Why do we speak of God in masculine terms?

Here is a good, quick overview of this important topic. In today’s politically correct, everything-is-ok-except-true-chritianity-world in which we live, this is a real hot topic. The author, Jason Carlson, is the son of the late, Dr. Ron Carlson.

Why do we speak of God in masculine terms?
  • The Bible teaches that God is spirit (John 4:24). Thus, He is not male or female in a physical sense. However, that doesn’t mean we should think of God in gender neutral terms.
  • The Bible, inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), always refers to God using masculine pronouns (i.e. He, Him, His); and the imagery it uses in reference to God is also predominantly masculine (e.g. King, Father, Priest, Husband).
  • Jesus, the “Son” of God, taught us that God is our Heavenly “Father” (Matthew 6:9; Luke 10:22; John 17:1-5). Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” (John 15:26). Thus, in the Trinitarian Godhead masculine imagery is intrinsic to God’s being.
  • The Church is referred to as the “bride” of Christ (Revelation 19:7-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; 2 Corinthians 11:2). The marriage relationship is always viewed in Scripture as the union of a woman to a man (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6).
  • While God most consistently reveals Himself to us in masculine terms, we must also remember that both men and women are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Thus, it is no surprise the Bible also occasionally uses feminine imagery in conveying God’s nature (Isaiah 49:15; 66:13; Matthew 23:27).
  • So, why do we speak of God in masculine terms? Because this is how God has revealed Himself. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God existing eternally in three persons. One God who loves us with an unfathomable, unstoppable, unbreakable, and unconditional love (John 3:16; Romans 8:35-39; 1 John 4:7-10). 

For more information on the nature and character of God please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, “What Is God Like?” available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.



Are Christians Commanded to Change the Culture?

Are Christians Commanded to Change the Culture?

by Ken Ham on October 7, 2014

The United States Supreme Court and gay “marriage” are in the news again. News media reported on the latest “non-ruling” by the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away appeals from five states looking to prohibit gay marriage, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in those states and likely others—but also leaving the issue unresolved nationally.

The justices rejected appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The court’s order immediately ends delays on gay marriage in those states.1

By doing this, the Supreme Court Justices have really effectively endorsed gay marriage by allowing the rulings in favor of gay marriage in the lower courts to stand in those jurisdictions.

Standing By Our Convictions

Over the years, Christians have spent millions of dollars trying to change the culture in regard to the abortion issue and the current very high profile gay marriage debate—but this hasn’t really worked! The culture continues to become more secularized every day.

Christians do need to publicly stand on the authority of God’s Word and judge such moral issues accordingly—and be prepared to publicly and unashamedly, but with boldness and gentleness, proclaim the truth that God reveals in His Word. God’s Word clearly teaches that marriage has its origin in the creation account in Genesis, and thus is one man for one woman (Matthew 19:4–7). God’s Word also teaches that humans are made in the image of God; therefore, abortion is the deliberate taking of a human life. Around 55 million children have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs in the US since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade.

Also, just because Christians believe and obey God’s Word, teaching against gay marriage and abortion doesn’t mean they are intolerant of people who disobey God’s Word. Christians have every right to stand by their convictions in regard to all moral issues—stealing, murder, marriage, adultery, fornication, and so on.

Changing the Culture by the Gospel

What should our response as Christians be?

The Lord Jesus Christ gives God’s people two commands:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19–20)

WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE GOSPEL CHANGES PEOPLE—CHANGES THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS. AND IT’S HEARTS AND MINDS THAT CHANGE A CULTURE.

We need to understand that the gospel changes people—changes their hearts and minds. And it’s hearts and minds that change a culture.

In Proverbs 23:7 we learn, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

We are also told that, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:13–14).

Christians are to be salt and light, influencing the culture for good as they reflect the Lord Jesus Christ in everything they do.

Secularists understand that if they can capture people’s hearts and minds by instilling in them the foundation that man’s opinion determines what is true and what is right, then such people will build a secular worldview. Secularists do not just believe that people have a right to believe what they choose, but rather that there are no absolute standards of right and truth. They believe that right and truth are matters of opinion. And they argue that when Bible-believers insist that there is an absolute standard that comes to us from an authority higher than man, from God the Creator of all, those who stand in opposition to God’s standards are somehow being persecuted or having their rights violated. (See “Gay Marriage as a Civil Right—Are Wrongs Rights?” for more about this.)

Practicing a Christian Worldview

Let me explain it this way.

Many of the founding fathers of America were Christians (or people who had a high respect for the Bible) and built their thinking on God’s Word. Thus, they had a very Christianized worldview. Because the majority in previous generations accepted this worldview, then the culture reflected this as, for instance, most regarded marriage as between one man and one woman—and that abortion was wrong. When such people were in positions of authority (e.g., government, courts, and so on), then they judged and voted about such moral issues in accord with this worldview. So collectively, the worldview of people was reflected in the culture. People were by and large salt that affected the nation (even many non-Christians inconsistently held to a Christian worldview and thus helped influence the culture).

But God’s Word warns that if salt becomes contaminated, it is no longer good for anything.

PEOPLE HAVE MORE OF A SECULAR WORLDVIEW THAT IS PERMEATING THE CULTURE.

Over the years, the secularists have cleverly indoctrinated generations, even from the church, to by and large abandon God’s Word as the absolute authority and make man the authority (the very temptation the devil gave to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, “you will become like God.”). The “salt” of God’s Word that was once prevalent in the nation has been contaminated. Now collectively, people have more of a secular worldview that is permeating the culture. Thus, when such people get into government and the courts, they vote on moral issues in accord with their worldview, believing that man really is the authority on such matters.

Yet the Bible’s book of Judges illustrates the horrible mess that develops when, instead of following God, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Isaiah 5:20–21 also warns of the harm that comes to people and nations as a result of this attitude, substituting man’s anything-goes opinion for God’s stand on what is and is not acceptable, saying, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” The Supreme Court has not helped the people of this country or its stand, or rather their lack of a stand, on this important issue.

Who Is the Authority?

The point I’m making is this.

The Christian response to what is happening in regard to the gay marriage debate (and abortion and other moral issues) should be to stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word, preach the gospel, make disciples, and teach them to obey the commands of Jesus Christ. And this needs to start in the church, beginning with calling the church back to God’s Word beginning in Genesis. The rampant compromise on Genesis with man’s religion of evolution and millions of years has been a major factor used to change generations’ hearts and minds concerning who is the authority—God or man!

JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS, NOT TO CONDONE THEIR SINS.

It is not our mission to hate or mistreat any people, but we must take a stand on the absolute truth that sin is still sin even if the law endorses it. Jesus Christ came into the world to save people from their sins, not to condone their sins.

I do believe that ministries like Answers in Genesis are at the cutting edge of this battle to help bring about a very needed reformation in our churches—to call the church back to the absolute authority of the Word of God.

We want to see revival in the nation—but I believe we need a new reformation first. It’s only when more and more people trust in Christ for salvation and build their thinking on God’s Word as they should, that the salt and light will affect the nation for good as it should. The culture changes as people’s hearts and minds are changed! How we need people to turn their hearts to God and His Word!

We also need to pray for the Supreme Court Justices. Can you imagine standing before the Lord one day and bragging before the holy, infinite Creator God of the Universe that you helped destroy the doctrine of marriage and allowed the murder of millions of children?

I do have a very clear message for President Obama and the Supreme Court Justices: “You did not invent marriage—God did!”

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6)

Footnotes

    1. “Supreme Court Paves Way for Gay Marriage in Several States, Leaves Issue Unresolved Nationally,” Fox News, October 6, 2014, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/06/supreme-court-denies-gay-marriage-appeals/.
Original article appears here.