Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Is God female? Is Jesus a hermaphrodite? Feminism's modern attacks- part 2

An entire generation has now grown up with Gloria Steinem's declaration, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" (coined by Irina Dunn.). Christianity has not been immune from feminism's effects, as startlingly seen in two news articles this week from a female theologian and a historian about Jesus and God. In one, the theologian proposed that Jesus was a hermaphrodite. In the other, the historian proposed that we can't really know if God is or is not a girl. In part 1 I took a look at the news articles and then at the biblical stance of the position of women in this essay: Is God female and is Jesus a hermaphrodite?

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One thing that God said is that the woman is the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7). She is to be the helpmeet. (Gen 2:18). However, no one or the other of the man or the woman is better than the other, the man is urged to love his wife completely and the woman to love her husband completely, just as Jesus perfectly loves both. (Ephesians 5:22-33). I explored these themes and the Feminists in an essay eight months ago titled The Eternal Discontent of Feminists.

Betty Miller explained this submission cycle in her essay, "The Bible teaches that, in the Spirit, women are equal with men, and each must submit unto Jesus as their spiritual head. In the flesh, in the marriage relationship, women are to be subject to their husband's headship. The Lord ordained that the man be the one that would make final decisions in the home because in any relationship involving two people one must be the final authority."

Have you ever heard of a ship with two captains? An expedition with two leaders? A squadron with two generals? No. And it is so in God-ordained relationships. Though we all submit to Jesus, the husband submits to Him as Jesus submitted to God. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her," (Ephesians 5:25). And remember, Jesus gave Himself unto death. Feminists conveniently forget that part of the submission cycle.

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So what are the effects of a generation of women being hammered on the fact that we don't "need" a man? Men have fled. They did what women asked, and they left.

--According to this 2008 Census report, one in three American children live without their biological father in the home.
--From 1960 to 1995, the proportion of children living in single-parent homes have tripled, increasing from 9 percent to 27 percent, and the proportion of children living with married parents declined.
--Today, half of all children, and 80 percent of African American children, can expect to live at least part of their childhood living apart from their fathers. (Report of Final Natality).
--Children who live without their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, use drugs, experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, be victims of child abuse, and engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.

But I thought women didn't need men, and by deduction, girls didn't need fathers. Why, two mommies equals one daddy, right? Apparently not.

This is not to say that all fathers do not want to be with their children. A multitude of men feel pain and anguish when they cannot be with them. But in the twisting of a societal usurpation of the traditional male and female roles, there is collateral damage. Society is reaping that damage now.

That collateral damage extends to the church. Men hate going to church. In David Murrow's book on "Why Men Hate Going to Church, he says, "The ideology of masculinity has replaced Christianity as the true religion of men. We live in a society with a female religion and a male religion: Christianity, of various sorts, for women and non-masculine men; and masculinity . . . for men."

The diminishing of their masculinity has led many men to assert it and thus to avoid places where it is perceived that it does not exist, like church. Meanwhile in church, females rise.

MYSTICS

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To be sure, in much of the church's history after the first generation of Christians passed, and with the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic perversion of the faith and its power throughout the Middle Ages (5th to 15th centuries), the proper role for women was suppressed and the proper role for men was abused. It was during this time the female search for a role in spirituality led satan to tempt women in particular to the role of mystics. Didn't you ever wonder why it is mostly women who are considered the 'great mystics'?

Professor Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College said of mystics in his lecture on Hildegard the mystic, "we usually mean someone who has, or who claims to have, direct access to the mystery of cosmic and human order, some immediate and unmediated apprehension of a total knowledge of what truly is. Such knowledge characteristically comes from an experience of union with the divine or the transcendent, that is, with the higher world beyond the realm of our physical sensations. Mystical experience typically comes through visions and voices, or both (Hildegard attests to both)." Above, Liber Scivias showing Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary.

Hildegard of Bingen was such a one. Born in circa 1098, she lived through most of the 1100s. She began receiving visions from the age of three but kept them hidden until much later in life, when in a vision, she felt the presence of God come to her and heard Him say "Write what you see and hear." She was known as the prophetess of the Rhine. She said, "'…my perception of things depends on the shifting of the clouds and other elements of creation. Still I do not hear these things with bodily ears, nor do I see them with the cogitations of my heart or the evidence of my five senses. I see them only in my spirit, with my eyes wide open…'" It was after one such vision that the entire understanding of the holy books were delivered to her head, at once and instantly. We should all be so lucky.

And to another monk she wrote, "man flies with the two wings of rationality, that is to say, with the knowledge of good and evil. The right wing is good knowledge and the left, evil. Evil knowledge serves the good, and good knowledge is kept in check by the evil, and is even made more discerning by it. Indeed the good is made wise in all things through the evil."

The good is made wise in evil? I was not aware that there was any good in us at all...or that evil makes us wise. It was satan's original temptation to Eve that said if she ate the fruit it would open her eyes to knowledge of good and evil. And it did, but the effects have been devastating right up until this moment, and will continue to be so until the end of the Millennium Kingdom when and death and Hades are thrown into the Lake of Fire along with satan too. (Rev 20:14).

In this article, Female Mystics and the New Millennium, the author proposes the reason so many women are mystics: "A large percentage of mystics are women. Neurological studies of male and female brains reveal that women have better communication via the corpus callosum between the left and right brain. Dreams and visions are the domain of the right brain, while verbal communication is ruled by the left. This implies that while men may have as many mystical experiences as women, women might have a slight edge when it comes to remembering, making sense of and communicating their mystical experiences."

Of one vision Hildegard recorded, she wrote that it was audible to her: "O poor little figure of a woman; you, who are the daughter of many troubles, plagued by a grave multitude of bodily infirmities, yet steeped, nonetheless, in the vastness of God's mysteries—commit to permanent record for the benefit of human kind, what you see with your inner eyes and perceive with the inner ears of your soul so that, through these things, people may come to know their Creator and not recoil from worshipping him with the reverence due to him."

Hildegard had very low self-esteem, this is recorded in her many writings. For someone who thinks little of herself, it is an undeniable attraction to think that one will write something that will affect all of human kind ... yet the canon was closed a thousand years before Hildegard lived and all knowledge of the Creator had been delivered already...

To want to have a certain moral authority, and to have a spiritual authority, was the old temptation which satan stirred up in Eve (Genesis 3:5) and that same temptation still exerts a powerful pull today. Hildegard and the numerous other mystics claiming special revelation also fell for satan's craft. You have heard of wise-women, the phrase "the sage sex" and of new female mystics. As Mary Devlin says of the powerful female energies in the mystic, there is a resurgence of female energy in this time of transition. She wrote of modern mysticism-

"According to Carol Huffstickler, mystical practices are vital to our perception of the whole truth during the current transition. "Our real job right now is to understand that lack of (self-)awareness has caused, at the end of this century, deep confusion, gang violence, government shenanigans and cover-ups, and the out-of-control power of multinational corporations," she says. "The most important ‘Truth’... is one that is absolutely and totally unprovable: we are all sons and daughters of the Living God. We will not find this truth in a particle accelerator. We can only prove it to ourselves by direct experience of the other side."

Of course one will want to seek truth in something other than the bible when one has already chucked the bible's authority out, and with it, the roles of man and woman.

And that is the crux of a problem with the church today. There has been a leak-over of feminism with its over-reliance on 'female energies' of the New Age movement, and with it, their claims of special revelation. This special revelation is no longer relegated to fringe movements such as those led by Shirley MacLaine and her popular books such as Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light, or psychics like Carol Huffstickler. Huffstickler was a psychic who had a thriving business in Houston to tell where to drill for oil. She died in 2002, of lung cancer, and the sudden onset of her own illness was something she did not predict.

Feminist icon Oprah is one of the most influential women in the world. Unfortunately she is another New Age mystic whose unbiblical positions and ideas have leaked over to the Christian church and thus have gained a foothold of credibility. Formerly a Baptist, she has seamlessly blended the mystical and biblical, and combined with her influence, has created a false church of Oprah. One woman's reaction to seeing her in person gushes about Oprah's feminist theology:

"And she was everything I hoped she'd be: confident, funny, motivating, emotionally moving, and theological. Yes, theological. And not only that, her stories reflected a theology that empowered women, something we don't always encounter in churches these days. ... what I found interesting in Oprah's talk were the ways that she reclaimed religious language in an almost feminist way. I expected her to sermonize about how important it is that we [as women] give up control of our lives to God. This is a fairly typical viewpoint in Christian theology. In fact, there are numerous worship songs that are popular in churches today with lines like "less of me; more of You," "I decrease so He increases," etc. The problem with this theology, particularly for women, is that it encourages us to literally become less of ourselves. For some women, this can manifest itself, quite literally, in anorexia. For others, it appears in a quiet meekness, a hesitancy about ourselves, an overall lack of self-confidence, or worse, a deep manifestation of self-loathing."

Of course, that is an extremely flawed view of what Christianity is, but one finds that theme in Beth Moore's talks, too.  Beth Moore is another such example of such mystical leak-over from the New Age fringe to the formerly fundamentalist church believer. Moore often claims special revelation by mystical means, most recently claiming to have been lifted up by God from her back porch to another dimension to see the global church through Jesus's eyes as Jesus sees it. This kind of revelation is startlingly similar to Hildegard of Bingen's visions.

The woman is the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7). Barnes Notes, which you may know was published in the mid-1800s at the height of the supposed repressive Victorian era, says, "By this it is not necessarily meant that she is of feebler capacity, or inferior mental endowments, but that she is more tender and delicate; more subject to infirmities and weaknesses; less capable of enduring fatigue and toil; less adapted to the rough and stormy scenes of life. As such, she should be regarded and treated with special kindness and attention."

It is a horror and a shame that such secular doctrines and mystical behaviors have infiltrated the Christian church. Feminism is a fake solution to the issues in our sinful society and mysticism certainly is a satanic copy of what church worship and devotion should be. It is a fact that there are societal inequalities for women. But militantly insisting that women receive everything absolutely equal to a man is ludicrous. We are a different gender and we have different needs, strengths, and roles. In the last part we will take a look at Logistics. We'll examine what those biblical roles are and why each is important in the overall complementary scheme God has laid before us.

Part 1: Is God female? Is Jesus a hermaphrodite? Feminism's modern attacks
Part 3- Is God female? Is Jesus a hermaphrodite? Feminism's modern attacks

2 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth, very good, balanced and impartial analysis of a very touchy subject. To me saying that there is a redeeming value in evil is as ludicrous and absurd as saying that a man in hell is fortunate because he doesn´t have to pay electrical, gas or heating bills anymore. I just posted on my blog a study on why women should not be pastors according to the bible. God bless and keep you protected and provide everything you need to continue the good work that you are doing in teaching, informing, exhorting and encouraging the body of Christ. Jean-Louis.

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  2. Thank you for your visit and your encouraging comment. Jean-Louis

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