Thursday, March 12, 2009
Could God really be exclusively male?
There are many Christians today that truly believe that God has a gender and is therefore male, including his physical appearance and his personality traits. God created man in his image. Women were created as a 'helper' for the men from the Hebrew word (ezer)in Genesis. Subordination then is their role, designed for them by God.
However, if anything we perceive to be 'good' or 'holy' in a person is a reflection of God's nature, does that mean that only men exhibit these qualities? But surely any positives in any human MUST come from God? He is the origin of all goodness. This would of course include so called feminine attributes if we accept that females have some positive traits in their make-up. Unfortunately many Christians still harbour Greek philosophical ideas about women. They misinterpret the story of the Fall as the result of women's weakness and unsuitablility to lead. Eve was the one who upset the applecart and rebelled. Adam was an unfortunate and fairly silent victim in the whole sorry tale. According to some, all he did wrong was to lack the backbone to stand up to his wife and say NO! Consequently those preaching this theology, have to accept that they see all women as inferior. Their attitude to God's character and 'gender' betrays this. If man alone was made in the true image of God as many in this school of thought believe, then where does that leave women? I asked a friend who believes this stuff recently and his answer was that women were made in the image of man. I must conclude then that like the Greeks, women are seen by some Christians to be inherently inferior to man, not made in God's image but made in the image of Adam. Women cannot truly reflect God's nature because nothing exclusively feminine is 'good' or 'holy'. i.e. directly from God. As God's nature is inherently good; God must therefore be a male through and through...
I worry about these teachings and the effect they are having in our churches today. How many women have been damaged by them? How many have turned away from tnhe church altogether? Serious prayer is needed, so that Jesus attitude to women becomes the one we follow, not a major misinterpretation of the Biblical passages which rely mostly on translation, a lack of contextual understanding and inherited pagan attitudes.