"The Jesus I know, love, talk about and choose to retain was a radical, freedom-loving, justice-seeking, potentially queer (because he was either asexual or a priest married to a prostitute), feminist healer, unimpressed by scripture-quoters and religious law-keepers, seduced neither by power nor evil."
As a Christian Apologist, I cannot continually let these attacks on the identity and character of Jesus Christ go by unchallenged because, as we noted yesterday, that if we allow a lie to be repeated over and over people eventually believe it.
Even though it is a popular for people to claim to be Christian, while attacking Christianity, people are not Christian because they claim to be Christian but we are Christian only if Jesus Christ claims them. Jesus Christ said, "But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me." (Matthew 10:33 NCV)
In other words, we don't have the right to "choose to retain," a version of Jesus Christ that we like. Instead, we must accept Jesus Christ as He really is. Otherwise, we are denying him before others here on earth and risking that He will deny us in heaven. At least Professor Cooper did correctly identify Jesus as a "Jesus, a brown, working-class, Jew." so, at least we have something we can agree on.
Here are two main points I need to deal with.
1. Jesus Christ never married: I have several personal friends both men and women, who have never married. They are wonderful missionaries and their lives illustrated the Apostle Paul's teaching that
"Now for those who are not married and for the widows I say this: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NCV)
It is hurtful when our godly unmarried brothers and sisters are overlooked of looked down upon. If they are able to live a fulfilled life as a single person, there is no reason to assume that Jesus Christ was married. They deserve our admiration and respect.
In addition, Jesus Christ wasn't just an ordinary man, He was 100% God and 100% human and He knew that His mission in life was to die on the cross to pay for our sins. With this knowledge, it seems unreasonable for Him to subject a wife and children to the pain of being a widow and orphans, just so he could have the pleasure of sex and the comfort of a family for a few years before dying at the age of 33.
Finally, the Bible is very clear about Jesus' family tree. For example, Matthew 1:1-17 lists Jesus' ancestors all the way back to Abraham and Luke 3:23-38 goes all the way back to Adam. In addition Jesus' brothers and sisters (sorry Catholics) (see John 7:5, Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56) but they didn't mention that Jesus had a wife or children. They had no reason to leave out this important information. The Jewish historian Josephus even wrote: Ananus ... assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: Wikipedia
At the crucifixion Jesus gave Mary, His Mother, to the Apostle John (See John 19:26). If Jesus had a wife or children, doesn't it make sense that He, being sinless would have made similar arrangements for them? If Jesus had had a wife and/or children, that would have been such important information that, I'm sure the New Testament writers would have mentioned them. So, the Biblical evidence confirms that the idea that Jesus was married was "made up" later.
2. Jesus Christ Was Not Homosexual (or any kind of sexual):
Because of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, we as Christians today are not required to live under the Mosaic Law. However, Jesus Christ lived under the Law, as did all of the disciples until after His resurrection. At Jesus' trial, the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, sedition, and claiming to be the Messiah but he wasn't accused of homosexuality. Despite Jesus' opponents search for accusations, they were only able to come up with false accusations. If there had been any evidence that Jesus was a homosexual, they would have thrown Leviticus 20:13 and a whole bunch of other verses at Him and they would have stoned Him as a sinner. If Jesus had been stoned as a sinner: 1. He would not have rose from the dead. 2. His disciples would not have believed in Him. 3. Christianity never would have started given the "Christiphobia" of the Roman Empire. Meanwhile the Roman Empire was very supportive of homosexuality. When Christians were in the minority, we wanted to stay "in the Catacombs" but we were "outed" and brought out to "Christian Pride" events at the Colosseum. At these events Christians were fed to a pride of lions.
Because Jesus really lived, died, and rose again, we are no longer under the law. We no longer have to make animal sacrifices and risk capital punishment for our sins. "
We should be thankful for Jesus Christ. It is only because of His love and grace that we can all be forgiven of our sins no matter how serious they are. The real Jesus Christ offers forgiveness and salvations even to those who defame His Holy name.