Monday, October 26, 2015

Australian Lutherans decided not to be like Episcopalians (for now)

I am speaking here of Women’s Ordination (WO) to the Pastoral Ministry.

This October 2015, at the Lutheran Church of Australia General Synodical Convention the proposal for WO did not pass the required two-thirds majority vote.

I wrote “for now” in the title of this post, because the issue of WO has the habit of bubbling back up to the surface from time to time.

I remember back in 2006 at Lutheran Church Australia’s convention that the issue of (WO) was decided then and as the result today as it did then, WO did not meet the requirement.

I could feel the disappointment of those who favour WO so much that I believe some of them need grief counselling because of this result (n.b., I am not being disrespectful here). I mean this in a sympathetic way even though everyone who has been in this blog know that I wrote against WO.

I am against WO because I do not think Scripture or Church History supports it. You can read about my position on this in this blog.

Being against WO is no small thing if you knew where I journeyed before coming to Lutheran Theology. I was for 25 years a Pentecostal and WO in Pentecostalism is no issue, they welcome WO with open arms. Pentecostals do not even talk about if it is right to ordain women, for with them anyone can be ordained if the person is “baptised in the Holy Spirit” without respect for the gender. Gender is no issue but this so-called 2nd baptism of the HS is. Pentecostals are not “catholic” in many levels and in many ways.

Anyway, today I wish to put on my analytical hat and analyse the numbers as reported in the LCAus website. There were 423 registered delegates. 145 voted NO, 269 voted YES. This totals 414. That means we got 9 abstaining.

So let us look at the stats. 34% voted NO, 64% voted YES, 2% abstaining. Now note, if we look at the majority, they are FOR WO. If not for the two-thirds majority rule they would have won already. That rule saved the anti-WO.  The 64% YES vote in terms of people lacked 13 people to tilt their position to 66%.

So 13 people did not vote for YES. That is not a lot of people. Where could pro-WO have gotten these votes? It could be taken from the 145 who voted NO, at least some of them; or they could get all if not some from the 9 people who abstained. So what does this tell both the anti-WO and pro-WO? It says that pro-WO would just need to work a little bit more and they will get it next time but the anti-WO have to be vigilant and work harder. The pro-WO would just need a few more campaigning and lobbying. On the other hand the anti-WO would have to be in the defensive, they would have to be guarded.

I have a question that bugs me. I was under the impression that the LCAus synod sought in prayer the Holy Spirit’s mind on this when they got together in 2006. My question is this – if they sought the mind of the HS in 2006, why talk about it again in 2015? If the synod got their answer in 2006 and the answer was no, why did they have to decide on this again in 2015? I mean does the HS change His mind from time to time? I say this because I was under the impression that they prayed to the Holy Spirit about this. That was the language I heard when they spoke about this issue. So do they actually believe the HS has guided them to this answer in 2015? If so can the people be relieved of any fear of this surfacing again in the future?