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Words of a Fether

Opinions on Faith and Life

Is God Male?

It absolutely pains me to have to write a post with that title, seeing as how the answer should be obvious to anyone familiar with any significant amount of scripture. For example,

Yet the myth persists that God simply must be male. After all, only masculine pronouns are used for God, right?

Wrong. Since God is a Trinity and all the Persons are of the same substance, then whatever gender of pronoun scripture uses must describe all of God. Of course, keep in mind that grammatical gender has no relationship whatsoever to biological gender; only English does not keep them separate.

A case in point: in the Hebrew scriptures, the pronoun for the Spirit is female; in Greek, it’s neuter. Yet in English the pronouns are always translated as masculine, partly because of the lack of grammatical gender, and we have no proper neuter pronouns.

Yet somehow, in spite of what scripture actually says, masculinity is purported to be the ideal and even divine state. Again I have the unpleasant duty of exposing this bias in an otherwise good blog, Herescope. Here are some excerpts from More than metaphor, Part 3: The Consequence of Role-Reversals, with my comments interspersed.

They begin with a badly translated passage of scripture which I discussed in Leading Women, Isaiah 3:12. This is widely held to equate female leadership with God’s displeasure with a nation. Never mind that it’s the only verse that remotely can be construed as such, even in English; they make this the cornerstone of their bias. This is what Herescope concludes as a result:

As a result, the stability of their social structure, as Isaiah communicated, lay in shambles.
This lone verse is held to prove that female leadership is evidence of a society in shambles-- and it’s all from made-up words that God never even said. The only social orders God instituted were state government and marriage, and he never said anything about a ruling class based upon sex.

Next they express fear that if men don’t rule over women there will be social chaos! I kid you not:

If God, in the governance of family and church, doesn’t rule, and consequently and correspondingly neither do the men, then the women and children will.
What a horrid thought, that women might rule! Yes, slippery slope; there is no space difference allowed between God ruling (which no Christian would deny), and men ruling. To deny the latter is, in their mind, to deny the former. And then of course they trot out 1 Cor. 11:3 and presume that head of means exactly the same as boss over. Amazing.
There can be no relationship where there is no responsibility, and there can be no accountability where there is no economy of authority. In fact, one great evidence of the Holy Spirit’s filling ministry among believers is SUBMISSION (Ephesians 5:21). Without faithful self-denial and submission, both relationship and fellowship suffer as imperfect people live on this imperfect earth.
I could write for years on this one; so many errors, so little time! No relationship without responsibility? How on earth did David and Jonathan get along as friends, did David boss Johnny, or was it the other way around? No accountability where there is no economy of authority? God has authority over people for all time and eternity, because He’s God and we’re not. But between two adults, any permanent and involuntary (intrinsic) hierarchy is nothing less than slavery. And what do they think SUBMISSION means? Do they not know it’s MUTUAL?
Eph. 5: 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Clearly, anything that’s mutual is (pun intended) mutually exclusive with hierarchy. Therefore submission is not subservience to a superior; the Greek word does not indicate such a hierarchy.

Continuing to paint equality between the sexes as goddess worship and pantheism, we read this astounding statement:

William Young felt it necessary to inject femininity into the Trinity, a femininity that Scripture neither literally nor metaphorically endorses. But if the femininity of the Trinity becomes ingrained in the collective consciousness of a large number professing Christians, the essential goddess-ism it contains may lead devout souls into versions of spirituality utterly opposed by God and His Word.
Do they honestly think that injecting MASCULINITY into the Trinity is an improvement? They’re completely missing the point: God is SPIRIT, and whatever they think masculinity is apart from biology, I refuse to join with them in trying to create God in my or anyone else’s image. They keep trying to compare the relationship between God and man with that between a husband and wife, yet it is not the Divine Trinity that Paul draws a marriage analogy from (which, when you think about it, is disgusting!), but the joining of the incarnate Son with his Body, his Bride, the Church (which is composed of both males and females)-- see Eph. 5:32. They even admit that the whole church is the Bride of Christ, but somehow think that the church should be run by men to properly symbolize things!

It’s getting so pervasive, this willingness to abandon sound exegesis for a pet presupposition. I still cannot fathom why any Christian, even if they did have some kind of authority over other Christians permanently and on the sole basis of the flesh, would want to exercise it. Love is not self-seeking, Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 13; treat others as better than yourself was his echo of Jesus’ Golden Rule. These, along with not so among you, are the antithesis of hierarchy between adult believers on a permanent and intrinsic basis.

While it is good to be zealous for guarding the truths about the nature of God, to fight for his honor, it is equally imperative that we know exactly what that nature is-- and is not. If the Church spent half as much energy reaching the lost as they do trying to keep half the Body of Christ bound and hobbled, we’d have a much different world.

Posted 2008-09-07 under God, Nature of God, Organization, women, Other Religions, male, Herescope, masculine