Action Alert!

have it your way!

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 20, 2006

Designer deities soon to be available from L.L. Bean. Now your faith community can custom order a divinity coordinated with your music, your language, your worship decor of choice. Richard Ostling reports:

Birmingham, Ala. -- The divine Trinity -- "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" -- could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb" or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend" at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly. Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive" a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them. ...

A panel that has worked on the issue since 2000 said the classical language for the Trinity should still be used, but it added that Presbyterians also should seek "fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God" to "expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder."

Besides "Mother, Child and Womb" and "Rock, Redeemer, Friend," proposed Trinity op-tions drawn from biblical material include:

"Lover, Beloved, Love."

"Creator, Savior, Sanctifier."

"King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love."

Early in Monday's business session, the Presbyterian assembly sang a revised version of a familiar doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow" that avoided male nouns and pronouns for God.
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  • Posted by: - Jun. 21, 2006 1:34 PM ET USA

    I wonder how long it will be before they settle on "father of lies, prince of darkness, abaddon?"

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 11:41 PM ET USA

    "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Change these words and you will not be Baptized. It is not surprising coming from Churches that never had and never will have the fullness of the faith.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 5:34 PM ET USA

    Louise: agree. Thanks for your further comment.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 3:47 PM ET USA

    The fundamental theological problem is not necessarily the issue of "gender-inclusive language", but rather the fact that the substitutes essentially boil down to modalism. As they say, there are no new heresies...

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 3:42 PM ET USA

    I think the flaming of Louise may be off-base. Notice the words "must" concerning respect for trad. language, this vs. should. Then the reference to Lit. Auth. I think a few people misunderstood Louise intentions. It can be difficult to hit a point home in a 500-word sound-bite.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 2:58 PM ET USA

    For their very own trinity, why not just that great trio: Larry, Curly and Moe (and for those inclusive types--both Curly and Moe could be with masculine or feminine). Okay, Louise? Feel better? It is certainly a fresh insight into progressive theology.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 2:55 PM ET USA

    Laity, the Church uses traditional pronouns, thank God! 'Child' denies the factual truth of Christ's masculinity in his Incarnation. But it is dogma (cf: CCC) that God is not male, that 'Father' implies no masculinity (cf: Mulieres Dig), that Christ imputed none, etc. I am all for 'us men and our salvation' and have no fear of masculine pronouns but only because I am secure in the teaching of Holy Church that 'God is pure spirit' 'neither masculine nor feminine'.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 2:27 PM ET USA

    Louise: so, such language should only be rejected because it is not traditional?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 11:56 AM ET USA

    Thank you God for opening my eyes that I could see the cancer of relativity consuming the PC(USA) before it could consume me as well. Thank you for leading me back to Mother Church, the cradle in which I was raised. Thank you for a mother who prayed the rosary that I might see your Truth, and now I pray for her. Lord, guide them back to your fold, those lost in the exile.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 11:26 AM ET USA

    Rock, Paper, Scissors.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 10:33 AM ET USA

    Of course this language is abhorrent, traditional language must be respected - thank God for Lit. Auth. But the underlying principle is that 'God is a spirit' and has no property of the body 'masculine or feminine'. Mulieres Dignitatem states Christ imputed no masculinity to God in calling him Father. JPII also said in one lecture 'Happiness is discovering the maternal love of God'. M/F reflect different of God's perfections & woman is made in His image too. Call him 'Father' in that context.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2006 10:31 AM ET USA

    Baal, Astarte, Athena, Isis, Aphrodite, kata ta loipa???