Isaiah 9: 6
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus Christ came as a newborn. He did not mature into being Christ from his education, from biological/hormonal changes, from being properly raised by His parents, or being nurtured to be “Messiah.” Rather, from before birth, his arrival was announced by angels to humble shepherds in the field. It was supernatural from the beginning. A “glorious baby”!? What could that be?
Are we not always glad and rejoicing when we see a newborn baby? This writer was present at the birth of my daughter, and then when they wrapped her like a little baked turkey with a cap on her little head, I stood and watched through the window as she slept on her baby bed, oblivious to dad, oblivious that she was now an individual person living outside the previous 100% dependency on mommy for survival. Now her world had expanded to include the doctors, nurses, and daddy who were looking out for her and sustaining her life.
But when Christ was a newborn, he was at that point wholly human and wholly God. Thus, His mission had begun. He was already “homoousia” (one essence) with the Father and the Holy Spirit even as He was wholly human/biological/conscious.
In this sense, He was not only born, but as the above wonderful verse says, he was “given.” He was already the promised Holy One, the Messiah, Who would bring the fulfillment of God’s promises not only to the Jewish people, but to all who would follow Him and deny themselves as a consequence of that following of Him.
Considering that the Lord of the Universe arrived as a newborn reveals another dimension of why abortion is such a travesty. His arrival as a newborn magnifies the worth of being born. For the Lord to have been born and to have been recognized and announced as the Holy One prophesied for thousands of years showed the infinite value of Almighty God’s creation. In His sight, birth is not “mere birth,” not merely a “natural event.” Rather, while “natural,” it is also infinitely special.
The Lord of Lords did not choose to arrive in the clouds (that will indeed come), but to arrive as an infant, a newly born. Can you see the difference between how God sees birth and those who see birth merely as a biological, economic, psychological, and/or medical event? Birth has cosmic significance in the sight of God. Jesus’ birth is one way He has communicated that to us.
Then Isaiah tells us what His “name” will be. His name is actually a series of titles which in our civilization signify different roles. But by calling these roles “names” the titles are personalized. The unique character of his being a counsellor, god, father, and prince converge to suggest someone exalted beyond comparison. He is a composite of roles that are already honored in the earthly realm, but are given a unique status in that they all apply simultaneously to one individual person/being who is distinguished by being all things exalted in one person or being.
In today’s world, we are flooded by counsellors. There are so many different schools of therapy – Jungians, Freudians, Skinnerian behaviorists, gestalt therapists. Philosophies abound about how we should live. A local Hindu newspaper store owner taught tantric yoga as well as owned his business. He told me, “You in the West are too obsessed with Being, the being of individuals and the Supreme Being of God.” He added, “In yoga we emphasize non-being as well as being rather than the is-ness of creation. Only when we identify with non-being (meditating on the sound of “OM” is a way to do this) can we properly understand Being.”
In the post-WWII era, philosophies such as existentialism and deconstructionism became increasingly popular in Europe. Both de-emphasized the stability of Being and of the Supreme Being as lacking flexibility and being less appreciative of the variety in the universe. Existentialism as understood by such philosophers as Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre emphasized authenticity –which is similar to “living your best life now.” However, Sartre and Camus would not include any supernatural God in their philosophies, and the authenticity of someone working as a pimp was acceptable to them, but probably would not be to Joel Osteen.
The deconstructionists challenged denotation as an inherent and legitimate understanding of language. We were taught that words have a denotation or essential meaning, but can have a variety of connotations. “Boy” means a biological male with certain genitalia, a certain pattern of hormonal development, specific chromosomes, a propensity to be attracted to a woman when he becomes a grown man, etc. However, the deconstructionists – especially Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher — challenged the certain depiction of denotations.
This collapse of meaning supported by philosophy claims that deconstruction actually reinforces and expands our understanding of human freedom [sic]. Deconstructionism actually preceded and has led to the horrifying challenges we now face to such words as man, woman, male, female, birth, identity, etc. For a segment of the population that seems to be growing, “he” and “she” or “him” and “her” can be replaced by “they” with no plurality of persons implied.
Thus, East and West are attacking not only belief in Christ and belief in monotheistic creation, but are attacking the idea of being itself and attacking the use of language – thus adding new dimensions to their assault on our beloved Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Thus, Hinduism emphasizes many gods but also has schools of thought which emphasize god consciousness whereby the individual can arise to a higher level of consciousness than other humans. Thus, Hindus who appreciate Christ are apt to see him as a man evolved to god-consciousness (man-God) rather than as God-man. Other branches of Hinduism emphasize rising above the cycle of constantly reincarnating by identifying with a transcendent oversoul.
Not only is the idea of Jesus Christ as God now attacked, but monotheism itself is attacked by deconstructionist philosophy in the West as inconsistent with the nature of language and thus expresses a type of obsessiveness with Being. Their attempt is to de-legitimize the words we use to describe ourselves and Almighty God.
In the quotation from Isaiah, counselling is not separated out from the other supreme being qualities expressed by Christ. The father is honored and accepted as a bastion of peace – the father, not the mother is the ultimate bastion of peace and wise counsel. This of course in no way implies that the mother is not to be honored, nor that she has no part in establishing peace. Rather, He is “mighty” because His authority is real, and, along with His Son, He rules the universe forever.
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