Posted by: adventlife | September 15, 2014

Can the Adventist “Guidelines on Abortion” be fixed? by Nic Samojluk

Adventist Health
I received the following message this morning from a motivated pro-life Adventist who shares my concern about the way our church did compromise with evil on the issue of abortion. Here is what he said, followed by my response to his email:

“I am aware that another General Conference session is coming up … It has occurred to me that if a delegate would make a motion to change some of the wording in the Guidelines on Abortion, it might well pass. Even a small change like adding the word “physical” before the women’s health exception or eliminating that exception entirely might well tighten the screws on the loose abortion policy in some of our medical institutions. Honestly, I would like the Guidelines on Abortion to be completely re-written, but if the church isn’t ready to do that, they may be willing to at least reconsider the women’s health exception, which I think is the biggest loophole in the document. What do you think? Am I off base or on target with my suggestion? And could a delegate be persuaded to follow through with this?

Thanks for your comments. Your suggestion is a good one. Any effort to improve the guidelines may save a number of lives, but it will not solve the underlying moral problem. Humans have no right to place their own tradition above God’s Word. God used four words: “You shall not murder” for the protection of human life; we used 1314 words in order to neutralize and void God’s prohibition. The story of King Saul should be a lesson for us. He slightly deviated from God’s command, and the Lord rejected him as king.

I have reviewed our “Guidelines on Abortion” on numerous occasions and I did this again this morning. I would like to make a few comments regarding some of the verbiage found in it:

1. “decisions about life must be made in the context of a fallen world” This contradicts what is stated in Item # 8 where decisions are made not according to the norms of society, but rather based on God’s Law.

2. “Abortion should be performed only for the most serious reasons.” This should be replaced with: “The Adventist church does not offer abortion services to their patients. God’s Law is clear: “You shall not murder.” Murder is defined as the killing of an innocent human being.

3. “The Church does not serve as conscience for individuals; however, it should provide moral guidance” This contradicts what the church publicly declared recently in the country of Kenya alleging that the Adventist church is neutral on the issue of abortion. How can we be neutral on a moral issue? Were biblical prophets, John the Baptist, or Jesus neutral on morality?

4. ”serious jeopardy to her health” This is the most serious deviations from Scripture. The standard understanding today is that mental health is an integral component of health. This is what opened the door to elective abortions. A woman faced with an unwanted pregnancy becomes temporarily mentally depressed and another innocent human being is deprived of life.

5. “severe congenital defects” Killing a human being who is growing with a defect should not justify murder either before or after birth.

6. “pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.” The Bible is clear on this. It states that the children should not be punished for the sins of their parents. If society lets the rapist live, there is no moral reason for executing the innocent baby.

7. “She should be aided in her decision by accurate information” Accurate information includes what God said about killing the innocent. It is prohibited!

8. “They make their choices according to scripture and the laws of God rather than the norms of society” This rules out all the exceptions for abortion enumerated in the abortion guidelines document.

9. “infringements of personal freedom.” There is no personal freedom to kill innocent human beings. Murderers will be excluded from heaven, unless they repent and confess their sin. A church that continues justifying the violation of God’s Law will be rejected the way King Saul was rejected by God.

10. “Church institutions should be provided with guidelines for developing their own institutional” This should be replaced with the following statement: “Any medical institution profiting from abortion services must sever it connection with the Adventist church and start functioning as an independent ministry like 3ABN or The Quiet Hour.

11. “Church members should be encouraged to participate in the ongoing consideration of their moral responsibilities with regard to abortion in light of the teaching of scripture.” Scripture condemns the killing of innocent human beings, which means that we can discard our abortion guidelines for the simple reason that is is prohibited in Holy Writ.

12. “God gives humanity the freedom of choice, even if it leads to abuse and tragic consequences. His unwillingness to coerce human obedience necessitated the sacrifice of His Son.” Jesus did not die to protect our freedom to sin, but rather to free us from sin. I am free to shoot at the president of the U.S., but I am liable to end in the electric chair.

13. “The fundamental perspective of these guidelines is taken from a broad study of scripture” Wrong! I have the testimony of a person who participated in the meeting that created these guidelines, and she testified that there were no study of Scripture preceding the creation of the abortion guidelines. Theologians were asked to look at the
Bible in order to justify what they had already decided.

Now regarding the likelihood of persuading one of the delegates to do something about this serious moral problem, I wish I new the answer!

Guidelines on Abortion: http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/guidelines/article/go/0/abortion/6/

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Responses

  1. I wonder too if it would not be appropriate for those of us whose testimonies include abortion that have been convicted to repent, both women AND men, should encourage a service where the very goal is to unveil this grievous sin and repent collectively as a denomination. The amazing thing about sin is the deeper into it we have gone, the deeper the conviction and the more God will use our testimonies. I firmly believe that our deepest darkest moments can be used for Gods glory and will then become our best contributions to that end.

    My testimony; Back in 1973 I insisted on my wife having an abortion and she went along with my wishes. That not being bad enough it was our SDA Doctor who ended up performing a late term because my wife put it off. No effort was made to redirect the two if us who were young and clueless at the time. The thought that I murdered my son’s older sibling is only bearable with the forgiveness I asked for and received.

    It is testimonies like these that should ruin the liberal impetus of so many SDA pastors who have become part of this problem rather than part of its solution.
    I know of one who states that because Ellen White spoke of freedom of conscience that freedom of choice should ensue. My reply to him was that his freedom of conscience had turned into the freedom from knowing what a conscience is.

    • Gary,

      I agree. Thanks for your personal testimony. It takes spiritual courage to share with others our mistakes. I am glad that you were able to process this sad chapter of your life and are ready now to bless others with the assurance that we have a merciful God who is always eager to forgive our failings.

      One question: Was that doctor an employee of an Adventist medical facility? And, how long ago did this take place?

      Nic

  2. […] More: https://adventlife.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/can-the-adventist-guidelines-on-abortion-be-fixed-by-nic-… […]

  3. Since the guidelines are officially only unofficial
    suggestions and carry no weight of policy or doctrine. Simply rewriting the “guidelines” would carry no more official weight than the original statement.

    • Doctrine is teaching. The Guidelines teach that killing innocent human beings is justified under a variety of circumstances including when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, when there is evidence of malformation in the unborn, and when the unwanted pregnancy begins to affect the mental health of the woman.

      According to Jesus our eternal destiny will be determined not according to official policy, but rather behavior: the way we treat “the least of these.” If we kill the least of these and fail to repent of this evil behavior, we will end in hell instead of heaven.

      Nic

      • I agree, but my point was that guidelines (suggestions) and statements about abortion do nothing to stop the practice or create avenues for options other than abortion. Doctrinal statements need to be put into practice for them to be taken seriously by anyone (particularly the Judge of the whole World) and a well defined practice tends to unity.

      • Those guidelines were designed to justify abortion under a variety of circumstances. They must, therefore be abandoned by the church. So far, our Adventist Health System, which controls a large number of hospitals, are following those guidelines, regardless of whether they are labeled as policy or suggestions.

        Nic


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