Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Church of England to Consider Using Gender-Neutral Terms for God

'Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but relate to their offspring in different ways...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) In order to keep up with the times, the Church of England will consider substituting traditional and Biblically-rooted masculine pronouns to describe God with softer and gentler gender-neutral pronouns, the Guardian reported.

The considerations began when priests insisted that the Church ditch language of God as a “king,” being referred to as a “he.” In response, officials said that they would launch a commission to look into the matter.

According to the Rev. Michael Ipgrave, bishop of Lichfield and vice-chair of the liturgical commission responsible for the investigation, the Church of England has been “exploring the use of gendered language in relation to God for several years.”

Ipgrave said the conversations will begin in the coming months.

“After some dialogue between the two commissions in this area, a new joint project on gendered language will begin this spring,” he said. “In common with other potential changes to authorised liturgical provision, changing the wording and number of authorised forms of absolution would require a full synodical process for approval.”

The commission’s undertaking is largely a response to the comments of Joanna Stobart, vicar of Ilminster and Whitelackington in Somerset, who argued during a recent synod that the Church of England must adopt more “more inclusive language” if it hoped to progress with the times.

Despite the creeping in of woke doctrines, some conservatives remaining in the Church criticized the commission for even taking up such a matter.

The Rev. Ian Paul, for example, noted that “the fact that God is called ‘Father’ can’t be substituted by ‘Mother’ without changing meaning, nor can it be gender-neutralised to ‘Parent’ without loss of meaning.”

For Paul, altering such language alters the meaning of God’s relation to the world—a relation with genuine implications.

“Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but relate to their offspring in different ways.”

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