Two gay men and two lesbian women came to Sodom in the evening as Rev Lot was communing with some local folk downtown. When Rev Lot saw them, she rose to meet them and extended her hands, because she saw, in the faces of these people, the image of God – the very tired and rejected faces of Christ.
She said, “Please, my friends, come with me to my parsonage. You can shower and sleep. Then, tomorrow, you can come to church service before you continue your journey.”
They answered, “No, we will spend the night at the hotel on the square.”
But Rev Lot urged them to accept her hospitality, being concerned about their safety. Rev Lot was so persistent that the four changed their plans and accompanied her to the parsonage. She prepared a sumptuous dinner for them, which they gladly ate. The next morning the guests went to the church, where Rev Lot invited them to partake in the Lord’s Supper. Overjoyed at such an affirming welcome, they stood hand in hand with their lovers to take communion.
Several in the congregation were incensed at the sight of two men and two women holding hands as they moved down the line for communion. They started to vehemently complain to Rev Lot, insisting that they be barred not only from communion, but also the church. They called them all kinds of vile names, and insisted that such unrepentant sinners should not be allowed to worship with decent Christians.
Rev Lot looked around in appeal, and two people got up in defiance of the unruly church-goers.
The first said, “Look, I’m a sinner. You’ve embraced me, even though, to my shame, I have at times beaten my wife and children, and I have swindled people out of money.”
The other said, “Look, I am a sinner also. I drink too much, and gamble away my family’s welfare. You don’t throw me out into the street.”
Rev Lot looked at the crowd, and then to the two men, and said, “Yes, we’re all sinners here. But these folks’ sin isn’t their sexuality – their sin is just like our own. We’re all sinners, one way or the other, but these people aren’t sinning when they love each other – only when they don’t love others. Just like us, right here, right now. I beg you, please don’t be so arrogant and unloving.”
But the angry congregation members dismissed Rev Lot. They said to each other, “Who is she to judge us? She’s not really one of us. She may be our minister, but she’s an outsider just the same. We’ll deal with her later.”
Then the guests spoke to Rev Lot saying, “We’ll just leave. Thank you, but these people don’t understand the love of God any more than the thousands of other churches that reject us. Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be somewhere that appreciates both God and you?” Then they left.
Rev Lot packed up her children and possessions and left after them, seeking a place where God’s children would be loved as God intended. Rev Lot’s husband would have gone with them, but he had a successful business and didn’t want to loose his wealth. He stayed and became just like the Sodomites.
For years the story of Sodom was told at the denominational meetings, but the story became twisted. They recognized the brokenness of the Sodom church, but decided that the problem was the presence of GLBT people. They even decided that Rev Lot herself must have really been lesbian. Over and over, the story was recited how gays and lesbians ruined the Sodom church, and the denomination made rules to keep these “deviants” from their doors.
The denomination, just like the church, gradually became smaller and smaller, until there were only empty buildings where there once were churches. Other denominations pointed to the now defunct Church of the Holier Than Thou, and continued to blame the lesbians and gays. God just wept, as yet other churches made decisions that would ensure their eventual death.