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You’d never know it from Ben Carson’s exhortations for Americans to arm themselves against perpetrators of gun violence, but a central belief of his religion, Seventh-day Adventism, is in non-violence. “The language of support for guns is totally outside the rhetoric and beliefs of the Adventist church,” said Carpenter.From the founding of the denomination in 1863, both doctrinally and culturally, Adventists have been “non-combative,” and their status in wartime is that of conscientious objector, said Alexander Carpenter, a writer and academic who serves on the board of Adventist Forum, a liberal non-profit that publishes the independent journal . And Carson’s discredited and offensive statements that the Holocaust occurred because Nazis would not allow Germans to carry guns is “exactly opposed to Adventist teaching,” Carpenter said.“I’m also Health and Temperance Director, which means I present special programs and coordinate the other medical workers in our church.” For black Adventists, ,” said Hines, who currently teaches Christian ethics and law at the Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida.Carson.” “Adventism and Mormonism are the two lasting vestiges of unique American religions to come out of the Second Great Awakening,” said Jason Hines, an Adventist writer and lawyer who often covers church-state separation issues.“As newcomers, it’s taken a while for them to be accepted.” While Mitt Romney faced direct insults from evangelicals and others over his religion when he ran for president in 2012, Carson—with a few exceptions, such as withdrawing from speaking at a Southern Baptist Convention conference after pastors raised both political and theological concerns—seems to have immunized himself from that sort of scrutiny.In the wake of the Great Disappointment, Ellen White began having dreams and visions, which led early Adventists to see the Great Disappointment not with sadness, but as a key historical moment, “the start of Jesus’ final work of atonement,” according to the anniversary of the Great Disappointment.According to the official Adventist statement of beliefs, in 1844 Jesus “entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry,” known to Adventists as “the investigative judgment,” and seen as the preparation for Jesus’s eventual return.
There are approximately one million Adventists in the United States, and 18 million worldwide.Observing the Sabbath on Saturday, not Sunday, and a commitment to health and wellness, including vegetarianism, are prominent features that distinguish Adventism from other Christian denominations.Protecting the Saturday Sabbath observance has driven Adventist involvement in legal challenges under the Free Exercise Clause, such as the one that led to the landmark 1963 Supreme Court decision in which protected the constitutional right of a Seventh-day Adventist to refuse to work on Saturday.The church also supports church-state separation, a stance that drove its May 2015 statement that it would not take a position on a candidate in the presidential race, and urging pastors and church employees to “also exercise extreme care not to express views in their denominational capacity about any candidate for office, including Dr.In his statements about guns and gun violence, Carson “is not an authentic Adventist,” added Carpenter, who also has taught at Pacific Union College, one of a dozen Adventist colleges and universities in the United States. In Adventist theology, “your decision not to act [with violence] is where you have power.” Co-founded in 1863 by Ellen and James White and others, amid the religious fervor of mid-nineteenth century America, Adventism grew out of the “Great Disappointment”—when Jesus did not return as prophesied by William Miller, the Baptist preacher, on October 22, 1844.
Still others, such as the young medical students at the Adventist Loma Linda University medical school, volunteered during World War II to be medical test subjects rather than engaging in combat.