‘Gender bias’ in Bible language sparks controversy

September 5th, 2010 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sep 5 (ANI): A new order of service produced by the Scottish Episcopal Church has sparked controversy as it has removed masculine references to God, the supreme-being once universally thought of as the Father of Christ.

The new form of worship has removed words such as “Lord, he, his, him” and “mankind” from services.

It has been written by the church in an attempt to acknowledge that God is “beyond human gender”.

The alterations have been made to provide an alternative to the established 1982 Liturgy, which, like the Bible, refers to God as a man.

The church’s Liturgy Committee in consultation with the Faith & Order Board of General Synod and the College of Bishops has produced the new order of service, which can be used by priests if they have difficulties with a male God.

However, some senior religious figures have objected to the new form of words.

“It is political correctness,” the Scotsman quoted Rev Stuart Hall of the Scottish Prayer Book Society as saying.

“It is quite unnecessary. The word man in English - especially among scientists - is inclusive of both sexes.

“Those who try to minimise references to God as the Father and Christ as his Son have great difficulties, because the New Testament is shot through with these references,” he said.

“The changing of God language is a little tricky,” admitted Rev Darren McFarland, convener of the church’s liturgy committee.

“It is then that opinion is much more divided. We have really tried not to mess around with the descriptions of God in the biblical text.

“But what we want to see is generous language when it comes to gender. God is above and beyond human gender,” he added. (ANI)

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