What's Wrong with SDA Church?
27 Errors of Seventh-Day Adventism
Martin Luther, in an act which kicked off the Protestant Reformation, nailed his 91 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in protest of the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church of his day. The 91 theses were a summary of his objections to the prevailing attitudes and practices of a corrupt religious system which kept the common people in the dark about the will of God for their lives and took advantage of their ignorance by demanding of them things which God does not demand of anybody. In the same spirit and with the same intent as Martin Luther, I hereby post my 27 Theses.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church publishes its doctrinal statement as The 27 Fundamental Beliefs. As a former member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, I am publishing this summary of 27 Fundamental Errors of the SDA Church. There are other errors and problems within this denomination, but these are, in my opinion, the 27 fundamental errors most detrimental to the life of the people within their Church.
My experience as a member of the SDA church was one of frustration. I have presented BibleTruth in Elders Meetings, in Sabbath School classroom situations, and in one-on-one conversations. But, to date, I have been met with only disinterested politeness, loving disregard, and sometimes even indiscreet rejection. I am frequently met with the response that if Ellen G White does not write about it, it must not really be important enough to consider, or, worse yet, it must not be in the will of God!
Some Seventh-Day Adventist leaders are - like the Israelites we read about in the Old Testament Scriptures and about which the New Testament writers encourage us not to be like - a hard-hearted, stiff-necked people. They are content with the status quo and do not want to "rock the boat" with discussions and considerations of biblical concepts which would bring about major reform to their worship style and changes to their lifestyle. Unlike their founding forefathers (and sisters), they are afraid of change. But Yahuwah wants them to start listening to his voice again.
So, without further ado, here is my list of 27 fundamental errors of the Seventh Day Adventist Church:
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church made magnificent strides towards returning to the true teachings of the Holy Scriptures back in the time of this Church's founding in the mid 1800s. At that time, they correctly recognized that the Roman Catholic Church was fulfilling the prophesy of Daniel 7:25:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Theologians have accurately interpreted this as finding its fulfillment in the decrees of Constantine in 325 C.E. As the reader may recall, Constantine declared Christianity to be the religion of the Roman world. But he never really changed anything but the labels. The pagan customs, traditions and practices which the Romans believed and followed merely got renamed. The Babylonian mother-child cult religion stayed the same but got renamed Christianity.
The Sabbath was changed to Sunday. All the biblical feast days which the followers of Yahusha faithfully followed were unceremoniously trashed and the Babylonian holidays were declared to be Christian holidays! Christmas, which was the birthday of the Sun-god, Nimrod, became the "birthday of Christ." Easter, a celebration of the resurrection of Ishtar, became Easter, the day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
When Adventists correctly saw Constantine's decree as fulfilling this prophecy, they properly restored worship to the Sabbath day. This was so important a concept to that movement, that the founding fathers named their denomination to reflect their return to the seventh day Sabbath. But they overlooked the rest of Elohim's sacred assemblies and failed to also restore them to their proper place in the life of the church! Thus, they continue to celebrate Christ's birthday on the pagan birthday of the Sun-god. All of the pagan trappings of Christmas can still be found in most Seventh-Day Adventist churches during the month of December!
Thus, SDA's to this day, continue to worship Elohim in a way that is most detestable to Him. Yahuwah does not want to be worshipped in the same way that the pagans worship their gods. He wants to be worshipped according to the instructions which he gave us as recorded in the Torah - the first five books of the Bible.
In addition to celebrating Christ's birthday on the pagan birthday of the Sun-god, Adventists also continue to adhere to the Roman Catholic tradition of Good Friday, which is also a carryover custom whose roots are in ancient Babylon. And they do so because they mistakenly believe that Christ died on that day.
But careful research unveils the fact that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and was buried as the sun was setting that evening. For more on the details and proof of this, click on my article about Firstfruits. Nevertheless, Adventists have found it to be more attractive to believe a tradition which has been passed down from ancient Babylon than to believe a simple truth from the Scriptures (but not advocated by the "Spirit of Prophecy").
The SDA church has also found it easier to continue in the error adopted by Constantine and those who followed him, of celebrating Easter as a Christian holy day rather than the holy day which the Scriptures authoritatively declares to be the day which believers are to observe. Easter Sunday has nothing to do with what happened at Messiah's death and resurrection. His resurrection took place immediately following sundown on Sabbath, not "Sunday morning" as is the popular belief of Christianity. More on this point can be found at Firstfruits - Picturing the Resurrection.
Besides, the Bible never says anything about celebrating the resurrection of Yahusha as a holy day. However, much is said in the Scriptures about "remembering the Lord's death until he comes" This is an explicit reference to observing the Passover holy day as commanded in the Torah. Passover was the first annual holy day described in Leviticus 23 and was given to Israel to prefigure and picture the death of Messiah on the tree as a substitute for all who would put their trust in him.
Adventists, like all other Christian denominations who follow after Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church, have ignored this commandment from Elohim and they have adopted a false and man-made "holy" observation in its place. The Adventists are guilty of doing the very same thing they have accused all other churches of wrongly doing: they have ignored the Scriptural commandment and have substituted a man made tradition in its place!
Of course, since Adventists have ignored Passover and have embraced the pagan Easter celebration, how could we expect them to observe the next biblical holy observation on the calendar? And they don't, to no one's surprise. The SDA's have missed out on the blessing brought to obedient worshippers of the Creator which the Festival of Unleavened Bread brings. Instead, after the worldly practice and the popular Christian practice, they promote the consumption of Easter chocolates and other foods which contain yeast, and thus, blatantly defy the Creator's commandment to abstain from these things during this holy week.
Neither should it surprise us that the Adventist's also practice the Lord's Supper after the erroneous manner of the rest of the Protestant Churches who model their custom on fundamental Roman Catholic values. Most Adventists observe this "holy" ceremony four times a year (again, just a man-made decision, not based on any Scriptural authority). But they don't even yet understand that what Yahusha commanded his disciples to observe, and the apostle Paul after him, is the Passover celebration, which is commanded in the Scriptures. And this remembrance of Messiah's death is to be observed at Passover, which is the anniversary of His death!
Although Pentecost Sunday is big in some churches, the Adventists do little to observer the "New Testament" interpretation of it. And, although the SDAs understand more than most Protestant denominations the importance of the law and its application for the present time, they do not regard Pentecost (actually, the correct name is Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks) as a holy day. This is the day that Elohim would have his people remember the righteous and holy and spiritual law code that he reintroduced to his covenant people at Sinai. Yet Adventists have shunned all of the holy day celebrations Elohim gave, with the exception of the Sabbath day
Seventh-day Adventists have in their name the very essence of what the Feast of Trumpets is all about. Yet, amazingly, they have shortsightedly misunderstood the prophetic significance of Yom Teruah, or the Day of the Blowing of the Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets was commanded to be observed as a holy day in anticipation of that day when Yahusha would return in his glorious second Advent (after which "Adventists" are self named!). Consequently, they have failed to understand and to observe the joyous anticipatory celebration (in advance) of the return of Yahusha for his people.
The Day of Atonement is the holy day in the scriptural calendar when Elohim's people are to humble themselves and examine their hearts in view of the coming judgment of Elohim which will result in the destruction of all the ungodly. This will take place immediately following the return of Yahusha to the earth at his glorious second coming. But Seventh-day Adventist theologians have concocted an unbelievable scenario in which the judgment of all people began in 1844 and continues to and beyond today till the coming of Messiah. Thus, they conclude (erroneously) that we are currently living in the Day of Atonement, because they say, Elohim is now examining the books in an act of judgment, which he will then execute when Yahusha returns.
The investigation (noted above) is one in which all are now being judged. Then, when Yahusha returns, he will pronounce the findings of this judgment and separate the sheep from the goats. Though to many Adventists this sounds right, there is unfortunately for them, absolutely no scripture which supports the Investigative Judgment theory. It is concocted from vague references and details removed from their contexts. Adventist theologians have stripped away from the discussion of the true meaning of the Day of Atonement, all the details which so convincingly disprove the Investigative Judgment theory. According to the biblical pattern of the Feasts, the Day of Atonement is a single day of judgment which takes place following the Feast of Trumpets, or the return of Yahusha. Thus, since it is fairly clear that Messiah has not yet returned, the Day of Atonement cannot have begun to be fulfilled.
The great annual event for most Seventh-day Adventists is the summertime Tent Meetings, in which regional Conferences host a weekend-long or a week-long event of preaching, teaching, fun and fellowship - and all live in temporary dwellings - either tents or lodges. This is based on the Festival of Tabernacles which is the greatest Festival of the Bible. But, the SDAs do it at the time of their choosing - making a man-made decision, instead of at the time commanded by the Scriptures! Even their own prophetic voice (i.e. Ellen G. White) suggested the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, but evidently, Adventists didn't want to go that far in receiving and obeying the law of Elohim found in the Old Testament.
Daniel 8 is the text of Scripture which singularly defines what Adventists are and believe - the misinterpretation of which is the primary cause of the erroneous doctrines they propagate. In the early 1840s, the time prophesy of Daniel 8 was interpreted to mean that Jesus would return in 1844. When he didn't arrive as expected, theologians who later formed the Adventist Church concluded that something must have happened in 1844 in fulfillment of their calculation based on Daniel 8. They rethought the problem and decided that Jesus must have "cleansed the sanctuary" in heaven, not the earthly one, which they had initially thought he was returning to earth to do.
Thus was born the heart and soul of the Adventist Movement. Theologians over time concocted the "Investigative Judgment" theory which is the justification for Adventists interpretation that "something" happened in 1844. They believe that Jesus entered into the most holy place in the sanctuary in heaven to complete his work of atonement and to begin his new work of pouring through the books to prepare for the judgment of all men. This interpretation, though, flies in the face of the natural reading of the book of Hebrews which teaches that Messiah entered into the Most Holy Place at the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost) following his death and resurrection to offer his blood on the atonement cover to complete his work of Atonement for the forgiveness of sins. The book of Hebrews places a heavy emphasis on the priestly ministry of Yahusha, the apex of which was his entering into the Most Holy Place in fulfillment of the work of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.
Theologians could have avoided all the false doctrine which would follow on the tail of the misinterpretation of Daniel 8 if they had just looked at the biblical holy days as the pattern which Elohim had given to his people to give understanding about the proper interpretation and timeline of prophesy. Even to this day, the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8 is a stumbling block to their correct interpretation of all biblical prophesy
Although Adventists have correctly placed a great deal of emphasis on restoring the biblical significance of the Sabbath day of the fourth commandment and making it a foundational practice in their community, they have failed to take notice of the meaning and application of the 3rd commandment, and have consequently been in violation of its core meaning. The third commandment calls for proper reverence for the Creator's sacred name. It prohibits misuse of His personal name. Seventh-day Adventists, like most other Christians, don't even know what the creator's sacred name is! By ignoring and intentionally concealing the Creator's sacred name, they have done precisely what the third commandment prohibits! Adventists, with all other Christians, have misused his name by not recognizing his sacred name and by substituting the generic designation "the LORD" in place of His sacred personal name Yahuwah.
In addition to ignoring Elohim's sacred name and substituting a generic title in its place, Adventists in agreement with most other Christian churches have been addressing the Savior by a false and substitute name instead of his real, given name. The popularity of the name "Jesus" is indisputable. However, that is not the real name of the man born in Bethlehem, who grew up in Nazareth. "Jesus" is an Anglicized version of a Greek (!) name which the Greek version manuscripts of the New Testament use to designate the Savior. "Iaysous" is the Greek name. But the real, Hebrew name, which Miriam (Mary) gave to her firstborn son, whom she conceived by the Holy Spirit, is Yahusha, which means, "Yahu saves (helps)." Adventists who want to know and follow the truth should consider this fact of Scripture and begin calling upon him by his real name instead of the substituted and incorrect name.
Popular Adventist theology quickly points the finger at the Roman Church as the source of the spirit of Antichrist and of lawlessness in the form of changing Elohim's laws to their own liking. This is epitomized in the Church's declaration on their own authority that the Sabbath day holiness was transferred to Sunday, and thus, that all "true" worshippers will honor Jesus on Sunday, the first day of the week. And Adventists are correct in making this assessment.
However, they then turn around and reject all of the rest of Elohim's declared holy days and the rest of the instructions found in the Torah, declaring with all other Christian groups that "Jesus" nailed these laws to his cross. In so declaring, they remove from their backs the "burden" of having to obey those "Old Testament principles." Yahusha calls this "lawlessness," and promises to reject in the judgment all who practice and embrace such Lawlessness, or breaking of his laws (Torah, instruction). Thus Adventists, by their decision to reject the applicability of the instructions Elohim has given to his people, are actively committing "Lawlessness," which Yahusha hates.
It seems to be fallen human nature to want to make our own decisions about what we want to believe and follow, often, in spite of the evidence and common sense. The Adventists have made the same mistakes that many others before them, and many others after them have made. And like the Pharisees of old, they have interpreted the Scriptures and codified their interpretations into a system, which if one strays intellectually from it or lives outside of that system, is condemned.
The Adventists consider their own denominational interpretations of the Scriptures to be the final word, outside of which there is no truth. Thus, even when confronted with straight forward reasoning, they cannot see past the blinders of their own interpretation and convictions. This conviction is reinforced from within by encouraging members not to delve into thinking outside of their theological parameters. And negative thoughts and feelings are issued to those who walk outside of the interpretations of the Spirit of Prophesy.
Adventists have their own special body of writings which, officially, they claim is just supplemental to the Scriptures. But insiders are convinced and treat these writings as having the very authority of Scripture. In fact, the best and only way to be sure that you have the correct understanding of a given Bible passage is to find out what the "Spirit of Prophesy" has to say about it. And if you offer a different interpretation than is supplied by the "Spirit of Prophesy," then you are simply misguided - in their eyes.
The "Spirit of Prophesy" is, of course, the writings of Ellen Gould White - one of the founding personalities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. "Sister White," in their view, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the correct interpretations of the Scriptures, and offered inspired counsel and guidance for believers in these last days. She has provided all we really need to know and understand about the Christian life and prophesy, and thus has the final sure word in matters of faith and practice.
The Seventh-day Adventists are deluded into believing that Ellen White has more insight, knowledge, wisdom and understanding than any and all of the holy prophets, kings and priests who wrote the Scriptures. She stands above Moses, David, Isaiah, Abraham, Jeremiah, Daniel and all others - at least in terms of her inspired understanding and interpretations of the prophesies and Scriptures. Enough said. The error there hardly needs to be expounded on!
In relationship to the joined-at-the-hip-to-Ellen-White mentality that inner circle Adventists have is their fascination and emphasis on the teachings and writings and debates of their founding fathers. Rarely will an Adventist read outside of Adventist writings. Sadly, they are self-blinded by this reluctance to hear what others have to say about a given topic. And their fascination with the debates of their church fathers which took place well over a hundred years ago suggests that they simply are not interested in hearing what the Holy Spirit is saying today.
Following in the footsteps of the Adventist's mother church - the Roman Catholic Church - SDAs have as one of their core doctrines the belief in the tri-unity of God. The trinity doctrine can very easily be shown to have its source in ancient pagan religious systems. But the Jews have the right idea about the singularity of Elohim. They base their abhorrence of the polytheism of Christianity on Deuteronomy 6:4 which stresses and emphasizes the singularity of Elohim.
When Yahusha spoke to this subject, he always communicated this "Elohim is one" concept, and not the "Elohim is three" teaching which is popular in nearly all Christian denominations. Yahusha said, "I and my father are ONE," and identified with the Elohim who created the universe, did mighty miracles to effect Israel's release from Egypt, provided water from the rock, etc. Adventists would do well to consider the plain and simple evidence that Elohim is one and manifested himself in human flesh in the person named Yahusha.
Another concept which is foreign to the Scriptures is the idea that Elohim promised his people that they would receive heaven as their reward. This is a very common Catholic and Protestant view. And Adventists believe the same. In fact, their "prophetess" claims to have had a vision from God in which she sees Jesus taking his church on a three day journey through space to his heavenly home. Yet, nothing could be further from what the Bible teaches. When I encountered this teaching very early in my Adventist experience, I knew immediately that Ellen White is not an inspired prophet and writer. That teaching is fantastic at best and ridiculous at heart.
Yahuwah made very concrete promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob regarding an inheritance on the earth, in the land where they journeyed. And all the prophets and writings, including all the new testament writers speak about Yahusha and his followers inheriting the same great and precious promises. Nowhere is "heaven" ever promised to human beings as their lasting home. Elohim made the earth to be man's place of habitation, and he will renew and restore this fallen earth to be a fitting place for mankind to live into eternity.
On a sadder note, Adventists refuse to take a stand about what may be the greatest moral and ethical debate of our times. The SDA Church wants no part in the debate or activity of people who are concerned over the greatest mass slaughter of a helpless and defenseless people since the Holocaust. Abortion laws have allowed millions of human beings to be ruthlessly slaughtered by uncaring, immoral human beings over the last two decades. But the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not want an active role in protesting this genocide, nor does it even take a stand in terms of declaring their side on the debate.
When the SDA Church was formed back in the mid 1800s, slavery and Segregationism still existed as an acceptable norm in our country. And thus, the SDA policy was to have separate churches for blacks and whites. But as progress has been made to eliminate prejudice and bias, and while most institutions have made great progress in integration, the SDA Church has not made significant progress. While, to their credit, there are some individual churches which are integrated, many of the churches are not. The Seventh-day Adventists still have "black conferences" and "white conferences" here in the States. It is very curious that they have done little to erase this poor policy of the past and replace it with complete integration on the local level.
Like the mother church before her, Adventist theology includes the repugnant belief that the New Testament Church has replaced Israel in the plan of Elohim to fulfill the promises. This belief has led them to spiritualize many of the plain prophesies, including what Elohim is doing in the world today, especially around the Middle East (i.e. Jerusalem). Having bought into "the Jews killed Jesus" mentality of some, Adventists have adopted an attitude of disdain toward Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jewish people.
But the Scriptures do not teach replacement theology. Prophesy teaches that Elohim is still fulfilling the promises in the same way that he always has. "Israel" is still the family name of the people of Elohim. And all repentant sinners, Jew and Gentile alike, are being grafted into this vine - the nation of Israel, and will inherit literally the promises made to the patriarchs.
The attitude which replacement theology has resulted in has led most Adventists to have a disinterested posture toward the modern day State of Israel. This cool indifference, which sometimes rather plays out as a cold shoulder, has resulted in the Adventists lending preference to a terrorist people over protection for the peace loving people of the democracy of Israel. They would rather see a people of suicide bombers and hate-mongerers prevail than see Israel live in peace in the territories which they rightfully obtained through war fought for their own preservation. Here again, Adventists have taken a dubious position.
Nearly every church denomination has a certain arrogance which leads to the belief that they ("we") are the favored ones of Elohim. Theologically, this finds expression in the identity of the 144,000 tribulation saints who gain Elohim's favor and blessing during earth's final conflict. Adventist's, accordingly, believe that they are the 144,000. This is no surprise, because many other Christian groups claim the same. Adventists, like these other groups, spiritualize away the text which describes these 144,000. The text explains that they are people from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, but since that doesn't seem to include them, SDAs and others give their own private interpretation to these Scriptures.
The Scriptures command a tithe of the harvest to be used to feed the priests and Levites since their work is in the temple. The Scriptural tithe is also to be given for food to widows and orphans for their sustenance. And the tithe is furthermore to be used for one's personal eating and celebrating during the Feast of Succot (Tabernacles).
Most Christian churches, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church, use tithe for many other things which the tithe is not scripturally ordained for. The Adventists immediately remove the tithe (money given) from the local churches, eliminating them from the decision making on where to put the money to use. They then use it at their own discretion, to pay pastors and missionaries, to build buildings, to fund schools and pay insurance, and many other things. This top-down structure effectively robs the local churches, leaving the poorer of them even more destitute and unable to effectively carry out local and personal ministry. The local churches are then forced to press their parishioners for additional funding for any and all other ministry and building expenses and, more importantly, to feed the poor, the widow and the orphan among them.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church, like nearly every Christian Church, misunderstands, misappropriates and misuses the tithe. The Scripturally commanded tithe is a giving of a tenth of one's harvest (food) to take care of those who have no means of supporting their own eating needs. Thus, SDA's have completely missed the mark on what the tithe is. They have, due to their ignorance and refusal to believe the Scriptures, placed a heavy burden on believers, and will have to give an account for their misappropriations in the judgment to come.
And finally, the Seventh-day Adventist Church exhibits the qualities of the Church of Laodicea, which is rebuked by Yahusha in Revelation 3. The people of Laodicea think they have it all. Yahusha says to them:
You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17)
Adventists think they have all truth embodied in their Church doctrine and in the "Spirit of Prophesy." They are proud of this and believe they are a shoo-in to the reward of a home in heaven with Jesus. But they are deceived by their pride, and are usually unwilling to listen and repent.
Like the babies depicted in the background graphic of this webpage, the Adventists are forever wiggling and turning in circles, bouncing their own interpretations back and forth among themselves and finding it all so satisfying. Little do they know that from the outside, they look ridiculous. Sadly, very few really take them seriously. And as such, they have only a little impact on bringing a lost world back to an understanding of the full gospel of Messiah or the true will of Elohim for his people.
Adventist, if you will even listen to my advise, my hope is that members of the SDA church would open up their eyes and hearts to the reality that the SDA church leadership is blinding you to. The Holy Spirit has so much more that he wants to teach each of us. Do not limit yourself to what Yahuwah can teach you by only considering the writings and interpretations of the "Spirit of Prophesy" and the SDA church. Listen to all that He really wants to tell you. You will be blessed by the insight He will give you when you are willing to say "Yes" to the voice of Him who leads us into an understanding of all truth about our Messiah Yahusha.
Written and Published: April 2005
by David M Rogers