Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is God Male or Female?

My answer is "neither" and "both." We project our fears and limitations onto the Divine Source when assigning human characteristics to God. By personifying God with gender or personality, we have unknowingly reduced God to a bite-sized, manageable portion that we can use to understand that which is not understandable. We use our image of God to govern our own lives, and persecute others who do not hold the same views. However, since we are offspring of the Divine and have attributes of both feminine and masculine energy, it would make sense that the Divine is both female and male.

I was once asked, "How do you have a relationship with God if you do not, in some way, personify Him? Can you have a relationship with something you do not see as somehow having human characteristics? For example, people name their cars and their pets, making them slightly human so that they can have relationship with them. I think personification, in some shape or form, is required to have a relationship."

The person raised a good question. God, or ALL THAT IS, is manifest in a number of ways: Spirit, consciousness, angels, humans, animals, plants and all of creation. God is love, power, majesty, wisdom, and other intangible energies. You can't have a relationship with the energy itself. That is why it is so important to love and respect all of life including ourselves and one another. We each contain the essence of God. As we honor one another and the creation, we have a relationship with our Creator. Good or bad, we are all manifestations of some aspect of God. It is in God that we live and move and have being. Mother Teresa said that she could love people the way she did was because she saw God (Jesus) in each person.

It may surprise you to know that before Christianity was mandated by the Roman Catholic Church, God was worshipped as a female by most religions. Paganism and many other poly theistic religions today still honor the femine aspect of God/Goddess.

Regardless of whether the text of the Bible is accurate in portraying the life of Jesus, "The Greatest Commandment of all is that you love one another." I can agree with that. What about you?

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