“I am reading through some of the posts from the most recent Lutheran Carnival. Stan Lemon of Higher Things wrote an entry on the Dormition of Mary. There are some beautiful things said in there...but I wanted to bring out one particular section. When Mary was pregnant with the Christ, she was one body with our Lord. Her flesh was his flesh and everything about that flesh was connected. We (the Church) too are connected with Christ in the same way. Stan says, “Furthermore, when we partake of the Holy Supper, that Blessed Sacrament, we receive our Lord, and He dwells inside us. This Marian moment, this eschatological (end times/judgment)
It is precisely this that feminism both denies and destroys when they make false assertions against Gregory of Nazianzus’ famous axiom at the Council of Nicaea. In his battle against Arius regarding the Two Natures of Christ, Gregory had said, “what is not assumed is not redeemed.” That is, if Christ had not assumed human flesh, then all of mankind would still be dead in sin. Feminists began twisting the axiom according to the Nicene Creed, “and became man.” Arguing that the church taught that Christ only saved women because He only assumed male flesh, feminists twisted Gregory’s axiom to ask the question, “Can a male Savior save women?” thus opening the possibility to a female incarnation or a female personality in the Trinity. The Trinity must reflect this feminizing influence in order to be redemptive. Why? Feminist Theology has turned Gregory’s Twisted Axiom into a principle, and has arrogated to itself the self-assumed right to contend that any theology or any community that does not affirm the humanity of women is non-redemptive, nor does it reflect the image of that which is redemptive.
Former feminist theologians once contended that a female Christ, the so-called Jesa Christa, be used for the sake of women’s sensibilities on crucifixes. That was thirty-and-more years ago. Today a Christa crucifix is nearly unheard of. Now Elizabeth A. Johnson presents what appears to be on the surface to be a more moderating voice in Feminist Theology. She is willing to allow that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was a male, but insists that the necessity of a male Savior warrants a charge of blasphemy. Johnson claims she is quite comfortable with Gregory’s axiom. Really?
Harold G. Wells gives this analysis of her argument in “Trinitarian Feminism: Elizabeth Johnson's Wisdom Christology”: “The famous patristic dictum was: ‘What is not assumed is not redeemed’ (Gregory of Nazianzus). The question then is, Did God assume the humanity of women? The Nicene creed explicitly affirmed et homo factus est-‘and became human.’
In Romans 5:12-21, Paul tells the church that death (sin), entered the world through one man (Adam), but eternal life came by way of another (Christ). Luke’s genealogy (Lk -38) unites Jesus of Nazareth with Adam of the Dust genetically. Both are called S/sons of God. Yet, Paul also points out that God’s Son was born of a woman “under the law” (Gal 4:4). As Pr. Cholak and Stan Lemon eloquently point out, the Incarnation was not accomplished without the incorporation of female flesh into the formation of a male. God became man in the womb of a virgin. As Paul and Luke demonstrate, all mankind are included in the single word “man.” Johnson’s problem is simple linguistics. No surprise, that.
Johnson uses the so-very tiresome feminist argument that Sophia/wisdom is the feminine name for God, and is the female incarnation. Again, her linguistics is quite sloppy all for the sake of finding the humanity of women in Christ (when all she need do is attend the local confessional Lutheran church, be still, and receive the Gifts!) Nouns have gender; people have sex. Very simply what this means is this: In Hebrew one woman is isshah, a word in the feminine form. Yet two women is expressed by the word nashim, a pluralized noun that has a masculine form. One woman is feminine in form, while two or more women are masculine in form. The same linguistic anomaly occurs with the word for “father.” One father is ab, singular, masculine; two fathers is abboth; plural, feminine. Does this mean that, according to Johnson’s premise that because sophia is linguistically a feminine word we may now accommodate societal clamoring for a feminized Jesus and speak of Him as He is not? If that is so, then perhaps biological changes occur when two feminist theologians– male or female– gather to ponder such things.
“Johnson is uncompromising over against the pope and hierarchy of her church when she declares that the androcentric stress on the maleness of Jesus warrants the charge of heresy and blasphemy!” (Wells, 1995) Is it important that Jesus was born male? What a silly question! We rejoice in what our Lord has done, and say “Amen!” We do not speculate on how we might have been better served by Him! Moreover, let Johnson’s charge of blasphemy resound against heaven’s gates, for circumcision was required of the Messiah in order that all would be fulfilled according to His Father’s Law. The feminist complaint against the Father has no use for the Gospel, which is why they cannot see what Luther saw in Christ’s circumcision: “For when death fell upon Him and slew Him, and yet had no right or cause against Him, and He willingly and innocently submitted and suffered Himself to be slain: death became liable to Him, did Him wrong and sinned against Him, and completely exposed itself, so that Christ has an honest claim upon it. Now the wrong which death became guilty of toward Him, is so great that death can never pay or atone for it. Therefore it must be subject to Christ and in His power forever: and so death is overcome and killed in Christ. Now Christ did not do this for Himself, but for us, and has bestowed upon us this victory over death in baptism. Therefore all who believe in Christ must also be lords over death, and death must be their subject, nay their criminal, whom they are to judge and execute; even as they do when they die and at the last day. For by the gift of Christ death has also become guilty to all those, who have received this gift from Christ. Behold, this is the sweet and joyous redemption from death through Christ; these are the spiritual victories of Joshua over the heathen of
There is more… so much more regarding feminism and the Incarnation and the Supper that relates here… it even goes to why feminism rejoices in open communion… favors ecumenism… eschews monogamy (get that twist!)… approves of lesbianism… even books like Andrea Dworkin’s “Intercourse” have been revelatory into why all this is so… it relates to possession… what Cholak and Lemon write about is the difference between lo’ammi and ammi… but some things just can’t be blogged…