Seventh Day Adventism: cult, heresy, or misguided?

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Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't know too much about Seventh Day Adventists. Are there any serious problems in their theology? I have heard different things.

Some say cult. Some say almost. Some say they are Christian but have misguided theology.

Do we as reformed people have any common ground with them?
 

doctorcello

Puritan Board Freshman
Not quite a cult...

I live near Chattanooga, TN, which is 7th Day stomping grounds. The have a university a few miles away, and also a bakery turning out Little Debbie Snak Cakes. They are vegetarians and sabbatarians. Personally, I don't take them as a cult because their doctrine of the Trinity is correct, and their Christology is correct. I believe them to be seriously mixed up about life after death. They believe that when you die you are just plain dead and gone, period. If you are a true believer who has shown saving faith by your works, then Christ will raise you to life after His investigative judgment. If you weren't a true believer, you just stay dead for all eternity. So, I take them as a branch of Christianity, just far out in some respects.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Tim;

I don't know too much about Seventh Day Adventists. Are there any serious problems in their theology? I have heard different things.

Some say cult. Some say almost. Some say they are Christian but have misguided theology.

Do we as reformed people have any common ground with them?

Biblical Research Institute - Biblical Research Institute

I know they are big into prophecy, but this is a good question, and something I was wanting to look into as well, as a young man my daughter has been spending time with recently was raised 7th Day Adventist.

So I took look forward to the replies..
 

pilgrim3970

Puritan Board Freshman
I live near Chattanooga, TN, which is 7th Day stomping grounds. The have a university a few miles away, and also a bakery turning out Little Debbie Snak Cakes. They are vegetarians and sabbatarians. Personally, I don't take them as a cult because their doctrine of the Trinity is correct, and their Christology is correct. I believe them to be seriously mixed up about life after death. They believe that when you die you are just plain dead and gone, period. If you are a true believer who has shown saving faith by your works, then Christ will raise you to life after His investigative judgment. If you weren't a true believer, you just stay dead for all eternity. So, I take them as a branch of Christianity, just far out in some respects.

They also own most of the Chick-Fil-A franchises around the area as well - at least it seemed so when I lived there for a brief period of time as a teen. All of them were closed on Saturday!

sorry, :offtopic:
 

caoclan

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe them to be seriously mixed up about life after death. They believe that when you die you are just plain dead and gone, period. If you are a true believer who has shown saving faith by your works, then Christ will raise you to life after His investigative judgment. If you weren't a true believer, you just stay dead for all eternity. So, I take them as a branch of Christianity, just far out in some respects.

That is not exactly true. They believe in "Soul Sleep," denying even that believers, when they die, go to be with the Lord. After the resurrection, they do believe that unbelievers go to hell, but not for eternity. They hold to their doctrine of Annihilationism. They are not vegetarians, they hold to the Old Testament dietary laws. In fact, they state that "not one jot or tittle" was done away with, misunderstanding (at best) Jesus' fulfillment of God's law.

I attended an SDA church for about a month, a couple years ago, before God led me to biblical theology. I did a lot of reading the Bible (which was a good side to going to the SDA church), and came to realize they don't pay much attention to the Pauline Epistles. Their belief of salvation teeters on, if not crosses the line, of works, rather than grace. My wife and I were trying to keep the Sabbath (Saturday sunup to sundown) and dietary laws. I can tell you, what a relief learning of God's grace, the doctrines of grace, and Christ's work for us was (and no, I am not antinomian now)!

The SDA church is very focused on keeping every "jot and tittle" of the law. I really think that ignores Christ's imputed righteousness. They also are very prophetically and eschatologically focused, I think in an unhealthy way, where that truly is their focus.

Historically, they have made prophesies of Jesus' return, which have not come true. Look up their prophetess "Ellen White" for more information on this matter.

I don't know if they are truly counted as the Bride of Christ, but I would not be comfortable attending their services or placing my soul in the care of their shepherds.
 
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ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:

:offtopic: but I wonder if any churches thought of using synagogues?
 

caoclan

Puritan Board Freshman
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:

I also know of churches that use school gymnasiums for services as well (and movie theaters), and other non-religious venues (Compaq Center, ha ha). I don't think the primary use of the building is an indicator of the orthodoxy of a particular denomination.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:

I also know of churches that use school gymnasiums for services as well (and movie theaters), and other non-religious venues (Compaq Center, ha ha). I don't think the primary use of the building is an indicator of the orthodoxy of a particular denomination.

There are a variety of practices and views among the Reformed about sharing buildings with false religious groups.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f47/new-church-building-catholics-5596/
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
pilgrim;


They also own most of the Chick-Fil-A franchises around the area as well - at least it seemed so when I lived there for a brief period of time as a teen. All of them were closed on Saturday!

Interesting, since the Founder of the Company is a Christian and all the rest of the stores are closed on Sunday.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:

I also know of churches that use school gymnasiums for services as well (and movie theaters), and other non-religious venues (Compaq Center, ha ha). I don't think the primary use of the building is an indicator of the orthodoxy of a particular denomination.

I am not making an argument one way or another. I would take my children to a school gymnasium or movie theater for worship but would hesitate to take them to a non-trinitarian church. My point being, I have not encountered any hesitation to using SDA buildings for worship services, but have never heard of a church using a non-trinitarian church as an option for a meeting place.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Chatanooga must be an SDA mecca, a former employee of mine left to move his family there. He was a very good worker, and a very nice guy, so I hated to see him go. He himself had a lot of unorthodox theology floating around in his head, but I was never sure if it was official SDA doctrine or his own version of it. He was annihilationist, and had a works mentality of the "do your best and Jesus takes care of the rest" type, ate veggie burgers (yech!), and kept his Saturday sabbath.

One thing I thought strange was that he and his family loved Pilgrim's Progress, and he claimed the SDA did too, but when I gave him a copy of a discourse by Bunyan rejecting seventh day sabbatarianism, he didn't want to touch it.
 

Bygracealone

Puritan Board Sophomore
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's. I have yet to hear of an orthodox church (I could be wrong) that would meet in the structures of say a Muslim church or a Mormon church (if they allowed anyone outside to even touch their property). To me, that in itself said something to how the SDA is viewed. :2cents:

Interesting, here in MD, we're in another SDA hub. There are SDA congregations everywhere... We've been meeting for worship in a school for 19 years. We'd love to have another place of worship, but we refuse to rent from the SDA because we don't want to be responsible in any way for contributing to the support of this group.

I recall seeing one of their signs just off one of the major highways out here that says in big letters "Sunday is the Devil's Day"... I found this quote from Ellen G. White:

"Sunday-keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. The time will come when this day will be the test, but that time has not come yet".
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
caoclan;

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Certain things the young man my daughter is seeing make more sense. He's been visiting our church with her and he's made comments about how he's "never heard" some of these things before, even after spending his childhood going to Sabbath School every week.

And he's made comments about how it brings comfort to hear it..

I believe them to be seriously mixed up about life after death. They believe that when you die you are just plain dead and gone, period. If you are a true believer who has shown saving faith by your works, then Christ will raise you to life after His investigative judgment. If you weren't a true believer, you just stay dead for all eternity. So, I take them as a branch of Christianity, just far out in some respects.

That is not exactly true. They believe in "Soul Sleep," denying even that believers, when they die, go to be with the Lord. After the resurrection, they do believe that unbelievers go to hell, but not for eternity. They hold to their doctrine of Annihilationism. They are not vegetarians, they hold to the Old Testament dietary laws. In fact, they state that "not one jot or tittle" was done away with, misunderstanding (at best) Jesus' fulfillment of God's law.

I attended an SDA church for about a month, a couple years ago, before God led me to biblical theology. I did a lot of reading the Bible (which was a good side to going to the SDA church), and came to realize they don't pay much attention to the Pauline Epistles. Their belief of salvation teeters on, if not crosses the line, of works, rather than grace. My wife and I were trying to keep the Sabbath (Saturday sunup to sundown) and dietary laws. I can tell you, what a relief learning of God's grace, the doctrines of grace, and Christ's work for us was (and no, I am not antinomian now)!

The SDA church is very focused on keeping every "jot and tittle" of the law. I really think that ignores Christ's imputed righteousness. They also are very prophetically and eschatologically focused, I think in an unhealthy way, where that truly is their focus.

Historically, they have made prophesies of Jesus' return, which have not come true. Look up their prophetess "Ellen White" for more information on this matter.

I don't know if they are truly counted as the Bride of Christ, but I would not be comfortable attending their services or placing my soul in the care of their shepherds.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Several years ago, I found a number of commentary-like writings by Ellen White online and started to read them. I had no idea who she was but after looking at a bio of her (and allegations of plagiarism with regards to her "visions"), I sort of put them in the 'cult' category...
 

Seb

Puritan Board Junior
The SDA reminds me a lot of the Worldwide Church of God (before they repented) Which is no surprise since Herbert W. Armstrong had his roots in the SDA.

Even Dr. Walter Martin struggled with whether or not the SDA a heretical cult.

My understanding is it really depends on the zeal and belief system of the local congregation. The denomination overall seems to walk right on the edge.
 

Stomata leontôn

Puritan Board Sophomore
Cult.

Some congregations may try to be Christian, but the fact remains that it historically began as a cult and its missionaries (I believe) still handout Ellen G. White's cultic materials. You can't be working both against and for the body of Christ. Overall not as bad as JWs, but potentially it can be just as bad.
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
Many orthodox churches use Seventh Day Adventist property for worship services since they are available for use on Sunday's.

Interestingly, the last two churches that we attended rented property from the Seventh Day Advenists. It is a great opportunity for everyone.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Thank you all for your comments. My home church in Canada rents from a SDA church. There are indeed some pretty disturbing things in what some of you related to me.

Has anyone had any deep theological conversations with a SDA person? What are the hardest things to get across?

By the way, I don't know if there is any SDA church in South Africa (where I live), but I am just curious about this group.
 
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