Fighting Different Battles
Thank you for “14 Soldiers in God’s Army” (Oct. 23, 2014), a touching story about the persecution of Sabbath observers, with reference to conscientious objectors. Many American conscientious objectors had difficult times in World Wars I and II, but these problems were diminished by the time of the Korean Conflict.
Our Seventh-day Adventist position on military service has evolved over the years, from dropping members who enlisted to celebrating members who enlist and serve in combat positions.
In the days of David, Gideon, and Joshua, to name a few, God often commanded them to fight. Where were the conscientious objectors?
If young men had to arm themselves with spears and other weapons to fight, I fail to see why young Adventists for the last few years have refused to fight; and worse, to even handle an inanimate piece of equipment such as a rifle.
Of course, the Israelites were surrounded by enemies such as the Philistines, but so was England both in 1914-18 and 1939-45. And yes, we faced an evil foe. Someone had to fight against the Kaiser and Hitler.
My father was in the Great War, and suffered for months in the trenches. He was gassed three times by the Germans, shell-shocked, and had a shrapnel hole in his head. So the young Adventists suffered abuse, but I doubt it was any worse than what the Tommies suffered.
I’m sorry for any young persons who suffer through no fault of their own, and I’m glad countries have made more acceptable ways for young people to participate in war, such as serving as medics, etc. How wonderful it will be when Jesus returns. There will be no more wars, no more death. Those who were killed in war will the next moment wake to blissful peace!
—Edna Olsen Regester
Boiling Springs, South Carolina
God and Judgment
Thank you for Andy Nash’s article, “The Day of the Lord” (Oct. 23, 2014). If God does not face and ultimately destroy evil, who will?
Pay as You Go
Regarding “Pressing Forward” (Oct. 23, 2014): Hyveth Williams does not know how the economy works in her homeland of Jamaica. Those so-called unfinished buildings she refers to in her article are actually people’s homes.
Unlike in North America, getting/borrowing money from a bank/mortgage company to build a home is not an option available to most of those who live in Jamaica. The only choice for most people is to save cash to build. They start with the frame and perhaps two rooms, and as money becomes available they add other rooms. This could take years.
In the meantime they don’t quit, they don’t give up, nor do they bury their talents. They show industriousness by working with what little they have to provide shelter for their families.
Yes, it does mar the beauty of the landscape for visitors. But for people without much that’s the least of their worries.
Challenged to be Graceful
Thanks to Bill Knott for his wonderful editorial “Conviction and Covenant” (Oct. 9, 2014). These words are so true for the trying days in which we live. As a remnant people we have to remain “stitched together” for unity. Only with Christ’s grace and love, and with the Holy Spirit in our lives, can we achieve this goal.
Inspired to Pray
Having recently returned to the church, I was quite eager to read the Week of Prayer issue of Adventist Review (Sept. 25, 2014). I wanted to see what messages our leaders might find compelling. I thought that I’d reserve final judgment until I had read the entire issue. I found a couple things I disagreed with in the first few pages, but soldiered on. By the time I got halfway through I began to think, This is not half bad.
By the time I finished, I was shocked. Instead of recalling any criticisms, I was genuinely encouraged. So I started back through. This time I got excited. The more I read, the more surprised I became. I felt edified, even inspired. I put the issue down for a few minutes to collect my thoughts. Our leaders touched me with their Christ-centered focus, their obvious love for the Lord, and their desire to see the Bride adorned for the soon-coming Bridegroom.
I began to think about what our leaders must face every day: the armchair quarterbacking, the Tweets, the Facebook notoriety. Yet they weren’t defensive; instead they were downright inspiring. They are actually leading in my estimation. We may have leaders in place who can help shepherd the flock to the kingdom. And in all honesty, that is a strange yet growing conviction for me.
I have to pray more earnestly for our leaders. What burdens must they carry? They know they can never please everyone, yet they seem to be leading instead of back-pedaling. Praise God! I now have a growing burden to lift up these men and women in prayer and thanksgiving. I call on all my brothers and sisters in Christ to join me in lifting them up, asking God to give them wisdom, energy, courage, and grace as we coordinate our efforts in finishing the work.
—Frank Vessels, Jr.
Thousand Oaks, California