Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

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Official Website: http://www.lcms.org

Beginning of Life

“The development of a new Individual begins with fertilization.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 2)[1]

Abortion

“The Scriptural principles offered here compel us to regard abortion on demand not only as a sin against the Fifth Commandment forbidding the destruction of human life, but also as a grievous offense against the First—that we worship the one true God and cling to Him alone. The act of abortion clearly manifests a refusal to honor God as the Creator and to seek him above all else in time of need.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 23)[2]
“The fact that a child will be born retarded and/or disable cannot justify withdrawing our protection for his life.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 25)[3]
“In the rare situations of conflict we must recognize the permissibility of abortion. Despite the progress of medical science, there are still unusual circumstances in which a mother will die if an abortion is not performed. There are also cases…in which the danger to the mother’s life is greatly increases if no abortion is performed. Even in such circumstances a mother may choose to risk her own life as an act of love, but such an act of self-giving cannot be required. It must be freely given, not imposed.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 26)[4]
“…the evil and violent circumstances in which a child is conceived do not in and of themselves constitute valid grounds for recommending or approving an abortion.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 27)[5]

Contraception

There is no objection to contraception in the LCMS as long as the couple is not using it to remain voluntarily childless:

“…in the absence of Scriptural prohibition, there need be no objection to contraception within a marital union which is, as a whole, fruitful.” (“Human Sexuality: A Theological Perspective” 1981 page 19)[6]

Infertility & Reproduction

Reproductive Technology

Having children is a way to bring spouses together and it does so by being the genetic offspring of both parents so that a child cannot be an achievement of one and by providing an opportunity to look beyond the individual (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 15-16)[7]

Artificial Insemination - of mother with father’s sperm

“Within this context [marriage] the technique of artificial insemination with the husband’s sperm is considered a possible approach to overcoming infertility. However, artificial insemination with donor sperm from outside the marriage conceives the child in a way that disturbs the delicate balance between sameness and difference in God’s plans for marriage” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18)[8]

Artificial Insemination - of mother with donor’s sperm

“Within this context [marriage] the technique of artificial insemination with the husband’s sperm is considered a possible approach to overcoming infertility. However, artificial insemination with donor sperm from outside the marriage conceives the child in a way that disturbs the delicate balance between sameness and difference in God’s plans for marriage” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18)[9]

Artificial Insemination - using a surrogate

“Surrogacy that conceives the child from the surrogate’s egg rather than the wife’s egg would be ruled out in much the same way as artificial insemination by donor. It brings about an asymmetry in the relation of the child to the social father and mother. Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[10]

In-Vitro Fertilization - using egg and sperm of parents

“In vitro fertilization often uses sperm and eggs from the husband and wife, and the wife carries the child. In this circumstance there does not seem to be a disturbance of the marital relationship and the relationship between the parents and the child. On the other hand, in vitro fertilization can be practiced using sperm and eggs from any of a variety of donors. In such cases the violation of the purposes of marriage seems once again to occur” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 19)[11]
“While we do not presume to advise on all of the intricacies of medical procedures and possibilities, we urge couples and their medical advisers to aim toward the practice of transferring all embryos [to the womb]. If the goal is to initiate and foster human life, then we trust that those involved will let their respect for human life guide them in their practical decisions.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 46)[12]

IVF - with egg donor

“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[13]

IVF - with sperm donor

“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[14]

IVF - with surrogate with egg and sperm from parents

“We note that some surrogacy proposals involve in vitro fertilization using gametes from the married, but childless, partners. In such a proposal the embryo would be conceived from within the one-flesh context of the marriage. Still, the implantation of the embryo and the gestation of the child in another woman’s womb continue to locate some of the most intimate features of marital and parental relationships outside the one-flesh union of husband and wife” (Christians and Procreative Choices…How do God’s Chosen Choose?” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 1996 page 17-18)[15]

IVF - with surrogate and egg donor

“Surrogacy that conceives the child from the surrogate’s egg rather than the wife’s egg would be ruled out in much the same way as artificial insemination by donor. It brings about an asymmetry in the relation of the child to the social father and mother. Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[16]
“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[17]

IVF - with surrogate and sperm donor

“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[18]

IVF - with surrogate and her egg and father’s sperm

“Surrogacy that conceives the child from the surrogate’s egg rather than the wife’s egg would be ruled out in much the same way as artificial insemination by donor. It brings about an asymmetry in the relation of the child to the social father and mother. Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[19]
“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[20]

IVF - with surrogate and egg and sperm donor

“Surrogacy that conceives the child from the surrogate’s egg rather than the wife’s egg would be ruled out in much the same way as artificial insemination by donor. It brings about an asymmetry in the relation of the child to the social father and mother. Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[21]
“Any use of sperm or eggs from outside the marriage is an inappropriate disturbance” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 18-19)[22]

Nuclear transfer and Cloning (for reproduction)

“Cloning is fundamentally unacceptable because only one person’s bodily life provides the genetic instructions; the delicate balance of marriage is once again disturbed. The child stands in an asymmetric relationship to the father and the mother, because its total set of genetic instructions has come from only one parent” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 19)[23]

Frozen Oocytes

“While we do not presume to advise on all of the intricacies of medical procedures and possibilities, we urge couples and their medical advisers to aim toward the practice of transferring all embryos [to the womb]. If the goal is to initiate and foster human life, then we trust that those involved will let their respect for human life guide them in their practical decisions.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 46)[24]

Healthcare & Medicine

Access to Healthcare

“…we are required to give and to receive ‘ordinary’ care in which the good effects of the treatment are proportionate to the difficulty and inconvenience involved, care that can be provided without imposing an excessive burden on the patient and on others.” (“Christian Care at Life’s End” 1993 page 15)[25]

Organ Donation and Transplantation

“The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod encourages organ donation as an act of Christian love, but this choice is entirely up to the individual and/or his or her family, and should not be a cause of guilt or regret no matter what decision is made. The Bible has nothing specific to say regarding this issue. Therefore, it is a matter of Christian freedom and personal (or family) discretion.” (Life Issues page 6)[26]

Science & Technology

Biotechnology

Human Cloning

“Cloning is fundamentally unacceptable because only one person’s bodily life provides the genetic instructions; the delicate balance of marriage is once again disturbed. The child stands in an asymmetric relationship to the father and the mother, because its total set of genetic instructions has come from only one parent” (“What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2002 page 19)[27]

Stem Cell Research

“We urge the research community to renounce the troubling basis upon which researchers push us to go forward with the killing of embryos.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 44)[28]
“…we argue that destruction for human life cannot be justified by pointing to promising outcomes for other humans.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 45)[29]
“…we have…made clear that definite and serious moral uncertainty attends the use of embryos for scientific research.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 47)[30]

End of Life

Positions on End of Life issues are based upon the Principles outlined in “Christian Care at Life’s End”[31]

Artificial Hydration and Nutrition

“In cases where it is not possible in any way to determine a patient’s own assessments concerning the burdens and benefits of the treatment, the wisest choice is to continue provision of nutrition and hydration…in these circumstances continued feeding is wise because it effectively blocks the temptation society may have solely to aim at the death of patients whose ‘biological tenacity’ has become inconvenient and troublesome.” (“Christian Care at Life’s End” 1993 page 10)[32]

Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

“Principle 1: Euthanasia, in its proper sense, is a synonym for mercy killing, which involves suicide and/or murder. It is, therefore, contrary to God’s Law.
Principle 2: As Creator, God alone knows with certainty whether a disease or an injury is incurable.
Principle 3: When the God-given powers of the body to sustain its own life can no longer function and doctors in their professional judgment conclude that there is no real hope for recovery even with life-support instruments, a Christian may in good conscience “let nature take its course.”
Principle 4: Administering pain-killing medications, even at the risk of shortening life, is permissible, since this does not entail the choice of death as either a means or an end.” (“Christian Care at Life’s End” 1993 page 4)[33]

Withholding & Withdrawing Treatment

“Principle 3: When the God-given powers of the body to sustain its own life can no longer function and doctors in their professional judgment conclude that there is no real hope for recovery even with life-support instruments, a Christian may in good conscience “let nature take its course.”
Principle 4: Administering pain-killing medications, even at the risk of shortening life, is permissible, since this does not entail the choice of death as either a means or an end.” (“Christian Care at Life’s End” 1993 page 4)[34]

Issues of Human Dignity & Discrimination

It is not possible for humans to determine the worth of an individual because the basis of our worth come from God:

“…love and care for humans is not something that flows from us in response to the other’s worth. Rather, God’s love gives us humans our worth. So acknowledging God’s valuing of humans, our love and care go out to others.” (“Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-Implantation Human Life” by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 2005 page 41)[35]

Disability Ethics

“[God] values the weak and the lowly, and with Him achievement does not count for more than potential. Human dignity is therefore bestowed by God, not achieved or earned.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 18)[36]
“It has become increasingly common in our society to speak as if taking life—whether of the unborn through abortion, of the handicapped or retarded child through benign neglect or infanticide, or of the suffering and the senile through euthanasia—were a way of serving the well-being of those whose lives we take. Against all such misuse of language Christians insist that the task entrusted us by God is to help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need, not to rush the neighbor out of existence and beyond the realm of bodily need.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 20)[37]
“The fact that a child will be born retarded and/or disable cannot justify withdrawing our protection for his life.” (“Abortion in Perspective” 1984 page 25)[38]


Notes

  1. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  2. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  3. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  4. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  5. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  6. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=319
  7. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  8. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  9. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  10. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  11. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  12. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  13. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  14. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  15. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=357
  16. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  17. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  18. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  19. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  20. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  21. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  22. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  23. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  24. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  25. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=361
  26. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=551
  27. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=355
  28. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  29. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  30. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  31. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=361
  32. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=361
  33. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=361
  34. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=361
  35. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=353
  36. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  37. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
  38. http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=363
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