Naming God with Feminine Nouns and Pronouns

The Apostle John’s final words in his first epistle are essential for the church of Jesus Christ today: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is often a clear decision to set before the church an idol. The Fatherhood of God is rooted in the Scriptural revelation of the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son. God revealed Himself to us most clearly in His Son. Scripture reveals this to us. The church has confessed this for centuries. These central doctrines are being challenged by modern feminist theology.

At its May, 1993 meeting, Classis Hudson approved a communication to Synod 1993. It examined some key issues involved in naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns: “1) Confusion over the nature of figurative language has led to a somewhat naive assumption that our language about and to God should be gender inclusive or even feminized; 2) The nature of biblical revelation requires that the authority of Scripture determine our language about God, and not culture or personal preference. Violating this authority involves idolatry and the worship of images, i.e., worship of a God of our imagination instead of the true God of the Bible. It denies that the true religion is a revealed religion. The revelation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ, is Significantly altered because the historical record of the birth and preexistence of the Son of God is made irrelevant; 3) Cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith are at stake under this pressure for gender inclusive language about God. In particular, the doctrine of the Trinity is compromised, and the lessons of history are forgotten. Instead of a Triune God, a dualistic ‘mother/father’ God is substituted” (Classis Hudson Communication to Synod 1993, p. 9).

I do not remember anyone even discussing the naming of God with feminine nouns or pronouns at Calvin Seminary ten years ago. Today Professor Cooper teaches a course at Calvin Seminary entitled, “Feminist Theology.” He writes: “Feminist theology is a vigorous and dominant movement in North American theology today. It is not just an academic phenomenon, but is pushing changes in the theology, liturgy and polity of all mainline denominations and even of a few evangelical churches.” Professor Cooper points out that feminism is not a homogeneous movement. Various authors have recognized three main kinds of feminist theology: evangelical, liberal or mainline, and radical. Each offer “differing evaluations of traditional Christian beliefs about God and humans.” Professor Cooper’s course proposal states: “The topic of inclusive (nonsexist) language for God serves as the point of entry into the labyrinth of biblical, hermeneutical, and theological issues involved” (Board of Trustees of Calvin Seminary Report, Feb. 1992, Appendix B, p. 3).


I believe that the CRC is one of the “evangelical churches” that is being influenced by “Feminist Theology.” The influence of feminist theology has been encountered in our discussions about women in office. But now the influence of feminist theology is leading members of the CRC to change their understanding and worship of God. Although it is not common, it is no longer unheard of to hear God the Father referred to as “Mother” or “She” by some members of the CRC.

The Banner

The Banner introduced the CRC to naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns in the April 30, 1990 issue. Leslie C. Ruiter encouraged her readers, “Instead of himself, we could use Godself or God’s own self. We could also replace the word Father with Parent or even Mother on occasion” (The Banner, April, 30, 1990, p. 6,7). Professor Cooper wrote an article opposing these views. However, The Banner editorial policy that placed these articles side by side promoted an atmosphere of theological toleration. It allowed a false teaching to be promoted in the denomination. It made those promoting and practicing the naming of God with feminine nouns and pronouns, comfortable within the fellowship of the church rather than rejecting their errors (II Thes. 3:14). Repentance was not seen as a necessity.

Committee for Women

At the same time, other articles promoting inclusive language about God appeared. Annelies Knoppers, a member of River Terrace CRC, Lansing MI, wrote: “The overriding theme and belief that keeps me going is: God is the God of liberation, not oppression. Trust in God, She will provide!” (Partnership, Summer 1990 edition of the Committee for Women in the CRC). She was a member of the Calvin College Center for Christian Scholarship team studying gender roles and relations in 1989–90. Their work has not yet been published.

Committee on Abuse

The Committee on Abuse in the CRC reported: “Children should neither be afraid of God nor be afraid to address him as Father, for God is both Father and Mother (Acts of Synod 1992, p. 347). Every member of this committee allowed this declaration to stand. Is it really true that God is both Father and “Mother”? It is not insignificant that “Mother” is capitalized.

Calvin College Several ongoing issues pertinent to our discussion continue to be addressed at Calvin College. Evelyn Diephouse is registrar at Calvin College. In an article in the Reformed Journal, she used genderless references to God and feminine pronouns. She wrote, “Our God-parent is also the gardener of the universe. She is conscious of our needs, attentive, and active in the daily rhythms of our world” (Reformed Journal, May–June 1990, p.3).

As a board member, I brought the Diephouse article to the attention of the members of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College and Seminary (the Board had not yet been divided) during an evaluation process of Evelyn Diephouse’s work at Calvin College. The Board found my concerns irrelevant to her continued employment at Calvin. I then personally contacted Mrs. Diephouse, and our Newton CRC wrote Calvin College. We communicated our position that naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns is contrary to our creeds and confessions.

The college set up a committee to evaluate this matter. Evelyn Diephouse gave this committee a copy of a letter she sent me. Her position on the confessional nature of addressing God in feminine terms was clearly explained: “I do not agree that this is indeed a confessional issue. Since the Scriptures use a variety of metaphors and images to reveal God to us, including some with feminine and inanimate qualities as well as masculine attributes, it is my view that our selection of and valuing of some images more than others is of a personal nature rather than a confessional one” (Letter to Rev. Casey Freswick, February 20, 1991). After this special committee reported to the Calvin College Board of Trustees, Newton CRC received a letter with the following statement:

“Where the church has not addressed the appropriateness of addressing God as mother/she, it would not be prudent for the Board of Trustees to speak” (February 19, 1992 letter to Newton CRC from the Board of Trustees).

Calvin College Board of Trustees continues to judge this issue as a non-confessional doctrinal disagreement. Synod approved a number of criteria for Board membership at Calvin College for anyone who is not a member of the CRC. One criteria is that any potential board member must “be a professing member in good standing of a church body within the Presbyterian and Reformed confessional tradition of Christianity” (Acts of Synod 1992, p. 604). Three members of the Board of Calvin College are not members of the CRC. Frank Pettinga is the alumni trustee.

Frank Pettinga is a member in good standing at Christ Community church in Spring Lake, MI, RCA. According to Colette Volkema De Nooyer, director of faith development at Christ Community, this church “actually dared to begin the Lord’s Prayer with ‘Our Mother/ Father’” (Colette Volkema De Nocyer, Perspectives, Sept. 1992, p.6). Newton Christian Reformed church informed the Board of Calvin College that Christ Community church feminized God language. They then asked, “Do you as a board believe that naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is compatible with the Presbyterian and Reformed confessional tradition of Christianity?” (Letter, December 9, 1992). The Calvin board responded with a summary of synod’s criteria for board membership and these words, “Frank Pettinga enthusiastically serves under these criteria. We believe he meets all the criteria. Therefore, he is and remains a valued trustee on the board of Calvin College” (Letter from Calvin College board to Newton CRC March 3 1993) This clearly implies that the board of Trustees of Calvin College operates with the assumption that churches that feminize God language are “within the Presbyterian and Reformed confessional tradition of Christianity.”

These action of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College raise a number of biblical theological issues. First, I disagree that the church has not addressed the issue of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns. The church universal and Reformed believers have addressed this issue in our historic ecumenical creeds and Reformed confessions. Our creeds and confessions speak clearly to the issues involved. The Calvin board inappropriately places this issue in the realm of synodical guidelines and possible submission to synod instead of conviction about the teaching of the Word of God, the creeds and confessions (Ps. 119:31; I Thes. 2:13).

Second, the nature of ecclesiastical relations is at stake. It may be true that Christ Community RCA was historically within the Reformed confessional tradition of Christianity but its current practice of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns places it outside the confessional tradition of Reformed Christianity (II Cor. 6:14–17; Eph. 5:11) and into idolatry, the practice of goddess worship (Exod. 20:3,4; 34:13). Therefore, Frank Pettinga does not meet the criteria set by the synod of the CRC for membership on the Calvin Board of Trustees.

Third, by failing to recognize the sin of naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns the board of Calvin College has also sinned. No declaration of the church will change this. If the members of the Board of Trustees have not been convicted by the authority of God’s Word and our historic creeds and confessions that naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is idolatry, will a decision of synod be more authoritative? Would this really bring about true unity of belief? At this point true repentance is necessary by all those who are practicing or tolerating individuals who name God with feminine nouns or pronouns (Ezek. 14:3–9; James 4:7–10).



CRC Synods

The issue of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns has been addressed by Synod 1992 and 1993. Synod 1991 had raised concerns about the Board of Publications’ guidelines for gender language and imagery for God in their new “LIFE” curriculum to be published in the fall of 1994 (Agenda of Synod 1992, p. 48–49). New guidelines were formulated and sent to Synod 1992. At the same time Classis Hudson asked Synod 1992 to address the issue of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns. The overture from Classis Hudson asked that synod “declare that Scripture and the creeds forbid feminine language for God” (Agenda for Synod, 1992). Synod 1992 refused to do this. It adopted the revised guidelines from the Board of Publications with one addition: “1) Make no changes in Scripture or in the Scriptural language and imagery for God when Scripture is being used that contains masculine pronouns or imagery. Continue these in the discussion about that Scripture. 2) Reflect the rich range of imagery Scripture uses in speaking of God. 3) in cases where gender description or designations of God arise out of common English usage, prevalent social patterns or traditional theological language rather than out of Scripture, take care not to offend readers needlessly by using inappropriate images, overusing masculine pronouns, and/or by naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns. 4) Always use language that fully reflects the personal nature of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit” (Acts of Synod, 1992, p. 615). These guidelines are weak and ineffective. They have not and will not stem the growing tide of naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns.

Their weakness is evident by the Banner’s comments on synod’s action: “Elder Jacob Klassen of Classis Hudson asked synod to reconsider the gender-language matter, pleading that Hudson’s overture had not been adequately addressed. Klassen said the guidelines fail because they speak of offense against persons, not offense against God. Synod, however, refused to reconsider the matter” (The Banner, June 29, 1992, p. 17). The assumption that could be made by many readers is that synod’s position is that naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns may be offensive to a weak Christian but not to God. Feminists see an inherent contradiction between guidelines 2 and 3.

Board of Publications

The weakness of the grounds of Synod 1992 can also be seen in the Board of Publication’s recruitment and retention of Marchiene Vroon Rienstra. She is a contributor for the CRC Board of Publications’ new adult education curriculum, “Viewpoints.” She not only addresses God with feminine nouns and pronouns, but has rewritten the Psalms in her book, Swallow’s Nest: A Feminine Reading of the Psalms. One example of her rewriting is Psalm 91: “She will satisfy you with long life. You will see the fulness of Her saving power!” (Swallow’s Nest, p. 197).

The Newton Christian Reformed church asked the Board of Publications about Marchiene Vroon Rienstra’s participation in its new curriculum. They were told: “We can assure you that Rev. Reinstra’s recent choice of language for God that appears in Swallow’s Nest will not appear in any materials published by CRC Publications. However, we believe the contributions she makes to the ‘Viewpoints’ program accurately reflect the Reformed tradition. We do take care that all the content of our materials complies with Reformed theology and synodical policy. We believe that is the essential concern rather than whether an author has written something else that does not follow synodical guidelines” (Letter to Newton CRC, February 12, 1993). Marchiene Vroon Rienstra’s book violates all four synodical guidelines. But more importantly, it violates God’s Word and promotes idolatry.

This response of the Board of PubIications violates a number of biblical principles. First, it gives more authority to Marchiene Vroon Rienstra than Scripture allows. It treats her as an ordained minister of the gospel when Scripture forbids the ordination of women to the ministry. Second, it fails to see the central significance of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns to true Christianity. Third, it either bases its decision on the false premise that the issue of naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns is not central to our creeds and confessions, or it has a standing policy that contributors to CRC curriculum do not need to be bound by our ecumenical creeds and Reformed confession in their personal lives. Fourth, its response fails to take into consideration the nature of a false teacher (I Tim. 1:3–7). The Board of Publications validates Marchiene Vroon Rienstra as a teacher. It promotes her as a teacher. This may make it possible for undiscerning or new Christians to read her material and say, “The CRC  believes she is an insightful teacher”  and then accept her idolatry as “devotional material.” Fifth, ecclesiastical fellowship issues are once again at stake.

Newton Christian Reformed church specifically asked Synod 1993 to “declare that naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns in worship and in Scripture versions is contrary to biblical teaching and outside the Presbyterian and Reformed confessional tradition of Christianity.” Newton CRC also asked synod “to take the following actions, consistent with this declaration: 1) Instruct CRC Publications to discontinue the use of contributors who practice or advocate language naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns and to discontinue the distribution of all their material. 2) Instruct the Calvin College Board of Trustees to retain in its membership only those who concur with the above statement. 3) Direct the Interchurch Relations Committee to communicate to the Reformed church in America our grave concern that some of its members practice and promote naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns and that failure to address this practice will in the future affect our ecclesiastical relationship” (Agenda of Synod 1993. p. 319, 320 and back cover).

Classis Hudson requested that Synod 1993 respond to the Newton overture by, “1) expressing its deep concern over the increasing usage of language that refers to God in feminine terms; 2) by understanding that this matter raises issues central to the Christian faith; 3) by appointing a study committee that would specify where and how this usage conflicts with Scriptures, and the creeds and confessions of the church” (Classis Hudson Communication to Synod, p. 8).

Synod 1993 responded in the following ways. First they declared: “Overture 46 raises important concerns about inappropriate language to address God by certain individuals and publications.” Second, Synod advises “churches and agencies to consider carefully the linguistic and doctrinal implications of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns.” Third, Synod 1993 declared that “…the pastoral advice given by Synod 1992 already calls our churches to honor the historic biblical and confessional language about and to God” (Acts of Synod 1993. p. 601). A proposed amendment to these declarations to “instruct the churches and agencies not to name God with feminine nouns and pronouns” was defeated by synod. Synod took no further action in response to the Newton overture or the communication from Classis Hudson. The accounts described in this article prove that there are individuals and churches that have dishonored the “historic biblical and confessional language about and to God.” Fourth, Synod 1993 elected Frank Pettinga to a three year term on the board of Calvin College as an alumni trustee (Acts of Synod 1993. p. 495).

The Calvin College faculty, administration, board, the Board of Publications and Synods 1992 and 1993 have failed to discern and expose the ancient false teachings entering the churches of our day (Phil. 1:9–11; I Thess. 5:21; I John 4:1). They fail to take seriously the confessional nature of this issue. They fail to look at the ecclesiastical issues this practice raises. But the most hideous fact of all is that they fail to stand up for the right worship of God. Addressing God as “mother” violates the authoritative Word of God by redefining God. Words are not enough. These actions demonstrate that the Christian Reformed church has failed to respond biblically to naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns. It has failed to speak prophetically. It has failed to call individuals and churches to repentance. However, these judgments are true only if this activity is idolatry. Do the Bible, our creeds and confessions really forbid naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns?


At this point J will begin to demonstrate why naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns and its accompanying errors violate essential truths in Scripture, the historic creeds of the Christian church and our Reformed confessions. Much has been and is being written to prove this. First, with thanks to Dr. Peter Jones of Westminster West Seminary, I will show that these are not new ideas in the church of Jesus Christ. These issues were part of Gnosticism, a heretical theological system condemned by the early church. Second, I will give an example of the implications and current propagation of the ancient gnostic false teaching, androgyny. Third, I will demonstrate where naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns violates creedal declaration about biblical authority and the Trinity.

Gnostic Roots

The central doctrine attacked in naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is the doctrine of God. Underlying and emanating out of the practice of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is a feminist theology that perverts God as He has revealed Himself. This is more than an error of mislabeling. Feminist theology redefines God. Naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is the noticeable part of the idolatrous worship of a false god. Dr. Peter Jones in The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back, demonstrates the connection between the false god of feminist theology, the rising influence of the New Age and ancient gnostic heresies. He is not the only one to identify this connection. Rosemary Radford Reuther, a radical feminist “theologian,” describes the gnostic practice of viewing God as female, the Sophia imagery and Valentinian gnostic practices of goddess worship (Sexism and God Talk, p.59–60). Gnosticism was a system of false teaching condemned by the early church fathers and the historic creeds of the Christian church. Gnostic false teachings continue to influence those naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns.

Dr. Jones writes, “For the gnostic, the true God was an unknowable, impersonal force, the unified sum of aU the separated parts. In anthropology and sexuality, the divine being is thus best expressed by androgyny, that is, the erasure of the male-female distinction” (Jones, p. 30). The gnostic god was the unified sum of all the separated parts. All is one and the gnostic god is all things. The gnostic god is impersonal because it/he/she was the sum of all things. Personality is lost where there is no distinction between one person and another. This is a clear attack on the three persons of the Trinity. God could be called mother and father because all things are god. Feminist theologians, like the gnostics, declare that since God is neither male nor female we can address and think of him as male or female or as both male and female (androgyny).

If human beings are to be like God then all distinctions in humanity are merely external. There is no real distinction between male and female. Gnostics taught a merging of male and female. The biblical distinctions between male and female are broken down. This notion of the total breakdown of all distinctions between male and female in humanity is seen in the gnostic Gospel of Thomas. This “gospel” claims that Jesus said, “And when you make the male and the female into a single one so that the male shall not be male and the female shall not be female…then you shall enter the kingdom” (Gospel of Thomas, logion 22). The Gnostics Marcus and Theodotus believed that “the original Adam was an hermaphrodite (both male and female), appealing to Galatians 3:28, which they understood to say that the new creature, ‘neither male nor female’, is an hermaphrodite” (Jones, p. 33). Dr. Jones goes on to show these same teachings in feminist theology and the New Age. You would think that such gnostic heresy would be strictly avoided by all “Reformed feminists.” But this is not the case.


Helen Sterk is a professor of rhetoric at Marquette University in Milwaukee and was a member of the 1989–1990 Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship team at Calvin College. In her article for the Committee for Women in the CRC’s publication, Partnership, she encourages her readers to look a t the work of Phyllis Trible who tells the story of Adam and Eve in a “new way.” She informs us that this Old Testament scholar “teaches” that “God created ‘Adam’—a sexually undifferentiated creature from the earth. Only after God’s surgery, does the ‘man’ identify himself as exclusively male. Man and woman were created from the earth creature—the power of sexual desire indicates how strongly humans yearn for creational unity” (Partnership, Summer 1990, p. 13–14). I assume “creational unity” is the original created nature of “Adam before he was split into Adam and Eve” (Partnership, p. 13).

She goes on to give her readers directives for positive action leading to both personal and structural change in the CRC. One suggestion is to give Elaine Pagel’s book, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent to CRC pastors and Old Testament theologians. Dr. Jones recognizes that Elaine Pagel is well aquainted with gnosticism (Jones, p. 29). Helen Sterk states that until CRC Old Testament scholars “integrate” these “new angles on the old stories into their work, these ideas will not be heard in the CRC.” Her declaration is false. These are not new angles; they are gnostic teachings rejected by the Christian church in the first century. Whether you begin by changing the revelation of Scripture about God the Father and then change your view of male and female, or change the biblical distinctions between male and female and then change God’s revelation of Himself, you enter into the world of gnostic heresy. I have yet to see a consistent authoritative biblical condemnation of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns from those whose biblical hermeneutic has already destroyed biblical normativity for the distinctions between male and female. I believe this is one reason the CRC is having such a hard time condemning naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns. How can those who justify women in office condemn naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns? I am thankful that some do. But I have spoken to numerous CRC supporters of women in office who are uncomfortable with the practice, but they can find no biblical grounds to condemn it. How do the men at Synod 1993, who have changed their minds about women in office, know that they will not change their minds about naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns? Modern church history in denominations like the Episcopalian, Presbyterian USA and United Methodists demonstrate denominational accommodation and acceptance of the idolatrous practice of goddess worship, naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns.

Biblical and Creedal Directives Dr. Jones points out the biblical response to gnosticism and its modern manifestations in feminist theology and the New Age. “The New Testament writing, Paul’s letters in particular, have already faced the early manifestation of Gnosticism. They gave not an inch to goddess spirituality, sexual perversion and the destruction of creational structures in the home and in the church. Their deep understanding of the unity in God’s creative and redemptive work gives us radical and potent answers, as well as a methodology, for our struggle against the same rejection of the Creator and Redeemer by the New Age Gnosticism” (Jones, p.101). Using the correct language in an age of the old age New Age demands that we are as concise and unified as the ancient church Fathers that formulated the historic creeds of the Christian church. The historic creeds speak to the current practice of feminizing of God. They were written in the religious context of gnostic “feminism.”

The doctrine of the Trinity and the regulatory principle of worship are two other confessional doctrines violated by the theological ground and implications of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns. “The ancient church regarded the doctrine of the Trinity as a creedal matter, and so do we. The new inclusive language abandons the ontological (essential) and eternal Trinity and becomes a form of modalism associated with the theologian Sabellius, who was willing to affirm that God has three roles (Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier), but not that He is in Himself Father, Son and Spirit. This error is addressed by the church in the Nicene Creed, and we have followed this teaching consistently for almost 2,000 years. The Reformed creeds reflect this conviction for exam pIe, when the Heidelberg Catechism in Q and A 25 declares that ‘God has revealed Himself in His Word that these three distinct persons are the one, true and eternal God.’ The Catechism’s explanation of the first and second commandments also safeguards our historic confession of God’s revelation. Answer 95 explains idolatry: ‘It is, instead of the one true God who has revealed Himself in His Word, or besides Him, to devise or have something else in which to place our trust.’ Answer 96 explains God’s revealed will regarding image worship: ‘That we in no wise make any image of God, nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded us in His Word.’ The synod asserted with regard to these statements, that: The Catechism stresses the point that we are able to know God adequately only through His Word, and that the only manner of worship which is allowed is the manner prescribed in that Word’ (Acts of Synod, 1961, p. 309–310).” {Classis Hudson Communication to Synod 1993, p. 6,7}. Feminizing God is like bringing unholyfire before the Lord (Numbers 3:14). It violates God’s explicit command of how we are to worship Him.

The attack on the Bible’s authority to regulate our worship is plainly declared by many feminists. A combined article entitled, “God Language: The Deeper Issue,” by Colette Volkema De Nooyer and Richard A. Rhem (minister of faith development and minister of preaching at Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, MI) declares their belief that feminists have gained the new secret knowledge. They write: “What feminists have uncovered is the sociology of theological knowledge, putting the lie to the claim that its ground is an objective, divine, and universal authority apart from human experience.” They identify “the ground of theological knowledge” as both “Scripture and tradition,” the historic creeds of the church (Perspectives, March 1993, p. 19). Here are the “leaders” of a Reformed church recognizing the significant issues involved in feminist theology. They name God, with feminine nouns and pronouns and deny the present validity and divine objective authority in Scripture and the creeds. Yet, Synod 1993 elects Frank. Pettinga, a member of Christ Community Church, to the board of Calvin College. Synod 1993 assumes Christ Community church is within the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition. From what I have read from the “leaders” of this church, I would judge it to be neither Reformed, Presbyterian or Christian. It is a neognostic church caught in idolatry.

The study from Classis Hudson concluded, “As a result of its study, Classis Hudson is convinced that the issues raised by the Newton consistory touch the heart of our faith. Language addressing God, or about God, is not a matter of personal preference, nor may it be subject to cultural influences and whims” (Classis Hudson Communication to Synod, p. 8). This issue is a cause for division—a division between the truth of the Christian faith and the falsehood of a feminist reconstruction of God, a division between the true church and the false church. Reformed Christian churches ought to formulate a biblical-confessional statement that clearly demonstrates and declares that naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns is outside the historic Presbyterian and Reformed confessional tradition and Christianity itself.


The Calvin Board of Trustees, The Banner’s editorial policies, the Committee on Abuse, the Board of Publications, Synod 1992, Synod 1993 and CRC members have failed to address the issues involved in naming God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with feminine nouns or pronouns. They have spoken soothing words where serious error is found. If the Christian Reformed church continues to tolerate this activity there will be no common confession about God left in the denomination. Biblical Reformed churches must join with Presbyterian, Fundamentalist and Evangelical churches in refusing to tolerate this ungodly practice. We must be of one mind on this issue (II Cor. 13:11).

The movement of feminist theology has reached its theological pinnacle. It has assaulted the true God and substituted a false god. There can be no doubt that the sin of naming God with feminine nouns and pronouns must be addressed by the church of Jesus Christ. The Christian Reformed church is directly involved in this matter.

The Fatherhood of God and the Sonship of Christ are doctrines central to our faith. Those of us who claim to retain historic commitments to the Word of God, the creeds and confessions, fail to truly love the Lord our God. with all our hearts as the first commandment demands, when our efforts exclusively focus on women in office. We must call on the church to submit to biblical truth rather than our culture. We must call on the CRC, its agencies and members to repent of their sin. We must not tolerate the practice or acceptance of naming God with feminine nouns or pronouns. May the truth of God’s Word be our guide as we strive against the principalities and powers that would seek to change the very God we worship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:12, Matt. 28:19).

Rev. Freswick is pastor of the Christian Reformed Church in Newton, NJ.