One of Teresa and Arthur Beem’s turning points in their conversion from Adventism to Catholicism was the issue of abortion. Adventists neglect the commandment against murder. Tesa has a lovely post on her blog about this.
The Adventist church is kinda pro-choice and kinda pro-life. Some of its hospitals do abortions-on-demand and others don’t. Getting a clear answer from the General Conference on exactly where they stand is confusing; even their official suggested guidelines are wishy-washy. Most Adventists consider abortion wrong, but rarely–if ever–will you hear a SDA pastor mention in a sermon that abortion is a sin. Even if the church believes human life sacred, it also is afraid of the pro-life movement because of its political bent. Their fear of an end-time legislation of morality (specifically a Sunday law) muffles their voice against abortion. And joining a pro-life ecumenical movement even to promote pro-life pregnancy centers is verboten.
The church keeps under wraps that some of the most prominent abortion providers in America have been Adventists such as Bud Feldkamp and Dr. Edward Allred.
Many Christians in other denominations are baffled as to why any denomination would keep silent on this issue. Isn’t this just basic to Christianity– you don’t kill babies? The clarity for most Christians plummets into something a little more complex in SDA thinking.
An update: also via Teresa and Arthur Beem’s blog:
La Sierra, a Seventh-day Adventist university, has teachers who do not believe in a young earth. This upsets the General Conference so much that the teachers who believe in an old earth are to be fired.
La Sierra has honoured an abortionist who boasts that he has killed nearly 250 000 unborn babies in the last 12 years. Somewhat hypocritical perhaps, but then Adventism doesn’t claim to be pro-life.
Certainly, when Adventists say that they keep all 10 commandments, point out that they do not, and that their denomination officially permits abortion, and their universities follow suit. “Thou shalt not kill” is not as important to them as the Sabbath.
Official guidelines here*. “The Church does not serve as conscience for individuals” … except when it comes to the Sabbath, and other things.
* Update 2019: Official guidelines have changed. Update on YouTube via this page.
A huge update – this is a detailed look at Adventism and its official position on abortion. Nasty stuff.