Church Demands: 'Use Gender-Neutral Language to Refer to God'

The church's decision has been condemned as a 'flagrant deviation' from Trinitarian doctrine.
The church's decision has been condemned as a 'flagrant deviation' from Trinitarian doctrine. (TheoRivierenlaan/Pixabay/Public Domain)

The use of 'gender-neutral' language to refer to God is being encouraged by the Church of Sweden, after a change in policy.

Clergy are urged to use the term "God" during church services instead of "He" or "the Lord".

The church's decision has been condemned as a "flagrant deviation" from Trinitarian doctrine.

'Updated'

A Church of Sweden spokesperson told The Telegraph that some prayers will also become "more gender-neutral."

Instead of referring to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, clergy will be encouraged to say "in the name of God and the Holy Trinity."

The language is part of a wider "update" of the Church of Sweden's book of worship for priests.

The Church of Sweden is the country's national church and has over six million baptized members.

Flagrant Deviation

Christer Pahlmblad, a theology professor at Lund University, said the move undermines the doctrine of the Trinity and community with other Christian churches:

"It really isn't smart if the Church of Sweden becomes known as a church that does not respect the common theology heritage."

Church minister Mikael Löwegren also objected, telling a daily Swedish newspaper that the changes "flagrantly deviate" from the great church tradition that exists between all major churches.

The Bible

Ciarán Kelly, deputy director for staff and communications at The Christian Institute, said: "The Bible is crystal-clear. God is our Father. Jesus Christ is his Son.

"God is likened to a bear with her cubs (Hos. 13:8) and a woman in labor because in some respects, He is like a mother, but He remains our eternal Father, and as Jesus teaches us Himself, should be addressed as such.

"Jesus declares the world cannot accept the Holy Spirit because it 'neither sees Him nor knows Him' (John 14:17b)."

This article originally appeared on The Christian Institute.

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