1 - MY TESTIMONY AND INTRODUCTION (11-2015)
I was born and grew up in a Southern Baptist family. As a small child, I accepted Christ as
my Savior. Thanks to a devout Sunday School teacher, I early learned to love the Bible and study it daily.
With an insatiable curiosity to know what others believed, when I was 27 years old, in 1972,
I began visiting other churches, studying their doctrines and listening to various radio programs in order to learn more about
Southern Baptists are strong in promoting
the Ten Commandments in schools and courthouses. They teach that the Ten Commandments are the eternal unchangeable moral law
of God. When I encountered the Seventh-day Adventist's
emphasis on the Ten Commandment Sabbath, I felt unable to remain a Baptist and still strive to obey all of God's commandments.
Seventh-day Adventism's strong presentation
of the Ten Commandments drew me into a closer look. After (wrongly) convincing me that only the Old Covenant ceremonial sabbaths
had been abolished, primarily for that reason I felt compelled to become a Seventh-day Adventist. I learned later that their
best evangelistic strategy was to get one “hooked” on the Sabbath first and teach the other “testing truths”
later. This strategy worked as well with me as it has with millions of others.
At that time, it seemed to me that the logic of Seventh-day Adventism outweighed that of Southern Baptists.
This was my reasoning:
One: Since the Ten Commandments are supposedly
the unchangeable eternal moral Law of God, as both churches claimed, then they must be observed!
Two: Since the Sabbath was part of the Ten Commandments, then it must not have been changed, because
God does not change His own character.
Three: The Sabbath that
was abolished in Colossians 2:16 must have only been the ceremonial Sabbath and not the seventh day of the Ten Commandments.
Four: If this were true, then I must become a Sabbath-keeper at all costs.
Five: If this were true, then all churches who insist that the Ten Commandments are still in force,
should also become Sabbath-keepers.
about the Sabbath, I felt quite uneasy about a lot of their other doctrines. There were several important questions I insisted
on having a positive answer to before joining the Seventh-day Adventist church. I asked the evangelist the following questions:
One: Do Seventh-day Adventists believe that “the Bible only” was their standard for determining
Two: Do they believe that salvation was “by grace through faith
Three: Do they believe that believers observed
the Sabbath because they have been saved and not in order to be saved?
Four: Do they believe that sincere believers of other Christian faiths would also be saved even though they did not know
or keep the Sabbath?
Five: Do Adventists think that Ellen G.
White is not as equally inspired as the Bible?
realized that I had been deliberately lied to and betrayed by the evangelist whom I had grown to trust and respect. The way
that my questions were answered satisfied me, but the answers did not really mean what I thought they meant. The evangelist
assured me that the answers to all of my questions were definitely “yes”. As I look back at
that time I am still disturbed that a church that emphasizes the Ten Commandments so strongly, can so deliberately and consistently
break one of them and lie to honest seekers in order to obtain converts.
present themselves as Bible only advocates. The evangelist even showed me the statement on the back of the baptismal certificate
that confirmed the “yes” answers.
As previously stated, I joined
the Seventh-Day Adventist Church primarily
in order to observe the Saturday-Sabbath. Concerning the other doctrines, I thought, if mainline Christianity were so wrong
about the Sabbath, then, perhaps, they were also wrong about a lot of other doctrines.
My early studies revealed that the book Kingdom of the Cults by Martin and Barnhouse
did not call Seventh-day Adventism a false cult. The Adventist reply to Martin’s book, Questions on Doctrine,
seemed conservative and evangelical. It even de-emphasized Ellen G. White's influence in determining doctrine. By the
time I realized that I had been deceived, I was supporting an evangelistic reform movement within the church which was eventually
harshly suppressed. Many leading theologians and teachers were disciplined for their attempts to become more evangelical and
more accepted by other denominations. A non-Adventist Australian, Geoffrey Paxton, published The Shaking of Adventism,
which hopefully predicted that the righteousness by faith doctrine would reform Seventh-day Adventism. It did not.
Their honest answers to my questions should have been:
One: “The Bible only” means “the Bible and Ellen G. White” because the Bible
teaches that the true church has a guiding prophet who is just as inspired as Bible prophets. [Yet no others have appeared
David "Koresh of Branch Davidian.]
by grace through faith” does not mean salvation by grace through faith “alone.” In actual
practice, salvation is by grace, but retaining salvation is through obedience to such things as Sabbath-keeping and avoiding
unclean foods. They go far beyond their early Methodist influence in denying the perseverance of the saints. Absolute assurance
of salvation is not possible until Jesus closes the books on each person usually long after they die. When Jesus comes, active
Sunday worshipers will not be saved. For an Adventist, EGW’s statement settles the argument and further scholarly research
cannot proceed. Other doctrines such as soul-sleep and no continuing hell-fire are stressed, but these lack the importance
of Saturday worship and unclean foods.
is just as important as conversion. The Great Controversy, Ellen White's most promoted book (under many titles),
repeatedly stresses that Saturday worship is THE SUBJECT around which all church history revolves. The book teaches that all
other Christians will eventually hunt them down and try to kill SDAs because they refuse to worship on Sunday. They are told
to stockpile food and be prepared to flee at a moment’s notice when the U.S. government issues a death decree on all those who do not worship on Sunday. Such paranoia makes
Sabbath-keeping a work and a necessity of salvation. The convoluted explanations of their theologians cannot explain away
such clear teaching from Ellen White. Instead of defending the Bible, they spend much time discussing her inspiration and
defending her interpretation.
churches are Babylon the great, the harlot
church. The “fall” of these churches began shortly after the spring of 1844 and they are still
falling from truth. SDAs view other Christians as ignorant and deceived. Sunday-worshipers will receive the mark of the beast
and be lost. SDAs are the only true church. Many Adventists teach that Christ will not return until the SDA Church produces 144,000 perfect sinless members who prove to the world that God’s Law can be perfectly kept.
Five: Within the church family Ellen G. White is quoted as much as, if not more than, the Bible to
prove their points. When pressed extremely hard for a straight answer, SDA leaders will often admit that their doctrines cannot
disagree with the “inspired” interpretation of the Bible by Ellen G. White, their prophetess. They cannot move
away from what she has plainly written about a subject. When their theologians do bend, they do so over her often-contradictory
statements, and not over her plain teachings. Regardless of what the Hebrew, Greek or their own Bible research might indicate,
if it does not agree with Ellen G. White, then it is not truth and must be rejected. Real scholarship is severely limited.
Personally, I have concluded
that Seventh-day Adventism is a false Christian cult. Two major things make them into a cult. First is their doctrine of inspiration.
In Ellen G. White's writings, they have added other
writings to the Bible and treat them with equal reverence and inspiration. Second is their exclusiveness. They teach that
they are the only true church and totally disdain other Christians who do not observe the Sabbath and who will be lost if
Jesus comes and finds them worshiping on Sunday. Their appointed committee that provided Martin and Barnhouse answers in the
early 1960s was later ridiculed as not representing true Adventism. [The original book] Questions on Doctrine is
not recommended. The church is controlled by those who elevate Ellen G. White to the Bible level.
SDA basic doctrine has not changed and will not change because of the stagnating effect of Ellen
G. White. Recent visits to the Adventist college from which I graduated were very discouraging because of how Ellen White’s
writings reign even in Bible classes. Their own Bible version, Sabbath School literature
and in-house literature still support almost every paragraph with EGW quotations. To me at least, they have retreated farther
into a cultic shell and away from true Christianity.
today they are sharing church buildings and hospitals with their arch-enemies, the “false Babylonians.” Their
ministers are joining more and more ministerial associations and are pretending to be just another part of the evangelical
group. They are sitting on both sides of the fence in order to proselytize other churches.
It is my hope and prayer that this book will rescue many of my sincere God-fearing friends from
the fear and uncertainty of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church and lead them to the assurance of resting in God's true Sabbath, the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
I also hope that Protestant evangelical ministers and also Roman Catholic priests will
begin questioning Adventist ministers who pretend to be so normal, yet inwardly fear and despise other clergy at ministerial