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Update: Church approves prayer book revision for gender-neutral God

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As I have previously written, the has been a concerted, decades-long effort among a growing segment within the Episcopal Church to strip the Word of its masculine references to God, beginning with the 1973 publication of “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation.”

These efforts to amend church materials in conformation to ideological post-modernist thought drew national attention this year after the Washington D.C. diocese adopted a resolution urging the national church’s General Convention to revise the prayer book and, when doing so, to remove the use of gendered pronouns for God in all future revisions. The Book of Common Prayer includes liturgies, prayers, the Bible’s Psalms, etc., was last revised in 1979.

A July 11, 2018, statement by the national Episcopal Church now informs us that this year’s General Convention has indeed concurred, passing a resolution that calls for the revision of the prayer book to include “inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity.”

♦Resolution A068: Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer declares:

Resolvedthe House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention, pursuant to Article X of the Constitution, authorize the ongoing work of liturgical and Prayer Book revision for the future of God’s mission through the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.

 

♦As the Episcopal News Service reported from the convention:

The Rev. Jane Johnson, deputy from Fond du Lac, said that since human beings, in all their diversity, are made in the image of God, then the church must move away from an image of God that is white and male. “God’s pronouns are them and their, not he,” she said.

 

The original resolution was re-worded by the House of Bishops. The adopted resolution utilizes language which is more palatable to the public, especially Bible-believing conservatives.

 

One inclusion in Resolution A068 which is, without doubt, an attempt to ease the concerns of conservatives, states (emphasis mine):

ResolvedThat this Convention memorialize the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as a Prayer Book of the church… 

 

♦Resolution A068 lays out a process through which prayer book revision will begin:

Resolvedthat our methodology be one of a dynamic process for discerning common worship, engaging all the baptized, while practicing accountability to The Episcopal Church….

ResolvedThat the 79th General Convention create a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR), the membership of which will be jointly appointed by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, and will report to the appropriate legislative committee(s) of the 80th General Convention, ensuring that diverse voices of our church are active participants in this liturgical revision by constituting a group with leaders who represent the expertise, gender, age, theology, regional, and ethnic diversity of the church, to include, 10 laity, 10 priests or deacons, and 10 Bishops…

ResolvedThat bishops engage worshiping communities in experimentation and the creation of alternative texts to offer to the wider church, and that each diocese be urged to create a liturgical commission to collect, reflect, teach and share these resources with the TFLPBR…

 

Required components of the new, revised prayer book, according to Resolution A068, must include (emphasis mine):

ResolvedThat such revision utilize the riches of Holy Scripture and our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, class and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship; and be it further…

ResolvedThat our liturgical revision utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity…

 

According to the Episcopal News Service, “In the process set out by the SCLM, a revised Book of Common Prayer will be created by 2024, with three years of trial use after that. Final adoption of that revision by two successive General Conventions would result in a new prayer book in 2030.”

 

The US Episcopal Church has, for decades now, published an inclusive supplement to the Book of Common prayer, entitled “Enriching Our Worship.” It appears that the Book of Common Prayer will be revised to further align with said inclusive supplemental material.

I have already reported on the problematic language used in Enriching Our Worship,” such as the alteration of Biblical Psalms and the changing of God’s pronouns, often resulting the resulting in the changing of tense of Biblical passages.

In addition, there are times when core Christian doctrine is either watered down or is voided by the text’s efforts at employing inclusive language.

♦As Father Brown of Trinity Church wrote in 2011 (emphasis mine):

The opening invocation of the Eucharist, “Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy [Spirit]…and blessed be his Kingdom now and forever” gives way to, “Blessed be the one, holy, and living God…Glory to God for ever and ever.”

This last example points to a more profound adjustment: the avoidance of the Trinitarian formula, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

 

♦In terms of the application of gender-neutral language for God, Father Brown explained (emphasis mine):

Can we affirm our divine adoption in Jesus without privileging the use of male language? Can we say the same thing with neutral terms such as “parent” and “child?” Actually, no. Not quite. Such neutral terms, become abstractions and generalities. By contrast when Jesus calls God, “Father,” he is being personal and specific. Jesus’ use of “Father” is part of a syntax of familial language that runs through Scripture. Jesus is the Son of the Father, who in turn is also Father of Israel in the Old Testament (Hosea 11:1). Through Jesus, we are adopted as sons, and share in the “Spirit of Sonship,” becoming “fellow heirs” – that is, “part of the family.”

This interweaving of familial language also includes nuptial imagery in which Israel is betrothed to God, who becomes her husband as a result of his Covenant. The prophets repeatedly denounce Israel’s proclivity to pagan idolatry as marital infidelity. Hence, in Jeremiah 31:32, God speaks of “my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband.”

If we are to be related to the God who reveals himself in Jesus, we must inhabit the linguistic syntax in which God has made himself known. That language has a certain fluidity. Father – Son, Husband – Wife, Bride – Bridegroom all intertwine in a way that only makes sense if they are understood analogically. In this way, Scripture provides a collation of “mixed metaphors” that work together to configure the divine – human relationship, as well as inner three-fold relations of the persons of the Trinity.

 

I would be a shame for those attending Episcopal churches around the country to be deprived of a familial relationship with God and with one another.

Time will reveal the fruits of this effort… In the meantime, let us pray for them.

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of ThePaintingPastor.org, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

Culture and Religion

Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

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Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

One of my biggest pet peeves is the attempt by atheists to use “science” to disprove the Bible. It’s unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which being Pascal’s Wager, but the strangest part is how much of science must be ignored in order to make the claim a Biblical worldview runs counter to modern science.

Some may object to this topic being part of mostly political news site, but it’s been more widely covered in recent years by liberal sites attempting to paint the Biblical worldview in a negative light, so it’s good to give equal time to the counterarguments.

There are better videos than Ken Ham’s discussion on the topic, but few are more easily understood. It’s well worth the hour.

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Culture and Religion

Bettie Cook Scott is a racist politician. And she’s a Democrat.

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Bettie Cook Scott is a racist politician And shes a Democrat

Racism is owned by the Republican Party. That’s the narrative the press and their handlers, the Democratic Party, wants America to believe. Someone forgot to get that memo to Michigan state representative Bettie Cook Scott.

Detroit Rep. Bettie Cook Scott on Asian opponent: ‘Don’t vote for the ching-chong!’

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/08/16/detroit-rep-bettie-cook-scott-on-asian-opponent-dont-vote-for-the-ching-chongMore than a dozen community groups have called on Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) to apologize for a series of racial slurs sources say she used to describe her primary election opponent, Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit).

Scott is alleged to have referred to Chang as “ching-chang” and “the ching-chong” to multiple voters outside polling precincts during last Tuesday’s election. She’s also said to have called one of Chang’s campaign volunteers an “immigrant,” saying “you don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country.”

My Take

There are two important takeaways here. First is the hypocrisy surrounding Scott, a (formerly) rising star in the Michigan Democratic Party. If the comments she made were spoken by anyone other than a Democrat, the calls wouldn’t be for an apology. The press and social groups would be calling for her to step down and jump into a hole somewhere.

The second point is that in the real world, the one not seen through the lens of liberals and the media, racism exists everywhere. It is not owned by Republicans, conservatives, old people, white people, or any other classification. One can even make a valid argument that it’s no more prominent in the Republican Party than it is in the Democratic Party that supports groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Racism must be eliminated from society. That will never happen as long as so many people naively believe it only exists in the minds of certain people on the political right. It exists everywhere. Accept that and we can work to make it stop.

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Culture and Religion

Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty – Part II

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Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty Part II

Leftists incessantly issue lists of demands for the restriction of Liberty, It’s time to reverse the trend towards freedom.

This is our second part of our series of what we on the Pro-Liberty Right want for the preservation of Liberty. Part I is here.

6. The Left needs to stop trying to control private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. [aka ‘enhanced’ or ‘Universal’]

If there is one constant in the Liberty grabber universe, it’s that half of them are incessantly calling for gun confiscation while the rest deny they are calling for gun confiscation. They also love to parrot the line that it would be impossible to round-up everyone’s guns as a way of deflecting the issue. Except that those on the Pro-liberty side thought the same thing in the UK and Australia. Their Liberty grabber nightmare began with gun registration, under the solemn promise that it wouldn’t lead to gun confiscation. [Sound familiar?] Then of course at the next occasion of a serious crisis, this registration data was used for gun confiscation.

The fact is gun confiscation takes several precursor steps, the most critical being the assertion of government control over private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. Curiously enough, the Liberty grabbers tend to want language inserted into these laws mandating the reportage of lost or stolen firearms. Those types of rules are of primary importance only if the point of these measures is to turn them into a registration scheme.

7. The Liberty Grabber Left needs to stop pushing for even more controls on freedom.

It is also axiomatic that Leftists will exploit any opportunity to start ever-expansive controls over Liberty. The Left is a virtual fountainhead of new and more creative ways of clamping down on freedom. Having run out of new and improved ways of making it difficult, embarrassing and expensive to buy a firearm [While also lying about it at the same time] the Left has moved on to imposing controls over the purchase of ammunition. Then of course they also are making demands on how these are stored.

8. Stop attacking those who only wish to defend themselves.

There is nothing more loathsome than Leftists who excel at hurling insults at the country’s estimated 150 Million innocent gun owners. We’ve been labelled with almost everything from being Terrorists to baby killers for wanting nothing more than to be able to defend our families and ourselves.

Those who incessantly work overtime to demonize the innocent should keep one word in mind: Deterrence. The widespread ownership of weapons in most areas deters criminals since they don’t know who can fight back. This also explains why places with tight controls on Liberty tend to have higher crime rates. Curiously enough, for people who love the term ‘Commonsense’ they certainly don’t seem to well versed in it.

9. The Left needs to become educated about that which they want to control.

Granted, it might be too much to expect the Liberty Grabbers from knowing the difference between a direct impingement and gas piston actuation, but they should at least know the difference between a semi-auto and select fire. Nothing screams uninformed more than someone who confuses a clip with a magazine or some who uses them interchangeably in a claim that one can fire off 30 rounds in half a second.

Lack of knowedge is usually a negative in most cases, but in the realm of Liberty Control, the Leftists wear it as a badge of honour.

10. The Left needs to stop lying about guns.

We made these two separate items to prove a point. While some gaffes of the Liberty grabber elite are relatively harmless, there are those that are a danger to Liberty. It should go without saying that we live in an age in which the knowledge of the world is literally at one’s fingertips. There is no rational excuse for a lack of knowledge on the most rudimentary aspects of certain subjects. By the same token, there is no excuse for the propagation of deliberate false impressions and Lies particularly on the subject of self-defense.

One of the most infamous examples stems from the creation the phrase “Assault Weapon”:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

The Takeaway.

The nation’s Left has gone on for years demanding compromises on the part of the Pro-Liberty Right. It is time that they step up to the plate and show they can be ‘bi-partisan’ for once. These steps aren’t really that extraordinary, in fact they merely bolster Liberty. Some Leftists still purport to be Liberal, supporting these items would go a long way in showing that is truly the case.

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