BACKGROUND TO BUDDY #10

Note to the reader: the series of articles entitled Background to Buddy were extracted from a Christian nonfiction work that formed the basis for the novel Buddy, which is available from either Amazon or Signalman Publishing. Directions are noted on the page entitled Buddy on this blog site. The purpose of this work was to explain the reasons why I consider the Holy Spirit to be functionally female. Adventure episodes and humor were added for the entertainment of both the reader and the author.

Chapter 5: No Longer on the Defensive

Having taken a primarily defensive position up to this point, I am confident that my answers regarding the female function of the Holy Spirit are sufficiently logical that they justify my taking the opposite stance. In that vein, I respectfully invite any individual who objects to my view of the female functional nature of the Holy Spirit to respond with rebuttals of the following Scripturally-based items that support my viewpoint.

Marriage of Christ with His Church as representative of the family nature of the Godhead.

The rebuttal must address Paul’s revelation of the mystery (foretold in Isaiah 54) in Ephesians 5:22-33 that Jesus Christ will wed His Church. I must also take into account the suggestion in Genesis 1:27 of that same relationship between the Father and the Holy Spirit, and a further hint in Jesus’ claim that He is the Image of the Father, as well as address the oddity that while one Member would have a gender-based relationship, the other Members would not.

The linkage in John 3 of the Holy Spirit with spiritual birth.

Birth, whether it is physical or spiritual, is a profoundly female function. John 3 directly links this function with the Holy Spirit.

The linkage of the Holy Spirit with Song of Solomon.

Many respected Bible commentators agree that Song of Solomon represents the future relationship between Christ and His Church. Well they should make this claim, for if it did not say something about God or His relationship with mankind, it wouldn’t belong in Scripture. But if Jesus is the Image of the Father (John 8:19, 14:7, 9), then Song of Solomon should also describe the relationship between the other two Persons of the Godhead, Father and Holy Spirit. Moreover, Song of Solomon confirms the romantic nature of which God (Jesus and Church and/or Father and Holy Spirit) is capable in the spiritual domain.

The linkage of the Holy Spirit with Proverbs.

Any attempt at rebuttal must address Proverbs 3:19 in the context of Genesis 1:1-5, Proverbs 8:22-36, Job 26:13 and Psalm 104:30. The attempt to attribute Proverbs 8 to Jesus rather than the Holy Spirit must explain the out-of-context insertion into material descriptive of Wisdom.

The attempt at rebuttal must also avoid taking the Jungian notion of the human psyche, both male and female, as containing both masculine and feminine elements, and extrapolating it to his notion of the Trinity. There are logical difficulties in doing so, as described below.

Scripture rather exclusively associates the Father with the Divine Will, which, as an initiating role, also is exclusively masculine. Similarly, Jesus the Son is presented in Scripture as the Divine Representation which, as the perfect image in reality of the Father would also be predominantly masculine. The masculine predominance of Jesus is given further weight by Paul’s characterization in Ephesians 5 of Jesus as the Bridegroom of the (functionally feminine) Church. In Family of God I simply noted what to me was an obvious connecting function of the Holy Spirit between Father and Son: the Divine Means which, in union with the Divine Will, gave birth to the Divine Implementation in reality (Divine Representation). Obviously, this Divine Means, being so closely linked with the other two Members, is also Deity. Because the Divine Means performed a function that was responsive to the Will, an obviously female role, I attached a female gender to this Person. Scripture and Christian tradition both understand this third Member of the Trinity to be the Holy Spirit.

Another difficulty, and it is a big one, that I see in the notion of each Member of Godhead possessing elements of both genders is that such a state of affairs would promote self-adoration, a characteristic that I sincerely hope is lacking within the Godhead. Love and adoration require otherness. The alternative is narcissism. I truly believe (and hope) that both Father and Holy Spirit are as selflessly noble as the Son demonstrated on the cross.

A family-based Godhead in which the Holy Spirit is functionally female, united in love, naturally and intuitively resolves the apparent discrepancy between monotheism and a Trinitarian Godhead.

Assuredly, a union within the Godhead involving love of a non-romantic nature can be proposed. However, a rebuttal alternative should carry as much intuitive and love-inspiring force as a relationship in which a family setting is central. A rebuttal should also explain in functional terms why there is a proscription against the gay lifestyle as presented in Leviticus 18 and Romans 1. Furthermore, a rebuttal should also address the centrality of family in Scripture as well as in life in general.

Linkage of the Holy Spirit with an executive function.

This executive nature of the Holy Spirit was proposed by respected theologian Benjamin Warfield as well as others. It is certainly suggested in Scripture, an important example being the role of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the Christian’s walk with God, as promised by Jesus in Luke 11:13. An executive office is responsive to higher orders, this being within the Godhead the Father, or Divine Will. A responsive office, in turn, is a distinctly feminine one. This creative response is distinctly different than Jesus’ role as the Divine Representation, or Divine Implementation, which is, as a perfect Image of the Will, the result of creative response to the Will.

The female attribute of the Shekinah Glory.

This attribute, appreciated relatively recently and which links the female nature of the Shekinah Glory directly with the Holy Spirit, is covered in the next chapter .

A summary of Scriptural support for a functionally female Holy Spirit:

Marriage of Christ with His Church as an example of gender-based love within the Godhead: Genesis 1:27, Genesis 24, Song of Solomon, Isaiah 54, John 2, Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 21, Revelation 22:17.

Creative, responsive nature of the Holy Spirit as a pointer to femininity: Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:27, Job 26:13, Psalm 104:30, Psalm 148:5, Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 8:1, 22-31, Luke 11:13, John 3 (spiritual birth).

Justification for female function in the face of masculine pronouns that refer to the Holy Spirit: Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:2, Leviticus 18, Song of Solomon (in context of John 8:19 and John 14:7, 9), Romans 1, Ephesians 5: 31, 32.

Shekinah Glory: Genesis 1:26,27; 2:23,24; 5:1,2; 1 Kings 8:6-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:19-22.

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