As some of you may know, the Lutheran Church in Australia has been moving slowly but deliberately toward the ordination of women. The General Church Council of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) not long ago released a Draft Doctrinal Statement (DDS) on the ordination of women and men, together with a draft statement on why the ordination of women and men need not be church divisive. Both documents were prepared at the behest of the church’s Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations (CTICR) as requested by the 2015 LCA General Convention. In other words, the CTICR was asked to provide a BIBLICAL basis for the ordination of women and to provide a rationale for proceeding for this even in the context of grave division within the LCA that had rejected the ordination of women several times previously (well, rejected may be too strong a word since the motion for did not reach its required super majority to proceed).
Four faculty members of the Australian Lutheran College (Adelaide) now (25 June 2018 - the Anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession) released a letter of appeal and encouragement to the LCA. In it they point out the dangers of adopting the two documents issued by the CTICR re women's ordination. The authors, Adam Hensley, Stephen Hultgren, Stephen Pietsch, and Thomas Pietsch, put this document out to express their concern for the doctrinal integrity and the unity of the church. For their courage they are to be commended and for their faithfulness but it may be impossible to stop the train for the ordination of women and, perhaps, the implosion of the Lutheran Church in Australia. Read the whole thing here; I have copied two paragraphs below:
Holding the church’s historic teaching of a male-only pastorate is, despite its lack of popularity in some quarters, biblically credible and faithful. It does not imply a narrow, “fundamentalist” mindset about scripture, but an openness to hearing the word of God speak on its own terms rather than ours. As a church of the Reformation, we study scripture deeply and listen to it humbly and patiently. Reformation means returning to the mind of Christ set forth in scripture and living joyfully under its authority, not overturning its mandates and subverting its authoritative claims.
At this critical stage of the debate regarding the possible ordination of women, it is vitally important that we all, as members of the LCA who are concerned for her unity and spiritual health, understand what is at stake. We need not, however, be timid or give way to fear at the challenges our church faces. Rather let us be of good comfort knowing that Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33), and that the life-giving truth of his word can and will sustain us now as it has sustained Christians throughout history (John 8:31‒32). Placing confidence in God in this way, we need to make our confession publicly by speaking, acting and teaching in accord with his word. It is not a matter of private thoughts and opinions but of conscience and public confession.