Posted by: adventlife | July 15, 2015

Unity on Minor Issues & Diversity on Major Ones, by Nic Samojluk

A Minor Issue Defined

What is a minor issue? An issue can be seen as major or minor depending on its impact on society and the church. For the purpose of this article, I want to define as minor those topics that have little potential for harming the welfare of the members of society in general and the members of our Adventist church in particular.

Women’s Ordination Potential for Harm

Take the case of women’s ordination. How much harm to the church or society can this topic cause? Whether the Gospel is preached by men or women, if done the right way, the result is souls for the Kingdom, and it causes great rejoicing both on earth and in heaven. How about harm? Can the preaching of the Gospel cause great harm to God’s cause? I am having a hard time thinking of any harm resulting from the conversion of sinners into saints regardless of the gender of the human instruments used for said purpose.

Abortion and its Potential for Harm

Let’s take the issue of abortion in contrast with the topic of women’s ordination. Can the killing of innocent unborn children be the cause of greater celebration by men or angels? I doubt very much. How about harm? As a church, we have officially condemned the practice of sexual abuse of children. Isn’t the destruction of innocent human life the ultimate form of child abuse? [1] The victims of abortion in the North American Division alone since 1973 are close to sixty million. Has the topic of women ordination caused similar harm to human beings? So why has our church manifested so much concern for the topic of women’s ordination and zero interest in the issue of abortion?

Mesmerized by a Minor Issue

From the point of potential for harm, we have for the past few decades been mesmerized by the issue of women’s ordination while showing zero interest in promoting the right to life of the unborn! We have used a ton of ink in discussing the pros and cons of women’s ordination, we have studied it from all the possible points of view, we have combed the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in an attempt to find support for our position, and have dedicated a significant portion of three General Conference Sessions–1990, 1995, and 2015–to discuss the role of women in the church. [2]

Zero Time for a Major Issue Like Abortion

As a church, how much interest have we shown lately for a major issue like abortion? Zero! On top of this, we have declared our neutrality regarding this modern genocide. Can our Church be Neutral on Moral Issues? Recent events in the African country of Kenya forced our Adventist Church to make a moral decision, and our leadership decided to declare its neutrality on the issue of abortion, which is definitely a moral one. So my question is: Can a church be neutral on morality? If the church is neutral on morality, then what is its role in society? Is it to say: “We are neutral on abortion, sin, perversion, and murder? [3]

Our Blindness Predicted in Scripture

Evidently, we have developed a blind spot in our spiritual eyesight regarding the abortion issue. At the 2015 General Conference Session, Elder Ted Wilson made a reference to the blindness manifested by the Church of Laodicea as described in the book of Revelation. My view is that this blindness manifested itself in our organization back in 1970 when our Castle Memorial Hospital in Hawaii faced a serious dilemma: whether to offer elective abortions to its patients. The demand for this service was started by the non-Adventist physicians in said medical institution, and the Adventist leadership caved in to those demands for fear of loss of revenue. The fear of the Lord went out the window and the fear of men prevailed. [4]

The Impact of this Moral Detour

When our church decided to offer abortions on demand to the public back in 1970, it was not because we wanted to ignore one of God’ Commandments, but rather because Neal Wilson, the president of the North American Division of Adventists, publicly declared the following: “Though we walk the fence, Adventists lean toward abortion rather than against it. Because we realize we are confronted by big problems of hunger and overpopulation, we do not oppose family planning and appropriate endeavors to control population.” [5]

Our “Guidelines on Abortion” is Born

And the Autumn Council of the General Conference approved our current “Guidelines on Abortion,” a couple of decades later–a document that is followed by most Adventist medical facilities in North America. [6] Said document justifies the killing of innocent unborn children under a variety of circumstances, including in cases of rape, incest, malformations, and when the unwanted pregnancy affects the mental health of the pregnant woman. Think about this: The unborn baby may be perfectly formed, but is killed because the father was a rapist or because the unexpected pregnancy is causing a temporary mental depression to the pregnant woman or interfering with her studies or work.

When Tradition Replaces the Bible

The Bible condemns killing an innocent individual for the sins of its parents, yet our church decided to ignore this for the sake of profit. Tradition became king and the Sixth Commandment was reinterpreted by our guidelines. We used 1314 words to replace the four words the Lord had written with his own finger on tables of stone: “You shall not murder.”

Majoring on Minor Issues

If we allow for abortions to take place in our own medical facilities, how about also allowing other sins that cause less harm to the innocent victims like stealing, rape, and the sexual abuse of children, or working on the Sabbath Day to feed the family? Most of these sins cause great harm, but the victims manage to survive with the grace of God and the love of their family and friends. Such privilege is not available to the victims of abortion. The act is final and irreversible.

The Solution

Is our church situation hopeless? Not so! There is hope for our spiritual blindness. The True Witness has the following message for the Church of Laodicea: New International Version ”Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” [7]

When we opened the door for the so called therapeutic and elective abortions at our own medical facilities, we departed from the right path. We used a temporary vote by the Autumn Council to accomplish this but never submitted this sinful arrangement to be voted by the General Conference in Session. It is high time to let the delegates of the church to render their opinion on this life and death issue. Let’s move towards this noble end! And, by all means, let’s repent of this great sin against our Creator!

References

[1] “The ultimate form of child abuse,” http://advindicate.com/articles/3008

[2] http://christorculture.com/portfolio-view/a-brief-history-of-womens-ordination-within-the-adventist-church/

[3] “Can a church be neutral on morality?” https://www.dropbox.com/home?select=Can%2Ba%2BChurch%2Bbe%2BNeutral%2Bon%2BMoral%2BIssues%2BPP.ppt

[4] “Abortion: history of Adventist guidelines,” https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1991/08/abortion-history-of-adventist-guidelines

[5] Ibid.

[6] http://www.adventist.org/en/information/official-statements/guidelines/article/go/0/abortion/; https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1991/08/abortion-history-of-adventist-guidelines

[7] Rev. 3:19.

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Responses

  1. Nic, I really would like to hear the church to terminate abortion in Adventist hospitals. We can talk to other Christians all we want about Revelation 14:12, but they will not hear until we set our house in order.

  2. I’ve been thinking the same thing! Our church must not only stop abortion in our own health facilities, but we must issue an apology. I’d hate to know how many murders were committed over the years they were happening.

  3. Excellent article, Nic | |


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