Thursday, June 22, 2017

Australian Update. . .

I have been told that there are currently about 320 'active' pastors and about 210 emeriti in the Lutheran Church in Australia. The good news is that those who are leading the charge against the ordination of women tend to be younger pastors. Indeed, they represent some of the strongest voices against the top down (LCA Bishop) orchestrated campaign to approve the ordination of women. It is certainly a possibility that of the pastors who attend the General Pastors' Conference a majority would hold to the Scriptures and tradition in affirming a male only pastorate.  It is certainly true that most of the bishops think otherwise and they are doing everything in their power to make the ordination of women seem reasonable, logical, and unstoppable.  Yet there are those who are risking all to expose the weakness of the arguments in favor of the change and who are holding the church accountable to the Word of God.

Consultations have been held throughout the LCA to discuss the Draft Doctrinal Statement (DDS) in favor of the ordination of women. The consultations were to that end. The document was read, small groups formed, and, among the six questions asked of the participants:

1) Are there parts of DDS that you do not understand?
4) The fact that the 12 apostles were male is descriptive of the preaching office at the time of Jesus, but is not prescriptive of the office for all time. Discuss.
5) Paul's unchanging goal was that the church be built up in love. This requires different regulations at different times and in different places. Discuss.
6) How does the DDS interpret the prohibitions of 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 in terms of their implications for the office of the public ministry?
The national journal has put a temporary stop to all letters to the editor. 'The purpose of this decision is to allow LCA members who wish to be part of the consultation process to have ‘clear air’ in which to listen to each other in a respectful manner, as they prayerfully consider and discuss the implications of all of the resources available to them on this subject.' The discussion was led in the usual points: women are competent to assume the role of pastor; Phoebe was akin to a pastor; Gal 3 is the great charter of liberation for women in the church; men and women are equal therefore their roles can be the same in the church; the church has not got it wrong through the centuries because it was in the interests of mission that they did not previously ordain women, but now that our culture has changed it is incumbent on the church to go with the flow in the interests of mission. The problem is that Scripture over all is missing from this discussion, history is descriptive only, and mission and love are pitted against doctrine and unchanging truth.

If you want to read a good, solid, Lutheran approach to the question of the ordination of women, you might want to click here and read a document from one of the younger pastors in the LCA. Clearly, if the debate is to be framed on the basis of what Scripture teaches and Lutherans have affirmed in confession and practice, there is nothing to fear from the topic of women's ordination. However, if Scripture is not allowed to speak, the LCA has a problem.


Carl Vehse said...

The LCA General Pastors' Conference is scheduled for July 2018, before the General Convention of the Synod.

An analysis of pastors favoring or opposing women's ordination (WO) found in the General Pastors Conference Advice to General Synod 2015 and the General Synod composition and voting, that in the General Synod Convention, approximately 63 pastors voted for WO, while 75 pastors were opposed. 206 lay delegates favored WO and 70 laity were opposed. There were 9 abstentions.

The 2015 General Synod Convention vote to ordain women failed the 2/3 requirement by only 13 votes (4%). (It previously has been brought up at the 2000, and 2006 conventions.)

LCA Lutheran pastors and congregations have had a 17-year history of failing to overturn the Commission on Theology and Interchurch Relations (CTICR) decision that Scripture does not prohibit WO.

The CTICR has created a website, Ordination - We're Listening, with a "Message from John Henderson, the LCA's pro-pastrix anti-Lutheran Bishop.

There are active coordinated efforts throughout LCA churches working to get WO approved at the 2018 convention, according to a May 1, 2017, Ordination meetings update.

Other than the document from one pastor, where are the news updates of all of the meetings being held with LCA laity this year to defeat and overturn the CTICR pro-pastrix position? As noted such information is not being allowed to be promoted in the LCA's 'company rag.'

Anonymous said...

This is how it works. The heterodox man-pleasers will rally together and shout down the confessional orthodox Lutherans, further marginalizing us within the totality of the Lutheran world community.

Carl Vehse said...

If the confessional Lutherans in Australia are not actively meeting with strategies to replace the current LCA Bishop and battle and overthrow the CTICR ruling favoring pastrixes, then they better be actively meeting to develop plans in 2018 to shake the dust from their sandals in leaving the Lufauxran Church of Australia and forming a synod of Lutheran pastors and congregations.

Janis Williams said...

Not that non-ordination of women isn't important, it is. Women are expressly forbidden to take the pulpit in Scrripture. However, the Lutherans in Australia also have the Lutheran Renewal to deal with. It is not renewing anything Lutheran at all. It is about charismatic, New Apostolic Reformation agendas.

Divide and conquer seems to be The tactic.