By Tyson Thorne

May 19, 2015

GodGender large


In the late 1990’s the band Dishwalla released their only hit song, Counting Blue Cars, in which the lead singer crones, “Tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I'd really like to meet her. And asked her where and who we are.” The song vocalizes a modern struggle to define the nature of God, and in a culture that is distracted by sexuality and gender identity the gender of God has become hotly debated. The ancient paradigm of God as our heavenly Father fell into question and was a philosophy quickly picked up by liberal and feminist theologians alike.

“In most monotheistic religions, there is no comparable being for God to relate to in a literal gender-based way, so the gender of this one-and-only deity is most likely to be an analogical statement of how humans and God address, and relate to, each other, with no sexual connotations. Although God is an intangible spirit in many religions and therefore has no gender, debate over his or her "actual" sex nevertheless has passionately raged in recent decades.” – Wikipedia

Is God masculine as thousands of years of religion have taught, feminine as the modernists teach, or gender neutral as moderates suggest? The moderate position is the easiest to understand, defining “spirit” as genderless and arguing terms of sexuality apply only to physical beings. The problem with this proposal is the Biblical description of angels. In every passage angels are described as either completely odd beings with multiple eyes and wings, or as men. There are no feminine angels mentioned in Scripture at all. This clearly indicates that spirit beings have gender.

The feminist argument is more compelling. Adam and Eve are said to be created in the “image” of God, which means, they argue, that at least a part of that image is feminine. Furthermore, God is described in some passages as feminine. For example, Deuteronomy 32.11 compares God to a mother eagle protecting its young, God likens himself to a mother consoling a child in Isaiah 66.13, and the psalmist describes his experience with God like being carried by his mother. Those are just a few of the Old Testament references; there are nine others. In Jewish philosophy God is not likened to any gender, though in the Hebrew Bible God is referenced with masculine grammar and imagery. In the New Testament Jesus compares God to a mother hen gathering her chicks (Matthew 23.37 and Luke 13.34).

While it is true that the image of God applies to both men and women equally, it does not imply that God is therefore feminine any more than it means God is male. It simply means that some of the stronger and righteous characteristics of God are invested in both men and women. The same can be said for the analogies found in Scripture. The truth of God’s identity, despite the recent attempts to muddy the waters with agenda’s and political correctness, is simple to deduce.

God is always referred to as the “Father”, when God became incarnate he did so as the “Son”, and there are many more analogies about God and the Son as masculine than feminine; Jesus is a “shepherd” and a “bridegroom” and God as a “warrior” and a “king” to name a few. Furthermore, every name God is given is masculine (Adonai, Elohim, Kurios, Sebbaoth, Shaddai, Theos and Yahweh for example). Throughout Scripture, which is not simply a book about God by the way but the actual Word of God, he never refers to himself as “she” or with a feminine name. This is not a cultural phenomenon, this is purposeful. God identifies himself as masculine, not feminine.

We must be careful, however, to never identify God as a man. Numbers 23.19 makes this clear, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen?” Also, “The Preeminent One of Israel does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind” (1 Samuel 15.29). We dare not anthropomorphize God, turning him into the equivalent of Zeus or any other false god.

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