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Feminine Deification: God’s a Big Girl!

April 21, 2007

The big guy in the sky. I run into a lot of people who have a very masculine view of God. Most of these people are men, and the rest of these people just haven’t thought about it for very long.

Some religions deify their higher power as female — a goddess, so to speak.

It’s also very common for a person to think of God as neither male nor female. Just sort of sexless. But I think that’s even worse than thinking of Him as simply male.

Now, I call God ‘Him,’ just because I hate the whole he/she thing. Plus, our language doesn’t lend well to non gender specific beings. I’d hate to call God ‘it’ because that seems like too small a word — or maybe just too objectifying.

(By the way, the use of masculine pronouns when referring to more than one gender is meant to infer humanity not masculinity. Which is why, even though I think of God as both male and female, I don’t have a problem with the use of He or Him when referring to God, or with the use of he or him when referring to people in general.)

I’ve had this male/female idea about God for a long time now. Unfortunately most people I run into can’t really handle it. Or they don’t understand it. Strange because it seems so simple to me.

Often people are confused by the idea because they don’t understand that I’m not trying to say God is sexless or androgynous, but that he/she is both male and female. I think one of the reasons people — especially church people — don’t get the idea is because, whether they realize it or not, most churches have developed their doctrine and church practices with the idea that man was created in God’s image and woman was created in man’s image.

You know that whole Eve being made out of Adam’s rib thing.

Like an all-knowing creator-God wouldn’t have had Eve in mind when he made Adam. The Bible actually says that God was planning on men and women before he even made Adam. “Now let Us (the trinity) create man (humanity) in our own image, male and female He (God) created them.” Genesis 1:24.

Heck, the whole idea that man and woman were both created in God’s image (and that God was planning on Eve and Jesus from the start) isn’t even a new idea. When Michelangelo painted ‘The Creation of Adam’ on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he included it. God is reaching out toward Adam on earth with one hand and he has his other arm wrapped around Eve and Jesus in heaven. And that was in 1508.

Yeah not a new idea.

Plus, if God is infinite, like traditional religious folks claim, how can you exclude femininity from His character?

For some reason it’s a scary idea to a lot of folks. Especially some men. When I explain it in-depth I get looks like they’re thinking, “She’s a heretic. Somebody, get a match.”

But I actually think that this radical idea really explains a lot. If Masculinity is part of God’s character, and Femininity is another part of God’s character than gender and sexuality aren’t just psychological manifestations of our physical characteristics; they aren’t just socially programmed attributes either. The are essential elements of who we are and how we fit into the universe — and God’s ultimate plan.

That means He made me a woman for a reason. That means I’m supposed to b e a daughter and a sister. I’m probably supposed to be a wife and a mother too. At least I’m hoping for the wife part someday.

I also think that this idea of God as both male and female can help us understand the trinity a lot better. So Jesus was sent to rescue us and He will eventually be the head of the reunited Church and the world…yah think maybe he’s the more specifically male part of God’s character?

And the Holy Spirit. Or comforter. Or intercessor. The portion of the deity that groans for us to the father. The one who encourages us. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like a description of a mother to me.

Now I’m no theologian, and I sure don’t have all the answers on this one. But, I do have a challenge for you. Learn a little more about the opposite sex and just see if you don’t learn a little more about God.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. JoelInIN permalink
    April 12, 2011 7:36 pm

    Crystal the theo-philosopher…nicely done. I tip my imaginary hat at your eloquence, reason, and insight in wrestling with this concept (though the title might be a bit misleading). Bravo!


  2. JoelInIN permalink
    April 12, 2011 7:39 pm

    Er…misleading isn’t the word. The title only paints half the picture.


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