How does an Adventist who follows the command of Jesus to lay down the sword and pray for enemies remain a good citizen when the state calls for war? That's the central question addressed by this new volume, edited by Barry W. Bussey (below), the Seventh-day Adventist representative to the United Nations, and now available for pre-order. Here's more from a recent announcement of the book's publication:
Should I Fight? is a must-have volume for those who want to understand the history of the Seventh-day Adventist position on war and the modern challenges.
Since its organization in 1863 the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been counter cultural. In its Christian
This volume will not only benefit the Adventist scholar and historian, but those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the Adventist struggle to remain faithful to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount and relevant in the modern age. Adventist young people who are considering the military as a career option would find this resource invaluable to understanding the history of those young people in the Church who faced the very same questions.
David Trim, the Adventist historian recently appointed to head the denomination's Office of Archives and Statistics, has this to say about Should I Fight?:
As Islamist terrorism, and the West's responses to it, blurs the boundary between sacred and secular, Should I fight? remind us that, as well as waging holy wars and crusades, Christians also have a long history of pacifism and non-combatancy. These essays explore the way Christians, and especially Seventh-day Adventists, have responded to the sometimes conflicting desires to be good citizens, and yet to honor a Lord and Savior who died for men and women of all nations and bade his followers to love their enemies.
The traditional Adventist belief that Christian cannot kill for the sake of the nation-state has been eroded in recent years and Barry Bussey's contributors reflect a range of responses to the question embodied in the title, ranging from serving without bearing arms, to radical pacifism. But what emerges clearly from all the essays is that the answer to the question Should I fight? can never be a simple and straightforward "Yes". Bussey's call to Christians to take a stand on conscience, rather than easily fit in with what society expects or the state wants, is timely and vital, and needs to be heard far and wide among those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
“The Beginnings of a Peace Church: Eschatology, Ethics, and Expedience in Adventist Responses to the American Civil War,” by Douglas Morgan
“Adventists, Military Service, and War,” by Ronald Lawson
“Conscientious Objection, Non-combatancy and the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Position from 1954 until Today,” by Jose McLaughlin
“The Spirit of War is the Spirit of Satan: Conscientious Objection, the South African Seventh-day Adventist Experience,” byJeff Crocombe
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Position on War: The Canadian Experience in WWII,” by Barry W. Bussey
“The Christ of the Fifth Way: Recovering the Politics of Jesus,” by Ronald Osborn
“War & Christianity in the Contemporary World,” by Allison Bryan
“Where is Your Citizenship?” by Karen R. Scott
“Did Christ Give you Permission to Beat Your Ploughshares into Swords?” by Ginger Hanks Harwood
“Peacemakers at War,” by Joel Willett
“I Pledge Allegiance: The Role of Seventh-day Adventists in the Military,” by Karl Tsatalbasidis and Keith Phillips
“Signing Your Life Away: A Recruiter’s Story,” by Olaf Clausen
“War and Rumours of War,” by Lincoln E. Steed
“Challenges for the Church,” by Gary Councell