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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Hell   » "Church" of Sweden to stop referring to God as Lord (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: "Church" of Sweden to stop referring to God as Lord
gorpo
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/24/church-of-sweden-to-stop-referring-to-god-as-he-or-lord

Having dropped the lordship of God in doctrine and practice decades ago, seems natural that they adapt liturgy as well.

Wonder if that will bring a cultural revolution. Will Sweden become more inclusive now that the few remaining old ladies who still go to church will hear that God is not male? Or will the remaining faithful christians finally transfer to independent churches?

Wonder what are they going to do with Bible readings. Not that the Bible has any importance to liberal christians, but surely the traditional liturgies at least demand they are read during the service. It´s going to be a hard time avoiding all passages that don´t fit with their gender ideology.

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Gamaliel
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I don't think it's fair to say that the Bible has 'no importance' for liberal Christians, Gorpo.

But by any traditional or conservative theological standards the Church of Sweden went astray a good while ago.

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Stetson
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quote:
Will Sweden become more inclusive now that the few remaining old ladies who still go to church will hear that God is not male?
Well, I would think that a sincere Christian who thought that God was male would, upon hearing the opposite from a COS pulpit, switch to a denomination that still taught that doctrine. Rather than quitting church altogether.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Lost in translation? Herr in German is both mister and lord. Herre is what comes up for Swedish for lord. Perhaps the word doesn't connote the same thing in English.

Lord is pretty much at the same level as thee or thou. Old timey language. Need to hear from a Swede.

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gorpo
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What to expect from an archbishop who claims that the virgin birth is not true story and that it´s perfectly possible to be an atheist and a christian at the same time?

It´s just atheism with rituals. It´s painful to see a church with such a rich tradition and doctrine succumb to the control of these morons.

Uniting church and stated was never a good idea. To have bureaucrats instead of people of God leading a Church is the cause of it.

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lilBuddha
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Thinking of the Christian god in terms of gender is rather ridiculous. It is a limitation on the limitless and reflects ancient paternalism rather than any solid theology. If, for sake of falimiarity, one wishes to assign a gender to God; female makes as much sense as male.
After all, Moses spoke burning bush, not a burning phallus.

[ 25. November 2017, 18:50: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
Uniting church and stated was never a good idea. To have bureaucrats instead of people of God leading a Church is the cause of it.

I think this may be overstating it. Spong was not a government bureaucrat.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Need to hear from a Swede.

I'm the daughter of a Swede. [Smile] . Doesn't make me an expert on the Church of Sweden, but this story seems more nuanced than some news outlets are reporting. Apparently, variations are offered re: how to refer to God in worship, and somewhere along the line, folks started reporting that there was a ban.

A Swedish site with a headline "No, the Swedish Church has not banned the male pronoun for God"

sabine

[ 25. November 2017, 18:54: Message edited by: sabine ]

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sabine
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Interestingly, Brietbart News got on the "Church of Sweden stripping God of gender" bandwagon. I think I'll stick with the report in the link in my last post.

sabine

[ 25. November 2017, 19:01: Message edited by: sabine ]

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Lost in translation?

Any attempt to put the character of God into human language will always result in a significant loss. Whether that language is English, Swedish or Hebrew. When you then take that feeble attempt to express things in Hebrew or Greek and translate into yet another language it's a miracle we do as well as we do.

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
After all, Moses spoke burning bush, not a burning phallus.

[Big Grin]
Assigning a gender to God has historically caused way too many problems. Future humanity needs to assign a gender neutral God or abandon the concept entirely. Not that it’s ever going to happen, I mean, what would we find to argue over then.

Also be quite a task to get all the Hims and He's out of Christian songs and formal prayers. As for other religions? Get real, might as freakin' well forget it.

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Arethosemyfeet
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So, it turns out that gorpo is an ill-informed twonk. Anyone surprised? Anyone?
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Bishops Finger
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Bad reporting by The Grauniad, too.

[Disappointed]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
So, it turns out that gorpo is an ill-informed twonk. Anyone surprised? Anyone?

He should get together with Russ, I'm sure they would get along just fine.
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Need to hear from a Swede.

I'm the daughter of a Swede. [Smile] . Doesn't make me an expert on the Church of Sweden, but this story seems more nuanced than some news outlets are reporting. Apparently, variations are offered re: how to refer to God in worship, and somewhere along the line, folks started reporting that there was a ban.

A Swedish site with a headline "No, the Swedish Church has not banned the male pronoun for God"

sabine

I was going to post this story, but then I came across the same Swedish link you did, and decided it probably wasn't worth the fuss.

I imagine that the confusion arose because there are probably very few Swedish journalists who have any deep understanding of the Church of Sweden and its liturgies, and I don't suppose any of them have actually sat down and compared the new service book with the old one. These are the people who would've sent an inaccurate story around the world.

Still, it would be interesting to know if any other Lutherans, or any other denominations anywhere, have created similar alternative 'official' liturgies.

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sabine
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I think that some blame for misunderstanding can also be laid at the feet of those who write headlines. Sometimes a person has to get past the clickbait lead to find the nuance.

sabine

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Anglican_Brat
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Scandinavia proves a challenge because by in large, it seems that one reason for the decline in Christian faith is the Norway, Sweden and Denmark, generally are happy countries.

I heard it said that Scandinavia dumped the religious bits of Christianity and integrated the ethical bits of Christianity in their social democratic ethos, a long, long time ago.

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Anglican_Brat
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Most mainline clergy, I know of, other than reciting the Lord's Prayer and the Creeds, has noticeably stopped using "Father" and "Lord" in addressing the divine in extemporaneous prayer.

Usually they use terms such as "loving God", "Gracious God", "Holy One", and "Creator".

I really don't think God minds what we call Her.

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Doc Tor
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So, to conclude.

English language newspaper article misunderstands update of Swedish liturgical practice.

Well, that's worth getting really upset about, gorpo. I'm glad we were here for you in your hour of need.

[Roll Eyes]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Lost in translation? Herr in German is both mister and lord.

As is Señor in Spanish.

I sometimes wonder, too, if “Lord” carries different connotations within the U.K. compared to outside the U.K.

quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I imagine that the confusion arose because there are probably very few Swedish journalists who have any deep understanding of the Church of Sweden and its liturgies . . . .

My experience suggest that you could leave out the Swedish references and still be fairly accurate: “I imagine the confusion arose because there are very few journalists who have any deep understanding of the Church and its liturgies."

quote:
Still, it would be interesting to know if any other Lutherans, or any other denominations anywhere, have created similar alternative 'official' liturgies.
Of course. In North American mainline Protestantism and Anglicanism, conversations and developments about inclusive language with regard to God and humanity have been going on for decades; those conversations are reflected in liturgies and hymnals. In some denominations (the United Church of Christ comes to mind) the changes are sometimes fairly drastic, while in others they are more subtle.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SvitlanaV2
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Hmmm. I thought this might be the case, so it really is quite odd that this strange story appeared from Sweden. Not only inaccurate, but out of date....
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orfeo

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Ironically, Sweden is also the source of an educational video about what happens when people read clickbait that's designed to make them react, and don't spend a moment checking out the accuracy of the story.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
Wonder what are they going to do with Bible readings.

I'm sure they can find some way to render YHWH in Swedish. Seeing as it doesn't literally mean "LORD" in the first place.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Tortuf
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You mean they are not all going to he double hockey sticks for using the wrong terminiology about God?

Well, doggone it, who can we send to heck for using terminology we don't like?

Surely there are other heretics out there. Maybe somebody who doesn't think every important thing about God wasn't already decided over a thousand years ago? Gotta be some of those theological libtards out there we can condemn.

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
Gotta be some of those theological libtards out there we can condemn.

Oh-oh, watch out non-trinitarians and/or universalists [Smile] How about umbrage iver using the "wrong" translation of the Bible.


sabine

[ 26. November 2017, 02:32: Message edited by: sabine ]

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Anglican_Brat
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The debate about inclusive language regarding God is a debate about how we understand divine revelation.

A form of liberalism suggests that there is no such thing as pure divine revelation that exists without human construction. Scripture is not infallible or inerrant, because scripture was written by humans and humans are fallible and flawed. The statement "God is Father" is a human construction, a human grasp of a divine mystery that cannot be fully understood in this life. So, one human construction is no better than another.

Theological conservatism might argue that there is divine revelation that is absolute and exists before human understanding. Therefore the statement "God is Father" is a divine command from God himself and thus cannot be altered.

When it boils down to it, that's the dichotomy between I think between liberal Christianity and conservative Christianity. Liberal Christianity posits that Tradition is not the "Truth" and thus can be subject to revision and re-imagination, whereas conservative Christianity posits that Tradition is the "Truth".

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
When it boils down to it, that's the dichotomy between I think between liberal Christianity and conservative Christianity. Liberal Christianity posits that Tradition is not the "Truth" and thus can be subject to revision and re-imagination, whereas conservative Christianity posits that Tradition is the "Truth".

That sounds like the contrast not between liberalism and conservatism, but between the Reformers and the Catholic Church in the 16th century.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Nick Tamen

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I'd say it maybe describes the far ends of the conservative/liberal spectrum, though I wonder if, at least in the Protestant context, “Tradition” is the best word to use. A hard-core conservative Protestant position would not posit that “Tradition" is the truth, but rather that Scripture proclaims the truth, and would not equate Scripture with Tradition.

But I think there’s a middle position there, where many (not hard-core) conservatives and liberals find common ground. That middle position would say that statements such as “God is Father” are indeed human constructs and demonstrate the inadequacies of human language to explain a mystery. But that position would also say that such statements represent an attempt to articulate what God has revealed about the divine nature and have to be taken seriously.

On one hand, speaking of God as Father must be maintained in certain circumstances, because it is part of the Scriptural witness/Tradition and because there are ecumenical implications in rejecting wholesale that language. (My own tribe has been insistent on this with regard to the baptismal formula or other liturgical phrases that refer to that formula.)

On the other hand, neither Scriptural witness nor Tradition require that God be spoken of only as “Father," and insisting on such a limited and limiting use of language risks limiting or distorting our understanding of God.

The devil, of course, is in the details.

[ 26. November 2017, 03:53: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Arethosemyfeet
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Nobody tell gorpo about the changes the SEC has permitted:
http://www.scotland.anglican.org/who-we-are/publications/liturgies/permitted-changes-to-the-1982-liturgy/

Might cause their (ooh, did you see what I did there? Gender neutral and everything) poor little head to explode.

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Bishops Finger
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I thought it already had.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Alan Cresswell

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There needs to be something in a head for it to explode. A skull containing nothing is going to implode.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
There needs to be something in a head for it to explode. A skull containing nothing is going to implode.

Surely overheated shit is highly explosive?
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Alan Cresswell

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"Shit for brains" is still an exaggeration when it comes to the mental capacity of gorpo.

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Bishops Finger
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Just so.

A slight aside, but could the scare quotes please be removed from the word 'Church' in the thread title?

Whatever gorpo thinks (and I use the word loosely), There Are Good Lutheran Christians In Sweden, and their Church is just as much a proper church as all the rest who believe in God (in whatever way they express that belief).

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
A slight aside, but could the scare quotes please be removed from the word 'Church' in the thread title?

Not going to do that. But on next H&A day, we might have "gorpo" in scare quotes instead.

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Bishops Finger
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That'll do nicely, thank you. It'll be like those awfully graphic health warnings on cigarette cartons...

Meanwhile, here's a few old ladies celebrating Easter in a Swedish 'church'.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:


Meanwhile, here's a few old ladies celebrating Easter in a Swedish 'church'.

IJ

Seems the choir created a bit of a bottleneck for incoming clergy. [Smile]

sabine

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Bishops Finger
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Yes, indeed - they only have such a large choir on High Days and Holy Days, AFAIK.

/tangent alert, but not for gropo's attention/

A fair turnout, though, for a town of only 19000 inhabitants - and this is only one of the four churches making up what I take to be the equivalent of a Team Parish in the UK. On a normal Sunday, there is one Eucharist at each church (0930, 1100, 1600, and 1800). I think this service - the 1100 service at the principal church - was attended by singers, clergy, and perhaps others, from the other churches, but they probably each had their own Hogmassa as well.

/back to rubbishing 'churches' of the Librul Perswasion.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I'd say it maybe describes the far ends of the conservative/liberal spectrum, though I wonder if, at least in the Protestant context, “Tradition” is the best word to use. A hard-core conservative Protestant position would not posit that “Tradition" is the truth, but rather that Scripture proclaims the truth, and would not equate Scripture with Tradition.

Exactly my point. Pitting Tradition against Truth is a Reformation thing.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gamaliel
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To be fair, even some of the most librul Christians I know think that Sweden is almost semi-pagan these days.

Swedes themselves have told me the same thing.

But then, the use of 'Gorpo' and 'brain' in the same sentence is problematic.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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I`ve heard it said by an expert that Sweden was never properly christianised in the first place. But perhaps that was said in jest.

Still, it's clear that Sweden is a completely different place from gorpo's Brazil. Sweden is one of the most secularised places on earth, while Brazil is one of the most religious. The cultural and social environment is going to be entirely different. Most of us would find it hard to be grounded in one of those cultures and easily understand the other.

I imagine that most of the Westerners who post here would feel a greater connection with Swedish than with Brazilian religiosity, despite misgivings about secularisation or the theology of the Church of Sweden. The environment is simply more culturally familiar to us.

FWIW, I've enjoyed Christian hospitality in Sweden, but if I had to put money on it I'd say that Brazilian Christianity had more of a future.

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Gamaliel
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Sure, but the elephant in Gormless's room is that a lot of Brazilian religiosity is incredibly syncretic and completely 'unsound' from the kind of conservative evangelical person he appears to favour.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
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I have also heard it said that Sweden and the like are becoming a living example of Bonhoeffer's idea of religionless Christianity.

I for one see far more future in that than the obverse, which is gaining power in many other places. The institutions may not look like contemporary churches, but will almost certainly be none the worse for that.

"Christian" religion with no heart, no soul, nothing but rules and texts, is a monster, and truly a foretaste of hell. Also promoted by gormless and his horrific tribe.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Scripture is not infallible or inerrant, because scripture was written by humans and humans are fallible and flawed.

Frankly this has nothing to do with it, because Scripture was not written in Swedish. Or English. We're not even talking about writers, we're talking about translators.

So put that caricature away back in your toybox.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I'd say it maybe describes the far ends of the conservative/liberal spectrum, though I wonder if, at least in the Protestant context, “Tradition” is the best word to use. A hard-core conservative Protestant position would not posit that “Tradition" is the truth, but rather that Scripture proclaims the truth, and would not equate Scripture with Tradition.

Exactly my point. Pitting Tradition against Truth is a Reformation thing.
Yes, I was responding to Anglican_Brat and broadly agreeing with you. (I think the classical Reformation perspective(s) are more nuanced and complicated than “pitting Tradition against Scripture,” which I think verges a bit toward caricature, but I readily see your point.) Sorry if my train of thought wasn’t clear.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Rossweisse

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Meanwhile, I see that gorpo has once again thrown a stink bomb into the hold and then run away. At least this time he did it in the right place - Hell - rather than Purgatory.

I expect it will return when it finds more, ah, fake news to share with us here.

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I'm not dead yet.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Yes, I was responding to Anglican_Brat and broadly agreeing with you. (I think the classical Reformation perspective(s) are more nuanced and complicated than “pitting Tradition against Scripture,” which I think verges a bit toward caricature, but I readily see your point.) Sorry if my train of thought wasn’t clear.

No problem. And you're right, that's a crude way of putting it. And the original Reformers weren't nearly so dismissive of church tradition as many of their 21st century spiritual descendants. Of course most o-f the leading lights of the Reformation also believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Their descendants have gone off the rails in more ways than one. [Big Grin]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Martin60
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The arc is long.

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Love wins

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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And tends towards Just Us.

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Forward the New Republic

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, but the elephant in Gormless's room is that a lot of Brazilian religiosity is incredibly syncretic and completely 'unsound' from the kind of conservative evangelical person he appears to favour.

But you seem to think that all Christianity that's too far away from Europe's precious theological colleges is 'unsound'!

[Biased]

However, it would be interesting to hear what gorpo thinks of Brazil's African-inflected heresies.

I'm guessing that they tend not to be associated with middle class, educated Brazilian Christians, so they therefore seem less of a threat than the heresies of wealthy, Lutheran Sweden.

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