Proposed Seventh-day Adventist Statement on Abortion

Steve, statement like this will certainly get you the honor of being considered a heretic… :wink:
Congratulations, and… welcome to the club… :laughing:

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I bet the group who miscarried this new statement didn’t have physicians, or mental health professionals, or social workers sitting while they constructed this aberration. It’s almost like having a group of plumbers asked to make decisions on how a surgery should be done. Or asking physicians on the best way to fix a complicated plumbing problem.

I wonder if anyone here knows who were the “deciders” on this issue?

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Exactly! It’s a political issue. If the conservatives in church really cared about women’s best interests, they would ordained them as ministers!!! But, hypocrisy reigns!

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Classic shade! :smile:

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I think one. She was the secretary and brought the men postum and took notes.

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Wayne, your dichotomizing of life into “separate life” and non-separate life is nowhere endorsed or urged in the proposed Statement. The Statement declares without any caveats or exceptions that “human life is of inestimable value,” which would include sperm and the unfertilized egg.

The first problem with your dichotomizing of life into “separate life” and non-separate life for the purpose of urging that separate life should be accorded value and non-separate life should not, is that non-separate life is a requisite of separate life.

The second problem with your dichotomizing of life into “separate life” and non-separate life is that such dichotomizing, though reasonable to some degree, is arbitrary. One can just as reasonably, though arbitrarily, dichotomize life into the born and the unborn.

You are still not dealing with the Sorites Paradox. You remove some grains of sand from a heap and then declare, “This is a heap, but if you remove one more grain of sand, the heap will no longer exist.” But why does the definition of a heap rise or fall based on the last particular grain of sand you remove from the heap? This is a question you are not answering in the context of the abortion issue.

We know that a million grains of sand is more of a heap than one hundred grains of sand. We know that a person is more valuable than a fetus and that a fetus is more valuable than sperm or the unfertilized egg. But we also know that a person with Down’s Syndrome is not less valuable than one who does not possess Down’s Syndrome. We know that a person with an IQ of 80 is not less valuable than a person with an IQ of 120. As you can see, the Sorites Paradox is quite a conundrum, but we must wrestle with it. If we do not, then we fall into ludicrousness, as best illustrated by the proposed Statement, which in essence declares that one grain of sand is a heap. This is worth reiterating: The drafters of the proposed Statement chose to fall into ludicrousness rather than wrestle with the Sorites Paradox.

This fall into ludicrousness ironically sends a message that abortion is not a serious issue. The proposed Statement ironically trivializes the issue of abortion by falling into ludicrousness. If you are agitated about abortion, and I think all Christians of good conscience are, then you should be outraged by the proposed Statement. The proposed Statement, ludicrous as it is, sends a message that Seventh-day Adventists, as the non-serious and non-credible thinkers the proposed Statement presents them to be, have very little of value to offer in a conversation about abortion.

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Except on abortion formulated by church leaders who refuse even to include the vote of the female SECC President, this is vintage “Male Headship Theory“ talk worthy of garbage. I’m sorry for being too blunt.

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Really?

So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” - Genesis 6

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. …But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. - Deuteronomy 7

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. …So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land. - Joshua 6.

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness…These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel…If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. - Matthew 10.

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The definition of abortion here is not in the least bit helpful, in part because it fails to be specific enough. If abortion is a termination of pregnancy, when is a woman pregnant? The Church has used a number of different definitions of pregnancy in its statements on this matter: On Birth Control, on Abortion, on the use of RU-131 (or whatever the technical name is for the “morning after pill”). For millions of Adventists using the pill for birth control, using this statement’s definition of abortion as termination of pregnancy (if pregnancy starts at fertilization) means they are committing abortion on a regular basis. The pill works to thwart implantation in the uterine wall. Note the language in the Church’s statement on Birth Control:
“Appropriate methods of birth control. Moral decision making about the choice and use of the various birth control agents must stem from an understanding of their probable effects on physical and emotional health, the manner in which the various agents operate, and the financial expenditure involved. A variety of methods of birth control—including barrier methods, spermicides, and sterilization—prevent conception and are morally acceptable. Some other birth-control methods may prevent the release of the egg (ovulation), may prevent the union of egg and sperm [fertilization), or may prevent attachment of the already fertilized egg (implantation]. Because of uncertainty about how they will function in any
given instance, they may be morally suspect for people who believe that protectable human life begins at fertilization. However, since the majority of fertilized ova naturally fail to implant or are lost after implantation, even when birth control methods are not being used, hormonal methods of birth control and IUDs, which represent a similar process, may be viewed as morally acceptable. Abortion, the intentional termination of an established pregnancy, is not morally acceptable for purposes of birth control.”

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That’s right, David.
Neither will the church change its basic policy to suit the conservatives at Fulcrum 7.
I told them that many times before they banned me.

They are a real hypocrite ministry. They attack Spectrum for their liberal agenda, but refuse instruction for their own duplicity and false spirituality.
No one can deny the doctrine of original sin and still explain the plan of salvation as stated in the bible. This they try to do. And it is bogus.

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Just to clarify: birth control pills contain hormones that block release of the egg, not implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine wall. The intrauterine device (IUD) blocks embryo implantation, and its use constitutes the equivalent of early “abortion.” However, I believe, Mark, you’re referring to the so-called morning after pill comprised of mifepristone (RU-486) and misoprostol, which in combination cause the uterine lining to shed, as in normal menstruation, thereby dislodging the fertilized embryo in another former of “early abortion.”

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There are also birth control implants that are placed right under
the skin. Last quite a long time. Can be removed anytime.
Years ago helped when the doctor inserted one.
One doesn’t have to worry about forgetting to take a pill.

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Not exactly. Both sperm and eggs possess half the DNA found in normal cells of men and women, respectively. And during gametogenesis, the DNA is shuffled to ensure that each sperm and egg is unique.

When the sperm and egg unite, they result in a cell with the full complement of DNA. This cell has a different combination of genes than those present in the father and mother, but is otherwise similar in most respects to other cells of the body. The fertilized embryo continues to divide, building complexity, but so too do other cells, like those in the kidney and heart, all of which can build a more complex structure. An early embryo is much less complex and functionally less independent than organs such as kidneys, hearts, and eyes, which no one seems to believe is a sin to remove from the body (except, perhaps, Jehova’s Witnesses).

Yes, an embryo is different in that it can develop into an independent human life, but an organ taken from one individual and placed into another (consider the heart) can ensure that an independent life persists. Experimentally, one can even remove the nucleus of a fertiilized egg and replace it with the nucleus of any other body cell and still have the embryo develop into an adult (clone). These observations beg the question: what is the essence, or divine spark, of life? Is it restricted to a fertilized and developing egg/embryo? Should it include the nucleus of any body cell? Should it include any body organ? Is it murder to remove from a human body any cells, tissues, or organs? Could we use Scripture to defend all of these positions?

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I believe we should help women not get pregnant from rape in the first place. Doing nothing is in my opinion not an option. This is not an act of God to just let it happen. This paper is sickening in its implication, we should not need another guideline to try to mitigate it’s conclusions. We look ridiculous. I believe there are more than one morning after pills and more than one type of coil, they do not work the same way. In what way is emergency contraception different from contraception?

To understand the proposed Statement, as informed in part by Jiri Moskala’s BRI essay, you need to understand the historical context that informs how the proposed Statement came to be.

The OT scholars at the Seminary, including Moskala, Jacques Doukhan, Roy Gane, and Richard Davidson have historically struggled in their understanding of biblical law, even though they are the most brilliant theologians in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This struggle has been their lifetime work. As they read the OT, they see weird laws that do not seem applicable today. But all of us feel the imperative of demonstrating to Sunday-keepers that the Fourth Commandment was never changed by God. All of us feel the imperative of combatting New Covenant theology, which holds that the law of Moses, as it were, was abolished at the Cross. Our OT scholars have spent their entire careers trying to develop a rationale that explains why we need to obey some of the OT laws, such as the Fourth Commandment, but no longer need to worry about various other OT laws, such as the ones involving the sacrifice of animals, the wearing of clothes of mixed fabrics, etc. To illustrate, Moskala’s dissertation explores the many rationales offered for why there are laws concerning clean and unclean animals, and you can find his dissertation online.

Our OT scholars have been handicapped in their struggle in various ways. None of them have ever attended law school. They present themselves as experts in biblical law, and I think with some legitimacy, but none of them understand what law actually is. Legal formalism is the default position for one who does not know what law actually is. All of our OT scholars are legal formalists. In contrast to legal formalism, legal realism is the correct approach to understanding what law actually is.

In addition, none of our OT scholars are hermeneutists. They understand hermeneutica sacra, which is the hermeneutics that precedes Schleiermacher; they are capable of engaging in grammatical analysis, which is the only tool in the exegete’s toolbox. But they do not understand the universal and multi-disciplinary hermeneutics that has flowered since Schleiermacher. I don’t want to exaggerate this lack of understanding. Our OT scholars are incredibly smart. And theology has been bombarded by the universal and multi-disciplinary hermeneutics of which I speak during the last fifty years. But our OT scholars have not read the standard literature regarding hermeneutics and do not understand the rudiments of hermeneutics that a survey course on hermeneutics could provide. Consequently, they superimpose upon the biblical text like a veneer alien notions of law, linguistics, history, historiography, psychology, anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy, and other human sciences, which a good grounding in hermeneutics would help to prevent.

So this is what our OT scholars do. As the legal formalists that they are, they draw distinctions in biblical law based on form. Moskala in his essay dichotomizes biblical law into apodictic law and casuistic law. This dichotomizing of law has its origins in an essay written by Albrecht Alt back in 1934. Alt’s essay is pre-hermeneutical in the sense that it precedes the influence of hermeneutics onto theology that occurred decades later. The dichotomizing of biblical law into apodictic law and casuistic law is hermeneutical error on two grounds. First, a formalistic approach to biblical law misunderstands what law actually is. Second, all biblical law is casuistic per se, in that biblical law is proximately caused not solely by God but also by the historical context.

What our OT scholars also do, similar to what Alt did, is trichotomize biblical law into moral law, civil law, and ceremonial law. This is done to differentiate law that we think we should obey, (and that law is called the moral law), from law that no longer seems applicable. This trichotomizing of biblical law is hermeneutical error on various grounds. Again, a formalistic approach to biblical law misunderstands what law actually is. Second, biblical law cannot be trichotomized into moral law and other kinds of law, because all law is moral law per se. All law is an expression of morality. Third, all law given to the nation of Israel is civil law per se. Fourth, while there can be subsets of biblical law, such as torts, sexual offenses, and the ceremonial law, all ceremonial law is moral law and civil law. In sum, a formalistic analysis is unhelpful and hermeneutically erroneous in determining the applicability of OT law.

So what does this have to do with abortion? This is the line of reasoning we find in the proposed Statement and Moskala’s essay: The Sixth Commandment is apodictic, moral law. Apodictic, moral law is not historically conditioned. Circumstances do not touch upon the meaning of apodictic, moral law. No historical context shapes how the Sixth Commandment is to be interpreted. All we need are the words of the Sixth Commandment to interpret its meaning. Because abortion is the killing of human life, abortion under all circumstances is a violation of the Sixth Commandment, which forbids the killing of human life. And for those killings that are sanctioned by God, we draw a formalistic distinction between the theocracy of Israel and our society today, and carve out those killings from the scope of the Sixth Commandment. Again, formalism triumphs over realism.

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Everything Moskala said was true about the sixth. The only thing is…it does not apply. To me it was border intellectual dishonesty for someone so well versed in hebrew. I forgive him, one had to do what he believes in. Shall we not put all OT scholars in the same bag? I do not know a lot of them trying to play ethicist. They usually know fairly well were their expertise stops. We all know a woman scholar would not come up with thus paper…What do I know. It is an easy way to just put it all on the scholars. I was flabbergasted when I heard D. B. on YouTube stating a month ago that rape was not a cause for abortion, what about his hermeneutics ? There is a will here to go in one direction. Means justifies the end.

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Too blunt?
Considering the importance, seriousness, and consequences of this issue I think you were actually way too soft.

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G–
This statement is going to Require a huge number of lawyers to figure
this all out for our AdventHealth facilities.
Perhaps all the hospitals can do is use a Billing Code for a “D&C” if
such a procedure is required.
We need some Billing Code experts here to see what they would
suggest.

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Nah, can’t be just a woman’s issue. Took two to make the child. Took God’s design to enable the making. The REAL issue here is that sinful people feel so proudly arrogant that they feel that they can kill human life that is captured within their own body, partly due to their own making.
Should the church address killing? Hmmm…What was that commandment again?..

As I read the statement, I see biblical reference and support. Looks like a no-brainer to me. Pro-life has its’ support. So, love the support of life from the church or leave it.

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YES! This is going to put females from ages 13 to 50 in serious
spiritual and mental positions.
Perhaps even to the point of thinking they have engaged in an
Unpardonable Sin.
These MEN have no idea what they are doing. Or ELSE they
Don’t Care.
Just want to have a Doctrine #29 on their Awards Wall and to
wave the Documents before all the other Denominations.
THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!!

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