One of the leading candidates for President of the United States is a prominent member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This article is not designed to oppose this man as a candidate or to advise people to vote one way or another. Rather, this article is to answer questions that have been occasioned by his prominent candidacy.
According to The New York Times, the Seventh-day Adventist Church counts more than 18 million members globally and 1.2 million in North America. Adventism emerged from a religious revival in the northeastern United States when Baptist preacher William Miller set the date of October 22, 1844 for the return (“advent”) of Jesus Christ. Miller’s followers, the “Millerites,” read prophecy of the Bible in a unique way and started teaching that the Old Testament Sabbath should be observed. After the Lord did not return in 1844, Miller’s group split into three factions. One faction was led by the self-proclaimed prophetess Ellen G. White and became the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Here are four doctrines taught by White and her followers, each of which flatly contradict the New Testament of our Lord:
- Adventists believe that Ellen G. White was an inspired, authoritative prophet who had a vision of heaven in the 19th century (see White, Early Writings, p. 32ff.). But the New Testament teaches that inspired prophecy came to a conclusion at the end of the apostolic age (1 Corinthians 13; Acts 8:14-17).
- Adventists believe that Christians must keep the Sabbath, as those in the Old Testament did. White taught that the “mark of the beast” in the book of Revelation is borne by those who fail to keep the Sabbath (Early Writings, 65). And yet, the New Testament teaches that Christians are to assemble on the first day of the week, and that the seventh/Sabbath is not a holy day in the Christian era (Acts 2:1; cf. Leviticus 23:15-16; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10). Paul wrote that the Old Testament, including the Sabbath day, has been abrogated, and so nobody sins by failing to keep the Sabbath (Colossians 2:14-16; cf. Romans 7:4-7).
- Adventists teach that the wicked will be annihilated, not punished unendingly in hell (Early Writings, 218-222; cf. http://bit.ly/1LxLyTL). But the New Testament teaches that the wicked will receive everlasting punishment, not just non-existence, for their sins (Matthew 25:41, 46; Mark 9:42-50; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
- Adventists teach that eating pork is sinful (White, Testimonies, 1:207; 2:93). But the New Testament teaches that it is not sinful to consume any meats (1 Corinthians 8:8; 10:23-26).
May we lovingly teach Adventists and all others in religious error how to be right with God.