new Christ icon: “Neither”… neither male nor female

neither Christ icon drawing by nakedpastor david hayward

This is the third Christ icon I’ve done so far.

My first one was “Includer”.

My second one was “Higher”.

This third one’s called “Neither”, because “in Christ there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28).

You can order a signed fine art print of “Neither” on high-quality art paper with archival inks HERE.

(*** Thanks to a friend who pointed out that the original, with just the male and female signs, could have been trinitarian with this symbol. So I took the drawing back to the table and improved it. I love learning!)

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29 Replies to “new Christ icon: “Neither”… neither male nor female”

  1. Hmmmm. Tough one David. If we believe Jesus was sent to earth as a human, do we take your drawing to imply that this human was either asexual or hermaphroditic? I have no problem with a gender-free God, and I am not taking a stand on any male dominated Biblical stuff. It just seems to me that as a human being Jesus must have had some sort of biological sexual nature. I do not particularly care specifically what this sexuality was, nor do I feel that is affects the message Jesus was sent to proclaim.

    Note that it took special effort to avoid any personal pronouns here!

  2. I agree Dave. There’s no doubt that Jesus was male. Which is why I used the title “Christ”. In Christ there is neither… This is what the image depicts.

  3. @ David:

    That is a Jesus-Sue that even I could almost believe in again.

    @ Dave

    You are right, but it is not tough if we take Jesus as a man and not a god or god-son or angel or any other such story, and thus not “sent” to earth differently than any of the rest of us. For if Jesus was just human, then your concerns disappear. Instead, Jesus is a story people use to inspire their lives — and often to divide, conquer and dominate. So the better David makes the story, the less side effects, perhaps.

  4. @ David:

    Hmmm, the distinction between “Christ” and “Jesus” — wasn’t that decided to be a clear heresy more than a thousand years ago? 🙂

  5. Please step out of the literalist box if you want to appreciate this art.
    David is not trying to say Jesus was hermaphroditic. Jesus fully represented God in all God’s qualities, hence displaying attributes both male and female. That was a radical concept then and now as a patriachal society did not like it’s presumptions challenged. I think I hear that in your comments as well.
    Thank you for stirring this up David!

  6. In considering the idea of an infinite being responsible for all of reality (billions and billions of galaxies…) it seems to me to be very anthropomorphic to not only consider some kind of preferred gender but also a preferred species, planet, galaxy, or epoch. What about species in a far distant galaxy from 3 billion years ago that perhaps look totally different than us and reproduce asexually or sexually with totally different ways to transmit generic information? I view it silly to be all obsessed on a story of God coming to one particular planet at one particular time as one particular gender of one particular species. I think it is just the height of our own conceit to think God is just like us – just bigger and more powerful. I think the people that wrote genesis were conceited in this way and we (as a species) have been conceited in coming up with all the theological add-ons (like the new testament, Koran, book of mormon, etc) to this day.

  7. On a silly note, I’d like to imagine “Christ is neither” as resulting in a Christ who was purple, had one horn, flew, and occasionally ate people (lol).

    Pablo, Paul made the clear remark that all are in Christ, and that distinctions were pointless when we’re all one body. Male/female, Gentile/Jew, Free/Slave – to Christ, none of this mattered. Even eunuchs would have been allowed in since, according to a patriarchal society, they aren’t men, and they aren’t women.

    According to Paul’s words, Christ welcomes all, even those who aren’t distinctly one thing or another.

  8. @Loren
    I simply started with a premise: “If we believe Jesus was sent to earth as a human…” and went from there. You could even read my premise as “suppose Jesus was literally a human being.” Yes, I am being literalist, but I am stating it as a part of the discussion point.

    And please go back and read what I wrote before accusing me of not wanting my “presumptions challenged.” I specifically said “I am not taking a stand on any male dominated Biblical stuff.” What more do you want?

  9. @Dave

    You need to get out more. There are many ways for there to be more than one gender — or no binary gender at all — in a person other than being intersex (the preferred 21st-century word for “hermaphroditic”) or asexual.

    As a trans reader, I really appreciate that the orb is in the form of a symbol widely used by my people. Thank you.

  10. This causes a bunch of feelings for me. Jesus is not only brown (as I always feel s/he/zie should be imaged), but also (I could argue convincingly here I think) is trans*.

  11. Oh. And that is so breathtaking. Because I’ve always had this suspicion that our images of the Divine function to reflect back to humanity who (and what) we value. And even though there is a lot of good feminist (and other) theology out there, trans* folk are not usually represented and, judging by the truly abysmal murder rate (especially for trans women of color), are not valued by secular or religious society. This makes my day…

  12. According to the art historian presenting this video segment about early Chrtistian art, the stern-faced, bearded man bleeding on a cross that is the usual way Christ is represented today, is a creation of the Middle Ages, and is nothing like the way Jesus was portrayed during the first thousand or so years of Christianity. All the earliest representations of Jesus were of a youthful, androgynous-looking person performing miracles and generally making people happy.

  13. I am pretty sure the meaning was clear that in Christ (IE us in Christ) are neither male nor female. I don’t think the statement was remotely intent on removing Christ’s biological sex. As far as gender, Christ confirmed to neither male nor female gender roles that we would have today, because He lived in a time very unlike our own.

    Also this piece while thought provoking is also not neither male nor female, it’s both male and female.

    Not to say that I don’t like it (it’s not really something I’d hang in my bedroom, though I also wouldn’t hang any iconography up there), just saying that I think it’s more inspired by a desire to recognize Christ as belonging to all, rather than a subsection of all. (Though as I say that, I think that Christ does not belong to us, we are called to belong to Him … not that I’m saying that the intent of the image is to own God …)

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