NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
I’ve recently returned from vacation and decided I’d better blog if I intend to have a blog. The problem is there is so much to talk about that it’s hard to pick just one thing. So, I guess I will have to write more often if I want to cover more topics.
Something dangerous has come to my attention in recent weeks, and it stirs a mixture of feelings in me: curiosity, sadness, and anger. Loving history the way I do, I constantly go back to it to see what lessons can be learned: lessons from past successes and lessons from past failures. The emergence of Gnosticism within the Church is one of those history lessons I thank God is there for us to learn.
Ancient theologians did not pull any punches when it came to defending Jesus Christ against the Gnostics. They were a forceful and pernicious influence on many during that time, and their beliefs varied according to the sect to which they belonged. Church leaders dealt with them in no uncertain terms. (See http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/justin.html)
Today, Gnosticism of all shapes and sizes is reborn in the media—books, audio, websites—the list is depressingly long. And worst of all, Gnosticism has infected some “Christian” ministries and (believe it or not) Christian leaders are endorsing it.
Gnosticism or “secret knowledge” has many different faces, but the themes present within it are recurring. One of those themes is the feminine aspect of God. Here is an excerpt taken from an article on a Gnostic website:
4. “Lord, no one can perceive Truth except through you,” suggested Matthew. “Teach us of Truth so that we can know our Source.”
5. “I descended from the Parents to tell you of these things,” replied the Redeemer. “I came to reveal Light so that you can find that Light within yourselves, for when you have found it, you will enter into it, and you will know that your Source is within you. Then you will know that the Father and Mother are the Man of Holiness, and I am the Son of Man.”
6. “Lord, if you are the Son of Man, have you no Mother?” asked Matthew.
7. “This is what I desire to show you,” replied the Redeemer. “The Man of Holiness is the Great Androgynous Progenitor. He is Father and Mother. In him is no division. In him is no lack. He encompasses the whole. He begot me, his Only Begotten Son, but I am not whole without my sister. She is Sophia, my sister, my consort, my feminine half. When we are united in one, then we are whole like our Parents, but when we are separated, we are incomplete, like the Aadamah who became separated into male and female to produce mortal children. That which has been divided must be united into a perfect unity for the realm of the Eloheim to be established.
Now, here is a sample from Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), a website claiming to be a Christian ministry:
THE GOD OF CBE:
“We may speak of God as Father or as Mother.” – Mimi Haddad, CBE president (Mimi Haddad, What Language Shall We Use), CBE website.
“We must resist the implication that God is masculine or that Scripture sanctions patriarchy.” – Mimi Haddad, CBE president (Mimi Haddad, What Language Shall We Use), CBE website.
“…there is a good Biblical reason, then, to speak of God as both Father and Mother, both ‘she’ and ‘he’.” – Richard and Catherine Kroeger, CBE authors; “Women Elders…Called by God?” (Catherine Kroeger is one of the founders of CBE; this particular article where she advocates calling God “mother” can be found at: http://firstpresby.org/womenelders/htm ; See: Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Wayne Grudem, Multnomah Publishers, p. 511), CBE website.
“I think that if you want to in your personal devotions address God as ‘Mother’ I don’t have a problem with that.” – T.J. Ostrander, CBE speaker, (tape# ACF290: “Sophia Wisdom of God or Goddess of Wisdom” sold via the CBE website.
“I believe it is important to call God, ‘Mother’ as well as ‘Father’ in public worship.” – Paul R. Smith, CBE author (Paul R. Smith, Is it Okay to Call God Mother, p.1), CBE website.
“We sing the words of John W. Peterson in worshipful praise, ‘Shepherd of love you knew I had lost my way…’ Would it be worse or blasphemous, to sing something like ‘Mother of love…’? Both are figures of speech. But because of our fear of taking on the trappings of radical feminism or goddess worship, we dare not sing those words—except perhaps in our closets of prayer.” I – Ruth Tucker, CBE author (Ruth Tucker, Women in the Maze, 20-21; See Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Wayne Grudem, Multnomah Publishers, p. 509-513), CBE website.
“God, our Mother, we thank you that you love us so much to want the best for us. Thank you for trusting us enough to let us do things on our own…Stay near to us and help us to become all that we can be. Amen.” – Jann Aldredge-Clanton, CBE author (Clanton’s book: God, A Word for Girls and Boys, p. 23), CBE website.
At Cornerstone, an annual festival of the Christian arts, attended by 27,000 evangelical youth, Mimi Haddad, president of the evangelical organization, Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), proposed that God could be called “Mother” as well as “Father”. – Mary Cassian, (The Feminine Mistake, Mary Kassian, Crossway Publishers, p. 287; Julia Bloom, “Biblical Equality Finds a Platform at Rock Festival”, (Mutuality, Fall 2002, p.16.) Haddad gave a seminar at festival entitled, “Forgotten People, Overlooked Language: Women Leaders and Feminine Images of God”), CBE website. – Quotes researched and compiled by Dwayna Litz (cited from cbeinternational.org).
Jesus addressed Him repeatedly as "Father" and instructed us specifically on how to pray:
God has defined how He wishes to be addressed throughout Scripture, and it is as Father.
Matthew 6:9: "In this manner, therefore, pray :Our Father in heaven". The Greek word is Páter - "father" literally or figuratively, near or more remote (Strongs NT:3962).
CBE denies the charge of Gnosticism. What do you think?
(For more information regarding the Gnosticism/CBE debate, see the blog of Dwayna Litz, http://lightingtheway.blogspot.com)