Monday, June 20, 2011

Chapter 2: God Sanctioned Gay Marriage



In this video, Brian Anthony Bowen reveals Scriptures the Church never talks about which prove that Jesus taught that LGBT people are born this way...and that prove the Apostle Paul ordained Gay Marriage...IN THE BIBLE!

This changes EVERYTHING!
More info:
http://BrianBowenMinistries.com

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The Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that
in latter times some will turn away from the faith,
giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits
 and doctrines that demons teach,
Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars
whose consciences are seared (cauterized),
Who forbid people to marry
(1 Timothy 4:1-3)

In Chapter 1 of The Bed Keeper, we learned that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are referred to as born eunuchs by Jesus, and that He exempted us from heterosexual marriage. The question then becomes,

"Does that mean that God requires all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to abstain from marriage and commit to a life of celibacy?"

The answer is no!   God is no respecter of persons, and we'll learn in this chapter of The Bed Keeper, that Scripture speaks to marriage options for a variety of different marriage candidates as taught by the Apostle Paul to the Christian Church, who graciously provides gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with the same choices of celibacy, or faithful, life-long, monogamous marriage between two people of the same gender, just as it is ordained between two people of the opposite gender. 

To learn about this, we will focus on the Book of 1 Corinthians, Chapters 5-7.   While Paul’s ordination of single gender marriage does not appear until 1 Corinthians 7, I have included 1 Corinthians 5 and 6 because they are part of a lengthy letter that Paul wrote in response to Church Shepherds in Corinth who had written to seek his counsel.   For too long, most of the passages in this portion of Scripture have been selectively applied by certain Christians in an effort to condemn gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as a basis for our excommunication from Church, all the while ignoring the passages that show Paul ordaining single gender marriage in the very same letter.

The purpose of including Paul's entire letter is to provide the contextual background of his overall message.   While including the insights revealed in 1 Corinthians Chapters 5 and 6, I offer considered commentaries and conclusions that not only help us see what Paul was addressing, but also to whom.  I believe it will help all Christians more clearly see how he also ordains and affirms marriage between single gender couples.  Taken together, I consider these three chapters of 1 Corinthians to be the strongest Biblical evidence yet that single gender marriage has been ordained for more than 2000 years, and yet traditional Christianity has perverted the original message of these chapters by misapplying them to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  As we'll learn, the reasoning behind this is clear, because many passages in these Scriptures contain sharp rebukes to Church Shepherds who employ such practices as a means to financial gain and/or political power.

This will be a rather lengthy chapter of The Bed Keeper, and for sure I don't have all the answers.  I have endeavored to share my understanding of these passages in an effort to move gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people past our struggle to reconcile our sexuality with our spirituality, and to encourage us all to lay hold of all the promises of God contained in His Word, whether the Church ever shares this with us or not.  So be blessed Brothers and Sisters!  I believe the Holy Spirit is leading us to shine new light on these texts, and to shut down the power of darkness that has overshadowed Paul's true intent and message contained in them for 2,000 years now.

An Incestuous Relationship With The Church

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father's wife.   1 Corinthians 5:1

NOTE:   "impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen" indicates to me this is immediately referring to the Church, because the heathen don't even go to church, (but of course there were those who had sexual relations with their own father's wife, or Moses would not have addressed it in Leviticus 18:7-8).   In this case though, I believe Paul is addressing his letter to Church Shepherds as an Apostle (church planter) that he was called to be. If so, "a man having his own father's wife" would take on a new meaning.  Namely, Our Father's wife is the Church, and as the Supreme Head of the Church, Jesus Christ is (in essence) every Church Shepherd's Father.   Since every Church is part of the Bride of Christ, I conclude that a Church Shepherd having Jesus' own wife is the only kind of sexual impurity that the heathen would not commit, because they are not even in Church.   We'll see Paul is speaking metaphorically throughout much of these passages to Church Shepherds who were "pimping" their positions as leaders in the Church, and Paul is calling them on it.

2 And you are proud and arrogant!   And you ought rather to mourn (bow in sorrow and in shame) until the person who has done this [shameful] thing is removed from your fellowship and your midst!   1 Corinthians 5:2

NOTE:  What Church Shepherd does this passage *not* include?  Pride and arrogance in the Christian Church today are rampant, and continues to turn people cold toward God, His Church, and His people.   This would not include true worshippers of course, and not all pastors.   But in this case, I would say if the pulpit fits....

Paul orders the man behind it all be found out and put out of the Church.   Until he is, I believe the Church *should* hang her head in shame considering how many people she has misled by allowing these words of Paul to go unheeded by the congregants in exchange for 45-minute sermons on money, gay sex, and social issues instead of the Gospel.   We'll see Paul's anger in the next few verses and I can understand his anger; His reputation as an Apostle (as well as the moral authority of the Church) are on the line, and he is stepping up to defend the congregants who don't know any better, and rebuking the Church Shepherds who should.

3 As for my attitude, though I am absent [from you] in body, I am present in spirit, and I have already decided and passed judgment, as if actually present,

4 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, on the man who has committed such a deed.   When you and my own spirit are met together with the power of our Lord Jesus,

5 You are to deliver this man over to Satan for physical discipline [to destroy carnal lusts which prompted him to incest], that [his] spirit may [yet] be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.   1 Corinthians 5:3-5

NOTE:   Too many times have we heard preachers use this Scripture as justification for expelling gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from Church fellowships.   Truth be known, these preachers are trying to blame us before we even step foot in Church, lest the preachers' true intent to disguise their own responsibility for twisting Scripture be brought into the light and they be reproved—or worse yet—turned over to Satan for the crucifixion of their own flesh!   Most Church leaders today turn the meaning of these Scriptures around and use it as justification for discrimination, and to vilify and demonize gay people.   We'll now see how Paul empowers every congregation to use our divine authority as Christian Believers to address this type of wickedness (twisting of Scripture) from the pulpit.

6 [About the condition of your church] your boasting is not good [indeed, it is most unseemly and entirely out of place]. Do you not know that [just] a little leaven will ferment the whole lump [of dough]?

7 Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed.

8 Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness (twisting Scriptures) but with the unleavened [bread] of purity (nobility, honor) and sincerity and [unadulterated] truth.   1 Corinthians 5:6-8

NOTE:   "unadulterated truth" again refers to pastors twisting Scriptures in an effort to further an agenda of hate, malice, and division, and to keep hidden these preachers' true agenda to gain wealth and retain power (and as we’ll see, often times to divert attention from their own guilt).  Paul clarifies once again he is not referring to unsaved people who have traditionally been excluded from Church, but re-emphasizes the fact that if Church leaders continue in an "us vs. them" mentality for the purposes of political influence and party membership, we will never truly reach the lost in this world—only the ignorant—of what God's Word truly says. God gave us His Word that we might have an informed faith in Him, not a blind faith in His Church Shepherds.

9 I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people—

10 Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether!

11 But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber.   [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person.  
1 Corinthians 5:9-10

NOTE:   As Paul clarifies his meaning, it reinforces my belief he was directing his comments to Church Shepherds, not congregants and certainly not gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Believers.   But the exact opposite is what most preachers have said in order to hide their own guilt in the matter from their congregations, by twisting Scripture to keep up the facade of purity, while secretly being guilty of many of these very sins themselves!   Unfortunately we only need look as far as the news broadcasts to learn the truth of these Scriptures as we witness the private shortcomings of so many preachers involved in everything from adultery and divorce, to child molestation, extortion, prostitution, and greed.  All too often these offenses are committed against (or with) members of their very own Church, and increasingly with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, even as they continue to rail against us.

It’s equally important to recognize the preciseness of Paul’s language when saying, “not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed…”

Too many times an assumption is made that if someone identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender that they are known to be guilty of sexual immorality, when in fact, many LGBT people have no sexual relations at all, either by choice, or by chance.   Making preconceived judgments based solely on sexual identity does not equate to “knowing” someone is guilty of anything, yet honestly revealing our sexuality to many Christians can often lead them to make unfounded assumptions that amount to nothing more than pure judgment; judgment which Christ Himself admonishes all Christians against.

12 What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders?   Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?

13 God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside.   Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].  
1 Corinthians 5:12-13

NOTE:   Again, Paul basically says don't be judging those outside your Church, but judge those who are in your very midst!   This again tells me Paul is referring to preachers who profess innocence while passing judgment on those who have never stepped foot in their Church, (or have been run out of it based on judgmental attitudes).  Yet many preachers continue to do just the opposite.  Come to think of it, when was the last time any of us heard a pastor share a good message on how the congregation is charged with holding preachers accountable to the truths they teach?  And when was the last time a congregant told a preacher they should stop preaching messages against those who are not even in their own Church, without ever mentioning their own sins within the very borders of their own flock and realm?

Next, Paul begins to rebuke preachers who would sue each other in court instead of turning to Scriptures and settling disputes (such as the gay marriage ban in many states in America).   Had they done as Paul had instructed, most states would have already found strong support from the Christian community for gay marriage, realizing Paul had ordained it so very long ago.  In fact, with the current public debate on gay marriage example in mind, (where many churches continue to put up millions of dollars to oppose gay marriage in the ballot box in order to elect certain politicians to public office), it seems to me that Paul could have written this letter today, and addressed it directly to those who continue to use offerings from their congregations to support the anti-gay marriage effort, and to pay out legal settlements to young men in their congregations who come forward with the truth of being sexually abused by clergy members themselves within every denomination of Christianity.

Paul’s Stinging Rebuke of Preachers

1 Does any of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)?

2 Do you not know that the saints (the Believers) will [one day] judge and govern the world?  And if the world [itself] is to be judged and ruled by you, are you unworthy and incompetent to try [such petty matters] of the smallest courts of justice?

3 Do you not know also that we [Christians] are to judge the [very] angels and pronounce opinion between right and wrong [for them]?   How much more then [as to] matters pertaining to this world and of this life only!

4 If then you do have such cases of everyday life to decide, why do you appoint [as judges to lay them before] those who [from the standpoint] of the church count for least and are without standing?

5 I say this to move you to shame.   Can it be that there really is not one man among you who [in action is governed by piety and integrity and] is wise and competent enough to decide [the private grievances, disputes, and quarrels] between members of the brotherhood,

6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before [Gentile judges who are] unBelievers [without faith or trust in the Gospel of Christ]?

7 Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you).   Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due?   Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?

8 But [instead it is you] yourselves who wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren [by so treating them]!   1 Corinthians 6:1-8

NOTE:   Not only do we see some of Paul's stoutest words being directed toward preachers who are guilty of such deeds, but he clarifies "it is you yourselves who wrong and defraud your own brothers by treating them this way."  (And who among us could disagree)?

It leaves little doubt in my mind that Paul is *not* talking to unBelievers outside the Church within these passages of Scripture, but instead is doing his best to get preachers to wake up and judge themselves and their own actions, (and to stop treating their very own Brothers and Sisters in such a way), even saying the fact they were having lawsuits at all was “evidence of moral loss” for these preachers.   While these next 2 verses have been used by preachers to condemn gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Believers for centuries in fact, the preachers themselves are the ones whom Paul continues speaking to here:

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God?   Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers...  1 Corinthians 6:9

NOTE:   So far, Paul hasn't even mentioned "those who participate in homosexuality," but has already correctly labeled many of the activities these preachers were guilty of. Yet all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Believers hear from most Christians concerning this passage is:

(verse 9 continued): nor those who participate in homosexuality...

NOTE:  As we'll see in Chapter 16 and Chapter 18 of The Bed Keeper, all "clobber passages" against homosexuality are exclusively and consistently couched within the context of heterosexual married men forcefully raping and sodomizing innocent victims, and/or engaged in expressions of idolatry or adultery, and do *not* refer to loving expressions between gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples within the bonds of single gender matrimony.  Further, we know even today that many Church Shepherds (and heterosexual married men both inside and outside the Church) turn to gay men for sexual favors they are unable to obtain from their wives.   The HIV/AIDS infection rate statistics prove that these are the very men who then infect their female heterosexual partners with the disease. I cover this issue in depth in Chapter 19 of The Bed Keeper.

We will now see Paul was talking about the *lovelessness and lawlessness* of preachers inside the Church who were basically sodomizing Jesus Christ Himself, and not LGBT non-Believers the Church was established to reach out to.   We determined this when we saw Paul's choice of words at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 5 that said "a man has his own Father's (Jesus') wife (Bride)."

10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.  1 Corinthians 6:10

NOTE:  It's important to realize that one of the damaging side effects of so many Church Shepherds who teach that LGBT people must become "ex-gay" is that the gay person has to at some point confess their sexuality to someone; someone who often times then uses that information to keep the gay person "in check" and "under control," or who identifies them as a potential same gender sexual partner (or victim) for themselves, with the added perceived insurance of secrecy...and within the walls of God's Own House!   We see God Himself address this grave infraction when He says:

9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known,

10 And [then dare to] come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, [By the discharge of this religious formality] we are set free!--only to go on with this wickedness and these abominations?

11 Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes [a place of retreat for you between acts of violence]?  Behold, I Myself have seen it, says the Lord.   Jeremiah 7:9-11

We’ve already seen in this chapter that “wickedness” in this context is a reference to preachers “twisting” Scripture to justify bigotry, or conceal their own shortcomings, and in Chapter 16 of The Bed Keeper, we’ll see that “abomination” (as regards same gender expressions) is also consistently couched in the context of heterosexual married men engaged in acts of adultery, even though the adultery was committed with other men instead of women.   We’ll also see that it isn’t the same gender expressions themselves being condemned, but adultery, which is a violation of the Ten Commandments, while same gender expressions (in and of themselves) are not.

Paul’s admonishments in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is also reminiscent of the same kind of preachers Malachi was preaching against who were robbing the tithes from God by preventing LGBT people from coming to Church to include ours as well.   It reminds us of the preachers who today continue to twist Scripture for financial gain and political power, as well as those who were admonished to not drink much wine, even as they extort and rob and “pimp” God's House of Prayer, all while having an incestuous relationship with the Bride of Christ in the eyes of God.   It also sounds very much like Isaiah 56:10-12 when God concludes His prophecy to eunuchs by saying, 

[His] watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, they love to slumber.

Yes, the dogs are greedy; they never have enough. And such are the Shepherds who cannot understand; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his own gain, from every quarter [one and all].

Come, say they, We will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink! And tomorrow shall be as this day, a day great beyond measure.   Isaiah 56:10-12

As we’ve seen from these last few passages, it seems that while the Church Shepherds are often times blind to God’s Word, God’s eyes are not blind to these Church Shepherds’ own personal failings. I hope you see by now how I glean this realization of Paul's true audience of his letter to the Church in Corinth, and the many anti-gay churches and organizations who continue to do the same thing today—all in Jesus’ Name.   Note also that these are all sins against Jesus' Church, so they were not the everyday sins we all commit at times.   Rather it becomes clear that the people addressed in Paul's letter had engaged in intentional disregard for Jesus Christ and His Bride (the Church), for the sake of financial gain, political influence and sexual favors from members of their own congregations; and all at the hands of preachers, not individual Believers.

11 And such some of you were [once].   But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:11

NOTE:   This of course applies to all Believers, but Paul had seen those preachers whom had once been purified and cleaned return to their old ways.  We see today that modern day anti-gay churches and preachers were once sinners themselves, were once cleansed themselves, were set up in positions of authority in the Church, and threw away their righteousness in exchange for the money and power they could earn by preaching against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who aren't even in their church; all in an effort to blindside their congregants to these very sins the preachers themselves were committing in secret—or at least what they perceived to be secret—but the truth always comes to light…eventually. 

12 Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things).  Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.   1 Corinthians 6:12

NOTE:  As we have determined, Paul is talking to Church Shepherds about the ministry God had entrusted unto them. Paul continues his train of thought as stated in the beginning of 1 Corinthians 5 saying, "a man has his own Father's (Jesus') wife (Bride)."   In other words, these preachers were making God’s House of Prayer a house of ill-repute instead, which we now see confirmed in verses 15-16:

15 Do you not see and know that your [bodies] are members (bodily parts) of Christ (the Messiah)? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [the bodies] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never! 

16 Or do you not know and realize that when a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? The two, it is written, shall become one flesh.  1 Corinthians 6:15-16

NOTE:  As Paul says, “members (bodily parts) of Christ (the Messiah)” we can see he is speaking of the Body of Christ, not necessarily individual church members (although it can apply to them as well). But the context becomes crystal clear as Paul goes on to say, “Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [the bodies] parts of a prostitute?”   It becomes obvious that Paul is continuing his metaphoric reference to individual Church Shepherds in individual churches, not individual congregants.   He then goes on to reference them again saying:

17 But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

18 Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed].  Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God?  You are not your own,

20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

NOTE:  Many of us have heard these passages quoted by a preacher encouraging individual congregants to lead sexually pure lives and there is nothing wrong with that, provided they are given the context in which they are actually spoken, and shown the audience of the address (in this case preachers, not individual congregants).   It’s equally important to realize that in this particular context, the word “body” used in these verses refers to the Body of Christ (or individual churches).  Having determined these are metaphoric phrasings from Paul, it indeed provides us with latitude necessary to apply these passages to both individual preachers and individual Believers.   But in the context in which we are seeing they are truly set, coupled with the limited and specific sins mentioned (adultery, robbery, extortion, idolatry, cheating, greed, slander, foulmouthed revilers, and those [preachers] who participate in homosexuality as a form of adultery against his wife and that of Jesus’ Own Body as we see listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10), it appears to me that Paul wraps up his admonishments and rebukes of Church Shepherds in love by basically saying, 

"Look, I know how tempting it can be to use your position and your cleansing from Jesus' blood as a way to excuse your sinful behavior, and how tempting it can be to want to gain financial rewards, political power, and sexual favors from your congregants by using your exalted position as a preacher to twist Scriptures.   But don't accuse those *outside* of the Church of guilt and pass judgment on them, when you yourselves are the ones who are guilty of "pimping" out Christ's own Body, and making yourself go from being a "preacher" to a whoremonger by "joining yourself with a prostitute," as well as making Jesus Christ a "prostitute" in the process by metaphorically "sodomizing" Jesus Christ Himself!"

Then in verse 15, Paul says "NEVER!  NEVER!"  I perceive from these passages that Paul was clearly worried the shortcomings discussed therein would diminish the Gospel and make these preachers look like the charlatans they were becoming (and the many that continue to be today).   Paul seems to give them another chance to clean up their own House [body], while insisting that the man behind the whole scheme be "put out of your midst and turned over to Satan for the crucifixion of his flesh."  

Paul was clearly concerned that these practices would discredit the entire Church by “leavening the whole loaf with but a little leaven," and make it appear to non-believers *outside* the Church that Paul (as their leader) was but a charlatan himself.  Imagine Paul preaching to folks in Rome against these practices only for the Romans to come back to Paul and say, “well have you seen what they’re doing in the Church at Corinth?  They have a preacher over there who is raping his own Father’s Wife, the Bride of Christ!”

We hear many of the same reactions from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people whom a preacher attempts to bring into the Christian fold, only for LGBT people to (rightly) ask, 

“Well have you seen what they’re doing in some of these churches?   They have preachers who are raping their own flocks for political power and financial gain, and they’re raping innocent boys within their very own congregations!  What would motivate us to go to such a church?   Who is your God that He permits these things to happen in His Own Church without ever mentioning it in Scripture?”

What we see from this chapter of 1 Corinthians is not only that indeed Paul already had addressed these issues, but also how modern day preachers have twisted Paul’s address to divert attention away from their own shortcomings by scapegoating members of the LGBT community (who aren’t even in their church) instead.   Paul recognized these practices would weaken the Church and her moral authority, and prevent new Believers from believing in God and His Son's sacrifice on Calvary, just as we see is the condition of the Church and many Christian Believers today.   Today, far too many preachers and individual Christians alike spend more time focusing on gay marriages instead of their own.  At the same time, the divorce rate skyrockets both inside and outside the Church, and at a time when hardly a day goes by that a new lawsuit hasn’t been brought against a Church Shepherd for molesting boys within their very own flocks!

I see Paul bravely stepping up to lead in this matter, and made it very clear that this type of behavior is not to be tolerated from preachers.   By enshrining his rebuke in Scripture, Paul empowers every member of the Church Body to hold their leaders accountable, and thank God there are some congregants who do!  Sadly though, most congregants neither know these Scriptures actually apply to preachers, or else they are unwilling to confront them for fear of excommunication, because far too many Christians are going to church today in order to network with other people, in order to build their social networks, in order to advance their own careers and/or political aspirations, instead of to study God's Word.

Paul Ordains Marriage for ALL God’s Children

Moving now into Chapter 7, I believe what follows is the most important passage of Scripture from Paul as it ordains and reaffirms marriage for all of God's children, including those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Believers.   For those today who are opposed to "redefining traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman," it may come as surprise to realize that Jesus and Paul already did so more than 2,000 years ago, but it's Scriptural nonetheless.  

Before progressing into Paul's letter, let's once again pause to review Jesus' own mention of eunuchs and his exempting them from heterosexual marriage:

"Not all men can accept this saying, but it is for those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. For there are eunuchs who have been born incapable of marriage; and there are eunuchs who have been made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves incapable of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him who is able to accept this accept it."   Matthew 19:11-12

Remembering that the following is the continuation of Paul's letter to Church Shepherds from 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, let's now see how these teachings from Jesus and Paul connect to and support each other (and how both their teachings relate back to God’s Own Prophecy to eunuchs in Isaiah 55:11-56:12), as we now reveal the Good News that God indeed ordained single gender marriage in His Word!   We'll see Paul first reaffirms one man/one women marriage for unmarried heterosexual people in verses 1-7:

1 Now as to the matters of which you wrote me.   It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried.   1 Corinthians 7:1

NOTE:   Right away, we see Paul is clearly talking about heterosexual marriage, and we see that Church Shepherds in Corinth had written him to ask about the exceptions to one man/one woman marriage Jesus spoke of in Matthew 19.   We can deduce this because there would be no reason for Paul to repeat Jesus’ Own teaching on the matter of heterosexual marriage for single heterosexual people.   What we’ll see him do instead is answer the question that is still being debated today:

“Should the born eunuchs (LGBT people) that Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage be permitted to marry each other?”

Another important part of this passage is to recognize that Paul is speaking about heterosexual people, as he first says it’s profitable for “a man not to touch a woman…”  We also know he is speaking to unmarried heterosexual people, as he then says it is good for them to remain unmarried.   He then goes on to say,

2 But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband.

He then goes on to give marital counsel for these heterosexual couples:

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband.

4 For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights].

This is a powerful point to take note of as we see Paul recognize that with the ratification of the New Covenant by Jesus Christ, the original equal status God granted men and women has been restored to the egalitarian relationship that was originally present with Adam and Eve before they sinned.   We know they were originally created by God as equals when we realize that it isn’t until after they sinned that God told Eve:

16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children.  Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over youin Genesis 3:16.   

What this must mean then is that prior to their fallen nature, Adam and Eve were equals in the eyes of God, and neither ruled over the other.  While many Christians now teach that Adam had failed in his responsibility as spiritual leader over Eve as to why she sinned in the first place, we see that can’t be true, as Adam was not ordered to rule over Eve until after the sin had taken place.  

As a side note, let us recall that Paul continues to hold Adam responsible for the sin that entered the world through him and was brought upon all humanity in Romans 5:19,

For just as by one man's disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man's obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).  

So if Paul is saying Adam is the one held responsible and yet God is viewing Adam and Eve as equals, why didn’t Paul say that sin entered the world through one woman’s disobedience?  Well, we never see God tell Eve not to partake of the fruit, but only Adam.  This is clear demonstration of God’s view of men and women as not only equal, but equally responsible for their own actions.   Adam sinned because he disobeyed an order God gave directly to him.  For certain Eve sinned by partaking of the fruit and God dealt punishment to her in the form of painful child birth.   But Adam still had the choice to not sin even after Eve had, as we recall that “Eve gave the fruit also to Adam, and he did eat.”   Eve gave Adam the fruit, but she didn’t make him eat it.   He decided to of his own free will, even without beguiling from the serpent that Eve went through.

Now that this egalitarian view of men and women has been restored, let us continue on with Paul’s marital advice to the unmarried heterosexual people he addressed in 1 Corinthians 7:1.

5 Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer.  But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.

Notice Paul tie the egalitarian view of men and women back to temptations by Satan, once again recalling the fall of Adam and Eve, and their original relationship as equals. 

6 But I am saying this more as a matter of permission and concession, not as a command or regulation.

7 I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control].   But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another.   1 Corinthians 7:2-7

NOTE:   Clearly we’ve seen Paul now teach that if a heterosexual unmarried man or woman is not gifted with celibacy, that such men should marry a woman and such women should marry a man, in order to prevent sexual immorality.   Further, we saw Paul say they should continue to give each other their marital rights to ensure that sexual immorality doesn’t emerge as a result of failing to.   With that in mind, let us now carefully examine the next verses as Paul turns his attention to another group of men and women who are also “unmarried.”

8 But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do.

By saying it is good to “remain single” we see clearly this second group of people are also unmarried, and as he advised the heterosexual unmarried people in verses 1-2, Paul likewise tells this second group of unmarried people that it is good to remain single, and then says:

9 But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry.   For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire].  1 Corinthians 7:8-9

Again, we'll recall in verses 1-2 Paul tells unmarried heterosexual people to "let each man have his own wife, and each woman her own husband," but notice he omits this particular phrase in verses 8-9. If Paul was still speaking to unmarried heterosexual people that he addressed in verses 1-2, he would not have changed his focus from the subject of unmarried people in order to address yet more unmarried people in verses 8-9…unless the unmarried people being addressed in verses 8-9 were not heterosexual.

Further, as see Paul includes a reference to “widows” in verse 8, we see him create an intertextual echo of Isaiah 54, where we see that “widow” means more than simply “women whose husbands had passed away,” and instead actually refers to barren or otherwise childless, (and even more specifically husbandless) women.   Since Paul is saying “they should marry” in 1 Corinthians 7:9, we further recognize that these “widows” are likewise unmarried.   If they were heterosexual unmarried women, (or heterosexual women who had been married and whose heterosexual husbands had passed away), they would have been included when Paul referenced all unmarried heterosexual women in verses 1-2.

To verify “widows” does not mean “women whose husbands had passed away,” let’s recall how God opens His prophecy to widows in Isaiah 54 by saying,

1 Sing, O barren one, you who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child!   For the [spiritual] children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married wife, says the Lord.”  Isaiah 54:1

And we see God go on to define these childless women as “widows” in verse 4:

4 Fear not, for you shall not be ashamed; neither be confounded and depressed, for you shall not be put to shame.  For you shall forget the shame of your youth, and you shall not [seriously] remember the reproach of your widowhood any more.   Isaiah 54:4

Further, we never see these widows defined as “women who have been married and whose husbands had passed away.”  Paul addressed those later, in 1 Corinthians 7:39-40.

Returning back to Paul’s other phrase of “unmarried people” in 1 Corinthians 7:8, we can now deduce that they were not heterosexual unmarried people, or they would have likewise been included in verses 1-2.   What this means is that this is where the Apostle Paul now ordains single gender marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and makes the same exemption from heterosexual marriage for them as Jesus did when He exempted eunuchs from heterosexual marriage, which we learned in Chapter 1 of The Bed Keeper includes the born eunuchs, whom we refer to as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and includes female eunuchs whom we learned God calls "daughters" in Isaiah 56.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these passages is that the Apostle Paul taught that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should get married if celibacy is not our calling.

But how do we know Paul isn't speaking to marrying a person of the opposite gender?  There are a couple of points to examine closely to answer that question.   First, we clearly see Paul speaking to two groups of unmarried people.   Only the first group (verses 1-2) is ever clarified as being heterosexual, and is repeatedly confirmed to be heterosexual through Paul’s marital advice to “husbands” and “wives” in verses 4-7.

As Paul turns his attention to the second group of people in verses 8-9, we see immediately that they too are unmarried people.”   If they were unmarried heterosexuals, they would automatically be included in the first group of people whom Paul advised were doing well if they chose to remain single.   We also see Paul clarifies to whom he is speaking in the second group by including “widows,” whom we have now verified are defined by God in Scripture as “women who never had children”, not “women who had husbands who passed away,” as we commonly use the word “widows” today.

We also have to recognize that Paul would have not contradicted Jesus' teaching from Matthew 19:11-12 regarding His exemption for eunuchs from heterosexual marriage, and tell them that they should marry heterosexually after all.   Not only would it contradict the Lord Himself, but we see Paul repeatedly clarify when he speaks on his authority as an Apostle addressing Christians, and not on the authority of Jesus addressing Jews.

Having already addressed unmarried (heterosexual) people in verses 1-2, he would not then again say "BUT to the unmarried (heterosexual) people and widows” again in verses 8-9.   He also would not have again said “they should remain unmarried,” followed up with "I say they should marry..." if he was still talking to the same group of people.   He had just said that exact same thing to the first group of people in verses 1-2 and specifies, “it is good for a man not to touch a womanfollowed by “but because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband,and went on to offer sound marital advice for them throughout verses 3-7, repeatedly referring specifically to husbands and wives.

Yet when speaking to the other group of unmarried people in verses 8-9, not only does Paul not specify “let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband,” but also does not specify “it is good for a man not to touch a woman.”   His omission of these two key phrases in verses 8-9 from verses 1-2 provides yet another verification that he is no longer speaking of unmarried heterosexual people, although he is speaking people who are unmarried.  Again, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Paul is not speaking to heterosexual people in verse 8-9. Let's compare:

Unmarried heterosexuals:

1 Now as to the matters of which you wrote me.   It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried

2 But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband.   1 Corinthians 7:1-2

Unmarried non heterosexuals:

8 But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do.

9 But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry.   For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire].   1 Corinthians 7:8-9

What all this means is that in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, we are witnessing an intertextual echo of God's prophecies to widows in Isaiah 54 (which include barren and single women), and His prophecies to eunuchs in Isaiah 56 (whom Jesus taught includes born eunuchs, which includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as He exempted them from heterosexual marriage).   I believe Paul’s use of the word “widows” in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 is not only intentionally included in order to refer us back to Isaiah 54, but is also a reference then to include lesbian women who did not marry men and bare children in his ordination of single gender marriage for non-heterosexual people.  

Even if not, God refers to all eunuchs as “sons” and “daughters” in Isaiah 56, and so either way we examine this text, we see Paul is including lesbian women in his ordination of single gender marriage for non-heterosexual “unmarried people” (which would include eunuchs by birth whom Jesus referred to in Matthew 19:11-12, and the “sons” and “daughters” God referred to as eunuchs in Isaiah 56).   But by specifying “widows” in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 Paul goes one step further to include single, barren, or otherwise childless women whom God prophesied to in Isaiah 54, which would frequently include lesbian women, either by chance or by choice.

This not only then brings into focus the egalitarian view of heterosexual men and women God originally had in mind for Adam and Eve (whom God did not have Adam rule over until after the fall), but it also brings it to non-heterosexual men and women as well.   It further presents a Scriptural balance to Jesus’ Own exemption from heterosexual marriage for eunuchs, but also to widows who had either been born so, made so, or chose to be so.   Just as Jesus uses the euphemism of “eunuchs” to include non-heterosexual men in His exemption from heterosexual marriage, God likewise defines (and Paul recognizes) “widows” as a euphemism that includes non-heterosexual women in his inclusion of his ordination of single gender marriage for non-heterosexual people, who (like the eunuchs) were “widows” by birth, by chance, or by choice.  

The only difference between these non-heterosexual men and women is the women are defined as not having children, and the men are defined as not marrying heterosexually, but both are defined based on God’s recognition of their birth, their circumstance, or their God given choice to abstain from marriage.   What this does is not only restore the egalitarian relationship between to heterosexual men and women but also between non-heterosexual men and women, and in doing so, recognizes the equal status in God’s eyes between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals in general!  

In either case, eunuchs are defined by God as both men and women as He refers to us as “sons” and “daughters” in His prophecy to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Isaiah 55:11-56:12.  I realize that’s a very fine point, but it’s an important one because it shows how God, Jesus and Paul were cooperating with each other as they endeavored to make their recognition of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people known through the Scriptures.   It also then reveals God’s plan to not only include us in God’s House of Prayer for all people, but to also include us as worthy participants in all the Holy Sacraments, including not only Holy Communion with Him, but also Holy Communion with each other through single gender Holy Matrimony. No wonder Paul said,

“There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”   Galatians 3:28

While the Apostle Paul would never issue an order to the Church that would contradict Jesus Himself, it’s also important to pause here and recognize Jesus could not ordain single gender marriage for eunuchs Himself.   At the time He exempted eunuchs from heterosexual marriage in Matthew 19:11-12, He had not yet ratified the New Covenant.   He was speaking to Jews living under the Old Covenant, and in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is now speaking to Christians living under the New Covenant.   We recall that God’s prophecy in Isaiah 55:11-56:12 foretold of a time when eunuchs would be included in the Congregation of the Lord, but not until after Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection ratified the New Covenant (which had not yet happened at the time Jesus was speaking to Jews in Matthew 19).  

We also recall again that Moses had banned eunuchs from even entering the Congregation of the Lord, let alone partaking of any other sacraments such as Holy Communion or Holy Matrimony.   At the time Paul is writing 1 Corinthians 7, Jesus has now risen, the New Covenant had now been ratified, and the eunuchs Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage are given the option of single gender marriage as made available by Paul’s recognition of not only Jesus and God’s previous teachings on eunuchs in general, but also on the recognition of God’s first comments on His purpose for marriage.   By Paul reminding Christians that God is fully aware not all people would have children by referring us to Isaiah 54 and Isaiah 56 with his use of the phrase “unmarried people and widows,” in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, he reminds us that God’s design for marriage was not primarily predicated upon having children, but upon having companionship, saying, 

Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. Genesis 2:18

While God indeed created Eve for Adam, we see from Jesus (Matthew 19:11-12), that not all people are heterosexual.   We see from God Himself that not all people are destined to have children (Isaiah 54 and 56).   While Adam and Eve had a unique purpose that required them being male and female and having offspring, Paul, God and Jesus all recognize that not only are some people created to be non-heterosexual, but still promise to equally include us in all His promises for heterosexual Believers, including the Sacrament of marriage, with help meets that God Himself designed to be suitable, adapted and complementary for us…who just happen to not be heterosexual. 

Further, as we see Paul predicate his ordination of single gender marriage on "it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire," we see beyond a shadow of a doubt that at least some eunuchs (whether male or female) were indeed capable of sexual relations, rendering the assertion from most Christian teaching that eunuchs were “incapable of sexual relations,” or “absent of sexual desire,” as incomplete.   They may indeed have been incapable of sexual relations or indeed had no sexual desire for the opposite gender, but that would not necessarily preclude them having desire toward and their ability to engage in relations with people of the same gender.

But how do we know Paul is referencing Isaiah 54 and Isaiah 56 when ordaining marriage for single gender people?   The answer is found a bit later in 1 Corinthians 7:29-30 where Paul gives us proof positive, by now creating an intertextual echo of Isaiah 55 (right smack dab in the middle Isaiah 54-56).   This portion of Isaiah would have all appeared as one continuous passage of Scripture to Paul, who was referring to these passages before they were labeled with individual chapter and verse numbers in the version of Scriptures we turn to today.  

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul doesn’t just stop at ordaining single gender marriage, but goes on to get to the very heart of the Gospel with this warning that what really matters is that Christ is soon to return, as he continues to remind us all of God's prophecy to eunuchs from Isaiah 55:11-56:12, especially the important prophetic purpose we have in God’s plan for the Return of Jesus Christ when Paul writes,

29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has been winding down and it has grown very short.   From now on, let even those who have wives be as if they had none,

30 And those who weep and mourn as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything…  1 Corinthians 7:29-30

By comparing 1 Corinthians 7:29 to Isaiah 56:1…

Thus says the Lord:  Keep justice, do and use righteousness (conformity to the will of God which brings salvation), for My salvation is soon to come and My righteousness (My rightness and justice) to be revealed...  

…and by further comparing the reversal of fortunes being described in 1 Corinthians 7:30 to Isaiah 55:1…

"Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty!  Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing..."

...and Isaiah 55:12...

"Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name of renown, for an everlasting sign [of jubilant exaltation] and memorial [to His praise], which shall not be cut off..."

…we can verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 is likewise an intertextual echo of the eunuch prophecies.   Another interesting note is that this comes from the same portion of the Book of Isaiah that Philip read to teach the Ethiopian Eunuch about Jesus (Isaiah 53-56:8), resulting in the eunuchs' response, "Well then what's to keep me from being baptized?" and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in Acts 8:26-40.

And this doesn't just matter to LGBT people who learn Paul ordained single gender marriage 2000 years ago!  It also matters in regards to bringing correction to any Christian who currently adheres to what the Holy Spirit characterizes as a demonic doctrine that leads Christians to fall away from the faith, and forbid people to marry in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, by not only identifying the people who that are being forbid to marry, but also identifying the people who are doing the forbidding:

The Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, through the hypocrisy and pretense of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), who forbid people to marry…

If this passage of Scripture is not a reference to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people being forbid from single gender marriage by those who call themselves Christians in the latter times, (as we so clearly see being done through a cooperative effort from God, Jesus and Paul over the course of 2,750 years), I can accept that.  But if 1 Timothy 4:1-3 is not a reference to single gender marriage and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, then whom?   Regardless of whom Christians may believe the Holy Spirit is speaking about, it is nonetheless considered by God as a “demonic doctrine” taught by those who fall from the faith and forbid people to marry through hypocrisy and pretense (like the skyrocketing heterosexual divorce rate, for instance).   Is the Church so willfully blind that she will continue to forbid LGBT people from single gender marriage if there’s even a remote possibility these are the same folks the Holy Spirit is referring to?   I hope not, but again, that’s up to each Church to decide.

Speaking of which, let’s once again review Matthew 19:11 “But He said to them, Not all men can accept this saying, but it is for those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given.”

Another important point to bring out here is that while Jesus here indeed exempts eunuchs (LGBT people) from heterosexual marriage, He does not forbid them from marrying heterosexually.   By that I mean Jesus is not "commanding" that gay people never marry a person of the opposite gender (which should bring a sigh of relief to mixed marriage couples where one or both spouses are indeed gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender).   I believe Jesus is at the same time granting His blessing on any gay people who decide to marry a person of the opposite gender, but only if their motives are pure.

By that I mean if a gay person is marrying for the purpose of having children, then Jesus blesses that provided it is not an attempt by that person to "hide" his sexuality from his spouse (regardless of whomever else he may disclose it to, or chooses not to disclose it to).  Jesus would never teach us to lie, and thereby break one of the Ten Commandments.  But Jesus not only then brings them under His same admonishment to remain faithful to their opposite gender spouse, but also to not look at other people of the same gender with lust, or they would be just as guilty of adultery, as if it was a heterosexual man looking upon a woman with lust in his heart would be.   (Thank God He forgives all our sins, because I think under any circumstance, sexual attraction to people isn’t something we choose to have, whether gay or straight, but it is something we simply experience as human beings, whether we are married or not).   It’s important to repent of lustful thoughts, but it in no way makes us less human or less saved if we experience them.   Instead, it reminds us all of the multitude of reasons we need Jesus to continuously cleanse us, and not just when we first answer the call to believe He is the Son of God.

I also believe this means the opposite gender person cannot lie to their potential opposite gender spouse about their true sexual orientation, and must in all honesty give them the informed choice of deciding to marry that person even if it presents limited sexual gratification throughout their marriage.   In other words, just as the Sabbath was made for man, and man not the Sabbath, so too is marriage.

However, Jesus at the same time does not "command" that a gay person marry a person of the opposite gender, nor does He (nor God) "command" that gay people have biological children. Isaiah 54 and Isaiah 56 both prove that God is fully aware that not all people would have children, promises to give them more spiritual children than a married woman can bear, and admonishes us to not complain about not having children, even as He continues to command us to "be fruitful and multiply."  Many pastors are beginning to share with their congregations that being fruitful means to simply bear fruit for God, regardless if they have children or not, (as Jesus taught in the Book of John), that "multiply" simply means to increase, and not necessarily through procreation.

On the other hand, Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 then ordains single gender marriage for non-heterosexual people in order to maintain sexual purity, saying, 

8 But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do.

9 But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry.   For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire].

Paul does not say here that all non-heterosexual people must marry a person of the same gender, but gives all the choice to remain single, or to marry a person of the same gender if celibacy (or having children) is not our calling.   But then Paul goes on to weigh in one other important theological tradition:

37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart [strong in mind and purpose], not being forced by necessity but having control over his own will and desire, and has resolved this in his heart to keep his own virginity, he is doing well.  1 Corinthians 7:37

So for those Churches whose position is that if a person identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender then the only moral option for them is to remain celibate, Paul provides a clear refutation of such teachings, saying specifically to those choosing celibacy that they should “not be forced by necessity, but have control over their own will and desire, having resolved in their own heart to remain celibate.”

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THE CHURCH

Although Jesus doesn’t command LGBT people marry a person of the opposite gender (while not forbidding it), and Paul does not command LGBT people to marry a person of the same gender (while ordaining it), under no circumstances does Jesus or Paul ever command that any church actually performs wedding ceremonies for anyone, whether heterosexual or non-heterosexual.   Additionally, while no church is commanded of God to perform anyone’s wedding ceremonies, the Holy Spirit does indeed warn us all that no Christian is to forbid such marriages.

We know that Paul was instructed by Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus, and just as the scales fell off the man who had been previously blinded by religious traditions and persecuted people whom God considered His own, so too do I hope this chapter of The Bed Keeper do so for the blind Shepherds who were previously unaware of the important role God has assigned for LGBT Christians.   As a Jew and a teacher, Paul would have had access to the Old Testament scrolls in the synagogues, (and Jesus Himself preached from Isaiah 61 (just a few short chapters following Isaiah 56). Jesus also quoted from God’s prophecy to eunuchs saying, "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves," in Mark 11:17.   Actually, the Scripture Jesus quotes reads, My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Notice Jesus omits the phrase “for all peoples,” when clearing the temple.   Why?   Because the prophecy would not come to pass until after Jesus had ascended to the Father. At the point in time Jesus cleared the temple, He was still on the earth, and still living under the Old Covenant.  Likewise, in Matthew 19:11-12 when Jesus more clearly defines eunuchs to include those “born so from our mother’s wombs” He is also speaking to Jews living under the Old Covenant.   The Old Covenant includes Deuteronomy 23:1 which again, forbad eunuchs from entering into the congregation of the Lord.   Jesus omits the phrase, “for all peoples” when He cleared the temple, because at the time He said this, God’s House of Prayer was not yet a House of prayer for all people.

The point is that this illustrates Jesus' own awareness of the eunuch prophecies by quoting from them Himself. Since He is THE Teacher, He would not have neglected to inform Paul on such a vital message as marriage even without the written Gospels, especially considering all that was revealed to Paul about the Holy Spirit.   This includes the Holy Spirit's Own warning that in latter times, some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), Who forbid people to marry.   1 Timothy 4:1-3

One last point to make is that I believe Jesus then weighs in on the "just because you're gay doesn't mean you have license to sin" stance (which I agree with).   But in at least one instance in Scripture, Jesus even seems to directly speak to gay married couples Himself as He speaks of the Rapture saying,

"I tell you in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken, and one will be left."  Luke 17:34

I believe this is a call to maintain faithfulness in marriage (including single gender marriage), because as we’ll learn in the next few chapters of The Bed Keeper, adultery is adultery regardless of who commits it. In the case Jesus refers us to here, I have a strong witness in my spirit that He is saying adultery will cost you your resurrection, and He admonishes LGBT people to adhere to the same admonishments regarding marriage as He gives to heterosexual people in Matthew 19:1-12.  This would again adhere to Paul’s realignment of the egalitarian relationship between not only men and women, but between heterosexual and non-heterosexual marriages.

It could also mean the person left was not a believer (as Paul emphasizes the importance of the second coming of Christ also in 1 Corinthians 7:29-30).   There is a host of other explanations for why one is taken and one is not, but very few explanations as to why Jesus would choose this particular example of two men in one bed when saying so.

One such explanation is that Jesus was referencing 1st Century Jerusalem when two men sleeping in one bed would be commonplace.  But we know that He is speaking here of the rapture, looking far into the future (much farther than even today), since the moon has not yet turned to blood (which is another prophecy that must come to pass prior to His return).  It's also important to realize that when viewed in light of the plethora of other prophetic purposes for LGBT people God has outlined throughout His Word, this passage provides yet one more witness from Scripture that helps us "have an even more sure word of prophecy" in regard to single gender marriage.

As a side note, this teaching of Jesus in Luke 17:34-36 also reveals yet another lesson as we consider that Jesus' other two examples include two women grinding grain, and two men working in a field.   Both of these are examples of activities that occur during daylight hours, yet Jesus specifically says "in that night" when discussing two men in one bed in reference to the very same event (the rapture), which would mean that Jesus was telling us the world is round and orbits the sun, more than 2000 years ago!

How cool is that?

So what's a gay person to do in terms of their sexual identity, orientation and expressions?  As we learned in this chapter of The Bed Keeper, Paul teaches us to commit to celibacy or commit to a marriage partner who is also a Believer; someone you can count on to keep the marriage bed undefiled, and someone who is striving to live a holy life even as you do.  That can be hard to do in today's society when the Church is so insistent that the Word of God never prescribes marriage for same gendered couples.  But even though the Church seems not yet ready to recognize this oversight in that regard doesn’t mean it should deter us from living our very best for God!

When considering single gender marriage, I think it's also important to keep the Spirit of the law, even if we are not bound to the Letter of the law.   For instance, it's important to note that Jesus doesn't "forbid" LGBT people from marrying heterosexually, even as He exempts us from the requirement to.  

Let him who is able to accept this, accept it.  

Many LGBT people have a God given desire to have biological children. In these cases, a gay man (for instance) may indeed choose to marry a woman.   If he does, in accordance with Jesus’ teaching on the matter in Matthew 19:1-12 he will be required to remain faithful to her sexually, even if they only have sexual relations for procreation.   Jesus does not extend his exemption to eunuchs from heterosexual marriage so as to also include an exemption from the sin of adultery.  We can only conclude that if a gay man chooses to marry a woman, he must remain as sexually faithful to her, as would any heterosexual man be required to in light of Jesus’ teaching.

I think it's also important to consider that in light of worshipping God in spirit and in truth, that if a gay man decides to marry a woman, he cannot do so in order to "hide" his sexuality.   He must be honest with her, or will be guilty of breaking another of the Ten Commandments: thou shall not bear false witness.   In such a case, if the man has purposed in his heart to marry heterosexually to produce biological children, I believe Scripture would guide him to not only be faithful to his wife after marriage, but also to never lie to her about his sexual orientation prior to marriage.

It's also important to note that the Church's traditional stance of compelling LGBT people to marry heterosexually is equally contradictory to Scripture in light of Paul's ordination of single gender marriage.  Both Jesus' exemption from heterosexual marriage for gay men who do not wish to marry heterosexually, as well as Paul's ordination of single gender marriage for faithful, monogamous, single gender couples, are choices for people, not commands from God or the Church. Jesus never commands a gay man to marry a woman, and Paul never commands that all gay men must marry each other.

Other considerations to keep in mind would be to remember that the Church is never "required" to perform marriage ceremonies for anyone.  If they choose to marry a single gender couple as a Sacrament from God to single gender couples as conveyed under Paul's ordination, it's important to keep in mind that both people being married must be of the Christian faith, for example.   Churches are not required to perform marriages between Christian and non-Christian heterosexuals, and it would be unreasonable (and unScriptural) for them to do so for non-heterosexual couples.   Many people in the public sphere have suggested that Churches could be sued if they declined to perform single gender marriages.   This is a mere fear tactic, as it is widely understood that Churches are not required to marry two people of any faith outside of Christianity, such as Jews, Muslims, or Atheists, even if they are heterosexual.   Neither are Churches required to perform marriage ceremonies for people who are not members of their church.   There is a host of reasons Churches may choose to not marry any couple, regardless of the gender of the couple being married.

In short, Paul's ordination of single gender marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 and the Holy Spirit's prophecy against faux Christians forbidding people to marry obviously makes clear that Christians are not to forbid the marriages, but it's important to note there is nothing in Scripture that obligates them to perform the ceremonies, or even provide marriage counseling for single gender couples, either.

However, most Christian marriage counseling is extremely valuable to all married couples, regardless of the gender of the couples.   Aside from the egalitarian examples already discussed in this chapter and made available by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, a gender neutral reading of Ephesians 5 can provide additional Scriptural guideposts for leading single gender married couples into the most successful Christian marriage possible, especially when considered in light of the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Galatians 3:28, “there is now not male and female.”

Christian Single Gender Marriage Counseling

Resuming our examination of 1 Corinthians 7, let’s now continue to verse 10 where we see the first time Paul changes the thrust of his message away from unmarried people (both heterosexual and non-heterosexual), and begins to address currently married people.  While we see his focus is confined to heterosexual marriage, it’s important to recognize that until he had ordained single gender marriage for Christians in verses 8-9, there were no Christian single gender couples to speak to. However as he prefaces his teaching with “but to the married people,” coupled with our previously established understanding of Jesus’ restoration of egalitarian relationships between men and women, this marriage advice will now apply to both heterosexual and non-heterosexual married Christian couples:

10 But to the married people I give charge--not I but the Lord--that the wife is not to separate from her husband.

11 But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband.   And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.

This again reflects the same teaching of Jesus regarding divorce that appears in the same passage of Scriptures wherein Jesus’ exemption of eunuchs from heterosexual marriage appears in Matthew 19:11-12.   This also confirms then that Paul taught that heterosexual and non-heterosexual couples (which are now equally included in light of Paul’s teaching) should not separate, but if so, they should remain single or be reconciled to their spouse.  Likewise, now that non-heterosexual couples are included by Paul, he is agreeing with Jesus that no married couple should divorce (except for cases of adultery) in accordance with Jesus’ primary stipulation for heterosexual couples in Matthew 19:11-12.

It’s also important to keep in mind the titles of husband and wife in considering this teaching, especially in light of Ephesians 5 which consistently specifies them in relation to marriage rights and responsibilities.  For instance, if a husband beats his wife, he forfeits the right to the title of husband as defined by Ephesians 5.  He may be a man, and he may be married, but that doesn’t necessarily qualify him as a husband, as Ephesians 5 makes clear.   God has not called anyone to remain in an abusive, dangerous or violent marriage, and several passages of Scripture support this.   The same then would hold true for heterosexual and non-heterosexual couples.

As we conclude our examination of 1 Corinthians 7, Paul now provides more valuable insight as he continues teaching on a range of marriage options for all sorts of different people in different circumstances in life who (under Jewish Law) had previously been forbid to marry, and who (under the New Covenant) now have new considerations to make as well:

12 To the rest I declare--I, not the Lord [for Jesus did not discuss this]--that if any brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ] and she consents to live with him, he should not leave or divorce her.

13 And if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she should not leave or divorce him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband.   Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean].

15 But if the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so; in such [cases the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound.   But God has called us to peace.

16 For wife, how can you be sure of converting and saving your husband?   Husband, how can you be sure of converting and saving your wife?

17 Only, let each one [seek to conduct himself and regulate his affairs so as to] lead the life which the Lord has allotted and imparted to him and to which God has invited and summoned him.

This is my order in all the churches. 
1 Corinthians 7:10-17

NOTE:   That's right, Brothers and Sisters!  In regard to all the preceding Scriptures, Paul says this is his order in all the churches, and not just the one in Corinth!

18 Was anyone at the time of his summons [from God] already circumcised?   Let him not seek to remove the evidence of circumcision.   Was anyone at the time [God] called him uncircumcised?   Let him not be circumcised.

19 For circumcision is nothing and counts for nothing, neither does uncircumcision, but [what counts is] keeping the commandments of God.

20 Everyone should remain after God calls him in the station or condition of life in which the summons found him.

21 Were you a slave when you were called?   Do not let that trouble you.   But if you are able to gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.   1 Corinthians 7:18-21

NOTE:   Contrary to most Christian teaching prior to the abolition of slavery in the United States, Paul here does not endorse slavery as much as he encourages slaves to free themselves if they have the opportunity.  Many people complain that the equality movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has been too often compared to the struggle for freedom for African Americans.  While I have always believed that inequality is inequality whether it is black, brown or pink, we also see how religious people have too often misapplied certain passages of Scripture in order to justify bigotry, whether it was against blacks, Hispanics, women, or gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. 

22 For he who as a slave was summoned in [to union with] the Lord is a freedman of the Lord, just so he who was free when he was called is a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).

23 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]; then do not yield yourselves up to become [in your own estimation] slaves to men [but consider yourselves slaves to Christ].

24 So, brethren, in whatever station or state or condition of life each one was when he we called, there let him continue with and close to God.   1 Corinthians 7:22-24

NOTE:   That's right, Brothers and Sisters!   Paul just said there should be no "ex-gay" therapy, and no self-loathing attitudes for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Believers!   Instead, Paul says, "let each one remain in the station or condition of life in which the summons to Christ found us."   Likewise, as we examined the account of the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Chapter 3 of The Bed Keeper, we noticed Scripture continues to refer to the eunuch as a eunuch, even after his baptism: 

And when they came up out of the water, the spirit of the Lord [suddenly] caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing.   Acts 8:39

I know now why he was rejoicing!  Considering he had travelled 1600 miles from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship, he had finally obtained the baptism he originally went to the synagogue to obtain for the remission of his sins.   The eunuch took the step of faith to go to God’s House of Prayer, and although turned away at first, he continued to trust God and study the Scriptures.   As a reward for his faithfulness and persistent seeking of God’s best for his life, the Holy Spirit sent Philip to make the journey worthwhile, just as He does for all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God!

25 Now concerning the virgins (the marriageable maidens) I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion and advice as one who by the Lord's mercy is rendered trustworthy and faithful.

26 I think then, because of the impending distress [that is even now setting in], it is well (expedient, profitable, and wholesome) for a person to remain as he or she is.

27 Are you bound to a wife?   Do not seek to be free.   Are you free from a wife?   Do not seek a wife.

28 But if you do marry, you do not sin [in doing so], and if a virgin marries, she does not sin [in doing so].   Yet those who marry will have physical and earthly troubles, and I would like to spare you that.   1 Corinthians 7:25-28

NOTE:   Amen to that!   Marriage is a difficult thing to manage for many people, both gay and straight, and Paul *suggests* that we remain single and not get overwrought for not having a life mate.  Yet he also ordains single gender marriage for those of us not called to celibacy, because as Paul says, "it is better to marry than to burn in our lusts and ungratified desire."

We have daily proof of that too!  As the Church has excluded gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from the promises of God to us that we have so clearly seen in His Word, they have driven away many who would have otherwise possibly avoided a life of chance sexual encounters.   Many of us may have married by now and be quite well adjusted with established families serving the Lord, instead of regretting that we let preachers go unchecked in their hate speech, leading many of us to resign ourselves to a life of promiscuity and indiscriminate sexual encounters.

That's exactly what happened to me, but thank God He called me back into fellowship with Him!   It's no wonder Paul told the preachers to stop judging those outside the Church in 1 Corinthians 5:13.   He knew it would be better for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to be married to each other, and to remain faithful to their spouse, than to be out "roaming around" looking for love in all the wrong places, and forced apart from God by the Church itself. 

29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has been winding down and it has grown very short.   From now on, let even those who have wives be as if they had none,

30 And those who weep and mourn as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything,  

31 And those who deal with this world [overusing the enjoyments of this life] as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it.   For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away.

32 My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care.   The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord--how he may please the Lord;

33 But the married man is anxious about worldly matters--how he may please his wife—

34 And he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God].  And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs--how she may please her husband.

35 Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly toward and in regard to his virgin [that he is preparing disgrace for her or incurring reproach], in case she is passing the bloom of her youth and if there is need for it, let him do what to him seems right; he does not sin; let them marry.   1 Corinthians 7:31-36

NOTE:  Many theologians and Believers alike have commented on how Paul had a very limited understanding of human sexuality, and therefore would be unaware of who we refer to today as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.   In actuality, (especially in terms of marriage), he provides for ALL Believers the grace to exercise their own God-given free will. It is somewhat surprising therefore to find so many preachers today who seem unwilling to do the same.   But of course they know that if we do, the jig is up for the preachers who are not adhering to the Scriptures, as well as anti-gay organizations whose deep wallets give them power to enslave preachers all over the world to preach a message based on a personal agenda of man for the sake of perceived political power and money.   It always comes back to money (even in Jesus’ day, and as we saw, even in Jeremiah’s day, and as we saw, even in Isaiah’s day).   Blaspheming both the Name and sacrifice of Jesus, too many preachers today twist Scripture, keep gay people out of the Church, and forbid us to marry--all for the purpose of financial gain and political influence.   It's little wonder then that Paul wrote: 

"You are proud and arrogant!  And you ought rather to mourn (bow in sorrow and in shame) until the person who has done this [shameful] thing is removed from your fellowship and your midst!"   1 Corinthians 5:2

"Now I write these things to move you to shame, and about your church....your boasting is not good, indeed it is entirely out of place..."   1 Corinthians 5:6

37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart [strong in mind and purpose], not being forced by necessity but having control over his own will and desire, and has resolved this in his heart to keep his own virginity, he is doing well.   1 Corinthians 7:37

NOTE:   Again, for those Churches whose position is that if a person identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender that the only moral option for them is to remain celibate, Paul provides a clear refutation of such teachings, saying specifically to those choosing celibacy that they should not be forced by necessity, but have control over their own will and desire, having resolved in their own heart to remain celibate.”

38 So also then, he [the father] who gives his virgin (his daughter) in marriage does well, and he [the father] who does not give [her] in marriage does better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives.   If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she will, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord.

40 But in my opinion [a widow] is happier (more blessed and to be envied) if she does not remarry. And also I think I have the Spirit of God.   1 Corinthians 7:38-40

David and Jonathan

Now that we have examined these passages, a few loose ends remain, including specifically the observation many Christians make that there are no examples of same gender marriage in Scriptures, and therefore same gender marriages are strictly prohibited by God's Word.

In actuality, that's not an entirely accurate observation.   Most of us have heard speculation about the relationship between David and Jonathan.  Many people say there is no indication that they were "married" but in actuality, there is.  Let's take a look at 1 Samuel 18:1:

When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own life.

Later we see that David and Jonathan once again recognized, reaffirmed, and honored their covenant between them as Jonathan meets David in a field to swear his protection from Jonathan's father, Saul:

And Jonathan caused David to swear again by his love for him, for Jonathan loved him as he loved his own life.   1 Samuel 20:17

Nowhere does Scripture ever relate an account of two people's souls being knit together.  The closest it comes are several passages indicating that two people can "become one flesh."

While these portions of Scripture alone don’t necessarily prove a marriage between David and Jonathan, Saul's reaction to their relationship does:

Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan and he said to him, You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do not I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother who bore you?   1 Samuel 20:30

Once again we again see David and Jonathan revere their covenant with each other, and this time reveals an even closer resemblance to marriage when Jonathan tells David,

He said to him, Fear not; the hand of Saul my father shall not find you.   You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you.  Saul my father knows that too.

And the two of them made a covenant before the Lord.   1 Samuel 23:17-18

Notice in verse 17 about, Jonathan not only prophesies to David that he would become king of Israel, but Jonathan goes on to add, "and I shall be next to you."

Finally, in David's eulogy after Jonathan's death he says, 

"I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me.   Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."   2 Samuel 1:26 

One has to stop and ask a very important question: If David and Jonathan were already in covenant with each other, why do we see them “reaffirm” their covenant twice more?   Either they were in a covenant relationship or not.   If they were not, re-entering a covenant relationship a second or third time seems to indicate the first covenant didn't "take," even though their souls had been knit together, indicating the likelihood of a second or third attempt would be equally unsuccessful.  

On the other hand, repeatedly making covenant to each other before God indicates to me this is more likely a reaffirming of the original covenant through sexual relations.  While I am aware of nothing in Scripture that actually proves that, considering that each time Scripture says “they made their covenant by “swearing their love to other” or because “they loved each other as their own life” is a repeated mantra from Paul in Ephesians 5, “Husbands should love their spouse, even as Christ loved the Church and gave His Own life for her….for a husband loves his spouse even as he loves his own life.”   I believe that’s something that should definitely be considered, especially in light of the next two examples of Scripture referring to same gender marriages:

We also see Jesus speaking of the rapture saying, 

I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.   Luke 17:34

And

The Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times
some will turn away from the faith,
 giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits
and doctrines that demons teach,
through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars
whose consciences are seared,
Who forbid people to marry... 
1 Timothy 4:1-3

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Dear Valued Readers,
This blog continues to be a work in progress. As recent revelations and events throughout Christendom have created an increasingly fluid situation, updates will no longer be published at the end of each post, but rather only at the beginning of the corresponding posts so impacted.  As of August 1, 2013, the only updates to appear at the end of each post will be churches that are personally endorsed by The Bed Keeper as a "SAFE SPACE."

Readers may email thebedkeeper@gmail.com to discuss or comment on any posting.  Please note that while all feedback is highly valued and appreciated, it may not be possible to reply to each email.
 
UPDATE 01.15.12:
Lakewood Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

UPDATE 11.22.11:
Eagle Mountain International Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

THANK YOU for your generous support of this work!
 
Let him who receives instruction in the Word of God share all good things with his teacher, contributing to his support.
Galatians 6:6