Jesus said some are born gay.

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By:  @community, 5 months ago
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Some Christians confidently assert that God did not create homosexual people "that way." This is important because they realize if God did create gays "that way," rejecting them would be tantamount to rejecting God’s work in creation. In pressing their “creation order” argument, some Christians are fond of saying, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" To bolster their position, they often cite Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:4-5, where he responds to a question about whether divorce is permissible:


“Jesus answered, ‘Have you not read that the One who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”? Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ ”


From these words, some Christians draw the conclusion that heterosexuality is the creation norm and, thus, heterosexual marriage is the only legitimate way for people to form romantic relationships. Ironically, Jesus’ own words in this very same passage refute these conclusions.

As the dialogue continues, Jesus’ disciples are disturbed by his strict teaching on divorce. The disciples say that if divorce is not a ready option, perhaps it would be best for a man not to marry a woman. Jesus responds:


“Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:11-12)


Here Jesus identifies three classes of men who should not marry women. Taking his categories in reverse order, first, there are those who have made themselves “eunuchs” for the kingdom of heaven, i.e., those who foreswear marriage to better serve God. Second, he mentions those who have been “made eunuchs by others,” an apparent reference to castrated males. But Jesus mentions a third category — eunuchs who were born that way. Some might argue that Jesus was referring to males born without testicles, but this would be extremely rare. Moreover, this interpretation ignores how the term “born eunuchs” was used in other literature of the time.

 

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Larry Hampton
link 03/18/17 07:35:21PM @larry-hampton:

In the ancient world, including ancient Jewish culture (as reflected in the Talmud), “natural” or “born” eunuchs were not associated with missing testicles. Rather, they were associated with stereotypically effeminate characteristics and behavior (just like modern gay men), and were thought by Rabbi Eliezer to be subject to “cure” (just like modern gays). Moreover, as we have also seen, eunuchs were commonly associated with homosexual desire. (For a complete discussion of the term "born eunuch" and the connection with homosexuality, see The Early Church Welcomed a Gay Man.) As a reasonably informed person of his time, Jesus would have been aware of this common view of eunuchs. Yet he very matter-of-factly asserts that some people are simply born that way. The implication of his statement is profound — God created gay people the way they are! Jesus says so.

Unlike Rabbi Eliezer, Jesus feels no need to “cure” these born eunuchs. He speaks no words of condemnation. Rather he lists people born gay alongside another honored class (eunuchs for the kingdom), and accepts them as a natural part of God’s creation order.

Thus, when Matthew 19 is read as a whole, we see Jesus teaches that most people are created for heterosexual marriage. (We too accept this as God’s predominant creation paradigm.) But, unlike some modern Christians, Jesus does not see this as the only honorable way to live. He acknowledges that some human beings have been created by God to follow a less common, but equally legitimate path. There are some who have been eunuchs from birth — made that way by God.

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Larry Hampton
link 03/18/17 07:37:16PM @larry-hampton:

John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)


34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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Bob Nelson
link 03/18/17 09:14:22PM @bob-nelson:

 For me, this is a "duh... DUH... DUH!" issue. A significant part of Jesus's sermons and parables explicitly concern "inclusion". 

In His One Commandment, there's no small print... no exceptions. "Love one another." Full stop. The commandment included Samaritans and Romans, back in His day, and (duh!) today includes gays, Muslims, Blacks, Whites, Jews, ... and even Westboro Baptist parishioners... 

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Dowser
link 03/18/17 09:22:47PM @dowser:

Personally, I find the last group listed, sort of hard to love, (the Westboro people).  But that's what it is...

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Bob Nelson
link 03/18/17 11:49:25PM @bob-nelson:

Hi, Dowser. 

When we say "straight and narrow", most people think "rigidly following a code of 'moral' behavior". I don't agree. "Love one another" with no exceptions... That's really hard! 

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Dowser
link 03/19/17 09:20:51PM @dowser:

My Grandma always said that she chose a straight stick to marry...  My Grandpa was a good man, with high integrity-- a witty man, who hated no one, even the chiropractor who gave him a bad treatment, (although he did kick his gravestone)...  When I think of straight and narrow, I think of Grandpa-- a good person, who was kind to everyone.  He had a friend or two that were musicians that happened to be gay, and it wasn't a big deal.  So, shoot me.  It's none of my business, as long as it doesn't infringe upon my rights and isn't done to children or the elderly.  What should I care?  

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Bob Nelson
link 03/19/17 10:03:02PM @bob-nelson:

Thankfully, there are a lot of people like your grandfather. 

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sixpick
link 03/19/17 09:27:18PM @sixpick:

Personally, I find the last group listed, sort of hard to love, (the Westboro people).  But that's what it is...

That is because they stink!!!!  I could say a lot more, but that will do and no one wants anything that stinks.

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Larry Hampton
link 03/18/17 10:51:37PM @larry-hampton:

Great to see ya Bob!

How's it going?

:~)

 

 For me, this is a "duh... DUH... DUH!" issue. A significant part of Jesus's sermons and parables explicitly concern "inclusion". 

In His One Commandment, there's no small print... no exceptions. "Love one another." Full stop. The commandment included Samaritans and Romans, back in His day, and (duh!) today includes gays, Muslims, Blacks, Whites, Jews, ... and even Westboro Baptist parishioners... 

Jesus would perplex nearly all traditional fundamentalists, and adherent evangelicals of today, exactly as he did then: By rebelling against traditional interpretations of love and the sacred, interpretations that held far reaching consequences across many spectrums. Religious, political, and economic powers all disliked Jesus for the same reason --- he called BS on anything beyond pure loving relationships. He saw through the dross. Perhaps that's why Jesus own words and message still perplex so many today, because they actually don't care for what he is actually saying; so, in their own minds they have created delusions about who God is.

 

 

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Bob Nelson
link 03/18/17 11:55:04PM @bob-nelson:

Hi Larry, 

I don't understand how a person can claim to be a follower of Christ... and then condemn another for being what they are. Christ's commandment may be terribly hard to follow... but it is simplicity itself to understand. 

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Larry Hampton
link 03/19/17 12:05:03AM @larry-hampton:

Matthew 7:21-23New International Version (NIV)


True and False Disciples


21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

 

I love it... "plainly".

;~)

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Bob Nelson
link 03/19/17 01:01:02AM @bob-nelson:

From 1 John 4:

​ ​If​ ​anyone​ ​says, “I​ ​love​ ​God,”​ ​and​ ​hates​ ​his​ ​brother,​ ​he​ ​is​ ​a​ ​liar;​ ​for​ ​he​ ​who​ ​does​ ​not​ ​love​ ​his​ ​brother​ ​whom​ ​he​ ​has seen​ ​cannot​ ​love​ ​God​ ​whom​ ​he​ ​has​ ​not​ ​seen.​ ​And​ ​this​ ​commandment​ ​we​ ​have​ ​from​ ​him: whoever​ ​loves​ ​God​ ​must​ ​also​ ​love​ ​his​ ​brother.

That's pretty simple: ​ ​If​ ​anyone​ ​says, “I​ ​love​ ​God,”​ ​and​ ​hates​ ​his​ ​brother,​ ​he​ ​is​ ​a​ ​liar

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Sean Treacy
link 03/18/17 10:09:17PM @s:

Since the Bible wasn't written in English, it seems odd to ignore over a thousand years of commonly accepted understanding of his Gospel based on an English translation. Can you point to any authoritative commentaries on Matthew that advance this theory prior to 1900?

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Larry Hampton
link 03/18/17 11:14:59PM @larry-hampton:

Since the Bible wasn't written in English, it seems odd to ignore over a thousand years of commonly accepted understanding of his Gospel based on an English translation. Can you point to any authoritative commentaries on Matthew that advance this theory prior to 1900?

What is it you are looking for? I have taken two years of ancient Hebrew, three years of Koine Greek, (two years of which were exegetical studies), and many corresponding Bible courses in seminary many years ago. I have as well read as many or more "authoritative commentaries", and associated studies, than any one you probably personally know, and was for many years immersed in nearly every Biblical subject you could ever care to name. 

If you look at commentaries many will actually confirm exactly what is said here; that Jesus affirmed his knowledge of homosexuality, and that some were born that way. If you prefer to then also follow the given interpretation that many traditionalists have promoted as being "authoritative", then you will as well also be stymied by Jesus' own words and actions. Because for thousands of years now Jesus own followers have done exactly what he warned them against. Modern Christianity, especially in the West, has completely forgotten about the poor, and the orphaned, and the widowed. The drunk and prostitute, the downtrodden and rejected all called Jesus friend. Instead, modern Western Christians have sought power and security through economic/political applications, being blinded by their own gluttonous appetites, and have forgotten they are supposed to serve and give. That is precisely why Jesus said in conclusion about the matter..."Let anyone accept this who can", because he precisely knew that deep in their hearts, many would reject what he was saying.

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 03/19/17 12:03:10AM @perrie-halpern:

Really interesting points made here. I never knew about that passage, and it does make you wonder why only men were addressed. 

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Larry Hampton
link 03/19/17 12:14:29AM @larry-hampton:

Great question. My assumption right off the bat is that the teaching was being given to a patriarchal audience, and couched in subsequent examples they would have readily understood.

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sixpick
link 03/19/17 09:06:59PM @sixpick:

I could care less about whether a person is straight or gay.  I am me, not them and I don't rejoice because they are straight or neither do I rejoice because they are gay.  I can't go along with the eunuch interpretation, but then again I am not much of a Bible believer and I know people have their reasons for interpreting passages in the Bible.  I respect anyone's right to believe anything they want to believe as long as it doesn't affect me in a negative way.

I don't believe I am all there is, but I don't pretend to know the answers.

I do believe there are people who are born gay, people who are born straight and all points in between.

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Larry Hampton
link 03/19/17 09:50:40PM @larry-hampton:

Thanks Six; I appreciate your point.

I know gay people who would as well understand, and agree with your words.

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