Sunday, February 15, 2009

God the Mother, Jesus the Daughter, Lord I am so Confused

I thought I had laid this issue to rest with my previous posting of 02/11/09, but I am forced to go back there because of what was said today at church.

After hearing today's readings from scripture, I was a bit surprised at the direction taken in his sermon by the rector today. He started with the mystery of the Trinity, but he only compounded the mystery by giving a lengthy pitch for something that reminded me of Mary Daly's version of things (see previous post). One thing he said was that he loved the idea of the "Christa" the female on the cross,

(from EdwinaSandys)

and that he saw in our Trinity window's central panel,



an ambiguous Christ that could be either male or female.



Er, excuse me Fr. Foss, but I think "she" needs a shave.

If all this is much ado about nothing, and we cannot use images to imagine the Godhead, then why did it take 22 minutes to say just that? And why would he slip in a little "she" when talking about God later in the sermon? Perhaps he hoped to show our visitors from the Winthrop Chamber Singers how thoroughly enlightened we are at ECOOS.

My guess is that it was done just to stir up the curmudgeons in the congo.

And what was that he said about Jesus breaking "every" law? I think I can count 10 that He kept.

Fortunately, after the sermon, everyone stands and says the Nicene Creed with all of its wonderfully patristic words. I was glad to say the creed today with my fingers uncrossed, respecting the faith handed down to us by our ancestors, the apostles, martyrs, and saints, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

After the service, I had to return to the sanctuary. As I examined the Trinity window, looking for the divine feminine, a shadowy figure came up from behind. Yes, it was Deep Pew "itself."

"What do you think," I asked.

"Looks like a girl I used to date in college," Deep Pew replied.

I laughed, turned, but Pew had vanished into the now empty sanctuary.

There are times when you have to laugh to keep from crying. Crying because of the gender subversion being fed to us simple pew sitters. For what reason? To what end? Laughing because you understand the aims, and the foolishness of it all.

Of course gender subversion is part of the residual contamination from the "Feminist Theology" of the seventies and its ongoing struggle to eliminate the masculine.

In "The Christa: Symbolizing My Humanity and My Pain" by Julie Clague, we hear the usual attacks on the masculine in trying to describe these artistic approaches to revisionist Christology:
"Since the mid-1970s, some artists have portrayed Jesus Christ in female form (sometimes referred to as the ‘Christa’). The depiction of a female Christ crucified is a particularly controversial representation that challenges theological orthodoxies and upsets the gender symbolism ingrained upon the Christian cross. The controversy and ecclesiastical censure that such works often provoke indicates the emotive power of gender subversion. This study provides a detailed account of five images of the female-Christ form in art, considers their function as theological symbols, and assesses their contribution to feminist theology. It will be suggested that the Christa offers a subversive feminist strategy of representation. And—while such representations do not remove the unanswered theological difficulties associated with divine suffering, the problem of evil and the mystery of salvation—the graphic portrayal of female suffering powerfully exposes the reality of the cross as a site of patriarchal violence."
Feminist Theology, Vol. 14, No. 1, 83-108 (2005)
DOI: 10.1177/0966735005057803


So, I left today smiling, having learned that there is no male, no female, no sin, no Hell, and that all is one and one is all.

"Reality is one, or Ultimate Reality is One, or Reality is ultimately One."
(Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the related language of science and religion in a speech to the National Press Club on 12/16/2008)

Just another brainwashed pewster, U.P.

8 comments:

  1. Well, one thing you can say for KJS -- she knows her Spinoza.

    As for the the content of today's sermon: we continue to pray for the overcomers...and the children.

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  2. The depiction of a female Christ crucified is a particularly controversial representation that challenges theological orthodoxies and upsets the gender symbolism ingrained upon the Christian cross.

    I know I went to a land-grant university, but methinks someone misinterprets the meaning of the word, "symbolism." That is, Jesus Christ was male, if you believe He is in fact who He says He is. It is only if you believe Christ is a myth that you then can speak of symbolism. Toward appear that Ms. Clague has inadvertently disclosed her real agenda.

    Unless, of course, "she" is merely symbolic of feminist theology.

    Cheers.

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  3. Thanks for your comment Chuck. I too worry about the children when they are presented with this confusing image of Jesus. Artists may do what they wish to shock and stimulate thinking in the adult community, but not in a Church where all ages and stages are meant to grow in Faith. Discussions of "Christa" would be better done in smaller groups (such as blog comment boxes).

    Randall, you are spot on.

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  4. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Foss is another example of what is wrong with the episcopal cult. I once listened to his nonsense.

    He never thought much of my traditional ways or thoughts.

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  5. Anonymous4:08 PM

    This is why I left the cult.

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  6. You'll be thrilled to hear that I have no trouble accepting that Jesus was male.

    However, I see no reason why God should be exclusively male or female. If we want to get all literalistic (with all the dangers therein), we can go back to Genesis: if God created us in his image, but created us male and female -- well, doesn't that give you a cramp in the logic area of the brain, unless God somehow is someone who can include in her/himself both male and female? And if God is not both -- well, my friend, he's not going to be able to understand 1/2 of the human race. Rather limiting, isn't it? I prefer an unlimited God, who includes and embraces us all.

    And, by the way, I see no reason why the Holy Spirit should be male, either.

    Furthermore, if you move around the congregation, you will hear any number of church members (some who might surprise you) editing the Creed as they say it.

    Myself, I used to edit it. Then, after study and thought, I concluded that one of the strengths of the Episcopal Church is that we have agreed that, whatever we believe, we have agreed to say this liturgy together. There is power in corporate prayer. For that reason, I now say and sing the liturgy as it is written.

    Over time, my friend, the Church will change, as it is changing. It will continue to become more aware of the fact that 1/2 or more of its members are women. Thought will be given to how bright, thoughtful little girls are affected by a patriarchal godhead.

    Just because it's traditional doesn't mean it's right or good. Thoughtful people do not accept a political or religious system just because it's traditional.

    Thoughtful people also should realize both the power of the written and spoken word, and its limitations.

    As religious people, we are always trying to express the inexpressible. It is arrogant and foolish to think that traditional language got it "right." We will never, in this life, get it right. We can only try, within our abilities, to come as close as we can.

    That means things will continue to change.

    And thank God in all her goodness for that.

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  7. Anonymous3:27 AM

    Those who truly understand the Bible will recognize the existence of God the Mother. If we study the Bible carefully, you will see that throughout the Bible, God the Mother existed.

    Genesis 5:1-2
    1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

    When God created male and female, he called them man. So it's clear that God created man(male and female) in his image. That's why God has a male and female image.

    Genesis 1:26-27
    26 Then God said, "Let US make MAN(male and female) in OUR image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man(male and female) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; MALE and FEMALE he created them.

    Both males and females were created in the image of God, and thus it is clear that God has two images: a male image and a female image. When God said, "Let us make man in our image," God used the word "us"-a plural term-instead of using "me." We come to understand that not one God, but two Gods-a Father and a Mother-worked together during the Creation. Such plural terms are used to describe God in Genesis chapter 11, also.

    Genesis 11:7
    7 Come, let US go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

    This verse, too, makes reference to Elohim God, the same God who created male and female (in Genesis chapter 1), saying, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness." In Genesis chapter 11, God was responding to the arrogance of the people, who had collectively built the tower of Babel. Through this situation, God testifies that there exists a God the Mother as well as a God the Father by saying, "Let us go down…"

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  8. Luke 11

    "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

    And he said unto them, 'When ye pray, say,

    Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
    Give us day by day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.'"

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