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Old 07-11-2002, 10:22 PM   #1
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Gender (if any) of God

I (unintentionally) hijacked diamond's Creation thread a little bit, so I thought I'd start my own.

What does everyone think about the gender identity (if any) of God/Allah/whatever deity you prefer? As a female Christian, I'm with sula on her earlier statement: that if we truly are created in the image of God, then God must have female and male aspects.

I've actually worked gender identity into my theory of the Trinity, as well. It goes something like this: we can all probably agree (then again, maybe not...) that Jesus Christ was male. It makes sense, since, as someone (maybe Sula again?) pointed out that a woman might not have been the best choice for a Messiah back then. Point taken.

So I believe that Jesus was male, and that God has male and female aspects. Which provides for a feminine Holy Spirit, completing the Trinity and maintaining a perfect gender balance.
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:01 PM   #2
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:22 PM   #3
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Re: Gender (if any) of God

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora


So I believe that Jesus was male, and that God has male and female aspects. Which provides for a feminine Holy Spirit, completing the Trinity and maintaining a perfect gender balance.
Call me stupid (please do) ,

but

God as I know it = male
Goddess = female
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:29 PM   #4
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I wonder if I could answer this question. Since I view Satan as the carnal side of human nature I don't think it can have a gender. If it did it would be both I guess.

One more point to add: Didn't the bible say that man was created in the image of "god"? In that case "god" wouldn't have to have female aspects.

Just thought I'd give my 2 cents.
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
I wonder if I could answer this question. Since I view Satan as the carnal side of human nature I don't think it can have a gender. If it did it would be both I guess.
SO hell would just be one big whorehouse?
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:38 PM   #6
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z edge, I don't believe in "hell" so I can't answer yer question.
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Old 07-12-2002, 12:28 AM   #7
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Old 07-12-2002, 12:38 AM   #8
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I believe the reference to "God creating man" meant man in the gender-neutral sense, like "mankind" meaning all humankind.

I'm fairly certain that God has no gender - that He either has some qualities of both sexes (or rather, He endowed each sex with a different part of His own personality) or that that suggestion doesn't really apply.

Three observations:

1. The Second Person of God (God the Son) was certainly male in the Incarnation. That is, Jesus Christ was male; not female, not hermaphroditic.

2. Even though God has no gender it may still be quite useful for our limited minds to approach Him as if He did. At the least, it's far easier to have a relationship with a God that we can relate to, and relating to God may be easier if we attribute one particular gender. Besides, the Bible seems to find the metaphor very important, given how often it shows up.

3. Me personally, I think of God the Father and God the Son being male, and God the Holy Spirit being female. It's a useful metaphor, as long as I remember that it is ultimately a metaphor.

...and why do I choose that specific metaphor. Well, if you've never considered the song in this light before, apply the Trinity to "The First Time":

I have a lover
A lover like no other
She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul
And she teach me how to sing

Shows me colours when there's none to see
Gives me hope when I can't believe
That for the first time
I feel love

I have a brother
When I'm a brother in need
I spend my whole time running
He spends his running after me

When I feel myself going down
I just call and he comes around
But for the first time
I feel love

My father is a rich man
He wears a rich man's cloak
Gave me the keys to his kingdom coming
Gave me a cup of gold

He said I have many mansions
And there are many rooms to see
But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key
And I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key

For the first time
For the first time
For the first time

I feel love


Working backwards, the father is God the Father. The brother is Jesus Christ, God the Son; if He is the Son of God and we are adopted as sons and daughters of God, He is then our adoptive brother.

Thus, the lover is the Holy Spirit.

And there have truly been times where She's taught me how to sing.
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Old 07-12-2002, 09:32 AM   #9
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I'm glad this topic was brought up. It's something that I've thought about quite a bit lately, especially in reference to the issue of where women fit in Christianity. I was brought up in a rather conservative vein of thought which limited women to support roles and affirmed the "headship" of males in matters relating to the home and the church. (although oddly enough within my own family, my parents are remarkably equal and my mother has never been a yes-woman to my dad, nor has my dad been a tyrant...so at least I had good role models).

I think that God as an entity, spiritual being, whatever does not have a gender. Jesus Christ while on earth was definitely "male" because he had to take on the form of a human body. But there is enough Scripture that affirms the "feminine" attributes of God in my opinion, not to mention that if humankind (yeah, call me PC, but I like the word better than MANkind ) is created in God's image, it would stand to reason that both male and female reflect his characteristics. If God is male, that leaves women out in the cold and I tend to take the New Testament verses of "there is neither slave nor free, Greek nor Hebrew, male nor female" (Philippians and I'm quoting from memory) at face value.

Anyways, interesting topic
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Old 07-12-2002, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
Working backwards, the father is God the Father. The brother is Jesus Christ, God the Son; if He is the Son of God and we are adopted as sons and daughters of God, He is then our adoptive brother.

Thus, the lover is the Holy Spirit.
awesome. i never thought of that song that way before. i'd always felt the song was spiritual (mainly when he starts talking about his father), but never the entire song.
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Old 07-12-2002, 10:32 AM   #11
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Bubba,

That was a great post. I wonder how many people pick up on the Trinity connection of this song.

In my experience The Holy Spirit is indeed a Lover. Its feminine in the way we understand femininity, but for me it isn't female. Of course as a Lover, The Holy Spirit goes far beyond sexual love. It is a Lover in the highest and deepest and most soul-satisfying sense.

I thought I would say that since a sexual relationship is the most common connotation of the word lover.

I'm also glad that you brought this song up because the song highlights perhaps the best explaination of The Trinity. It isn't by accident that the song portrays The Trinity in terms of intimate and deeply personal relationships because The Trinity has ALWAYS been meant to express a Divine relationship. If God is Love and he created the universe inspired by Love, and if there can be no Love without someone to Love and reciprocate that Love, then before there was anything, there had to be an uncreated relationship in which Love was present. That means that God would be the first, original relationship (Three in One) that served as the pattern of the universe, which is based upon relationships.

If all these things are true then that would make the Trinity the best description or analogy of God that humans possess, though it is by neccesity still inadequate since the whole reality of God is impossible to completely describe. And if you believe that there is nothing higher or greater than a Creator God who is Love, then it is also the most intellectually and spiritually helpful description because it allows us to most accurately vocalize and explain exactly what we mean when we want to share our God of Love with others. Though the Trinity is the faintest shadow of the reality of God, its alot better than the cop out of saying that there is no way at all to describe Him so we shouldn't, musn't even try.

I guess I should say before I close, that I do not believe that God is any one gender, but I also do not believe that gender is meaningless when it comes to God. He is both sexes without being one or the otherwhile at the same time being beyond gender as a whole in that he is not half and half. Its just for the sake of convenience that I use the male pronoun for God.

I also think its interesting that Grace which is an aspect of The Spirit I guess, is also often portrayed as female. See the lyrics for "Grace" to see a great example of what I mean.
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Old 07-12-2002, 11:07 AM   #12
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Since we are talking about gender and God here, here is a related thought and a related question.

I think that we shouldn't be afraid to use our human language and human concepts to try and grasp God's nature. Sometimes using concepts like femininity or masculinity can be very helpful in aiding our understanding of certain aspects of God's nature. It helps us to be more accurate and to sharpen our understanding. This is what Christians have always believed which is why we feel free to use concepts like The Trinity and gender in our religion in the first place.

But some religions say that it is wrong to use human concepts to conceptualize God. For instance, Muslims believe that it makes God furious when we try to draw a picture of Him like Christians do when we use the Trinity as a spritual aid.

So what would you think about this? Is it wrong to use gender concepts to understand God and his aspects better? And if you are a believer, do you think God gets mad at us if we have wrong or inaccurate thoughts about Him? Do you think you will be punished by Him if you do?
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Old 07-12-2002, 12:47 PM   #13
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Men and women all have an anima (feminine aspect) and animus (masculine aspect). In women, the animus is latent; in men the anima is latent. But the properties exist nonetheless. In esoteric spirituality, once self-realization (or ‘enlightenment’) is attained, there is a perfect balance of these energies (i.e., a self-realized woman no longer has a latent animus and dominant anima but a perfect balance of anima and animus).

As others have stated, if we were created in God’s image, then God also has both masculine and feminine aspects.

I view God as a genderless, formless, spiritual being (really, more like a vibration) manifesting both feminine and masculine aspects in perfect harmony--sort of like electricity is composed of positive and negative charges (sorry if that's a coarse analogy--but just about any analogy seems coarse when you're talking about God). This is why I often refer to God as “It” rather than “He. ” I don’t do so as a femininist statement, but I simply believe that “It” is more accurate.

And, has anyone heard whether or not hell has frozen over? Because I like a lot of Bubba's points.
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Old 07-12-2002, 01:27 PM   #14
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The Father-->male
I always thought like this.

Wasn't it in the U2 bible that 'God' was Hebrew and meant 'breasted one', though? However, God is male for me.
God is the man, the Spirit his wife and Jesus the son.
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Old 07-12-2002, 01:43 PM   #15
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That is a really interesting way of looking at it, Falling Star. I'm not sure what a Christian theologian would think of it since technically the Son cannot be the creation of the other two, but what do they know anyway. Heh heh.

I believe in keeping it simple too. Let the theologians drive themselves crazy over every little wrinkle of the Trinity. Us laypeople are more than capable of understanding for ourselves what we need to know about God and His triune nature.

Your way of understanding it about as a perfect picture of Love as there is.

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