SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY RECLAIMED
Thousands have read the famous, full-page advertisement sponsored by the Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-day Adventists, entitled "Earth's Final Warning," in USA Today, August 10, 1999. The subject matter was of a prophetic theme based primarily on the Bible, including sections from the highly acclaimed, The Great Controversy [c.1884] by Ellen G. White, the most published female author in American history.
Roman Catholic Church officials had previously (erroneously) implicated the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as the responsible party for prior occurrences of the ad in various national newspapers. In response, the General Conference Corporation filed suit against the Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-day Adventists for trademark infringement regarding use of the term SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST in their church name. Resulting questions erupted: "Who are Seventh-day Adventists?" "Who has a legal right to bear the name Seventh-day Adventist in a religious identity context?"
The purpose of this ad is to educate the public, hoping that future conflicts of this nature may be averted. The Creation Seventh Day (and) Adventist Church, organized in 1991 as a protest against the union of church and state undertaken by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, takes full responsibility for the contents of this advertisement. We hold no formal connection with other “SDA” organizations, but share a common Christian faith with many individuals worldwide who claim to be SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST.
Seventh Day Adventist is a generic term describing a Christian faith and practice. The major tenets designated by the name are (1) the observance of the Biblical "creation seventh day" (the seventh day of the Gregorian calendar week: Saturday), and (2) belief in a literal, imminent second coming of Jesus Christ. Historically, SDAs have been known for pioneering health reform, championing religious liberty, promoting community service, upholding the principles of Protestantism, serving as non-combatants in the military, and exemplifying the noblest of Christian graces. The origin of the Seventh-day Adventist faith can be traced back to the creation story in Genesis, but the name was not formally adopted until the mid-1800's, following the “Great Awakening.” We note the first organization to officially bear the mark to be the Seventh-day Adventist Church, now legally headed by the General Conference Corporation of SDAs, Silver Spring, MD. In the early 1900's a dissatisfied group of SDA believers became known as the SDA Reform Movement, and others in Russia were identified as True and Free Seventh Day Adventists. Some later followed suit, for example, Davidian Seventh Day Adventists (the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists of Waco, Texas being the most notoriously covered by the media in recent times).
By 1980 several other Seventh-day Adventist groups began to sprout and, as a perceived threat was posed to the General Conference Corporation's financial empire, the Corporation trademarked the term SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST to control the use of its trade name. Pioneers of early SDA faith would have loathed such an “unholy union” of church with state, but "times have changed" is the common excuse offered for this antithetical departure from Adventist roots. The authentic Seventh-day Adventist faith claims only one "creed" which is "the Bible and the Bible alone." In 1980, however, the General Conference organization adopted a written creed of "27 fundamental beliefs" by which they could eventually define a Seventh-day Adventist adherent. This narrow and confining creed would disqualify the very pioneers of the SDA faith from church membership, since they rejected the doctrine of the Trinity as having its origin in paganism. Thus arose the Historic Seventh-day Adventist Churches, the Pioneer SDAs, the Ancient SDAs, the Free Seventh-day Adventists, the Fundamental SDAs, etc. By the year 2000 there were no fewer than 30 separate versions of "Seventh-day Adventism," worldwide. This scattering process is nothing new to church history, occurring whenever confusion and apostasy set in; the Baptists and Methodists serve as two outstanding examples of this denominational fragmentation.
We are pleased to invite you to learn of the Seventh-day Adventist faith as handed down to us by our fathers. We encourage you to study Holy Scripture and discover that Seventh-day Adventism in its purest form is the religion of the Bible, declaring “the power of God unto salvation.” If you are "hungering and thirsting after righteousness," you shall be blessed to know that our Heavenly Father has a family on earth that "keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Would you care to join us in our commitment to truth, and preparation for the soon second coming of Christ?
A Creation Seventh Day (and) Adventist Church
UNITED STATES FIELD OFFICE
1162 Old Highway 45 South
Guys, Tennessee 38339
General Conference SDA v. Walter McGill, et. al.
The Seventh-day Adventist Trademark Lawsuit
"Earth's Final Apostasy 1: Sued by a Fictitious Person," by Walter "Chick" McGill "Earth's Final Apostasy 2: Hated of All Men for [His] Name’s Sake," by Walter "Chick" McGill "Earth's Final Apostasy 3: With LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL?" by Walter "Chick" McGill "Earth's Final Apostasy 4: Epilogue - Earth's Last Day of Grace," by Walter "Chick" McGill
NEWSBREAK: SDA Trademark Alert!
Late-breaking NEWS: GCC Threatens A CSDA Church in Guys, Tennessee
Because those who were once the depositaries of truth became unfaithful to their sacred trust,
the LORD chose others who would receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness,
and would advocate truths that were not in accordance with the ideas of the religious leaders.
And then these leaders, in the blindness of their minds, give full sway to what is supposed
to be righteous indignation against the ones who have set aside cherished fables.
Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 69, 70
Legal UpdatesLetter of demand to owner of Davidian SDA domain names:Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
Update 07/19/05: It has been revealed to us that the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists has begun to move forward with their expected legal persecution of the Creation Seventh Day (and) Adventist Church. A letter has been drafted, but not yet received by our members, which follows the same mode of delivery as was undertaken in the above-mentioned letter to the Davidian, and the previous letters of demand that have been sent to various other Adventist believers over time. With prayer, and by the grace of the Almighty, we will stand in the face of this great evil, and witness for the purity of the Faith of our Savior.
Update 07/22/05: Pastor Walter "Chick" McGill has drafted a letter to the lawfirm being used by the General Conference to enforce the Trademark asking for their understanding in the delay of his receiving the letter, as he is away currently on an evangelistic mission. The Letter may be read HERE.
Update 10/21/05: Pastor "Chick" has received a certified letter from the General Conference Corporation's attorneys, demanding the surrender of several domain names. This letter appears, upon inspection, to be merely a copy of a previous letter sent to the owner of some domain names maintained by the owner of davidiansda.org, containing only insignificant alterations (see Davidian related communication in the above links). From the letter itself, it appears that the facts of the correspondance have been confused, as they refer to communications with him through the Davidian SDAs (that never took place), and all but one of the domain names they cited are / were owned by the Davidians.. Pastor "Chick" has sent an answer to the letter via certified mail.
Demand letter : Introductory letter Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
Pastor "Chick"s response may be read HERE.
Update 03/22/06: The General Conference attorneys have now sent documents to our web-hosting company complaining of certain trademark violations among our domain names. As documentation becomes available we plan to post for your reading.
Update 05/27/06: We have received notice that the General Conference Corporation of SDAs is now threatening our internet domain names on the world scale. Pastor "Chick" has received email notification that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center has received a complaint against several of our websites, this complaint being dated at May 23rd of this year.
We have also received word that Vincent Ramik (attorney for the General Conference Corporation) has sent a box containing some kind of information to pastor "Chick." As it turns out, pastor "Chick" had recently left on an evangelism trip to Canada, to meet with some of the brethren there who were baptized this last Feast of Unleavened Bread. As such he was not available to receive the package (which we assume is related to the WIPO complaint). When we discover the contents of this package, we will inform our readers.
For now, the CSDA Church covets the prayers of those who have been following our work and ministry. If this matter indeed goes as the Conference would have it go on a world scale, things could move forward very quickly to the end; for when the Trademark is imposed upon the people of Yah on a worldwide stage, it will not be long before the voice of the Witness ceases to be heard on the earth, and then the end will come. Our prayers are with all those who have been sympathizers and supporters, and may Yahshua find our houses in order upon His grand and glorious return.
Update 06/09/06: We have received notice that the official arbitration procedure has begun as of June 8th of this year. We are now in the 20-day response process, and will be making reply to WIPO in a timely fashion, Yahweh willing. The complaint document itself may be viewed HERE. Let us be fervent in prayer as matters continue to develop.
Update 06/16/06: We finally received a seven pound package from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in Geneva, Switzerland. It contains the complaint filed by the General Conference, along with all annexes and other official policies set for the arbitration process. This is evidently a duplication of the box that the General Conference attorney tried to have delivered to Pastor "Chick" at the church house in Tennessee.
Update 06/28/06: Our response has been sent to the WIPO doman dispute center by email and by FedEx as of yesterday, 27th of June. The response may be viewed HERE, and the list of annexes sent may be viewed HERE. Our prayers continue upward for Yah's perfect will to be done in this situation.
Update 09/02/06: We have received the decision of the arbitration panel appointed by WIPO. The decision of the panel is that all four of the domain names under dispute must be turned over to the Conference. This will be done automatically at some point in the near future; therefore, we are in the process of updating our current site to house all of our relevant data. We are anticipating that local litigation may follow at any time, therefore we ask for the continued prayers and support of those who protest any and all unions of civil power with ecclesiastical authority. The decision documents that pertain to our case may be read HERE and HERE. The official online WIPO decision may be accessed HERE.
Update 09/27/06: The SDA trademark lawsuit expected for the past 15 years has now begun. The "image of the beast" is imposing "the mark" on the "Remnant Church of Creation 7th Day Adventists." The legal complaint may be viewed by clicking HERE or HERE for printable PDF format.An explanation (in Real Audio) of our reasons for not yielding the name "SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST" can be accessed HERE.
Update 10/10/06: The General Conference of SDA is now threatening Pastor "Chick" with a demand letter regarding a CSDA domain name in Canada. See images of the letter and Canadian trademark documents following:
Demand Letter, page 1
Demand Letter, page 2
Trademark Document, page 1
Trademark Document, page 2
The Canadian website is accessed HERE or HERE
Pastor "Chick" will be answering the demand letter in a timely manner.
Update 10/20/06: Read Pastor "Chick's" response to Associate General Counsel Parker's demand letter HERE.
Update 11/01/06: The new book entitled Finally... Out of Darkness, Into His Marvelous Light was mailed to all of the Conference Offices in North America today. Read the CSDA Church Membership Cover Letter enclosed with the gift book HERE.
Update 12/24/06: The official scheduling order for the McGill lawsuit has been received. A jury trial is set for January 7, 2008 (a three-day trial is expected).
Update 03/25/07: A two-page letter has been sent out to a large number of Adventists to inform them of the Trademark lawsuit, of which most are unaware. Positive responses have already begun to be received as a result of this information.
Update 05/17/07: ALetter of Appeal dated April, 2007, has been drafted to and posted for the benefit of the General Conference Seventh-day Adventist membership.
Letter of Concern: Written from an elderly Adventist Dad to his beloved Son (a prominent SDA Church evangelist).
Update 11/17/07: Judge James Todd rescheduled the three-day jury trial to begin June 2, 2008. Lead attorney for the Plaintiffs, Jeffrey Tew, has officially withdrawn from the trademark lawsuit.
Update 04/29/08: A court order was filed by the judge denying the General Conference motion to prevent a jury trial. This is a signal victory in the McGill case.
Update 05/30/08: Judge Daniel Breen rescheduled the three-day jury trial to begin Monday, October 6th at 9:30 a.m.
Update 06/16/08: An order granting in part and denying in part [pdf/doc] the General Conference's motion for a summary judgment was issued on June 11, 2008. The trademarked name "Seventh day Adventist" was upheld by the judge's decision. A complete victory was denied the Conference, however, regarding the words "SDA and "Adventist." As more information about what this decision means for the CSDA movement becomes available, we will update this page.
Update 09/04/08: The trial has been moved to an unset date pending a court-mandated mediation conference between Pastor McGill and the Plaintiffs, set for October 2nd. The purpose of the conference is to attempt to reach a comprimise regarding the remaining issues - the acronym "S.D.A." and the name "Adventist." Pastor McGill has certified to the court that he will not be attending the mediation conference.
Update 05/27/09: An injunction is issued by judge Daniel Breen enjoining the Church from using the names Seventh-day Adventist, Seventh-day, Adventist, or the acronym SDA with an order to submit a sworn notice of compliance to the Court by June 17, 2009. No compliance report was filed.
Update 08/20/09: An appellant brief has been filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by the defendant.
Update 11/21/09: The attorneys for the General Conference have submitted a proposed order of contempt to the Court. While it has yet to be accepted or rejected by the Judge, it is highly significant as it reveals clearly the intent and desires of the General Conference towards dissenters. Written as though it were by the Judge himself, the General Conference seeks in the document - among other things - the immediate arrest and incarceration of Pastor McGill as soon as he returns to any part of the United States, the dispatch of a U.S. Federal Marshal to the Guys property - accompanied by and under the direction of the General Conference's representative - to confiscate and destroy all signs and materials displaying or even containing the terms "Adventist," "SDA," "CSDA," etc., the removal of several domain names and websites, including several domains such as thefourthangel.net which have no relation to the Church name, and the authority to carry out an investigation into the identities of anyone other than Pastor McGill who may be assisting in proclaiming the CSDA message.
The sheer similarity between the words in this document and the words of the Papacy during the Reformation are so striking that they ought to make any supporter of the trademark policy blush in shame. A document written by the church for the magistrate to adopt and enforce, authorizing the destruction of heretical materials by an officer of the law acting under the direct physical supervision of an agent of the church, the imprisonment of dissenters wherever they may be found until such a time as they recant, and the authority to seek out and find any others who dare defy the ruling - all because of the name in which we teach our faith. Truly the image bears a striking resemblance to the beast.
Update 12/14/09: The Magistrate Judge has filed a report and recommendation with the Court advising it to adopt the contempt of court charges requested by the Conference and award them attorney's fees, as well as the confiscation of virtually all domain names related to the CSDA faith, whether making use the name or not. The Magistrate Judge advised against the use of U.S. Marshals, as the GC had requested, and instead advised the Court to order the GC to "see ye to it," taking down the signs either themselves or through their agents, and to present us with the bill. Surely, the sight of the General Conference's agents reaching up to destroy and obscure the name "Seventh Day Adventist" will be of great significance in the eyes of the watching universe.
Update 1/6/10: Judge Breen adopts the Magistrate judge's recommendation in full and issues an order of contempt against Pastor McGill. The order also authorizes the seizure of several websites suspected of association with or ownership by the CSDA Church, including some not violative of the injunction.
Update 2/4//10: The Conference attorneys issue a list of questions to be asked Pastor McGill at a second deposition hearing, including questions as to the specific bank account numbers and property holdings of not only his own, but those belonging to anyone who may be considered to be in any way associated with him - even his relatives. Pastor McGill has certified he will not attend the deposition.
Update 2/11/10: Notice is received from the attorneys for the General Conference that the raid by Federal Marshals on behalf of the General Conference will occur on February 12th at 11:00 am. Advertisements are run in area newspapers for a religious liberty rally on the date to protest the infringement of First Amendment rights. The same day, the General Conference sends notice of the date being changed for undisclosed reasons to the 16th. The date of the rally is likewise altered to the 16th at 9:00 am. ABC News in Jackson, Tennessee covers the impending raid and trademark conflict.
Update 2/16/10: Attorneys for the General Conference, accompanied by a Constable and videographer, arrive at the CSDA Church building with a sign crew in tow and destroy the church's signs. Officials also confiscate various religious materials, books, and articles from the building while a picket line protests the church-state union and trademark enforcement. During the raid, the audio testimony of Dr. David Aguilar is played via loudspeakers on the property. ABC News, The Daily Corinthian, and the McNairy County News offer coverage of the event, and a video of "some reaching up their hands to remove the banner, and obscure it's significance" may be seen here.
Update 3/8/10: Signs are restored on the Church building via white paint. Pictures may be seen here and here. ABC News and The Daily Corinthian cover the event.
Update 3/18/10: Correspondence takes place between Joel Galanter, attorney for the General Conference, and Lucan Chartier, Pastor McGill's assistant, regarding a subpoena served on him in conjunction with the case. Mr. Chartier indicates he will not attend the deposition, nor will he resist if the Conference wishes to start contempt proceedings with the intention of placing him in jail.
Update 3/25/10: A motion for contempt is issued against Lucan Chartier for both refusal to appear at deposition and the repainting of the Church signs. It is apparent from prior correspondence that the sole aim of this is incarceration, as Mr. Chartier has certified that contempt will yield neither compliance nor monetary gain. Three other individuals are also named in the paper, despite not being members of the Church nor being present or aware of the sign's repainting, after they were identified as being present at the protests on February 16th.
Update 3/26/10: A motion for more sanctions and further contempt charges is filed against Pastor McGill by the Conference, this time in response to his refusal to attend a Discovery hearing to answer such questions as specific bank account information and properties owned by himself or anyone who may in any way be potentially associated with him, including relatives and employees. The full list of questions intended to be posed may be found here.
Update 4/03/10: We have received a copy of the oral arguments held in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinatti, Ohio on March 11th. The audio may be downloaded in Realaudio format here and in mp3 format here. The file is approximately 35 minutes in length. Voices in the audio transcript are Charles Holliday for the defendant, Joel Galanter for the General Conference, and Judges Sutton, Kennedy, and Moore as the questioners. A ruling is expected in the upcoming months.
Update 5/22/10: Subpoenas are received by Lucan Chartier and three others to appear at a contempt hearing in Jackson, TN on the 25th of May at 10:00 am.
Update 5/29/10: An audio transcript of Mr. Chartier's testimony on May 25th is made available. ABC 7 in Jackson covers the hearing via interview, as cameras were not allowed in the Courtroom. The General Conference's attorneys dropped the request for sanctions against the other individuals who were not present for the repainting of the signs, however maintained their request for the Court to issue sanctions against Mr. Chartier and Pastor McGill, specifying a request for "civil commitment." It is probable that this was intended to mean incarceration, despite the term itself generally referring to a Court-ordered commitment to a mental health institute.
Heretofore, the entire matter has been at the choice of the General Conference. The Court order has been violated, and no CSDA member can cease doing so at the cost of their convictions. The only question has been whether the Conference would, as they did in the Marik case, press the matter to the Court and require them to enforce that order by incarcerating Commandment-keeping Christians. That has now been answered beyond all reasonable question. The Seventh-day Adventist denomination officially considers the protection of it's trademark more valuable than the freedom of Adventists themselves, and has, as the Jewish nation once before it, demanded "If thou let him go, thou art not the friend of Caesar." A Court ruling is expected in the near future.
Update 6/26/10: The report and recommendation to Judge Breen is filed by Magistrate Judge Bryant. Recommending that the Court find both Mr. Chartier and Pastor McGill in contempt, the Judge takes opportunity to give several observations regarding his perceptions, many of which are blatently inaccurate and/or condescending. Among other statements, the Judge commends Mr. Chartier for his sincerity and knowledge then proceeds to dismiss him as a misguided and inexperienced youth. He further reports that the Defendant took the name arbitrarily (despite a prior Court acknowledgment that it was based on Divine revelation), that they seized a property right (despite religious identity being an entirely different matter from property), and that they are creating confusion to the detriment of the General Conference (despite no evidence of such ever having been presented).
He further states that the proper method of resolving disputes in doctrine would be to take up the matter with the leaders of the Adventist church rather than separate (demonstrating a clear ignorance of the fact that such was attempted repeatedly), to take a different and distinctive name from the Plantiff's (disregarding the fact that the Defendant does use a different and distinctive name), and re-affirms the notion that the Court and the Plaintiff are not interfering with the Defendant's ability to freely practice their religion (despite it having been being repeatedly and forcefully presented that the use of the name is a part of the religion). As this is a report and recommendation to Judge Breen, the final decision is being awaited from his desk.
Update 8/10/10: The Court of Appeals hands down it's judgment and opinion on the case. Despite acknowledging that the beliefs of Pastor McGill and the CSDA Church are sincere, based on Divine mandate, and that the enforcement of the mark "Seventh-day Adventist" substantially burdens the practice of their religion, they proceed to affirm the decision of the District Court regardless, ruling in favor of the General Conference. Interestingly, to reach this conclusion the Court disregarded prior precedent on the meaning of RFRA, concluding that it could not apply to a private party attempting to enforce Federal laws on another, but instead only if the Government itself is a plaintiff or defendant.
Essentially, it does not matter if our freedom to exercise our religion is denied, so long as it is a church doing it with Federal power and enforcement, and not the Government itself initiating the action. The Court found that they did not have to meet any compelling burden test due to their rejection of RFRA, and concluded that while it is unlikely anyone would accidentally join the wrong church due to a similarity in name, they could envision someone reading the teachings of the CSDA Church and ascribing them to the General Conference mistakenly. In summary, the Court of Appeals ruled that questions of confusion over doctrine and religious writings are the domain of the U.S. Court system, subject to it's enforcement. It further ruled that appeals to religious liberty laws or requests for the Government to show "compelling interest" for this violation of religious freedom are irrelevant and will go unanswered so long as it is a church that brings the question and asks the Government to do it's bidding, and not the Government itself.
The inescapable conclusion is that religious persecution in the United States is perfectly acceptable so long as the Government is the tool of the church and not acting alone. Thus it was that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists formed an image to Papal Rome for the enforcement of it's mark. As we are still awaiting the ruling of Judge Breen regarding the request for contempt of court and subsequent penalties for Pastor McGill and Mr. Chartier, we expect the results of this church-state union to become apparent to all in a short period of time.
Update 10/30/10: Acting on the Report and Recommendation filed in June, the Conference's attorneys once again have the signs removed on October 6th. Bro. Chartier repaints the signs within a week. A subsequent motion for yet another contempt hearing is filed as a result, and a subpoena is served to Bro. Chartier to appear before Judge Bryant again on December 16th.
Update 11/08/10: A petition for a writ of certiorari has been filed with the Supreme Court of the United States, requesting the Court to hear the appeal. The primary legal question under dispute is whether the RFRA may be applied to civil suits in Federal Court based upon Federal law.
Update 1/15/11: As a result of the scheduled contempt hearing on December 16th, Judge Bryant issues another report and recommendation to Judge Breen, this time advising fines and specific jail terms for Bro. Chartier and Pastor McGill. The R&R follows the pattern of the prior one filed by Judge Bryant in June, containing more factual errors than are valuable to cite, in addition to the new element of a Biblical argument inserted into the legal document. Both Bro. Chartier and Pastor McGill file objections to the report with the Court on various grounds, including inappropriate procedure and RFRA violations.
Webmaster: CSDA Church Email
Printed in The New York Times, March 28, 1993, section 4, page 14.
To the Editor:
In covering the tragic armed conflict between the Federal Government and the Branch Davidians at Waco, Tex., wire services have identified the cult as a "splinter group of the Seventh Day Adventist Church." Since the mass media also use David Koresh to preach their own gospel against "religious zealots," some might suspect the Seventh Day Adventists of a similar cultic trend.
As a priest of the Orthodox Church who writes on religion and culture, I am hardly a missionary for the Seventh Day Adventists. In the Vietnam War, however, I served as an Army medic with many S.D.A.s, as they were called. As conscientious objectors, these young men refused to bear arms but agreed to serve as medical personnel. Most of those I trained and served with were black Southerners.
Vegetarian, cheerful, stolidly faithful to their tradition, they were harassed mercilessly by drill instructors, who routinely insulted their beliefs. Some were chosen to participate in a "white coat" program, where they served as human subjects for what they thought was humanitarian research. Later, the program was identified as a facet of our germ warfare program. (Cynics point out the Seventh Day Adventists were chosen as guinea pigs because their beliefs forbid them to bring suit in civil court [see Adventist source quoted below].)
Most often, Seventh Day Adventists were sent to combat units, where without even a sidearm they crawled directly into enemy fire to patch the wounded and retrieve the dead. Their casualty rates were among the highest of the war. There are names of Seventh Day Adventists etched in the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Their memory is seared into those hapless cynics who served with them. They were the bravest, most committed, most heroic Americans I have ever known.
Given that they openly confessed Jesus as Lord, a habit the mass media find annoying, I guarantee that Hollywood or the secular press will never tell their story as a counterweight to people like David Koresh. But to honor the memory of those whose faith led them to die, rather than take up arms, we can spare the Seventh Day Adventists in condemnation of cults.
Elijah Kresge Professor
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, Pa., March 20, 1993
"Now I want to state a little further upon the principle that no Christian, being a citizen of the kingdom of God, can of right start any procedure in connection with civil government. After it is started by the government itself, that is another question . . . I repeat therefore, that upon the principles which govern kingdoms and governments, the very principle of the law in heaven, or law in earth, a Christian cannot start any procedure in connection with civil government. And of all Christians, SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS cannot do it. The very keeping of the Sabbath forbids it."
A. T. Jones, 1895 General Conference Bulletin, page 28.
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