This is the fourth post in a series on the Creed.
What does the word “father” mean for you? For many it is a good word, conjuring up positive emotions and concepts. For some it is not.
I am not suggesting abandoning the historic usage. But for those who find “father” a negative image, one can translate that image internally.
For some people, such reworking immediately receives cries of heresy! Modalism!
Let’s just switch to Te Reo Maori:
E whakapono ana ahau ki te Atua, ki te Matua Kaha rawa,…
“Father” becomes “Matua”. Literally “Parent”. For some people, however, the word “parent” also will not convey the positive that is intended in the Creed.
So what is intended in the Creed? Would “friend” be an image that might replace “father”?
I think that “friend” holds many of the positives, but there are some things I think that are involved in the concept “father” that are not maintained in “friend” and need to be maintained.
So what does the metaphor “father” include? God is personal. At least personal (in fact, beyond the metaphor, God is more than personal). One with whom we can have a relationship.
God is source. Source of all. creator of heaven and earth. Ko ia te Kai-hanga o te rangi, o te whenua
God loves us.
There are some things I think that the word “father” can confuse.
God is not a male. The First Person of the Trinity is not a male. God is not a man.
What does the word “father” lead you to image?
What word might you use instead?
What points and images do you see as needing to be preserved from the word “father”?
What points and images do you see the word “father” confusing?
- I believe in apostolic church
- He descended to the dead
- Call no man “Father”
- Apostles’ Creed
- Our Father (part 3)