Are Adventists Evangelical? A Response

20130523-081107.jpgBy Leif L.

I recently posted a comment on an article written in Ministry magazine, which aim was to demonstrate that Ellen G. White, one of the founders and the prophetess of Seventh-day Adventism, was evangelical in her beliefs. The article can be found at:

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1995/02/are-adventists-evangelical

When I posted this comment, I did not realize that it was an Adventist site. The tenor of the author makes it plain that he is not an Adventist writer. However, I think that the author is unaware that although Mrs. White held to certain evangelical beliefs, these beliefs were held in a suspension of doctrines that are incompatible with the essential doctrines that Evangelical Christians hold as important and true.

My reply to the article, with minor changes, follows:

“This article seems to be one-sided. Did the author read a wide selection of the works of Ellen G. White? I suppose Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell would also seem to be evangelical if judged by limited quotations. I doubt that Ellen White’s beliefs listed below (embraced by all faithful Seventh-day Adventists) could be considered compatible with Evangelical Christianity:

  • Biblical inspiration: “The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Chapter One)
  • Christ’s atonement was not complete at the cross: “[In 1844] our great High Priest entered the Holy of Holies … to there make atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to his benefits.” “Christ entered the holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement” The Great Controversy, 308, 428
  • Adherence to certain old covenant laws is necessary in order to qualify for salvation (sabbath, food laws, tithing)
  • “The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarkation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. … It is the seal of the living God.” Selected Messages Vol. 3, p. 423.
  • She believed that Michael the archangel is Jesus, and that “Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ” (Spiritual Gifts, vol.1)
  • Christ took a fallen nature: “Christ took human nature and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He took our nature and its deteriorating condition” (Questions on Doctrine, pp. 654-656)”
  • The scapegoat is Satan, who ultimately bears the sins of the saved: “It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. … Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, … so Satan, … will at last suffer the full penalty of sin” (The Great Controversy, p. 422, 485, 486).
  • The Seventh-day Adventist church is the only true (remnant) church; all other Christian churches are Babylon and her daughters.

The above is an incomplete list. None of the above quotations and points should be offensive to an Adventist. Any knowledgeable, conservative Evangelical Christian should take exception to all of the points above.

This is not meant to demean Ellen White, Seventh-day Adventists, their beliefs or practices. It is simply meant to demonstrate that Ellen White’s beliefs, while holding commonality in some points with Evangelical Christianity, is ultimately incompatible with it from the point of the gospel, systematic theology and worldview.

The same judgment could be made if comparing Roman Catholicism with Fundamentalist Protestantism – while they hold certain points in common, they are ultimately two entirely separate systems of thought, biblical interpretation, and point of view. Don’t equate Fundamentalism with Catholicism, or Evangelicalism with Adventism. It confuses everyone and is unsatisfactory to all parties involved.”

17 responses to “Are Adventists Evangelical? A Response

  1. “When I posted this comment, I did not realize that it was an Adventist site.”

    To look Christian and slide in under the carefully watched door of Evangelicalism to prey upon a Christian Pastor’s Sheep is almost always the gimmick of a “Seventh-Day” Adventist ministry or organ.

    Within the “Seventh-Day” Adventist membership it is common knowledge that we (I speak as a former SDA who is now a Christian) do not make our association with the SDA institution, open and notorious. When you search for its association, is often not on the mailer, or on a magazine or banner. If it is, it is small and not typically the first thing that stands out. Even the other cults like LDS or the Watchtower Society do not hide it as much as do “Seventh-Day” Adventists.

    Interestingly though, almost all SDAs former or current can look at a publication or propaganda and just from the content’s wording or subject tell you with uncanny accuracy if something is SDA.

    But to the original question, “Is Seventh-Day Adventism Evangelical?” Louis Talbot the former Chancellor of BIOLA University answered it soundly, “NO!”

    See (http://outofadventism.com/2011/04/05/life-assurance-ministries-completes-reprint-of-louis-t-talbots-1957-article-on-adventism/)

    • I was raised Adventist, and probably identified with it in some way until ten years ago. When I was 8, the Lord led me and my broken family to a small SDA church, which had a gifted Christ-centred pastor, a church school and a friendly membership that read the Bible and spent much time in prayer. It made a tremendous difference to our lives.

      My wife and I have severed ties with that institution (which it is; it is not a biblical New Testament church but a very efficient hierarchical religious organization), and we are now active members in a small conservative Evangelical church.

      We have close friends and family who feel that of all denominations, it has the most biblical doctrines. I know people in there that are true followers of Jesus Christ, and who don’t understand why we left. They identify Evangelicalism with “cheap grace” and don’t seem to comprehend or connect with certain gospel truths (that believers are under the new covenant, and not the Mosaic law, for example). They tend to undervalue the person and work of Christ, and place heavy emphasis on their own obedience to ritual law in order to gain and maintain God’s favour.

      There is no doubt that the errors in that institution are grave. They have a history of deceit and coverup that is shocking. But we treat our friends and family with love and respect, despite our differences. We will occasionally attend their special events if invited; sometimes our friends will accompany us to ours.

      In the end, I realize that it is only the Holy Spirit that can reveal to a person the issues that are at stake, and to peel back the layers of untruth that exist there. Otherwise, I would still fail to understand the importance of the items of difference that I mentioned in this post.

      • “the Lord led me and my broken family to a small SDA church, which had a gifted Christ-centred pastor”

        Don’t take this the wrong way, but was he Christ-centered enough to warn you that Ellen White taught a false christ, and was thus under a curse? She being a minister of satan? Galations 1:1:6-9 and 2Cor 11:4,13-15
        He should have told you Ellen White never kept a day holy in her pathetic life.

        Or that Adventism was 100%, idolatrous, sabbath-canceling, 10-commandment-shattering, boastful sin? James 2:10 is proof

        Was he so Christ-centered that he obeyed Jesus’ Good News (gospel) command in Matt 7:15 to beware false prophets? Did he warn the congregation about the satanic deceiver, Ellen White, as the touchstone of Adventism?

        Don’t all SDA’s say Lord, Lord, but do not what He says…. with tragic outcomes? Luke 6:46-49. Yes they do.

        SDA’s all seem Christ-centered until you find out they have labeled a liar to be their “christ”. Like a surgeon who never washes his hands, he contaminates everything he touches. Such is the effect of their false 1844-concocted, IJ-conducting, atonement-finishing jesus touching all their teachings, which is idolatry added to their false witness. Cancels all their sabbath preening, James 2:10. Which shows them to be fraudulent liars, as they actually keep no days holy! They commit the additional sin of being deceived that they keep sabbath holy! Not to mention the sin of habitually breaking fellowship with Sunday-churchers! More sabbath negating sin!

        SDA’s keep nothing holy, and certainly not a day of the week. They are under strong delusion that actually leads to damnation, 2Thess 2:10-12.

        Maybe when you were 8 years of age you did not have the discernment that you do now.

        When I was a 7th grader in a two-room SDA school 50 years ago, the local SDA “pastor” came to our school for a week or two, preparing us young kids for SDA baptism. Nothing at all said about Ellen White, nothing. We all accepted the arminian Jesus, the sabbath, 10-commandments, no pig meat, no cigarettes, etc, etc. “Normal” stuff. But on baptism day, he took me (all dressed up in a special gown) into a private room, closed the door, and basically blackmailed me into agreeing Ellen White was a prophet of God. He cleverly forced the issue over my initial suprise and juvenile, poorly formed objections. It seemed illicit. He mentally manipulated me, arguing at length until I ran out of steam, but I always resented it. Only then did we go to the church-tank of water to get publically dunked with all the flowery language invoking God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc. Sinning against a little kid and Jesus’ words at Luke 17:1-2, then claiming the Holy Spirit. Probably unpardonable sin. Too bad the whole congregation could not see the bait-and-switch spiritual wickedness. What reprobates. Little kid just wanted to get baptised, not bullied and extorted…

        That hired “pastor” sure did offend a little person, big time, committing huge sin against Jesus’ teaching at Luke 17:1-2. Millstone. Around. His. Neck.

        That hired “pastor” never kept a single day holy in his entire, pathetic, pork-free, hireling, evil life. James 2:10. He failed all his sheep, not warning us of the great Ellen White evil. Instead promoting it!

        What a religious fraud! But my parents had a head start on him, they started deceiving me from birth. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH  !!! They ALL sin against Matt 7:12, the Golden Rule. They don’t want anybody to deceive or manipulate them, but they confidently deceive their little babies with the sin called Adventism (100% sin). This SDA wickedness explodes any boasts about commandment keeping, see James 2:10. Oh what a tangled, damnable web those reprobates weave.

        And his 3 kids were totally out of moral and social control. Little criminals is what they were. Hope God intervened for them, John 6:65. Wonder whatever happened to that family… Every time I think of their last name it reminds me of the Mormon Kinderhook Plates caper!

    • Good point Wiredog!

      Regarding: “When you search for its association, is often not on the mailer, or on a magazine or banner. If it is, it is small and not typically the first thing that stands out. Even the other cults like LDS or the Watchtower Society do not hide it as much as do “Seventh-Day” Adventists.”

      Right their they are sinning against Jesus’ command in Matt 7:12, the Golden Rule. They surely want to know right away if a rascally Jesuit wrote what they are reading, but serve up a different standard to you. Darned rebels to Jesus!

      And they sin against James 1:22, hearing the Golden Rule, but failing to do it, thus deceiving themselves. More sin!

      And they sin against James 4:17, knowing to do good but refusing to do it.

      Not to mention the sin of judging which parts of the one-law (Numbers 15:16) they desire to pretend keeping. James 4:11 says they keep no law at all, so you can add false-witness to their ever growing mountain of ripe, juicy, sabbath-claim-canceling sin!

      None of them have ever kept a day holy in their pathetic, deceived lives. They are little sin factories.

      Pray that God chooses to rescue them before they go to eternal, infernal torment.

  2. It’s interesting to me that you’re obviously not exalting what the Bible says as the foundation of truth but what Evangelical Christians hold as important and true.

    • This blog post is a response to the article, “Are Adventists Evangelical?” and not, “Are Adventists Biblical?”, in which case the title and approach would have been different.

    • Zog, your untruth cancels any sabbath-keeping or commandment keeping boasts made by yourself, if any.

      Jesus said He was the Truth. If you cannot mould your every thought to that, you might as well go sit on the bench with all the other sabbath fakers!

      Whoever wanders from His teachings does not have God, 2John 1:9-11

      All sin shreds law keeping claims, James 2:10.

      Hope 6 years has found you rescued by God 🙂

  3. “The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Chapter One)

    Beautifully stated. I agree.

    • What is under consideration here is the understanding of Biblical inspiration and inerrancy. If the “words” are not inspired, then the “word” is not inspired.

      Conservative Evangelicals hold to Biblical inerrancy, Adventist’s position on inspiration is much more fluid. I’m not going to debate this issue in the comments, let’s just agree that this is a difference that exists between Adventism and the (conservative) Evangelical churches.

    • White sins against Job 32:8, more sabbath canceling sin:

      “the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”

      It is God that inspired, not man.

      White could not find enough to be deceived about!

  4. “The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarcation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. … It is the seal of the living God.” Selected Messages Vol. 3, p. 423.

    I agree that Sister White was wrong about the Sabbath.

    • When Ellen White is wrong about anything, she commits sabbath-canceling sin, James 2:10. She never kept a day holy in her entire life! She was deceived to the maximum, yet another sabbath-canceling sin.

      The SDA people disobey Jesus every minute of every day by violating Matt 7:15-23. All juicy, sabbath-canceling sin! They refuse to identify the false she-prophet among themselves. Their rebellion and stubbornness is accounted to them as witchcraft and idolatry, see 1Sam 15:23.

      They keep nothing holy!

  5. “Christ’s atonement was not complete at the cross.”

    I recall Walter Martin boasting that he was primarily responsible for the evangelical world accepting Seventh-day Adventist faith as Christian and not a cult movement. The charge that SDAs believe in an incomplete atonement was answered to Martin’s satisfaction in the Adventist classic: SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS ANSWER QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE. Evidently, evangelicals accept the Adventist answer in QOD while your repudiate it.

    http://everythingimportant.org/seventhdayAdventists/qod.htm

    • Thanks for your article which discusses QOD. I had read it a number of years ago. I think it is clear that what E.G. White meant by “perfect atonement” is completely different than the evangelical world understands, and it is picking of phrases outside of a greater context that was not an honest representation of Adventist teaching for the evangelical world.

      Ellen understood the “final atonement” as a future event. Here are a couple examples from The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets:

      “Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest entered the Holy of Holies [in 1844] … to there make atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to his benefits.” (GC 308).

      “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement . . . . Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin” (PP 357-58).

      In contrast, the Scriptures teach that when Jesus “had by Himself purged our sins, [he] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). This was a once-for-all completed act, a final atonement of sins which were cancelled and blotted out.

      QOD was a thorn in the side of many Adventists and Evangelical scholars. The cutting and pasting, use of ellipses throughout the book to misrepresent historic Adventism has been well documented.

      Walter Martin in later years considered rewriting his book, and his daughter said that the state of Adventism (before his death in 1989) disturbed him. After all, Desmond Ford (and others) lost their credentials in the Adventist church for believing that Christ’s atonement was indeed completed at the cross.

    • Still doesn’t detract one bit from the fact that James 2:10 proves White over and over to be nothing more than a sabbath faker!

      So what if Martin and evangelicals are deceived that SDA’s are Christ-followers. Simple fact is, SDA are most definitely not Chrst-followers. They all fail to deny self, choosing instead all their deceived beliefs, promoting a false she-prophet and a false jesus, which is sabbath canceling idolatry, see James 2:10!

      They keep nothing holy. They are actually a very lawless people.

  6. Ellen White never kept a day holy in her entire life, as she ran afoul of Jesus’ teachings continually. She was deceived that she kept days holy, thus she broke fellowship with Sunday-churchers, yet another sin, exploding any boast she could muster about being any kind of law-keeper.

    Jesus commands His own to not be deceived, and Ellen White and her loyal enthusiasts violate, sin against that command every minute of every day! See James 2:10 to determine if Jesus-disobeying, pretend sabbath keepers are really all that and a sack of chips. They are total, utter sabbath fakes.

    SDA’s have succeeded in deceiving Sunday-churchers that they are merely Christ-followers who keep another day holy. That is another sin chalked up to Adventism, as Jesus never told SDA’s to deceive themselves or others! All their many sins cancel any sabbath-keeping preening rights! See James 2:10 for proof. Plus, SDA’s pick and choose which parts of the OT law they pretend to keep, therefore they judge the law, which is more sinning against James 4:17, in addition to bearing false witness that they are law keepers! Judges of law are not law keepers 🙂

    See the other expose’ at Leif’s link: https://youarecompleteinhim.com/2015/06/05/sabbath-sunday-debate/comment-page-1/#comment-1116

Please let me know what you think! I learn from your comments.

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