It’s no secret that I’m strongly theistic. I hope that it’s also no secret that I believe that each person must find his or her own way to the Divine, and that what’s right for me is not necessarily what’s authentic to someone else.
So why don’t I like goddess worship? I have nothing against neo-pagans and those who believe that the goddess connects them more authentically to the earth. It’s not wrong any more than any other religion is wrong. It’s wrong for me, though.
Here’s the thing. Goddess worship presumes a gender. That’s my beef. I’ve heard people give their rationale for goddess worship as giving equal time to the feminine, or recognizing the feminine, or rebelling against male-dominated Christianity or Judaism. However, the God of the Bible is neither male nor female. I don’t like the idea of tenderizing God one or or another. I don’t want God to be female, nor do I want God to be male.
Throughout Hebrew and Christian scriptures, God is portrayed in both feminine and masculine characteristics. As a father. As a nursing mother. As a king. As knowledge. As creator. Protector. Lamenter. Lover. God is too big to be contained.
In Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, there are ten manifestations of God, and the one that is immanent, the one that dwells within us and is all around us, the Shekinah is feminine.
So it’s not that I think God is male, it’s that I don’t. I don’t think God is male, and by stating that the Divine is female, it has the same effect. I don’t want a male god and a female goddess. I don’t want a god and a consort. The God I believe in is beyond my complete understanding. How can I genderize that?
I am apophatic about God. That means that I believe we can’t define what God is. We can only say what God is not. Now, there are those who are very strictly apophatic. They would even say that we can’t say God loves, we can only say God doesn’t hate. I’m not that strict. I think we can know that God loves by God’s actions in the world. I think we can know that God has compassion by God’s acts of compassion. But we can’t know fully God’s compassion or love. We haven’t the capacity. And we don’t know enough to define God.
So all I can say is that God is not female. And God is not male. But if God created humanity in God’s image (and male and female God created them both), then both male and female are needed to complete the picture. There was no man, after all, until there was woman. There was only the earth creature (Adam). Man, ish, did not exist until there was woman. Then the earth creature became both man and woman.
So worship how you will. Worship what you will. Do it authentically. But please don’t tell me that my God is a man. My God is not a man. And even if you want to say that Jesus is God, that’s Jesus who was fully human and fully divine. Jesus, who was formed in the womb of a woman, therefore that womb must also be divine. And the Holy Spirit is feminine. So we still have God who is male and female and neither male nor female.
Where was I? Yes. Don’t tell me that my God is a man. My God is God. Singular in every sense of the word. May you always go with God. However you understand God to be.
That’s my mite. It’s all I’ve got.