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Episcopal Church Debates Changing Book Of Prayer To Make God Gender-Neutral

July 5, 2018

The Episcopal Church is the American-based branch of the Protestant faith. They split off from the Anglican Church, the England-based Protestant Church, in 1789, shortly after the American Revolution.

 

The church, having forsaken the authority of the Roman Catholic pope, relies on the Book of Common Prayer. The first Book of Common Prayer was written for the Protestant Church all the way back in 1549. Since then a number of revisions have been made. And multiple competing versions exist among all the divergent Protestant denominations we have today.

As a side note, when I consider this kind of constant branching off into separate competing denominations and all these revisions to their Holy Books that these churches engage in, I just cannot understand how these people do not see the blatant subjective, delusional foundations to these texts and faiths.

 

Anyway, the Episcopal version of the Book of Common Prayer last went through substantial revision in 1979. But now there are some individuals among the Episcopal ranks calling for another round of revisions. One of the revisions that some are pushing for is a change in language used to identify God.

 

For millennia, especially within the big monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, God has been referred to with male language like "King," "Lord," "Father," and "He." 

 

Some Episcopal clergy want to see that changed, though. Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor at Brite Divinity School in Texas serves on the committee recommending changes to the gendered language in the prayer book. She and many other Episcopal priests want God to be represented in the book as a concept that transcends gender. So instead of "King" they would use "Ruler" and instead of "Father" they would use "Creator," for example.

 

Revising the book would take years, however, and likely would not actually be usable in the church until 2030. A competing resolution is calling for the book to NOT be revised now. Instead, there are some who want the book to be studied intently for the next three years and THEN consider possible revision.

 

Chicago Bishop Jeffrey Lee is among those advocating for this three-year study of the current book. The Book of Common Prayer “really constitutes the Episcopal church in significant ways," he said. "Our theology is what we pray.”

 

As I mentioned above, whenever I see these kinds of changes and revisions to scriptural tradition, I just see the flawed, biased, fallacy-prone human hand. God's will is obeyed as long as it is convenient or useful, and then as soon as it is not, they just rewrite the books.

 

It really is pretty ludicrous.

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