Queer Theology, Medieval Christianity, Exodus Movement, and Sheep-Shepherd Relationships

Ripped this conversation right out of Facebook. Edited so that it loosely resembles a socratic dialogue. Underlined important ideas/concepts, as well as perceived contradictions.
____________

Me:
I took a cursory glance at Corinthians. Those passages are beautiful.

Her:
1st or 2nd Corinthians?

Me:
1st.

Her:
Paul does a great job!

Me:
I don’t agree with all of Corinthians 1, but the part I just read I really liked.

Her:
Which part?

Me:
The part that deals with purity concerns.

Her:
Chapter 6? I believe.

Me:
I can’t remember, I wrote a paper a while ago on some of the passages in the Pauline tradition. I was taking a class called Christianity and Homosexuality.

Her:
Thats intense! Nice! We have a “Christian sexual ethics” course at my university. I’m thinking about sitting in on it.

Me:
Is that the equivalent?

Her:
Haha not quite but they do a lot of talking about homosexuality and everything in between. We’re so liberal.

Me:
I feel like the Church wants to forget that homosexuality has and always will be a huge presence in the Church, even if it’s not immediately noticeable.

Her:
Well, it’s in the same boat as sex trafficking and sex education. No one wants to touch it because it’s so “taboo“.

Me:
I see. Which faith in the Christian tradition do you follow in particular?

Her:
That’s a funny question. I don’t really associate with any denomination or tradition. I lean more towards a reformed, maybe even lutheran. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with from a theological standpoint. But biblically I don’t think I’ll ever “choose” because of Paul’s teaching on the unity of the body of Christ and how choosing “houses” isn’t biblical.

Me:
Wow, I wonder what you would think about Queer Theology. Have you read any Queer Theology?

Her:
Haha I’ve been dealing with Biblical doctrine and missional theology. Haven’t exactly gotten to queer theology. Do tell me more.

Me:
Maybe a good example would be that regular, heteronormative theology views the bible in black and white, tends to look at the bible in binaries. What Queer Theology finds in the bible is a larger spectrum of color, there’s room to debate that some religious figures have homoerotic or lesbian interests, and can be reclaimed as gay icons/figures. And what’s the basis for this? As one author puts it, Christianity is rife with “hidden springs of sexuality”, it’s not always stuff that is at the surface.

Her:
If it means anything to you. Not all Christians are anti-gay everything. My school embraces all things gay. We have a SAGE club. I forgot what it stands for but yeah. We’re the heathens in the Christian college community.

Me:
But things are changing. Do you know about the Exodus Movement?

Her:
No I don’t.

Me:
Exodus International was a church started in the 60’s, and they would use psychotherapy to force gays to become straight. But recently, they decided to disband because they knew that the world didn’t agree with their message, and that they were in the wrong. The thing you have to understand is that cultural attitudes towards a demonized group never stay the same. In the Medieval period, gays were actually accepted in the church, and defended… Do you have a favorite bible passage?

Her:
I have too freaking many. Colossians 3:12, Matt 6:33, Psalms 92:12, phil 1:6, basically the entire freaking book of James!

Me:
Those are beautiful. Because I am a poet, I am drawn deeply to the imagery in revelations.

Her:
Yes! Revelations is scary but beautiful.

Me:
Scary and beautiful, do you know the word that combines those two? It’s Sublime.

Her:
Oh yeah!

Me:
I’m trying to think of which line I liked. There was one about the wrath of the lamb.

Her:
Anything with “lamb” or “sheep” in the bible is incredible. In-freaking-credible. I was a camp counselor this summer and I did a bible study on how we’re called sheep and those little girls jaws were on the floor. It’s a beautiful thing. So many people look at it as well you’re an idiot and you follow but the shepherd-sheep relationship is beautiful when you look at it from an “agricultural” point of view.

Me:
What do you mean by that? What is beautiful to you about the shepherd-sheep relationship?

Her:
Do you know what a shepherd does to a sheep if it’s been “misbehaving” not following the flock/ his voice?

Me:
What?

Her:
He breaks its legs! And for what? To teach the sheep dependence. From that point on the sheep learns to depend on the shepherd for everything because he puts the sheep on his back and carries it around EVERYWHERE. To water, to food, around with the other sheep. Isn’t that sick!?

Me:
Sick in a good way?

Her:
Haha both ways. Like gosh, thats rude! But dang, that’s so smart/caring. Tell me ______. What do you believe? Is there a God?

ME:
I don’t know, but too many significant things have happened to me for me to believe that it’s all an accident. I don’t believe that this is all an accident. The sheep situation that you described has me worried though. Imagine a less liberal college that teaches you about the sheep-shepherd relationship. What if that less liberal institution was a bad shepherd? Then you’re sitting on that false/bad shepherd’s back. Some religions are like that…but I trust that you’re more open and drawn to better things.

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