Carol Platt Liebau: Good Lord

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Good Lord

Is there any surer a sign of theological atrophy and weakness than churches deciding to tinker with theological language? Who are these people who can't believe in/worship/become close to God if the word "Lord" or "Father" (or some other newly-designated politically incorrect term) is used in connection with Him?

These word-quibblers would like everyone to believe it's a revulsion to hierarchy that motivates them . . . but it's easy to suspect that, rather, it's a perverse form of arrogance that's reluctant to pay humble tribute to anyone and anything greater than themselves, as understood in traditional terms.

In other words, it's not about Him -- it's about them.


Blogger The Flomblog said...

THank you. I have friends (?) who insist on rewriting prayerbooks that I used as a child to desex the Holy One. as in:

Our Parent, who art in heaven

I find it insulting.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

Another giant step toward equating themselves with God. "God Is Dead" wasn't enough, so Time will no doubt do another cover: "God is Us."

6:36 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

They are like lib parents who want to be their childrens' "friend" more than their parent. Now they project that attitude onto God, as if He's cool with the notion. It's like the last guy said, that God is the Creator and that's a pretty vast gap between He and us. He deserves the praise and worship because He IS Lord. Why would we worship anone who doesn't have that superior greatness over us? Libs are bad enough, libs in religion are worse.

9:53 PM  
Blogger mythusmage said...

Of course, if God wants to appear to a person as a small cat looking for a bit of attention, that's Her business. :)

More seriously, God can be whatever He feels it necessary to be. That's what comes of being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Are you, a finite being, going to tell an infinite being what he can do, and expect to be obeyed?

2:37 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Hi Carol -

As a churchgoer (Lutheran), my first inclination is to agree with you. We shouldn't tinker with "Lord" or other heretofore standard terms found in the Bible. But I don't believe it's as clear cut or perverse as you see it.

For one thing, the actual Bible (the contemporaneous stories) don't have a stitch of English. Unless you know better, "Lord" or any other English words we get come from King James a good millenium later. Saying that "Lord" belongs is a little misguided.

A deeper point is that anything to get more people to church, I would think, should be encouraged. Not to preach because it's a personal decision, but if the lessons of the church are so powerful (they are), and such a helpful ally in today's culture (it is), do we really want to knock down a church over word choice? I don't.

On a more practical level: Churches are about raising money. They will not do something (willingly) that will result in less. If an adjustment of language conventions is what they feel it takes - an adjustment in a language that wasn't even the Bible's original language - is that really a cause for alarm? I don't agree with it but my answer is no, it's not alarming.

6:52 AM  

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