BACKGROUND TO BUDDY #18

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 10: The Pattern of the Divine in the Human Family

When God made man in His own image (Genesis 1:27, 28), His forming them both male and female was an important element in the image of the Divine attributes, but it was only a part of that image. At a higher and more basic level, as we have noted in an earlier chapter, is His creation of the family and its functional interaction as a pattern of the Godhead.

Aspects of the pattern of family can be discerned today in our own interrelationships, as I intended to show in the following excerpt from page 161 of Family of God1.

“Under the extraordinary circumstance of disaster or war, a man might bond with his companions through the sharing of hardship and fear. In some cases, this bond may become so close that he will lay down his life for them. But the individual character and the conditions that might bring this about are so unique that medals are granted for altruism of this order. More typically, man is, at best, indifferent to the welfare of his neighbors and acquaintances. At his worst, he regularly places those with whom he is in contact at a disadvantage for his own profit, caring little about his victims’ consequent loss and discomfort. He lies, cheats, covets, and steals, doing these things with impunity under a pragmatic and often twisted legal system. He may do them with little sense of wrongdoing. Hidden behind the mask of a false face or the tinted glass of his automobile, he often indulges in nasty, mean-spirited thoughts: he hates; he is quick to take offense and visualize a bad end for the offender. In this manner he might, in his mind, break most of God’s commandments without hesitation during a simple drive from home to work.

“But there is a unique relationship in which that same individual will often behave in an altogether more altruistic manner. That better relationship exists within his family, with his spouse and children. Historically, most people on earth have willingly belonged to this unit, exercising their responsibilities to it and taking pleasure and comfort from it. The individual intuitively understands and accepts the principle that while every member of the family unit deeply and permanently belongs to him, he also belongs to them in that same way. He accepts as natural the principle of sharing: of shared responsibilities, shared activities and recreation, shared possessions and, most importantly, shared intimacy. Within the impositions and limitations of the larger society to which he belongs, the individual also usually will accept as natural and beneficial that particularly complementary division of function and labor that will result in the most secure and orderly maintenance of the family unit. Beyond that, he will often behave as nobly as the heroic soldier in the protection of his family members from harm.

“In behaving as he does with respect to his family, man elevates the unit to a position greater than himself. He does so naturally and without reservation, sensing no conflict in this behavior with the essential components of his individual identity. There is no conflict because the integrating factor is love in a variety of different manifestations. Love produces harmony in place of friction, and results in unity rather than separation.

“Given the imperfect and often base nature of fallen man, his historic nobility in the family setting is quite different than his behavior with respect to the rest of mankind. It is, in fact, so different that it is unique. That man must function so well in the context of family merely to survive is incidental. He was designed to operate that way. As we have seen, God created man in His own image, one that included the Godhead as an integral feature.

“As God designed it, the family operates as a wonderfully effective means to bring individuals into a unity larger than themselves. A man and a woman share a romantic love. Through that love they form an intimate union of body and soul. That union, in turn, creates a new life that is also shared between them, and expands their shared love into a new form. Through the nurturing of that larger love the life they created develops and grows. Along the way, the couple may have struggled to develop a farm or a business, so that as the child matures, it can first participate to the benefit of the existing family unit, and eventually acquire it for the benefit of his own new family. During this entire process the constituents of the family function not as individuals but as components of a unit.

“The family provides the only natural context in which man will give up his individuality with a willing spirit. There are other human institutions in which individuals contribute to a greater whole, but they are artificial and contrived. Within these other institutions are inevitably found strife, backbiting, self-service, forced participation, and a host of other evils. Because of its unique bond of love involving the creation and nurturing of life, the family stands alone as a cohesive unit in which its members can claim: we are one.

“If imperfect man represents the family as well as he does, the Godhead in its absolute perfection exhibits all the elements of love in such a perfectly harmonious interaction that its result is a transcendent Unity. This Unity is of an order of perfection that permits God to speak of Himself as One. As we have already noted, its perfection is not only functional; it is romantic, as one might easily glean from the following Scriptural excerpt:

“’Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
“’Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of ebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard’”

“The Song of Solomon, from which verses 4:9-13 above typify, illustrates this romance. But it has a further significance. Although it applies first to the Godhead, it also describes a future relationship between Jesus and humanity for which our family institution is simply the prelude. On what basis is this extravagant claim made? Turning first to Genesis 1:21-24, we find a depiction of the beginning, essence and basic significance of family:

“’And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’”

“In the context of this description, note the incredible statement that Paul makes in Ephesians 5 starting with verse 17:

“’Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
“’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 saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 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 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 the Church.
“’Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.’”

“Herein Scripture explicitly shows that when Jesus shall perform His new functional role as Divine Will on earth, He shall do so with redeemed mankind at His side. Mankind, too, shall have a new functional role in this new heavenly order, that of Jesus’ wife. Just as a child, as it approaches maturity, is given to understand the significance of male and female and begins to anticipate a future as a spouse, our eyes will eventually open to what Scripture has already told us. Jesus awaits our coming of age. This was the beautiful mystery of which Paul wrote to the Ephesians.

“There has been some speculation over the centuries as to whether Jesus may have had a hidden romance. He has often been linked in this regard with Mary of Magdalene2. After all, it is rather difficult to think of an all-powerful God taking the time and effort to come to earth as a man and then leaving without once having tasted of the greatest delight obtainable on the planet. His supposed celibacy somehow makes Him incomplete in many minds.

“But His celibacy did make Him incomplete! As the Son of God He was already betrothed to His Church. That is the mystery of which Paul spoke and His great promise of future joy to those who love Him, that without His Church He is indeed incomplete. That is the wedding for which He is yet waiting, and which He joyfully anticipated at the wedding in Cana (John 2). Just as He permitted the prophets to define Him before he came to earth, he permits his Church to complete His function as a man. In the fullness of God’s time, mankind will yet serve again in the function of implementation, this time alongside the risen Jesus as His partner in marriage.

“This is why, when we recite the following verses of the Lord’s prayer as instructed by Jesus, we may be really speaking out His promise to us:

“’…thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’”

“These words are a gift to the beloved of God. If the possibility upon which we speculated in Part Four [Part One in the original edition] is actually true, this gift would indeed be an amazing one. Just as Jesus is the Son of the Divine Will, He may well assume that function of Will in the future in the context of Family. And, using His Church as the Means of implementing that new Will, He may bear the universe a new Child in its Implementation. That Child also would belong to us, the Church, as the Wife of Jesus.”

[to be continued]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: