I had lunch with a friend today. She told me that at the Anglican Cathedral on Sunday the Bishop often slipped in references to God as “She” or “Her.”
I can’t imagine that happening in my own setting one bit!
I bothered blogging about it because I saw over at Chris Footers nice blog a link to an article entitled “Church declares calling God a He leads to Wife Bashing” and it prompted me to put my thoughts down a bit.
My Womens Studies classes at uni first got me thinking academically about a whole lot of issues, and I have always got fired up about the ludicrous male exclusiveness experienced in my own and others church/home life/ mission. And don’t get me started on misinterpretations of verses in Corinthians etc. But most women – and lots of men- would think along these lines too, eh?
Its an altogether different matter though to pray to Mother God, isn’t it? A conversation a year ago with the female officer I most admire really challenged my thoughts on this, describing the detirmental impact of single gender God language. We would all admit that our theology is (should be) the source of our values, actions, attitudes, behaviours. But if we have an exclusively male view of God, how can we expect gender equality to be long lasting and genuine in the church, our lives? And there is not reason to see God as exclusively Male- the majority of Biblical scholars would admit that. Eg, Moltmann specifically sees the Holy Spirit as female.
So… why limit our language of God like this eh? Is it verging on oppressive/ discriminative talk? Does it restrict our ability to truly live on gender equal terms?
I challenge you- whether you agree or not (just as a social experiment)- to slip in a Her/She in your next God chat!