In Western (Judeo-Christian) culture, God and marriage are intertwined. How a person understands one affects how he or she understands the other.
In traditional Judeo-Christian theology, the meaning of marriage flows from the meaning of masculinity and femininity which, in turn, flow from the nature of the God who created men and women in His image.
Alternative meanings are possible. Positive and negative experiences can color perceptions of marriage which can, in turn, shape different theologies of God.
Negative experiences can produce …
- views on marriage that reflect distorted relationships inherited from the Fall, and
- a god who is made to fit the image of fallen humanity.
“Goddess Theology” is a great example.
Goddess Theology offers an alternative to traditional Judeo-Christian theology that reflects …
- continuing alienation between male and female and
- an unresolved estrangement between mankind and the Judeo-Christian God.
According to Goddess Theology, the entire history of religion is one long gender struggle between …
1. a positive,
- matriarchal, and
- ecologically correct society based on worship of an explicitly female “goddess”
2. a usurping,
- patriarchal, and
- earth-destroying society based on a “male” god as exemplified in the Bible.
Goddess Theology is all-encompassing, touching every field of study from history and anthropology to the hard sciences. It is most successful in fields where ideologies tend to outweigh facts.
Although mainline denominations are most affected by Goddess Theology, many conservative groups have members who can no longer read scripture without filtering it through unconsciously-absorbed notions of Goddess Theology. Many, for example, don’t see anything wrong with “re-imagining” God in terms of trendy female imagery.
But “God-language” is so loaded with metaphysical subtleties that seemingly innocent revisions produce profound, unexpected, and undesirable changes in the substance of Christian faith. God as Father (vice Mother), for example, is a key idea in Jewish-Christian monotheism because it discourages the kind of divinization of the cosmos and humanity so promient in Goddess Theology. In Genesis, God creates the cosmos from outside Himself, not from within as in Goddess Theology. Thus the biblical practice of addressing God as “Father” has less to do with the sex of God than with his relationship to the creation. When God is Father, the result is a creation that is good, but not divine. It means that humanity can be made in the image of God without also being ”godstuff.”
The Judeo-Christian God is not “Mother, but “Father” because He stands outside the creation as King, Lord, Judge, Adoptive Parent, and Warrior who arises to defend the cause of the “fatherless.” His love is demanding and ultimately conditional. None of these relationships is commonly associated with the image of “mother”– nor should they be.