Seventh Day Adventistism


#1

My partner is Seventh Day Adventist. He wants me to attend his church as a guest. I have gone on a few occasions, but feel very uncomfortable. They all seem very phony e.g. “I am so glad you could come. It is so nice to see you” How can this be? you don’t even know me ! I think to myself. Anyway, I can’t seem to make him understand that i feel better attending my church and would rather it stay that way. So far it hasn’t been a huge problem, however he said something interesting to me “I would only have a problem if you would want to attend church on a Sunday” as their Sabbath is a Saturday. I was born Catholic, live Catholic and will die a Catholic. How can I get past this uncomfortable part of our relationship?


#2

Hi Katie,

Perhaps you can’t get past this. You need to at least consider that as a possibility. Then, with that understood, you need to explore why you are with him and determine if you would be willing to raise children with someone who is in another faith. If not, is it possible that he might eventually convert to Catholicism? If not, do you believe in the Catholic Church? If you do, and the vast majority of us here do believe that the Catholic Church is the True Church formed by Christ Himself, than you may need to think about why you are taking time from the pursuit of someone with whom you can have a truly fulfilling relationship.

But my guess is, you don’t want to have to even begin to look at it on that level. I know I didn’t when I was engaged to my non-Catholic husband, 14 yrs ago.

So, instead, I will answer the perhaps more directed concern of how does one address the different practice of celebrating Sabbath vs celebrating The Lord’s Day. As Catholics, we believe that Sabbath, as practiced by the Jews on Saturday, is a celebration of the Lords request that we rest on the seventh day, as God rested after the creation of Heaven and Earth and all in Heaven and Earth.

The Lord’s Day, Sunday, is a celebration of the New Covenant, the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and our new relationship with God, Our Father. Hence, from the beginning of Christianity, Christians have celebrated communion with the Lord on Sunday.

I hope that helps. And I am serious that you consider the consequences of your relationship. Our lives are only so long and they are meant to be spent giving all Glory and Honor to God. If this boyfriend has difficulty with your love of Christ, as expressed through your commitment to the Church He established, you may want to take a timeout to think about things. It may well be that through your relationship, you are meant to sanctify him, but if you are already aware of the Truth of Catholicism, and he is hindering you from practicing it, you may need to move on. By all means, continue to be his friend if you can, continue to be a witness to the truth, but make yourself open to a relationship with a greater likelihood of life long success.

CARose


#3

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Dear Katie,

First of all, pray that the Holy Spirit will be present, active and heeded in your relationship and your conversations.

Although it isn’t usually fair to stereotype any one person or group, as a general rule SDAs are implicitly and explicity “dedicated to” converting Catholics to the SDA faith. Why? Because anti-Catholicism is built-in to the teachings of Ellen Gould White (the principal founder of SDA) and so the world-view and historical mindset of members of that sect.

You need to keep that in mind, and also develop a good, overall understanding of what SDAs believe:

Catholic Answers: Seventh-Day Adventism

An Adventist and a Catholic

Seventh-day Adventism: A Catholic + biblical perspective

I would print the tract from Catholic Answers, and openly and warmly invite your friend to read it and discuss it with you. Be prepared for him to be very unhappy about what it says, but don’t take his reaction personally.

Buy the book An Adventist and a Catholic (see link above), read it through and then loan it to your friend and make it clear that you would like him to read it from cover to cover. Then discuss it, etc.

Also, go beyond comparitive analysis of Catholicism and SDA, and share with him the authentic teachings of the Church. If you have a copy of the Catechism, read out-loud together the following section paying careful attention to the footnotes:

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2168 - 2195

if you don’t own a printed copy, print the webpage above and use it for that purpose

Keep praying, sharing, loving and being patient – allow the Holy Spirit to be in control, and I think you’ll see God’s will done in your and his lives.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#4

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Dear Katie,

First of all, pray that the Holy Spirit will be present, active and heeded in your relationship and your conversations.

Although it isn’t usually fair to stereotype any one person or group, as a general rule SDAs are implicitly and explicity “dedicated to” converting Catholics to the SDA faith. Why? Because anti-Catholicism is built-in to the teachings of Ellen Gould White (the principal founder of SDA) and so the world-view and historical mindset of members of that sect.

You need to keep that in mind, and also develop a good, overall understanding of what SDAs believe:

Catholic Answers: Seventh-Day Adventism

An Adventist and a Catholic

Seventh-day Adventism: A Catholic + biblical perspective

I would print the tract from Catholic Answers, and openly and warmly invite your friend to read it and discuss it with you. Be prepared for him to be very unhappy about what it says, but don’t take his reaction personally.

Buy the book An Adventist and a Catholic (see link above), read it through and then loan it to your friend and make it clear that you would like him to read it from cover to cover. Then discuss it, etc.

Also, go beyond comparitive analysis of Catholicism and SDA, and share with him the authentic teachings of the Church. If you have a copy of the Catechism, read out-loud together the following section paying careful attention to the footnotes:

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2168 - 2195

if you don’t own a printed copy, print the webpage above and use it for that purpose

Keep praying, sharing, loving and being patient – allow the Holy Spirit to be in control, and I think you’ll see God’s will done in your and his lives.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#5

Hello Katie,

As a former Sabbatarian, I am somewhat familiar with SDA (I was “COG”). I am a recent convert to Catholicism (in RCIA actually) so I think I can understand the issue from both sides. It is easy as a Catholic to become impatient with the Fundamentalist mindset. But one must remember the type of indoctrination that exists within these groups. Not only are they “dismissive” of many traditional orthodox doctrines, they are highly suspicious of the Catholic Church (often pegging it as the Beast of Revelation)… But here’s my “insiders” tip: Live out your faith in the most dynamic and loving way possible. If there’s one thing that throws a fundamentalist for a serious loop it is seeing a “Catholic!]” living out a vibrant faith. Read your bible and discuss it with him. If you haven’t read it already, I would recommend Karl Keating’s “Catholicism vs Fundamentalism”. That would be a great start in equipping yourself to defend solid, historical Catholic doctrine to a fundamentalist mindset. But above all do it out of love and respect. The fundamentalist is very sincere and has a deep love of scripture (two “good things” right?). You may want to read up on the history of the canon and challenge him on that one. No one can honestly study the history of the canon of scripture without acknowledging the role of the Catholic Church in its development. Most fundamentalists are simply ignorant of this history and just take for granted the authority of the bible. As a recent convert, I am involved in many conversations with my old Sabbatarian friends. They are continually surprised with what I present to them (although very resistant, of course)… At any rate, I just wanted to post a quick reply to share from my experiece and also let you know that you and your husband will be in my prayers. If I think of any other possible angles I will post them as well.

Peace be with you,

quaysman (pronounced “keys-man”)


#6

Katie,
Your partner is trying to convert you. Tell him you are not interested and intend to remain Catholic. Insist he respect that or find a new partner. Do not go to the sda church again. Your intuition is correct.


#7

[quote=Katie1723]My partner is Seventh Day Adventist.
[/quote]

What do you mean by “partner”?


#8

Katie, invite him to these boards to inquire about our beliefs. I’m betting he has heard alot of untruths about the Catholic Church.


#9

[quote=Des]Katie, invite him to these boards to inquire about our beliefs. I’m betting he has heard alot of untruths about the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

Oh yeah… That’s a “safe bet”! Being equipped to clear up the misinformation is a powerful weapon. Great suggestion, Des…

And sorry if I misread “partner” as “husband” in the original post - the nature of the relationship could also determine a course of action…

Also, I’m curious, is this “partner” part of an “old-order” SDA type group or the newer, more “mainstream” SDA. “Old-order” would still emphasise Ellen G White, Christmas as a “Pagan Holiday”, etc. The more mainstream SDA is not radically opposed to Christmas & Easter, and tend to “downplay” the writings of EG White.

On a “positive note” SDA does accept the Trinity (most Sabbatarians do not). Also, the Catholic Church recognizes an SDA baptism as “valid” (because the Trinitarian formula is used).

But Katie, don’t be afraid to challenge him on anything at all. You are the one on solid ground. Trust me, as a former Sabbatarian, SDA arguments do not stand up to a careful examination of Scripture and History. And if this person is a “typical SDA”, then he THRIVES on digging into the books and “proving doctrines”. Direct him to the Early Fathers. I particularly like to call attention to Polycarp (generally a “hero” of the seventh day movements because of the quartodeciman controversy). But they only read about Polycarp (and Polycrates) in the quotations given in SDA materials. When read in the full context of the Early Fathers it is clear that Polycarp was on good terms with Irenaeus (a “Sunday-Keeper”)! If the SDA assumtion is correct, Polycarp should have been condemning Irenaeus for “Pagan Sun Worship”.

Pin him down on exactly “when” the Early Chuch “apostasized” (according to their understanding). An “early date” forces them to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” (no foundation for Scripture, no authority for believing in the Trinity, etc). A “late date” forces them to accept “Sunday” as a valid form of Christian worship.

Finally, that “phony” vibe you get is probably nothing more than their feeling a bit awkward that a “Catholic” is in their midst. They are probably just going the “extra mile” to show you what loving people they are.

Okay - “finally, finally”… What would he think about joining you for a “Saturday Evening” Mass??? (And remember, the bigger issue for a Catholic is meeting the Sunday Obligation - not deciding “where” to go to church)…

Grace and Peace,

quaysman


#10

[quote=Katie1723]How can I get past this uncomfortable part of our relationship?
[/quote]

By ending it immediately.

Do not be unequally yoked. You are asking for nothing but heartbreak if you continue in a relationship with a devout SDA. Their religions is patently anti-Catholic. Go to their website and read what they have to say about the Catholic Church and the Pope. If you are, as you say, prepared to live and die a Catholic then you should focus on finding a Catholic with whom to share your life and faith. What, exactly, would happen if you married this man and had children? No way he’d let them be baptized Catholic.


#11

[quote=1ke]By ending it immediately.

Do not be unequally yoked. You are asking for nothing but heartbreak if you continue in a relationship with a devout SDA. Their religions is patently anti-Catholic. Go to their website and read what they have to say about the Catholic Church and the Pope. If you are, as you say, prepared to live and die a Catholic then you should focus on finding a Catholic with whom to share your life and faith. What, exactly, would happen if you married this man and had children? No way he’d let them be baptized Catholic.
[/quote]

It would be the best thing for a Catholic woman to marry a Catholic man but i doubt if telling her to end the relationship immediately is the only solution considering the fact that she may be wanting to spend the rest of her life with this man because of the love they share.
I would agree with the posters that where saying something to the effect that they should discuss the issue and she should shed him more light on what the Catholic church actually teaches,most non-catholics especially SDAs whom i’ve met have a false idea of what the Catholic church teaches or why it teaches what it teaches.

Who knows,there might actually be a possiblity that the boyfriend will convert to Catholicism!


#12

No offense, but Seventh Day Adventists aren’t Fundamentalists… They’re generally in the same cult-like pseudo-Christianity category as Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses.

I would hold out some hope that you could convert him, but short of that, I wouldn’t think there’d be much future. Seventh-Days are not usually too keen on dating outside of their own. I’m surprised he went out with you at all.

-Michael


#13

[quote=Katholikos]What do you mean by “partner”?
[/quote]

Ditto! I’m curious on that, too. If it means what I think it means, we have a whole new can of worms :slight_smile:

-Michael


#14

[quote=SouthCoast]No offense, but Seventh Day Adventists aren’t Fundamentalists… They’re generally in the same cult-like pseudo-Christianity category as Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses.

I would hold out some hope that you could convert him, but short of that, I wouldn’t think there’d be much future. Seventh-Days are not usually too keen on dating outside of their own. I’m surprised he went out with you at all.

-Michael
[/quote]

It depends on the particular “brand” of SDA you’re talking about. The modern SDA church has revised some of its docrines and is closer to Fundamentalist than “cult-like”. That’s why I asked if the person in question belonged to some “Traditionalist SDA” offshoot or not (see my previous post). What distinguishes them from the “cults” is their acceptance of the Trinity, which is of course rejected by JWs, Mormons, and most Sabbatarian Christian sects. Also, SDA scholar Samuel Bacchiocchi spent five years at the Pontifical Gregorian University after which he wrote his book “From Sabbath to Sunday” (which, incidentally, was published by PGU Press and carries the imprimatur!]).

www2.andrews.edu/~samuele/books/sabbath_to_sunday/

Don’t get me wrong, they are still an Anti-Catholic group and embrace certain aberrant doctrines (such as “soul-sleep”) - but I don’t think they deserve the label “cult”.

And yes, I would say the chances of a conversion are probably “slim” (although I get the impression from Katie’s post that he may not possess a deep understanding of SDA doctrine). And yes, it is surprising that he would get involved with a Catholic - maybe another sign that he’s not well grounded in SDA (unless HE’s trying to convert her!!!)… But then again, I would imagine that the “pickins” are pretty slim in a little SDA church that probably averages less than 30-40 per week in attendance…:nerd:

Grace & Peace,

quaysman


#15

Go to mass on Saturday! :smiley: Ok, it’s a loophole but it’s a start. And at least a point for the two of you to start talking about things. And that’s where you need to start to find your way through this.

I kind of went through the same thing. Dated a girl for quite a while, I am catholic while she came from a very fundamentalist/non-denom background (and some pretty funny ideas about Catholics, though I was the exception she said). It was never a problem until we started the process of a future together. We spent a good year talking about everything, getting through a lot of barriers, convincing her that Catholics aren’t outright looney. :slight_smile:

When it first had conflict with us I wasn’t going to just throw everything away. I explored it to its end, but in large part to our differences we did have to break up because she “needed” it a certain way, and couldn’t accept that I’d remain a “catholic” in some of my beliefs that conflicted with hers.

It sucks, I still miss her, but it is for the best. I’m not saying that’s what you “have to do” but for you to really let loose you have to understand that is something to be considered. If he won’t let you be catholic (and many around here wouldn’t think it possible :slight_smile: ) then that’s pretty important.

Don’t drop him as I’m sure you care, give it a chance, but don’t give up your own relationship with Christ just for companionship.


#16

[quote=faffy]It would be the best thing for a Catholic woman to marry a Catholic man but i doubt if telling her to end the relationship immediately is the only solution considering the fact that she may be wanting to spend the rest of her life with this man because of the love they share.
I would agree with the posters that where saying something to the effect that they should discuss the issue and she should shed him more light on what the Catholic church actually teaches,most non-catholics especially SDAs whom i’ve met have a false idea of what the Catholic church teaches or why it teaches what it teaches.

Who knows,there might actually be a possiblity that the boyfriend will convert to Catholicism!
[/quote]

No Catholic should ever approach making a life-long committment with a non-Catholic on the possibility they might convert. One has to approach it as if they never will. So, given that, the poster has expressed:

  1. This person is committed to SDA who has an “issue” with her going to church on Sunday
  2. This person is pressuring her to attend the SDA church
  3. She is committed to the Catholic Church and will “live and die” a Catholic

She did not say she was lukewarm, or OK with exploring his church. She is NOT open to his and he is NOT open to hers. They are, therefore, at an impass. If it is not acceptable to her to live her life in a divided house, then she should end the relationship and pursue one where she will not spend all her time fighting about religion.

If this person were indifferent, or the man were indifferent, then it would be another matter. I have friends who have successfully married non-Catholics. But, their spouses are not hostile to Catholicism, they go to the Catholic Church with the spouse and have no issues with Catholic theology. In another successful marriage, the Catholic is a non-practicing Easter/Christmas sort of Catholic, and his wife is Methodist and raised the girls Methodist, and he was OK with this.


#17

[quote=quaysman]It depends on the particular “brand” of SDA you’re talking about.
[/quote]

Hmm… I disagree, while there are some SDA’s and even some congregations that do not actively promote some doctrines, the doctrines of the SDA Church have changed very little over the past several decades.

In fact in 2002 the SDA GC president spoke to that saying:

A further word needs to be said about our being “loyal to our heritage and to our identity.” Some would have us believe that there have been significant shifts in recent times in regard to doctrines that historically have been at the heart of Seventh-day Adventism. Take specifically our understanding of judgment and Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and the prophetic messages in which these teachings are contained. Some are suggesting that since the 1980 (Glacier View) meetings, the very teachings that the church affirmed that year at those meetings have been abandoned, and that the church has essentially moved to accept the very positions it rejected then. Such a claim is a distortion of reality, and nothing could be further from the truth. The historic sanctuary message, based on Scripture and supported by the writings of Ellen White, continues to be held to unequivocally. And the inspired authorities on which these and other doctrines are based, namely the Bible supported by the writings of Ellen White, continue to be the hermeneutical foundation on which we as a church place all matters of faith and conduct. Let no one think that there has been a change of position in regard to this.

adventistreview.org/2002-1524/story3.html

[quote=quaysman] The modern SDA church has revised some of its docrines and is closer to Fundamentalist than “cult-like”. .
[/quote]

Again, I disagree… Adventist doctrine has not changed signficantly at all… The newest editions of the SDA Bible commentary sets are not significantly changed, the new edition of the book “Questions on Doctrine” do not introduce any new changes or retractions from when it was written in the 1950’s by Dr. Nichols.

As a recently former SDA, who’s family, in-laws, etc. are all still SDA, I believe firmly that they should be labelled as a cult. The SDA Concept of the Remnant as well as the denominations acceptance and reliance on EGW are two big reasons.

Anyway, Katie, my suggestions are as follows:

  1. Explain to your partner that as a Catholic, it is fundamental to your faith that you attend Mass on Sunday and that you are not willing to compromise your faith or salvation merely because he would take “issue” with it. Nor does he have any right to having an “issue” with you living out your faith.
  2. I would also explain that you do not plan on attending any more SDA services unless he begins accompanying you to Mass AND participating in the Mass each SUNDAY.
  3. Tell him you will pray for him and do it…
  4. Remind him that SDA’s believe in religious liberty, and you hope that he will respect that and not try to coerce or influence your decision to follow your beliefs.

From there, I would suggest that the ball is in his court, and he will either have to accept you practicing your faith, or he will not… either way, it is a decision that HE, not you, will have to make regarding your relationship.

My 2 cents…

Brandon


#18

[quote=SDA2RC]Hmm… I disagree, while there are some SDA’s and even some congregations that do not actively promote some doctrines, the doctrines of the SDA Church have changed very little over the past several decades…

Brandon
[/quote]

Well, you would certainly know more about the internal dynamics of SDA than me, but what about the “Traditionalist” vs “Evangelical SDA” factions?

[quote=SDA2RC]Again, I disagree… Adventist doctrine has not changed signficantly at all… The newest editions of the SDA Bible commentary sets are not significantly changed, the new edition of the book “Questions on Doctrine” do not introduce any new changes or retractions from when it was written in the 1950’s by Dr. Nichols.

As a recently former SDA, who’s family, in-laws, etc. are all still SDA, I believe firmly that they should be labelled as a cult. The SDA Concept of the Remnant as well as the denominations acceptance and reliance on EGW are two big reasons.

Brandon
[/quote]

Whether or not they deserve the label “cult” is largely a semantic issue. I would just point out that Walter Martin let them off the hook in Kingdom of the Cults, right? Yes, their doctrines are very problematic and I will grant that they are on the “borderline” - I just don’t think they deserve to be lumped in with JWs and Mormons. The only reason I make the distinction is that I feel it makes for a more productive dialogue.

At any rate, it seems that the primary issue with Katie’s partner is the Sabbath. You might want to check out the tread posted by Katie regarding Sabbath/Sunday in the “apologetics” section if you can spare another “2 cents”…

And congratulations on your coming into the “fulness of the faith”! I’m in RCIA myself, eagerly awaiting Easter Vigil…

Grace & Peace


#19

[quote=quaysman]Well, you would certainly know more about the internal dynamics of SDA than me, but what about the “Traditionalist” vs “Evangelical SDA” factions?
[/quote]

There is certainly a variance in the way the church is presented between some area’s/congregations… for example, you would get a very different presentation of Adventism in Loma Linda California at the University than you would at say… Weimar Institute or one of the more conservative colleges. There is definitely more tolerance of other views and religions at the more progressive congregations. However, I still feel that at the root level of the denomination and it’s authoratative publications, it is very unchanged and on the fringes of Christianity at best…

[quote=quaysman]Whether or not they deserve the label “cult” is largely a semantic issue. I would just point out that Walter Martin let them off the hook in Kingdom of the Cults, right? ?
[/quote]

Good point… it is very much about semantics, and Walter Martin did let them off the hook in his book AFTER he had initially labelled them as a cult. In addition, his decision was influenced in large part by the book Question on Doctrine which written almost exclusively to answer questions by Dr. Martin. The book was extremely liberal in representing SDA theology, so much so that it ceased to be published after the backlash from the members.
The common perception was that the book was written to pander to Martin to get a favorable “review” by him, and as such did not accurately represent Adventist doctrines.

[quote=quaysman]At any rate, it seems that the primary issue with Katie’s partner is the Sabbath. You might want to check out the tread posted by Katie regarding Sabbath/Sunday in the “apologetics” section if you can spare another “2 cents”…?
[/quote]

Thanks… i will check it out… and CONGRATS on your journey into the Church too… I will keep you in my prayers!!!

Brandon


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