Swedish Church Says Pastors May Use Gender Neutral Pronouns in Reference to God
Sweden prides itself on being at the forefront of the progressive movement. Generally this manifests itself as the pursuit of political correctness at any-and-all costs—even when doing so fundamentally self-destructive.
For example, Sweden’s refusal to “label” Islamic migrants as a potential threat has led to the proliferation of sexual offenses committed by them against Swedish women. In fact, some two-thirds of all violent rapes in Sweden are committed by migrants, according to a recent study.
Predictably, the Swede’s religious adherence to political correctness has now infiltrated the Swedish Lutheran Church.
Antje Jackelén (pictured above) Bishop of Lund and head of Sweden’s Church, now says that God the Holy Father may be worshiped in a gender neutral way. This means that pastors are no longer obliged to pray “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” but can substitute the classical liturgical incantation for something like “in the name of God, the Trinity”.
Likewise, pastors and other politically correct worshipers may replace pronoun references to the Holy Father with “hen”, a gender neutral Swedish pronoun. This would be somewhat akin to translate the English Bible to say “and It/They said let there be light” etc.
A non-Swedish, non-politically correct observer may wonder on what grounds the Swedish Church claims the authority to neuter the Holy Father. The answer is theologically flimsy to say the least.
The Swedes have taken Christ’s quote “my Kingdom is not of this world” to mean that “the Bible must be interpreted from the world in which we live.” This is according to Wanja Lundby-Wedin, Deputy Rapporteur of the Church Council.
This flies in the face of the basic principles underlying Lutheran Christianity. Martin Luther’s big theological idea was that religious truth flowed from the scripture itself—not mankind’s rational ability or corruptible nature. For Luther, and other subsequent Protestant reformers, man’s goal should be to ensure the mortal world better reflects scripture—not the other way around.
In this sense, the Swedish Lutheran Church stands in opposition to their religion’s foundational principle.
Beyond that, one really does need to wonder who this is for. After all, Sweden is the least religious nation in the Western world—those who regularly attend Church are overwhelmingly old, and fairly conservative. As such, this move is unlikely for the benefit of practicing Christians in Sweden.
Assuming no malice is involved, it seems that the Church is trying to attract new, young followers by signalling how progressive it is—perhaps they intend on removing the social stigma associated with Christianity in Sweden. Although this sounds reasonable, it is misguided. A marketing strategy that “tries to be hip with the kids” rarely works, and never works in the long run.
The Church cannot call itself eternal, nor claim absolute moral authority, when it changes with the political winds. Furthermore, those seeking true spiritual guidance will be turned off by the Church’s political pandering.
In any case, the Swedish Church is struggling, and abandoning their principles is not an appropriate response.