December 24, 2017

"The Holy Spirit is technically his biological father so he would be mixed-race."

Technically! Is Christianity based on a technicality?!

I found that quote in "Hillsong Unites Believers and Those Old Agnostics John, Paul, George and Ringo/More than a thousand worshipers attended a Pentecostal singalong whose set list included Beatles hits like 'Can’t Buy Me Love' and 'Here Comes the Sun.'" That was in the NYT on December 20th but I'm just noticing it today because I was looking for a link for the report that the Queen is finally getting around to knighting Ringo.

The quote in the post headline is from Nathan Finochio, a pastor at Hillsong, which is, according to the NYT, a "Pentacostal megachurch."
Backstage after the show, Mr. Finochio, who has Christ-length hair and a deadpan sense of humor, admitted that he had been so nervous that he verged on panic. His production came together with many happy accidents, including a notably diverse cast that reflected Hillsong’s membership. Had he meant to imply that baby Jesus — swaddled in blankets and barely perceptible — was black, too?

“The Holy Spirit is technically his biological father so he would be mixed-race,” Mr. Finochio said.
Notice that Finochio was prodded by a question, and the best answer to the question I asked in the first line of this post is that the wording of the answer is a little wrong. He should have said: "The Holy Spirit is his biological father so technically he would be mixed-race." That is, the technicality isn't, Who is the father? The technicality is, What is race?

43 comments:

Big Mike said...

I am an atheist because the universe makes no sense if there is a personal God. But getting away from theological hair-splitting is a wonderful side benefit.

rhhardin said...

Are God genes recessive or dominant is the question.

Darrell said...

Taking Christmas hymns out of Christmas.
Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Piety, Fear of The Lord, Counsel, and Fortitude.
Finochio's stocking was empty.

james james said...

Ringo is who gave the Beatles diversity.

He was the One Who Is Not Quite Like the Others.

At least until George went Eastern Mystic.

- james james

robother said...

"I dub thee Sir Ringo."

If Her Royal Highness ever has to depend upon her knights Ringo, MIck and Keith to defend her, well, God save her.

AllenS said...

I'm going to tell you a true story. Many years ago, I worked with a black man named Earthy (first name) he had a small motor cycle and when he showed up at work one day, it was obvious he had been in an accident. Talking about the accident he said he thought he was dead, and he knew he was dead because God showed up. Someone asked him what God looked like and he said: "He's a motherfucking white guy." I laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants. I think I told this story before. Long time ago.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Are the KISS Brits? They have wonderful costumes for knights.

Scott McGlasson said...

Technically, the entire concept of race has little to do with technical biology and is, instead, mere shorthand for people that don't care to understand the deeper facts in play.

Ann Althouse said...

Great story, AllenS.

I love the name Earthy.

rhhardin said...

Race is different group evolution when they're isolated for many generations.

It's fair to name the different evolved groups once they differ.

Fernandistein said...

Technically, the entire concept of race has little to do with technical biology and is, instead, mere shorthand for people that don't care to understand the deeper facts in play.

LOL.

rhhardin said...
Are God genes recessive or dominant is the question.


The result of the unnatural mating was a sterile hybrid.

mockturtle said...

Mitochondrial DNA indicates we all share a common maternal ancestor. Racial distinctions are blurry at best.

mockturtle said...

"He's a motherfucking white guy."

LOL!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"Mr. Finochio, who has Christ-length hair "

Does any place in the bible discuss the length of Jesus's hair?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

For another take on this technicality, I recommend Kasey Chamber’s Christmas Day.

mockturtle said...

Ignorance, that's a great question that has been raised frequently. The answer is 'no, the Bible doesn't mention it'. There seems to have been some confusion between Nazarene and Nazarite. Nazarites vowed not to cut their hair. But the style for most Jewish men of that time was short hair and that likely included Jesus.

Will Cate said...

That's pretty awful theology. Jesus wasn't mixed-race, he was mixed-being.

EDH said...

Backstage after the show, Mr. Finochio, who has Christ-length hair and a deadpan sense of humor, admitted that he had been so nervous that he verged on panic.

"Is this how you turned out? A Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman? 'What can I do? What can I do?' What is that nonsense?"

AllenS said...

Checking around, I see that Earthy is still around. While not the smartest man, he was always smart enough to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Otto said...

Great sensitivity question by a sensitive heightened blogger.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Allen S - ha. That is good.

MrCharlie2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robother said...

The mega-pastor with Christ-length hair is perhaps confusing race and grace. Maybe its a Pentecostal speaking in tongues thing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mr. Finochio, who has Christ-length hair."

I picture Jesus as about 5'8" long. That's really long for hair.

Ann Althouse said...

I looked up how tall was Jesus and saw the estimate that he was only 5'1". That's how tall those people were back then.

Darrell said...

Ann Althouse said...
I looked up how tall was Jesus and saw the estimate that he was only 5'1". That's how tall those people were back then.


He is God--and He could be any height that pleased Him. Such silly statements are said by the same people that said he couldn't have been born in December in the Middle East. Even though Mohammad was born in December.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Technically, it was a spiritual joining, producing a secular offspring. E=MC^2.

It's analogous to the Progressive belief in spontaneous human conception, but without a Stork.

Quaestor said...

"The Holy Spirit is technically his biological father so he would be mixed-race,” Mr. Finochio said.

Before village idiot Finochino gets too technical he ought to contempt the gulf between spiritual and biological.

Mark said...

There is a LOT to learn from the mystery of the Incarnation, including the communion of divine and human in Jesus, as well and the communion of all humanity (many being one) when they are one in and with God. And then come fools like this to throw it all away.

Technically, the Holy SPIRIT is, well, SPIRIT, and not biological. Jesus had no biological father. Just as Eve was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh of Adam, so too is the New Adam (Jesus) bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh of the New Eve (Mary). His body and her's are one body in a communion of persons.

Big Mike said...

@Darrell, if Jesus was born while shepherds were keeping watch with their flocks at night on the hillsides around Bethlehem then it is unlikely that he was born in December, unless the weather was substantially warmer then than it is today. Biblical scholars piecing together clues from the Bible believe Jesus was born during the feast of Sukkot, which is in the early autumn.

I’ll say it before you do. Yes, I am an odd sort of atheist.

Johanna Lapp said...

I don't want to characterize the Holy Spirit's role in this whole business, but I'm pretty sure God the Father is the father on the birth certificate.

dustbunny said...

Ringo as a name was essential, John, Paul, George and Pete sounded way too ordinary.

Darrell said...

I keep watch over my flock year round. Temperatures in the 50sF aren't going to deter anyone. Maybe sometime I'll tell you why they chose December 25th. It has to do with March 25th and a debate among Jewish scholars.

DanTheMan said...

>>I am an atheist because the universe makes no sense if there is a personal God.

"I am an atheist because the universe makes no sense *to me* if there is a personal God."

Fixed it for you.

Consider that God's ways may be above your ways. But maybe you are right; God should be answerable to you, He looks to you for validation.

Why not create your own universe and show Him how it's done?

narciso said...

The date of December is not critical, that it happened during the census by Caesar in the era of quirinus is the point, recall that the star had to have seen months before the birth, considering the travel for Iran or Arabia.

Paddy O said...

Technically, it would be more theologically fitting to say that Jesus was of mixed-substance not mixed race. Though, that would be a Christian heresy, it's a lot closer than to assume that the Spirit is a race among the other races.

Also, Christ-length hair in light of the average looking Galilean Jewish man of the 1st century, isn't that long.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Hillsong, a Pentecostal megachurch...

Pentecostals are notorious for enjoying their religion without thinking about it overmuch. Seeing that Hillsong is in Manhattan the inherent solipsism of the hip and fashionable Manhattanite combined with charismatic thoughtlessness was bound to produce Preacher Finochino's theological nonsense.

The Godfather said...

The early Christians puzzled a lot about the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fourth century they came to the firm conclusion that He was both wholly divine and wholly human, and that seems to be the current position in conventional Christianity. You see this in the Nicene Creed, which many Christians recite regularly in their worship:

"We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. ... [B]y the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man."

Of course, it's a paradox. How can someone be simultaneously 100% God and 100% human? How can someone who was literally "present at the creation" and through whom "all things were made" also have been born a human being, the child of a human mother, in around 1 AD +/- 10? Personally, I don't understand it, but I believe it, and I don't worry about it. Sort of like the Rule Against Perpetuities (you will only understand this comparison if you're a lawyer).

Bad Lieutenant said...

the average looking Galilean Jewish man of the 1st century


The dirty, stupid, asymmetrical, and open-mouthed look of their reconstruction is not flattering even to the average. Basically they seem to have done Eli Wallach playing Tuco, in one of the moments when Clint Eastwood has baffled him.

traditionalguy said...

DNA is a code. God is the code writer. The son of God is also a code writer. Taking His miracles into account making new body parts when needed. The miracle is why He loves us so much rather than cruel neutrality or outright hatred like Luciferians practice at will.

As for me and my house, we will server the Code writer who lived in our DNA to repair us flawed editions.

pdug said...

"technically" Jesus doesn't have a biological father. Full stop. He has a biological mother, and his entire humanity is derived from hers by an act of creation by God from her nature and substance.

He is God the Son of God the Father, but that;s not biological fatherhood, but eternal generation of his divine person.