When it comes to religious practice, we can only wonder what goes through the minds of those who are not satisfied with what the Bible says. How can anyone's religion be considered legitimate when they abandon the Scriptures in order to conform to the politically correct dogma of today? A recent Associated Press article reflects this observation. It is entitled, "Presbyterians may rename 'Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." What unmitigated gall! The very idea that some created beings would dare to tamper with the names of Deity. What can they be thinking?
The Presbyterian church was founded by John Calvin, the father of Calvinism, a false doctrine that includes the concept of total hereditary depravity, the direct operation of the Holy Spirit apart from the Word, preservation of the saints otherwise known as "once saved, always saved," which in turn has fostered an inaccurate view of predestination. Their concept of predestination claims that God has arbitrarily designated those who are saved and lost and that fate is indelibly sealed forever. If you are lost, you can do nothing to be saved, and if you are saved you can do nothing to be lost. This is contradictory to plain Bible teaching-Jesus entreats the spiritually weary to rest, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, emphasis RR). "Whosoever will" has the opportunity to "take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). The predestination of which the Scriptures speak (Ephesians 1:5) is that God has chosen those who choose to be obedient to His will to inherit eternal life. Therefore, these and other false doctrines and practices nullify any claim that they may make to be the Lord's church.
Some of the changes to the names of Deity that have been proposed by certain members of the Presbyterian church are: "Rock, Redeemer, Friend," "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier," "Lover, Beloved, Love," "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love." The issue is not one of accuracy. These terms are accurate. However, we come to the particularly egregious, "Mother, Child, and Womb," and there we discover the impetus for these proposed changes. Some modern day "enlightened ones" have become "uncomfortable" with references to Deity solely reflected in the use of male terms and pronouns. They have been indoctrinated with political correctness and consider these sole male references to Deity as discriminatory. The problem with that position is that there is nothing arbitrary or ambiguous about the Biblical language that describes Deity in the male gender. The language cannot be construed to allow any leeway in referring to Deity in any other form or fashion than as the male gender. This is nothing but a cheap attempt to pacify and placate the politically correct. The fact that the Presbyterian Church has been "studying" this issue since 2000 is an indication of their lack of respect for God and His Word. One cannot help but wonder whether John Calvin himself would arrive at such conclusions. We may speculate that he would be appalled at the very idea of changing the names of Deity and the time that has been spent [wasted] examining this issue. Even as theologically flawed as Calvin was, there were certain things on which he was correct, one of which was his contention that mechanical instruments should not be used in worship, a stance that the Presbyterians have since ignored.
This action was taken under advisement at Presbyterian Church U.S.A's recent national assembly in Birmingham, Alabama. Delegates to this convention voted to "receive" this policy paper, but stopped short of approving it. In other words, while allowing individual churches to experiment with alternative liturgies for the Trinity, no one will be forced to do so.
We note some of the justification for even entertaining such a notion. One Iowa woman was quoted as saying, "This does not alter the church's theological position, but provides an educational resource to enhance the spiritual life of our membership." How changing the male gender references to Deity to female or ambiguous references are supposed to enhance anyone's spiritual life is unclear, unless this is a typical attempt to make people "feel good about themselves." The panel that has been examining this issue states, "The classical language for the Trinity should still be used," but added "Presbyterians should seek 'fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God' to 'expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder.'" This is so typical of this 21st century "touchy, feely, getting in touch with your emotions" society that we have become. Instead of looking for fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God, they would do well to "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16).
How can anyone seriously refer to Deity in the female gender when the Bible is replete with examples otherwise? Jesus addressed God as "Father" [Matt. 26:39; John 11:41; 17:1; et al.]. The Father called Jesus His Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Hebrews 1:5). Jesus promised His disciple the coming of the Holy Spirit with repeated male pronoun references (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-8). To tamper with these references is to assault the Bible's claim of inspiration.
God is not pleased with those who act frivolously with His name. His name is holy (Psalm 103:1; Matt. 6:9). It is to be exalted (Psa. 34:3). The name of Jesus is the name by which salvation is offered to man (Acts 4:12). It is also exalted (Philippians 2:9). God warned that those who take His name in vain or misuse it in any way will be held accountable (Exodus 20:7).
The panel made another outrageous observation. They claim that the language limited to the Father and Son "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women." The reason the language supports that God is male is because it is true! One might wonder if this panel considered at all that Jesus came to earth as a man, not a woman (Matt. 1:21; 1 Timothy 2:5). As far as men being superior to women, that is not a concept that is endorsed in the Scriptures. The woman was the crown jewel of creation, being the final creation of God (Genesis 2:22). Paul wrote that in the kingdom of heaven there are no positions of superiority (Galatians 3:28). Peter distinctly declared that men are to honor women (1 Peter 3:7). Within the church, men have been given positions of leadership, but Paul explained why this was done: 1) the order of creation-Adam first, then Eve and 2) Eve was deceived in the transgression. This was also the reason that God made man the head of the home (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22). This is in no way an indication that men are superior to women.
In the next to last paragraph of this article in a sort of "by the way" reference, the assembly was to also vote on a proposal to give local congregations and regional presbyteries some leeway in ordaining clergy and lay officers living in homosexual relationships. Conservative groups within the church are predictably protesting such a policy. If recent history is any indicator this resolution will pass regardless of the conservative protests. Such is the case when people are more concerned with being politically correct than religiously correct. These actions will no doubt, bring praise from the world, however they face the wrath of God Who will root up this illegitimate plant as He will all of those that He has not planted (Matt. 15:13). One cannot help but wonder why these people even bother calling themselves a religion when they are so bent on defying the living God and His Word and are truly seeking to please themselves.
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