(Incidentally, great name.)
All Adventists believe that the Catholic Church (as an institution) is the Antichrist. Your warm Adventist neighbors had the same conviction, but knew that individual Catholics must be treated with respect and love.
The individuals you are debating online seem to be fervent, excited, adamant, and bold in their denunciation of the Church. That they are persistent in their claims, and finally resorting to raising other issues, is not surprising. Take it from someone who, studying at an Adventist university, converted to Roman Catholicism and must now defend the Faith daily to his peers.
Most Adventists cannot begin to grasp why anyone (including myself) would by their own decision become Catholic. Everything about the Church is wrong in their eyes: everything looks wrong, sounds wrong. When your friends online quickly pass to the next issue when backed in a corner, they are revealing that hidden conviction. The moment you resolve one issue they WILL ABSOLUTELY jump to the next because CLEARLY the Catholic Church is wrong. “You may refute one piece of our argument, but you can’t overcome the rest of it,” and so on, and so on. What becomes most exasberating is when they abandon some topics, skip to others, and then adamantly bring up old ones you already cornered them on. Grrrrrr
It’s what Pius IX pityingly called “invincible ignorance” regarding the Church. You know, in my apologetics I continually seek out better evidence and arguments, and wonder… why? No one listens. No one cares. I bring out the best evidence, and they lean on a poor exegesis of the Scriptures simply to defend the beliefs which they “know” are right, and refute mine, which are obviously “wrong.” Exasperating… especially when the replies are adamant, looping, and denunciatory.
It’s frustrating… you’re not alone.
(P.S. This does not apply to all Adventists)
Invincible ignorance means that one cannot possibly know. Those who are shown the truth or those who should diligently seek the truth and refuse to do so are not invincibly ignorant. I’m not judging the souls of those Adventists or any other person I’m just stating the fact. You can read about I. I. at the url below.