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Pastor Peter Close on women’s ordination

11 Dec

I am a Lutheran Pastor in favour of the ordination of women.

My reason is simple: that is what the Bible teaches, what the very early church began to do until they were stopped. It is also what the modern church is recovering.

The Bible has many stories. Two of these lead me to my position on the ordination of women.

One is of human power seeking and domination.

The other is about our servant God inviting people to serve with him.

The power story is one of horror- rapes; murders; prostituting wives and daughters; torture; slaughter; slavery; power struggles; and of corrupt kings, priests and lay religious leaders using their fellow human beings to increase their own power.

The servant story is a tragedy with hints of a peaceful ending. The servant God again and again rescues people (and creation). And with each rescue he invites people to partner with him in serving one another. But with the odd heroic exception the people turn away from the servant God. They prefer the gods who offer them power. They do not see that those false gods only enslave them.

Jesus Christ brings the power domination and the servant partnership stories to their climax.

The force and power of the government, the priests, the Bible teachers, and the power hungry masses put Jesus on the cross. However it was loving service that kept him there until he died. When he rose from death he showed he had defeated power merely by loving service. There was no celebration of victory, however, there was serving to be done. Jesus restated his invitation to all to be his partner servants, “take up your cross and follow me”. Lose your life so that others might have life.

The very early Church understood this. They shared in service both men and women. They gave their lives in service both men and women. But though defeated, power and domination still clung to those whom they had enslaved. And eventually they broke the will of the Church to resist. It became another institution caught up in the struggle for power and control of others. However these forces could never undo what Jesus had done. And so down through the centuries brave and loving women and men have dared to be servants with Jesus and have suffered with him. And in our day we see a little more progress in sharing servant hood with Jesus.

It is my constant prayer that I will see another sign of servanthood and partnership growing when women are ordained in my own branch of the church, the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Peter Close

Springfield Lakes, Qld

10th December 2011

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 11, 2011 in history, theology, women's ordination

 

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4 responses to “Pastor Peter Close on women’s ordination

  1. PIchi

    January 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thank you, Peter. The Institutional ratification of this God’s truth needs to come.

    Pichi

     
  2. Katie and Martin

    January 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I think progress is a pertinent word to use, but many of us fear such a concept within the Church if we consider that everything was finished in the work of Jesus.
    When we readily accept that a lot of the Old Testament is no longer relevant (e.g. statutes on slaves), surely there’s room for new revelation that comes through Biblical study and reflection on today’s search for compassion, justice and equality. Our view on each of these continues to change through the ages.

     
  3. Peter Close

    April 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Strikes a chord with me ! Thank you for being bold and standing up for the Truth of God’s Word. What does Paul say – ” there is now neither Jew nor Greek, Male or Female, slave or free – we are all one in Christ Jesus “. I fully support your view.
    Yours in Christ Jesus – Peter Close ( my real name )

     
  4. Katie and Martin

    April 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Yes, Peter, it is time for a conversation on many things.
    We suggest that the Church is rather beholden to much irrelevant Scripture. While Jesus is the core of our faith, Paul is not. Neither is Leviticus, or the slaughter of whole communities in the Old Testament. When we may go through theological contortions to find truths in abominable verses we do ourselves and the understanding of hermeneutics a disservice, for we are reinforcing the notion that all Scripture sits on an equal level. Sometimes we simply need to ignore chunks of Scripture. While we can adhere to the precept of Scripture being divinely inspired, we can’t adhere to the recently created terminology of ‘infallible and inerrant’. Along with the divine, humans are very present in Scripture.

     

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