In The Right Hand Man Part I, I drew attention to Pope Benedict's claim that Mary sits in Heaven as "Queen at the right of Christ the King." I then said that in this next post, we would endeavour to apply a more realistic interpretation to Bible passages used by the Christian churches, and especially the Roman Church, to justify their many false and idolatrous doctrines...
Firstly, it is somewhat embarrassing to have to state that an "eternal, immortal, invisible" God who is "spirit" does not possess a literal "right hand" and that therefore the verses quoted in Part I cannot be interpreted literally. Secondly, those who have read George Orwell's 1984 will be familiar with the concept of "doublethink." How is it possible to believe there is one God, somehow incorporating Jesus, as Christian doctrine insists, and at the same time believe literally in those verses which describe Jesus as "sitting at the right hand of God?" That necessity for "doublethinking" is imposed only by false doctrine and is merely one example of the wholesale "doublethink" necessary for one to accept the ludicrous doctrines of Christian Orthodoxy.
In reality, of course, there was no confused thinking in the minds of Jesus, the Apostles and the authors of the New Testament. Those men were merely describing Jesus as, what we in the vernacular would say, God's "right hand man."
Consider these passages from the Hebrew Scriptures:
"Thy right hand, O YHWH, is glorious in power, Thy right hand, O YHWH, dasheth in pieces the enemy." (Exodus 15:6)
"YHWH came from Sinai, And rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, And he came from the ten thousands of holy ones: At his right hand was a fiery law for them." (Deut 33:2)
"I saw YHWH sitting on his throne, and all the 'Host of Heaven' standing by him on his right hand and on his left." (1 Kings 22:19)
"Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit in the midst of them? that caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses?" (Isaiah 63:12)
"Now know I that YHWH saveth his anointed; He will answer him from his holy heaven With the saving strength of his right hand." (Psalm 20:6)
"The voice of rejoicing and salvation [is] in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of YHWH doeth valiantly. The right hand of YHWH is exalted: the right hand of YHWH doeth valiantly." (Psalm 118:15-16 )
"My soul followeth hard after thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me." (Psalm 63:8)
"YHWH saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)
It should be obvious that these passages from the Old Testment employ figurative language. So also do these passages from the New Testament:
"Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins." (Acts 5:31)
"But from henceforth shall the Son of man be seated at the right hand of the power of God." (Luke 22:69)
"But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55-56)
All these passages referring to God's 'right hand' are figurative and symbolic ways of expressing spiritual truth rather than physical reality. So also are the following concepts:
Jesus rending the veil of the Holy of Holies which separated man from God;
Jesus as the ladder providing access to God;
Jesus as the pathway of reconciliation with God;
Jesus as the one Mediator between God and man.
When Jesus is described as our 'High Priest,' as our 'Minister,' as our 'Intercessor,' and as our 'Mediator,' is this "mediation" and "intercession" to be imagined literally? Do we imagine that Jesus is actually "sitting at the right hand of God" whispering into his ear?
It is also not to be imagined that Jesus' intercession with God happens in a temporal sense, happens continuously over time. Rather, it is meant to be taken in the sense that Jesus' all-too-real sacrificial act is in continuous remembrance before God:
"And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins: but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:11-14)
Another critical yet overlooked factor mentioned in the previous verse from Hebrews is that this period of figuratively "sitting at the right hand of God" in Heaven has a time limit:
"YHWH said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)
When this has come to pass, the Bible tells us Jesus will finally take up the the appointment promised to his mother, will finally reign as King over the house of Jacob:
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:32-33)
It is indeed ironic that so much of what is meant to be taken figuratively is taken literally, and yet the promise to Mary, one thing that is certainly meant to taken literally, is taken either figuratively or ignored completely. Well, it must cause at least amusement in Heaven.
As the world moves forward in the 21st Century, and we witness the seeming paradox of Rome's ever-increasing wallow in superstitious mediaeval nonsense,as typified by her doctrines about Mary, we may ask ourselves - why? And how has she managed to so insinuate herself into the minds of Protestants that we are now witness to the spectacle of her teachings about Mary gradually being adopted by Protestant churches?
As I said in More Marian Madness:
"However there will be a method to the madness: history testifies that behind all the surface nonsense, there lies a strategic and carefully orchestrated plan of action, the object of which will only become apparent with hindsight.
"The Catholic Church, having neatly disposed of the remnants of the Reformation, is now in the process of making the term 'Catholic' synonomous with that of 'Christian.' Soon, there will exist only one 'Christian' voice recognised in world forums, and it will be that belonging to the Pope."