Near the beginning of The Promise of Peace, Charles Scriven notes the original pledge taken by the first band of SDAs in 1861. “We, the undersigned, hereby associate ourselves together as a church, taking the name, Seventh-day Adventists, covenanting together to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ” (p. 22).
These two markings or commitments point to verses in Revelation that were especially important to those early leader. “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17, NKJV, emphasis added). “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
Over the course of the book, Charles Scriven revises that original compact to include a wider reading of important biblical truths, finally coming to this: Thanks to the gift of grace, and for the purpose of blessing all, we take up the peacemaking mission and join together in keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (p. 156).
Charles has added grace as motivation, blessing as purpose, peacemaking as mission. What do you think about these changes? Is that a pledge you would want to take? If every Adventist took that pledge, do you think the SDA Church would look any different, or are we already living those markers effectively? What other changes would you want to make to the pledge?