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.
Springfield Lakes, Qld
10th December 2011