Differing conclusions ‘can coexist’

To say that I was disappointed with the outcome of the ordination debate at this year’s Synod would be an understatement. But more than the outcome, the tactic of undermining the theological integrity of those who do not hold to the current teaching is not befitting for a community based on the teachings of Jesus.

If we can learn anything from the ongoing dialogue over the issue over the last 30-plus years, surely it is that we all hold Scripture and the Confessions as the basis of our faith, and the source of our understanding on this issue. As a result, we must cease hurling accusations of misuse of Scripture at one another and recognise that we can draw differing conclusions from the same texts and that both can coexist. For this reason, I thought the Box Hill proposal was superior as it allowed for the ongoing unity of the LCA while upholding our co-existing commitment to Scripture and the Confessions.

I earnestly pray that the College of Bishops and the General Church Board can find a way of maintaining unity – at all levels – while also allowing diversity of practice. Separation into different ‘districts’ will only further entrench our difference rather than bring unity through understanding and allowing diversity of practice.

Rev Tim Castle-Schmidt – Woodside SA

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