BACKGROUND TO BUDDY #17

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 9: A Perfect Family (continued)

In this view of the functional roles within the Godhead, the responsive executive role of the Holy Spirit as the embodiment of Wisdom emerges quite plainly out of Solomon’s Proverbs. I had quoted the first four chapters and Chapter 8 of Proverbs in Family of God, the following excerpts of which I consider to be the most relevant:

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. . .Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets. . .the Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. . .Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?. . .Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. . .My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. . .The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they who keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death.”

I had made the following comment in Family of God regarding these passages:

“Is there any facet of God more appropriate than Wisdom as the functional embodiment of the Divine Means to implement the Divine Will in Creation? That Solomon was writing of the Divine Means in the above passage is manifestly clear from these words regarding Wisdom in [a] female persona and [the] pre-existence with the Divine Will: “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” Although many theologians apply this passage to Jesus, it is plain from the context that such an assignment is forced.”

I also noted that Psalm 104:30 appears to corroborate this creative executive function of the Holy Spirit, while in Isaiah 11:2 the prophet directly associates Wisdom with the Holy Spirit:

“Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”

“And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;”

In linking Wisdom with the Holy Spirit, this latter verse personifies Wisdom and illuminates the deeper interpretation of the Book of Proverbs as descriptive of this Holy Person. It is but one of many Scriptural passages to do so. One of my favorites among such passages is the Song of Solomon.

After presenting my view of the Godhead in terms of a Divine Family, I proceeded to address in detail the issues, or objections, that may have led the Church to reject the notion that the Holy Spirit might perform a female functional role. As this treatment was so lengthy, I’ll touch on a few highlights here and refer the interested reader who wishes more detail on the subject to the full account in Family of God.

The most important objection to assigning a female gender to the Holy Spirit is the numerous Scriptural associations of the Holy Spirit with masculine pronouns “he” and “him”. Upon further consideration of this objection after the release of Family of God, I have begun to appreciate that I didn’t need to go into so much detail, as the answer to this objection isn’t that complicated. It’s beautifully simple, as a matter of fact. In essence, it is contained in Jesus’ retelling in Matthew 19:4-6 Adam’s statement in Genesis 2:23 and 24:

“And [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh, What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

If both the male and the female are one, then it is perfectly natural that both be referred to in the dominant form, which is masculine. For the female, being an integral part of the male, can in that sense also be referred to as male. We have a hint of that connection in society’s custom of giving the wife the surname of her husband. Scripture, therefore, in referring to the Holy Spirit in the masculine gender, is emphasizing the unity of male and female. In this context Jesus, in declaring that He and His Father are one, implicitly acknowledges his additional unity with His Holy Mother.

This simple and elegant connection does not invalidate the more complex arguments that I presented in Family of God. The Holy Spirit can indeed be thought of as masculine in terms of basic substance and feminine in terms of function, female here connoting a “complementary other” help to the male. In particular, I still favor the notion that the masculine pronouns for the Holy Spirit as presented in Scripture might hint of a promise that mankind (in our redeemed spiritual form) might actually have a future role in the Godhead. In that context I cited the following passage in Ephesians 5:22-32 in which Paul reveals the mystery (hinted at in Isaiah 54) that the Church shall be the Bride of Christ:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church; for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his Church.”

I note regarding this passage that the portion of mankind constituting the Church and naturally referred to by a male designation, will perform a female function. I also note that here Scripture plainly reveals that at least one Member of the Godhead, Jesus, shall have a female companion through marriage, with whom He shall consider Himself united. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be rather odd that while one such Member is thus blessed, the other two should not be? If that is the case, furthermore, mankind as Jesus’ Wife shall indeed have a participatory role in the Godhead.

To summarize my thoughts regarding the importance of family in God’s economy, I consider the Godhead Itself to be the ultimate and perfect expression of Family. This Family expression of God is to me, in fact, the highest and most complete notion of God, the individual Members of the Godhead being most willingly subordinate to it.

Within the Divine Family the Father and the Holy Spirit are the Complementary Other of each other, together in romantic harmony forming a Divine unity that extends Itself in love to its Divine Issue, the Son of God.

NOTES

General Notes:

1. All bible references are taken from the King James Version
2. Only the first appearance in each chapter to an item to which a note is associated is subscripted.

Chapter 9

1. Family of God, Arthur Perkins, published 2004 Falcon Books, portions or all available on request to perkinsart44@yahoo.com

2. The increase of sexual themes, both normal and perverted, and the blatancy of the presentations has made the term “innuendo” obsolete. Our decline in this area is so self-evident that it needs to be discussed only with people under the age of fifteen or twenty. One glimpse at the popular animated show “Family Guy” is enough to prove the point, but another problem is that there is hardly a television show that isn’t infected with it. As for the movies, the use of the f-word is so universal that sometimes it makes me feel like I’ve been transported back into the Marines. But what really grabs me is its use in the movies by women, even popular stars. Are all women under the age of thirty becoming so infected?

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