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Lutheran Church of Australia Fails to Adopt Women’s Ordination

October 5, 2018 No Comment

The following was recently posted on the convention website of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA): “This evening, Friday 5 October, LCA Bishop John Henderson declared the result of the secret ballot. Of the delegates registered at Convention, 161 voted against the resolution to ordain both men and women; 240 supported it. The Constitution of the LCA requires a two-thirds majority of registered delegates to bring about a change in matters of a theological or confessional nature. The vote followed a number of sessions of presentations and debate among the delegates, supported by prayer. More than delegates spoke to the proposal. General Synod has voted on the ordination of women three times before (2000, 2006 and 2015). Each time the proposal to ordain women was lost.”

Prior to the vote Dr. Albert Collver, executive secretary of the International Lutheran Council and assistant to the president of the Missouri Synod for church relations, brought greetings to the convention and stated in part: “Just as the Missouri Synod faced challenges and possible division in 1959, I hope we can provide you with some encouragement as Hermann Sasse did to us almost 60 years ago. You face the decision regarding women’s ordination at your convention. No one can dictate to you what you should do, but we can encourage you to hear the Word of Scripture. The position of the ILC is no secret regarding the ordination of women. The ILC holds what we believe to be the Scriptural and Confessional position of the Lutheran church. The ILC holds to the historic tradition which the church from the time of the apostles has held with other historic churches such as Rome and the Orthodox. As St. Paul handed down what he had received (paradosis), we pass to you what we have received from the apostles, the historic catholic church, and the Lutheran Confessors. May Christ grant you wisdom and guidance as you deliberate.”

In light of the failure of the LCA convention to approve women’s ordination, Lutheran Church—Canada president, Rev. Timothy Teuscher, commented: “While we in LCC are relieved and thankful that this issue did not receive the required number of votes for adoption, and which would have put the fraternal relationship between the LCA and LCC in jeopardy; the fact of the matter is that over 60% of the delegates at the General Synod convention of the Lutheran Church of Australia did vote in favour of women’s ordination. The LCA remains a divided church and prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Australia continue to be needed . . perhaps more now than before. In addition, lest we think that such disagreements on this or any other issue of a theological nature could not happen among us; we need to always be mindful of the exhortation of St. Jude: ‘Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3) and to thus do, as St. Paul says, ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’ (Colossians 3:16).”