HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM
 
* The Slattery Booklet
 
This is a summary of the essentials of the booklet by Wallace D Slattery called Are Seventh Day Adventists False Prophets? I have commented where necessary. The booklet is recommended to Humanists who have come into contact with Seventh Day Adventists.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church was founded by Ellen G White who was believed to be a prophetess of God and whose statements and writings were believed to show the correct interpretation of the Bible. The Church says it believes in the Bible alone but it makes laws out of so many of White’s revelations that it is clear that it interprets the Bible the way she wanted so that she is the real authority. They say she had the spirit of prophecy in fulfilment of Revelation 12:17. They say her writings and prophecies came from God meaning that if they are inspired they cannot be questioned. In practice then her declarations must be equal to the Bible. The Adventists say they test her but this means nothing for they hold that when books were added to the Bible they had to be tested first alongside what went before to make sure they were really inspired. The Church won’t admit to it but it does teach doctrines that came from White and not the Bible. That is why it is unfair for the Church to say it tests her with the Bible.

White’s grandson, Arthur White who was secretary of the White Estate which looks after her writings claimed that everything was published though in fact the Estate was hiding about one third of her letters and manuscripts (page 5). The lady made so many serious prophetic errors in her published books that one perceives that it is no wonder the hidden writings are an embarrassment.
 
The claim that Mrs White once held a heavy Bible up for 45 minutes in which she was having a vision though it could hardly be held up for one has been traced back to a deception and the Estate admits that it probably never happened (page 5). Mrs White had been hit by a stone that left her brain-damaged and which probably accounts for her visions. The visions always came to confirm what the Church had come to believe and they never gave new beliefs (page 15). This suggests that the revelations were coming from her subconscious mind.
 
Christians all believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth again to establish his political reign as king. Adventism has its roots in the work of William Miller who thought the Bible said that the second coming would take place on October 22, 1844. White and others said he was right but the second coming was Jesus going into a Heavenly Temple to apply the work of the atonement to souls and that the physical return to earth would take place later. This belief is totally unbiblical. There is no evidence that if the Bible meant another kind of coming that it was that kind, Jesus coming into the Most Holy part of the Temple in Heaven. White stole from the writings of other people and this thieving makes up the bulk of her writings (pages 16-17). The Church admits that many of the things she was told in her visions were really from books written by other people that she had in her vast library. The Church was involved in an enterprise forbidden by its beliefs, the Pyramid system. This all came out and destroyed the commitment of many to the Church in 1983.

Some Adventists say that the Bible used the writings of others to make its revelations so Mrs White had the right to do the same (page 19). She never asked permission. And if the Bible stole that does not make it right for anybody else to and we see many are willing to accuse the Bible of theft to justify their prophetess! As if that would be of any help! Despite the ban by White on wedding rings, dances and jewellery and the theatre the Church allows individuals to decide (page 20). This is permitting disobedience to the God they say spoke through Mrs White. Obviously, wearing a wedding ring could not be a sin even if jewels were sinful for it would be sober and cheap and modest. This was another addition to the teaching of the Bible.

The Church believes that eating meat is unhealthy and gets worse for mankind as time progresses and so it commands vegetarianism. This completely contradicts the Old Testament, the God of the Law of Moses even commands that animals be cooked on the altar and eaten, and there are ways around getting bad meat. There is disagreement over whether if salvation is by faith alone and nothing else or by faith alone for past sins only leaving you the duty to obey to be saved afterwards. The Church says that Jesus was sinless but could have sinned and this shows that we can be perfect. White’s writings contradict themselves on this matter (page 19).

Mrs White added to the Bible when she predicted that the righteous will have a seven-day journey to Heaven and pass through an opening to Heaven in Orion. She also said that the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13:16-18 would be the Sunday Sabbath.

The Church officially stated that White was just as inspired as the Bible though it says that the Bible alone is the source of doctrine. It thinks we need her to understand the Bible and that we should believe in her because of the Bible (page 23). She is acknowledged as the only infallible interpreter (page 24). The Church makes a distinction between inspiration, which is us putting what God has made us think into our own words, and revelation which is hearing voices from Heaven and seeing visions. She fails the tests for a prophet. The true prophet never makes mistakes when reporting revelation. The true prophet agrees with the Bible. The true prophet is very holy and trustworthy and if such falls they can’t be listened to any more.

Her mistakes. She thought that fire and water caused volcanoes. She said in 1856 that an angel told her that some people at the Conference that year would receive the seven last plagues prophesied in the Book of Revelation and that others would stay alive to see the return of Jesus. There is no evidence of this prediction being conditional. She claimed that masturbation causes cancer. The Church says that she was wrong about this but her infallibility related only to spiritual issues. But this was a spiritual issue for this was a reason for saying that masturbation was sinful. White lied about having no vision that the door of salvation was closed for sinners.

She taught that Jesus was the archangel Michael which is not in the Bible.

She stole over half of her book, The Great Controversy, from other books and even went as far as to use pictures and diagrams without permission (page 35). She claimed that she received everything in her messages and in her books by revelation. She ate foods that she had forbidden to her followers (page 38).

The Adventists have no right in stating that this woman was a prophet when there is evidence of hysteria and partial complex seizures causing her visions. Though God can speak through such he cannot expect us to take them very seriously when there is no evidence of supernatural activity and they would only be of value for telling you what God had already said in the Bible but of zero worth for giving new revelations.
 
Adventism is strict on its position that it is a sin to eat unclean food but it turns a blind eye to the other teachings of the Law about unclean things.
 
It was revealed to White that Jesus used unfermented wine at the Last Supper. But there were no grapes at that time of year and no way of keeping grape juice fresh so Jesus used real wine. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states that there is no justification for seeing a distinction between fermented and unfermented wine being made in the Bible (page 881). However, it seems that the early Church mixed the wine of the Eucharist with a lot of water. Justin Martyr told us that. The wines of Palestine at the time of Christ were light wines (page 15, The Bible, Medical Science and Alcohol). This suggests that the Bible only sanctions the taking of wine that is weak in alcohol.

* Hoekema and SDA
 
A. A. Hoekema wrote a good critique of the movement. His little book is called simply Seventh Day Adventism.

He observed the inconsistency of Adventists claiming to be the remnant Church, the only Church that is fully what God wants it to be, and saying that there are true Christians outside the movement. The Adventists state that nobody can be saved if he denies the deity of Jesus Christ but still they say that Christians can be saved without belief in the most important commandment to them, the Seventh-Day Sabbath or the Saturday Sabbath.
 
Romans 11:5 says that the remnant Church is composed of all true Christians whatever they believe. That epistle commanded tolerance of Christians who could not stop believing in unclean foods so the remnant Church is not necessarily doctrinally correct or in other words a Church that has all the answers and is infallible. Tithing, giving ten per cent of your income to the Church, is mandatory. And the Church manual says that using tobacco is as bad as adultery.

The movement’s interpretation of Daniel 8:14 about the 2300 days being years and giving the year 1844 is erroneous.  Millar thought this was the date of the second coming but the Seventh Day Adventist Church when seeing the prophecy had failed to bring about the second coming reinterpreted it to mean that Jesus would enter the holy place in Heaven to minister like a priest and cause his atonement to work so it referred to a coming into the Heavenly Temple. The atonement did not work until 1844 when Jesus started the work of applying it to people. The context shows that 2300 days is really the number of burnt offerings. The verse when strictly translated says 2300 evenings and mornings. There were two such offerings a day so it is really 1150 literal days. The SDAs even believe that Jesus has made atonement for our sins by doing good where we have done bad but add that the guilt of these sins will be laid on Satan to obliterate sin once and for all. This is the Scapegoat Doctrine. It is totally unbiblical and based on Leviticus 16. There one goat is sacrificed and the other is set loose after sins are laid up on by the laying on of hands. Adventists think the second goat is a scapegoat and pictures Satan. But the goat is a sin offering (v5) which Satan never was. The scapegoat idea contradicts 1 Peter 2:24 which says that our sins were laid on Jesus in his body on the tree.

 
* Health And Happiness

 
Ellen White wrote a book called Health and Happiness which used to be called The Ministry of Healing.

On page 8 she said that Jesus was always patient and was always cheerful. Read Matthew 23 for an tirade of abuse that Jesus spat out against the Jewish leaders.

She said that in John 8 that if Jesus acquitted the woman accused of breaking the law he would have been accused of hating and disparaging the law of Moses which wanted her put to death. And if he had told her accusers to kill her in accordance with the law he would have been dragged before the Romans for they wanted nobody executed without their permission.

But Jesus did acquit her for later he told her he did not condemn her. And he could have explained to the Romans that he was only telling them what the law wanted but did not mean they should defy their law.

She said that drugs to heal disease do not work but only make the disease break out elsewhere (page 77). A note at the start of the book gives the impression that it was harmful drugs like morphine, strychnine and arsenic were meant. But if even if these drugs can be harmful they don’t need to be. And White never said she had just these in mind. There were plenty of safer drugs. Sanctimoniously, she declared, “Let physicians teach the people that restorative power is not in drugs, but in nature. Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health” (page 78).

She said that heavy skirts that put all their weight on the waist pull down internal organs and causes the stomach to get loose (page 208). This is obvious nonsense.

She argued that when God gave the Israelites manna in the desert it proved that he was not keen on them eating meat and vegetarianism is the ideal. Then why did he set up the sacrificial system with its eating of the victims? She said God restricted meat eating. Yes he forbade unclean foods but that was hardly a restriction when they could eat better and nicer meat to their hearts content. She said that eggs are forbidden food because they stimulate a person to do evil and warned against feeding sensual children on them (page 228). Jesus said that food does not make you bad but the intent you eat it with may. She recommended eating two meals a day as healthy (page 229). But it is healthier to eat five small meals a day. Body builders have to do that and take protein each time to maintain themselves. She condemned taking tea or coffee and said that they force a person to need stronger stimulants and lead to death and disease (page 232). She even claimed that Jesus turned water into grape juice at Cana for alcohol is forbidden (page 236). But the story in John 2 says that the people wondered at the good wine being served late in the feast when it was tradition for the good to be served first and then the bad when the guests were a little tipsy and could not notice. She decreed that all must seek to destroy the liquor traffic and that nobody who drinks at all should be in the government (page 247).

She declared that a man must not have an arbitrary control over his wife (page 258). But when the man is head of the household the woman has to obey him though she may not understand so it has to be arbitrary at times and perhaps often to fit in with the biblical faith. There is an element of arbitrariness in all authority for there would be no need for it if you check it out all the time and agree with it before you will obey it for that is really obeying yourself and your logic. Also, does banning arbitrary authority mean anything when it is not said that the woman may disobey it?

White said that a woman who breastfeeds a baby for a mother who is unable passes on her qualities to the child. She warns that this could be a bad thing if the woman is evil (page 274).

She declared that the works of infidels should not be read for it is easier to get truth in her Church (page 322).

She even forbids reading fairy-tales and fiction (page 327). She thinks they lead to a less realistic attitude and are harmful and lead to worse reading to get stimulation. That was a bit harsh.

Amazingly on page 349 she states that, “We are never called upon to make a real sacrifice for God”. Then she says that anything good we do it is for Heaven and God only asks for surrender to give us good things to make up for it. If that is true then we are only here to please ourselves and so suffering is useless. There would then be no God. When we only will our pleasure and do not will the suffering then we can’t sacrifice. If God exists then happiness is a sin. She contradicts herself on page 352 when she says that God has no time for those who want the crown but not the cross.

She unreasonably puts a complete ban on self-pity though it can be good and harmless (page 351).
  
Conclusion
 
Seventh-Day Adventism is not a credible manifestation of Christianity.
 
Are Seventh Day Adventists False Prophets? Wallace D Slattery P&R Publishing, New Jersey, 1990
Seventh Day Adventism, AA Hoekema, Paternoster, Devon, 1973