Note: This is a repost from http://ballymennoniteblogger.blogspot.com/
One of the ideas behind confessions of faith and creeds and the like is to attempt to answer questions being asked by people of the current culture and society as relates to matters of faith and the practice thereof. So, in these posts I make about the articles of the Mennonite Confession of Faith I’m going to attempt to address them in how well they answer the questions of our current society and culture. And, honestly, I do so with great humility. I am by no means an expert in sociology or culture, nor am I a pillar when it comes to theological discussion. But I am someone who struggles at times with belief and faith and what it means. Perhaps we need more people like that talking about theology than people who study in the ivory towers.
So, with great trepidation, here I go.
The first article of the Confession of faith is simply titled “God”. I think this is an important factor. Any religion you pick has some sort of concept of a supreme deity or deities. Even those that are devout atheists (those who adamantly deny the possibility of any existence of such a being) have something to say about supreme beings, albeit in the negative. And yes, I consider atheism to be a religion in the purest sense of the word. So, it is important for a confession of faith to start with a defining statement about that ultimate question: Is there a God?
Note that the article in the confession answers that question in the positive. The Mennonite Church part of the body of Christ definitely believes that there IS a God. We must establish that first. There is a God and He has made Himself known. Now, note that I am using the male pronoun. Considering some words from one of my sisters in the church (Hi, KrisAnne!), I use this pronoun, not out of saying that men are superior or that God Himself has a gender. However, the traditional form of addressing one aspect of God is as “Father” or “Son”, both being male indicators. Rather than muddy the waters with some sort of strange way of addressing God, making up pronouns or words (like “godself”), I’ll bow to tradition simply because the English language is insufficient to truly describe God in those sort of terms. However, as I said, God has no specific gender and even is described in very feminine ways in various scriptural passages. Humans, male and female, were made in the image of God in that both human genders display the characteristics of God. So, we can not say God is male or female, but is God.