A Brief Evaluation of “God’s Two Images” of World Mission Society Church of God in Genesis 1:26, 27


A Brief Evaluation of “God’s Two Images” of World Mission Society Church of God in Genesis 1:26, 27

Jaymark John D. Molo

Ahn Sahng-hong, the founder of WMSCG

World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCG or also known as Church of God) is a church that originated in South Korea. The church was established by Ahn Sahng-hong in 1964.[1] Interestingly, this church does not only believe in God the Father but also adheres to God the Mother. Among the verses they frequently use to prove this case can be found in Genesis 1:26, 27. This will be the sole interest of this paper.

God the Mother in Genesis 1:26, 27

This text is pivotal in WMSCG’s belief of God the Mother. They argue that the above verses states that God has “two images”—a male image and female image. Thus, according to them there are two Gods here, one namely God the Father, second namely God the Mother.[2] Their line of reasoning goes like this.

First, they note “the word ‘us’ is a plural term”.[3] Since it is in plural term—it can fairly accommodate the plurality of Gods. This is important to them because they cannot establish their ‘God the Mother’ theology without establishing first the  plurality of Gods.

Second, they argue that the word Elohim can be directly translated as “Gods”.[4] This is again an argument for polytheism.

Thirdly, they will argue that there are only two types of God because there are only two types of people: “men and women.”[5] Therefore, according to them, “the ‘God’s’ mentioned in Genesis 1:26 are the male image of God and female image of God—God the Father and God the Mother.”

A Brief Reply to the Arguments of WMSCG in Genesis 1:26, 27

First, although the plurality of God in Genesis 1:26 does not necessarily argue with the two images of God, it does entertain the plurality of God. But what plurality are we talking here?

WMSCG  fails to recognize the plurality of God refers not to His being, but to His person.[6] If WMSCG will insist plurality of God’s being is true, then it is a clear contradiction with the strict monotheistic tradition of the Bible.[7] There is no simply room for progressive thinking from polytheism to monotheism or monotheism to polytheism. If one will claim that the God the Mother has come in the 21st century believers—she should be subjected under the scrutiny of the Scripture (cf. Isa. 8:20)!

Second, there is merit in the argument of WMSCG that Elohim can be translated as Gods in some cases; however, it can never be applied with Genesis 1:26. The grammatical analysis of the text would reveal that it should still be translated as God (singular). For example, “In the beginning God [plural] created [singular] the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). We can notice that Elohim is used with a verb in the singular form. The same is true about the ten expressions of vayomer Elohim meaning “and God [plural] said [singular]” in the first Creation account. Thus, the translation should be God not gods. This clearly disqualifies the interpretation of WMSCG.

Third, now that we have eliminated the notion of having two Gods in Genesis 1:26, 27; we can logically conclude that two images here cannot be equated as God the Father and God the Mother. One should established first the plurality of Gods as biblically grounded before entertaining the two images of God as male and female.

Meanwhile, the phrase “image of God” is found four times in the OT–Genesis 1:26, 27 and 9:6. In the Pentateuch the Hebrew term “image” occurs also in Genesis 5:3 and in Numbers 33:22. The question is, if we cannot entertain the interpretation of WMSCG as two images, what does the image stands for? The immediate context would suggest that the term “image” likely refers to man as God’s representative (cf. 1:28 and 2:2-3) on earth.

Conclusion

Several reasons have been raised to reject the theology of God the Mother of WMSCG: (1) The failure to recognize the plurality of God refers not to His being, but to His person; (2) The failure to see the grammatical relationship of plural subject to singular verb; (3) The failure to establish the plurality of God as the entrance of two images of God as male and female. May we ask Christ to find the balance of being straight and being gentle as we present this truth to them.

 ________________

[1] http://english.watv.org/mission/worldwide.asp

[2] http://english.watv.org/truth/truth_life/content_mother.asp

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] They could not resort to interpret the plurality of God to persons because one could have difficulty finding the unity between the members of Trinity and God the Mother.

[7] Exo. 8:20; Deut 4:35, 39; 6:4; 32:39, etc.

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