Church of England considers referencing God in gender-neutral terms
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Church of England has confirmed it is examining the possibility of changing its liturgy to reference God in gender-neutral terms instead of as “Father,” “Him,” and “He,” the New York Post (NYP) reports. However, the denomination has said there are no plans to make changes to the current liturgy at present, and any future change would require “extensive legislation.”
Confirming that the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission has launched a special project to consider the possibility of changing the way God is referenced, a spokesman for the denomination told the Sunday Times that such a debate is not new.
“Christians have recognized since ancient times that God is neither male nor female, yet the variety of ways of addressing and describing God found in scripture has not always been reflected in our worship,” the spokesman said.
In any event, the CofE spokesman added: “There are absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorized liturgies, and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”
The prospect of referring to God in gender-neutral terms has been met with strong opposition. In a statement to the Sunday Times, Rev. Ian Paul of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England said the denomination would depart from the Scriptures if it took this step.
“If the Liturgical Commission seeks to change this, then in an important way, they will be moving the doctrine of the church away from being grounded in the Scriptures,” the reverend said.
“The fact that God is called ‘Father’ can’t be substituted by ‘Mother’ without changing meaning, nor can it be gender-neutralized to ‘Parent’ without loss of meaning,” Rev. Paul added.
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