Hold Fast

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2, ESV)

Location: Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

American Lutherans Replace "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

The madness continues... The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) approved a new hymnal last Wednesday that "offers alternatives" to the "male-dominated Trinitarian image" of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

So now, to avoid offending people, ELCA churches have the option of using the replacement terms "Holy Eternal Majesty, Holy Incarnate Word, Holy Abiding Spirit." Not only hymns and songs are affected; the ELCA is modifying the version of the Apostle's Creed used in their churches to read "God's Only Son, our Lord" rather than "His Only Son, our Lord."

Click on the post title for the complete story.

I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise. Even here in Canada, the United Church uses a hymnal called "Voices United," in which (on page 916) an "alternate version of the Prayer of Jesus" begins, "Our Father-Mother, who is in the heavens..." On the same page, the "paraphrase" of the prayer refers to the "Eternal Spirit" as "Father and Mother of us all."

I suppose God just made a mistake referring to Himself thousands of times using male pronouns. Or maybe He was just so sloppy that He overlooked how those misogynist prophets and apostles continually used those terms over 1800 years of writing Scripture. How could He have used such unenlightened, barbarian oppressors of women as His messengers!

Let's overlook those parts of Scripture, because they're obviously "less inspired." Nobody thinks that way anymore, do they? While we're at it, what about all those so-called miracles? Science has proved them to be impossible, hasn't it? Jesus couldn't have been resurrected...

Here's my point. Either:

a) you believe that God is both capable and interested enough in us and in our lives to have taken the time and effort to perfectly record His Word for us; or

b) you believe He really didn't care how we perceive Him and understand Him, and was willing to allow big errors to creep into the process, obscuring our picture of Him, or that He was impotent and incapable of communicating Himself clearly.

Now, which God sounds more logical? Which God seems more loving? Which God is mroe "relevant" to our lives? And which God is worth devoting our lives to?

And liberal "Christian" denominations wonder why they're losing members at the astronomical rate they are...


Anonymous Bethany said...

Interesting, I didn't know that these type of changes were taking place. However, it doesn't surprise me. I never thought it to be something to get too hung up on. God is God is God. The pronoun just refers to God. It's still God in the end... I dunno.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Jeff Jones said...

As a female Christian, you feel secure in your faith and don't feel deprived by God's description of Himself in male terms. And that's a Christian attitude. Sadly, some in the church think that women feel deprived by the Bible's language - and that betrays their worldview. These people don't view the Bible as completely true, or without error.

In my opinion, a person (male or female) who finds an issue as small as God's identification of Himself in male terms to be a "showstopper" or obstacle to faith will probably have a lot more trouble with the Bible's exposure of their personal sinfulness. That's far more important.

God is above genders - both men and women are created in His image. Men and women are equal in essence and value. We can't overlook His consistent use of the male pronoun in the Bible, though - Hebrew and Greek have perfectly good "neuter" senses that He could have used. But for His own reasons, He chose not to - and it isn't our place to question that, I believe.

But the ECLA and other liberal churches are placing modern sensibilities as judge over God's word. That's the sad thing.

7:26 PM  

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