In this chapter Nadia proposes that the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 is the story of the conversion of Philip.

In talking about this passage in Acts, Nadia says, "The first gentile convert ended up being a black sexual minority." (Page 89)

"I was always told that the message of this text was that we should tell everyone we meet about Jesus because in doing so we might save them. We might convert them." (Page 89)

Nadia is working on a sermon about this text when she encounters a hermaphrodite at a coffee shop.

"I was, now a pastor of a GLBTQ "inclusive" congregation, and I felt revulsion at seeing an intersex person. It was humbling to say the least. And it made me face, in a very real way, the limitations of inclusion. If the quality of my Christianity lies in my ability to be more inclusive than the next pastor, things get tricky because I will always, always encounter people -- intersex people, Republicans, criminals, Ann Coulter, etc. -- whom I don't want in the tent with me. Always. I only really want to be inclusive of some kinds of people and not others." (Page 90)

"I began to realize that maybe the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch was really about the conversion -- not of the eunuch, but of Philip." (Page 92)

  • The law strictly forbids a eunuch from entering the temple.

  • The eunuch sought God despite the fact that he had heard there was no love for him there.

  • The only command that we know came from God in this instance was for Philip to go and join.

"This desire to learn what the faith is from those who have lived it in the face of being told they are not welcome or worthy is far more than "inclusion." Actually, inclusion isn't the right word at all, because it sounds like in our niceness and virtue we are allowing "them" to join "us" -- like we are judging another group of people to be worthy of inclusion in a tent that we don't even own." (Page 93)

"I continually need the stranger, the foreigner, the "other" to show me water in the desert." (Page 93)

"I can only look at the seemingly limited space under the tent and think either it's my job to change people so they fit or it's my job to extend the roof so that they fit. Either way, it's misguided because it's not my tent. It's God's tent." (Page 93)

"So in the story of the conversion of Philip and the eunuch is some hope for the church and maybe society itself." (Page 95)

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By Frank McPherson, Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:55 PM. Greetings, citizen of Planet Earth. We are your overlords. :-)