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This teaching series originally began as a single letter to a large suburban church leadership body from a “wilderness prophet” seeking union with that church according to the Lord’s direction. The letter marked a profound and humbling transformational change in this writer’s understanding of the church which the Lord chose to unveil by revealing the spiritual significance of human gender.
This writing and all the writings in this series on the Mystery of Spiritual Gender are for mature spiritual audiences only. It is not for those who are struggling over sexual “hang-ups,” naturally or spiritually. Discussion of gender and sexuality in any context is an open target for a spirit of perversion and dissension. We desire to provide no opportunity for that here.
Therefore, every reader should read these writings with a sanctified, circumspect heart. These writings do not contain any explicit sexual imagery such as portrayed in the Song of Solomon. The Lord was confident that including such a book in the scriptures could still be edifying to His people despite the risk of our proneness to perversion. Likewise, we should have equal confidence that we can objectively discuss the attributes of gender as they relate to spirituality without stirring false passions or warped concepts.
At risk in these articles is any use of the word “dual” in describing the nature of the Lord’s traits in His people, a word I have chosen sparingly. This teaching is in no way to be confused with the ancient heresy of dualism. Dualism is a Gnostic corruption of what is otherwise a mysterious truth—that God indeed manifests one nature in two aspects. It is the same problem we have in describing the One God in Three Persons (The Trinity). We are not describing Three Gods.
So too with spiritual “genderality” in the Godhead. We are not describing Two Natures or Two Genders. We are carefully describing One Nature in two differing “polar” yet blended aspects, displays, emanations, manifestations, traits. Any “slip of the pen” that seems to suggest two separate natures should be seen in this context.
It is necessary to understand the limits of this teaching as applied to the Lord’s people. Certain elements of these spiritual gender aspects are sovereignly planted by God in us, causing us to be primarily oriented (ie, “dominant”) toward one set of traits or the other. But we also have a responsibility to respond to the Spirit’s inculcating of both sets of aspects fully within ourselves. We cannot use the predominant sovereign element planted within us as an excuse for failing to grow into the wholeness of both aspects required for coming up into the Lord’s complete image.
At the same time, we cannot use our responsibility for growing into the fullness of both nature-aspects to discount the reality that God has sovereignly weighted these aspects in us as individuals, churches, movements and streams with a certain pre-dominance. These we must recognize and accept for what they are as imparted by God the way they are. We are not to judge these sovereign impartations for their lack of complete expression of the Lord’s nature.
Because of this important distinction, some parts of my teaching on this subject focus on the sovereignly placed dominant elements of these spirit gender aspects in God’s people. Other parts focus on our call to fully develop into both aspects in their proper proportions. The reader needs to discern in every teaching which emphasis I am making in a given article, and not yield to any illusion of contradiction. There is none. It is part of the mystery.
Lastly, in expositing the mystery of dual spiritual gender as revealed in the nature of God, it is critical to explain that this is not a contradiction of Paul’s teaching that in Christ is “neither male nor female.” Nor is it a teaching hinting of or allowing in any way whatsoever for the existence of some unknown hidden "female figure" in the Godhead such as the “queen of heaven,” the Christadelphian “virgin of wisdom,” or the portraying of the Holy Spirit as a "woman."
Again, understanding contexts and limitations of meaning is vital. Gender is strictly a creational concept. Yet the nature of God reveals the oppositely tempered attributes and functions such as emotion and will, mercy and severity, etc. These existed in God before the Creation. And it is from this inherent polarity of divine temper as we perceive it that the creational reflection of gender is derived.
Not only so, but the God-breathed revelation of scripture continues to use gender-based language to portray the ongoing eternal / spiritual relationship of the Lord with His People. The Lord Jesus is seen as a spiritual Groom, a "masculine" role, relative to His redeemed people who fulfil both a spiritually "feminine" role as a corporate Bride, and their own spiritually "masculine" role as individual Sons.
For Paul to say then that “in Christ is neither male nor female” is not a denial of this pre-creational temperamental duality nor of its outworking on the eternal spiritual plane in relationship to His Redeemed New Creation. The dual divine temperament from which natural gender arises remains in Christ. He still is characterized by both the “masculinity” of determined reasoned will and the “femininity” of emotive passion, and by all the traits characteristic to both temperaments. And He continues to fulfil a decidedly spiritually masculine role relative to His people.
Paul’s meaning rather is to say that 1) in Christ there is no natural (creational physical) gender as we know it (nor will there be in His resurrected / translated people), and 2) in Christ is the perfect reconciliation of dual divine temperament such that there is no final polarity or tension between His attributes. In Christ is a reconciliation of divine temperament that prior to His glorification did not exist, the aim toward which lay in God’s heart from before earth’s foundation “when” and for which purpose it was determined that the Lamb must be slain.
With this understanding in hand, I commend this series on the Mystery of Divine Gender to the reader for instruction and edification into understanding the ways of the Lord among us.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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