There are times in the affairs of the Church when it becomes necessary to say, “For God’s sake, stop!” One of those times is upon us now, and silence can only lend the appearance of consent. The cause of concern is the increasing efforts to rewrite Scripture, the creeds, and the hymns of the Church for the purpose of neutralizing and abandoning what is said to be “sexist language.”

Christian psychiatrists should take a close look at the emerging pattern. And certainly from the theological perspective there is more to what is happening than meets the eye.

The media have conveyed to us the news that “ ‘Father’ [when used of God] is a meaningless or ugly image for many people and it continues to carry patriarchal overtones that may indicate a hierarchical system, even systems of oppression.” Some theologians are suggesting that “the masculine imagery of God as ‘father’ and Jesus as ‘son’ should be broadened to include female symbols of ‘mother’ and ‘daughter.’ ”

The Christian doctrine of Scripture has for its central feature the fact that while the Bible was written by human beings, the Holy Spirit was behind all the writing so that nothing was written that the Holy Spirit did not wish to be written. Surely the omniscient God, the Holy Spirit, is no sexist. Surely the Holy Spirit allowed men to write Scripture in such a way that it would be timeless and binding on both men and women for all ages. As far as we know, no book in the Bible was written by a woman. Should the Holy Spirit be indicted for doing it this way? Should we rail against God as though he didn’t know what he was doing?

Human beings have no right to tamper with the Word of God by adding to it, taking away from it, or expunging language that displeases them. If the ...

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