October 22 this year (2018)1 was the 174th anniversary of what Adventists know as “The Great Disappointment.” It also means that Adventists have been proclaiming urgently that Jesus is returning “soon” for 174 years. After that many years, what does “soon” mean? How soon is “soon”? If the delay is the result of the need…… Continue reading Urgent Apocalypticism in Adventism
For PDF Click Here: Church and State at Home and Abroad: The Evolution of Seventh-day Adventist Relations with Governments. Ronald Lawson The SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST Church is known in the U.S. for its defense of the First Amendment and its espousal of religious liberty. Its Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) lobbies for or…… Continue reading Church and State at Home and Abroad: The Evolution of Seventh-day Adventist Relations with Governments*
Sociologists have typically defined “sect” and “church” or “denomination”, the polar opposites of church-sect theory, in terms of multiple characteristics. Stark and Bainbridge, noting that competing lists of characteristics have caused confusion and that the use of several characteristics has limited the ability to measure transition from sect to denomination, proposed focusing instead on a single dimension, the religious group’s tension with society. This paper tests the usefulness of this reformulation by exploring one such source of tension: holding a deviant position on military service when a state imposes conscription. Since part of the process of reducing tension between sect and state is accommodation by one or both parties, the paper also examines relations between a religious group and governments in a conflict situation, and the process of accommodation – or failure to come to terms – between them.
The Branch Davidians were linked to the Seventh-day Adventist Church by their historical roots, the source of their members, their name (officially the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists), their identity, and their apocalyptic preoccupations, idiom, and paranoias. This paper examines the responses within Seventh-day Adventism to the sudden notoriety of the Branch Davidians. In so doing, it sheds new light on the Branch Davidian tragedy: …