The Church of England will consider altering God’s gender identity to use they/them pronouns in prayers and services, believing the ancient label does not accurately reflect modern worship, the church announced Wednesday.
The General Synod, the legislative body of the religious institution, began considering a diversion from God’s traditional “He” and “Him” titles used in both Christian and Jewish faith after a priest sought to talk about God in a “non-gendered” way, the Independent reported Tuesday. The establishment will launch a new project further examining the matter in the spring, according to the outlet.
“Christians have recognized since ancient times that God is neither male nor female,” a Church spokesperson told Reuters.
“God is not male. Certainly not the white cis male with a beard, sitting on a cloud we seem to reduce and limit God to so often,” Rev. Chantal Noppen, a reverend at North Wearside Parish, told The Times. (RELATED: Australia Announces It Will Remove Royal Family Members From $5 Bill In Favor Of Aboriginals)
Church of England explores gender neutral God https://t.co/wTPPhqrSV8 pic.twitter.com/M8SKGtZIzQ
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 8, 2023
Still, the Church will not make any changes without “extensive legislation,” and there are currently “absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise” established services, according to Reuters.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said “God is not male or female” or “definable,” according to the New York Post (NYP).
“All human language about God is inadequate and to some degree metaphorical,” the senior-most bishop said in 2018, the NYP reported.
Archbishops’ Council member Rev. Ian Paul called the concept unbiblical.
“If the Liturgical Commission seeks to change this, then in an important way they will be moving the doctrine of the church away from being grounded in the Scriptures,” he told the NYP.
Welby previously supported the Church of England’s 2020 decision to bring in an expert to assess the hardships the Church was accused of putting on ethnic minorities, calling the Church “institutionally racist.”
“I’m ashamed of our history and I’m ashamed of our failure,” he said at the time.