Lure to the SDA church
Notice the following document.
In it Rome tries to make the case that the SDA church needs to drop the idea
of Sunday sabbath being the mark of th ebeast if they ever truly want to make
peace with Roman Catholics. WIll it work. YEs. We have God's prophetic Word
on that. The SDA
church already has many churches embracing Sunday as Sabbath
Most people know little about the
Seventh-Day Adventists beyond that they worship on Saturdays, not Sundays. But
there’s more to this unique sect.
Seventh-Day Adventist church traces its roots to American preacher William
Miller (1782–1849), a Baptist who predicted the Second Coming would occur
between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Because he and his followers
proclaimed Christ’s imminent advent, they were known as "Adventists."
When Christ failed to appear, Miller reluctantly endorsed the position
of a group of his followers known as the "seventh-month movement," who claimed
Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish
When this didn’t happen either, Miller forswore predicting
the date of the Second Coming, and his followers broke up into a number of
competing factions. Miller would have nothing to do with the new theories his
followers produced, including ones which attempted to save part of his 1844
doctrine. He rejected this and other teachings being generated by his former
followers, including those of Ellen Gould White.
Miller had claimed,
based on his interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, that Christ would return
in 1843–44 to cleanse "the sanctuary" (Dan. 8:11–14, 9:26), which he interpreted
as the earth. After the disappointments of 1844, several of his followers
proposed an alternative theory. While walking in a cornfield on the morning of
October 23, 1844, the day after Christ failed to return, Hiram Edson felt he
received a spiritual revelation that indicated that Miller had misidentified the
sanctuary. It was not the earth, but the Holy of Holies in God’s heavenly
temple. Instead of coming out of the heavenly temple to cleanse the sanctuary of
the earth, in 1844 Christ, for the first time, went into the heavenly Holy of
Holies to cleanse it instead.
Another group of Millerites was influenced
by Joseph Bates, a retired sea captain, who in 1846 and 1849 issued pamphlets
insisting that Christians observe the Jewish Sabbath—Saturday—instead of
worshipping on Sunday. This helped feed the intense anti-Catholicism of
Seventh-Day Adventism, since they blamed the Catholic Church for changing the
day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.
These two streams of
thought—Christ entering the heavenly sanctuary and the need to keep the Jewish
Sabbath—were combined by White, who claimed to have received many visions
confirming these doctrines. Together with Edson and Bates, she formed the
Seventh-Day Adventist denomination, which officially received its name in 1860.
Today the denomination reports that it has 780,000 members in the United
States and 7.8 million members elsewhere, many in Catholic countries.
claimed to receive the first of several hundred visions in December of 1844. She
gained recognition in Adventist circles as a prophetess and became the church’s
leader. Over the next few decades, she provided guidance on almost every.aspect
of belief and worship, writing over fifty books commenting on health, education,
finance, and other topics. Her works are held by her followers to be inerrant on
matters of doctrine, as is the Bible, though they are on a slightly lower plane
of honor than the Bible.
Her most important books, especially The
Desire of the Ages and The Great Controversy, are frequently
reprinted by Seventh-Day Adventist publishing houses in a variety of formats.
They often appear with different covers and titles. For example, The Great
Controversy is often marketed as America in Prophecy. They are
printed whole or in excerpted form. Sometimes Ellen Gould White’s name appears
on the cover, sometimes a less well-known form of her name appears (e.g., E. G.
White), and sometimes her name does not appear on the outside of the book at
This allows Adventists to put White’s works in the hands of
non-Adventists without alerting them that they are reading an Adventist
publication until they are well into the work.
houses also keep the terms "Seventh-Day" and "Adventist" out of their names.
Typical Adventist and Adventist-related publishing houses have names including
Inspiration Books, Amazing Truth Publications, Review & Herald Publishing
Association, and Pilgrims’ Press.
This is because Adventists have always
been regarded suspiciously by Evangelicals and have often been viewed as a
fanatical cult (as have some of their offshoots, such as the Branch Davidians).
Many Evangelical leaders even have asserted—incorrectly—that Adventists
are not Christians, even though they believe in Christ’s divinity and use a
valid Trinitarian form of baptism.
Often Adventist-related publishing
houses conduct mass mailings of their literature to every home and post office
box in a community. This has been done regularly with Amazing Truth
Publications’ anti-Catholic volume, National Sunday Law.
Seventh-Day Adventists agree with many
Catholic doctrines, including the Trinity, Christ’s divinity, the virgin birth,
the atonement, a physical resurrection of the dead, and Christ’s Second Coming.
They use a valid form of baptism. They believe in original sin and reject the
Evangelical teaching that one can never lose one’s salvation no matter what one
does (i.e., they correctly reject "once saved, always saved").
Unfortunately, they also hold many false and strange doctrines. Among
these are the following: (a) the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon; (b)
the pope is the Antichrist; (c) in the last days, Sunday worship will be "the
mark of the beast"; (d) there is a future millennium in which the devil will
roam the earth while Christians are with Christ in heaven; (e) the soul sleeps
between death and resurrection; and (f) on the last day, after a limited period
of punishment in hell, the wicked will be annihilated and cease to exist rather
than be eternally damned. (For rebuttals of many of these ideas, see the
Catholic Answers tracts, The Antichrist, The Hell There Is, Hunting the Whore
of Babylon, The Whore of Babylon, and Sabbath or Sunday?)
Many Adventists insist that, as a matter of discipline (not doctrine),
one must not eat meats considered unclean under the Mosaic Law (many endorse
total vegetarianism), and one must avoid "worldly entertainments" (card-playing,
dancing, smoking, drinking, reading non-religious books, listening to
non-religious music, watching non-religious television, going to the movies,
Adventists also subscribe to the two Protestant shibboleths,
sola scriptura (the Bible is the sole rule of faith) and sola
fide (justification is by faith alone). Other Protestants, especially
conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, often attack Adventists on these
points, claiming they do not really hold them, which is often used as "proof"
that they are "a cult." However, along the spectrum of Protestantism (from
high-church Lutherans and Anglicans to low-church Pentecostals and Baptists),
there is little agreement about the meaning of these two phrases or about the
doctrines they are supposed to represent.
As is clear from some of the
beliefs listed above, Adventist theology is intensely anti-Catholic. Many
Catholics who do not frequently come in contact with Adventists or their
literature do not realize just how hostile they can be toward the Church.
Trying to give others the benefit of the doubt, Catholics may suppose
that anti-Catholicism is part of Adventism’s radical fringe. Unfortunately, this
is untrue. Adventists who are moderate on Catholicism are a minority.
Anti-Catholicism characterizes the denomination because it is embraced in
White’s "divinely inspired" writings. A few illustrations help indicate the
scope of the problem:
"Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots . . . is
further declared to be ‘that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the
earth.’ Revelation 17:4–6, 18. The power that for so many centuries maintained
despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. The purple and scarlet
color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly picture the magnificence
and more than kingly pomp affected by the haughty see of Rome" (The Great
"It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism
that the pope is the visible head of the universal Church of Christ . . . and
has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim
urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him [Satan]
through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage"
"Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman
Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the
Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false
Sabbath. . . . And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never
changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles
of the Roman Catholic Church. And has she but the power, she would put them in
practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. . . . Rome is aiming to
reestablish her power, to recover her lost supremacy" (ibid., 507–8).
"God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be
unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really
are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into
power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the
churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive
structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be1
repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to
further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she
desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon
see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever believe and
obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution" ( ibid.,
Strong stuff! Unfortunately, most Adventists believe this. Bear
in mind that these quotes are not taken from an obscure work of White’s that
nobody ever reads. They are from what is probably her single most popular
volume, The Great Controversy.
Seventh-Day Adventism is basically
consumed with the concept of the last days. It was formed from the remnants of
the Millerite movement, which was created to await the world’s end. In White’s
end times view, the Jewish Sabbath and the Catholic Church play prominent roles.
According to her, the papacy is the seven-headed beast from the sea in
Revelation 13:1–10. Accompanying this beast is a lamb-like beast from the earth
(Rev. 13:11–18). The latter causes the world to worship the former and has an
image made of it. White proclaimed that the second beast is the United States
(The Great Controversy, 387–8), and that it will force people to worship
the papacy by "enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the
papacy" (ibid., 389). This observance, she says, is Sunday worship rather than
White claims that the papacy changed the day of
worship from Saturday to Sunday, making this change a mark of its authority. In
her view, there will come a time when the United States will establish a
"national Sunday law" and compel its citizens to worship on Sunday and thus take
the mark of the beast. It will not compel them to become Catholics, but to join
a Protestant state-church that is an "image" of the papacy, and thus, "the image
of the beast" (ibid., 382–96).
Seventh-Day Adventism cannot change its
views on the Catholic Church being the Whore of Babylon without admitting that
it was wrong on Sunday worship. It cannot admit that Sunday worship is not the
mark of the beast without changing its views on the Jewish Sabbath. Seventh-Day
Adventism cannot cease to be anti-Catholic without ceasing to be
There is a "moderate" wing of Adventism
that is more open to Catholics as individuals (though still retaining White’s
views concerning the papacy). In fact, White was willing to concede that—in the
here and now (before the end times)—some Catholics are saved. She wrote that
"there are now true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic
communion, who honestly believe that Sunday is the Sabbath of divine
appointment. God accepts their sincerity of purpose and their integrity before
him. But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be
enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall
transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority
than Rome, will thereby honor popery above God" (ibid., 395).
Unfortunately, this one tolerant statement is embedded in hundreds of
hostile statements. While this.aspect of her teaching can be played up by her
more moderate followers, it is difficult for them to do so, because the whole
Adventist milieu in which they exist is anti-Catholic. The group is an
eschatology sect, and its central eschatological teaching, other than Christ’s
Second Coming, is that the Second Coming will be preceded by a period in which
the papacy will enforce Sunday worship on the world. Everyone who does not
accept the papacy’s Sunday worship will be killed; and everyone who does accept
the papacy’s Sunday worship will be destroyed by God.
By virtue of their
valid baptism, and their belief in Christ’s divinity and in the doctrine of the
Trinity, Seventh-Day Adventists are both ontologically and theologically
Christians. But Christians, once separated from the Church our Lord founded, are
susceptible to being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of
doctrine" (Eph. 4:14).
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish
this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August
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