Some months ago Donald Trump, who is a Presbyterian, attempted to put in a bad light the evangelical authenticity of his then rival presidential candidate Ben Carson’s Seventh-day Adventist Church [SDA].
In his response to this criticism, Dr. Ben Carson, who is renowned for his extraordinary work as a neurosurgeon, expressed his pride in his church’s long term commitment to health living and its extensive network of hospitals and medical clinics.
A Pro-life & Health Movement
This dedication to health was the result of the work of a woman named Ellen White, who guided with her prolific writings the development and worldwide influence of the Adventist denomination for seven decades until her death in 1915.
Thanks to her vision, Adventist flagship health work at Loma Linda, California, was born; it prospered, and now is known around the world for its dedication to healthful living–In fact, the city of Loma Linda prides itself for the large number of long living residents who exhibit the advantage of a vegetarian diet and a positive attitude towards life.
In view of this, you may wonder the appropriateness of questioning the need of reform in the Ben Carson’s church. Is there something amiss in the teachings and behavior of this church that needs to change?
A Serious Moral Detour
The Adventist movement was born as a pro-life denomination a century and a half ago, but in 1970, the then leader of the organization in North America, Neal Wilson, issued a declaration that astounded many of its members.
He publicly declared that his church was leaning towards abortion because there were too many people and too much hunger in the world.
“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.” 
What motivated this man of God to make such a morally flawed pronouncement in a country with an overwhelming oversupply of food? The answer is quite simple, but troubling.
The Fear of Revenue Loss
The management of the Castle Memorial Hospital, located in the state of Hawaii, which was owned and operated by the church, was under intense pressure from half of its non-Adventist physician’s staff to offer elective abortion services to their patients.
The concern for the potential loss of sorely needed revenue prompted the church to compromise with evil on this issue. The fear of the Lord went out the window and the church began to profit from the killing of innocent unborn children. Soon after several Adventist hospitals decided to take advantage of this additional source of revenue.
This created a controversy in the SDA church that lasted a couple of decades until the Autumn Council of the General Conference of the denomination approved a set of abortion guidelines  which set a limit on the number of elective abortions permitted in its large number of medical institutions.
A Feeble Attempt to Undo the Moral Damage
Was this effort to reduce the number of abortions in Adventist medical institutions enough? Many concerned members of the church strongly believe that it is not. How can a denominational that invested so much in health living dared to also profit from the death of innocent human beings?
Since its beginning Adventists criticized the Catholic organization for altering one of God’s Commandments—the one mandating the observance of the Sabbath  as a day of rest.
Messing With God’s Moral Law
How can then Adventist dare to alter another of God’s rules  for human behavior—the one protecting the right to life—and replace it with its humanly created guidelines on abortion?
Someone may wonder what is wrong with those guidelines. The answer is quite simple: Said document seems to justify the killing of unborn children under a variety of circumstances, including when there is evidence of malformation; when the pregnancy is the result of rape; incest; and even when the unwanted pregnancy affects the mental health of the pregnant woman.
The Need for Real Reform
Mental depression is undesirable, of course, but it is temporary; while abortion is a permanent and irreversible condition. Society allows a rapist to live, but it permits the killing of the innocent victim of rape. Isn’t this a travesty of the justice system?
How can a church that has prided itself on insisting on the validity and permanence of God’s holy Law, justify the violation of one of its most significant precepts for the sake of profit? Is the sacredness of the Sabbath more valuable than the right to life?
Isn’t it time for Dr. Ben Carson’s church to abandon its guidelines on abortion, stop the profiting from the violation of God’s Law, and return to the pro-life commitment of its original truly pro-life pioneers who founded the Adventist movement a century and a half ago? You be the judge!
 [George Gainer, The Wisdom of Solomon? Spectrum 19/4 (May 1989): 38-46.]
 Exodus 20:8.
 Ibid. 20:13.
Note: Nic Samojluk is a second generation Adventist and the author of two books on abortion and the Adventist Church and of a large number of published articles: http://www.lulu.com/shop/nic-samojluk/murder-in-paradise/paperback/product-21623695.html ; https://adventlifenews.wordpress.com/pro-life-books/