The Church of England is set to launch its new project that will use more gender-neutral language to describe God to be more ‘inclusive.’
The project “on gendered language” will begin later this year and ban phrases such as “Our Father” in favor of neutral or feminine alternatives.
The new ‘woke’ campaign began when Rev Joanna Stobart asked Church leaders to “develop more inclusive language in our authorized liturgy.”
Stobart went on to ask bishops “to provide more options for those who wish to use authorized liturgy and speak of God in a non-gendered way, particularly in authorized absolutions where many of the prayers offered for use refer to God using male pronouns.”
Rt Rev Michael Ipgrave, the Bishop of Lichfield and the vice-chairman of the Liturgical Commission, responded, telling the Telegraph: “We have been exploring the use of gendered language in relation to God for several years, in collaboration with the Faith and Order Commission.”
“After some dialogue between the two commissions in this area, a new joint project on gendered language will begin this spring.”
Rev Ian Paul, who serves in the General Synod as well as the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, criticized the move saying while the use of male pronouns for God should not be interpreted as implying God is male, the Bible uses masculine pronouns for a reason and that “male and female imagery is not interchangeable.”
“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,” Paul said.
“Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but relate to their offspring in different ways,” he added.
“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.”
However, the move falls in line with the ‘woke’ Archbishop Justin Welby’s left-wing preaching, who previously declared that God is “gender-neutral.”
Welby has frequently inserted himself in political debates and issues such as illegal immigration and climate change.
The project’s announcement came ahead of a vote in the General Synod, the elected governing body of the church, to determine whether priests can bless gay marriages in the country.
While the vote would not allow churches to officiate homosexual weddings, the rule change permits priests to offer “God’s blessing” for civil partnerships or marriages in church.
A spokesman for the Church of England commented on the project, saying: “This is nothing 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.”
“There has been greater interest in exploring new language since the introduction of our current forms of service in contemporary language more than 20 years ago,” he added.
“There are absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorized liturgies, and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”
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