Comment: Sexuality: Divine and Human (Part 2)

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Sexuality: Divine and Human (Part 2)

In Part 1, I outline four views of human sexual intercourse. Concerning the outlined positions, a key question is: Where does human eros come from? For an answer, we should consider whether God has sexuality. (By "God" I am referring to the Divine nature, the homoousian -- "same essence" -- of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) Put in a simplistic way, I conceive of four Christian positions regarding God and gender:

1. God is male. As I understand it, this is the LDS view.

2. God is female. Christian feminists sometimes adhere to this view.

3. God is the fullness of sexuality, both male and female, and eros is a facet of Divine love. This is my view, and, I suspect, the view of most Orthodox and Catholics.

4. God is the absence of sexuality, neither male nor female, and God, therefore, does not express eros. This is probably the view of most Protestants.

Most Christians adhere to either position 3 or position 4 (although I do see why one could adopt position 1, given that God is referred to in the masculine in Scripture). Concerning why I affirm position 3, that God does have sexuality, note that God, after raising Jerusalem from infancy, declares to her:

I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. - Ezekiel 16:7-9 KJV

The bolded portions leave little doubt as to what is in view. There are also several other passages in the Prophets that refer to Israel as a wayward wife who provokes God to anger (see, for example, Jeremiah 3, Ezekiel 23, and Hosea 4). As an interesting counterpart to Ezekiel 16, please note this passage from Revelation 21:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband... And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God... - Revelation 21:1-2, 9-10 (KJV)

(Please note that God brings the "new Jerusalem" (the Church) to "the Lamb" (Christ), and how it mirrors the very first human marriage, where God brought Eve to Adam (see Genesis 2:18-25). I view this as an example of how human marriage foreshadows the marriage of Christ and the Church.)

I also look to Song of Solomon as supporting my view that God manifests eros. The Song is commonly viewed as an allegory of God's love for Israel, or Christ's love for the Church, and this allegorical interpretation is seen as justifying its canonical status.

Finally, please turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13:12:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV

The bolded word is ginóskó, which refers to a first-hand, experiential knowledge. It is used elsewhere as a euphemism for sexual intimacy, as in Luke 1:34: "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" The bolded/italicized word that appears twice in 1 Corinthians 13:12 is epiginóskó, which contains a prefix that "intensifies" ginóskó. I interpret the passage as evidence that Christ and his Church express eros toward each other.

If, as I contend, eros is a facet of Divine love, then it makes sense that humans derive their capacity for eros from being made in God's image. I will expand on this in Part 3.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand