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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

08 August 2005


Q: What’s the Lutheran stance on genetic manipulation (cloning, gene therapy, genetic engineering, etc.)? I know that Roman Catholics oppose prenatal screening, abortion, and cloning to create organs for transplantation and I know that the Anglican Church is not as fundamental. I’d appreciate knowing the Lutheran perspective.

A: A brief article from The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) says, “At its 1998 convention, the Synod adopted a resolution in which it ‘reject[ed] without reservation as contrary to God’s Word any technique or method of human cloning that results in the destruction of human embryos or the creation of human embryos for the purposes of fetal tissue research or organ harvesting or transplantation.’” The same resolution directed the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to prepare a study document “to help the church, on the basis of the Word of God, make informed ethical judgments concerning cloning and attendant issues.”

This study became a booklet entitled What Child Is This? Marriage, Family, and Human Cloning [89kb PDF]. It details a number of Biblical and ethical objections to the practice. Along with human cloning, the Missouri Synod opposes fetal tissue research and abortion. Because of scientific advances, the LCMS continues examining animal cloning and is looking at the boundaries of other areas of genetic research. For more information and updates you can search cloning on the LCMS web site or visit the pages of Lutherans for Life.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


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