The heresies are in the Statement. I sense your plea for help. You seem like a nice guy, so I will give you an explanation in a nutshell.
SDAs know that the Bible teaches the following:
- A living soul comes to be at birth. Genesis 2:7.
- The fetus is not a living soul. Id. The killing of a fetus is not murder but a tort that is remedied by the payment of monetary damages. Exodus 21:22-23.
- The reproduction process is natural, not supernatural. In other words, although there are rare miraculous births, (for example, the birth of Isaac, Samuel, Jesus), God is generally not involved in the reproduction process.
Given these clear biblical teachings, why would BRI declare that abortion is murder? The answer is simple. BRI has been conditioned by decades of Roman Catholic theology, which sets forth the following unbiblical teachings:
- The reproduction process is always and everywhere supernatural, because God places in every fertilized egg at conception a soul.
- Because the unborn possesses a soul, the killing of the unborn is murder per se.
- A living soul comes to be at conception, not birth.
Heresies never die. They never go away. They continue to exert enormous influence on people, including SDAs. Contrary to what you might think, mining the thoughts and unconscious of an author for heresy is not that difficult a hermeneutical endeavor.
Notice in the Statement the many erroneous claims that God is the author of life and that He is involved in the reproduction process. These claims mirror what has influenced BRI, which is the Roman Catholic teaching that God places in the fertilized egg a living soul. Also notice in the Statement how BRI accords personhood to that which is in the mind of God even if that something has not even been conceived. How can God highly regard something that does not exist? The answer is what is unwittingly implied, which is that the immortal soul does exist before the body comes to be. The same verses cited by BRI were used by Origin to support his doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul.
BRI could have chosen a different approach. BRI could have argued that Scripture is historically conditioned, that the ancients were of a primitive and pre-science background, and that the breath of life does not actually exist and should be regarded as symbolic. Furthermore, BRI could have pointed out that the ancients did not know, as we know today, that a fetus at a certain stage of development is viable outside of the womb and that life is not just a function of breath but of morphological development, a beating heart, etc. But these are sophisticated arguments that require an understanding of hermeneutics. BRI does not understand hermeneutics. This approach would result in a belief that a living soul comes to be not at birth but at fetal viability. This approach is well-reasoned, practical, and biblical, but BRI chose the hardcore Roman Catholic approach.
Another approach that BRI could have taken is to argue that even though the fetus is not a living soul, it is human life that is worthy of a measure of respect. But determining what different measures of respect should be accorded various fetuses based on different facts and circumstances would remove this issue from the sphere of theology and place it in the sphere of bioethics. BRI has no understanding of bioethics. Therefore, BRI chose to take the hardcore Roman Catholic approach.
I have not given you a line-by-line critique of the Statement to show you how the heresies of Roman Catholic theology have heavily influenced the Statement. But I think if you carefully read the Statement again and study more deeply the heresies I have discussed, you will see how the Statement and those heresies align with each other. Certainly, no one should be surprised that a Statement that declares that abortion is murder with no exceptions allowed for rape, incest, or life of the mother is radical, wrong, unbiblical, and necessarily influenced by heresies. I think you are safe to follow that heuristic shortcut if you don’t quite understand what I have written.