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Gender-Balanced Understanding of God and Christ

God and human beings

From the Feminine in Christology to the Feminine in Ontology – Opening to a Gender-Balanced Understanding of God.

Dr. Andrew Wilson on gravitation / planetary motion
Dr. Andrew Wilson. Photo: HJI

Part 1 of a speech by Dr. Andrew Wilson, Professor of Scriptural Studies at HJ International Graduate School for Peace and Public Leadership (HJI), New York, USA,. The speech was given 11th April 2024, the first day of an international online 3-day conference on “Peace and Public Leadership: Addressing the Challenges of Our Times”, organized by HJ International Graduate School for Peace and Public Leadership, New York, USA. Dr. Wilson’s speech was delivered during session 3, which had the theme “Christology and Women: Relevance for Peace”. Andrew Wilson’s current research interest is the theology of God as heavenly Mother.

See part 2, part 3

If we are going to address patriarchy to arrive at a more gender-balanced society, it is important to get back to Christological and theological foundations. Those feminist theologians who only work from the standpoint of social justice don’t really get at the root of the issue. It is one reason that some of them end up being alienated from religion and the church.

In traditional Christology, Christ is male; after all, Jesus was a man. As the second Adam, he redeems the sin of Adam. Jesus the Second Adam redeems of the sin of the man Adam. Furthermore, the man Jesus, as the Word made flesh was the incarnation of Heavenly Father, the God who is male. Accordingly, the Christian expectation of Christ at his return is for a man.

But in Unification Theology, Christ must be male and female, both from the standpoint of incarnation and from the standpoint of salvation.

John 1,3From the standpoint of incarnation, Christ is the incarnation of the Word from which all things were made (John 1:3). The Word from which all things are made must be both male and female, because all things in creation are in pairs, like male and female.

This is ultimately because God, the basis of the Word, has both male and female characteristics, which Divine Principle asserts, referencing Genesis 1:27.

“‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female he created them.’ (Genesis 1:27) This supports the idea that God, as the subject partner, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.” (Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 18-19)

Saint Paul
Saint Paul (ca. 10-67 AD), one of the apostles of the early church and author of several letters in the New Testament. From painting by El Greco, from Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, USA. Photo: Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image

The implication is that Christ, as the incarnation of the word, must be both male and female.

And then from the point of view of redemption, St. Paul taught that Jesus, the Second Adam, redeems mankind from the sin of the first Adam, saying,

“For just as by one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)

But how can this be, since both Eve and Adam sinned at the Fall? So, redemption from the Original Sin, Unificationism argues, requires in addition to the second Adam, the Second Eve.

This brings us to the mission of Reverend Moon from the perspective of Unification Christology. He understood that Jesus’ mission was unfinished, and that he was responsible to complete Jesus’ mission.

Matthew 22,2-10And the main thing that Jesus didn’t do during his lifetime was to marry and establish Christ as male and female.

Jesus hinted at that in a few places. For instance, in the parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:2-10, the guests were invited to the wedding of the King’s son, that is God‘s son, but they refused to come. That is a thinly veiled metaphor for how the Jewish people were expected to support Jesus so that he could marry, but they did not.

Matthew 25,1-13In the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13, the bridegroom, that is Christ, is delayed. This is the delay of the Second Coming (the Parousia), which points to the idea that at the Second Coming Jesus will marry. It is when Jesus will come as the bridegroom to receive the Bride.

And confirming that this will be an event at the Second Coming then in Revelation 19:9, we read,

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

These are Biblical hints which point to the revelation that Reverend Moon received from God, that as the man chosen for the role of the Second Coming, he would have to fulfill the parts of the mission of Jesus that he did not finish in his lifetime, and the first of these was to marry.  He had to find the Bride, and they would hold the marriage of the Lamb.

Cham Bumo Gyeong giving a gender-balanced understanding
Cham Bumo Gyeong, one of the Holy Scriptures of the Family Federation, published 2015. Contains extracts from Father and Mother Moon‘s speeches, describing True Parents’ life course in their own words.

That was to be the first task of the Lord of the Second Advent and the focus of his mission at the start of his ministry in 1945. He laid the foundation so that on 11th April 1960, True ParentsHoly Wedding could take place.

To denote the Bride, Reverend Moon, in one of his early speeches coined the term the “Only-Begotten Daughter”. He said,

“Jesus called himself God‘s only begotten Son. The only begotten Son needs the only begotten Daughter. Jesus was to embark on the path to save the world, but he could not do it alone. He needed to establish his family as the foundation.” (Cham Bumo Gyeong, 1.1.2.3, 10th May 1968, p.32)

Those words were from 1968. Thus, long before Hak Ja Han Moon started calling herself the Only-Begotten Daughter, Rev. Moon already introduced that concept, even though it got “buried” for a long time.

Continued in part 2, part 3.

Published 1st June 2024 at 11:54 pm, edited and updated version 3rd June at 1:10 am.

Featured image above: Left part of image by Superbenjamin. License: CC ASA 4.0 Int. Right part by Aethelwolf Elmsworth / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image.

Session 3 of the online conference was introduced as,

“Traditional Christology, which is meant to show God‘s intention to build the Kingdom of God through His incarnation in Jesus Christ, has lacked the element of divine femininity. The consequence is that Christianity has fostered attitudes that privilege men above women, and societies that discriminate against women and other marginalized people.

This deficiency has been identified and addressed by twentieth-century theologians, among them Rosemary Radford Ruether (1936-2022), who elucidated ways that Jesus Christ displayed the love and work of God who is feminine as well as masculine.

The authority of God‘s feminine voice has also been a feature of new religious movements in Korea which draw upon shamanistic folk religion where female mudangs [shamans] have privileged access to Heaven. The fullest expression of gender balance in Christology is Unificationism, which proclaims the advent of the Only-begotten Daughter standing side-by-side with the Lord of the Second Advent.”

More about gender-balanced understandingGod as Our Heavenly Parent (Father and Mother)

Yet more about gender-balanced understanding: History of God: From Yahweh to Father to Parent

Still more about gender-balanced understanding: Teachings Make Great Strides in New Version

Related to gender-balanced understanding: Essence of God

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: God and Human Beings

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: In a Nutshell

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Brief about the Teachings

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Religious Truth as Progressive Revelation

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Essential Motherly Part of Messianic Mission

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: The 3 Blessings and the Process to Fulfil Them

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Unchanging Truth and Its Changing Expression

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: The Meaning of History from Viewpoint of God

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Failure of Key Persons Related to Jesus

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Amazing Parallels to Jesus and Holy Spirit

Also related to gender-balanced understanding: Unification Principles

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