Why Walter Martin Considered Seventh-Day Adventism Evangelical*

In the book Kingdom of the Cults, the late Dr. Walter Martin [founder of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) who died in 1989] defended the Seventh-Day Adventist Church as orthodox and refused to label this group as a cult. Martin's position in this influential book has resulted in widespread confusion on this subject. Martin's approach to Seventh-Day Adventism is contrasted with that of those who view this group as a dangerous cult.


WALTER MARTIN ACCEPTED THE STATEMENTS OF ONE PARTICULAR SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST PUBLICATION, QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE, AS THE BASIS FOR HIS EVALUATION

The book Questions on Doctrine was published by the SDA denomination especially for general public use to answer charges of heresy that had been leveled at them. Martin thought it wrong that other contenders for the faith had based their evaluation of Seventh-Day Adventism on a variety of SDA literature, arguing that these were not an official representation of SDA doctrine. He even contended that Ellen G. White's writings were not a fair representation of SDA teaching. Consider the following statement from The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin:

"In 1957 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists released the first definitive and comprehensive explanation of their faith, an authoritative volume entitled Questions on Doctrine. This book truthfully presents the theology and doctrine which the leaders of Seventh-day Adventism affirm they have always held. ... It is therefore unfair to quote any one Adventist writer or a group of writers as representing 'the position of our denomination in the area of church doctrine and prophetic interpretation ...'" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 369).

What Is Wrong with Martin's View?

1. Questions on Doctrine was not any longer in print at the time of Martin's writing. The Seventh-Day Adventists must not have considered it too important as an authoritative statement of their doctrine or they would not have allowed to go out of print. In 1977, David Cloud visited the bookstore at the large Adventist Bible College in Collegedale, Tennessee, in search of this book. He was told that the book was out of print and would not again be available.

2. Ellen White's writings are presented by the Adventists as inspired. The following statements are from an Adventist correspondence course offered in the mid-1970s titled "Prophetic Guidance in the Seventh-day Adventist Church."Two books were given with this course: Ellen G. White: Messenger to the Remnant and The Spirit of Prophecy Treasure Chest. All of these materials were produced by the Adventist publisher Review and Herald. These books were still available in Adventist bookstores when last checked in the early-1990s. This correspondence course exalts Ellen White as a prophetess of God and her writings as inspired revelation:

"These inspired books, such as Desire of Ages, Great Controversy, and Patriarchs and Prophets, are indeed divine revelations of truth upon which we may place full dependence" (Prophetic Guidance in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, p. 20).

"The Messages for these days shall be written in books and shall stand immortalized" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 50).

"These messages, we believe, should be faithfully followed by every believer" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 60).

"Consistency calls for acceptance of the Spirit of Prophecy [Ellen White's] writings as a whole. We cannot justify accepting part and rejecting part" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 70).

"We recognize that the principles set forth in the Spirit of Prophecy writings do not change with the passage of the years ... and are of equal value to the church in all lands" (Spirit of Prophecy Treasure Chest, p. 125).

"The Messages [Ellen White's writings] themselves are worthy of a different kind of consideration from that given to other modern writings. They are messages from God and must always be treated as such" (Treasure Chest, p. 142).

Ellen White's books are sold by Adventist ministries, bookstores, and colporteurs worldwide and are advertised as inspired counsel of God. Since Ellen White's writings are thus regarded by the Adventist denomination, why would they protest the evaluation of her writings as representative of SDA doctrine? Their own books continually site Ellen White's writings as authoritative, and it certainly not wrong for an outside researcher to do the same. If Ellen White's writings are not accurate representations of Adventist doctrine, their entire foundation is washed away.

3. The Seventh-day Adventists have themselves stated that their authorized publications are reliable:

"Denominationally-authorized productions carry the official imprint of the issuing organization, and may be relied upon" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 82).

In light of this statement, it certainly would be proper to study any of the publications of the major Adventist presses in order to know Adventist beliefs. They have told us these materials are reliable. We are not, therefore, confined to any one publication for official SDA doctrine. All of the publications used in Avoiding the Snare of Seventh-day Adventism are either Ellen White's writings or are publications of the official Adventist publishing houses. It is very strange for the Adventist Church to publish books and then to protest because we use those books to evaluate their beliefs. There is something that appears very deceitful here.

4. Dr. Martin did not treat other groups like he demanded the Seventh-day Adventists be treated. In his research of other groups, such as the Mormons, Martin did not draw back from using any authoritative material necessary to draw an accurate conclusion about the doctrinal position of the group. He did not base his research of other groups strictly upon one volume provided by those groups. He is, thus, being extremely inconsistent in this matter.

5. Dr. Martin failed to apply his knowledge of cultic deceitfulness to the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination. He well knew the chameleon nature of false teachers. Frequently in critiques of various false groups, Walter Martin warned that they tend to be less than honest in their presentation of doctrine, especially in their materials designed for general public consumption.

One entire chapter of Dr. Martin's booklet Jehovah's Witnesses deals with this reality. The chapter is entitled "The Watchtower Chameleon." Martin shows how the Witnesses have a history of attempting to hide their heretical nature. They say one thing on one hand and something completely different on the other hand. The wise investigator must learn to dig through this deception in order to arrive at the truth.

It is not difficult to see this trait in Seventh-Day Adventism. In an attempt to appear orthodox they sometimes dilute, even alter their beliefs. Sometimes, for example, they proudly and boldly teach that Ellen White's writings are inspired revelation from God and that they should be accepted as authoritative by all Christians. They do this in the aforementioned correspondence course, Prophetic Guidance in the Adventist Movement. On other occasions, they will deny the charge that they revere Ellen White's writings as divine revelation.

Dr. Martin also admitted that there is confusion and "conflicting statements" among SDA publications:

"There can be no doubt of the fact that there are conflicting statements in Adventist publications and diverse opinions about certain areas of Adventist theology and interpretation, some of which is quite the opposite of classical orthodox Christianity" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 369).

It is very sad that Dr. Martin did not discern this as apostate deceitfulness instead of overlooking it. Consider some of the contradictions between quotations Dr. Martin uses from Questions on Doctrine and quotes from other books produced by the same official Adventist publishers:

Example # 1: Inspiration of Ellen White's Writings

Dr. Martin's Statements: "If Seventh-day Adventists did indeed claim for Mrs. White inspiration in every area of her writings, then we might well be cautious about having fellowship with them. However, this they do not do, as I have amply demonstrated from official sources" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 383).

Contradicting Adventist Statements: "These inspired books, such as Desire of Ages, The Great Controversy, and Patriarchs and Prophets, are indeed divine revelations of truth upon which we may place full dependence" (Prophetic Guidance in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, p. 20); "The Messages for these days shall be written in books and shall stand immortalized" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 50); "Consistency calls for acceptance of the Spirit of Prophecy [Ellen White's] writings as a whole. We cannot justify accepting part and rejecting part" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 70); "The Messages [Ellen White's writings] themselves are worthy of a different kind of consideration from that given to other modern writings. They are messages from God and must always be treated as such" (Treasure Chest, p. 142).

Example #2: Universality of Ellen White's Writings

Dr. Martin's Statements: "These counsels are primarily for the Seventh-day Adventist denominations" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 380); "We do not think of them [Ellen White's writings] as of universal application, as is the Bible ..." (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 380).

Contradicting Adventist Statements: "She was ever mindful that she was writing for the world as well as for the church" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 50); "These messages, we believe, should be faithfully followed by every believer" (Prophetic Guidance, p. 60); "We recognize that the principles set forth in the Spirit of Prophecy writings do not change with the passage of the years ... and are of equal value to the church in all lands" (Spirit of Prophecy Treasure Chest, p. 125).

Example #3: Ellen White's Role in the Development of Adventist Doctrine

Dr. Martin's Statements: "If they interpreted the Bible in the light of her writings, and not the reverse, if they willingly admitted this and owned it as their position, then his criticism would be justified, but they do not do so" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 378).

Contradicting Adventist Statements: "When they came to the point in their study where they said, 'We can do nothing more,' the Spirit of the Lord would come to me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me. ... Thus light was given that helped us to understand the Scriptures ... they accepted as light direct from heaven the revelations given [to Ellen White]" (Ellen G. White Messenger to the Remnant, pp. 34,38,39).

It is true that Adventist leaders often deny that their doctrine was developed through Ellen White's visions, but in the above statement Ellen White herself admitted that her visions played a definitive role in how the early leaders understood Bible doctrine. A cult researcher like Walter Martin should have known that it would be impossible to develop from the Bible alone Adventist doctrines such as Investigative Judgment, Satan as sin bearer, Sunday worship the mark of the beast, Seventh-Day Adventism as the fulfillment of Revelation 14:6, and Satan bound on earth for 1,000 years. He should have realized, therefore, that there would have to be duplicity involved in any such claim. Again, for some reason he failed to apply his knowledge of cultic deception to Seventh-Day Adventism. When the Jehovah's Witnesses play games with theological terms and appear in different colors according to different situations, Dr. Martin judged them as heretical chameleons. When the Seventh-day Adventists play similar games, he alleged that it is only because they "are handicapped by the lack of a comprehensive volume which adequately defines their doctrinal position."

Could it have been that Dr. Martin had developed close relationships with Adventist leaders in California, and therefore, became blinded to the reality of Adventism? We believe this is exactly what happened. He admitted such friendships in his writings (Calvary Contender, October 1, 1995).

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Example #4: Salvation by Grace Alone

Dr. Martin's Statements: "Literally scores of times in their book Questions on Doctrine and in various other publications the Adventists affirm that salvation comes only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ's sacrifice upon the cross" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 378).

Contradicting Adventist Statements: "So we have clearly outlined the steps that we need to take in order to become a Christian: to believe in God, to repent of and to confess our sins, to be baptized, and to obey all the commandments of the Lord" (New Life Voice of Prophecy Guide #12); "Christ says to every man in this world what He said to the rich young ruler: 'If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments' ... In other words, the standards for admission into heaven is a character built according to the ten specifications, or commandments, of God's law" (Charles Everson, Saved by Grace, Review and Herald Publishing, pp. 45,46).

These are quotes from two Adventist publications written specifically to explain to the public their doctrine of salvation. Dr. Martin quoted only one publication, Questions on Doctrine. On the one hand, they do claim to believe that salvation is by grace alone without works; but on the other hand, they redefine grace to include works and the deeds of the law. Their New Life correspondence course plainly states that to be saved one must believe in God, repent of sins, be baptized, and obey all the commandments of the Lord. This is what every cult does. They claim to believe in salvation by grace, but they cleverly redefine grace to include works.


THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS ARE THE ONES WHO SEPARATED FROM AND DERIDED OTHER CHURCHES. IT IS STRANGE THAT THEY NOW APPEAR HURT BECAUSE THESE SAME CHURCHES CONSIDER THEM HERETICAL

Consider the following statements from SDA publications attacking the orthodox doctrines of the Christian faith:

The Doctrine of Conscious Existence after Death Is Called the Devil's Lie: "And today from pulpits all across the nation we hear the devil's great lie upheld each time a minister assures us that the soul of man lives on after death ..." (These Times, November 1976, p. 5).

The Doctrine of Eternal Torment Is Called Blasphemy Against God: "It is beyond the power of the human mind to estimate the evil which has been wrought by the heresy of eternal torment. The appalling views of God which have spread over the world from the teachings of the pulpit have made thousands, yes, millions, of skeptics and infidels" (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 470).

Sunday Worship Will Be the Mark of the Beast: "While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God" (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 531).

Churches That Observe Sunday Worship Are Part of the Great Religious Whore of Revelation 17: "In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven [this refers to Adventist doctrines of Sabbath worship, soul sleep, etc.]. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, are these things so? The ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience" (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, pp. 531,532).

Quotes such as these demonstrate that it is the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination itself that has stood apart from other churches and caused divisions by its heretical views. Is it not strange now that they want to be accepted as orthodox Bible-believers by the very churches from which they willfully separated and which they have condemned? These are the subtle games that false teachers play.


ONE OF DR. MARTIN'S PRIMARY REASONS FOR ACCEPTING SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM AS NON-HERETICAL IS THAT THEY HOLD MANY MAJOR DOCTRINAL TRUTHS, SUCH AS THE TRINITY, THE DEITY OF CHRIST, AND THE INFALLIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE

"It is puzzling to me, as a student of non-Christian cult systems, how any group can hold the above doctrines in their proper Biblical context which Dr. Howkema admits the Adventists do and still be a non-Christian cult -- suffice it to say that the Adventists do have a clean bill of health where the major doctrines of Christian theology are involved" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 370). (Emphasis added.)

One error here is in Martin's use of the man-made term "cult." It can be defined in numerous ways. By Martin's definition, perhaps, Seventh-Day Adventism was not a cult. By Dr. Howkema's definition, Seventh-Day Adventism is a cult. Whether or not Seventh-day Adventism is a cult, though, is not as important as whether or not Seventh-day Adventism is faithful to the Bible and the New Testament faith.

The Apostle Paul, in his condemnation of the Galatian heretics, mentions only one error: the perversion of the gospel. The Galatian legalizers were apparently sound in such major doctrines as God, Christ, and the Scriptures. In fact, they were almost sound in their doctrine of salvation, yet they were under God's curse! They Seventh-Day Adventists are modern-day Galatian heretics. They believe the cross leads the believer to the law, not to perfect, once-for-all and eternal liberty in Christ entirely outside the law of Moses.

The warning of Romans 16:17 is to mark and separate from those "which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned." Paul does not say to mark and avoid those which cause divisions contrary to only some of the doctrines we have learned. The Seventh-Day Adventist denomination teaches many doctrines that are contrary to those taught by the Apostles. God's Word commands that we mark them as false teachers and separate from them. That is not what Walter Martin did, though:

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3;28).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "Christ says to every man in this world what He said to the rich young ruler: 'If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments'" (Saved By Grace, pp. 45,46).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "Ellen White ... she was a fellow Seventh-day Adventist with no assurance of salvation except as she was faithful and trusted in the merits of her risen Savior" (Messenger to the Remnant, p. 127).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Galatians 3:24,25); "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Romans 11:6).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "The fact that all who are redeemed are saved by grace does not dispense with the law of God any more in the one dispensation than in the other. The law is not against grace, and grace is not against the law. It is very evident, then, that in the new covenant we do not see the law as a thing of no consequence, but we find it occupying the center of the covenant" (Saved by Grace, pp. 11,36).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16,17).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "... it is evident that all ten commandments are binding in the Christian dispensation ... One of these commands is the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath" (Bible Footlights, p. 37).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come into review before God ... every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected" (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 425).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "To be dead does not mean to go to heaven; it does not mean to go to hell ... Indeed, it does not mean to go anywhere at all. It means simply an end of life" (When a Man Dies, p. 20).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Corinthians 3:14,15).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance" (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 425).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:10,15).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "The plain doctrine of the Bible is that the devil and all his works will be destroyed, utterly destroyed. ... How repugnant to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell" (When a Man Dies, p. 58; The Great Controversy, p. 469).

The Doctrine We Have Learned: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" (1 Timothy 2:11,12).

Seventh-Day Adventist Doctrinal Offences: "Mrs. White's pre-eminent mission was to help build the dynamics of a Biblical faith into a Christian movement. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is indebted to her as a spiritual leader and a pioneer builder and guide" (Ellen G. White and the S.D.A. Church, p. 2).

These quotes show how the Seventh-day Adventist denomination contradicts many clear apostolic doctrines. There are many other Adventist doctrinal heresies, of course. Upon the command and authority of Romans 16:17, and contrary to Walter Martin's misguided advice, Bible-believing Christians must mark the Adventist Church as false and avoid associations with the group.

The same idea is in Jude 3. We are commanded to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints." The faith is that body of truth delivered to us by divine inspiration through the Apostles. If we obey this verse and earnestly contend for the New Testament faith with Seventh-Day Adventists, it will quickly be evident that there can be no close fellowship. The doctrinal differences are too great and too serious.

Another relevant passage is 2 Timothy 2:16-18. Here two men are condemned as heretics, yet only one error is mentioned -- their view of the resurrection. If Paul warned Timothy to avoid these men because of their false doctrine of the resurrection, should we not more warn Christians today to avoid the Seventh-Day Adventist Church based on their many heresies?

The truth is that the Bible does not give Christians the liberty of basing fellowship merely upon two or three major doctrines. The New Testament requires separation based on such things as a false gospel (Galatians 1), a false view of death or resurrection (2 Timothy 2:16-18), a denial of true holiness (1 Timothy 6:3-5), and a denial of the supernatural power of Christianity (2 Timothy 3:5). We are to separate even from true Christians if they refuse to follow the teachings of the apostles (2 Thess. 3:6).

Walter Martin's chief error about Seventh-Day Adventism was his refusal to practice Biblical separation. He had a New Evangelical type ministry that focused on unity based on a lowest-common denominator of doctrine. This is why he also did not separate from the Roman Catholic Church, but instead taught that it had some aberrant doctrine, but was still orthodox.


WALTER MARTIN CONTENDED THAT MODERN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ITS EARLIER DAYS

"For over a century Adventism has borne a stigma of being called a non-Christian cult system. Whether or not this was justified in the early development of Adventism, I have already discussed at length in my earlier book, but it should be carefully remembered that the Adventism of 1965 is different in not a few places from Adventism of 1845, and with that change the necessity of re-evaluation comes naturally" (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, p. 360).

Though we have no doubt that there have been changes in the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination during the past 150 years, we must ask whether these changes have affected the basic doctrinal position -- the answer is NO. "Prophetess" Ellen White believed the Adventist system of doctrine was finalized in the early days of her ministry and that this particular system was to be used from then on as the test of truth worldwide. It was not to be changed. Carefully consider the words of Mrs. White herself concerning the possibility of future changes in Adventist doctrine:

"When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions, contrary to the light God has given, are to be entertained. ... The truth for this time God has given us as the foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God's Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake ..." (Ellen G. White Letter 329, 1905, quoted in Messenger to the Remnant, p. 40).

The truth is that Seventh-Day Adventism today does not differ in any significant doctrinal way from the Seventh-Day Adventism of Ellen White's day, except that it presents its doctrines in a more subtle manner today. If the Seventh-day Adventist leaders were to change their major distinctive doctrines as outlined by Ellen White, they would be denying their prophetess and pulling the pillars from under themselves. The Adventist Church admits this in the following statement from one of their recent publications:

"Great lines of truth were gradually unfolding before them [Ellen White and early Adventist leaders]. Now the time had come for the convergence of these truths into one body of doctrine. This was brought about in 1848, through a series of Sabbath conferences. Five in all were held. At the earlier of these, the doctrines were clarified and bound together as a unity of truth; the later conferences served largely as teaching and unifying agencies.

"A careful study of documents of the time reveals what was denominated 'present truth' in this formative period ... made up of vital 'essentials,' 'pillars,' 'foundations.' These may be listed as: 1. The second advent of Christ. 2. The binding claims of the seventh-day Sabbath. 3. The third angel's message in its fullness, in correct relationship to the first and second angel's messages. 4. The ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, which ministry would cease not long before the second advent (with emphasis on the work beginning the tenth day of the seventh month, 1844). 5. The non-immortality of the soul.

"These structural doctrines formed the 'firm platform' which, in 1858, was described by Ellen White, upon which 'nearly all stood firm' ... These constituted the 'landmarks' enumerated by Ellen White thirty years later..." (Messenger to the Remnant, pp. 39,40).

Since Mrs. White and the Adventist Church teach that their major doctrinal platform was finalized in their early days (and since the Adventist Church tells us that Mrs. White was an inspired prophetess), there is no need for re-evaluation of this group as Walter Martin required. A study of recent Seventh-Day Adventist publications confirms this judgment, since they continue to teach the same heresies promulgated by Ellen White and other early Adventist leaders.

As a group, the Seventh-Day Adventists today are the same divisive heretics they have been from their origin. To deserve a re-evaluation and re-labeling, they would have to denounce and turn away from every one of their heresies, including the foundational heresy that Ellen White was a prophetess of God.

 


Note: Between 1976 and 1981, David Cloud completed four official correspondence courses on Seventh-day Adventism produced by the Adventist Church itself. These courses promote the very same doctrinal platform that was laid down by Ellen White and the early Adventist leaders. Until such time as the Adventist Church denounces its heresies, Christians who follow the faith of the New Testament must mark avoid this group in obedience to Romans 16:17.

The Adventist denomination is the same heretical entity that was so plainly and firmly condemned by Bible-believing churches in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is the once Bible-believing churches that have changed. Popular evangelicalism today has become too blind to discern truth from error and too weak to condemn error when it is found. Just a few decades ago men such as A. Hoekema, John R. Rice, and M.R. DeHaan, who considered Seventh-Day Adventism a dangerous false group, were in the overwhelming majority among those who professed to be evangelical Bible-believing preachers. This is not so today. Most major evangelical publishing houses, for example, will no longer publish material derogatory toward Adventism or Catholicism. [See also BDM's Back to the Bible report for documentation of its reclassification of Catholicism and SDA from cult to orthodox.]

It is not that the Adventist Church has moved closer to the Bible in the past 50 years, it is that the evangelicals have moved farther away from the Bible in that period.


* The above report has been adapted from a 9/5/99 report by David Cloud (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277); the complete report is in the Cults section of the End Time Apostasy Database at the Way of Life Literature web site. The original report is from Mr. Cloud's book Avoiding the Snare of Seventh-day Adventism. The two major divisions of the book are: "Adventist History Proves It is Heretical" and "Adventist Doctrine Proves It Is Heretical." The book analyzes Adventist doctrines such as Sabbath-keeping, Soul-sleep, Annihilation of the wicked, Ellen White as a Prophetess, Investigative Judgment, and Misuse of the Mosaic Law. Another chapter is titled "Why Some Have Considered Seventh-day Adventism Evangelical." This analyzes Walter Martin's (author of Kingdom of the Cults) faulty view of Adventism. The 2nd edition (1999) includes selections from D.M. Canright's 1898 book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced. Canright was an early leader in Adventism who left and became a Baptist pastor. The 2nd edition also includes a chapter entitled "Adventists Wanted Me to Revise This Book," describing the attempt by the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination to have Mr. Cloud change the book.


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