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


If Jesus referred to God as “Father,” and He did, that is good enough for me. The Church of Sweden? If I were a member, and I thank God with all my heart that I’m not, I would leave it. It’s reminiscent of what they (those who objected to God being referred to in the masculine) tried to do to the Bible in the US in the late 20th century. It shouldn’t be tolerated by the clergy or the laity.


i think it’s picky to insist that everybody change their practice. I have known people who referred to God as “She” or “Mother” and that was fine with me but I don’t think the whole congregation should be forced to follow along. Same for gender neutral.


They want to drop the reference to “Lord”. This has other implications besides gender. “Lord” implies someone is higher, or more important, than us.

There is a larger movement here. The religious Left promotes the idea that “God”, or soon, “god”, is the sum of our personal spirituality. Some writers refer to Christ as “Christ/Christa”. This suggests the Incarnation really means a movement occurred around 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean area. People started working towards equality, compassion, and community. This community became described, in the culture of the times, as one person. (Like the story of Adam, or Noah). But that “person” is only a literary symbol.

The “community” performed miracles, it was crucified by the authorities, but it was and is resurrected, wherever and whenever persons are caring. There should be no term “Lord” because the whole community is equal.

The Church of Sweden is not here yet, but…


Idc if people want to use gender neutral terms themselves but to make everyone do so…yikes.

There are literally young girls being picked off the streets and sold off to creeps in different cultures, yet people in better places cry over gender neutral terms that has nothing to do with them. What a crazy world.


For a VALID Christian baptism, one must be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Any Christian should know this… certainly any Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant clergyman. It matters because of the grace baptism provides the recipient.

Using something like “creator, redeemer, and sanctifier” doesn’t cut the mustard because JESUS CHRIST TOLD US TO DO IT “IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT” (see Matt 28:19). He was VERY specific.

The Word of God doesn’t mean much to non-believers, apostates, and people that hate believers; but to faithful believers, this mandate is clear as crystal.


Redefining language is not harmless. Read “1984” by George Orwell. When words are pushed, or forbidden, to promote an ideological agenda, this can impact how we think, and eventually how we act, about people, or about God. In Germany the Nazis had to impact on the wording, first, so as to make it easier for people later to perform or condone vile actions.

I note you use the derogatory word “creeps”. I suppose if the media wanted to condone sex trafficking they might insist you refer to these persons as “middlemen” or “immigration facilitators”.


What on earth is your point?


Check out “Words on the Move” by John McWhorter (professor of linguistics), “Bad English” by Amonn Shea (editor of Oxford English Dictionary), or “Word by Word: The Secret Lives of Dictionaries” by by Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster . All three of these talk about words changing their meaning over time. John McWhorter directly spoke about the whorfian hypothesis (the belief that the structure of a language determines modes of thought). All three look at the concrete changes that have been applied to words over time. “Redefining language” is a part of semantic drift and many of our modern words have drifted far from their etymological origins, in some cases coming to be used to communicate the opposite of what earlier speakers used the words for.

George Lakloff has a book titled “Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things : What Categories Reveal About the Mind” that was also relevant. Btw: contrary to what one may think from the title it’s not categoring women as dangerous. In some language there is a grammatical category to which those three words belong.


The “but things change argument” is the card the secularists always like to play, never asking whether or not change is good or bad.

And I must say, TS, you sure do like to blow with the wind on these issues.

What would you do in the midst of a sharia take-over or a Russian or Chinese invasion?


Not pronouncing the name of God–isn’t that what the devil would rejoice in??? :thinking:


I don’t know what word they will use to replace “Lord” but I am sure it will be something more horizontal. more passive.

The movement to be more egalitarian, human-and-God, is even stronger than the movement to be more egalitarian male - female. It just is not acknowledged or as explicit.


I don’t mark the drifting and shifting of word usage as being either good or bad. It has long been a part of natural languages and in times both good and bad has been a process that has been going on for as long as people have been communicating. It’s why we have several languages that were derived from some parent languages. I do expect that many people will see this as a bad thing. Many of us have words or phrases that when we hear them we feel that they are being used wrongly. Note I’m not talking about using “God” instead of “He” here. I’m talking about every day regular language. Modern uses of the word “literally” might be a popularly disliked usage as it’s gone from a usage that was expressing something objective to expressing something that is subjective and emotional. But I imagine that many people are not bothered by other words that have gone through similar transitions.

View me as being the interrogative anthropologist. I’m more interested/curious in getting articulation of the motivations behind stances on this. I also have an interest in language in general as might be evident from the above mentioned books that I’ve read on language. There’s lot more.

In trying to look into other sources for this though the original article might be presenting a more exaggerated description than what is really going on. Best I can tell the changes that they make are primarily affecting a handbook.I haven’t found information showing that they are changing the Bible or the Baptism. Some of the phrases that they may use to open a service translate into the following

  • In the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit
  • In the name of God, the Father and Son, And the Holy Spirit [fem]
  • In the name of the triune God

Given that the word for “person” in Swedish is feminine and unmarked* I don’t think that using the feminine form of “Holy Spirit” means much.

How did you jump from a phrase being changed to an invasion from powers over seas? That appears totally off topic.


There had been the belief that misusing a name of God in anyway would cause God injury or pain. One response to this was to avoid using the name all together. Some also believed that using a slight variation would keep it from being close enough to cause injury. From that we got the minced oaths that contain words like “Gee” or “Gosh.” There were also some that would be hesitant about writing the name of God on something because they found it disrespectful to God if that paper were disposed of and trampled up while having God’s name on it. Some avoidance of using a name of God was done out of reasons that I’d say could be considered to be respectful.


It should be noted that the Church of Sweden is not limited to modernizing language, but their ministry extends to expanding modern behaviors as well.


All throughout the Bible, such as here in John 14, Jesus describes God as Father, i.e. in the masculine; (bolded mine)

Jesus the Way to the Father

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe [a] in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” [b] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; 14 if you ask[c] anything in my name, I will do it.

And also, Jesus began the only prayer he taught us with “Our Father.” A father is a he, is it not? He even describes the Holy Spirit in the masculine;

25 “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

It seems to me, that this kind of confusion is done on purpose. Only a secularized through and through, feminized society would promote this kind of gobbledygook. But the shame of it is, is that they’ve got everyone, including many priests right here in our own Catholic Church bending over backwards to appease them, with their very own brand of gobbledygook. It’s called gender neutral inclusive language!


Worth considering.


It’s generally seen by those religions who do that as a gesture of respect, not anything evil.


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