From the reason why they observe Saturday as Sabbath to their connection to David Koresh–13 fast facts.
Last Sunday I quietly started a weekly series on Christian and non-Christian sects. I started this series for one reason only: To learn more about unorthodox Christian religions.
To my surprise, it turned out better than I thought.
Not only did I learn from my own research, but two Unitarians showed up at my blog and shared a wealth of information.
I intend to keep this up for 17 weeks. Or until I run out of sects to write about. Which ever comes first.
And normally I’ll publish these on Sunday. But since Seventh-day Adventists observe Saturday as the Sabbath…this week I’m making an exception. Enjoy.
1. The denomination grew out of the great second advent movement that swept the United States in the 1840s, stemming largely from the activities of William Miller who predicted Christ would return on October 22, 1844.
2. When October 22, 1844 came and went, Miller’s followers referred to it as “The Great Disappointment.”
3. After “The Great Disappointment,” Adventists united in a close-knit, defensive and suspicious group due to their rejection by mainstream Christianity and the Millerites humiliation.
4. The Saturday-as-Sabbath doctrine was introduced to the Adventist pioneers in the mid-19th century by Rachel Oakes Preston, a Seventh Day Baptist. Seventh-day Adventists observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, in similar manner as in Judaism.
5. On the Sabbath, Adventists abstain from secular work
6. Adventists believe in the unconcious state of the dead, which means the dead do not enjoy a reward or suffer punishment until Judgment Day. Also known as soul sleep.
7. The Investigative Judgment is a doctrine Adventists hold that a judgment of professed Christians has been in progress since 1844. Adventist historian and theologian George R. Knight says “judgment” should be understood as “favored.”
8. The doctrine of the Great Controversy says that all humanity is involved in a conflict between Christ and Satan over the character of God.
9. Since 1860, wholeness and health have been the emphasis of the Adventist church. In fact, Ellen G. White advocated vegetarianism.
10. Adventists also believe in an annihilationist view of hell. Annihilationism says that sinners are going to be destroyed rather than thrown into hell.
11. Walter Martin, in his Kingdom of the Cults, wrote, “It is perfectly possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and be a true follower of Jesus Christ despite unorthodox concepts.”
12. Ellen G. White, who was instrumental in establishing the Sabbatarian Adventist movement, was a prophet, visionary and writer. Some argued that her visions were hallucinations that stemmed from mental illness and epileptic fits.
13. A well known but distant offshoot of the Adventist is the Branch Davidians. Ex-Adventist David Koresh led the Branch Davidians until he died in the 1993 siege at the group’s headquarters near Waco, Texas.
So what do you think? Seventh-day Adventists orthodox Christians or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Part of the Quick Facts on Christian Cults series.