TAMPA, Fla. — During the recent Convention of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS), delegates approved a resolution reaffirming the synod’s belief in a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, including that God created the heavens and earth in six days.
The text of Resolution 5-09A reflects positions outlined in existing documents, such as its 1973 Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles, which declares, “We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Genesis 1 and 2, namely by His almighty creative word, and in six days.”
“We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days, it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution,” it continues. “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.”
Pastors and other church workers are encouraged to confess and uphold the position in their teaching.
According to the official synod publication Reporter, delegates had a lively discussion on the resolution’s use of the term “natural days” — specifically, what the word “natural” infers. Some delegates thought a different word should be utilized because its meaning is unclear/not strong enough and preferred a term specific to the Bible.
The original wording was nonetheless retained and passed by a majority.
“The resolution [5-09A] is important because we need to affirm the reality of God’s creation, especially in a time and place when it’s especially challenging to say that God created people at all,” Adam Koontz, a member of Floor Committee 5 on Theology and Church Relations, told the outlet.
Synod President Matthew Harrison remarked following the vote, “We try to only say what the Bible says, and otherwise keep our mouths shut. It’s hard for me to believe the Genesis account, … but I do believe it because I believe it’s the Word of God.”
Apologist Ken Ham of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter commented on the matter on Sunday, stating that he would like to see other synods and denominations pass similar resolutions.
“Not taking God’s Word as written in Genesis by compromising with evolution/millions of years has been a major contributing factor (along with a failure to teach creation apologetics by many) to why the church as a whole has become so weak in impacting the culture in our time and why we are seeing such an exodus of coming generations from the church,” he wrote to social media.
“Yes, God meant what He said in Genesis 1 as reiterated in Exodus 20:11, ‘For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them …'”
The Missouri Synod passed numerous other resolutions during its convention in Tampa, Florida, including one that encouraged churches and members to “have a voice in the public square opposing physician-assisted suicide.”