4.) Adam and Eve
To understand anything in the bible, one has to crack the puzzle of Adam and Eve. Nothing else makes sense before that story is understood.
According to the bible, Adam and Eve were male and female in the image of God. God said to them, “You may eat of all the Trees in the Garden. But of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you may not eat. For in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” He told them this in order to remind them that their reality was a gift, and He was the source of its meaning and beauty. The central mystery of that poetic reality was Adam and Eve’s ability to outpicture the oneness of God in their sexual union.
A bit of background theology: biblically, the oneness of God is more than just the monotheistic notion that “there is only one God.” Rather, it speaks of the absolute harmony existing within the Godhead. This is why the sexual union was, in a sense, the “image of God.” You don’t have to believe that there is a God to understand that, nor to understand its implications for all reality. It is enough for now to entertain the idea that when scientists construct a “grand unifying theory,” the language they are using is not that different from poetic words like, “In Him do all things hold together.” That “the two will cleave together and become one flesh” is humanity’s re-enactment of that primordial unity in which – or in whom – all things “hold together.” What the bible is trying to say is that at the centre of and encompassing all reality exists something harmonious that moves and sustains all things by the tremendousness of its profundity; when men and women join together, they somehow outpicture that ineffable mystery.
Now, the story tells us that “the Serpent was more subtle than any other creature.” This Serpent discreetly approached Eve to ask her, “Did God indeed say, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the Garden’?”Eve replied, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.”
Then the Serpent said, “You will not surely die. God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Having heard this most scandalous reversal of her biggest assumption about the true nature of life, death and empowerment, Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom. Eve now believed that God was a tyrant who forbade empowerment on pain of death. She revolted against the image of God that she and the Serpent had co-created in her mind’s eye. Adam joined her. They ate the fruit. Then something strange happened: their eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Ashamed, they hid from God. God later confronted them about why they were hidden and how they knew that they were naked.
They felt ashamed of their nakedness because their rebellion had changed the meaning of their sexuality, which at first had been their expression of God’s image as unity. They were now aware and ashamed of their nakedness in a way they hadn’t been before.
Initially, their sexuality was the outpicturing of God as He really was. After they ate the fruit, their nakedness became an outpicturing of the God they’d imagined God to be, that is, the image of God they’d been rebelling against; they now outpictured the tyrannical Godhead Eve had been trying to usurp. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they became “like God” as they’d wished – they became the dishonest God they’d wished to become. Because they’d believed a lie, they had adopted, and acted according to, a distorted picture of the central/all-encompassing reality. The adaptation had in turn tainted the sex by which they outpictured their understanding of God. In other words, Adam and Eve became like the God of their imagination, that is, the God the Serpent had given them the idea to overthrow. That God used the treacherous methods that they’d projected onto the real God, which treacherous methods they used to overthrow the Real God. The means and the ends were bound together, and the couple succeeded at what they’d been aiming for. “Now man has become as one of Us knowing good from evil.”
According to the New Testament, we’re all heir to their success. The means, the ends, and the goal – it was all treacherous and it all worked to bring about the deification of man in the image of Deity that man believed God to be – dishonest, ungenerous and tyrannical. This was the Godhead that man and woman now outpictured in their sexuality, because this was the Godhead they’d been incited to overthrow.
We discover that a curse is brought into the picture because of mankind’s choices:
The Serpent would come under a curse, more so than “all the beasts in the field,” implying that all nature would fall as well. This is where the dietary aspect of the Mosaic Law comes from. In the first two books of the bible, Genesis and Exodus, we learn that God would have mankind quarantined from those animals that, however obliquely, represent something of the Fall. The curse on the Serpent as well as related classes of the animal kingdom is the only explanation hinted at by the New Testament as to why God would have put in those dietary restrictions during the Old Testament time period. The point is that a curse erupted in Eden, and God would articulate, and then manage, that curse.
“Your desire shall be for your husband,” God told Eve when He described her share of the curse. “And he shall rule over you.” Eve’s penalty for trying to become “like God” was that Adam would go from being in authority with her as they ruled the earth, to being in authority over her as they now caricatured the harmony of Godhead. A caricature of harmony is a dysfunctional relationship. Eve went from being Adam’s helpmeet to being his subject. If Eve imagined that God was a tyrant, then the image of God-in-her head, which she would now outpicture with Adam, could only be complete if there were a person that this new outpicturing of the Godhead could degrade and objectify.
The caricature of Deity that the couple had become would experience a corresponding parallel in their sex act: Adam’s penetration of Eve would no longer be his offering himself up to her so that they could join to outpicture the indescribably harmonious Godhead; on a biological level, he would begin to approach it as a form of conquest in the outpicturing of the caricature of the tyrannical Godhead they’d become. That was part of the curse and it’s the reason they suddenly needed clothes. Whenever Adam touched Eve, he knew that he longed to “dominate” her in ways that ran contrary to the rest of his noble nature, contrary to what he’d been created to experience, and contrary to the Godhead they’d initially been created to outpicture. There was no longer any innocence in his nakedness around her.
5.) What God saw when He looked at Adam
At the risk of being graphic, let us say that Adam’s penis was the first spear ever seen on earth – once an instrument of love and communion, it was now a weapon of domination, tyranny and conquest – and he’d thus become Eve’s conqueror. He could not separate himself from the self-attesting manifestation of that lust to conquer. The more he tried to resist that lust, the harder it became to silence it. He could not, by a sheer act of the will, lower the spear that announced his urge to conquer and kill. Adam’s guilt lay open at the most intimate and most telling part of his anatomy, far beyond his ability to control. The male erection was therefore not something to be proud of; rather, it, for all its turgid magnificence, was the display of an incompleteness that could only be resolved in the penetration and conquest of another human being in the outpicturing of the tyrannical Godhead that mankind had become. The penis now was the sign of relational depravity.
The only way Adam’s conquest of Eve could be justified is if the humanity of the conquered could somehow be diminished and forgotten. If women could be degraded to the level of objects, then the urge to conquer them could be something that men could even feel proud of. “He shall rule over you,” God warned Eve.
Now a tyrannical parody of Love instead of His reflection, Adam would control Eve, but he couldn’t control himself nor control the way he controlled her. He never knew what form of evil would rise up within him against her. He would accuse and criticize without thinking first; “The woman whom You gave me; she gave to me the fruit, and I ate” he said, starting a long, proud tradition of blaming all the world’s evils on the woman whom he lusted to exercise that evil on. “I thank you God, Master of heaven and earth, that You did not create me as a Gentile, You did not create me a slave, and that You did not make me a woman.” Unleasher of all the world’s evils, Eve is the biblical equivalent of Pandora.
Adam wasn’t innocent either: he had become an accuser. Indeed, he had shifted blame onto the wife whom God had given to end his loneliness. There was no self-awareness, no gratitude, and no altruism in his actions. He could not face himself; he was ashamed. Adam wasn’t merely ignorant of what he’d done: he was ignoring it. He’d become the relational Neanderthal bully Eve had thought God was. She had just precipitated her worst nightmare about God, in the person of her husband; this was the Godhead she had chosen.
Pandora had opened the box, and this Adam had emerged in the image of the Godhead she’d been trying to overthrow. She’d succeeded.
Basically, the narration is sort of saying she’d brought it on herself and had no one around to help her clean up the mess. Because it was her voice that was heeded, she would never be allowed to tell the story in her own words again. She would be seen but never heard: the object on the sports car, yacht and lawn mower saying, “Buy me, own me, drive me, and you’ll feel like a real man.” Through her femininity which is now an object relative to men, she says all of this without saying a word.
“Your desire shall be for him, but he will rule over you.”
Because he heeded her voice and she spoke something contrary to God’s instruction, Eve would find herself in a quandary: she would desire the very man who was “ruling over” her. Now under the curse of being the caricature of the Godhead she and Adam now outpictured, she would desire that oneness but instead keep meeting her own degradation and conquest. This tortured image of God that she and Adam now outpictured was the God she and Adam had been trying to overthrow and become.
Don’t miss it: being a woman meant desiring the male, but meeting degradation, depersonalization and conquest, instead of affirmation. Being a woman – anything associated with femininity – would therefore suck, because to be a woman, or to be feminine, would mean living in a space where the thing you desire is the thing that robs you of your personhood. Masculinity would often define itself as the opposite, that is, men desiring women and conquering them; masculinity would shun any variations, any shade of gay, any and all permutations or mixes between the two sexes. Masculinity would be seen as something to be preserved and defended.
Eve now covered herself because she couldn’t face the horrifying reality of her sexuality because it was the loudest echo of what her entire being had become. Like Adam, she could not withstand what existed between her legs because she could not stand that she was now “helpmeet” towards the outpicturing of the objectifying Godhead she’d chosen, and that meant that she was no longer a person or a helpmeet, but was an object. We see through bible history that Eve could only make the best of her situation by deriving her value from how well she could fare as a commodity; by how well she could be objectified, blamed and controlled. She had to do more than merely resign herself to her fate; she had to learn to embrace it and make it work for herself because it was the only deck God’s curse would deal her. Her status as an object to be conquered increasingly became the essence of her womanhood, while her status as a goddess who bore the divine image steadily diminished. In Judeo-Christianity, Eve would reappear as a series of Jungian archetypes – as Delilah, Jezebel, Herodias, Bathsheba, Sapphira, as the Whore of Babylon: woman would be every temptress in the Book – in short, Eve would reappear as the essence of objects revelling in their objectifiability, inciting the lust of men. This unspoken association of the incitement of lust with morally corrupting femininity, as well as its corresponding susceptibility to such seduction with morally weakened masculinity, are a basic assumption in Judeo-Christianity. It’s another way for men to say “It’s the woman’s fault.”
When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they painted a beautiful picture of this moral double-standard. A Law that exists to manage the perpetual revenge of men against women – the Mosaic Law that can only ineffectually demand that rapists refund their victims’ fathers and that those victims marry their perpetrators, instead of speaking against the Adamic impulse to rape – such a System cannot help but breed hypocrisy, for such a System is given to manage, but never eliminate, the misogyny that began in Eden. No wonder Jesus was always in trouble: He pointed out the very hypocrisy that the Law was given to quarantine and manage.
6.) If the Law of Moses is God’s way of managing Adam’s choice to not take responsibility for his part in the Edenic mess, then it will inevitably breed hypocrisy; as such, it cannot be in use forever because it is not sustainable.
Biblically, the Mosaic Law doesn’t define evil in the straight-forward sense that by every prohibition it cuts out a basic understanding of what sin is (though it is thrice described as “elementary” in the New Testament).
The Mosaic Law “defines” and “judges” the Edenic incident by giving it a Legal structure within which it is quarantined; the Law gives the iniquity of Adam an exact network of grooves in which it can flow freely. We are told in the Letter to the Galatians that the entirety of the Law is God’s “answer” to everything that happened in the world starting in Eden until the time of Moses. Because it is not a reflection of God’s mind, it is mediated by “thousands upon thousands” of angels, a radiant divine stunt-double called “the Angel of the Lord,” as well as the hand of a prophet. “But,” we’re mysteriously told, “God is One.” This, again, speaks to the effortless harmony and ineffable unity within the Godhead, as opposed to the endless go-betweens and rules that accompany the Ministry of the Law.
So biblically speaking, the Old Testament doesn’t tell people who God really is. The Law doesn’t tell people who God is. Numerous times, the New Testament says, “But now you know God” as though He’d been partially hidden from view through the course of bible history, being seen through a distorting, shifting lens. The New Testament presupposes that a radical change in the nature of its readers has occurred, a change that allows them to “see” God more directly, though it is still said that they “see only in part.” The New Testament also states several times that the Law was “fading away.” It says that, “The Law came through Moses; Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ.” It is not just grace that appears in the New Testament, but a new, and formerly unknown truth, about God and what He’s really like. Had that truth been contained in the Law, the Law would not have faded away. “Had no fault been found with [the first Covenant],” the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews says, “Then there would have been no need of a new one.” I find it astonishing just how unaware many preachers are of the incredible shift that happened between the Old and New Testament – nor of why and how this shift happened.
A scientific question arises: is this merely human consciousness evolving and projecting its clarified self-understanding “out there” onto a newer picture of God? That’s irrelevant to the topic at hand – that topic being proving that homophobia and Christianity are incompatible, and that Christians will have to eat humble pie when they realize just how incompatible they are.
The God who emerges at the end of the New Testament cannot be assumed to directly support everything written in the Law He issued: He backed the Law insofar as the caricature of Himself that mankind had become was concerned and had to be quarantined. Even the homophobic injunction of Leviticus presupposes Adam’s inability to face his twisted feelings regarding Eve and femininity, nor the homosexual permutations thereof – for if being in any way attracted to men is problematic, then homosexual attraction will be especially scandalous if found in a man. God respected Adam’s choice to abdicate responsibility by not calling him out on it; the Law is the only way God can manage that choice.
7.) Talking to Adam
According to the New Testament Letter to the Romans, when the Law is delivered on Mount Sinai, God is speaking to “Adam” and all that are identified with him.
Now, God’s communication to “Adam” transcends geographical locations because in His articulation of the patriarchal Law, God reveals to all that are found “in Adam” exactly how they may and may not act out of their Adamic impulses that they inherited in Eden, impulses they chose not to face directly when, in Adam, they collectively shifted the blame onto the woman, Eve, who was the biblical Pandora. Through the Mosaic Law, God manages Adam’s choice to not exercise self-awareness; God will manage Adam’s choice to accuse the wife whom God gave out of generosity – but God won’t thwart Adam’s choice to abdicate responsibility. He always works around it, dropping hints like, “Your righteous acts are as [menstrual cloths] before Me.”
So God doesn’t resolve the Edenic incident (until in the New Testament): rather, God sets boundaries; He gives a “religion,” that ties back evil, but never directly confronts it. For, a direct unmasking of misogyny will rip Adam’s choice to accuse Eve right out of his reach. History respects patriarchy’s lack of self-awareness far too much to give patriarchy a direct look at itself. In Jesus, God stopped beating about the bush, and simply told the Law-keepers what they were: “You hypocrites and brood of vipers!” In His discourse about divorce, which at the time tipped the power on the side of the men, Jesus highlighted how something men can see as righteousness is actually revolting to God because that type of righteousness is based on a system designed to manage men’s choice to ignore the personhood of women. “Your righteous acts are as filthy rags before Me” is God’s way of saying that the righteousness achieved under the Mosaic Law is sometimes disgusting because it is actually hypocritical and evil; it is merely the quarantining of evil, and not a confrontation of evil. The Law wasn’t given to make people good; it was given to manage their evil. The Law presupposes the evil of those to whom it speaks, but the Law is powerless to change that evil, only to quarantine and manage it. But still they chose not to hear and instead had Him crucified. So God let people run with an elusive concept of “sin” codified as 613 rules, not realizing that their real sin is choosing not to face the issue.
This is the essence of religion: the choice to obey the Law that judges Adam’s sin without looking through that Law, nor through Adam’s sin. Religion is blind obedience to the Law. And all through the Old Testament, God pleads with His people to “get it” – that is, to get that religion is not what He desires for their lives; harmony is.
When Moses delivered the Law of God, he put a cherry on the cake: he pronounced a curse on whomsoever could not obey all 613 rules; this curse, found in Deuteronomy 28, is merely a reiteration and articulation of the Edenic curse found in Genesis 3 and discussed in Galatians 3. This is because of what happened in Eden: God came to look for Adam, but Adam was not only hidden, he’d covered himself in bush. The curse of the Law – that is, God saying that “Adam” would be cursed unless he could keep the countless rules – was God’s way of telling Adam that the bush was powerless to cover up what he had become. The curse of the Law was God’s way of warning those who hid their evil, like Adam, that He would make it very difficult for them to live by a system given to manage and hide evil instead of confronting it. But He would not take their choice not to confront their evil from them.
It’s free will, you see.
Biblically speaking, the problem with sin is not lying, nor is it stealing, nor homosexuality, nor masturbation, nor adultery. Those are tags that can temporarily give us the structure of a problem that began in a Garden. The issue runs far deeper – the devil is in the details, you see. And as you’ll learn from watching any romantic comedy, the issue is never the issue. A couple may argue about which show to watch on TV, but the underlying issue is something else that the one person doesn’t want to talk about and the other person doesn’t want to have to force a conversation about. The problem with sin is not sin; the problem with sin is that Adam refuses to face what he’s become. Trying to fix the issue – trying to simply stop sinning – achieves nothing before God because the underlying problem hasn’t been discussed. In the New Testament, Paul almost goes as far as saying that there is no point in trying to obey the Law, for by Law is knowledge of sin – which, once again, does not merely mean that the Law gives a cookie-cutter definition of sin.
The Law doesn’t give people a way of life; it merely quarantines and draws an outline of Adam’s dead body, and wraps it in plastic. And that, Paul explains in the Letter to the Romans and in other epistles, is who the Law is for – everyone quarantined under the Law for becoming, as Adam did, a caricature of God through the transgression of that one man Adam. The point of the Law isn’t for the Law to be obeyed; the Law is God hinting at the problem, which Adam did not want to look at as a whole. If Adam will not look at the bigger picture, God will break it down into 613 puzzle pieces, and declare that there is a curse for failing to hold them together all at once – which is His way of demanding that Adam put the puzzle pieces together and see. Through one supreme act of ingratitude – by accusing the wife whom God gave to end Adam’s loneliness – Adam made the decision not to see the bigger picture. And though God will leave all the puzzle pieces there, lying in their correct places, and even say that there is a curse for failing to hold them all together at once, He will never put the puzzle together for us. For that would take the power of choice out of Adam’s hands, which God will not do, as for God to do so would be a violation of the divine image He placed on Adam. Adam is always and inevitably at choice about whether he’ll take a look at what he’s become. Biblically speaking, Jesus was God’s biggest clue to Adam, but for the most part, Adam still refused to look. There needs must be something other than strictly male and female that can lawfully look at the picture for Adam – an Adam that is an Adam without being an Adam – for whom God can lawfully put the puzzle together without violating Adam’s freedom. And that, quite simply, is a gay man.
8.) Damnable hypocrisy
When, as is shown in Romans 1, Jewish Pharisees are only a little concerned about how lesbian women “turn aside from their natural use” but those Pharisees are extremely concerned about how “even the [homosexual] men turn aside from the natural use of the woman,” they betray the hypocrisy of the Adamic mindset that sets its accusation against femininity as the inciter and rightful target of Adam’s lust. It’s a double-standard. A greater revulsion at the thought of men being with men, that at the thought of women being with women, exposes that those grooves in which the Adamic impulse would Lawfully flow, are as functional as when God first delivered the Law. Homophobia proves that the writing of God’s Law in the heart is as clear as the writing on the wall of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. But once again – the Law written by God in humanity’s hearts is not a reflection of His mind, as the New Testament shows obliquely: it is merely written as an answer to everything Adam refuses to face about himself.
9.) Separation and holiness
Men will not admit their part of the curse – “The woman whom You gave to be with me” – and because Eve did instigate the problem, the Law will make provision for the men not to admit their part in causing the problem. That provision is the in-plain-sight patriarchy that never got a decent, publically witnessed look at itself until the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery before Jesus but forgot to bring the man as the Law required. The double-standard was exposed by the Law; as Jesus bent to write on the sand, Moses rose to read what was written in the Law.
This is where the heteropatriarchy of the Old Testament comes from: the fear that Eve may come to undo us by exposing our moral weakness, but from the less conquerable body of a fellow man. It is the sudden shifting of what were once predictable and safe categories. The holiness code tells us that everything in our world must be square or circle; any other shape, and “it is abomination for you.” It is not psychologically safe for men who think like Adam to hear of men penetrating men; it will scandalize them to see the evil that also exists in themselves, doubling on itself and manifesting in a configuration other than what the curse first dictated and the Law first quarantined. It is repulsive to those whose minds are conditioned by the curse, just as the idea of a stark-naked prophet is repulsive to those who’ve gotten used to wearing clothes. The Law is elementary: it is the alphabet of morality for a world that has fallen into Adam’s transgression. But that alphabet, that Letter of the Law, is not the Spirit of true morality nor can it be, precisely because it spells out clues about what Adam cannot be told about himself in full sentences.
The cursed cannot stand to see so hideous a mockery of the Godhead because by being an amplification of the Edenic theo-sexual betrayal, the homosexual union reminds them of their own betrayal of God; likewise, those who support the ones who partake of such mockeries of the Godhead are deserving of death for they knew God through the Natural Law revealed in the world and written in their hearts (to quarantine the Edenic curse), but they suppressed their knowledge of God. They knew God’s Law written in their hearts, and God’s attributes revealed in nature, yet turned to the worship of grotesque parodies of the Godhead.
But the legalist’s zeal for God under the Law presupposes the Edenic curse that the Law was supposed to quarantine: in fact, having an instinctive knowledge of and affinity to God’s Law presupposes an intimate knowledge of the betrayal it took to acquire the Edenic curse – a “knowledge of good and evil” – that that Law was supposed to quarantine. There are none who preach Law so loudly as those who know lawlessness in their hearts. Therefore, preaching homophobia out of zeal for God’s holiness can bring about the very holiness – that is, separation from – of God that the Law was trying to warn about. A visceral hatred of homosexuality based on God’s Law in Romans 1 can bring about death for the homophobe in Romans 2:1. The Law is man’s most natural and most instinctive path to God. But nobody – not one person of any sexual persuasion – walks out of the Law’s courtroom acquitted. The Law shuts the whole world up in astonishment and condemnation.
Women were not allowed to touch the Torah, because if they touched that holy book with all the Laws that kept men pure from their desire to “own” more women than they could marry, then that book would have been contaminated by the source of the evil herself.
Male rape and homoeroticism are dangerous because they are neither square nor circle; they successfully square the circle and toss it back to a society that has no idea how to interpret it. Under the Law, men knew where Eve was and could always prepare to conquer her before she could degrade them. But when seduction is able to come in a body one wouldn’t expect her in, set a metaphysical ambush and fell his victim in pleasurable perversion, then it means the world’s categories have blurred alarmingly – the pronouns change every two seconds from feminine to masculine and back. The holiness code has been violated; the alphabetic Letter of the Law is scandalized that the curse is working in configurations – the men are the seductresses! – that escape the algebraic demands of the Law that presupposes the misogyny of men. Adam is experiencing the neuro-psychic shock of something he cannot and does not want to face about himself.
It’s one thing for an Adamic man to impose Eve’s curse on her and enjoy it; God is offended enough at this parody of divinity, but He won’t obliterate mankind in one fell swoop because there must be reproduction. Now when one Adamic man, who sees penetration as conquest, would impose Eve’s curse on another man and they both enjoy it, both believing in an Adamic understanding of sexuality, then the shame of the curse on Eve suddenly pales into insignificance: a new category of gross and intolerable evil has come into the world. The mystery of iniquity becomes staggering in its immensity.
But this new evil is evil because of the curse of Adam and Eve’s evil. Homosexuality is evil under the Mosaic Law because heterosexuality is (a necessary) evil under the Law. Under the Law, heterosexuality is a mockery of the Godhead because it is the one act by which Adam and Eve revel in their parodying of the Godhead. Under the Law, homosexuality gives heterosexuality an idea of how God sees the parodying of divinity that Adam and Eve have become: just as the heterosexual union was a caricature of divinity, so too was the homosexual union a caricaturing of the heterosexual union. If people saw that, they would eventually see what Adam had refused to see. The Law did everything possible to keep this out of sight just as it had covered many other things in its witness protection program. Like the mark of Cain placed on him to protect him from the harshest consequences of his own sin, the Law was the merciful psychological guard against the “abomination” of the curse acting out in a way that would be “repulsive” to those that would see it. God would not allow the sensibilities of men to be stunned by things they had refused to face.
But this new evil is evil because of the curse of Adam and Eve’s evil. Negate that evil, and nothing is intrinsically evil. The identification of anything as evil is contingent on prior motivations. Quoting Romans 14:14 in discussions about homosexuality has never yielded much good, but the temptation is too strong to resist: “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself…”
Jesus crucified was traumatic enough, but even He said, “I’ve got so much more I wish to tell you – things you cannot bear to hear right now.” We are infants in God’s nursery; our realization that there is a spectrum of sexual identities is analogous to the disorientation that a baby experiences when he goes from crawling to standing to walking.
The Law forbade the repulsive abomination that was male penetration. Yet it was the Law and the curse combined that kept male penetration repulsively abominable and therefore so psychologically volatile in the first place. Now that we’re learning to walk, we need to own that the issue wasn’t with God but with us: we must remember that much of what is forbidden in the Law, is forbidden because it is “abomination for you.” The Law hoped that by training people to act on the outside in ways that managed the Adamic nature, it could turn those under the Law into better human beings. But it could not fully succeed at civilizing men because the Adamic nature was still there and could be provoked into the most barbaric acts when one Man appeared to challenge it. Creatures of the Dark are very, very violent when the Light comes among them. Make no mistake about it: if Jesus had preached the kind of Christianity we have today, He would merely have been driven out of town. But He didn’t preach Christianity as we have it today: He preached what’s written in red, and that made creatures of the Dark see red. That same red is the colour of the blood He bled for speaking the words He spoke.
10.) The complexity of the New Testament
The New Testament is a book that holds many apparently conflicting ideas in dialectical tension: it states that the Law of God was given to supervise yet inflame, reveal yet conceal, the depravity of man; it says that whenever people go back to the Law from being under Grace, they go back to their own vomit while also agreeing that those that can keep it perfectly are holy. To cherish the Law of God is to cherish the bucket that holds our vomit. The God of the bible is never impressed by Law-keeping. When someone says, “Don’t penetrate a fellow man as though he were a woman,” and people submit to that Law as though it were an ultimate moral commandment, they reveal that they still think in terms of the curse – they are wholly ruled by the urge to dominate another, or add to their self-image by digesting the dignity of another as Adam did that of Eve. Whether they play the active or passive role, under the Law they’re parodying Adam and Eve’s parody of the Godhead. To heed or flout that Law is to be caught in its accusation. To be holy, one needs to function in a wholly separate economy – one that cannot be entered into by people under the Law – where the act can acquire a different interpretation. The proper response to someone who quotes the Law of God is to contest the worldview that legitimizes the curse. That contest, that wholly different moral economy, says, “There is no longer male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus.” Grace brings with itself an intrinsic knowledge of the personhood of all people; someone who knows that each person is a fully-fledged Image-Bearer of God does not need a single Law telling him how to treat that person. Law accommodates and regulates the human tendency to purposefully forget the personhood of people, which forgetfulness is employed in order that dominating them might not be such a bad thing. The Law will regulate rape by telling rape victims to marry their rapists. That just keeps the problem alive even as it contains it. The Law will regulate slavery, polygamy and everything else that came with the curse; the Law will only allow human behaviour to roam in certain bounds lest the curse find new ways of expressing its grotesqueness. Only Grace can remind us of the basic personhood of “the other” and can therefore cure the root problem.
Jesus didn’t have to abolish slavery. However, by being sold at the price of a slave, He caused those who have eyes to see to critique their cultural value systems. If the Son of God could be sold at the price of a common slave, then maybe, just maybe, common slaves were human too. Grace works by occupying the lowest and most disempowered levels of human experience and urging people to pay attention to the sentience there. Grace causes us to restore the humanity of those previously objectified. The Law could only minimize the harm caused through viewing people as objects by imprisoning us in a strict code; The Law couldn’t change anybody’s view of people, only inflame and then manage prejudice. Notice how Jesus tells Law-keepers that they’ll go to hell while telling those who paid attention to the oppressed, even prisoners who were “wrong” and “sinful” that, “Inasmuch as you did unto the least of these, you did also unto Me.” Make no mistake about it: the God found in the New Testament does not make much of a respectable person nor can He be found among those who’ve got their act together according to the Law. To be keeping the Law is to be as blind as the Pharisees concerning the humanity of those outside the Establishment’s goodwill; indeed, the Law was given to supervise that blindness.
Grace doesn’t abolish the structures we find ourselves living in. But when we choose to preserve those structures at the expense of someone’s personhood, we’re acting from Law and not Grace and thus miss the whole point.
11.) Sodom and Gomorrah
When God heard that there was violence and hostility in the city of Sodom, He sent angels to investigate in person. The people of Sodom tried to rape those (male) angels. Lot offered, and therefore preferred, the rape of his virgin daughters to than the rape of the two men. The men of Sodom would not bargain with Lot: they knew that there would be a greater shift of dignity in the rape of a man (person yet to be objectified) than in the rape of a woman (already object.) The scripture barefacedly exposes the misogyny brought about by the curse not in so much a divine approval or disapproval of Lot’s actions, but in the narrator’s silence about the preference of the preservation of men’s dignity to women’s. God’s pervasive silence at the cultural misogyny is a comment on our silence more than a sign of His approval. The Letter to the Hebrews suggests the possibility that even when the Law was handed down, it was mediated by angels. God thusly distanced Himself from the Law precisely because in its silence about the misogyny it was given to contain, it still spoke eloquently about the caricature of divinity that Adam had become..
At any rate, it was not the gender of the would-be rape victims that mattered: it was the intentional, doubled greed to feast on human dignity, in the socio-cultural context that saw men as persons and women as objects, that the sons of Adam living in Sodom were so vocal about when they persistently called out for the men in Lot’s house in order that they “may know them carnally.”
God cut to the chase: there were no more prophets sent, no warning signs – there was just one dramatic rescue mission and then the overnight thunderstorm of fire and brimstone. Under the Law, male rape is the ultimate taboo because it is the urge to dominate, the urge setting its sights even higher up, not on women but on fellow dominators; in the context of the Law’s algebraic expression of the curse, it is an evil exponentially more lethal than any other. In the Old Testament, God tolerates “normal” rape without talking about it. Male rape, however, is despicable because the psychology of greed behind it is so depraved that it warrants the swiftest divine response. God might not agree that men are more valuable than women, but so long as we think that they are, raping men is a greater sin than raping women because the intention is to double the evil.
When done in warfare, male rape rips a terrifying scar into the colonized society against which it perpetrated because it “exposes” the treachery of the abused; through the conquered man, male rape sends a message to the society that it is built on moral decadence and nothing foundationally real. It scorns the feminine, the bodily and the passive. The raped male body, once a proud microcosm of what the society was, now becomes the twice-fallen canvas on which the rapist broadcasts a degrading picture of that society to itself. The victim is hated both by the one who has taken his manhood away and by the community that has been shamed by his weakness. God remains silent and the conscience cannot withstand itself. The rape of one man says to his community, “You are slaves because your men want to be owned like women.” Male rape says that disgraced society, from its men to its women, bears the curse of Eve and ought to be dominated as a right given to “real” men, by God. The Law avoids yet precipitates this terror by saying, “You shall not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.” The Law forbids lying with a fellow man as with a fellow woman; but in forbidding it, the Law brings into awareness the double-advantage of conquering a fellow man (person) rather than a woman (already an object.) The Law is always powerless to counter the sin it is meant to imprison precisely because the Law presupposes that we believe the psychological lies that inform the sin. When we hold on to the Law, we keep those psychological lies alive and therefore quite potent. Or as the New Testament Letter to the Roman states: “The power of sin is the Law.”
How, knowing that “The Law was not made for the righteous” and that “Whatever the Law says, it says to them that are under the Law,” can Christianity bring them that have ostensibly been redeemed from the Law (not just its curse) back under the Law, simply because of the gender of whom they love, seeing as “There is no longer male and female” in Christ Jesus? It just doesn’t make sense. This version of Christianity defeats itself.
If Christians keep to the biblical Old-and-New Testament depiction of Sodomites as men who did what the people living in Sodom did, that is, rape and degrade fellow men (this is the biblical definition translators altered when they chose to stick to the exploitative mindset that the Levitical Law was meant to quarantine, thus defining as Sodomy even actions that bear no resemblance to the actions of Sodom and implicating the innocent), then Christians can affirm what their bible says, that is, that Sodomites will not inherit the kingdom of God – and have no interest in inheriting such. Male rape and prostitution were common features of the landscape in which the bible was written (and today!) precisely because in tabooing them behind a veil of repulsed silence, the Law made them such potent acts of degradation and transgression.
12.) The Socially Respectable Male Orgasm
At any rate, society covered the shame of men’s association with the women they had ungratefully accused and despised, and yet needed as the only sexual outlet that the Law allowed – “the Natural use of the woman,” as Apostle Paul calls it in his caricaturing of the Pharisees in the New Testament Letter to the Romans – society covered the shame by prescribing exclusively what I describe as the Socially Respectable Male Orgasm. This orgasm comes from the front of men as though he were involved in battle; the Socially Respectable Orgasm comes from a position of “conquest.” It is also only allowed to happen in relationship with the conquerable. The only way and the only time the loss of control experienced by men as they climax, the only way that can be seen as an expression of power, is if it’s all dressed up as a form of conquest in order that Adam’s nature may be left uninterrogated. It’s unhealthy and dysfunctional and twisted – but it’s exactly what a tyrannical parody of Love looks like.
13.) The function of the Law of God in the bible
God would give the Law in order to supervise the curse of Adam and Eve’s fallen natures. It was a response to all that had unfurled in Eden; the Law was a divine attempt to contain and curtail the caricature of God that man and woman had become. It wasn’t an expression of God’s ultimate preferences or prejudices, for if it were, then it would have remained forever even beyond Christ’s advent. But the Law was an expression of God’s preferences and prejudices insofar as what Adam had become was concerned. It was given to supervise the traitor race “until the Seed to whom the Promise was given should appear.”
In himself as a literal individual, Adam was ashamed of what he’d become. But as an archetype representing all those who would be “in Adam,” Adam would learn to glory in this shame. Polygamist Lamech, the seventh man, or “Adam,” descendant of Cain the brother-murderer, would say to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”
A source that escapes memory said that even the wives’ names allude to how they are objects that serve this man’s ego. This extreme vindictiveness and sense of entitlement is why the Law needed to stipulate, “A strike for a strike,” limiting and quarantining this neurotic insistence on protecting what little territory man gets. The Law answers what transpired in Genesis – it was “added because of transgressions” at a point in history wherein sin existed but hadn’t been pointed to by a code.
Lamech was mentioned as seventh-generation human. In the bible, seven is symbolic of completeness; to see something at its seventh step is to see it reaching its zenith. Why did the bible mention this random story of Lamech that doesn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of the story? I’m guessing it’s to give us a picture of what mankind, or “Adam,” became when the effects of the Fall had reached their full powers in the seventh generation: a vindictive, murderous polygamist. Man became quite violent as a result of the Fall; the Law would be added because of this lawlessness. But the Law was a prisoner meant to quarantine the “Seed” of the Serpent. “You are of your father, the devil,” Jesus said to the Pharisees. He said they were brood of vipers and evildoers – the keepers of the Law! Biblically, those who hold on to the Law as a way of life are children of Satan who have to be imprisoned through the Law in order that their Edenic evil may be restrained. To profess a religion is to confess that there is something that needs quarantining.
Adam’s penis was a spear: the lust he felt as he “ruled over” his wife in the outpicturing of the caricature of Deity, was murderousness, was territorialism, and was everything else that was wrong with man. It reached its fullness in Lamech, and that’s why the example is given (even though Lamech contributes nothing else to the rest of the biblical story).
This lust – this energy that animated the penis – had to somehow be circumcised; man’s desire to own as many of Eve as he could had to be imprisoned in a legal code. But try as the executioner would, he could not cut away the actual energy of the Edenic curse. The New Testament Letter to the Galatians states that physical circumcision failed as a ritual to cut away the Adamic curse; it only announced its presence in the scar left behind by the ritualistic attempt to exorcise it.
I said earlier that the Law was made to cover the curse. Well, the Law does this by dressing up the shame of the curse just as the fig trees had covered Adam and Eve’s shameful bodies. The Law is patriarchal so that nobody will see the stark nakedness of Adam’s inability to control the way he controls Eve or controls every other wife in his polygamist nest; nobody questions the way things are for if they do so they see Adam’s nakedness. To question the Law is to look under the fig leaves and see what God sees. The Emperor’s New Clothes simultaneously announce and cover the Emperor’s New Shame. The Law normalizes the Adamic mindset by dressing it up in what appears to be a moral code. It supervises men’s tendency to forget the personhood of women, and makes it seem okay. When Jesus explained why Moses permitted divorce, He cited the hardness of human hearts as a reason. But what if it’s not just the regulations around divorce that are to be understood in light of what humans had become through Adam’s choice, but the whole Law? What if the Law was “added because of transgressions”?
That the Law is holy, righteous and good does not take away from the biblical possibility that it was a holy, righteous and good judgment and supervision on what men had become, and not a means by which they could become holy, righteous and good. For that, the Law had to point at something – or Someone – beyond itself. Christianity is supposed to bring people before the Law, not under it, in order that they may realize that they are partakers of Adam’s nature and need to be transferred into the nature of Another.
14.) Sex and the City
The Mosaic Law had countless, countless rules for the handling of bodily fluids and they weren’t just for hygiene. In some way or form, each bodily fluid was evidence of the crime of partaking in sex, which was a crime because it was a participation in the mockery of God that Adam and Eve became when they acted on the Serpent’s lie. And like in CSI, you bagged, tagged, and zip-locked those fluids, and then washed your hands. Sex, and the evidence thereof, shows that man revels in the one act with which he parodies, and therefore revels in his overthrowing of, the Godhead. Under the Law, sexual pleasure is proof that we have not at all repented of Adam and Eve’s sin, for if we had, we would not want to outpicture the mockery of the Godhead that they became. We would resist sexual pleasure on principle, that is, because it speaks from all the tortured and dysfunctional lies discussed in the previous blog posts. The Law literally says, “It’s sexual pleasure or God” precisely because the Law sees sexual pleasure as man’s choice to betray God as Adam and Eve did when they tried to overthrow a false image of God.
Under the Edenic curse of the Law, for Eve to wish to be a commodity to more than one man would have been unthinkable. A master could have many slaves but no slave could serve two masters. Eve would have one husband for life; Adam could get more wives if he wished. He could get concubines and he could divorce his wives if he followed procedure as laid down by Moses and tightened by Christ. Everyone under the Law would come to assume that the Law was the normal way things were meant to be and that the Law was an expression of God’s character; the story of Eden would be read in such a way that it would appear, quite contrary to the scriptures that were being read, that it was God’s intention for the man to have it all, all along, and that when God said to Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” He was giving a command and not a warning of what would happen under the curse. Patriarchy both announces the curse, putting it in plain sight, and hides it, by putting it in plain sight still. Yet, read without patriarchal assumptions, one realizes that there isn’t unwavering support for biblical patriarchy as a God-ordained norm in the creation story. God is also shown as a remarkably simple and benevolent creator whose only rule is that mankind acknowledges Him as the source of the meaning in their lives.
15.) The first function of Jesus Christ as the Son of God in the biblical story
According to bible history, Jesus was the final summary of God’s communication to mankind, through which He simultaneously revealed the absolute futility and failure of the Law to deal with the Edenic curse, and yet ransomed people from it. By dying innocent under the Law, Jesus was God’s statement that the Prisoner, that was the Law, could only quarantine and supervise the evil brought about by the Edenic curse; it couldn’t eliminate it. In fact, the Law incubated evil much like a white-washed tomb housed the bones of the dead. And as all previous prophets had been killed for standing up to the religious system that nursed the evil it supervised, Jesus, too, was killed. But this, Apostle Peter explained later to the priests and Pharisees in Acts, was foreknown by God. The Resurrection, then, was God’s way of validating the entire work of Jesus; biblically, the Resurrection is God’s way of saying, “Aha!” to Jesus and everything He represented.
The Law was not God’s final solution to the caricature mankind had come: God had promised Eve that a Seed would be born of her who would crush the Serpent’s head; only that Seed could fulfil the purpose of the Law, which purpose was containing the curse by Himself being made a curse, for it is written, “Cursed is He who hangs on a tree.” Having fulfilled the demands of the Law, He would die and thus ransom mankind from its debt to the Law while also dealing with the curse that demanded the supervision of the Law.
The idea of a crucified Messiah was detestable to the people-group that had been waiting for a powerful Lord and King to come and fulfil their empirical dreams and wishes; indeed, the Law pronounced a curse on whosoever was hung on a tree. To say that Jesus who’d been crucified had risen from the dead – that scandal was so great, so repulsive, that Judaism spat Christianity out as forever unpalatable. They were not alone: the Greek gatekeepers of rational philosophy saw no wisdom in a crucified Lord – deism they could fathom, but what sort of God was so distracted that His Son could end up crucified at the hands of a world much smaller than He was?
But the Cross, biblically speaking, is God’s depiction of the truth about the Edenic curse and what it meant in the scheme of history. And what is that truth? Just as the bronze serpent was lifted in the desert to heal those who, by their grumbling, had been bitten by snakes, so too was the naked and accursed Son of God lifted up so that those who wore clothes and kept Laws to cover their Adamic curse, could “see” everything Adam had refused to see, and be healed. When people have worn clothes long enough, and have raised clothes-wearing to an art, they forget that the clothes were first made because of their nakedness. Jesus of Nazareth was a threat because until the day He died naked on a cross, He critiqued the perfect system that clothed Adam’s shame, striking at the fig leaves by showing that they were nothing more than a hypocritical mask. To question the Law is to look under the fig leaves and see what God sees, and Jesus had done exactly that. The Emperor’s New Clothes simultaneously announced and covered the Emperor’s Shame. The Law normalized the Adamic mindset by dressing it up in what appeared to be a moral code, but was simply God’s way of quarantining evil and therefore not a moral code at all, simply the management of an immoral heart. On the cross, the mocked King of Kings proved that the Emperor’s New Clothes simultaneously concealed and revealed Adam’s shame – and therefore, were not clothes at all.
Christianity was the indignant realization that one could not be clothed in the Law because it left one naked before God; one had to be clothed, ironically, in the naked shame of the crucified messiah. There, and only there, could one be clothed in any semblance of truth. And truth requires the one thing that no hypocritical son of Adam will yield to without a fight: self-awareness, that is, confession.
16.) The second function of Jesus Christ as the Son of God in the biblical story
The other thing that Jesus accomplishes at the cross is that He reveals, or “glorifies,” the Father. In so doing, He challenges the Serpent’s indictment against God’s character. When people choose to believe Jesus’ outpicturing of God, a new and more accurate image of God is formed in their souls; their spiritual DNA is converted by truth. This is what the bible refers to as “regeneration.” What this change in spiritual DNA does is that it changes the fundamental nature of the person and therefore changes his actions, because his actions no longer outpicture a caricatured image of God in their souls. The supervision and quarantining of the Law is therefore no longer necessary. To put those who have been regenerated back under the Law is to risk reviving the Adamic nature that necessitated the Law. In one of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul says that “Whenever Moses is read, people’s minds are veiled” – that is, whenever the Law that was supposed to manage man’s choice to remain in darkness is read, people don’t actually know who God is. Paul then also says that, “The Spirit is the Lord. Where the Spirit is, there is liberty. As we with unveiled faces gaze upon the glory of the Lord, we are transformed from one degree of glory to another.” Don’t miss the significance: Paul is saying that the basis of people’s freedom from the Mosaic Law is that as they with unveiled faces look at the truth about God, they too are transformed into image-bearers of God who no longer need the quarantining of the Law. “If you are led by the Spirit of God,” he says, “Then you are no longer under the Law.”
17.) Whether it’s true or not, the bible is the most complex piece of literature on earth
Christians must keep in mind that “Whatever the Law says, it says to those that are under the Law,” whoever is saying it, even if it is Jesus. They mustn’t take Paul’s rhetoric as he satires his Jewish brethren in Romans 1 and 2, and from it infer eternal principles about gender and sexuality. Whenever it is given, the Law against homosexuality presumes the Adamic misogyny that the Law was given to supervise. “You will not lie with a man as with a woman” was not merely a matter of biology to the Jews, but was tied up into the Jews’ understanding of Eve’s transgression and her resultant “natural use.” It was tied into the Adamic accusation against Eve.
The Law presumes an Adamic understanding of gender and sex. When we read about the Sodomites who “turned aside” from “the natural use of” Lot’s daughters, we must not from it infer that the issue with the Sodomites is that they were gay: the issue is that, like Adam, they saw sex as an expression of power, and would even rape a fellow man instead of a woman to steal that power away. For them, the women were not even worth raping because they were already women.
“You will not lie with a man as with a woman” is another way of saying, “You will not express your power through the sexual penetration of another man, for in your understanding, a man is the equivalent of three women, and if you penetrate a man instead of a woman, you would be taking a shortcut up hierarchy as you understand it.” The Law always presupposes the nature of Adam whenever it speaks. Even in the New Testament, as it speaks about Roman slave-owners and prostitute patrons who rape or sexually exploit males who have no way to get redress, the Law presupposes the Adamic nature. Yet, by making this a taboo, the Law keeps potent the violation of men. The Law exists to supervise these kinds, Paul said.
Yet in another place, presupposing the believers’ sanctity and oneness in Christ Jesus, Paul said, “There is no more male and female.”
I think it was an essay by David Allyson that first really pulled my mind towards the idea that Romans 1 and 2 is melodramatic satire; it is Paul’s impersonation of the Jews’ perception of the sinfulness of “those wicked pagans” above whom the Roman Jews made themselves feel morally superior by virtue of having the Law, not knowing that the Law existed to regulate the Adamic tendency to self-righteousness and self-empowerment at the expense of the personhood of “the other” whom one accuses. This is why Romans 2:1 condemns the judge – “Therefore, O Man, whoever you are, you have no right to judge –”
Gay men can participate in or refrain from sex for many, many reasons – we will discuss them when we flesh out the implications of Grace – but the moment any of us says, “I am refraining from having sex with another man because the Law of Moses, or some New Testament hybridization of a Law that was ‘fading away’ and a Grace that had just entered the dialogue, says I must refrain,” we are then, biblically speaking, required to keep the Law with the exact mathematical precision that the Scribes were required to write it. The New Testament argues that “If by Law, then not by Grace, and if by Grace, then not by Law.” Christians have two options in Christ: total Grace or total Law. There is no middle ground. The respectability of church-going Christians in Christian culture makes me wonder whether they’ve understood their bibles; again, their respectability is the derivative of a Law that was supposed to manage people’s blindness.
Celibacy can help gay Christian men achieve certain things for God and avoid certain harms, but it won’t cause God to be more impressed with them than He is because there is no longer any curse for the Law to quarantine; there is therefore no caricature of the Godhead to imprison. Nor will celibacy add to their holiness; under Grace, the measure of holiness is not asceticism, it is faith acting in love. If this is not the case, then we need to go back to the drawing board as to how one is justified and sanctified before the God of the bible. One would think the bible meant what it said when it said that the Christian life is not by Law but “by faith from start to finish.”
“They exchanged the truth for a lie,” we’re told by the Law. “For this cause, God has handed them over to the lusts of their hearts.” It sounds absolutely logical, doesn’t it? Joan of Arc exchanged the truth of her gender for a lie, and therefore God has handed her over to her judges. Jesus of Nazareth has exchanged the truth of His identity for a lie, and was stricken by God for blasphemy. Isaiah has exchanged the truth of propriety for a lie and then claimed that God made him do it, so God handed him over to the naked lunacy of his mind. The bible appears to hold this perspective alongside us and speaks of God destroying the Law-breakers. It affirms that everyone under the Law is judged for everything they can dream of doing, no matter how good or bad it seems. Then in an unexpected reversal, the Law turns and cannibalizes its adherents too. Paul turns around to the people who’d been nodding along, and tells them that they, too, are condemned. The scriptures soar in a different direction that exposes our minds and judges us for insisting that the supervision of the Law is necessary. The point of Romans 1 and 2 is that we all ought to get out from under the Law because it will destroy both judge and condemned. In fact, the condemnation of the one under judgment is not certain, because Paul was only speaking rhetorically: the judge, however, has sealed his own fate because he is definitely judging and thinking and living by the Law – and all under the Law are cursed, according to Apostle Paul.
Christians must not use Paul’s satiric spoof to reconstruct the downfall of civilizations due to homosexuality, nor to figure out how homosexuality occurs in people as God “hands them over to their degrading passions,” for if they do so, they become the very Pharisees that Paul was warning, and share in their judgment. The Pharisees were incorrect.
“But Siya, marriage between men and women is a picture of Christ and the church,” some have said. Supposing that this is correct, it must be asked whether the form is as important as the Spirit. If we say it is, then what on earth do we do with scriptures such as, “Your love was wonderful to me, surpassing the love of women”?
“But Siya, the only time the bible allows sex is in the context of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage,” they say. With a very, very basic understanding of biblical languages, and words like “fornication,” I’m willing to take up that debate.
I have never in my life studied theology formally – nor have I wanted to. But even I, with my basic high school understanding of different communication styles, wouldn’t dream of reading Paul or any other bible writer literally at all times. Paul, especially, was a lawyer and most gifted rhetorician. He’d be appalled at what has been done with his discourses.
18.) The anatomy of the Fall
Let us not forget that God could see Adam’s penis under the fig leaves, and He knew what it had become. The bible repeatedly shows that God can see through mankind’s Law-keeping, to the rebellion within; indeed, the Law can only be known and understood by those who know of the Edenic rebellion within. When Adam covered up, God asked him, “Who told you that you were naked?” When the Pharisee assigns a certain “natural use” to the woman as does the Law that supervises the Adamic man, the Pharisee inadvertently exposes the Adamic sin principle and thus shows that he knows that he is naked. This is why, by the works of the Law will no man be justified in His sight – for by Law is knowledge of sin. By Law, we know that the Law-keeper has Adam’s sin. When one is zealous for the Law, God will ask, “Who told you that you were naked?” Natural Law, that is, the Law God wrote in men’s hearts in order to quarantine the Adamic lie, is how the natural man knows that there is a God, and it is how he goes about establishing righteousness. But by natural man’s knowledge of this Natural Law do we see that there was indeed something for the Law to quarantine – and therefore, by these works of the Law will no man be justified in His sight, for by Law is knowledge of sin: by the outline drawn by the Law, we know that Adam’s corpse is rotting somewhere.
Under the Law, one could get married and have sex strictly as a means of reproduction, or through a hole in a sheet as some Hasidic Jews do, and take great pains to avoid the degrading and blasphemous physical pleasure. One could ejaculate into his wife the tangible, liquid accusation that Adam hurled at Eve – the Law gave the natural-looking provision of marriage by which men could make “use” of the woman, giving her the degradation that she deserved.
But marriage, now being a Legal quarantine, did not perfect or sanctify the act; it merely supervised the outpicturing of the parody of the Godhead as it was performed by rebels and prisoners of war labouring under the Law, no matter how well they obeyed the quarantining of the Law. The Law brought nothing to perfection – it was merely a shadow of something else to come. When we talk about “the sanctity of marriage” as a biblical term, we’d better know which part of the bible we’re talking about because through vast stretches of time under the Old Covenant, sex within marriage was still as blasphemous as Adam and Eve’s fallen sexual impulses; the Law merely tolerated it because the human population had to be perpetuated until the time of the messiah. The Mosaic Law was a quarantine. These are biblical themes I’m writing about – not the hogwash everyone is brainwashed into believing.
Circumcision, also, was good for nothing except leaving a scar; cutting away at the lubricating foreskin and extra nerves did not change the Adamic heart belief, most brazenly seen in Lamech, that man is the be-all and end-all of existence, and ought to prove this by acquiring wives and defending territory.
According to the bible, there is no difference – in Adam, all sinned, and all fell short. That some sinners follow the rules of their parole terms better than others, and that some criminals cooperate more piously than others with the System, does not change what’s on the record.
The Law locked everything up in sin so that the mouths of the whole world would be shut up, and the entire world made guilty before God. There was no difference: you could not say, “Well, my acts are more Lawful because it’s a heterosexual marriage, unlike so-and-so’s relationship” or “I haven’t done such-and-such things that God calls detestable.” No. No. No. No. No. No. There is NO difference. That is damnable heresy and hypocrisy of the grandest kind. Under the Law, man may shuffle Adam’s transgression around, and put bows and ribbons on it, and pretty it up under the Law’s supervision. The corpse may hold back from showing signs of death. But at numerous times, God says He is still sickened to the pit of His stomach by the performance.
Some would argue that marriage is only between man and woman, and is a picture of Christ and the Church. But in another place, David wrote, “Your love was wonderful to me, surpassing the love of women.” I would expand on the idea that marriage was a quarantine that pointed to the gift of Christ, as was the rest of the Law, but there is no room.
Someone once said that maybe we ought to return to the Edenic pictures of Adam and Eve even though we are no longer obliged to do so. For the sake of space, I will limit the arguments I have in response to that by saying that we must not typecast the Artist to His first creation, especially since He Himself has said, “There is no more male and female.” After spending some time explaining to the Law-keepers how marriage should have been happening from the beginning up until that point, He said, “But in the Kingdom they neither marry nor are given in marriage.” He spoke of citizens of the Kingdom as leaves that are borne along by the Holy Spirit from no-one-knows-where to no-one-knows-where. To hold on to the picture of marriage that they have constructed, the heterosexists have to rip Jesus out of the bible – nay, they’d have to crucify Him just so they could hold on to the Law that supervises their prejudice. For Christ, unfortunately, is the end of the Law for all that believe in Him. In the Kingdom, the Artist exhibits whatever He feels like creating, at any given time; the spectators must simply study and appreciate whatever He has produced without whining about how every line of every collection must resemble the opening exhibits.
Some would argue that heterosexual marriage is the cornerstone of civilization. Once again, they’d have to rip Jesus out of the bible, for Jesus, and not heterosexual marriage, is posited as the cornerstone of civilization. According to the bible, Jesus upholds us before God not according to what we do, but according to what He did. It appears that it’s all about Jesus. The safety and continuity of our civilizations cannot depend on how we marry or carry out the requirements of the Letter of the Law, for if they do, then we’re covering issues up through the Law once again. He, and not the Law, is our Righteousness and Prince of Peace. He, and not how well we perpetuate our legacy under the Law through children and spouses, is Eternal Life. There is nothing wrong with marriage and children, but according to my reading of the book, the church has fallen into the idolatrous worship of heteronormality – with no biblical reason whatsoever.
Some might argue that the bible condemns all sex outside of marriage. But we forget that in that culture wherein scripture was written, marriage happened at a very young age, that it was largely to transfer the property that virginal women were, and also to function as a quarantine not just to protect those on the inside from all the nonsense happening outside but also to protect those on the outside from all the injustices happening on the inside. The Law was given to supervise evil, not produce good.
We deliberately forget the complex social structures, and we omit the fact that various types of sexual activities were common, in configurations that would boggle our relatively prudish sensibilities. We forget that the word we now call “fornication” once meant “soliciting a temple prostitute,” or, to paraphrase Paul’s words, “uniting Christ to a prostitute who has sex on behalf of a foreign deity.” We forget that the Catholic Church from this inferred that fornication was simply having sex outside of a union recognized by the Catholic Church itself as the God-elected moral police. We forget that the meaning of this word morphed, and that during the Reformation, the Reformed churches kept the Catholic meaning, simply transferring the right to regulate sexual unions from Catholic to Protestant Churches.
In the next entry, I argue that there was no Reformation. See, I find it inconsistent that Reformed Christians can celebrate Christmas and Easter on the basis of God’s Word, but not allow gay and lesbian people to participate in same-sex marriage. Very few people have any certainty about when Jesus was born, but many do have certainty that what we today call “Christmas” began as a pagan holiday. What we call “Easter” is the Passover renamed after a pagan holiday. The date for Easter may be correct, but the name is an affront to all that is biblical. On the other hand, the name for Christmas may be Christian but the date and its history are anti-Christian. The New Year doesn’t get off the hook either; while I don’t know much about its origins, I do know that we’re not keeping the Jewish New Year.
Isn’t that remarkable? Two of the biggest festivals on the Christian calendar are, by the standard that is God’s Word, patently wrong and untenable. Yet no one questions these things except the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But, by the same measure that they’ve nullified through negligence, they hatch out a shallow reading of scripture and say that homosexuality is wrong. It’s sola scriptura – when it suits them and in a reading that allows them to keep their exclusive perks. I find this morally repugnant.
We forget that for vast stretches of history, common people did not get married because they could not afford to – they merely cohabited. I bet that some of us even imagine that the angels sang in some sort of Nativity Scene at Christ’s birth. I haven’t found the verses; instead, I read of angels that declare and proclaim things in loud voices. But we read our world back into history, and drag the interpretation to correspond with life as we imagine it to have been like then, without doing the necessary research. It’s so easy to fling clobber passages at gay people, but it will not be so easy to give an account for every trite word we spoke (if biblical warnings are anything to go by.)
Absolutely no self-awareness, and we let ourselves get controlled like this. It’s bullshit. When people run from the church or from Christianity, guess what I tell them? “I don’t blame you in the slightest.” I blame the Christians. I also find that there are often more non-Christians who think like the Jesus of the bible whose words and discourses were in red, than there are Christians who do. That Christianity is so religious today means that something’s gone wrong: remember and do not forget, the people Jesus spoke to already had a religion and they were exceedingly good at keeping it. How, then, can Christianity today be a religion? What was the point of all the talking and rising from the dead that Jesus did, if the people already had Moses and the Prophets, and were already reading that? What was the point of Jesus speaking, if He was merely teaching people what was already known?
Then again, He said, “This people confess Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Christians, by and large, missed the point of Christ’s coming.
When the Law of Moses demands marriage between a man and his women, it presupposes that he has Adamic understandings of sexuality and power; the Law presupposes that he may rape his wife. It allows him to act out his Adamic tendencies only on his marriage bed with Eve. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you –” is God quarantining the two rebels together into one prison. That Law presupposes that Eve will derive her value from how well she can seduce and be objectified, and therefore traps her in marriage with Adam.
Under the Mosaic Law, marriage was given to quarantine the curses of Adam and Eve. During the transition period that was the New Testament, marriage was still vital because it helped demarcate persons of differing worldviews in order to prevent fornication with temple prostitutes.
But in the Kingdom to come as its brilliance loom brighter and closer in the ages, when the Law is fading away and the New Covenant has fully planted itself in men’s hearts, the New Covenant foreseen by Jeremiah and instituted by Christ’s blood, and the curse has effectively been confronted, condemned, confessed, quarantined, contained and itself cursed in the crucified body of Jesus, “They neither marry nor are given in marriage” because there is nothing more to quarantine. People, more and more reflecting the image of the central and all-encompassing reality, which we call God, are free from the supervision of the Law because His Law, His real Law, is finally written on their hearts of flesh and not tablets of stone. Their spiritual DNA is no longer the fallen spiritual DNA of Adam, but the Life of God Himself. And that Life is harmony. It is love. They are loved by God until they are able to love other people and act out wholly out of love. They achieve everything that Christianity was supposed to be, manifesting the will of God on earth as it in heaven.
Against such, there is no Law.
20.) In other words, there was no reformation
There was merely a transfer and watering down of the exact same set of policies from one hypocritical institution to a slightly less hypocritical institution. Catholicism and Protestantism may differ on the externals, but they share the same legalistic soul: the key difference is semantics and the types of mental gymnastics that each will go through to justify its own brand of legalism. And it is no wonder, for according to the bible itself, “Satan continuously transforms himself into an angel of light.” Our total lack of self-awareness follows us to whichever corner of history we find ourselves. There was no reformation: the martyrdom, the scholarship and the suffering were merely collateral damage as one legalistic institution had some of its powers, burdens and responsibilities shifted onto a similarly legalistic institution.
At any rate, historian John Boswell exposed that the early Church, which really understood what Jesus had done, this Church had 80 different kinds of ceremonies called “The Office of the Same-Sex Union” or variations thereof. This church understood that Jesus had abolished in His body the Law and its demands so that out of the different persons, He could make one in His body – “You are one in Christ Jesus.” They understood that all things being equal, love was all that counted.
But we’ve re-written history to suit other kinds of ideological priorities that came along to eclipse our theology. I’ve also seen some of the shallowest arguments from the Orthodox and Catholic churches that these unions were not gay marriages at all, but other kinds of far-fetched ceremonies. I cede to people the right to think for themselves – that they examine the evidence that is so freely available on the internet.
21.) Gay Marriage
Understandably, many people fear the dissolution of gender roles because oftentimes, what the world sees when gender roles disappear isn’t people being their authentic selves (which I have seen, and found irresistibly beautiful); rather, it is people seeking validation as something other than what they are, within a false cultural value system. Also, people need gender roles in order to help them act out and quarantine Adam and Eve’s sin, not realizing that the insistence on the gender roles keeps the issue in place precisely by quarantining it.
Creation is full of things that are not “male and female” in a conventional sense. Why am I supposed to believe that humans can’t also be viewed as no longer “male and female”? “There is no longer male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus” is, paradoxically, how the God of the bible marries people in a marriage incantation that can work for any gender pair of persons. “There is no longer male and female,” God says, dissolving the old order, proving Jesus’ words that in the Kingdom they neither marry nor are given in marriage; “For you are one,” He says, telling us that we are no longer parodies of Godhead but image-bearers; “In Christ Jesus,” He says, reminding them of Who had to be broken so that they could be united. The promise of biblical Christianity to gay men and women is that when they come to God in Christ, He places the divine image on their unions regardless of how they’ve performed, according to the Letter of the Law, in terms of getting the structures right. The unity, the harmony, the “you are one” that exists at the core of the Godhead, is breathed over the couple regardless of its form. Spirit precedes form, and not the other way around.
When Christians focus on the structure – when they insist that their holiness as communities depends on the geometrical symmetry that they’re bringing before God, when they say that this geometric symmetry is the nuclear family cornerstone of society and not Jesus Christ, they cease to be Christians.