The Divine Feminine and Gender Equality

The prophet Isaiah tells us that when the Heavenly Kingdom comes, “the high shall be made low, and the low shall be uplifted” (Isa. 40:4). We can start right now, in our own prayer life and our churches, by lifting up God as our Heavenly Mother.

For thousands of years, the feminine face of God has been hidden behind religious veils. This has been used as justification for patriarchy and exclusion of women.

The Universal Church of the Restoration invites all Christians to commune with the Divine Feminine, to see the face of God in women and girls, and to work for gender equality as a sacred calling.

It all begins with the way we envision our Creator — simple but profoundly important things like the language we use about God and the imagery and attributes we associate with Her. An all-male Deity is missing half the story.

The book of Genesis informs us that Elohim — which in Hebrew means the “Gods” — said “Let Us make humankind in Our image, in Our likeness,” and so They created us “male and female” (Gen. 1:26,27). God, the Creator, is our Heavenly Parents. All human beings are sons and daughters of God.

In the Catholic tradition, Mary the mother of Jesus is honored as the “Holy Mother” and the “Mother of God.” She is believed to have been born without sin and instead of dying ascended to heaven. Catholics believe she intercedes on humans’ behalf, much like the role of Jesus Christ. Whether or not these beliefs are literally true, they reflect the truth of the Divine Feminine emerging within the Christian faith.

The near-deification of Mary alongside Jesus in Catholicism is a recognition of the reality that Divinity is present in both men and women. Some other Christian denominations, most notably the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have also acknowledged the feminine aspect of God. The LDS Church teaches that in addition to our Father in heaven, we also have a “Heavenly Mother.”

Despite these teachings, neither the Catholic Church nor the LDS Church have seen fit to act on the implications of their theology and ordain women to the priesthood.

Some of the more progressive Protestant churches are also beginning to explore the idea that God is both male and female. These churches go farther in living up to the principle by allowing women to participate equally in all aspects of ministry.

Christians in general are still somewhat shy, however, about thinking of God as Goddess — even in the denominations that are relatively more open to the Divine Feminine. Conservative Christians tend to see it as heresy. The world’s second-largest religion, Islam, is even more resistant to the idea, and imposes significant restrictions on women’s rights in countries where the Quran is observed strictly.

How would our relationship with God change if we dare to call Her “She”? How would She change our lives? Our relationships with each other? Our churches? And our world?

It is doubtful that women will ever attain full equality in this world until people fully acknowledge and embrace the female aspect of divinity. People’s views of themselves and their fellow human beings are based in large part on their understanding of God and His or Her relationship with humans.

That is why our church is proud to call God both He and She, and to treat everyone equally regardless of gender. It is time for the next generation of girls to grow up knowing they have not only a Father but also a Mother in heaven, and that as daughters of God they can do anything, play any leadership role, because the Creator of the universe was also a girl.

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