It began way back in early history recorded for us in our own scriptures - an obsession with worshipping a female god.
Manasseh, an extremely evil king, went so far as to make a carved image of Asherah, who was a Semitic mother goddess of Baal, and set it up in Solomon’s temple that was to be holy to the Lord God! (II Kings 21:7)
The people of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians.. (Judges 3:7, I Kings 11:33)
King Solomon, at the end of his life - in spite of his wisdom and experiences with God - built a temple for Ashtoreth, who “was the abomination of the Sidonians”. (II Kings 22:13)
The people of Israel also worshipped the Queen of Heaven . She probably identifies with Ishtar, known in Mesopotamia as a goddess of love and war and the planet Venus. (Jer. 7:18, Jer. 44:17)
We have the history of many cultures who had female gods: Isis, Sophia, Shakti, Aphrodite, Athena - to name a few.
Christianity, of course, has held to the masculine when referring to the God of all Creation and the God of the bible.
Suddenly, there is a rebellion, an aversion, a shift away from an unquestionable 'He' to referring to God in the feminine pronoun.
New bible versions lean to the gender inclusive, hymns are reworded, books like The Shack go to the extreme in portraying God outright as a woman, voices are arguing for the validity of ‘mother’ God.
A justification reason is that God is beyond gender .. therefore is neither male or female, and since there has been an imbalance in the insistence of declaring Him male there is need to now portray him as feminine. Another reason given is that many people have a problem with the father figure in their life and they find it much easier to accept God if they see him more like a mother.
What is it we want ? Do we think that if we can visualize God as a mother , we will fear Him less ? that we can count on a more benevolent god, one more easily moved to compassion and One who will overlook our sinful ways ? One less inclined toward judgement ?
I have never had a problem with God being spoken of as HE - in all references referred to in the masculine. It is the language of the bible and I have never been tempted to wish it to be otherwise.
But with the changing popular trend around me I have been forced to think about it and
have come to a firm conclusion...... There is a very solid reason to not move away from the Father/male image of God.
It came to me the other morning while my husband was praying before breakfast.
When God created man , He created Adam first – then took Eve out from his side.
The woman was created out of man. (Gen 2:23)
Yes, MAN - created in God’s image - is male and female… BUT … the woman was created FROM man… she is therefore ‘a part of man’.
God can never be ‘a part’ or spoken of in terms that indicate 'coming from someone or something ' else !! He must be the whole, the first! Therefore He cannot ever be spoken of in female terms.
He speaks of Himself in the masculine… as the Father -- because that is the only accurate description of who He is and how we are to think of Him!
"A FATHER of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in HIS holy habitation." (Psa 68:5)