SDA related apologetics -- how well are we doing???


#1

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

A Catholic-convert of over twenty years, who was until a few days ago a well-known employee of a large and important archdiocese in the USA – a man of some significant public good-repute with an important role and great impact in Catholic youth ministry – has just publicly re-converted to Seventh Day Adventism (SDA) and has taken a job as assistant pastor at an SDA church.

First of all, before I go any further, I wish to comply completely with all of the CAF rules and regulations. Even if you know who I’m talking about, let’s keep the focus off of the specific individual – his name nor links to his website nor blog never need appear in this thread.

Moreover, at this point the general reasons for his re-conversion shouldn’t be the subject matter of this thread, though I think such would at some point make for a worthwhile discussion, as he has made them public and they are important to think about (moderators, please advise us).

Rather, let’s focus on the following:

(1) A Catholic-convert of many years, very well educated in the Catholic Faith and history of the Church, and well known and respected for his work in Catholic evangelization and for his talent at writing about and explaining faith-matters, suddenly apostasizes, returning to his former religion.

In a general way, how can we encourage those who will be greatly scandalized by such a spiritual tragedy? What is the best to pray about this? What is the best way to deal with it personally and as a Church?

(2) The person in question has re-converted to Seventh Day Adventism, which is corporately well-known as a dedicated and venomous critic of the Catholic Church. Moreover, this former-Catholic’s talents as a writer set him up to be a particularly dangerous “poisoned dragon” when it comes to advancing the SDA faith through SDA-centric criticism of the Catholic Church.

How good are the Catholic SDA-related apologetics materials – those freely available and those which can be purchased in print or audio format – which are presently readily available? My search on google and some other places leaves me a little worried …

Your thoughts are invited and welcomed on this matter.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#2

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

It has come to my attention (“thanks for the heads-up” to those folks who PM’d me) that some readers thought the situation I described in the OP is hypothetical in nature.

Obviously, I explained in the OP that it was a real-life situation, but apparently not clearly enough. It is a real-life situation, and a rather serious one because of the danger to the revert’s soul and for the eventual apologetics and evangelization “fall-out” which will be realized in coming months and years.

I was and still am hoping for some input on this matter. Thanks.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#3

A strange thought came to my mind and if I’m way off base please correct me, perhaps his conversion and re-conversion were intentional, perhaps he was never truly a convert but wanted to manifest the outward appearence in everyway while remaining SDA. I have been close to several SDA for a long time and church, I know far to well that it is extremely crafty and cunning. Anyhow, just a thought.


#4

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

It’s an interesting thought, but having followed this man’s personal blog for years, I think it highly unlikely. One of his siblings is also a convert to the Catholic Faith from SDA, and he is as much in shock at his brother’s reversion as the rest of us.

But … I don’t think this thread in particular should focus on the revert’s personal motives; rather I’m looking for more general insights into how to deal with this situation and pointers as to the best, up-to-date Catholic apologetics resources for dialog with members of the SDA churches.


#5

What reasons did he give for leaving Catholicism and returning to SDA?

Nita


#6

I’m going to give this some serious thought and prayer. One thing I know for sure, Catholics need to strap on their seatbelts because the ride is about to get very rough indeed both inside and out!!

I have been working hard on developing an interior space in my soul to constantly stay in tune with the life of the Trinity. We need to heed the words of our Blessed Mother, “prayer and pennence” and most epspecially with these types of situations,.

The SDA church has been rapidly dying, I’ve heard over the past 5-10 years they have lost close to 1.5 million members and ex-SDA churches are growing. You know they are going to use this with great fury to attempt to revive the church.


#7

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]
In the OP I wrote:

I’m going to stand by that unless the moderators suggest it is okay to do otherwise. This is what I said in the OP that I want to concentrate on:

I still think those things are worth discussing.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#8

My point in asking is that it would help to know what areas are likely to come up - as a result of any publicity - that need defending and explaining. (eg doubt of Jesus’ deity; Sunday vs Sabbath worship troubling)

I have no idea who you are talking about or whether he’s given his reasons publicly, but if he has, those are the areas we’re likely to get challenged on. (I’m not interested in knowing who it is.)

Nita


#9

You might want to take a look at a thread on the non-Catholic section of this forum that addresses “Resources on Seventh Day Adventists”

There are actually quite a few Resources. However, I think that the person who reverted to Adventist is going into the Progressive Adventism which waters down the items that are most aggressively attacked in the Apologetic material - namely Ellen White, Investigative Judgement and the Sanctuary Doctrine, some of the prophecies,etc. Secondly, I think he is reverting due to some doctrines that he never fully examined prior to his rejection of Adventist in the first place.
%between%


#10

There are all kinds of reasons for converting, and not all of them are susceptible to good apologetics.

This gentleman (I’m assuming it’s a gentleman) obviously sees some advantages to himself in returning to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. We can’t possibly know what they are, because we don’t know who the person is - meaning that we have no way of knowing what questions are going to be thrown at us - which means that we need to focus on the basics of the faith and present them coherently.

If someone throws a curve-ball, just say, “I have to get the Pope’s opinion on that one. I’ll get back to you, when he gets back to me.” :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]
I wanted to note, for factual accuracy’s sake, that I was wrong about the “twenty years” – he was a convert and member of the Catholic Church for roughly 13 to 14 years.


#12

Personally I have found a wealth of helpful “SDA-related apologetics material.” The problem is, the info that comes through Catholic.com is NOT very helpful (note: not meaning the forums, you guys have been life savers). Their few articles on Adventism attempting to explain the issues we have with SDA beliefs is suited for haphazard interest at best. When I presented their extremely basic arguements to a SDA minister, he easily ripped them apart. This was very demoralizing at the time. I had to do much more digging before I could return to the confidence I had in Catholic doctrine.

I believe that Catholic.com needs to add a few links to these other sites for Catholics with a deeper interest in the matter, or at least a disclaimer saying that the amount of info provided is not enough to create a competent apologist. Without such info, I’m sure other Catholics new to SDA beliefs will become equally disheartened.


#13

Hey, if you wouldn’t mind, and have the time and opportunity, would you be willing to provide some examples of your minister’s refutations for me and the rest of us? I have found stronger catholic arguments elsewhere too, but would love to see how they stand up to what you ran into.

LT


#14

The main one that I can remember had to do with soul sleep. I brought up the arguments in II Corinthians 14, which he quickly sidestepped, bringin up a different point. He pointed to a verse in one of the gospels where a woman sees Jesus after His resurrection and He tells her not to touch Him because He has not yet risen to His Father. The pastor said this is proof that Jesus remained in the grave between death and resurrection, proving soul sleep.

I didn’t know what to say at the time, and not having found any info referring to this passage, I soon came to my own conclusion that Jesus was talking about His physical body. Maybe you have some other insights. I’ll write again if I can remember any others

Other than this, he mainly used proof texts as well as a set of pamphlets that each meeting wa based off of called “Search for Certainty.” They are published by “It is Written Television.” I still have most of them and was thinking about typing them out on a post for Catholics who are more adept than I at sorting through them properly. What do you think?


#15

I find the ex-adventist outreach to be an excellent resource, these folks have definately done their homework:
exadventist.com/Home/Dead/tabid/56/Default.aspx


#16

Thanks Michael. I also remebered the other one that stumped me. The question is what is the purpose of the second advent if nearly everyone is already in heaven?


#17

At the second coming of Christ believers will recieve a *glorified body and become united with the spiritual body which has already been perfceted. *Consider first this passage in Hebrews chapter 12:22-24:

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The author of Hebrews is speaking in the present tense to the Hebrew believers, and much like the vision of St. John in the book of Revelation, the objective of the author of Hebrews in to encourage the persecuted Hebrew Christians to find hope in those who have come before them and to connect with the Church of the Firstborn in heaven.

These are the men and woman of faith (chapter 11) who are also called, the great cloud of witnesses at the beginning of chapter 12:1. It’s important to recognize the inspirable link between the Church on Earth and the Church in heaven. Notice the author mentions in verse 23, “to the spirits of just men made perfect”, these saints are perfected in heaven but are spirits awaiting a physical body, yet, they are in the presence of Jesus as we see in verse 24.

*Consider as a parallel verse Revelation 6:9-11. Now consider…

1 Corinthians 15:42-49*

15:42 It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 15:45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” 15:46 However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, then the spiritual. 15:47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 15:48 Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are heavenly. 15:49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven.

When Paul speaks of the resurrection of the dead he is not speaking of the soul but the body, the physical body which will be glorified and untited with the soul. Paul states here there is a natural body and a spiritual body, the two are distinct and seperate, but the spirtual body which has been perfected in heaven as we see in Hebrews will be united with a glorified physical body just like Christ the second Adam in the second coming of Christ.


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