Eight Reasons Pastors Must Stop Saying ‘Men’ When We Mean Everyone

We live in a culture where “men” means “male” everywhere but in church.

I’m not suggesting we get ourselves caught up in some PC language pretzel by neutralizing bible verses or changing historical quotes like “all men are created equal.” But when we’re speaking with our own voice, let’s use the same recognizable language patterns in church that we use everywhere else.

Here are eight reasons we need to stop using “men” when we mean “people”:

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4 thoughts on “Eight Reasons Pastors Must Stop Saying ‘Men’ When We Mean Everyone”

    1. The issue of gender-neutral pronouns for God isn’t the focus of the post. Like I wrote in the article,

      “I know there’s a big debate about the use of male pronouns when we refer to God. I also know about the complementarian/egalitarian debate in which well-meaning believers disagree about the role of women in leadership.

      This post is not about either of those debates. Maybe later, after I get fitted for a Kevlar suit.

      Today’s post is about what should be a very simple issue. When we’re referring to everyone, let’s use language that accurately reflects that intention.”

  1. Amen! This is something I have tried to be very conscious of. For example, even in my upcoming sermon, when I give some hypothetical examples of what applying this Scripture could look like, I alternate between using “he” and “she”. There are women I know of who just assume that God has bigger plans for men than he does for them, simply because of their gender. This needs to change!

  2. Karl, good points & this is an important issue for a younger, post-modern generation.
    One more area where I’ve replaced the use of “man” is with the expression “the old man.” Better– the old self, the old nature, the selfish nature, etc.
    As you pointed out, this isn’t about PC/neutral gender issues.

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