Genetics

The ELCA social statement “Genetics, Faith and Responsibility” expresses our church's teaching related to the unprecedented human energy and effort spent in genetic research and its applications. In light of God’s creative and constant work in the world, the statement recognizes these developments as carrying both promise and potential for great harm.

The statement highlights the biblical view of human beings as “innovative stewards,” called to be responsible to the Golden Rule. It describes the Golden Rule in a contemporary context as the imperative “to respect and promote the community of life with justice and wisdom.” This imperative should be used to direct our activity and use of genetic research and knowledge in medicine, agriculture and other areas of life. The statement provides guidance for discerning what justice and wisdom means as well as pointing to practices that respect human dignity and encourage Christian community in this age of genetic knowledge, with all its questions and complexities.

You can read or download the full social statement on “Genetics, Faith and Responsibility.” This statement was adopted in 2011 by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

Social Statement (en)

Follow these links to find resources for understanding this social statement: