The Church of Sweden (Lutheran) has updated its book of worship to use gender neutral references to God, according to the Telegraph and The Local 24 November 2017.

Instead of opening their services with “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” they can now use the gender-neutral phrase “In the name of God and the Holy Trinity”.

According to the head of the Church’s service of worship committee Sofija Pedersen Videke, “The old handbook is from 1986 and the new edition is much more in line with the Swedish Bible translation made in 2000. God is beyond ‘she’ and ‘he’, God is so much more. We want variation when it comes to how you express yourself, just like in the Bible”.

She told the Telegraph: “We talk about Jesus Christ, but in a few places we have changed it to say ‘God’ instead of ‘he’. We have some prayer options that are more gender-neutral than others”.

The Church of Sweden is headed by a female Archbishop, Antje Jackelen, who stated: “Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human”.

The Church of England has no plans to change how it refers to God. A spokesman told the Telegraph: “The Church of England has always used masculine language when speaking about God, for example in the words of the Lord’s Prayer – ‘our Father, who art in Heaven’ – and in referring to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and continues to do so”.

Telegraph, The Local

Editorial Comment: “Praying in the Name of God and the Holy Trinity”… how many are they talking to? 4 of them? But only one is God? What confusion they will wreak!

There may be variation in how people express themselves in the Bible, but God is always referred to as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or the more general, but clearly masculine term, Lord.

For more details see the question: GOD’S GENDER? “Why do you insist on calling God He? Surely as a Spirit, God has no gender”. Answer here.

Creation Research Prayer News 6 December 2017

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