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To complete the work of Annual Council, items, such as the statement on abortion and the Church Manual materials, that had been sent back to writing committees, needed to make a second appearance and be voted.
Artur Stele came to the microphone with the changes to the abortion statement. No copies of the revised document were distributed, the changes were projected on the large screen at the front of the auditorium. To add more grace to the document, several phrases were inserted: “While not condoning abortion,” the second paragraph begins. Added the Church “and its members are called to follow the example of Jesus, being ‘full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14)” to (1) create an atmosphere of true love and provide grace-filled, biblical pastoral care and loving support to those facing difficult decisions regarding abortion.”
Question - Stele - Committee - Member - Mention
The question posed to Stele from a committee member was why there was still no mention of the concept of rape, given that deficiency had been eloquently spoken to by Jiří Moskala, the dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University during the earlier discussion. Stele replied that since this was a biblical statement, the committee did not feel it was appropriate to add that concept. “Rape is an act of violence,” he said, “responding to violence with another act of violence (abortion) is not biblical.”
Voting on the statement was done by the holding up of green or red cards. Many green cards were lifted in support of the document. Only three opposed the statement. It appeared, however, that many did not vote at all.
Document - Statement - Biblical - View - Unborn
The approved document, “Statement on the Biblical View of Unborn Life and Its Implications for Abortion” can be read here.
Changes to the Church Manual come to the Executive Committee before being placed on the agenda for the General Conference Session....
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