The news came in over the weekend that the Episcopal Diocese of Washington had voted to request that their liturgy be re-written to stop calling God “Father”. This report gives the wording of the motion.
“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 Anglicans are scurrying to catch up to the Lutherans in Sweden who voted not to call God “Father” or “Lord” last November. London’s Guardian reports on the issue here.
At what point do all sensible Christians stop and say, “Whoa! Hold on. These weirdos have finally crossed the line. We no longer recognize them as Christian. They’ve started some kind of wacky heretical sect.”
If we were to say this in our sentimentalized age most people would say, “Awww! You can’t say that! They’re such nice people!”
Thus the general belief that a Christian is a “nice person” and a person who is not a Christian is “not nice” But of course belonging to the Christian church is not a question of being nice or not being nice.
Christianity is not a set of table manners.
It is a question of having faith in Jesus Christ and being baptized. That has always been the definition and the place at which we draw the line.
So if an Anglican or Lutheran no longer calls God “Father” then they cannot call Jesus Christ “the Son”. If they cannot call God and Jesus “Lord” then in what sense can it be said that they have faith in Jesus Christ who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
When the Bible says “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
This is pretty basic, groundwork, fundamental stuff. If they can’t bow the knee to Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father in what sense are they Christians? Furthermore, if they are getting rid of calling God Father and Lord, then we must assume that they will not use the Trinitarian formula for baptism.
Already when I was in the Church of England over twenty five years ago the feminists were using the words “Creator, Redeemer Sustainer to refer to the Holy Trinity.
If that is the baptism formula then they not only do not bow the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord to the Glory of God the Father, they also do not baptize validly.
This is where it gets crazy because we have to consider therefore which non Catholic Christians we actually have more in common with than our traditional “ecumenical partners” the Anglicans and Lutherans.
The Anglo-Lutherans are now so far off base (and yes, yes I know they are not all the extremists who make the news) as to be in outer space. What do we have in common?
We have more in common with wild eyed snake handler preachers than we do with the wild eyed mainstream Protestant liberals.
Think about it. The snake handlers might be a bizarre sect, but they believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. They believe in man’s sinful condition and the need for repentance and salvation. They believe in the need for faith in Jesus Christ God’s Son as Lord and God and they believe he taught us to call God “Our Father”. They believe that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.”
In the basics, therefore, the snake handlers are more Christian than the feminist Anglo Lutherans. For that matter, most of the mainstream Protestant Evangelicals are closer to Catholics than the followers of this new gnostic sect.