Is God non-binary?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Lowly Layman, Jan 29, 2024.

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  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    So, to follow up on a post made in the "Anglican Memes!" Thread.

    If God can be considered "non-binary" and "gender fluid" and be assigned a gender despite not having the corresponding biological markers (God is pure spirit, after all), is a person identifying as trans or gender nonconforming really wrong?
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I refrained from posting in the Memes thread, but now it seems apposite for me to respond.

    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.​

    The point here is not that God is 'gender-fluid' or 'non-binary'. God is before gender (which God seems to have created at some stage in the process) God is beyond gender. Gender is not a quality of God.

    The confusion of grammatical construction of gender is not the same as the reality of gender in the created world, though thankfully there is a strong crossover.

    The opening of Genesis could be rendered

    In the beginning God already was creating the heaven and the earth, and the Spirit of God brooded over the waters.​

    The people who kept the stories and preserved them for us in the text had an understanding of time that proceeded from a starting point. The contemporary custom, built solidly in existentialism, starts the understanding of time from the present moment, and time reaches back infinitely and forward infinitely. The notion of time having a beginning leads to the question of what about time before time?

    The first of our great Thirty-Nine Articles makes the point solidly - God is without body parts or passions - and I think as Anglicans we should take this seriously.

    I suspect gender dysmorphia is a real thing, however, I am a little concerned that it seemingly become rather more fashionable than it once was. As a Christian, I think we need to focus on the pastoral response rather than a legalistic response requiring conformity in the tribe. I think we are a long way from having this worked out.
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    So God is trinary. That's woke @Botolph :D

    I agree with you on all counts. I do think it is worth exploring the biblical feminine aspects of the Godhead. But we do have to admit that for most "orthodox" Christians the idea of viewing God as anything other He/Him is heresy.

    As for the trans phenomenon, it is growing perhaps because changing attitudes make being open about it less dangerous. Which is great progress in my opinion.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I am not generally described as woke, save by the occasional absolutely un-woke acquaintance, and then generally only to get a rise out of me.

    I think the essence of God's preferred pronouns is that we understand God as personable without anthropomorphizing him, rather than the sense of ascribing God with gender, which as I said would be contrary to Article 1.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Here lies the nub of the problem. God can be only accurately described as an 'IT' from which ALL other things gain their existence. However it is inappropriate in the use of the English language, and also most others I would guess, to refer to a person as an 'IT'. Whether God is gender-less or both genders and possibly more is almost an irrelevance. God is the ground of our existence, the ULTIMATE "I AM", The Alpha and Omega of EVERYTHING. To attribute a single 'gender' to God is an idolatrous insult to God's personal ultimacy of BEING.
    .
     
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  6. Pub Banker

    Pub Banker Member Anglican

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    I’m surprised to read this thread. On its surface, the use of “he” is the King’s (or Queen’s) English. In other words, it’s proper.

    This conversation is loathsome. Binary? Trans? IT?!? Shame on you. Is this the way to consider our King? I think not. I love good, deep theological conversation. But this is neither good or theological. I joined this forum in hopes of deepening my Faith as expressed in the AngloCatholic tradition. I expected to read opinions of which I did not agree. But this thread and some of its responses? Schisms and heresies.

    Now in the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
     
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  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    What is so threatening and loathsome about words and ideas that challenge preconceptions and old paradigms? I don't think God is threatened by human beings using the brains He/She/It gave them to ponder and speculate about God's nature.

    I don't think the Church is in any danger of re-gendering God by what's been said in this thread if that's your concern. And I certainly don't see where God's majesty was dimmed in any way by it.

    I am genuinely sorry it offends you, though.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The use of 'He' is merely a respectfully reverential title afforded to an Almighty Life Giving Spirit. It is not a discription of God's gender, God is not a man.
    .
     
  9. Bert Gallagher

    Bert Gallagher New Member

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    God reveals himself to us in the masculine pronoun “He”.
     
  10. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Point of clarification, God revealed Himself to the Prophets of the Hebrew Bible as "I AM" which they took to mean "HE is" except in instances already mentioned herein. Christ participated in and deferred to the prevailing Jewish cultural paradigm of using he/him durimg His earthly ministry. God reveals himself to us as the Holy Spirit, which as has been pointed out is spiritual and in some cases is identified as the feminine persona of the Trinity. Jmo
     
  11. Spiritus

    Spiritus Active Member

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    It seems to me that an omnipotent God could have created humans (who we need to remember are in His image and likeness) non-gendered if He so chose. He also could have created the first human as a female or as a fish or lizard person if He was feeling particularly creative. The fact God chose to create us both male and female, relate to us as the Father, and become incarnate as a human male, and choose a group of twelve males to be his apostles, and start the line of priesthood acting in his place would seem to indicate that God wants us to view him as male and not only as a male but the Heavenly Father of us all.

    Yes the incarnation happened within a Jewish context and a particular time but I don’t see that as a reason to take a contrary position to 2,000 years of unbroken Church tradition and teaching. God seems to like shattering our pre-conceived ideas and social norms so if He wanted I don’t see why He couldn’t change things up at the incarnation.

    That’s my opinion and I know it’s not popular with a lot of people. I think siding with scripture, the apostles, the church fathers, and the councils is a safe position to take. If I’m wrong I’ll be happy to stand before God and say my bad, I was following the greatest body of evidence and trying to take you at your word.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It is humans which are created in God's image and likeness, not 'men'. Man and woman God created them. If it were just men that were created in God's likeness and image then women could not be in God's image and likeness because they are not in man's image and likeness, which aolone then would be supposedly in God's image and likeness. So your assumption that MEN alone are in God's image and likeness is a logically and scripturally wrong assumption.
    In order for God to become incarnate as a human being it would have been impossible for God to have been incarnate as anything OTHER than something that was in God's own image and likeness otherwise scripture would have been negated. That would logically mean God could have been incarnate as either a man OR a woman, since both are in God's image and likeness. A choice had to be made therefore since God incarnate could not be literally BOTH male and female since THAT would not have been a normal human creature, and therefore not in God's image.

    Since the Messiah was prophesied to be a man it was essential that HE, the Messiah should be a man, otherwise the prophesy could not have been fulfilled. If the Messiah had been a woman, even equally in the image and likeness of God, no one at that time would have paid any attention to HER and SHE would have been even more 'rejected' and ignored by her people, and thus ignored by the whole human race, than was Jesus Christ, even though HE was a man, in a Jewish context, MEN'S world.
    If that church teaching has been that MEN are made in the image and likeness of God and women are NOT, then that teaching has been WRONG for near on 2,000 years. As I have pointed out, there was definite reason Christ HAD to be a MAN. Had he not been, there would have been no salvation for the human race and God's plan to save us from ourselves would have been frustrated by the sinful misogynistic male prejudice, started by Adam when he tried to blame EVE and God for Adam's sinful rebellion against God's good advice.
    Whether your opinion is popular with other's is no measure of its logical validity, fortunately for you.
    After some 3,000 years since the fall, (by Bishop Usher's estimate), if that's anything at all to go by, Jesus Christ overturned a lot of people's previously erroneous thinking by his teachings and doings. They became Christians and so then thought and acted differently than those who still carried on thinking and doing what everyone else had been thinking and doing since the fall.

    Siding with what you think scripture, the apostles, the church fathers, and the councils are all 'telling' you could easily be leading you as much into error as those who refused to listen to the new teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, merely because they had judgmental disdain for his parentage rather than loving respect for his new wisdom.
    .
     
  13. Pub Banker

    Pub Banker Member Anglican

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    “nevertheless not my will, but thine…” So well said. Thank you, @Spiritus
     
  14. Tom Barrial

    Tom Barrial Member

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    I think that comparing the sexual aspects of God Almighty to trans people is idiotic to me. LGBTQ issues are important but this is not
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It depends. Some people have rare physical conditions which makes them sort of both, or sort of neither. But beyond that, a person who identifies as some gender other than that which their chromosomes and birth-body indicates them to be are... not wrong, but mistaken. Quite possibly confused or misled by social or societal pressures.
     
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  16. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I have friends and relatives who are trans. They aren't mistaken or confused. They know what sex they are biogically. They also know what gender they identify as. Why must the two be the same? For trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people, the two are separate. It is a minority perspective but that doesn't mean it isn't valid. What qualifies you to pass judgment on the way they represent themselves? What societal pressures could possibly lead someone to be mistaken, confused, or misled about their gender identity?
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It's a free country; they can identify as cats, dogs, or fish if they wish. But if they do, they are mistaken. Same thing with, say, biological males who identify as females: they're quite mistaken. Now, I said they might possibly be confused, or they might possibly (more likely IMO) be misled, but there may be other reasons why they are mistaken. Please don't take this as "passing judgment," since they haven't committed a crime or anything, but as a rational human I am entirely capable of observing the fact that they are mistakenly identifying as something they are not.

    As to "what societal pressures could possibly lead someone" to such a mistake, I swear you'd have to almost be living under a rock to be unaware of how young children are being influenced in schools and by all sorts of media, both to question their own gender and to think of gender switching as natural, normative behavior. The dramatic increase in gender dysphoria cases in the past 20 years cannot be attributed to genetic factors; it's purely environment-driven. I don't know if you are aware, but some large medical conglomerates have been funding (through grants to schools) the encouragement of gender dysphoria; search for the articles if you really want to know. There are huge profits being made in medical treatment of this "malady" through doctor appointments, hormone treatments, and operations. It's an entirely new industry within medicine nowadays. The love of money is the root of all evil.

    Edit: here's a good start (pdf formatted report) for your research.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2024
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  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I want to share a somewhat tangential anecdote. Do you remember what it was like to experience peer pressure, the desire to "fit in" and "be cool" in school? Like, pressure to wear a certain brand of jeans or to act a certain way? Nowadays kids encounter peer pressure to be gay or transgender! One of my granddaughters is in her senior year of high school, and she has told us about the current pressure in her school to be gay or lesbian.... and this is in a private Christian school! Obviously not all of the kids or their families are Christian; they probably chose this private school for its academic record, its proximity to home, and/or similar factors (the city's public school system is known to be at the very bottom academically among the state's schools).

    If this sort of peer pressure can thrive in a Christian school, imagine what can thrive in public schools. If all the "cool kids" are cross-dressing and are identifying as something different, then anyone who wants to be cool is incentivized to do the same! Add to this the teachers who are told to go along with the behavior, and the school nurses who are trained to offer sympathy, encouragement, and medical resources with a promise that they won't notify the parents.
     
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  19. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I'm having trouble deciding whether you just don't know how disgustingly disrespectful and transphobic your words are or you just don't care.

    It's bigotry like this that has made conservative Christianity so unpalatable and irrelevant and why so many parishes are shrivelling up and dying out.

    Hate and prejudice, even when it is wrapped in Bible verses and psuedo-scientific "studies" to reinforce biases that have been universally rejected by mainstream psychology and social science, is still just hate and prejudice.

    In 2024 alone, there are 496 anti-trans bills in 41 states seeking to villify, stigmatize, and discriminate against trans people with respect to receiving basic healthcare, education, legal recognition, and the even right to publicly exist. This past year more than 300 trans and gender diverse people were targeted for anti-trans violence, being beaten, shot, stabbed, and murdered for simply daring to be trans. Just this month, Nex Benedict, a 16 year old nonbinary child, died as a result being jumped and brutally beaten by 3 freshmen girls in Oklahoma (https://www.motherjones.com/politic...homa-bullying-bathroom-bills-police-body-cam/)

    Anyone who has witnessed the unbelievable hardship, heartache, and isolation involved in transitioning and in living publicly as a trans person knows how insultingly obtuse claims that this is the result of trying to "fit in" or chasing a fad really is. It is about trying to live authentically as the person, body and soul, that God made them.

    I'll give you this warning Rex: be careful of who you hate. It may just turn out to be someone you love.
     
  20. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    This is just plain silly. Being gay, lesbian, or trans is not a choice anymore than being straight or cisgendered is a choice. The kids may be pressuring their schoolmates into acting out or saying that they are gay or lesbian as a way to appear edgey but they can't be pressured to "be" gay or lesbian.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
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