Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013.01.02 What is God Like, Really Anyway?

How can we possibly imagine that anyone who constantly hears, pray, sings, and reads “Oh praise HIM, Oh praise HIM,  Alelluia Alleluia”  and the like, will think of God as anything but male?

Godde needs a wardrobe change. It’s not fair to women who feel excluded from Divinity,  and it’s not fair to men who may feel proud and powerful as demi-gods at first, but then suddenly realize what a set up it is. As Dad used to say, “we’re riding for a fall.”

And, most decidedly, it's not fair to God!

No, this vocabulary  must change. We can do it. It’s not hard. In this new year I hope to write, and make it the case in my memoir, that God is not exclusively male. 

Let’s hope it won’t take another century to revise our language and images of Divinity.  Jesus of course was a man, a good and great one, divinized to a high degree.  The Christ, however, is not a man. If Christ were a man, how could we seek and serve Christ in all persons, when half of these christ-bearing persons are female! !?? 

A friend recently wondered if God were really perfect and immutable and all the things she’d learned in church. It didn’t make sense to her, and, in an article she’d read and shared, the author had written that the God of the Bible was none of these things. In fact the biblical deity was quite moody and changed HIS divine mind regularly. HE  had also made a very far from perfect creation program.

Sounds right to me. So..... language is not immutable.

God isn't perfect, because Godde chooses to mix it up with all of us. Divinity is about love not perfection,  and we all know how blooming imperfect love is.  We are free to give and receive love; so is Godde, although I happen to believe that God, more spacious of heart, is able to love a bit better and more gracefully than most of us are. And Godde consistently chooses connection over distance.

The Bible is a patriarchal document out of a patriarchal age. It’s language for God is all masculinized, though translations over time have made the language for humankind inclusive, so we address humankind as brothers AND sisters now.  We can do more. So what if the word for God in Hebrew or Greek is gendered? English nouns have no gender. What are we afraid of?

This grand memoir of faith has a thrumming spiritual truth that vibrates through it and keeps us all wondering— which is the point. Let’s help the truth along.

Our religion consistently proclaims the glory of God, while our pronouns, with equal consistency, proclaim God’s maleness. Enough already.