Peacemaking is the theme of the new issue of Dialogue, the journal published in five languages for Adventist college and university students throughout the world. In the lead article, Stefan Hoeschele (pictured below), theology professor at Friedensau Adventist University, Germany, discusses eight courses of action a believer guided by biblical principles might take when faced with the dilemma of war. An excerpt:
As a faith community, we must speak peace. Indeed, as Adventists we have done the right thing in issuing several statements on peace. In one of them ("Peace," 1985), we affirm: "The Seventh-day Adventist Church urges every nation to beat its 'swords into plowshares' and its 'spears into pruning hooks' (Isaiah 2:4)....In a world filled with hate and struggle, a world of ideological strife and military conflicts, Seventh-day Adventists desire to be known as peacemakers and work for worldwide justice and peace under Christ as the head of a new humanity."
Such a stance for peace may involve speaking out whenever countries engage in wars. We cannot support the use of violence, and we should make this clear. There can be no compromise on this matter. As responsible citizens of the state here and the Kingdom of God, our unequivocal position should be promotion of peace, rejection of military actions, and rebuking of those who advocate violence. Of course, in pursuing such a course, we must be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16, KJV). But we should make it clear that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a peace church.
The issue also includes an editorial on principles of peacemaking by Martin Feldbush, associate editor and director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries; an exploration of peacemaking in Adventist history by Doug Morgan, and Hee Jae Im's account of his refusal to bear arms, which led to his court martial and imprisonment in South Korea (see the previous post).