I had the blessed privilege of officiating a church member's funeral this past Friday afternoon. I worked alongside of a Methodist minister from the deceased's past. In my experience, I have always been a bit leery of preaching funerals with men whom I have never met. It always proves to be an interesting experience.
Not the first time it has happened to me, but the minister made a pointedly unorthodox statement in the course of his message. He said, "God is neither male nor female; He is simply Spirit." The statement quite literally came out of nowhere, with very little context. Talking about the comfort of God, appropriate at a funeral service, he went from there to make that statement, and the only additional explanation was that "God is just as much a mother as He is Father."
I would hazard to say it is something he must believe, else he would not have made the statement. Perhaps he felt comfortable making such a statement at a funeral, when people tend to have their guards down. I don't know. I had considered talking with each of the folks who are members of the church I serve to correct his statement, but then with funerals, people tend to have short memories anyway.