The Church of England's first female diocesan bishop (Rachel Treweek) is urging the church body to stop calling God "He," after a survey found that less than half of British Christians believe God is male.
Church leaders say the tendency to describe God as “he” is a growing problem, some even going so far as to argue calling God a man is heresy.
The calls come after a YouGov survey found less than half of 18-24 year old Christians believe God is male, with one in three over-65’s believing the same. A small percentage of respondents believed God was female.
The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Rev Rachel Treweek said: “I don’t want young girls or young boys to hear us constantly refer to God as ‘he’.”
Mrs. Treweek became the first female bishop to sit in the house of Lords in 2015 and famously sent back the initial version of her writ of summons because it referred to her as a “right reverend father in God.” She was offended.
If the campaign to eliminate masculine references to God is successful, the Church of England could go the way of the Church of Sweden, which in November 2017 voted to drop masculine references to God including “Lord” and “He” in order to make the church more “inclusive”, stating that the need for it “is based on an awareness of different types of discrimination and inequality in our society”.
The Rt Rev Dr Jo Bailey Wells, The Bishop of Dorking said using male language is a “growing problem” as language generally becomes more gender neutral.
She warned it is important to be “mindful of our language” so as to avoid alienating non-Christians from the Church. This is a similar argument to the one put forth by Thomas Muller at Fall Council 2017, where he said we have to have WO in the Danish Union or the work can’t go forward.
The Bishop of Dorking says so; it must be true.
Or maybe the Bible is true.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9).
“And Jesus lifted His eyes to heaven and said Father, the hour has come, glorify Thy Son…” (John 17:1).