Seventh-Day Adventists/Conscientious Objector


Hello, It is my understanding that SDA's, like JW's are "Conscietious Objectors," who uphold the belief that the use of lethal force in time of war is wrong. My Grandfather is a WW2 veteran and I can't help thinking how such an objection somehow trivializes, if not out right mocks the brave American soliers who perished in defense of our freedom, including freedom of religious beliefs. Ironically, the very beliefs that suggest it is wrong to defend those beliefs, apparently. Curiously, the O.T. is full of examples of tribal self defense by way of lethal force. Would it have been better that Hirohito or Hitler won the 2nd World War? If, on the other hand, it is your position that conscientious objection is a type of cafeteria choice made solely by the individual, on what moral grounds then should one say, "I won't use lethal force to defend your freedoms, but it isn't necessarily immoral for you to use that force for mine."? Thank You

Dear Sean, thanks for your question and I'm glad that you wrote because this way you can get the facts straight.  Jehovah Witnesses do not salute the flag, don't recognize the national anthem, refuse military service and besides that don't believe in the Holy Spirit, blood transfusions, and a number of other things.  Last week in my workplace a secretary had her 65th birthday so one of the other secretaries bought a cake and the office people gathered around to sing happy birthday and called Luis over to join but he quickly remarked, "We don't believe in celebrating birthdays."  I couldn't help notice that later on he didn't refuse a piece of cake.  Sorry for the digression but I was and still am a bit annoyed that he wouldn't even sing a few lines making that woman feel a bit happy.  But anyway congrats to your grandfather.  By the way, I'm a Viet Nam veteran.  I wasn't born into the SDA church but had my first experience with a Seventh-day Adventist in 1969.  It was while on guard duty one night and I was paired with this black fellow.  As the night wore on this fellow, Carl began talking about God and the Bible.  I was intrigued and interested because although I was a Catholic I never knew what the Bible spoke of.  All I knew was the Catholic Catechism.  I guess I was so spellbound from my first Bible study that it took me hours to notice that he didn't have a weapon.  I was amazed and never seen anything like this before.  He told me that he was a conscientious objector.  All I knew about CO's was that they were a bunch of pot smoking hippies or people too afraid to be drafted into the Army.  He told me that as a C.O. that he refused to murder but that he would not refuse to serve his country in whatever other capacity was necessary.  He was drafted and was assigned as a medic.  So the fact is that you can still be a C.O. and be willing to be drafted and serve your country yet refuse to carry a weapon.  I have to tell you Sean that it took a lot of nerve (and I suppose great faith in God) for this man Carl to wander around the battle field with no weapon but only his medical pack and run from wounded soldier to wounded soldier treating them.  God used Carl to acquaint me with His true church.  I know this sounds like an arrogant and pompous statement but there is no time to beat around the bush so I have to tell it like it is.  But anyway, after that night together I never saw Carl again.  I finished my service, was discharged and for 3 years went back to my old sinful life but I was never able to forget that night and the things I heard in that night time Bible study.  To make a long story short I checked out an Adventist church, read everything I got my hands on and was eventually baptized into the SDA church.  So you see Sean, there are many types of C.O.'s.  I've later on got to know many Adventists that served in the military.  Most carried weapons but a few did not.  I have never known one to refuse their military duty or not love their country after God of course.  Incidentally the commandment is better translated, "thou shalt not murder" rather than "thou shalt not kill."  That understanding makes a world of a difference.  But anyway Sean, it is good to be concerned about individual beliefs and religious freedoms all of which we owe a great deal to our military men and women. But besides that, how are things with your relationship with the Lord?  You know it is very important to maintain a close relationship with the Lord and to walk with Him and talk to Him often because He loves you very much.  Please read the first few verses in John chapter 15 about the Vine and the branch which I'm sure you are familiar with.  We must abide in the Lord as the branch abides in the vine because when the branch stops abiding it soon dies.  Thanks again for writing and may the Lord bless you as you continue to seek Him.  Your friend, anthony  

Seventh-Day Adventists

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Can one know God and not keep His commandments? Let John answer (1Jn2:4). He that says, I know Him and keeps not His commandments (including the 4th) is a liar and the truth is not in him. Since Seventh-Day Adventists derive their teachings from the Holy Bible, I will answer questions on any Biblically related subject or topic and questions on distinct Adventist practice and doctrine. Remember Paul`s words that state in the last days there will be deceivers seeking to lead astray many, yet the sincere believer can take comfort in the Lord`s promise that anyone desiring to know His truth will know it. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.


I graduated from an Adventist University with a major in Behavioral Science and a minor in religion including an intermediate study of the Greek written language. I earned a master in religion from Liberty University a Baptist seminary. I have been a student of the Bible and of Biblical history for over 30 years.

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