Back in December of 2017, the Church of Sweden made a move to begin using more gender-neutral language when referring to God. (Click here to read the article.) A month later, in January of this year, the same concept was adopted by the Episcopalian Diocese of Washington, D.C. (Click here to read the article.) This shift by both churches was sparked for the same reason… to attempt to be more inclusive regarding those who are sensitive about gender issues, thus, making it more comfortable for them to attend church and to keep them coming back.
In order to gain a better understanding as to why some people believe that it is important to be more intentional about creating a more gender-neutral environment, I found this (click here to read the article) from canadian-nurse.com regarding gender-neutral, nursing care, policy in Canada…
“When we create welcoming health-care environments, we are removing barriers and inviting clients to return for care.”
According to the articles that I’ve read about the churches who are imposing a gender-neutral protocol, their thinking is similar to the philosophy of “Canadian Nurse.” As I mentioned earlier, it is all about making a specific group of people more comfortable, so that they will come back.
Oh, the Irony
But, there’s something ironic at play here…
According to “Canadian Nurse,” making things more comfortable for the gender-sensitive person is accomplished by a similar means as was implemented in the Swedish and Episcopalian churches…
“Using inclusive language and adopting the terms the client prefers demonstrate respect.”
In other words, according to progressive thinking, in order to delineate proper respect with regards to gender sensitivity, the gender labeling parameters set forth by the person in view must then be embraced by everyone. Yet, at the same time, inclusive language must also be employed.
Oh, the irony!
By default, if the church uses only inclusive language by removing every and all gender-specific references (in an attempt to protect people from discomfort due to masculine and feminine pronoun exposure), then they are actually ignoring what the gender-sensitive person wants the church to acknowledge. Think about it. You cannot outlaw gender-specific rhetoric, while at the same time promote the use of gender-specific labels. The two protocols are mutually exclusive. It simply does not work. When these churches impose a gender-neutral model, it actually comes at the expense of robbing these same people of their self-described designation. The theory simply implodes. That’s what is so ironic.
I Am He…
But, even more importantly… these churches also rob the God that they claim to worship of the gender label He gives Himself. In other words, such policies deny a key revelation which God explicitly gave us in His Word regarding who He is…
John 4:25-26 (HCSB)
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
“I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”
We (Christians) must be alert to the ever-changing policies of the churches where we are members. And… when such policies start to mischaracterize God, perhaps it’s then time to find another church?
Matthew 10:32-33 (HCSB)
“Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!