We are very grateful to NALC pastor Ken Kimball, who, along with Bishop Paull Spring, wrote the original statement, which was adopted on April 15, 2007. Pastor Kimball graciously accepted our request to update the statement. We are also very grateful to Dr. Mark Mattes of Grand View University for reviewing the statement. The board of Lutheran CORE approved the statement on 8/30/21.
These Documents Have Historical Significance for Lutheran CORE
Statement on Nascent Life
The Common Confession addresses the key issues in contention at the time of its writing, but there are more theological and ethical matters that need a faithful Christian witness. The sacrifice of the unborn to the Moloch of lust or convenience is surely one of the most glaring sins of our society, and it is not addressed directly in the Common Confession (although the references to the authority of Scripture and the Confessions are relevant).
The North American Lutheran Church was asked to address this issue, and wisely delegated the matter to the Joint Commission on Theology and Doctrine — joint because it is a shared responsibility of the NALC and Lutheran CORE. The Commission developed this excellent resource and commends it to all members of NALC and Lutheran CORE.
This Word of Counsel is not written from but to our constituency. It asks for prayerful consideration of its biblical and theological points. The NALC has no desire to issue multitudinous social statements, given how such documents have been abused in other groups, and has intentionally made the process of approving such statements long and careful. Apart from the Common Confession and Constitution to which all members of Lutheran CORE have consented, Lutheran CORE has no authority to speak for its membership (which is really quite diverse).
In no way does this diminish the power of this document. If anything, it enhances it, because it is not imposed on our membership but asks the membership to accept it voluntarily. Christian faith rests on the authority of the Word of God and not legal or political power, even if a majority of a group’s membership happens to vote for something. The Document on Nascent Life claims the authority of God’s Word and asks readers to evaluate it on that basis. The consensus of the leadership of Lutheran CORE and of the NALC is that it is powerfully and soundly faithful to Scripture and the Confessions.
So we urge you to read this with your Bible open, in a spirit of prayer and supplication.
May God bless our reflections on this document, and may His holy angels watch over the little ones, who our Lord assures us are the objects of His special care. Read the document here.