Seventh-day Adventism: Is there Really Anything Wrong With it?

August 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM 31 comments

It is interesting that one particular article I wrote well over one year ago (May, 2011) still continues to receive comments and posts.  The article dealt with aspects of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventism, but by far, most of the people who respond are from the Seventh-day Adventist system of belief.  Many write to tell me that I am wrong, that they were raised within Seventh-day Adventism and as such, they assure me that either the beliefs I mention that are attributed to SDA are either erroneous, or limited to the fringe within SDA.

It does not seem to matter to these individuals what I have personally heard directly from those within SDA.  It does not matter that I have read and studied books from those within SDA.  None of that matters to them, because the problem is me.  Either I am unfairly categorizing SDA people or my lack of knowledge has served to simply place them all in one group, irrespective of whether or not my generalizations are essentially true for the entire group.

A plethora of books have been written by SDA folks as well as by those outside of SDA who have sought to adequately portray what is believed within the Seventh-day Adventist belief system.  It is not as though there is a complete lack of materials available to those who yearn to learn more about Seventh-day Adventism.

Aside from many who have come after Ellen G. White, there are plenty of writings from White herself where her positions are clearly delineated for the average person.  In fact, it is also quite clear that the succession of SDA leaders continually refer to White’s original teachings as the foundation for the Seventh-day Adventist movement itself.  To deny this is to essentially state that the theology upon which Seventh-day Adventism was founded no longer applies, which is completely absurd.  In that case, why bother with Ellen G. White at all?

Without Ellen G. White, there would be no Seventh-day Adventism.  That is patently clear and people within Seventh-day Adventism need to understand that this is the way it is for a reason.

Just as Joseph Smith started Mormonism and Charles Taze Russell began Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mary Baker Eddy created Christian Science, so too is Ellen G. White’s name forever connected with the group that is known as Seventh-day Adventism.  We are left then to do our best to determine in what areas (if at all) SDA fails, when compared with the Bible.

It is also very important to understand why I am dealing with the subject of Seventh-day Adventism at all.  Am I writing this article because I simply want to pick on the people involved in SDA?  Do I have a complete lack of care and concern for them and am only interested in picking apart their beliefs?

Without equivocation, the answer is NO.  My main desire is that the people within SDA would come to grips with their beliefs and compare them with the Bible.  Does what they believe – as taught to them by Ellen G. White – stand up under the careful scrutiny of God’s Word?  Does Seventh-day Adventism teach another form of salvation from the one clearly presented in Scripture?

Does Ellen G. White fail at any point in relation to her apparent understanding of God’s Word and the valuable and precise doctrine taught within it?  In essence, what does Seventh-day Adventism teach related to salvation and other important doctrines?

I know for a fact that there are those within Seventh-day Adventism who believe for instance that failing to worship on Saturday is a formula for failure and loss of salvation.  I know also that there are those within Seventh-day Adventism who advocate a salvation that is at least somewhat dependent upon works.  The question really is whether or not these individuals are the exception to the rule within Seventh-day Adventism, or the norm?  We will take some time to investigate this situation.

My major concern is for a person’s soul.  There will be some who, after reading this article, will take it as nothing more than an attack on Seventh-day Adventism.  No one likes to be challenged with respect to what they believe.  No one wants to have their beliefs questioned, certainly by someone who is not part of their belief system.  No one likes that at all.

Again, my concern is for a person’s soul – their eternal state.  In general, can Seventh-day Adventists be in relationship with Jesus (have salvation) if they fully believe what Ellen G. White taught as the foundation for the very system that is called Seventh-day Adventism?  If not, then the error needs to be exposed and pointed out.

For those Adventists who would unequivocally state that they are actual Christians, that they know they have salvation, and they do not necessarily follow or adhere to the teachings of Ellen G. White, then I have an important question.  Why are you continuing to be part of a system that you yourself obviously are in disagreement with regarding the very founder of that system?

That is like remaining a Mormon yet not really believing what Joseph Smith (or later Brigham Young) taught.  That makes absolutely no sense.  While I will admit that it is possible to continue to be part of something that is – overall – a lie, while being an authentic Christian, it seems to me that this would be rare and not the norm.

For instance, within Catholicism, it seems to me from my study of it and in talking with people who have left Catholicism (including my wife) and those who are still part of it, yet understand the problems of it, it is difficult to remain with Catholicism while attesting to actually be an authentic Christian.  This is not to say that this cannot happen, but for the most part, it would appear that authentic Christianity is not something that is found easily within the Roman Catholic system.

We are all familiar with the Reformation and the main reasons why it occurred.  Moreover, if you know history, you also understand that Martin’s “95 Theses” were nailed to the Wittenburg Door as his way of protesting those things within Roman Catholicism that he believed were (and remain) unbiblical.  Most noted is the system of indulgences that the Roman Catholic Church invented in order to coerce people into giving money so that souls trapped in Purgatory could fly free earlier.  Martin was incensed with this notion and fought against it.  The very idea of indulgences smacks against God’s system of absolute free grace and unmerited favor toward the sinner.

Yet, it is ironic to me that over the years, I have attended a number of Roman Catholic funerals and at each one of them, this same unbiblical theology was put forth by the presiding priest.  If only we would offer prayers and empty our wallets, the person who had recently died and who was being interred would spend less time in Purgatory.  This is absurd.  It reduces the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to nothing less than an agreement to work with Him in order to gain or secure our salvation.

Does the Seventh-day Adventist system have something similar?  Do they rely on their own works to save them?  Do they believe – overall – that there is a cooperative effort between the penitent and God to gain or keep salvation, somewhat by faith, and somewhat by works?

During most of my aunt’s adult life, she turned from Lutheranism to the Watchtower.  She became a Jehovah’s Witness and a devout one at that.  It was difficult, if not impossible to discuss Christianity with her because she had her particular proof texts that she would go to when discussing it.  Moreover, my aunt had a very forceful demeanor.  She would kowtow to no one and she thoroughly believed she was correct in her faith and everyone else was wrong.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses (like Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and too many others to count) believe that they are the true Church where Jesus Christ is concerned.  For JWs, the 144,000 noted in Revelation have already been numbered and those who are not numbered with them will not have a part in heaven per se, but will live out eternity on the earth.

It is ironic (though it makes perfect sense) that groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventist and others, all have a clear starting point with some renowned and charismatic (in the natural sense) leader who brings people together under the particular umbrella of their (new) beliefs.

This is what essentially happened with Ellen G. White.  She took lemons and made lemonade.  Seventh-day Adventism is an off-shoot of the Millerites, who were led to believe that Jesus was going to physically return approximately in 1843.  This was the first mistake because Jesus Himself clearly pointed out that no one would know the day or hour (Mark 13:32).  While it might be argued that Miller was simply giving a period of time (sometime around 1843) and not the exact day or hour, he did not understand the intent of Jesus’ words.  Jesus was basically saying that we should not concern ourselves with His ultimate return, but to simply note the times and seasons.  One thing He stressed was that our main work should be involved in the task of evangelizing the lost and that work did not hinge upon knowing His return.

Miller was a Baptist lay preacher and student of the Bible.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I have found over the years that people who are often self-taught with respect to the Bible are often wrongly taught.  I don’t say this to be arrogant.  I simply point out that people like Miller often fail to learn the basic principles of hermeneutics and can often be found going off on tangents because of it.

This of course, does not automatically apply to everyone.  People like Harry Ironsides and many others were self-taught and did very well under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.  At the same time, it also helped that people like Harry Ironsides had others to whom he could go for counsel and advice when needed.  It seems like Miller was not like that.  He was an itinerant preacher.

As he traveled and preached, he developed a following and before long, was teaching people to look for and expect the physical return of Jesus in the not-too-distant future.  By the year 1840, a full-blown group of followers known as “Millerites” had formed into a national campaign.

This is testament to the fact that people enjoy and even yearn for things that are related to future events outlined in the Bible.  Because of that, it is incumbent upon all Bible and specifically prophecy teachers to understand the tremendous responsibility and pressure that is their mantle.  We must absolutely remain true to God’s Word, neither going beyond it when it is silent nor cutting short the actual meaning of the Bible to suit ourselves and our own pet theories.

Even today, with respect to the future, in my view, there are way too many teachers of the Bible who go well beyond the bounds set by Scripture.  At the same time, there are also too many who do not say enough about God’s plans for this world in the coming days, months, and years.  If we are going to teach God’s Word, we must teach all of it, or none of it.

From 1840 to 1847, the periodical Signs of the Times was a veritable hit among many people, eagerly soaking up the information provided by Miller regarding the last days and prophetic discourse in general.  While Miller himself never set a specific date for Christ’s return, he did say, “My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.” [1]  So we see, that he narrowed it down to a space of time within one year.

Some time later, the date was extended to April 18, 1844.  Eventually, this date came and went and it was not until later that year – August – that another Millerite preached on Christ’s soon return and determined (based on his study of Daniel 8:14) that Jesus would return to the earth on “the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844.” [2]  Eventually, a new date of October 22, 1844 was finally decided upon and everyone waited.

This reminds me of what continues to happen even in these modern times.  Harold Camping predicted that the Lord would return physically May 21, 2011.  That came and went and so he amended that date to October 21, 2011.  That day also came and went and lo and behold he wound up doing the very same thing that some within the Millerite camp did – stated that Jesus had returned albeit spiritually.  Instead of simply admitting defeat, which would cause people to turn away from the false teachings of that particular preacher, it seems easier to say that Jesus did return, but no one saw Him do so.  How do you prove that individual is wrong?  Well, we do so by going back to the Bible, amidst all the guffawing and snickering of the world.  Those of us who understand what the Bible says regarding the physical return of Jesus have to pick up the slack and try to point out the error of the individual who is busy date-setting.  We try to gently rebuke that individual while holding out continued hope to a dying world that Jesus is indeed physically returning to this planet…one day.

Unfortunately for Miller and his Millerites, October 22, 1844 came and went just like every day before it and since.  Jesus did not return physically.  There were no signs in the heavens other than the normal “rising” and “setting” of the sun and moon.  Life went on to the huge disappointment of many, including Miller himself.

The resultant disappointment actually gave rise to a number of different groups – offshoots of the Millerites.  Eventually, the one group that gained the most popularity was the one that adhered to “The Great Disappointment” belief.

Originally the Millerites were made up of people across denominational lines and were all united under one particular umbrella: the belief in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to this earth.  It was because of this issue that ultimately resulted in what came to be known as “The Great Disappointment,” more splintering occurred within the ranks of the Millerites.

What people seem not to realize is that the entire group, while focused on a legitimate doctrine of Scripture, became overly focused on it going to the unscriptural extreme of date-setting, which is completely prohibited in Scripture and by Jesus Himself.

Interestingly enough, there was also a direct connection with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Millerites, with Charles Taze Russell admitting an indebtedness to the Millerites.

The Great Disappointment led to the belief that the October 22, 1844 (non)event was really a heavenly event.  This became the foundation for later Seventh-day Adventist theology detailing what became known as Investigative Judgment.

In our next installment, we will discuss more about the Great Disappointment and the resultant Investigative Judgment.  Please remember that my number one goal is regarding authentic salvation.  Yes, I realize that people within SDA will find the very fact that I am taking the time to dissect various SDA beliefs offensive.  The truth of the matter is that I am not interested in simply dissecting beliefs for the purpose of castigating or denigrating individuals.  I am providing this information as a means of helping people better understand the doctrine that undergirds the entire system of Seventh-day Adventism.  I’ve lost count of how many people within SDA will write to tell me “That’s not what I believe!” or “I don’t follow the teachings of Ellen G. White!” or some other statement that is designed to negate in one swell sweep all that is available regarding the decidedly aberrant teachings found within Seventh-day Adventism.

Look, I’ve been called a heretic simply because I believe that the Rapture will occur prior to the Tribulation.  I am called a heretic because of the recent man-made belief that I am deluded and deceived.  It is because I am deceived that I will ultimately take the mark of the beast after I wake up one day only to realize that the Rapture has not occurred and the Tribulation has begun.  The so-called reasoning behind this is tragically superficial and decidedly unbilbilical, yet it persists.  I also note that people who believe I am deluded due to being a PreTrib Rapturist have absolutely no love loss for me (or others like me).  They (wrongly) believe that not only am I deceived but I have willingly and rebelliously placed myself in the position of being deceived (by teachers like C. I. Scofield, etc.), therefore they do not pity me, but simply believe I have made my bed, therefore I should lie in it.  One individual I dealt with actually had the gall to refer to himself as a prophet.  It didn’t matter that I pointed out a number of times where he was incorrect in his assessment of me.  That, apparently, did not take away from his being a true prophet of God.

I have also been referred to as “lost” by numerous members of Seventh-day Adventism, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other groups.  For the most part, as far as the SDA is concerned who has chosen to take the time to tell me I am lost, the reason is due to the fact that I do not worship on Saturdays.  I don’t worship on Saturdays, therefore, I have broken the Ten Commandments.  By breaking the Ten Commandments deliberately and continually, I have risked God’s judgment upon my life.

I realize there are those within SDA who tell me that they are free to worship on any day they choose and that for them, whether they worship on Saturdays or not is not grounds for loss of salvation.  I’m obviously not talking about those people, am I (in spite of the fact that I find it difficult to believe that they would actually choose to worship on Sunday when no other Seventh-day Adventists would show up to join them)?  There appears to be plenty of individuals within Seventh-day Adventism who would resolutely disagree with these people and have no qualms about saying it.

In fact, I have books by numerous SDA authors who come right out and say it.  Their condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church for example, extends to pointing out that the Pontiff is the system of the Beast and one particular Pontiff was the Antichrist, who is said to have changed the times and seasons.  This means that he changed the worship of our Lord from Saturdays to Sundays some time ago.  By joining in worshiping Jesus on Sundays, innocent people fall prey to the deceptive clutches of Satan found within Roman Catholicism.

If you have not been called a “heretic,” then you haven’t arrived yet.  When I was first called one (based on my belief regarding the timing of the Rapture), I was incensed.  However, it caused me to go back to the Bible and study it with a new demeanor.  I endeavored to throw out (as much as I possibly could) what I knew before hand regarding the Rapture and simply study the Bible afresh, allowing it to take me where it was pointing, not where I necessarily wanted to go.

I not only studied the Bible afresh, but I again began reading what other authors wrote – those pro and con regarding the PreTrib Rapture – to determine if their conclusions were seemingly valid or whether or not they were simply grasping at straws.

Now, when someone calls me a heretic or “unsaved,” I tend to take it with a grain of salt.  That doesn’t mean I don’t listen.  It means I don’t automatically place a higher value on their words over my own study.  You shouldn’t either.  You should simply read what I am saying and ask yourself if it applies to you?

If Seventh-day Adventism makes the same mistake that the Jehovah’s Witnesses does regarding salvation (that it is part grace and part works on our part), then it needs to be pointed out, doesn’t it?  I recall a conversation with my aunt (the same Jehovah’s Witness) who essentially said that the “works” they do are not done for salvation, but because they love the Lord.  That sounds all well and good, but when you actually read what Russell and other leaders within the Watchtower Society have written, it becomes clear that this is actually not what is taught.  A Jehovah’s Witness who stops tithing, or stops going door-to-door for evangelism is in absolute danger of losing the salvation they believe they have gained (up to that point).  For them, they are constantly walking a tightrope; a tightrope from which they could fall at any moment.

(It’s the same way talking with Mormons.  They often use vernacular that is familiar to the average church-goer and because of that, most believe (wrongly) that Mormonism is simply a denomination within Christendom.  It’s not.  It’s a cult for a variety of reasons, chiefly is the way they view Jesus Christ.  To the Mormon, Jesus is not God.  He is the brother of Lucifer – you know – the devil.  The Holy Ghost is not the second Person of the Trinity for the Mormon.  The Mormon Holy Ghost is essentially a supernatural force, yet impersonal.)

Imagine living like that!  Imagine doing things for some “god” because you are taught that if you fail to continue in the chosen path, you could well lose your salvation.  That is not only biblically dishonest, but tragic because it creates within people the idea that God only grants (and continues to grant over the course of that person’s life) salvation to those who continually obey Him without question.  He becomes this taskmaster that accepts no excuse for failure and insists that we prove our love by dutiful obedience every step of the way.

If we really did things for God because we love Him, then we would not be focusing on the “do’s” and “don’ts” in this life.  Yes, there are things that Christians should not do and things we should do.  But those are not the focus.  Those are the natural outcome of a life that is dedicated to God through Jesus Christ.  I tend to think that for the person who is totally committed to following Christ (as opposed to being a “fan”), he/she does not really even notice the things that are done because they are simply so busy focusing on Jesus Himself.  I realize for many reading this, the difference seems moot.

In other words, God does not measure our salvation by the things we do, but by the way we are.  That includes attitude, outlook, dedication, and work.  Someone could go to church religiously for years.  They could pray, read the Bible, and go witnessing door-to-door, but none of that makes a person an authentic Christian.

I can be an authentic Christian and never go witnessing door-to-door.  I might not be consistent in my devotional or prayer life.  I might love God vastly one day, and not think of Him too much the next.  That may be the character of some who are saved.  To the onlooker, if they compared the two people, they would likely say that the one who did all the right things is the one who is truly saved, not the one who seemed to be more carnal, or immature.  I am thankful that God does not judge by externals, but by internals.  People do the exact opposite.

Salvation – authentic salvation - is the most important issue that every person needs to deal with before they leave this life.  Whether people are offended or not by my discussion of Seventh-day Adventism is not the issue.  The true issue is whether people actually have salvation.  Are they truly in relationship with Jesus Christ, which is the only true source of salvation?

That and that alone is the issue at hand.  Stay tuned.

[1] Quoted in Everett N. Dick, William Miller and the Advent Crisis Berrien Springs: [Andrews University] Press, 1994, 96-97.

[2] Samuel S. Snow, The Advent Herald, August 21, 1844, 20. See also Samuel S. Snow, True Midnight Cry, August 22, 1844, 4.

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31 Comments

  • 1. Dani  |  October 6, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    I am a Seventh-day Adventist. Our doctrines DO NOT come from Ellen White but the Bible only. Do your research, please. She shared what God gave her. White had a ministry that we recognized came from God but NONE of the things she wrote about contradict the Bible in any way. She had a gift as any human being chosen by God could have. She never claimed to be special or to be a leader. She urged people to read the Bible only. Please, read the DESIRE OF AGES and then judge for yourself…

    • 2. modres  |  October 6, 2012 at 6:53 AM

      You are completely deluded and you think I’m a moron. It is YOU who obviously needs to do the research.

  • 3. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Fred, what is your view of groups such as Church of God (Seventh Day):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_God_(Seventh-Day)

    They have some 200,000 members and have very similar beliefs to the ‘main’ SDA Church, except they reject the prophetic gift of Ellen White. Herbert Armstrong, who went off to create his own group the Worldwide Church of God, was previously a member.

    As to whether people have salvation, isn’t that really a matter between them and God? Who are any of us to judge?

    • 4. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:17 AM

      Don’t know much about them, Simon. However, not only do we have Herbert Armstrong, but then Garner Ted Armstrong, but also Ronald Weiland (who believes that he and his wife are the two witnesses highlighted in Revelation). Though they appear to have rejected Ellen G. White, they are still an offshoot of Miller, who began a system, whose foundation is fully erroneous.

  • 5. Dennis J. Fischer  |  August 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Seventh-day Adventism was founded upon the Millerite deception of the early 1840s. When Jesus did not return after several date settings, William Miller had a nice farm in upstate New York to enjoy. However, many of his ardent followers had sold their businesses, houses, and farms, failed to plant family gardens, and gave their entire savings to the Millerite cause. They were truly destitute and greatly embarrassed. There is no record that William Miller ever provided shelter or groceries for his deceived followers. Thus, many of his disappointed followers were forced to take up residence in Shaker communes to survive the harsh New England winter. The disappointed Millerites did not stay at Shaker communes any longer than absolutely necessary because married couples were not allowed to share the same bedroom during their emergency stay.

    Teaching sound doctrine is a biblical mandate (see Titus 1 & 2). Those who are intent upon accurate answers will no longer remain in a toxic-faith system. To their credit, most of the disappointed Millerites returned to their former churches. However, a small group developed into the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventism, and Christadelphianism. These groups were too proud to admit that they were wrong and deceived. So, they made up alibis and shared heretical views. Sadly, many people believe what they prefer to be true.

    Dennis J. Fischer
    Blog: http://notesfromdennisfischer.blogspot.com

    • 6. modres  |  August 29, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Thank you for your comments, Dennis.

      I’ve included a direct link to your site related to your articles on Seventh-day Adventism for anyone who cares to check them out:

      http://notesfromdennisfischer.blogspot.com/2011/01/beyond-adventism-truth-re-examined.html

      Noting that you indicated you were a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist prior to officially leaving, maybe others within Seventh-day Adventism would be willing to avail themselves of the first hand information and testimony you provide there.

    • 7. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      If you look at the early history of Christianity, many of the same accusations were made against them. The Pharisees, who morphed into the Rabbis of Judaism after the destruction of the Temple, but very similar arguments about ‘sound biblical doctrine’ and the dangers of this new apocalyptic Jesus movement.

      Many argue (and even some liberal Christian scholars believe) that Christianity is simply a face-saving faith when Jesus’ ministry failed and he was executed a traitors death by the Romans. Of course I don’t believe that, but I guess if as an Adventist I have to listen to similar accusations, at least I am in good company with Peter, James, John and Paul.

      • 8. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:39 AM

        Your arguments – such as they are – mean absolutely nothing. It amazes me how you use worldly arguments to defend yourself. You make no valid points, Simon.

        What does your last paragraph have to do with anything? It is simply cannon fodder without the cannonball. You have nothing, as if I really care what some liberal “Christian scholar” espouses…

        You seem to be way too defensive, Simon and that much is clear. You have not properly developed a thick skin. If I collapsed every time some SDA or Posttribulationist told me I was going to hell, I wouldn’t be able to come out of my room.

        You have also severely missed my point in writing these articles about SDA. Unlike you – I am concerned for the salvation of PEOPLE. I am not interested in debating aspects of SDA solely for the purpose of debating them. That proves nothing and it establishes as much.

        You are far more intent on attempting to prove that you are correct, whereas I am merely attempting to get people to question WHAT they believe and WHY they believe it. If you believe you are correct, then what does it matter what I say? The short answer is that it should NOT matter, but to you it does and that is very telling.

        You are here to argue.

  • 9. Godswill  |  August 29, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    really u need to found something doing..for 10 yrs i have been reseaching about eg white and her teachings and i knw she is not perfect..but she is a true messanger of God,used by God and she so much believe in christ has d only saviour..ellen with preach and teach grace with obidence,many of u teach grace without obidence (once saved always save)..u are nt the first person to write against eg white..many pple write again God,christ,holy,spirit and the bibe so am nt moved by ur writing.stop wasting ur time

    • 10. modres  |  August 29, 2012 at 6:13 AM

      Here we go…

      You know – not to be offensive – but it is extremely difficult to make complete sense of what you’re saying since your grammar is so bad.

      The gist of what you’re saying is simply not true. Many HAVE written “against” Ellen G. White and apparently you haven’t been paying attention because there are a great many problems with what she teaches.

      I am not surprised that you are not “moved” by my writing, but I will not stop writing about it. There may be one person who is caught up in the Seventh-day Adventist web of deceit who may see the truth.

      “Once saved, always saved” has nothing to do with grace without obedience. In the Seventh-day Adventist way of thinking, you believe that if you fail to be obedient, you are in danger of losing your salvation. At the same time, Ellen G. White teaches that a person CAN become sinless. However, she also teaches that no one should ever say that they are truly “saved” in this life. Well, which is it, Ellen?

      She contradicts herself in many areas and on many occasions.

      You admit that Ellen G. White is “not perfect.” Then you say she is a “true messanger (sic) of God.” Really? Can you show me even ONE example in the Bible where any other messenger of God contradicted himself? You won’t find it because when God put His Words in their mouth, they always spoke 100% truth. Not so with Ellen G. White. So, is she a messenger (or “prophet”) of God, or not? You can’t have it both ways.

      I suggest you keep researching, because you have obviously missed some extremely important points related to Ellen G. White and her redundancies, errors, and omissions.

      • 11. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        Fred I take it you do believe in ‘once saved always saved’. You know Adventists aren’t the only ones who reject that position right? Kenneth Samples of the CRI, successor to Walter Martin, has noted that most attacks on Adventists come from a Reformed theological background.

        Adventist effectively follows an Arminian/Wesleyan theological framework, in a similar manner to RC, Anglicans and Methodists (in many ways we are the love child of the Methodist movement). Adventists have some unusual practices, but I would suggest in terms of major theological ways of thinking, whether it be theodicy, soteriology, and how we view the Law is much similar to ‘mainstream’ and ‘orthodox’ branches of Christianity than your own Darby Dispensationalist views.

      • 12. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:31 AM

        Yes, I believe in eternal security, Simon. I’m aware of the groups that reject this biblical doctrine.

        I’m also aware that I am in the minority with respect to Dispensationalism but that does not make me wrong. It simply places me in the minority. In fact, authentic Christians – if we compare them to the world at large – are and will always be in the minority.

        Again Simon, the proper comparison is NOT what you or I believe, but what the Bible says about what you or I believe.

        I believe Seventh-day Adventists fail miserably on several cogent biblical doctrines and it’s rather a shame that they pulled the wool over Walter Martin’s eyes like they did years ago. They’re still doing it.

      • 13. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Re Ellen White, you do know that many (if not millions) of card-carrying Adventists do believe Ellen White was ‘inspired’ or had a ‘prophetic gift’ as a spiritual gift listed in Eph 4 and elsewhere but are also totally ok with the idea of Ellen White being fallible, having redundancies, having errors and having omissions? I know it is hard for you to understand that because I think you have a totally unrealistic and unbiblical view of a prophet according to the biblical model. Prophets aren’t Holy secretaries dictating God’s message word-for-word.

        I take it you reject JEDP? I take it you reject the notion that the Old Testament is full of various stories that were collated together (often with one account coming from the North in Israel and one from the South in Judah)? I take it you don’t accept there are two flood accounts, or two Exodus accounts, or two or more stories of David meeting Saul?

        I take it you simply gloss over the various ‘redundancies, errors and omissions’ between the Gospels? For example, was it the Centurion himself, or did the Centurion send Jewish Elders to ask Jesus to heal the sick servant? I could go on with many other examples.

        With some irony, it is those with the most right-wing rigid fundamentalist views of the Bible, which are not supported by the most respected biblical scholars, who have the most problem with people like Ellen White. Ellen White fails to live up to the myth of what they see a prophet as being in their own minds, rather than actually realizing prophets are still humans, just like you and me.

      • 14. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:34 AM

        You are in error, Simon. Prophets essentially wrote what God wanted written down using their own personalities. The Word is free from error. You need to do some serious research, Simon because your example of the Centurion (himself or Jewish elders) is a non-argument. In fact, it has been responded to on so many occasions that the fact that you do not know the answer to it merely proves your own lack of study.

        It is clear from God’s Word that a prophet who spoke falsehoods was to be put to death. On one hand, you have previously stated that you don’t really follow White’s teachings. Now, you are defending her. Which is it, Simon? Do you follow her teachings or not? If so, then I suggest you begin to deeply study her omissions and biblical foibles. If not, then your argument is simply vapid.

      • 15. Simon  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:39 AM

        And Fred, what is you view of the Baptist and Methodist Churches, who largely reject Calvinist beliefs in the Perseverance of the Saints (once saved always saved) in favour of a more Arminian/Wesleyan framework? Are they ok or is there something ‘wrong’ with them?

      • 16. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:17 AM

        Simon, I’m looking at all these responses you posted and it is clear that you have WAY too much time on your hands. I certainly hope you’re not doing this at work on someone else’s dime…

        Regarding those who reject eternal security, I simply believe they are wrong. Unlike THEM though, I do not believe they are going to hell, as they believe could happen to me (by losing my salvation).

        I believe that God is far stronger than they give Him credit for being. I also believe this is clearly reflected in Scripture by the writer to the Hebrews as merely one example who states that Jesus is the Author and Perfector of our faith. Arminians – in my opinion – place way too much emphasis on “free will” (such as it is), when it point of fact, the only four individuals who actually had perfect free will was Lucifer, Adam, Eve, and Jesus.

        Once Adam and Eve fell, the sin nature was created. Everything was affected, including our “free will.” Human beings after Adam and Eve (with the exception of Jesus) have a severely damaged free will. We are not truly capable of choosing since we are automatically in Satan’s camp from the beginning. It is only after we receive Jesus are we capable of choosing and even then, imperfectly, which is why we still sin from time to time.

        Just as it is God who opens a person’s eyes to the truth, it is this same God who perfects His own once they become part of His Kingdom. It is GOD, GOD, GOD all the way and all the glory goes to Him.

      • 17. Simon  |  September 12, 2012 at 1:49 AM

        “Can you show me even ONE example in the Bible where any other messenger of God contradicted himself? You won’t find it because when God put His Words in their mouth, they always spoke 100% truth.”

        How about Nathan telling David he can build the Temple and then being told by God He was wrong – and then to go and correct David?

        How about Paul telling virgins not to get married because there isn’t enough time because ‘time is short’?

        How about Jonah telling Ninevah that God is going to destroy them but then it didn’t actually happen – you know prophecy in that sense being a warning where God says He does change His mind?

        How about the authors (and/or redactors) of the story of how David met Saul, which appear to be quite contradictory?

        How about the authors (and/or redactors) of parts of Kings and parts of Chronicles which clearly contradict each other?

        How about the Gospel writers, who heavily appeared to contradict each other?

        How about Peter (who had a prophetic gift, including visions), that was clearly wrong at times – and Paul told him he was wrong to his face in a very public spat?

        How about all NT apostles, who thought Jesus was going to become very soon, but were effecitvely wrong when Jesus did not quite return when they expected – see a transition in the meaning from 1 Thes to 2 Thes, or Peter’s exhortion on 1 day = 1000 years.

        There are frankly hundreds if not thousands of examples of messengers of God contradicting themselves and getting things wrong – especially minor details. The Gospels are literally full of some errors and inconsistencies. It isn’t a problem if you have a realistic gift of prophecy.

        I have concerns that you perhaps quite an unrealistic view of prophets and prophecy, as if they are mini-gods or something? They aren’t – they are flawed human beings.

        The vision is from God, but it is a human who recounts the vision, with limited human words, which are then recorded by other humans, which are finally collated together in books and cannons by other humans. God is part of the process, every step, but revelation is not ‘Holy dictation’.

      • 18. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 7:23 AM

        Your examples are nothing at all. Most of them are man-made arguments from “higher critics.”

        The gospel writers who “appeared” to contradict one another? The bottom line is that they did NOT and further study proves this.

        Jonah telling Nineveh that they were going to be destroyed is nothing. This WOULD have happened but they chose repentance. It’s no different from telling a person they are on their way to hell unless they repent and receive the only salvation that is available. It is a true statement.

        Paul telling virgins not to marry. He said he WISHED that all would be like him. It wasn’t a biblical mandate. Moreover, he may also have been referring to the actual times during his life when life for the Christian within the Roman Empire had become a living hell.

        Kings and Chronicles offer no contradictions at all. They are superficial. Again, it takes further study to determine the truth, Simon, something you have apparently not done.

        I really wish you had a higher view of God’s Word, but it seems to have slipped by you. This is often the result of people who belong to groups who have aberrant teachings and beliefs.

        No, God did not use “holy dictation,” but according to Peter, holy men of old were moved by God’s Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) and Paul tells us that every word of the Bible is fully inspired (or God-breathed; 2 Timothy 3:16). Your failure to believe that does not change the truth of it; that God was fully involved in writing His Word.

        By the way, for you (or anyone else who may be interested), here is an excellent website that catalogs and responds to the alleged contradictions in the Bible. It’s a great place to start since the individual has done much of the research that you appear to loathe doing for yourself. The site is called “Bible Contradictions Answered.” Give it a whirl, Simon. You may learn something.

        http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/bible.htm#INDEX

      • 19. Sherry  |  September 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        It will do no good if the foundation of belief is not the truth-though SDAs believe it to be so. I was in a church that taught false beliefs for 6 years. I thought I was believing the truth. I was on the wrong foundation which brings one to a different Jesus. A pastor from a Calvary Church, unwittingly, challenged my beliefs. Well, actually, I wanted to challenge his beliefs and found myself being corrected. I thank God that I prayed for Him to reveal the truth to me because He certainly did! Truth will be the only thing that matters at the end of this life. After that, one dies in their beleifs whether it saves them or not, no turning back.

  • 20. Rizzo  |  August 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Not at my SDA church. Bibles vary immensely….KJV, NIV, Clear Word (includes Ellen White supportive texts)

    • 21. modres  |  August 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Good to know, though one wonders why the Clear Word Bible is even used, except to promote White’s teachings?

      So Rizzo, out of curiosity, what is your take on the teachings of Ellen G. White when it comes to the atonement? Do you agree with her when she essentially states that Jesus’ atonement wasn’t enough, in that it only BEGINS the process, while the penitent must complete that process?

      She also makes it abundantly clear that one should NEVER say that they are actually saved in this life. What are your thoughts?

    • 22. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      I have never ever seen a Clear Word Bible used in an SDA Church. It is only a paraphrase used for devotional purposes. Most people under 40 (and some older) in my Church use an IPhone or IPad, and you can’t get an app for the Clear Word version. Most people use the NIV or NKJV.

      • 23. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:24 AM

        And I’ve heard from some Seventh-day Adventists that the Clear Word is all they use. Again, the Clear Word has Ellen G. White’s teachings throughout and this is different from simply having notes in the margin or at the bottom of the page.

        The Clear Word incorporates White’s teachings within the text and there is nothing that would signify where the biblical text stops and starts and White’s teachings start and stop. It’s subterfuge.

    • 24. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      This notion that Adventists don’t believe in a complete atonement is a bit of a red herring. Without writing a long treatise let me just say the misconception largely comes out of a misunderstanding of the application of the word ‘atonement’, which is really just Christian jargon and means different things to different Christians.

      Adventists have traditionally applied the term in a broader sense to mean the entire plan of salvation, including not just Jesus’ death but also the final eradication of sin and death at the Last Judgment. Adventists do of course believe, “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10)

      By comparison, one might compare Adventist views with the doctrines of Transubstantiation (Roman Catholics) or Sacramental Union (Lutherans), which arguably teach Christ re-dies daily in the Eucharist. Therefore, these other ‘mainstream’ Christian groups arguably deny Jesus only offered His body “once”, contrary to Heb 9:25,26 and 10:10.

      One might also cite doctrines such as Limited Atonement (Calvinists) and Blood Atonement (Fundamentalist Mormons), which arguably teach the Cross does not cover all sins for all people. Therefore, these groups also arguably deny Jesus offered His body “for all”, contrary to Heb 10:10.

      This is all made very clear in the official Adventist publication Questions on Doctrine. A suggest it is a better source of information than perhaps what you may have heard and read from some of the more crazy fringes of the Adventist movement (which does have over 16 million members after all).

      If you want to know more about this topic from an Adventist perspective (and debate it) the following is a helpful link:

      http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/50-does-believing-in-investigative_11.html

      • 25. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:28 AM

        The only real understanding for the word atonement is the Bible. Here, it is clear that Roman Catholics as well as Adventists severely miss the mark. Funny how often you and others refer to the “fringe” within the Seventh-day Adventist group. So, when I’m told by Seventh-day Adventists that I’m going to hell because I don’t worship on Sundays, that’s the fringe, right? When I’m told about particular beliefs by SDAs that you would disagree with, it’s the “fringe.” Convenient.

        You spent too much time arguing or debating aspects of Seventh-day Adventism, when you SHOULD be a great deal more concerned about this so-called “fringe” that appears to disagree with you at every turn. In fact, your blog – the one you highlight in your comments – is far more concerned about attempting to prove that Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult, as opposed to reaching out to people who are lost. That concerns me and it should concern you, but you have your own axe to grind.

  • 26. Jason  |  August 27, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    As I said earlier my dad thinks because I don’t worship on the sabbath that I am lost, that I need to convert or I am going to hell. When I wrote down the verse numbers from the bible (Book, chapter verse) to show my position on salvation and the LAW, he couldn’t understand what I was saying. He took the paper where I had wrote the passages by verse numbers down to his church leaders to have them look at them. Their answer to this was that I was unteachably lost and he was to not waste anymore time on my lost soul.

    His church members all have the same type of bible, no personal ones allowed, I am not even sure he can even read the bible given just book, chapter, and verse, and be able to find any verse or passage. When I asked him about this he said “it was to ensure that everyone was on the same page to avoid confusion.” I think it is so they learn by page number instead so as to be kept “ignorant” so they won’t learn outside of church or study groups. By being kept “ignorant” on such matters, his church can tell him anything and he believes it because he can’t find anything that disproves church standings.
    .
    Have you ever heard other SDA’s all using not just the KJV but the exact same bible printed by the exact same printing company; all the covers are the same, hardcover with the same designs on them? It seems weird to me.

    • 27. modres  |  August 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your comments. No, I had not heard about whether or not SDAs use a specific Bible printed by the same publisher. I’ll look into it.

      • 28. Dani  |  October 6, 2012 at 6:11 AM

        Seventh day Adventists use all Bibles, There is no specific Bible endorsed. The only Bible we warn about is the New World version that has verses changes, which is the one used by Jehova’s Witnesses.

  • 29. Sherry  |  August 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Pride can be so blindingly insidious. It takes away discernment and causes one to believe a lie as though it were the truth.

    • 30. Simon  |  September 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      They they don’t. There is a misconception because an Adventist theologian produced his own personal paraphrase called the ‘Clear Word’. However, it is neither a Bible nor endorsed as a Bible by the official SDA Church. The issue is further explained (and can be debated) at the following:

      http://adventistcultmisconceptions.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/21-is-it-true-that-sda-church-has.html

      • 31. modres  |  September 14, 2012 at 6:22 AM

        The Clear Word is different from many translations, Simon and you know this, though you are trying to hide the fact (by not acknowledging it) that Ellen G. White’s teachings abound throughout the Clear Word Bible.


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