In the Apologetic’s Study Bible on page 1,874 there is an article entitled What Are Common Characteristics of the New Religious Movements?
New Religious Movements (NRM) or the more traditional and not so nice sounding Cult (s) are in this case groups that while based on Christianity have significantly deviated from traditional Christianity in any number of ways. The article itself lists 27 different ways in which NRM’s or Cults have deviated from traditional Christianity and a few weeks ago before I went on my trip to Oregon and back I sat down and discussed the article with Richard Tinker founder of the original Former Adventist Fellowship group and design editor of Proclamation Magazine.
What I wanted to do was go over the list and give the Seventh Day Adventist Church a fair and honest review based on this list of statements, and having Richard as a sounding board was very helpful.
I’m writing this page as a heads up to Adventists and a warning to the concerned Christians who visit this site. One further clarification before I enumerate the points below: in my honest and humble opinion ( and the Bible’s also) one bit of leaven ruins the whole dough. If this list was one item long it would still mean that Adventism is a NRM/Cult, unfortunately the list is much longer that one erroneous item.
The List of Points Where Adventism Deviates from Biblical Christianity
- The group is almost always outside of dominant religious forms and culture and displays an op-positional style and substance meaning it is elitist and exclusionary.
- Often there is a “new authority” (Ellen G. White) or a new revelation (all her writings) besides the Bible truth from which adherents of the group must find ultimate truths.
- It is also possible that the group might claim “all we use is the Bible”. After which they reinterpret the Bible to justify, defend and promote false teachings. (Investigative Judgment, Soul Sleep, Remnant Church)
- The group is centered around a central figure (EGW) who is/was a prophet-founder “chosen” by God to deliver a special message to the modern world (See point 3). This message is not found in the Bible nor has it been known to genuine Christians in the history of the Church, they might also “recover” a teaching of the ancient Church that has been lost through the centuries.
- This leader (EGW) was [...] authoritarian.
- Often this group teaches that the Bible foretold the coming of its particular group or leader. (In a sermon by Dwight Nelson he stated that just as John the Baptist came before Christ…that EGW would also come before Christ’s Second Coming) when I find that sermon I will link to it.
- The group thinks of its belief system as the last bastion of God’s work on earth, the adherents are God’s “final and last group” and they play a central role in the last things. They have the exclusive spiritual truth and without them the world is doomed.
- The group believes its adherents are being persecuted (and will be persecuted in the future)- (National Sunday Law).
- The group engages in predatory and destructive recruitment of new members with vigor, zeal and high pressure. Often they are very deceptive and fail to reveal their full theology.
- The group sanctions wayward and rebellious members.
- The group is fixated on eschatology (end times) and is usually apocalyptic in its teaching. (This is especially true in Revelation Seminars and Recruitment).
- The lifestyle of its groups members is highly legalistic.
- Some groups (within Adventism) are strictly controlled by and authoritative power that basically is in charge of controlling multiple aspects of those involved with the group.
- The group emphasizes secondary issues and minor points of theology.
- The group claims that it is in harmony with the Bible and traditional Christianity but in fact it reduces and discounts the Bible or otherwise adds to scripture. (Bible writers like EGW in other words fallible, adds to Scripture or butchers it entirely Steps to Christ/The Great Controversy/The Clear Word (Adventist Paraphrase…big time Paraphrase of the Bible).
- The group has hijacked traditional Christian vocabulary, but has redefined and reinterpreted terms and concepts from the Bible- making the words do double duty to defend abhorrent doctrine. Their language is pliable and has no fixed meaning.
- The group denies at least one central truth of Christianity in this case Adventists have heretical views of The Trinity, Jesus, the eternality of the Spirit, Christ’s finished work on the cross, Christ’s omniscience, The New Covenant, the work of the Holy Spirit and many more traditional Christian beliefs.
- The group teaches a “salvation through works” system whereby members must ultimately save themselves. (EGW taught and Adventists believe they will have to stand perfect without a Mediator).
- The group dabbles in the Occult and Spiritism. (EGW and the Green Cord…and more).
It goes without saying that Adventism is a NRM/Cult and a very dangerous one at that, I hope that you have found this page helpful, I also pray that my Adventist friends will pray to God and read this list with an open heart.