Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is Adventism Orthodox?

I was talking with a friend recently about the need to explain the Biblical gospel to people who are Seventh Day Adventists.  Unfortunately there is still confusion among Christians about whether the SDA church is merely aberrant (solid on the essentials, and wrong on peripheral issues) or truly heretical (wrong even on essentials).

A generation ago, Seventh Day Adventist representatives carefully misled Christian cult expert Walter Martin about some of their beliefs.  Dr. Martin believed the Adventists to be essentially orthodox, and much of evangelicalism has unquestioningly followed his lead.  Even today, the organization he founded, the Christian Research Institute, continues to say that one can be a faithful Seventh Day Adventist and a faithful Christian.  Operation World, the Christian encyclopedia of global missions and evangelism, categorizes the Seventh Day Adventist church as an orthodox Protestant denomination, not a cult.

Until just a few years ago I would have agreed with them.  Then I began to learn more about the key doctrines of the SDA church, which (as it turns out) affect far more than what day we worship on or the details of the days before Christ's return.  Here's the note I sent my Christian friend.  Perhaps it will help you prepare for your next conversation with an Adventist.

Hi ____,
Here are links to some of the stuff about Adventism that I was telling you about, if you do want to dig further.
Back issues of their magazine (you can read/download for free):
All of the articles are good, but a few of my favorite recent articles focusing on Adventist false doctrines were: -- The Wretched Radio interview by Todd Friel. Fascinating, and covers a lot of territory.
When you get through I think you’ll see what I meant by the need to start from scratch theologically with someone coming out of SDAism. It has an incredible number of tentacles in people’s theology. But when you are a part of it, you are blind to how far it has taken you from the gospel. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 comes to mind.
Grateful for the grace that opens the eyes of blind rebels,

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