Thursday, June 5, 2008

Things I don't understand

(This might end up a regular series - cause there's lots I don't get about the world around me.)

Why do people argue that God is a woman? There certainly were (are) gods that were (are) female, but the God of the Bible? Not so much. That particular god is revealed through the Bible and isn't female. But then, I'd also argue that God isn't male, either. Two reasons for my thinking:
  1. God created man and woman in his likeness. (Sorry, have to use some pronoun here and male just comes naturally). So whatever God is, it's either both male and female or neither in order for both sexes to be made in his likeness. (Not getting into exactly what that means here.)
  2. Scripture tells us that God is a spirit and we worship him in spirit and truth. Last time I checked, spirits had no sex. They're neither male or female. Gender is part of the tangible world in which they have no part.
Now, I've been looking around because I'm trying to figure out why people want to say God is female and where they make their case from. Not having any luck, but surely there's something just beyond a desire for it to be so? The only Bible reference I can think of where God takes on a female persona is in the Old Testament when he's referred to as a hen taking her children under her wings. But that hardly balances out the jillions of references to being father.

Help me out here, folks. I hang with a lot of earth mother types and I'm trying to understand where this comes from. Is there something out there that makes the case for the God of the Bible being female? Or are they referring to a different god when they make such statements?

2 comments:

Victoria Neely said...

Since 1) The Bible keeps referring to God as a "he," 2) God keeps presenting himself as a fatherly figure, 3) God made Adam first, I think it's safe to assume that God is of the masculine persuasion, or at least wants us to think that. Thinking of God as an "it" is disconcerting, even if he embodies both masculine and female traits. Even a lot of languages classify non-living objects as either masculine or feminine, because that's part of how we define the world.

As far as calling God a "she" goes, I think the only argument for this is that if a spirit being technically doesn't have a sex, it doesn't matter whether you refer to the spirit by a male or female pronoun. Unless someone truly worships an earth goddess, I think calling god a she is mostly a woman empowering/feminist thing.

If someone's religion is based in Christianity and they believe in God, then it sort of annoys me when I hear them refer to God as a "she." The Bible doesn't provide a foundation for that, because God clearly seems to prefer that we see him as the ultimate father figure. That doesn't mean it's a slap in the face to womankind, any more than the fact that I prefer being a woman is a slight to all men.

lewister said...

OK, so no "she"s around Victoria. :-) Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree that thinking of God as an "it" is kind of weird. I prefer he (although I have an awesome book about fathers and daughters that discusses how your relationship with your earthly father can screw up your relationship with your heavenly one. Another time perhaps). I just can't quite figure out the urgent desire, no need, some people have to see God as a woman. Hoping someone can help me out with the logic.