The Politically Correct Presbyterians USA - Update

Reader RC directed me to an excellent post on his blog in reference to the PCUSA's decision to include Mother, Child, Womb as a "reclamation" of the Trinity. I blogged about this in my last post here. The new push centers around the idea that the conventional Trinitarian view is somehow "outdated" and needs to be "reclaimed". Subsequent to that thread, Presbyterian Charles Wiley came up with a set of "rules" to create new versions of the Trinity - some of the results were "Mother, Child, Womb" and "Lover, Beloved, Love". I figured that under the same rules we could use "Hen, Door, Blanket" - but that's just me. One version that I hadn't heard about was shown me by RC at his post. This made me positively sick:

Rainbow, Ark, and Dove

RC made a very good point. As Jesus hung on the cross, bearing the sins of the entire world, separated from His Father, he didn't cry out "My Rainbow, My Rainbow, why have you forsaken me?" It is one thing to compare the attributes of Almighty God to a Rock, a King, or a Door. But it is another thing altogether to call the Holy Creator of the Universe "Rainbow", "Compassionate Mother", or "Lover". This is called sacrilege. That's a word that has been misused in the past again and again, but this is a time it can be pulled out of the closet, dusted off, and put to excellent use.
"From the creation of the world, God's invisible attributes are clearly clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, so that mankind is without excuse." They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever."
When we reject God's Law and interspose our own ideas about Him, suppressing the truth in ungodliness, we are setting ourselves up for His judgment. Don't believe me? Read Romans 1 and consider what has happened in mainstream "churches" like Anglicanism that has now ordained and made normal practicing homosexual "bishops". This isn't about denominational issues - this is about exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie. On which side do you stand? God has appointed a day that He will judge the world in righteousness, and He will require an account of your every thought, word, and deed. He says that a place has been made for whoever "loves and practices a lie" - that place is Hell. Eternity is a long time. If you died tonight, where would you be? In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Anonymous said...

You should do a post on Ralph Reed and his involvement with Jack Abramoff. I am rather curious of your opinion on this whole affair.

Nathan Straub said...

David, the prophets and psalms do indeed compare God to a mother.

PS 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."

ISA 49:15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

ISA 49:16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.

ISA 66:13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

See, it is not exactly appropriateness of this particular metaphor that's at issue, but the emphasis. Mystics and revisionists say God is unknowable as he is. The Bible says God has revealed himself, so our knowledge of him can be limited, but accurate. There's nothing wrong with trying to express forgotten aspects of God's nature. We have the whole Bible to learn from, not just Matthew, Acts, and Romans 1.

The problem is when I attach primacy to one word when God has attached it to a different word. The problem is when I choose His word, not for His meaning, but for my meaning, and combine it with another perfectly good word to highlight my own goofy preoccupation. “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar” “Do not go beyond what is written.” (Go read 1 Cor. 3:18-4:6!!!)

We should attach primacy to the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost because that's what Jesus has given as titles. Father is a title; mother is a description when referring to God. Rock is a title (see Dt 32), so is Lamb (Jn 1; Rev. 5-7,12-22). I say this because it is used as a title when speaking of or to God in the Bible. These are appropriate for referring to Him as a person or in prayer (the goal of Mr. Wiley, if I'm not mistaken).

Examine this verse for a good example: EX 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father's God, and I will exalt him.

EX 15:3 The LORD is a warrior;
the LORD is his name.

Strength is used here in Exodus as a description; it is also used as a name or quasi-name in Psalms 18:1, 22:19, 59:9,17.

The trinity is a great truth, which has been distorted many times by people trusting their own understanding over what God says about himself. Some seemingly want to rely on more and more metaphors to KEEP the certainty of definite knowlege behind the veil, especially if they secretly doubt anyone is behind the veil but don't want to risk their salary just yet. (C.S. Lewis wrote about some anglicans of this ilk in _God in the Dock_.)

I've worn your patience, I'm sure, but if you have the time, you should examine Thomas Aquinas's, and Jonathan Edwards's, treatment of the trinity. In compressed form, it is: the Father is Godself (I am who I am) as he is himself, the Son is Godself (the image of God) as he knows himself, and the Spirit is Godself (the will of God) as he loves himself. The three persons are understood as they relate to each other.

Ok, I couldn’t resist. Here’s the 1 Corinthians passage.

1CO 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" ; 20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or or the present or the future--all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

1CO 4:1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me . It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1CO 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?


Anonymous said...

Susan Cyre, pastor of Dublin Presbyterian Church in Presbytery of the Peaks and editor of the magazine Theology Matters,

"It fails to clearly, consistently and accurately make a distinction between the names of God and the attributes and works of God described in metaphors and similes," she said. "Names and metaphors and similes are not the same. God is like a mother hen, but God is not a mother hen and mother hen is not a name of God."

Referring to the Trinitarian language of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, she said these "are not metaphors, but the names for God."