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January 22, 2019


Gillian Smith

Exactly, you can’t put God in a box. He’s too almighty, powerful and diverse. Well said Andy. There must be millions of ways to pray to Him in all the languages around the world, which he created. If you’re truly praying to God He gives us the words to pray with anyway. It’s the praying that counts. He just loves to hear his children talking to Him. We were all made in His image, so what does it matter if some words sound feminine.

Sarah Bingham

So, Andy, amongst that delightfully rich list of ways of referring to the Trinity, which are taken directly from the liturgy of another faith system? My concern over the use of 'Maiden, Mother, Crone' and 'Blessed Be' is that both phrases are in regular use by Wiccan and Pagan friends within their liturgy, not that they are referring to the Trinity in feminine terms.

I am one of that group of 'some Baptist ministers' you referred to. I am content with the use of Risen Christa; as another so wisely put it, 'what is not assumed is not redeemed', but I am still unlikely to refer to Jesus as she. The issues to do with this liturgy are not purely along sex-determined lines and those who have concerns are not suggesting there is only one way to refer to God.

My concerns are two-fold; misunderstanding of the Christian God by Pagan and Wiccan friends who come across prayers using their phraseology, albeit in a different way to how they use those terms, and that for those within the Baptist Church who as yet are not open to receiving ministry from women, these prayers add fuel to their fire and, to mix my metaphor, give them yet another stick with which to beat we few (less than 300) Accredited Ministers, NAMs and MITs who happen to be women.

Ruth Moriarty

Thanks Andy, I'm leading a retreat on the names of God at the weekend ... just the ticket to get a conversation started!

Andy Goodliff

Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment. I'm not entirely comfortable myself with the language of 'maiden, mother and crone', but I trust the author of the prayer and perhaps here is some attempt at reclaiming of language. As I try and suggest this kind of language needs in my opinion needs to balanced with theological and christological as well - it cannot stand alone. There has always been concern when Christians seeks to build bridges with people of another faith/culture, but I guess I'm happy to give some generosity with dismissal at this point. I think the issue of how we pray to God is entirely separate to whether we ordain women, and would want to make that point and if people can't see that, well not a lot I can do.

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