At the annual Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church, the historic Apostles’ Creed was edited to remove the word ‘Father,’ to make it more compliant with culture.
The creed goes back to the days of the Early Church and is an affirmation of the Christian Faith. The reading is still widely used in today’s churches and sometimes is used during parts of worship.
At the Minnesota Conference, which was held from May 30–June 1, liturgical folders reportedly included a copy of the creed that removed gender-specific language for God, changing “God the Father Almighty” to “God the Creator Almighty” and “Jesus Christ His Only Son” to “Jesus Christ God’s Only Son.”
Rev. Keith Mcilwain, the pastor at Slippery Rock United Methodist Church in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, obtained a copy of the edited creed from a friend who attended the Annual Conference. Mcilwain posted an image of the edit to social media.
The Pastor took significant issue with the edits because the edited version of the creed removes the understanding of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Furthermore, it “fails to affirm the classical ecumenically-supported understanding of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which teaches us that God has been revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
“No United Methodist individual or body has the authority to edit those creeds which were formulated by the early Church and have helped define orthodox Christianity for the better part of 2000 years,” said Mcilwain.
“To see the creed abused in this way is extraordinarily disheartening, further distances our already troubled denomination from the Church Universal, exacerbates already existing tensions within the Church, and harms those affirming the creed by failing to faithfully teach and uphold one of the core essential doctrines of the Christian faith — the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.”
Since the early 1980’s, the United Methodist Church has sought to edit Biblical texts to make them more ‘gender inclusive.’