Did I miss something when learning about the Trinity?


#1

I read a bit of the ‘He or She’ thread and was quite offended… since when did God all of a sudden become male and once again perpetuating patriarchal infrastructure! I could have sworn God was genderless!!!

With respect to the quesiton though i do have some honest questions. If God is beyond gender, but Jesus is God and is male… then that means what?

The more i try to learn about christianity the more confussed i get!


#2

Great question!

Is God really genderless?

Great question?

*“If God does not judge America, He is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” *

  • Billy Graham †
    That quote must have been from Billy’s early days when he did not know any better.*

#3

I know that God the Father is genderless, but Jesus Himself refers to the father as Father and not Mother, so for me at least, the 1st Person of the Most Holy Trinity is Male (at least in essence).

The Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit are One, it was the Holy Spirit that over shadowed the Virgin Mary at the conception of Jesus, and Jesus was and is a Man. To think of God in any other way other then male is just plain goofy and confusing to me.


#4

maybe the gender isnt as we understand gender. Perhaps strength of character, loyalty, longsuffering, are His “male” traits. And tenderness, understanding, and tears (Jesus wept) are His “female” traits. If we are made in the image, perhaps it wasnt a clone but parts of.

just a thought if its too out there please no flames, cats dont like burnt fur. :smiley:


#5

When reading holy scripture you must always keep in mind that the things written were for a culture or a group to relate a message of some kind.

To quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 370, “In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman.”

The writings in holy scripture give us a message. Read them and try to understand them with other writings in holy scripture. Don’t pull one or two passages and expect them to stand on their own to explain everything.

Additionally, translations sometimes lose the meaning of the text if not done properly. Gender is not as important as the message being conveyed.


#6

God is not genderless, because Jesus is God and Jesus is male. But the other two Persons of the Trinity are indeed without gender, or perhaps beyond gender. I say “beyond” because it was God who invented gender (he could have created another biology for us). So we must look at gender and everything associated with it, and try to discern what God may have intended to reveal about himself and/or about us by his invention of gender.

Don’t get too upset about God being male, however. I get just as upset that the most perfect, most honored human being is a woman. What’s equal about that?

(just kidding!)


#7

Sorry, VociMike, you’re wrong. See above.


#8

You’ll have to be more explicit in pointing out my error.


#9

Got to paragraph 370 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It addresses this exact subject. The only thing I can add is that it is a mystery of the church how God is genderless.


#10

Once again I ask you to point out my error.


#11

Maybe I am misunderstanding your post. On the one hand I read you calling God male and on the other hand you do refer to him as being genderless. My problem is I don’t see how you can have it both ways.

My point is that the Church says that in no way is man made in God’s image. That God is neither male nor female.

I guess you can make a case that Jesus is male therefore because God is Jesus, God is male. I think you are oversimplifying the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

I.E. can God be Jesus and not be male? Why not. Jesus can exist both in human form and also in the Eucharist at the last supper. Why can’t he be male in human form (Jesus) and genderless as God.


#12

Well, the whole notion of the Trinity, and of the Incarnation, is kind of about having it both ways. Which is to say, we can’t get our heads around the full reality.

My point is that the Church says that in no way is man made in God’s image. That God is neither male nor female.

I know you meant to write that God is not made in man’s image, and yet now God has raised up man’s image to himself. Just as God could have a mother due to the Incarnation, so God can be male because of the Incarnation. Neither statement says anything about the other two Persons of the Trinity.

I guess you can make a case that Jesus is male therefore because God is Jesus, God is male. I think you are oversimplifying the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

It’s true, I am forever guilty of oversimplifying the Trinity. :slight_smile:

Why can’t he be male in human form (Jesus) and genderless as God.

I’m not suggesing God can’t be both. I thought I was pretty clear that God can be both.


#13

Grace & Peace!

Of course God is genderless. But let’s keep in mind a couple things:

1–Pronouns like “he” or “she” are relational–that is, they help us to relate to something. In this case, they help us to relate to the Divine Other. The pronoun “It” simply will not do.

2–Classically, the pronoun “He” in English could be used as a general pronoun when the gender of the object under discussion was unknown–it is a personal alternative to the impersonal “it”. Again, “It” simply will not do.

3–The gender of God has more to do with a traditional (and by that I mean “ancient”, not the political sense in which “traditional” is so often used and understood today) understanding of masculine/feminine: active/passive; force/form (though sometimes the attributions of gender here are reversed); etc. By calling God “He”, we emphasize his presence and activity throughout history and throughout all of creation. We also recognize that God is the Bridegroom, Creation is the Bride. The soul, in relation to God, is therefore feminine in nature–that is, it is receptive to God.

Does that mean that God has no feminine characteristics? By no means! It is not for nothing that Dame Julian of Norwich referred to Christ as her Mother on occasion. This was not confusion on her part with regard to Jesus’ primary sexual attributes, but a recognition of God’s goodness played out in a variety of modes and expressed in a variety of ways.

Furthermore, the Russian sophiologists have attempted to explicate the church’s doctrine of the Ousia of God (as opposed to God’s Hypostases) and have proposed that the Ousia of God is a “feminine” personalizing and personal “thing” (though not a person!) which is possessed in different ways by the Persons (Hypostases) of the Trinity. That is, in God, the Hypostases are “masculine”, the Ousia is “feminine”. They name the Ousia Sophia, though this has gotten them into a lot of trouble given the pseudo-gnostic associations with that name. Their defence of the use of the name Sophia, however, is worth reading, as are the works of Fr. Bulgakov, who is perhaps the most eminent of the sophiologists. Again, though, this area of theological speculation is not without controversy.

Under the Mercy,
Mark

Deo Gratias!


#14

re: God the Son and his sex (or lack thereof).

According to Catholic theology (at least my understanding of it), God the Son is sexless in his divine nature while being of the male sex in his human nature.

What I don’t understand about the above, however, is that if the Divine Person of the Word is of the male sex in his human nature – then that seems to suggest that the Divine Hypostasis (Person) Itself is of the male “sex.” I also don’t see how someone can be of one sex in one nature while being of another sex in another nature – this is of course not what we are dealing with here in the case of the Divine Logos, however, we are dealing with something similar, namely: someone being of one sex in one nature while being without sex in another nature. Sex – however one defines “sex” – seems to me to be an essential property, meaning that a person would not be the same person if he were not of that sex. This would mean then that the Divine Logos is “male” in ‘sex’ in both his human and divine nature. Then since the Holy Spirit and the Father bear this one and the same divine nature, they also would seem to be “male” in ‘sex’

But the above theological reasoning is problematic because God in Himself, in his divinity, would seem to be either without sex, transcending sex, or possessing the perfections of both sexes.


#15

good post cor… hopefully we can stimulate more discussion on the topic


closed #16

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