Author Topic: ELCA prays to "Mother God"  (Read 48145 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #90 on: May 04, 2020, 10:23:37 AM »

Reminds me of the old question, "How bad can I be and still get to heaven?"


I can understand using mother imagery to describe God. The Bible occasionally uses mother imagery to describe God. But that is different than calling God, "Mother." While it is easy to find Biblical precedent for using mother imagery for God, can anyone find Biblical precedent for addressing God as Mother? It seems to me to be presumptuous as least to impose on God address that He has not chosen since He has revealed to us ways in which we may address Him. Do we really want to tell God that we don't like what He has called Himself in speaking to us and have decided to call Him something of our choosing and preference?
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #91 on: May 04, 2020, 10:24:25 AM »
I have a question for you, Pastor Bohler. Supposing in a service the one presiding prays using the term “Mother God.” Supposing in that service, is the “traditional” liturgy, the traditional creed, readings from scripture (ours), and the celebration of holy communion. But there’s that one prayer using the dreaded term.
Is it still Idolatry?

Here's one for you.  Supposing in a lifetime of general obedience to the laws of the land -- he doesn't speed, he pays his taxes on time and the proper amount, he separates his recyclables, and so on -- a man one day picks up a knife and stabs to death his neighbor after a heated argument over his dog pooping in the yard.  Is it still murder?

The answer is "yes".  To your question and mine.  Yes, it is.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #92 on: May 04, 2020, 10:28:09 AM »
I have a question for you, Pastor Bohler. Supposing in a service the one presiding prays using the term “Mother God.” Supposing in that service, is the “traditional” liturgy, the traditional creed, readings from scripture (ours), and the celebration of holy communion. But there’s that one prayer using the dreaded term.
Is it still Idolatry?

Here's one for you.  Supposing in a lifetime of general obedience to the laws of the land -- he doesn't speed, he pays his taxes on time and the proper amount, he separates his recyclables, and so on -- a man one day picks up a knife and stabs to death his neighbor after a heated argument over his dog pooping in the yard.  Is it still murder?

The answer is "yes".  To your question and mine.  Yes, it is.

Oh, and stop pooping these prayers in God's yard.

Dan Fienen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #93 on: May 04, 2020, 10:37:09 AM »

Seems to me that in dealing with women who have had a bad relationship with a father, or with men and for whom relating to God as Father is problematic that we have here a teachable moment.


In the long run, which is more beneficial for women who have been in an abusive relationship, to help them work through their trauma, heal, and begin to be able to form positive relationships, or to help them avoid dealing with their trauma and avoid ever having to interact with those of the same class as those who abused them? (If it was a father, avoid ever having to deal with fathers, or men, etc.)


First, there are Biblical ways to speak to God other than as Father. Prayers can be addressed to Jesus, or to our Good Shepherd. Second this could be an opportunity, carefully and gently, to help the person come to realize that the father who so badly treated them was not what a father is supposed to be like. He was not a good father, as God is our good Father. Part of her healing could be to come to recognize how wrong her father had been, not her fault, not what fathers should be. To pretend that God is not Father but Mother may make her more comfortable but do little to help her heal. The wounds that her human father inflicted are still being allowed to fester and color all her life and relationships rather than heal as a wound inflicted by a bad person but she is a person who can meet and relate to others without allowing her bad father to continue to control her and her relationships with others. Probably a long process needing much care and patience but a needed process.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 10:54:14 AM by Dan Fienen »
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #94 on: May 04, 2020, 10:39:58 AM »
I have a question for you, Pastor Bohler. Supposing in a service the one presiding prays using the term “Mother God.” Supposing in that service, is the “traditional” liturgy, the traditional creed, readings from scripture (ours), and the celebration of holy communion. But there’s that one prayer using the dreaded term.
Is it still Idolatry?

As one making amends for a misreading of the original statement above, may I offer my (re)take on Mother God.  Is it idolatry?  Yes.  Idolatry isn't as simple as a word or phrase used in a "traditional" liturgy, it is the intent as well.  We set our needs above what God wills for us and cast aside his promises.  Yes, there are women who may find it difficult to pray to God the Father but does the church not lead them to understand that no matter the relationship with their earthy father or spouse, God protects and cares for them.  We are doing no favors to affirm language created with the express intent to superimpose the god that we wish to create over the God who created us.  Substituting language for something not intended shows a lack of trust in God's promises.

We seem to think that we are superior to those who first handed down the faith of the church and so we we might say, It's complicated.  Actually, it's not complicated at all.    Scripture is quite clear on who our Father is and through Whom we have access to our Father.

Yes, and to add to what you have said: mothers too can be abusive, unloving, mean, and negligent.  It is not just fathers who have a corner on that market.  Indeed, in my time in the social service field, I dealt with more cases of mothers abusing/neglecting their children than fathers -- partly, I am sure, because many of these were one-parent households with no father present.  But still, the mothers were the ones abusing and neglecting the kids.  So, what does it say to those with such mothers when the prayer is now addressed to "Mother God"? 

pearson

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #95 on: May 04, 2020, 10:56:35 AM »

I said that in the context of "all language is metaphor". Fr. Richard Rohr says the same thing. https://cac.org/all-language-is-metaphor-2017-01-11/

The words "my father" is not my father. It represents my father. So do the words, "Paul Stoffregen." Even those 14 letters on a page is his name, they are not my dad. Since they "represent" my dad, the words are metaphors.


"Representations" are not metaphors.  Not all "representations" are even linguistic.

I know Fr. Rohr, a man who speaks (and writes) with great rhetorical passion and minimal conceptual precision.  I am always edified when I have heard him speak, but there's not much theological grit in his insights.

As for "all language is metaphor": that became a technical catch-phrase in philosophy of language in the second half of the twentieth century; but no one really knows what it means.  It's inherently circular, and thus incoherent -- is "all language is metaphor" itself a metaphor?  Now, where are we?

If you're going to dive into these metaphorical waters, you really need to get out more.  Read some Mark Johnson.  Read some Paul Ricoeur.  Even read some more of Pr. David Charlton; he seems to get it.

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Dan Fienen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #96 on: May 04, 2020, 10:58:55 AM »


Where in Chacedonian orthodoxy does it say that we cannot talk about God "giving birth" as scripture does? Or talk about God as a mother? I prefer the term "biblical Christanity" over your heretical terms.

I make a distinction between using mother imagery or metaphors for God and asserting the God is a mother.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #97 on: May 04, 2020, 11:16:26 AM »



<<Nested quote boxes snipped out>>

Wrong answer. Like with Paul's advice about food sacrificed to idols; there will be some who find nothing wrong with it because idols don't exist; and others whose conscience will not let them participate in the pagan practice. Likewise, there are some who will use goddess language in reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God who is known as the Trinity. For them, our God is big enough to be expressed in such terms. For others, their conscience will not let them participate in what is seen as pagan language and practices.


Yes, there are words. Do you want to place those who have been freed from the Law by Jesus back under the Law? "You can't do that!"


I also disagree somewhat with the title of this thread. At best, the ELCA allowed a prayer to "Mother God." There is a freedom in our denomination that isn't always found in other denominations. When language like that showed up in a petition, I usually changed it, e.g., "God, who loves us like a mother, …." I have the freedom to do that, just as others have the freedom to use that language.

Your presentation of Paul's discussion of food sacrificed to idols from 1 Corinthians and Romans is superficial. Paul does not simply say that idols are nothing so if your conscience allows it you can freely participate in the pagan practices associated with the idols with no problems. In 1 Corinthians 10, he specifically considers participation in the rites and rituals associated with the idols of Corinth and urgently warns the Corinthians against it. That brought death and ruin upon many in Israel over the ages. See especially 1 Cor. 10:14-22. Even a superficial reading of 1 Corinthians should have alerted you to this.


Paul's point about the permissibility of eating meat sacrificed to idols was that there were occasions and situations where meat could be consumed that at some point in its journey from hoof to table had been a part of an idolatrous sacrificial rite, but that did not alter the nature of the meat or make it unfit for Christian consumption. He very carefully and emphatically warned against personal participation in idolatrous rites. Such actions are destructive of one's relationship with God.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #98 on: May 04, 2020, 02:45:42 PM »


<<snip>>

Thirdly, 20th century archaeological discoveries show that the goddess Asherah was often part of Israelite worship (at least among the common folks). Her religious statutes were found in homes. There was also found three inscriptions that referred to Yahweh in conjunction with his "asherah". The belief is that some Israelites worship Asherah as a consort to Yahweh. At the same time, there are biblical commands against building images to Asherah (e.g., Deuteronomy 16:21-22). There are numerous passages where statues to Asherah are torn down.


A paragraph in The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible about Asherah:


Yet the fact that the biblical writers find it necessary to condemn repeatedly Asherah worship, and the fact that kings Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah are said to have repeatedly destroyed an asherah icon (King Asa in the 9th cent. BCE; King Hezekiah in the 9th cent. BCE; and King Josiah in the 7th cent. BCE) suggests that whatever the opposition of the bibilical writers to Asherah worship, many if not most in ancient Israel found devotion to Asherah to be an appropriate part of their devotion to Yahweh. The Asherah icon that Josiah destroyed was said to have stood in Yahweh's Temple in Jerusalem. In addition, sacrifice was offered to the goddess there, and support - for women who were in Asherah's service. Thus it appears that, at least in Josiah's day (ca. 640-609 BCE), there were some associated with the Temple in Jerusalem (priests?) who saw Asherah worship as an appropriate part of the worship of Yahweh.


My impression is that there were two approaches, like I've seen with Native Americans. One approach is that there cannot be any syncretism. Native American religious symbols have no place in Christian worship. Another approach is to incorporate Native symbols into Christian worship. Apparently, there were some who were comfortable with incorporate goddess worship into the worship of Yahweh; while others sought to destroy such symbols of goddess worship.


One could use the passages in Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 & 2 Kings to root out goddess worship.


Those who use such language, look at the actual practice of Israelites over many centuries where they combined goddess statues with the worship of Yahweh.

I am puzzled by the point that you are trying to make here. I have no doubt that many ancient Israelites combined Asherah worship with that of Yahweh, even making them consorts. For that matter, others combined Baal and many other Near Eastern gods and goddesses with Yahweh as the objects of their religious worship. Does the fact that it was done mean that it was proper for that to have been done? Or that it was God pleasing for them to do so? Were the Old Testament prophets who fought and railed against combining worship of Yahweh with that of other deities wrong and Yahweh was content or even pleased simply to be a part of their personal or national pantheons?


The fact that Israelites frequently indulged in idolatry does not encourage me to consider adding or changing over to goddess worship as God pleasing. Does God get to have a say in who we worship?
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #99 on: May 04, 2020, 03:31:45 PM »


<<snip>>

Thirdly, 20th century archaeological discoveries show that the goddess Asherah was often part of Israelite worship (at least among the common folks). Her religious statutes were found in homes. There was also found three inscriptions that referred to Yahweh in conjunction with his "asherah". The belief is that some Israelites worship Asherah as a consort to Yahweh. At the same time, there are biblical commands against building images to Asherah (e.g., Deuteronomy 16:21-22). There are numerous passages where statues to Asherah are torn down.


A paragraph in The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible about Asherah:


Yet the fact that the biblical writers find it necessary to condemn repeatedly Asherah worship, and the fact that kings Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah are said to have repeatedly destroyed an asherah icon (King Asa in the 9th cent. BCE; King Hezekiah in the 9th cent. BCE; and King Josiah in the 7th cent. BCE) suggests that whatever the opposition of the bibilical writers to Asherah worship, many if not most in ancient Israel found devotion to Asherah to be an appropriate part of their devotion to Yahweh. The Asherah icon that Josiah destroyed was said to have stood in Yahweh's Temple in Jerusalem. In addition, sacrifice was offered to the goddess there, and support - for women who were in Asherah's service. Thus it appears that, at least in Josiah's day (ca. 640-609 BCE), there were some associated with the Temple in Jerusalem (priests?) who saw Asherah worship as an appropriate part of the worship of Yahweh.


My impression is that there were two approaches, like I've seen with Native Americans. One approach is that there cannot be any syncretism. Native American religious symbols have no place in Christian worship. Another approach is to incorporate Native symbols into Christian worship. Apparently, there were some who were comfortable with incorporate goddess worship into the worship of Yahweh; while others sought to destroy such symbols of goddess worship.


One could use the passages in Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 & 2 Kings to root out goddess worship.


Those who use such language, look at the actual practice of Israelites over many centuries where they combined goddess statues with the worship of Yahweh.

I am puzzled by the point that you are trying to make here. I have no doubt that many ancient Israelites combined Asherah worship with that of Yahweh, even making them consorts. For that matter, others combined Baal and many other Near Eastern gods and goddesses with Yahweh as the objects of their religious worship. Does the fact that it was done mean that it was proper for that to have been done? Or that it was God pleasing for them to do so? Were the Old Testament prophets who fought and railed against combining worship of Yahweh with that of other deities wrong and Yahweh was content or even pleased simply to be a part of their personal or national pantheons?


The fact that Israelites frequently indulged in idolatry does not encourage me to consider adding or changing over to goddess worship as God pleasing. Does God get to have a say in who we worship?

Thank you, Rev. Fienen!  Rev. Stoffregen appears to latch onto the very thing the prophets condemned, and wants to make it something to be emulated.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #100 on: May 04, 2020, 03:51:27 PM »
Brian Stoffregen is a person, not a metaphor.  It morally and ethically acceptable to torture a metaphor, although it may be aesthetically in bad taste.  It is evil to torture a person.
 


Yes, Brian Stoffregen is a person (and as far as I know, there's only one person with that name).


You're missing my point … again. The two words, "Brian Stoffregen," is not me. The words are not the person. They represent the person. They are just an arrangement of 15 letters: abeeffginnorrst on a page or screen. In some cases, like the words, John Jones, they can represent many different people.

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I argue that persons reveal themselves through language.  It is only through language that another person can reveal him/herself to me.  Apart from language we can only know things, not persons. One way that we reveal ourselves to others is by saying, "Hello, my name is..." 

As a Christian, I believe that God is not a thing, but a person, or more accurately, three persons. God reveals Godself by speaking, through the Word.  God reveals Godself in the most personal manner possible through the Incarnate Word, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.  It is through the very words that Jesus spoke that God reveals Godself to us.  The words of Jesus do not present a barrier that we must overcome.  They are God's self revelation. 

Certainly, people reveal themselves through language. Language is a tool. It isn't the thing. I've attached a chart of the basic communication model. Language (the message) is to take what is in the sender's head and make it appear in the receiver's head. You want to make the message the thing that's in the sender's head. It is not. It is a "code" for what's in the head. Communication happens when the "code" is accurately "decoded" by the receiver.

For instance: I have this picture in my head: 🪑
That gets encoded into English as "chair" (or "silla" in Spanish; or "Stuhl" in German; or "ἑδρα" in Greek; etc.). Those words need to be properly decoded so that the hearer has the same (or something quite similar) in their mind. The words are not the chair. They represent the chair. They are symbols of the chair; just like ♿︎ is not a wheelchair, but is a symbol for it. Words are the message that seeks to reveal what is in one person's head into another person's head. (The word "head" is not really the "head" but sort of refers to the "brain," but not really that organ, but the "thinking" that happens within our brains.)

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The metaphorical theology that you espouse is based on the assumption that we only know God as an object, but not as a person.  Just as we do with a rock, a tree, a car or a pet, we give God names.  But God never speaks and gives us his/her/its name.  In a sense, we throw as many metaphors at God as we can, waiting to see what sticks.  In this view, God is like a multifaceted object.  Every time a metaphor is added, we gain a fuller picture of who God is to us. 


Again you are reading much more into what I write than what I intend. I don't believe I've ever talked about "metaphorical theology." My point was, is, and will be, the metaphorical aspect of words.

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If your approach was correct, "trinity" would be a metaphor just like all the rest.  You would no more know that God is triune, than you would know that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  What you would be dealing with would be an unknown God to which you attached those metaphors that best expressed your own perception. 

My approach is correct. The word "trinity" is a metaphor just like every other word that represents that revealed truth about our God. Trinity; Trinitatis; die Trinität; τριάδα; Trinidad, etc. All these words are different metaphors that represent the same thing. They aren't the thing. They are just an arrangement of letters.

If I were to write "Jesus Christ" on a sheet of paper, and then eat the paper, would I have eaten Jesus Christ? One answer is, "Yes," I have eaten those words. Another answer is, "No," I have not eaten the person of Jesus Christ. I've only eaten paper with letters on it. The words are not the person.


If I write "chair" on a piece of paper, put it on the ground, and sit on it; am I sitting on a chair? I'm sitting on a word, not a chair. When I argue that the words are not the thing they represent, this is what I mean.

Now, if you believe that eating the words Jesus Christ on a piece of paper is the same thing as eating the person of Jesus, or sitting on a piece of paper that says "chair" is the same as sitting on a chair; then we will continue to fail to communicate. You are not able to properly decode my encoded messages.
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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #101 on: May 05, 2020, 06:01:18 PM »
Brian Stoffregen is a person, not a metaphor.  It morally and ethically acceptable to torture a metaphor, although it may be aesthetically in bad taste.  It is evil to torture a person.
 

Yes, Brian Stoffregen is a person (and as far as I know, there's only one person with that name).

You're missing my point … again. The two words, "Brian Stoffregen," is not me. The words are not the person. They represent the person. They are just an arrangement of 15 letters: abeeffginnorrst on a page or screen. In some cases, like the words, John Jones, they can represent many different people.

No, I'm not missing your point.  I'm disagreeing with your point and offering a differing understanding of language.  I understand that you and other people believe this.  I think you are in error. 

Quote
My approach is correct. The word "trinity" is a metaphor just like every other word that represents that revealed truth about our God. Trinity; Trinitatis; die Trinität; τριάδα; Trinidad, etc. All these words are different metaphors that represent the same thing. They aren't the thing. They are just an arrangement of letters.

So how do you get beyond the words to the thing in itself? You actually think you have the power to go beyond the Word in which God has clothed himself and see God's naked glory?  You have the power to make God into an object of your observation and analysis?   God has revealed himself in human language as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but finding God's language inadequate, you are going to move beyond the Word to find a more adequate description of God?

« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 06:05:58 PM by DCharlton »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2020, 07:16:19 PM »
Brian Stoffregen is a person, not a metaphor.  It morally and ethically acceptable to torture a metaphor, although it may be aesthetically in bad taste.  It is evil to torture a person.
 

Yes, Brian Stoffregen is a person (and as far as I know, there's only one person with that name).

You're missing my point … again. The two words, "Brian Stoffregen," is not me. The words are not the person. They represent the person. They are just an arrangement of 15 letters: abeeffginnorrst on a page or screen. In some cases, like the words, John Jones, they can represent many different people.

No, I'm not missing your point.  I'm disagreeing with your point and offering a differing understanding of language.  I understand that you and other people believe this.  I think you are in error. 

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My approach is correct. The word "trinity" is a metaphor just like every other word that represents that revealed truth about our God. Trinity; Trinitatis; die Trinität; τριάδα; Trinidad, etc. All these words are different metaphors that represent the same thing. They aren't the thing. They are just an arrangement of letters.

So how do you get beyond the words to the thing in itself?


Through the decoding process in our heads. The letters c-h-a-i-r create a picture in my head. It may or may not be the same picture in the head of the one who said or wrote those letters. The picture in my head is determined by my experiences. The picture of "father" in my head will be different than yours. We had different fathers. The picture of our human fathers influences the picture of the divine Father.



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You actually think you have the power to go beyond the Word in which God has clothed himself and see God's naked glory?


We all do that. How many different pictures of Jesus are there. (You can Google it.) They are all illustrations of people going beyond the words "Jesus Christ" to give us a glimpse of what happens in their heads.


No, we do not see God's naked glory. Our image(s) of God always come through words and our experiences. 


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You have the power to make God into an object of your observation and analysis?


No, we study the metaphors of the words that have been given us - words that now come to us in many different languages and in many different English translations.


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God has revealed himself in human language as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but finding God's language inadequate, you are going to move beyond the Word to find a more adequate description of God?


Who ever said God's language was inadequate? (Oh, you did.) You quickly went from "human language" to "God's language."


"God's language," if you're going to use that phrase, is meant to convey what is in God's mind. (Remember the chart?) We cannot look into God's or anyone else's mind. We only have the words (=the message) that they have encoded to convey what they are thinking. Those words are decoded by our knowledge and experiences to create something in our minds.


Let's take for example the word, "Trinidad." For some people, that might be decoded as "an island in the Caribbean." My first decoding is the first name of my nephrologist. For Spanish speaking people, it can be decoded as the "Trinity". The language and context of the sentence and paragraph, and knowledge of the one speaking, can help us correctly choose which of these decodings is the one the speaker/writer intends.


"Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" is a translator's depiction of the Greek words that Matthew (whoever that was) has recorded that a translator of Jesus' Aramaic words has given us. Actually, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" isn't quite what translators give us in Matthew 28. It's a shortened version. τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος = the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. (Nestle-Aland's 28th revised edition does not use commas or capitol letters, so why should we?)


In fact, searching in BibleGateway for Father, Son, Holy Spirit in the ESV comes up with only one verse where those words are used together. So there are 31,301 verses of God's revelation to us, that never use the phrase, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."


There is one other verse where the three terms are used, Galatians 4:6: "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"


Technically, the English phrase, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" never occurs in the Bible. It is something that happens in our heads from many words that God has given us in the Bible. It is a phrase that English-speaking Christians have used and confessed for centuries. It is really our human summary of words and images that God has given us. We believe that God has inspired our thoughts and words.


You didn't answer my questions about eating a piece of paper with "Jesus Christ" written on it; or sitting on a piece of paper on the ground with "chair" written on it. Is one eating Jesus Christ? Is one sitting on a chair?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 07:18:51 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2020, 08:06:56 PM »
Going back to my original question, and I don't know what else to say about this. I don't care for analogies in such things, but here goes...
Setting this up.
Let us say I have a friend named Mark Grant. He teaches chemistry in high school, is an active church member, an avid volunteer in his community and loved by all. Many of my friends have met him or heard me speak of him with respect and affection. Mark Grant, they know is an integral and meaningful part of my life.
Now... In a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, sits Mark Grant, not the one I know and love, but another Mark Grant, convicted of heinous crimes against people and society, a man who gained considerable notoriety when being tried for his lurid crimes.
The "reality" situation.
Mark Grant is my friend and a respected member of society.
Mark Grant, another one of that name, is a convicted criminal of the lowest reputation.
Taking it to the actual and "liturgical" setting.
If in my converse with friends, I refer to "Mark Grant," can there be any doubt that I mean my friend and not the convict?
And to my original question: If, in a liturgy which includes scripture, creed, other references to the Holy Trinity, and the celebration of the Eucharist a prayer refers to "Mother God," can there be any doubt that we refer to the God referenced in the Holy Trinity and not a pagan, female deity reverenced by ancient or modern mystery cults?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Heading home from Sioux City after three days and a reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #104 on: May 05, 2020, 08:43:36 PM »
Going back to my original question, and I don't know what else to say about this. I don't care for analogies in such things, but here goes...
Setting this up.
Let us say I have a friend named Mark Grant. He teaches chemistry in high school, is an active church member, an avid volunteer in his community and loved by all. Many of my friends have met him or heard me speak of him with respect and affection. Mark Grant, they know is an integral and meaningful part of my life.
Now... In a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, sits Mark Grant, not the one I know and love, but another Mark Grant, convicted of heinous crimes against people and society, a man who gained considerable notoriety when being tried for his lurid crimes.
The "reality" situation.
Mark Grant is my friend and a respected member of society.
Mark Grant, another one of that name, is a convicted criminal of the lowest reputation.
Taking it to the actual and "liturgical" setting.
If in my converse with friends, I refer to "Mark Grant," can there be any doubt that I mean my friend and not the convict?
And to my original question: If, in a liturgy which includes scripture, creed, other references to the Holy Trinity, and the celebration of the Eucharist a prayer refers to "Mother God," can there be any doubt that we refer to the God referenced in the Holy Trinity and not a pagan, female deity reverenced by ancient or modern mystery cults?

I answered you before, but I will again: YES!