Walter E. Carson
Office of General Counsel
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Col. Pike
Silver Spring, Md. 20904
Dear Walter Carson,
Recently a copy of a letter was shared with me that was written by you on November 6, 1996 and sent to the Rogue Valley Historic Seventh-day Adventist Church. In this letter you requested that they remove their sign, identifying them as Seventh-day Adventists, and that they drop any further reference to Seventh-day Adventist in their communications.
Frankly, I do not understand how you can make such a request! I thought that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists represented religious liberty! Since the members of Rogue Valley Historic Seventh-day Adventist Church quite apparently consider themselves to be Seventh-day Adventists, shouldn't they have the religious freedom to say that they are? Does the General Conference have the right to say who is and who isn't a Seventh-day Adventist? That right, I believe, belongs to God only! It is a matter of conscience that should be left between these individuals and God.
I have been told that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists believes that it has this right because of their trademark. If this trademark was obtained for "business purposes", that is one thing. But, to use this trademark to persecute other believers and take away their religious freedom is not Christlike! It should not be done!
Please pray about this seriously and cease to make this kind of request! Please heed Jesus' response to his disciples in Luke 9:49-50. His disciples told Him of someone who had been casting out demons in Jesus' name, but was not part of their group. Jesus said to them "Forbid him not!". Please, do not forbid others to act in Jesus' name while using the name of Seventh-day Adventist, the name God gave to those who 'keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus', just because they are not part of your "group". They apparently have their own conscientious reasons why they are not part of the General Conference churches.
I plead with you to cease making this type of request, that restricts religious liberty, for Jesus' sake, for your sake, and for the sake of all of God's true people, regardless of what name they believe they should use to represent their faith.
- Prayerfully yours,
P. O. Box 284
Spring City, Tn. 37381