God and Gender

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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God and Gender

#1

Post by adam » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:01 pm

Why would God himself need gender?

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#2

Post by Seraph » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:36 pm

Are you asking why God would have a gender? Although the Bible refers to God with male pronouns, I think it also shows that God is a spirit and therefore doesn't have a gender in the way we think of it, although he has mostly male qualities.

More can be found here: http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/male.html

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#3

Post by adam » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:29 pm

Do you not think that since God has 'mostly male qualities' it is just possible that he was created by man?

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#4

Post by Judah » Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:13 pm

Seraph wrote:Are you asking why God would have a gender? Although the Bible refers to God with male pronouns, I think it also shows that God is a spirit and therefore doesn't have a gender in the way we think of it, although he has mostly male qualities.

More can be found here: http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/male.html
Seraph, please give your evidence for thinking that God has mostly male qualities.
The page you linked to specifically says "God is not male, since He is not a physical, but a spiritual, being." Nowhere on that page does it make the claim that you do concerning "mostly male qualities".

Adam, if it is so that God has mostly male qualities, then your statement is probably correct in that such a god is man made. Is that the point you are making here?
Indeed, man has already made gods where males are supposed to have numerous female companions in heaven. These are false gods. The Christian God does not fit this description. From the page linked to by Seraph...
Jesus was asked a complicated question about heaven by the Sadducees (a religious sect that did not believe in the resurrection of the dead) that directly leads us to this conclusion (Matthew 22:23-30). The Sadducees gave a scenario of a woman who married 7 men (sequentially, since they all died prematurely) in her lifetime. They asked whose wife she would be in heaven. Jesus answered:

"You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God. "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:29-30)

In other words, there will be no marriage or sexual differences among those in heaven, since reproduction is unnecessary. This concept is supported by other biblical verses that indicate that males and females are spiritually equal (Galatians 3:28 ).

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#5

Post by adam » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:12 am

Judah, O.K. we have established that God and those in heaven are effectively genderless, but In terms of trueness and falseness, what criteria do you use to decide the true God? Because the Christian view of 'angels' is more appealing to you, doesn't necessarily make it more true. Are you saying that there is only one God, the Christian God?

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#6

Post by Judah » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:53 pm

adam wrote:Judah, O.K. we have established that God and those in heaven are effectively genderless, but In terms of trueness and falseness, what criteria do you use to decide the true God? Because the Christian view of 'angels' is more appealing to you, doesn't necessarily make it more true. Are you saying that there is only one God, the Christian God?
Yes, I am saying that there is only one God, and yes again, He is the One made known to us through His creation and also through Scripture, and through His Son, Jesus Christ - the "Christian God" as you have called Him.

My beliefs are summed up in the Nicene Creed which says...
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I don't understand the relevance (to anything I have said previously) of your statement "Because the Christian view of 'angels' is more appealing to you, doesn't necessarily make it more true." I have not mentioned angels nor whether or not I find any view of them appealing, and that has little to do with my appreciation of what is truth concerning God.

Concerning criteria for establishing the trueness (or falseness) of God, I acknowledge the role of faith in accepting that everything around us was created by a Supreme Being, and that what is written in Scripture illuminates Him further - that the knowledge imparted through Scripture explains and elucidates reality more accurately than any other system of belief I have come across. Indeed, it does that so well (in my view) that I am reconciled to its trueness such that all others are excluded by virtue of their incompleteness or demonstrable errors. And where I mention "faith" I am not referring to a blind silly jump into the unknown, but a rational step in the direction that is clearly pointed out by substantial evidence consistent with the object of my belief.

So what do you believe, Adam?

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#7

Post by FFC » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:15 pm

Judah wrote:Concerning criteria for establishing the trueness (or falseness) of God, I acknowledge the role of faith in accepting that everything around us was created by a Supreme Being, and that what is written in Scripture illuminates Him further - that the knowledge imparted through Scripture explains and elucidates reality more accurately than any other system of belief I have come across. Indeed, it does that so well (in my view) that I am reconciled to its trueness such that all others are excluded by virtue of their incompleteness or demonstrable errors. And where I mention "faith" I am not referring to a blind silly jump into the unknown, but a rational step in the direction that is clearly pointed out by substantial evidence consistent with the object of my belief.
Go ahead, Judah!! Very well put! :D
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#8

Post by adam » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:17 pm

Judah hi.

You say that you "don't understand the relevance (to anything I have said previously) of your statement" but you say "Indeed, man has already made Gods where males are supposed to have numerous female companions in heaven. These are false gods. The Christian God does not fit this description." But then you quote. "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God. "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:29-30). My point was that by blatantly prescribing a symptom of a false God (your quote) with no justification, then quoting (Matthew 22:29-30), gave me the impression that the bible quote was more appealing to you than your version of a false God, therefore correct.

With regards to "the "Christian God" as you have called Him. " This is a phrase that I had never used until I read YOUR post. I also notice that in your last paragraph you put "or falseness" in parenthesis, Why?

As far as my beliefs are concerned, I prefer to accept my insignificance in this vast universe, I believe that it would be arrogant of me to pretend that I have any answers, I can't put my faith in one ancient book written on one of perhaps a billion planets.

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#9

Post by Judah » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:04 pm

G'day Adam. :)

Yes, I am quoting from the article referenced and linked to by Seraph. Although Seraph didn't actually say the article itself supported her (have I guessed the correct gender?) statement "that he [God] has mostly male qualities", the link to the article could be seen as possible confirmation of such a view where in fact it is not.

Other religions do have man benefitting from a plethora of women in the after-life - eg. Islam, where men in Paradise may have upwards of 70 virgins and boys for sexual activities! - but such is not claimed in Christianity. My Christian belief has me believing that anything that deviates from the image of God as revealed to us in Scripture is a false god.

Yes, I did use the term "Christian God". I see that you used it only after I did. I only ever use it to distinguish from the concept of God as used in other religions - which I was doing when I wrote it. When it comes to angels, I hadn't mentioned them, especially not in relation to any preference for them or not, or to do with truth. Your comment surprised me.

The reason for putting the word "falseness" in parenthesis... simply that I was thinking of "trueness" as I was writing, and "falseness" was included but only as its converse. Just my writing style, I guess.

Is it arrogant to believe the truth? I know it does sound arrogant to non-Christians when a Christian claims to have the truth, but that claim is based in the words of Jesus Himself - John 14.6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Is Jesus being arrogant in claiming that He is the truth? I guess a non-Christian would say that He surely is - or else deluded, mistaken, etc.
I guess this is where we are posed a question concerning Jesus. Is He who He says He is, or is He just misguided and deluded, or is He a charlatan who purposely sets out to deceive? Depending on what you decide about Him will be your position on what is spiritual truth - and actual reality as well.
If you decide that He is indeed the truth, that He is God incarnate, AND if you are right (that He really is!) then there is nothing arrogant about claiming reality as it really is. It is simply stating a fact.

Hmm, this is all about faith, I guess. I've thrown my hat into the circle which accepts Jesus is indeed who He says He is. I believe I am right (or else I wouldn't have thrown my hat that way - I'm not quite that silly) so I don't think it is one bit arrogant to go along with the Christian belief/world-view. I fully realize that others who don't share this position will call it an arrogant one. I do think we have been given revealed knowledge that is reliable and credible and that our own insignificance doesn't negate it.

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#10

Post by adam » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:50 am

Hello again Judah

I guess this IS all about faith, but is faith such a great virtue? presumably if you believe in God, you believe everything that is said in the bible. I admit personally, I am no great scholar of the bible, but if this God is to be believed he is one to be feared rather than worshipped.

I was brought up as a catholic, but later came to the conclusion that I believed in God simply because I was taught this way. It was geography the determined which set of beliefs I would follow. Everyone is born without any belief system, all the prejudices and dogma etc. is dictated to you by those who influence you when you are young and naí¯ve. Can you honestly say Judah, that had you been brought up with the Islam faith, you would still be a Christian?

Does Islam faith have the same merit as Christian faith?

In conclusion I think that having faith in something which is potentially dangerous, because it doesn't allow individual thought that may go beyond the parameters of belief.

I noticed in an earlier post you asked Seraph “please give your evidence for thinking that God has mostly male qualities” With certain religious questions, It seems that wanting evidence is something you require also. Would I be wrong in saying that in order to believe in God I would require evidence beyond faith? Is it wrong not to have faith? And do you think that non believers will be punished by God simply because they have a tendency to question things? Presumably God created the sceptic too!

Best Wishes

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#11

Post by adam » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:08 am

please ignore the "which" in the penultimate paragraph.

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#12

Post by Seraph » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:52 pm

Unfortunatly you guessed incorrectly. I am in fact a he. Should I be concerned that I was mistaken for a her? :shock:

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#13

Post by Seraph » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:59 pm

Also, I guess I was a bit quick in claiming that God has mostly male qualites. I just sort of assumed that because of how the Bible seems to always refer to Him in the masculine form.

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#14

Post by Judah » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:54 am

Seraph, it means nothing except that we cannot know as much about each other via this media compared with meeting in reality. Many folk have thought I was male and been quite surprised I am not - and after a couple of hundred posts at that! :)

Adam, I am pushed for time but will get back with a response to you shortly. I can tell you already that I see very little merit in Islam - none at all if you are talking about eternal salvation - and much harm instead. More found here. Back soon.

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God and Gender

#15

Post by andyredeemed » Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:46 am

It seems that the horse is being put before the cart. God created man, so rather than God having male qualities, it would be truer to say man has god-like qualities. God created man in His own image. I don't mean anything silly about being omnipotent or being able to create things ex nihlo, but things like will, determination and certain masculine ways of looking at things. This is not to say that I believe males are particularly better than females, but their roles are different.
To illustrate my point, when Jesus is talking to the disciples at the last supper and tells them that He will send "the comforter, the Holy Spirit" the sense, if not the language, is equivalent to the bit in Genesis where God decides to create woman to be a helper for Adam. She was Adams enabler, the one who made him able to fulfill his role. She is not subservient. Paul's command is that women should be "submitted"-a non-passive act of will to behave in a particular way- not submissive. It's all a bit non PC, but I don't think that God gives two hoots about offending the sensibilities of those who buy into worldly wisdom.

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