Churches Stop Calling God “Lord”

Some churches have stopped using the word ‘Lord’ to speak about God or Jesus. This comes from the Arizona Daily Star:

“‘Lord’ has become a loaded word conveying hierarchical power over things, which in what we have recorded in our sacred texts, is not who Jesus understood himself to be,” St. Philip’s associate rector Susan Anderson-Smith said. [from St. Philip’s in the Hills Church in Tucson, Arizona] …

St. Philip’s isn’t the only local church to re-examine its language. Other local religious leaders already are eschewing the use of “Lord” for similar reasons. First Congregational United Church of Christ in Midtown even has a different name for The Lord’s Prayer. They call it “The Prayer of Our Creator.” “We do still use the word ‘Lord’ on occasion, but we are suspicious of it,” First Congregational pastor Briget Nicholson said. …

St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church has been minimizing its use of Lord for two decades, senior pastor David Wilkinson said. “We usually change ‘Lord’ to ‘love’ or ‘soul’ or ‘light,’ ” Wilkinson said.

So, these churches do not want to use the word ‘Lord’ to refer to God or Jesus, because ‘Lord’ implies a hierachical relationship of power that they do not find in their sacred texts. When I read the Bible, I read about a God who is the all-powerful ruler over all creation. I think the word ‘Lord’ describes that very well. I just did a quick computer search of the word ‘Lord’ in the Bible. It is used 170 times in the gospels, 6,459 times in the Bible as a whole. (NIV) Not all of these occurrences refer directly to God or Jesus, but the vast majority of them do.

Here are just a few of those sacred texts that a church might want to reflect on before getting rid of the word ‘Lord’ with regards to God and Christ.

  • “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:5)
  • Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
  • “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
  • “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” (John 13:13)
  • Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
  • “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
  • “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16)

(HT: PastorBlog)

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