The following is a statement from Bishop John Henderson in the Heartland eNews newsletter:
These are turbulent times in Australian politics and social opinion. At the forefront of this turmoil is the matter of the recognition at law of same-sex marriages. The issue itself has been with us for several years, and through that time the Lutheran Church of Australia has not altered its view on marriage, and does not intend to do so. What repercussions that might have for us remains to be seen.
By way of guidance, in 2015 we issued a Statement on Marriage which we are reissuing today with a 2017 Preamble. Pastors and congregational leaders are encouraged to share this statement with members and other interested people who may be enquiring about this matter.
Revised Statement on Marriage (which has a 2017 preamble added to the original 2015 statement)
Additionally, some pastors and congregations have been approached, or may be approached, by local media to comment on the Lutheran Church’s response to the same-sex marriage debate and/or the postal vote. I am attaching a statement that might help you articulate the position of the church on this matter. You can also share the Statement on Marriage with the media if that is helpful.
In the first instance, you might provide these papers to the media, asking them to attribute direct quotes to LCA Bishop John Henderson. If they want you to make your own comment, you may of course oblige, but it might be wise to ask your District Bishop to review your prepared statement prior to releasing it to the media.
For those of us in New Zealand, of course, same-sex marriage is already a reality in your country. My conversations with you have indicated that church life, including marriage, has been able to continue unhindered. Let us pray that Australians will continue to enjoy the same freedoms.
Pastor John Henderson
18 August 2017