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Thread: Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral

  1. #1

    Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral

    The Episcopal Church formed a committee Wednesday to “provide a pathway” toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.

    Church leaders called for immediate revisions to correct the “overwhelming use of masculine language” throughout the book, arguing that the language is now a hindrance to spiritual inclusion, according to the Episcopal Church website.

    “As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told the Washington Post

    The Episcopal News Service shared further concerns from church leaders that the current language has created a “barrier to evangelizing young people.”

    Kathleen Moore, a seminarian from the Diocese of Vermont, said she tries to help the youth see that gendered language gets in the way of faith in God.

    “Let’s let God be God,” Moore told the religious news agency.

    A subcommittee was tasked with providing resolutions as part of a 12-year revision process, followed by a three-year “trial” period.

    ...
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/07/06...r-neutral.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.



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  3. #2
    If God was gender neutral, then he wouldn't have made men so much better at everything than women
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
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    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    If God was gender neutral, then he wouldn't have made men so much better at everything than women
    As a matter of fact, some of the names of God are feminine pictures. El Shaddai is literally "the breasted One," and is the idea of the nursing mother. When you read the name "God Almighty," that's what you would see in the original language.

    For the record, I am not in favor of the revision. If people would teach the Bible literally and explain what terms mean, this would never be an issue.
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  5. #4
    The bible says that God made everything, the world, the universe in just 7 days.

    If God were a woman, she'd still be picking out which color the grass should be.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    The bible says that God made everything, the world, the universe in just 7 days.

    If God were a woman, she'd still be picking out which color the grass should be.
    No, it says God made it in 6 days and rested on the seventh.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    The bible says that God made everything, the world, the universe in just 7 days.

    If God were a woman, she'd still be picking out which color the grass should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.3D View Post
    No, it says God made it in 6 days and rested on the seventh.
    Thus making the point...

  9. #8
    Oh and BTW LOL at the idea that somehow this will bring more people to salvation...which is the only reason for a church to exist.



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  11. #9
    One the one hand, I can't believe anyone really thinks of an immortal spiritual being as having either a penis or a vagina.

    On the other hand, I have no idea why they haven't been using "They" and the "royal We" all along when referring to or quoting a Trinity.

    On the third hand, this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Oh and BTW LOL at the idea that somehow this will bring more people to salvation...which is the only reason for a church to exist.
    Is there a teapot small enough to contain this tempest? It's like watching two one-legged men have an ass-kicking contest. There may be a lot of sound and fury, but neither side has a leg to stand on.
    Last edited by acptulsa; 07-07-2018 at 10:44 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Ron is wrong...
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Amash is wrong...

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    One the one hand, I can't believe anyone really thinks of an immortal spiritual being as having either a penis or a vagina.
    Well, there is this:

    Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him...

  13. #11
    The full vesrse is:

    So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    God is Spirit. God is Uncreated. It is impossible to circumscribe the Godhead in a category of sex.

    God transcends human distinction of gender, and is the fulfillment of all things, including gender. We cannot being to approach or understand the essence of God. How then can we ascribe a gender?

    The angels are without such distinction. And Christ says that in the Kingdom people too will be like the angels.

    The assignment of two sexes was according to God’s plan to create a world which would be fruitful. In God’s image, humans were in general created with the power to ‘create life’, yet done so not alone but rather through personal and physical intercommunion. By the loving communion of one with the other, we find the spark of creative life, which brings forth the life of another. This is an image of the fullness of the trinity. In this image, whereby intercommunion of one and another, through love, brings life, we see an image of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

    In God’s wisdom, He created man, and from man He produced woman, so that through their willful and loving re-communion, they both may share in the blessings of fatherhood/motherhood through parenthood and grow into His likeness, which is not exclusive male or female in our human categorical distinctions, but rather the fulfillment of male and female.

    Of course, this is not the only way to experience divine knowledge and grow in Christ, for while He created all people and is the Father to all, He had no physical progeny through the flesh in the traditional sense. Rather, mysteriously, through His Body and Blood, and through faith, we become His adopted children, with all the rights and benefits.

    One does not need to be a physical parent in order to grow in the image and likeness of God. What one needs rather is love for God and for neighbor, and that by itself, as revealed by the Word of God, fulfills all things, for that too (the sharing and self-giving of love between the three) reveals the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
    Last edited by TER; 07-07-2018 at 11:45 PM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  14. #12
    Last edited by Danke; 07-09-2018 at 09:03 AM.
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  15. #13
    Why stop at gender? what is its sexual orientation? or what about his race? his nationality? if he was democrat or republican or god forbids a communist? these are more pertinent questions to ask than what his gender is. The man lives alone with 2 other fellas of the same kind, I personally think he is a bender, works 6 days in a row without rest, definitely hispanic Mexican. Goes to Temple and kicks out the money changers, anti capitalist much? maybe dem or republican or even communist but definitely not a libertarian.

    That's my 2 cents on the matter.
    You can maintain power over people, as long as you give them something. Rob a man of everything, and that man will no longer be in your power. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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    Trust principles; not people.
    My Che avatar is my unique way of giving a big middle finger to the, the neocons, the globalists, imperialists and most importantly to the left and right political establishment who hate his guts till this day. My admiration for him ends where his anti imperialist pro communism ideology starts.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Why stop at gender? what is its sexual orientation? or what about his race? his nationality? if he was democrat or republican or god forbids a communist? these are more pertinent questions to ask than what his gender is.
    I would again warn that we should be careful in ascribing to God such concepts found in the created world. Sexual orientation, race, nationality, political leanings are not pertinent questions to ask about God, just as gender is not. You are applying human constructs and trying to apply them to the uncreated, unoriginate, undefinable, uncircumscribable God, Who by definition is beyond human comprehension, at least in terms of His essence and being. The apophatic approach of understanding God (by negation) is more accurate than the cataphatic approach. That is, we can describe God better and closer by stating what He isn’t, rather than what He is. The closest and most accurate cataphatic description of God is simply what St. John said: God is Love. This defines God much better than any other human language can, because the mystery of love and the mystery of the Holy Trinity are similar. Notice that while this is a cataphatic approach, it also relies heavily on the apophatic approach, for sometimes Love is best understood by humans not by what it is, by what it isn’t.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.




    The man lives alone with 2 other fellas of the same kind, I personally think he is a bender, works 6 days in a row without rest, definitely hispanic Mexican. Goes to Temple and kicks out the money changers, anti capitalist much? maybe dem or republican or even communist but definitely not a libertarian.

    That's my 2 cents on the matter.
    Again, this anthropomorphic description of the Holy Trinity is insufficient, though I know you are probably writing it in half-jest.

    All the political ideologies you listed above have glimmers of truth in them, that is why their are so many passionate and ardent followers. In the same light, all fall short of perfect love, which is the closest thing which can describe God. The path towards love (that is, God) start from many different starting points, some paths being more crooked than others, some more assured than others. The destination however is neither a political one or one based on human boundaries or ideologies. It is rather a transfiguration, that is a change of our very being, in communion with the eternal God. This is achieved not through democratic means or by political force, but rather through humility and selfless love, and is given freely to those who follow the way of Christ and are willing to give all their worldly possessions and all their worldly constructs away in order to gain the Kingdom of God, which is not beset by human limits and the superficial, temporary, distinctions found in creation, but rather is the partaking of the divine nature and of God Himself. The fullfilled life is not politically obtained and it’s fruits are not found in this temporal world, but rather in the life to come. This is the testimony of God, the witness of His Saints, and the hope of the faithful.
    Last edited by TER; 07-11-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  17. #15
    The Episcopal Church uses the NRSV in the lectionary. It is somewhat gender neutral. A glaring example is that in most translations God says, "O Man," when speaking to Ezekiel. The NRSV renders it "Oh, Mortal."
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    The Episcopal Church uses the NRSV in the lectionary. It is somewhat gender neutral. A glaring example is that in most translations God says, "O Man," when speaking to Ezekiel. The NRSV renders it "Oh, Mortal."
    The distortion of terms in various translations of the Scriptures is a major problem for sure.
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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    The distortion of terms in various translations of the Scriptures is a major problem for sure.
    I’m not a fan. Male and female he created them. Right there on the second page.
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  21. #18
    Well, is a father, male or female? Seems like a mother would be female.

    Jesus said this about that.....
    Matthew 23:9 And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-- the one in heaven.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    As a matter of fact, some of the names of God are feminine pictures. El Shaddai is literally "the breasted One," and is the idea of the nursing mother. When you read the name "God Almighty," that's what you would see in the original language.

    For the record, I am not in favor of the revision. If people would teach the Bible literally and explain what terms mean, this would never be an issue.
    If people would teach the Bible literally, they would interpret Matthew 26: 27-30 (as well as a number of other passages) as the Orthodox do.
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  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    I’m not a fan. Male and female he created them. Right there on the second page.
    That’s the problem with translations. It is very difficult to suspend one’s presuppositions and understanding while translating a text from another time, culture, and language. The intention is usually innocent and sincere, but the results may not produce an accurate apostolic reading or understanding. An example would be the translation in the NT from Romans regarding expiation and propitiation. A slight change in wording leads to a vast chasm of differing theological understanding.
    +
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  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.3D View Post
    Well, is a father, male or female? Seems like a mother would be female.

    Jesus said this about that.....
    It is well understood in the ancient apostolic and patristic teachings that Christ did not infer that it is a sin to call another father (after all, St. Paul clearly called himself the spiritual father of St. Timothy, and the term father as a title of respect and endearment goes way back in the history of the Church). What Christ is saying is that we are to consider no person to be the ultimate source of our life, truth, or grace outside of the Father in Heaven Who is the Unbegotten Source and Father of all things in creation. In other words, even our beloved parents or greatest teachers take secondary status compared to God.

    That said, you make a good point in that there are important theological reasons why God the Father is called “Father” which has maleness corollary in human distinction. God the Father of course, as the fulfillment of gender (male and female He made them, in His image), has the traditional attributes of both sexes (father- protective, mother-nourishing, for example), but ultimately he can most clearly be understood in relation to us (using human comprehension) as a father, just as Christ revealed His name to be. And not only ‘father’, but Abba, which is a familiar, intimate name for one’s father.
    Last edited by TER; 07-11-2018 at 03:26 PM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    If people would teach the Bible literally, they would interpret Matthew 26: 27-30 (as well as a number of other passages) as the Orthodox do.
    But that is the problem alluded to above. Namely, taking the Bible literally but using an inaccurate translation or apart from the apostolic understanding. Anyone can choose what synonym or word they want to use as a close translation, or pick and choose what verses were meant literally or metaphorically, and this is especially useful to make one’s own opinion or position viable or deemed authoritative.

    However, the prism looked through to gain insight into the intent and true understanding of the Scriptures is not solely in our mere personal selves but in fact, relies heavily outside of ourselves (for humility would have it no other way). This prism to gain true interpretation is through the Church, the pillar and foundation, just as St. Paul taught.

    Truth, as a characteristic of God, is deemed authoritative when it is trinitarian, namely that it requires not one alone, nor even two, but three in consent and agreement. Think of the OT. What was required were two or three witnesses to make a claim. If only two were found, then it would be the judge who would make up the third in consent in order to make the claim authoritative and true.

    Thus, we cannot rely solely on what “I” think to determine the truth, but what God taught and what others taught through the grace of God. For this reason Christ said when two or three are present, He is amongst them. For truth to be reliably revealed, it requires the witness and agreement of at least three, for then truth can be reliable revealed through the grace of God. That is why the conciliar structure of the Church is the apostolic way of discerning the truth (in contrast to the Roman Catholic tradition of having a Supreme Pontiff), and why patristic study is held more authoritative then personal interpretation.

    In summary, while God works in every person to bring them to the truth, it is through the Church whereby the Holy Spirit working within the Body of Christ (the members) can most accurately and reliably gleam and pass down the truthful and accurate interpretation of the Scriptures, through obedience and humility to both God and the holy Saints before them.
    Last edited by TER; 07-11-2018 at 04:04 PM.
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  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    The distortion of terms in various translations of the Scriptures is a major problem for sure.
    Most were written by males.

    And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
    Does Man here mean just males or mankind? It adds "both male and female" were in the image of God.

    The Holy Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Was the Holy Spirit woman? Or of no sex?

    Does it matter what sex humans think God is? Are we simply trying to make the unimaginable more visible by endowing Him/ Her with human physical characteristics?
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 07-11-2018 at 04:10 PM.
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  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Most were written by males.
    Yes. They were the most educated ones in the past to do so. Today, I am sure, there exist many faulty translations done by educated women as well.

    Does Man here mean just males or mankind? It adds "both male and female" were in the image of God.
    I take it to mean humans (mankind).

    The Holy Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Was the Holy Spirit woman? Or of no sex?
    Please see my post above. The only Person of the Holy Trinity Who can be described as having a ‘sex’ is the Incarnate Word of God, our Lord and Savior, for He alone ‘circumscribed’ Himself in kenosis into the form of a human being in order to save human kind. The other Persons of the Holy Trinity, namely God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are bodiless and any attribution of male pronouns is not because they have a sex in the traditional sense of the word, but because of human convention and because to human beings, it best describes their understanding of the relationship between them and God. That is why sometimes the Holy Spirit can be referred to in feminine terms, as I believe you were trying to get to. It is a matter of human attempts at understanding the mystery of the Holy Spirit, and using limited human comprehension in doing so. But because Christ used the pronoun He in regards to the Holy Spirit, then we do so too. Had He used a female pronoun, then so would the Christian.
    Last edited by TER; 07-11-2018 at 04:18 PM.
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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Does it matter what sex humans think God is? Are we simply trying to make the unimaginable more visible by endowing Him/ Her with human physical characteristics?
    I just caught this addition.

    It is natural to try and describe God in anthropomorphic terms because it helps us as humans to try and understand God using characteristic we can relate to, but we must concomitantly understand that such human constructs of created attributes and worldly distinctions are insufficient and limited in the face of the essence of God. They are superficial understandings which help to make sense of the mystery but must be understood to still be, in the end, mere human thoughts trying to make sense of something which is frankly beyond human comprehension. The human mind, a product created and living in time and space, is simply too limited to understand the depths of such a mystery as an eternal uncreated God, which is why the patristic teaching puts more emphasis on the heart, which is the spiritual center of the individual. As Christ said, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Our minds can bring us closer to the knowledge of God, to a certain point, but it is in the heart whereby the Kingdom of God is found and experienced.
    Last edited by TER; 07-11-2018 at 07:46 PM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  30. #26
    Where does everyone think the confusion came from?
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
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  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    I just caught this addition.

    It is natural to try and describe God in anthropomorphic terms because it helps us as humans to try and understand God using characteristic we can relate to, but we must concomitantly understand that such human constructs of created attributes and worldly distinctions are insufficient and limited in the face of the essence of God. They are superficial understandings which help to make sense of the mystery but must be understood to still be, in the end, mere human thoughts trying to make sense of something which is frankly beyond human comprehension. The human mind, a product created and living in time and space, is simply too limited to understand the depths of such a mystery as an eternal uncreated God, which is why the patristic teaching puts more emphasis on the heart, which is the spiritual center of the individual. As Christ said, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Our minds can bring us closer to the knowledge of God, to a certain point, but it is in the heart whereby the Kingdom of God is found and experienced.
    It don't think the "maleness" of the Father is some kind of dumbing down of the truth so we can understand it. Like everything else it has spiritual meaning and literal meaning.

    The Hebrew word for "male" comes from the root verb "to remember".

    Food for thought:

    The root-verb זכר (zakar) means to remember but with quite a range of nuance. Studies of cognate languages suggest that the core meaning of the verb זכר (zakar) has to do with the public announcement of whatever it is that one seeks to bring to remembrance (Nahum 2:6, 2 Samuel 14:11). Our verb seems to be endowed with a mild persuasive clause: it basically means to call to remember (Genesis 41:9, Isaiah 43:26). But secondarily, it's also used to describe contemplation without further outward activity; the act of meditation or reminiscing (Deuteronomy 5:15, Job 21:6, Psalm 137:1). That our verb describes a focusing on readily accessible information, specifically in order to take some (premeditated) form of action, in stead of a digging up a lost memory, is argued by its usage in describing God's "remembering" someone or something (Exodus 2:24, Psalm 89:47). God "remembers" — that is: reviews — Hezekiah's faithfulness and heals him; He "remembers" — that is: never forgot — Noah and dries up the flood (Genesis 8:1).

    The verb זכר (zakar) yields the following derivations:

    The masculine noun זכר (zeker), meaning remembrance or memory (Exodus 17:14, Psalm 34:17, Esther 9:28), memorial (Proverbs 10:7), or invocation (Exodus 3:15). This noun appears to be "a general verbal noun for the whole range of meanings of the verb zakar" (in the words of HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).
    The masculine noun זכרון (zikkaron) or זכרן (zikkaron), which denotes an object or act by which the verb zakar is executed; a memorial or token: a memorial day (Exodus 12:14), altar-plates (Numbers 17:5), stones in the Jordan (Joshua 4:7), crowns (Zechariah 6:14), a record book (Exodus 17:14), proof or sign of citizenship (Nehemiah 2:20), spoils of war (Numbers 31:54), stones on the ephod (Exodus 28:12).
    The feminine noun אזכרה ('azkara), which appears to be an Aramaic form, meaning memorial-offering. This noun is used for the cereal and frankincense offerings in the tabernacle (Leviticus 5:12, 24:7, Numbers 5:26).
    The masculine noun and adjective זכר (zakar), meaning male. This noun denotes the male of humans and animals (Genesis 7:3, Exodus 12:5, Numbers 31:18, Joshua 17:2).
    The masculine noun זכור (zakur), meaning male. This particular noun occurs a mere four times, each time preceded by the suffix כל (kal), meaning all (Exodus 23:17, 34:23, Deuteronomy 16:16, 20:13).
    To be male is to remember
    Several theories have been forwarded to explain why the Bible's regular word for male comes from a verb that means to remember.

    Some say it is because males are the active ones in religious services that were designed to "remember" the Lord. Others say it is because men held all public offices and were therefore more talked about more than women. Perhaps it is because even though man and woman were created in God's image, the relationship between God and humans is represented as a marriage in which the groom represents God and the bride represents mankind.

    It's even noted that the Arabic word for the male organ comes from the Arabic equivalent of the verb zakar, and sure, perhaps at times the membrum virile may appear a bit like a monolith, but ultimately, even though these symmetries may help to understand to function of masculinity, they are probably not the reasons for the connection between the verb zakar and the word for male.

    Things become clear when we look at the Hebrew word for female: נקבה (neqeba), from the verb נקב (naqab), meaning to pierce or bore. Ergo, where נקבה (naqab) denotes an entity equipped with a facility designed to receive something not of that entity, and incorporate it into the entity's self, זכר (zakar) denotes an entity with a facility designed to submit its own reflection into a נקבה (neqeba). And therefore God is male and mankind is female, and "remembering" one's wife is not expressed in erection but in ejaculation.

    Ultimately, masculinity is the quality that allows the infusion of 'something to remember' into someone else. Judging from the other usages of this root, in the procreative process this 'something' would cover everything from a man's love to a conceived child. Note that the Biblical term for a female virgin is 'a woman who has not known a male', in which the operative verb is ידע (yada'), to know. In other words, to the Hebrews, sexuality was a mental exercise much rather than a physical one, and certain much-quoted verses on who can and who can not 'lie with a male' should always be understood as forming one's cognitive discipline.
    Bringing this gender discussion down to vulgar mechanics then, mankind (or "the church/ecclesia" if that's your cup of tea) is what God ejaculates into. And what does he ejaculate? The seed who is the Christ. What is "pierced" (the female aspect) is on a spiritual level mankind (or church), but on a very literal level "the body of Christ on the cross". This promise of the seed was kept by God and rejected by the chosen people. God in his wisdom used the rejection as fulfillment. Conquered death with life.

    Anyway, main point is that being male and female has meaning. I don't think they are shoehorns to get us to fit "an idea of God" into our head. It isn't that God is unfathomable. The bible says the Spirit allows us to know the mind of God and also that the mystery will be accomplished. Most simply don't understand the depths, it isn't that God is some unfathomable thing. He wants us to know Him, therefore there is a means. Sure, that journey of "knowing" might be eternal, but I don't think understanding why He is a he is that hard to fathom.

    So the Father is male in old covenant and Christ is seed in old covenant and tribal Israel was old covenant female.
    Christ is male in new covenant and church is female in new covenant.
    Christ's literal AND spiritual body is female aspect (both pierced) and his head is male aspect (the Father).
    Last edited by wizardwatson; 07-12-2018 at 08:57 AM.

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by wizardwatson View Post
    It don't think the "maleness" of the Father is some kind of dumbing down of the truth so we can understand it. Like everything else it has spiritual meaning and literal meaning.
    I agree with your premise that it involves a spiritual and literal meaning. The maleness attributes of God involve the virtues which are traditionally consider male-like. However, that does not make God a male in the human sexual way of physical distinction.

    The Hebrew word for "male" comes from the root verb "to remember".

    Food for thought:
    Interesting note. Coincidently, the ancient Saints expressed the concept of the spermaticos logos (the seed of the Logos) when expressing how Christ was active in the world before His incarnation (within both Israel and in the rest of creation). The planting of the seed definitely I think contributes to the maleness attribute of God.

    Bringing this gender discussion down to vulgar mechanics then, mankind (or "the church/ecclesia" if that's your cup of tea) is what God ejaculates into. And what does he ejaculate? The seed who is the Christ. What is "pierced" (the female aspect) is on a spiritual level mankind (or church), but on a very literal level "the body of Christ on the cross". This promise of the seed was kept by God and rejected by the chosen people. God in his wisdom used the rejection as fulfillment. Conquered death with life.

    Anyway, main point is that being male and female has meaning. I don't think they are shoehorns to get us to fit "an idea of God" into our head. It isn't that God is unfathomable. The bible says the Spirit allows us to know the mind of God and also that the mystery will be accomplished. Most simply don't understand the depths, it isn't that God is some unfathomable thing. He wants us to know Him, therefore there is a means. Sure, that journey of "knowing" might be eternal, but I don't think understanding why He is a he is that hard to fathom.

    So the Father is male in old covenant and Christ is seed in old covenant and tribal Israel was old covenant female.
    Christ is male in new covenant and church is female in new covenant.
    Christ's literal AND spiritual body is female aspect (both pierced) and his head is male aspect (the Father).
    It is unanimous amongst the Fathers of the Church going back to the very beginning that God cannot be reached by man's attempts alone. The created cannot understand the uncreated by their minds or intuition. It requires God to reveal Himself. In other words, knowledge of God can by gleamed very superficially through meditative means (think Lao Tzu and the Tao, who had knowledge of the spermaticos logos prior to Christ's Incarnation), however it is only through the grace of God whereby we can have true knowledge of God and understand Him as much as humanely possible. So I agree that we can know God, but our efforts are quite limited and it is only through the Holy Spirit (that is, God himself) Who can give us any true knowledge of His nature. Those who have reached such heights of theosis (sanctification) through the grace of the Holy Spirit are called the Saints, and it is those who have taught that God is beyond gender and sex. So I disagree with you when you say "the Father is male in the Old Covenant". He has attributes of maleness and is called as such, but a bodiless uncreated uncircumscribable eternal Spirit cannot be called a male in the generic human way. He is beyond male, He is beyond female.

    As for Christ, He certainly is male, because He became corporeal and incarnate into a human being. The Church, which are the baptized members of the Body of Christ, can be termed female in that She receives from God the Holy Spirit which deifies and sanctifies it.
    I don't see how Christ's literal and spiritual body is female aspect and His head is the male aspect (I have not encountered that in my readings of the Church Fathers), but it may be a theological opinion of worth.
    Last edited by TER; 07-12-2018 at 09:39 AM.
    +
    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    I agree with your premise that it involves a spiritual and literal meaning. The maleness attributes of God involve the virtues which are traditionally consider male-like. However, that does not make God a male in the human sexual way of physical distinction.



    Interesting note. Coincidently, the ancient Saints expressed the concept of the spermaticos logos (the seed of the Logos) when expressing how Christ was active in the world before His incarnation (within both Israel and in the rest of creation). The planting of the seed definitely I think contributes to the maleness attribute of God.



    It is unanimous amongst the Fathers of the Church going back to the very beginning that God cannot be reached by man's attempts alone. The created cannot understand the uncreated by their minds or intuition. It requires God to reveal Himself. In other words, knowledge of God can by gleamed very superficially through meditative means (think Lao Tzu and the Tao, who had knowledge of the spermaticos logos prior to Christ's Incarnation), however it is only through the grace of God whereby we can have true knowledge of God and understand Him as much as humanely possible. So I agree that we can know God, but our efforts are quite limited and it is only through the Holy Spirit (that is, God himself) Who can give us any true knowledge of His nature. Those who have reached such heights of theosis (sanctification) through the grace of the Holy Spirit are called the Saints, and it is those who have taught that God is beyond gender and sex. So I disagree with you when you say "the Father is male in the Old Covenant". He has attributes of maleness and is called as such, but a bodiless uncreated uncircumscribable eternal Spirit cannot be called a male in the generic human way. He is beyond male, He is beyond female.

    As for Christ, He certainly is male, because He became corporeal and incarnate into a human being. The Church, which are the baptized members of the Body of Christ, can be termed female in that She receives from God the Holy Spirit which deifies and sanctifies it.
    I don't see how Christ's literal and spiritual body is female aspect and His head is the male aspect (I have not encountered that in my readings of the Church Fathers), but it may be a theological opinion of worth.
    Hey, TER!

    Well, it's my theological opinion. Not sure what it's worth. lol.

    But the Hebrew for for "head" (resh) is masculine. The word for "body" (gviyah) is feminine. Incidentally, the word for "curtain" (yeriah) is also feminine which is relevant here:

    Hebrews 10:19-20 "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,"

    Matthew 27:51 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."

    As to God being "beyond male and female" I will just say, I think Jesus was pretty clear He's His Papa.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by wizardwatson View Post
    Hey, TER!

    Well, it's my theological opinion. Not sure what it's worth. lol.

    But the Hebrew for for "head" (resh) is masculine. The word for "body" (gviyah) is feminine. Incidentally, the word for "curtain" (yeriah) is also feminine which is relevant here:

    Hebrews 10:19-20 "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,"

    Matthew 27:51 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."

    As to God being "beyond male and female" I will just say, I think Jesus was pretty clear He's His Papa.
    Hey wizardwatson! Good to 'see' you!

    You know what they say about theological opinions! lol, j/k

    The convention of using masculine and feminine terms is used for many languages. These uses denote gender specific qualities, but of course does not mean that they are male or female sexes. For example, 'apple' in Spanish is feminine. This does not mean that apples are of the female sex! It is rather using human language (which is limited) in describing an object and assigning it with terms that also may connotate familiar attributes such as of the masculine or feminine nature (as you described in your earlier post).

    As for Jesus calling God the Father "Father", it does not necessarily mean God the Father is male in the human sex (like the Mormons believe), but is rather Christ using limited human language to describe God to us and God the Father's relationship with the Son. He is the Father of the Son, but He is cannot be described as being the male sex because He is beyond human gender distinctions and is unlike anything else in existence (some would say indeed that God is beyond existence as well, but this gets into heady theological topics that I am not very familiar with).
    Last edited by TER; 07-12-2018 at 11:35 AM.
    +
    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ



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