Is God Male? And Is That a Problem?

“If God is male, then the male is God.”

I read that quote in a theologian’s answer to the question, “Is God male, cuz, like, aren’t all males jerks?”

OK, that wasn’t the exact wording of the question, but it was the gist.

His unequivocal answer was “No! God is not male.” Male and female are different, mainly biologically. God is not a biological being, so, yes, God is not male. God is God. He has no biological maleness.

Scripture, however, does describe God in male terms. The theologian went on to say that we call God “Father” merely because God needed a title, so He went with Father. This doesn’t imply God is male though, just that He uses male titles.

Mmkay. Here’s where we need to be careful. No, God, who is not a biological creature, is not biologically male. Yes, God is described in vastly overwhelmingly male terms, which has to mean something.

Let’s examine a time when God did show up as a biological creature, when He was born to a woman, became flesh and dwelt among us. Was Jesus “Son” in name only? No, He was biologically a male.

Jesus is God. Jesus was a male. I’ll let you wrap up the conclusion there.

Yes, yes, I know God is also described as a hen who desires to gather her chicks, doesn’t that prove God’s non-maleness?

No, it’s an apt description of God’s desires. God created male and female in His image. First, it’s still HIS image. Second, femaleness, as much as we like to joke about it, is not an alien species. Males will have some female traits about them, just as females will have some maleness about them.

It’s like when my daughter pummels yet another opponent in a tennis match and I say to her, “You the man!” I am not saying she is male, I am saying her ability to destroy other people is a masculine trait worthy of praise in anyone, male or female.

We’re both, male and female, in HIS image, which means we will share some commonalities.

I understand the conflict that people have in describing God as male, or hearing that God is our Father. Many have had creepy, jerk fathers making this description hard to swallow.

I get it and do not want to demean dealing with jerk fathers, of whom there are many. But your father being a jerk does not imply that all males are jerks, nor that God, who is described as a male Father, is a jerk.

Imagine if God were described overwhelmingly in female terms, or that He revealed Himself as “Our Mother in heaven.” Do mothers have some sort of monopoly on goodness? Would there be no humans who would say, “You know, my mother was a real jerk, I struggle with knowing God as my mother.”

Of course there would be. There are just as many creepy mothers as there are creepy fathers.

The statement, “If God is male, then the male is God” is really bad logic. It’s the same as saying, “If apples are fruit, then fruit are apples.” Doesn’t work that way.

God purposely reveals Himself as male. God is never once referred to as “she” or “her” in the Bible. No female pronouns are ever used. A reading of the Bible will clearly show that God reacts in overwhelmingly male ways throughout. If God did all the same stuff, but described himself in female terms, it wouldn’t even read right.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If we have issues with the word of God, if we don’t like what we hear there, this is a problem, and, let me suggest, it’s not the Bible’s problem.

Creating God in our image is dangerous. When we allow our feelings, pain, sorrow and confusion to dictate our understanding of God, we trivialize the revelation of Himself God gave us.

Allow me to suggest that if you have problems with God’s maleness, you probably have problems with males in general. If that is the case, there are some forgiveness issues you should deal with.

Whenever we come across parts of Scripture we have a hard time dealing with–whether that’s God’s maleness, the teachings on divorce, homosexuality being a sin, or any other problematic issue–it’s safe to assume the problem is with us and our understanding, not with God or the Bible.

Resist the urge to deconstruct God and then create God in our own image. He is who He is, whether we believe Him or not.