Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chapter 21: GAZA: Holy Land for Gays



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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As we learned from the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch from Chapter 3 of The Bed Keeper, we'll recall that he was baptized in one of the most volatile geographic locations in the world today: GAZA!

26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Rise and proceed southward or at midday on the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza. This is the desert [route].

27 So he got up and went.  And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship.

28 And he was [now] returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.

29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot.

30 Accordingly Philip, running up to him, heard [the man] reading the prophet Isaiah and asked, Do you really understand what you are reading?  

31 And he said, How is it possible for me to do so unless someone explains it to me and guides me [in the right way]?  And he earnestly requested Philip to come up and sit beside him.  Acts 8:26-30

Gaza is located about 50 miles southwest of Jerusalem.  But what's interesting is the eunuch is from Ethiopia.  Since he was the Treasury Secretary to Queen Candace, (in charge of all her treasure), it is most likely the eunuch lived in the capital of Ethiopia (modern day Addis Ababa), which is nearly 1600 miles south of Jerusalem!  Scriptures tell us the eunuch was in Gaza and he was headed south back to Ethiopia from Jerusalem.  For Philip to leave Jerusalem and go south when the Holy Spirit told him to, the eunuch would have already been about 50 miles ahead of Philip!  How did Philip catch up to him when he already had such a great head start?  Also, how did Philip do it on foot, even as the Ethiopian eunuch was travelling by chariot (at a top speed of about 30 miles per hour, if drawn by horses)?

A couple of things to note is the Eunuch was "sitting in his chariot" reading the book of Isaiah.  As the Treasury Secretary of a major country, it is most likely the Eunuch had foot soldiers with him who could have been driving the chariot, as well as provide him bodily protection from looters along the way to Jerusalem.  (A Treasury Secretary would most likely have been thought to carry plenty of valuables on him, including his tithe offering since he had gone to Jerusalem to worship).  A trip of 1600 miles would have required several days to take by chariot (about 58 hours if travelling non-stop at a rate of 30 miles an hour).  They're travelling through desert, so basic needs are going to be in short supply.  It's also quite possible other chariots had been brought along to carry supplies, such as changes of clothing, food, and water, not only for the people in the caravan, but also for the horses.  This means the Ethiopian eunuch was likely (but not necessarily) travelling in a rather large caravan.  For him to be sitting in the chariot doesn't necessarily mean the chariot ever stopped moving, especially if he had a driver. 

On the other hand, since Scripture doesn't mention any other people, it's also very possible the eunuch was indeed travelling alone, and since he was going to Jerusalem to worship had quite possibly decided to fast food and water (as Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness).  If so, it's also then quite possible that the eunuch had stopped his chariot at some water for his horse to drink and rest, and was actually not moving at the time Philip was travelling from Jerusalem to meet up with him.  This would be one logical explanation for how Philip would be able to catch up to him when the eunuch already had such a head start out of Jerusalem, but in my view, not very likely.  The eunuch would have been only 50 miles into a 1600 mile journey back and it seems unlikely for him to have taken a break so soon into his trip...but maybe.

Even so, Philip is not in a chariot....he's on foot!  See again:  Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot. Accordingly Philip, running up to him....

So how did Philip catch up to the eunuch?  I believe the answer is provided from Scripture after Philip baptized the eunuch:

39 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.

40 But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing on he preached the good news (Gospel) to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.  Acts 8:39-40

Azotus (also known as Ashdod) is about 23 miles from Gaza.  For the eunuch to not even see Philip anymore (in the middle of a desert where there is nothing to block one's view of another person for miles around), I believe it's clear to everyone that the only Scripturally logical explanation for how Philip was able to catch up to the eunuch who already had such a great head start (besides him sitting and waiting for Philip to catch up), is that the Holy Spirit didn't just catch Philip up and transport him AFTER the eunuch had been baptized, but was indeed also caught up by the Spirit of the Lord as soon as the Holy Spirit said, "rise and proceed southward."  In other words, my friends, I believe Scripture attests to TWO translations of a human being within the account of the Ethiopian eunuch, not just one.  One occurred prior to Philip's encounter with the eunuch, and one occurred again afterward.

...actually, make that THREE translations, because after his baptism, the Ethiopian eunuch himself was indeed "translated into the kingdom of His dear Son."  1 Colossians 1:13

Why does that even matter?  Well, a couple of things.  One thing is that Ashdod (Azotus) is also where the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant of God and set it up in the temple of Dagon, which was represented by a statue that kept falling down and breaking into pieces once the Ark was located in the idol temple: 

1 The Philistines brought the ark of God from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

2 They took the ark of God into the house of Dagon and set it beside Dagon [their idol].

3 When they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord.  So they took Dagon and set him in his place again.

4 But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had again fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and [his] head and both the palms of his hands were lying cut off on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left him.

5 This is the reason neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

6 But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod, and He caused [mice to spring up and there was] very deadly destruction and He smote the people with [very painful] tumors or boils, both Ashdod and its territory.

7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.

8 So they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?  They answered, Let [it] be carried around to Gath.  So they carried the ark of the God of Israel there.

9 But after they had carried it to Gath, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing an exceedingly great panic [at the deaths from the plague], for He afflicted the people of the city, both small and great, and tumors or boils broke out on them.

10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.  And as [it] came, the people of Ekron cried out, They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us to slay us and our people!

11 So they sent and assembled all the lords of the Philistines and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel; let it return to its own place, that it may not slay us and our people.  For there was a deadly panic throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

12 The men who had not died were stricken with very painful tumors or boils, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.  1 Samuel 5:1-12

It would seem God finally answered their cries by miraculously translating Philip from Gaza to Ashdod (Azotus), where he preached the good news of the Gospel (not only in Azotus) but to ALL the surrounding towns:

40 But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing on he preached the good news (Gospel) to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.  Acts 8:40

It would seem God's presence (formerly represented to man only in the Ark of the Covenant) was now available through human beings preaching the Gospel--even to those whom had formerly wanted nothing to do with God.

The second point of significance is that (especially in relation to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people) Scripture portrays Gaza as a land of MIRACLES!  Not only do we see two translations of a human being, but also the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in the only account of evangelism in the whole of Scripture, and in the only time Gaza is ever mentioned in the New Testament.  We see that event representative of not only the beginning fulfillment of Isaiah 55:11-56:12 where God promises we would be included in His House of Prayer and accept our offerings and sacrifices on His altar, but also the new awakening of mainstream Christianity to the prophetic importance and mandate of inclusion and affirmation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in God's House of Prayer for all people!  In short, I believe every Christian could rightfully consider the area of land from Jerusalem to Gaza (and on to Ashdod and Caesarea) as HOLY LAND for GAYS!  (No wonder it happened at GAZA)!

Now, I don't want to start a new religious war over who gets what land.  What I am hoping to do is to encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, as well as the Church, and the governments of America, Israel, and Palestine to begin to consider that instead of a two state solution to the stand-off in the Middle East, perhaps a three state solution may be just what brings about a permanent peace solution to the region, and not just because God said so, but because it may actually make a lot of common sense!  

Not only would it reinforce Christian support of Israel and the Jews as a matter of course with an added 700,000,000 LGBT people now also lending their support, but because of the economic security of ALL the people in the region, and the security of an area of land in the eastern hemisphere that could become a peaceful, free, democratic refuge for LGBT people persecuted in their own countries by their own governments.  It's interesting that Ethiopia is located very near Uganda, Sudan and other nations wherein LGBT people are under constant threat of execution, just for being born eunuchs....or as I like to say, "BORN UNIQUE!"

I believe that as this message becomes more widely received by mainstream Christianity, it will open the door for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to begin bringing LGBT people of every religion into the Christian fold, as we begin to share the MIRACULOUS news that (although it took 2,000 years to see it) indeed Christianity is the only religion in the world that does not bar us from the promises of God!  While I believe most Jews are not required to convert to Christianity to be considered God's people if they faithfully follow the Law of Moses, I also believe a fuller understanding of the benefits of living by faith instead of by the Law will encourage them to reconsider Christianity!  

Having LGBT people stationed in Gaza preaching the good news of Jesus Christ—(and His inclusion of LGBT people in His House of Prayer for ALL People)--would provide Christianity with a unique opportunity to reach into the whole world, because gay people are in every nation, every city, every family, and every RELIGION!  Being already present in a free, peaceful and secure Gaza (where all religions are welcome to practice their religion) would not only draw LGBT people of all faiths and nations to Gaza, but would also expose them to the Good News of the Gospel in a way that simply isn't available in the world today, just as Philip did.  He simply made himself available to the Jewish Ethiopian Eunuch, and after reading him a few short chapters from the Book of Isaiah (chapters 53-56), left a newborn Christian child of God!

While many Muslims (and countries that are largely governed by Muslims) continue to execute gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as a matter of course, based on a cryptic and abbreviated account of Sodom in the Qur’an, I believe a fuller understanding of the account of Lut (Lot) and Sodom will help LGBT Muslims see that Sodom wasn't even destroyed for homosexuality, but for heterosexual fallen angels (sons of God) sexually mixing with human women, as we learned in Genesis 6, Jude, and 2 Peter 2.  (See Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 of The Bed Keeper for a detailed examination of those accounts).

Coupled with the fact that Christianity (much to everyone's surprise) welcomes LGBT people with open arms, and provides a path to not only immortality after death, but a rich, peaceful, and joyful life in the here and now--especially when they see that Abraham is our father too--these new LGBT Muslim converts can easily win over their parents, friends and families to the truth Christ provides in a much richer fullness than found conveyed in the Qur’an, especially as regards LGBT people.

While I believe this process will continue throughout the world and will touch every LGBT person regardless of their faith, more and more will also convert to Christianity.  When they do, I also recognize many will find themselves in need of a safe place to worship God as not only LGBT people, but as Christians.  Even before they convert to Christianity (if that's what they ultimately decide to do), many LGBT people find themselves so persecuted by their own governments' sanctioned executions of gay people, that they need countries that can provide them asylum (and even travel assistance) from persecution.  Establishing a Christian-friendly, gay-friendly, safe space (in the same geographic location as the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch) may be the path to peace both Israel and the Palestinian people are searching for, (as well as an asylum from evil many LGBT people need in that part of the world).

If so, this would explain another piece of the prophecy God gives to eunuchs:

4 For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths and choose the things which please Me and hold firmly My covenant--

5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better [and more enduring] than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.

6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord to minister to Him and to love the name of the Lord and to be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath so as not to profane it and who holds fast My covenant [by conscientious obedience]--

7 All these I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

8 Thus says the Lord God, Who gathers the outcasts of Israel:  I will gather yet others to Him besides those already gathered.  Isaiah 56:4-8

It's hard to ignore that God's prophecy is not ONLY to eunuchs (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people), but also to the foreigners.  Who are they, if not LGBT folks from other religions and nations?  We see the eunuch baptized in Acts 8 was from Ethiopia, and was Jewish.  Who's to say God isn't telling us that He will gather LGBT people into Christianity to use us to evangelize LGBT people from other nations and religions?  Who's to say God isn't telling us to do so in Gaza just like Philip did?  Who's to say that isn't what God means by saying in verse 3 from this same prophecy to:

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, The Lord will surely separate me from His people.  And let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.  Isaiah 56:3

Could it be God is saying that the eunuchs should not complain we are dry trees because He will use us to bring many "foreigners" into the Kingdom through LGBT people sharing His Word with other LGBT people of "foreign" nations and religions?  Could it be God is saying that the "foreigners" should not worry about being "separated from their people" because Gaza will become a country for ALL people, just as His House of Prayer is on its way to becoming?  I admit I don't know with certainty that He is, but God did preface this prophecy in Isaiah 55:11-13 saying,

11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 For you shall go out [from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

What spiritual exile?  What sin and evil?  What homeland?  Is it possible God is saying that LGBT people are being persecuted in their own countries because the enemy wishes to destroy each of us just as Herod did when trying to kill Jesus, simply because Satan doesn't know which of us he has to kill in order to prevent Isaiah 55:11-56:12 from being revealed to the Church, and thereby expose from Scripture that which he has tried so hard for so long to keep secret so Jesus couldn't return?  Is this the sin and evil being spoken of by God, especially considering LGBT people are gay long before we even have a chance to commit any sin or evil?  Is it possible God is saying the Homeland is not yet established, but will be? 

13 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.  Isaiah 55:11-13

Clearly verse 12 reflects a plethora of encouraging Scriptures located throughout the Bible about the joy that comes from believing that Jesus is the Son of God.  The beginning of verse 13 sounds like a "shaking" and a "changing" of the status quo.  But notice the words I underlined above: All this would be an everlasting SIGN that shall not be cut off!  A sign of what, though?  Friends, I believe it's a sign to us at this point in human and Church history that indeed Jesus IS returning, as we see the very next verse of the prophecy reads:

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.  Isaiah 56:1

And I believe He adds the words it would be a “sign of [jubilant exaltation] and memorial [to His praise], which shall not be cut off” because whatever God is speaking of here, He intends it to be PERMANENT!  Only governments can ensure the security, peace and autonomy that would indeed keep such an idea as a New Gaza a permanent idea.

So suppose that IS what God is telling us about Gaza.  What would this mean in natural terms to the economy, peace, security, and prosperity of the people in that region of the world?  Well, it would certainly not come without great economic, political and social benefits!!  Imagine the race between Israel and Palestine to SUDDENLY shift as they begin to woo LGBT people to the region for the travel and tourism dollars 700,000,000 LGBT people worldwide would SUDDENLY bring, as they come to understand Gaza as a land of MIRACLES that God seems to have carved out just for us! 

Imagine the great building projects that would spring up as all manner of infrastructure from power plants, to water supply and treatment systems, to great houses of worship from EVERY religion in the world began being built and established so that all LGBT people of EVERY faith can have the benefit of coming to worship in their customary manner, while also having access to the principles and concepts and texts of every other religion in the world at the same time!  Imagine the great theological debates that will emerge as each religion is compared and studied and examined against the others by each LGBT person.  And imagine how many will be drawn to conclude Christianity is the only religion wherein God has a special place, purpose and destiny especially for us, even if the Church itself isn't yet fully aware of it!

Imagine all the economic growth and employment opportunities for the people of Palestine and Israel (and every other nation on earth)!  THAT would provide some clear incentives for resuming the peace talks, wouldn't it?  No wonder God said, 

Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.  Isaiah 56:2

I've always understood the phrase "Blessed, happy, and fortunate is "the man who does this" as LGBT people, and the phrase "and the son of man who lays hold of it" to be preachers, priests, and other people in the Household of Faith that would ensure the Church takes her blinders off and at last makes God's House a house of prayer for all people.  But perhaps God is also speaking to the "son of man" as government leaders who would help bring about peace in the Holy Lands--ALL the Holy Lands--regardless if was traditionally identified as Jewish, Muslim, or Christian.  Perhaps the solution then isn't a 3 state solution, but perhaps a new single state, with Jerusalem as the capital, and encompassing all Israel AND all lands the Palestinians currently lay claim to, as well as Gaza.  Perhaps instead of dividing the area among 2 countries, and dividing the capital city of Jerusalem, we should instead "undivide" the borders between Israel and Palestine and Gaza and make the entire region one all-encompassing state:  New Gaza (for example). 

Perhaps we should govern it not as a state, but more like international waters, perhaps under direct control of the United Nations, while continuing to maintain the identity of Israel as Israel, Gaza as Gaza, and Palestine as Palestine.  What we're currently doing--indeed what we have been doing for the past 60 years is not working!  It's simply causing the divisions to grow wider, and the dispute is giving impetus to terror organizations to infiltrate governments with promises of independence (in an attempt to secure power for themselves personally), all the while using (and resenting) the people involved as pawns in a power struggle between a handful of men, that will only worsen if it remains on its current course.  I believe it's time to consider a fresh approach, not only in the Church, but in the Nations, and in Israel as well! (and Gaza, of course!)

Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.  Isaiah 56:2

How would we "keep the Sabbath sacred" in an hypothetical New Gaza?  Again, with houses of worship of every religion who cares to build one in the region!  Each person, regardless of religion would be free to worship in their own style, in their own house of prayer, in their own language, in their own customs--and even to their own God--each keeping the Sabbath sacred, as they would do so in accordance with their religious observations, festivals, Holy Holidays, and practices.  One thing unique about the LGBT community is that we have never been divided by religion in and of ourselves, because no religion (as far as we knew) has ever existed that embraced us.  We've all been in the same boat in that regard.  Another thing about the LGBT community is we are naturally responsive to art, literature, culture, fashion, architecture, beauty, and philosophy.  Many of us already serve in religious positions, and many of us are already people of faith, regardless of which religion we adhere to.

The success of simultaneous interfaith worship would bring a mosaic of ideas, concepts, and insights into other religions, customs and practices that would most likely be observed by all of us on each Sabbath (just out of respect for each other as LGBT people), with great discussions about why each custom or practice was adopted, what it represents, different types of prayer, etc.  In such an environment, it would open the door to Christian LGBT people to offer our insights into Christianity as well.  Another unique hallmark of the LGBT community is we don't simply embrace diversity--we embody it!

Some may balk at the idea because it could lead to Christians falling away from the faith and embracing elements of other religions' worship practices.  I would remind any such folk of the Day of Pentecost, and how the Holy Spirit chose a time to enter the world in which "they were assembled in one accord," and to recall that people were present from countries and cities all around the region.  Who knows--maybe the Latter Rain has yet to fully fall on the Church in these last days!  Maybe another Pentecost-type event is right around the corner in the Christian Church!  As we learned in Chapter 20 of The Bed Keeper, it's quite possible we will begin to see the fire of heaven falling to consume offerings and sacrifices in churches all over the world once LGBT people are affirmed in Church!  

One thing is for certain: unless LGBT Christians provide the same access to other religions as they do to ours, it certainly won't provide an opportunity for "every tongue to confess that Jesus is Lord!"  And let us also be reminded that all the 3,000 people converted to Christianity on the Day of Pentecost were of the Jewish faith, not Christians!  Christians can't evangelize non-Christians without providing access to them, and without us making ourselves available to them.  If nothing else, the (Jewish) Ethiopian eunuch's conversion and subsequent baptism in Acts 8 should verify that!

Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.  Isaiah 56:2

Let's take a moment to focus on the last part of that sentence: and keeps his hand from doing any evil.  During the past 7 years of assembling these revelations from God's Word, I have always limited my understanding of this portion of Scripture to say "keeps his hand from doing any sin."  But that isn't the word God chose.  EVIL was the word. 

For far too long, the only American companies that seem to thrive in that region of the world are the arms manufacturers, led by a handful of people who greatly influence far too many politicians, who then keep the pot stirred among many Middle East nations.  They seem to be just chomping at the bit for war to break out so they have someone who'll start buying more of their wares again.  Friends, we've seen the results not only in terms of sagging economies around the world who depend on war for finances, but even the dissolution of the former U.S.S.R. who went bankrupt trying to keep up with the arms race against the United States.  Most importantly, we've seen the suffering of the everyday people caught up in these battles that profit nobody except the arms manufacturers themselves, and a handful of ruthless leaders who's reigns of terror are drawing to a close, as we see uprisings throughout the Middle East as people are taking a stand and saying, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"  And what they are saying "ENOUGH" to is EVIL (war, tyranny, famine, destruction, fear, terror, and bloodshed) itself!

Every parent of every child in the world hopes for a better future for their child than what they had.  No parent of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender child hopes for any less, but society often denies them the opportunity on the basis of religion, where the Church has more power in governing the definition, development and growth of families than the parents themselves.  Religion has for too long prevented parents from raising their children in the most conducive environment for their particular child's needs, protections, well-being, and growth.  Far too long, religion has exerted its influence beyond the congregation and into the public square for the benefit of a mere handful of pastors, or preachers, or priests who gain personal satisfaction from the deceitfulness of riches, and the facade of power that comes with their evil deeds and their meddling in the affairs of whom God desires to be FREE people.  

Whether Christian vs. Jew, or Jew vs. Muslim, or Muslim vs. Christian, the world has grown too populace to continue to divide our common humanity on the basis of a supernatural authority created on the whims of man and selective (mis)understandings and gross misapplications of religious texts.  God provided His Word for each man's freedom, not his enslavement.  God gave man dominion over the earth, not other people.  God has affirmed, blessed and designated each of His Own children with certain inalienable rights that no government, and no religion, and no devil in hell can steal from us; try as they all might, (sometimes in united conspiracy).

There is a new day in the Christian Church!  There could also be a new day in Gaza, and indeed the entire Middle East!  There could be a new day of the peace and prosperity of billions of people who have never tasted freedom from their government, nor their religion.  No place on earth has ever made it a foundational policy to include all people, no matter what race, creed, ethnicity or religious affiliation, except for America.  A New Gaza can replicate that American ideal and emerge as a unique gift in all human history, as a nation that provides respite from the cruel government and religious malcontents of history, even as the government and religions themselves remain innocent tools of the very evil fanaticism and extremism that has always resulted in the destruction of humanity, not it's preservation.

As we start anew in the Christian Church, I believe it is time we start thinking anew as regards the Middle East as well.  Yes, all nations will be judged on whether or not they bless Israel.  But blessing Israel does not mean always having to agree with her.  Israel may balk at this idea as well, but so far as I can tell, for the first time in human history since the Mormons moved to Utah, the whole world has a unique opportunity to once again make a dessert bloom under the mighty hand of God...and how would that "NOT" be a blessing to Israel, and every other nation on the planet?

Some may wonder how we would protect such a New Gaza.  My answer would be that perhaps the reason God's people have begun to include LGBT people in the world's militaries, is because somewhere in their spirit they sense the need arising for us to be there, and that we will be there to protect peaceful people from those who hate peace, and do so with the greatest cause for peace and religious freedom of all people--in all nations--that the world has ever known.  Give a man a gun, and you make him a soldier.  Give a man a cause, and you make him a warrior. 

While I do not support the hostile takeover of any land from anyone under any circumstances, should the people of the Middle East themselves be so persuaded to embark on the journey to a New Gaza as alluded to herein, I can assure you there are 700,000,000 LGBT people around the world who would fight to preserve it.  Many Christians have been prophesying that "God is raising up an army!"  I'd say a world-wide force that is 700,000,000 strong is indeed quite an army!  But who of us could have predicted His was the First Military to include gay folks? 

Friends, we can do these things if we set our minds and hearts to do them, and if God is with us.  As evidenced by the new awareness of the importance of inclusion, freedom, equality, marriage and spiritual growth of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, there can now be no doubt that indeed God is with us, even if the odds were against us!!  While the hypothetical concept of a New Gaza as a Holy Land for all peoples, all nations, and all religions seems but a dream at this point, all that is left to decide is whether indeed our hearts and minds can be set to do this new thing--and yes, even greater things than this--just as Jesus promised we would. 

After all, folks, it's not like I'm suggesting we put a man on the moon or anything!

I'm just an American...and a Christian...and a eunuch BORN SO from my mother's womb....

....and I too have a dream!


In closing, let us reflect on this portion of God's prophecy to eunuchs and foreigners once again:

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, The Lord will surely separate me from His people.  And let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

And then let's reflect on the vision God seems to be casting for the Church, the Nations and Israel at this point in human history, as we now also shine a new light on another portion of God's Word from Colossians 13:9-29 and Colossians 13:4-6 (King James Version):

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers

all things were created by him, and for him

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God

26 Even the mystery which hath been

hid from ages and from generations

but now is made manifest to his saints

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 

29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints

5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel

6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world;


...and bringeth forth FRUIT!


"Let not the eunuch complain, behold I am a dry tree."

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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