Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Why Isn’t the Seventh-day Adventist Church Endorsing Ben Carson for President?

Why Isn’t the Seventh-day Adventist Church Endorsing Ben Carson for President?

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Ben Carson, a longtime member of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., is becoming a familiar face on the national news since recently declaring his candidacy for president of the United States.

Although Carson is a longtime Seventh-day Adventist, the church will not support or oppose him or any other candidates. Walter Carson, Esq., Columbia Union Conference general counsel, shares more about why the church must take this stance:

“The [Adventist] Church is an advocate of church-state separation and, because of the strength of that advocacy, the church traditionally has never endorsed a political candidate,” says Carson. “The concern is that it is like a slippery slope, that once you enter the political realm, it can get very complicated and difficult to maintain your principles of church and state separation.”

Endorsing a candidate could also cause the church to lose its not-for-profit status, which could lead to losing its tax-exempt status, says Carson.

“Ben Carson is a political candidate who happens to be a Seventh-day Adventist,” adds Walter Carson. “He is entitled to his own opinions, take his own positions and, conceivably, he might take a position that would either be awkward for the church or be contrary to the beliefs and convictions of some church members.”

What Does the Adventist Church Believe?

Walter Carson adds that it is better for the church to take the high road and articulate beliefs and let church members, based on that guidance, make their own decisions on how they should vote.

As the campaign continues, Carson’s faith and the church’s beliefs may also come under the media spotlight. Click here to read more about the background and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


Feature photo: Ben Carson is one of the speakers during Steve King and Citizen United's Freedom Summit in Des Monies, Iowa. 1/24/2015 Photo by Clay Masters, iprimages

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