Adventism and Kandy's Questions


I’m reposting this from an earlier thread. It seems pertinent to Kandy’s Questions, and adds some of my own…

I became disatisfied with SDA teachings while attending an SDA college in the early 80s. For years I avoided discussion with SDAs other than close family (only because those discussions were unavoidable). In what few discussions came about, a point many Adventists tried to make, was that attitudes have ‘changed’, adventism has ‘matured’ and that many of the issues the led to my leaving are no longer around.

Well, things do change, the internet made discussion both more accessible and more anonymous, so I started conversations. (anonymity is a big deal when you have a lot of 3rd and 4th generation Adventists in the family, many of them working for their denomination.)

What I have found here and in other forums around the internet, is that not much has changed from what I can see. It is maybe packaged differently, prettier wrappings… but I can’t see that anything has really changed.

I have a list of issues where I think Adventist teachings have strayed from the truth, but as its best to deal with one thing at a time in a thread, i’m going to start with one of the first things (out of many) that began to push me out of my comfort zone to consider that maybe as an Adventist I wasn’t following the Truth after all.

As I came to the Adventist school as an upperclassman transfer, I had a great many religion courses to take that were required classes but of course were not available at the state university I had attended. I had 12 religion credits that first semester. Four classes. Each class had a different style, but the substance was the same: “Catholicism is not Christian becuase they believe…” “The Catholic Church is evil and apostate becuase history records they did …” Almost everything fit into those two categories, just fill in the blank with the specific details.

I began to have a problem in class though. Especially the first category. One professor devoted an entire hour to a lecture on ‘Mary worship’ and elaborated extensively on it and why it was wrong. As a kid I had attended a Catholic gradeschool and as was usual at that time, we attended daily mass and memorized our catechism lessons out of the Baltimore Catechism. What the Adventist professor was teaching was not what I remembered learning. At the end of class, when there was opportunity for questions, I brought up that the Catholic church does not teach about Mary as he had just told the class, expecting some reasonable answer. His response was that everything the Catholic church publishes to teach its doctrine are deceptive lies to make things seem ok, but that the reality is the Catholic church teaches ‘Mary Worship’ becuase it is really pagan godess worship disguised as Christianity. He then refused further quesitoning in class on the subject.

As the semester continued, this became a very familiar pattern.
“History says…” but what I remembered from secular history classes was very different. “the Catholic church believes…” but what I remembered was very different. I thought I was remembering wrong, so I began researching Catholic beliefs, after all I only had a few months of elementary school level catechesis.

My research supported what I remembered learning, not the Adventist versions.

Kandy, your post reminded me so much of my experiences.

Why don’t we use this thread to start a real discussion?

One issue at a time, with reasoned, researched answers.



Hi MarysRoses,

I found what you wrote striking because I have heard the same thing from many former Adventists. One thing I wonder about, is why don`t more Adventists do primary research on their own? Do they rationalize the discrepancies away? As you were researching how Adventists taught history, versus how the secular world taught it, and saw variations, did Adventists try to explain these differences?

I can understand how if one attends only Adventists Schools, and then goes on to an Adventist college, that in the past, they might not have been exposed to other views. But now with the Internet etc, I wonder how so many Adventists resolve these differences for themselves. Or, do you think they push doubt about historical accuracy aside?

Some Adventists have told me, in response to questions where Ellen White was clearly incorrect and got her facts wrong, that those mistakes were her personal opinion, whereas the rest was “revelation.” But the mistakes were considered “revelation” until they were later discovered to be wrong.

Was plagarism also her personal opinion, versus revelation?

Many Adventists are highly educated, so I wonder how they justify these inaccuracies.

As you began your journey to discover the truth, did your fellow Adventists welcome an honest discussion on these matters, or was that discouraged?




Maria - This is where “Progressive Adventism” is coming into play. Some Adventist are running into the problems and thus I think you are getting what I would call " Cafeteria Adventists" Some are down playing Ellen White and admitting that some of the beliefs just are not biblical. Others bury their heads so as not to confront the issue.

For you see - they identify themselves as Adventists and feel somewhat comfortable in that atmosphere and therefore have no idea of where else to go. In many cases the Catholic church does not appear to be a viable option because they have been told so many lies about the Catholic Church.


I read about the progessive adventist, and I do have respect that their trying to change. but really I think their better off just leaving SDA or the term Adventist all together, because i figure you cannot seperate ellen G White from Seventh Day Adventism.


Very true. Without her spin on scripture and history, how will their unique beliefs hold up? But it might open some of their eyes. I think that if Adventists were to look at scripture and history without the EGW spin, they might reject many of the Adventist beliefs. At least that is my hope. I see some of my family going the progressive way. ( ie, my mom attended a Requiem at an SDA church. SDA’s singing the Keyrie and chants in Latin. Hmmm… will wonders never cease.)

I see the church being very devided. Those who want to stay strictlly to the early tennents of the faith, and those who feel the need for change. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Has anyone recieved mass mailings regarding this?

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