Are 7th Day Adventists a cult?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by 3John2, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. 3John2

    3John2
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    I have a good friend who is a 7th day adventist. He lives in another state but we e mail each other every day & speak on the phone like every other day or so.
    Anyways I was wondering why are they considered a cult? We both seem to agree quite a bit on most subjects with the exception of the Sabbath or when we observe it.
    I thought a cult was someone who denied the deity of Jesus such as the JW's, Mormons etc.
    Can someone clarify this for me?
     
  2. Marcia

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    Most Christians do not consider the SDA a cult because they affirm the essentials, a Triniterian God, deity of Christ, the atonement, etc.

    Some groups believe the SDA is not a cult but has some cultic characteristics because they do believe that only the true church worships on Saturday, they can be legalistic, and some SDA churches (not all) put Ellen White's on a par with scripture, plus other teachings that are problematic.

    Another way some put it is that the SDA is not a cult but they have heterodox distinctives (teachings outside the norm of historic Christianity) such as the ones already mentioned plus some teachings about Jesus beginning an investigative judgment in heaven in 1844, I think. Their teachings do sometimes seem to add works into the mix because of this particular teaching. I am not sure I can post their site here, but you can probably find it through Google. They do believe that those worshiping on Sunday when Christ comes back will have the mark of the beast. I read that on their site somewhere.

    Here's a good article from a Christian ministry on the SDA with an excerpt:

     
  3. Marcia

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    Also, for responses to the Sabbath issue, see

    http://www.letusreason.org/7thAd13.htm

    At the bottom of the article posted above are several more links to other articles on the issue of the Sabbath.

    This is a belief bulletin from the NAMB on the SDA (in pdf format) that also gives Biblical responses to some of the problematic SDA teachings:
    http://www.namb.net/evangelism/iev/PDF/BB_7th_day_Adventism.pdf

    More articles on SDA from Christian ministries:
    http://www.carm.org/sda.htm
    http://www.carm.org/sda.htm

    My guess is that this might be moved by the moderators to the Other Religions forum, but I'm not sure. This category is supposed to be Baptist Theology and only Baptists are supposed to post here.
     
  4. 3John2

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    I once got my hands on of of Ms Whites books, I don't remember how but I remember I didn't like & something didn't click with me about it. I tend to trust my "gut" when it comes to that. He doesn't mentioned her at all really. Anyways thanks for all the info.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    They fit 7 of the 10 marks of a cult (Josh McDowell's Handbook of Today's Religion) and are "christian" only in a nominal sense of the word.

    So they, like LDS, JW's, Moonies and Unitarians are most definitely a christian cult. They HATE such a label (of course) and work to show you the orthodox side.

    But start them talking about the writings of their prophetess and the truth will out.
     
  6. GODzThunder

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    main stream SDA denies the trinity, the true deity of Christ & the bodily resurrection I think that is grounds for being a cult. Also their religion was founded on the teachings of a man who constantly was on the look for signs from God in the sky. You will notice that even today this sect continues to thrive with prophecy seminars where they teach of the symbolic signs of the book of revelation. Yes they do believe that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected in power for the sins of all who call upon his name. They believe Christ was sin free and was God's only son but their rendition of Christ is slightly different than the traditional (biblical) view. Just a little is the same as not at all. You either hit the mark or miss it completely!
     
  7. 3John2

    3John2
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    Thanks I need to read up on that. But honestly my friend doesn't exhibit ANY Of those signs really. Funny he once mentioned that if he were to change "religeons" he'd be a Baptist.
     
  8. Marcia

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    My understanding is that some SDA's are fairly orthodox and do not go in for Ellen White at all.
     
  9. Russ Kelly

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    Marcia
    Though born and raised in a Baptist family, I became an SDA minister for 10 of my 60 years from 1972 until 1981. I graduated from one of their colleges adn pastored 7 of their churches.

    THEY ARE DEFINITELY A CULT!!!

    1. EXCLUSIVENESS: Only SDAs and those who have not deliberately rejected the Sabbath truth will be saved.This is the key doctrine to be preached to the entire world just before Christ returns.
    2. EXCLUSIVENESS: Just before Christ comes, if you do not accept the Sabbath truth and join their true remnant church, you will be lost.
    3. EXCLUSIVENESS: They are the only true church. All other churches are Babylon.
    4. EXCLUSIVENESS: They are the only church that properly keeps the Ten Commandments and recognizes Ellen G. White at the Spirit of Prophecy.
    5. BIBLE TRUTH KNOWN ONLY TO THEM: Just before Christ returns, the USA's politicians will join with the Roman Catholic Church and apostate Protestants to search out and sentence SDAs to death (read The Great Controversy). They see all of us as persecutors.
    6. BIBLE TRUTH KNOWN ONLY TO THEM: The Investigative Judgment doctrine says that Christ did not enter into the Most Holy Place at his ascension but entered there for the first time in 1844. He then began judging all men who claimed faith in him, starting with Adam. When this judgment ends with the last living Sabbath-keeper, Christ will return to rescue SDAs from the Beast (Roman Catholicism) and its daughters (you and me).
    7.Ellen White said that those found eating pork (unclean food) when Christ returns will not be saved.
    8.Ellen White's published writings are equal in inspiration with the Bible because she was just as much a prophet as those in the Bible. In practice, her writings are placed above God's Word because they are easier to understand. No SDA theologian or leader can challenge anything she has plainly stated. Inter-church doctrinal literature quotes the Bible and EGW side by side for validation.

    Read The Great Controversy, especially the last half. Your friend is deceived if he/she thinks that the evangelical wing is orthodox. The evangelical wing I was in was kicked out of the church by the hundreds in the early 1980s as per Desmond Ford. No serious Bible study can take place in such environment.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Thank you, Russ, for your personal testimony of the cultic position of the SDA.

    And thank GOD for your deliverance . . .
     
  11. Craigbythesea

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    It is very easy to "label" people who are not Baptists. So far, no one has quoted any contemporary SDA theologians or official documents of the SDA church to support their statements to the effect the SDA church in a non-Christian cult. Before we further show the SDA church how non-Christian we are, let's post something more than opinions and hearsay.
     
  12. Ben W

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    I have looked into the SDA quite alot, and what I surmise is that they are a group that has had some incorrect teachings in the past yet have begun to drop those things and ratify mainstream christianity.

    They most certainley are Trinitarian, yet in the past there was a teaching that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, this has scince been dropped. They are becoming more willing to fellowship with other christians, yet what concerns me is their Soul Sleep of the Dead doctrine and the Doctrine that Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary in 1844.

    It is on the basis of those two things that I am not reccomending them.

    Maybe you should ask your friend what he thinks of the Seventh Day Baptist Church, a group that does meet on Saturday, yet not for the same reasons as the SDA.

    http://www.seventhdaybaptist.org/
     
  13. Marcia

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    This is not a matter of labeling but of examining teachings. I have read the official doctrines on the SDA site, and they say what Russ has said they say. He was an SDA preacher, Craig. Don't you think he knows what he is talking about?

    They do believe that you will get the mark of the beast if you have been worshiping on Sunday when Christ comes back. And many of them do consider Ellen White on a par with the Bible.
     
  14. Marcia

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    Russ, thanks for your posting and info. I think you got me mixed up with the original inquirer who has the SDA friend, 3John2. I am not the one with the SDA friend, but was was the first to respond to his query.

    What I have heard is that the official SDA teachings, which you laid out in your post, are not accepted by all SDA members, and that some of them disagree with the official positions. I am not sure how true this is, but one SDA member on another list I'm on insists on this.

    I learned more about the SDA several months ago when I managed to dissuade, along with info from the Internet, a new believer from joining their church (this person was being influenced by a relative). Most Christians are unaware of the official SDA teachings and how cultic they are.

    Russ, thanks again for your post. You should set up a website with this info. With your background as an SDA minister, you have the credibility and the experience.
     
  15. Marcia

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    Craig, I forgot to say, see my links I posted in the 3rd post. No need to quote from them, the info is there.
     
  16. Johnv

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    They're not a cult. Their core doctrines are pretty much the same as ours. They have some differences in interpretation (such as which day to worship on), but there is nothing significant about them puts them in the definition of a cult.
     
  17. Marcia

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    They're not a cult. Their core doctrines are pretty much the same as ours. They have some differences in interpretation (such as which day to worship on), but there is nothing significant about them puts them in the definition of a cult. </font>[/QUOTE]JohnV, did you read the links I posted? Did you read Russ' post? If not a cult, they are at least cultic.

    It is not a matter of difference in interpretation, but a difference in doctrine in many areas. To worship on Saturday is one thing, but to say that those who worship on Sunday will get the mark of the beast and be unsaved when Jesus comes back is another.

    To say Ellen White is a prophet is one thing but to say her teachings are the same as the Bible is another (especially when you investigate and find she plagiarized a lot of stuff and some of the things she said).

    To say Jesus ascended is one thing, but to add to that the FALSE TEACHING that Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 to start the investigative judgment is another. This investigative judgment means he is examining everyone who claims to be a Christian one by one, and you may fail the test! So His atonement did not cover all your sins.

    SDA official doctrine is legalistic, works plus grace, exclusivist, and includes false, unbiblical teachings in major areas.
     
  18. Russ Kelly

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    Craig
    My statements are not "opinions and hearsay."
    Unless things have radically changed within the SDA leadership in the past two years, you are accusing me unfairly.

    While visiting my school, Southern Adventist University near Chattanooga several years ago, the Bible was not quoted once in the class on Prophecy. It was all EG White.

    I own both the old and new SDA church manual. In fact, the NEW one is more cultic than the old one.

    Visit one of their Sabbath SChool classes, listen to the lesson and read the textbook. You will see for yourself that EGW is plced equal to the Bible in authority.

    When Martin and Barnhouse wrote Kingdom of the Cults in the early '60s, a comittee was assigned to convince them of their orthodoxy. A book was published, Questions on Doctrine, which appeared solidly evangelical. AFTER the publication of Kingdom of the Cults, the SDA church ceased publication of Questions on Doctrine and reprimanded its own comittee who wrote it!!!

    The Great Controversy by Ellen White is not "hearsay and opinions." It is THE most circulated and evangelical tool they use to scare and convert others into keeping the Sabbath. Go to anSDA church and they will gladly give you one for FREE. Then read it (at least the last half). You will discover that you are defending a cult who says you are going to Hell for worshipping on Sunday and for not being a member of their cult.

    Those going around declaring themselves evangelical and above the authority of the leadership will eventually be cut off as occurred to me and many others in the 1960s and 1970s. They do not speak officially for the leadership of the church.
     
  19. 3John2

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. SOrry to cause so much trouble. I just wanted to know why they are considered cultic. I was given a White book years back & I felt it was cultish. It DID state the whole thing about ONLY the SDA's will be saved etc. THAT REALLY BOTHERED me. I threw it away. Anyways my friend doesn't seem to follow most of the tenets apparently other than observing the Sabbath. He even says that people of many churches (all?) will be saved but obviously not ALL are saved.
     
  20. Craigbythesea

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    Neither do you. Do you have any documentation to post, i.e., quotes from those currently in leadership, along with publication data such as document name and page number? I have the works of Ellen G. White in my reference library, and they are shelved along with writings by Mormons, etc. About 30 years ago, evidence was published with the assertion that it proved that Ellen G. White plagiarized other, older works by other people. Some SDA's stopped reading hers works based on those charges; others placed much less importance upon them. But that was 30 years ago. Do you have any current documentation to post, or are you just angry with them because of the way they treated you?
     

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