Why St Stephen’s Congregation Support the Ordination of Women

01 Dec

St Stephen’s has published a document explaining why it supports women’s ordination.

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the late Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball, Suncreek UMC

Why St Stephen’s Support the Ordination of Women

The Bible and Lutheran theology endorse the ordination of women (‘Final report on the ordination of women’, CTICR, 1999), and the overwhelming majority of Lutheran churches in the world ordain women.

The church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph 2:20), and the Bible gives clear evidence that women served in both of these offices, among others (e.g. Ex 15:20; Judg 4:4; 2 Kgs 22:14; Isa 8:3; John 20:17,18; Acts 18:26; 21:9; Rom 16:1,3,7; 1 Cor 11:5). This continued in the early church until the church started to exclude women from the ministry in the fourth century.
Texts used previously in the LCA to exclude women from such activities as leading Bible studies, lay reading, voting at congregational meetings, and chairing congregations (1 Cor 14:33–36 and 1 Tim 2:11–15) are now used only to exclude women from the public ministry. A contextual understanding of these passages shows they have to do with none of these matters. Rather, they express Paul’s sincere concern that worship be conducted decently and in good order (1 Cor 14:40), so that people can be built up in faith and love, a priority that has been expressed variously throughout the history of the church.

Pastoral Care
Some people prefer to confide in a woman rather than a man regarding pastoral concerns, or regarding specific pastoral issues. While laity also provide pastoral care, when this care connects with the church’s public worship and witness it has an additional dimension. Ordaining women as well as men enhances and extends access to pastoral care within the context of the means of grace.

For Lutherans the heart of the ministry consists of the pure proclamation of the gospel and the right administration of the sacraments, in order to draw people to Christ and to sustain them in faith (Augsburg Confession 5), not the gender of the pastor.
Continuing to insist on an all-male pastorate perpetuates a requirement that is not biblical and undermines and subverts the gospel.
With both men and women as pastors, the ministry as a whole more truly represents and reflects Jesus Christ, the true image of God, who in his humanity has embraced the whole human race.

The members of St Stephen’s long for the day when the LCA joins those churches that have acted on the conviction that ordaining women is a vital part of our being faithful to the Gospel.


Posted by on December 1, 2013 in theology, women's ordination


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5 responses to “Why St Stephen’s Congregation Support the Ordination of Women

  1. John Miller

    December 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Well said.

    Now all you need to do is write to the Chairman/President/CEO/Bishop of the LCA ordering him to place a motion to this effect on the order of business for the next Annual General Meeting of the LCA, as required by law under the South Australian Associations Act (under which the LCA is incorporated).

    You’ll need to order him to advise you of the date of the AGM.

    Also ask him when he proposes to remove from the LCA statutes the Blaess-Hebart misogyny statement.

  2. Gregg Bisset

    December 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Interesting. Read the above sounds like a business not a church. Where Oh where does it say that ANYONE should be ordained. We are all the church (people) and yes we all to minister to each other. Does this mean that people will not minister unless they are being paid???? Or is it the authority over others which people seek??? Rubbish get back to the bible and your right leave all church institutions because they eventually all corrupt. Christ called us into a relationship with Him and each other not an institution, a club.

  3. John Miller

    December 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Gregg, not so much a business, but an association – and as an association grows it takes on the persona of a business – it has income and expenditure and has to be run on business lines. In this country associations (with perhaps the exception of the Catholic and Islamic churches) are run democratically.

    The issue of the ordination of women in the LCA will be decided by the members of The Association (LCA) at a duly constituted meeting of the Association – providing the meeting abides by the rules laid down for the conduct of meetings.

    When it comes to issues relating to democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech, equality of the sexes, respect for people regardless or race, ethnicity and sexual preference, the abolition of slavery … the Bible of which you speak is a very inadequate resource on which to base modern institutions. It cannot be relied upon. If you want to sample what life is like under a theocracy, I suggest you spend a few weeks in Tehran.

    The LCA has to work out how to remove from its Constitution, ‘1.ARTICLE II CONFESSION

    1. The Church (meaning the LCA) accepts without reservation the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as a whole and in all their parts, as the divinely inspired, written and inerrant Word of God, and as the only infallible source and norm for all matters of faith, doctrine and life.’

    They’re not.

    On the contrary, careful reading of the Bible highlights the fact that many of the great men of God were shysters, criminals, egomaniacs, megalomaniacs, schizophrenics and men who had grave disrespect for the codes of sexual behaviour condoned by the LCA. Many of these people did abominable things to their fellow citizens. The tings they are purported to have said came from their own minds and mouths.

    These are not the people to take a lead from.

  4. Gregg Bisset

    December 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Dangerous place to live in your religious world. I disagree while all were sinners and reality is many horrible things were done does not discount the bible. What chuck it out and rewrite the parts we don’t like like the mormoms, JW’s. Really wow.

    • John Miller

      December 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Gregg, what to do about the parts of the Bible we don’t like is a good question.

      Most people ignore them as if they weren’t there or, like you air-brush over it by saying, ‘while all were sinners and reality is many horrible things were done does not discount the bible.’

      A lot of these sinners were telling their parishioners one thing and doing another. They said it was God who was telling them to pass on certain advice. Read it for yourself. A lot of what God said to Moses was just baloney.

      As for my religious world being a dangerous place, I wouldn’t like to have been living in any past time. No vote, no rule of law, no freedom of speech, no equality of opportunity … the Inquisition, the slavery, the burning at the stake, the jailing for blasphemy and homosexuality, probably no education unless I was a priest …

      On the question of living standards and morals, this god has little to offer any of us. His acolytes have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to make any social change. In the LCA they’re still being dragged kicking and screaming by the good folk of St Stephens.

      2,3,4,5 thousand years ago people said that God spoke to them. A lot of these people were criminals, (Moses and Paul) liars and schizophrenics (Abraham and Paul). The Bible is seriously discounted when it comes to advice and example. For instance would you take moral advice from Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Solomon, Judah or David?

      Where can I find what God said last week that provides guidance in life’s storm? Six months ago He was apparently still saying to some people, ‘Do not ordain women.’

      Tell me, what does the Triune God actually say about the ordination of women?

      Do the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit hold to a party line?


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