Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by anglican74, Aug 21, 2018.
In what way is Spirit 'male'?
I don't know, that's not really my question
I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
My view of the 1st article is that the article clearly suggests that any view of the divine which has an enforced gender specification fails to embrace the notion so eloquently put in the words without body, parts, or passions.
We have been made in the image and after the likeness of God, and it is imperative that we not seek to confine God to our image, but rather see that which reflects the divine in one another.
Australian comedian Dave Hughes once suggested that "God is male because God is a boys name". I thank him for that because in that moment many understood the idea that God is bigger than we think.
Exactly! God is nothing like us. We are somewhat like our creator, but God is nothing like us. Isa.55:8-12. Everything in scripture referring to God in human terms is anthropomorphism. God does not have hands, feet, mouth, genitalia, etc. Jesus had all those things, only because He was incarnate, of the virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit also has none of those things. They are metaphors, i.e. ways that human beings can visualize the invisible and the intangible.
Making God 'a man' or 'male' is a form of idolatry. An attempt to produce a mental 'graven image' of something on earth, an image of which cannot be seen, and still live. Deut.18:15-22. Deut.4:24, Deut.9:3, Heb.12:29.
That is God. Not a male or female God, but a 'consuming fire'.
Your 'male God', is a pale carbon copy of the Real Maccoy. Rev.4:5.
Was Jesus wrong, then, in referring to God the Father? Why didn't he refer to an It? And why was he the incarnation of the Son, and not the "Begotten It"?
I'm not at all sure that either God or Jesus would approve of anyone making a big thing out of them being 'masculine' rather than appreciating the "Father-like care for his 'children', that God epitomizes", and the "Self sacrificing love the 'Son' has for the human race, in spite of all it's faults".
Jesus had to be physically either a man or a woman in order to be a 'human being'. That is the important thing about "And was made man" Not as you are trying to make the creed imply that Jesus "was made 'A' man". Your emphasis is wrong.
The incarnation was indeed "One giant step for man". And it was a step by God, not us. This was the ultimate test of God's humility. This was the ultimate test of God's Omnipotence. This was indeed, God 'in chains', for our sake, suffering eventually, even the unjust humiliation of a criminal's death. Lk.12:50.
We should not demean God's greatest initiative on behalf of His despoiled creation, by attempting to make 'a baby's masculinity' the justification for promoting the cause of male supremacy.
Nobody noticed. I wonder why?
The Anglican Church of Australia uses the ELLC texts where the line in the creed is rendered
And became truly human
Quite! I believe that was the intention behind the original wording, since it was a refutation of the Gnostic doctrine that Jesus Christ was not truly human. That Jesus was a man would have been self evident even to the least observant Gnostic. It was his duality of being fully human and fully divine that had been in dispute, not his masculinity.
But what is that Father-like care, as opposed to Mother-like care? What's the difference? Why inject gender into a God which according to you cannot have a Gender attribute!
Because we are human beings and we can't conceive of God as 'He' actually is. Even ' A FLAMING FIRE ', does not cut it or do 'Him' justice. If you insist upon metaphorical references to God being literal, how do you get on with God being "A mother hen, gathering her chicks and protecting them"? Matt.23:37, Lk.13:34, 2 Esdras 1:30. (and the last ref. shows us incidentally what Jesus was actually implying). Your mental picture of 'God' is too literal. Almost idolatrous in its desire to reduce Almighty God, The Lord of Hosts, down to mere masculine human characteristics.
God is Spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and in truth. 'He' is not only masculine or only feminine, 'He' is "GOD", and God is like unto nothing else in creation, male, female, neuter or anything else. Deut.4:16. God is HOLY, which means 'utterly separate'. Nothing else is remotely like God, except Jesus. And Jesus is like God, (not in his masculinity), but in his DIVINITY as the second person of The Trinity. Rev.1:12-18. Any construct of God which imposes upon 'Him' male or female characteristics and tries to pass it off as 'God', is a "Graven Image". Not like God at all. That is why male or female graven images of God are forbidden. Because God does not like being represented by 'A LIE'.
Sorry did you think you answered my question? Because you did not answer my question
Why Father, and not Mother or an “It?”
And moreover: is it accurate for us to call God a Father?... or should we rather prefer to say “It?”
In the English language we only have three ways of referring to anything. 'He' if masculine, 'she' if feminine or 'it' if we are certain it is not a person. Indirectly we might use 'it' to reference a person sometimes. For instance, if I get a telephone call from some unknown salesman or saleswoman and am asked, "Who was that on the phone", I might reply "It was a nuisance call", but I would be referring to the call, not the sales person.
We believe God to be the ultimate person. Therefore it is always inappropriate to refer to God as 'it' in the English language.
Western civilisation is not generally matriarchal, and authority is considered by default to reside in masculinity as a concept. This is as much tradition as anything else and is not by any means exclusive. Take for instance Queen Elizabeth the 1st, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth the II. All female monarchs. All among our most powerful monarchs. The fact that there has so far never been a female President of the USA is merely a quirk of fate and electoral prejudice. Nevertheless it is 'traditional' in English to refer to God The Father as 'He'. For one thing the metaphor of Fatherhood would be contradicted if God were referred to as 'She, The Father'. Just too confusing, though even that makes more sense than referring to The Holy Trinity as 'He'. And since God is 'One God' and not three gods, referring to God as 'They' makes no sense either. So where LANGUAGE is concerned we are unable to accurately describe God in English. That should be no surprise however, because God is indescribable, in any human language.
So the simple answer to your question is: We label God 'He' by convention and convenience and for no other reason. Certainly not because the theological reasoning of the church has ever stated that The Holy Trinity is entirely masculine.
Jesus never referred to God as 'It'. 'It' is very rude when used for a person. Since we don't have a word to address a person who is neither a 'He' a 'She' or an 'It', we simply have to go for the one which seems most appropriate to us.
So HE is what we traditionally use for God. It does not entirely fit, but then again nothing in human language would, would it?
But there is no intrinsic reason for that, is there...? as you said, aren't you injecting human categories into something that's fundamentally nothing like what we ascribe to it? There is no reason for Jesus to ascribe a masculine attribute to a fundamentally amorphous 'spirit' or force'
Only because of your fathers and grandfathers, the Englishmen, who stoutly resisted gender-heresy in their time...
If you had it your way, you would convert God into an 'it' and a 'she'
In fact you've already done it above: https://forums.anglican.net/threads/head-coverings-for-women.2625/page-2#post-30333
And the liberal heretics are starting to make the push...
Female Anglican clerics want to refer to God as ‘She’
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen.1:26-28. KJV
`Let Us make man (’ā·ḏām) in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that is creeping on the earth.' And God prepareth the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him, a male and a female He prepared them. And God blesseth them, and God saith to them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that is creeping upon the earth.' : Youngs Literal Translation. (Which is not as literal as all that because otherwise it is almost unintelligible in English).
Here is the interlinear version of the actual WORDS of the original, along with the English translation of those words.
It can be seen here that the word most English translations use for ’ā·ḏām has been 'man', but ’ā·ḏām is not the name of an individual man in this context, it is the generic term for 'mankind'. The Hebrew name Adam MEANS 'mankind', not just 'a man called Adam'. Adam was called Adam because he was 'man'. Not just 'a man' but 'man', meaning 'mankind'.
"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" is devoid of any meaning in English. It is a tautology. "One small step for 'a' man, one giant leap for 'mankind", makes perfect sense. And that is what Neil Armstrong claims to have actually said.
What Gen.1:26 says is, "Let us make mankind in our image according to our likeness". "Let them rule", etc.
Gen.1:27, says "God made mankind in 'his' image", "male and female", "and blessed them", etc.
Nowhere does it say God made woman in mans image, as if she is inferior to man. In any case she is not in man's image, she is physically different and may be different in other respects as well. Together, man and woman make mankind. Seperately they are not ’ā·ḏām.
If anything, woman being created LAST, would make her superior to man, (if that strange logic appeals to you), since Adam was presumably the pinnacle of God's creation, being last behind all plants, fishes, birds and animals. Well Eve was even 'laster' than Adam, if that is how you mistakenly suppose superiority is earned by men over women.
I might have expected you to get those bones of contention stuck in the throat. I would thank you not to put words in my mouth and pretend that I have said them. I have made it quite clear why I believe we use 'Father', and 'Son', not 'Mother' and 'Daughter'. I have no need to excuse my theological insight into the nature of God and God's supposed 'gender', to you or anyone else. The only person of the Trinity we can have no doubt about is Jesus. The Father is Spirit, so actual gender is speculative from a human point of view. The Holy Spirit is Spirit, so the same applies.
I am also accepting no responsibility for other's foolishness or ignorance regarding their use of gender terms when referring to Almighty God, The Holy Trinity. Their man or woman foolishness is their concern, not mine. However if men foolishly insist upon labeling God as wholly masculine because 'he' behaves like a Father, women equaling that by insisting God is wholly feminine, because 'she' behaves like a mother, merely balances off two millennia of theologically inept stupidity, with more theologically inept stupidity, as far as I can see.
All of which proves that God created both man and woman... which is the most obvious claim in all of theology, and doesn't come near to even addressing my point...
Well all I can say is: "If you think I have not answered your question, it is because you don't understand the question.
I believe I've already refuted these points in the previous thread but might as well do it here again:
God obviously created both man and woman. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. I don't even know why you wasted the time to prove the obvious.
"Man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man." (1. Corinthians 11:7)
The sacred Scriptures argue otherwise:
"Man was not made from woman, but woman from man." (1 Corinthians 11:8)
Look, it's not a question of ontological inferiority. In the eyes of God, man and woman have equal dignity. You need to stop acting like someone's weak feelings should determine our theology.
It is a question of primacy. It is a question of covenantal headship: are A-dam and Ha'va interchangeable, or does one take primacy over the other. And we are taught by Scripture that in a partnership of man and woman, the man takes primacy in the eyes of God. That is why we talk of the Sin of Adam, not the Sin of Eve. It doesn't matter what she did. She is not the covenantal head of her household, let alone of the human race.
When all is said and done, we will both of us stand before our maker and discover who it was that actually wrote the sentence you interpret so literally, and he will explain to us what he meant by it. Then we will discover who best applied the teaching of our Lord and Savior and who had been mislead.
I have been having a hard time with my research trying to find documentation of head coverings for women in the Anglican Church. From what I read it was a "given" that most women wore hats in the 1960's and before as part of the tradition of the veil and 1 Corinthians 11. Most traditions RCC, Orthodox and most protestant churches also had different variations of this practice till modern liberal critical thinking theology had an influence.
Any help would be appreciated.