From Father God to Mother Earth

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by new man, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. new man

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    There is discussion in another thread in which God is proclaimed as "mother." This is nothing but syncretism. Merely an attempt to blend new age, occult concepts into christianity, all in the name of "pastoral care." While the thought may be noble, the idea is completely baseless theologically speaking. For whatever reason, God chose to reveal himself in the masculine form. In Hebrews chapter one, the Holy Scriptures proclaim that Jesus is the "exact representation of His (God's) being." Jesus identified God as "Father." All the disciples were male. To deny or downplay this theological truth is nothing less than heresy. This is part of the slide down the slippery slope of feminist thealogy. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, I have provided the following link.

    Thealogy, worship of the goddess.

    Russ <><
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    Certainly Joshua can speak for himself on this issue and tell you what he means by his reference if he desires, but I want to point out that the Bible uses feminine imagery for God throughout the Bible.

    Certainly there is the strong image of Father, but there are also images of feminine imagery for God. Here are a few examples:

    Genesis 1:26-27 -- Men *and* women are made in the image of God. Femininity is an image of God.

    Numbers 11:11-13 -- God's children are nursed and carried by God -- the image of a mother carrying an infant.

    Isaiah 66:12-13 -- "The LORD has promised ... "I will comfort you there like a mother comforting her child."

    Since men and women are created in the image of God, both male and female are found in God. Therefore it is not wrong to use both male and female imagery and titles to relate to God as long as you don't leave the realm of biblical understanding.

    For me, I have a generous loving earthly father who has strongly shaped my life. I have had constant conflicts with my mother throughout my life (I love her very much and she has never been abusive -- just radically different personalities and conflicts). Personally, I related much better to God as Father than Mother, but I can certainly see how it could be just the opposite for many other people.

    I have led a number of people to Christ who have had problems with God as Father -- one notable one whose father had sexually molested her throughout her teenage years. She had a very difficult time relating to the Father God because of her abusive earthly father. At the time I was too much of a rabid fundamentalist imagining feminist conspiracies against Christianity to help her think through the imagery of God as Parent. Over the course of a few months, she did eventually accept Christ but had a very difficult time growing in grace. I certainly hope the Christian counselor I encouraged her to see was able to work through that problem.

    Please do not assume that those who proclaim God as Parent with both masculine and feminine traits are moving toward paganism. It is just not true.
     
  3. donnA

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    I agree with you. The bible teaches us God is to be refered to as a male, which is why we are told to call Him FATHER. Modern secular feminism has invaded the church, it is satans lie. Nowhere is God refered to as female. Why so many christiasn are willing to accept the lie over the truth of scripture I don't know, but they are being decieved, and are decieveing others.
    Teresa, do you think God has a physical (human type) body? I don't recall that being christian doctrine. I don't believe this was even an issue in the church until feminism came about, until paganism becasme so public instead of hidden like it was in the past. Nowhere does the bible call God female, nor does Jesus or the N.T. writers call God female, or even hint at such a thing.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    I agree with you. The bible teaches us God is to be refered to as a male, which is why we are told to call Him FATHER. Modern secular feminism has invaded the church, it is satans lie. Nowhere is God refered to as female. Why so many christiasn are willing to accept the lie over the truth of scripture I don't know, but they are being decieved, and are decieveing others.</font>[/QUOTE]For a post claiming that people like me are accepting a lie instead of the truth of scripture, you haven't really pointed me to any scripture that supports your point. I posted some very clear examples and didn't even cover all of the references contained in scripture.

    1.) Besides the places where masculine titles and images are used, where does the Bible call God male? (I'm not talking about the incarnation here either...)
    2.) What do you do with the passage in Genesis that clearly states that females are created in the image of God? What about all the female imagery I presented? I've never heard of a male nursing a child...
     
  5. Helen

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    There are some things that need to be mentioned here, I think. We all know that God is neither male nor female, so I don't think that is the issue. It is the way we have been taught to think of Him that is the issue. Jesus told us to pray saying "Our Father." He said "In my Father's house...". He told us to be like our Father.

    Why? I can offer a few reasons, a couple of which might shed some light on why the term "Mother" in reference to God is not just improper but essentially blasphemous.

    1. The man has been appointed by God the head over the woman in a marriage and in a home. Thus, for God to be anything other than termed "Father" would indicate there might be someone over Him.

    2. It was the woman who was deceived in the Garden of Eden. God cannot be deceived.

    3. From the time shortly after the flood and down through today, there are very strong goddess cults, the Gaia cult being simply a recent 'reincarnation' of a number of others. Separating the God of the Bible from male idols is a fairly easy task, but if the identity of God got mixed up with female, a lot more confusion would result in who was who and whether or not God was 'partly' this or that.

    4. If God were called "mother" or "...and mother" then there is the significant danger of claiming we were procreated and not created beings, thus giving rise to the little gods idea of Mormonism. God prevented this by giving Himself the masculine gender in our world.

    Regardless of the fact that He is nourishing and caring -- which a lot of daddies are, by the way -- He has directed us to think of Him in the masculine gender and we should obey.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    God, my FATHER, has many anthropomorphic characteristics of both genders. But the Bible is clear that He is masculine in nature.

    Appreciate the good posts on this thread and the spirit of diversity expressing excellent debate.

    BTW, do you think this "lack" of feminine touch in Christianity (strong, paternal Father image) is the reason for the rise in Catholic cult of Mary-worship, greatly on the rise in this era?
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Hmm... Let me think on this one and get back to you.

    Off the top of my head, I would not advocate that God be identified as *exclusively* female because God is not. As the Bible references I indicated clearly state, God has both feminine and masculine attributes. To narrow God to one or the other is to distort God. Furthermore, there is submission in the Triune nature of God, yet we don't seem to have a problem with that... Jesus was submissive to the Father's will. Identifying Jesus as the Son (according to your line of reasoning here) indicates that there is someone "over" Him in authority -- which was correct during the incarnation -- but now the Son has been exalted by the Father. Does that mean that the Father is in submission to the Son?

    The problem with discussing God is that the mystery of God's triune nature is too great for us to comprehend and human arguments about that nature tend to fall apart. The way I understand submission within the mystery of the Trinity is that the Father, the Son and the Spirit are all in loving submission to each other yet completely unified in love. God is of one essence, yet three persons. Exclusively assigning maleness of God does not fully represent the biblical witness.

    Would you have objections to someone referring to God as our Heavenly Parent?

    God is not a human woman.

    Confusion is inevitable in this world of sin. Believers can make the necessary clarifications since we *shouldn't* classify God as exclusively female.

    Again, we should not identify God as exclusively female. The recognition of the masculine nature of God has done nothing to stop Mormon theology. In fact, to them "God" has multiple wives that he visits and impregnates. That way, "God" can produce more spirit babies without being slowed down by pregnancy. If the idea that God was female was dominant when Joseph Smith, Jr. came on the scene, he probably would have figure out a way to distort that too.

    But I can't nurse a child :eek: unless I get some serious hormone injections. The scripture you allude to is a feminine image regardless of how you spin it.

    I'm all for obedience, but God has also given us the written word that teaches the feminine nature of God as well.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I have some things to consider regarding your first point. :D

    [ October 20, 2002, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  8. Helen

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  9. Baptist Believer

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    I agree completely.

    The witness of the Bible emphasizes the masculine nature of God, yes. But what is wrong about recognizing the feminine nature of God. Would you have objections to calling God our Heavenly Parent?

    Yes, it has been a pleasant and interesting exchange. :D I may not be as far away from you as some might think.

    That's a very interesting thought.

    My gut reaction is that yes, an overemphasis on the paternal nature of God has probably contributed to the worship of Mary. Added to that though is the veneration of the saints (women choosing women as heroes/helpers), the influence of paganistic elements of goddess worship, and the biblical account of the Wedding at Cana where Jesus' mother prodded Him to act so that the wedding hosts would not be embarrassed by running out of wine.

    It is very appealing to some to sic Jesus' mother on Him in order to make God do what you want... :rolleyes:

    I don't think we can blame the cult of Mary exclusively on identifying God exclusively as male, but that probably accounts for some of the growing interest among Roman Catholic women in an age of feminism.
     
  10. donnA

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    If calling God FATHER(male) is good enough for Jesus it's good enough for me. Sorry you need something extra besides what Jesus said.
     
  11. new man

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    The fact remains---God chose to reveal Himself in the masculine gender. I left the United Methodist Church after 40 years because of just such foolishness as this. If the SBC doesn't continue to hold out an orthodox doctrinal standard, and enforce it, all one needs to do is take a gander at the current state of affairs in the UMC to see what can, and will, happen. Professing homosexual pastors and bishops, paganism, homosexual "unions," witchcraft, you name it. It's a brave new world out there folks.

    Russ &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    If you believe the whole Bible and try to consider the whole counsel of God. Have you considered that the use of the word "Father" may not have had the intent of ascribing gender to God?

    Since God is not physical and the Bible very clearly states in Genesis that male and female are created in the image of God, then you may be limiting the whole counsel of God.
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    If we believe the whole Bible, then we also understand that male and female are created in the image of God. Also, the revelation of God also includes feminine imagery. These facts remain as well.

    Now the tired old "slippery slope" fallacy is dragged out to bolster the case... [​IMG]

    It's in the Bible.

    I gave references.

    I'm not rejecting the message of the Bible at all -- just pointing out some very obvious references to the femininity of God.

    Now we've conjured up homosexual pastors, paganism and gay marriage for no apparent reason! :D
     
  14. new man

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    The "slippery slope" argument is hardly a fallacy. Make light of what has happened in the UMC if you wish, but it's happened nonetheless. I know, I experienced it first hand. Come to think of it, from what I've read of your posts, you'd probably fit right in out in the Pacific Northwest Conference :D .

    But back to the topic at hand. Theologian John W. Miller puts it in Biblical Faith and Fathering:

    The fact is, whenever the Bible uses feminine language for God, it never applies it to Him in the same way masculine language is used of Him. Thus, the primary image of God in Scripture remains masculine, even when feminine similes are used: God is never called “She” or “Her.” In fact, the Bible ascribes feminine characteristics to God in exactly the same way it sometimes ascribes such traits to human males. For example, in Numbers 11:12 Moses asks, “Have I given birth to this people?” Do we conclude from this maternal image that Scripture here "feminizing" Moses? Obviously, Moses uses here a maternal metaphor for himself; he is not making a statement about his “gender identity.” Likewise, in the New Testament, both Jesus (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34) and Paul (Galatians 4:19) likened themselves to mothers, though they are men. Why, then, should we think that on those relatively rare occasions when the Bible uses feminine metaphors for God anything more is at work there than with Moses, Jesus and Paul?

    Answer: We shouldn't. [​IMG]

    Russ &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  15. Rev. Joshua

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    The issue of "Mother Earth" is a straw woman and irrelevant.

    God, who has no need to procreate sexually, has no sex. Men and women are created in God's image.

    Likewise, there are no traits that are inherently feminine or masculine, although there are plenty of them which are stereotypically considered such (and they vary culturally). "Father" is a way to relate to our Creator whose very name is unspeakable, and whose identity is so much more unfathomable. "Mother" is equally legitimate, and both far fall short of the whole.

    Likewise, both words have different meanings and connotations. Some may think of their fathers as the fellings-oriented, compassionate parent and their mothers as the logical, stern one. When such a person prays to God as "Father" then they likely have a stereotypically feminine image of what that means. Are they any more righ or wrong that someone who prays to God as "Mother?"

    Viewing God as exclusively male is unbiblical, and a barrier to faith for some people. It is important that preachers in particular teach in such a way as to offer several different models of God - recognizing that they all fall short of who God is.

    Joshua
     
  16. Bible-boy

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    Then call me a heretic! Sorry, but you have it 180 degrees backwards. Referring to God as a woman is unbiblical. The cross is an offense to unbelievers. The Gospel is an affront to the world. It makes sinners uncomfortable. That is called conviction. That is what breaks the power of sin and causes sinners to come running to the cross for forgiveness. To change it to fit the world's "feelings" or politically correct, feel good, warm and fuzzy terms is an affront to Holy God the FATHER. It is not our job as preachers of the Word of God to twist it so that we make everyone feel comfortable at all times. It is our job to confront sin, to fight against false doctrine, to exhort believers to holy living, and hold out the glorious hope of salvation through Christ to a lost and dieing world.
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    The "slippery slope" argument is hardly a fallacy.</font>[/QUOTE]It's a fallacy when it assumes that people don't have a living faith in God that prevents them from sliding down the slope...

    I wasn't making light of anything except the fact that you brought up a lot of irrelevant issues. The question of the feminine nature of God has nothing to do with homosexual pastors.

    I don't know what you mean by that but I suspect it's not a compliment. I sincerely doubt it is true either... :rolleyes:

    The fact is, whenever the Bible uses feminine language for God, it never applies it to Him in the same way masculine language is used of Him. Thus, the primary image of God in Scripture remains masculine, even when feminine similes are used: God is never called “She” or “Her.” In fact, the Bible ascribes feminine characteristics to God in exactly the same way it sometimes ascribes such traits to human males. For example, in Numbers 11:12 Moses asks, “Have I given birth to this people?” Do we conclude from this maternal image that Scripture here "feminizing" Moses? Obviously, Moses uses here a maternal metaphor for himself; he is not making a statement about his “gender identity.” Likewise, in the New Testament, both Jesus (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34) and Paul (Galatians 4:19) likened themselves to mothers, though they are men. Why, then, should we think that on those relatively rare occasions when the Bible uses feminine metaphors for God anything more is at work there than with Moses, Jesus and Paul?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well Moses, Jesus and Paul were male in gender. They had physical bodies and had to be one or the other.

    This response does not answer the primary text in Genesis where male and female are created in God's image. *Females* are created in the image of God.

    [ October 22, 2002, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    Then call me a heretic!</font>[/QUOTE]He said "unbiblical" not "heretical".

    No one here is advocating calling God a "woman" any more than we are advocating calling God a "man". The discussion is about recognizing both the masculine and feminine natures of God and recognizing those natures in our address to God.

    ...we're not talking about the offense of the cross either...

    It is not twisting the Word of God to recognize that the Bible teaches that females are made in the image of God -- indicating that the nature of God has feminine aspects.

    Sure, I agree... but that's not what we are discussing.
     
  19. Bible-boy

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  20. Bible-boy

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    Then call me a heretic!</font>[/QUOTE]He said "unbiblical" not "heretical".</font>[/QUOTE]If someone teaches something that is unbiblical it is a false doctrine, otherwise known as a heresy. Teachers of unbiblical false doctrines, heresies, are referred to as heretics.

    No, but you want to say that it is acceptable to refer to God as a Mother, or "Mother God." He is God the Father. Scripute never refers to Him as "God the Mother, or Mother God." I fully realize that there is something about the image of God that is best expressed in His choice to create mankind as male and female. No one is denying that (see my previous post above).

    When I use those terms I am referring to the sound exegesis and exposition of the Word of God. In other words the message of the entire Bible.

    Yes, but it is twisting it to preach it in such a manner as to teach people to refer to God the Father as "Mother God."

    I thought that we were discussing the sound exposition of the Word of God in a manner that leads the hearer to salvation in Christ, confronts false doctrine, edifies the Body of Christ, and/or helps believers to be spurred on toward holy living. Teaching a false doctrine that leads people to believe that God is their "Heavenly Mother" does not do any of those things.

    [ October 22, 2002, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: BibleboyII ]
     

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