, his wife, and two daughters).




Exceeding the righteousness of the inhabitants of Sodom sets the bar pretty low, but what if the bar is set at a level that many Christians look down on: Islam? There certainly are Muslims who engage in atrocious behavior, such as the Islamic terrorists who murder innocents, and hate Christians and Jews. Nevertheless, I had many Muslim students who took my courses at Loyola University Chicago, in the 1990s. Far from hating me, they loved me as a professor, perhaps, because I took a stand in my classes for morality. They agreed with my position that we should not drink alcohol. They agreed that we should practice sexual purity. They agreed that abortion was unacceptable. They agreed that God should be revered. Although I had fewer Muslim students at Florida State University, I found that they also agreed with my positions on these matters. Although not all Muslims resist the LGBTQ+ movement, most Muslims do. “Muslim parents delivered passionate speeches against elementary schoolchildren in Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools being forced to learn LGBTQ sexuality curriculum against parents' wishes at a [June 27, 2023] school board meeting” (https//

This is consistent with Islamic teaching throughout the world. An opinion piece in the Islamic publication al-Jazeera put it this way:

As Muslims, we refuse to be coerced into believing something our faith categorically condemns. This is not a political stance. It is a moral principle.  recent statement … titled “Navigating Differences: Clarifying Sexual and Gender Ethics in Islam”, has been signed and endorsed by more than 300 Islamic scholars and preachers across North America. In this document, we explicitly and clearly lay out the non-negotiable, normative Islamic position on sexuality and gender ethics (

The intolerance of Muslims, here, is a good example for Christians to follow. Stepping away from LGBTQ+ issues, for a moment, look at the morality of drinking alcohol. Islam condemns it. The university with which I am currently affiliated—Liberty University—also opposes it. “Liberty University’s code of conduct, known as the Liberty Way, prohibits the consumption of alcohol for all students living on or off campus. This policy applies not only to those under the age of 21, but also those who are 21 and older.” Mormons also oppose it, but an overwhelming majority of evangelical churches (including the one I have attended for the past decade) now accept it. I have had debates with the preachers and elders of my church and have succeeded, at least, in discouraging their preaching from the pulpit the acceptability of drinking. Between 1920 and 1933, Prohibition was the law of the land—and the consensus agreement of Christians throughout the U.S. Nevertheless, as things now stand, there is a good possibility that, in this area (and even in the LGBTQ+ area), the righteousness of Muslims exceeds the righteousness of Christians.




Jesus, however, is not satisfied with our righteousness exceeding the Muslims or the citizens of Sodom. He demands that our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees. Put away the anti-Pharisee prejudice instilled in you by Sunday School for the next several posts and, with me, look afresh at the impressive righteousness taught by the Pharisees. This is the bar that we must exceed. This is the standard above which we must rise. There are 613 commandments adhered to by the Pharisees. We will consider them, as we look at the Laws the Old and New Testaments impose upon us. The process should result in our being much humbler, rather than our thinking of ourselves as “holier than thou.” One can have “excessive righteousness” without being “holier than thou.”

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