Sometimes I really despair for my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Here’s a report from Get Religion on a policy paper that was received by delegates to the National Assembly. It means that liturgies can be developed that use “alternative phrasings for the Trinity” but churches aren’t bound to use them.
Some of the alternative phrasings? How about “Mother, Child and Womb.” Or “Rock, Redeemer, Friend.”
I realize the mystery of the Triune God is difficult to grasp and even more difficult to put into words. The risk we take with these alternative phrasings is to further distort the divine in people’s minds. The Spirit as Womb? What is this? Some effort to restore the divine feminine? This takes inclusive language way too far for me.
In what way does a uterus resemble how Jesus describes the working of the Spirit here in John’s Gospel:
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. … Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment … But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come.”
It seems at the very least unhelpful and at the worst blasphemous to think of the Holy Spirit of God Almighty as a body part and not a Person.
Would the Nicene Creed be rewritten?
And I believe in the Holy Womb, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Mother and the Child; who with the Mother and the Child together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
How does this phrasing not change our theology, if it is adopted? It changes our theology because words really mean something. A womb does not speak by the prophets; it does not convict the world regarding sin, righteousness and judgment; it does not empower us to be Christ’s witnesses.
Heaven help the PCUSA.