Responding to Brian Anthony BowenPosted: March 6, 2015
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 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posts at such a rate that often it’s not possible to write a reply fast enough before the point being addressed is superseded by something else he has posted, and eventually you find he has made so many comments that it’s overwhelming and people loose interest.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
(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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.