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Do Gays Have an Effective Prevention for Sexually Transmitted Infection?

Basically everyone knows that sex comes with risk of transmission of dangerous disease, and that for gay men there is a higher risk of transmission of incurable disease (HIV). Some tend to downplay this though, with throw-away lines like “just use protection.” There are even HIV groups which suggest the end of HIV is in sight.

However, a 2013 report reveals that gay men who use condoms for anal sex, still get sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and the more sexual partners they have, the more likely they are to acquire an STI. The EMIS 2010: European Men-Who-Have- Sex-With-Men Internet Survey, states –

It is noteworthy that using condoms for anal intercourse with non-steady partners had little effect on newly-diagnosed STIs, particularly when compared with the impact of the number of sexual partners. The impact of multiple partners might be explained partly by the fact that most STIs – unlike HIV – are easily transmitted via oral sex. Condom use is not routinely recommended for oral sex and condoms are not often used by MSM during oral sex.

And of course not all gay european males use condoms consistently anyway (p. 115). The report even graphs the likelihood of European gay males catching various STIs from gonohorrhea to HIV, based on the number of sexual partners in one year. Condoms help reduce transmission, but the reality is that STIs are often dealt with by way of medication, after the STI has been caught. This approach comes with big risks though, because not all STIs come with obvious signs that they are present, and some STIs can damage your internal organs, or even kill you.

Another complaint you often hear from the gay community, is that their suffering is based on discrimination. You might gain the impression that if there was no discrimination, gay people would have no problems. Well this report presents an interesting insight into this area. On page 15 of the report, there is a graph depicting the degree to which gay men in a given county are out of the closet, in relation to a proxy measurement for HIV prevalence for that country. It’s an attempt to illustrate any relationship between gays being out of the closet, and national HIV prevalence. But the authors of the report also suggest that the degree to which gays are out of the closet, is also an indicator of the degree of anti-gay sentiment for each country. If you listen to gay activists (whom you might have noticed, tend to blame gay suffering on ‘discrimination’), you might conclude that countries which are more ‘gay-friendly’ would experience lower HIV rates. But the graph reveals that in fact countries where gays are more likely to be out of the closet, also experience some of the higher proportions of HIV cases.


Answering The Questions of Brian Bowen

As stated on this blog previously –

Brian Anthony Bowen, is an American homosexual man who regards himself as a Christian, and claims that he has a Christian revelation to share with the world. The revelation centres around gay people being the ‘eunuchs’ referenced in Scripture, and them being vital to Jesus’ return. Brian has been known to flood internet forums with copious amounts of blurb about his rather unique doctrinal beliefs, in a manner that activists tend to refer to as ‘derailing’, as it tends to include very lengthy pastings from elsewhere, is often is often needlessly repetitive, and is generally very disruptive to serious discussion.

His critical thinking skills seem low at times, his theories obscure, and his behavior unusual (his website features photos of him wearing a crown and holding a scepter, and he refers to himself as “Chief of the eunuchs”), leading many to quickly dismiss him. But to me it seems the Christian response should be that someone in the church should carefully consider what Brian has to say, and should respond to it seriously. It’s not always practical to attempt to do so in the forums that Brian participates in, because he will tend to copy & paste posts at such a rate that often it’s not possible to write a reply fast enough before the point being addressed is superseded by new things he has posted, and eventually you find he has made so many comments that it’s overwhelming and people loose interest.

Brian loves asking people questions, implying that if they were to think about his questions they would agree with his theories. In that vein he recently posted 16 questions which he invited me to answer. Answering Brian’s questions can seem somewhat pointless at times, because of his habit of sometimes posting a question, waiting for someone to answer it, and then a short time later, he will repeat the same question as though it has never been answered. However, here are my feeble answers to his latest questions. Ive written his original questions in bold typeface, followed by my initial answers, followed by subsequent feedback in italics – 

Brian’s question # 1) Who are the “DUMB, GREEDY, BLIND SHEPHERDS who CANNOT UNDERSTAND” in Isaiah 56?
http://brianbowenministries.com/pharisees-anonymous-12…

The Reformation Study Bible comments that these shepherds “… warn the city of approaching danger. The prophets were called to be spiritual watchmen (21:6; Jer. 6:17; Ezek. 3:17; 33:2–7).” I cannot think of a contemporary equivalent, particularly if trying to think of watchmen who are particularly fond of alcohol (verse 12).

Ive told Brian this, and he has responded on facebook by citing this page of his, and writing

Indeed the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day are the “blind watchmen of Israel mentioned in Isaiah 56:10. The modern equivalent are Pastors and Priests mentioned in Isaiah 56:11 as “and such are the shepherds who cannot understand.”
The reference to drinking is consistently reflected in Scripture as self indulgence (not always related to alcohol consumption). In the case of Isaiah 56:10-12, it also is a reference to greed …

And yes verse 11 arguably refers to greed. But verse 12 still specifically refers to a tendency to get a “fill of beer and wine”, and there is little reason to interpret verse 12 as being other than literal. Yet being prone to indulging in alcohol, simply does not characterize the pastors and priests that I know of. So I conclude Brian seems to misinterpret this element of Isaiah 56.

Brian’s question #2) Who are the Eunuchs of Isaiah 56? Why doesn’t the Church talk about them?http://brianbowenministries.com/its-not-about-the-gay-its-about-the-day.html

They are people who are unable to reproduce. Perhaps there is less social stigma about about not having children these days, meaning it’s a less topical subject?

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and writing – 

If that was true, then how would born eunuchs know PRIOR to heterosexual marriage that they were unable to reproduce?
Such a suggestion would be to say Jesus was teaching that all men should first have relations with a woman, wait 9 months to see if a child is born, and only at that point decide to marry her….or to leave her if a child is not born. THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Further, neither Jesus nor Paul ever mention having children as a basis for their teachings on marriage.

But being unable to reproduce, does not simply mean experiencing infertility as a surprise. It includes being impotent, and having genitalia so deformed that it is dysfunctional or largely missing. Such issues can be apparent without the bearer needing to attempt intercourse in order to determine whether they can produce children. And it’s true that Jesus and Paul did not say that marriage requires children. I didnt claim otherwise. I was just suggesting that the ability to produce children may have been more important in the first century Biblical era, than it is now. My answer does compute, if considered with common sense.

Brian’s question #3) Why does God refer to Eunuchs as sons AND daughters in Isaiah 56?
http://brianbowenministries.com/4-messengers-of-the-king.html
and
http://brianbowenministries.com/ch-1-eunuch-births.html

Perhaps because just as there are men who are unable to reproduce, there are also women who are barren?

Brian has read my above answer, and responded on facebook by simply pointing back to the above two pages. The first page is over 10,000 words, which covers a lot of ground, but little of which directly answers his specific question.  The second page contains over 3,000 words with only 1 sentence directly addressing question 3. All this leaves you wondering whether Brian tries to win debates by simply tiring people out by asking them to read copious text even when only a small slice of it is directly relevant. At this stage, I stand by my initial answer above.

Brian’s question #4) Why doesn’t the Church seek Eunuch Offerings God promised to accept in Isaiah 56?
http://brianbowenministries.com/20-fire-from-heaven.html

The church is not commanded to seek offerings from eunuchs. Rather, the passage states that offerings will be accepted. It might actually primarily be a reference to the offerings from foreigners (verse 8), rather than from eunuchs (verse 4).

Brian has read my above answer, and responded – 

While it is true the Church is not “commanded” to seek offerings from eunuchs, there is no way for the prophecy to come to pass unless Eunuch’s Offerings are indeed accepted. Knowing this should lead intelligent Pastors to seek Eunuch Offerings just like they seek tithes and other offerings.
Your supposition that foreigners’ offerings are what’s being referred to instead of eunuchs’ offerings cannot be accurate.

Brian then quoted the passage from Isaiah 56 again, and added – 

As you see, this would refer to BOTH foreigners AND eunuchs. But the Church already receive offerings from foreigners, as well as 2 of the 3 types of eunuchs Jesus defined in Matthew 19:12; the celibates (ie nuns and priests), as well as castrated folks’ (as evidenced in the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch).
The only type of eunuchs Jesus defined that we have not been able to ascertain are indeed included in Church are the BORN EUNUCHS. As long as the Church refuses to even teach on the eunuchs of Scriptures, it is not difficult to understand why they are not seeking these eunuchs’ offerings.
But these offerings amount to an estimated $1 BILLION PER DAY for the Church. It’s money on the table that nobody is taking. Instead, the Church has demonstrably worked to ensure Eunuch Offerings never make it to God’s altar in the first place, and in doing so, have “robbed God of the tithe” (See Malachi 3:10).
You cannot “bring ALL the tithes” if you don’t bring ALL the people!

So is verse 7 referring only to foreigners, or is it referring to foreigners + eunuchs?  Brian’s unidentified translation does make it sound like it’s both foreigners and eunuchs. Lets assume he’s citing a quality translation, and lets go with his argument that all Biblical prophesies must come to pass.  Brian claims that God is being short changed, because many homosexuals are not going to church, so are not making offerings. Well, the wider church generally accepts tithes from celibate gay people. However even if we are generous in how many of Brian’s claims we accept, there is no prophesy saying that all or that most homosexuals will ever go to church. Being realistic, given the most people will not be saved, “all the tithes” (Malachi 3:10) is simply never going to include tithes from all gay people. And in any case, the offerings of Isaiah 56:7 have already come to pass, because eunuchs have already become Christians! We know this from Acts 8! And surely there must have been many eunuchs who are not specified in the Bible who also have become Christians.

Brian’s question #5) Where is the memorial in Church God promised to give Eunuchs in Isaiah 56?http://brianbowenministries.com/ch-1-eunuch-births.html

Dunno. Maybe it hasnt been provided yet?

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and writing – 

Actually the memorial refers to Communion “Do this in REMEMBRANCE of Me”

The page to which Brian refers, simply makes the claim that the memorial is communion. If offers very little argumentation in support, and is thoroughly unconvincing. Many translations use the word ‘monument’ rather than ‘memorial’ in verse 5, which of course makes Brian’s claim of it being communion, sound even more ridiculous.

Brian’s question #6) Why doesn’t the Church quote God’s Eunuch Prophecy in Isaiah 56 even though Jesus did?
http://brianbowenministries.com/doctrines-demons-teach.html

Jesus’ reference that ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’ is sometimes quoted by the church. It’s perhaps not quoted often, because it’s no longer very newsworthy. When Jesus strolled the Earth, Christianity had not spread far. But it’s now centuries since Christianity spread around the world and people of all nations began to come together for prayer in God’s house.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by yet again pointing back to this page of his and this page of his, and writing –

Yes….except for LGBT people (aka Born Eunuchs)
And it is extremely newsworthy to those who understand the prophetic import to the fulfillment of Isaiah 56.

So, sorry it’s getting boring, dear reader, but yes Brian has diverged from the original question, perhaps realizing he is wrong, and is now just repeating some of his other arguments again. So Ill just repeat my response, which is that LGBT people are included in the house of prayer, so long as they have repented of gay sex. Their numbers may only be a small percentage of the whole, but there are many repentant LGBT people who go to church and pray there.

At this point, as depicted below, Brian announced he wanted to take a break from this discussion, while he continued to post about other things. A cynic might conclude this was because he was unable to defend his position…

Brian

brian2

However after some cajoling, Brian responded further, as below.

Brian’s question #7) Why did Jesus quote the Eunuch Prophecy in Isaiah 56 when clearing the Temple in Mark 11:17-18? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_zE0jhE5cQ

Because Jesus wanted to emphasize prayer rather than commerce. What is the point of your question, Brian?

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this 40 minute video of his, and writing – 

The point is Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7, which is part of the Eunuch Prophecy. This proved He knew who eunuchs were, and was imminently qualified to expand the definition of eunuchs beyond castrated males, which He did in Matthew 19:12. …

Ok, but I dont think anyone is disputing whether Jesus knew what eunuchs were…

Brian’s question #8) Why did Jesus define BORN Eunuchs as neither celibate nor castrated in Matthew 19:11-12?
http://brianbowenministries.com/1-born-this-way.html

Jesus didnt really. Jesus merely referred to a subgroup of eunuchs that were “born that way”

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and writing – 

Which by its very nature indicates an expansion of the definition of eunuchs beyond castrated males, because nobody is BORN castrated (or as Jesus worded it, “made so by men.”).

And I guess it’s true that nobody is born castrated. But a careful thinker would have understood that already. I know I did.

Brian’s question #9) Why did Jesus exempt BORN Eunuchs from heterosexual marriage in Matthew 19:12?
http://brianbowenministries.com/2-god-sanctioned-gay-marriage.html

Im not sure that He exempted them, but yes he did characterize them as being people who did not marry. Perhaps their inability to conceive children meant that they were not popular as potential spouses. It’s still a reality today that most who marry, have children.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and writing – 

How would a man know they were unable to reproduce PRIOR to getting married to a woman?
Such a suggestion would be to say Jesus was teaching that all men should first have relations with a woman, wait 9 months to see if a child is born, and only at that point decide to marry her….or to leave her if a child is not born. THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE.

So he repeats his argument form question 2. To which I respond with my answer from question 2 – Being unable to reproduce, does not simply mean experiencing infertility as a surprise. It includes being impotent, and having genitalia so deformed that it is dysfunctional or largely missing. Such issues can be apparent without the bearer needing to attempt intercourse in order to determine whether they can produce children. My answer does compute, if considered with common sense.

Brian’s question #10) Who are the BORN Eunuchs Jesus taught about in Matthew 19:1-12?http://brianbowenministries.com/born-eunuch—reborn-unique.html

They are people born without normal sexual function, whom are unable to bear children. We should note that many homosexuals do engage sexually and do have children, so the reference is unlikely to primarily be about homosexuals.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and this page of his, and writing – 

Again, how would a man know they were unable to reproduce PRIOR to getting married to a woman?
Such a suggestion would be to say Jesus was teaching that all men should first have relations with a woman, wait 9 months to see if a child is born, and only at that point decide to marry her….or to leave her if a child is not born. THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE.
If Born Eunuchs were unable to perform sexually, Paul would not have ordained same sex marriage for them based on sex drive.

IE Brian repeated what he said in regards to questions 2 and 9. So my refutation to those questions applies here too. Brian also claims that St Paul ordained same-sex marriage, based on sex drive. Now that is something that does not compute. Paul opposed gay sex (see Romans 1 etc), so it would not make sense for him to ordain gay marriage. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates St Paul ordained gay marriage. Brian then responded further, writing – 

Indeed Paul opposed heterosexual married swingers engaging in ADULTERY with animals (the women, Romans 1:23), or with other men (the men, Romans 1:27)
But neither of those acts have anything to do with LGBT people (or heterosexual people) who are NOT MARRIED and NOT ENGAGED IN ADULTERY:
~Romans 1:27 says the men “turned from” relations with women. But only men who HAD relations with women can “turn from” them. If they had relations with women, Paul considered them to be MARRIED (1 Corinthians 6:16). Romans 1:26 similarly says the women “exchanged the natural use” for an “unnatural one” or “one against nature.” Again, only women who had “natural use” can “exchange” it for one that is “against nature” (sex with animals as worship to Roman gods). …

But I dont see due cause to think that in Romans 1, Paul was only referring to married people. Romans 1:26-27 states “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Note that for Brian’s interpretation, it perhaps should have stated “married women”, and then “married men gave up relations with their wives”, but instead it simply refers to gender and not to marital status. Also, Brian is incorrect to assert that only men who HAD relations with women can “turn from” them. If men (plural) before the fall, only had relations with women, and then later some men (plural) no longer wish to have relations with women, then that later group have *turned* from what their forebears practiced. 1 Corinthians 6:16 has little bearing on interpreting Romans 1. 

Brian’s question #11) Why does the Church ignore BORN Eunuchs even though Jesus taught on them?
http://brianbowenministries.com/3-for-the-kingdom-of…

The church does not focus on born eunuchs but does not ignore them either.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and writing – 

That is simply false, as evidenced by the glaring omission of any definition of Born Eunuchs in reliable Christian study resources, as cited [above]

….Does that not look like a concerted effort to conceal the definition of Born Eunuchs from the masses?

To which I say, if you know what a eunuch is, isnt it intuitive to know what a born eunuch is? If you need the definition spelt out (as is required by Brian’s counter-intuitive doctrines) doesnt that suggest that you are twisting things, especially if you are alleging mass conspiracy?

Brian’s question #12) Who are the non-heterosexual people Paul ordained marriage for in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmLHntx9piI

In that passage, Paul neither specifies them as being non-heterosexual, neither does he imply it. He is likely to be referring primarily to heterosexual people.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by simply pointing back to this page of his, and this video of his. But his material contains faulty logic. EG it states “If Born Eunuchs are not celibate, nor castrated, nor entering into heterosexual marriage, that means BORN EUNUCHS must include LGBT people.” No it doesnt necessarily mean that. I think it’s likely to mean people born with genital deformity. Although Im open to the possibility that the reference *might* (not must) include GLT people (not B’s). And when interpreting Corinthians, Brian’s material does not take into consideration the patriarchal style of speaking of the time, where statements tended to be framed around men rather than both genders. 

Brian’s question #13) Who are the folks that forbid people to marry in 1 Timothy 4:1-3?

http://brianbowenministries.com/doctrines-demons-teach.html

1 Timothy 4 tells us that these are people who lack a good conscience, who lie, who have abandoned the faith and who follow doctrines that are not of Christ. Im not aware of such people existing at present, but 1 Timothy 4 says that such people will arise “in later times”, so perhaps they are yet to come.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, this video of his, and writing – 

It ALSO tells us these people are Christians (because only Christians can abandon the Christian faith), and it ALSO tells us these people FORBID PEOPLE TO MARRY:
They are here already!

….In 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, Paul ordains marriage for unmarried heterosexual couples.
In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, Paul then ordains marriage for a 2nd group of unmarried people.
If the 2nd group of unmarried people were heterosexual, they would have been included in the 1st group with the heterosexual couples, but are not. …

Brian’s response ignores the points I raised, perhaps because he is using an unbiblical definition of the word ‘marriage’. In the Biblical sense, marriage refers to the intended life-long union of a man and a woman. In this context, Im not aware of former Christians today forbidding people from marrying, although 1 Corinthians 7:1 possibly alludes to this attitude in St Paul’s time. Brian perceives a distinction between those being referred to in 1 Cor. 1:1-7 and those being referred to in 8-9. However, I do not see due cause to interpret these two sections as addressing different groups, other than that perhaps v. 1-7 is primarily about those who are already married, and v. 8-10 being primarily about those who are not married. Brian is interpreting Scripture by injecting a great degree of wishful thinking.

Brian’s question #14) Why does God create LGBT people?
http://brianbowenministries.com/4-messengers-of-the-king…

This question is in a similar vein to questions such as, why does God create blind people, retarded people, sick people. The general answer to such questions is that these problem arose after “the fall” that is detailed in Genesis.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, this video of his, and writing – 

That is incorrect. Jesus taught that Born Eunuchs are born “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
We fulfill certain prophecies that nobody else can; prophecies which MUST be fulfilled before Jesus can return, upon which our bodily resurrections from the dead depend.

But does the Bible really say that Born Eunuchs are born “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”?  It says it about those who have made themselves eunuchs (Mt 19:12) though. Has Brian become confused here? And his argument here is based on his questionable presupposition that the term ‘born eunuch’ applies to gays and lesbians – if it doesnt, his argument for question 14 is void too.

Brian has responded to my above comment too, writing – 

even if you do not believe Born Eunuchs include LGBT people, it is without question that ALL 3 types of eunuchs Jesus defined in Matthew 19:12 are required in order to fulfill Isaiah 56.
We only need ask what has yet to be fulfilled in Isaiah 56 in order to conclude that (if all else be true), LGBT people includes Born Eunuchs, and as they are the only people group the Church largely condemns and excludes from church, then they too must be required in order to fulfill Isaiah 56 as well.
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom. When you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left — no matter how improbable — must be the truth” Mr. Spock, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I interpret his response to indicate that he likely accepts that he was mistaken to say that Born Eunuchs are born “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. As regards to LGBT people being excluded from churches, preventing the fullfillment of Isaiah 56, as I have written previously, this does not match my experience. Ive attended churches where I have seen non-practicing homosexuals. Sure practicing homosexuals were not encouraged, but in those same churches, it was my impression that various other groups of people were not welcome – including practicing pedophiles, unrepentant murderers and other criminals. Brian’s perspective on this seems rather mistaken. Never the less, Brian believes that Jesus will not return until Biblical prophesies are fulfilled, including this one about God’s house being a house of prayer for all people. However, he does not mention how unrepentant murderers, pedophiles or even atheists will come to pray in churches. It seems that Brian hasnt really thought this through. And Mr Spock’s statement sounds impressive on a superficial level, but in the real world, every wise owl knows that just because you have eliminated the impossible, this does not leave you simply with the truth. This is certainly the case in theology, when there can be several possible ways to interpret something, and not all of them are likely to be valid.

Brian’s question #15) Why did Paul say when a MAN leaves a marriage, sometimes it is a MAN who remains in 1 Corinthians 7:15? http://www.youtube.com/watch…

Maybe Brian is reading a faulty translation? The NIV for example, does not state this.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this video of his, and writing –

True…but the original Greek DOES.

I have a hunch though, that most Greek experts would disagree.

Brian’s question #16) Why did Jesus say: In that night there will be TWO MEN in ONE BED in Luke 17:34?
http://brianbowenministries.com/2-men-in-1-bed.html

Jesus said this to illustrate the fact that some have salvation and some dont, even though both types of people may be close associates. Jesus’ illustration was drawn from the poorer communities of the time. In poorer communities, it is not uncommon for multiple siblings or multiple people to (platonic-ally) share a bed, because they cannot afford the space to hold a bed for each person who lives in the dwelling. In such cases, it’s common to have pillows at both ends of the bed and for those sleeping to be aligned in a manner described as to “top and tail”.

Brian has read my above answer, and responded by pointing back to this page of his, and this page of his, and writing –

Jesus is not speaking of poor communities “of the time”
He is looking far into the future to the catching away of the Church (aka the Rapture) which has not yet occurred.
Jesus Himself gave a prophecy that gives us a picture of same sex marriage as a marriage between Jew and Gentile in Luke 17:34
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.
Indeed Scripture repeatedly refers to “bed” as an indication of “marriage.”
I believe the one who is taken is a Christian who is caught away with the Church during the Rapture, and the man who is left is his Jewish same sex spouse who becomes one of the 144,000 Eunuch Witnesses of Revelation 7 and 14.
I believe these same sex spouses will be the only line of communication between heaven and earth during the 7 year tribulation. I also believe this line of communication is how the 144,000 learn to sing the song only they can learn to sing when Jesus appears on Mt. Zion at the end of the 7 years tribulation.
I believe this picture is reflected as we see Jesus on the Cross making John Mary’s son….in law, saying:
26 So Jesus, seeing His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, said to His mother, [[a]Dear] woman, See, [here is] your son!
27 Then He said to the disciple, See, [here is] your mother! And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own [keeping, own home]. John 19:26-27

 And yes, most would agree that Jesus at the time, was speaking of the future. I think the logical answer is that in the era of the rapture, there will still be people who share a bed platonically. Two people of the same gender, who share a bed romantically, would be in violation of all the Biblical references to homosexual sex being sinful. Regarding the 144,000 in Revelation as having a significant connection to LGBT people, I note that Revelation 14:4-5 refers to them as both ‘blameless’ and as ‘virgins’. I find it unlikely that it would only be LGBT people that would comprise the 144,000.

Brian has also read and responded to my above comment, writing –

You skipped right over the fact that the 144,000 would then by Jesus’ definition include EUNUCHS, especially as we see Revelation refers to them as men who have “not defiled themselves with women.”

To which my response is that I didnt rule it out – I wrote “…only be LGBT people … ” – note the ‘only’. The 144,000 might include celibate LGT people, but referring to the 144,000 as “Eunuch Witnesses” is likely a mischaracterization.


Responding to Brian Anthony Bowen

Brian Anthony Bowen, is an American homosexual man who regards himself as a Christian, and claims that he has a Christian revelation to share with the world. The revelation centres around gay people being the ‘eunuchs’ referenced in Scripture, and them being vital to Jesus’ return. Brian has been known to flood internet forums with copious amounts of blurb about his rather unique doctrinal beliefs, in a manner that activists tend to refer to as ‘derailing’, as it tends to include very lengthy pastings from elsewhere, is often is often needlessly repetitive, and is generally very disruptive to serious discussion.

His critical thinking skills seem low at times, his theories obscure, and his behavior unusual (his website features photos of him wearing a crown and holding a scepter, and he refers to himself as “Chief of the eunuchs”), leading many to quickly dismiss him. But to me it seems the Christian response should be that someone in the church should carefully consider what Brian has to say, and should respond to it seriously. This post is an attempt to initiate that. It’s not always practical to attempt to do so in the forums that Brian participates in, because he will tend to copy & paste posts at such a rate that often it’s not possible to write a reply fast enough before the point being addressed is superseded by something else he has posted, and eventually you find he has made so many comments that it’s overwhelming and people loose interest.

Brian is fairly prolific in his writing, so it’s hard to know where to start. I have chosen to respond to a part of the book that he wrote, called The Bed Keeper; A Biblical Case for Gay Marriage, as reproduced on his website. The following is a response to key points displayed there, in February 2015 –

Chapter 1:  Born This Way

The chapter begins by citing Matthew 19:1-12, and Brian saying that this passage shows that Jesus exempted three types of eunuchs from marriage. Bowen rhetorically asks what a eunuch is, and then cites various definitions. These definitions largely refer to castration or inability to marry. Bowen suggests that these definitions are inadequate in determining what a “born eunuch” (Mat 19:12) is, and he suggests that even someone born with deformed genitals would still be able to marry. Brian then writes –

Logic would dictate that if “born eunuchs” are not heterosexual, are not castrated, and are not celibate, then gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are the only people group in the world for which “born eunuchs” can apply.  But let’s not jump to conclusions.

Huh? Indeed lets not jump to conclusions. Who said they were not heterosexual? Nothing in what he has written or cited so far in the book says that a born eunuch is not heterosexual.

He proceeds to quote further definitions, which continue to refer to either unavailability of genitalia or unavailability of sexual intercourse. None of the definitions he quotes, refers to homosexuals or directly implies homosexuals.

Im no expert of Jewish culture, and neither is Brian. But based on the definitions he cites, I would conclude that a born eunuch, is someone who is born into a life where they are effectively castrated. EG perhaps born without functional genitalia for sexual intercourse. In the Jewish culture of the time, only heterosexual intercourse was regarded as legitimate, so Im open to the possibility that the term “born eunuch” might include homosexuals (but not bisexuals), but it seems unlikely to me that this is a primary definition.

Brian makes a reasonable objection when he raises the point that surely someone without fully functioning genitalia could still marry. However the source materials he cites, indicate that it was a barrier to marriage in that culture. Or is he going to argue that Jesus was wrong about that?? And if it was a barrier to those who were castrated as adults, then logically it could be a a barrier too to those who were born that way. IE his objection would apply to both forms of eunuchs, even though he only highlights it as a problem for one.

Brian also perceives significance in Isaiah 56:7 where God says His House will be called a House of Prayer for all people. Brian writes that

It is *not* a House of Prayer for all people–at least not yet.  The only group of people the Church excludes nowadays is gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

This does not match my experience. Ive attended churches where I have seen non-practicing homosexuals. Sure practicing homosexuals were not encouraged, but in those same churches, it was my impression that various other groups of people were not welcome – including practicing pedophiles, unrepentant murderers and other criminals. Brian’s perspective on this seems rather mistaken. Never the less, Brian believes that Jesus will not return until Biblical prophesies are fulfilled, including this one about God’s house being a house of prayer for all people. However, he does not mention how unrepentant murderers, pedophiles or even atheists will come to pray in churches. It seems that Brian hasnt really thought this through.

Brian soon proceeds to outline a conspiracy theory he holds, based on Isaiah 56 –

It accurately describes the lavish lifestyles many Christian leaders lead, and accurately portrays their refusal to include gays to (perhaps intentionally) prevent the return of Christ, so they can continue to maintain their earthly power.

Yes Brian suggests that Christian leaders might deliberately exclude gays for the reason of preventing the return of Christ. Right.

Towards the end of the chapter, Brian lists what he describes as –

Other questions The Church Can’t/Don’t/Won’t Answer

So I will offer some suggestions to these. I will now cite his ‘questions’ in bold typeface, and provide my responses below each  one –
If the born eunuchs of the Bible that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 19:11-12 are *not* the same as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of today, then who are they, and how do we get them to church in order to make God’s House a House of Prayer for ALL People?
(Isaiah 55:11-56:12)
They are probably primarily those with deformed or missing genitalia. There is a chance that the group includes gays and lesbians. But it the average bisexual would not be a eunuch, because they are entirely capable of marrying the opposite sex. Gays and lesbians are already church goers, sometimes as celibates and other times in the closet, but they are there, praying away.
Why is the church not actively seeking out the offerings and sacrifices that God promises to accept on His altar from eunuchs?(Isaiah 56:6)
Offerings and sacrifices are more of an old Testament practise. Hosea 6:6 says “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” Under the new covenant, Jesus is the living sacrifice.
Why is the church not a House of Prayer for all people already?  (Isaiah 56:7)
It is already.
Why is the ban against eunuchs in the congregation put in place by Moses (Deut. 23:1) and then overturned by God (Isaiah 55:11-56:12) and Jesus (Matthew 19:11-12), with proof of the ban being overturned with the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch? (Acts 8:29-40).
I dont think Jesus tells us why. Sometimes not knowing why, is just a reality for Christians. Sometimes, we are simply called to obey without knowing why.
Why does the Body of Christ not teach on eunuchs when they are so vitally important to fulfilling a prophecy from God Himself, and when the entirety of the Holy Trinity is directly tied to God’s plan for eunuchs?(Isaiah 56:1-8 FATHER),
(Matthew 19:11-12 SON),
(Acts 8:29-40 HOLY SPIRIT)
The idea that eunuchs are vitally important to fulfilling God’s plan is probably largely based in your imagination, as is the supposed direct tie to the Holy Trinity.
Why did Jesus even bother mentioning eunuchs in Matthew 19:11-12?
Because by pointing to a real group of people at the time, who did not get married, it would have made the idea of non-marriage more realistic.
Who are the people the Holy Spirit prophecies through Paul to Timothy who would be “forbid to marry” in the last days if he is *not* referring to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people in 1 Timothy 4:1-3?
Gays and lesbians are increasingly trying to get married, so it seems unlikely this passage could be about them. If it was about them, then surely it would state that in the last days, gays and lesbians would be trying to get married? Could the passage be about Catholic priests? Or about a cult that is yet to emerge?
Who are the “unmarried people and widows” Paul says should get married in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 even after he re-affirmed heterosexual marriage, if they are not the same as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people of today?
It’s fairly self-evident from the text that there were Christians in Corinth, who were unmarried but burned with romantic passion. There is no good reason to conclude that they were a special group or subculture within that.
Not one to keep things brief, Brian finished the above web page, by offering “explanations” to the objections he has apparently received when offering his theories. Lets review some of the more salient objections and explanations. Again Ill cite his website in bold typeface, with my comments following in non-bold-typeface –

OBJECTION: “Born eunuchs are born with birth defects regarding their genitalia”
BRIAN’S RESPONSE: If this was the case, what then would prevent them from heterosexual marriage?  Infertile, sterile, injured and otherwise physically impaired people enter into heterosexual marriages all the time.  Their ability (or inability) to perform sexually or procreate presents no impediments to their marrying heterosexually.  (And how would this ability or inability be determined prior to marriage)?

Jesus referred to eunuchs not marrying, and perhaps characterised them as not marrying, but he did not say they are prevented from marrying. Although people with genital defects may often marry in our culture, in a culture where childbearing is deemed important, marriage for such people may be more rare. Perhaps this was the context into which Jesus was speaking.

Being unable to perform sexually is an impediment to marrying heterosexually – at least if the wife-to-be wants a husband who will father children with her. An inability to perform sexually could easily be determined prior to marriage. A man does not need to have attempted intercourse, to know, for example,  that he is impotent or that his penis is deformed.
OBJECTION: “Born eunuchs were castrated or the born eunuchs were celibate”
BRIAN’S RESPONSE: Jesus already covered these two types of eunuchs, by including those made eunuchs (castrated) and those who choose to be eunuchs (celibate). But He also mentions a third type of eunuch, those BORN eunuchs. 
This is an example of a flawed objection. Brian lists more than a few of these. Unfortunately they are a bit of a distraction from valid objections. Brian’s above response is correct in this case.

OBJECTION: “Born eunuchs have no capability of reproduction, no sex drive, and no desire for women, and therefore have no faculty for engaging in sexual relations.”
BRIAN’S RESPONSE:  This is partially true, but only applies to having sexual relations with the opposite gender.  It does not preclude the sex drive or desire for people of the same gender.

Conjecture to some degree, by both parties. If someone is a born eunuch because they are born with malfunctioning genitalia, eg an impotent male, their “faculty for engaging in sexual relations” is limited whether their would-be sexual partner is of the same sex as them, or is not.

Matthew Vines Still Receiving Uncritical Media Attention, Still Misleading People

Matthew Vines continues to play the news media like a well controlled musical instrument, while continuing to spread incorrect notions about homosexuality and the Bible.

Some of the latest victims are the people of Alabama, who this month were presented with propaganda in the form of an ‘article‘ in AL.com which, online, included no cross examination of his heresies, promoted his website, and had a photo of his book that was so large, that you might mistake the piece as an advertisement.

Vines is quoted as making one of his most shockingly false statement ever, saying –

My main argument is not that [St] Paul was wrong, but that the very conception of what long-term, committed same-sex relationships are now did not exist in the ancient world. … The concept of same-sex relationships between social equals was not conceivable. … Paul in Romans 1 is condemning sexual excess, the use of sex for lustfulness. He was talking about lust and self-seeking excess.

The dubious nature of Vine’s claim is revealed by the historical record. The book A Little Gay History, from the British Museum, informs that even before Jesus, in Athens in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, sexual relationships between men were celebrated. The book explains (p. 46) that –

Like most social relationships there, these were structured by age, and the ideal beloved was a young man around eighteen or nineteen years old, but there is also evidence for lasting relationships between older men.

Note the section “there is also evidence for lasting relationships”. The book also cites a fictional story from that era, called The Symposium, which includes homosexual references, including references to homosexual couples as “lovers and loved” – a portrayal that seems far more than the simply lustful understanding that Vines says was on St Paul’s mind. The book also cites the second century Greek writer Lucian, who wrote in one of his fictional dialogues, of a woman named Leana where Leana’s friend says to her –

we’ve been hearing strange things about you Leana. They say that Megilla … is in love with you just like a man, that you live with each other, and do goodness knows what together.

The book says Leana blushes and admits to having been seduced by a woman who had married a woman. Again, the ancient authors portray homosexuality as involving ongoing relationship and even marriage, contradicting Vines’ claims.

Historian Flavious Josephus, like St Paul, lived in the first century and being Jewish, is likely to have shared the same cultural perspectives as Paul, the writer of much of the Bible. In Against Apion, Book II (section 25), Josephus wrote in the context of a section about marriage, that a relationship between males is rejected by Jewish society. That the possibility of such a relationship is raised by Josephus, suggests that Jewish people were aware of the concept of men who wanted such relationships. The concept of a man marrying a man was later also raised in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud of the 3rd to 5th centuries, where it states (in Chulin 92a, b);

Ula said: Non-Jews [litt. Bnei Noach, the progeny of Noah] accepted upon themselves thirty mitzvot [divinely ordered laws] but they only abide by three of them: the first one is that they do not write marriage documents for male couples, the second one is that they don’t sell dead [human] meat by the pound in stores and the third one is that they respect the Torah.

In the AL ‘article‘ Vines is also quoted as saying –

Committed, long-term same-sex relationships were not an issue in ancient times. It’s a new issue that Christians have not faced before.

This too contrasts with the content of the book A Little Gay History, which seems to allude to historic homosexual relationships that were restricted by celibacy. The book states –

‘Ganymede’ is found as a term describing same-sex relationships in monasteries, where some writers celebrated passionate male-male friendships, but not sexual activity, which was a crime.

Many readers of AI.com would not realize these historic facts though. Because of irresponsible journalism, some would likely assume Vines statements are accurate.


When Holy Conversations on homosexuality tell only half the story

stasisonline:

Is your church only telling half the story?

Originally posted on umc holiness:

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on the topic which threatens to split our denomination apart.  I do so today only as a response to a clergy gathering conversation that occurred yesterday at our pastor’s convocation in Holston Conference.

The conversation itself was great.   We split into groups of four or five and spent an hour responding, each in turn, to four questions pertaining to homosexuality.  It was refreshing to share openly with colleagues about our own experiences, traditions, interactions with scripture and reason regarding this pivotal issue facing our global church. It was a fine example of how people of differing opinions on a crucial matter can dialog responsibly and charitably.

The conversation itself was not a problem.  What concerned me was how only half the story was told when introducing the conversation.

Prior to our splitting into groups, a video was shown telling the story of…

View original 336 more words


Did Obama Lie about Gay ‘Marriage’, to Get Elected?

Yes, according to reports about a former senior adviser of his –

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/02/10/president-obama-lied-about-gay-marriage-this-is-why-were-cynical/

Others have long made similar comments – http://www.robgagnon.net/ObamaWarOnChristians.htm

More here https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-lied-about-his-gay-marriage-position-to-get-elected-president-adviser


In Social Psychology, Liberals are More Biased

Such are the findings of a study, according to Psychology Today –

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201310/liberal-bias-in-social-psychology-personal-experience-ii


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