Matthew 16:13-20:Binding, huh? When I think of binding I think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He believed that you should be careful who you were in community with (sanctorum communio), because you will be judged (in a final judgment kind of way) by God(dess) based on these connections. Bonhoeffer, of course, could not figure out all the implications of this - as it meant you could be saved individually and condemned corporately or the other way round. He stated that it is as impossible as it is necessary.
Impossible yes. But, is it really true? Is what we bind on earth really bound in heaven? In this time of same-sex weddings where couples who have been together for decades find themselves getting bound together three or four times as they receive different levels of state and church recognitions. Does this weeks text mean that God(dess) recognized these marriages the first time they were bound on earth even as courts, voters and politicians continue to argue about them?
I imagine that this would be Good News for the couples who recognized their "unofficial" ceremonies as"valid" in their hearts decades ago.
Does this verse eliminate all the silly religious arguments about the validity of same-sex marriage in God(dess)' eyes? Is this the biblical trump card? I hope couples who are married everywhere (regardless of the sex, gender and other such differences and samenesses) will proudly proclaim to nay-sayers that "what is bound on earth is bound in heaven!"
As, I am getting ready to head to Washington DC on Monday to work on Bible Study through transgender eyes I am also thinking about binding in a physical way.
I would love to say to my trans-kin that "what is bound on earth is bound in heaven." Those who are accustomed to binding parts of their bodies that bulge in undesired ways or frankly for anyone who has any kind of unwanted fat in places they try to manage with support or tight wrappings, may consider it Good News to know that what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven.
And I imagine this may have something to do with wearing the clothing of Christ. Bonhoeffer certainly would say it does (creation and fall). In Medieval times this meant that females could become males (or at least wear pants... which some were burned at the stake for). But this is a longer story, that I will talk about another time...
Wouldn't it be great if in heaven there was no binding, because all the places that needed binding on earth were supported in a way that was better than the best pair of non-running pantyhose, support top, frogbra or spandex. We could all be naked an unashamed, like in the garden. We could all have the bodies that show us in our deepest places that God(dess) sees us, loves us, supports us and names us.
A braless heaven! Meet you there, for what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven!