Dishonesty in Seventh-day Adventism, Part 2 – Catholicism

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In Part 1 we looked at a striking and honest Adventist acknowledgement of the type of dishonesty that forms part of Adventist culture.

Adventist dishonesty according to Adventist Today

Adventist dishonesty according to Adventist Today

Here we’ll look at specific common examples of how dishonest Adventists spread fake facts and fake history.

I think half the problem with Adventist dishonesty is this: they believe without questioning the absolutely infallible teachings of Ellen White passed down through their pastors and teachers. Their world-view is so narrow, and it has been entrenched in them so deeply that many are incapable of dealing with the possibility that things could be different. So when confronted with facts indicating that diverge from their world of possibilities, they close off and go into denial. And because those facts are about something they have been taught to hate and despise, they often react with venom.

In other words, if they’re told that Catholics don’t worship Mary, or that Catholics read the Bible and are not slaves to every word of every cleric or pope, it’s the same to them as being told that the moon doesn’t exist and is painted onto the sky. It’s an absolute impossibility in their minds that what they’ve been taught could possibly be wrong. To consider such a thing would undermine a world-view built on anti-Catholic misunderstandings, and that is something more central to their faith than most other things, and more so for Adventists than the average anti-Catholic because the reliability of their prophetess, and their entire faith, would fall without it.

You can read more about my analysis of their dishonesty here – Shame on you – Adventists, dishonesty, and the Catholic Church.

Common Adventist claims that are dishonest and misrepresentations of Catholicism and other Christian churches


The papacy claims to have changed the sabbath to Sunday

Dishonest Adventists provide all sorts of quotes from all sorts of newspapers and clergy. The reality is that none of these are from official Catholic sources.

They quote newspapers. That’s like quoting a blog. There isn’t a blog on the planet that is an official voice of the Vatican and papacy. There are blogs that quote official Catholic sources, like this blog, and there are blogs that write absolute drivel, like the Adventist ones. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that newspaper quotes are not official doctrinal decrees.

Donkey, Boston Public Library

Donkey, Boston Public Library

Catholic Press, Aug. 25, 1900
NJ ‘News’, March 18, 1903
Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950
Catholic Record of London, Ontario Sept 1, 1923

They quote some sort of “catechism” from the early 1900s. Then they pretend it’s the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. They never quote an official universal Catechism such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Catechism of the Council of Trent. To do so would destroy their argument. Also worth noting is that most of these are old texts written during a time where somewhat arrogant apologetics was common, and some Catholics would often phrase arguments in such a way as to emphasise the biblical authority of the Church seen in Acts 15 and ongoing today. One needs to read into these the official Catholic beliefs that a) the Apostles were the first Catholic leaders, and b) that the Apostles began Sunday observance. Disagree if you like, but to refuse to acknowledge that those are official Catholic teaching is dishonest.

Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Rev. Peter Geiermann, C.SS.R., (1946)
Catholic Christian Instructed, Rt Rev. Dr. Challoner
An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, Rev. Henry Tuberville, D.D. (R.C.), (1833)
A Doctrinal Catechism, Rev. Stephen Keenan, (1851)

Even if these have a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur, they are not ipso facto official Catholic doctrinal statements from the Catholic Church. They are just books that got the approval of a local bishop, who understood them very differently to dishonest Adventist misquoters.

They quote parish bulletins. Is the local Adventist congregation’s monthly newsletter the official mouthpiece of the General Conference? No. So, likewise, parish bulletins are not the official mouthpiece of the Vatican.

Daily Catholic web site page for SUNDAY, volume 11, no. 278, December 31, 2000
St Sylvester’s Parish: Who was St Sylvester?

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

There are two REAL Catholic statements that ARE official statements of the Catholic Church. BOTH of these prove that the Catholic Church believes that the Apostles began Sunday observance. These are:

  • Pope John Paul II
  • The Catechism of the Council of Trent

See: What Catholics Believe – Sunday observance for the evidence.

The dishonest Adventists will never quote from those two real sources, unless they completely butcher the text.

When confronted with these facts, some dishonest Adventists become deliberately obtuse, and change the argument to whether or not there is biblical evidence for Sunday observance. They’ve been proven wrong, but can’t admit it, so they just change their angle. Diversionary tactics.

On the From Seventh-day Adventism to Catholicism blog:

Protestant admissions

There are also quotes from Protestant sources that appear to acknowledge the same thing, or that Sunday observance is contrary to the Bible, but let’s do it anyway.

Sorry, but Protestants are not that stupid. In every denomination you’ll find the ignorant who get sucked into Adventists propaganda, and both Catholics and Protestants alike have fallen prey to that – hence some of the newspaper quotes. But most Protestants who read their Bibles know perfectly well that the evidence against Christian sabbath observance is overwhelming, and one or two less educated Protestants saying otherwise doesn’t phase them.

Luther and the sabbath

Luther and the sabbath

Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others

The Reformers shared that biblical understanding of the sabbath, and were quite clear about it. They were not stupid, as Adventists make them out to be.

See: The Protestant Reformers and the Jewish sabbath

Early Christians

Dishonest Adventists quote from early Christians to “prove” that they kept the sabbath. But they misquote, and remove context. Actual context shows one or more of the following:

  • the author didn’t keep the sabbath
  • the author was really referring to Sunday
  • the author was referring to the moral component of the 10 commandments, and the quote is about the 10 commandments, and the unquoted part of the text shows that the author did not keep the sabbath at all
  • the author was discussing fasting on Saturdays in Lent, not weekly sabbath observance throughout the year
  • other variations of dishonest and selective quoting

Here are example of how dishonest Adventists butcher a writer’s words:

Here is a perfect example of Ellen White doing the same thing:

And from the writings of the 2nd generation Christians:

Ignatius of Antioch, 107 AD: Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. … If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him … It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believes might be gathered together to God.
Epistle to the Magnesians, shorter version, chapters 8-10, partial. Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 62-63.

The Epistle of Barnabas, 70-120 AD: Wherefore we Christians keep the eighth day for joy, on which also Jesus arose from the dead and when he appeared ascended into heaven.
The Epistle of Barnabas, section 15, 100 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 147

Justin Martyr, 150 AD: But Sunday is the day on which we hold our common assembly, because it is the first day of the week and Jesus our saviour on the same day rose from the dead.
First apology of Justin, chapter 68

Pope St Sylvester I

Pope St Sylvester I

Pope Sylvester and his “feriae”

Adventists quote a dubious medieval source that describes something Pope Sylvester may or may not have done centuries earlier. The source says this:

Pope Sylvester first among the Romans ordered that the names of the days [of the week], which they previously called after the name of their gods, that is, [the day] of the Sun, [the day] of the Moon, [the day] of Mars, [the day] of Mercury, [the day] of Jupiter, [the day] of Venus, [the day] of Saturn, they should call feriae thereafter, that is the first feria, the second feria, the third feria, the fourth feria, the fifth feria, the sixth feria, because that in the beginning of Genesis it is written that God said concerning each day: on the first, “Let there be light:; on the second, “Let there be a firmament”; on the third, “Let the earth bring forth verdure”; etc. But he [Sylvester] ordered [them] to call the Sabbath by the ancient term of the law, [to call] the first feria the “Lord’s day,” because on it the Lord rose [from the dead], Moreover, the same pope decreed that the rest of the Sabbath should be transferred rather to the Lord’s day [Sunday], in order that on that day we should rest from worldly works for the praise of God.
— Rabanus Maurus, De Clericorum Institutione, book 2, chapter 46 [via “Exactly Which Pope Changed The Sabbath To Sunday?” by Michael Scheifler, with his modifications; see Pope Sylvester I – who changed the Sabbath?]

Note that this was written a good 400 years after the time of Pope Sylvester I, and it’s historical accuracy is questioned by some. Nonetheless, that makes no difference to the dishonest Adventist claim being refuted.

Often you’ll then hear (or see) the dishonest Adventists harp on about this amazing word – “feriae” – as if it proves something. It’s actually hilarious to see this sometimes. The more sober Adventists will simply show that the pope used the name “Lord’s Day” for the first day of the week, supposedly proving that THIS is the pope who changed the sabbath to Sunday.

What really happened? Well, it’s uncertain whether or not this actually did happen. But let’s assume it did happen. What Pope Sylvester saw around him was a 7-day week with days named after pagan gods or planets. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday in modern English. In Latin: Dies Solis, dies Lunae, dies Martis, dies Mercurii, dies Iovis, dies Veneris, dies Saturni.

He supposedly decided that this was unsuitable for Christian usage, and proposed that they be named according to their religious significance for the two weekend days (Dominica and Sabbatum), and simply “weekday 2” to “weekday 6” for the weekdays, or “feria secunda” to “feria sexta” in Latin.

Day Common usage Roman name (pagan) Pope Sylvester’s name English translation
1 Sunday Dies Solis Dominica Lord’s (Day)
2 Monday Dies Lunae Feria secunda Day two
3 Tuesday Dies Martis Feria tertia Day three
4 Wednesday Dies Mercurii Feria quarta Day four
5 Thursday Dies Iovis Feria quinta Day five
6 Friday Dies Veneris Feria sexta Day six
7 Saturday Dies Saturni Sabbatum Sabbath
Who plagiarised from whom?

Who plagiarised from whom?

By this time, the term “Lord’s Day” was well established in Latin and Greek as the name for Sunday in Christian circles. In Greek, but not Latin, the day before the sabbath retained the biblical term “Παρασκευη“, or “Preparation day” in preparation for the sabbath (see John 19:42).

But you’ll still find the Adventist who doesn’t comprehend what is being described, and blabs on about how the pope “established the feriae” as if it means anything intelligent.

Before we move on, it’s worth noting that, for the most part, this system of naming days never really took hold. A few Romance languages today use it. Also worth noting is that in most Romance languages not using pagan names for days, the name of the 7th day of the week is a derived term from the Latin “Sabbatum” – and speakers of these languages aren’t fooled by the Adventist claim that the sabbath was changed to Sunday – their own language calls the 7th day of the week “sabbath“.

See the series on the pope who never changed the sabbath to Sunday:

The Council of Laodicea

Dishonest Adventists make a full blown papal mountain out of a small localised molehill. Adventists produce canon 29 from the decisions made at the Council of Laodicea, and then pretend that this is an official Catholic and/or papal decree. It’s not. The council was a local council held by 30 local Catholic bishops in what is modern day Turkey. It had nothing to do with Rome or the papacy. No pope attended. No pope sent delegates. It was a local synod convened to solve several local problems. This is hardly an official decree of the Catholic Church. Canon 29 was simply a decision regarding a local practice, where Judaising sects had affected local Christians. It was a decision about practice, not a dogmatic degree about doctrine.

But the dishonest Adventists won’t tell you that, because they rely on misinformation to support their beliefs. That means they can’t even allow themselves to acknowledge the facts.

Angry ant

Angry ant

A Catholic bishop acknowledges Adventist claims

A dishonest Adventist pastor, John Carter, made a video where an actor dressed up as a Catholic bishop and read out a list of statements. Gullible Adventists still pass this on as real. The whole thing has been debunked, and has embarassed Adventist leadership.

Fraudulent anti-Catholic Adventist video

On the From Seventh-day Adventism to Catholicism blog:

Pope Francis

Never mind all the nonsense about Pope Francis being about to institute a national Sunday law in the United States of America (duh!) … and Adventists made the same claim about the popes before him, and it never happened, and they’ll do so again for the next pope … some audacious (and dishonest) Adventists concocted a story about an imaginary brother of Pope Francis who, they claim, is an Adventist. Fake news!

Pope Francis does not have an Adventist brother

The Adventist News Network has acknowledged that this is fake news:

A rumor circulating that Pope Francis has a brother who is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is untrue. Please disregard a widely distributed YouTube sermon in which Hugo Gambetta makes these claims.
— source: see link above

Vicarius Filii Dei

Adventists have made up a papal title that adds up to 666. They pretend it’s real. But it’s not. What is a fact that Adventists won’t tell you is that the name of their prophetess, Ellen White, actually does add up to 666.

The following is a series I’ve written on the Vicarius Filii Dei myth.

10 Commandments

10 Commandments

General anti-Catholic claims

In time I may add further sections above, or create more posts dealing with additional fake facts. These are the core I’ll begin with.

Adventism is based on dishonest history taught by their prophetess, Ellen White. Because it was taught by their prophetess, it is extremely hard for many Adventists to abandon the fake history they have been taught.

Seventh-day Adventism is an inherently anti-Catholic religion. To abandon their anti-Catholic claims, they would have to abandon their prophetess. By abandoning their anti-Catholic claims, they would lose all their “evidence” against Sunday observance. If they lost that, they’d quickly lose the sabbath, and along with that, their identity. They’d become normal Christians. And that they do not want.

40 years of lying

40 years of lying

More articles on Adventist dishonesty:

Part 1 of this series:
Dishonesty in Seventh-day Adventism, Part 1 – Adventism

Shame on you – Adventists, dishonesty, and the Catholic Church
Dishonest Adventists
Socrates and Sozomen on Christian observance of the Sabbath
Adventist misrepresentation of St Patrick
Who changed the Sabbath: Adventist misquoting
Constantine, the Papacy, and the real origins of Sunday
Fraudulent anti-Catholic Adventist video
Adventist dishonesty in the way they present the Catholic faith
Pope Francis does not have an Adventist brother

Adventists Warn Against Deception … by Colleen Tinker

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