The Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts, chapter 8, verse 26-38 is someone who should never have been welcomed into the fold. He was Ethiopian, while God’s love was for Jews. And Scripture had totally forbidden the participation of a Eunuch – or someone with ‘crushed sexual organs’ – in worship.
So why is it that Philip, one of the early church leaders, takes the step to baptise him? Should he not at least have waited to consult with other leaders – to ask probing questions or to develop a jointly-agreed position statement?
Steve argues in this week’s edition of Chalke Talk that:
“The fact that this scandalous story is preserved for later audiences – such as ours – can be for no other reason than the early Church came to believe that Philip’s actions, however shocking they appeared to be, were in line with the teaching and example of Christ; were inspired and guided by the Spirit of God, and set the tone for their future mission.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Steve?
The story of the Ethiopian Eunuch means that the first fully Gentile convert to Christianity had gender minority status. Tomorrow – Wednesday 28th March – Oasis is releasing a number of resources, including a new 20 minute video from Steve exploring and advocating the full welcome, acceptance and inclusion of transgender people in churches. You can view that at openchurch.network/GenderConversation from Wednesday morning onwards.