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Friday, December 6, 2019

It has to be said

This post will make some people unhappy. That's okay, just don't bother commenting what a heretic I am. To quote Thomas Merton, today's heresy is tomorrow's doctrine. We might get a little theological here, so forgive me.

God, properly understood, is not an old white guy sitting on the throne beyond, or upon, the clouds. In fact, God has neither body, nor gender, nor any physical form that we can discern at present. You might say that God is reality itself, or existence itself, or the water in which we swim and the air which we breathe. In fact, most of our conceptions of God amount to what people in biblical times would have called thrones or principalities, lesser gods who run errands for the high God.

My question for you is, how does this non-corporeal God have a biological child? Through the Holy Spirit, which is also non-corporeal (hence its name)? I think not. There is, quite simply, no way that you can say that Jesus is the child of God any more than you and I are children of God, or assert biological divinity for Jesus. Metaphorical divinity may be something for which we can build a case, as is divinity conferred at a later time. In fact, the latter is a biblical concept that not many people want to talk about. That is a pretty good indication that we should talk about it!

This of course causes problem for Trinity. If by Trinity what you mean is that God exists in community, I have no problem with that - just say what you mean. If by Trinity you want to argue for some literal understanding of a birth narrative that was never intended to be literal and was only contorted into seeming literal status within the last two hundred years in the west, I will need to take a pass and refer you to the flat earth society. You might want to work with them on a project to make sure the four pillars that hold up that flat earth aren't in need of repair after all these years.

I really can't go to bat for Jesus as God any longer. It's fine if you want to try. The idea creates more problems than it solves, especially with relationships between the three Religions of the Book. I'll stick with Jesus as Prophet right now, and if you want to say that he is Divine in an Eastern sort of way, I can deal with that, too. Just don't try to sell me the born of a virgin, biological son of God stuff. That belief has done more damage than good, especially to women, and I am over it.

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