Most of us have pivot-points in our lives. These could be brought about by marriage, children, deaths, success, failure, etc.
Although my first taste of a tree-ripened mango in the tropics was mildly life-changing, the most important pivot-point anyone can have is a conversion brought about by repentance and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Pivot-points are moments when you remember where you were, and what everything around you looked, smelled, sounded, felt, and even tasted like. One such moment happened to me a number of years ago…
My wife and I were at a friend’s home with many other guests. The food was plentiful, and the conversation lively. A good friend and I were standing off to the side munching on trail mix, talking and laughing as usual. Drawn together by our unique sense of humor, he and I quickly became (and remain) good friends.
Somehow, in the course of our conversation we started talking about abortion. I shared with him some recent stats on abortion that I found appalling. My friend was in the medical field, and worked at an Adventist hospital, so I made what I considered to be a safe statement:
“Well, I’m sure that abortions don’t happen at Adventist hospitals...”
His face fell. He sighed, and said; “It happens.”
My spine involuntarily tingled. I just barely suppressed a yell, “What?!?!”
He looked down. “I know, I know...”
I replied, “You know, I have heard that some Adventists were a bit wimpy on this issue, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever suspect that Adventist hospitals would be murdering babies!”
I was devastated. I could think of nothing else the whole evening. On the way home I spewed out an impassioned monologue to my wife. Maybe I should’ve let her drive... Somehow we made it home safely, and I laid in bed for some time thinking about what I had just heard. I just couldn’t believe that God’s Remnant Church would be anything less than 100% clear on this subject! I guess I was pretty naive.
Those next few days I was on a campaign. I spoke with a few other Adventist friends in the medical field and they admitted that abortions do happen in Adventist hospitals. I was increasingly disgusted. What on stinking earth?!?! I then asked myself what I could do to stop it. Maybe I could setup an ongoing protest in front of an Adventist hospital with signs, banners and everything! I discovered that most people were scared to do so — as that would likely doom their employment at said facility. Now what?
“Maybe I could hire a bunch of long-haired hippies,” I thought, “they’re always up for a good protest.” I then began to question how effective such a protest would be. I mean, while my wife and I do have an ample stash of Patchouli oil, the bill for that much veganic permacultured fair-trade conflict-free kale could be huge.
I was at my wits’ end. I have never been much of an activist, yet the reality of our very own institutions performing infanticide was unconscionable to me.
I began researching the Church’s official position on abortion. I discovered that the founders of the Advent Movement were staunchly opposed to abortion & universally upheld the sanctity of life! And no, Ellen White was NOT silent on this issue. She was quite settled on the state of the unborn:
“If the father would become acquainted with physical law, he might better understand his obligations and responsibilities. He would see that he had been guilty of almost murdering his children, by suffering so many burdens to come upon the mother, compelling her to labor beyond her strength before their birth, in order to obtain means to leave for them” (Selected Messages, Vol. 2).
Need we go further down that trail? I think not. Research it if you wish, but you will find our beloved founders were clear on this subject (of course)! Besides, if I understand the purpose of the red books correctly, it was to show how awesome the Black Book is and to build my foundation on that. The Bible is overwhelmingly strong on the sanctity of life! Of course...
The next step was reading the church’s official statement on abortion. This was surprisingly weak! Weak, weak, weak! It’s about as strong as that one limp, clammy hand you have to shake every Sabbath (you know the one). COME ON!!! The statement basically lays a biblical groundwork for the sanctity of life, but then leaves it up to you. It’s... up to you… if you want to murder what Jesus called “the least among us.”
You know, maybe it’s finally time for Uncle Bob to step in. You know Uncle Bob… Family reunions wouldn’t be the same without him! He arrives late in his `89 Trans Am with his big-haired wife and loudly declares his opinions about everything from politics to Grandma’s tapioca. Still proudly sporting a full mullet & moustache, his cut-off jeans and mustard-stained Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt complete the ensemble. Is it time for some converted Uncle Bob’s in Adventist leadership? I SAY YES!!!
Let's say Uncle Bob gets baptized & ditches the T-shirt; upgrading to a humus-stained tie instead. The Holy Spirit now gives Bob discretion and an extra scoop of tact, but he is still unafraid to say what needs to be said. Boom! Now there's a force to be reckoned with!
Deep down, everyone loves Uncle Bob. Why? Because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks! You know where he stands. Can you imagine what an army of converted Uncle Bobs could accomplish in Adventist leadership roles? It’s time to stop caring what people think! Let us only care what God thinks, and then speak His truth in love! Be a converted Uncle Bob!
BTW, regardless of your country or culture, I am confident you have an Uncle Bob archetype in your family…
There’s no doubt in my mind that we are the remnant movement of God. I studied it out years ago & I am 100% all-in. I was truly converted at my first GYC in 2005 (Chattanooga) as a 21-year-old young man. I saw firsthand the "matchless charms of Christ." I gave my whole heart to Jesus for the first time & eagerly sought to follow Him wherever He went.
Jesus is the best example of anyone, anywhere. He is the best leader, story-teller, trainer, recruiter, confidant, minister, servant, listener, speaker, example, teacher, hero, thinker, warrior & friend! The same brilliant Warrior who will soon come galloping in on a flaming, flying horse to defeat His enemies is the same gentle Teacher who once said; “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” If “offending” a little child warrants a millstone around your neck in the Marianas Trench, what do you think murdering a little child warrants?
Jesus NEVER shied away from conflict when it needed to be met. Remember those crazy demon-possessed men (Luke 8)? Jesus stood and faced them with no fear.
Our current culture is not being led by Jesus, but by the Prince of Demons himself. We have let this very culture infect our minds to the point that we can’t say definitively whether infanticide is right or wrong. God help us!!!
What would Jesus do? Jesus would stand… stand with shoulders squared and countenance set like a stone against this unspeakable evil. “Not in my Church!,” He would say. I invite you to take up this rallying cry.
Come on people! I feel ridiculous even writing this. This is a no-brainer. Hey, maybe that’s the problem… maybe we just need more brains! Actually we need more guts. I mean, they say the gut is our second brain, so… I've got you either way.
Since 1973, more than 61 million children have been slaughtered in the Christian nation of America.
That's more than ten times the Jewish Holocaust! We can scarcely control what the world does, but we can set up a bulwark around this beloved Movement. "Not in my church!"
One of the main reasons God asked Israel to conquer the Canaanite nations was because of their detestable human (and particularly, child) sacrifice. Look what we are doing now… sacrificing the least among us for our convenience. No longer do you have to sear your infant in the fiery arms of Moloch - now you can simply "terminate the pregnancy" with a simple "procedure."
Back in 2015, the Adventist Church spent much time and money belaboring the decision of whether or not an ordained minister should be male or female. Thankfully, the Movement decided to stay with Scriptural principles and not yield to cultural pressure.
HOW MUCH GREATER…. is “thou shalt not murder?!” I just can't believe that of all the commandments, the 6th would be a struggle for us. Wow...
The truth is, the vast majority of Adventists worldwide are against abortion. It's mostly just us blithering morons in the West that can't seem to decide if it's an abnormal clump of cells or a precious human baby being knit together in its mother's womb (Psalm 139:13).
I happen to disagree with the Church of Rome basically declaring male "genetic material" to be sacrosanct. Come on, those little guys are dying by the millions all the time. Every month at least one female egg dissolves, unless… it is fertilized. At that moment - when those two cells unite, a chain-reaction begins. Everyone knows that the final product will be a human - not a cat, a Super Soaker, or shiny new 4-slot toaster. A human! So, can we stop with calling an unborn child "tissue?" Talk about denying science! SMH yet again...
It behooves us to diligently fight for every true truth out there. Weakness on the law leads to weakness on sin and weakness on the Sabbath which leads to weakness on Creation which leads to adopting macroevolutionary theories which leads to a rejection of the sanctity of life which leads to weakness on abortion. Now, clearly not all paths to abortion follow these exact steps, but I hope you can see how giving ground on one foundational truth can lead to a catastrophic collapse of all others!
Perhaps, in order to help end this mind-numbing nonsense in our Movement, we may need to have a few "strange bedfellows" (please pardon the odd expression). What do I mean? Well… often the most zealous amongst us are also the most weird. If weird, annoying zealots are doing yeoman's work on uprooting this apostasy from our beloved church, then consider supporting them – wherever you can! Never compromise principles, but hey if they are right, they are right. Just a thought…
So, what else can be done? A few suggestions:
Write letters to people in authority asking for action.
Create, and/or sign an Adventist anti-abortion petition.
Reach out to other Adventists and network. Meet to pray & brainstorm ideas.
Gather with other Adventists near compromising Adventist health institutions & pray for victory.
Oh yeah. PRAY !
However, please don't stay on your knees forever. Get up and do something! And stay tuned for part 2.
Dylan Wagoner is married to his wonderful wife Amanda, and together they have two children. Dylan is vice-president of WRi Applications LLC, and the president of Inspire Ohio, a youth-led lay ministry in Ohio.