Relationships with Other Christian Churches and Religious Organizations

To avoid creating misunderstanding or friction in our relationships with other Christian churches and religious organizations, the following guidelines have been set forth:

  1. We recognize those agencies that lift up Christ before men as a part of the divine plan for evangelization of the world, and we hold in high esteem Christian men and women in other communions who are engaged in winning souls to Christ.
  2. When interdivision work brings us in contact with other Christian societies and religious bodies, the spirit of Christian courtesy, frankness, and fairness shall prevail at all times.
  3. We recognize that true religion is based on conscience and conviction.  It is therefore to be our constant purpose that no selfish interest or temporal advantage shall draw any person to our communion and that no tie shall hold any member save the belief and conviction that in this way the true connection with Christ is found.  If a change of conviction leads a member of our church to feel no longer in harmony with Seventh-day Adventist faith and practice, we recognize not only the right but also the responsibility of that member to change, without opprobrium, religious affiliation in accord with belief.  We expect other religious bodies to respond in the same spirit of religious liberty.
  4. Before admitting to church membership members of other religious organizations, care shall be exercised to ascertain that the candidates are moved to change their religious affiliation by religious conviction and out of regard to their personal relationship with God.
  5. A person under censure of another religious organization for clearly established fault in Christian morals or character shall not be considered eligible for membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church until there is evidence of repentance and reformation.
  6. 6) The Seventh-day Adventist Church is unable to confine its mission to restricted geographical areas because of its understanding of the gospel commission’s mandate.  In the providence of God and the historical development of His work for men, denominational bodies and religious movements have arisen from time to time to give special emphasis to different phases of gospel truth.  In the origin and rise of the Seventh-day Adventist people, the burden was laid upon us to emphasize the gospel of Christ’s second coming as an imminent event, calling for the proclamation of Biblical truths in the setting of the special message of preparation as described in Bible prophecy, particularly in Revelation 14:6-14.  This message commissions the preaching of the “everlasting gospel to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” bringing it to the attention of all peoples everywhere.  Any restriction which limits witness to specified geographical areas therefore becomes an abridgment of the gospel commission.  The Seventh-day Adventist Church also acknowledges the rights of other religious persuasions to operate without geographic restrictions.

This is text of ISE Working Policy 500.110 in the General Conference Working Policy.