Dennis M. Roser, ELCA pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, told the following story.
"When I was studying at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (1998-2002), we were not permitted in most classes or in chapel services to speak of God as 'Father' or refer to Him with the pronoun 'Him.' Additionally, one of our professors always led the Lord’s Prayer with the introduction, 'Our Father and Mother . . . .' Rev. Roser also stated "there were professors who spoke frequently of God as 'her.'” (read here)
So an ELCA seminary prohibits students from calling God "Father?" Jesus called God "Father." Jesus told us to use the term "Father" for God. (Matt 6:9) But it's not OK for seminarians to use that term for God at this ELCA seminary?
8/31/2010 08:36:58 am
Dennis is a friend of mine and fellow LTSG alumn. My experience was not as clear as his. It was certainly 'understood' from the start that male pronouns should be avoided. I never heard a faculty member pray to 'Father and mother'. There was a statement put out by the administration that inclusive language wa to be used. I never had problems with faculty for using male pronouns.
9/2/2010 08:53:15 am
I can confirm Pr. Roser's account, both by my own experience at Gettysburg, and from others who spent their entire seminary career there. I considered this both a violation of Christian orthodoxy and my own conscience in being force to speak of God in an unnatural manner.
9/23/2011 02:52:59 am
I was a student at Gettysburg and this was not my experience. We were not told that we could not use male pronouns for reference to God. I never heard a faculty member prayer to Father and mother. I also did not believe it was implied that we could not use male pronouns. Faculty members used male pronouns in reference to God.
10/14/2015 02:00:03 pm
When did you go? I assure you this is most definitely how it is currently.
10/5/2012 02:40:23 pm
I'm not in seminary, but I do belong to an ELCA church. One of the things that I really appreciate about this particular church is our refusal to put God in the tight-shaped box that God has been in for too long. God is not a man or a woman, and while most scriptural references are male, not all of them are. The realty is that God is bigger than our human genders, and the Bible reflects the bias and limitations of its time.
11/21/2012 04:44:32 pm
Wow Matt, Jesus said "In this way Pray Our Father in Heaven..No where did Jesus (who is also God in the flesh) ever say "mother"..So are you saying that God was wrong?? and You a mere man is right?? Do you read God's Word Matt, if you did you would find out the ELCA has strayed so far away from God's Word..replacing it with man's idea's and concepts. But if you did read God's word, you would have read where St Paul talked about this very thing.
5/11/2013 07:05:08 pm
Yeah, Mother does not belong in the Lord's prayer because it's simply not there in any text, and even if you call the Father "Mother" it is not a term meant to replace Father, but a way to express how he loves us and/or express the fact that God does transcend gender. Nonetheless, the name "Father" is something revealed to us by Jesus Christ so it is not up to us to change this. Simply put changing Father to Mother especially in the Lord's prayer replaces Christianity with a new religion
8/8/2013 05:08:31 pm
Your comments are ridiculous and devoid of logic. The Bible is inerrant and reflects the truth, for if it does not, than that makes Jesus incorrect. And if Jesus is incorrect, he is not God. Fortunately for all of us the Bible is correct and your alternative doctrine is not. We are no longer free. We once were, then came the fall of man. You are either a slave to sin or a slave to Christ.
9/4/2016 01:01:19 am
Anyone who thinks Jesus is a stupid idiot when he uses the word "Father" to describe the Almighty God in heaven is not believer. If he professes to be a believer and disagrees with Jesus, then he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Jesus NEVER put God in a box yet he NEVER referred to God as Mother because Jesus was not gender-confused like Satan's servants are. The gender-confusion in the ELCA comes from listening to the secular world that's ruled by Satan. Jesus knows more about God than any human on earth because Jesus IS God the Son and Jesus was a MAN, not a woman. You sick ELCA blasphemers can't blaspheme Jesus enough.
Joseph E Knopick
6/9/2016 06:28:42 am
His disciples requested that He teach them to pray." Jesus taught them that when you pray "...say, Our Father which art in heaven..."
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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