An analysis of an essay by the Adventist pastor/sociologist Dr Frank Steyn

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Dr Frank Steyn, PhD, sociologist, and previously SDA pastor in the Columbia Union within the Ohio Conference

I receive several items of hate mail at times from Adventists who simply cannot stomach what my website has to say. They accuse me of all sorts of things, but few of them ever actually quote the Bible for me, and usually they just rant on with anti-Catholic propaganda that has no basis in history or rational thinking.

Here is a case of it coming from a higher source – someone who should know better, a leader and pastor in the Adventist community, someone who holds a post at an Adventist centre of education, with a PhD in sociology. He specifically uses his claim to the title of sociologist to malign the Catholic Church, yet when questioned about specifics, he would not discuss the details, nor would he quote from the Bible.

His initial e-mails can be seen on this post.

His essay on Catholicism from a sociological perspective, as requested by him in this e-mail (click for text file with headers), is posted on this page. I have given my comments throughout. His words are in red, mine are in black.

Before I get to posting the essay and commenting on it, here are a few sites where Dr Steyn is mentioned, which include his section at Kettering, which includes contact details confirming that he was indeed the person who sent the initial e-mails, and also a link to his church’s conference, with a search to find his name specifically. Kettering refers to the Adventist Kettering College (previously Kettering College of Medical Arts), Ohio, who have distanced themselves from his tirade and haven’t offered any comment either way, apart from informing me that he is not currently employed by them.

Some links are out of date and so have been removed.

Dr Steyn on the Kettering website
(Dr Steyn was previously employed at the
Kettering College of Medical Arts, Ohio) [PDF] [Internet Archive here]
Dr Steyn’s course that he taught [Internet Archive here]
The SDA General Conference’s listing of the Ohio Conference’s details for 2002 [IA here]
The Ohio Conference
The Columbia Union within the Ohio Conference – search here for his congregations



February 9, 2003

Following is TRUTH researched by a sociologist regarding Roman Catholics as a cult/sect.

Note his use of his position as a sociologist to make these statements with more force than a layman could. My question is, how do his peers respond to such nonsense, and how does his church respond. They are remaining silent on this issue.

This is my next answer – please post to your website so that I can continue.

Please remember that it is the Catholic church that publishes hate websites against Adventists and other churches – I am not aware of a single website that the SDA church has published against Roman Catholics.

It is interesting that Dr Steyn has done so little research on his church’s internet ministry that he has never come across such a site. While the SDA church itself might not run such sites, they are certainly run by Adventist members, and Adventist ministries. The official Adventist website, however, also speaks against Catholicism – their view of Catholicism is undeniable.

It seems as if the truth is hurting you – because you will not publish the truth on your website. I appeal to you to leave the Roman cultic lies and become a born again Christian in the Bible Church that still protests Satanic lies.

Catholic Narcissism

The Roman Catholic Church is just part of the worldwide ecclesia that became the most powerful politically during the early centuries. The Roman Catholic Church is the world’s biggest SECT (Section) and also the world’s largest Christian CULT. Here are the identifying marks of both a sect and a cult:

§ Control by a single person such as the Pope

Ellen White, a prophet who started having visions after being hit on the head with a rock, is more like the classic picture of a cult leader. People who have visions often get a following. This is a long way from the biblically and historically based principle of Catholic leadership.

§ An unmovable hierarchical structure

Is having one single leader a sure sign of a cult? Jesus, David, Moses – these were single leaders leading a large group of people. Moses convinced an entire Israelite nation to risk their lives by walking away from Egypt, and to wander around in the desert for 40 years. Jesus’ followers constitute the largest religion today. Dr Steyn’s training in sociology apparently does not permit him to differentiate between good and bad leadership – he lets his religious antagonism against Catholicism make his judgement for him.

§ Absolute control and punishment such as excommunication

Dr Steyn clearly does not know what the function of excommunication is. It merely follows the biblical example of maintaining the faith within the church – it doesn’t serve to keep members in the Church. Catholics are not punished every time they step out of line, and I would have thought that being a sociologist, it would be clear to Dr Steyn what the difference is between biblical discipline and the form of manipulative control used by cults such as Koresh’s group, which in fact is a spin-off of Dr Steyn’s own church.

§ Humanly devised anti-biblical teachings

That is where Adventism fits the description. If you take a look around this site, you’ll see how Adventism teaches all sorts of absurd innovations not found in the Bible, and Adventists have even produced a version of the Bible that is radically altered in certain places in order to support their doctrine – much like the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

§ Power hunger and greed

Every church has its problems. The hunger for power and the greed in Adventism, or any other denomination, does not make it a cult any more than the same thing seen in Catholic leaders who exhibit the same sins.

§ The abuse of power (such as sexual abuse and rape)

The Adventist church also has its problems there. The Catholic Church just gets into the press, for various reasons. It’s odd that Dr Steyn claims to have a PhD in sociology, but can’t see past his hatred for Catholicism.

§ The use of political force and power (the Vatican etc.)

§ Private army – such as the Popes military force

Those are signs of a temporal power, and the use of these has been different to the way cults control their members. Can’t a guy with a degree in sociology have the insight to see that?

§ Brain washing techniques

Such as? I doubt he can name and document any such occurrence.

§ Keeping members in the dark (99% of Catholics do not know the real truth, power and abuse of the sect/cult) I have not yet met a single Catholic that reads the Bible for themselves!

He claims to have a degree in sociology, and he claims to have insight into the Catholic Church, yet his personal experience with Catholicism is SO limited??

§ Christian cults are know by their misuse and bad interpretation of Biblical teachings

§ Cults also add their own TRADITIONS

Yet the Bible tells us to follow the written AND spoken traditions of the Apostles. Our teachings date back to them. Adventism can’t demonstrate that their unique doctrines, such as the Investigative Judgement, soul sleep, the Sabbath, etc., can be traced back to the early Christians.

§ They use force and terrorist tactics (such as the papal terrorist plot November 5, 1605 to kill the Protestant King of England, and the recent plots and murders in Ireland) Catholics are considered by historians to have murdered and killed more people (millions!) than any other religion on earth, ever!

Just because groups of people are motivated by religion to commit crimes, does not mean that the religion itself is to blame, or supports those crimes.

§ They have secret organizations and agendas to undermine teachings and the authority of other people (e.g. Jesuits)

Yes, there are a number of paranoid Adventists out these days who claim that Adventism, even the General Conference, has been infiltrated, even taken over, by Jesuits. Some even claim that their leading historian/theologian, Prof Samuele Bacchiocchi, is a Jesuit spy. This, and what he says, is merely paranoia, and not based on any real facts, only on their fear and hatred for Catholicism. For a sociologist to make such absurd claims without evidence, is shocking.

The Bible says in Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her (Babylon), my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”

Babel = Confusion
Babylon = Pagan religion, rebellion against God
Baal = Sunday worship

Come on, Dr Steyn! You have no evidence for that at all!

Jesus Only!
The Bible Only!
Frank G Steyn PhD

The Bible alone, and the inspired prophet, Ellen White, who had visions after head trauma.

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