You are on page 1of 9

A brief introduction

Queer or gay theology is one of the numerous manifestations of various groups that
have allegedly found a theological perspective that is well accommodated in their
sexual preferences and asserts their ability to define their belief from their
experience. The movement began with Feminism in the 1970s, and as the voice
gathered force, male gay and lesbian theology started to emerge (i.e., by the 90s).
The argument is based on the premise that Christian theology is based on exclusive
practices such as sexism, racism, and patriarchy. Thus, if Christian theology were
to be truly liberating, it would first have to be deconstructed. Queer theology gets
its philosophy from what is known as the queer theory (as proposed by Foucault).
A good portion of the beginning of the book is dedicated to the term queer, its
connotations, association with theology, and validation from the victimhood of
other secluded sections of the society.
A condensed version
The basic idea as suggested by the book is that theology as such is queer, slightly
different, and strange, as stands in tension with much of what we take for natural
and obvious in the modern Western world. What makes the title Queer theology
ambiguous is that queer in English has also become a taunt, which had been
thrown at homosexuals. Being queer is to be deviant, weird, especially regarding
sexuality. And it is important. For queer represents not a fixed identity, but rather
directs the spotlight on the deviation from the norm and question thus indirectly
that which we take for granted that normal. Queer as a concept is moving, more
verb than a noun, more construction than the identity. Queer theology is just
something moving, something that questions the taken for granted in time, as well
as in the contemporary Christian tradition. To see theology as queer is an approach
that based on the fundamental idea that God himself is the most different entity we
can imagine. When theology seeking the truth about God gets the name queer - we
do not put on the valuation of the tradition, outside of God's self, but it challenges
us to dare to embody God's otherness in this world.
In the chapter, Queer Lives, Kathy Rudy, an Associate Professor in Womens
Studies at Duke University, North Carolina, USA, talks of exclusion as a result of
her lesbian lifestyle. She then goes on to talk about the resulting turmoil in her

head where she describes her battle with her faith and the conflict between her
relationship with Christ and her relationship with the church. The glaring reality
here the precedence given to autonomy of human choice/ will and the question of
how and when human will and or preference supersedes the word of God. This
begs the question of when did the allegorical method begin to get accepted by the
theological academia.
James Alison, a teacher and lecturer in the UK, America and Latin America, on the
other hand talks about the reception of gay people in the Roman Catholic church in
the face of the Vatican teaching against them. This suggests a dissonance or
incoherence in the Catholic doctrine and conviction.
The focus then moves on to the church, here in an amalgam of terms and wordplay,
Elizabeth Stuart, talks about Christs body being transformed, in life, the church,
His death, His resurrection and the communion. What follows in a barrage of
words with theological connotations that are used in questionable context or in an
intentional equivocalness; repeated reference is made to the symbolic marriage of
Christ to the church to justify homosexual union.
Graham Ward, along the lines of Stuart, argues on what he call a close reading of
the Johannine stories of the resurrection encounters. The entire motive here appears
to be one where queer theology is trying to remind the church of its antipathy to
sexuality.
The introduction starts with a bizarre speculation about the wedding at Cana being
one where Jesus was the groom and the disciples and as some sources allegedly
say John get married. Spurious sources are cited with meanings imposed on
whatever is said to support the preposterous claim. There is repeated reference to
the metaphor/ symbolism of the church being referred to as the bride as a sanction
for Biblical assent to homosexuality and polygamy. References are made to various
men and women in the past whod left their wedded partners to be one with Christ.
In the Gospel of John, the second chapter, we read about Jesus that are at the
wedding in Cana, Galilee. Among the guests, his mother and his disciples, we find
Jesus transforms water into wine, but who is it that marries? Who is the
bridegroom who is told that he has saved the best wine for last, when the guests are
already drunk (2:10)? The story of the wedding at Cana is a parable in which many

details have an (allegorical) deeper meaning: It is said that the wedding took place
on the " third day "(2: 1). We can understand that it was "three days" after Jesus
had said to Nathanael that he will see the glory of God (1: 43-51), but it also refers
to Jesus on the third day and further, the supper where there is water converted into
wine, but wine transformed into the blood of Christ. There is, therefore, a shift, the
communion itself becomes the guest at the wedding, and the groom is Christ. In
the Old Testament, God of Israel, husband, and of the Gospels, Christ, the Churchs
groom. This motif recurs in all the Gospels. Jesus presents himself as the groom
and abolishes sadness and whose presence invites partying instead of fasting
(Matthew 9:15; Mark 2: 18-20; Luke 5: 33-35). John the Baptist says: the
Bridegroom is the one who has the bride, the friend of the bridegroom, who stands
and hears him, rejoices the at the grooms voice (John 3:29). Here, John the Baptist
is Jesus' bride and the same applies to all who believe in Jesus. At the end of the
story of the wedding at Cana, it is said that that the disciples believed in Him (John
2:11). They become Christs brides, as well as all others who come to believe in
what takes place on the third day. That's why it is not clearly expressed who is
getting married in the story. As we see, this is an unusual wedding - a queer
wedding - it is men who marry each other. Today, most churches face the question
of same-sex marriage. Most hesitate and refuse to see the same-sex relationships
that exist around them. While most people deny this phenomenon in the Christian
symbolic language. It belongs to the queerest, the Christian church, that it, with its
symbols, celebrates it but is denied by its members. Jesus marries his disciples at
Cana, but this should be understood only symbolically. So who was it that married
at Cana? Some have suggested that it was Simon, others, that it was John the
Gospel writer, often identified as John, son of Zebedee. According Apocrypha from
the Second Century of (Acts of John), John was about to get married three times
and each time Jesus prevented this until John gave up his obsession with the
female body and tied the knot with Jesus. In later versions of the story, John is the
groom in Cana, leaving his bride for Jesus. At the other end is the woman who
abandons John, Maria Magdalene, although Jacobus de Voragine dismissed this.
One version from the late Middle Ages, talks about John leaving his betrothed on
their wedding and marrying Jesus. It is Jesus, and John, who married in Cana. Both
seems to rejoice greatly for each other. It also includes their friends and table
mates, including Virgin Mary. John folds his hands as if in prayer when he looks
into the eyes of Jesus. On the table in front are six jars of water turned into wine.

Another example of John's marriage with Jesus we find in an illustrated text of St.
Anselm Canterbury's "Prayers and Meditations". There is a copy of it in the the
Admont Monastery. In that, which precedes the picture in Basel in about 300 years,
is illustrated Anselm's prayers to St John with a framed picture of two pairs. On the
left side, we see John leaving his betrothed, and on the right side, we see John
leaning against Jesus' chest. Unlike the latter illustration is Admont- Jesus
beardless, and equally as beautiful, even more beautiful than John depressed
fiance. The picture from Anselm's prayer to St. John from the Last Supper, shows
how spiritual love victories over the corporeal. But as we see in the two images is
that asceticism depicted in completely through bodily and tender terms. The
medieval John was an outstanding example of a life of celibacy and is often
compared to the Virgin Mary. If she represented innocence symbol of female
believers, he was the male monks prototype. Tillsammans designated the
wholehearted fidelity to Christ for the men and women who lived in the double
monastery in Admont. Mary was most important, but John was her male
counterpart to the extent that his conception was considered to be immaculate and
his death admission to heaven. As we have seen, he could play the role of the bride
of Christ as well as the Virgin Mary. As a bride, John played a feminine role. In the
ecclesial context was John urgently perceived as an angel who lives the
androgynous life that abolishes the distinction between man and female. John is
often portrayed as a "Male-female" (wo / man). Jesus was the original "Conjunctio
oppositorum", not just woman and man, but also body and soul, craving and
happiness, change and stasis. In them, both met incarnation, physically and divine.
Jesus feminized the medieval piety. Just as John gets to suck wisdom of Jesus,
becomes John's body nourishes the faithful. In the Golden, Legend tells of how
there comes a flash of light, and when it disappears, his grave before the altar filled
is with manna. The strong physical / intimate portrayal of Jesus and John, the
spiritual union is met with disapproval of such Joannes Molanus and would not
survive the European reformations. Thus, celibacy is said to be less important and
the family ideal get an upsurge in the Western churches, the stories of John and
Jesus undetermined gender identity, is considered distasteful. It tells of a world
where the physical identities lacks protection of the desire for God, who flowed in
and beyond worldly feelings. This desire impacted has both men and women. In
the monastery in Admont monks and nuns searched a lover whose caresses
surpassed every human love. Such sacred eroticism can be criticized. The sets

physical / spiritual desires against each other and against the spiritual love of God;
the bodily desire is always considered dangerous and dismissed and devalued.
What's worse is that it sets sex on the contrast of spiritual desire. The rejection of
corporeality is always paradoxical because the ascetic exaltation is depicted in
terms of physical requests. The spiritual can thus grow out of the body so that
asceticism is not a denial, but a conversion of longing. In same-sex marriage one
can note some ironies in opposition to hetero-sex marriage. It means heterosexual
marriage is good, a romantic ideal that everyone strives for. Gays and lesbians
want to be like everyone else. They are told that the same-sex marriage would
mean the end of heterosexual marriage, family and even the community. Perhaps
the resistance has nothing to do with the fact that marriage naturally does not lead
to a child, but when same-sex couples want to have children, they hear that they
should not have it. Further, it has been alleged that there have been threats by
priests who themselves have sworn never to have children. Why are not their
celibate lifestyle is also a threat to the family and society? Many who oppose
same-sex marriage argue that marriage naturally belongs of heterosexuals. This,
the book says, is, of course, a fantasy. Marriage is always a social construction. As
we have seen, the Christian tradition has always been able to imagine the same-sex
marriage, at least for men. Pope John Paul II (1988) urges men and women to
become Christ's brides. The ecclesiastical opposition to same-sex marriage has to
do with men who falls for a male God. So it is in that sense a Christological
problem. This is talked about later in the book, but lets discuss the resistance itself
the marriage idea raises. It is marriage itself which is perceived to be a step too far.
Many accept its gay state, but not its practice. Many people can tolerate the
practice in a secular context. Criminalisation is also not up to date. Many even
accept the practice of Church scandals as long as it is practiced by Priests, but they
can not accept the same-sex marriage. Marriage involves a different problem than
sexuality. Sex can be understood as a private-individual behavior / sin, but
marriage is public rather than private. The requirement same-sex marriage
inadvertently is forcing churches to recognize something that is already underway:
signs of grace they have denied. The churches are concerned that it is no longer
just about sex, but of a legitimation of devoted love relationships between men and
women. If the Church confesses to love (1 John 4:16) must she not accept the love
that people share even if it is queer? Mark Vernon, in Foucault, argues that samesex relationships challenge the society to deepen their understanding of friendship.

These new form of friendship (intense affection) is challenging the churches to


remember that Jesus' family is not biological but based on friendship (John 15:15).
Christian identity is not determined by one's parents or family, but by sharing of
Christ's body and blood, bled for all. That friendships can be erotic and on the
contrary is difficult for churches that have distinguised eros from friendship, and
who imagined that men and women are unequal. Changing its unchristian idea will
not mean the end of society, but that new threads drawn in society and the Church's
social fabric. The church will be more liberated. To imagine Jesus as married to
John means theology faces a dilemma. For even if marriage should be seen as a
metaphor for a spiritual relationship, we are talking about a sexual metaphor.
Neither Jesus nor Paul says that the offspring is crucial, but the meeting between
divine and human which occurs when two bodies are joined. Today it is not not as
easy to put it in front of the Church since they are seen as a unit. Is it so that Jesus
marriage with John - Christ and the Church - is only metaphorically? The
consecrated bread and wine are not metaphors for Jesus' body and blood, but the
body of Christ and blood. Pope Benedict XIV (2006) does not deny this when he
speaks of the image of a marriage between God and Israel, realized when we share
Christ's body and blood. Indeed, Communion is as intimate as sex because you put
another body in your own. Insofar as both men and women unite with Jesus in the
Eucharist, the question is whether it is of him sexually as well as heterosexual sex
and marriage. It is not possible for Christians to believe that homosexuals are
associated with an intrinsically evil because we are all submitted to God. Jesus as
the lover does not differentiate between the brides sex - he welcomes everyone.
Thus it is not possible to place gays outside of Christs embrace in the Holy
Communion. There is only a Christian ethos, and this ethos is a radical queer.

Reflection
A personal opinion of that book that would might be uncalled for would be that this
book is replete with heresy and the fact that it uses Biblical reference to do so
textbook sacrilege (but that does not mean anything in our times).
It is clear that argument of proponents of queer theology, before we even get to the
specific topic at hand, is self-refuting, because it does not start with the Christian
worldview. It begins by tacitly assuming that man is correct when he believes in
his own mind as the ultimate authority. As a result, the Bible is not the final court
of arbitration for ethics. In the mind (which, of course, begs the question), as "a
thinking person," numerous subjective and secular details come to bear on the
matter. This is self-refuting, because one cannot pretend to explain the Christian
position while standing on a worldview that is diametrically opposed to that
position. Within the Christian worldview, moral law reflects God's normative and
unchanging will. God tells us what is ethical and what is not. Queer theology's
position rests on the rejection of the Christian divine command theory in favor of
man's scholarly endeavors. This position is therefore incoherent. This will not be
able give us a coherent explanation concerning "what the Bible really says" about
ethics until one first rejects this unbiblical presupposition regarding the
metaphysical and epistemological foundation of ethics.
It is also clear that Queer theologian's more immediate assumptions regarding
homosexual behavior have led them to beg the question numerous times with
respect to semantic analysis. Over and over again, they dogmatically define words
in order to support their position. Often, this is accompanied by tendentious
quoting of certain passages that demonstrated the definition they favor without a
consideration of all the passages in which the specific word appears. Word studies
should only be used to set the range of potential definitions, and all usages of the
word should be noted. Moreover, contrary to Queer theologians, the immediate
context is always the final arbiter of a word's definition.
A number of times, we see their arguments either refuted each other, or refuted
their position on other matters. From the absurd belief that the commands in
Leviticus 18 - 20 were necessarily nonethical commands, to their misinterpretation
of the wedding at Cana and the Lord's supper, Queer theology has demonstrated
that their position is a mass of inconsistencies and absurdities. We also see many

inaccurate claims made by them with respect to historical and contextual issues
such as the claim that homosexual acts in the first-century Roman Empire were
only decried because they were abusive, or the claim that the "vessels of dishonor"
in Romans 9 were unsightly pots. Again, most of these problems can be attributed
to their attempt to force the biblical text to agree with his presuppositions. This is
not exegesis, but eisegesis.
When proper hermeneutical principles are applied to the relevant passages, and
when we rid those passages of their preconceived beliefs, it becomes clear that this
view of homosexual behavior is mistaken. Such behavior is condemned without
qualification in Leviticus, and this condemnation is assumed to be valid by Paul
when he discusses the depravity as well as the end result of homosexual behavior.
The entire Bible, in fact, presupposes that homosexual relationships are
illegitimate. The creation of mankind was distinctly heterosexual, Christ's
relationship to the church is like that of a man and his wife, and the marriage union
and the dominion mandate are distinctly heterosexual such that a homosexual
version would make no sense.
From a worldly perspective, the Bibles no to homosexual practice is viewed as the
impossible demand of a sadistic God and pharisaical church. Were told by the
world that being sexually active is the way to be most aliveto be fully, truly,
beautifully human. But perhaps the Bibles no to same-sex behavior is actually a
yes to something even greater than sexual expression, which is good, no doubt, but
also potentially idolatrous, especially in our oversexed culture, and certainly not
our summum bonum (or highest good). The church has mistakenly given primacy
to ethics over the narrative functions of doctrine and ministry. All Christians
undergo a painful and yet glorious transformation of their affections, our bodies do
not belong to ourselves but to God and the church, we consider long-suffering
endurance as a participation in the sufferings of Christ. Where others might regard
this abstinence as choosing to prudishly, pitiably shelter from the only life worth
living, gay people should celebrate the yes of the gospel story over the yes of
sexual fulfillment: Imitating Jesus; conforming our thoughts, beliefs, desires, and
hopes to his; sharing his life; embracing his gospels no to homosexual practice
is how gays can become more fully alive, not less. True Christlike holiness is the
same thing as true humanness. To renounce homosexual behavior is to say yes to
full, rich, abundant life. If Jesus is the model of the fulfilled human being, as

biblical scholar Walter Moberly writes, then the absence of sex in our Saviors life
means an absence in ours is not an impoverished existencefar from it. On the
contrary, eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven are blessed, even when
its painful and lonely to bear up under that burden in our fallen condition (Matt.
19:12).
Contrary to what the world of today would have us believe, what we desire or do
sexually is not who we are. This is seen when Paul addresses a catalog of sins in
the Corinthian church, including the sexually immoral and men who practice
homosexuality, he sayswith emphasis on the past tenseAnd such were some
of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:11, ESV). Today
many misguided Christians interpret that process of repentance through the
framework of sexual identity categories, as if the decisive change is one of sexual
orientation rather than conformity to the image of Christ. What matters is not
whether a person can boast of being an ex sinner but whether, after undergoing
burial and resurrection with Christ, he or she [walks] in newness of life (Rom.
6:4, ESV).