Seventh Day Adventist Church and Abortion

I have a question on Adventist teaching that I am hoping our Adventist friends will address.

In the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, we are taught to follow the Lord`s commandment “Thou shall not kill.”

Yet the Adventist Church permits abortion. Abortions are performed in Adventist hospitals. And when we examine official Adventists teachings, we see that abortion is permited.

For example:
"The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. " (adventist.org/beliefs/guidelines/main_guide1.html)

In contrast, the Catholic Church teaches that killing an unborn child violates God`s commandment.

Please see:
catholic.com/library/Abortion.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/1990/9005frs.asp

The Catholic Church opposes abortion under any circumstance because life begins at conception. Among the reasons the Catholic Church teaches this can be found in the following Scripture.

Isaiah 49: 1, 5 The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength!
Luke 1:39-44 39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

Isaiah 42:2, 24 Thus says the LORD who made you, your help, who formed you from the womb: Fear not, O Jacob, my servant, the darling whom I have chosen. Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens; when I spread out the earth, who was with me?

Ecclesiastes 11:5 Just as you know not how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother’s womb, So you know not the work of God which he is accomplishing in the universe.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

Hosea 12: 2-4Ephraim chases the wind, ever pursuing the gale. His lies and falsehoods are many: he comes to terms with Assyria, and carries oil to Egypt. The LORD has a grievance against Israel: he shall punish Jacob for his conduct, for his deeds he shall repay him. In the womb he supplanted his brother, and as a man he contended with God;

Wisdom of Solomon 7: 1-3 I too am a mortal man, the same as all the rest, and a descendant of the first man formed on earth. And in my mother’s womb I was molded into flesh in a ten-months’ period-body and blood, from the seed of man, and the pleasure that accompanies marriage. And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wailing, I uttered that first sound common to all.

Sirach 49:7 for they had treated him badly who even in the womb had been made a prophet, To root out, pull down, and destroy, and then to build and to plant.

Continued below…

Continued from above…

Moreover in the CCC it says:

Abortion
2270
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74
2271
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76
2272
Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273
The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80

"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights."81
2274
Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safeguarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."82
2275
"One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."83

"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."84

"Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity"85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not kill.54

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.55
2258
"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."56

How do Adventists explain the contradiction of permitting abortion while claiming to obey the Lord`s commandment “Thou shall not kill.”

I would also like to recommend Project Rachel and their site for those needing help after an abortion.

stlprojectrachel.org/

hopeafterabortion.com/

Sincerely,

Maria1212

As I understand the law (I’m not a lawyer) hospitals are required by law to provide abortions. I do not believe in abortions, nor would I pay for one. I believe abortion is a form of murder and that is a sin.

For example:
"The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. " (adventist.org/beliefs/gui…in_guide1.html))

Note that this was voted on by the “General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee” and not by the church as a whole. The guidelines, as they are clearly labled, are just that. The Executive Committee (which I never heard of before this!) does not have the power to dictate to the individual members what they will believe, nor can they kick you out of the church (and thus not be saved) if you contradict what they say.

The above sentance was ripped out of context of the paragraph, here is the whole:

"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. The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. She should be aided in her decision by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context of healthy family relationships.

I highly recommend all Christians to read the document, especially the 12 points under “Principles for a Christian View of Life.”

Maria 1212 posted:

Seventh Day Adventist Church and Abortion

‘‘You wil know them by their fruits’’!:confused:

I recommend you study what your own Church teaches, and study its structure. Are you saying the website I posted is not an official Adventist website containing accurrate Adventist teachings. Or, is the Seventh Day Adventist website, incorrect? Afterall, those guidelines were posted on adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html.

The first sentence says the Church should provide moral guidance. In your post, you claim, the above is just merely “guidance.” Yet, this guidance permits the killing of unborn children.

Permitting abortion violates Gods commandment "Thou shall not kill." By permitting abortion, the Adventist Church fails to teach its members to follow all of Gods commandments.

Sincerely,

Maria1212

You are correct. Personally, I would not feel comfortable belonging to a church that permits the killing of unborn children, thereby teaching others it is okay to violate God`s commandment “Thou shall not kill.”

Sincerely,

Maria1212

Seventh Day Adventists like to tell us how we have got confused over the first two Commandments, it is a pity they did not spend more time working out what God meant by the seventh? :stuck_out_tongue:

I recommend you study what your own Church teaches, and study its structure.

I recommend that you study to know the difference between a church that say what the members will believe and practice and one that cannot (SDA, for one).

Are you saying the website I posted is not an official Adventist website containing accurrate Adventist teachings.

It is not an Adventist teaching. It was a committee that put it out. The church does NOT permit abortions. Any more than it permits adultery or stealing, etc…

If it is not an Adventist teaching, why is it posted on the official Adventist website?

From a different site;
The church acknowledges compelling reasons for a woman to choose abortion, e.g., threat to the life of the woman, rape/incest, extreme congenital abnormalities, etc.
beliefnet.com/story/80/story_8036_1.html

In addition, in a letter to the editor published in Adventist Review:
"But I cannot help but wonder why, in the 50 years I have been a member of this denomination, I have yet to be aware of any stand taken by this church against the practice of abortion?
Regardless of the circumstances, abortion is still the taking of human life, viable or not.
I applaud the stand taken by the Roman Catholic Church on this issue. I wish the Adventist Church had the same courage to stand up for the “right to life” of all."

The editors responded:
*
For the Adventist Church’s statement concerning abortion, click here --Editors*

When you click the link it takes you to the link I cited in my earlier post. Is the Adventist Review also incorrect when it comes to Adventist teaching?

Sincerely,

Maria1212

The same SDA abortion guidelines were posted on:
familyministries.gc.adventist.org/Statements/guidelines_on_abortion.htm. Is that website also incorrect?

On the above website it states "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. "

I thought the General Conference of SDA was the voice of the Adventist Church. Are their teachings on Adventism not considered official?

Sincerely,

Maria1212

From a different site;
The church acknowledges compelling reasons for a woman to choose abortion, e.g., threat to the life of the woman, rape/incest, extreme congenital abnormalities, etc.
beliefnet.com/story/80/story_8036_1.html

To be clear the above web site is not an official SDA site; it is someone’s intepretation of what they think SDA’s believe–we are not monolithic in what we believe.

I thought the General Conference of SDA was the voice of the Adventist Church. Are their teachings on Adventism not considered official?

Ah, now I see where the problem comes in!

In the SDA church the GC cannot make official “teachings.” Our basic beliefs are only based on Scripture and can only be voted as “official” when we have a world-wide conference of elected representatives.

“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.”

Note that these are “guidelines.” The church does NOT “permit” abortions. The “guidelines” clearly put the decision in the hands fo the women.

To repeat the paragraph:

"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 {note the following!} 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. The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not **should be made by the pregnant woman **after appropriate consultation. She should be aided in her decision by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context of healthy family relationships.

I hope that the bolding, coloring and editorial comment in the text helps. Does that make it clearer? If not maybe this will help:

“… not condoned by the Church …”
"… not condoned by the Church …"
"… not condoned by the Church …"

In addition, in a letter to the editor published in Adventist Review:
“But I cannot help but wonder why, in the 50 years I have been a member of this denomination, I have yet to be aware of any stand taken by this church against the practice of abortion?
Regardless of the circumstances, abortion is still the taking of human life, viable or not.
I applaud the stand taken by the Roman Catholic Church on this issue. I wish the Adventist Church had the same courage to stand up for the “right to life” of all.”

The editors responded:

For the Adventist Church’s statement concerning abortion, click here --Editors

When you click the link it takes you to the link I cited in my earlier post. Is the Adventist Review also incorrect when it comes to Adventist teaching?

I managed to find the whole letter (adventistreview.org/article.php?id=1024)

  1. Note that at the top of the page it says:

“The beliefs and sentiments expressed by those whose letters appear here are not necessarily shared by the Adventist Review or its editorial staff. These letters have been edited for clarity and length. – Editors” This would include the church as a whole!

  1. Note the part of the letter that was clipped!:

  2. Compare the fact that the “guidelines” were written in 1992 and when was the letter to the editor written. Someone is exposing himself as being out of the loop!

"I read with interest the article by Ellen White, “Pressing Back the Tide of Evil” (Jan. 25, 2007). I also read the editors’ note referring to the “history and the passion with which devout Adventists have historically engaged with the issues of their world.”
I agree wholeheartedly with this premise, as well as Mrs. White’s counsel about speaking out “by voice and pen and vote.” But I cannot help but wonder why, in the 50 years I have been a member of this denomination, I have yet to be aware of any stand taken by this church against the practice of abortion?
Regardless of the circumstances, abortion is still the taking of human life, viable or not.
I applaud the stand taken by the Roman Catholic Church on this issue. I wish the Adventist Church had the same courage to stand up for the “right to life” of all.

Ron MacDonald
Cobalt, Ontario, Canada"

He obvious has never heard of the guidleines, nor has he read them!

Afterall, those guidelines were posted on adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html.

If you can manage to see those guidleines on that web page we have to take you to the optometrist, immediately! :wink:

Part of the guidelines (since hardly anyone goes to links anyway!):

"Principles for a Christian View of Life

Introduction

“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

  1. 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).

  2. 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).

  3. 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).

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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).

  3. 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).

  4. Human decisions should always be centered in seeking the will of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; Luke 22:42)."

If the guidelines are not official Adventist teaching, then the Adventist Church still has not stood up for “the right to life.”

Of course, by publishing guidelines on its official website permitting abortion, the Adventist Church is giving the readers of that site that the Church permits abortion in certain cases.

Sincerely,

Maria1212

Maria,

I have the feeling you simply cannot resist the temptation to attack the SDA on whatever occasion (forgive me if I am wrong, this is only my personal impression). You are also very bold to proclaim abortion is murder- no exceptions whatsoever. I think it has been pointed out to you that our church **does not **condone abortion so what then is your point now? The official statement from your Catholic church is that there is no discrepancy or contradiction between the theory of evolution and Genesis creation (where in fact the contradiction could not be greater!) so please think about the official statement of your own church before you attack others.

I have a couple of questions for you. Have you ever experienced warfare? Have you ever seen people being wounded or killed? Have you ever witnessed the horror of a woman which family members have been killed in front of her eyes while at the same time being raped by an enemy soldier?

My point is following. I have experienced horrible things due to a civil war in my country which affected my own family. I have seen the pain and devastation in the faces of raped women and believe me, in that situation there exists no “official teaching” on the matter of abortion! Giving birth to a child from a man who has cut out the eyes of her mother and killed her 7-year old by smashing its head on the wall?? Trust me, in such a situation you would rather not exist and even more so you would leave the choice of abortion entirely to that woman which is on the verge of loosing her mind!

Maybe it is easy for you to say things like “abortion is murder-case closed”. I too believe abortion is wrong and I do not support it. But the problem is that sometimes some people are faced with a terrible reality in which reason or a moral dogma, even God’s commandment does not prevail. And I believe that this woman will not burn in hell for her decision neither will those who let that decision be only hers.

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