Affirming the Ministry of Women in the Lutheran Church of Australia

An Open Letter regarding Women in Ministry

Neal Nuske has written a thought provoking Open Letter to the Presidents of the LCA, the GCC and the CTICR. The letter develops the view that the work of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament is neither conditional upon, nor limited by, nor made effectual by, nor validated by the gender of a pastor.

Dear Presidents, Members of the General Church Council and Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relationships,

I support the ordination of men and women and I concur with that view expressed in CTICR Final Report 2000 which sees no scriptural or theological reason prohibiting the ordination of both men and women. For that reason I spoke at Time to Soar in Adelaide. I have also joined a Steering Committee formed in connection with All Saints, St Peters Congregation Indooroopilly. I mention this in order to be open and transparent about my personal perspective. I am an advocate for public debate on this issue Read more »

Jimmy Carter on Women and Religion

In his address to the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, December 2009, Former US President Jimmy Carter spoke about the role of religion in discrimination and violence against women:

“It is ironic that women are now welcomed into all major professions and other positions of authority, but are branded as inferior and deprived of the equal right to serve God in positions of religious leadership. The plight of abused women is made more acceptable by the mandated subservience of women by religious leaders.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.

At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo. It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair and equal access to education, health care, employment, and influence within their own communities.”

To read the whole address, click here.

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