Some Catholic schoolgirls in Australia are being taught that God is gender-neutral. They’re banned from using the words “Lord,” “Father,” and “Son” in prayers in efforts to be “gender inclusive.”

Top-tier Catholic schools in Brisbane, some of which charge up to $40,000 a year, are teaching their students to use “gender inclusive language” when referring to God, The Sunday Mail reports.

Students at Stuartholme School are taught to use gender-neutral language – including the word “Godself’’ in place of “himself.”

“As we believe God is neither male or female, Stuartholme tries to use gender-neutral terms in prayers … so that our community deepens their understanding of who God is for them, how God reveals Godself through creation, our relationships with others and the person of Jesus,” a spokeswoman said.

Similarly, Loreto College in Coorparoo has removed the word “Lord” from its prayers, as it is regarded as a “male term.”

“Loreto, as a leading school for girls, has a commitment to using inclusive language. There are occasions where gendered language may be appropriate, including references to specific religious and biblical figures,” Principal Kim Wickham said.

According to its website, Loreto’s mission is to “transform the Church and the world particularly by empowering women to seek truth and do justice.”

St. Rita’s also uses gender-neutral terms for God. “We strive to use gender-neutral terms for God, for example, ‘God and God’s people’ rather than ‘God and His people.’ ‘Spirit’ is also gender-neutral,” said Assistant Principal Richard Rogusz. 

Brisbane’s top Catholic boys’ school, St. Joseph’s College, has replaced the term “brothers” with “sisters and brothers” and switched the term “brotherhood” with “international community.”

“This has been an area of growth for us in recent times,” a spokesman told Sunday Times. “We have made changes to a number of prayers to be more gender-inclusive.”

Andrea Dean, Catholic Office for the Participation of Women director, told the Sunday Mail she was “thrilled” that schools were using gender-neutral prayer.

“It’s terrific that they’re sensitive to the implications of how God is named,” she said.

“God is not of any gender. In the times the scripture was written, (Lord and Father) were terms of honor – most of the terms of honor were related to men,” she added.

However, Australian Christian lobbyist Lyle Shelton criticized the move, telling the Sunday Mail: “This is further evidence of the agenda of those who sought to ‘de-gender’ marriage – now they want to de-gender religion.”

“In Christian theology, God expresses himself as a father in the male gender. The scriptures clearly explain God to us as a father,” she said.

In recent years, a number of denominations have pushed for more “gender-inclusive” language for God.  

In 2017, the Church of Sweden encouraged clergy to use gender-neutral terms for God instead of “He” or “the Lord” in an attempt to “modernize” church services.

And last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Justin Welby, said: “All human language about God is inadequate and to some degree metaphorical,” according to the Mail Online.

“God is not a father in exactly the same way as a human being is a father. God is not male or female. God is not definable. It is extraordinarily important as Christians that we remember that the definitive revelation of who God is was not in words, but in the word of God who we call Jesus Christ. We can’t pin God down.”

Some Protestant denominations, including the Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, have also debated the use of gendered language for God.

In 2017, two of the top divinity schools in the United States — Vanderbilt and Duke — asked faculty to use “more inclusive” language when talking about God because the masculine pronouns “have served as a cornerstone of the patriarchy,” the National Review reported

But reformed evangelist John Piper, among a number of other prominent Christian theologians, have argued that the Bible leaves very little room for debate on the subject of God’s gender.

“God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king, not queen; father, not mother,” Piper said back in 2012 at the annual pastor’s conference hosted by his Desiring God ministry.

“Second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son, not daughter; the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male,” he added.

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Date published: 10/06/2019
Written by: Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter
Article source: www.christianpost.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with John Piper. Furthermore, on the practical side, I am very happy to have been created female, have never been confused about my gender and feel sorry for young people caught up in this gender debate. God created us male and female and vive la difference! Makes life interesting and fun. We each have our roles and talents which make for fruitful and fulfilling lives. And it is important to understand that ‘roles’ do not make one gender superior or inferior to the other. It’s called ‘teamwork’. I do appreciate that in our so called Western or modern world, we women have more flexibility than in other cultures. However, I believe we lose something sacred and special in our attempt to literally obliterate gender. I think in the idea of neutralising gender we sadly deny male and a female their ultimate fulfillment in who and in all that God created us to be. God decided to make us male and female. God instituted marriage. And He declared it all very good. So who are we to disagree?

  2. To me, the answer is both simple and obvious and outside the boundaries of debate. It’s the way our Sovereign God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. Yet throughout the Scriptures we also see in Him the grandest qualities of both genders. But, regardless of speculation, He has chosen to present Himself in this manner … as King, Father, Husband, Master, and the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ. Christian scholar, C. S. Lewis, has suggested that that “God is so masculine that we all are feminine in relation to Him.” It might in part explain why the church (males and females) are referred to as the bride of Christ.
    Some Bible translations (and churches) are attempting to blur the way God has chosen to reveal Himself. God is not minimising women … men and women are made in the image of God … best described by the fruit of the Spirit, not by gender.
    There’s no question that Jesus, in the story of the prodigal son was portraying God as a loving and heart-broken Father but that certainly does not exclude the heart-broken Mother in the background. But it remains that He … our Sovereign God, has chosen to reveal Himself as Father, not Mother, and even in the Incarnation, God chose to come to us as a man, Jesus Christ.
    Our LORD Jesus, whether you are reading from the Aramaic, the Greek or today’s English, referred to His Father, and taught His disciples to pray … “Our Father …” The Jews clearly understood the provisional and protective role of ABBA. Yet we most obviously understand too that God has no gender. I think that the problem lies not in the gender label we attach to God … it more likely lies in our disappointment with the often abdicated role and responsibility of today’s man. It may also lie in our own disappointment with the fathers in our own lives. So many of today’s children have no godly father mentor, and today’s mothers are forced to be father and mother. The tragedy is (I think) that our world has lost sight of the God-ordained family structure which is the heart of a balanced and stable society.
    Our picture of God can get smudged by our personal encounters with less-than-perfect fathers, but God is not just a good Father … He is THE PERFECT Father we’ve all longed for.

  3. Agree with John Piper. The Bible is the only truth. It must not be added to or taken away from- that is a command from God. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Very clear.

  4. Amen to Pat and to John Piper. I could not have said it better and agree absolutely, to mess with Gods Word is not only to invite disaster and play into the hands of Satan, but it is exactly the kind of thinking that the devil had in his rebellion in Heaven and the kind of thinking that caused the fall of man through Adam and Eve in the garden. This is WRONG and all true believers must stand strong against this kind of teaching.

  5. God is the Father of Mankind. The Bible states God the Father,SonAnd Holly Spirit.
    What does The new world order Want? To destry God of the bible

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