May 13: the early christian church and gender assignment

The early Christian Church was much preoccupied by the relationship of Jesus Christ to God the Father. After all, a basic notion of the religion was that Jesus was God, so  you were on dodgy ground if you started watering down his divinity in comparison with God the Father.  But he was also the Son of God. As well as being human. So how could all these characteristics be defined within the framework of his relationship with the God of the Old Testament. Jesus was fully human and fully god, they claimed, not half and half but full and full, which made him a 200% man-god. Theologians spent centuries trying to have their cake and eat it. Tertullian came up with the formulation of three persons; one substance. That also included the Holy Spirit but let’s not go there. Some theologians were not keen on the of one substance formulation and of one essence was found. Substance and essence fought it out for decades. And then there was the issue of Jesus’s life span. Was he eternal, like the Father? Surely he had to be, if he was a proper god.The Creed has it that he was begotten not made, of one being with the father. How can you be begotten but not made, you may ask? Do not askIn fact, if ever you read the Creed it is a lattice of complex ambiguous formulations. At one stage there is something about sure and certain hope. As a child this had always puzzled me. How can hope be certain? And not just certain, but sure as well. In literature there was word for that. Oxymoron.  But this wasn’t literature; this was religion.

Which brings me to trans-genderism and the business of gender reassignment. The early Christian Church spent hundreds of years debating the overlap between God major and God minor. In the end it said sod it, we’ll just used these words how we want and call it the Mystery of the Trinity. When someone says they just know they are a woman inside or a man inside, this is partaking of the same kind of mystery. I suppose that then it depends on how you feel about mysteries.

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