MARCHING TO A WORTHY DRUMMER INSTALLMENT #28

Chapter 10: The Overt Causes of the Denial of a Feminine Holy Spirit

 

 

Denial is an interesting word. It has a variety of diverse applications and a lot of baggage. Usually a person goes into denial of a fact or situation because he doesn’t want to accept something. I once saw a severe case of on-the-spot open denial. When I recall it I’m tempted myself to deny that it really happened, because it involves guilt on my part. At the time our family vehicle had just completed a long and arduous climb up a primitive logging road to the summit of Dog Mountain near the towns of Morton and Glenoma in Western Washington State. It was late in the afternoon, and we were there so that I could show Carolyn the point from which we would, the next morning, answer the question that she posed to me the week before after we had come down to a landing from the big hill. “When are we going to get some real air time?” she had asked in a moment of bravado, as I had found out later. But it was a valid question – the big hill was a training hill because it supported neither ridge lift nor thermal activity. It was high enough, to be sure, but flights off it were considered sled rides, because after launch the flight path was unidirectionally downward and the average flight time was on the order of five or so minutes.

We weren’t going to fly that late afternoon at Dog, because I already had learned my lesson with Danny on late-afternoon flights, where the prevailing drift of air is downward and not conducive to a successful launch, and even more so with two people aboard.

The launch was already occupied when we arrived. When we stepped out of the vehicle we saw a lone figure there, already hooked in and ready to go for it. He hesitated, though, and for a very good reason: the air was quite obviously drifting downslope. The launch at Dog isn’t a true cliff. It’s quite steep, but not almost vertical like the big training hill. Therefore, the wings must provide lift in order for the pilot to leave the ground.

Here’s where my guilt kicks in. We could see that a successful launch would be very iffy. So could he. His hesitation turned lengthy. In retrospect, I realize that he was getting ready to back off, tear down his kite, and wait until morning for better conditions. What prevented him from doing just that was our presence and his pride. We immediately should have returned to our vehicle and gone back down the mountain.

But no. We remained right there staring at him. He returned the stare and then looked back down the hill. I saw the exact moment when he committed to the launch. It was in his eyeballs. His brain was in complete denial and, with a shout of “Geronimo!” he started running.

Up to that point there was a darkly strange consistency to Carolyn’s exposure to hang flight. Every time we went to a site that would be new to Carolyn, the events would include an unsuccessful launch of one sort or another. It was kind of cosmic.

With this particular launch Carolyn’s record remained intact, but, unfortunately, the pilot didn’t. His denial had consequences. He continued to run, ever faster as his desperation increased and the hill steepened, until his legs began to blur. But his wings, refusing to develop lift, betrayed him. His run ended abruptly against a large bush, into which he inserted himself quite deeply. The next sound that came out of his mouth was a very loud groan.

We helped pick him out of the bush, and were relieved to find that he hadn’t broken any bones. His skin didn’t look so great, but he was going to survive.

There are lots of reasons for denial. This particular one was pride. The gentleman didn’t want to be seen wimping out of a launch.

It turns out that pride is the source of lots of denials. Regarding the issue of a feminine Holy Spirit, pride is very much involved in the denial of that notion by many, particularly by men of the cloth. In Buddy, that very issue of pride and denial enters the conversation between Wisdom and Earl regarding opposition to a feminine Holy Spirit:

“’That little background tidbit brings me to the main reason as to why I’m here. As to specifics: I’m going to move you to read and digest particular passages of Scripture that have to do with your gift, which is knowledge imparted to you about our family-structured interrelationship. Then you’ll be moved to write about your findings. After that is the hard part: you’ll be sharing your findings with others through a blog on the Internet. You’ll get some reactions to it that you wouldn’t believe if you didn’t experience the rants. Most of them will be coming from those who consider themselves to be good Christians. But you’ll also reach those for whom the message is intended.’

“’I’m ready to do this, but I can’t figure out why a person, especially a Christian, would be against learning more about God, and more so because it would help him to love God in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.’

“’Oh, there are reasons. Lots of them. I’ll give you a few. There’s the ‘NIH’ factor, for one.’

“’You mean ‘Not Invented Here”? I used to come up against that all the time at work. I wouldn’t have thought that kind of self-serving reaction would have any place in the Christian community.’

“’You’d be surprised. There are lots of so-called ‘Christians’ who look upon their ‘Christianity’ as a kind of exclusive social club. They’ll be particularly antagonistic to a member of their immediate group who seems to have a message that they themselves didn’t receive directly from God, because that would mean that they weren’t Number One in God’s list of favorites. Despite the negative reaction, a confrontation like you’ll be giving them is good for them. Many of them actually are Christians, but they need to get knocked down some so that they’ll be useful to Us. Ego just doesn’t have a place in Our plan, for Us or for you.

“’Another reason why you’ll be facing opposition is a problem with the menfolk. It’s just plain male chauvinism. Even many women go along with it. The thought here is that a woman’s place is in the home and certainly not within the Godhead. Like the ‘NIH’ factor, its root cause is pride. You’d be surprised, given what Scripture has to say on the subject, that there are so many Christians, among whom are a large number of pastors and other church leaders, who continue to be slaves to pride.’”

As Earl soon finds out as he is faced with opposition to his blog, there are a number of other factors that contribute to the Christian reluctance to associate femininity with God. One very large factor is the standard perception of our relationship with God as being an individual one on both sides of the fence. In the usual God-human relational context, the notion of family simply doesn’t enter into the picture. We see ourselves as standing alone before God, so to speak.

One fine day I visited the Honda shop with my wife, who was fed up to the eyeballs with the concrete-hard seat of our non-Goldwing bike, while I, in turn, was fed up with her fists pounding on my kidneys. Soon after we walked in the door, my attention was drawn to the showpiece of the sales floor, a Honda Rune. The Rune was a strikingly handsome bad boy, the motorcycle equivalent of a movie star with slicked-back hair, a black mustache, long sideburns and a cigarette dangling from his sneering mouth. Without working up a sweat, it managed just sitting there to eclipse anything that a Harley possibly could offer in the way of attitude. My interest attracted salesmen like dung beetles to their favorite meal. I saw a problem with it, and spoke to myself more than anyone else. “There’s no rear seat,” I noted to my brain. “What about my wife?” I added in a mumble, but the sales manager picked up on it. “You have this piece of work, you don’t need a wife,” he replied, looking my wife’s way with indifference. My wife’s expression created a weather system right there in the middle of the showroom, and I hurriedly backed away from the attraction and turned toward the nearest Goldwing. But I was laughing as I did so.

That take-it-or-leave-it attitude that the salesman displayed toward my marriage partner almost earned him a punch in his oversized gut from my very angry wife, and then I think that she would have come after me for laughing at his ill-mannered remark. After the salesman and I both rushed to stabilize the situation and when peace prevailed once more, I reflected on the everyday prevalence of that attitude of individual self-sufficiency that supports the thought that a person’s complementary other might actually be replaceable by a toy, which is merely symbolic of the much larger problem of commitment in today’s society. This attitude is only loosely tied to the iconic but somewhat false image of the American pioneer who, acting alone, braved the wilds of a new land to tame it for those who followed in less courageous fashion. That heroic soul, in opposition to the prevailing image of him, often faced his dangers with both God and his equally courageous wife at his side.

The mistakenly admired self-sufficiency that I address here is the notion, common to ancient Greek thought and philosophically influential thereafter, that the essence of humanity is the individual man, the notions of complementary otherhood and family being peripheral to the primacy of self. To the religious, this view implies that every human being must stand alone before God to be judged individually without respect to his family connections and his behavior with respect to other family members. I cannot say definitively whether or not or how much the individual’s representation of God-ordained family ideals enters into God’s assessment of his life, but Scripture in Genesis 1:27, 2:18, 23 and 24, 5:1 and 2, Exodus 20:12 and 17, Matthew 19 and 22, 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3 and Revelation 21, to name but a few such passages, indicates that it does. Regardless of that particular issue, it doesn’t seem a stretch to perceive that with respect to matters of the relationship between God and men, in many theological minds the individual trumps the family entity and supports an indifference, in violation of Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 22 to love one’s neighbor as oneself, to the welfare of those outside of self. It is a simple matter for those who adhere to this view to apply it to their understanding of God as well. In that context, in the individualists’ minds the Individual Dieties, as represented in each of the three Persons of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, overshadows the notion of the Godhead Itself as the essential defining element of the nature of God as well.

Independence and sufficiency of the individual self is but one of several possible factors that have contributed to the currently popular view of the Godhead as being populated by a loosely-coupled, Trinitarian congress held together by an idealized agape fellowship in which neither sexuality nor intra-family ownership play a vital part. Other potential contributing factors include the shame of sexuality and a gross misunderstanding of human history. And then, of course, there’s the fear factor which impels some Church members to “go with the flow” and acquiesce to mainstream opinions despite knowing full well that they contradict Scripture and plain common sense.

While many Western Church congregants historically and up to the present have considered sexual activity in a marital setting not to be sinful, they still think of it as being all-too-earthy and animalistic to be considered appropriate to God. Sex, according to religious thought as typified by the notions of Zanchius (see Chapter 4), is plainly beneath anything that might be associated with the spiritual domain. Such insight may be obtained merely by attending Church over a period of years, observing that wrongful sex (all sex by common implication) by human participants is vocally denounced from the pulpit while all love-related intimacy by spiritual participants is avoided like the plague.

The dichotomy between our theoretical view of God and our lifestyles reeks of hypocrisy. Bear with me as I briefly explore where it has taken us. It is a remarkable but undeniable fact: regarding gender and sexuality, the Western Christian Church, up to the very recent past, had an absolutely spotless exterior. Mainstream theological authorities unanimously continue to insist upon a Trinitarian Godhead, but even now by common assent within almost all mainstream Churches all traces of sexuality within the Godhead have been prohibited. Some Christian Churches perceive the Godhead as consisting of three entirely genderless Entities. Others, including both Catholic and Protestant denominations, treat the Godhead as comprising nominal male Members whose masculinity is defined as qualities of character typical of the male gender, but for whom any suggestion beyond that is met with rapid and vehement opposition.

Yet, remarkably, in the face of all this supposedly Godly purity, the Catholic priesthood for what might be assumed to be a very long time has famously indulged in sexual practices expressly forbidden by Scripture. Now an increasing number of Churches, both Catholic and Protestant, look benignly upon the open indulgence of these same practices among their congregants, and often among the spiritual leadership as well. All that may have been avoided at the outset had the Church taken a more balanced view of sexuality at both the human and spiritual levels.

A common explanation is given by those who don’t accept normal sexual expression to be sinful and yet insist upon Mary’s perpetual virginity as good in opposition to evil. This involves the notion, derived from an overemphasis of a couple of Paul’s statements in Scripture, that the lusts of the flesh distract Christians from their whole-hearted focus on God.   I’d be willing to bet that a large portion of these people, however, while endorsing this asceticism in their theology, blithely ignore it in their everyday lives. And asceticism comes in many flavors, of which sexuality is only one. There are also eating, drinking, comfortable beds, hot tubs and a host of other pleasures that can distract one from a contemplation of God as well. Among those who do observe chastity, a good number don’t mind sitting down to a tasty meal, which involves a lust of a different nature, but a lust nonetheless. The same may be said of those who don’t mind partaking of a dollop or two, or considerably more, of alcoholic spirits.

In attempting to rid their religion of all traces of immorality, the Church in general has elected to ignore the imbalance of its thinking and consequently has chosen to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is the excesses of sexuality, the deviations from the normal marriage union, that are immoral, not the sexual union itself, which is the most wonderful means that God devised to harmoniously foster intimacy between two complementary life-partners. It’s a terrible shame that the Church has chosen to castrate its God by the elimination of sexuality. But despite the basic wrongness of this garbled thinking, it most unfortunately has indeed achieved its purpose of sterilization.

Given our abject misunderstanding of our world as demonstrated by our adherence to the false notions of macroevolution and uniformitarianism, the modern Church, like its predecessors, also has garbled its Christianity in more intellectual matters. Unless God intervenes, she possibly never will reach an understanding of the actual origin of Christianity or of the true nature of the Godhead. A short treatise on the falsehood of Darwin’s theory of evolution is presented in Appendix 4 for those who might be interested in how modern science, particularly in the rapidly-growing field of molecular biology, has severely undercut the evolutionary notion.

The sad probability is that our most ancient forebears knew more about Jesus Christ and our future union with Him than we do, an issue that will be taken up in the next chapter, along with a detailed pursuit of the most troubling of the overt causes for the Church’s denial of a feminine Holy Spirit. This very basic and most ancient of causes resulted in the elimination of sexuality from all matters of the Christian faith despite the Scriptural emphasis on both the physical and theological importance of sexuality as exemplified by the following passage which borrows from words spoken by Adam as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and repeated by both Jesus and Paul:

“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.”

 

  • Ephesians 5:31 and 32
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