|Under the Gown of Jesus Ý
Copyright 2003 by William Meisheid (11-04-03)
There has been, is, and will be a lot of argument and discussion about what the election and consecration of Gene Robinson as the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire means, both to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican communion, but also its implications for all of Christendom. One can focus on the sociological implications, the political implications, or even the moral and theological implications, but there is one aspect of all of this that doesn't appear in any discussion that I have read and it relates to our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let me explain. It is often argued by the homosexual lobby that Jesus did not speak on the issue of homosexuality and while it is true he never uttered the words or spoke to the situation directly, there is a good reason. If you read through all four Gospels, one thing that strikes you is that Jesus almost always spoke in reaction to the events transpiring in front of him. There are a few exceptions, like the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives a general presentation of his shift from focusing on the external concerns of the law to instead looking at the internal concerns of the heart. However, most of his statements and teachings are directly related to the people and situations that confronted him. As a result, it is not unusual or unexpected that he didn't address homosexuality, since it is very unlikely he ever crossed its path. If it existed at all within the towns and cities he passed through, it was well hidden, since the Jewish culture of the day, following the prescriptions of Moses, considered it an abomination.
However, Jesus did speak on an issue that directly relates to the current demands of homosexuals, that of committed same-sex relationships and the longed for acceptance of their "loving" activities. In the discussion of divorce in Matthew 19:4-6 "Haven't you read," he [Jesus] replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." So, given the opportunity, Jesus reiterates the foundational context of the Genesis account for the nature of humanity and the primacy of marriage between one man and one woman as the expression of that humanity in ongoing relationship.
Hearing this, his disciples, thinking about the difficulty of being bound to one wife for a lifetime and sounding very modern responded "it is better not to marry." At this point some people would like to say that there is no discussion of sex outside of marriage. They want to maintain their wiggle room for "committed" relationships, whether with the same or opposite sex. However, Jesus, obviously seeing the implication behind the "better not to marry" argument says something very provocative, which resonates with the ongoing debate over modern sexual mores, indeed with all human relationships outside of the one man, one woman lifetime marriage. He says, "For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven." Emphasis mine. In essence, Jesus says that the only alternative to lifelong marriage between a man and a woman is becoming a eunuch for the sake of the gospel. Let's be perfectly clear, eunuchs do not have sexual relations; it is fundamental to the definition. This is not an easy biblical argument for the same sex lobby to deal with, but it is Jesus' argument just the same. Much more can be said along these lines of the Genesis and creation foundation of human sexuality, but for that discussion I would like to point you to the Theological Education Institute (TEI) and the Rev. John C. Rankin, its president. In his writings and public debates, he masterfully deals with how the Genesis account sets the pattern for all human sexuality and fundamentally prohibits any sexual expression outside of one man, one woman marriage, whether gay or straight.
With that as background, what the revisionists in the Episcopal Church have done is more than attack the nature of humanity and God's ordained structure of human sexuality. No, they have attacked Jesus Christ himself. How you say? Leaving aside their dismissal of his argument for traditional marriage and necessity of being a eunuch otherwise, they have, wittingly or unwittingly, made him a sex object. It is foundational to Christian theology that every Christian is in a "committed relationship" with Jesus Christ. Using the argument of the homosexual lobby and arguing that a man living in "committed relationship" with another man is acceptable to the "inclusive love" [a new kind of love if there ever was one - see my essay on this form of suicidal love] of Jesus, they have, in effect, crawled beneath the hem of Jesus' garment and said that it is acceptable to do so. If that turns you away in disgust, it should because that is the logical end to their argument. An example of this thinking can be taken from a polemic by Paul Angle, soon to be published a book discussing "The False Claims of Christianity." He says, "Mary Magdalene was often mentioned as Jesus' very close companion if not his wife in the Gnostic texts they even have the main disciples complaining of the attention she gets and that he 'loved her more than them'. Could it be that elements of homsexuality [sic] were left in the story because many of the early and proceeding founders of the religion were gay themselves." The implication of course is that the disciples had or at least desired homosexual relations with Jesus. That is where Gene Robinson's consecration is taking those who are willing to follow, under the hem of Jesus' garment.
God will not be mocked. What will happen now is anyone's guess, but Satan has gained another weapon in his current fight against the Church of Jesus Christ. The abomination of desolation has entered the sanctuary and pretends to administer the sacred sacraments. Deceit has corrupted truth, and those who call evil good have asserted their will and called it the will of the Most High. We must put on the full armor of God and resist the devil. To quote Edmond Burke, "All that is required for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." Good men and women of Jesus Christ, get down on your knees to repent and pray and then rise up and do something.