Around the world in many nations, Adventists have served and are serving in many public capacities and in the military forces. Adventists are prime ministers and generals as well as privates and common citizens. Some church members have been honored with prestigious awards for selfless service and valorous actions. One noncombatant medic saved seventy-five lives under fire in combat and was awarded his nation's highest medal. Another citizen established an underground rescue system that enabled over one thousand persons to escape certain arrest and death in concentration camps. Others have given their lives that others might live. Over two thousand Adventists volunteered to participate in an extensive military medical research program that helped develop preventive and treatment regimens that spared suffering and saved countless lives.
Thousands of Adventists have faithfully served their countries and witnessed for their faith in military and public service. That service often required, even demanded, personal and family sacrifice in order for them to fulfill their obligations. These veterans have too seldom been acknowledged, affirmed and appreciated by their Church and countries for their service. Truly, the Lord would say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your Master" (Matthew 25:21and 23; Luke 19:17). Adventist veterans have "fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7). ACM salutes you!
WHY ADVENTISTS SERVE
From Scripture Adventists understand that God "ordained" civil government to establish order in society (Daniel 2: 20-22; Romans 13:1-10). Christians are commanded by Jesus to "love their neighbors as themselves" (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10:25-28) and even "love their enemies" (Matthew 5:43-47 and Luke 6:27-36). Christians are admonished to do good and submit to kings and governors (Hebrews 13:16 and 17; I Peter 2:13-17). We are encouraged to pray for kings and those in authority (I Timothy 2:1-3). Yet, in all things, we are to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Obedience can produce persecution. When persecuted, Christians must be sure it is for Christ's sake and not for our own wrong-doing or failure to do right (I Peter 2:18-24 and chapter 4).
Christians hold citizenship in two kingdoms: the kingdom in which they were born on this planet earth and in which they had no choice; and the kingdom of heaven in which they chose to belong by being born again. Being in the world, but not of the world sometimes causes tension between legitimate loyalties and responsibilities, both civic and cultural. Jesus recognized this when He said, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21; Mark17 and Luke 20:25). In this sensitive area of understanding and discerning God's will for one's life with the complexities of this age, individual Christians must prayerfully seek to be led of the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance into all truth for them to follow and practice. Let no man judge where a plain, "Thus saith the Lord" is not clearly revealed.