At some point, it must have dawned on Abraham that he’d overestimated the level of righteousness in Sodom. I’m curious to know the number. Was it when he was still in the forties or when he was scraping the single digits? Lot was still living there, and news of the depravity to which the Sodomites had descended had likely made its way to his ears, but surely it couldn’t be that bad. Perhaps someone was exaggerating, didn’t fully understand the cultural norms, or just had a run-in with the wrong kind of Sodomites. It couldn’t be as bad as all that, surely.
There are bad apples in every bunch; that’s a given, but for the entirety of the bunch to have gone bad was something Abraham wasn’t willing to concede. I don’t believe he started at a high number hoping to negotiate it lower. I believe Abraham thought there would be fifty righteous, certainly, and so established his baseline. He may have even undershot just to be safe. It’s a reasonable hypothesis, knowing how the human mind works. He may have thought there were a solid hundred righteous in Sodom, but just to be safe, he said fifty.
Once he got down to ten, the writing was on the wall, and he knew he’d been overly optimistic for whatever reason. Perhaps, at this point, he realized the presence of a righteous man in a community does not make those around him righteous by default. Maybe propitiation does not have a cascading effect, and the theory that all you need is one righteous in every city is a pipe dream. Wouldn’t it be something if the Bible was right after all and the soul that sins would die?
I believe the church is about to have its Abraham moment, and it will be difficult for some to come to terms with reality.
In the wake of this, there will be much finger-pointing, obfuscation, and shirking of responsibility. Painful as the truth might be, here it is: we did it to ourselves! By we, I mean the church; what we did requires more of an explanation.
The only thing that combats darkness is light. Being less dark than darkness doesn’t cut it, but we hoped it might. Because we prioritized our flesh over everything else, including righteousness, even if God Himself had spoken from the heavens and declared it to be so, we would still have found an excuse to be lukewarm. I’m speaking exclusively about the church, not about politicians or individuals running for office. It is your duty as a child of God to be light! Your duty as a child of God is to live a life worthy of the name Jesus, not capitulate to every wind and fleeting trend.
We expect the world to be righteous and make godly choices, while much of the church has rejected righteousness and is laser-focused on the things of this earth. How does that work, exactly?
Pastors are opening their sanctuaries up for drag queen story hour, but the godless are expected to vote in such a way as to promote decency and wholesomeness.
Men who’ve heard from God and have messages of substance for the church are rejected, while pastors the nation over are clambering over people who claim to be long-dead sons of former presidents and concoct such fanciful tales as to put Tom Clancy to shame. But still, we cling to the hope that this ship will turn before it hits the iceberg.
At this point, it’s doubtful Jesus would get past the primaries if the voter base were exclusively self-professing Christians. We know it’s Jesus, but we need someone more moderate. We’ve been going through His history, and did you know He actually told a woman to go and sin no more? That does not poll well with our under-forty demographic! Our Jesus is supposed to be about love, acceptance, and good vibes. Are we sure it’s the real Jesus? What’s all this about picking up crosses, anyhow?
This generation wants Christ without the cross. They want heaven without repentance. They want abundance, whatever the cost, even if the price is betraying Jesus. That’s the reality of it, without fluff or baseless optimism.
By all means, entreat God for mercy. Pick a number, and do as Abraham did, but don’t be surprised if, like Abraham, the number you thought would be a shoo-in far exceeds the righteous.
I just want you to be open to the possibility that it’s not so much the cheating that’s the culprit, and by no means am I saying cheating didn’t go on, but rather the darkened hearts of men. If that’s the case, then maybe we should be looking for the sifting and the shaking rather than the phoenix rising from the ashes. Perhaps we’ve been using the wrong metaphor all along, and we’re just a dog returning to its vomit or a pig contentedly rolling in its filth.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.