IS GOD THE FATHER?
By Sanusi Olawale Ibn AbdulWasiu
“The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man” is how the 19th century liberal Protestant theologian Adolph Harnack once summarized the Christian faith. But in 21st century, Harnack would find his statement dismissed and obviously opposed as hopelessly sexist and exclusive by many feminist theologians. The “brotherhood of man” might be given a more descent meaning for instance, “the family of humanity” or anything equivalent. But what can one do about the “Fatherhood of God?” Can we replace the allegedly “sexist” language of “Divine Fatherhood” with so-called gender-inclusive or gender-neutral terms such as “Father/Mother or Heavenly Parent” without further ado?
Whenever one uses an imperfect adjective to describe a perfect scenario, there would always be a loophole. This lacuna cause the birth of Queen James Bible which is like a rejoinder to the popular King James Bible. If we could have a King’s Bible, what is wrong with having a Queen’s Bible to balance the equation?
The Fatherhood of God is a term exclusive to Christianity, albeit the old testament of the Bible of the Judaism faith has people called sons of God too but nowhere was God called Father himself. If you have not seen a Christian telling you to your face that you are not saved until you become a child of God, you have not seen anything. Apparently, there can never be a smoke without fire, where did the idea that God is a father come from?
Charles Babbage is still fresh in our memories. He is regarded as the Father of Computer, even when history proved there were inventions that preceded his breakthrough. Babbage in this case being referred to as the “father of computer” does not obviously mean he fathered computer biologically. It means he brought it to known. We also have many other inventors history cannot forget. But does Christianity limits this fatherhood to just being the creator. Is God the father because He created us? There may not be nothing wrong if that is the case, do you agree? However, in Christianity the concept of God as the father of Jesus Christ goes metaphysically further than the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people,
In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the third person, God the Holy Spirit.
Since the 2nd century, Christian creeds included affirmation of belief in “God the Father (Almighty)”, primarily as his capacity as “Father and creator of the universe”.
So when a Christian asks a Muslim, is God the father? What he wants to affirm is if the Muslim agrees God is one of the trinity.
It is quite worrisome that this concept of God being the father other than the Creator is nowhere to be found in the old testament. No Biblical figure of the old testament preached God is the father. Whenever we tell Christians to prove trinity from the old testament, it is either they run to semantics or dictionary, and come back to tell us how we need to encounter Jesus first in order to understand Bible. But how would God leave us to wander in confusion about his personality? Why did He send prophets to us in the first place?
“O People of the Scripture. do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.”
-Quran, surah 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 171
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
Obnoxious as it is, Christians boast the father is merciful. Amazing, isn’t it? Which father will sacrifice his son for the sins of others? Is that a merciful father? is that a just father?
No matter how beautiful they want to paint the fatherhood of God, it can never make any sense. It is either it gets shattered by the feminist, rendered useless by logic or get marched by the authentic Scriptures.