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  1. #1
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    Outcry as clergy say calling God 'He' or 'Lord' encourages wife-beating

    I'm sickened beyond words as I read this today in an English paper. This is one of the main British churches. The time has come for man to make a stand - do they listen to man or God. (I've copied the link in case anyone wants it.)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770

    Outcry as clergy say calling God 'He' or 'Lord' encourages wife-beating
    Church of England leaders warned yesterday that calling God 'He' encourages men to beat their wives.
    They told churchgoers they must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse.
    In new guidelines for bishops and priests on such abuse, they blamed "uncritical use of masculine imagery" for encouraging men to behave violently towards women.
    They also warned that clergy must reconsider the language they use in sermons and check the hymns they sing to remove signs of male oppression.
    The recommendation - fully endorsed by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams - puts a question mark over huge swathes of Christian teaching and practice.
    It throws doubt on whether the principal Christian prayer should continue to be known as the Lord's Prayer and begin 'Our Father'. It means well-loved hymns such as Fight the Good Fight and Onward Christian Soldiers may be headed for the dustbin.
    The rules also throw into question the role of the Bible by calling for reinterpretations of stories in which God uses violence.
    The guidelines also claim that abuse is common within marriage and says this is because marriage heightens a sense among husbands that they own their wives.
    The document prompted an outcry from conservative clergy. They accused the Archbishops' Council, the CofE's cabinet that produced the guidelines, of distorting theology for a 'feminist agenda'. Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the influential evangelical Reform movement, said: "There is a danger that this document has veered too much towards political correctness.
    "The Bible says God has both female and male characteristics but it does not feel inhibited about referring to God as male." Simon Calvert of the evangelical Christian Institute think tank, said: "They appear to suggest seriously that we should ditch many centuries of Judaeo-Christian teaching because of some half-baked feminist theory." The guidelines - Responding to Domestic Abuse -say that centuries of Christian teaching have led to "questionable assumptions" about the Bible and moral teaching.
    "Domestic abuse is fundamentally an abuse of power, and many conceptions of God derived from the Bible and the Christian tradition have portrayed divine power in unhealthy and potentially oppressive ways,' say the guidelines.
    "There are particular problems in the attribution of violent actions and attitudes to God, chiefly but not solely in the Old Testament, which require careful interpretation." The document adds that Biblical violence, 'in combination with uncritical use of masculine imagery, can validate overbearing and ultimately violent patterns of behaviour'.
    It quotes a feminist thinker that "If God is male, then the male is God". Calling for the Church to "correct this major imbalance", it says changes must extend to sermons, formal teaching and hymns.
    There should, it recommends, be "imagination and sensitivity in using potentially problematic language".
    "For example, the idea of God as "Lord" may be used in harsh and domineering ways."
    Jesus is Lord.

  2. #2
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    I don't know how the feminists and others come up with these things. If they look in the New Testament, they will see that Jesus (who is male) was not violent, in fact, I believe he made situations better for women and children. Jesus was respectful and loving towards people equally in spite of their age, sex, or social standing.

    I believe to take out "He" from God is very wrong. Thank you for this post, Sunshine.
    What matters is Jesus

  3. #3
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    This is utterly disgusting and absolutely stupid. I see this stemming from fools with no full time job and too much time on their hands. Fools who love to complain over nonsensical things and clearly, speak out of flesh. This is nothing from GOD but only perverts true Scriptural teachings and interpration of any story of the Bible.

    These people are certainly out of line with GOD and His Living Word. Somehow they blame Scripture for what man does. That I call, brainless.

  4. #4
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    I agree with you word for word Chad. I wonder if they even considered the fact that maybe men abusing their wives may have psychological problems, or are just the kind of people who feel they have that kind of right. Well, we live in Satans world folks, the master web spinner.

  5. #5
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    clergy call to change language to discourage abuse

    I used to think like the other people who have responded.

    But now I can see the point of those who are calling for caution in the way we present God and the Bible. People know God based on how they have been taught - that's why Jesus was incensed more at the Pharisees than anything else that was askew in His day, because the Pharisees represented God and His laws. God was misrepresented by the Pharisees, who knew the law back to front but misused their power and blocked the Jews from really have an understanding of who God was.

    Where the feminists have it wrong is that God is male. If God indeed is male, than that is a worry. We use "He" but we don't mean that He is literally male. We use "Lord" because He is veritably and accurately our Lord. However, knowing this could be misinterpreted, Jesus made it very clear that to be Lord was to be the humblest servant.

    We do really have to be so careful as to how we present God to the young, to the vulnerable, to the flock and to the world. Abuse in Christian homes is indeed enabled by theology that enables abusive thinking. Shelter workers themselves note that Christian women who are battered have it worse because the battering is justified. Of course, the majority know that it is never justified by Scripture, but it is easy for some to twist Scripture and be supported by the church.

    My own husband always managed to quote Scripture and never be challenged by Christians, be they psychologists, counselors or pastors. He made out like we had marital conflict and used Scripture to back his thinking, like wives having to be supportive, not withhold sex, be forgiving, etc. He would give lip service to condemning abuse, but would constantly minimize his own abusive behavior. My nonbelieving relatives couldn't believe the support he would get from the church and today are skeptical about Christian theology because they can see how it can foster abusive thinking. One doesn't have to have psychological issues or childhood trauma to be abusive - one only needs to feel entitled and justify it.

    Till today, I have friends and Bible study leaders who are wondering why I have left and are encouraging reconciliation with no thought to the safety of my children and I.

  6. #6
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    I am sorry for your hurt and pain. Religion makes one cruel, Christ makes one love. But that does not mean we should try to change the Word of God to please anyone. A few corrupt people doing what people do will not and cannot change the unadulterated truth of the Word of God.
    You are in my prayers,
    brother Larry.
    Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your message of encouragement.

    I am not suggesting that we should please humans or that I support changing the Word of God. All I am saying is that these people do have a point if we are careful to listen.

    We should never alter what God is really saying, but we do have to be careful about how we represent God. If we say He is Lord, we need to be clear what that means - not that He lords it over us, but that He is the rightful master/owner over all who loves us so much He would sacrifice and die for us.

    Before we bash feminists (or anyone for that matter), we need to be thankful that it is the feminists who led the movement to recognize, condemn, expose and tackle domestic violence. Far from breaking down marriages, as my husband would often accuse them of doing when he found out they were supporting me, they were very respectful of my marriage and my faith. It was embarrassing to me that the very people who were helping me out of oppression were labelled as feminists by people who should have been far more interested in freeing people from oppression, that is, those filled with the knowledge and love of Christ.

  8. #8
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    I am not bashing anyone but if their lifestyle or theology contradicts the Word of God then they are simply flat out wrong. There are as many lost people in the church as out and people make bad choices daily. The Pharisees did not know God so they used His Word as an instrument of bondage and death. This did not change the fact that God gave specific details on how to live life. If He choose to call Himself He then who am I to argue? Does that lend itself to abuse or wife-beating? No. But there will always be lost people claiming to do good in God's Name while contradicting His very heart of love. There will also be others claiming the Word of God is an instrument of harm and they are just as confused as the first group. As far as those church folks who supported your spouse they may have been religious, misinformed, bound up or any combination of the above.
    Non of this makes feminists correct in their ideology. That does not mean they are not well meaning and that they do not do good work. I applaud their efforts to keep anyone out of abusive situations as this is not the will of God for anyone.
    The truth is this: A church is a great place to meet messed up people. Hopefully they are trying to find God and He will make them whole. In some cases this takes a lifetime. So while the church is not perfect it is a place where we can expect to meet folks with at least as many problems as we our self have.
    While the world is full of all kinds of people it's own self - some well meaning and some not so well meaning there is but one way to true freedom and that is Jesus Christ.
    Again, I am so sorry for what happened to you and the response you received. Thank God for those who helped you. I hope you find some good folks who are walking with Jesus to help you on your way.
    Many blessings in His Name,
    your brother Larry.
    Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

  9. #9
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    It is not God's fault that people believe they need to change His true nature. That is the fault of man and the enemy. Once we point the finger to the right person and get ourselves out of satan's scheme we can better see it. John 10:10 says that the thief comes but to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus comes that we might have abundant life.

    Changing the pronoun of God...from He to just God...is not truly the issue. This man...this clergy...are trying to take away what they deem to be the problem, but which indeed is NOT the problem. They are putting a bandaid one something that can only be fixed by The One and Only Living God! Man can not fix the problem that is stemmed from this use of Scripture wrongly.

    I have been abused in my past by my father and his father. I may never know why the abuse came, but I will not put blame on God. It was not his fault that these two men in my life...who should have been examples of Christ were not.

    To try to cover up these deep wounds that people get from abuse with a bandaid, is a horrible mistake. To assume that one group of people have helped do this and this and to take God out of the equation for me is a grave mistake...it is beyond horrible!

    God who has given life and breath to us. Who asks that we accept a free gift He hands to us. He wants us...all of us.

    If husbands and wives use God as a way to abuse their spouse, they are going to find that they will get something they didn't wish to get.

    There are people who use God and His Word to further their evil ways...they are wolves in sheep's clothing.

    When I was in college, I went to this church that met on the college campus. This college is a Christian college. The songs that we sang that had 'He' in them were changed and I believe some were changed to 'She'.

    It seems that the church is doing a disservice to God and the Bridegroom. We aren't taught that Jesus is the head of the Church and the husband is the head of the home and what that is to look like. *shakes head* Another thing that satan is yearning to kill, steal, and destroy! And the Church is sitting on its hands...and letting satan reign. Satan isn't supposed to be running a muck in our lives! He is to be under our feet! I for one, got my high heels on and am dancing on the devil! Care to join me?
    ~Jen aka G4G~
    When I think about the Lord...

  10. #10
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    Sorry, brother Larry, I didn't mean that it was you personally doing the bashing, but my response was directed toward the general tone of the believer's average response to that sort of news. I don't mean just in this thread, but also out there in the community whenever things like that are discussed.

    I actually concur with what you are saying. God Himself is never to be blamed and the Word of God remains pure, but there is little doubt that humans have to be very vigilant about how they interpret and teach the Word of God. The heart is desperately wicked and easily deceived. It is highly probably that both the Pharisees and the public didn't see the strong warnings of Jesus against the hierarchy coming. The leadership quoted the Word of God but didn't see the intent or spirit behind the words. They didn't, in their heart of hearts, know the Father. When that happens, we present God's principles as decrees or the law that must be followed without consideration to the heart of the Person behind that law.

    I think that is what has gone askew in the church with regards to domestic abuse. Unfortunately, the world only sees the results. Instead of putting down and dismissing them for their ignorance, the church should humble herself, look at what has seriously contributed to the problem by listening to the people affected and begin to change where needed. Not suggesting for a moment that the changes involve changing the Bible, but listening to why these people see that need for change and how we could truly do things differently from the pulpit to prevent further harm. Hundreds of women in my own congregation are suffering. Needlessly.

    Thanks for listening.

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