March 19, 2008

1508 Church News Pres--Noncombatancy

GC President Reaffirms Military Noncombatancy
capGeneral Conference president Jan Paulsen has reiterated the Adventist church's long-held position on noncombatancy in an article published in the March issue of Adventist World, the sister journal of the Adventist Review.  

In the article, "Clear Thinking About Military Service" the world church leader explains that deciding to carry arms puts "the spiritual and moral foundations of your life in serious jeopardy."

Referencing a resolution made at the church's Fifth General Conference in 1867 Paulsen says "This has, in broad terms, been our guiding principle: When you carry arms you imply that you are prepared to use them to take another's life, and taking the life of one of God's children, even that of our 'enemy,' is inconsistent with what we hold to be sacred and right."
The three-page article opens with Pastor Paulsen's own experience as a child during the Second World War, then goes on to say that because God values each human life Christians should never be involved in the taking of life. "Every human being, no matter what their choices or conduct is of infinite value to God ... the God we serve is a healer and a Savior. Healing and saving are the first business of the church," he writes.