I was recently writing an assignment on the sociology of religion, looking at the representation of women. In my research I came across something Grace Davie said in 1994, she basically said that we attribute our preferred gendered characteristics onto God. For women these characteristics would be love, comfort and forgiveness, where as for men they would be characteristics of power and control. Reading this got me thinking about my own views of God.
I don’t see God as having a gender and this is because we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:28) and therefore for different genders to exist God must encompass them all. It wouldn’t be right for me to attribute a gender to God without being given a sign from God as to which gendered pronouns should be used.
God does have power and control but I believe they are used out of Gods love for us. God doesn’t control everything I do, I have my own free will to make decisions for myself. Ultimately God will always direct me to the path I should be in life but doesn’t use power to control everything that I do. I have to be able to make my own decisions so that I develop as a person making mistakes and learning lessons whether that’s through a relationship or the job i have. If God hadn’t given us free will we wouldn’t be able to make mistakes, or learn lessons that are needed for our path in life. If God used power to control everything we did, we would be mindless droids
God knows how to make things seem like your own idea, which is when power and control are used. Ever since I was young I’ve wanted to be a teacher but until 2 years ago I always wanted to teach history. This was Gods way of preparing me for the path I was going to go on. If you didn’t know I’m going to be starting a Theology degree in September 2015. Theology is pretty much a history degree, but I’ll be looking at the history of Christianity and possibly taking a smaller look at the history of other religions. God has given me small steps to get to this point where I know that God wants me to study Theology, but I wouldn’t have been ready for it any earlier. My jobs in retail and internet marketing were decisions made by my free will and they helped me get ready for this next big step on my pathway.
God loves us all and will always forgive us, we were given free will to allow us to make mistakes. It wouldn’t be fair for God to not forgive us for using our free will when God gave it to us. Ye God may punish individuals for the decisions they made with their free will, but they will always be forgiven. We need punishment sometimes to help us understand the mistakes we’ve made, and to help us not make them again. In the same way that parents will punish their children by giving them time to reflect on what they’ve done, God does the same for us.
To round up my thoughts, I don’t think God has a gender but gendered stereotypical characteristics can all be applied to God.
These are obviously only some of my thoughts, and are just my opinion on the Christian God. Nothing I have said is right or wrong, we have to make our own decisions on these matters and decide for ourselves what we wish to believe.
I would be interested in hearing other peoples thoughts too.