A brother in Christ often brings this question to me. I believe the answer is, “Why not?” I also believe that this matter is not my business until the Spirit brings a greater understanding of it to my conscious surface awareness. For me to presume otherwise, I would have to be like the Jewish apostles who, having worked only within Israel with Christ, assumed upfront that the Holy Spirit could not live in Gentiles. God isn’t contained in our theological systems but vice-versa (Rom 3:29).
Before Adam and Eve learned to pontificate over good and evil, they were naked in God’s presence, never troubled about whether they were within his plan for them or not. The plan worked well enough on auto-pilot as long as they remained without the knowledge of good and evil. They were not self-conscious. Neither am I. I experience creation as a glorious given, a wonderful surprise, and an existential dance. Every moment flows seamlessly into the next. I observe and participate without judgment. This is what it means to rest.
Every question comes with a hidden assumption. The assumption behind the question of whether to end slavery in America was that white people had the right to own back people. The choice to set them free presupposes they were theirs to set free (“Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you realize I have the power to release you or crucify you?”). The assumption behind the question of whether to end segregation and apartheid and many sexist policies was that certain ways of being in the world are intrinsically more righteousness or entitled than others. Right-handedness versus left handedness. Heterosexual versus homosexual. Etc.
Galatians 3:28 says that “There is no longer Greek or Jew, nor is there slave or free, nor is there male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus”. In Greek, the conjunction switches from Or, Or, to And. It’s a reference to the first creation order and its foundation on the first heterosexual union. In other words, the first creation based on the design of the male and female is like a good book: the story takes you where you need to go, and, once you’re there, you can put the book down and revisit it whenever you wish, much like early Christians visited synagogues without partaking of sacrifices. Gender is a grace note, an absurd and beautiful given of creation. It’s not a rule or standard. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. They just were. There isn’t room to contextualize every conceivable verse in the New Testament that discusses marriage right now, but we must remember that Adam and Eve were made of dust. This is crucial, for it begins to explain why Adam and Eve were not the pattern of righteousness but its prophetic foreshadower and its fallen reason.
Much is made of the fall and how it shattered God’s perfect plan for humanity and sexuality. But for that to be true, Adam would have had to have been created perfect. Was he? It is said that any idiot can count the number of seeds in an apple but only God the number of apples in a seed. When God looked at Adam, there was never a time when he didn’t see in him not only his transgression, but every transgression of his every descendant. I know this because God’s raising up a Pharaoh as a clay vessel of destruction in Exodus/Romans 9 is impossible unless Adam was the original vessel in which was contained every future destructiveness of every future clay vessel that in Adam dies. Adam was the eye of the needle through which the whole thread of humanity’s sin would be passed down to every man as God went about weaving the tapestry of time. History was contained in Adam even before he took his first God-given breath.
If you read 1 Corinthians 15 or Romans 9, you will realize that not one thing in the redemption drama has been out of God’s hands. Including Adam’s choice. God saw it in Adam’s make-up from the start. Paul repeatedly refers to the earthly man of dust as though there never had been any hope in him. In Adam all die.
And that’s why we cannot look to him and Eve for righteousness.
This is precisely what Christian heterosexism does.
And heterosexism, judging from its effects (email me for the ugly details, or spend a few hours reading on the topic on Google) is what is not of God. Love is. Love is primary. Love God and love neighbor. Everything else will fall in place and hang on this.
This has not been a 10th of the explanation it could be, and in fact is no explanation at all. Still, I am naked and I am not ashamed. I am loved unconditionally. I couldn’t be more righteous in his sight: for Jesus’ sake he has done it for me.
You cannot be God for as long as the Trinity has been, and still be phased by anything inside or outside creation. There will be a judgement. Moses’ Law, and not anyone in the Godhead, will be accusing the sons of the slave woman. And we know from Paul quoting the Law to exile the Law out of its own mouth in Sarah’s abolishing Haggai and her son, that the Law is not just limited to the 613 rules, but reaches as far back as Genesis. Moses’s Law is the Pentateuch. It’s instructive. God’s creation of them as male and female is binding even over Moses’ precepts on divorce for them that are under the Law. In this area, Catholicism is far more consistent in its administration of the Law than Protestants are, but they’ve neglected the weightier matters of the Law: this is why they need Christ crucified afresh each Mass and for adherents to reform and be born again each Communion. I think both Protestantism and Catholicism are doomed for having trifled with the Law in the first place.
The Father and the Son have called out of religion those that belong to them. The cryptic Spirit calmly saves and rebirth humans while religion scrambles around trying to reform them by a rule that was given to impart death.
Some of the elect just happen to be gay. Some happen to be in gay relationships. Without ruminating on the Greco-Roman context and motifs of this passage –
I tell you, in that night,
there shall be two men in one bed;
the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Two women shall be grinding together;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
(Luke 17:34-35, KJV)
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