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Seventh-day Adventist Church



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About the Author

Anton Hein

This page of research resources on the Seventh-day Adventist Church is written and maintained by Anton Hein, founder and team member of Apologetics Index.

Anton lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with his wife, Janet, who was born in England but raised in Ireland (and is more Irish than English). They are involved in helping people leave cults, abusive churches or abusive relationships.

When Anton is not typing something or other, he's probably either taking photos somewhere in Amsterdam, brewing quality coffee, or creating super-spicy home-made Mexican salsas.

He can be contacted via our feedback form, or directly at anton@dutchintouch.com

Research resources on Seventh-day Adventism

This 14-page overview gives side-by-side comparisons of the most important issues-and the beliefs that every SDA member holds.

We highly recommend this colorful, laminated fold-out pamphletoffsite as a good introduction to SDA Church teachings as contrasted with those of Christianity.

The pamphlet answers such questions as: Why do Seventh-day Adventists worship on Saturdays only? Who was their prophet, Ellen G. White, and what did she teach about Jesus (identified as Michael the Archangel), the Trinity (both God the Father and Jesus have tangible bodies), and salvation? What is the SDA Bible paraphrase, The Clear Word, and how does it alter the original Greek and Hebrew meanings to fit Mrs. White's unusual teachings? Why do Adventists consider Sunday worship "the mark of the beast?" What is the "investigative judgment," and how does it deny the biblical belief that Jesus paid fully for our sins at the cross?

It was authored by former Seventh-day Adventists Colleen and Richard Tinker, with contributions by Jeremy Graham and Jim Valentine. General Editor for the project was Paul Carden, Executive Director of Centers for Apologetics Research, and former co-host of the Bible Answer Man radio program.

Note: additional research resources will be added. You are welcome to suggest such resources. The listings are color-coded. Sources produced by Seventh-day Adventists, either in a lay or official capacity, have been color-coded 'brown' to reflect our understanding that while the Seventh-day Adventist Church professes to be Christian it is outside orthodox Christianity.

Articles

  • The Clear Word Bible: Is it the Word of God? [contra] by Dale Ratzlaff and Verle Streifling. This article, hosted by Watchman Fellowship, documents how The Clear Word Bible goes beyond merely providing a paraphrase by altering Scripture to make it line up with Adventist teachings in general, and the writings of Ellen G. White in particular.
  • Commentary on "The Triune God"offsite [contra] The Bible Studies for Adventists website, which is operated by former Seventh-day Adventists, presents responses to the official SDA Church publication, Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. Here it documents that "from a Christian perspective, Adventism, despite it's deceptive use of the word 'Trinity,' is actually non-Trinitarian."
  • Did Adventist leaders lie to Walter Martin?offsite [Contra] by Stephen D. Pitcher, Proclamation! magazine, Vol. 11, Issue 3, July/August/September 2010. This article documents how leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church lied to Christian apologist Walter Martin and his evangelical colleagues, including Donald Grey Barnhouse. After a series of meeetings that took place in 1955 and 1956, the SDA Church published Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine: An Explanation of Certain Major Aspects of Seventh-day Adventist Belief. The book, often referred to simply as QOD, was the church's official answer to Martin and his colleagues. Pitcher says, "It's now time to admit that the Adventists did not tell Martin, Barnhouse, and their evangelical colleagues the truth. It's time to set the record straight."
  • Facts Seventh-day Adventists Won't Tell You At Their Seminarsoffsite As part of it proselytizing efforts the SDA Church puts on interesting seminars on subjects ranging from archeology to prophecy -- often without informing people that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the entity behind those seminars. Here's what else they won't tell you.
  • The Great Controversy: Living in a Worldview of Deceptionoffsite [contra] This article addresses a book by SDA Church prophet Ellen G. White, who claimed that Jesus is in a battle with Satan and that humans are helping Jesus win. White's book also teached that in at some point in the future Catholics and Protestants -- everyone who doesn't keep the Saturday Sabbath holy -- will join forces to kill Adventists. Colleen Tinker shows how, "In this postmodern age, Adventist leaders and authors are finding the great controversy to be an effective way to share Adventism with people who don't believe in 'absolute truth'." See also this chartoffsitePDF file, which compares the SDA Church's Great Controversy worldview with a Christian worldview.
  • SDA Admissions About Their "Trinity" Doctrineoffsite [contra] A collection of quotes documenting "admissions from the Seventh-day Adventist Church's own leaders/scholars/theologians/professors, admitting that Adventism teaches a different "Trinity" doctrine than the historical, orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity, as defined by the Christian Church throughout Christian history in its creeds and confessions."
  • Seventh-day Adventismoffsite Position statement by the Christian Research Institute. Be sure to read this information.
  • The Transitional Pathoffsite PDF file [contra] Former SDA pastor Dale Ratzlaff shares how to minister to transitioning Seventh-day Adventists. See a summary here.
  • Walter Martin interviewoffsite "Walter Martin, Christianity's cult-watcher discusses Adventism in trouble," from Adventist Currents, July, 1983. Make sure you also read, Did Adventist leaders lie to Walter Martin?
  • Why Are So Many Seventh-day Adventists Leaving the SDA Church?offsite [contra] Former Adventist Dirk Anderson provides some of the top reasons cited by Adventists who study their way out of the SDA Church
  • Why Seventh-day Adventism is not Evangelicaloffsite PDF file by Louis T. Talbot

Audio

Books -- Online

Profiles / Encyclopedia

See Also

Video

Websites

  • Adventist Cult Misconceptionsoffsite [pro] Appear to be an individual's efforts at answering critics of the SDA Church. 50 Questions and Answers.
  • Adventist Defense Leagueoffsite [pro] Extensive site
  • Bible Studies for Adventistsoffsite "Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide." Editor behind the project is Colleen Tinker, who is also the editor of Proclamation! magazine.
  • The Ellen G. White® Estate, Inc.offsite [pro] Official website for an organization created in 1933 by the five trustees named in Ellen G. White's last will and testament to act as the custodian of her writings.25 Among other things, it includes the complete writings of Ellen G. White online. Check this footnote for an interesting fact regarding the site's domain name26
  • Ellen White Exposeoffsite [contra] Extensive collection of research material on Ellen White and other issues related to the SDA Church
  • Ex-Adventist Outreachoffsite [contra] A ministry of former Seventh-day Adventists. The site is operated by former SDA pastor J. Mark Martin
  • Examination of Seventh-day Adventism & Ellen G. Whiteoffsite [contra] 2200 pages of material that critically examines the claims and teachings of Seventh-day Adventism. This website, ex-sda.com, is archived by the Internet Archive. Visually a throw-back to the early days of web design, but in terms of content a treasure trove for dedicated researchers. (Bring some food and water and let someone know where you're going when you enter this website :)
  • Former Adventist Fellowshipoffsite [contra] A place where former and questioning Seventh-day Adventists can fellowship and study with others who have discovered that Jesus is their true Sabbath Rest.
  • Proclamation! Magazineoffsite Thie quarterly magazine, intended for former Seventh-day Adventists, inquiring Adventists, Sabbatarians, and concerned Christians, can be read online. Its mission is "To proclaim the good news of the New Covenant gospel of grace in Christ and to combat the errors of legalism and false religion." An excellent resource.
  • The Great Hope Exposedoffsite [contra] This website exposes the non-biblical worldview in The Great Hope (sometimes named The Great Controversyoffsite) -- a book distributed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as part of a massive outreach campaign.
  • Seventh-day Adventist Churchoffsite Official website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Take the SDA truth challengeoffsite [contra] Operated by Dirk Andersonoffsite, who was a Seventh-day Adventist for 33 years. Very clear and well-presented

Notes:

  1. The vast majority of Christians reject such date-setting, because the Bible teaches that nobody knows when Jesus will return. See Is it possible to know when Jesus is coming back? at Questions.org
  2. While the number of approximately 2,000 visionary experiences is promoted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, there is considerable evidence that Ellen G. White had far fewer of these alleged visionary experiences. See, Robert K. Sanders, The "2,000 Visions" Fable
  3. Jeremy Rapport, Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Religions of the World, 2nd edition. ABC-CLIO, September 21, 2010
  4. That view had long before been preached by the Seventh-day Baptists who originated in England in the 17th century.
  5. In 10 Q&A on Seventh-day Adventism, Rose Publishing says "Ellen White claimed that those who worship on Sunday have been deceived by Satan, and because they embrace his counterfeit Sabbath they bear the 'mark of the beast'."

    Regarding this teaching, see Romans 14 -- particularly vs. 5 and 6: "One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord." Plain language that in just two sentences soundly refutes those who make keeping the Sabbath on a certain day a requirement for salvation.

    See also: Why do Christians worship on Sunday when the Old Testament commandment sets apart Saturday as the day of worship?

  6. When it was official organized, on May 21, 1863, the movement included some 125 churches and 3,500 members. See Seventh-day Adventists - The Heritage Continues
  7. Seventh-day Adventist World Church Statistics as of June 30, 2011. Last accessed Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 11:56 AM CET
  8. Figures from The World Church, on the official website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  9. Note the difference between theological and sociological definitions of the term 'cult.'
  10. See also this interview with Walter Martin
  11. Note that the Christian Research Institute has, under the leadership of Hank Hanegraaff, become increasingly controversial, not in the least place due to its claim that the so-called Local Church -- widely considered to be a cult of Christianity -- is a theologically sound Christian group.
  12. Many people have preconceived notions of what they term 'cult' means. The term has several precisely definitions, depending on the context in which it is used. The scholars CRI mentions used the term 'cult' in the theological sense of the word. The SDA Church is generally not considered to be a cult in the sociological sense of the term. See: What is a cult? See also: CultDefinition.com
  13. Less than orthodox, yet not explicitly contrary to orthodoxy. Definition from: "A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment" (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1990, page 28) by Robert M. Bowman.
  14. See: Going Deeper into the SDA Trinity Doctrine. Note that one of the difficulties of witnessing to Seventh-day Adventists is that SDA definitions of Christian terminology do not necessarily match the definitions used by Christians.
  15. This pamphlet, which we highly recommended, including footnotes referencing these and other statements. Here's how this resource is described at the publisher's website:

    • This short, simple 14-page overview gives side-by-side comparisons of the most important issues-and the beliefs that every SDA member holds.
    • In just a few minutes, you will grasp the basic problems with the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist prophet, Ellen G. White.
    • Know the history and strange teachings of SDA about salvation, atonement, and their failed end times prophecies.
    • Find out that the SDA church considers itself to be the only true remnant church.
    • See examples showing how the Seventh-day Adventist Bible paraphrase, The Clear Word, changes dozens of biblical passages to add in Ellen G. White's unusual doctrines.
    • Learn why they go to Christian music events and try to proselytize young believers.
    • SDA's believe that worshipping on Sunday is the mark of the Beast (a sign you are not a true Christian).
    • Glossary that shows how SDA members use Christian terms but mean something else.

    Also included are tips on how to reach out to Adventists.

  16. In fact, Christians should not assume that all people who identify themselves as Seventh-day Adventists necessarily all share the same beliefs.
  17. See the quote and reference in Watchman Fellowship's profile on SDAoffsite under the heading, The Investigative Judgment
  18. This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 30, 1995.
  19. Jane Paulsen, The Theological Landscapeoffsite: Perspectives on Issues Facing the World Seventh-day Adventist Church
  20. Read the full statement, dated April 6, 2012, at the bottom of this page
  21. An example is the current campaign titled, 'Choose a Full Life: Health, Healing and Wholeness in Urban Cities'
  22. See: On Trial for Heresy -- The A.F. Ballenger Story: "Ballenger's theories regarding the sanctuary overthrew the entire reason for the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist church. As noted by Ellen White in her epic Great Controversy, the sanctuary teaching provided the key that explained the existence of the church … If Christ made no special move into the Most Holy Place in 1844, then not only would Ellen White's visions be in doubt, but the whole movement would be cast in doubt. If nothing happened in 1844, then God did not direct Miller's movement and it was not the first and second angels' messages of Revelation 14. If Ballenger was right, there was no need for an investigative judgment."
  23. See Walter Rea's biography
  24. from time to time second-hand hardcover or paperback copies of the book are available, via such stores as Amazon.com -- albeit at exorbitant prices.
  25. See this Wikipedia entry for details
  26. As revealed by a search on the Internet Archive, ellenwhite.org used to be the home of anti-Ellen White publications. The domain name appears to have been the subject of a legal battle, and it was not the only domain name the SDA Church went after. See also: Seventh-day Adventist Church takes legal action against ex-SDA websites. The information formerly posted at ellenwhite.org is now available at ellenwhiteexposed.com

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This post was last updated: Aug. 18, 2013