I have in my personal library a well known book authored by Robert Fulghum entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I could not make such a claim because my parents did not enroll me in such a place. This is why I have opted to rather talk about what I learned in graduate school about abortion and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These things I learned as the result of the topic I chos for my doctoral dissertation entitled: From Pro-life to Pro-choice: The Dramatic Shift in Seventh-day Adventists’ Attitudes Towards Abortion.
- Lesson One: Both our nation and the Adventist Church were founded on the solid foundation of respect for God, the Creator, and a high regard for his Law. Even today Moses and the Ten Commandments are enshrined in the Halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Lesson Two: Both our nation and the AdventistChurch have recently demonstrated a lack of respect towards such emblems of our loyalty to our Creator. This has recently become very apparent in our diminished respect for the moral value of human life.
- Lesson Three: When both our nation and the Adventist Church were founded, the practice of abortion was considered to be equivalent to murder. Today, if someone kills a wanted unborn baby, it is treated as murder; but if the baby is unwanted, no crime has been committed and we call such a violent act “therapy.” Of course, nobody is lining up in order to receive such therapy for himself.
- Lesson Four: If a woman is raped, we let the guilty live, but kill the innocent baby and call this an example of our fairness and compassion. Since when is killing the innocent an act of compassion? Of course, no one is eager to be the recipient of this kind of compassion.
- Lesson Five: Our ancestors killed in time of war; we kill both in times of war and in peace time.
- Lesson Six: Our ancestors killed in order to preserve their own lives; we kill to preserve our lifestyle.
- Lesson Seven: They killed out of a sense of duty; we kill in order to avoid our moral duty.
- Lesson Eight: They killed their enemies; we kill our own children at a time when they are most vulnerable.
- Lesson Nine: According to experts, six decades ago, our nation was the largest creditor in the entire world. Today the U.S. is the largest debtor, and our greatest creditor is an officially Communist country. I thought we had defeated Communism! My state—California—is financially broke, and the federal government is likewise on the edge of bankruptcy.
- Lesson Ten: Our Adventist pioneers had a high respect for all Ten of God’s Commandments. Today our church has watered down the true and original meaning of the Sixth Commandments which forbids the killing of innocent human beings beyond recognition. Some of our own hospitals are killing unwanted babies by the hundreds and even perform elective abortions on babies perfectly formed.
I also learned that the abortion crisis in our Adventist church is mainly a North American phenomenon. An old friend of mine did inform me that abortion was not permitted in the Adventist medical institutions under his care when he was in charge of our medical work in Europe, Africa, and South America. No wonder our church is not growing in theU.S., but has been growing by laps and bounds in some of those countries.
I discovered that we get a knee jerk reaction every time Sunday laws are in the news, which so far is killing nobody, but have a blind spot to real killers like abortion. We go to the ends of the earth to convince people that the true Sabbath is sacred, but forget that Human life is also sacred. Didn’t Jesus say that the Sabbath was made for man, and not the reverse, thus implying that human life is holy likewise?
We have invested tons of time and ink in order to help those addicted to tobacco product quit the habit, because such a change in lifestyle tends to add five years to their life, but have no interest in the pro-life movement which adds between 80 and 90 years of life to the abortion victims.
When a baby is born with a defective heart, we have no regret making over a six figure dollar investment to save the baby’s life, but turn a blind eye when other Adventist physicians are killing well formed and healthy babies by the hundreds—many of them in our own hospitals.
Hitler killed six million Jews, ad we call this genocide; Americans killed fifty million innocent unborn human beings and we call it an expression of our freedom of choice. We teach that Jesus died to free us from sin, and we also teach that he died to grant us the freedom to choose—to kill innocent babies under a variety of circumstances, including when the woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, gets depressed and her “mental health” is affected.
We have lofty pro-life statements in our official document entitled Guidelines on Abortion, but we loaded the document with many exceptions which make the pro-life pronouncements null and void for all practical purposes. Would it make any sense to state that stealing a car is wrong; except when the burglar is unemployed, when his own car has broken down, when it is an emergency, or when his neighbor has more vehicles than he needs?
We have redefined the true meaning of death. When an anencephalic baby is born, we say the baby is brain dead in spite of the fact that the baby is alive and is breathing and kicking. Why do we do this? Because this allows us to remove the baby’s vital organs before the baby is really dead in order to facilitate our transplantation program. Wouldn’t it make more sense to save the lives of those healthy babies who are being poisoned or dismembered by the thousands every week?
Can you guess why we switched from a strong pro-life position to a pro-choice/pro-abortion one? Profit, fear of loosing patients and staff, fear of financial insolvency; in essence, fear of men, but a lack of fear of God. I learned this by reading the Adventist history as recorded in our own publications. I also learned that two thirds of our magazine readers were on the pro-life of his controversial issue, but the power was in the hands of the liberal minded leaders of the church.
These things I learned–and much more–when I decided to sign up for a doctoral program in religion. Why did I do this given my advanced age and very limited financial resources? Because the church closed all avenues I tried to speak on behalf of the unborn. Our Adventist pro-choice leaders were allowed to ridicule pro-lifers and, every time I requested equal time to speak in defense of the most vulnerable members of humanity, I was informed that the topic was controversial. It was not controversial when they spoke in defense of abortion, but it became controversial the moment I opened my mouth!
I wrote letters to the former General Conference president and the current one, and I am still waiting for a response. Every time I sent a financial contribution to our Adventist pro-life cause, my checks were returned with the following message: “The Adventist Church does not have a pro-life program.” In my desperation, I decided that if I secure a Ph.D. degree, perhaps I will be able to get a word edgewise on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
Some years ago, a former president of Andrews University was teaching one Loma Linda University Church Sabbath School and he presented some controversial doctrines to us. A former student of his asked: “How come you never said anything about this when you were our president”? “I didn’t want to rock the boat!” he responded. Every time I speak on behalf of the unborn, some Adventists advise me not to rock the boat. If our boat is about to hit an iceberg, is it wrong to rock the boat? Should the captain say, I am not going to rock the boat; some of the passengers may feel dizzy?
A few years ago, a pro-life friend of mine asked his pastor why he never preached about sin and abortion. “If I did that, some of my members might get offended,” he replied. Can you imagine John the Baptist, the Old Testament prophets, or Jesus saying this as an excuse for not preaching against sin? The Bible compares such preachers to dogs who won’t ark. As I was handing a pro-life piece of literature to a Sabbath School member, a dear Adventist sister shouted with anger: “You are doing the Devil’s work.” Perhaps those prophets who called sin by its right name were also doing the Devil’s work!
Should we sanitize the Bible and delete from the sacred pages the story of David’s sin, Peter’s denial of Jesus, and books like Judges? I wish some of the things I found in the holy pages of our official Ministry magazine were not there; but they are part of our history. This is the source I gleaned a great portion of the material I used for my doctoral dissertation. I do know that we can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar; nevertheless someone has to shake the bee hive to collect the honey and risk getting a few stings in the process.
My hope is that you might be tempted to read what I have written; but if you can’t invest the time to read all the chapters, I would suggest that you read at least the last chapter and the Addendums where the summary of my findings is found.
As you read the book, I would like you to do so with the following probing question in you mind:
Should the Adventist Church get out of the abortion business—especially the elective type—and disconnect itself from any Adventist medical institution that is unwilling to do likewise and thus let such entities go their own way to become totally autonomous and start operating as independent ministries similar to “The Quiet Hour” and “3ABN”?
My prayer and my hope is to that end! May the good Lord bless you as you read this book which was prepared with a great deal of sadness, dedication, hope and personal sacrifice.
More:===> If this topic is of interest to you, I suggest you secure a copy of the book I recently published entitled: From Pro-life to Pro-choice: The Dramatic Shift in Seventh-day Adventists’ Attitudes Towards Abortion from the printer. Here is the link: http://lulu.com. You will need to type my name, Nic Samojluk, in the blank “Search” space to access my book’s web page.