Hello friend, this is Brother Anderson, and I want to personally welcome you to the final study on Adventist Truth versus Bible Truth! This study is a little different, because I am going to share with you from my own personal experience of 33 years in the SDA Church why I believe that Seventh-day Adventism may be dangerous to your spiritual life.
Before beginning, I want to emphasize that the SDA Church has done a lot of good in this world and there is much to be applauded for their efforts. Their medical system is second-to-none in the Christian world, and the work they have done for the blind is exceptional. The SDA Church also endeavors to follow the Bible closer than some churches, and this is to be praised. However no church is above criticism.
The point of criticism is not to destroy, but to bring about reform, and to warn those who are not aware of the pitfalls. Below you will find eight points that you should seriously consider before joining this religion or while contemplating whether or not to leave it.
When Adventists hold a crusade or evangelistic campaign, they generally
attempt to hide who they are from the general public. Often they hold
the meetings in a neutral public venue, such as a meeting hall, and they
do not mention who they are or what church they are representing.
Often, the evangelist will bill himself as an "interdenominational"
figure--an "historian" or "prophecy expert" or "Bible history expert."
What other religion does this?
When I was a young man I was actively involved in the evangelistic crusades of Adventist minister John Carter. Elder Carter loved to hold crusades, and he would rent out public halls and advertise himself as an expert lecturer on archeology. He would never mention anything about Ellen White in his crusades, even though she was mentioned regularly in Sabbath School and church services at his church. He would never mention Adventism until near the end of the crusade. He even instructed us to give intentionally vague and non-committal answers to attendees who asked us what church we represented.
That was 20 years ago. Are things different today? I got a book in the
mail today (Dec. 11, 2007) entitled "The Path to Peace". It had no
identification as to which religious organization published it. I
immediately suspected it was an Adventist publication. Inside I found
advertisements for "Discovery Bible Studies" and "Keys to Happiness
Studies" but the words "Adventist", "SDA", or "Seventh-day" did not
appear anywhere in the book. On a tiny footnote on the bottom of the
first page, in text so small it was barely legible, I found the words
"Text by E.G. White". Even if someone managed to read the fine print, it
is still obscure--we don't know if it was Edward White, or Earl White,
or Ellen White! Why don't they just put it on the cover of the book
"Written by Ellen G. White, Prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church"? There is only one reason: they know that some people have a
negative awareness of the SDA Church. So, the makers of the book attempt
to cleverly disguise it in order to deceive and perhaps ensnare those
who might otherwise reject the book without reading it.
This is not a recent development. In 1932 the complaint appeared in an SDA book, Answers to Objections:
"When Seventh-day Adventist ministers go into a community to hold a series of lectures, they conceal, at first, their denominational connection. They thus hope to draw into the audience people who would never have come if they knew that Seventh-day Adventists were conducting the meetings. This is a form of deception. There is something the matter with a religious body that is afraid to identify itself as soon as it begins to carry on any activity in a community."
One thing I have frequently observed among Adventists is the philosophy that the "ends justifies the means" when it comes to using deception. The reasoning is this: If we tell them up front we are Adventists, they will not come to our meetings or read our books. Therefore, we will use deception to trick them into thinking we are generic Christians. Was this tactic ever used by Jesus or the Apostles? Did they ever pretend like they were not Christians so that they could get more people to come to their meetings? On Pentecost did Peter and John stand up and pretend like they were non-Christians in order to gain the people's confidence? Notice how this philosophy of secretiveness and disguise is contrary to the openness and transparency of the Apostles:
But we have turned away from secret and shameful ways. We use no trickery, and we do not change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly showing everyone who we are. ... (2 Cor. 4:2 NLT)
The Seventh-day Adventist hierarchy has a long history of practicing
deception. In the early 1850s, church co-founder James White removed portions of Ellen White's visions and then republished them with 19% of the original writings missing.
The portions removed contained teachings that Adventist leaders decided
were no longer "truth". People who read the "revised" versions of the
visions had no idea that what they were reading had been altered, and
key damaging passages had been removed.
Behind closed doors, such as at the 1919 Bible Conference, church leaders expressed personal doubts about Ellen White, but publicly the church continues to make positive statements regarding her inspiration. I have personally talked to SDA evangelists and professors who privately expressed grave doubts about Ellen White, but publicly quoted her and acted as though they actually believed her to be the "spirit of prophecy". College president W.W. Prescott complained in a letter:
"...we let them go on year after year asserting things which we know to be untrue. I cannot feel that this is right. It seems to me that we are betraying our trust and deceiving the ministers and people. It appears to me that there is much more anxiety to prevent a possible shock to some trustful people than to correct error. ... The way your mother's [Ellen White's] writings have been handled and the false impressions concerning them, which is still fostered among the people, have brought great perplexity and trial to me. It seems to me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people of what was known to be their wrong view concerning her writings."
When Walter Rea discovered the extent of Mrs. White's plagiarism
and brought it to the attention of church leaders, instead of facing up
to the problem and working with him to expose it, they turned against
Elder Rea, fired him, and tried to counteract his findings.
It is now becoming well known that the church's prophet, Ellen White, practiced deception:
As reported by Walter Rea, in his book Pirates of Privilege,
the first resort of SDA Church leaders when caught in the financial
corruption of the Davenport scandal was to engage in deceit.
Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). When the leaders of a
church organization practice deception, then deception becomes
institutionalized, and the members eventually come to consider deception
as less sinful than it really is. This is the first danger of being
associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Adventism is a very exclusive religion. They see themselves as the "remnant", the one and only
group of Christians who have remained loyal to God, His Fourth
Commandment, and His prophet Ellen White. Adventists have the "truth"
and all other Christian churches are "apostate" and under "strong
When I was growing up, I was advised not to associate with people of
other religions because I should not be around their contaminating
influence. Later in life, after I left the Adventist Church, all my
Adventist friends distanced themselves from me to the point where we
Adventists tend to congregate together in "Adventist ghettos". A good example of such is Keene, Texas, a city whose businesses close on Saturday, and whose supermarket carries a wide variety of vege-meats. Adventists tend to associate with one another and do business with each other. Here is the idealistic Adventist life-cycle:
Why is that? Adventists are taught that Sunday-keepers are "Babylon" or
the "daughters of Babylon". They are taught that Sunday-keepers are
going to receive the Mark of the Beast, and that the Sabbath is the great separating wall between God's true remnant people and the deceived, lost world.
Perhaps Ellen White stated it best when she said:
"...Satan has taken full possession of the [non-Adventist] Churches" and even their prayers are an "abomination" to God.
"Let those who would be the children of God take heed to the command, 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.' Association with worldly-minded men and women dims the spiritual perception; for it is in direct disobedience to the plain injunctions of the word of God. In worldly society an earthly influence is at work, an atmosphere of poisonous miasma is there which is disastrous to personal piety."
What a scary thought! Who would want to be infected with "poisonous
miasma" by associating with the "lost"?
After all, it might damage my "character perfection" if I were to associate with non-Adventists!
When you start withdrawing from people because you view them as "lost"
or "apostates", that is a dangerous sign. This "holier-than-thou"
attitude is the earmark of pharisiacal hypocrisy and is the antithesis
of Christ's attitude toward others. Christ was known as a friend of
Since Adventists regard all other religions, including Christian ones, as being in the possession of Satan, they endeavor to win converts from other religions. In fact, most of their converts come from other Christian religions. SDA evangelist Dan O'Ffill, in a book endorsed by the SDA North American Division president, shares how Seventh-day Adventists have an exclusive hold upon the truth:
"The entire world is deceived today. Truth has been covered up with error. The Protestant churches have accepted the teaching of the antichrist... And so most [non-SDA] church members are in mortal danger, but don't know it. ...the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the world's last hope for rescue..."
O'Ffill goes on in his 126-page book to describe methods of witnessing
to bring "born-again Christians" into the SDA sect, including "special
ways to reach Catholics" and methods to "appeal to members of all
Protestant denominations." Hence, Adventists teach that they alone have the truth and it is their mission to share their truth with all those poor non-Adventist Christians who are "deceived" having "accepted the teaching of antichrist."
I have a book called Studying Together, written by SDA
tele-evangelist Mark Finley (a wonderful man whom I've met) and his book
spends some 86 pages teaching Adventists how to reach other religions,
primarily Christian ones. The introduction explains that this large
section was written so that Adventists can "share Jesus and His truth"
with non-Adventists. This implies that other Christians do
not know Jesus nor His "truth". Here are the
groups Elder Finley believes Adventists need to be sharing "Jesus and His truth" with:
You will notice that most of the groups mentioned above are other Christian denominations, and a couple are even Sabbath-keeping ones. The SDA Church has a big missionary effort and their evangelists and missionaries are active in many nations around the world, but unlike many Christian churches, a large part of the SDA effort is directed not so much at the unsaved, but rather at other Christians.
The entire philosophy of Adventist teachings regarding end-time prophecy
is that the wicked are going to join forces to persecute Seventh-day
Adventists. Catholicism is supposedly going to join hands with apostate
Protestantism and Spiritualism, and this three-fold union is going to
pass laws restricting the liberty of Adventists to worship on Saturday.
Eventually, a death penalty will be passed for all who do not honor
This frightening end-time scenario has no basis in the Bible or in fact,
but it is taught to children and new converts as if it were "gospel
truth." As a result, Adventists operate in a constant state of mistrust
and suspicion of other religions. Any positive statement made by a
Sunday-keeping church leader regarding worship on Sunday is regarded as a
"sign" of the end.
This delusional end-time scenario is referred to as the National Sunday Law.
I remember vividly when SDA minister Jan Marcussen, author of a book on
the subject, came to our church with a pile of newspaper clippings
purporting to show the imminence of a national Sunday law. He solemnly
held up his hand and declared to the congregation that it would happen
so soon that a child could count the number of months. That was 19 years
ago. Over 228 months, and still counting! I have now been a Christian
for over 40 years, and have met thousands of people from a multitude of
denominations. To this day, I have yet to meet a single person who is
even the least bit interested in persecuting Seventh-day Adventists for
not honoring Sunday.
The primary danger of this delusional end-time scenario is that it will
cause Adventists to mis-read the true signs of the end. It dupes
Adventists into thinking that certain events must transpire prior
to the return of Christ. For example, an Adventist would expect Sunday
laws to be passed prior to Christ's return. Therefore, an Adventist may
delay getting his heart ready for the return of Christ because he thinks
he has plenty of time to make that decision because there are not yet
any signs of imminent Sunday laws. Secondly, it feeds the "exclusive"
mindset discussed above by creating an "us" versus "them" scenario.
Finally, this impending conflict generates feelings of stress, and
perhaps fear, in some people. The purpose and intent of Christianity is
not to coerce people to join a religion out of fear. It is to share
love, joy, and peace with people.
There is an emphasis in Adventism on character perfection. While not all of Ellen White's writings stress perfection, at times she made very strong statements regarding perfection:
"Those only who through faith in Christ obey all of God's commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression."
"Everyone who surrenders fully to God is given the privilege of living without sin."
"We need not retain one sinful propensity."
"Christ died to make it possible for you to cease to sin."
"To be redeemed means to cease from sin."
"...Those who are living on the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil..."
Ellen White's teachings about perfectionism and the importance of our own "dilligent efforts" are contrary to Scripture:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. (Isa. 53:6)
All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one. (Rom. 3:12 NLT)Perfectionism is a one-way road to spiritual derailment. Either a person will realize he is failing miserably in his attainment of perfection and give up his faith in utter despair, or else he will delude himself into thinking he is spiritually better than others and develop a hypocritical attitude.
Adventists place a lot of emphasis on obeying the Ten Commandments,
particularly the fourth commandment. Their whole end-time eschatology is
built upon a great, cosmic conflict that is being played out before the
entire universe, and the battle lines have been drawn over the Sabbath
Commandment. The conflict over the Sabbath is the final conflict between
good and evil, and it is the separating wall that divides "loyal"
Christians from "disloyal" Christians. With all this emphasis being
placed upon the law, it is no wonder that Adventists have a tendency to
get bogged down in legalism.
Mrs. White adds to the problem with some of her legalistic statements such as these:
"...The terms of salvation for every son and daughter of Adam are here outlined. It is plainly stated that the condition of gaining eternal life is obedience to the commandments of God".
"To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain His favor."
"He [man] must be reconciled to God through obedience to His law."9
Scripture teaches that our "dilligent efforts" have no part in earning God's favor or His reconciliation:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. ...for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:16,21)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8,9)
There is a danger in any religious philosophy that depends in any
degree, even one percent, on the dilligent efforts of the believer to
obtain or earn their salvation.
The Adventist religion adds a whole host of rules and regulations that make life tedious and burdensome. I remember as a child being told it was okay to wade in the water on hot Sabbath afternoons, but I could not swim. Most of the rules followed by Adventists come from the pen of Ellen White. Here are a few of them:
Believe it or not, there are Adventists who actually endeavor to keep
these rules and regulations of Ellen White. For a while, I attempted to
follow all the various health teachings of Ellen White, but instead of
attaining a feeling of greater spiritual perfection, I lost weight down
to 130 pounds and felt weak.
The danger in adding a multitude of needless restrictions to a religion
is that it makes religion seem tiring and burdensome, especially for the
youth. This over-bearing and overly restrictive environment drives the
youth out of the church, which is perhaps one of the reasons that it has
been reported that 70% of Seventh-day Adventist youth leave the church.
Because of the exclusive nature of the SDA Church, and because they are the faithful and true "remnant", when one leaves the church, they are leaving the "truth" and choosing to be "apostates". For many Adventists, it is unfathomable that someone could leave the true church. In typical arrogant style, O'Ffill explains why people leave the SDA Church:
"People give many reasons for falling away from the church: hypocrites in the church, unfair treatment, heresy, lack of love, boredom. But these are only excuses. The real reason they fell away is that they did not understand why they were Adventists in the first place."
When I left the SDA Church in 1998, I was met with all sorts of
comments, such as I was "lost", an "apostate", following "Satan", an
"enemy of the truth", and so forth. This is unique to cultic religions.
When a person changes from the Methodist Church to the Baptist Church,
he is not derided as "lost" or a "heretic". However, when a person
leaves the SDA Church for the Baptist Church, it is a whole different
story. He is going "back to Babylon" or returning to "Apostate
If someone dares to question the authority of Ellen White, they are told
they are fulfilling Ellen White's prophecy that in the last days some
Adventists would be part of the final deception of Satan, which is to
destroy confidence in the "spirit of prophecy." This puts a lot of
pressure on a person, because after all, who wants to be a part of
Satan's final deception?
Leaving the SDA Church is often a very difficult proposition for an SDA
because it could easily involve the loss of friends, loved ones, and
perhaps even family. In some cases it could mean the loss of a job or
career with an Adventist institution. When an Adventist is contemplating
leaving the church, he may be pressured by other Adventists to "stay in
the fold" and keep his objections to himself.
When I told one SDA professor of my findings regarding how Ellen White failed the Biblical tests of a prophet,
I was surprised to find him to be quite sympathetic. He shared with me
how he had discovered many similar things when he was studying for the
ministry at the SDA Seminary. That man, who taught and ministered to
thousands of SDA students over the decades, recommended I follow his
example and stay quiet and "do not rock the boat." In other words, I was
being pressured to live a double-life, pretending on the surface that I
agreed with what the SDA Church taught, while keeping my real feelings
It is spiritually unhealthy to be put in the position of having to
pretend to be something you are not in order to hold onto your job, your
family, or your friends.
When the SDA Church started out, Adventists were staunchly pro-life. The
Whites, J.N. Andrews, Dr. Kellogg, and other SDA pioneers all denounced
abortion in the strongest words. The SDA Church did not even permit
abortions until 1970.
Everything changed in 1970 when an SDA hospital in Hawaii (Castle
Memorial Hospital) began permitting abortions reportedly BECAUSE THEY
WERE AFRAID OF LOSING PATIENTS WHO WOULD GO TO OTHER HOSPITALS TO GET
In the early 1970s the SDA Church developed two pairs of "guidelines"
about abortion. One contained strict guidelines, and was for the PUBLIC
to see. The other was much more liberal, and it was released privately
to the hospitals. The PRIVATE version allowed physicians to perform ANY
type of abortion-on-demand. Again, as noted earlier, we find the SDA
Church engaging in deceptive practices.
Wrapped in secrecy, it is difficult obtaining exact figures on who is performing abortions, but there is some evidence to indicate Adventists are one of the largest performers of abortions in the USA (that includes both official SDA institutions and those operated independently by Seventh-day Adventist individuals.) Here are some facts:
While giving lip service to respecting life, the SDA Corporate
leadership continues to permit abortions in its institutions and by its
physicians. The SDA Church insists their
followers abstain from eating pork, having a glass of wine, or engaging
in "secret vice" because the "body is a temple of the Holy
Spirt....therefore honor God with your body" (1 Cor. 6:19), yet they
seemingly have no qualms whatsoever about allowing a murder to take
place within that same temple, even going so far as to employ SDA
physicians working at SDA institutions "of healing" to perform those
temple killings! For a people so focused on the Ten Commandments,
it is ironic to find them allowing their institutions and members to
break the sixth commandment: "Thou shalt not kill".
The attributes and tactics of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that we
discussed above are not the ways or methods of Christ. Before you join
the SDA Church, please think long and hard about the ramifications that
decision may have upon your long-term spiritual health.
If you are already a member of the SDA Church, you need to consider if this is truly God's highest will for your life. Over the last 10 years I have often had people ask me, Should I leave the SDA Church? The answer is not simple, but let me share with you four cases where you should stay in the SDA Church:
For the rest of you, if you can find another Christian Church where you
can grow spiritually and serve and honor God, then you should take the
matter to the Lord in prayer and follow His leading. I cannot tell you
which church is the "true" church. Personally, I am a member of the Church of God (seventh day).
There are different "flavors" of Christianity and the Holy Spirit will
lead you to where you need to be. I strongly encourage you to continue
to grow in your Christian faith and join an evangelical, Bible-believing
church teaching the true gospel message of Jesus Christ.
God bless you,
This above information comes from http://www.nonsda.org/study12.shtml