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Posted | 38 comments

Have Your Say – Is it OK to refer to God as “She ” as well as “He”?

Have Your Say – Is it OK to refer to God as “She ” as well as “He”?

I recently heard someone refer to the Holy Spirit as “She” instead of “He”. And in response to someone asking me what I thought, I’ve written a blog post. But before I post it, I’d love to know what you think. Your answer will be totally anonymous so please … click on one of the buttons and have your say!

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38 Comments

  1. Interesting to read some of the comments, but many are coming from modern thinking or personal ideas.
    Worth reading Hosea (especially chapters 1-3) and then Revelation chapter 21. Throughout the Bible Israel is likened to the ‘wife’ of God, whereas the church is likened to the bride of Christ. Look into the book of Ruth for further analogies along the same line.
    Just saying…

  2. I do not agree with calling God “she” The bible is the word of God and Jesus refers to God the Father, Father is male contarary to what some people seem to believe today. I believe that God is he Great I AM and HIs word is he same yesterday, today & forever, so lets not start trying to second guess what His Word says by confusing issues that in my belief do not exist. I am a born again Christian who believes the Bible & God’s word. beyond any shadow of doubt.

  3. God is God because He has in himself all the information there is. Not like the members of our human race which have only the information that the parents were able to pass on. As generations continue there is information that is lost – forever, in that family line, until crossbreeding occurs. God planted masculine DNA information into Adam; He then gave Eve feminine DNA information. This created two sexes of the human race; only God could have done it as He is the only one who has total information. Therefore I suggest that in God there is DNA information of both sexes. The Bible however gives God names and honour Him with masculine characteristics, and we should acknowledge this by calling Him this way.

    Tim

  4. What an awesome discussion has been had so far on this subject. As well as all the posts on this page I’ve received many emails. Thank you for participating. I have some fairly firm views on this subject (watch this space … another blog post coming shortly).

    But the conversation has helped again to broaden my perspective, soften my heart, open God’s Word and generally bless my socks off.

    I wonder if that’s not what’s supposed to happen when God’s people get together and have a good old yarn!!

    Thankya Jesus!

    Berni

  5. It has amused me for a long time that in the story of the prodigal son, it is generally preached that the ‘father’ represents God, and in the story of the lost sheep, the ‘shepherd’ represents God or Jesus, yet in the middle of these two stories, all of which Jesus told, we have the story of the woman who lost her coin and somehow it seems a number of people would not consider the ‘woman’ representing God.
    I’m not here to insist you have to believe what I believe, but I do believe it’s important to be open that the Bible, as we have it today, i.e. translated into English, is still an interpretation of translators. In fact it is a VERY interesting study to look at the words used for God in the Hebrew and Greek – masculine, feminine, gender neutral.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do firmly believe that God has spoken to us through the word (Jesus being the ultimate representation of that) yet what we have today, as Bibles, are translations – consider how many versions you have on your bookcase.
    It does however sadden me that the assumption of considering the feminine character of God is perceived to be ‘New Age’ or of a cult. Could we not consider that they took the concept from the church?
    I’m so glad that I can have a personal relationship with God and not be bound by religion.
    Thanks Berni for initiating a very stimulating discussion.

  6. I was a bit quick in my vote for ‘male’. I rather agree that God is in person male, but also that He mainly appears described as a male, but sometimes with characteristics like e.g. a mother. Ingrid

  7. As a victim of various forms of male abuse/dominance I had a problem returning to God and accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I praise God that my heart is softening and I no longer fear “obeying” etc. Scripture says God gave His only begotten Son, and we must always refer to scripture as the foundation of our belief that Christ Jesus died for our sins that we might live. Jesus is male and made in our Fathers image, so I firmly believe He is male. I am saved and I love Jesus and as a mere child on my walk with our Lord I have to believe only God’s Word is of any value.

  8. Does it really matter, if you have a personal relationship with God? We are not even a grain of sand in the universe compared to God’s knowledge and understanding.

    Before I was married a girlfriend told me “When God created man She was only joking”.

    Now that I am married would it matter in any way, shape or form what gender I or anyone else believed God to be if my wife believed otherwise?

    But God is the Trinity, 3 in one, keep them all the same gender, because if you go changinging one or two to the opposite gender think of all the arguments.

    Also I am sure there are many males who had childhoods where they could much more easily relate to an All Loving Mother than an All Loving Father?

  9. God is God, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. I really do not go for this new age, feministic view that God can be either sex or just female…. I get really frustrated with people who refer to God as anything other than God, our Heavenly Father. I know He is the Great I AM. He is not just some super power, or some higher-power to appease those who do not want to be a Christian but they want to take bits and pieces of various doctrines and beliefs and make their own brand of a religion. Even in NA and AA….to not offend people God is called the Higher Power or the people are told whatever they want to feel it is that is out there….so as not to alienate them from the groups…..

    I wish there were one more choice for an answer….something like….is the God of the holy Bible anything other than what He says…..
    I would answer, No, God is what and who He says He is.

  10. I tend to think that God presented him/herself as a masculine deity due to needing to reach his/her people – who were predominantly a masculine orientated race…..had he/she presented themself in Israel as a woman – The Christ would not have been listened to, followed or respected in any sort of way. I tend to believe that the elevation of the Virgin Mary in certain Christian circles is an effort by God to elevate the status of the female divine – and that he/she is showing us that the female is just as important and divine as the masculine divinity……the Virgin is Yahweh’s effort to elevate the feminine in the minds of The Christ Followers. The term Christ is neither Masculine nor Feminine. Notions of Masculine and Feminine are socially constructed. Gender however is not. It is also interesting to note that Christ “him” self was sexless and did not have male/female relations as is the norm with masculinity. He did not share the traditional roles of masculinity such as father and husband. Yahweh said “I am Who Am”. He did not say “I am He who is” or “I am She who is”. Yahweh simply said “I am Who am”. This is neither an admonition of being male or female. As Cheryl above stated, it is not up to us to tell God who he/she is or isn’t!! It is also interesting to note that as God had a son, who was God’s wife???? Or was God a Single Father??? In the church – the notion of a Family is upheld and sanctioned – a family consists of a father, a mother and children. Where does this leave the Single Father notion of a God with a son??? And how does this reflect human relationships? And where does the Virgin fit into all this??

    Thanks for the interesting discussion Bernie!! I love you and your work!

  11. I believe that humans were, and are created in God’s image (not his) and therefore to box God in as a particular gender is not true to God. I’m very comfortable to consider both the masculine and feminine aspects of God and though I struggle to rid myself of the stereotyped pictures of ‘God’ as a man, I seek to embrace God as a divine being who chose to come to earth as a human (and have no difficultly accepting Jesus in the male form). I like the idea of God as a parent who takes care of my needs and wants, who seeks the best for me, who desires and provides for a personal relationship. I believe in Jesus, born of Mary, and of the Holy Spirit who has and continues the work.
    I appreciated the writing of William Paul Young in his book ‘The Shack’, where he suggests that God will be revealed in ways that we would never expect. It’s not for us to create an image of God, but rather we ALL have been created in God’s image.
    There was a time when I was offended by people only referring to God in the masculine terms but I now appreciated that we all need to connect with God in our own personal way. I have no doubt of God’s love for me (and all) and I am very grateful that God is here.

  12. I agree with the above comments that state that the spirit of the Antichrist will confuse us if we listen. We are missing the point that the Father is how we are to define our relationship with God. It is the very cornerstone of how we are supposed to think of God. It is not Biblical to assign him another gender when He has asked us through His Son to think of Him as Father and to ask in prayer to our heavenly Father. Many parables (starting with the prodigal son) define God as male because that’s how He wants us to look at our relationship with Him. He has defined that because it will help us relate to Him. When we question gender, we are also questioning the basis of our relationship and we are rebeling. We need to accept the way He wants us to see him.

  13. I refer to God as “He” but He has feminine qualities too. Zephaniah talks about God quieting us with His love. Jesus talks about God longing to take Jerusalem to Himself like a mother hen gathering her chicks.

  14. It concerns me that one of the main reason for believing that God is male is that he created man in His image, when when it says genesis chapter 1:27 God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
    I’m not disputing that God is of a mascline figure (I think it’s important to remember that he is Divine so we shouldn’t try to make him into a man) but using that instance I think is taking it out of context the same way that if we believed that when it simply says ‘brothers’ and ‘sons’ it’s only referring to males

  15. I read somewhere that in Hebrew/Aramaic God the Father, & Yeshua are written in the masculine … and the Holy Spirit is written in the feminine.

    My LIMITED journey so far seems to have included Our Lord meeting me as someone I’ll recognise & be drawn to … & then has been challenging my preconceptions ever since! It’s been a tad unsettling realising there’s such a difference between these preconceptions, & uncontaminated Truth. I just hope we all are led to recognise Him … I truly don’t think we can scoff at how the Pharisees failed to recognise their Messiah … rather I believe we are only too capable of doing the same thing 🙁

    You might have noticed I tend towards the use of “Him” … likely a reflection of my need for a stereotypical ‘male’ strength & dependability & leadership … (which hints at the counterpart stereotypical ‘female’ which reflects my view of my parents & myself which aint helpful!)

  16. I forgot to say is that regardless of the fact that he made us both in his image, He reveals himself as male and if we respect Him we must respect His choice. He is the Father, not the Mother and this by His own choice.

  17. Dear Berni, I appreciate so much the fact that you want to hear from all of us, I appreciate you ministry and all that you do to reach other for the King and touch the lives of His people with the fresh message of the power of the Cross.

    I believe God made male and female in His image therefore He will exhibit many of the characteristics that are generally related to a gender, for example God is like males strong in battle, mighty conqueror, the bridegroom that conquers the heart of his bride, the protector husband of the church and when to prepare a place for her, provider, protector, lover…etc as females God is sweet, patient, romantic, enduring, suffering, and hard to please… haha sorry for that last one, but God says many times “…for my love for myself I have swear…”, getting to the heart of God is heard work, he requiers all of our love and attention and emotially healthy woman is the same way.

    Jeremíah 29:13
    you will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.

    Thank you again and God bless you Berni!

  18. Hmm, yes, I think it’s okay. ‘He’ and ‘Father’ come more naturally to me but personally I don’t think God would be offended either way. I think it’s challenging and wonderful to consider God in a ‘motherly’ light, having attributes (like nurturing and gentleness) which we traditionally think of as female. And Jesus groundbreakingly showed many of these attributes back in the day.

  19. It is impossible to know and love Jesus Christ without accepting and believing God’s word in the Bible. It is the absolute truth or no truth at all. The God of creation lives in the truth and his will is to live in our heart that we will be with him forever. The devil would have us believe otherwise, we have the choice.

    The joy of being one with Jesus is beyond belief, irrespective of any of the difficult aspects of our human life. Jusus was born and given to the world as God’s Son. Our sins are nailed with him to the cross so that we may be forgiven when we receive him as our Saviour and Lord of our life. Whether we are male or female, He loves us equally.

  20. It is very interesting, reading all the comments. My minister insists on calling God “God” & never placing a gender on God. It took me a long time to get used to that form of reference, especially when “God-self” is used. However, given the unnecessary confusion over giving God a gender, I’m beginning to feel it might be valid. For some people the masculine (or even sadly “father”) figure brings fear & distress because of their experience with the human, sinful, representatives of the gender. God is above mere gender, though God’s Son is definitely He. I’m not sure we can totally trust translations & interpretations of ancient languages from groups of theologians & academics who believed the woman & feminine was the “evil” part of the human creature. They would ensure that authority was always masculine.

  21. God is bigger than gender! God is love! ‘I AM WHO AM.’ Jesus refered to His Father, male and to sending a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit. For our finite minds its is easier to refer to God as male, but God needs no gender. Jesus said there would be no male or female in heaven, no wives or husbands…it would seem that God is beyond gender, we call Him him because that’s is how Jesus refers to Him.

  22. There are both female and male images of God in the Bible, especially when we think of the Holy Spirit’s almost capriciousness. To assign male or female is to limit God who is beyond gender. Nevertheless, it is quite appropriate to address God as we have been taught by Jesus as “Our Father”. To change this to “Our mother” would be to confine God in another gender and smacks of the mother earth and fertility cults of thinking that is certainly not Christian and spoken against in books such as Jeremiah. Whilst man was made in God’s image, I conceive of him in my worship and prayer as something other than male or female.

  23. Our Father, who art in heaven…..
    The Father, The Son & The Holy Ghost……

    The above strong references confirm without a doubt that God indeed, in terms of the bible, our truth, is in the masculine tense.

    I am surprised that this subject continues to be debated, also mystified why, when there is irrufutable evidence that God is a He. Is this yet another step backwards in terms of trying to confuse people in what is clearly the truth, the bible tells us so.

    Satan is in control of this world and he causes doubt, deception and lying. He will cause doubt to come into your mind, if you allow it. Remember, he is trying to regain what has been taken away from him, he is the source of these doubts of whether God is male, make no mistake about that.

    Satan also has a foothold in certain churches, hence the reason why this subject is being debated, These are end times we live in, twenty/thirty years ago these issues were never debated, now they are. Why is that one may ask? Satan continues to attack us so that Christians must learn to fight and stand your ground, firmly and authoratively, speak the truth clearly as I am doing, and rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus and tell him to go.

  24. To me God create man into His Image, and out of the man the woman was created.
    Pieter

  25. God is Spirit, if I was pushed to give an option, it would be, that Jesus called Him Father.
    Don’t forget we are the Bride of Christ, which would suggest male.

    God is the all that we need; the strength, protection and
    power that a man has.
    Also the love, gentleness and sacrifice a woman is.

  26. God is a Father as Jesus has said many times. As a father we class as male. God is a all knowing glorious spirit. He is not Man as we know man. Man is sinful. One day we as believers will know when we go home. Let God be our Father.

  27. Sad to say that it is the same Spirit of the anti-Christ – working through those that have never been genuinelly born-again – that seekks to question EVERY fundamental principle of the Word of God.
    Things haven’t changed since Eden – “…yea, hath God said that ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden …? ”

    Good on you Berni – keep up the good fight,

    Tim Hargreaves,
    Gospel Preacher,
    Shark Bay, Western Australia

  28. When Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit, He said “when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” Jesus made a point of using a masculine pronoun. I don’t think it means God is a man, as the Bible clearly states that God is not a man, but a Spirit. But I think it reveals the nature of God as a Father, whose characteristics are displayed in both men and women, as we are made in His image.

  29. You can listen to all the philosophers you like, but if Jesus calls God ‘Father’ then who’s to argue? He is God.

  30. Ok my comments are not solely those of a male. I discussed this my wife. We both prefer to think of God as male because that’s how the Bible refers to him. We are told the Bible is the word of God.

    Phil

  31. I personally believe that it does not matter if God is male or female or neuter. I know in my heart that I love God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and no gender will sway my beliefs.

  32. Our Father who art in Heaven, Jesus, the son, and a whole lot more… how can He be female???

  33. To me God is the absolute epitome of masculinity. He made man in his image…and woman to partner man.

  34. It depends what the original text states as the Bible was translated into English in a masculine era, I believe.

  35. Jesus consistently referred to His Father, the Father referred to His Son, it seems clear to me our God is ‘male’; woman was created by God when he took a rib from Adam; God loves both men and women equally

    • AZ Stephen said Quote :”Jesus consistently referred to His Father, the Father referred to His Son, it seems clear to me our God is ‘male’; woman was created by God when he took a rib from Adam; God loves both men and women equally ”..

      this right on the money….couldnt have said better myself..steve

      • No its not ok!
        He is our Heavenly Father, just like Jesus referred to Him.

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