(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Today I turned on TV and again saw a worship service from St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. In a previous post (October 4) I criticized their program in which the preacher called Jesus’ response to the Syro-Phoenician woman “ugly” and wondered whether Jesus had made a mistake. That grieved me because years ago this congregation was known for being more biblical and evangelical than many in the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But St. Andrew’s has chosen to stay in the ELCA and it shows.
On the program today the pastor gave the closing benediction and she said “In the name of the Parent, and of Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. Did you notice? She got rid of God the Father and replaced Him with “the Parent”. Why? The ELCA at its last convention committed itself to using more “expansive and inclusive” language for God. This means avoiding masculine images for God and coming up with new images which feminists find less oppressive and patriarchal. So now some ELCA congregations worship “God the Parent.”
I live across the street from a liberal United Methodist church and visited one Sunday. The pastor baptized the child “In the name of the One who makes all things, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” I talked about this with a Catholic priest who said “I’d rebaptize the child.” I think I would too. Jesus taught us to baptize “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:10) and we have no right to play around with that.
This “de-sexing” of God language has gone on for many years in liberal denominations like the ELCA, Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church. Back in 2006 the ELCA came out with its current hymnal in which all of the Psalms were de-sexed to get rid of masculine references for God. Some complained, saying we would stick with the Biblical language for God, but they lost.
I pray that you attend a good, biblical church which unashamedly worships God the Father.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
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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