What happens when a professing church becomes more concerned with pleasing men and bowing to the current cultural fads than with pleasing God and “rightly handling the word of truth”? 2 Timothy 2:15 Well, what happens is a quick slide into error, false teaching, and – eventually – apostasy. And that’s happening to so many denominations right before our eyes. Consider this headline: “Church of England explores gender neutral God.”
According to reports, “the Church of England will look into the use of gender neutral terms to refer to God in prayers” after “a priest asked about developing more inclusive language in authorized forms of worship and sought options for those who wish to speak of God in a ‘non-gendered way.’” Reportedly, a church spokesperson said:
Christians have recognized since ancient times that God is neither male nor female. …Yet the variety of ways of addressing and describing God found in scripture has not always been reflected in our worship.
Now, this spokesperson is either intentionally or ignorantly misrepresenting what Christians from “ancient times” have believed. No, God is not male or female in the human way we think of sex and gender. After all, “God is spirit” (John 4:24) and doesn’t have a body like us. But recognizing that God isn’t like us isn’t the same as saying God “is neither male nor female” because God has chosen to reveal himself to us—and he did so in the masculine! As we write in (the Answers In Genesis) statement of faith,
The Triune God has revealed himself in Scripture in the male gender with masculine pronouns and masculine titles such as Father, Son, God, King, Priest, and Prophet (Psalm 5:2; Matthew 28:19; John 14:26).
And, no, there are not (as the Church of England spokesperson claims) varieties of ways (in the way he means it!) of addressing and describing the biblical God that Christians haven’t used in our worship, because God did not reveal himself to mankind in a gender-neutral or feminine way. He chose to reveal himself in the masculine, culminating, of course, in the arrival of the God-man (not God-woman or God-nonbinary person!). And this isn’t some trifling point! Adam, the first man, is the head of the human race, and in him we all sinned and now die. Jesus came as the “last Adam,” who, through his death, brings life to all who will believe. Since death came into the world by a man, the atonement for death needed to be paid by a man (see 1 Corinthians 15).
Now, the priest asking the church to consider “gender neutral” liturgy is seeking such language for those “who wish to speak of God in a ‘non-gendered way.’” But wait – isn’t our culture supposedly all about using each person’s preferred terms, pronouns, and titles? Isn’t ignoring their preferred pronouns and instead using the ones we prefer “transphobic” and “hateful”? But these people want to do the very same thing to God by ignoring how he has revealed himself and calling him whatever they want!
This just shows that those requesting this new liturgy don’t really believe God is who he says he is. I would go so far as to say that many leaders in this denomination don’t care how God has chosen to reveal himself because they probably don’t truly believe he even exists. They don’t really care about God at all.
What they really care about is their own opinions about the world and therefore about God. And those in leadership care about catering to the depraved philosophies of our day so they can appear “inclusive” and “loving” (by our world’s definitions) – it’s fear of men, rather than fear of God! And it does no one any good!
Those coming to these “gender neutral” church services are not going to hear the biblical gospel – the most important message, which saves people for eternity! – explained. Think about it: if a leader or congregation is too afraid to use the pronouns and titles God has chosen for himself because some might be offended, they certainly aren’t going to preach the message that everyone is a sinner and that they cannot do anything to save themselves! That’s the most offensive message of all!
This question of who gets to decide which pronouns we use for God (and for people, made male or female in his image) comes down to a question of authority: is God or is man the ultimate authority? If we start with God’s Word, then God is the authority and we refer to him in the way he has chosen to reveal himself to us. If we’re the authority, then God’s Word doesn’t matter, and we can do whatever we want!
Ultimately, regardless of whether we allow the Bible to be the authority in our lives or not, God is the authority. And he will have the final say in judgment on those who twist his Word and lead others astray into sin and false teaching. Now, if that is you, repent today, trust Jesus Christ for salvation, and obey his Word.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”