Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Death of Desire- pt.1

Having speculated on this obscure and contentious aspect of Genesis 3:16 in our previous post, let's engage with the less obscure or contentious words of Jesus in Matthew 19:12.  Words rarely indulged in.

Let's engage with His expansion on others who are 'dead to desire'.  His expansion on others who do not wish to be physically intimate. Folks that are listed in the Bible several times.  Folks with anomalies.

Folks that the Pharisees were familiar with.  And folks that we should be familiar with (but not too familiar :).
Folks that clearly set precedents.  Folks that don't subscribe to the precepts of 'going forth and multiplying'.
Folks not that interested in 'going forth'.  And folks incapable of 'multiplying'.

Folks with anomalies that illustrate an important principle.  A principle of accepting God's design.  A principle of not 'kicking the pricks' (Acts 9:5 KJV) so-to-speak.

Again, this post is not kid stuff (although the subsequent verse in Matthew certainly is). As forewarned, this is Adult Content. Not a post for squeamish prudes.  Or those with misguided piety.

Again, this post is about God-given desire.  Indeed, desire that was awakened in a perfect man at the very earliest opportunity (according to Calvin).

Yet, I will try my best not to awaken in you any 'inopportune desire' (cf. Song of Songs 8:4) with these posts. I will try not to awaken a desire that cannot easily be curbed in a desirous man like myself.

But rather, hopefully awaken you to a greater respect for this God-given gift of desire. A gift that should awaken many to an intimacy much more glorious ahead.  And awaken your pity for those currently without this gift or eternal hope.

In this first installment we will consider the first category that Jesus addresses.  We will consider the "eunuchs who were born that way".  We will consider those that have had essentially no desire or ability from  birth. Those that were mysteriously born that way.

Now, those mysteriously "born that way" are often classified as inter-sex.  That is, most have dual genetic citizenship at birth.  They can identify somewhat with either sex. Others have far more subtle citizenship at birth.  Others are unidentifiable. "Smoothies" as-they-say in the eunuch community.

Now, our genetics haven't changed all that much since Jesus (or a much earlier Sumerian creation myth which also suggests 'smoothies').  Yet the point that Jesus makes, is that God creates functionally impaired genetics in our lives as well.  Genetics which may not be healed in the course of our lifetime.

That not only did God make "male and female" (Matthew 19:4), but that God also makes some folks who are testicle and ovary impaired (and desire impaired as a result). That 'those impairments are God-given, and that those impairments should NOT be overlooked when considering marriage'.

Indeed, it is strongly suggested by Jesus in this text that 'such desire impaired folks should NOT marry'.  This point seems rather moot- since few of those folks would actually want to marry anyway.

And such folks generally accept that marriage restriction.  Accept it since they are incapable of the "one flesh" (Matthew 19:5) duty that is incumbent on marriage. They accept that they are incapable of heterosexual intercourse. They accept that they are essentially 'dead in bed' (note the etymology of εὐ.: εὐνή ‘bed’ + ἔχω- BDAG lexicon).  They accept that they are desire-challenged and would not be up to the challenge.

To that end, we see that such desire-challenged folks were often assigned other important and challenging positions in various historical and biblical passages.  Positions suited to their lack of desire.

We observe two prominent positions in Esther 2:14, 15. We see a prominent position in Jeremiah 38:7. And a prominent position in Acts 8:27.  Not only that, but in the Douay-Rheims and the King James Version of Genesis 37:36- we see that the prominent Potiphar may have also been a "eunuch" (much to the intense frustration of Potiphar's "wife"- Gen 39:10) .

But Jesus was using these eunuch anomalies to illustrate His point.  To illustrate His point of being faithful to your actual design.  Of being faithful to your designer.  And for his disciples be faithful to the "one flesh" covenant that they were committed to.

As a criticism Jesus claims, 'Those desire impaired folks can accept their unmarried state- Matthew 19:11. Likewise, you unimpaired folks should accept your married state'- v.12.  In essence Jesus tells His disciples, 'Let the unhappily married man accept  his frustrated desires- after all, eunuchs can accept  their lack of desire'.

For God is the maker of male and female, frustrations and eunuchs.
Now go forth and multiply, dear disciples... unless you are a eunuch!

Up next:  Man as the maker of eunuchs.