BACKGROUND TO BUDDY #25

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 12: Collateral Damage of the Resistance to a Female Holy Spirit

The issues accompanying the notion of a female Holy Spirit transcend the purely theological. Whether we see God in this way or not has a very practical effect on the entire society of Christian believers.

I have noted before regarding the personal Christian experience that it would be difficult for me to love God in the way that He has commanded us if I did not view God in a romantic or family context. I suspect that if I felt that way, others would too. Interestingly, I held that notion very early in my Christian experience. During that early time I was moved by compassion to step out and do things in the name of God that I refrained from doing later on. There were several factors, some personal, that contributed to the temporary but lengthy lessening of my Christian ardor. But certainly one factor was my growing awareness that the Christian community did not entertain the same thoughts about the Holy Spirit as I did. It didn’t help to have the Gospel of John (which I now love) with its multiple references to the Holy Spirit as a ‘He’ thrust into my face in response to my sharing my thoughts. After the threat of exclusion from fellowship among some Christians whom I had considered to be brothers and sisters, I came to the feeling that some of my notions about God were a product of my being a Christian ‘newbie’ and that if I wanted to talk about Him, I’d better become more familiar with Scripture. Consequently, I accepted the more standard understanding of God. Along with that, I went through an extended period of lackluster faith, during which my Christian experience amounted to brief Sunday morning Church attendance, the rest of my time being devoted to entertainment and the acquisition of possessions and other material blessings. There was an exception: I continued to struggle with an algebraic characterization of Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes, being convinced that there was sufficient information in Scripture to justify the extraction of more overt information out of it, such as the number of remaining loaves in each basket. Eventually, after a decade of off-again, on-again work toward that end this effort bore fruit, as I had detailed some time later in Family of God.

By the time I had accepted the conventional understanding of God, my volunteer work at the nursing home and with Danny was long past. A number of other factors had caused a change in location and the intrusion of more immediate concerns with maintaining a job and a home. Nevertheless, I have often wondered whether my original understanding and passion toward God would have led me to pursue a more selfless life in those different surroundings. I believe that it may well have included a return to volunteer work much earlier than when my wife and I eventually resumed that activity. I say that because our belated resumption of volunteer efforts coincided to a large extent with the return of our minds (and our hearts) to the original understanding of the Holy Spirit as female. I also say that because I perceive those of the Catholic faith to hold a somewhat similar belief as ours, misplaced toward Mary as may be the case, and bearing the fruit of that understanding as being generally more compassionate and caring toward others than their Protestant brothers and sisters. There are certain to be many exceptions to this, but from my own limited viewpoint, that’s what I have seen.

Otherwise, however, during that hiatus I wasn’t much of a Christian.

Ironically, the near-failure of the Church I was attending1 and the subsequent conduct of services in our pastor’s home helped to reverse my growing indifference. The more intimate atmosphere, along with a focus on Scripture itself, went a long way toward bringing me back into fellowship with God. At the same time, the completion of my exercise regarding the feeding events helped to stimulate a renewed interest in Scripture. I embarked on a thorough review of the Bible and found, to my surprise, that Scripture itself seemed to confirm my earlier notion of a female Holy Spirit.

As a consequence, I firmly believe that the standard understanding of God and the Godhead is not only insufficient, but contributes to an indifference toward God.

I am also convinced that some individuals, perhaps a great many of them, have elected to ‘go with the flow’, outwardly accepting the standard understanding of God for the sake of avoiding conflict, but inwardly share my own view of the female nature of the Holy Spirit.

Whether or not they have recognized it, other Churches have faced this same issue and handled it in a variety of different ways, all harmful to the faith2. The Catholic Church, for example, has elevated Mary almost to the status of God to fill the obvious void of a female presence within the Godhead. From time to time this urge becomes so pronounced that the Catholic leadership, including the Pope, has periodically felt it necessary to reduce the height of her pedestal. But even when that happens, it is done without much enthusiasm, and Mary’s pedestal continues its reach toward heaven almost uninterrupted.

Many Churches have handled this problem in less orthodox ways, ones that also clearly violate Scripture, and have become recognized as cults in the process. Among these less-orthodox answers, perhaps the worst is the insistence of absolute monotheism and the consequent denial of the Trinity, for this error leads to the opposite of a self-humbling, selfless God. I would think that those who would worship such a deity would be afflicted with unchristian behavior, for their deity himself makes a poor representative of the God of Christian Scripture.

The vast majority of Churches are populated with members of such indifference toward God and ignorance of Scripture that the issue never presents itself. In these troubled times they continue to slide toward alienation from God and perdition. Perhaps, if the basic worship of God had included an open and vocal understanding of the family structure of the Godhead, this indifference wouldn’t have been allowed to take root. But who knows? At any rate, we now seem to be facing a catastrophe of unchristian behavior from many supposedly mainline Churches.

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 12

1. Our pastor, newly-arrived from a different community, was saddled from the outset with an unexpected rancor among the Church deacons that took a toll on the membership. The un-Christian behavior of those arrogant and Scripturally-ignorant deacons festered until it became quite blatant, scattering the membership far and wide.

2. An excellent Internet source of information regarding the continuing decline of the Church is prophecynewswatch.com, which offers a free weekly newsletter that chronicles Christian issues throughout the world. The articles are well-researched.

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: