Monday, April 11, 2005

Would it be weird?

If God was a woman?

Now I know that in that very statement I have opened a huge can of worms but it just occurred to me yesterday that there are some things about that that would be weird.

There are just some things that would be really different. Take the other day: I was mulling something over that could only really be talked through with a girl- it needed to be picked apart and overanalysed. Unfortunately, all suitable girl friends were unavailable (meetings, on tube, in church that kind of thing). God, however was in none of those places (ooohh controversial!), but I just couldn't have that conversation with Him..

But if God was a woman could I then have had that conversation: or would it be like talking to your over zealous great aunt (you know the one, with lippy on her teeth, a blue rinse and a loud cackle!)...

How do blokes find talking to God? Does Catholic prayer to saints help in the whole dilemma?

There are many other ponderings from the last couple of weeks- many of which are more profound then this.. but hey this is a start!!!

6 comments:

mareike said...

we had that kind of conversation with students at the alpha a few weeks back. the conclusion we came to: GOD is out of sex. sounds really simple and maybe i try to avoid any big discussions here... but if GOD is out of time, why can "he" (or she) not be out of sex as well. probably too big for our little brains to grasp, that's why someone simply made it "he"...

Anonymous said...

Jude,

You already have a slightly mad great aunt - although it's easier to think of here as mother - with the lip stick, the blue rinse, the cackle etc (especially the blue, she's into blue)

Mary and the saints all share in Christ's unique mediation between God and us, but they do it with very different personalities and it's good to go to different ones with different issues. Try Catherine of Sienna for girl stuff.

The worst thing about Prtoestantism - forgive me - is that it's so cold. Big empty Churches with no Mary, saints and so on. It is also a real boy thing, despite the women priests and the girl worship leaders.

Hope you're well, now I'll leave you alone

jude said...

Bro. Tom.. I must come see you all soon. Thought this would get you going...

Kate John said...

Yep I was a proper little feminist teen and aged 18 I battled with lots of gender/God stuff to try and find some truth.
Here are some thoughts, i'm sure, all plaguarised from the books i read then...
1.Biblical precedence for God as a mother: Job 38, Isiah 30 & 49, Psalm 131. Mother love is probably THE most powerful, compassionate and sacrificial forms of love found in humankind-it MUST be in the image of God mustn't it? Can it be that "God the father" is just a typical case of our language shrinking God- especially a language that has a specific historical-cultural context in which the male gender was associated with power, majesty, inheritance, wisdom and creativity. eg. On the creativity thing- before knowledge of the female ovum, all credit for the creative part of reproduction was attributed to men. Women were "nurturers" for the sperm which would become a baby. So if God had been called mother in the Bible it would have removed from him His role as creator. The church, instead became nurturer, mother. On the inheritance front- Inheritance passed down father to son, so to be adopted daughters of a divine mother would culturally have sounded like a meagre offer.
2. Jude- maybe your issue about girl-talk is a parental one not a gender issue. Would you confide these secrets with your mum?
3. The advantage of seeing "God's feminine side" is it's easier to understand that we girls are made in His image, and it is easier to see and encourage the more traditionally feminine attributes of the church- eg. community and communality, empathy, mediation, etc.
4. I read in a book that the Spirit is feminine in Hebrew, masculine in Latin and neuter in Greek.
5. The argument that Jesus is male and therefore the whole Trinity is male does not make any sense to me. Jesus was, chances are, not black, or blonde, or British, but that does not mean that God the creator is less black than Jewish, nor that He is not as deeply a part of creating, from His own image, people who are black, nor that He is not deeply concerned with the lives of black people.
To be honest, I don't know- I like the idea of God as my daddy as much as the next person, and I would never remove that- it's good, and totally biblical. But I'm not sure that's all that's out there for us and God- He's definately bigger than our little brains can comprehend.
If anyone wants to read a great (although quite 1-sided) book- I have Conversations on Christian Feminism by Elaine Storkey and Margaret Hebblethwaite (interstingly 1 protestant and 1 catholic) in which they say a lot of very intersting and very intelligent things, some more convincing to me than others.

Linda-Joy said...

Great debate - I've thought about this a lot over a years, had a lot of teaching and read a lot- I think God is a man - but he is the perfect man and therefore has the perfectly feminine qualities which meet many of our needs as well. But maybe its cos I have father issues and I need him to be a father for me where I feel my dad failed (my dad is a good man but not as good as God) -anyway this was all off the top of my head so i can't really get into a debate. just my 2 cents worth

jude said...

wow- I hadn't anticipated this getting so serious... thanks folks for all your input...