The Earth Is Not Your Mother

God is not your Mother either. But the ELCA wants you to call God: “Mother.”

The ELCA’s Book of Faith Lenten Journey is on the Lord’s Prayer. Surprise, surprise – in the ELCA praying to “Our Father” is nice but limiting.

What’s needed? Mother God. Parent God. A metaphor from our own experience to reflect what we value. Here’s the ELCA pitch:

“Can we call God ‘Mother’? In our world of domestic and sexual abuse…the word father can have deeply negative meanings for many people, meanings that keep them from experiencing the deeply interpersonal intimacy and love that moved Jesus to call God ‘Father’ …. If calling God ‘Mother’ opens a wounded soul to the experience of divine love, then why not? [1]

“Holy God, Father and Mother, thank you for the steadfastness of your love this day and every day. Amen.”

The Lutheran also calls for more names for God. Elaine Ramshaw promotes speaking of God “in metaphors we take from our own lives” (March 2010, 34-35).

If everyone is saved anyway, then make up names for god which reflect what you value. Why not? It’s just a game with nothing at stake.

But the gospel is that salvation is certain only in that first century Jew, who was hanged as a felon (no flattering image here), who called God his Father, and who has invited us to pray in his name to God as our Father.

For resources on this issue see Jenson, Burgess, and Forde, and here.


[1]Book of Faith Lenten Journey, pp 25-26. Day Three, emphasis added.

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