Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dropping gender references to God. . .

It is a surprise that the Church of Sweden has lagged behind the ELCA in the way that God is referenced.  The omission of "Lord" and the changing of "he" to "God" has already been long in place in the ELCA, if not officially it has been longstanding unofficial practice.  Witness the recent Issues, Etc. interview with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.  Her use of "God" where "he" would be the obvious linguistic construct was noticed by some listeners because it sounds weird in the ear.

The truth is that this is the natural progression of the theology to ordain women.  To neuter God from all masculine references is the standard editing practice of feminist theology in which Biblical faithfulness and consistency with the Church's language over time is less important than reflecting the politically correct understanding of masculine and feminine.  What is also remarkable is that there are those within the Church of Sweden who still object, since the decision to ordain women was first taken at the insistence of the government (while still a state church) in 1958.
The Church of Sweden is urging its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to the supreme deity, refraining from using terms like "Lord" and "He" in favor of the less specific "God."  The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.

"The decision was taken Thursday at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body. Jackelen told Sweden's TT news agency a more inclusive language had already been discussed at the 1986 conference and will go into effect May 20, 2018.

"We talk about Jesus Christ, but in a few places we have changed it to say 'God' instead of 'he'," Church of Sweden spokesperson Sofija Pedersen Videke told The Telegraph. "We have some prayer options that are more gender-neutral than others."  "A wide majority of people decided on the book," she said, adding that she had heard of no priests who objected to the new linguistic framework.

The Church of Sweden is headed by Archbishop Antje Jackelen, who was elected Sweden's first female archbishop in 2013.  "Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human," Jackelen was quoted as saying by TT.

The change was met with criticism, however. Christer Pahlmblad, an associate theology professor with Sweden's Lund University, told Denmark's Kristeligt Dagblad that the move was "undermining the doctrine of the Trinity and the community with the other Christian churches.
While some may take this seriously, the truth is that it is just plain goofy.  I find it absurd that this either satisfies the feminists or constitutes the serious business of any church body.  But, then again, if you have no real confidence in the Scriptures and the facts of the faith that assure us of eternal salvation, a little window dressing to the Bible and the liturgy can fill your day and provide you with tangible evidence you have made a profound difference.  Or so some believe.

For what it is worth, if you were interested in this, you may be interested in the ELCA Draft Statement on Women and Justice.  Download all 60 pages and . . . enjoy?!?


Anonymous said...

I say we let God speak for Himself. What does His Son call Him? Oh yeah, Jesus calls Him Father, not mother or androgynous spiritual being. These PC people make it up as they go. They’re the blind leading the blind. All the more reason to vigilantly teach the doctrines of original sin and the order of creation. Is it still OK to have women elders, lectors, and communion assistants in the LCMS?

John Joseph Flanagan said...

Changing God's gender for the sake of political correctness is a reflection on the lunacy of the progressives.

Carl Vehse said...

"Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human," Jackelen was quoted as saying by TT.

This statement denies the Christian faith and what the Creeds say about the Second Person of the Trinity.

Recovering Lutheran said...

How long until the ELCA stops referring to God altogether?

Carl Vehse said...

The XXXA switched to their own god in 2009.

Rev. Larry Beane said...

Did zer just assume God's gender? #Triggered!

Son said...

No, the LCMS does not allow women to fill these roles.