The Portrayal of God Essay Example
I am writing to you to talk about the portrayal of God in the Abrahamic religions, also know as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. One of my biggest question is why God is always portrayed as this tall, white male with a long white beard. In the text, Judaism describes God as having “no attributes, and therefore cannot belong to a category or beings, divine or otherwise.” However, in every single pop culture or ask anyone belonging to one of these churches today and they will probably define God as male and refer to God as Him. God is described as “indescribable,” which is very hard to comprehend. How can something be indescribable? It’s almost like the concept of Brahman and the self, being everything and nothing at the same time. I think that many concepts throughout religions are difficult to grasp and it is your faith in that certain religion that makes it easier to understand.
I am just confused as to how God can be above human emotion and unable to be described by human words, but always is referenced as a male. His is also described as “not like a physical object”, so can we really assign God a gender then? I feel like these ideas might stem from the gender barriers put in place back when these religions just started gaining a following. Women were seen as inferior to men and would probably explain why they assigned God as male. Gender is just one of the ways God has been described.
Another point brought up in the book is that of our understanding of God to be eternal. Essentially, we cannot say God is eternal, but our faiths affirm us that God is not non-eternal. This is another one of those incomprehensible concepts where you just must let faith take over. I feel like this is one of the major themes across not only these three religions, but also most religions in general. People use their faith to affirm what they do not know. They consider their own personal beliefs when times of trouble and tribulations occur, but also in times of joy and praise.
Some people might believe wholeheartedly that God is eternal, and God is male, and God is many other things, but quite frankly, there is no way to know unless you die and go to Heaven, and even then, you can’t return to Earth and tell everyone about it. There’s nothing wrong with having your individual beliefs and pursuit of religion. I just think there’s no way of being sure.
My understanding of it is one of curiosity. I am open to the idea that God may be male, but God may also be a female. God is also a spiritual being, and how can one assign a gender to a spirit? I just think that no one really has a firm understanding of who or what God is. Religious texts can describe God as being male, “the father”, for example, but that might also just stem from the time period in which the text was written and still facing gender barriers. Religion as a whole is a complex subject and it takes a deep understanding and continued learning of the text and belief system to be able to genuinely wrap your head around it.