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Sacred and Inviolable

February 27th, 2006
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A clear word of truth and affirmation for life from the Pope. I appreciate the fact that unlike the recent LCMS CTCR document on these same issue, this statement doesn’t mince words nor indulge in hand-wringing niceties or nuances, but simply says what must be said clearly and without any ambiguity.

Link: Health News Article | Reuters.com.

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Categories: Sanctity of Life
  1. mp
    February 28th, 2006 at 09:05 | #1

    Pastor McCain,
    Could you please elaborate on this recent document that is less than clear on these life issues and perhaps provide a link to it? I checked the FAQs on the LCMS web page, and they are clear regarding these life issues: life begins at fertilization; embryos, even frozen embryos, are persons and have souls; and contraception (IUDs, e.g.) that prevents implantation is abortion. If the LCMS is weakening its position here, the crisis is even worse than imagined. But, sadly, expected, once a church moves away from the Way of the Word and to the way of the world, as LCMS did (see women’s roles, especially, among others) at its last convention.
    Thanks,
    MP
    McCain: I’m referring to the most recent CTCR document on embryonic cells. The manner in which they conduct the argumentation undermines a clear, unambiguous affirmation that life begins at conception. Referring to “pre-implantation embryonic life” and not clearly identifying this life as a child, or a human being, is not the way to go. Further, the document was called for by The LCMS to provide practical guidance to the Missouri Synod, to help people in our congregations grapple with these issues in a very Biblical way. The document fails to do that. Instead it offers a long, rambling, complicated discussion that might be helpful in some ways in speaking to those outside the Faith or beyond our church who do not believe life begins at conception or have their doubts, but this is not what The LCMS asked for. Stating that pre-implanted embryos are to be given “the benefit of the doubt” is not a clear signal. Putting mattesrs this way might be perceived by some to be a gentle way to convince those who have their doubts, but I believe in such critical matters there is a need for much more clear and forthright assertion of truth. To give a living human being the “benefit of the doubt” is not the way we are to go about asserting the sanctify of life from conception to natural death. To what “doubt” are we giving the benefit? To speak in such categories is much too soft an approach. On these issues there needs to be an absolutely clear “Thus says the Lord” not a “We find no reason not to give the benefit of the doubt to pre-implanted embryonic life.” It does raise in my mind a very serious question about the drafter’s personal position on whether or not life begins at the very moment of conception. Merely footnoting previous affirmations is not sufficient.
    Thankfully, elsewhere The LCMS does clearly affirm that life begins at conception, and the document in question footnotes previous much more clear statements, so it makes the new document stand in even more stark contrast to previous work on this issue. I believe that one CTCR document does not necessarily represent a weakening, but in light of how strongly and clearly The LCMS has been to date on these issues, it does represent a significant change in tenor and tone on these issues that I believe is not helpful for the faithful in our congregations. Clear, Biblical, practical discussion was asked for, and what we have in this document is a discussion that will prove inaccessible to most and quite possibly confusing to many.
    You may read the CTCR statement at:
    http://www.lcms.org/pages/default.asp?NavID=7494
    It is titled “Christian Faith and Human Beginnings”

  2. Frank Marron
    February 28th, 2006 at 11:31 | #2

    Pastor – you correctly stated what is obvious to everyone attempting to read the LCMS CTCR statements pertaining to this issue. Has “political correctness” entered the LCMS? I am thankful for straight-forward speaking men of God, like yourself, who do not mince words but instead make their “yes” “yes” and their “no” “no”.

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