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posts at such a rate that often it’s not possible to write a reply fast enough before the point being addressed is superseded by something else he has posted, and eventually you find he has made so many comments that it’s overwhelming and people loose interest.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