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Seventh-Day Adventists/Seventh-day Adventist religion - a cult?

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CJ wrote at 2007-10-03 13:19:34
The Seventh-Day Adventist's are not a cult.  We do not condemn people who disagree; we do try however, to understand their beliefs and learn from each other to a point where the person accepts the Bible as truth.  We do have a strong devotion, only to Jesus Christ.  Our church isn't the only church with truth.  Some Adventist's say that only SDA go to heaven; that is not true; however, I believe that many non-SDA will be saved.  We follow doctrines unique to our group?  We follow the Bible, so if that is unique to you, there must be a problem.  I thought that all Christians follow the Bible.  If you actually study the Bible you will find what you are looking for whether or not you like SDA's.  Matthew 7:7-12.  Read it; it is a good promise.


ROSALIE wrote at 2010-02-27 16:18:05
I am a baptised SDA.  I was brought up to observed the Holy Sabbath.  I believe that the answers we are looking for is in the Holy Bible and we should always look to the bible for proper guidance and direction. One of the best ways to achieve this is to buy a book of concordance and an amplified bible because most of us do not understand the traditional bible.  These three go together (Holy Bible, Amplified Bible & Book Of Concordance). How can we know the truth if we do not understand the commandments of God. Most people do not celebrate the Holy Sabbath because the 4th commandment is too strict. SDAs are avid observers of the Ten Commandments.  We are also avid observers of Liviticus 11. We get our teaching from both the Old and New Testaments.  SDAs are not judgemental because all human beings are free moral agents and are free to do what ever we choose. The bottom line is that SDAs are true bible reading group of peaople who live our lives based on what the Word of God says WE ARE NOT A CULT.


SDA member wrote at 2010-04-27 00:24:33
Well, I can say that you havent studied the bible correctly. I am an SDA member and am disappointed to hear that the SDA church you were going to 'threatened your life' and also condemned. This church is no cult and by all means shouldnt have threatened your life or condemned you. I can answer easily all of your points with Bible Truth that you are clearly misunderstanding or were taught wrongly by the church that you were learning from. I believe the SDA church is the true church and that EGW was a prophet of god, however, this does not mean that only those within the SDA church will be saved at the end times. God will call all his people out of all churches at the end. I suggest you study the book of revelation and learn it correctly. You will soon realise the seal of god is the 7th day sabbath. Pary to god before you read and study so that he can show  you the truth. some websites to look up: www.amazingfacts.com, www.adventistdefenseleague.com


Geni wrote at 2010-05-09 05:21:16
You can verify these statements. Google Ellen G. White Estate (official site).  England did not attack during the Civil War and Ellen White did not say that they would.  Desire of Ages page 293 talks about Judas' motives in wanting to be a disiple.  It does not say that Jesus rejected him.  It says just the opposite that Jesus put him in a posiion to have maximum exposure to Jesus' love.Sal is a Catholic and has a bias against SDA Church.  If you want the truth, go to the source!  The other statements are untrue and twisted too.


Joe Irwin wrote at 2010-07-17 13:33:05
I read and followed up on two of your EG White statements randomly. You represented both falsely so why should people believe your accusation that Adventist are a cult? On the one about writing being on both sides of each tablet of stone, here is Mrs. White's exact quote from the page of the book Early Writings: Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six. She does not use the term front or back.


jim reece wrote at 2010-08-07 06:54:24
Hi Sal,you have unavoidably made yourself judge and jury of the USDA church.What church are you going to now,Sal?will you also be their judge and jury?search your heart Sal and you will find that the SDA church is the only church that keep the Sabbath and faith of Jesus Christ.There are no errors in EGW' writing's get someone to go through them with you,am I right to assume,you got your information from someone else,will you not go back to re-educate your self,do you already have a mind set that will continue to blind you throughout your life.Understand this,the Jews keep the Sabbath but don't believe in Jesus,all the other churches are unavoidably following the road to Rome,and you will follow them.STOP and listen to your heart Sal,are you intelligent enough to accept GOD's truth,and what the USDA church preach?GOD's authority is his law,and you are bound to that,so judge not lest ye be judged.Your accusations have now limited your intelligence,and has now shown you for who you really are.I have been convicted by GOD to write you this letter in the hope that it may make you understand the error that you posses and in the light of it all is GOD's word,like me you have chosen to question the authority of GOD,good,because so many of us don't know and have no understanding of GOD's love.When you begin to accept GOD's word,you will begin to learn forgiveness,then you will begin to understand your error and where you went wrong.Ask GOD to forgive you,I know you are looking,you must look harder Sal,stop and smell the roses and accept the things that GOD has installed for you today,If you are'nt going anywhere maybe you could go back and see where you went wrong.THE FAITHFULL.


A Christian Believer wrote at 2010-09-16 23:51:18
I was baptized into the Seventh Day Adventist Church (Forest Park Fl.) At The age of eleven. I was baptized young as I was considered advanced.



I was terrified for everyone I knew, as most were not church members and I would have no one suffer the taste of hell.



Fortunately someone with some understanding showed me a bible verse. The verse had to do with diet and how in latter days people would tell you that it was wrong to eat this or that, and that is the doctrine of demons.



As for my own personal experience, I found myself labeled as a second class member. This was not due to any sin, but due to socioeconomic status.

Though we lived in Lockhart Fl. we were asked to attend their church in Apopka where members were not as wealthy.



I bear no hatred towards the SDA church but must acknowledge the truth regardless. I also pray that those with understanding but currently within the church will be as lucky as I was.


David Brewer wrote at 2010-09-22 21:35:04
i have been a seventh day adventist all my life,44 years,we are definitely not a cult..brother u are very misinformed with your 5 statements..maybe you should study with an adventist or an adventist pastor so you are better informed and not ignorantly answering questions when you have a complete misunderstanding about what you are talking about..


David J. Conklin wrote at 2010-11-15 17:00:29
PROPHECY: England will attack the U.S. during the Civil War (TC, vol. 1, p.259).



This claim misses the two "ifs" in the paragraph.



>PROPHECY: The earth will be depopulated soon after 1864 (TC, vol. 8, p.94).



Ther's nothing on that page that would support such a claim.


David J. Conklin wrote at 2010-11-15 17:01:23
>PROPHECY: “Old Jerusalem would never be built up” (EW, p.75).



She's talking about the kingdom--not the city.


David J. Conklin wrote at 2010-11-15 17:02:40
>Below is a brief list of some of EGW Bible contradictions and false prophecies.



These were refuted a long time ago and can be ssen on the EGW Estate web site.


David J. Conklin wrote at 2010-11-15 17:06:47
>The SDA is a legalistic church.



Actually, they do not teach that you can be saved by your own works.  You can only be saved by faith in God's grace through the shed blood of His Son.



>They stress Old Covenant law over New Testament grace.



Actually we show that the reason you need grace is becasue we are sinners who have broken God's law which is "holy, and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12).  We do not teach that you are under the Old Covenant.  Only that God's law is immutable and still shows us our sins and need of a Savior.


Cynthia wrote at 2010-12-04 18:08:53
Dear Sal,

I am sorry that your experience with that particular SDA church was so hurtful.  What your experience was is not what the SDA church teaches or represents.  I am not going to "war with you with words", but I will pray for you.  You were obviously hurt by this experience and have purposed in your heart to turn others away from our church because of it, or maybe you went to the SDA church to confirm your preconceived notions and with that mindset you will most assuredly find error because that is what you seek to find.  My hope is that you pray that the Lord will give you a heart that truly seeks the truth and with that heart start looking.  I can guarantee that you will find the truth.  I don't want you to be lost.  Your comments will not stop the truth from going forth, nor will it stop our church from growing, but these incriminate statements will harden your heart so that the Holy Spirit can not work with you.....Harden not your heart Sal, its not to late.


Fred Amirault wrote at 2011-02-14 05:13:51
In one respect, the SDA is very biblical. The only authority for the Sabbath came in God's( the word who was with God, according to John, Jesus)giving of the Law to Moses. God over, and over again told Moses that the people are not to follow in the pagan ways of Men. Israel did not do it, and got banished to Russia, and Babylon. They worshipped the sun-gods on Sunday as most Christians do today. There is no biblical authority changing the Sabbath.Jesus did not tell the Apostles after his resurrection that Now, in my new covenant, we are now to consider the first day as the New Sabbath. If there is biblical authority changing the Sabbaths, and God's 3 feast, please show your biblical truth, not that he arose on the first day, It could have been done to honor the Sabbath. Read in Deut. 12:28-31. Look at all of the natural disasters taking place today, and look at the one place that has been devoid  of it. I could go on, but I will stick to just the Sabbath


Tia N. Fetterolf wrote at 2011-02-15 03:57:22
Sal I am personally a Seventh-Day Adventist and while most of the time we are mistaken for a cult we are not one. Also I have studied different religions in college I took Western Religions last semester, and am currently am studying Eastern Religions. A cult WORSHIPS a prophet or prophetess we do not worship Ellen White, while she is an important figure in our church it is because she helped to start the church and gathered people together and was a great missionary, she was truly Christlike. Our religion does have its flaws and may think that it is the true church but most churches believe themselves to be the true church (I have attended many different churches and have a great number of friends outside the Adventist church). Yes, we do have doctrines, but they are based out of the Bible and can be traced back to not just one scripture taken out of context but many scriptures in their original context. While I'm sure it is true that some people within our church "condemn" other people I feel that you shouldn't naturally assume that it is in the churches standards to do that, we do not condemn there will be other people outside of the S.D.A. church that will go to heaven and there will be some hypocrites within the SDA church that will not be going to heaven, sadly, as in every church there are some hypocrites that only strive to appear righteous in order to impress their friends at church. Our goal here on Earth, as with all Christians is to lead people to Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. While it is true that we believe that we should do good works it is not for the purpose of being saved, it is because we love Jesus and our fellow man that we want to feed the hungry, help the homeless, visit the hospitalized, and visit the shut ins and widows. It is because we truly care about others that we do this, and this compassion can only be acquired by Jesus Christ our Redeemer and friend. There are many other people from different denominations that do the same thing as we do and they are not called a cult. .  Also you are twisting the words of Ellen White, she NEVER claimed to be better than the prophets in the Bible, she is merely saying that she is not just taking on the work of a prophetess but also leading others to Christ, personally I don't think that that is a bad thing to do. I apologize for the SDA members that have left a bad impression on you Sal and if they did what you said that they did then I would have to say that they are wolves in sheep's clothing that were manipulated by Satan to push you away from the church, if you have any questions on anything please don't hesitate to contact me I want to be able to help you see precisely what true Adventism is. :) Also, I would urge you to truly study Ellen White's writings and compare them to Biblical passages and while doing this to keep an open mind because once you have one set of beliefs about something secured in your brain it is hard to get them out. Trudy, Sal, if either of you have any questions about Adventists please do not hesitate to contact me, I will answer them to the best of my ability God willing.

         God Bless you both,

         Tia Fetterolf  


Simon wrote at 2011-03-18 07:44:32
Sorry but Trudy's answer is just plain wrong and complete rubbish.  I recommend see the you tube video from famous SDA Evangelist Doug Bachelor, answering many of these claims at:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6pVmY0nuW4



I also suggest Adventist Cult Misconceptions, which has concrete answers to each of these claims at:



http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com


Simon wrote at 2011-03-18 07:51:38
With respect to Trudy's last point first, that Adventist are supposedly legalistic, this is just plain wrong.  She really does not know what she is talking about.



I suggest readers go to: http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com



This is another oft-cited 'proof' that supposedly makes the Seventh-day Adventist Church a cult.  However, Adventists fully confirm the belief in sola fide – justification is by faith alone. As noted in SDA publication Questions on Doctrine, Adventists believe:



“13. That salvation through Christ is by grace alone, through faith in His blood.

14. That entrance upon the new life in Christ is by regeneration, or the new birth.

15. That man is justified by faith.

16. That man is sanctified by the indwelling Christ through the Holy Spirit.”



See: http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q01.htm



No doubt, some individual Adventists behave like legalists, but this is no different from most other Christian groups – including the religious leaders in Jesus’ own day. As even acknowledged by Roman Catholics, who have no reason to show bias to any Protestant group over another:



…Adventists also subscribe to the two Protestant shibboleths, sola scriptura (the Bible is the sole rule of faith) and sola fide (justification is by faith alone). Other Protestants, especially conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, often attack Adventists on these points, claiming they do not really hold them, which is often used as "proof" that they are "a cult." However, along the spectrum of Protestantism (from high-church Lutherans and Anglicans to low-church Pentecostals and Baptists), there is little agreement about the meaning of these two phrases or about the doctrines they are supposed to represent.”  (emphasis added)



See: http://www.catholic.com/library/Seventh_Day_Adventism.asp



As to the charge that the SDA Church is very authoritarian and controlling, it should be kept in mind that there are 20 million Adventists, Adventism is a theological spectrum, and with respect the SDA Church leadership has little control over its members.  As proof of this, there are thousands of 'Independent SDA Ministries' out there, such as 3ABN media network, which is given tacit support by the SDA leadership but not officially part of or endorsed by the SDA Church.



This is another oft-cite 'proof' raised by critics that the SDA is supposedly a cult.  However, as observed by non-Adventist theologian Kenneth Samples, of the Christian Research Institute:

“As an interested outsider with my nose pressed to the window, I see quite a bit of theological diversity within Seventh-day Adventism. In some ways it reminds me of present-day evangelicalism. One strand of Adventism appears quite traditional, another very liberal, and still another distinctly evangelical. There also seems to be a segment that is atheological in nature and reflects what I would call a cultural Adventism.”  (emphasis added)



See: http://qod.andrews.edu/docs/08_kenneth_samples.pdf



In fact, some outside Christian commentators have even criticised this lack of centralised control, as it has arguably prevented the SDA Church from stating ‘the official position’ on a range of subjects:



“Because of Adventism's strong emphasis on progressive scriptural understanding, they have been reluctant to adopt any formal creed. Even their doctrinal statement known as the "27 Fundamental Beliefs" allows for change and revision. Historically, this lack of a formal creed and emphasis on progressive biblical understanding has given place to a wide spectrum of doctrinal interpretation among Adventists. In the 1950s, as today, this tolerance of divergent and sometimes heretical views has hurt the unity and doctrinal soundness of their denomination. This was a critical issue for the evangelicals, who could not hope to accurately represent the position of Adventism to the evangelical world if the Adventists themselves lacked consensus as to those positions.” (emphasis added)



See: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0005b.html

And: http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com  


Simon wrote at 2011-03-18 07:55:09
With respect to Trudy's claim that Adventists won't look at the evidence and her life has been threatened, I don't doubt this may be true.  However, it should be remembered that are some 20-million SDA adherents.  Is she implying we are all like that?  Adventism has a huge variation and theological spectrum, from KJV-only hymn-singing conservatives to Christian-rock liberal Evangelical Adventists.


Simon wrote at 2011-03-18 07:58:21
As to Trudy's claim that Adventists call themselves a 'remnant Church' and only have 'the truth', this is only a half-truth and I suggest readers go to:



http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com/



Regarding the first part of the question, Adventists might say they are a unique remnant people with a special message, having the most truth as found in the Bible, but probably not the truth. As with most Christian traditions, the SDA Church has not officially or historically ever held that it possesses all ‘the truth’, in the sense of a final and complete knowledge of God.  As further stated in the preamble to the 28 SDA Fundamentals:



“Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.”



Thus, the SDA Church almost uniquely amongst Christendom has no formal creed other than the Bible (2 Tim 3:16), and recognises the principle of present and progressive scriptural truth (2 Pet 1:12).  As stated by SDA pioneer Ellen White:



“And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character.” (Ellen White, Mar 373.2, emphasis added).



Much like the Early Church, Adventists have a long history of openness and evolution of theological thought, recognising that on earth we at best “now see only a reflection as in a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12).  Even within Adventism, there is a wide spectrum of different positions, from conservative ‘Historical Adventists’ to liberal ‘Evangelical Adventists’:



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Adventist

And: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Adventist



In fact, some outside Christian commentators have even criticised this commitment to progressive scriptural understanding and tolerance of divergent views, as it has arguably prevented the SDA Church from communicating to outsiders what ‘the official position’ of Adventism is on a range of subjects:



“Because of Adventism's strong emphasis on progressive scriptural understanding, they have been reluctant to adopt any formal creed. Even their doctrinal statement known as the "27 Fundamental Beliefs" allows for change and revision. Historically, this lack of a formal creed and emphasis on progressive biblical understanding has given place to a wide spectrum of doctrinal interpretation among Adventists. In the 1950s, as today, this tolerance of divergent and sometimes heretical views has hurt the unity and doctrinal soundness of their denomination. This was a critical issue for the evangelicals, who could not hope to accurately represent the position of Adventism to the evangelical world if the Adventists themselves lacked consensus as to those positions.” (emphasis added)



See: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0005b.html



In relation to the second part of the question regarding the one and exclusive Church, Adventists make the slight but important distinction between the Church at Large, comprising all individual believers found a multiple of Christian denominations, compared with the remnant role of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.  This is a position found in many other ‘mainstream’ Christian groups, who no doubt each believe their denomination has a special mission.



For example, the Roman Catholic Church teaches in the Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, that there is only one Church, where certain non-Catholic communities can on some level form part of the body of Christ.  However, the only one Church is said to ‘subsist’ in the Catholic Church alone:



"Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community… This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him…It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word 'subsists' can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the 'one' Church); and this 'one' Church subsists in the Catholic Church." (emphasis added)



http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_d



Moreover, the Eastern Orthodox Church also considers itself the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, founded by Jesus Christ and His apostles”.

         

See: http://www.saintignatiuschurch.org/orthodoxchurch.html



Even the official statement from the North American Assemblies of God (the largest Evangelical-Protestant denomination) likewise makes the distinction between spiritual unity of the Church at Large, compared with its institutional separation from other denominations:

“The New Testament is clear in its teaching that there is only one Church, which is described as the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22,23; 2:16; 4:4; Col. 1:13-21; Rom. 12:4,5; 1 Cor. 12:12-20). That one Church includes all who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and are serving Him as the Lord of their lives. It is also clear that Jesus’ desire for the Church is that all believers be one, even as He and the Father are one (John 17:11). The unity for which Jesus prayed comes obviously from His redemptive work on the cross (Eph. 2:16). It is a spiritual unity rather than an institutional unity.



...Unity in the body of Christ does not require accepting the beliefs and practices of any group that offers membership to enhance cooperation on social and legislative matters. The Assemblies of God has historically been cautious in making alliances with church groups that do not hold the same biblical priorities, but rather emphasize social concerns over the importance of changing lives through a genuine salvation experience.” (emphasis added)



See: http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/topics/sptlissues_church_at_large.cfm



Finally, one of the main reasons the SDA Church is perhaps wrongly accused of being exclusive, is that unlike many other protestant churches (which are often merely national churches), but similar to the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical-Pentecostal Churches described above, the Seventh-day Adventist Church holds itself to be a universal Church (i.e. literally ‘Catholic’).  As outlined in fundamental belief #14:



“14. Unity in the Body of Christ:

The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)” (emphasis added)



In conclusion, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is no more exclusive or cult-like than many other ‘mainstream’ and ‘orthodox’ Christian denominations.  To the extent that Adventists believe they belong to a universal Church commissioned with a special and remnant truth for the whole world, they are undeniably unapologetic.  This does not, however, make them a cult.  


Simon wrote at 2011-03-18 08:00:57
As to Trudy's claim that Adventist doctrines, such as the Investigative Judgment are based on the views of Ellen White and not the Bible, this is actually not true. I suggest readers go to:



http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com



Ellen White was no-doubt an important pioneer in the early Seventh-day Adventist Church (as it was later named) but she was not its founder.  Technically, it would be more appropriate to identify persons such as Joseph Bares and T. M. Preble as the founders of the SDA Church.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Seventh-day_Adventist_Church



Furthermore, in most cases Ellen White was not the originator of Adventism’s distinctive beliefs, although she no doubt had an important influence on the Church’s early theological development. For example:



·         Rachel Oaks Preston introduced the concept of the seventh-day Sabbath.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Oakes_Preston



·         Hiram Edson and Owen Crosier introduced the concepts about the Heavenly Sanctuary.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_Edson



·         Uriah Smith was the main proponent in formulating a range of beliefs about the end-times, especially concerning the books of



Daniel and Revelation, together with the Adventist doctrines on the Investigative Judgment and Conditional Immortality (Soul Sleep).



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uriah_Smith



·         John Litch appears to be the originator of the belief in the Investigative Judgment.



See: http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/1844/8.html



·         J. N. Andrews also introduced many of Adventism’s end-time beliefs, especially the role of the USA in Bible prophecy.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._N._Andrews



·         J. N. Longborough was instrumental in formulating the Adventist tradition against formulating official creeds:



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._N._Loughborough



·         Joseph Bates also greatly influenced Adventist eschatology, introducing the Great Controversy Theme.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Bates_(Adventist)



By comparison, some of the distinctive messages introduced predominantly by Ellen White, such as the health message, have seen Adventists become amongst the longest living peoples on the planet (and the only group found in the Western World and not in decline).



See: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0511/feature1/learn.html



Furthermore, in many other cases, her main role was actually to oppose new ideas, by guiding the SDA Church towards positions that would be considered more ‘mainstream’ by other Christians.  For example, Ellen White was instrumental in:



·         Opposing semi-Arian opinions of some pioneers and guiding the Church towards a classic Trinitarian view.



See:http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/trinitydoc%20among%20sda.pdf



·         Opposing the Pantheism (God is nature) of John Harvey Kellogg (i.e. of Corn Flakes fame).



See: http://www.everythingimportant.org/seventhdayAdventists/pantheism.htm



·         Opposing legalism, by affirming the doctrine of justification and righteousness by faith, against considerable internal opposition.



See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1888_Minneapolis_General_Conference



Thus, for outsiders who reject Ellen White’s spiritual gift, she must seem one of the most bizarre false prophets in all history.  Perhaps it is for this reason that non-Adventist scholars, including Walter Martin and Kenneth Samples from the Christian Research Institute, whilst rejecting Ellen White’s characterisation as a ‘prophet’, have nevertheless called her ‘a genuine Christian believer’.



See: http://qod.andrews.edu/docs/08_kenneth_samples.pdf




Simon wrote at 2011-07-11 15:04:43
With all due respect Sal is not entirely true and correct and his 'criteria' for a cult seems wholly made up, not being based on any objective or academic standard.  Many Atheists, Agnostics and non-Christians would no doubt label all of Christianity a cult.  The Jewish leaders seemed to think of the Early Church in these terms (Acts 5:33-39).



The most ‘official’ and authoritative position amongst Evangelical Christians is from Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute (CRI), and author of Kingdom of Cults (1965).  The position CRI is that Seventh-day Adventist (‘SDA’ or ‘Adventist’) theology is essentially ‘orthodox’:



“It now appeared that the structure of SDA theology was essentially orthodox. Adventism affirmed the inspiration of Scripture, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and Christ's deity, virgin birth, vicarious atonement, bodily resurrection, and second advent. Martin, who had written extensively on the subject of American-based cults, immediately recognized that this was not the doctrinal statement of a typical cult. He began to believe that SDA, at least as these men represented it, had been very misunderstood by evangelical Christianity.”



“Martin’s conviction remains my own—that one cannot be a true Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, or Christian Scientist and be a practicing Christian in the biblical sense of the word. Those sects proclaim a different God, a different Christ, and a different gospel (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-9). But it is possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and a true follower of Jesus Christ despite certain distinctive Adventist doctrines that most evangelical Protestants respectfully consider to be unbiblical.”



The view even taken by Roman Catholics, who have no reason to show bias to one Protestant Church over another, also states:



“Seventh-Day Adventists agree with many Catholic doctrines, including the Trinity, Christ’s divinity, the virgin birth, the atonement, a physical resurrection of the dead, and Christ’s Second Coming. They use a valid form of baptism. They believe in original sin and reject the Evangelical teaching that one can never lose one’s salvation no matter what one does (i.e., they correctly reject "once saved, always saved").



…Adventists also subscribe to the two Protestant shibboleths, sola scriptura (the Bible is the sole rule of faith) and sola fide (justification is by faith alone). Other Protestants, especially conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, often attack Adventists on these points, claiming they do not really hold them, which is often used as "proof" that they are "a cult." However, along the spectrum of Protestantism (from high-church Lutherans and Anglicans to low-church Pentecostals and Baptists), there is little agreement about the meaning of these two phrases or about the doctrines they are supposed to represent.”  



Adventist theology is no more 'cultish' than some very unusual beliefs of other 'mainstream' Christian groups, including:



Roman Catholic worship of Mary and Saints (arguably a form of neo-paganism), the Immaculate Conception of Mary (she was preserved from original sin), the upholding of Sacred Tradition over the Bible, Clerical Celibacy, or belief in Papal Infallibility.



·       Reformed views of Perseverance of the Saints (once saved always saved), Election, Predestination and Double Predestination (God chooses who is to go to heaven and who to hell, with little or no real choice by the individual), or Limited Atonement (Jesus did not die for all mankind but only for those elected to be saved).



·       Evangelical-Pentecostal views on money (Prosperity Gospel), Oneness-Pentecostalism and Jesus-only baptism (rejection of the Trinity in favour of Modalism, albeit by a sizeable minority), Antinomianism (proto-Gnostic beliefs that reject the Ten Commandments), Glossolalia (gibberish ‘speaking tongues’), the Secret Rapture and Dispensationalism (and support for the nation of Israel), and the tendency to follow a single, charismatic (and often authoritarian) leader in one Mega-Church, without any proper accountability.




Simon wrote at 2011-07-11 15:07:17
Check out Adventist Cult Misconceptions, which addresses 50 common questions about the SDA Church, including whether it is a cult, Ellen White, the Investigative Judgment and the Sabbath and much more:



http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com/


Holli wrote at 2011-08-04 17:41:11
Whoever wrote the 5 items that make the Seventh-day Adventists a cult hasn't really looked into the religion or the people in it. I have to say though it does depend on what part of the country you are in as to whether or not how strict they are. I have been a Seventh-day Adventist all of my life and I have never heard of any SDA threaten anyone's life because they didn't believe the way we believe. I think that you need to take a better look at things before you start mouthing off about a religion you obviously know nothing about. I just feel sorry for you.


John Ashton wrote at 2012-01-12 00:39:34
Dear Sir,

I read your comments above and am dissapointed by your stretching the truth. I know that there would be some sda's who would be like you described, but they are few and far between. Your comments on E.G.W are totally out of context, it is more likely that you must study her more honestly instead of condemming her for what you may have heard. I encourage you to read her books with an open mind, and you will find that she  never ever claimed to be a prophet, she did not want people to call her a prophet. I also like to ask you to find anything in her writings that contradict the word of GOD, without using theological explanations. Because as the bible instructs, it is to be plain and simply to be understood by ALL, not just theologians. Hope this helps you some. May GOD bless you, John.


Mathias wrote at 2012-08-10 23:58:34
What a ridiculous response, every religion has its prophets and people they believe to be prophets.  An entire religion cannot be summed up by one person.  The sabbath is in the bible in the beginning and even in the end.  The sabbath is as old as time, God observed in the beginning and even his son Jesus observed it in his death.  Do not let anyone tell you he rose on Sunday to change a law mathew 5: 17-20 clears that myth up.  There is no biblical truth behind Sunday worship, do your own research.  Some king Constantine made that happen, I must stress do your own research, the New Testemant has no laws in it, the commandment are commands not request, I condemn know one for there beliefs but, the only old law that was abolished was the sacrificing of animals for repentance because Jesus, whonilso known as the lamb of God came and died for you.  Read your own bible and make your own decisions, God bless and good luck with your spiritual journey.



By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:2, 3 NIV) - OLD TESTEMANT





"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20 NIV) - NEW TESTEMANT  


Nikkita wrote at 2012-10-13 20:36:07
I'm sorry but my definition of a cult is a bit different.Your defintion is the definition of a lot of religions. Namely the Roman Catholics,Latter Day Saints,Buddihism,,Hinduism,&many others.Cults brainwash ,and force people to do things they may not want to do.They  are also known for being ritualistic . I can assure the Adventist curch is not a cult.Mainly because I can switch my religion anytime.This relgion exscue me lifestyle is the closes to the bible . Ellen G. White does not contradict the bible we do not worship her and you need to ask God to help you understand the bible.You would have to understand that some things are illusional in other words the devil.So the magacians made an illusion.Remember the devil can not give or make life .Where does it say in the bible that the devil has the power to give life please do tell me.They emphasize all the 10 commandments because they are important.The most important thing that the 10 commandments teaches is love God & love people.I won't switch to another religion until someone can prove to me using the bible that it is wrong.You have to realize that not everyone is a Seventh Day Adventist beacause they go to church on Saturday.To be a true Christian Seventh Day Adventist you must have a relationship with Christ you then will want to follow his laws . Going one Saturday to a Seventh Day Adventist church won't teach that much about the religion.Talk to the pastor but most of all read your bible.The Bible is truth which makes religions that follow the bible word for word truth.


Textus Receptus wrote at 2012-11-28 21:26:38
I believe that the SDA church is a cultic church. I will list 5 marks of a cult below.

1)   Usually have a strong devotion to a certain teacher or prophet.

2)   Claims to be the only church with the truth.

3)   Follows doctrines unique to their group.

4)   Condemns those who disagree with them.

5)   Very legalistic, works oriented, authoritarian.



By this definition, all Catholics are part of a cult.  


Samuel wrote at 2012-12-23 23:44:59
I, too, have studied these things out for just over four years now and have found in each case that what is said about EGW, so as to refute her, is taken out of context. The SDA does not have its own doctrine-its core message is solely based on the three angels of Revelation...without changing a single word of it. I every site I have investigated that denounces the SDA or EGW, the majority come from disgruntled ex-SDA's who left the SDA because they were angry at some member or leader...not once leaving against the doctrines taught. The SDA does not think themselves elite, their message, in that it speaks of the apostate church and that the angel tells people to come out of her, shows that they know and believe there are good christians in every denomination. Everything EGW warned about certain foods has held true...the warnings were that they were becoming unsafe to eat...can anyone say MAD COW? As for the Sabbath doctrine of SDA, I can say this...it is true that the Vatican changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday...starting back in the time of Constantine...and the Vatican states that the Catholic Institution is above God, that the Pope is God on earth...and they say that changing the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday is their mark of authority in all things religious and that they have the power to change the times and laws of God...which I found the Book of Daniel speaks of a power that would think to do that. It is a fact, then, since all protestant churches had a history of keeping the Sabbath in the early days, that any who worship on Sunday have bought into the Catholic doctrine. Biblical research on this matter turned up that 1)God himself set the Saturday as the day of worship, 2) Jesus observed over 1700 Sabbaths, 3) The Disciples kept the Sabbath, 4) even the gentiles of that time were keeping the sabbath, 5) It appears that Isa. 66:22-23 says that when God puts his new kingdom into place that all will come to worship before him from every new moon to every new moon and from every Sabbath to every Sabbath...so, it comes to mind that if there was an holy sabbath instituted by the creator himself that was kept by Jesus and everyone in the bible and generally everyone until the Vatican promoted the change to Sunday...and if there is one in the end, then if the Sabbath is the same in the beginning, the middle and will be in the end...why would anyone want to change that. I have found that to accept a false sabbath is also connected to other false teaching on how you live your life and what you eat...and it seems the motivation for the easy ticket to heaven is the most popular...in my opinion, the SDA is NOT an occult.

In contrast:

1)   Usually have a strong devotion to a certain teacher or prophet./SDA members hold the bible above anything anyone says.

2)   Claims to be the only church with the truth./God has always kept a remnant...all denominations claim to hold the only truth and have their specific things in doctrines that are different..the SDA only claims to have end time light to be revealed that can be backed up by both the Bible and History

3)   Follows doctrines unique to their group./They follow the plain teachings of the bible as I can tell. Every denomination has doctrines and especially ways they are taught that are unique...the SDA's seem picked on generally over the Sabbath and health issues.

4)   Condemns those who disagree with them./The SDA judges no one but leaves that job to God...in a similar, almost same post, elsewhere it says a member who does not agree with EGW is excommunicated...that is a flat out lie.

5)   Very legalistic, works oriented, authoritarian./The SDA's do not observe the true Sabbath out of legalism, but reverence to the creator who said to remember it. Faith without works is dead so I don't know why that one was listed, authoritarian would by more like the Pope with far reaching powers and the influence to infiltrate most every denomination erasing the lines between Protestantism and Catholicism...to which they have enjoyed a large success...for in a survey taken where all people of all denominations were asked if they had to pick one person who appeared to be the most moral on the planet...surprise, almost all said the Pope.  


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Expertise

I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.

Experience

I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

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M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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