Saturday, July 18, 2009

Avoiding Heresy and Syncretism

Alice C. Linsley

Many heresies spring from failure to apply basic critical thinking skills. Such is the case with the Episcopal Church's sexual ethics, with most feminist biblical interpretation, and with gender-neutral Bibles. These represent erroneous and non-biblical anthropology in that they fail to preserve, and even obfuscate, the celestial pattern that is universally observed in the order of creation and which presented throughout the Bible.

The Bible has a binary framework. The binary feature is evident in the binary sets: sun-moon; male-female; heaven-earth, east-west, and life-death.This worldview emerges out of the acute observations of Abraham's Proto-Saharan ancestors. The binary distinctions are observed universally in nature and experienced on the most fundamental level of existence. The biblical worldview is not concerned with relative or subjective opposites such as tall-short, talented-untalented, dark skin-light skin, intelligent-unintelligent, etc., but rather speaks about what is real ontologically. There is no fantasy world where women serve as priests. The notion of women priests is antithetical to the Biblical worldview.

The Horite ruler-priests honored many realities, and were careful not to violate the boundaries they perceived to have been established by Horus, the Seed of God. The ancient priests saw boundaries in earth's geometry. From the tops of high mountains they noted the curvature of the Earth at dawn and dust. They "oriented" themselves by facing east as the Sun rose. Ancient towers and temples reflected the sacred geometry and cosmology of their builders. The differing geometric shapes of the temples of the Horite Sabians (Afro-Arabian Dedanites) associated the hexagon with Saturn, the triangle with Jupiter, the rectangle with Mars, the square with the Sun, the octagon with the Moon, and a triangle within a quadrangle with Venus

Abraham's Nilotic ancestors conceived of the cosmos as God's sacred pyramid or temple. As the Sun rose, God entered the temple from the east. As the Sun set, God left the temple toward the west. Rulers were buried in pyramids with the hope that they would rise with the Sun and lead their people in procession to immortality. St. Paul refers to this belief when he writes about how Christ rose from the grave, leading captives in his train. (Ephesians 4:7-9)

This is the symbolism of the sand scarab, which comes out of the sand when the Sun rises and returns to the sand as night approaches. The sand scarab represents the Sun's journey and life after death (repose). The female sand beetle lays her eggs in the sand and when the eggs hatch, she is no longer, because she gives her body to be eaten by her newborn young (cf. Jesus' words, "This is my Body given for you...").

For Abraham's Horite ancestors, the Sun and the scarab spoke to them of their deity, HR (Horus in Greek). He was regarded with his father Ra as the marker of boundaries. Horos (oros in Greek) refers to the boundaries of an area, or a landmark, or a term. From horoscome the English words hour, horizon and horoscope. The association of Horus with the horizon is seen in the word Har-ma-khet, meaning Horus of the Horizon. Today the word horoscope connotes astrology, but the word original meant "observer of the hours", from hora (time or hour) and skopos (observer or watcher).

In the time of Abraham's ancestors, the priests of Horus (called "Horites") were dedicated to observation of the planets and constellations. They observed that the planets and the constellations have an orderly clock-like movement. They conceived of this order as fixed and established by the generative force which makes existence possible (logos, nous, ruach, etc.) The Horite priests were the earliest known astronomers and it is likely that horo is a reference to their celestial archetypes surrounding Horus, the son of Ra, born to Hathor-Meri. Hathor-Meri's animal totem was a cow. She is shown at the Dendura Temple holding her newborn son in a manger or stable.

The Horites were devotees of HR (Hor, Hur, Har or Horus) whose mother Hathor-Meri conceived miraculously by the overshadowing of the Sun (the Creator's emblem). Horus is the archetype by which Abraham's descendants would recognize Jesus as the promised Seed of the Woman (Gen. 3:15). His authentication was His rising from the dead on the third day, in accordance with Horite expectation. In a 5 day ceremony, the Nilotic peoples fasted as a sign of grief for the death of Horus at the hand of his brother. On the third day the priests led processions to the fields where grain was sowed as a sign of Horus' rising to life. Jesus described his death as a seed of grain falling into he ground and dying (John 12:20-26). St. Augustine noted that the Egyptians took great care in the burial of their dead and never practiced cremation, as in the religions that seek to escape physical existence. Abraham's ancestors believed in the resurrection of the body and awaited a deified king who would rise from the grave and deliver his people from death.

Horus marked the boundaries and established the "kind" (essences). He guarded the four directional points and controlled the water and the wind. The Harmattan trade wind that blows from the northeast and east across the Sahara was named for Horus. The word is comprised of the biradicals HR for Horus and MT meaning order. The Nilotic peoples were probably the first to invent the sail because the prevailing wind blows south while the Nile (Hapi) flows north. Horus was invoked to send favorable wind. The four winds sometimes appeared as birds at the four quarters of the heavens announcing the accession of Horus' deified ruler on earth. On the walls of Amenemhat's burial chamber at Hawara Horus is depicted at the cardinal points and associated with the resurrection of the ruler. The four forms of Horus top the canopic jars holding the ruler's organs.

The male-female distinction

One of the most important binary distinctions upheld by Abraham's people is the male-female distinction. They associated maleness with the Sun and femaleness with the Moon. This association extended to semen and milk. The Sun inseminates the earth with its light and warmth and the Moon, which influences tides and body fluids, stimulates female reproduction and lactation. The ancients observed a relationship between the lunar cycle and the periodicity of the menstrual cycle. In France, menstruation is called le moment de la lune.

The binary distinctions were the basis for law and religious practice in the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. Both law and religion recognized that one of the opposites is always greater in some way. The Sun’s light is greater than moonlight. Males are stronger and larger than females. Heaven is more glorious than earth, and life is superior to death. Only in this last category is the feminine greater than the masculine, because the blood of menstruation and childbirth speaks of life, whereas the blood drawn by men in war, hunting and animal sacrifice speaks of death.

Because the Creator wants the distinction between life and death to be clear at all times to all peoples, He established this distinction between the “blood work” of women and men. This distinction between the two bloods is important for understanding the origins of the Christian priesthood, an office ontologically exclusive to males, since only men were priests.

There is no ontological difference between male and female. Both are human and both are fully in the image of God. Both crown the Creation, being created on the 6th day. Yet it is obvious that men and women are different. The Bible understands the difference as supplementarity. To understand the biblical worldview we must grasp its binary feature and the concept of supplementarity. These must be held together to avoid heresy and understand what the Bible teaches us about the created order and about the Creator.

In a sense, the woman is the gemstone of the crown of creation. This explains the gravity of Eve's sin. She who was created as the crown of the creation, the peak of the pyramid, inverted the order of creation when she submitted herself to the will of a creature who slithers along the earth. That is Eve's sin. Yet the Creator redeems the situation through The Woman (Gen. 3:15) from whom Christ became flesh by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. If we say that the woman is of a substance different from the man, we fall into heresy, because that would mean that the substance of Christ is different from the substance of men.

The Faith we've received from the Afro-Asiatics through Abraham recognizes a distinction and supplementarity between male and female when it comes to the order of creation. The man was made first, then the woman. The headship of males was expressed in the blood work of hunting, war, execution of lawbreakers, and in animal sacrifice by the ruler-priest. Anglicans who ordain women as priests, but not as bishops, on the "principle of headship" are missing the point! The pattern is about the blood work. The priest takes the life of the animal in sacrifice to make atonement for sin.

The blood work of women is distinct and speaks of life. Women sacrifice blood in first marital intercourse. They bleed in their monthly cycle and in childbirth. The blood shed of women is distinct yet supplementary to the blood shed by men in hunting, war and animal sacrifice.

The prohibition against mixing types, be they fibers, seeds or blood, is like the prohibition against confusing the holy with the unholy, or blurring the distinction between life and death, such as happens when a baby goat is boiled in its mother's milk (forbidden 3 places in Scripture). That is why each seed is to go to its own kind. As plants are born from the earth, so the seeds of plants return to the earth. As the man is born from the woman, so the seed/semen of man is to return to woman. The spilling of seed called 'onanism' is regarded as an unrighteous deed, a violation of the order of creation. So obviously is homosex.

Bloods were never permitted to mix or even to be present in the same space. And of course, this is what Orthodox and Catholic Christians say about the Eucharist, where Christ's Blood alone is to be present. That is why, according to ancient instruction in the Priests' Manuals, the priest must immediately leave the Holy Place should he in inadvertently cut himself and bleed. This is why women never can be priests and why they are "churched" after childbirth, following the ancient custom.

God's ordering of creation is for the benefit of those who would know God's Nature (as St. Paul tells us in Romans). As male and female alike are in God's Image, and God is not divided, neither can we divide in substance the male and the female. In marriage the two are able to become one because they are of the same "kind" and supplementary. Supplementary means that one cannot be perceived to exist without the other. This is a picture of the Godhead - for the Father and the Son (Logos) can't be perceived to exist one from the other. To say that the Word became flesh is to say that the Son of God became human in order to redeem and restore believing humanity to our original state. We fall into heresy when we leave out the part about the "Son" of God. The language of Father and Son is not coincidental to what God is revealing to us. The Father delivers the Kingdom to the Son. The Father presents the Church as a pure and radiant Bride to the Son.

The supplementarity of opposites is evident only when their distinctions are maintained. Satan directs a good deal of effort to blurring distinctions by encouraging androgenous dress, homosex, the ordination of women to the priesthood, and by fanning the flames of feminist rhetoric. However, if we attend to the binary distinctions of the created order which God declared "good" and we affirm their supplementarity, we are less likely to stray from path of life, which is not a path so much as it is the person of Jesus Christ.

Related reading: The Binary Aspect of the Biblical WorldviewGenesis on Homosex: Beyond SodomThe Importance of Binary Distinctions; God as Male Priest; Mary and the Origins of Life; Ideologies Opposed to Holy Tradition; The Biblical Meaning of Eve; Impressions of the New American Anglicanism


Anonymous said...

Thank you Alice. That is very clear, and it would explain why the liberals/homosexualists are so dismissive of the Levitican ban on mixing fibers and mixed planting. On some level they know that those bans are foundational, and speak against their liberal agenda.

Georgia said...

"This is a picture of the Godhead - for the Father and the Son (Logos) can't be perceived to exist one from the other."

Alice, You have just given support for the Filioque.

I arrived at this same conclusion meditating on the Ikon of the Trinity by Rublev and posted some thoughts on this Ikon and the Filioque a weeks ago:

From what you are saying, it seems that from the union (not sexual) that is the united single will and purpose (redemption/restoration) of the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is sent by them both, and proceeds to earth to finish the third phase of the triune work of redemption of humanity and the creation: *Revelation: the gift of faith from the Father *Salvation: gift of propitiation and power over sin from the Cross and Resurrection of The Son
*Sanctification: leading us into all truth, giving light, the work of the Holy Spirit in this age.

Matthew said...

You've posted similar things before, but I think this is the first time you stated this as one post.

I have to wonder at just how much of progressive thought is cultural and temporal elitism (we know so much better now) and how much is anti-semitism. Your work certainly bolsters the traditional aspects of Christian thought and practise.

Thank you.

Alice C. Linsley said...


If what I wrote gave you the impression that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father AND the Son, I would say that I do not believe that to be the case. John's Gospel is clear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father while the Son is 'Begotten' of the Father. Here again we must make careful distinctions.

You are correct that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father (John 14:26) and the Son (John 16:7). In this we see the unity of the Father and the Son. However, being sent by the Father and the Son is not in dispute. The filioque has to do with source or origin of the Holy Spirit. The Council of Nicea held that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not from the Father and the Son. You might want to read more on the doctrine of procession.

Anonymous said...

Great post, as usual!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Father Rick Lobs has made this response to a woman who read this essay at a clergy listserve. I'm copying a part of his response from his email. The woman to whom he is responding disagrees with the points made in this essay, especially the significance of female circumcision (to which I will respond later).

"This will disappoint you, but I fully affirm what Alice said about blood, but, here is my way of putting it. Men shed blood in death - women in life. They are very different and of critical importance in the order of things. That this will never ever be acknowledged in TEC, or any hip portion of our culture, is a foregone conclusion but it is a profound loss for our Western culture. Women especially would gain from this most ancient understanding. That is why, until basically the 1950's, in no culture, anyplace on earth, was it the task of women to bury the dead - they prepared the dead for burial. Males were about death and burial is about death.

I experienced a seminal moment way back in the middle-seventies, while doing post-graduate work. The car in which I was riding as a passenger was stopped by the police for a traffic violation. As the passenger I could only see the mid-section of the officer. I was shocked to realize it was a female. At that time, as a reminder, female police officers were rare. My thought, my dominating thought, and I do not mean for this to be offensive, was, holy cow, look at the gun belt strapped around her life-giving ovaries. I have offended some with that observation. I still hold it. I am not sure if this issues from my imagination - from the collective consciousness or the collective memory of how males and females function. What am sure of is that it is Hebrew thinking and understanding, which carries over into the New Covenant.

Women are life givers. Men life takers. The blood of the two should not be mixed."

Anonymous said...

"This is why women never can be priests"

Yet there are many women who do not bleed (i.e. those who are past child bearing years) and are still prohibited from becoming priests.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The blood work of men and the blood work of women is illustrative of the binary distinctions observable in the order of creation. Therefore it doesn't matter if a women bleeds. What matters is that she is a woman, not a man.

Zipporah was angry with her husband, Moses, because she was put in the position of having to circumcise their son, which was the work of priests. In her mind this diminished her femininity.