Unless they're deliberately raging against the patriarchy, it's pretty common for Christian churches and people raised with Christian ideologies to refer to God as "He." But one church in Sweden is ready to break that tradition.
The Church of Sweden made the decision Thursday to stop calling God by masculine terms like "He" or "Lord," and start just saying "God" instead. The decision was made after an eight-day meeting of the church’s 251-member decision-making body and officially goes into effect on May 20, the Christian holiday of Pentecost, the Guardian reports.
The church is headed by a woman, Archbishop Antje Jackelén, who told Sweden’s TT news agency that the church raised this question because "theologically we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human," according to the Guardian.
Of course, not everyone was thrilled by the news. One critic said that this move undermines the teachings of other churches and the "doctrine of the trinity," according to the Guardian. The trinity he's referring to is the idea of God as the father, the son, and the holy ghost, and it seems that he's arguing that God being both the son and the father implies masculinity.
Yet, God's gender identity has been cause for controversy before, with some churches choosing to switch between both masculine and feminine iterations of God, and some even switching between the pronouns "he" and "she."
Overall, it's clear that there isn't a consensus on God's gender, which we would argue is actually an even stronger argument for The Church of Sweden's decision to avoid using gender at all. After all, it's important that we don't decide anyone's gender for them — not even God's.
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