SDAs were kinda sneaky!


So I was sitting in my office, contemplating lunch when a young lady came into my workplace selling books. Me being id’d as one of the resident religious nuts, she was shown to my office.:wink:

She began innocently enough, telling me she was working her way through school and showing me a cookbook with healthy receipes for kids. Then she went on to show me some of her Bible story books for kids. I recognized the books as similar to the ones I’d always seen in doctors’ and dentists’ offices as a kid. I knew she must be some sort of protestant denomination but figured if I bought something as basic as kids’ bible stories, I wouldn’t be hurting anything. She then got into some of her more serious books, devotionals and various other books. She HIGHLY recommended The Great Controversy. Never having heard of the book, I took a look. She told me how it was a history of Christianity and of the Reformation. At which point, she asked what denomination I am. When I told her Catholic, she didn’t blink an eye and told me how she’d always admired the faithfulness of Catholics. She advised me that though The Great Controversy was written from a protestant perspective, I’d still learn a lot of good Christian history.

So, as I made up my mind to buy Our Friend Jesus (for the kids) and The Great Controversy just to see what it said on Church Fathers, I asked where she went to school. The bookseller told me “Ouachita Hills College” near Hot Springs. I’d never heard of it.:o

At this point, as I’m about to whip out my change, I inquire as to what denomination she was. When she replied that she was Seventh Day Adventist, my heart sank. Though I didn’t know a great deal about SDAs, I felt horrible about contributing to them. I didn’t know enough about how different SDA is to evangelize to her and I felt it’d be awefully mean to yank back my money.

When I got home, I flipped through The *Great Controversy *and yep, it’s awfully anti-Catholic. So now I have this useless book that I don’t even want to give away, lest I sway someone’s spiritual beliefs. After reading up on Ouachita Hills (that’s pronounced roughly wash-a-taw for you uninitiated) I’m kinda passively steamed that they are kinda sneaky about their evangelization. She’d have never told me she was SDA if I hadn’t asked. Nothing about any of the books indicated it was in any way esposing an SDA viewpoint. Granted, I guess I should have been aware of EG White and her writings as much as I read on CAF, but to the average person…:confused:

Does anyone else feel this way or had this experience with SDA evangelists?


You bet! It is common for them to conceal their denomination. This has happened to me several times. I went to a Bible conference and had to positively badger them to admit who they were, a bookstore where all the books were sda but they wouldn’t admit it, and numerous other such situations. If you have to deceive and lie about your church affiliation then that says a lot.

Here is what you do. Write the college and if you know who her supervisor is write them too. Complain in very direct terms. Ask for your money back. If they refuse or don’t respond then send a letter to the editor of the local paper warning others. Send a copy to the local sda leader. Also warn your pastor so that he can warn people from the pulpit. In other words use it to make a big stink and do damage to the sda’s. Then toss the books where they belong…in the trash.


Well, I hate to go through all that b/c they’d just discipline the girl or something, and I know now that this is a technique of theirs. I will warn everyone I know, though. Reading their website, it appears Ouachita Hills is some sort of missionary training college and/or boarding school. Those who need financial assistance are sent on these missionary sales tours.


Brian, I very much doubt if she would get into any trouble. She was no doubt taught to conceal her denomination, by the people at the school, or other SDAs.
I would definitely follow up with them , though, because that is taking money from you under false pretenses! Even if you didn’t know that she was selling anti-Catholic materiel, she knew it, & far from feeling sorry for her, she needs to be ashamed of herself.
After all, as Cestusdei very rightly points out, anyone who has to use lies & halftruths to sell others their ware, that says a lot about what they think & believe!!


All this information about SDA’s makes my encounter all the more bizarre. I was having some difficulties with the neighbour across the street. We were standing in my yard discussing the problem, when she told me she was SDA and then she inquired my faith. I told her I was Roman Catholic. Further discussion of the difficulty and how to resolve it, then, out of the blue - she said that she noticed me going to church every Sunday, and could she please come with me sometime? Would it be alright if she just came along to worship in my church? I told her it was alright, more, that she was welcome but she has not yet taken me up on it.

How strange is that?


Not sure I can help you with that one, however as long as she doesn’t receive communion I guess it’d be okay. The church doens’t require IDs to enter :wink:



I would by all means invite her to come. I think that SDAs must at times be very unhappy, because so much of their beliefs are mixed up, from their “prophet”, Ellen White, instead of Christian…and yet, I believe that they are Christian. At least they must be, they have a proper form of baptism…

On the other hand, if she does not decide to come, I think…You know, she may just need a lot of prayer. Or someone she can talk to.
SDAs are taold such weirdthings about Catholics, that she may be trying to find out the truth about what you believe, instead of accepting all the old myths she has been told.

In any case, prayers coming your way!!


This is completely standard procedure for young people in conservative self supporting SDA schools. I would have been doing this myself a few years back except I was far enough along on my journey out of SDAism that I couldn’t conscienciously sell SDA books. I totally know the feeling though, since a couple times I went along on these book selling endeavors.

I’m wondering how long it’ll be before I’ll find an SDA young person at my door trying to sell me something. I think there would be a few things I could tell them.



Good point. :o I guess I just hate getting people in trouble. I’ll see who I can contact.


Actually, if you look at it in the right light, you have a very useful book. You now have a foundation source for learning about the SDAs, so that you can evangelize them and others who ask about them.

The best way to reach an anti-Catholic is to start with their sources (this shows that you respect their position), then point out the contradictions and errors, and finally give them the genuine truth.



we used to get people coming in our company office all the time selling religious books and stuff. We simply told them employees were not allowed to browse this stuff on company time, and had a sign in the window, no solicitors.


Yeah, I have to agree that owning a Great Controversy will prepare you for any future encounters with Adventists. Check out the following papers that point out specifc errors in the Great Controversy; addressing these concerns with an Adventist (should you ever meet one again) would be worthwhile, since they will have never faced these objections:

The French Revolution and Rev 11

More on the French Revolution and Rev 11

The Sabbath in the Early Centuries

The Catholic Church and Religious Liberty

That being said, Adventists fear giving out their name precisely for the reason you intimated in thier story; had you known they were Adventists, you wouldn’t have given their literature a second look. So there’s room for cutting them some slack, though they may have seemed deceptive. And no, the girl who sold youthe book coult not posibly get into any trouble for what she did. Ouachita is a very conservative (independent) Adventist school that steadfastly clings to the particulars of Ellen White’s teachings.


]The French Revolution and Rev 11

More on the French Revolution and Rev 11

The Sabbath in the Early Centuries

The Catholic Church and Religious Liberty


Thank you for posting these links!! What great resources.




Thanks for the insights! BTW, I already sent an email to Ouachita Hills.


I have read the Great controversy, and while you may not agree theologically there is nothing in the book which cannot be substantiated historically. Why shouldn’t we be informed about the past?


How odd that is indeed! Perhaps because the Adventists teach that the Catholic Church is the Anti-Christ, She wants to go and see what we teach at Church.

I used to be SDA before we converted and we were taught that the Catholics were going to come kill us like some sort of Holocost. SO I can see why she might be interested to go just for the fact of wanting to know our “Attack plans”.
Well God Bless and Good luck! When talking to these kinda people though you must be very careful because they are taught to mistrust anything Catholics say.



ROFL - what do you mean it can be substantiated historically?? I have read the book too - historically it is a joke!!!

One example - Chapter 4 devoted to the Waldenses. Of the Waldenses it says, “Through ages of darkness and apostacy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath.”

Waldenses were never Sabbath keepers. Look that up historically.

Almost every page of the book is inaccurate historically!

It speaks of the pope in chapter one and says, “He demands the homage of all men” - again totally false.

It talks of Catholics and the bible in chapter 1 “For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited” - again totally false.

However, it is a great book to understand SDA thinking. This book certainly helped me become a better Catholic!


I think you shoud really look through the links I posted earlier (especially the one on the Sabbath) to demonstrate that the Great Controversy’s retelling of history is fatally flawed.


The book (as well as National Sunday Law) also trumpets the Albigensians as Sabbath keepers. Not only were they not Sabbath keepers. they were not even Christians. Instead, they were recycled Manicheans who taught that marriage and having children was a sin, fornication was okay, and considered ritual suicide by starvation a virtue. However, SDAs and some fundamentalists trumpet them as “proto-Evangelicals” because they used a vernacular version of the Bible. Their teachings threatened the very fabric of society, which is why the church and state supressed them (it’s also why the church temporarily forbade vernacular versions of the Bible, to protect the flock from nutcases like these).

Elsewhere in the book, E.G. White writes how Luther found the Bible “chained.” Bibles back then were very expensive, and so they were chained for the same reason that telephone directories are chained in phone booths, so that someone doesn’t walk off with it, thus allowing it to be used by all.

I don’t believe in what the Mormons or JWs teach, but at least they have the integrity to announce who they are up front.


I grew up reading “Great Controversy” and then later in life I took a break from reading Ellen White’s books and decided to read the history of the Christian church of the first three centuries from primary sources. Primary sources are the actual writings of the Christians who lived back then.

Then I read some of the Great Controversy again… I’ll emphatically agree that it’s version of history is twisted!


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