Female Image of God? Of course not. How to respond back?

While helping a customer out to her car at work yesterday (grocery store) she asked me if I go to church. To which I replied that I do, and told her where. I thought maybe she saw me there. I was wrong.

Basically she started talking to me about God and how there is a female image of God. I know that God is spirit, and thus has no body, which then means he has no gender. Except for God in the person of Jesus who became MAN. She tries to use Genesis as her basis that God said “Let us make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness;” She said that the plural form was used be"cause God made mand and woman in "their image meaning that there is a male and female image of God.

I told her that the plural is because of the Trinity, and how the image is our souls not our physical appearance. I couldn’t understand much because of her accent, but she said something about Corinthians or Gelations, as well as Revelation (Revelation 22 I think?)

I didn’t want to flat out tell her she’s wrong, because I didn’t want to get in trouble for debating religion with customers. So I told her that I have never seen in the bible where God is referred to as a woman. She wanted to show me the bible, but at this point I was outside for too long and I had to get back to work. We exchanged phone numbers so we can talk about this more later. (Earlier she asked if I like studying the bible, and if I would be interested in studying it)

It’s kind of weird in that she said that she is moving, but will have her friend call me so we can study the bible, and we can meet whenever I want at whatever location. I thought she wanted to talk to me, but it seems her and her “church” friends must be going around trying to spread heresy.

The text conversation went like this

Her "Hey this is (name)
Me: Hi (name) It was nice meeting you!
Her: Me too. :slight_smile: my church brother will call you. :slight_smile: I really hope you study the bible and realize a lot of love of God :smiley:

You can see the grammer is a little off because English isn’t her first language, but it seems like she thinks that I don’t know God, or as most protestants like to put it “I haven’t accepted Jesus as my personal lord and savior” I told her I go to church, but I don’t know if she knows that I try to be knowledgeable about the faith (I’m not the best. I can’t quote chapter and verse for things, but I know what I’m talking about)

I haven’t responded back, yet I do want to meet with her friend (or friends) and talk about this whole female image of God thing. If they are inviting me to talk then I should take that as an invitation to share with them the truth.

I would like to go into this prepared though. Have any of you ever heard this female image of God claim, and the passages they use to support it? then of course what passages can I use to disprove their claim?

Here is an article that might help you:

catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/general-information/mother-god/

I also like this post by livingwordunity:
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=11448997&postcount=17

Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote about Genesis 1:27 and how human persons experience God in their masculinity and femininity and are in the image of God in their masculinity and femininity.

For example, God is the creator of life. God allows masculine (man) and feminine (woman) to become his partners in the task of creating new life - man brings sperm, woman brings egg, God brings spirit and life is created. Man in his masculinity and woman in her femininity, along with God, become co-creators of life. Creating life is one way in which our masculinity and femininity are images of God.

God is love. The communion of husband and wife is a communion of love. The Church calls the nuclear family the “domestic trinity.” the love of husband and wife reflect the intimate communion of love between the three person’s of the Trinity.

A few links…

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women_en.html

ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tb9.htm

ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm, especially number 14.

-Tim-

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

However, none of the above justifies an understanding of Genesis as being understood as there are more than one god nor that one of those supposed gods is a God Woman.

God the Father was speaking to the Word (Jesus) in Genesis.

How to respond? Smile and say, “Thank you! You have a lovely day!” Some people find what they want to find and sometimes that is God as feminine. Its a strange world in which we live.

I am a woman so I get upset on a different level when I hear such nonsense come from women who somehow need God to be female so they can fit into His scheme of things. Oh well. They’ll make me mad before I change what they believe so I agree that the best thing for you to do in such a case is smile and say “have a nice day” and walk away. Oh and if you have one handy, give them a nice picture of Jesus, the Man! :wink:

Glenda

As you rightly point out God has no gender, however God has decided to reveal Himself to us using fatherly imagery and with parental tenderness. Nowhere in the scriptures, as far as I am aware of, is God called her or she, He has revealed Himself as Father. That takes nothing away from femininity of course, that goes without saying, but this is how He has chosen to reveal Himself and thats good enough for me! Any of the many passages that refers to " God the father of our Lord Jesus" or even better the “Our Father” would show the importance God attaches to His self-revelation as Father.

I don’t understand why it matters. Do you think that God would care about gender pronouns?

It matters because we do not make up God as we go along. God is Truth and He exists independent of our whims and imagination. We want to come to know God Himself as He really is not as what we would like to think of Him as being or some make believe stuff.

It’s like a child making believe that his/her mother is red headed, an international spy etc…when the mother is a brunette and a nurse at the local hospital. We want to know the truth and reality of God. God truly exists independent of our knowing Him - so we cannot make Him up as we go along.

“In the Bible, God is described by many metaphors including that of motherhood (Deut. 32:18; Matt. 23:37), but never called “Mother” per se. In describing God, we must recognize the problems of our language. Even though our language is inadequate to describe God, it does influence our behavior and how we think of Him; therefore, it must be as correct and precise as possible. We may never find the exact words, but we must avoid using the wrong words. As Christians, we do not have the right to personally change God’s title to fit our whims.”
catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/general-information/mother-god/

I don’t understand why you replied to my post with this caution. I never said that there is more than one god or that it was a woman god.

On the contrary, I brought up the catechesis of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

-Tim-

I don’t think you should exchange phone numbers with a customer.

If it helps her to think of God as female, I wouldn’t argue with that. Some people didn’t have strong, or healthy male figures in their childhood and might have a hard time conceptualizing God as Father, the traditional imagery in Christianity

Some people say the Bible is too male dominated, from a post-Matriarchal era of human development. That’s why Catholicism is so comforting with so many female saints to venerate, it really balances out all that.

You may be inviting an argument or an argumentative discussion. Why not tell her up front that you are comfortable with your image of God which is different from hers and not something you wish to discuss until you get to know each other better. Talk about other things that you have in common to determine if there is a basis for a friendship.

Hello Tim,

Please clarify for me what connection exactly it is that you are making with Pope John Paul the Great’s catechesis and Genesis where God speaks in the plural form by saying: Let us…

I think Pope John Paul the Great notes how we can see that we were made in the image of God as in marriage there is a communion of persons reflecting the communion of persons of the Trinity. But, the difference of sexes in the human communion of persons can not be directed or applied to the Triune God.

Are you making the connection of the male and female of the communion of human person back to God? If not, what is the point that you mean to make by quoting the Pope in the light of when God speaks in the plural and in regards to male and female?

Example of catechesis:
“If, vice versa, we wish to draw also from the narrative of the Yahwist text the concept of “image of God,” we can then deduce that man became the “image and likeness” of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons which man and woman form right from the beginning. The function of the image is to reflect the one who is the model, to reproduce its own prototype. Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. Right “from the beginning,” he is not only an image in which the solitude of a person who rules the world is reflected, but also, and essentially, an image of an inscrutable divine communion of persons.”

Thanks.

To be more precise: What is the connection being drawn from Pope John Paul the Great’s catechesis and this:

"Basically she started talking to me about God and how there is a female image of God. I know that God is spirit, and thus has no body, which then means he has no gender. Except for God in the person of Jesus who became MAN. She tries to use Genesis as her basis that God said “Let us make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness;” She said that the plural form was used be"cause God made mand and woman in “their image meaning that there is a male and female image of God.”

This is a basic misunderstanding of the plural terminology in Genesis when God says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Gen. 1:26. This isn’t the only place where God talks about Himself in the plural. It is His Trinitarian form. He is after all One God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This use of the plural in God’s own reference to Himself is an example Sola Scripturists don’t like precisely because it shows God speaking of Himself as the Trinity.

Trying to stretch this to mean what it doesn’t is risky if one wants to stay within the bounds of our religion. You cannot claim God is female. Too many pagan deities for that. Yes, way back when there were folks who believed in gods and goddesses. You step onto slippery ground when you fool with it. The Church dealt with that then and if need be with the New Age stuff trying to get folks to fall for silly stuff again, the Church will deal with it again.

Pope John Paul II took on much of their stuff. I hated it when folks would twist what he said into all kinds of justifications for nonsense. They did it with Benedict and they do it with Francis.

And yes, trying to give God a Mother image doesn’t work for me at all. I much prefer Mary as my Mother. She’s real and I don’t need to stretch my imagination to grasp her. As the wisdom of her found in a prayer goes “…confidentia ad te…”

Glenda

Are you trying to tell us that Our Father is bound by our religion?

Jeremiah 44:25

Genesis 1:27

Lyn, both parties to a Covenant are bound by it. That means God keeps His word to us in His Covenant with us even when we are unfaithful to our part. Still He forgives and is merciful. I care about my part of the Covenant and try not to do stuff that would break it.

Pushing the envelope to give God female attributes when He has already chosen to communicate Himself to us as a Man isn’t going to help me keep my part of the Covenant. Get it? Why risk losing what I have in speculations that are dangerous to faith? Do I think I cannot be fooled? Some of the greatest minds in theology were fooled and died outside the Covenant, i.e. Origen.

Be careful here, but be not afraid either!

Glenda

P.S. As for negative male images in the psychology of some women who use “dad was an idiot and a loser” as an excuse to avoid talking bout God as Man idolized their dads. Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter how big a bum dad was. But that is only my opinion.

The “We” used in Genesis is simply usage of the royal we. A tradition that’s more lost in today’s world, but at the time Genesis was written, that was probably the intention of the author.

The few times I’ve run into this I’ve said: Oh, Catholics don’t need God to be a woman. We have Mary!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.