Saturday, February 24, 2024

A schizophrenic church. . .

As you have read here before, the ongoing battle over the ordination of women in the Lutheran Church of Australia is a profound example of the proponents refusing to let a no vote be a no vote.  So it has been brought up over and over again without success.  So, because they cannot reach the required voting threshold to adopt the ordination of women and because they are impatient or fear the tide may go more against than for this move, the novelty has arisen that one church body can have two doctrines of the ministry.  Here is the resolution:

RESOLVED: That General Synod direct the LCANZ General Church Board and the College of Bishops to:

a) Work through the theological, constitutional, and governance requirements to operate as one church with two different practices of ordination and establish a detailed framework through which this could be accomplished, such as one or more existing LCANZ Districts becoming Districts that teach and practice the ordination of both women and men to the office of the public ministry or by establishing a non-geographical LCANZ ‘District’ that does so.

b) Submit the fruit of this work in the form of a proposal that should be discussed by the LCANZ General Pastors Conference for Convention of General Synod 2024.

c) It is the expectation of this General Convention of Synod that both women and men will be ordained in a District of the LCANZ during the 2024-2027 synodical period.

Of course, they are not alone in this fantasy.  The German union church (EKD) has tried to formalize the oddity of both Reformed and Lutheran confession living within the same household.  As everyone can see, this did nothing to help the cause of confessional Lutheranism and has turned the German union church into a church with no real confession -- at least as any Lutheran would recognize.  So the Australians seem intent upon inventing themselves as a schizophrenic church with two minds when it comes to the ministry.  One non-geographical district would not ordain (or would) and the rest the opposite.  How can a church be of two minds when it comes to such a basic thing as the doctrine of the ministry?  Well, it can't.  Eventually those who oppose women's ordination will find their place within that church body untenable or will simply abdicate as long as it is not in their own back yard.  This will last for perhaps a generation and then the uneasy truce will end.  If culture influences, everyone will ordain women.  Either way, the end result is a weaker church, with a weaker confession, and with even less clear witness to the Gospel (unless you believe the Gospel is the triumph of cultural change or trend!).

The LCA has been treated as if it were in fellowship with Missouri (even though it never was -- though one of its predecessor bodies was).  Now Missouri will have to figure out this special relationship.  Perhaps it is time to dust off the older model of LCMS districts outside the US.  Perhaps a very small church body can give birth to an even smaller one in fellowship with Missouri.  In any case, the saddest thing of all is that this home to such historic greats as Herman Sasse and now to John Kleinig (among others) is on the verge of collapse.  I guess if you want something bad enough, it is worth killing a church to get it but it is surely a hollow victory for women to gain ordination at the expense of a church body.  Nevertheless, I am sure some among them are giddy with glee at the prospect.

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

Feminism is willing to kill anything that smacks of “The Patriarchy.”