From their earliest roots Seventh-day Adventists, at their best, have been concerned with restoring personal and social wholeness through a commitment to justice and peace. We remember the Sabbath day not only as a memorial of creation, which God has entrusted to our care, but also as a symbol of divine justice in the face of political and economic oppression. We hold fast to the faith of Jesus not only by proclaiming his Advent, but also by refusing violence and coercion as tools to establish God's kingdom. The radical witness of the Adventist pioneers—who decried slavery, championed religious liberty, agitated against American imperialism, and refused to bear arms in the military—stands as a testament to these convictions.
Yet too often we have lost sight of the prophetic social and ethical vision of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament witness. Instead of challenging society as radical witnesses for peace, we have often uncritically accepted its assumptions and moral reasoning. Alternatively, we have at times withdrawn from the work of peace into spiritual and communal isolation. Both impulses, it is clear, can only be fatal to our identity.
We therefore appeal to all Adventists to join us in reclaiming our faith tradition's historic commitment to peacemaking and conscientious objection in times of war. We challenge all Adventists to engage in the vital work of restoring community through active service to society. We welcome in friendship persons of all beliefs or none who wish to stand beside us in dialogue and in action to create more just, more equitable, more sustainable, and more compassionate social realities.