"Our father who art in Heaven" is not apparently the big daddy of the universe he's been made out to be. According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, God is gender neutral.
The father, the son, and the holy ghost doesn't exactly have the same ring to it as the gender-neutral divinity, the son, and the holy ghost, but the Most Rev. Justin Welby has warned that the human language is inadequate to describe the Christian deity and has stressed that things have got to change.
The Daily Mail reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury told an audience at St Martin-in-the Fields in Trafalgar Square that no gender would serve as adequate to describe God because he is not male in the human sense.
The archbishop is not alone in his views. Other church leaders believe it's high time we stopped referring to God as a "he."
Gender neutral campaigners have begun referring to God as "her" and have highlighted passages in the Bible where God offers solace "as a mother comforts her child."
The archbishop claimed, "All human language about God is inadequate and to some degree metaphorical.
"God is not a father in exactly the same way as a human being is a father. God is not male or female. God is not definable.Christian history professor Diarmaid MacCulloch told The Times that such seemingly concrete sentiments about's God's gender have in the past been dictated to by patriarchal assumptions.
"It is extraordinarily important as Christians that we remember that the definitive revelation of who God is was not in words, but in the word of God who we call Jesus Christ. We can't pin God down."
MacCulloch stresses that the conventional image of God is both unthinking and uncritical and was a product of early Christianity.
The professor explained, "The reason God has been seen as male is simply the patriarchal assumptions of those societies... They reached for male terms as the people with power in that Greco-Roman world were male, so we use words like lord and king but God is beyond such things."
"The world is now different and we have to show that our view of God is wider than that and not get stuck with archaic terms."
A survey of British Christians revealed that 41 percent of them agreed that God does not have a human gender.
The official line of the Church of England is that God is "without body parts or passions." Meanwhile, the Catholic Church officially states "God is neither man nor woman. He is God."