“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
The inspired precision of Genesis 1:27 reveals the image of God has attributes both male and female. In familiar terms, God possesses both fatherly and motherly sides. The many contrasting and complementary aspects of creation speak to our multifaceted Creator. He called into being things hard and inflexible and spoke into existence things soft and malleable. God created with an array of colors; employing rich, vivid hues and the softest of pastels. He inspires with powerful, exhilarating, majestic music and draws us with tender, heart-touching, meditative melodies. God is wonderfully balanced!
But what of us? I find we often exhibit a propensity for choosing only one side of God to stand as the whole of our God. Because we ignore the harmonizing characteristics of His opposite side, this affords us an incomplete picture, limiting our understanding of all that God is, and leaving us ill-equipped to make Him known through our lives. Both “sides” of God must be embraced.
Some consciously favor the masculine side of God, and so embrace tougher attributes emphasizing truth and justice—even to the exclusion of any traits that might serve to balance these. The feminine is championed by others who embrace God’s tender side and stress solely His mercy and compassion. But do we not desperately need all that He is? Truly, as there are times when we need the strength of our Heavenly Father, there are instances when we yearn for the motherly comfort of God.
In music, some will have none but the glorious—favoring only majestic and celebrative works. For any such individuals, heart-touching music and its sweet, meditative sounds serve no purpose except to fuel arguments made against “emotional music.” Yet God made the emotions, and He made music to affect the emotions. What is music without an emotional response? Those bolder sounds of glorious pieces are emotional too. Whereas heart-thrilling music produces shouts of praise, heart-touching music produces tears of praise. Do we not need both? Still, the claim often made is that sweet-sounding music is merely “soulish.” But no. Whether bold and heart-thrilling or soft and heart-touching, all emotions are of the soul, and regardless of the regal or reflective form of expression, emotions of both types can be blessed of the Spirit. It is the stirring without the Spirit that makes emotions of any type to be soulish.
In everything we need the balance of God. Truth is vital. So is grace. It’s never one or the other. It’s both that we need and must embrace. Grace does not mean everything is a free-for-all, as if we have the privilege of ignoring whatever truth we choose. And truth does not give any the liberty to ignore the truth of grace and its impact on how we view and treat others.
We need a complete God and we need the completeness of God manifested through us to others. Your God—is He complete or incomplete?
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.
WHERE DO YOU STAND ON SOUTHERN GOSPLE MUSIC?BEFORE YOU PASS JUDGEMENT,LISTEN TO THE GOSPLE GREATS WITH PAUL HEIL &/OR MEET AND ASK QUESTIONS TO KENNA TURNER WEST,DIANNE WILKINSON,LEE BLACK,AND OTHERS.CHECK OUT THE LYRICS OF “CHAMPION OF LOVE”-CATHEDRALS,MARK BISHOP-“CAN I PRAY FOR YOU”,ETC.I COULD LIST OTHERS,BUT @ LEAST DO NOT THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER.THERE ARE SOME THAT YOU WOULD LIKE AND NOT LIKE.BE DISCERNING,NOT DEVISIVE.MOST INDEPENDENT BAPTISTS ARE,YOU KNOW.
That’s my point. There is more than one kind of legitimate music.
Thank you for the article, I can see what you are trying to say. Yes God is complete and I think it is important to study all of his attributes to get a complete and balanced view of him. But I think we limit God when we try and compare his attributes. God said to Moses : “I AM WHO I AM ” His personality and power are owing solely to himself and to no other. In other words, nobody gave him a set of genes and no power brought him into existence or shaped his personality and he has… Read more »