I was deeply offended by the letters to the editor column in the March issue of The Lutheran Witness. While emotions run high on the stem-cell debate, the position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has been unwavering: From the moment of conception, human beings are precious in the sight of God.
I understand the editor’s desire to be “fair and balanced” by printing letters with opposing viewpoints. But when those letters speak against the clear testimony of God’s Word, they do not give a Lutheran witness, but a worldly witness. The Lutheran Witness is supposed to be “The Lutheran Witness” of our belief to the world. The editors, while rightly desiring debate on issues, have no right to publish letters that so clearly go against our beliefs, with no corrective comment at all.
Our Synod has repeatedly “voiced its strong support of defenseless human life from
conception” (2001 Convention Proceedings, Res. 6-02A). As these letters tragically demonstrate, “pastors … and those in the LCMS who are in positions of public responsibility have faltered in their defense of the unborn” (Res. 6-02A).
The testimony of Holy Scripture is clear: “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). A recent CTCR report was titled, “Christian Care and Pre-implantation Human Life” (emphasis added). In 1986, the Synod in convention adopted a resolution that stated, in part, “the living but unborn are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception.” Though there may be a wide range of personal opinions in our Synod on this issue, God’s Word is unambiguous.
Despite what the two writers said, “adapting our language to realistic fact” and assuming that the unborn are “potential human beings” if they are given the “proper environment” goes against the Word of God. We can no more adapt our language to violate God’s Word than we can turn the sky green by changing the name of the color. That we think sinful behavior is acceptable just shows how our fallen human intellect can be co-opted by the devil for evil purposes. That is why we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
I pray that the writers of those letters, and all who agree with them, would be brought back to the truth of God’s Word.
Rev. Lincoln C. Winter
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