God as Non Gendered? Holy Spirit, Maid of Heaven?

Oct 2019
2
Manitoba
I occasionally struggle with how to refer to God in a non gendered way. I sometimes think of God in male terms, as He, coming from a Christian background but sometimes I feel that it’s appropriate to speak of God in non gendered terms but I don’t like that there are so few pronouns available. They seems wrong as it doesn’t appropriately acknowledge the oneness of God. Thoughts? Or maybe it is appropriate to speak of the Holy Spirit as gendered? Didn’t Bahá’u’lláh speak of the Holy Spirit as the Maid of Heaven?
 
Sep 2010
4,589
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
I occasionally struggle with how to refer to God in a non gendered way. I sometimes think of God in male terms, as He, coming from a Christian background but sometimes I feel that it’s appropriate to speak of God in non gendered terms but I don’t like that there are so few pronouns available. They seems wrong as it doesn’t appropriately acknowledge the oneness of God. Thoughts? Or maybe it is appropriate to speak of the Holy Spirit as gendered? Didn’t Bahá’u’lláh speak of the Holy Spirit as the Maid of Heaven?
How we each see this, is our journey in life.

God is indeed above any concept we can have, all praise reverts to our knowledge of God's Messengers. From what I have read, the spiritual world has no gender.

All the best, Regards Tony
 
Jun 2014
1,096
Wisconsin
Well, linguistically speaking, in the English language, when it comes to gendered terms, the masculine is often also seen as the gender neutral term. For example the word "women" always refers to a group of all-females, but the word "men" applies to groups of all males and mixed males and females. So "He" could, in my opinion, be seen as a formal gender neutral pronoun. It is certainly a better term than "it" (which typically applies to nonliving things) and "they" which could be misunderstood as a denial of God's singularity.

But if we want to get really technical in religious teachings, "He" is an inaccurate term for God. So is "She". And so is "It". And so is "They". And, heck, so is "God". In Seven Valleys we read that "Absolute unity excludeth all attributes", and other texts tell us that the attributes of God exist outside of God since God Himself has no attributes, being infinite. Which ultimately means that EVERY WORD is an inaccurate and insufficient term to describe God. Which means that every single pronoun is EQUALLY INSUFFICIENT when it comes to God :p , and so any term you choose to use should be fine. No word can describe God, so we simply have to make due with what we have. It reminds me of the Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu who wrote "For lack of a better term, I call it 'great.'" You wont find a word that can accurately describe God, and the gender of the term isn't even the whole of the problem, so I wouldn't stress about it too much.
 
Dec 2012
204
Earth
Greetings Reedemer,

Welcome to the forum. I hope that you are enjoying your online exploration into the Bahá'í Faith.

In the Bahá'í Faith the friends are entitled to view Bahá'u'lláh as being a Manifestation of God or God Himself. Both views are considered acceptable. In the western world the former tends to be the focus, but if you think about the later, it might help you to see how the name of Bahá'u'lláh is God too. Indeed the greatest name for God is actually "Bahá" in Arabic. This translates to All-Glorious in English. It is followed by "Alláh-u-Abhá", God is the All-Glorious, "Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá", O Thou Glory of the Most Glorious and then "Bahá'u'lláh", the Glory of God. So as you can see, the strongest names for God do revolve around Bahá'u'lláh Himself.

If you wish to learn more subtle names, then you might find the following link helpful as it lists 331 Names of God

Quite often we refrain from using these names in open forums because they can confuse some readers; especially non-native English readers. But should you choose to use or alternate between the various names, especially if you place the term (God) after them, it might make for some refreshing reading. We all need to learn how to become far more creative in the way that we explore Bahá.

All good things,

Earth
 
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Oct 2019
31
Vrindavan
You have no choice but to think of God in the tradition that God has given you. Most traditions are patriarchal. Our language is similarly bound. God is always greater than any word we use. No matter which word you use, which gender or whatever, God is never limited to these linguistically expressed ways of thinking. We can never do justice to God, that is why negative theology has developed in history, because no word can do justice to God.
 
Oct 2014
1,807
Stockholm
And in this context, it seems pertinent to meditate over the name Ruler of the Kingdom of Names.

gnat
 
Aug 2014
1,397
Blue Planet
maybe you do not need to (or even should not) refer to God Himself. God's substance is forever unknown to us; no one can have the slightest idea of God and He indeed has no gender. Gender is for the created things. But, to refer to God, we are taught, to refer to His Messenger; this is the nearest idea we can have about Him, and well, for our era, God's messenger is a man. So, I think you can talk to Him and it is just the same as referring God.
 
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