Advocacy During the World Wars in American
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.