17, closeted and otherwise exceedingly boring...

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Joined in 2006
February 27, 2008, 09:48

9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

Sorry but scripture states that some are born to celibacy or choose complete service to God so it is by birth for some, so it is not just a command alone, eunuchs were well known to serve in the temple, Daniel the prophet was a eunuch I believe. And Jesus says well whoever can accept this, let him accept this, pretty straight forward actually.

Joined in 2007
February 27, 2008, 10:22

Interesting how this passage is so ‘straightforward’ and yet the Christian divorce rate is 51%, still thats another argument for another time.

I actually had no idea what the word ‘eunuch’ meant, so I looked it up:

1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.

2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.

3. Informal An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.

My encyclopedia says:

The word eunuch does not derive, as one might think, from the operation that produced a eunuch but rather from one of his functions. Eunuch goes back to the Greek word eunoukhos, “a castrated person employed to take charge of the women of a harem and act as chamberlain.” The Greek word is derived from eun?, “bed,” and ekhein, “to keep.” A eunuch, of course, was ideally suited to guard the bedchamber of women.

Can you give me the NIV translation? I am having difficulty trying to grasp what on earth Jesus is talking about…

Joined in 2006
February 27, 2008, 10:36

Well, a eunuch was well known to be as Jesus was saying, someone born in such a way as they cant marry or they choose not to marry, we have to look at the defination as to how Jesus is putting it, since I doubt he is referring that a eunuch serving the kingdon of God is also a pimp.


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. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Niv. Translation.

Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked – or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

message version.

Joined in 2007
February 27, 2008, 11:41

Ok… From what I can gather then the issue here is the difference between a ‘calling’ and a ‘command’. You are citing that passage as proof that God calls people to celibacy. So let me paraphrase the gospel.

Some people are physically unable to have sex due to psysiological deficiencies, some people due to abuse, cultural, environmental or social reasons have a psychological barrier that means they are unable or unwilling to have sex. Some people never have the opportunity to marry and some people choose not to marry so they can focus on the kingdom.

However, this has nothing to do with what I was talking about because Jesus clearly states that he is talking within the confines of a marriage relationship. Perhaps I should rephrase my previous argument to say all people who are unmarried are commanded to be chaste until such times as they do get married and for those that never marry they are commanded to be celibate. The problem in sex is not the same as other ‘callings’. For instance the calling to preach. Yes God calls some people to preach his word in a professional sense however there is no command there. God does not say all people who are x, y and z should preach and the rest shouldn’t. God does say that all people who are unmarried should remain chaste and those who never marry are celibate more by default of never marrying.

The bible is consistent in its teaching that sex ought to stay within the realm of marriage only. Celibacy is therefore the circumstance of those that for the reasons Jesus cited and I’m sure many more do not marry. It is not a calling it is a consequence of the command on sexual intimacy between a man and a woman.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 27, 2008, 11:49

without getting too technical on the eunuch thing (which is an interesting study in itself)…..I think the essence of the passage is that there are different journeys in life…….and not up to us to tell other people what that might be.

if you choose or feel called to celibacy…….then God bless you.

forgive me if i’ve missed the point of the thread. I haven’t had time to read through all the posts.

ps……let me know if you want more info on the eunuch statement of Jesus…….and i’ll point you in the right direction. the statement has great relevance to us as same sex oriented people.

Joined in 2006
February 27, 2008, 12:17

This is quite a topic to discuss and one that can take on many facets including the one about Jesus saying our role in binding and loosing and if two or more agree then let it be so, giving us a kindve of responsibility about the decision on many important issues such as divorce and the absolute necessity of that being allowed.

The church as a whole has agreed to and loosed the confines of marriage based on certain grounds, also the use of the pill, now maybe we will be granted marriage so to make us legitimate too before God if that is what we need. I doubt that millions of people or more would have taken lightly regarding the issue of divorce and other issues that have been given ground, there is much said by Jesus and if not taken as a whole with understanding then we will be in danger of missing the point and the message.

People say they take the bible word for word and dont need explanation, then hey, we should be cutting our limbs off and ignoring our families for the kingdom but we get explanantions for what he meant by those comments yet if we try to explain other things then it gets blasted, there seems to be a big pick and choose as people please as they wish to suit themselves for whatever. Come on now!!! what is good for one is good for another. This topic is huge and could quite easily move away from what I guess this is all about, marriage or no marriage and celibacy so I will finish here.

Joined in 2007
February 27, 2008, 17:07

You are convicting me to the fact that I need to read the bible more Maggie, can you tell me where all this binding and loosing stuff is? It seems unlikly that Jesus would say we have the agency to make our own decisions on biblical matters, why have the bible at all if that is true? But I will look into it.

The rest doesn’t really have anything to do with our discussion on marriage and celibacy.

Joined in 2006
February 27, 2008, 19:24

matt 18:18-20 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

(niv version)

MATT18:18-20 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (new king james version)

Just a suggestion, its always good to look at a few versions to get a bigger picture. Jesus actually also said this to Peter in chapter 16 after he calls him the Christ and again we see it here given to his followers. Its quite a responsibility we have really. (I even feel convicted again to read my bible doh!!! 😉 )

February 27, 2008, 19:44

Ok so here is how I believe God solves that conundrum. We are not called to celibacy, we are commanded. For those not married, whether they be gay or straight God commands them to be celibate until such time as they do marry.

Can you tell me exactly where in the Bible it says that because I’m sure I’ve never read it. It certainly commands a husband and wife to be faithful but I don’t think anywhere it explicitly forbids sex before marriage.

Joined in 2007
February 27, 2008, 20:55

I should correct myself and say that we are all commanded to be chaste and practise abstinance outside of marriage, the majority of people do marry and so do not remain celibate.

There are a number of passages that refer to ‘sexual immorality’ which is a rather broad term. The greek word porneia is used consistantly throughout the bible to indicate sexual immorality in terms of sex before marriage. Anywhere the word ‘fornication’ is used (voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons) obviously premarital sex is being described, such as in Ephesians 5:3-6. Here are three biblical examples of its useage to back up that claim.

1. In in 1 Corinthians 7:2 Paul says, “Because of the temptation to immorality [porneia], each man should have his own wife and each her own husband.” In other words BEFORE you marry you are tempted to porneia. The sin in view is not adultery, but premarital sexual intercourse. In the preceding chapter (6:18) Paul says this is to be shunned “Flee immorality.”

2. In Matthew 15:19 Jesus says, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication [porneia].” Notice how adultery is listed along side this word porneia and so is different from it. It is so clear that the RSV goes against its usual translation of “immorality” and calls it “fornication.” Jesus goes on to say that it is these things that defile. In other words our Lord himself was crystal clear on this matter of premarital sexual intercourse: it comes from an evil heart and is a blatant contradiction of God’s will that sexuality be preserved for the lifelong union of one man and one woman in marriage. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9 where Paul uses fornicators, pornoi, and adulterers, moichoi, the same way Jesus uses porneia and moicheia.)

3. In John 8:41 Jesus is in a heated discussion with the Jewish leaders. Jesus pushes them so hard to recognize their own inconsistencies that they resort to an ad hominem argument and say, “We were not born of fornication!” The word is porneia and the point is: WE weren’t born that way; YOU were. In other words they are calling Jesus a bastard, because everybody knew that Mary and Joseph were not married when Mary became pregnant. And so since they did not believe in the miracle of the virgin birth, the popular rumor was that Jesus was an illegitimate child of Mary by who knows whom. The only point I want to make from this is that the word for “fornication” in John 8:41 is the same as the one in Matthew 15:19 and 1 Corinthians 7:2, and in all these texts the meaning is premarital sexual relations.*

There is explicit command in the bible such as Eph 5:3-6 which tells us that fornication is contradictory to the Christian life.

*Written by John Piper,

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