One of the problems with Christianity is no one can tell us, or will be able to tell us, what the god/Christ/spirit will look like when it returns. Thus, we can’t be certain there will be much agreement on whether or not it has returned. Now, we are realizing “he” might be a “she”.
Methodists are surveying membership and clergy for a second time on what gender they use when they talk to or refer to the deity. Apparently, there is a lot of support for a more gender neutral deity.
I was trying to remember when the idea first was raised that the god figure might be female. Perhaps I first read it in Ms. Magazine in the 1970′s. Now, there are Bibles which tone down the male assumption and ceremonial changes with the same goal in mind.
While the schism brought about by gays in the ranks of clergy has been big, my own theory is the gender issue eventually will surpass it in controversy. There is no Biblical basis for referring to the god as male except the preferences of the unknown ancient writers. Domination in some branches of Christianity by males can be attributed to nothing except power.
While Methodists have lagged behind mainline denominations in gay acceptance, they have move more quickly to approving gender nueteral hymes and other ceremonial language. Good for Methodists.
If it wants to remain relevant, the Christian religion in general needs to ramp up its identification with modern social values.