The Story of the Church’s “Wise” Response to the Great War in Australia

A Seventh-day Adventist response to World War I that differed from most churches in Australia preserved church and state loyalty, research by an Avondale University professor shows.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thank you for this post. It’s always intriguing to discover that early Adventists were at times more enlightened and wise than Adventists are today.

Of course, such a noncombatancy, peacemaking approach is not the “historic Adventism” many call for. But it ought to be.

1 Like

Thanks Brenton for sharing Assoc Prof Reynaud’s work with us, well timed for Anzac Day.

Apart from the peer pressure to conform with the nationalism of the religious right, I wonder if our collective forgetting of pacifism is due to a shallow foundation. Even though we have traditionally taught non-combatance, we have a much less developed understanding of Christian non-violent conflict resolution compared to churches with a stronger Anabaptist heritage.

While our teaching rarely extends beyond not violating the commandment to “not murder,” Anabaptists and other Peace churches take New Testament teachings on non-violence much more seriously. Jesus’ teachings and lived demonstration of non-violent resistance offer a strong positive ethic of peacemaking. Paul, in turn, sees in this the opportunity to build a non-racist, non-classist, non-sexist church, as Christ, “is our peace.” Well beyond the inner calm that peace has been tamed into, Christian peace is the antidote for hostility. The theology of God’s peace offer to us leads directly to transforming human relationships.

Unless we actively engage with understanding Christian alternatives to military solutions, our shallow aversion to war will continue to be diluted.

Lest we forget.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 14 days. New replies are no longer allowed.