As it says in scripture: Anyone who is upright through faith will live. The retribution of God from heaven is being revealed against the ungodliness and injustice of human beings who in their injustice hold back the truth. For what can be known about God is perfectly plain to them, since God has made it plain to them: ever since the creation of the world, the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind’s understanding of created things. And so these people have no excuse.
They knew God and yet they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but their arguments became futile and their uncomprehending minds were darkened. While they claimed to be wise, in fact they were growing so stupid that they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation, for the image of a mortal human being, or of birds, or animals, or crawling things. That is why God abandoned them in their inmost cravings to filthy practices of dishonoring their own bodies – because they exchanged God’s truth for a lie and have worshiped and served the creature instead of the Creator who is blessed for ever. Amen.
That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices; and the men, in a similar fashion, too, giving up normal relations with women, are consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameful things with men and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion. In other words, since they would not consent to acknowledge God, God abandoned them to their unacceptable thoughts and indecent behavior. And so now they are steeped in all sorts of injustice, rottenness, greed and malice; full of envy, murder, wrangling, treachery and spite, libelers, slanderers, enemies of God, rude, arrogant and boastful, enterprising in evil, rebellious to parents, without brains, honor, love or pity. They are well aware of God’s ordinance: that those who behave like this deserve to die – yet they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same” (Rom 1:17-32).
Do you not realize that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake – the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites, thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you used to be of that kind: but you have been washed clean, you have been sanctified and you have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God. ‘For me everything is permissible;’ maybe, but not everything does good. True, for me everything is permissible, but I am determined not to be dominated by anything.
Foods are for the stomach and the stomach is for foods; and God will destroy them both. But the body is not for sexual immorality; it is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord and He will raise us up too by His power. Do you not realise that your bodies are members of Christ’s body? Do you think one can take parts of Christ’s body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Out of the question! Or do you not realise that anyone who attaches himself to a prostitute is one body with her, since the two, as it is said, become one flesh. But anyone who attaches himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Keep away from sexual immorality. All other sins that people may commit are done outside the body; but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you and whom you received from God? You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God (1 Cor 6:9-20).
The question keeps being repeatedly and insistently asked, “Can Almighty God be a mother?” The answer is that the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Begetter not the Begotten, the first Person of the Holy Trinity is Father, not mother. Numerous instances throughout Scripture, too lengthy to be all cited here, attest to this immutable fact, although He can certainly be as tender as a mother when needed (Is 39:15).
Jesus Christ Himself, the only-begotten Son of the Almighty, called Him “Abba” (Mk 14:36) – Father, and the Lord’s Prayer which He taught us commences with “Our Father, Who art in heaven” (Mt 6:9-13), not “Our mother who art in heaven.” It is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ, who is our Mother by virtue of having been given to us by Her Son when He was dying (Jn 19:26), not God the Almighty Father.
Here are further succint explanations and explications of why God the Almighty Creator, the first Person of the Holy Trinity, is Father and not mother:
- God the first Person is Father, not mother
- God the first Person is Father, not mother – 2
- God the first Person is Father, not mother – 3
- God the first Person is Father, not mother – 4
- We do not know God the first Person unless we confess Him as Father
- The reference point for God’s existence is His Fatherhood, not His essence
- The reference point for God’s existence is His Fatherhood, not His essence – 2
- The reference point for God’s existence is His Fatherhood, not His essence – 3
The Father is greater than I (Jn 14:28)
“The very center of a saving faith is the belief not merely in God, but in God as a Father; not merely in Christ, but in Christ as the Son of God; in Him not as a creature, but as God the Creator, born of God . . . because there is a Father, we know that there is a Son . . . The Father is greater because He is Father (Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity) – The Father has His being from none other than Himself (Anselm of Canterbury, Monologium): but the Son, because He is Son, is not less . . . The Father is greater, for the Son prays to Him to render glory to manhood He has assumed. The Son is not less, for He receives back His glory with the Father . . . [Thus You are] our “Father and Father of God the Only-Begotten . . . [And] those who shall be baptized [will be baptized] in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost . . . [Thus] they have the true Names, and that those Names involve the truth” (Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity).
“We can no more separate fatherhood from the Father or sonship from the Son than we can deny the existence in the Holy Ghost of that gift which we receive. Yet men of distorted mind plunge the whole matter in doubt and difficulty, fatuously reversing the clear meaning of words, and depriving the Father of His fatherhood because they wish to strip the Son of His sonship . . . We must proclaim exactly as we shall find them in the words of Scripture, the majesty and functions of Father, Son and Holy Spirit . . . This is a true statement of the mystery of that unfathomable nature which is expressed by the Name ‘Father’ . . . He has, in ‘Father’ a name to indicate His nature; He is a Father unconditioned. He does not, as men do, receive the power of paternity from an external source. He is unbegotten, everlasting, inherently eternal . . . God can never be anything but love, or anything but the Father . . . [for] He Who is Father, is wholly and entirely Father. This name admits of no compromise . . . [Therefore, restore] the Author of the Godhead to His place, while proclaiming that He has a Companion” (ibid.).
“There never was a time when the Father was and the Son was not, but always the Father and always the Son, Who was begotten of Him, existed together. For He could not have received the name Father apart from the Son: for if He were without the Son, He could not be the Father: and if He thereafter had the Son, thereafter He became the Father, not having been the Father prior to this, and He was changed from that which was not the Father and became the Father . . . [Moreover] He is also the Father of all His creatures, for God, who brought us into being out of nothing, is in a stricter sense our Father than are our parents who have derived both being and begetting from Him” (John of Damascus, De fide orthodoxa).
As some keep asking the same question, whether willfully or out of lack of sufficient knowledge, here is the first repost of some posts on why God the first Person of the Holy Trinity is Father and not mother:
Israel has not known Me and My people have not understood Me (Is 1:3)
It has become common these days, especially among modernists and feminists, to conceive of God the first Person of the Holy Trinity as mother rather than Father, even using the term “She” rather than “He.” However, regardless of who may write it, say it or claim it, such socio-theological revisionism is not based in fact, being therefore an implicit if not explicit distortion of both doctrine and the deposit of Faith, because “the Father therefore establishes the Son in eternity by His integral self-giving, while the Son continually affirms the Father as Father from all eternity by the fact that He both accepts His own coming into existence through the Father and also gives Himself to the Father as Son” (Staniloae, D. 1994. The experience of God: Revelation and knowledge of the Triune God, p. 257).
Jesus Christ specifically referred to God the first Person as Father and even Abba throughout Scripture (e.g., Mt 6:9-13, 11:27, 25:34, 26:39-42; Mk 14:36; Lk 2:49, 10:22, 11:2-4, 22:42, 23:46, 24:49; Jn 12:27, 17:1, 17:6, 17:25, 20:17) – in Aramaic tradition, an intimate name that only a natural son or daughter would use in relation to their father. Christ also referred specifically to the Virgin Mary as Mother whom She really was. Moreover, God the first Person Himself specifically expressed His desire to be known as and called Father by His human creatures, namely “I thought you would call me, ‘my Father’ (Jer 3:19) and as confirmed by the Apostle Paul (Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15, 8:29).
Deification and theology
Theology is theoria – the vision of God (Gregory Palamas).
All truly dogmatic work has a basis in mystical experience . . . all mystical work is connected to the realm of dogma, in that it expresses and exposes the content of the experiences of divine things (Lossky, 1967/1974).
To end, deification turns man into a theologian not because he has studied theology academically and intellectually, but because he attains theoria. At this stage of the spiritual life, man
communes with the angelic powers…approaches the uncreated Light and the depths of God are revealed to him through the Spirit. This man knows many things which are hidden from others, including mysteries that exist in Holy Scripture (N. Stithatos in Vlachos, 2010).
Deification and Theosis
Suddenly the Almighty reveals Himself in boundless humility. The vision floods our entire being and instinctively we bow in adoration…Prayer to this God of love and humility rises from the depths of our being…Brought from nothingness into life, man is drawn by His Creator into the fullness of divine life (Arch. Sophrony, 1997).
Only those found worthy of seeing the uncreated Light are able to gain true knowledge of God (Vlachos, 2010).
When deification occurs, it is not solely the soul which takes part in theoria but also the body, for man sees the divine light and hears the voice of God after both his soul and the physical senses have been transformed by divine grace (Vlachos, 2010). Theoria is defined as seeing the glory of God through union with Him and deification. (more…)
Illumination and Deification
He who enjoys illumination is greater and receives more that he who only tastes, for he has within himself the assurance of his visions (Maximus the Confessor, Hom. 7,5-6, PG 34, col.527).
The Divine One purifies the man who desires Him: by this purification, He creates men of divine character, conversing as with friends with those who have attained this state; and uniting Himself as God with gods, and making Himself known to them perhaps to the same extent that He knows those who are known to Him (Gregory of Nazianzus, Hom, XLV.3, PG XXXVI, 625C-628A).
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Mt 5:8).
Union with God became discontinuous after the fall because man became imperfect. Therefore, man can become deified and attain theoria – start seeing God – only insofar as his nous has first been healed by the trials of purification and reopened by the illumination which occurs through baptism in the Holy Spirit (Vlachos, 2005, 2010). The phrase ‘baptism in the Spirit’ as used herewith refers to it as historically understood throughout Christian tradition (e.g., Kontzevich, 1989). (more…)
Deification versus Salvation
He was made man that we might become god (Athanasius of Alexandria, De Inc, 54.3).
Through Christ, the Word made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature (Paul VI, 1965).
Many, especially in Western Christianity, tend to commingle the terms deification and salvation as though they have the same meaning, but this manifests poor understanding of the two terms as originally meant by the Fathers of the Church. In fact, when the language and context of deification and theosis are replaced with the language and context of salvation, Patristic theology becomes, in effect, displaced by Reformation language (Kharlamov, 2010), with the consequent loss of the original meanings. Salvation is part of deification, but
Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? (Jn 10:34).
He has given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature (2 P 1:4).
Two kinds of deification exist. The first kind refers to the
elevation of man to the highest level of his natural powers, or to the full realization of man…[when] the divine power of grace is active in him…[The second kind refers to the] progress which man makes beyond the limits of his natural powers, beyond the boundaries of his nature, to the divine and supernatural level (D. Staniloae, 2002, p. 363).
For man to pass from the first kind of deification which is well-known, to the second (more…)
What is deification?
Deification is the attaining of likeness to God and union with Him so far as is possible (Dionysus the Aeropagite, EH 1.3, PG 3.376a).
God, you see, wants to make you a god; not by nature, of course, like the One whom He begot but by His gift and by adoption (Augustine of Hippo, Serm. 166.4).
Deification can be defined as “God’s perfect and full penetration of man” (Staniloae, 2002, p. 362). The deification or divinization of man is not “an identification with God; it is only an assimilation, a very eminent restoration of the original divine likeness…[whereby one] participates by grace in the perfections that God possesses by nature . . . (more…)