I propose that gender is not a static, platonically absolute ideal. Our humanity, and thus our sexuality, means so much more than simplistic metaphysical maleness and femaleness occupying female and male bodies.
Irony is a bastard: I don’t know whether to call it an obsession or an ambivalent affinity, but ironically the sexual policing by the Church remains married to a naïve and often ambiguous authority over sexuality. Evidently, as history has shown, what the Church doesn’t understand is relegated to an anthropological anomaly or worse yet, a sin. I believe Christian anthropology is at a cross-road, not knowing whether to stay on the track of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ or to venture down the road less trodden of Christ-centred sexuality.
Just like astronomy, evolution/adaption, slavery abolishment, racial equality and the rights of women; the LGBT community is the Church’s present ‘social devil.’ In fact in the social debate around marriage equality, the Church has done more damage to the ‘meaning of marriage’ than the so-called sexual infidels. One could say that throughout history, the Church has metaphorically taken the torn curtain and repaired it to once again separate people from fully encountering their humanity. Indeed the status quo seems to minimalize marriage to procreation. Really, is that all God intended marriage to be, an institution to procreate? Sounds a bit Darwinian. I beg of the so-called ‘defenders of THE definition of marriage’ – everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when it is discriminating against others then serious analysis needs to be considered. I’m no pastor or theologian but I think it’s pretty straight forward that Jesus’ message hung on two paradigms in which it seems dominant Church culture has neglected: LOVE God, and LOVE people. Difference is wonderful and should be celebrated.
As Jesus prioritized people over the institution of the Sabbath, so we could ask whether humans were “made to fit into an absolute, unchanging institution called marriage, or whether marriage was created to help humans…to live wisely and well in this world” (McLaren, 2010, p. 237). It may seem very odd, but I propose that Jesus is THE sex God in which we find what it really means to be embodied souls of humanity. Sexual intercourse is just one aspect of sex, Rob Bell suggests that our sexuality is all the passionate ways we go about connecting with the world, God and others (Bell, 2007, p. 42).
Interestingly in the Edenic narrative of Genesis, the only thing God deems ‘not good’ is the loneliness of Adam. Indeed through the post-modern theology of relationality, we begin to see Jesus as a sexual God, a liberator of oppressive disconnection and the instigator for reconnection. In turn the gospel becomes not about saving souls from hell-bound behaviours (like having a different sexual orientation from the status quo), rather the good news is an invitation for ALL people to participate in reconnecting ALL things through mutual, meaningful and faithful relationships.
Bell, R. (2007). Sex God: Exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
McLaren, B. (2010). A new kind of Christianity. London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.