Thursday, November 27, 2008

How feminists in the church killed the pronoun

When feminists write about Rahab or Sarah or Mary Magdalene, I don't know if they allow themselves the luxury of using the feminine pronouns, her and she, or if they just keep repeating their job description or name. This is what they do to our Father God and his son, our Lord Jesus Christ and the person and work of the Holy Spirit. It's possible, given all the hymns, liturgies, committee and commission reports, feminists (male and female) may eventually kill as many masculine pronouns as they have female babies (in many cultures, even our own, male children are preferred). The following statement, now almost 20 years old, is from "The Oxford Declaration on Christianity and Economics," which was issued as a broad consensus following the Second Oxford Conference on January 4-9, 1990, which resulted from a 3 year study beginning at the January 1987 gathering at Oxford (I'm assuming it was called the First*). Notice anything missing? Anything repeated? Masculine pronouns.

[Preamble]

A. Creation and Stewardship

God the Creator

1. From God and through God and to God are all things (Romans 11:36). In the freedom of God's eternal love, by the word of God's omnipotent power, and through the Creator Spirit, the Triune God gave being to the world and to human beings which live in it. God pronounced the whole creation good. For its continuing existence creation is dependent on God. The same God who created it is present in it, sustaining it, and giving it bountiful life (Psalm 104:29). In Christ, "all things were created . . . and all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-20). Though creation owes its being to God, it is itself not divine. The greatness of creation-both human and non-human-exists to glorify its Creator. The divine origin of the creation, its continued existence through God, redemption through Christ, and its purpose to-glorify God are fundamental truths which must guide all Christian reflection on creation and stewardship.

Appears as a Word document at http://esa-online.org/Display.asp?Page=HistDocs
Even the passage from Romans 11 has been changed (and probably reflects modern English translations to please feminists on the committees):

"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?
Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

This is why modern Christian vernacular, at least in English, sounds so clumsy and repetitious--so political. Why many leave the liberal denominations or just leave church all together. This paragraph just begs for a pronoun:

15. For Christians, work acquires a new dimension. God calls all Christians to employ through work the various gifts that God has given them. God calls people to enter the kingdom of God and to live a life in accordance with its demands. When people respond to the call of God, God enables them to bear the fruit of the Spirit and endows them individually with multiple gifts of the Spirit. As those who are gifted by the Spirit and whose actions are guided by the demands of love, Christians should do their work in the service of God and humanity.
Although this won't explain the loss of masculine pronouns, I think we all know the source of hatred behind that, it is interesting that this document on Christianity and Economics cites the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which does not mention the name of God (I did a "find" command) or even the idea of God, but the U.S. Declaration of Independence uses God in the first sentence, followed by Creator, Supreme Judge, Divine Providence. The U.N. document is a declaration of rights, as is our Declaration of Independence. Our Constitution doesn't use the word God, but the word "God" or "Supreme Ruler" appears in most of the state Constitutions, and ours is a nation of states.

If you're reciting something in church and it just doesn't sound right--it's cumbersome or ugly or awkward--look for a committee trying to be inclusive to the degree that humans become omnipotent, and God an afterthought.

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* Stewardship Journal, Winter 1991, has a special section on the Oxford Declaration with responses.

Update: How much hate from feminists? "Students at an Ottawa university are pulling out of a Canada-wide fundraiser that provides close to $1 million a year for cystic fibrosis research and treatment, arguing that the disease "has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men" — something experts say is untrue." CBC News
I guess that policy will leave out gay white men with AIDS. Actually, the only people I've known with CF were women.

3 comments:

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Happy Thanksgiving Norma! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!

Hokule'a Kealoha said...

Hi and a blessed thanks giving to you, I had my first experience with inclusive language at a Disciples of Christ church in Louisville where I led worship. They wanted all of the pronouns changed...it made the contemporary worship songs sound ridiculous. Most of the time we didnt change it and nobody cared. The Methodist church I attend in Arkansas has this but as a body we totally ignore it as silly nonsense. Do you need a feminie presence in your spiritual life...I have found that respect and devotion (not worship) of the Blessed Mother fills that need well.

Jim said...

God holds us accountable for what we believe as well as how we think about the truth He has revealed. When we trivialize the Scriptures doctrinally, we reduce God’s Commandments of our Christian Life based on what "WE" think it should be rather than what God says it should be.

This is why I am having trouble finding a decent local church near my own home. We have many Churches but not many really abides the Bible completely.