Motto of the AME Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What is the connection between the meaning and gender of the Motto of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, "GOD OUR FATHER, CHRIST OUR REDEEMER AND MAN OUR BROTHER?" Do we consider our motto above and beyond amendment/alteration? I would personally prefer a revised motto that would carry the same theological meaning in todays language, that is gender sensitive. What do have to say about this?

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2002


I am not quite underdstanding your question and or statement. Is your concern one of theology or gender sensitivity? These are two very different situations so please clarify your query.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2002

I thought the attempt was made to do this during the Bicentennial Celebrations, somthing like "God our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Humankind our Family."

I don't have the litrerature at my fingertips, though. Perhazps checking the minutes of the 3rd General Conference, or the 1988 discipline might reveal some clues.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2002

An attempt was made to deal with the motto. I think it was buried in the Compilations Committee dealing with legislation. In an attempt to be inclusive, "God Our Father" was explored as "God Our Creator." Needless to say, it was tabled for further study.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2002

There is no gender reference in the phrase "Man Our Brother". The "man" includes all of humankind. If you add "woman" or change it to "humankind" we lose the poetic and historical value of the phrase. It is time that we stopped focusing on being PC and started being the "educated" people of God. Where would it end? do we change the Bible and all our historical writings to take gender references from the godhead?


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2002

Personally, I find no fault in the motto of our church. "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our brother" is as theological a meaning as we will ever find to convey what the AME Church ascertains to be its basic foundation. Gender sensitive? Does God have a problem determining who's who? Today's language? Is that slang, ebonics or the king's english? Please leave the motto as is.

In this area, the motto is very rarely spoken anymore. You do see it in print on occasion. The pastor or worship leader can, in calling our people to worship, emphasize the motto so that our people can understand it better by and by.

There was a time, in this area, that some of the laity was calling for the traditional 'call to worship' to be changed. But I think they got over that when they began to utilize other scriptural verses and/or other sentences to call the people to worship.

What has always intrigued me about the worship service of the AME Church is that in every phase of it, the mechanism for teaching is ever present. Oh, how I love the job of bringing our people out of darkness into His marveleous light by teaching them to observe all things.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2002

Several years ago someone posted an interesting comment expressing a revision of the AME Motto to include direct reference to the Holy Spirit. If I'm not mistaken the suggestion found its way in the Gen Conf 2000 as proposed legislation. The proposal was defeated. We are expressely Trinitarian in faith yet it is not reflected in our Motto. IMHO, the exclusion of the HOly Spirit is far more significant from a theological perspective.

I agree with Pastor Paris that uncritical acceptance of gender politics and other forms of political correctness will only lead us down a slippery slope and dilute the power of Divine Scripture. "Man Our Brother" is not, repeat not, a sexist shibboleth. Gender sensitivity in this particular instance is really much ado about nothing. Some of my female friends (including at times my wife) are overreacting to this issue. Sigmund Freund would be pleased if he was alive today :-) QED

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2002

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