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IS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM REALLY CHRISTIAN?
by Wallace and Carole Slattery
Adventists believe that they are the Only True Religion, the ultimate Christianity. After all, aren't they the people who keep all Ten Commandments and have the "Testimony of Jesus" [their prophet Ellen White?
After we first discovered the sordid truth about Ellen White's plagiarism in 1980, we started to research into Adventism's relationship with Christianity. It took years, but by the middle 199O's we Felt we had reached the core of this relationship. For Adventist theology is very similar to an onion: it may be shiny and attractive on the outside, but the inner layers become progressively stronger and ranker until they are simply insufferable.
It all boils down to this: What are the fundamental identifying characteristics that distinguish Christianity from all other religions; and how closely does Adventism follow these characteristics? The basic characteristics are:
1. A belief that Jesus Christ died, was resurrected on the 3rd day after his death, and ascended to Heaven 40 days later.
2. A belief in the Holy Trinity; that although the Trinity comprises three individuals, they are at one in purpose, existing as complete, equal members of the Godhead.
3. A belief that the Bible is the only, ultimate source of doctrinal instruction; the final word of authority regarding principles or doctrine and belief.
4. A belief that acceptance of what Jesus Christ did For us in his Atonement is our only source of salvation. (justif-ication through faith.) Our works are only results of our conversion (sanctification), and have nothing to do with our salvation.
Let us examine how Adventism measures up to these fundamental doctrinal points:
1. Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. Adventism has no real problem with this doctrinal point Adventists are taught this doctrine in its entirety.
2. A belief in the Godhead of the Holy Trinity. Adventists claim to believe fully in the trinity, but Adventists also believe that Christ is Michael the Archangel. They are greatly taken aback when they learn that Christianity cannot accept this belief that in fact it is anathema to Christianity.
3. A belief in the final authority of the Bible as doctrinal instructor- "The Bible and the Bible only". Adventists will readily assure the inquiring Christian that their beliefs are based on the Bible alone, but the Adventist Church has gone on official record a number of times to demonstrate that Ellen G. White is the final arbiter, the infallible interpreter of the Bible; and this has commonly been taught from the pulpit to Adventist believers.
To our knowledge, not once has Adventism ever taken any position that contradicts Ellen White's teachings. Adventism must stand or fall on her word.
4. A belief in Justification through Faith. Here Adventism vehemently proclaims that it believes in justification through faith. This doctrine, however, has caused and continues to cause more confusion in the Adventist Church than any other doctrine. The "Justification/ sanctification" interpretations from the pen of Ellen White not only contradict the Bible but contradict each other. This leaves the SDA reader who follows Mrs White completely confused on the subject.
By far the most appalling of Ellen White's "Justification through Sanctification" heretical statements are these from her most widely-circulated book Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan:
"Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through grace of God and their own diligent effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil". (p 425)
"In that fearful time the righteousness must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor "(p. 614)
In Summary, the Seventh-day Adventist Church teaches heresy to its members in three basic Christian beliefs:
1. It teaches that Jesus Christ is also Michael the Archangel, thus denigrating the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
2. It teaches that it's believers that Ellen White is the "final court of appeals" and the "infallible interpreter" (actual published quotes from Church papers) of Bible doctrine, thus denying the belief that the Scriptures possess these attributes.
3. It leaches at best a contradictory doctrine of Justification through Faith, in which perfectionism is stressed over faith.
We cannot accept that Adventism is a Christian Church just because it asserts that it teaches Christian dogma from the Bible. Instead, we must compare Adventism's fundamental doctrines with those long accepted by Christianity. When we do so, we are forced to conclude that Adventism distorts the Bible to perpetrate its own religion essentially denying the true Good News of the Bible in order to focus upon its own heretical theology.