If God has no gender, then God as female is not problematic -Evaluate

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neelamm0001
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Grade A (28/30) part 1/2

You could argue that Gen 1:26 says that God created both males and females in his image and therefore the ultimate reality of God expresses aspects of both males and females, suggesting God has no gender, and therefore speaking about God in female terms is not problematic. This is a strong point, because there’s evidence in the Bible that God has no gender, through the aforementioned passage from Genesis, and it is also reflected in the Catechisms of the Catholic Church, which says that God has no gender and that the metaphor mother, which is speaking about God in female terms, is acceptable to use. However, some have argued that using female language about God is unscriptural because God is consistently referred to as Father in the Bible, although there are some metaphors for God as mother. In Lk 13 and Mt 23 where God is referred to as a mother hen. God is never directly addressed as mother, therefore never directly addressed in female terms, so we should not refer to God in female terms, even of the actual doctrine is that God has no gender. However, this could be argued to be a weak point because most Christians, apart from fundamentalists, tend to take a subjective view of inspiration, meaning the Bible is not the direct Word of God, so we should not take every word literally, and have to consider the bias of the authors, using processes like Redaction Criticism, and Wright’s Critical Realism. This leads some to suggest that the language of the Bible is only generally male when referring to God, because of the time period in which it written. At the time, the society was highly patriarchal and was ruled by kings; something that isn’t relevant today. This is a strong point because if those who wrote the Bible were able to express God in terms of their own experiences, we should be able to do so in reflection of our time period and our world views, and also as society has progressed, feminism has developed so we now generally understand men and women to be equal, suggesting that God could be female and this is not a problematic view.
Furthermore, some like McFague, argue that we should use female metaphors for God as well, eg, God as mother. This is a strong point, as it’s supported by James’s view of pragmatism; reinforcing God as mother suggests that the world is part of God, therefore encourages people to take more care of the environment, and take more seriously their command to be stewards of the earth. However, if God is referred to as mother, it could lead to heretical beliefs as traditional Christianity believes that God is separate from his creation, as he is omnipotent, therefore cannot be a part of the fallen world, or he would not be able to grant us salvation and save us from eternal separation and death, through Jesus’ atonement on the cross. Therefore, this could be considered a stronger argument than McFague’s because referring to God as female is problematic because it could deny key attributes of God, without which he could not grant salvation and, as Paul said, with no hope of resurrection, the Christian faith is in vain. Therefore, this point suggests that even if God has no gender, we can’t refer to God as female because it undermines who God actually is.
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neelamm0001
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Part 2/2

Moreover, you could argue that even if God has no gender, God as female is problematic, because Jesus refers to God as Abba meaning Daddy, when he prays to God the Father suggesting that Jesus did not view God as female, and if Jesus didn’t view God as female then it is problematic for Christians to do so, as we could then say Jesus was wrong on this fundamental point, how could we trust any of his teachings, and this then unravels the whole Christian faith. This is a strong point, because Jesus is God, so surely he would know whether God is female or not. This argument is further supported by the idea that Jesus came to earth as a male, as we question why he would do this if God was female. However, this could be considered a weak point because you could argue that Jesus coming to earth as male was solely because if he came to earth as a female during that time period, nobody would have taken him seriously, so it was necessary, but only a reflection of the time, and he only referred to God the father in male terms, perhaps in order to fit in with beliefs at the time, so that people would follow his teaching and therefore receive salvation through faith. However, Jesus was viewed as revolutionary by many, and challenged many other traditional Jewish doctrines, such as their views about wealth, so why would he not challenge this doctrine or even if it is not a doctrine, why not challenge the habit of referring to God as male, if God was female.

Overall, due to the fact that God is ineffable and transcendent. Beyond our human understanding, described by Otto as ‘wholly other’, we cannot truly know whether God is male or female, of if he has no gender, whether we can say God is female. However, due to many teachings like Genesis 1:26, suggesting God created both males and females in his image, surely we must assume that God does contain some female aspects, otherwise why or how would he have created females, and why would he love them equally. However clearly we cannot say that God is just female and male because as McFague says we shouldn’t limit God like this in any way, because this is a form of idolatry, meaning we are not worshipping the ultimate reality of God, only a part. Therefore, we should be open to the idea of God being both male and female together, but not just one or the other.
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LeoKisia
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(Original post by neelamm0001)
Grade A (28/30) part 1/2

You could argue that Gen 1:26 says that God created both males and females in his image and therefore the ultimate reality of God expresses aspects of both males and females, suggesting God has no gender, and therefore speaking about God in female terms is not problematic. This is a strong point, because there’s evidence in the Bible that God has no gender, through the aforementioned passage from Genesis, and it is also reflected in the Catechisms of the Catholic Church, which says that God has no gender and that the metaphor mother, which is speaking about God in female terms, is acceptable to use. However, some have argued that using female language about God is unscriptural because God is consistently referred to as Father in the Bible, although there are some metaphors for God as mother. In Lk 13 and Mt 23 where God is referred to as a mother hen. God is never directly addressed as mother, therefore never directly addressed in female terms, so we should not refer to God in female terms, even of the actual doctrine is that God has no gender. However, this could be argued to be a weak point because most Christians, apart from fundamentalists, tend to take a subjective view of inspiration, meaning the Bible is not the direct Word of God, so we should not take every word literally, and have to consider the bias of the authors, using processes like Redaction Criticism, and Wright’s Critical Realism. This leads some to suggest that the language of the Bible is only generally male when referring to God, because of the time period in which it written. At the time, the society was highly patriarchal and was ruled by kings; something that isn’t relevant today. This is a strong point because if those who wrote the Bible were able to express God in terms of their own experiences, we should be able to do so in reflection of our time period and our world views, and also as society has progressed, feminism has developed so we now generally understand men and women to be equal, suggesting that God could be female and this is not a problematic view.
Furthermore, some like McFague, argue that we should use female metaphors for God as well, eg, God as mother. This is a strong point, as it’s supported by James’s view of pragmatism; reinforcing God as mother suggests that the world is part of God, therefore encourages people to take more care of the environment, and take more seriously their command to be stewards of the earth. However, if God is referred to as mother, it could lead to heretical beliefs as traditional Christianity believes that God is separate from his creation, as he is omnipotent, therefore cannot be a part of the fallen world, or he would not be able to grant us salvation and save us from eternal separation and death, through Jesus’ atonement on the cross. Therefore, this could be considered a stronger argument than McFague’s because referring to God as female is problematic because it could deny key attributes of God, without which he could not grant salvation and, as Paul said, with no hope of resurrection, the Christian faith is in vain. Therefore, this point suggests that even if God has no gender, we can’t refer to God as female because it undermines who God actually is.
I found this post by accident-but its sad how gender wars have been taken too far. The mere fact that discussing deities' gender is utmost disrespectful in many societies, I think such a discussion doesn't serve any other purpose other than validating the dysfunctional narrative of gender equality. Its clear that God, Allah, Buddha (although not a God per se), are all male figures. How come that these debates are only rampant in the Christian western societies?
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by LeoKisia)
I found this post by accident-but its sad how gender wars have been taken too far. The mere fact that discussing deities' gender is utmost disrespectful in many societies, I think such a discussion doesn't serve any other purpose other than validating the dysfunctional narrative of gender equality. Its clear that God, Allah, Buddha (although not a God per se), are all male figures. How come that these debates are only rampant in the Christian western societies?
Hinduism's has several, and I mean several female deities though. More so than male I would think. And Hinduism as a religion is far older than Islam and Christianity so clearly the idea of the higher power being a male is something that came later from Western societies no?
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username5173262
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
Hinduism's has several, and I mean several female deities though. More so than male I would think. And Hinduism as a religion is far older than Islam and Christianity so clearly the idea of the higher power being a male is something that came later from Western societies no?
You talk as if the Abrahamic religions started in the West...
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LoveAmore
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What level of study was this? I'm assuming A-Level RS?
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Cıllıan
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(Original post by LeoKisia)
I found this post by accident-but its sad how gender wars have been taken too far. The mere fact that discussing deities' gender is utmost disrespectful in many societies, I think such a discussion doesn't serve any other purpose other than validating the dysfunctional narrative of gender equality. Its clear that God, Allah, Buddha (although not a God per se), are all male figures. How come that these debates are only rampant in the Christian western societies?
Allah is not a male nor female, neither is He like any creation of His. You western societies have always represented the Abrahamic God as a bearded man in heaven which is where your problem starts.
The reason these debates are only found in Christianity is because all depictions of the Trinity are of male figures, coming from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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neelamm0001
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(Original post by LeoKisia)
I found this post by accident-but its sad how gender wars have been taken too far. The mere fact that discussing deities' gender is utmost disrespectful in many societies, I think such a discussion doesn't serve any other purpose other than validating the dysfunctional narrative of gender equality. Its clear that God, Allah, Buddha (although not a God per se), are all male figures. How come that these debates are only rampant in the Christian western societies?
I completely understand where your coming from, I agree , I feel like the world has started working backwards. I was talking to this girl and I told her that I don’t think I’ll see myself in the future with a trans-male and she called me transphobic and honestly I found that wayyy too over dramatic,I feel like everyone’s so sensitive to everything , I’m scared to even have an opinion on matters like this, also what I posted was specifically focused on Christianity which is why there isn’t much references to other religions
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neelamm0001
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(Original post by LoveAmore)
What level of study was this? I'm assuming A-Level RS?
Yes, A levels in the subject- Theology, philosophy and ethics
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