Church of Sweden directs clergy to stop referring to God as ‘He’


#23

I don’t think us puny humans could ever come close to “accurately representing God”.
If somebody has a hangup about what they themselves want to call God, fine…kindly don’t impose it on everybody else though.


#24

This is the way God wanted to consider his church. And you think to change it because??? Male and female he created them. Just because they or we don’t feel that way today isn’t a good reason to be gender neutral. That is only confusing the situation (for a lot of people!) Lord, help our children…
Do you know what is gender neutral? A rock!


#25

Oh, you made me think of another good reason to leave God as HE… Jesus called him “FATHER”. Then he said I and the father are one! Surely he is a he!!! :laughing:


#26

God has no gender. I see no issue. Why would someone be upset by this?


#27

I’m not personally trying to change anything. I’m trying to assess what gets lost in terms of information or understanding if a gender neutral wording were used.

What is confusing about it? If I were told “Nat and Chris are married” while those names don’t imply a sex (as they are nick names that can be used as shortened forms of names of both genders such as Nathan or Natalie) I’ve been been informed of the relationship between the two people.

This reminds me of an argument that came up during the 20th century. There was a bit of a push to stop using gendered occupational names and to use the same names for people that were in the same occupation for both sexes. Some had argued against it because it would prevent one from knowing whether it were a man or a woman that were filling a performing some task. In modern times I think most of the gender suffixes that were applied to words have been forgotten with a few exceptions (actor/actress, aviator/aviatrix, and a few others). While we might not know a person’s sex given their title that’s generally not caused confusion.


#28

Why is it suddenly so important now?


#29

I think it was always important. Why is that an issue for you?


#30

All this gender neutral stuff is so confusing to our children who are in formation and discovery of themselves… It is hurting them. I’m sorry to take offense. I really feel like you are honestly asking questions and not pushing an agenda.


#31

The Scriptures refer to God as He, He Himself has revealed to us His Revelation using the male pronoun.

That is why we should use male pronoun.

In addition,
Our FATHER who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others. And, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

I read about Catholic dioceses which did this. The same kind that would assemble protests for woman’s right to abortion.
And yes, they would baptize in the name of all sorts of crazy stuff.


#32

I get the impression that it is more confusing to some adults than children. Children make their own observations and build rules an expectations of the world that they were not explicitly told. People growing up hearing the term “Policeman” may from observation and experience figure out that the occupation is not limited to men. If a gender neutral term like police officer were used There’s not much of a difference.

Based on something I read in another thread I am thinking that by “confusing” that you mean that they won’t conform to all aspects of a gender role (?). Is that the harm that is being caused?

Statements I’ve made elsewhere in the forums may demonstrate otherwise . I’m not pushing any agenda. The objections I’ve seen thus far to using the gender neutral language look to be tradition, validity of baptism, and what comes across as this vague nebulous harm. I ask “what’s the harm?” not as opposition against it. I really don’t see the harm. I grew up being told that God doesn’t have a sex and don’t personally have any feelings against Gender neutral language being used. I’m curious about those that do.


#33

God does have a gender though. Jesus is a man and He is God. So calling God a she would be incorrect.


#34

That’s not what they are proposing. They are proposing using terms that don’t imply a gender. If I use the word “you” that doesn’t imply a gender; it doesn’t mark one as a male or female.


#35

Why do you suppose we "got rid of " the feast of the Circumcision?


#36

You know, it seems like they would have bigger fish to fry than this. A slow day at the Cardinals office?


#37

I’m not buying it.


#38

But why not use the gender pronoun when the gender is certain? God is a man. Why not just refer to Him as a He? There’s literally no point in not using gender pronouns unless someone is trying to make a statement, in which case I would consider that pointless as well.


#39

The current Church of Sweden’s leadership’s actions on a variety of issues will just be a bad dream in the context of eternity.


#40

Also, notice all of these comments on here suddenly interested in God’s gender.

This is why Christianity is “losing” the culture war. We have a problem, and all they do is try and find a way to blow with the wind thinking it will make their LGBTQ Facebook friends happy, which I guess is now the most important thing to them next to Islam.

The only thing missing from this thread is a selective appeal on left-wing issues to the authority of the American bishops.


#41

Not being a Lutheran (or knowing any) the only information I have available on their motivation is the article linked above and the Telegraph article that it links to. It saysbthat they are going to use the proper name “God” instead of capital He and “The Holy Trinity” instead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I asked some other people about it (none of which are Lutherans, so this may not be applicable) but they view the Holy Ghost as being without gender and God as being without gender. They definitely see Jesus as being of the male sex but view God as being called “father” as metaphorical and not indicative of either being of either sex.

There are aspects of the Trinity that are probably not shared among Catholics and non-Catholics that are probably influential here.

Except in cases where they might be repeating a phrase that people have memorized I don’t think it will be noticeable when they say “God” instead of capital “He”. This may be a change that is largely unnoticeable outside of having been pointed out.

Not as much related, but I tried taking a look at gender in the Swedish language. When generically speaking about people their word for “person” is of feminine form. There had been 4 gender categories in their language at one time (remember, gender is not the same as sex). I found something suggesting it is less now but not knowing Swedish I could not be certain.


#42

In this life we can’t know the depths of what the Holy Trinity is, inherently. Those who make dogmatic statements about new discoveries of its gender, or lack of gender, must have secret sources of revelation. But we can describe a little of what has been revealed about God’s relationship to us, which includes the roles of Father, Son of the Father, and Holy Spirit.

God may have other kinds of relationships to angels, to animals, or to other kinds of creatures or levels of existence we have no awareness of. God may reveal other aspects of the Holy Trinity to other entities; but to us, the Scriptures are the chosen medium.

When my father was alive, I suppose I could have called him “Len”, or “Lieutenant” (since he was in the National Guard), or his job title, or “Committee Chairperson”, or “Coach” (since he coached our Little League team one year) or a few other things. The Church of Sweden would insist each of those would be technically accurate. They might even say those names were preferable for me to use (less sexist, more egalitarian), than the old paternal references.

But I called him “Dad” till the day he died. I would have no confidence in the judgement of someone who called their father “Committee Chairperson” even if their father was a committee chairperson for some neighborhood program.


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