A conservative minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says he and other ELCA pastors are disturbed by the denomination's approval of a new, more gender-neutral hymnal.
At its Churchwide Assembly in early August, the ELCA okayed a plan to update the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship by eliminating the "Father" terminology and male pronouns used in reference to God.
The hymnal overhaul will include other gender-neutralizing and diversity-affirming changes to traditional Lutheran worship lyrics and liturgies as well. For example, in the Lutheran Creed, God and Jesus will now be referred to as "Holy Eternal Majesty" and "Holy Incarnate Word" instead of "Father" and "Son."
Dr. Roy Harrisville is executive director of Solid Rock Lutherans, a conservative group whose mission is to call the ELCA to "remain faithful to the Word of God according to the Lutheran Confessions."
Harrisville says those who favor the revisions to the Lutheran Book of Worship want to change fundamental Christian beliefs.