Episcopal Diocese Votes to Avoid Using ‘Gendered Pronouns’ for God in Book of Common Prayer

WASHINGTON — The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. voted on Saturday to stop using “gendered pronouns” for God in future revisions of its Book of Common Prayer and to “remove all obstacles” for “transgender” participation in church life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities accessible to those who identify as the opposite sex.

“Resolved … that the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, if revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God,” the resolution read.

It was passed by a show of hands during the 123rd Convention of the Washington Diocese with only a few opposed, according to Strategic Communications Director Richard Wosson Weinberg.

“While other Christian denominations have embraced more comprehensive language for God, The Episcopal Church has chosen to use masculine pronouns when referring to the first and third person of the Trinity. This choice has had a profound impact on our understanding of God. Our current gender roles shape and limit our understanding of God,” the diocese said in an explanation of the resolution.

“By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God,” it continued. “Our new Book of Common Prayer needs to reflect the language of the people and our society. This resolution assumes that the authors of our new Book of Common Prayer will continue in the long tradition of beautiful poetic language. However, this beautiful language should not be limited by gendered pronouns when avoidable.”

According to reports, delegate Linda Calkins of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Laytonsville, Maryland wanted the diocese to go a step further as she held a copy of “The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation” and asked when the version would be utilized.

She read from Genesis 17, in which the “Inclusive Bible” referred to God as “El Shaddai.”

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“[I]f we are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts,” Calkins claimed.

The diocese also stated that its resolution surrounding those with gender dysphoria was to ensure that those who live as the opposite sex feel welcomed as fellow Christians.

“Transgender Christians are searching for a connection with God within a loving community where they can worship and work for equality and justice. Unfortunately, many transgender people are too often left without a place to worship because congregations are not ready to welcome them as their Christian companions,” it asserted. “Fixed boundaries of gender identity are being challenged and churches need to respond.”

The resolution, in addition to decrying violence against “transgender” persons, also urged “all parishes to remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible, regardless of gender identity and expression.”

The measure was stated to have passed without dissent.

As previously reported, in 2015, when a group of women known as WATCH moved for the Church of England to start referring to God as a “she” during the weekly liturgy, stating that to make mention of God solely in the male pronoun is sexist, some expressed strong opposition.

“Referring to God as ‘mother’ drives a horse and cart through Scripture. Such an innovation is guaranteed to split the C of E as never before,” wrote Damian Thompson in the Daily Mail.

“Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned us that the church could be extinct in 25 years’ time unless services become more spiritually fulfilling. Calling God ‘she’ will not achieve that fulfillment,” he stated. “The proposed twist of language will do nothing to stop the decline of Christian faith in this country. On the contrary, it will make worshippers squirm. And nothing empties pews faster than that.”

1 John 4:14 reads, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

Jesus also said in John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me.”


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  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Galatians 1:8-9,
    2 Peter 1:19-21, Revelation 22 18-21

    SMH …………….

  • Ben Welliver

    Hey, Episcopal Diocese of Washington: tell us how many new members you’ve added in the past 5 yrs. Better yet, tell us how many people have left in the past 5 yrs. I mean, you’re so passionate about doing the right thing, you must be attracting people, right?

    Take your time.

    • Chet

      Moreover, ladies and gents, how many eternal souls have been saved during your church services? How many delivered from the power of the devil? How many lives now transformed for the betterment of the individual man/woman?

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        church is not for saving …. it is for the saved alone ….. technically …….. the people that are SAVED are the church ….. the unsaved are not …..

        • Chet

          True, brother. Yet, from time to time unsaved souls visit Holy Bible preaching and teaching churches (local) and for perhaps the first time they hear the good news gospel and while under Holy Spirit conviction do indeed repent and receive the Christ of Calvary as their own personal Lord and Saviour. Then, such ones become part of the body of Christ in the universal church, mystical body of Christ. Churches, local, then feed the body of Christ via the Word.

          That said, I was speaking of this particular sad sack excuse of a “church” (local) where they are majoring on nonsense even as its attendees are at grave risk of dying and dropping into Hell as they’re not hearing what saith the Lord.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            i am not saying people are not saved in among a church …. but that is not its purpose …..

          • Chet

            Worshipping, praising and magnifying our merciful Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary in concert with equipping the saints to evangelize the lost. You’re right, as many Christians think it to be but the preacher’s job to witness to the unsaved but in reality it’s all our jobs. We’ve much to do as evil is abounding even as the purposeful wicked, the haters of God and His Christ and His church not only are getting by, they’re prospering… Meanwhile, many brethren are too timid to take a stand and dare to be a Daniel… God bless as we Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus Ye Soldiers Of The Cross…

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            agreed ………. Amen ….

          • LynnRH

            I’m a Daniel when it comes to standing up for my Jesus. I’ve always been a timid type person in my life but after my relationship with the Lord has grown so much over the years since I was saved I have become much more bold in my witnessing to others.

          • Chet

            1000 thumbs up! Praise the Lord…

          • PurpleLady 63

            The Churches purpose is the evangelize, and bring people to the Lord, it is the purpose of the Church, not all that say they are Christians are Christians, I see many in a Church setting that think they are saved and have no idea what it means. I have been a Biblical Counselor for over 18 yrs. I know as where I speak. Especially in today’s confused WAYS people are not being shown the way of the Lord because so many do not know the way. This new ruling by this Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. is proof of that.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            AMEN ….. preach it sister ………

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    The official acronym is now LGBTQQICAPF2K+ according to the magazine The Gay UK. That stands for “Lesbian,” “Gay,” “Bisexual,” “Transgender,” “Queer,” “Questioning,” “Intersex,” “Curious,” “Asexual,” “Agender,” “Ally,” “Pansexual,” “Polysexual,” “Friends and family,” “Two-spirit” and “Kink.”

    maybe just PAN-ALPHABET ……. in other words ….. anything goes ………… but where are the PEDOs supposed to fit in ….. and the BEASTIES …..

    • Mad

      They don’t.

    • Vince

      Legalization of pedophilia has been the goal all along.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        and HRC was for it ……….

      • Enniscorthy

        …what???
        Who wants to legalize pedophilia, other than pedophiles?

  • Reason2012

    By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God

    No, the only thing being “expanded” is their false version of God.

    Any congregation of “believers” that thinks they can “vote” to in any way change the truth of God is not being led by God and doesn’t seem to know Him.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      you got that right ……….

    • Lexical Cannibal

      I have a genuine question. No debate, no argument, not leading anywhere, just a question with maybe an extra high bar for satisfactory answers, if only because it’s an easy question to hand wave.

      Although I am firmly no longer a Christian, I spent most of my early life as a quite ardent one. Granting that it has been a while, I can’t think of many concrete examples defining a gender of God outside of the use of pronouns which, depending on your language, are defaulted at best and absolutely arbitrary, at worst, in the case of grammatical gender.

      The only other example I could think of would be when Jesus calls God Abba, literally “daddy,” but I find a lot of wiggle room there concerning terms of endearment and the inadequacies of human language.

      So my question is this: Stripping away mere tradition, stepping away from what you firmly believe and taking an academic look at it, what is the body of evidence that God is necessarily male and/or masculine? More to the point, what is the body of evidence excluding him from being neither and/or both?

      • Reason2012

        I’ll answer your question with a question: what is a father – a man or a woman? And time and again He is called the heavenly Father or Father and we are told to call him that – not the heavenly mother – not the heavenly thing with no gender. Voting to pretend he’s not the heavenly Father doesn’t make it no longer true – that they think it does shows they’re not being led by God but instead being led by their flesh in rebellion to what God has made plain.

        Secondly, where in God’s Word does it say God is fine with guys pretending to be women, wearing women’s clothing, let alone having sexual relations with other men? Because the Bible says quite the opposite in numerous passages. That they also try to change this truth of God and His Word by “vote” shows they have no interest in what God and His Word actually says.

        Christian or not, it doesn’t matter what the human race votes on – votes do not change what God’s Word says. It’s God we’d have to convince He was fine with twisting what He has made clear just because we voted to do so.

        it’s not “inadequacies” of human language that caused God to have us call him heavenly Father or Father time and again instead of avoiding telling us that at all.

        • My Name Is Nobody

          Excellent answer.

        • LynnRH

          I agree. thank you for that.

        • Chet

          1000 thumbs up!

        • david

          Well said friend.

          • Reason2012

            Glad it was a blessing. God’s truth stands forever regardless of our (mankind’s) opinions.

          • LynnRH

            Amen! Give God all the PRAISE and GLORY!!!!

        • Heidi K.

          Amen, Reason2012! GOD bless

      • LynnRH

        My reasoning is that He is male because when He was creating Adam He said, “let us make man in our own image.” And then after that when He saw that Adam needed a helpmate He created Eve. And when our precious Heavenly Father came to earth as baby Jesus He came as a male. Just sayin….. 🙂

      • Chet

        I have a question of you of far more relevance than the nonsense of those misguided souls in this piece. What in the world could have happened to turn you away from the God of all flesh? You know, the One with whom we all have to do, someday…

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        in John 6 ….. Christ constantly refers to Father and the word in Greek used is ….

        patēr
        pat-ayr’
        Apparently a primary word; a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote): – father, parent.

        and also in Matthew 28 when Christ speaks of the Great Commission and baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son …..” ….. and it continues through the NT ………… “I find a lot of wiggle room there concerning terms of endearment and the inadequacies of human language.” …. God created all languages and He is the expert in all of them and while men may have trouble saying and understanding what God has said … God does not ……… He is very specific ………..

      • PurpleLady 63

        Eternal life is forever, you were never a Christian because if you were you would understand what the scripture says about God the Father and God the Son, and that Jesus the Son died on the cross for our sins. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved for Eternity. The Bible says: John 3:15-21 (NASB) 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” Christian means to follow Christ, you cannot do this and then say you are unsaved, why God says so.

  • manwithnoname

    “By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God,”

    Very pagan sounding. WE were made in the image of God, God was not made in “our” image. Just make it up as you go, huh?

  • LynnRH

    Ohhhh I just can’t explain how deeply it hurts my heart to see people changing the Word of God and picking and choosing the parts they like and ignoring the parts they don’t like. God says to not have any other God’s before Him. And this is because He is the only God there is. We humans are NOT God and we have no right what so ever to pretend that we are by doing things such as this. As crappy as this world has become I don’t understand why our Lord doesn’t just completely lift His loving, protective hands off of us and let us all just go to Hell! We deserve it!

    • Blue

      Ohhhh I just can’t explain how deeply it hurts my heart to see people changing the Word of God and picking and choosing the parts they like and ignoring the parts they don’t like.

      Ex 22:25
      Ex 34:18
      Ex 34:19-20
      Ex 34:21
      Ex 34:22
      Lev 19:27
      Lev 19:28
      Lev 20:9
      Num 31:17
      Deut 21:18-21
      Psalm 137:9
      Prov 19:17
      Matt 5:5-6
      Matt 5:34
      Matt 18:11 KJV and NIV
      Matt 19:9
      Matt 19:21
      Mark 7:10
      Mark 7:16 KJV and NIV
      1 Cor 11:5
      Gal 3:28
      Col 3:11

      • LynnRH

        Not sure what all THAT is about but anyway it doesn’t make me any less heart broken.

        • Blue

          Just a small subset of the thousands of verses of the bible christians pick and choose and ignore on a daiky basis.

          Or do you agree with and comply with each and every one of those?

          • LynnRH

            Christians are not perfect just because they become Christians. They are just saved Christians. But when you do become a Christian and you do truly love the Lord the Holy Ghost within you helps you to not sin against God purposefully continually. Doesn’t mean a saved person doesn’t fail sometimes. We will always have a sin nature as long as we live in the God-forsaken world. Our responsibility after being saved is to study God’s Word and learn how we are to live our lives. NOT pick and choose the parts we like and ignore what He says that just doesn’t sit well with us (sexual sins just for one example).

  • shades30ct

    As an Episcopalian who attended a parish were the choir started refering to God as “She” because they were upset with the use of a masculine pronoun, I can honestly say that doing so did drive a wedge into our congregation; pleased some, angered many, and as a result many left and four years later the parish is struggling.

    This isnt being done for the Transgendered or Gay communities. If it was, we would just accept Transgendered and Gays as they are, without making examples of them. Rather, it is being done by angry third-wave feminists who essentially hate men.

    As a gay man I have experienced these people using me and my “best interests” as to further their campaign. What they dont realize is those of us who they use as an excuse and justification can see right through their actions. This is why we feel unwelcomed and unwanted in the Episcopal Church. On a broader note, their intolerance of respect for differences and their desire to force their angry agenda on us is why the Episcopal Church is dying.

    • Matthew Van Heulen

      I left the congregational church I grew up in and joined the Chirstian Reformed Church 25 years ago and I was stunned when visiting the website of the church I grew up in the other day to find that in an effort to be ‘open and affirming” have completely turned away from the word of God it sadens me that churches like yours and my old one are turning God into something or someone that makes them feel better about who they are instead of Obeying God and his word. Just because I fall short in upholding Gods expectations for me and my church family doesn’t mean that his church should turn against him by removing those expectations. Praying you find peace through him who is the “Great I AM”

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Gender-Inclusive Guidelines: Catholic College Eliminates ‘Husband,’ ‘Wife’

  • Chet

    Wow, what a sad sack bunch of misguided souls…

  • Vince

    How did God vote?

  • Mad

    “Genesis 17, in which the “Inclusive Bible” referred to God as “El Shaddai.”

  • Mad

    Would Jesus treat these women with compassion or punish them?

    • LynnRH

      Jesus is compassionate BUT He is also Just. He would set them straight is what He would do. And if they did not turn from their rebellion from God then YES He would punish them.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      it is not Gods job to accept us as we are …. but we are to accept Him as He is ….. now we can choose to mold a god to our liking …. as these people are doing ……. but it is a false god …… and God has already said who and what He is and set the penalty for false worship of idols and idolatry ………..

  • Trilemma

    So, refer to God as they. That’s gender neutral.

    • shades30ct

      And how do you refer to a single entity as “thay”?

      • Trilemma

        The pronoun “they” can used with a singular antecedent as in the following sentence. Ask your friend if they know God.

        • Eric L

          What grade are you in? “They” is a plural pronoun, not singular.

          • Heidi K.

            Hahaha, true. THEY twist and turn everything lately…I can’t wait for the rapture to get out of here!

          • LynnRH

            Me too! I’m soooooo ready to get out of this God-forsaken world. Ugh!

          • Heidi K.

            Judgement is coming soon.

          • LynnRH

            Oh my…….don’t say that too loud. There’s several on this thread that will be accusing you of being judgmental just because you’ve repeated what God has already said in the Holy Bible. LOL

      • Bob Johnson

        Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: “

    • Heidi K.

      Never! GOD always revealed Himself to mankind in male form!

  • honeymonster

    Shouldn’t these people respect God by using His preferred gender pronoun?

    • Denny

      Jesus called God “Father” – but hey, what did he know, right?

      These people are fools.

      • honeymonster

        And hypocrites.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        self deceived ………….

  • PoliticallyIncorrect2

    God doesn’t “change with the times.” These churches of reprobation want to mold Him (not “her”… HIM) into an image more “tolerant” of their degenerate lifestyles.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      God is not Gumby ………..

      • Heather Brodian

        Lol, that was funny 🙂

    • PurpleLady 63

      Good name, take time to read the Book “The Politically Incorrect Jesus” it is great

    • LynnRH

      Yea…..I really like your name too. LOL. I should have thought of that one since it suits me so well.

  • Sarah Mason

    I think God is going to complain soon that He is being deliberately misgendered by the Episcopal Church, and if one reads the Bible, God and Jesus (referring to themselves as “the Father” and “the Son” on numerous occasions) have clearly expressed their preferred pronouns are “He” and “Him”. Isn’t it rude to insist on referring to someone by the pronoun of the speaker’s choice rather than the pronoun reflecting the gender identify of the subject in question? This seems kind of hypocritical.

  • Robin Egg

    I refuse to use the made up language of gender neutral/gender specific/transgender……It is language from the liar in chief. God the Father is a man. Jesus is the Son of God. A man. That’s it. Anything else is deception and lies.

    • LynnRH

      Amen!

  • Farrell Wilson

    To translate El Shaddai they way as portrayed in this article is so far off base it is heresy. To focus on the literal meaning of the Hebrew word shad (“breast”) as the root for the name El Shaddai is a shallow interpretation at best.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    In a controversial new statement, progressive German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said he could envision blessing homosexual couples in the Catholic Church, but added that it would have to be up to the “pastor on the ground” rather than made into a universal rule.

    Pope Francis has agreed to fire two Roman Catholic bishops associated with the “underground church” in China, replacing them with stooges of the state-controlled church.
    Why? He wants the Vatican to have better relations with China.

    and the downward spiral continues ………… we are to RENDER unto Ceasar not SURRENDER …………….

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    37 Episcopalians Remaining On Planet Vote To Stop Using Male Pronouns For God
    February 5, 2018Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—The last surviving members of the Episcopalian religion voted last week to stop using male pronouns for God, sources at a meeting of the Diocese of Washington, D.C. confirmed.

    The 37 remaining Episcopalians on Planet Earth conducted the vote in an effort to make the last three or four Episcopal churches in the country be more inclusive, in the rare case anyone actually showed up to any of their services.

    “We don’t want to offend or trigger the six or seven people left in our pews,” said the writers of the resolution. “And we get literally dozens of visitors every decade—what if we scare one of them off by reading the Book of Common Prayer and forcing them to hear the words ‘He’ or ‘Him’? That’s a chance we just can’t take.”

    At publishing time, fourteen of the attendees of the meeting had left the faith.

  • Heidi K.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic!
    Scripture contains approximately 170 references to God as the “Father.” By necessity, one cannot be a father unless one is male. If God had chosen to be revealed to man in a female form, then the word “mother” would have occurred in these places, not “father.” In the Old and New Testaments, masculine pronouns are used over and over again in reference to God.

  • imsarakiel

    Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

  • Enniscorthy

    I don’t think this is part of the “gender fluid” political correctness movement that’s sweeping across the world. Since I was a little kid, I had trouble envisioning God as “He”. It never felt right. It felt like I was molding God to be what people who lived a long time ago felt and thought. I would also say it’s ridiculous to refer to God as “she”. The closest word, and the most honest one to use, would likely be “it” since there is only one God and God’s power would be completely unlike anything comparable to male OR female.

    • LynnRH

      But at the same time the Holy Bible was written by God-inspired men. So I believe that He would not have allowed it to be written that way if it wasn’t correct. And even if He did allow it feeling that it was not an important matter anyway we should just go with it and NOT be changing anything in the Bible.

      • Enniscorthy

        Maybe they simply didn’t know what else to call God at the time but “He”.

        • LynnRH

          I’m just almost sure God was and still is quite capable of giving those ancient writers of the Bible the right words to use.

          • Enniscorthy

            When there was no available word to use? Hmmm.

          • LynnRH

            He, she, and it were all words available during those times. Not sure why you thought “there was no available word to use.” God would have guided the writers with the correct word to use. That is why God is a he.

          • Enniscorthy

            “He, she, and it were all words available during those times.”

            “It” is still not the ideal word to use, but it’s the closest of the three since God, even to those who don’t believe, in concept, is beyond anything we can imagine.

          • LynnRH

            God is a he because inspired the writers of the Bible to use the words he, him, father. You can believe whatever you want to believe. We believers in the Bible as the absolute Truth will be believing that God is male.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      “The closest word, and the most honest one to use, would likely be “it” since there is only one God and God’s power would be completely unlike anything comparable to male OR female.”

      NOPE …… FAIL ….. idolatry ….. God never referred to Himself as an “it” ………….. and Christ never referred to Him as “it” ……. God is not Gumby to be molded to OUR image and imagination ………

      • Enniscorthy

        You don’t know what God referred to itself as.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          SCRIPTURE is Gods word and is accurate ……….. so yes we do ……….

          • Enniscorthy

            No, you really don’t. Scripture probably uses the male pronoun because it was easiest for people to comprehend.

          • LynnRH

            God didn’t say so in His Word so we are going with what is written in the Bible.

          • Enniscorthy

            Right, which was written by human beings.

          • LynnRH

            and inspired by God. If God wanted us to have the Truth He would not have allowed humans to write anything contrary to His Truth (the Holy Bible).

          • Enniscorthy

            Would that work today, do you think? If I wrote a book and claimed God inspired it?

          • LynnRH

            God can inspire you to write a book. But the Holy Bible is a book the Heavenly Father gave us in order to know Him and guidelines to live our lives by for our own good. It is the Holy Bible not just an ordinary book. You are welcomed to believe whatever you want to believe. But don’t think you are going to cause a true believer to disbelieve just because you don’t want to.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            and where is your scriptural evidence of that ….. right …. you have none ………..

          • Enniscorthy

            Scriptural evidence of a theory? How does that work?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            SCRIPTURE stands on its own …. we do not get to add or subtract from it …… and FYI ….. that INCLUDES THEORIES ……. so the answer to your question is …… IT DONT ………… and you got nothing ………. except your unsubstantiated OPINION and IDOLATRY …………

          • Enniscorthy

            This IS my opinion, and I never pretended it was anything else. It’s my theory. The word “it” seems to me to be the preferred word to use over “he” or “she” because God is unique and has no gender.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            so as far as God and scripture ….. worthless ………….

          • Enniscorthy

            Your opinion is noted, and have been filed under G where it belongs.

    • The Lone Haranguer

      Is this satire?

      • Enniscorthy

        What, suggesting God is too unique to be male or female? Why would that be satire?

  • rknsaw

    Didn’t Jesus use the term Father, Abba? I’m confused, am I missing something?

    • LynnRH

      Nope you’re not missing something. Satan and Satan’s followers will ALWAYS want to contradict God’s Holy Word. LOL