The world has gone through a PC revival in recent years, but the Episcopal Church is set to take things up a notch announcing a major project to change its Book of Common Prayer to refer to God as neither male nor female.
For most religious families, God was forever considered a man, or at least someone of masculine features with a long beard, who was called “Him” or “Father”.
But soon that could become a thing of the past, as according to the American church masculine nouns, pronouns or imagery should no longer be used to describe God and a revision of the book could bring more young people into the church.
Meeting at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin, a committee discussed ways to resolve the “problem” and use more inclusive language, publishing the news on their website.
“Let’s let God be God,” was the message by one seminarian who said the gendered language is getting in the way of her work to “evangelize young people” and “help them see that God is bigger than any human construct”.
Counting 125 masculine references in a single Sunday morning service, another member of the clergy stated that perhaps a “courageous response” was needed to help the church share the love of Jesus.
However, their new way of doing things has not gone down well with many Christians who were quick to have their say on the proposed revision.
“Gee, what about those who do not have a pronoun problem? What about our feelings about this issue of changing the prayer book? Are our views worthy of consideration? Are we coming so heavenly minded that we become no earthy good?” one person commented.
“Why must we change everything for the few who have a problem with out Episcopal language when most of the church thinks it’s fine? In the name of inclusion we end up excluding or pushing away current members!” another added.
“There are many prayers where we can avoid saying God or him, and for inclusive reasons we should have many more, but to change Christianity to this sexual identity mess will itself drive Christians away from mother church,” a third said.
Despite some people’s views, the revision is said to begin in the next three years with a new Book of Common Prayer to be revealed and spread across the world to be used in congregations in 2030.
That is if the they can fork out the money, with the whole project costing a staggering US$13 million (AU$174 million, £98 million).