Ad­vo­cacy Dur­ing the World Wars in Amer­i­can

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Based on Je­sus’ teach­ing of non-vi­o­lence and the Ten Com­mand­ments, Ad­ven­tists reaf­firmed their po­si­tion of non­com­bat­ancy stated at the very be­gin­ning of the Ad­ven­tist Church. On April 18, 1917, Ad­ven­tists in Amer­ica made an of­fi­cial res­o­lu­tion on con­scrip­tion. This rep­re­sented the of­fi­cial at­ti­tude of the church only in the US.103

The state­ment was pre­sented to the US War Depart­ment. This state­ment of prin­ci­ple about Ad­ven­tist belief stated that Ad­ven­tist had “been non­com­bat­ants through­out our history” and asked that gov­ern­ment author­i­ties rec­og­nize their rights to serve “only in such ca­pac­ity as will not vi­o­late our con­sci­en­tious obe­di­ence to the law of God as con­tained in the Deca­logue (thus lay­ing a ba­sic for re­quest­ing Sab­bath priv­i­leges), in­ter­preted in the teach­ings of Christ, and ex­em­pli­fied in his life”.104 More­over, el­der I. H. Evans, act­ing for the North Amer­i­can Di­vi­sion, re­quested the Army to re­lease Ad­ven­tist sol­diers “from Fri­day night sun­down to Satur­day night sun­down, al­low­ing them to make up their full work by overtime or by do­ing nec­es­sary Sun­day work. How­ever, Evans was told that it was not “prac­ti­ca­ble to

re­ar­range du­ties so as to re­lease men from work on one of the gen­er­ally ac­cepted six work­ing days of the week.”105

By the grace of God, on March 1918 Wil­son de­clared that non­com­bat­ants were to be as­signed to the Med­i­cal, Quar­ter­mas­ter, or En­gi­neer­ing Corps.106 Only then, the Ad­ven­tists were re­lieved from the pres­sure of com­bat­ancy.

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