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

Discussion in 'News Stand' started by sunshine307, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. 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.)

    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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  7. 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. 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.
  9. 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 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 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?
  10. 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.
  11. It troubled me very much to read in my local newspaper recently that a number of pastors in the United States are going to publicly support political candidates from the pulpit in our November elections. Its not the church leaders' role to openly take sides in politics. How far we have strayed from the church's true role of drawing people to Jesus! No wonder our churches are losing members. People in America are bombarded by political advertising during election season to the point of becoming nauseous. We don't want to hear "Vote for so-and-so" during church services, too.


  12. I understand totally and did not take it that way at all. I guess I was just trying to keep things in perspective. If hundreds of women are suffering in your congregation I would personally recommend trying a different one. I have been in places where it was painful to sit through even one service as the oppression and bondage was so bad that it made me physically sick. These are best avoided as they do not reflect God's heart at all.
  13. This article is just further evidence that you can't fix stupid. My comfort is in knowing that God will deal with those who who pervert scripture in due time....and in His own way.
  14. Fantasy taken to a whole new level!
  15. Abuse in the family

    Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    In order to find a solution to any problem we aught to go back to Him who created all things. As the above states God created all things male and fedmale He created them!!

    Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    The above states "Let Us" meaning that there were more than one in the making of man - Father, Son and Holy Ghost! We also need to think a bit more regarding the term man - man was created first and out of man came the woman (meaning - of man) and from the unity of both come the children. Therefore "man" indicated in Gen 1:26 incorporates all of theses.

    Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

    In quite clear terms God created the woman from the man and from his own admission he (man) said "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man.

    Everything that God created He called good - both man and woman. They were one flesh although they were two separate persons. They were co-heirs and both would rule in the family, however the man was created first and in the image of God and therefore has authority over the woman and his family. Remembers the woman although created by God came from the man therefore man is the head (has authority) of the family. Does this mean that he would lord it over and become a dicatator, heaven forbid it was not Gods intention. God said that Adam, had no help-meet. How could Adam have produced children and looked after them without the woman? It would be impossible! She is a co-heir of the family and everything therein. Marriage should be in community of property because everything belongs to both husband and wife. Divorce was never in Gods thinking when He created man and woman but it was in Satans to divide anything that God brought together.

    Man and woman both have a will separate from each other and that their wills should be one in thinking and one with God. This can only be possible if both the man and the woman are in Christ and are lead by the Holy Ghost.

    Gen Chapter 3 speaks of the fall of man. The woman was decieved by the serpent (Satan) into believing they did not need God but could become like God on their own. The serpent represents religion! Cold hard hearted fanatical religion. There is no other way to discribe it. The Pharasees and Seduccees of the day were just the same. Therefore anyone you is caught up in their deceitfulness will be the same. They would be one.

    Ever since the fall there has been conflict in the marriage because the God who created the marriage was now out of the picture and men and women were attempting to sort out their marriages on their own. The first thing Adam said when God challenged him was the woman whom You put with me gave me the forbidden fruit and I ate - Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. He immediately tried to shift the blame to his wife - conflict had started.

    The woman on the other hand when God spoke to her said :
    Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

    Immediately she attempted to put the blame on the serpent (Satan) again she did not want to accept her own guilt! Conflict was now spreading and it started in the first family.

    Both had a will, both chose to disobey God and follow the Serpent (Satan) therefore both fell - hard - and the family and the world has been suffering since then!! They used their wills!!

    Do not put the blame on anyone else for failed marriages on anyone other than that of the persons in the marriage because both have wills to call on the name of the Lord and be saved and He sort out the marriage. Pride and selfishness are the main contributors to a marriage that does not have the Lord in it.

    One question I would like to ask who put Satan here on the earth in first place - God - Satan would always be there to tempt.

    Satan was Lucifer and was in the presence of God but he chose to rebel against God and wanted to rule over heaven and earth. God sent him packing and like lighening he was kicked out of heaven to the earth.

    Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    Isa 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
    Isa 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

    Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    Only God has the authority over Satan and therefore we who are in Him will only act as He gives direction. Only God can throw him into hell, not man.

    Mans will is not drawn to Gods anymore but to Satans and therefore we need to be assisted to bring us back to God will.

    Going back to the beginning who did God blame in the end. Adam - Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Again we see in the second part of the above verse the term men and this incorporates man, the woman and the children!!

    So if the family is not in Christ there will be conflict that could end in divorce, the same if there is only one who knows the Lord, but if both know the Lord the two are running together and not one attempting to influence the other to their way of thinking. Samson had such a relationship and look what happened to him! Is there conflict in a marriage where both are born again, where both know and love the Lord - yes there is but we have the hope of His involvement to sort out the problems through effective communication and mutual genuine forgiveness.

    Only in Jesus Christ can the family come back to normal. It is possible to change a marriage through psychiatry but this is self effort and denies the power of God to transform.

    Man must repent. The so called Lords prayer in Mathew chapter 6 was not a prayer at all but Jesus teaching His disciples how to humble themselves before a Holy God and repent of there sin

    Our Father who are in Heaven
    (He is in heaven and we are on earth created fallen beings in rebelling against Him)
    Hallowed be thy name
    (His name is above all names and it is His name we are to call upon in trouble)
    Thy kingdon come
    Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven
    (seek ye the kingdom of God first and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you - including salvation).
    Give us this day out daily bread
    (spiritual and physical food as they had in the desert and by which we can grow in the knowledge of Him who has called us out of darkness into His glorious light. He who can help us though our most difficult times).
    and fogive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
    (He forgives us first and then we can see our way to forgive others and have them forgive us)
    lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
    (God does not tempt but is able to help us when we are tempted espectially in the marriage and He is able to deliver us from evil (from Satans authority over us)
    For thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, for ever and ever...
    Everything belongs to God even YOU!!! Repent today!! Satan wanted to rule over everything and he got his wish through Adam but through Jesus Christ he loses his headship (authority) over us because on the cross He (Jesus Christ) crushed the head of the serpent and foretold in Genesis 3:15-17.

    Take note anyone caught up in a relationship where there is physical or mental abuse and the life of the person is in jeapordy then they must leave get out and not think that the abuse is normal it is not and it is not sanctioned by God at all - it was not in His creation in the very beginning - Gods Moral law comes into being and therefore your life is important whether saved or unsaved. Do not get into an adultry type of situation even after you have left. Wait on the Lord if he or she who is causing the abuse divorces then the problem rests on their head. If the person continues to hound you God has placed the authorities there as agents of rath to sort out such problems get a restraining order. Remember God does not sanction divorce so ensure that if you as a born again disciple of Jesus Christ are separated from your husband because of this abuse that you pray for his salvation. If the matter is really out of hand He will guide you as to what to do regarding divorce proceedings - Moses (who represts the law - gave persons a divorce becuase their hears were hard.

    I hope this has put some light on your situation.


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