Continuing its freefall to the theological left, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Washington, D.C., voted last week to pass a resolution that puts an end to the use of masculine pronouns for God as it prepares to update its Book of Common Prayer.
Episcopalian delegates to the Diocese’s 123rd Convention swiftly passed the resolution in the nation’s capital so that “gendered language for God” will no longer be used.
“Resolved ... that the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, if revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God,” the diocese's resolution reads.
“Over the centuries, our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt.,” the resolution drafters asserted.
Over the top
Jeff Walton, who directs the Anglican program with the Institute on Religion & Democracy, says this appears to be driven by an activist LGBT circle within the Diocese of Washington clergy.
"It shows that a relatively small number of clergy who are vocal and are well-positioned can get something through like this," he tells OneNewsNow, "even though I would suspect that most people in the Diocese of Washington who are ordinary churchgoers probably would kind of chuckle at this and say 'This is kind of over the top.'"
Walton predicts there will probably be some sort of pushback against this at the General Convention – at least, among the bishops.
"Even though a majority of bishops are liberal in the Episcopal Church, I just don't picture many of them being comfortable with mandating this sort of change," he states.
Episcopalian leadership no longer recognizes the inerrancy of Scripture, indicating that Bible manuscripts preserved for thousands of years are no longer aligned with the social gospel it preaches to its congregations.
“[Referring to God using masculine pronouns is to] limit our understanding of God," the drafters of the resolution argued. "By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God."
St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church Clergy Delegate Rev. Linda R. Calkins urged the delegates to press for more liberal changes.
Calkins, who serves in Laytonsville, Maryland, attempted to emasculate God using Genesis 17:1, where God tells Abraham, ‘I am El Shaddai.”
“[If Episcopalians] are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts,” Calkins told delegates, according to The Institute on Religion & Democracy. “Having studied much feminist theology in my masters’ degrees, I wrote a thesis on liberation and freedom and non-equality in feminist theology and existential counseling.”
The liberal Episcopalian appears to use The Inclusive Bible as a reference – a loose interpretation of the Bible that many leftists use in order to turn Scripture upside-down and give it meaning that was never intended by God and the authors who He chose to write down His direct revelations.
“The Inclusive Bible was published in 2004 and written by a group called Priests for Equality, which … is a project of the Quixote Center in Brentwood, Maryland, and is a ‘grass-roots organization committed to creating a culture where sexism and exclusion are left behind and equality and full participation are the order of the day.’" The Christian Post (CP) reported. “In Genesis 17, the passage of Scripture where God makes the Covenant of Circumcision with Abram, the Hebrew ‘El Shaddai’ is traditionally translated as ‘God Almighty;’ the Inclusive Bible renders it ‘the breasted one.’"
Calkins is looking to give Episcopalians the last push they need to join the feminist movement and use LGBT lingo when addressing God.
“And I am still waiting for the Episcopal Church to come to the place where all people feel that they can speak God’s name,” the leftist church leader continued. “Many, many women that I have spoken with over my past almost 20 years in ordained ministry have felt that they could not be a part of any church because of the male image of God that is systemic and that is sustained throughout our liturgies. Many of us are waiting and need to hear God in our language, in our words and in our pronouns.”
No room for interpretation
Flying in the face of Calkins’ teaching, seminaries have taught that terms used referring to God the Father and God the Son are indisputably and intentionally masculine.
“Christians – following the teachings of Jesus Christ – have prayed to God as ‘Our Father’ from the very beginning,” LifeSiteNews’ Mark Hodges pointed out. “Theologians explain that the masculine word ‘Father’ indicates a relationship.”
Dr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary contends that there is no room for creative interpretation when it comes to the gender reference of God.
“Jesus did not call God ‘Imma’ (Mother), but always and exclusively ‘Abba’ (Father),” Tarazi impressed, according to the Orthodox Research Institute. “’Father’ is the only way Jesus ever referred to God, and the only way He taught His followers to do so.”
For centuries, theologians, have made it clear that deviating from the biblical titles reserved for God is inaccurate, misleading … and ultimately heretical.
“St. Gregory the Theologian explained the name ‘Father’ is proper to God, not a figurative concession to humanity,” Hodges informed. “St. Athanasius the Great stated that only the specific names ‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ belong ‘to God’s own essence and being.’ St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that deviation from the names ‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ causes deviations from the one true faith. Any other names, St. Gregory wrote, ‘serve as a starting point for the deflection of sound doctrine.’”
The Bible, according to the LGBT
In addition to the Episcopal Church’s lean toward a feminist agenda, it is also embracing LGBT propaganda, as outlined in another resolution that was passed – without discussion or debate – by delegates to the Episcopalian convention, who declared that “transgender people” will be woven into all aspects of “congregational life” in the church.
“[The diocese will] encourage all parishes to remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible – regardless of gender identity and expression,” the resolution states. "Fixed boundaries of gender identity are being challenged, and churches need to respond. This resolution is a clear response to the systematic oppression and violence that transgender people experience on a daily basis."
2/7/2018 - Comments from Jeff Walton added.
2/9/2018 - Wording of resolution clarified, headline revised