The Christian Post has an article that notes “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod passed a resolution at their convention affirming the belief that God created the Earth ‘in six natural days.’” The article is commented on in Jim Kidder’s blog “Science and Religion: A View from an Evolutionary Creationist”. The Post reports that:
At the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod on Tuesday (July 23, 2019), the theologically conservative denomination adopted Resolution 5-09A, titled “To Confess the Biblical Six-Day Creation.”
“We confess that the duration of those natural days is proclaimed in God’s Word: ‘there was evening and there was morning, the first day,’” resolved the resolution. The resolution also declared that the creation of Adam as the first human being was a “historical event” and rejected the claims of the theory of evolution.
This is why my Science and Faith postings remain relevant in our conversations in the “Great Hall” about Jesus-shaped spirituality. The LCMS is the eleventh largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with about 2.3 million members. That is a significant number of Christians who have officially proclaimed a blatantly anti-science resolution. Now, to be fair, it is notable that the vote was 662 in favor and 309 against, so there was quite a bit of dissent about the resolution. Nevertheless, the resolution also called on pastors to equip congregations with resources on faith and science. Really? Where are those resource on science supposed to come from? Perhaps from their 1932 resolution:
“Since no man was present when it pleased God to create the world, we must look for a reliable account of creation to God’s own record, found in God’s own book, the Bible. We accept God’s own record with full confidence and confess with Luther’s Catechism: ‘I believe that God has made me and all creatures.’”
Ah, yes, the “were you there?” argument. As noted in the article and Kidder’s blog, dissenting members decried the lack of clarity in that what the heck is a “natural” day before there was any sun in the sky. How do you have an “evening and a morning” without a sun, because, remember, the Genesis account says the sun wasn’t created until the FOURTH DAY? (You can read a convoluted and incoherent explanation from Answers in Genesis that basically says God created a light source on Day One, which was replaced with the sun on Day Four). Yeah, because that’s the plain reading of Scripture /sarcasm off.
Why does this bother me so, and what does it have to do with Jesus-shaped spirituality?
- Instead of defending the Scriptures as inspired by God this type of argumentation denigrates the Scriptures by insisting scientific nonsense is the proper interpretation.
- Scientific illiteracy in the American public in general and professing Christians in particular is further exacerbated by this type of proclamation.
- It substantiates anti-religious atheistic viewpoints that religion, and Christianity in particular, is harmful to society.
- You can’t have Jesus-shaped spirituality without the truth. We are supposed to be following He who is Truth Himself. You can argue scientific questions don’t have bearing on spiritual truth, but that is not so. Because physical reality and spiritual reality are aspects of the one reality. If you can’t grasp reality, you are subject to deception and illusion. The sun is the center of our solar system. We revolve around the sun and have the seasons, we revolve on the earth’s axis and have “evening and morning”. The authors of scripture didn’t know that when they wrote Genesis, but we know that now. Pretending otherwise is dangerous spiritual deception.
Those of us that know better need to continue to speak out against this nonsense. Despite the fact that the LCMS members that voted for this resolution are our brothers in Christ, this is not a “both sides have point” issue. That they are headed for heaven the same as me in no way minimizes the societal damage this wrong-headed resolution engenders. Some might say that issues like the separation of young children from their parents and their subsequent incarceration in order to discourage asylum-seeking is a more serious problem more worthy of our attention. But I’m telling you the same gullible mindset is at work in both situations. Well, I’d be interested to hear from some of our LCMS readers; what say you?