Pam H, Adventist, turns obnoxious when doctrines are questioned.
I have a big problem with the way many Adventists approach dialogue. I am certainly not in a position to see inside their minds and know what they really are thinking, but the impression created by their labelling Catholics as “lost” and by their readiness to, unprovoked, say untruthful and slanderous things about Catholicism, along with their frequent refusal to discuss the facts in an objective and rational way, leads me to suspect that many, many Adventists do not have a thorough basis in the origins of their beliefs, and that many of them might actually know that what their church teaches them is just not found in the Bible at all. After all, when someone turns downright bitchy, or just turns silent, or changes the subject (the same way Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cult members do) after you quote a text from the Bible to them, it really makes it seem like they are not really interested in what the Bible says, when it makes a statement that doesn’t suit them. For an extreme example, see my discussion with an Adventist pastor, who actually said texts like Col 2:14-17 were uninspired after I had presented my understanding of the text to him!! Recently, over a period of a few days, I had a discussion with a lady we’ll call Pam H. I have quoted several sections of key interest here. She was responding to my website, and had the following to say (Pam’s words will be in green, spelling/grammar errors are hers):
I’m an Adventist and I feel soory for you,don’t let the Devil to use you … Your arguments as far as Adventists is concerned is very shallow and does n’t make sense …
My response (in blue):
I do not believe the Devil is using me. I believe God is using me to help more people get to know the truth. … They make sense. If one reads the Bible and takes what it says seriously, I do not believe one can be a true Adventist. Thus far I have asked many Adventists to show me where in the Bible they get their teachings, and even the pastors fail.
I think that is a fair response. Pam’s judgmental reply came:
YOU ARE LOST BUT YOU’LL BE SAVED WITH GOD’S GRACE ,THE ONLY CHURCH THAT HAVE THE TRUTH (FROM THE BIBLE NOT TWISTED IS SDA CHURCH ,THANK GOD FOR ELLEN G WHITE …
So Pam judges me to be “lost” – I never judged her or any Adventist on my site, all I have done is judge the doctrine and lies they tell, something the Bible commands us to do. My response:
You are judging me by totally unscriptural standards. You judge me as lost because I do not keep the Sabbath, yet that is NOT in the Bible ANYWHERE. That is hypocrisy. … Yet ALL I need to do is to take the Bible and turn to a few texts and I can show that you are TOTALLY wrong. …
The only thing that I can do is to pray for you ,,,,,,,for your info Adventists read their bible and the bible is not for priests like Catholics …
She seems to think all Catholics are priests, she assumes we do not accept the Bible as God’s word … she clearly knows little about us, she takes it upon herself to judge me as unsaved simply because I try to speak the truth from the Bible. She went on to say:
there are many verses in the bible about Sabbath a clever person like you knows that very well but i love God because He gave us a Freedom of Choice,you also have a choice to keep God’s day or a man made day(Sunday) as Daniel prophesised !
Here she is making up a context for something Daniel said – if you go to the actual text, and look at the whole prophesy, it becomes clear that Adventism is really grasping at straws – to examine the facts behind this Adventist teaching, go to my essay on one of Daniel’s prophecies where the issue of papal involvement in prophecy is discussed.
I told her:
Daniel NEVER prophesied about Sunday. Christians changed the Passover, we changed circumcision – because Jesus SAID we could. And we changed the Sabbath – IN THE BIBLE – for the same reason.
And that is when the poor conversation just aborted – she could obviously not supply me with anything further. Her response:
Good luck ,,,,,,,,,,
To her credit, she did later copy and paste a Bible study on the Sabbath, a study which really did little more than read Adventist teachings into texts that did not contain them. It focussed on the positive aspects of the Old Testament Sabbath teachings, and without trying to understand what the New Testament has to say, just inserts the same Old Covenant theology into New Testament thinking. I replied:
Thanks for the study you sent on the Sabbath. Aside from distorting context and reading Adventist theology into the Bible, so that it SEEMS as if Adventism is being taught by the texts quoted, the study fails to answer the following questions:
1. Why do NO Christians keep the Sabbath in the New Testament?
2. Why does Paul THREE times tell us that we need not keep the Sabbath?
3. Why does Hebrews tell us that the day we keep is “ANOTHER” day?
4. Why does the Bible tell us that the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant made with Israel? and then why does the Bible tell us that this covenant does not apply to Christians?
5. Why are there NO commands for Christians to keep the Sabbath in the entire Bible?
6. Why does Adventism teach that Adam kept the Sabbath, when the Bible teaches that no-one before the time of Moses knew about the Sabbath?
7. Why does the Bible say that the Sabbath is a sign for Israel, and never applies it to mankind as a whole?
8. Why does Adventism gather weekly on Saturday, when in the New Testament and in the first, second, and third centuries, Christians gathered on Sunday?
For these, and other, reasons, I reject the Sabbath <as an obligatory law for Christians> as unscriptural.
She declined to answer ANY of these questions. Her response was this:
DO YOU WANT TO FOLLOW POPE CONSTANTINE OR THE BIBLE
Pope Constantine?? She seems so blinded by her anti-Catholic sentiments that she cares SO little for accuracy of information. I find this to be a very common attitude among Adventists who seem to want to slander anything Catholic, and very few of these people actually try to engage in discussions dealing with facts. I did not expect her to, but I hoped that she would open up to mature, adult discussion – but she continued her immature and avoidant responses to the end.
She went on to say:
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT PAUL WHAT TRYING TO SAY DON’T JUST READ ONE VERSE OUT OF CONTEXT!!!!
She simply refused to discuss the context she claimed I was not understanding. She couldn’t. She admitted that she couldn’t explain it! I asked her to discuss the Bible, and she ignored each request. My further attempts to get her to engage in discussion about the biblical and historical aspects of the Sabbath verses Sunday debate resulted only in abortive remarks from her where she would not even discuss the Bible or any historical evidence.
Why is this the case? Pam H, and all other Adventists who are so willing to attack Catholicism backed up only by myths and propaganda they hear in anti-Catholic sermons and read in grossly inaccurate tracts passed out on street corners – why are you willing to insult, ridicule, and slander something and then refuse to engage in any form of mature discussion when your views are questioned?
The only answer I can think of is this: their knowledge is not based on facts, and they realise their doctrines are not based on the Bible. If they really thought their beliefs were biblical, and if they really thought their beliefs were actually worth something at all, they would want to share them … as I try to do on my website. Perhaps I am just not able to understand a mentality so different to my own. Perhaps Adventism makes some people think in a certain way most Christians consider to be irrational. It is certainly not all Adventists who think like this – but a lot do, and it saddens me. I don’t think continued bitchiness and continued refusal to discuss the Bible is the right way for them to react when they come across a website that uses the Bible to question their church’s doctrines. That, to me, is a sign that they do not actually know where in the Bible those doctrines come from, once the facts have been shown to them, and that maybe scares them. I pray that they would someday be honest enough to turn their anger into something constructive, and actually read the Bible for themselves without trying to read Adventist theology into each text.
I am still awaiting a rational reply from Pam H.