Call to action

08 Dec

St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Adelaide, has appointed a Working Party to facilitate the discussion towards women’s ordination in the LCA.

It is no longer a matter of discussing theology, for that was decided years ago.  It is no longer a case of bringing two opposing sides of the debate together for that has not happened in good faith – with an embargo on letters to The Lutheran on the matter – and does not recognise the enormous theological basis and support for women’s ordination.  It is not a matter of waiting for a consensus process to be complete for that has been restricted to five men and has yet to commence. It is a matter of politics and sociology.  It is an issue that brings conservatives into tension with progressives.  As such, action is needed to bring about change.

All indications are that normal processes have been stymied. There has been conversation, debate, national Bible studies, travelling presentations, CTICR studies and resolutions, a Symposium, directives to commence a process of consensus making from Synod, and all have been ignored by current Church leadership.

The time for women’s ordination is now.  We cannot wait for further decades of circular debate under the current style of leadership.  We cannot continue being complicit in the message that women are not as gifted as men.

Consider forming a group in your congregation to partner with St Stephen’s Working Party on Women’s Ordination.  Consider increasing the pressure by taking action, so that Australian Lutherans can be served also by called and gifted women.

We owe it to our daughters that they experience the total embrace of Jesus in this denomination as much as men.  It won’t happen by trusting and waiting.  The last two decades have proven that.

Postscript –  16th January, 2012

There has been a growth in numbers of pastors who have joined the Facebook group, Pastors of the Lutheran Church of Australia in support of Womens Ordination.  Without pastors supporting women’s ordination the cause could never achieve the required votes at General Synod.  We live in interesting days.


Posted by on December 8, 2011 in theology


2 responses to “Call to action

  1. Barney

    December 9, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Katie & Martin,

    In the first place I must refer you to Article II in the Constitution of the Lutheran Church at every level from National down to Congregation. Lutheran Doctrine will always be Lutheran Doctrine even if some who call themselves Lutheran do not subscribe to our Doctrine.

    I respond to a couple of points you made in your last blog:
    (1) Embargo on letters to “The Lutheran” – this has applied to those who support Women’s Ordination (WO) as well as to those who cannot support it.
    (2) “enormous Theological basis” – in comparison to this I must say that the Scriptural basis is for Lutherans of greater impact than a Theological basis. See Article II of the Constitution. I am happy to discuss this in the light of historical documents by those who have gone before us in the first 600 years of Christendom.
    (3) “It is a matter of politics and sociology” – I disagree because this reduces the issue to a secular matter, again outside our Constitution. It is not that we are of the world but that as Christians (Lutheran tradition) that we live in the world and that we are still bound to the Word of God. I agree that the issue has brought conservatives in conflict with ‘progressives’. It is at the end of our days that we have to give account of ourselves and of our lives before God; only one side can be right, I believe that those who adhere to the Holy Scriptures can have more peace when their last breath approaches.
    (4) “women are not as gifted as men.” I cannot support that even though men are often accused of using that philosophy; being gifted has little to do with receiving a Call from the Most High and having that Call confirmed by the Church.

    I myself have had a Call Experience, but even with my leadership experience, my qualifications and as a long-term Youth Leader, the Church has not confirmed it.
    As it turned out, I am now a Hospital Chaplain under the supervision of my Pastor: many options for chaplaincies are available for the laity (non-ordained), e.g. schools, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. Lionel Otto, when he was my District President; rejoiced when, after my failure to become ordained, I became a Chaplain.

    I continued to study and serve in my Parish, and now I would not like to swap this for Ordination, when God calls He calls according to His own Word which He cannot go against.

    I wish and pray that you may find peace in your vocation and serve our Lord as He wishes.


    Christian P.J. Bahnerth
    GradDipMaintEng., GradCertMgmt., MACS
    GradDipTh., MTh., PhD(Biblical studies)


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