Social and Bioethical Questions
You might feel, as many people do, that society is changing faster than ethics can keep up. This is particularly so in respect of scientific discoveries and technological achievements. Often, our members of the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand (LCA/NZ), and other people, too, look for guidance from our church’s leaders on contemporary social and bioethical questions. These questions may relate to First Nation voices, refugees, family and domestic violence, euthanasia, abortion, gender identity, poverty, terrorism, and caring for God’s creation.
With direction from the College of Bishops, the Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions (CSBQ) oversees this important area of our church's work.
CSBQ considers the questions carefully from a Lutheran ethical perspective and prepares responses for the College of Bishops to consider. These responses may inform LCA/NZ policy (eg Synod Resolutions), training programs, study materials, congregational guidelines, and submissions to appropriate bodies, such as parliamentary select committees.
CSBQ works closely with the Assistant to the Bishop (Public Theology) and the Australian Lutheran College (ALC). CSBQ currently has the following working groups reporting to it:
Lutherans for Life brings together people with a common desire to promote the sanctity of God’s gift of human life; promotes respect for and defends human life from conception to natural death, since God is its Creator; and leads educational and other appropriate activities to achieve this end, both in the Church and the world.
Lutheran Earth Care Australia and New Zealand (LECANZ) (new in 2020) advises, assists, encourages and supports individuals, congregations, agencies, and institutions within the LCANZ in their support of God’s mission to care for creation.
Working Group for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence seeks to continue to build the LCANZ as a community where respectful behaviour is exhibited within families and close relationships.
Lutheran Refugee Action Group (new in 2021) promotes awareness and improved advocacy and support for refugees and people from refugee backgrounds.
Hidden Hurts Healing Hearts
The Campaign for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, called Hidden Hurts Healing Hearts, is a project of the Lutheran Church of Australia. It is overseen by a working group of people who have knowledge and expertise in the areas of support to victims and perpetrators of domestic and family violence.
The CSBQ also has an educational role in the LCA by way of assisting church members to understand and respond appropriately to social and bioethical issues themselves. It does this by preparing resources, discussion papers and statements. Previously prepared material can be viewed or downloaded at our library. Click on the accordion tabs below.