On April 9th the “Sex, Gender and the Old Testament” class put on the chapel service at the largest (though shrinking) seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can watch the service under “chapel archives” at luthersem.edu.
The service begins with the reading of a Psalm: “…God my Savior, she is the God who avenges me…she gives her great victories…she shows her unfailing love…”
Thus the Old Testament Scripture was changed from the correct reading “he” to read “she” for God. Then came the sermon. It was about the slave Hagar being told by the angel of the Lord to return to Sarah and Abraham.
“This text troubled us…who is this God who sends this abused woman back and tells her to submit…why would God send Hagar back into oppression?…I don’t know what kind of God doesn’t deliver her from oppression…”
But the preacher ended the sermon teaching that God is nevertheless present in human suffering.
The service concluded with the benediction. No “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” blessing here. Instead the worshippers were blessed in the name of the “Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier”. God the Father was nowhere mentioned in the service.
I’m afraid it may get worse on April 23 when Luther seminary chapel will be led by students in the “Feminist, Womanist, Mujerista Theolasian, and African Women’s Theology” class.
This kind of thing has been happening for quite a while at Luther. Thirteen years ago I attended a Luther chapel service when a male quartet got up to sing the 23rd Psalm. They sang “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, she maketh me line down in green pastures, she leadeth me beside the still waters, she restoreth my soul…”
So, sadly, it appears people are free to change the Bible if they don’t like how it reads at Luther Seminary.