Eunuchs, Homosexuality and Brian McLaren

Stunned. Just when you thought Brian McLaren has said it all, he takes it to a whole ‘nover level. Over at B-Mac‘s place, Brian blogs about homosexuality and brings the Ethiopian eunch from Acts 8 into the mix. Here is the paragraph that shocked me:

“It’s a story about an African man who because of his race can never fit into the Jewish nation, and because of his sexual identity can never fit into the traditional family. As a eunuch, he can never be “healed” to become heterosexual. So now, through no choice of his own, he finds himself an adult who can never be categorized in traditional sexual roles. He has come to Jerusalem to worship God, but has, no doubt, been turned away – first because of his race and second because of his sexual identity: the Hebrew Scriptures explicitly excluded both Gentiles and people in his nontraditional, not-part-of-the-created-order sexual category.”

Did you catch it? According to Brian, the eunuch had, “no doubt, been turned away – first because of his race and second because of his sexual identity…” Concerned that I had missed something, I went ahead and looked at Acts 8, and even the Matthew Henry commentary on Acts. Guess what. What Brian details is not there, not even hinted at. But wait, there’s more:

“Philip explains that this passage can be read to describe Jesus, and he shares the good news of Jesus and the kingdom of God.”

Wait. “can be read”? Acts 8:35 says NOTHING of the sort. “Then Philip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus”? Philip plainly explains to the man what Isaiah was writing about. How do we know this? Because it’s what Acts SAYS Philip said.

And then, Brian, in an example of pure genius, turned the object of the pronoun, “himself” from Isaiah and states that the eunuch wanted to know whether the prophet was talking about “himself” (the eunuch) or someone else…

The man invites Philip into the chariot and asks if the writer was writing about himself or someone else – a question that suggests this man feels the prophet is talking about him in his sexual otherness: he too will have no descendants; he too has been rejected, misunderstood, despised, shamed … he too has been brought like a sheep or lamb before people with cutting instruments.”

Brian is…amazing. I know, he’d claim that he’s no “bible scholar” (I’ve heard him use this), he’s an English teacher, which is even more incredible that he gets away with this.

Here’s Brian’s logic…homosexuals are the “new” eunuchs. They have no control over anything. Brian tries to make this a lesson on sexual wholeness, and misses the point.

Brian claims to be uncomfortable with the “conventional approach to homosexuality”-you know…the ones that the “isolated verses in Leviticus, Romans, and 1 Corinthians” discuss. Why? Because neither Moses nor Paul had “contemporary understandings of sexual orientation”. Which is funny, because here Brian is, using a story contemporary to Paul to TEACH a lesson on “contemporary understandings of sexual orientation”. So…Luke “got it” but Paul did not?


This, folks, is “Exhibit A” to the what happens when you deny the authority of scripture, when scripture is reduced to a book written 2000 years ago by men, and there was no inspiration by God. You can twist it and have it say whatever you want.



Filed under acts 8, b-mac, brian mclaren, homosexuality

3 responses to “Eunuchs, Homosexuality and Brian McLaren

  1. I hear ya man. You can not throw out scripture. Once you throw some of it out, you have to throw it all out. WTG!

  2. Mitchell Moylan

    I wonder how McClaren would respond to Isaiah 56 and The Lord’s desire to have eunuchs in His house so long as they obey Him…

  3. Probably something like, “Well, my background is in English so I can’t really speak to these deeper theological things.”

    This is a great text, Mitch. Kudos.

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