Gender and Identity

In this culture where gender seems to be optional, perhaps it would help us to answer the question: Does God have a gender? This may seem silly, since God is God, but in the vast majority of occasions in the Bible, God identifies as male. “I am He” Is this simply because the masculine gender was the one created with such authority. God himself is not a man (Nu 23:19; Hos 11:9) but He identifies Himself to men as a Male authority figure. When we approach God, it is always appropriate to identify Him as the Father, or He.

However, on some occasions, God employs feminine images to illustrate His point (Is 66:13; Job 38:29) A few years ago you might remember the Shack, a novel about one man’s struggle with his daughter’s violent death. The story received a lot of flack from Christian circles because in the Trinity was represented by three characters: God the Father as a large black woman, God the Son and the traditional male Carpenter from Nazareth, and God the Holy Spirit as a lithe and mysterious Asian woman. This untraditional depiction seemed to touch a lot of people, but its theology was grossly unbiblical.

God does not have gender, for He is God, not man. God is spirit, and spirits have no gender (implied in Matthew 22:30). God also created gender, thus He Himself is not subject to the characteristics of a particular gender.

Only when Jesus walked the earth was God subject to the characteristics of a gender, but the gender He chose was male, for much the same reasons as above. Being male was more appropriate to His mission as Teacher and Savior.

Ask yourself if it would have made a difference if Jesus was a woman. A woman was subject to her father’s household, and would not be free from him unless she married a man outside that household, and then be subject to him. He would have had to get married, subject to His father’s and family’s wishes, borne children for the provision of His house, all of which would have at least delayed if not derailed His mission. He would not be able to travel as He pleased, much less expected 12 men to gather around Him without suspicion. Later, He would more likely be stoned for heresy than crucified.

We can be confident that the One who created genders knew exactly what He was doing, and didn’t make mistakes as the gender-confused culture today would have us believe. “God created them male and female” (Gen 1:27) and nothing else.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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