In a sign of the growing apostasy in the historic state churches across the world, the Church of Sweden has decided to adopt “gender neutral” language when referencing God and their leader even referred to the Holy Spirit as a “she.” The move is yet another sign of the end times falling away in the church prophesied throughout Scripture.
Changing the Bible for A Political Agenda
According to reports:
“The Church of Sweden is urging its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to the supreme deity, refraining from using terms such as “Lord” and “he” in favour of the less specific “God.”
The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.
The decision was taken on Thursday at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church’s 251-member decision-making body, and takes effect on 20 May on the Christian holiday of Pentecost.
A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, some 37 miles north of the capital, the church has 6.1 million baptised members in a country of 10 million. It is headed by a woman, Archbishop Antje Jackelén.” (source).
The Church has hit back at these reports calling them “fake news”:
“It’s not true,” were a spokesperson’s first words when The Local called to ask.
“It’s not true,” repeated Sofija Pedersen Videke, head of the Church’s service of worship committee, which was heavily involved in the work on the new handbook before it went before the Church Assembly. “It’s not true, it’s fake news. I am aghast and wonder where it’s coming from?” (source).
According to the church’s response, rather than “banning” masculine pronouns for God, the changes to the handbook merely promoted more inclusive language. The use of “he” and “Lord” for God was still permitted. However, when one examines what the changes actually say, it’s clear the Church of Sweden is blatantly altering Scripture to suit their own political, apostate agenda. Among the recommended changes to liturgical prayers was the following:
“God, Holy Trinity, Father and Mother, Son – Sister and Brother, and Spirit – Lifeguard and Inspirator, lead us to your depths of wealth, wisdom and knowledge.” (source).
“Theologically, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human,” explained Archbishop Antje Jackelen, the female head of the church. On top of this the Church moved to use a female grammatical gender for the Holy Spirit, which they claim was based on the Hebrew term for Holy Spirit.
Does God Have A Gender? Is God Male or Female?
The Church of Sweden’s position is blatant doctrinal error. In the Bible, God is revealed as having a gender – male:
“And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:” – Genesis 18:1-4.
When God not only appeared on Earth but came to Abraham’s home and dined with him, He was male. Abraham saw God and identified The Lord as a man along with the male angels escorting Him.
Jesus Christ, who is God, is of course male. In His incarnation on Earth The Lord was born as a male baby from a human woman. The Bible leaves no room to reinterpret the gender of Jesus Christ. And in the New Testament Jesus Christ refers to God as “Father” approximately 160 times.
The Holy Spirit – who is the Third Person of the Trinity, and God, is male in Scripture:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” – John 4:16-17.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26.
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” – John 15:26.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” – John 16:7.
On 4 separate occasions, The Lord Jesus Christ explicitly identified the Holy Spirit as male. How could a church leadership body so blatantly disregard the Bible? Because they are not concerned with upholding Biblical Christianity or contending for the faith. Instead, these are “wolves in sheep clothing” – false teachers, preachers and “priests” presenting themselves as “Christian leaders” but are instead spreading incorrect doctrine.
Beware of The End Times Apostasy
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-4.
The Bible warns that a time was approaching when the church would no longer “endure sound doctrine” or be willing to even listen to sound, Biblical Christian teachings. Instead they would want teachers based on who could tickle their “itching ears” – or in other words, preach a message that suited their sinful desires. The Church of Sweden’s new guidelines are a perfect example of this apostasy.
In 2009, this same group ordained the first openly gay female bishop, Eva Brunne. Since that time, Brunne has called for churches to remove their crosses so as not to offend Muslim refugees entering the country. Additionally, she has recommended certain churches set up Muslim prayer rooms (which point to Mecca) to accommodate visiting Muslims or refugees.
“Making a room available for people of other faiths does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people,” Brunne reportedly said. “But that does not mean that we are stingy toward people of other faiths.”
This is blatant sinful rebellion. Time and time again, God commands His believers to worship no other God. When the Devil tempted Jesus to worship him, The Lord responded: “…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10).
Note that the openly lesbian bishop Brunne attempts to strike a very compassionate chord with her reasoning for allowing Muslim prayer space. It’s out of a desire to not offend and to share rather than be “stingy to other faiths.” This human-centered reasoning is very on trend with the progressive, inclusive, God-denying sentiment of the times. But Christians are called to follow The Lord Jesus Christ – not the world. The Book of 2 Corinthians directly rebukes Brunne’s position:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
Rather than stand for Biblical truth, many churches like the Church of Sweden have gone after the praise and adoration of the world. The Church of Sweden’s continued descent into apostasy and one world religion is also seen in their effort to raise funds for “God’s House” a construction project which will add a mosque to an already-existing Church of Sweden building. The goal is to physically connect the church, mosque and a Catholic chapel via a glass-walled courtyard and promote “…peace and coexistence between religions.”
Pray for Sweden
Pray for the nation of Sweden and its church leaders to repent. The Church of Sweden leadership was correct about one thing: the cross of Jesus Christ can be offensive to some. The Apostle Paul wrote: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).
It is time for the “enlightened”, “progressive” false teachers and heretics of this day to understand that the Gospel as preached in the Bible must offend. Why? Because it reveals all our sin. It goes directly to the heart of the matter – that all people, male and female, without exception – are sinners who willingly and knowingly rebel against God in thought, word or deed daily. And for our guilt we are all deserving of eternal punishment in Hell. This is what causes so much offense – that the Bible shines a light on our evil deeds. Society wants to preach that we are all good, special and awesome all on our own. Christianity teaches that we are sinful wretches deserving of the wrath of The Lord God who will one day judge us all.
Is this is a hard message? Yes. But God did not end the message there. The good news is that despite our sin, despite our perversion, hatred, jealousy, violence and greed – The Lord still loves us. God not only loves us all – His desire is that we all be freely forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross – which atoned for our sin. Pray for the remnant of Bible-believing Christians in Sweden to continue to boldly preach the true Biblical Gospel of free forgiveness in Jesus Christ. The world needs to know that there is a Father in Heaven and that they too can be forgiven when they put faith in Him as revealed in His Divine Word.