ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Progressive Christians have asked The Church of England to make God gender-neutral

Progressive Christians have asked The Church of England to make God gender-neutral

The General Synod, the Church of England’s decision-making body, will sit later this week to discuss the matter.

Liberal Christians are now demanding that the Church of England make God gender-neutral.

Our father in heaven - could officially be scrapped from the Lord’s prayer.

The Guardian reported that the church would launch a new commission to consider more inclusive language regarding the man (sorry, person) upstairs.

However, any changes must be approved by the General Synod, the Church of England’s decision-making body.

Chris Bull / Alamy Stock Photo

According to The Telegraph, the church’s governing body will sit later this week.

The debate has emerged after many progressives have deemed the masculine pronouns of God in scriptures and services to be ‘a theological misreading of God as exclusively male' that 'is a driver of much-continuing discrimination and sexism against women’.

However, many conservatives have hit back, claiming sex isn’t interchangeable in the church.

Reverend Ian Paul, a member of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, told The Telegraph: “The fact that God is called ‘Father’ can’t be substituted by ‘Mother’ without changing meaning, nor can it be gender-neutralised to ‘Parent’ without loss of meaning.

“Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but relate to their offspring in different ways.”

However, a spokesperson for the church explained that God is depicted as ‘neither male or female’ in ancient readings, but the daily teachings don’t reflect that.

Mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

They added: “There are absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise currently authorised liturgies, and no such changes could be made without extensive legislation.”

Bishop Michael Ipgrave, vice chairman of the Church's liturgical commission, said the church had been ‘exploring the use of gendered language in relation to God for several years’, as per The Telegraph.

Dr Christopher Greenough, reader in social sciences at Edge Hill University and author of Queer Theologies, also chimed in, explaining it’s more accurate for God to be presented as non-binary.

He told Dazed: “Feminist theologians from the 1960s onwards looked at the gendered language used to describe God, with Mary Daly stating how ‘If God is male, then male is the God’ to describe the patriarchy that is embedded in organised religion.

“So, women and other groups already do describe God in different ways. To use gender-neutral terms is actually more accurate in biblical terms, as God’s maleness was always an incorrect assumption.”

He added that more needs to be done on the church’s behalf to acknowledge the harm it has perpetuated onto the LGBTQI+ community.

And this might just be the right move forward.

Featured Image Credit: Diocesan Museum of Genoa (Creative Commons). Geoff Marshall / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, UK News