I, Andrew Michell, protest and refuse to support or accept the Seventh-day Adventist church's guidelines on Abortion which are published here. If you want to know about the history of the SDA position on abortion you would have to read this excellent article from Ministry magazine available here.
Notice: I am a convert to and baptized member of the SDA church. My conversion came about while serving a sentence in the WA state prison system following my arrest for seven kidnapping and armed robberies. At the time of my arrest I was 16 years old. You can read summary of the story here and listen to the full audio at Audioverse here. Recently I learned about the horrific nature of abortion and just last week I learned about the SDA position on abortion. Despite this new understanding, I will remain an SDA and will diligently pray for God to bring the needed correction, judgment, and wisdom to His church. I cite as precedent Chapters 9-10 of the book Prophets and Kings as the source of inspiration for my prayer.
In this article I will be reprinting the SDA statement on abortion with my comments. The statement is in black and my comments are in bold red within parenthesis. In order to orient the reader's mind as to the intention of my response I cite from the official statement paragraph 7 which reads
"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."
I am writing this commentary because of this very statement. I am a church member participating in the consideration of moral responsibilities in regards to abortion. The very statement on abortion by the SDA church invites me to do this.
Many contemporary societies have faced conflict over the morality of abortion.* Such conflict also has affected large numbers within Christianity who want to accept responsibility for the protection of prenatal human life while also preserving the personal liberty of women. (This is word play. It should read "how to save a victim of murder and yet preserve liberty of the murderer" Notice that there is no scriptural citation provided to support women's liberty over a baby's liberty.)
The need for guidelines has become evident, as the Church attempts to follow scripture, and to provide moral guidance while respecting individual conscience (need to respect the conscience of a murderer.)
Seventh-day Adventists want to relate to the question of abortion in ways that reveal faith in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all life and in ways that reflect Christian responsibility and freedom. (This sentence is a contradiction within a contradiction wrapped in theological nonsense without rhyme or reason. “Faith in God as the Creator of life”? Ok, God gives life to the baby in the womb. “Christian responsibility”? Ok, everybody has a duty to protect that baby, especially the mother. “Freedom”? Now who is the freedom for? Freedom for the mother to kill the baby that God has created or freedom for the baby to be born without being murdered?)
Though honest differences on the question of abortion exist among Seventh-day Adventists, (Only among the SDAs who are living, the aborted potential SDAs never get a chance to share their opinion.)
the following represents an attempt to provide guidelines on a number of principles and issues.(hmm, no. This is not on a “number of issues,” it is about one issue, abortion, hence the title of this document is one word: Abortion.)
The guidelines are based on broad biblical principles that are presented for study at the end of the document.
1) Prenatal human life is a magnificent gift of God. (Stop! The whole premise of abortion and women’s rights is founded upon no prenatal “human life.” That’s why abortion supporters call it a fetus, to remove the concept of life. The writers of this document put themselves in a bind. By admitting life in the prenatal period they have just condemned themselves as supporting murder. Dr. Barnard Nathanson was one of the founders of NARAL and was personally responsible for 75,000 abortions. When technology like ultrasound helped reveal the life inside the womb, Dr. Nathanson switched from pro-choice (aka pro-murder) to pro-life. He states here "Fetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy.")
God's ideal for human beings affirms the sanctity of human life, in God's image, and requires respect for prenatal life. (“Requires respect for human life.” Seriously? Did these people just say God requires respect for prenatal life and now they are going to immediately throw out this concept in favor of murder? Either there is respect or no respect? This is like saying “I respect you but I’m going to kill you anyway. Just remember I respect you as I do it so it’s okay.)
However, decisions about life must be made in the context of a fallen world. Abortion is never an action of little moral consequence. (So it has great moral consequences; but apparently not great enough to stop making guidelines to go forward with an act of killing a baby.)
Thus prenatal life must not be thoughtlessly destroyed. (So thinking about destroying the baby makes it more acceptable? Who would ever write a sentence like this? This is the language of a very confused psychopath.)
Abortion should be performed only for the most serious reasons. (Here is a switch of terminology. Using their own words they should have remained consistent and instead should have written “Destruction of prenatal life that God created should be performed thoughtfully only for the most serious reasons.” Notice they give no definition for serious. Leaving it open ended and vague makes it easy to defend oneself later. WHERE is the Bible reference for abortion in serious cases?)
2) Abortion is one of the tragic dilemmas of human fallenness. (Amen, that’s %100 true. Abortion is just one of many tragic dilemmas)
The Church should offer gracious support to those who personally face the decision concerning an abortion. (Absolutely! That unborn baby needs us to support and help that woman who is struggling with that terrible temptation to murder a baby.)
Attitudes of condemnation are inappropriate in those who have accepted the gospel. (So if someone commits armed robbery, kidnapping, theft, rape, etc. we should not call the police or demand evidence of repentance? How is it possible to “accept the gospel” without admitting justly deserved condemnation for our sins? That’s impossible because accepting the gospel is dependent on recognizing one’s sinfulness and transgression of the law. As a note, the author of this article was not born SDA and was arrested for seven kidnappings and robberies and sent to prison. In prison I became an SDA and after my release joined the church. The pastor baptized me and the church accepted me BECAUSE there was obvious evidence of a changed life. I did not visit the church and justify my robberies and kidnapping. Nor did I cite church guidelines on robbery or kidnapping that might have justified my criminal behavior)
Christians are commissioned to become a loving, caring community of faith that assists those in crisis as alternatives are considered. (Amen, the alternatives are considering how the church can help the mother to raise and nurture that child in a Christian home and positive environment. No Christian should ever be told to support the “alternative” of killing a baby. This statement is encouraging evil. It’s bad enough already to commit sin but to encourage church members to do it is a grave sin. Only Satan himself could have inspired this statement wrapped in such warm theological words. The unborn baby will never experience a “loving, caring community” if the “alternative” of murder is considered.)
3) In practical, tangible ways the Church as a supportive community should express its commitment to the value of human life. (Amen!!! But this statement is at odds with the whole purpose of this document!)
These ways should include:
a. strengthening family relationships
b. educating both genders concerning Christian principles of human sexuality (the phrase “principles of human sexuality” is notoriously dangerous when it has no definition. It is beyond the scope of this commentary to address this. See works and videos by Dr. Judith Reisman)
c. emphasizing responsibility of both male and female for family planning (“family planning” literally means “make a plan for a family” but abortion by definition is the complete opposite “make a plan so there is no family” via killing the babies)
d. calling both to be responsible for the consequences of behaviors that are inconsistent with Christian principles (this document itself is inconsistent with Christian principles)
e. creating a safe climate for ongoing discussion of the moral questions associated with abortion (hmm, so it should be safe to talk about it, but it will never be safe for the baby that will be aborted? Notice in this document the baby is never defended. It’s an outcast and has no voice.)
f. offering support and assistance to women who choose to complete crisis pregnancies (Amen! This preserves the life and freedom of the baby and both the baby and mother should be supported and helped wherever possible.)
g. encouraging and assisting fathers to participate responsibly in the parenting of their children.
The Church also should commit itself to assist in alleviating the unfortunate social, economic, and psychological factors that add to abortion and to care redemptively for those suffering the consequences of individual decisions on this issue. (This sentence is addressing the women who have ALREADY committed abortion because they experience “consequences” and need redemptive care. Okay, fine. But this sentence is deceptive because the article gives guidelines to people who are contemplating abortion BEFORE the act. Helping a convicted criminal and being an accomplice to a crime not committed are completely different but the language of this article obscures the two and blends them as one. Basically, “if you love Jesus and love his church you will promote murder otherwise you will be condemnatory and that’s wrong.”)
4) The Church does not serve as conscience for individuals; however, it should provide moral guidance. Abortions for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience are not condoned by the Church. Women, at times however, may face exceptional circumstances that present serious moral or medical dilemmas, such as significant threats to the pregnant woman's life, serious jeopardy to her health, severe congenital defects carefully diagnosed in the fetus, and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. (Rape and incest are serious crimes but no crime, regardless of seriousness, can justify another crime. As terrible and traumatic as rape may be, it can never justify the murder of an innocent baby. This is punishing an innocent baby for something wholly beyond its will and choice. This truth is unanswerable.
Notice also that abortion advocates always combine medical and rape reasons. They appeal to the medical reasons as more convincing and then seal off any dissent by implying that disapproval of abortion is somehow promoting rape. People are afraid to stand up and be labeled so they just consent via silence.)
The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. (This is a lie. Ultimately the decision is made by the doctor performing the actual abortion, not by the mother. There is no way to abscond from responsibility. The mother may approve but it’s the doctor that uses tools to crush the baby’s skull and suck it out with a vacuum.
Doctors and promoters of abortion know that women who are in distress and have a fear of unplanned pregnancy could be easily persuaded to have an abortion. The line of reasoning in this sentence is that if the mother is convinced it is therefore “appropriate.” But this is deception.)
She should be aided in her decision by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit will never lead someone to commit sin. That is impossible. This statement is dangerously close to attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of possibly influencing a woman to kill her baby. Can there be anything more Satanic that such an accusation? That is what I infer. If the authors meant to imply anything else they should be more clear and cogent in their writing.)
Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context of healthy family relationships. (Oh, the irony. Healthy family relationships only exist because there was no abortion)
5) Christians acknowledge as first and foremost their accountability to God. (The authors of these guidelines should probably remember this)
They seek balance between the exercise of individual liberty (again, what about the baby and its liberty?) and their accountability to the faith community and the larger society and its laws. They make their choices according to scripture and the laws of God rather than the norms of society. Therefore, any attempts to coerce women either to remain pregnant or to terminate pregnancy should be rejected as infringements of personal freedom. (Attempts to coerce women to remain pregnant is anti-freedom? Adventists have prison ministries all over the world and actively seek to persuade criminals to live a life of holiness and not committing crime. And I am a product of such ministry!!!!! It’s okay to persuade rapists, drug dealers, and thieves but wrong to dissuade someone about to kill their baby? Welcome to Bizarro land! A quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm is appropriate ““All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”)
6) Church institutions should be provided with guidelines for developing their own institutional policies in harmony with this statement. Persons having a religious or ethical objection to abortion should not be required to participate in the performance of abortions.
7) 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. (I am writing this commentary because of this very statement. I am a church member participating in the consideration of moral responsibilities in regards to abortion. The very statement on abortion by the SDA church invites me to do this. End of my comments.)
Principles for a Christian View of Life
"Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3, NIV). In Christ is the promise of eternal life; but since human life is mortal, humans are confronted with difficult issues regarding life and death. The following principles refer to the whole person (body, soul, and spirit), an indivisible whole (Genesis 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Life: Our valuable gift from God
1) God is the Source, Giver, and Sustainer of all life (Acts 17:25,28; Job 33:4; Genesis 1:30, 2:7; Psalm 36:9; John 1:3,4).
2) Human life has unique value because human beings, though fallen, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 3:2; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18,19).
3) God values human life not on the basis of human accomplishments or contributions but because we are God's creation and the object of His redeeming love (Romans 5:6,8; Ephesians 2:2-6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:4,5; Matthew 5:43-48; Ephesians 2:4-9; John 1:3, 10:10).
Life: Our response to God's gift
4) Valuable as it is, human life is not the only or ultimate concern. Self-sacrifice in devotion to God and His principles may take precedence over life itself (Revelation 12:11; 1 Corinthians 13).
5) God calls for the protection of human life and holds humanity accountable for its destruction (Exodus 20:13; Revelation 21:8; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 24:16; Proverbs 6:16,17; Jeremiah 7:3-34; Micah 6:7; Genesis 9:5,6).
6) God is especially concerned for the protection of the weak, the defenseless, and the oppressed (Psalm 82:3,4; James 1:27; Micah 6:8; Acts 20:35; Proverbs 24:11,12; Luke 1:52-54).
7) Christian love (agape) is the costly dedication of our lives to enhancing the lives of others. Love also respects personal dignity and does not condone the oppression of one person to support the abusive behavior of another (Matthew 16:21; Philippians 2:1-11; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-11; Matthew 22:39; John 18:22,23; John 13:34).
8) The believing community is called to demonstrate Christian love in tangible, practical, and substantive ways. God calls us to restore gently the broken (Galatians 6:1,2; 1 John 3:17,18; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:1-11; John 8:2-11; Romans 8:1-14; Matthew 7:1,2, 12:20; Isaiah 40:42, 62:2-4).
Life: Our right and responsibility to decide
9) 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. He requires us to use His gifts in accordance with His will and ultimately will judge their misuse (Deuteronomy 30:19,20; Genesis 3; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 3:5,6, 6:1,2; Galatians 5:13).
10) God calls each of us individually to moral decision making and to search the scriptures for the biblical principles underlying such choices (John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 7:13-25).
11) Decisions about human life from its beginning to its end are best made within the context of healthy family relationships with the support of the faith community (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 5,6).
12) Human decisions should always be centered in seeking the will of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; Luke 22:42).
*Abortion, as understood in these guidelines, is defined as any action aimed at the termination of a pregnancy already established. This is distinguished from contraception, which is intended to prevent a pregnancy. The focus of the document is on abortion.
**The fundamental perspective of these guidelines is taken from a broad study of scripture as shown in the "Principles for a Christian View of Human Life" included at the end of this document.
These guidelines were approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council session in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 12, 1992.