Watchman, what of the night?
Dear friends,

I believe that we as fellow Christians,take little notice of our Lord’s teaching in obedience, even unto death. Those who practice disobedience to God’s Word are multiplying like rabbits and even among the clergy there is the taint of the self-will of “I know better”.
The deceptions of the Women’s Ordination [WO] supporters and the statements on their blogs have gone on for some time. As with all lies, if one repeats an untruth long enough people may believe it to be the truth. Only Christ Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
However, the un-biblical statements/claims of the WO faction are based on their conception that their writings are Lutheran; do not be deceived they are not Lutheran! I even doubt that their writings are even fully Christian.
First and foremost I must remind the WO supporters, their fellow travelers in the LCA, and all who call themselves LUTHERAN that as members of the LCA we are all bound by both clauses of the un-alterable Article II of the Constitution of the Lutheran Church of Australia:
1. The Church accepts without reservation the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments, as a whole and in all their parts, as the divinely inspired, written and inerrant Word of God, and as the only infallible source and norm for all matters of faith, doctrine and life.
2. The Church acknowledges and accepts as true expositions of the Word of God and as its own confession all the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, namely … and the Formula of Concord.

This is NOT repeatedly taught; nor taught often enough, in our Parishes/Congregations, and as a result of this, many may be unaware of the obligations involved in the membership of a Congregation or Parish of the Lutheran Church. Leading Lutherans have a duty here to proclaim our Lutheran identity through this and teach the Book of Concord to the laity, whether in the pulpit, or in time and in season, [a good layman’s ministry]. Some of our current problems – same as in Dr. Martin Luther’s time – are caused by either ignorance or unwillingness to submit to the Word of God. We as Confessional Lutherans [ordained and lay alike] can address ignorance by teaching the pure Word of God and our Word based doctrine; unwillingness remains just that, unwillingness to submit to the Word of God will only respond to prayer.
All the Lutheran Pastors and some of the lay people (like some Chaplains) have made the statement [promise] that they will adhere to the Constitution of the Australian Lutheran Church, in particular the two sub-clauses above, and ALL of them [both groups above] should be held to their promises or be de-authorised to act as a Pastor, Chaplain, or any other office in the LCA; and be prevented to continue in their role until repention and correction.
The teachings of the Lutheran expression of Christianity have been adulterated by those who replace our Bible based doctrines and dogmas by secular practices, and use standards that only have a place in the secular world; i.e. work place rules on gender equality, equal pay for equal work and the hours one must work for a nominated pay.
Some Lutheran Bishops/Pastors now tolerate or encourage the teaching of Alpha [of Anglican origin] instead of Martin Luther’s Catechism(s). Some have even gone so far as to introduce the theology of another denomination [e.g. “40 days of purpose” by the USA Baptist Pastor Rick Warren], either straight out or under the cloak of adjusting it to our practices/doctrine; a claim to the latter was made some years ago by a Lutheran Pastor, who was rather weak in his knowledge of and adherence to our doctrine as in the second clause of our Confession. We must no longer tolerate or accept the authority in the LCA of those who openly, willingly and knowingly fail to adhere to their ordination/installation vows before God.
Two streams have developed in the LCA;
(i) Lutherans who loyally subscribe to Article II of our Constitution in full, and
(ii) those who cannot or will not subscribe to our Confession, they must realise and confess that in fact they are no longer Lutherans and consequently should be banned from taking any part in decisions that affect the life and teachings of the LCA.
The ‘white anting’ of our Confession must stop; if it is not stopped the LCA will, slowly but surely, lose its foundational doctrinal basis. The introduction of non-Biblical practices – such as WO – is one part of the rot that has crept into the LCA, it goes directly against a commandment from our Lord and against the Apostolic instructions that women are not to speak in the Church. It is like gangrene, the longer it is tolerated, the more damage it does, and consequently the more surgery is required to save the patient. In my opinion, this gangrene has already been tolerated far too long, has advanced too far; and hence, drastic surgery is essential for the life of the patient, in this case the LCA. I look forward to our College of Bishops to initiate the surgery to remove that which is NOT Lutheran. I pray for their intestinal fortitude to bite the bullet and remove the rot; we might end up with a smaller LCA, but it will be more true to God’s Word and its roots in the LCA. True adherents to Lutheran Doctrine will always understand and comply with Article II, others have no place in any position of authority in the LCA, be that a Bishop, a Pastor, a Chaplain or any lay person in a position of authority. It is time we act on that! If we do not act now, we cease to be the Lutheran Church of Australia, instead becoming the Liberal Church of Australia!
I look forward to a display of adherence to the Lutheran principle by our College of Bishops to the implications of adhering to Article II of our Constitution; Yes, gentlemen, both sub-clauses!
Christian P.J. Bahnerth
GradDipMaintEng., GradCertMgmt.,
GradDipTh., MTh., PhD.

Lay Chaplain.

Author of “Order in the House” and “Service in the Household of God”. Published on the CLAi website. And “Public Office in the Household of God.” a development of the former two after further theological studies leading to his PhD in Biblical Studies.