Eunuchs were men who had been castrated as slaves, so they would not interfere with the master’s harem. For the sake of understanding Jesus' heart, let me compare them to those who have been damaged sexually by abuse and those who do not want heterosexual union. Jesus describes how the excluded are part of the Kingdom of God. Jesus starts by acknowledging that male/female marriage is not acceptable to everyone.

Matthew 19:
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

The question of discipleship is whether we accept that sexual fidelity is for everyone. Is there a purity and singleness toward God that anyone can surrender to? Can we remove the sexual politics and follow the Leader?

Jesus says some are born outside the hetero-camp. He doesn’t say to ‘fix them’; just that marriage is not acceptable to them. Some are abused by others and find themselves unable to marry. Others choose celibacy as a response to God. Then he says that not everyone can accept this.

My question for non-heterosexually oriented people is can you accept the celibate life as a follower of Jesus? Not everyone can, but what about you?

The same question for everyone is whether fidelity to God’s oneness is being expressed in your sexuality. Married people are not exempt from having fidelity toward God and others.

Everyone has sexual impulses. God created us with these biological drives. Naturally, everyone wants to pursue these drives with someone else and probably will. To follow Jesus is to surrender our bodies in dedication to God. God does however give a clear advantage to married people for the full expression of their sexual drives. You may think that this is not fair toward singles and those who do not want heterosexual union. As Jesus said, there are some who cannot accept this word. In fact, Jesus himself chose the single life over marriage. He would have been considered odd for not having a wife.

So, what if we do accept Jesus’ word about celibacy and his inclusiveness of eunuchs? Who are the ‘sexually different’ and how do we model the love of Jesus in relationship to them? We are such ‘knee jerks’ when we fear those who differ and try to explain what we do not understand. We are to love our neighbor as our self. If they do not accept this call to Jesus, our love should not change.

Some will say there is no good news for gays. Invite them to Jesus who will tell them to be celibate. If it’s not good news for gays, then it’s not good news for heterosexuals either. The call to follow Jesus involves the pursuit of fidelity. By the way, it’s a messy pursuit and most people struggle along the way. All fall short and need the help of God to get back on track. Jesus reminds us that the secret thoughts prove that we fail at keeping the Law. The good news is that Jesus frees us from the Law and the Holy Spirit teaches us to love God’s Law in our innermost being. Can you accept the call to love God in your celibacy? Some cannot accept this.


Mike Mendler said…
Very thought-provoking, Kevin. Nice job!
Anonymous said…
pastor, in doing some personal study i stumbled on your set of posts in the category 'homosexuality' and curiously note on your public facebook page your 'new favorite Lutheran pastor'.

unless your views have radically changed in the couple of months since you wrote this post you and she would disagree just about 100% as nadia bolz-weber does not see lbgqt? orientation and sex as anything sinful or anything Jesus would see as inappropriate in one of his followers requiring change whether of orientation or just to celibacy.

she also, as you claim for yourself in another comment, one to, "take the high view of the Bible as God's revelation to us" but has a very different understanding than you based on a deep love for God, theology, study and people as i assume is also true of you.

for the record, i'm hetero.