Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Is the UMC far behind?
The PCUSA has taken inclusive language a little too far, IMO. In the ongoing attempt to make church warm and fuzzy, their General Assembly has annihilated a central doctrine of the faith.
Instead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they voted to allow congregations to use any one of twelve different phrases. Included in the paper were the following:
As we worship, the triune God is the One From Whom, the One through Whom, and the One in
395 Whom we offer our praise (Rom 11:36).
397 As we seek God’s grace and wholeness, acknowledging the sin and brokenness in us, our human
398 communities, and the whole creation, the triune God is our Rainbow of Promise, our Ark of
399 Salvation, and our Dove of Peace (From Gail Ramshaw, Koinonia: Services and Prayers
400 (Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 2004).
402 As we read, proclaim, hear, and live out the message of scripture, the triune God is known to us
403 as Speaker, Word, and Breath (Heb 1:1; Jn 1:1; Jn 20:22; Ps 104:30).
405 In baptism, the triune God is for us Overflowing Font, Living Water, Flowing River (Book of
406 Common Worship, p.412; Jn 4:10, 13-14; Jn 7:37).
408 As we are born anew by water and the Spirit, the triune God is Compassionate Mother, Beloved
409 Child, and Life-giving Womb (Isa 49:15; Mt. 3:17; Isa 46:3).
411 As we grow in grace, the triune God is our Sun, Light, and Burning Ray (John of Damascus, First
414 As we offer ourselves, our resources, and our gratitude in stewardship and Eucharist, the triune
415 God is Giver, Gift, and Giving (Jas 1:17; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor 9:15; 1 Jn 3:24).
417 In celebrating the communion of our life together in Christ, the triune God is Lover, Beloved, and
418 the Love and binds together Lover and Beloved (Augustine, The Trinity).
420 As members of the believing community, we acknowledge the triune God as our Rock,
421 Cornerstone, and Temple (Ps 28:1; Eph 2:20-21).
423 When we speak of God’s wrath in the face of evil, the triune God is for us Fire that Consumes,
424 Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains (Deut 5:25; Mt 10:34-35; Ps 97:5).
426 As we seek to live in faith, love, and hope, the triune God is for us the One Who Was, the One
427 Who Is, and the One Who Is To Come (Rev 4:8).
My biggest concern here is that PCUSA has relegated the doctrine of the Trinity to mere verbal imagery. I understand that not everyone yet knows how to relate to God as Father, especially those without an earthly father, or those with a lousy earthly father. The Bible is chock full of other images. These images are not God, they are merely an attempt to describe, for our very limited understanding, pieces of Him.
The Triune God is more than imagery. He is. He is not like. He is.
I have made no secret of the prayers and tears tha