The Church of England explores a “gender neutral God.”

The Church of England is currently exploring a “gender neutral God.” (Church of England explores gender neutral God | Reuters) That raises the question of “What does it mean to be created in God’s image?”

First, given that God is infinite, I must acknowledge that this is only an approximation of perceived understanding, and not a claim to understand the mysteries of God.

What does it mean to be created in God’s image? Well, to look at that as a question of male or female misses the entire point. Strictly speaking, God is neither since He does not have chromosomes or genitalia. When He manifested Himself in human form, it was as a male, but with levels of compassion most associated with females. He had an Alpha male aspect to Him, but also had a great and feminine emphasis on Love (not hippie love or lust, but Agape or Caritas depending on your theological background).

God is Triune. Since God is spirit, and that spirit is triune, then I think that being created in the image of God is a testament to the fact that mankind is also triune. God the Father — the Logos, the Justice, the Righteousness in one Person. Very masculine. God the Son — the Compassionate, the Merciful, the Teacher. Quite feminine. God the Holy Spirit — the ephemeral, the everlasting presence and existence, the Virtuous. Quite genderless.

Man is also triune. We have a mind from the Father, a heart from the Son, and a conscience from the Holy Spirit. That, I think, is what it means to be made in God’s Image. Men tend to relate more with a sense of righteousness and justice. Women tend to relate more with a sense of compassion and mercy. We all have to seek virtue. It is not about whether God is a man or a woman, and anyone who makes it about that is, in my opinion, sewing seeds opposed to God who is above and beyond that all together.

Our tradition refers to ships as “she.” The USS Ronald Reagan, SHE set to port yesterday. It is merely a tradition and figure of speach. No one has questioned that at this point that I know of. Likewise, God and all of the Angels are referred to as “he.” They do not have any more chromosomes or genitalia than an aircraft carrier. The reference is purely traditional, and not literal. 

And yet, there is value in holding on to the tradition of referring to the assexual God and His Angels as “he” because of the subsequent metaphor and Truth: God will come again to reign as a Righteous King.

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4 thoughts on “The Church of England explores a “gender neutral God.””

  1. I like the way you described a problem the Anglican Communion is, and has been having to wrestle with, my whole life. I finally found a church that is still Anglican in its roots, and which was formed because of all this heresy and perversion of the Scriptures. Reuters kinda mischaracterized what is going in inside, though.

    God is represented in the Bible as “He, or Him” throughout. I have no reason to question it. As far as I’m concerned, the Bible is true, and is evidence of “Him”. It is those who play politics and use terms like the “patriarchy”(feminism) who are perverting the Church. Those who are playing those politics are the perversions of the Church. We have Bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury who appear weak, spiritually, and are disobeying their One True God, by the desire to have same sex marriage. The Bible speaks against this directly, and culture seems to be winning the fight, for now. It may cause the end of the Church, if it continues down this evil path.
    Even having women priests goes against God’s word, although many have become very comfortable with it. That was the first political battle within, during my lifetime. I finally found a part of the Church that is still not infected with this evil. It is even in communion, as far as it can be, with the Church of England. The Anglican Church in North America(ACNA).

  2. Men need women, their complement, to be whole beings; that is literally the meaning of “becoming one flesh.” God cannot be male, because he would be incomplete without a Goddess.

    It is perfectly reasonable to think of God as not being male or female, but the idea that God is ‘gender neutral’ still assumes the limited manifestation of mortal thought: it’s still based on concepts of male and female. What the Church of England is doing is not trying to examine the reality of God, but to fall in line with trendiness on earth. That the Church of England is already in schism, due to its acceptance of homosexuality, is hardly surprising.

    Human beings are apparently getting stupider. Rather than try to understand the meaning of God, some try to bring God down to an earthly concept.

    • I won’t try to philosophize what God might be, or could be, so it is reasonable to me that He says “I am”. In our twisted minds can only come the concept that God had to have a goddess if He is referred to as “He”, since that represents male. I’m not good at quotes, but doesn’t it say, in Genesis, that God created man in his own image(Genesis 1 verse 26), and further on say that while Adam was asleep in the garden that He took a rib from Adam and created woman? Genesis 2 verses 21-23, and then 24, being one flesh. Order out of chaos.
      I’m going to stick to the words in Genesis, and take them literally until the time I hopefully meet God and discover the truth, from Him.
      Otherwise, I have to have faith that Moses wrote what God told him to write, in those five books of the Torah. I believe he did.

      What feminists complain so fiercely about is their own creation, from a rib from Adam, while he was asleep in the garden, that God used to create woman. Unfortunately, many women have erred to believe that they were placed in an inferior position from their creation, only to eventually distort a patriarchy that they think they should be equal or superior to man. It’s that idea that goes to come up with the idea that God might also need to have a goddess, something that seems blasphemous to suggest, if he were neither male nor female. It is a creation of an idea in the modern times that appears to be intended to rip apart a patriarchy established by God. I don’t know of any evidence in the Bible that contradicts what I wrote, also. The patriarchy God established was His works, not man’s.
      Being one flesh, while directly related, is still another argument, altogether. It is one that creates a union for procreation and making order out of chaos. Man and woman are complementary to another. It’s an impossible journey for me to think what God might have done, since what He did is so well documented. In other words, I struggle to just understand what He did, not to conflate other possibilities.

      The Archbishop of Canterbury is only another of those fallen men who are known as fallible, yet represent their church, among the Christian Church. We pray for him to repent as we pray for our repentance in the hope for salvation for ourselves. There is no room for one church to be superior over another, and I am incapable of going there, so that’s where I’ll leave it.
      Except to say that the some of the workings of the church I have been exposed to, my entire life, saddens me. Most every Christian Church is experiencing similar problems.

      • Genesis 1:26, the first passage that you cited, actually reads as you said. The very next verse reads thus:

        “So God created mankind in his own image,
        in the image of God he created them;
        male and female he created them.”

        That would seem to mean that both men and women were created in His image. It would also imply that He is either neither or both.

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