What do I really think of Adventists?
… and why am I publishing material against them?
What do I think of Adventists?
Most of the Seventh-day Adventists I know are very sincere Christians, and I respect them for that. From what I have heard from other people, mainly Adventists and ex-Adventists, is that there are two main types of Adventists – the evangelical type, and the legalistic type. Neither is necessarily wrong in what they believe and do (apart from obvious theological errors), but I feel that the legalism that the Adventist religion promotes has harmed many Adventists, making them more Pharisaical than charitable and loving.
However, I do not believe that the Seventh-day Adventists are lost due to anything they teach, believe, or practice. Because it is believed and done sincerely by most, and out of love for God, it can only be to their benefit. In general, Adventists are very nice people, and good friends.
However, some Adventists whom I have met on the Internet, and some whose writings I have studied, show quite a bit of ignorance in certain matters, mainly of the Bible and history. Some of them tend to be very rigid in the way they think, and very closed minded to new ideas and to the idea that their beliefs could be wrong – more so than people of other denominations and religions – even though they themselves will deny this.
What do I think of the Adventist teachings?
Insofar as Seventh-day Adventism accepts the basic doctrines of Christianity that they have in common with Catholicism – which I believe to be the majority of Adventist beliefs – I consider the Adventists to be orthodox and Christian.
However, while the majority of Adventist beliefs may be orthodox, many of their beliefs, the orthodox ones included, often have a heretical and therefore unscriptural twist to them. Moreover, the more prominent doctrines of the Adventist Church, which I feel should be emphasised less, with more emphasis on the Gospel, tend to be the more heretical of their teachings. Examples of this are the Sabbath doctrine, the soul sleep and final annihilation teachings, their insistence on the observance of kosher dietary laws, and certain teachings about how and when Christ saved us, and when his saving work was complete.
I feel that Sabbatarians in general, but particularly the Adventists, focus too much on these doctrines that make them different from other Christians, that show their uniqueness, to the detriment of the preaching of the Gospel which I feel should be a more prominent part of the Adventist tradition. Although that may not be the experience of all, it is the experience of many, including Adventists, ex-Adventists, and non-Adventists like myself.
What do I think of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
The Bible predicts that in the latter days, many will fall away from the true faith. I believe that perhaps Protestantism was one of the first steps in this direction, dividing up the church into many fragments. I also believe that Adventism is an example of Satan dividing the church even further, taking the faith of these Christians further and further from the truth. It is time for them to be warned of where they are, and for them to return to the true faith.
Inasmuchas as Adventism is preaching the gospel to its members and those outside of Adventism, it is doing the work of God to the best of its ability. But perhaps more prominent in its ministry, as seen by the outside world, is the work of Satan, spreading misinformation about Protestantism, and especially about Catholicism, lies which have no foundation in reality. In particular is their dishonest distortion of history, which they twist into a fiction necessary to fit their aged and long-disproven understanding of biblical prophecy. The Seventh-day Adventist church is an organisation that has led many, sincere as they may be, to lie and deceive others at Adventism’s own convenience and to Adventism’s own advantage.
I do not believe that any particular Adventists are at fault – they are, for the most part, sincerely misguided and misinformed. Rather the Adventist body as a whole is to blame. Most individual Adventists are deceived by their church into believing the anti-Catholic lies the church spreads and publishes, although there are certain individuals who know that their church is lying to them and deceiving them, and still continue out of a lifelong hatred for the Catholic Church that was drilled into them as children or fresh converts to Adventism. There are, however, many Adventists, especially those in the more evangelical part of Adventism, who see the truth, and who accept Catholics and other Sunday keepers as fellow Christians, and do not spread the misinformation the mother organisation holds as dogma. It is these Adventists I respect the most – for remaining true to the church that gave them faith, yet standing back from the lies told by the church to reach her desired end. I pray that this church, predicted by the Apostles in the Bible as being one of those who depart from the faith and deceive many, may some day leave her anti-Catholic sentiments and false unscriptural theology behind her, and allow all her members to see the light of the true teachings of Christ and the Apostles.
What do I think of Ellen White?
Ellen White was the much revered and much quoted prophetess and visionary of the Adventist Church. She is treated, by many, with more reverence than the Apostles are, as more of an authority than any other figure in the history of Christianity outside of the Bible. And she is considered to be an example to all of a good Christian, someone to be mimicked. Her writings are, by some, and at certain times in history by many, considered to be almost on a par with the Bible itself in terms of inspiration and authority.
However, not all that is said of her is true. It has been proven that much of her work was plagiarised – copied and stolen – in a dishonest fashion from other authors, including her husband, and it is suspected that her plagiarism of other people’s material spread as far as the religious writings of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. There are many instances of her claiming something to have been revealed in vision, when it can be shown that she copied that section of text straight out of someone else’s writings. Even the Adventist Church admits this, and admits that her actions were wrong, but fails to reveal this to her members for fear of people leaving the church over Ellen White’s dishonesty.
Furthermore, Ellen White, unknown to most Adventists, contradicted the Bible in many places, and taught doctrines totally contrary to what the Bible teaches. If her writings are indeed as inspired as some claim, then how can these contradictions be explained? If her writings are not inspired, surely at least her visions must be accurate and in line with what the Bible teaches, if they are truly from God? But they are not. Ellen White and her visions on the one hand, and the Bible on the other, cannot be made to agree on everything.
Her visions – were they from God, from Satan, or from some other source? Since several of the prophecies Ellen White taught from vision never came true, and failed, one can safely say that she fits the biblical definition of a false prophet, and that we need not take her words as authoritative. Naturally, if she says something true, we should accept it as such. However, if she has had visions she claims to have been from God, visions that failed to come true, visions that taught doctrines that the entire Adventist Church has abandoned today, visions that teach contrary to Scripture, then surely we can conclude that they definitely do not come from God?
Where to they come from then? Satan? Or the workings of her own diseased mind? From a medical perspective, Ellen White was a typical candidate for temporal lobe epilepsy, and after her head injury, which left her bedridden for some time, she displayed the typical symptoms and signs of temporal lobe epilepsy, including visual hallucinations. The visions and other signs of TLE carried on a typical course of the disease. I feel, as do many respected Adventists – clergy and laity alike (many of whom are too scared to admit it to their own church for fear of disfellowshipment) – that Ellen White’s visions were neither from God, nor from Satan, but rather caused by damage done to her brain at the time of her head injury as a child.
Apart from Ellen White’s proven plagiarism, apart from her epilepsy, and apart from her deliberately lying in her writings about certain facts pertaining to certain visions and meetings of believers and court cases, I feel that she was a Christian who, despite her failings – which we all have plenty of – lived by the Gospel according to the best of her ability. I cannot see into her heart, so I can’t judge further than that.
Why do I write against the Adventist Church?
If I feel that the Adventist Church is a Christian movement, and that its founder was a Christian, why do I say what I do about them?
I feel that the Adventist Church has gone very, very wrong in its theology, and has deceived its members into believing that much of what it teaches is actually biblical, when in reality it is derived from the delusions of Ellen White. The Adventist Church is one of the most anti-Catholic organisations I know of, festering a type of bigotry I find in few other places. Adventists have been spoon-fed many many lies about Catholicism and about the history of the world and of Christianity. Many Adventists, when given the chance, will attempt to say something that will make the Catholic Church look bad. And, when analysed in the light of the Bible and of history, the anti-Catholic sentiments that Adventists cling to are usually theories that are avoided like the plague by respectable Protestant scholars and ministers, who have knowledge of the true nature of these claims – fabrications invented by anti-Catholics for the sole purpose of injuring the Church. When one group of Christians will fabricate lies in order to damage another church, as many Adventists tend to do, we can’t but realise that they have sunk to a lower level of morality and intellect.
Catholics have done nothing to Adventists – it is only in the minds of the Adventists (actually Ellen White’s ill mind) that the Catholics will one day, in the future, imprison them for keeping the Sabbath. In actual fact, Catholics are usually just as unconcerned about Adventists as they are about other churches. To them Adventists are just other Christians. But most Adventists do not feel the same way about Catholicism. They fear it and hate it with a passion. Like a frightened dog, they snap out at what they do not know, what they do not understand, backed up by information they have been given which is totally false and untrue. In order to help halt their attack on my church, I feel I need to step in and do my bit for the truth. The amount of vitriol displayed by the Adventist Church against Catholicism is, to me and many others, sickening, and it hurts to see the Church that Jesus Christ himself (not Willian Miller) founded, attacked in such a deceptive and untruthful manner.
Thus I feel it is my obligation to show to the Adventists and their church the truth they are too often blinded to by their church and its deeply ingrained bigotry. I feel it is necessary to show them the truth about Ellen White, so that they might stop treating her like a goddess, realise her writings are not really messages from above, and then reform their theology and their ways accordingly.
See also: Why bother with Adventism?