To stand, we must put on the full armor of God that we may stand when the enemy comes against us
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
–2 Corinthians 10:4
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts.
Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Y’all, The Lord, our God is neither Male or Female, God just IS!
In experiencing Jesus, we are aware that He was ‘Male’, hence The Son of God. It would kind of be inappropriate to say “Jesus reflected the beauty of God!” Inappropriate, but correct.
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will behold a far-distant land.
Now God’s feet are beautiful?
How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
Christianity has been guilty of a patriarchal history that has been oppressive of women. Our conception of God as masculine, e.g. God as Father or King, certainly contributes to our slide into patriarchy. Although written in patriarchal contexts, the Bible itself does not refer to God exclusively in masculine metaphors. There are, albeit few, feminine metaphors used to describe God in the Bible. In this post, I want to highlight the maternal or motherly metaphors used.
In my ‘sharing’, I gave room to a ‘male’ run concept of God. I am careful to cease calling God “Father” or even “Mother”, I have had many discussions about a ‘Female’ God. As stated, God is neither Male or Female! God is God!
“Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God’s answer? Not Father, Not Mother! “I am, that I am.”
Jesus in teaching prayer: Our Father Who art in Heaven… The Lord’s prayer. In going back in God’s Story, we will see that in the original translations, it read The Eternal being in Heaven, in many Cases “Mother/Father” remember “In God’s image we are Created.” Both Female and Male.
“This, then, is how you should pray:” ~Jesus, Matt 6:9
It has always been of great interest as to the many different interpretations of the various aspects of what is offered as foundational information about Jesus the Nazarene, what he said and taught, and how translations over the centuries have changed dramatically sometimes even altering the original meaning of a particular text.
The Aramaic Language has (like the Hebrew and Arabic) different levels of meaning. The words are organized and defined by a poetical system where different meanings of every word are possible. So, every line of the Lords Prayer could be translated into English in many different versions. As an example of how the intent of a passage can be changed, here are some translations of the Lord’s Prayer directly translated from the ancient Aramaic language into modern English.
The Prayer To Our Father
(translated into first century Aramaic)
“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).
Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l’ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)
Translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz in Prayers of the Cosmos
O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to each other.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
Translation by G.J.R. Ouseley from The Gospel of the Holy Twelve
Our Father-Mother Who art above and within:
Hallowed be Thy Name in twofold Trinity.
In Wisdom, Love and Equity Thy Kingdom come to all.
Thy will be done, As in Heaven so in Earth.
Give us day by day to partake of Thy holy Bread, and the fruit of the living Vine.
As Thou dost forgive us our trespasses, so may we forgive others who trespass against us.
Shew upon us Thy goodness, that to others we may shew the same.
In the hour of temptation, deliver us from evil.
These show that it has been a Male run society, thus what we presently seen as norm. The Lord’s prayer never was originally (and even at present, called “The our Father”.)
This made me go research “Call no Man Father.” First, I asked myself; “Is it Creator”? Or “Source”?
“And call no man your father upon the Earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.”
Matthew 23:9 King James Version (KJV)
In Matthew 23:9, Jesus emphasizes the primary role of Our Heavenly Father. He created us in His image and likeness (cf. Gen. 1:26-28). He made us His children through Baptism in the death and Resurrection of His Son (cf. Rom. 5:12-21; 6:3-4; 8:12-17). Because God created us in His image and likeness, we share in the attributes of God. Insofar as men share in the attributes of the Father, they participate in the one fatherhood of God.
In Matthew 23:9 Jesus says, “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” Many people interpret this to mean, “Do not call a priest “father,” and do not call your dad “father.” Some who hold this opinion go further and believe that calling a priest “father” violates Scripture because it seemingly involves the rejection of a direct command from Jesus. This is a common objection to the Catholic Church. But, if we believe the conclusion that it is wrong to call others “father,” then what are we to make of the Scriptures that contradict this one? For example, in Mark 7:9-13, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and scribes for not honoring their “fathers.” Furthermore, calling the apostles and their successors “father” was common within the early Christian communities (cf. 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Jn. 2:12; Acts 7:2; 22:1). As in the case of all scriptural interpretations, we must understand this passage in light of the rest of Scripture (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20; 3:16). This interpretative principle is called the analogy of faith (Catechism, no. 114).
Honor thy Father
In Deuteronomy 5:16, God commands, “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” God made this command after telling us to honor Him. With this in mind, it seems reasonable to conclude that God Himself considers others to be “fathers.” Jesus upholds this commandment in Mark 7:9-13. In this passage, He berates the scribes and Pharisees who used traditions to rationalize not providing assistance to their fathers. Similarly, in Matthew 19:16-19, Jesus includes honoring one’s human father as a prerequisite to attaining eternal life. A father is one who begets children. Biologically, to beget means to give the seed from which a child is conceived. A man begets and a woman conceives. In the act of begetting, the man shares in the attributes of God’s fatherhood by participating in the creation of this new life. In turn, God is the author of life who actively creates a soul and infuses it into the child at the moment of conception. It is important to remember that a child does not choose its biological father. The father gives the child life. Just as God gives life to all men, and so deserves our honor and reverence, so a child owes its life to its father, and the father deserves honor from the child. There is a spiritual sense to fatherhood as well. In John 8, Jesus identifies spiritual fatherhood in terms of whom one honors. If we honor the father of lies, the devil is our father; if we honor God, He is our Father (vv. 44-49). Thus, Jesus calls the devil a father of some, and He calls God the Father of others. Those alive in Christ owe their new life to God. But those who are in bondage to sin owe their enslaved existence to Satan. In light of this passage, we can best understand what Jesus meant in Matthew 23:9.
Text and context
Matthew 23:9 is part of a larger passage in which Jesus comments on the example of the scribes and Pharisees. St. Matthew devotes the entire chapter to this discourse. While reading the entire chapter is most helpful in understanding this passage, the first 12 verses provide adequate context to begin the discussion:
Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. In the remainder of the chapter, Jesus expresses disgust with the many hypocrisies of the scribes and Pharisees. He ends by giving a lament over Jerusalem for killing the prophets and ignoring the Word of God. While there are many things that can be gleaned from this passage, we can see that Jesus does four things here: (1) He identifies two authorities; (2) He explains the proper response to authority in general; (3) He condemns acts of pride and selfishness committed by those in authority; and (4) in doing all these things, He is preparing the crowd for the New Covenant ratified in His blood.
I took you from the ends of the Earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10 New International Version (NIV)