Further to this conversation and because I got a phone call from the Big Nasty (more on this mystery man in a later post), I have concluded that "sexual deviant" is too distracting in discussions about Jesus' nonconformist approach to marriage and family. Yet I still need a phrase that is a bit jarring. In all of my research, it seems that marriage in Jesus' context established a man as a civic entity. Social and fiscal well being flowed from this institution. Jesus, on the other hand, suggests that his followers live in ways that would have been seen as contrary to social and fiscal security. In short, not only was it abnormal to choose not to marry, but it would have been seen as counter-cultural. Choosing not to marry in Jesus' culture would have been as aberrant as choosing not to have a bank account in modern western society. Of course, this assumes that Jesus was never married - and I'm not quite willing to go there - but if he chose not to marry, this is the conversation that we're forced to have.
Given these parameters, would it be responsible to say that Jesus lead an alternative lifestyle? I of course will explain exactly what I mean by this, but I would like to gauge reactions here before I put this in print.
Please see here and here before commenting.