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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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phil boyce-bottoms

Is God male?

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It's not a loss? Seeking for yourself is its own reward. Knowledge and understanding is a search for truth. Not seeking the truth is always a devastating loss. If these matters really concern you, then check out Francis S. Collins The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Collins is head of the Human Genome Project and he is a Christian. That's right a Christian, a physician-geneticist, a member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, who heads the Human Genome Project.

 

If, however, you are unwilling to do the work, then no one can help you.

 

 

I've been seeking to find out who, and why I am here,

Not just in the physical form, which you would see if I was standing in front of you,

But spirituality as well.

This world still confuses me,

Even after 41 years.

I just cannot for some reason understand the bible,

Not that I'm on here to mock or upset member's of this forum,

I'm not like that,

I don't want to be surrounded by people that think the same as me,

How am I going to learn anything?

 

I can take any idea and opinion and come up with my own conclusion,

And still have many questions,

Even if I know the answers.

 

When I say this,

I'm not trying to offend,

But,

I cannot limit my mind to just one idea,

I have too many questions,

To limit my way of thinking.

 

I still don't understand why no one has commented on my post, about what happened to me in 1974?

 

Was it god?

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I cannot limit my mind to just one idea, I have too many questions
That is why you have to study for yourself, focus on the topic you want to learn.

 

I still don't understand why no one has commented on my post, about what happened to me in 1974? Was it god?
I doubt any one here, and certainly not me, can answer that. I do not know you. There is no way for me to tell if your experience was real, imagined, psychological, physical, or if you are even being sincere. And I for one would not be asking people who are not qualified to answer such questions.

 

As far as the Bible is concerned, Christians can point you in the right direction but no one can tell you what to believe.

Edited by Origen
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That is why you have to study for yourself, focus on the topic you want to learn.

 

I doubt any one here, and certainly not me, can answer that. I do not know you. There is no way for me to tell you if your experience was real, imagined, psychological, physical, or if you are even being sincere. And I for one would not be asking people who are not qualified to answer such questions.

 

As far as the Bible is concerned, Christians can point you in the right direction but no one can tell you what to believe.

 

Thank you.

It was real,

As I am dominantly left handed.

It's also why I don't fit in,

People still confuse me now.

They don't make sense.

They get upset if you go against what they think,

Not just religious people,

I mean EVERYBODY!

I can't help it.

I question everything.

That why I can't understand religion.

Any of it.

I've tried..

But I question why all the time....

Even if GOD,

Or any other religion gods,

Higher consciousness,

Came all told me how everything came into being,

After being told,

The question would be......

'WHY?'

can't help it.

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Thank you.

It was real.

It may be but there is no way for me to tell.

 

 

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I think it important to consider what "sex" you are applying to God. Traditionally, God has been depicted in the masculine. That means God was seen as the stereotypical cold, unemotional male warrior. Hence, the church fathers and the major creeds described God as without body, parts, passions, compassion, wholly immutable. I vice that as a very lopsided image of God. What's missing are the passive, empathic, receptive dimensions. That's why I sometimes refer to God in the feminine, as these trait have been traditionally identified with females. I view the universe as the body of God. Hence, I view God as both make and female.

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I think it important to consider what "sex" you are applying to God. Traditionally, God has been depicted in the masculine. That means God was seen as the stereotypical cold, unemotional male warrior. Hence, the church fathers and the major creeds described God as without body, parts, passions, compassion, wholly immutable. I vice that as a very lopsided image of God. What's missing are the passive, empathic, receptive dimensions. That's why I sometimes refer to God in the feminine, as these trait have been traditionally identified with females. I view the universe as the body of God. Hence, I view God as both make and female.

 

Just because God can be empathic and loving, does not mean he is not male. Women do not have a monopoly on those characteristics. And by the way I see more traditional masculine characteristics in God than traditional feminine characteristics (note characteristics are not the same thing as sex).

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Yes, that is very true. Males can be very loving and empathic. However, it is also true that the traditional male image pushes these way into the background. Real boys and men don't cry. It's much harder for males to express their sensitive side. I don't know what you mean when you say you see more masculine characteristics in God. Could you please explain.

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Yes, that is very true. Males can be very loving and empathic. However, it is also true that the traditional male image pushes these way into the background. Real boys and men don't cry. It's much harder for males to express their sensitive side. I don't know what you mean when you say you see more masculine characteristics in God. Could you please explain.

 

Sure. You can look all over OT that God is very angry with the Israelites most of the time. He rebukes them for wanting a king, He tells them He will deliver them to the enemy, He tells them He will destroy the wicked nation etc. you get the point. From what I saw in OT this was the default mood of God. Israel almost always messed up following God's command and sometimes a prophet or a hero will save them and God was pleased with those few. We also see that God does not move from His plans. We saw that He did not bargain with Israel when they disobeyed Him. He killed some of them and sent the rest into wilderness. He had also lead them to many wars to conquer other nations. So we get a God with many male characteristics (the good ones). Now we see the love and compassion of God, before the original sin and after the birth of Jesus. Although we are condemned in sin we do not die and live with Him because He loves us. But He would still punish Satan and his companions. So He shows male characteristics even when He is being all loving and empathic. So I think overall He shows more masculine traits.

 

Another thing, have you seen or heard God cry?

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Thanks for clarifying your position. First off, I thought the NT said that Jesus wept. Also, I am aware of all this in the OT. God appears as the stereotypic tough-guy warrior, active, all controlling, independent, inflexible, unemotional, totally lacking in receptiveness, affection, and responsiveness. So no, I don't think the OT God has good qualities. I think the OT is a very limited revelation of God, especially limited because the biblical writers are conditioned by a racist, sexist, semi-barbaric culture.

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I don't think the OT God has good qualities.

The OT God is also the NT God, who sacrificed his own son so our sins could be forgiven. God judges sin but he also makes a way of forgiveness for those who are willing to receive it. When sin first entered the world he promised to send a redeemer. Here are his words to the snake who tempted Eve:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.

(Genesis 3:15 ESV)

The offspring of the woman is Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin. He established the practice of sacrificing animals to atone for sin. The sacrifices didn't actually take away sin but they gave people the opportunity to express their faith that God would provide the sacrifice that would take away their sins.

 

 

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I disagree. I think Christ represents a much different image of God. Christ is loving, does not present himself as overbearing power, as per the OT God. Christ preaches forgiveness, the OT preaches vengeance, eye for eye. The Bible is not a work in systematic theology. It presents various snapshots of God, which often conflict. It is left to the reader to piece it together into a unified picture.

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Thanks for clarifying your position. First off, I thought the NT said that Jesus wept.

I meant God the Father. I should have been clearer.

racist, sexist, semi-barbaric culture.

Here we go. This discussion has reached a whole new level.

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Yes, that is very true. Males can be very loving and empathic. However, it is also true that the traditional male image pushes these way into the background. Real boys and men don't cry. It's much harder for males to express their sensitive side. I don't know what you mean when you say you see more masculine characteristics in God. Could you please explain.

 

Men shouldn't be emoting sissies. Real men don't cry, except in the most exceptional of circumstances.

 

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Yes, it was racist because it believed the Jews were the apple of God's eye, the chosen people. Sexist because it viewed women s grossly inferior to men. Semi-barbaric because it was warrior led. David was a warrior.

Where does the Father weep? Good question. In traditional theology, the Father could not suffer. In fact, God couldn't have any emotion at all. Hence, it was considered major heresy to say that the Father suffered. Biblically, however, it is a different story. Try Jeremiah 15:6-10. God says, "Alas, am I not unhappy? For I have done everything possible to make men righteous, yet I have not succeeded."

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If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, Cornelius... That's the problem. We males have trouble getting in touch with our sensitive side, with our feelings.

 

Yes, and if we were raised speaking good English, we'd have trouble speaking bad English.

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Yes, it was racist because it believed the Jews were the apple of God's eye, the chosen people.

 

There are people who view God as utterly racist ( dispies), but God is not racist. Faithful followers of God are the Apple of God's eye, the chosen people. As with Christians today, you can't be saved simply by being baptized, in the OT you couldn't be the Chosen People simply by the first birth.

 

When Israel was not faithful, God said to the whole kingdom "You are not my people and I am not your God". When the Israelites worshiped a golden calf in the desert, God said they are not his children, and he barred them from the Promised Land (symbolic of the home of His people).

 

False teachers refuse to distinguish between faithful and unfaithful Israelites, and what God said of each of them. False teachers also refuse to acknowledge that ancient Israel was made up of all races, a mixed multitude, according to the Bible. When the slaves were freedom from Egypt, Moses didn't check genealogies of those he led out. When someone converted to the religion of Abraham and chose to follow the Law of Moses, "becoming a Jew", they were as much the apple of God's eye as anyone else.

 

Then there's what the NT teaches, just in case the OT isn't clear enough.

 

 

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hrist is loving, does not present himself as overbearing power, as per the OT God.

Christ declared that the OT God was his father and that he was fulfilling the prophecies of the OT. You can't reject the OT without rejecting Christ.

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We males have trouble getting in touch with our sensitive side, with our feelings.

 

Do you want a tissue?

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The OT is definitely racist in that the Jews, no one else, were the chosen people. They felt they had the right to go into Canaan and exterminate the indigenous population and without mercy. Also, it was probably impossible for most gentile males to become Jewish, as that would require circumcision. Even in the NT, there are the Judaizers, early Christians who felt the uncircumscribed were inferior. That was a major part of the conflict between Peter and Paul.

 

I know what Christ said. I also know the OT God is brutal, sadistic, legalistic. The God of love revealed by Christ isn't like that at all.

When I was working as a substance-abuse counselor, I facilitated weekly sessions for males only. We focused on sharing feelings. More than one did cry and felt much better afterwards.

 

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The OT is definitely racist in that the Jews, no one else, were the chosen people. They felt they had the right to go into Canaan and exterminate the indigenous population and without mercy. Also, it was probably impossible for most gentile males to become Jewish, as that would require circumcision. Even in the NT, there are the Judaizers, early Christians who felt the uncircumscribed were inferior. That was a major part of the conflict between Peter and Paul.

 

I know what Christ said. I also know the OT God is brutal, sadistic, legalistic. The God of love revealed by Christ isn't like that at all.

When I was working as a substance-abuse counselor, I facilitated weekly sessions for males only. We focused on sharing feelings. More than one did cry and felt much better afterwards.

 

What do you mean the God of love revealed by Christ isn't like that at all? Have you read Revelation and understand what is now occurring? You realize that there is going to be a 2nd coming, and the Lord will be the avenger?

 

Back to your post. Basically, you're calling God a racist. If pushed you'll deny the divinely inspired writings called Scripture, and pushed further will accredit them to man. They are no longer dated because they are racist, bigoted, and homophobic etc. Instead of believing the Scriptures, you instead attempt to project your image upon the Scriptures making God into your image. We've seen these things before.... the very same people that say man created the Scriptures are the very ones attempting to manipulate Scripture. Hitler did that, and in liberal fashion we see it happening today. It appears that you're attempting to ease people into identifying themselves as whomever including God's chosen, without actually believing the words of God:

 

 

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Fact is, both the OT and NT are "brutal". It is called life. It isn't a fairy tale story but a book of life. Our Father is not the God of Love, and God does not love at the expense of His Justice. God is love, but Love is not God. The Jewish people bared the descent of God's chosen in order to produce the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world. God had to choose from among "a" people, and He chose Israel. Save the Israeli privilege for your substance abuse groups. Christians are not free to manipulate, distort, and interpret the Holy Scriptures according to unregenerate/and liberal ideology. At least you'll face strong opposition here in this forum if you choose to remain down this path.

 

God bless,

William

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The OT is definitely racist in that the Jews, no one else, were the chosen people.
Chosen by whom? Oh, that would be God Himself. Since God chose them, then He is racist.

 

They felt they had the right to go into Canaan and exterminate the indigenous population and without mercy.
And who told them that? Oh, that would be God again.

 

Also, it was probably impossible for most gentile males to become Jewish, as that would require circumcision.
Why would it be impossible? There is no reason. Moreover if that is what God wanted, then that is what it ought to be.

 

Even in the NT, there are the Judaizers, early Christians who felt the uncircumscribed were inferior. That was a major part of the conflict between Peter and Paul.
That is under the new covenant. Under the old covenant circumcision was required.

 

I know what Christ said. I also know the OT God is brutal, sadistic, legalistic. The God of love revealed by Christ isn't like that at all.
The only problem with that is that Christ accepted and believed the O.T., and no where does He even suggest what you claim (and by the way nor does Luke, Paul, Peter, Jude, John, Mark, Matthew, or James). Edited by Origen
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Chosen by whom? Oh, that would be God Himself. Since God chose them, then He is racist.

 

And who told them that? Oh, that would be God again.

 

Why would it be impossible? There is no reason. Moreover If that what God wanted, then that is what it ought to be.

 

That is under the new covenant. Under the old covenant circumcision was required.

 

The only problem with that is that Christ accepted and believed the O.T., no where does He even suggest what you claim (and by the way nor does Luke, Paul, Peter, Jude, John Mark, Matthew, or James).

 

Proverbs 18:17 "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

 

:rolleyes:

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Well, I guess I'm in for some stiff opposition. Big deal, so what? I believe that God is basically a loving God. When you love someone, you do not coerce them with threats and horrible punishments. Ancient Judaism tended to view God, in a distorted fashion, as punitive and vengeful. So I am not surprised with the Book of Revelation. I don't hold with the inerrancy of Scripture, not do I hold it was just all just made up. Rather, it represents an interaction between God and an ancient culture. Divinely inspirited as it may be, Scripture is still the product of a racist, sexist, semi-barbaric, prescientific culture and then reflects such views. The Bible is not the Word of God, the Bible is the Word of Man, the Word of God is revealed through the Word of Man. The OT is a history of ancient Israel, but it is not an objective, neutral account; it is very much spin doctored to favor the Israelis and sanctify their divine right to rule the land. If the Egyptians or native Canaanites had presented their side of the story, it would be a very different account, believe me.

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Well, I guess I'm in for some stiff opposition. Big deal, so what?
Well, if the will of God means nothing to you, then big deal, so what.

 

Ancient Judaism tended to view God, in a distorted fashion, as punitive and vengeful.
If you mean the O.T, then you have a problem with N.T. because every N.T. writer and Jesus does not see it that way.

 

I don't hold with the inerrancy of Scripture, not do I hold it was just all just made up.
Then there is no reason to accept any part of it. Your preference is simply to chose what you like.

 

Divinely inspirited as it may be, Scripture is still the product of a racist, sexist, semi-barbaric, prescientific culture and then reflects such views.
You just said above that you do not hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. So in what since can it be Divinely inspirited?

 

The Bible is not the Word of God, the Bible is the Word of Man, the Word of God is revealed through the Word of Man.
Again you are simply accepting what you prefer.

 

The OT is a history of ancient Israel, but it is not an objective, neutral account; it is very much spin doctored to favor the Israelis and sanctify their divine right to rule the land.
That is not even close to being correct. Israel and the major people in the O.T. are never white washed. Their sins are exposed over and over again.

 

If the Egyptians or native Canaanites had presented their side of the story, it would be a very different account, believe me.
I am sure. No doubt they would have not cast themselves in such a bad light as the O.T. does with Israel and others.
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