August 01, 2011

Adventists Supported Hitler?

You wrote [Let's Talk, June 2011] that some Adventists ... aligned with Hitler. Did I understand correctly? It's not going to change my love for my church because I am learning to be grounded on the Word of God. I just want to make sure in case someone from a different denomination brings it up. I am sure many others did the same. The way you put it is like the organization was behind Hitler. Please tell me who from our church was enthusiastic with this leader.

Teresa Hayden, Clayton, Washington

GLEANER: In our research, it appears the world church did not subscribe to Hitler's agenda, yet some local leaders of that era did. A statement of apology published by Adventist church leaders from Austria and Germany in May 2005 acknowledges local Adventist congregations "excluded, separated and left [church members who were] ... of Jewish origin to themselves so that they were delivered to imprisonment, exile or death." In addition, some Adventist congregations there expelled members of Jewish heritage. The statement goes on to make an important conclusion for us all: "The obedience we owe to the state authorities [should] not lead to giving up biblical convictions and values."

In spite of the intense pressures of those times, there were Adventists, such as John Weidner, who worked tirelessly to rescue many from the Nazi regime. For a fascinating read, check out the article from the Adventist Review available online at: http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=92.

Affirmation for Child-care Stance

As an Adventist working mom, I read Sue Patzer's interview [Free as Lambs, July 2011] with great interest. I really appreciated her compassionate, thoughtful views on child care in the 21st century. She's right! Child care is now an essential thread in the social fabric; it definitely is in our family. Our one-year-old is enrolled at Discoveryland in the Mt. Tabor (Portland, Oregon) Church, and my husband and I are so grateful that such a wonderful and obviously Christ-centered place exists.

Marianne Altman, Portland, Oregon