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Anti-evolution - LCMS?

Discussion in 'LCMS / WELS / ELS / LCC' started by graceandpeace, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. graceandpeace

    graceandpeace Episcopalian

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    Ok. I have been seeking a church & decided to research Lutheranism more. I thought I'd be inclined toward the LCMS , but reading on the website, it seems the church is flat out against evolution. I don't necessarily believe in evolution fully, but I just didn't like the tone of the article. How do those in the LCMS view evolution? It's not a huge issue for me, but I don't believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis creation (that each day was literally 24 hours, etc).
     
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  2. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    +287
    Lutheran
    Greetings. This is always an interesting topic. But sometimes it is clouded with more demands, shouting, or talking past people. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share a couple of notes. I write this in the spirit of discussion, not attack.

    The presupposition of evolution is: How can we explain the beginning of the universe without any reference to God?

    Lutherans are not opposed to science, but evolution doesn’t fall within the purview of science (something has to be observable, measurable, etc.). Since the beginning of the world/universe happened only once, it cannot be observed. So all scientific study (not theories) is after the fact. Overall, science tends to support a young earth.

    Regarding six day creation, there is nothing in Genesis 1 to suggest a change in the length of the “day.” In fact, there are places in the Hebrew Bible (OT) and Greek Bible (NT) in which you will read “A day is like a thousand years” but that phrase only deals with God’s patience and never with regard to creation.

    So, if God is creating, he could have created everything in 10 seconds. But the Biblical record states “six days.” Unless you can find Biblical and scientific evidence (not theories) to suggest otherwise, “six days” works better than any other explanation.

    Check out: Studies in Creation by John Klotz (now deceased, but LCMS professor). He was the first in the US to earn doctorates in both biology and theology.

    (from a really old codger who in a former life was a mathematician, and now just a servant of God)

     
  3. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    Could you believe that God was capable of creating an "old earth" in 6 days? After all, he also created a man - not a baby.
     
  4. Moses Medina

    Moses Medina Layman

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    Excellent point. On a side and off topic question, how's how's baby? Hope all is well! Blessings.
     
  5. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    Standing with support already :)
     
  6. MNKeith

    MNKeith Newbie

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    Given that God is omnipotent, I am is surprised He took as long as six days.
     
  7. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    The way labels are used is sometimes silly, but they are important to explaining how people view themselves. In the abortion debate, the LCMS would take the "pro-life" position, but those opposed to that idea would call us "anti-choice".

    Likewise, I would call the LCMS "pro-Bible", not "anti-evolution". Let me explain ...

    Once again, this question seems to have a subtext that is asking, "Am I not saved if I believe in evolution?" That is a works-righteousness approach to the question. As filosofer points out, there is a lot we don't know about the origins of life. As such, the most likely scenario is that we're all wrong. Regardless, God offers grace and forgiveness. So, there is a sense in which the answer to evolution is, "It doesn't matter as long as Christ is your savior."

    With that said, the reaction one should have to God's gift is a desire to know Him and do His will. One of the means he has provided us for knowing Him is his Word. As such, the starting point for this discussion should not be, "I think ..." but "God's Word says ..." From there you let the chips fall where they may.
     
  8. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

    +520
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    I always think that things should be open for discussion. I worry that if its to dogmatic that they are not allowing people to talk freely about things. I know there are certain lines you shouldn't cross as with say negative talk ect that can effect a person. But a person should be able to express their thoughts and be able to freely discuss most matters so that everyone is included and grow together within the church. Just like any relationship you have with your family or friends.

    Evolution can be one of those subjects like politics that polarizes people and there is no in between. But to be fair you have to at least hear the other persons side so that you understand where they are coming from. This doesn't mean you to become like them, it just means that you can build a better foundation for your beliefs and you become a stronger person. God cannot be proved by science or evidence. Faith would be faith if we have all the evidence in front of us. You have to be careful that you dont make proving god your mission rather than just trusting in his word as to what he says. Faith will not be knocked down by any evidence because it is God himself who is your witness despite anything the contrary.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  9. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    I agree in the sense that putting up a wall of dogma risks turning people away before the Gospel can do its work. Good listening skills is just part of caring about people.

    But with that said, some doctrine is non-negotiable, and there does come a time when one has to move on. I like how the LCMS has defined that line, using the Book of Concord as an exposition of Scripture.

    I agree with what you're saying here, except I would say the Word is my evidence. Nonbelievers don't like that, but it is one of those non-negotiables for me. If they don't want the Bible to be part of the discussion, then we probably won't have a discussion ... at least not on topics like this.
     
  10. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Well i guess if it gets to that point of disagreement both parties have to agree to disagree and leave it up to the individual. I just cant see the point of people getting to bogged down with a certain point about an aspect of your belief and then build your whole belief around this. Surely any true christian will be accepting and non judgmental. You can explain your beliefs and if the other person disagrees then thats all you can do. You have told them the word according to how you believe but you will also listen to what they have to say. But you will also make them welcome even if they dont agree.
     
  11. Daniel Stinson

    Daniel Stinson Junior Member

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    web search: "Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham - HD (Official) - YouTube"
    Ken Ham is Reformed theology, not Lutheran, but his debate with Bill Nye overlaps many creation theology positions held by the LCMS and WELS.

    web search LCMS's: "Mequon conference to defend creationism"

    web search LCMS's: "Society of Creation" or "Soli Deo Gloria"

    Genesis explains that with the introduction of original sin and our lack of access to the "Tree of Life" that death has fallen upon us, over time. Creation Theology inspires Christians to believe this lead to degeneration from a higher form to a lower form as opposed to evolving from a lower form to a higher form. So Creation Theology and Big Bang Theology are polar opposites.

    Creation Theological science would say an advanced wolf has degenerated into subspecies of wolves and dogs. This means the number of total species on Noah's Ark are substantially lower in quantity and number than what currently exists today. This is a broad concept that overlaps theology with modern science to explain Creationism in some of its forms, but this isn't the specific position of LCMS. It is a position within Creationism that I'm personally comfortable with as an ITT Tech student who's surrounded by the field of science all week long.

    In its most raw form, theologically speaking, Creationism as the LCMS interprets it, literal day cycles are self explanatory as dawn and dusk are clearly stated in Genesis. Also, the Bible as the Word of God and Jesus as the Word made flesh; creates a theological problem where if God lied about how many days it took him to create us, then that invalidates Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ simultaneously. Genesis clearly states that God the Father spoke (the Word) and it was good and the Spirit (Holy Spirit) brought calm to the power of God's creation.

    Consistency is Creationism's greatest allie; while evolutionists argues inconsistently over millions vs billions of years. Some soft tissue and blood were recently found in dinosaur bones, which scientifically can't survive millions of years, so it's yet another blow to evolutionist.
     
  12. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    All i can say is find your own comfort level with science and evolution. Not everyone gets into it. But for those who like to learn and discover the world around them there is nothing wrong with educating yourself. Most of the time it is through a lack of understanding and knowledge that we may misinterpret something. We may rely to much on someone elses view and not really know enough to verify whether what they say is correct. Of course you like to think that those you trust are doing the right thing. Or those who are trained in the particular subject have the expertise to give correct answers.

    But just remember we are human and subject to mistakes and personal view points. But also dont be fooled by what some say. Sometimes its better to say that we just dont know and maybe people get to fixed on a idea for both sides of the argument. For me even if evolution was true to the point that most scientists say it is i know that this will not affect my belief because i have a relationship with God. It is more than just physical evidence or experience. There will be some reason why it is that way or it will not be quite as straight forward as it seems. Know one knows the mind of God and there maybe many reasons behind what we see. If someone is so fixated on a particular belief for science or they are mixing it up with God and faith to the point of substituting it for their belief than you have to be careful. Science is science and we cant dismiss it completely. It has given us a lot that we rely on. I always think that it is through things like science we get a better appreciation for gods greatness anyway.

    So as much as possible do your own investigation and dont be afraid of the answers you may find. Don't get stuck in a fixed frame of mind and be open to whatever the evidence may show. Your relationship with God should be the foundation that you approach anything in life. Science and evidence can only go so far and if we could prove God completely to the point that science says then there would be no use for faith. To me they are two different things yet one can lead to the other as well. Discovering the greatness of the universe can cause a person to see God as it may go beyond any explanation. Having a belief in God can give you the wisdom to know that a creator can make the complicated things we see and we gain respect and adoration for his greatness.

    Ive always thought sometimes we may chase our tails trying to work out and find the answers to life and the universe. It is good to discover but in many ways the more man discovers the more he will see that there must be some sort of creator behind things. This is especially true now we are looking into the quantum world of physics. But just to see the greatness of the universe is to see God and that in itself can be the evidence without explanation.

    The most important thing i believe is to always trust God. Sometimes you may get doubts and think that it doesn't make sense. But remember that it is by faith that we are saved. By trusting in Gods free gift of life. We have a relationship with God through the holy spirit and we have the testimony of this everyday in our hearts. As it says in the bible Some will look but they will not see and some will listen and the will not hear. And be still and know that I am god. Our evidence is seeing God in all creation and this is our witness. You will only know this by faith and accepting Jesus into your life.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
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