a journal of my journey

Now inclusiveness makes sense…

So I am a bit off. Last semester in my Confessions class we really got into the need for inclusive language within the church. This includes changing words within Bible translations and even from the puplit/ worship service. Last year a report called the Trinity Report was released by the PCUSA. It was adopted by the General Assembly as a study material but was not adopted to be a theological reflection for the Presbyterian Church. This document became one of the many issues that is splitting the church today. It seeks to enlarge our understanding of God, but many hold fast to traditional thought sand reflections. I too am one of these… at least until lately.One of the its main charges of the report was:The document speaks of “inclusive” language for the people of God and “faithful” language for God, language that plumbs the depths of scripture for rich and varied imagery. Such “faithful” language for God affirms classic trinitarian doctrine while seeking fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God. All theological reflection involves words and language, and so we must grapple with the limits and possibilities of language for God, but this was not the primary charge to the task force. The General Assembly asked for faithful and constructive theological reflection that could help the church renew its faith in the triune God. (Lines 84-89)Looking at its charge and duties does not sound like anything heretical. It just looks to expound the way we look at God. My stance until recently is that is is just a bunch of liberal, feminist, enviromental, ect…mumbo jumbo. Making me adjust words in my papers and such so that everything is “politically correct”.  I often argued that God IS the father of all. Why should we need to change that? Just so that people feel included. Isn’t that changing the essence of the Bible and our faith? Where does that stop or does it?That is when it hit me earlier this summer. I mean really hit me. It was in a sermon that I was listening to by Francis Chan. He described how can someone with a bad image of what a father is truly understand what God wants to give and do for us. If we have/ had a bad fatherly image how can we see God wanting to protect us, enable us, and want to love on us? We can’t. It skews our theology of God. For many it could be impossible to see God in a “traditional” God the father way, but that should not exclude us from the best way possible in understanding God and his depths in others. While others may refer to God as mother and other adjectives I am beginning to understand why and that God is not encased in our meek words but his understanding goes beyond all words.While I don’t pretend to even know more than the surface on this subject, there is one thing that I do know, no matter our history God wants to include each of us into His plan.

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One response

  1. Patrick

    I think we sometimes confuse the idea of not trying to limit God with an "anything goes" attitude.My experience in ministry has been that most people who stand outside the common/traditional understanding of God are simply looking for a God that makes sense to them. They don’t necessarily want to tear down anyone else’s understanding. They want to know God loves them and they don’t always hear God’s voice in the way those inside the circle have.There’s a lot of pain out there.

    August 17, 2007 at 6:17 pm

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