|the ethiopian gay eunuch|
(Acts 8:27 NKJV) So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,
(Acts 8:28 NKJV) was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
The Jewish community in Ethiopia was founded by Queen of Sheba. By the 1st century, the Ethiopians were present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Ethiopian pilgrims went annually to Jerusalem. The Ethiopian Eunuch was said to have a profound impact on Christianity. He founded the Church in Ethiopia and by the 4th century, Ethiopia had become a Christian nation.
The Ethiopian Eunuch was a very religious and pious Jew having in his procession the book of Isaiah the Prophet and was likely having his pilgrimage to the City of Jerusalem. Only the very powerful and the wealthy would have the resources to travel such a great journey. Today, the flight from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Tel Aviv in Israel would take over 4 hours and 40 minutes, a journey of 1600 miles which would have taken weeks on land.
Our notion of a Eunuch as a castrated male is a modern interpretation, for the ancients refer to gays as natural Eunuchs as contrasted to manmade Eunuchs. He may not have been a castrated Eunuch but rather a natural Eunuch ie a gay man, as
a) It would not have been difficult for him to become a Jew and worship in the synagogue in Ethiopia being unclean as a castrated person,
b) He would have been barred in Jerusalem from going into the temple to worship God if he had been a castrated Jew
c) He would not have traveled the long distance and spend the money to go to Jerusalem unless he knew he was allowed to worship God.
(Isa 56:4 NKJV) For thus says the LORD: "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,
What drove him may be the intrigue of Isaiah 56:4, where God promised to give the Eunuchs, who worship the God of Israel, a place in the House of God when obviously they would have no descendents and their names and lineage would not have been perpetuated. Not only did the gay eunuch kept the Sabbath, but he went to the House of God in Jerusalem to claim his place in it. Gays have no natural family, and their names would not be known since they do have a household to carry on that name. God is declaring to the Gay community today that our names will not be lost in the sands of time, for we have a new family, the household of God, a special place where our names would not be forgotten in Jesus Christ. God has not forsaken the GLBT community.
On the return journey from Jerusalem, having worship God in the Temple, God sent Philip to meet him on the road back to Ethiopia. Why did God chose a gay man, or someone considered unclean by the law, to record as one of the first gentiles being converted to Christianity? It is to show that the grace of God extends even to the most despised in society.
God sees past our sexual orientation but sees our heart of faith and trust in God. His faith was demonstrated because he sought to worship God despite being dealt so harshly in life by not having children which would have been so important in their culture. It is easy to give thanks to God when one has everything, but far more difficult to continue to trust God when that which we have yearned for we do not have. He was seeking from God a spiritual place to become a child of God in heaven, a name that will not be lost. And God fulfilled his dreams, and today the Ethiopian gay man is with God in heaven, and “his name” mentioned in the bible for eternity.
Do we keep the Sabbath ie separate ourselves to put God first and have a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ? Even though the Christian religion has been hostile to us, we should remain steadfast in our beliefs and hope of eternity, and be at peace with how God has created us as a gay man. I had seen many who had been very fervent as a Christian, came out of the closet, attends and serve in an inclusive church for a few years and then drifted away. The passion for God was no longer there but they still believe and have faith in God. In the last days, God is pouring out the new wine, the message of love and acceptance to the GLBT community to revive their faith and passion.
The Eunuch had the passion for God, he sought after God for answers and to claim the promises God had for him. Our passion often runs dry, for the mainstream churches have often claimed that we are sinners, unclean, because of our same sexual orientation and when we believe that lie it will separate us from God. Our passion will also run dry when our faith and trust in the word of God is being deconstructed by those who twist and turn it shamelessly to support their anti-gay position. Without studying and meditating the Word in our lives, we grow thin and malnourished and soon beg for food, vary of trusting and believing the Word of God anymore for it has been used to harm us.
God is a good God. His word is the truth and it is for us, and not against us. The book of Isaiah offers hope today that God will provide, for the gay community, a special place and recognition and acceptance in the Christian faith when we have been hitherto utterly alienated from the promises and hope of God.
The verse in Isa 56:4 declaring God's acceptace of gays, is followed by an incredible declaration:-
(Isa 56:7 NKJV) Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."
The Prophet Isaiah was declaring that in God's grace through Christ even the Eunuchs ie the gay community who believe in God who has been thus far rejected by the church for being unclean, even them, God will bring back through Jesus Christ to the mountain of God in Jerusalem, to the house of worship, for the church will be known as a place of prayer for all the nations, ie all the tribes of the world including the gay tribe.
God is calling back the gay community to the church of Jesus Christ, and walls are breaking down and the churches are struggling because God is knocking at the door, knocking our hearts of stone breaking down the gates of our religious self righteousness and hate. It must come, for Jesus Christ is clearing the temple of those who has robbed the people of God, who has robbed the gay community from coming to know God.
The message today, is that God is good, all the time, and the gay community has a special place in His heart. God can and have used a Gay person to turn an entire country to Christ. It is time, we come out and walk proud as a Gay person whom God has created wonderfully for His purpose and will. God has given us a new family. There is a place for the GLBT community in the wide extended arms of Jesus Christ. Welcome Home. In Christ, no one is left out. The first shall be the last, and the last first. The gay community is the last in society, the most despised, God will put first to enter His Kingdom.