Adventist Reports She Was Surprised

By COGwriter

Yesterday, I received the following in two emails from the same woman:

What a fascinating website! I love the Sabbath and I love history – your website is an excellent resource for both. Thank you so much for all the time and effort that has obviously gone into your website. I’m looking forward to exploring it further. 

Your historical information is incredible. I don’t know how you were able to find such excellent sources, but I found them all fascinating. I am especially delighted to find the account of the Tai-Ping Christians in China in the 1800s. About 12 years ago, I first read an account of them, but could never track down the story again. I’ve told what I remember of it to my kids, but now I have more I can share with them, thanks to you! 

I’m just going to be honest, and hope it doesn’t turn you off; I’m a Seventh-day Adventist. I found your list of COG beliefs very interesting. I am one of a growing number of Seventh-day Adventists who have been led to realize the importance of laying aside the pagan observations (Christmas, etc.) and keeping God’s appointed times. I never thought I’d ever “give up” Christmas (or birthdays, for that matter!), but since our family has done so, we have seen as never before how truly pagan it is. After we started keeping God’s Holy Days, I was surprised to learn from my Mother that devout Seventh-day Adventists never used to celebrate Christmas. I’d never known anything different, but according to my Mother, when she was a little girl, her father’s family were greatly offended when her more worldy mother sent them a Christmas card and brought Christmas trees and celebrations into the family! 

As I have been studying the feasts and holy days from the perspective of a Seventh-day Adventist, I was stunned to discover that, beginning in 1886 and really picking up after 1888, Ellen White wrote strongly that there were truths vast and profound to be studied in the Hebrew economy. Moreover, that the “statutes” were still binding and should still be kept. Wow! Talk about a shock! Leviticus 23 really came alive! I think it is a real pity that so many of my church are unaware of these statements and think that everything but the 10 commandments was nailed to the cross. Fortunately, God is opening to the understanding of more and more Seventh-day Adventists that here is something that deserves study . . . and obedience!… 

Again, thank you so much for a terrific website. I’ll be back to explore some more! I’m so thankful to have found it…

I’m aware that Ellen White was not originally  trinitarian.  My question is, how do you define “trinitarian”?  Does that apply to Jesus Christ?  Or to the Holy Spirit?  I’m not really clear on just what the definition is.  I’m intrigued, though, because one of our church’s most respected conservative scholars recently wrote a book on the trinity.  His ideas have really created some waves.  I’ve not been able to obtain a copy of it yet, but would like to see what it says.  A mutual friend, a conservative Adventist pastor, told me that he thought the subject merited looking into, although it’s not standard “SDA” doctrine.

Which article(s) on your website best sum up the trinitarian issue?

The truth is that the Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) have made so many changes that now even their top leadership seems to want to be strongly associated with the Sunday-keeping churches and those churches now are becoming accepting of the SDAs.  And the trinity is one of the key doctrines of the Protestants and Catholics.

Some articles to address her questions would include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus is God, But Was Made Man Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church?

Notice the following news item on the Adventists:

Mainstream Protestants, Adventists Make Efforts to Remove ‘Stereotypes’

Christian Post – Sep. 4, 2007

Mainline Protestants and Evangelicals have engaged in ongoing talks with a Christian group that many mainstream believers consider a cult. One major denomination, however, says that’s a mistaken “stereotype.”

Recently coming out of conversations with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Dr. Sheldon Sorge of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) noted, “We have mutual misunderstandings”…

The PC(USA), the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination, had initiated talks last November with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, seeking better understanding of a group that has a membership of more than 14 million worldwide. Last month, representatives of the PC(USA) and the Adventist Church met in Louisville, Ky., for a second round of talks to remove stereotypes and explore areas of possible cooperation.

Sorge indicated that the meeting helped clear up some misunderstandings that many Protestants had about the group.

“We certainly did view them as more of a separatist group than what we have discovered,” he said. “We found them to be ecumenically engaged, consistent with major Christianity on major points of faith”

“And it was also our misunderstanding that they want to be a separatist group and not be involved with the wider church,” added Sorge, who said he and fellow Presbyterians discovered that the Adventist Church has been deeply involved in conversations with other Christian bodies.Such bodies include Lutherans, The Salvation Army, and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), according to Hal Thomsen, assistant to the president for the North American Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

“This is not the first we have engaged in overtures of many different groups,” said Thomsen.

The Adventists met with representatives of the WEA last month for a theological discussion, the first of which was held in 2006, that would help determine whether the Adventist Church could become a member of the global evangelical body.

“As I understand it, the move on the Adventist side was prompted by their feeling that they wanted to be considered as more a part of mainstream evangelicalism than they had in the past and so they wanted to have a top level theological discussion to clarify the current situation,” said the Rev. Dr. David Parker, executive director of the WEA Theological Commission.

The WEA leadership is currently deciding whether the outcome of the theological talks would “give sufficient warrant” for further steps and if interested Adventists groups around the world should be allowed to join the WEA as members based on theological compatibility.

The group known as the Seventh-day Adventists came in contact with people in the Church of God in the early to mid 1800s.  Mr. and Mrs. White accepted COG doctrines at first, but because of the priority that they placed upon the so-called prophetic understandings of Ellen White, this resulted in a rift and separation in the two bodies.

Over time, the SDAs have dropped more and more COG doctrines and added worldly doctrines such as Christmas and the trinity.  Enough so now, the Sunday-keeping churches are cooperating more with them.

Several articles of related interest may include:

The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The COG is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day. 

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