SIGNIFICANCE OF A FEMININE HOLY SPIRIT

SIGNIFICANCE OF A FEMININE HOLY SPIRIT

A major implication of perceiving the Holy Spirit’s femininity is the replacement of confusion with understanding. Once that connection is made, the Godhead’s attribute of Unity in the face of Trinity is no longer a logical inconsistency; the understanding itself immediately emerges with the depth of full intuition, so boldly as to evoke not only a sense of functional differentiation among the Members of the Godhead, but also to resolve the former paradox of unity in Trinity and to encourage the assignment of specific functions to each of them.

The Trinity, given the inclusion of femininity, at once is seen in a Family context. Viewing the Godhead in context of Family, the Family Entity resides above the three Members of the Trinity, representing the oneness of God in loving relationship, to which the individual Members are subordinate. In that setting, the Trinitarian Godhead represents the unity of Family, whereas the individual Members of the Godhead represent the three familiar functional roles of Father, Mother and Son.

In the context of function, the Father naturally represents the Divine Will in accordance with that assignment as given in Scripture, whereas the Holy Spirit responds to that Will by furnishing the Means by which it may be actualized. Pursuing that context, the Son represents the result of the union between Will and Means, being the Will’s actuality in Creation.

Key to understanding the Divine Family is the notion of complementary otherness implicit in the relationship. The importance of complementary otherness is its very partiality, which in the incompleteness of one partner without the other removes the exaltation of the individual. Even, or perhaps especially in the Godhead, ego is deliberately minimized by design.

It is my conviction that the Father Himself, in his own selfless nobility, willed the implementation of His subordination to Family, with love as His motive for doing so. Parting Himself in two, He voluntarily limited His unrivaled personal sovereignty over the universe to a shared arrangement with that element of His former essence that we call the Holy Spirit. This parting created gender differentiation within the Godhead Itself As the Complementary Other to the masculine initiative essence of the Divine Father, the Holy Spirit necessarily possesses the responsive gender attribute of femininity.

This Family-based gendered view of the Godhead elevates several verses of Genesis 1 and 2 beyond mere descriptive images of mankind, as we are used to understanding them, to very elemental depictions of the Godhead Itself.

Genesis 1:26 and 27 reads as follows:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of he air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

In their usual interpretation of this passage, commentators on Genesis regularly interpret the image of God in which man was created to consist of character attributes, avoiding any association of mankind’s rather significant gender attributes with God Himself. That interpretation deliberately and without justification ignores the conspicuous inclusion of gender in the passage.

In Genesis 2:18 through 22 the creation of Eve out of Adam is related in interesting detail. As this passage follows the creation of Adam out of the earth and some subsequent activities of Adam, its usual interpretation is that Eve’s creation historically followed that of Adam’s, without further elaboration. While the sequence under that interpretation may or may not be correct, an interpretation under the understanding of a fully-gendered Godhead is far more significant. The passage is presented below:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help fit for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help fit for him. 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.”

Under the standard interpretation there are some enigmatic elements, such as the question as to why God had Adam name the beasts before giving him Eve, and why God didn’t prescribe the same procedure for creating female animals out of the males.

The answer is, obviously, that man alone out of Creation was made in God’s image, and the account of the creation of Adam and Eve in God’s image says something about God Himself as well as mankind. The passage quoted above is not incidental; it is an elaboration for emphasis of God’s own nature.

Note in that passage that God described the state of Adam being without a companion as not good. Being without a feminine companion would render Adam, for all practical purposes, genderless. The attribute of gender was important to God, which suggests that God considers gender and its exercise as intrinsically good, rather than bad. The passage goes out of its way to make that plain. Again, in an interpretation more in line with what the Scripture suggests, the creation of Eve from Adam echoes rather distinctly the Father’s extraction of the Holy Spirit from His own essence.

Directly following that passage in Genesis 2:23-25 is another gender-oriented one:

“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. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Adam spoke these words before the Fall; therefore the union between man and woman was viewed by the primal couple as being God-given and nothing to be ashamed of, precisely as God intended. It was only after the Fall that sexual shame came into the picture.

This passage was so important to God that it was repeated twice elsewhere in Scripture, first by Jesus in Matthew 19:4 through 6 and then by Paul in Ephesians 5:31 and 32:

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 two shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they are no more two, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

“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.”

Notice, in the statement above attributed to Jesus, that He credited Adam’s quote to God Himself. The quote is obviously of great importance to God, not only because it was echoed by Jesus and Paul, but makes the claim that Jesus, as a Member of the Godhead, will marry the Church. The implication in this is that if gender union applies to one Member of the Godhead, it places the attribute of gender squarely in the Godhead, further suggesting that gender is an attribute shared by the Father and Holy Spirit as well. Moreover, the natural fruit of the union between Father and Holy Spirit is the Son Jesus, the glorious actualization of the Will as given birth by the Divine Means.

Here’s the great beauty of what the Father did in his selfless parting of Himself to form the Holy Spirit: what He gave up in doing that He regained in love in union with Her. That is the true significance of the implication of Adams words: “a Man shall cleave unto to his Wife, and they two shall be one Spirit.”

Just as Adam’s side was rent to form Eve, and as the Church was formed out of Jesus’ pierced side on the cross, so did the Father part Himself to form the Holy Spirit, with Whom He united in love to form Jesus Christ.

God intended our relationship with Him to be intimate and romantic. Only through our perception of the Godhead in Family terms can we begin to appreciate and love God as Jesus calls us to do in Matthew 22:37 and 38:

“. . .Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”

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