What is God’s gender and why does it matter?
There is a disturbing trend within Christianity that has been gaining momentum for several years and is now bubbling up to the surface. With the widespread social acceptance of transgenderism and homosexuality, along comes the argument concerning the gender of the Creator and the question: is God male or female? Does God identify as a man or as a woman?#God has no gender. Now let's look at why it matters.Click To Tweet
God the Mother?
Not long ago, a close family friend told my wife and I the story of her experience as a student at a top ranked Christian University. Despite this upstanding University’s Biblical standard of sexuality, our friend told us of the time she intentionally failed out of a class at this school.
You see, the professor insisted that the students write a paper proving that God is a woman, and not from the angle of creatively showing that the opposite could be true. This professor seemed to believe that God identifies as female and insisted that the class support this idea and write about it. Our friend was given the option to either write the paper or fail the class.
Two of the most prominent American Divinity schools have also begun using gender-neutral pronouns for God.
Vanderbilt University has set out to “mitigate sexism in the Divinity School’s curricula,” which “includes consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine.”
And Duke University has created a 4 page guide on their gender neutral guidelines for God. They’ve gone so far as to suggest replacing “Him” for God with “Godself.”
The Dual-Nature God
There have also been many Christian speakers and writers suggesting that God is both male and female in a “dual-nature” concept. In his book Sensitivity of Heart, author, speaker, and influential televangelist Kenneth Copeland suggests that God is both male and female.
Mr. Copeland furthers his claim in an audio clip shared by Hank Hanegraaff in his book Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century.
God The Heavenly Mother
The Methodist Church in Britain appears to be the first mainstream denomination to refer to God as a female in their liturgy. The Methodist Prayer in the UK Methodist church now begins, “God our Father and our Mother.”
At the website of Foundry United Methodist Church, an open and affirming (see my previous article on Same Sex Marriage) congregation in Washington, D.C., I found an interesting piece of literature they call The Lord’s Prayer Translations and Paraphrases that mirror the sentiment of the Methodist Church in Britain in 2 of their provided translations. Their “Modified Traditional” version begins the Lord’s prayer with, “Our Mother/Father who art in heaven…” and their “Contemporary Traditional” starts with, “Our Father/Mother in heaven…”
The World Mission Society Church of God in Korea, claiming 2 million members also declare that God has a dual-nature image of male and female in this heretical teaching of “God the heavenly Mother” found on their website.Does #God identify as male or female?Click To Tweet
The Pagan Beginnings of a Dual-Nature God
So many false teachings on God find their roots in paganism, and this idea of a male-female Creator is no exception. And, like other “New Age” Teachings, there is nothing new about it, either.
The names may slightly change, but the philosophy is the same. Whether it’s referred to as Mother Nature, Mother Earth or as Goddess of the Earth doesn’t matter. These, like the blasphemous teaching of a female Creator God have their origin in Gaea, or Mother Earth, one of the goddesses of Greek Mythology.
Gaea, or Gaia was seen as the goddess entity that created the Universe, gave birth to the other Greek gods and to the first humans. She is sometimes called Earth in Greek Mythology and is said to be the offspring of the Greek god Aether, or “air” and Hemera, or “day.” In contradiction, some mythology teaches that Gaea is sometimes said to either not have had parents, or is the offspring of Chaos.
The Bible teaches us that “God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33) and that in the beginning, after God created the heavens and the earth, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2). This clearly diffuses any idea that the account of creation should contain any amount of chaos or confusion.
The Biblical account of creation also fundamentally destroys the false teaching that God has a male-female duality as well as the new age idea of a “mother earth” doctrine, often found in today’s politically charged environmentalist agendas.The Pagan Beginnings of a Dual-Nature #GodClick To Tweet
Is God Male or Female?
In Exodus 3:14, God responds to Moses’ questioning of who God is with, “I AM WHO I AM.” The question of is God male or female becomes ludicrous and irrational when we look at God’s character and attributes given to us throughout Scripture.
As I first mentioned in the opening, God has no gender. God is Spirit (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 1:8) and as such has no physical body (Luke 24:39).
If I were to provide to you every instance in the Bible that refers to God, Christ or the Holy Spirit in masculine terms you would be here for quite some time. In fact, in just one example, God is referred to as “Father” at least 170 times!
Though God at times communicates His sensitive, nurturing attributes to us in Scripture using feminine imagery (Isaiah 42:14, Isaiah 66:13, Matthew 23:37), God is never spoken of in the Bible with feminine pronouns like she, her, hers, and God is never given a feminine name. All of God’s names in the Bible are masculine: Abba, Father, Lord, Yahweh, Prince of Peace, King, Bridegroom…
And once more for clarification, God is eternal Spirit, neither male nor female.#God is eternal Spirit, neither male nor female and here's why it matters.Click To Tweet
So Why Not Use Feminine Terminology for God?
Since Scripture clearly provides and supports the image that God is eternal Spirit and without gender, what’s the harm in using feminine pronouns like she and nurturing names like Mother for God?
Here’s why: Jesus Christ. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us throughout the Old and New Testaments as He. God has revealed Himself to us in human form in and through His son, in male form. Jesus tells us “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
And then Jesus gave us the ultimate example in The Lord’s Prayer. In the 11 verses that record Jesus’ teaching on prayer (Matthew 6:5-15), God is referred to as he, him or Father no less than 7 times. Most notably is verse 6, “Our Father in Heaven…”
To summarize, God has revealed Himself in masculine form throughout Scripture. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament confirm and maintain this revelation.
Because of Jesus, his life, his teaching and his extremely long list of examples, we don’t have the option to change the nature of God or how He has revealed Himself to us. We simply do not have the authority to reverse the roles of God’s nature because it suits us.We don't have the authority to reverse the roles of God's nature just because it suits us.Click To Tweet