MARCHING TO A WORTHY DRUMMER INSTALLMENT #14

Chapter 5: (continued) The Benefits Associated with an Understanding of the Holy Spirit as a Fully-Gendered Female

 

A second comment elicited from the Catholic understanding of Mary relates to the mechanics of Jesus’ birth.  The primary information given in Scripture relating to the process is in Luke 1:30-35:

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David.  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

 

          “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

The Catholic Church views both the Father and the Holy Spirit as male.  Therefore she perceives Mary as the only female associated with the birth of Jesus.  Understanding Jesus to be the Son of the Father (the divine Will), the Church insists that the Holy Spirit is not the father of Jesus, and yet, noting that Luke involves the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ birth, the Church in some undefined and logically contradictory way also considers the Holy Spirit to be the divine Spouse of Mary in the creation of Jesus in the Flesh while claiming that the Father rather than the Holy Spirit was the father of Jesus.

In view of the functional femininity of the Holy Spirit there is nothing whatsoever contradictory or difficult to understand about Jesus’ birth.  Considering the union of Father and Holy Spirit as between the Will and the Means, it is readily understood that the Holy Spirit, responding to the Will of the Highest (the divine Father) fashions the seed of Jesus, perhaps in a rearrangement of the software code represented by Mary’s DNA, which is then combined with Mary’s egg in her womb.  The resulting Implementation represents another representation of the Divine Word, namely Jesus in the flesh.  This scenario, which is intuitively accessible, also enjoys the support of a passage in Genesis that is contradictory under the Catholic scenario.  According to Genesis 3:14 and 15,

“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

 

It is generally understood that the man (seed) in this passage is Jesus Christ.  However, despite the fact that in general the seed is the male contribution to life whereas the female contribution is the egg, the seed in the Catholic scenario appears to belong to Mary.  Given a female Holy Spirit, the male seed, representing the will of the Highest but fashioned by the Holy Spirit, is indeed, in a perfectly natural sense, the seed of the Woman, the woman in this case being the Holy Spirit.

The Protestant Church, to its own credit, generally acknowledges that Mary had children in the natural way after the birth of Jesus.  However, as noted before, its indifferent stance regarding the issue which generally ignores the lack of femininity within the Godhead in the face of the strong Scriptural suggestion to the contrary is even more bizarre than that of her Catholic sister.

My third comment regarding the Catholic understanding of Mary pursues in more detail my praise to that understanding despite my opinion of it as a false viewpoint.  Although the primary attribution should be made to the Holy Spirit, Mary may well be a part of it.  This comment relates to the Catholic vision of Mary as representing the utmost in selfless nobility, a view with which I wholeheartedly concur.  This vision is beautifully encapsulated in two Catholic commentaries on Mary, the first from Dominican Father Gerald Vann in a book entitled Mary’s Answer for our Troubled Times, in which he addressed the hatred and suffering in the world during the Second World War.  Like the title suggests, he wrote about Mary’s own suffering while Jesus was on the cross, a theme which the Catholic Church frequently visits.  While Father Vann’s scenario may not be historically accurate, it certainly captures the essence of Scripture’s portrayal of Mary in a magnificent way.  It represents a stunning and deeply moving demonstration of nobility on Mary’s part, which is entirely consistent with Scripture’s portrayal of a major function of femininity, which is to evoke nobility from her masculine complement.

Father Vann talked of Mary’s concentration of gaze and rapt, exclusive focus on Jesus as He endured His suffering.  He contrasted the mutual sorrow-laden silence between her and Jesus with the noisier, more self-serving lamentations of the other women, developing a picture of Mary of stoic determination.  She had a task, Vann claimed.  This task involved the double sorrow of the mother as she watched the torments of the Son, and of the girl who flinched at the sight of naked evil and cruelty destroying innocence and beauty and love.  She remained silent, because it was not for her to find an emotional outlet for her grief, for she is here because of Him, to fulfill her vocation as mother by helping Him to fulfill His as Savior.  “In her,” Vann claims, “there are two conflicting agonies: the longing to save Him from His agony and the effort to help Him to finish His work.  It is the second that she must do, giving Him to the world on the Cross as she has given Him to the world in the stable.”

Another beautiful representation of Mary in Catholic lore is a historic incident that took place just outside Mexico City in the year 1531.  In that tale, as related by Father John Macquarrie in his book Mary for all Christians,  an apparition of Mary appeared to a peasant, one Juan Diego.  At the time,   Juan’s uncle was very ill, to the point of near-death.  He spent a day trying to relieve his uncle’s sufferings and left him only on Tuesday, to get a priest.  An apparition of Mary barred his way.  She told him,

‘My little son, do not be distressed and afraid.  Am I not here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my shadow and protection?  Your uncle will not die at this time.  This very moment his health is restored.  There is no reason now for the errand you set out on, and you can peacefully attend to mine.  Go up to the top of the hill: cut the flowers that are growing there and bring them to me.’

As Juan’s uncle was awaiting the priest, his room was filled with light.  A luminous figure of a young woman appeared.  He was indeed cured, but that’s not the essence of this story.  The main event occurs with Juan, who obeys the order to go to the flowers on the hill.

Juan Diego didn’t expect to see flowers on the hill because it was the middle of winter.  But he did indeed find flowers there.  They were Castilian roses.  He cut them as Mary had instructed and carried them back to her in his crudely-woven cape.  She spent some time arranging the flowers, and then tied the corners of the cape behind his neck to prevent the roses from falling out.  She told him to let only the bishop see the sign that she had given him.

When he reached the bishop’s palace several servants made sport of him, pushing him around and trying to snatch the flowers from his cape.  But the flowers dissolved when they reached for them.  Amazed, they let him go.  When he reached the bishop, Juan Diego untied the corners of the cape and as the ends dropped the flowers fell out in a jumbled heap.  The disappointed peasant became confused as to the purpose of his visit.  But then he was astonished to see that the bishop had come over to him and was kneeling at his feet.  Soon everyone else in the room had come near and they all were kneeling with the bishop.

Juan Diego’s cape now hangs over the altar in the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Over eight million persons were baptized there in the six years that followed this event.  Many millions more of people since that time have knelt before the two-piece cape, coarsely-woven of maguey fibers, for imprinted on it is an intricately detailed, beautiful figure of Mary.  In her graceful posture she appears kind and lovable.  She is surrounded by golden rays.  Fifteen hundred persons a day still visit the shrine.  The image is available on the Internet by Googling on “Juan Diego”.

Some items of interesting information have come to my attention regarding Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the Catholic Church has named this apparition.  Although I have yet to verify this information, I’ll pass it along.  First, She apparently never identified Herself to Juan Diego as Mary, but rather as Juan Diego’s Mother.  Second, Her image, as can be seen by Googling Juan Diego, matches that of the Aztec goddess.  Third, according to a Mexican theologian as referenced in http://www.laermita.org/spanish/articulos/senoraguad.htm, the indigenous converts to Christianity, in opposition to the Catholic insistence on perceiving the apparition as Mary, refused to worship Her as such and insisted themselves upon worshiping Her as God.

Of all the difficulties associated with failing to identify the Holy Spirit as female, the worst is yet to be noted: the falling away of the Church into acceptance of the forbidden practice of homosexuality while failing to respond firmly against the threat of Islam.  Here the issue is not intellectual but one of survival.

At present, despite the obvious fact that Scripture itself in Leviticus 18 and 20 and in Romans 1 describes homosexuality as an abomination, many mainstream Churches are accepting active homosexuals in their congregations, not only as laypersons, but as Church authorities.  And, if they take rather loose views of the authority of Scripture, why shouldn’t they?  The Godhead Itself, as they perceive it, is quite weakly connected to sexuality.  If God, then, resides some distance away from matters sexual, why should He care?

On the other hand, if human sexuality is somewhat representative, shadowy as it may be, of that aspect of the Godhead, wherein the Godhead itself represents a Divine Family consisting of Father, Mother and Son, then it can be readily perceived that homosexuality in the human domain rather openly violates the human representation of the Godhead.  This view cannot but elicit a firmer, logically-based stance against that practice among members of the Church, perhaps even help to lift her up from her present survival-endangering apathy.  (I should point out here that God frowns upon other sexual sins, including those committed by heterosexuals, such as infidelity to a marriage partner, and for precisely the same reason that they also represent violations of type.)

In fact, the growing issue of homosexuality within the Church is but a small part of the much larger problem of the variety of sexual perversions taking place within a significant portion of the Christian community, even among those who profess to be conservative in their outlook.  It’s not a minor problem.  It’s so enormous, in fact, that it overshadows the issue with gays, rendering hypocritical many of those within the Christian leadership who are outspoken with regard to homosexuality.  The real issue is this: given the denial of strong femininity within the Godhead, sexuality isn’t considered to be relevant to God, and the correlation of sexual deviation of any flavor with violation of type just isn’t on the table.  Under the current understanding of the Godhead, the problem isn’t limited to the denial of a role model for women, who constitute fully half the world’s population.  Serious as that particular issue is, the menfolk suffer too, for the present vision of God embraced by the Church denies them an appreciation of the importance of the feminine to God or even its relevance, placing both women and sexuality in the category of elements foreign to God.

The bottom line is that in the minimization of sexuality regarding our creation in the image of God, an extensive list of possible deviations from the standard of a monogamous male-female relationship is fair game – even for Christians.

Maybe even especially for Christians.  Quite recently in a Prophecy News Watch enews article, it was estimated that almost eighty percent of Christian men regularly indulge in the viewing of pornography.  It’s not difficult to imagine where that behavior leads.  The number of actual pornography addicts is about half of those.  That’s a very distressingly large portion of the Church.  In effect, the cleansing of God of sexuality has not led to the cleansing of Christians from sexual deviation.  To the contrary, it has had precisely the opposite effect.  Not only have women been degraded in this monstrous misrepresentation of the Godhead, but Christian men have allowed themselves to be degraded as well.  It doesn’t end there – degradation, whether or not it is perceived as relevant to God, leads directly to alienation from God.

Of perhaps equal danger to the Christian Church is the attempt to assimilate the Muslim faith into Christianity in the name of ecumenicism.  This can’t be done without destroying the Trinitarian essence of Christianity, as the Bible and the Quran are in sharp disagreement over some very basic issues.  Among the foremost of these incompatibilities is the Muslim monotheism, in which their god Allah is perceived as the Father alone, unencumbered with Jesus and the Holy Spirit as companions in Godhood.  To them, Jesus is not God, but merely a prophet.  Nor, to them, is the Holy Spirit a Person who shares Godhood with the Father.

In contrast to this view, Christians perceive God as one within a Trinitarian Godhead.  It is here that the mainstream Christian Church is weak and open to perversion by other, more man-centered and materialistic religions like Islam, for Christians themselves have such a vague understanding of the Holy Spirit that even they fail to comprehend how God can manage strict unity in the face of threeness.  They simply accept that it is what it is, but when threatened with intellectual attacks on this apparent inconsistency they have absolutely no answer.

On the other hand, as with the homosexuality issue, the Christian individual who perceives the Holy Spirit as feminine has no difficulty whatsoever in addressing the issue with Islam.  He merely extends that perception of the Holy Spirit’s femininity to one in which the Godhead is a Divine Family.  In that context, of course, the oneness of God is in the Family, its Trinity of Members being subordinate to that Entity.  Given that view, the Christian can readily and quite logically reject the Islamic perception of God.

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