Fire and Brimstone

I can picture the preacher. Black suit. Dark tie. Stony face. He stands there atop the platform, takes the glass in his strong hand and drinks. He puts the glass back down and looks over the crowd, waiting and expectant. He takes a breath, raises his hand and begins to preach.

“This land,” he says, voice already at a yell, “is hanging over the pit of hellfire! This land, this evil, abominable culture we have found ourselves in, is against God in the most perverted ways imagined. Only the great and unfathomable mercies of Jehovah have held the fire and brimstone from consuming this country as it consumed Sodom and her whoredom so long ago. But do not presume on the mercies of God! There is a limit! A limit of the deviant sin that God will be willing to put up with. I tell you, brothers and sisters, if this land will not repent of its grave iniquity, it will be consumed just like that city of old that has become a byword for sin so heinous I can hardly bring myself to give it utterance.

“What? Are there those among you who think that our country and culture is not so bad? Worldly! Deceived! Sons and daughters of a liberal, post-Christian age! Can you not see? Have you not heard what the Lord has done to those nations that have turned to the sins that our culture and politicians are embracing? God points the finger at the political parties who have allowed this sin, most horrid, to become accepted, nay, applauded. God points the finger to the citizens who do not care or raise their voices against the sin of Sodom that has become so popular. God points the finger even at the Church, his whore bride, who plays the part of Sodom with more and more liberty now than ever. Never before has the Church been more like Sodom than today! And you think God does not hear? You think God does not see? Shame! Shame and judgement! The judgement of God shall fall upon us all soon, for the philosophy and practices of Sodom are with us, unchanged by time.”

He pauses to take a breath, I think. Another sip of water. And then he opens his Bible and, in a soft voice, reads.

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”