by Mary Kassian
This week, Christians around the world will commemorate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It was at a Maundy Thursday service at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, in 1984, that a four-foot bronze statue of Jesus on the cross was unveiled. But to the shock of the congregation, the image of Christ on the cross was, in fact, an image of Christa. It portrayed Christ as a woman, complete with undraped breasts and rounded hips.
Betty Friedan, the main force behind modern day feminism, predicted that the question of the eighties would be: "Is God HE?" The Christa sculpture was the liberal church's response to the question. And although Evangelical Christians have been much slower to consider female gendered God imagery, the recent phenomenon of the multi-million best-seller, "The Shack," indicates that Evangelicals, too, are succumbing to the feminist pressure to image God in feminine ways. It's a scenario that I predicted almost 25 years ago.
If you haven't read it yet, and are amongst the un-Shacked evangelical minority, here's the story in a nutshell. Mack's youngest daughter Missy is kidnapped and murdered in a remote mountain shack by a serial slime, called the Ladybug Killer. Mack goes through a denial-grief-anger-bitterness cycle until he receives a letter in his mailbox from God who tells him to go back to the shack to confront his point of pain and suffering. When Mack gets to the shack he blacks out and awakens to find himself in a cabin complete with a manifestation of the Godhead. But this is no ordinary Godhead.