1. Robert

    Excellent post, Joel. What a strange and interesting story…

    The fact that the Centurion risked his station and social standing by visiting Jesus, the town rabble-rouser and curious apparent worker of magicks, for the purposes of healing what we first read as his doulos and then learn is actually his pais says a great deal. When one breaks down the mechanics of the Centurion’s actions and lays it against the cultural mores of the day, it’s clear that the Centurion was going to a potentially perilous length for someone society says shouldn’t and doesn’t matter. The personhood of slaves was non-existent, regardless of the manner in which the status of slave was acquired. But there was more here… There was a love that eschewed the hazards of such a brave and potentially very harmful series of events that led the Centurion to Jesus for healing.

    One of the sticking points in the argument against homosexuals is the fact that Jesus himself never found it significant enough to mention himself. It’s not as if various permutations of same-sex relationships are new, indeed the historical record shows that same sex relationships pre-date Christ by at least several thousand years, and are obviously still in practice today. Had Jesus wanted to comment on the issue, this was the place for him to have done so. This was the perfect opportunity to show mercy while rebuking behavior that we’d later learn via Pastor Fred Phelps that “God Hates.” But he didn’t. Like in real life, the nature of the man’s love was irrelevant to the matter at hand and the exercise of Christ perceived as remarkable faith without caveat.

    I just hope that none of the indoctrinated Southern Baptists with “witness tees” featuring slogans about “The Faith of the Centurion” get wind that the big burly man on their shirt was more than likely a gay dude. On second thought, that would be VERY interesting, indeed.


  2. I think its funny that conservative bible scholars are trying to take away Jesus sparing the life of the adulterous woman under claims that was not written by “John” (whatever that means, right?) and for this passage, they avoid the terms pais and doulos, in the name of saying slaves were just like employees; give me a break. I dont agree with queer hermeneutics, but to deny the original languages, and that there is nothing we can do to earn a miracle from Jesus, is beyond me. Sigh.


  3. Huge and powerful post Joel. I think I would give my answer here in the same way I replied on the Crystal Cathedral post.

    I don’t think as a church we have a right to stand in the way of gay marriage within society. I do however think that we have a right to model marriage within the church as Church leaders that marriage is heterosexual.

    Paul allowed for polygamy within the church – which was legal in society and yet called for the church eldership to model marriage as being between a man and woman.


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