After His Second Coming, the Savior will join in spiritual marriage with all the human souls which have been saved (AKA the new city of Jerusalem). Therefore, I contend that earthly marriage was impossible for Him. For Jesus Christ to wed would've been something akin to an adulterous act! What's more, it would've been at the very least inconsiderate to take a wife, knowing that her wedded bliss would soon be cut short by your crucifixion!
So it's highly unlikely that the Christ married, but the Gospel of John suggests that He did fall in love. The object of His love was apparently male. We'll never know for sure if it was the Apostle John, or Lazarus, or another man whose identity was deliberately concealed. What we do know for sure is that the Messiah's bond with this man was so incredibly strong, He was moved to seal it as even as he writhed on the cross in His death throes! With his aunt and Mary Magdalene as witnesses, He performed an impromptu ceremony that was conceivably as close to marriage as He could have come:
JOHN 19: 26, 27
When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing beside her, He said to His mother: "Woman, here is your son." Then He said to the disciple, "Here is your mother!" And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own home.
What I've already said here will be objectionable to any Bible Fundamentalist who reads this blog. What I'm about to say will offend many liberal Christians, too: I don't believe marriage is truly possible between two Gay men or two Lesbians! I doubt that it's possible for a reason similar to the reason I believe Jesus Christ couldn't marry: We are already married!
As crazy as it sounds, I'm persuaded that it's marriage, spiritual marriage, that makes us who we are. Here, again, is the amazing explanation from Gnostic scripture for how LGBT babies are created; I first quoted this passage in my essay titled "Why Gay People Exist, Part Three":
GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF PHILIP
Unclean spirits are male and female in form. Males have sex with souls that are female in form, and females cavort promiscuously with souls that are male in form. Souls cannot escape them if the spirits seize them, unless they receive the male or female power of the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) and the Bride (Jerusalem). These are received from the mirrored Bridal Chamber (a special kind of ovum). When foolish females see a man by himself, they jump on him, fondle him and pollute him. Likewise, when foolish males see a beautiful woman by herself, they seduce and violate her . . . but when they see a husband and wife together, the females cannot make advances on the man, and the males cannot make advances on the woman . . . if the image (of God) and the angel are joined, none can dare to make advances on the male or the female.
This passage isn't easy to interpret, but I believe God has enabled me to understand it: The reference to "a husband and wife together" refers to an androgynous soul. According to this text, heterosexual males and females can't seduce a human being who possesses this kind of soul, because he or she lacks heterosexual desire.
What makes that happen? It's the "female power" that keeps the Gay man "faithful" to it, and the "male power" that likewise compels sexual fidelity in the Lesbian. In other words, there's only one heterosexual relationship that feels natural to homosexual men and women, and that's the one that exists inside of us. We're not even conscious of it, but it seems to manifest itself sometimes via the "butch" and "femme" mannerisms we're widely known for.
So, from a Gnostic standpoint, homosexuality must be understood as a kind of wedded state! Heterosexual babies don't undergo this process, so they come into the world as spiritual "bachelors." If what the Gospel of Philip says is true, then Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) joins the male and female components of LGBT souls at conception. This means we resemble the image of God more closely than other human beings do (reference Genesis 1:27, translated from the Hebrew manuscript: So God created Adam in His image, in the image of God He created Him, male and female He created Him).
However, that certainly doesn't mean we're clones of the Christ! He was perfect in His human form. We're not! Being imperfect, we have sexual desire that must be expressed. The "married" state of our souls strongly discourages heterosexual coupling, but all human beings need intimacy, and through the grace of God, we're directed to seek it with our own kind. That may explain why many of us have this uncanny ability to recognize one another (the phenomenon some people call "Gaydar").
My personal convictions about Gay identity come from numerous sources of information, but I must admit, I do believe the gist of what the Gospel of Philip says about it! The outside world calls our love "homosexuality", but I think that's a misnomer. Our blended genders make us something other than what our genitalia indicates we are, and that's why the Christ's warning against judging by appearances is so relevant to our experience! The Gnostics attributed the following quote to Jesus Christ:
GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF THOMAS(RECONSTRUCTED SCRIPTURE)
. . . when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female . . . then you will enter the kingdom (of Heaven).
Gnostic texts like this one suggest that we're not only closer to God in image, we're also closer to Heaven in spirit! What appears to be same-gender attraction is really something far more complex that only our Creator is fully equipped to understand. (To learn the Gnostic explanation for why God creates androgynous human beings, read my posts titled "We Are Family, Parts One, Two and Three.")
By now, some of you must be thinking: Here's another one of these Bible terrorists who uses Scripture to justify civil marriage discrimination! If that's what you're thinking, then you can't have been reading this blog for very long. I don't consider the Bible or any other Christian text to be the direct word of God! Scripture is mankind's heavily-edited interpretation of God's word. The Bible doesn't have all the answers! More often than not, we must seek answers directly from the Lord.
He's not closed up inside of a book! He's active in our lives, and if we listen for His voice, He will speak to us! If we ask Him for guidance, He will give it to us. I've asked for guidance on the issue of marriage, and little by little, God is revealing His will to me.
I think the Holy Mother/Father is using the marriage issue to test humanity on its commitment to fairness and justice. I feel strongly that the Lord wants homosexual love to be formally recognized, and not just with civil ceremonies: We should be allowed to declare our love before friends and family in a church setting! We're people, and science has proven that people are healthier and happier when they take life partners. Why should this route to greater health and happiness be closed to us? Why should we be punished for our God-given sexual orientation? Why should we be denied the legal benefits that accrue to heterosexual couples and their children?
If Lesbian and Gay couples weren't meant to set up households together and enjoy long-term relationships, believe me, it wouldn't happen! Society certainly does all it can do to prevent that from happening. Yet, God makes possible loving unions between two men and between two women that last fifty years or more! I consider such unions miraculous, and there's no such thing as a miracle that doesn't come from the Lord!
We're so blessed to be living in this enlightened time and place: The superstition and bigotry that dogged our predecessors still exists, but it has diminished to an astonishing degree. We are among the first generations of androgynous human beings to realize that we don't have to live as sexual outlaws. Instead, we can be openly Gay or Lesbian or Pansexual and still be respected members of our communities.
It may be true that LGBT individuals are the product of a spiritual marriage made in Heaven. It may also be true that, in God's eyes, true marriage can only occur between heterosexual men and women; but neither possibility justifies consigning Gay relationships to a state of permanent illegitimacy! That's just cruel, and there's no place for cruelty in the Christian faith.
In my opinion, "Civil Union" and "Holy Union" are the proper terms to use when two androgynous souls are bonded. I don't believe Lesbian and Gay commitment ceremonies should be called "marriage," but is it a sin to use incorrect terminology? Of course it isn't! When our heterosexual brethren pass constitutional amendments that deprive our families of legal recognition, that's a sin! They're violating God's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself (not to mention His prohibition against bearing false witness! Most of these amendments coast to victory on a carpet of lies about homosexuality)!
If calling Lesbian and Gay unions "marriage" is what it takes for us to be treated equally under the law, then by all means, let it be called marriage! The exclusionary status quo offers us stigma and shame. Legalized matrimony offers us stability and respectability. It affords us the same method of channeling carnal urges that heterosexual folk have, and we need that. Regardless of his ideological bent, any honest clergyman will admit that it pleases the Lord when His children strive to apply moral standards in their lives. That's exactly what modern Lesbians and Gay men are doing when they petition the courts for the right to marry. God bless their efforts, and shame on anyone who would try to stop them!
My support for marriage equality is absolutely unequivocal! However, I acknowledge the fact that many religious people, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, are convinced that God's Law forbids two Gay men or two Lesbians from exchanging wedding vows. For that reason, they oppose observing such rituals inside a church. Here's an alternative Holy Union ceremony for such people to consider:
Woman, here is your son. Son, here is your mother.
Man, here is your son. Son, here is your father.
Woman, here is your daughter. Daughter, here is your mother.
Man, here is your daughter. Daughter, here is your father.
The first Holy Union was performed by the Savior between His mother, the Virgin Mary, and the man He loved during His final moments on Earth. What a beautiful gesture that was, and what a powerful validation of same-gender love! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all Holy Union services were modeled after that first one?
Wouldn't it be excellent if, whenever possible, parents were an integral part of Gay commitment ceremonies? Wouldn't it put the lie to the religious Right Wing's claims that our relationships threaten the family? Wouldn't it bring Holy Unions into accordance with Bible scripture? And wouldn't it be glorious for those of us who are Christian to commemorate Jesus Christ and His Beloved Disciple in this way? Maybe I'm just indulging in wishful thinking . . . but it is something worth thinking about, isn't it?
Originally published at Christmas of 2006.