Editor’s Note: On October 2, 2019, the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) issued the following news release regarding the upcoming Annual Council discussion on abortion. The GRI is “is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church with a mission to discover and share an understanding of nature and its relationship with the Biblical revelation of the Creator God” according to the mission statement on its website.
The statement follows in full below:
GRI Supports a Biblically Sound Statement on Abortion
The Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) has issued a letter stressing the value of human life in light of the biblical record of creation. This letter is addressed to the committee editing a new Seventh-day Adventist statement on abortion. Church administrators from all over the world will vote this abortion statement during the Church’s Annual Council meetings October 10-16, 2019, held at the Church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The GRI letter supporting a biblically sound statement arose out of conviction that the Bible’s teachings must guide Christians’ understanding of abortion, just as they should any other controversial issue in society. Political and economic pressures are real, as are the emotional reactions surrounding abortion, but none of these should distract from the Church’s duty to clearly proclaim the Bible’s revelation of the infinite value of every human life.
The text of the letter reads:
Dear “Public and Official Statement on Abortion Working Group:”
The biblical description of creation, with its six-day time table and special creation of humans, provides the theological and moral foundation for human rights and respect for human life. As society has turned away from the biblical story, there has been a decline in respect for human life, as seen in the legalization of assisted suicide, euthanasia, and abortion on demand, and calls for artificial production of humans through cloning. Lack of respect for human life is also seen in the epidemic of abuse and neglect of children, neglect of the mentally ill, and violence toward and exploitation of the weak.
From the perspective of biblical creation, every person, whether born or unborn, old or young, healthy or disabled, is endowed with the image of God and is of infinite value. We deplore the tendency in our society to regard humans as just one more species of animal, albeit a unique one. We also deplore the trend toward treating humans like commodities, to be used or exterminated for reasons of economy or convenience. The true value of human life can be understood only in the light of the biblical story of creation and redemption.
In this context, we support development of a clearly stated, biblically sound statement on abortion. We acknowledge and support the work toward this end by the Biblical Research Institute and the Bioethics Committee. We advocate giving strong emphasis to the implications of the biblical story of creation for the value of human life in both belief and practice. We want to be known as a community that derives its moral principles from biblical teachings, values human life more than comfort or reputation, and shows compassion to all. Our proclamation of the three angels’ message will be strengthened as it is accompanied by an emphasis on the practical implications of biblical creation.
L James Gibson
Director, Geoscience Research Institute
This statement was provided by the Geoscience Research Institute.
“An Open Letter Concerning the Adventist Church’s Abortion Guidelines,” by Mark B. Johnson, October 4, 2019
“A Clinical Ethicist’s Perspective on Creating a New Abortion Statement,” by Mark F. Carr, October 2, 2019
"Abortion Rates and Ratios Continue Dropping in the United States" by David Larson, September 27, 2019
“Our Abortion Guidelines Are Too Good to Replace” by David Larson, September 16, 2019
“Abortion Law: Adventist Leaders Active Behind the Scenes” by Kent Kingston, September 18, 2019
“Amidst Growing Criticism Adventist Church is Revisiting Abortion Position” by Michael Peabody, September 23, 2019
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Official Guidelines on Abortion, 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.
The current Spectrum print journal, volume 47, issue 3, includes additional articles on abortion.
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