I am the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel
Grateful that Cranmer’s Prayer Book is unscathed, it is concerning to hear that the feminisation agenda has now infiltrated the prayer books of Judaism. It seems that YHWH is no longer a ‘He’, according to the Movement for Reform Judaism which has produced a ‘gender-equal’ prayer book.
The latest edition of ‘Forms of Prayer’ mentions in the Amidah not only the ‘God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’ but also the ‘God of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel’. All masculine terms like ‘Father’, ‘King’ or ‘Lord’ are expunged, being replaced by gender-neutral terms like ‘Eternal One’, ‘Creator’ or ‘Ancestor’. Their reasoning for such a development is explained on their website:
Reform Judaism is living Judaism. It is a religious philosophy rooted in nearly four millennia of Jewish tradition, whilst actively engaged with modern life and thought. This means both an uncompromising assertion of eternal truths and values and an open, positive attitude to new insights and changing circumstances. It is a living, evolving faith that Jews of today and tomorrow can live by.
Reform executive director Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand said: "It is clear that faith is still regarded as hugely important and relevant in the modern world. Nevertheless faith movements still have a long way to go to bring themselves into line with modern attitudes on gender. Faith is still seen as fundamentally discriminatory and still almost exclusively promotes male images of God, with which only a minority any longer identifies. The launch of our new prayer book can play an important role in challenging such thinking and re-engaging those who feel cut off by current attitudes."
No, Rabbi, your innovation alienates just as much as it re-engages. Since God is not a created being, he is not bound by male or female, but he is possessing of personhood – he has a mind, a will, an intellect, and emotions. Anthropomorphism demands gender appropriation for he is manifestly not an ‘it’. He is Lord and King, omnipotent and omniscient, alpha and omega. To neuter God is to accord with the programmatic elimination of the importance of the father, the need for masculinity, the necessity of testosterone-charged maleness.
Christianity is also a living faith. It is a religious philosophy rooted in two millennia of Christian tradition, whilst actively engaged with modern life and thought. This means both an uncompromising assertion of eternal truths and values and an open, positive attitude to new insights and changing circumstances. It is a living, evolving faith that Christians of today and tomorrow can live by.
But it is bound by tradition and certain historic factors: Jesus was male, he chose 12 male disciples, and, while the New Testament speaks abundantly of equality between the genders, there is also acknowledgement of the manifest differences. A woman is not, as Plato might say, an ‘inferior man’, but a creature of complementary attributes.
Yet Reform Judaism believes that ‘all religion is provisional and that continuing revelation is an awesome reality’.
Who discerns the veracity of this revelation? Who declares infallibly a new doctrine or eternal truth?
Cranmer awaits the declaration of their prophets that Yeshua is, after all, their Messiah.
Unless they are waiting for an hermaphrodite.