Adventists And Politics


Clarence Settle

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The most outstanding example of unity with the world can be seen in the compromise of the church with the State in totalitarian countries, such as Germany during the time of Hitler, Russia, China, etc…

To give you a general idea of the unfortunate departure from fundamental principles and the concessions to the powers of darkness, which have marked the church since World War I, we quote a few references hereunder:


"The period of National Socialist rule was a difficult one for German Seventh-day Adventists, and one about which they were and are still reluctant to speak....

"With the introduction of the compulsory military training and labor service in 1935, Adventists faced the problem of adjusting themselves to government service.... It was difficult or virtually impossible to observe the seventh-day Sabbath in the labor service or in the army....

"With each succeeding year of the National Socialist regime, government restrictions against religion became more severe. Seventh-day Adventists realized that the authorities were watching them more closely to see that government orders [which were often in conflict with Bible principles] were obeyed; the church realized that it must follow these orders to save itself from closure....

"The prewar Nazi years were filled with trial and difficulty for Adventist children and parents. Since the Adventist church did not operate elementary and secondary schools, attendance at public schools six days a week was obligatory. It was usually impossible for Adventist parents to obtain permission to have their children excused from attendance on Sabbath."-Spectrum, Vol. 8, No. 3.


"The G.C. 1985 session at New Orleans witnessed the fact that religious interests are courting the civil power by forming unhealthy alliances with the State....

"The registration of a church with the Department of Cults allows the State to control the worship services as well as collect the offerings. Such an illicit relationship of a God-rejecting government with a God-professing church makes a poor marriage from the start.

"The price paid reaches beyond the high cost of the State handling the money. The real loss comes from compromising 'religious truth.' The cost of being unequally yoked is the sacrifice of conscience....

"Churches joined to the State are required to compromise any religious practice that conflicts with the pursuit of the materialistic value system espoused by the . . . government. In the case of Seventh-day Adventists, parents are required to send their children to school on Sabbath.... Sabbath observance is lightly regarded by the State-recognized church. It is common to see an SDA minister lead a young person away from the church on Sabbath to a government school to do school work. The ministers tell them: It is not a sin to go to school on Sabbath....

"The Sabbath problem has existed since 1924, when the State gave recognition to the churches in Russia. It was then that the General Conference supported a compromise with [the atheistic State]. This encouraged the majority in the church to give lip-service to the commandments, but become 'doers' of [antibiblical] rules made by atheists.

'Young men are required to 'bear arms' in compulsory military service [also on Sabbath]. Others are often required to do routine work on Sabbath in accordance with the situation and circumstance. The compromise of conscience destroys the faith and the will of the members in the power of God to challenge the State....

"The General Conference, as the administrative arm of the church, is compounding the 'problem' by supporting the [State]-controlled local leadership in breaking the law of God to obtain favor of the State. The [atheists] love the G.C.'s support, because it helps cover up their brutality against SDA's who are faithful and remain 'underground.' Many suffer in prisons where they are not 'visited,' but denied and denounced by their own brethren....

"The commandments of God were designed to protect both divine and human rights, but the church is being used by [the atheistic State] to destroy any religious element that does not sacrifice the commandments of God to the gods of atheism. Souls are misled in the Lord's name.

"The General Conference gives recognition to the [atheistic State]-directed church organization as the 'Seventh-day Adventist Church.' Those upholding the commandments are denounced as dissidents. Thus, the Word is made of none effect by a 'State-run' church [which is] given support by the General Conference."-Transcribed from writings issued by individual Adventists.


"Near the end of October 1951, a special three-day meeting was convened at division headquarters for the purpose of appointing new division officers.... Delegates appointed a new division committee....

"The delegates passed several resolutions: to pledge allegiance to the government and the . . . Party, to support the volunteers fighting with the North Koreans, to adopt and promulgate the Three-Self Movement program, . . . At the banquet celebrating the close of the meeting, alcohol, cigarettes and unclean foods were freely served. The new division chairman freely indulged in these things and soon had a goodly number of his colleagues at the division headquarters following his example. The practice also spread to other places.

"Those attending the meeting condemned strict Sabbath observance and the church's dietary restrictions as the poisonous teachings of the American missionaries, not in harmony with the Bible. This action received the strong support of representatives of the Three-Self Movement Committee. The writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White and Adventist hymnbooks at the publishing house and division headquarters were destroyed. Several of our leading ministers gave up their copies of Mrs. White's books with their allegedly imperialistic and poisonous teachings....

"Through 1957, the China Division continued to operate with division and union headquarters at their traditional locations. But the unions lost most of their former usefulness. Instead of carrying out division policy, as they once had done, they began taking their orders from the government."-Spectrum, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Feb. 1976).

Other Countries

a) SDA's in East Germany

"At the conference (GC delegation session held in Atlantic City, USA, June 11-20, 1970), there were 1700 delegates from 190 countries. Among them there were also representatives of the Church from the socialist countries, such as Poland, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia. As all the delegates were solemnly marching in with their national flags, of course the flag of our republic was also carried along, for Seventh-day Adventists do not stand apart from political realities. They do not discriminate against any State. This was revealed again and again in the course of the conference."-Neue Zeit (daily paper published in East Germany), July 18, 1970.

b) SDA's and the Poll

In an election in New Zealand in 1975, a news article appeared in the Auckland Star of November 28, headed "Adventists Saturday Vote." Here is the short article:

"Seventh-day Adventists who have not already cast their votes for the General Election may do so on Saturday, but it will be a matter of individual conscience.

"The church does not encourage members to perform secular tasks on Saturday, but it would not disallow its members to vote on Saturday, said Pastor D. I. Jenkins, spokesman for the Church."

Many more examples of forbidden flirtations here and serious involvements there could be added. In view of these facts, it is clear to us that the denomination is united with the world. Her religion, which was a reality in the past, has degenerated into a hollow formalism a profession of faith plus some appearance of Christianity and a partial obedience to the word of God whenever possible and convenient.

Involvement in politics and subservience to totalitarian States, with a consequent reversal of values and loyalties, places the church in a position where God cannot use her any more. This warning from the Spirit of Prophecy settles the question:

"Consider, my brethren and sisters, that the Lord has a people, a chosen people, His church . . . and He intends that no authority should be known in it, no laws be acknowledged by it, but His own.... His authority should be kept distinct and plain before the world, and no laws are to be acknowledged that come in collision with the laws of Jehovah. If in defiance of God's arrangements the world be allowed to influence our decisions or our actions, the purpose of God is defeated. However specious the pretext, if the church waver here, there is written against her in the books of heaven a betrayal of the most sacred trusts, and treachery to the kingdom of Christ." TM 16, 17

As we are often asked why we do not vote, we explain our position by quoting from the writings of E. G. White hereunder:

"The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike.

"The question may be asked, Are we to have no union whatever with the world? The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers which would identify us with them is forbidden by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work." FE 482.

N.A.D. [North American Division] working policy #P-3015 states:


“When an employee of a conference or other organization takes a course in violation of the laws of the country, church discipline shall be administered. Conference officials shall cooperate in proper punishment of such offenders.”


In Nazi-era Germany and communist Russia the SDA church forced its members to send their children to public school on the Sabbath-in compliance with the law. Those who refused were disfellowshipped and proscribed. Repeatedly, as illustrated in the preceding articles, when the laws of the land threaten the security of the SDA church, the OFFICIAL position is to quickly capitulate in order to insure its survival. What do you think the church will do when the Sunday law is implemented according to the above examples?