Open Bible Podcast

#02 - The Sin (and Shame) of Sodom w/ Matthias Roberts and Romell Parks-Weekly

October 31, 2019

This episode explores the meaning of a passage of scripture that has been a source of shame for LGBTQ people for millenia--the story of Sodom and Gomorrah from Leviticus 19. Because of interpretations of this story, men who had sex with men were called sodomites regardless of their actual resemblance or divergence from the people in this biblical story. But what does the story really mean? And what happens when shame gets mixed into our theology? Who were these men in Sodom, and what does that have to do with the questions we are asking today about sexuality, gender, and marriage?


Big thanks to everyone who contributed to this episode!


Thank you to the band Tow’rs for generously allowing us to use your music for this episode. You can hear more at: 


Our guests this week were Matthias Roberts and Romell Parks-Weekly.


For more information about Matthias’ work: The book, the podcast, and his other projects, see his website:


Romell has authored four books addressing topics of sexuality and faith in the bible and the church. You can find them here:


After listening to this episode, consider the following questions 


What was your favorite part of the podcast?


Was there anything from the podcast you had questions about? What were they?


Read through Genesis 18 and 19. What messages do you get from the text?


What do you remember being taught about Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you remember anyone teaching that it was either about LGBTQ people or teaching that it was not about LGBTQ people?


Do you have any memories of experiencing shame in your Christian or church experience?


How have you seen churches or Christians reject or overcome shame?


What did you think of the quote from Anita Bryant? Were you aware that many Christians used to believe homosexuality was voluntary and that gay and lesbian recruited children into being homosexual?


How might a persons beliefs about LGBTQ people impact the way they understand the theology of human sexuality?


Romell said that the irony of this whole situation is that gay people have been associated with Sodom and Gomorrah and yet it’s LGBTQ in churches that have been treated like the angels were treated in Sodom. They are shown inhospitality, treated like outsiders, and left out in the cold surrounded by dangers. What are your thoughts on this quote?


What questions do you have about Christianity, sexuality, and gender after listening to this episode?

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