Adventist Peacemakers

In chapter 5 of The Promise of Peace, Charles Scriven addresses peacemaking. In these few short pages, Scriven covers a lot of ground–biblical material, early church history, and how Adventists have interacted with both war and injustice. It’s an important chapter that deserves reflection and additional study. Of all this material, here I simply want to highlight a few of the SDA characters Scriven references.

On page 60, statements against slavery are presented by Ellen White, Joseph Waggoner, and Uriah Smith. Five pages later, we find White’s counsel to disobey the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act–“We must abide the consequences of violating this law” (Testimonies for the Church, 1:201, 202, cited in Douglas Morgan, Adventism and the American Republic , 29). This reminds me of John Howard Yoder’s “revolutionary subordination” as developed in chapters 9 and especially 10 of The Politics of Jesus.

Then we are introduced to a number of peacemaking actors:

  • Mary Britton, the first African American licensed physician in Kentucky. She fought segregation and worked for women’s right to vote. [more]
  • Manuel Camacho, Ana Stahl & Fernando Stahl, taught Peruvians to read as a tool to end exploitation. [more]
  • John Weidner, worked with his sister and others to save European Jews from the Nazis. [more]
  • Irene Morgan, refused to give up her seat on a bus eleven years before Rosa Parks. [more]
  • Milan Suslic, pastor and relief worker who worked with mail delivery during the siege of Sarajevo. [more]
  • Ginn Fourie, a mother whose daughter was killed in racial violence in apartheid South Africa. (this story was actually in the previous chapter, pp. 46-47) [more]

These are Adventists we need to learn more about as we continue to develop our moral and prophetic imaginations. In addition to telling snippets of their stories, Charles lists websites, articles and books where readers can dig deeper.

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2 Responses to Adventist Peacemakers

  1. Chris Blake says:

    We use this book as a text for our Union College Conflict and Peacemaking class. In addition, we do a phone interview with Scriven. It’s a worthwhile component. Thanks.

    PS: Last year we also had a visit from a visiting Adventist peacemaker named Boyd. Something Boyd. Can’t remember the name exactly.

  2. Jeff Boyd says:

    It’s really encouraging to know what you facilitate at UC! But some of your speaking guests are a bit over the edge. You’ll let anybody on campus!

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