I interviewed Pastor Idel Suarez Jr for the Viewpoints interview series at Adventist Today (old site, new site). Suarez is the president of one branch of the Adventist Reform Movement that started in Europe during World War I. I met Dr. Suarez in Germany earlier this summer when we both attended a symposium on how WWI affected the Adventist Church (link). In this interview Suarez shares about the movement’s history, values and theology. Excerpt:
AToday: You’ve spoken to this already, but what were the major factors or events at the time of WWI that led to the Reform Movement in Germany, Russia, and elsewhere?
Suarez: The Reform Movement started in Germany. It was Germany that entered the war first, that made a declaration of war. And Guy Dail, secretary of the European Division, issued a letter, stating that Adventists should bear arms and go to war. That was August 2, 1914. Of course that letter caused a grave difficulties among the churches in Germany. Many believers—these were Adventists, they did not see themselves yet as reformers—stood up during Sabbath services, saying that we need to remain pacifist. It’s one thing to be noncombatants, but it’s a totally different position to be combatants, to bear arms, to kill, and to break the Sabbath.
The other interviews in the series can be accessed here.