Voting in WELS

I became a WELS member in 1968 when I married my husband who was born and raised WELS. I love being a member of a church that is totally based on the teachings of the Bible. The only thing I have a hard time understanding is why women are not allowed to vote in the WELS. Where is this decided in the Bible? Thank you.

As can be the case with other contemporary issues of church life, the Bible does not specifically address the subject of authoritative voting in church assemblies. Our practice is based on applying general scriptural principles to our form of church governance.

This section of This We Believe: a Statement of Belief of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod addresses your question: “We believe that women may participate in offices and activities of the public ministry except where that work involves authority over men (1 Timothy 2:11,12). This means that women may not serve as pastors nor participate in assemblies of the church in ways that exercise authority over men (1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:33-35).”

The restriction of those actions listed above does not in any way diminish the status of Christian women in the sight of God. Scripture says to Christians: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).

You might be interested in reading a Together newsletter that described the materials and process by which WELS is studying a restatement of our doctrinal statement “Scriptural Principles of Man and Woman Roles.”