I have lots of friends who are SDA and my aunt just converted. I have been to only two services and one was for the christening of a friend’s son.
The service seemed similar to like a baptist or pentecostal service (which would obviously be different for a catholic) with singing, praising , preaching, bible reading etc. The only difference is that the whole, entire day was dedicated to worship/God/Church. They had two sessions -Morning and Evening. Visitors and non-adherents typically didn’t go back in the afternoon.
It is like any other church, you can just walk in. No one will stop you I think. But they do proselytize and especially if you worship on a Sunday they will do so in earnest. I set up boundaries for my friends - " I understand your beliefs and will respect them, but I expect you to do the same for me".
They do not work or study on a Saturday of course but allowances I think are made for essential services (My friend is a ER doctor and she has to work some Saturdays).
Interestingly, it is one of the fastest growing denominations.
A small illustrative detail – when I was a kid I had a paper route, and there was a retired gentleman (used that word on purpose) up the street from us who was SDA and one of my customers. I did my collections on Friday evening and Saturday mornings. One I knocked on his door just a few minutes before sunset, and he said (very kindly; I did say he was a gentleman) that if I had come a few minutes later, he wouldn’t have been able to pay me. Transacting business on the Sabbath = forbidden.
They are expanding at a rapid pace especially in the Caribbean and Latin America by building churches, schools and colleges. My cousin (he is not SDA) goes to an SDA college but they are strict. You are not allowed to eat pork or consume caffeinated products on campus for example (if you want to do so you have to leave the campus).
I have seen that a lot of SDA folks are more about sentiments than anything alse. They tell you that they know scripture well, but their fall back is always Ellen G. White or when that fails they say, well I dont follow her.
They accept aboertion, contraception, they believe that another name for Jesus is Michael the Archangel, they believe that the Virgin MAry is asleep, as well as everybody else. I mean the list goes on.
What makes me sad is how they have so much anti catholicism, and the people who are SDA get that hatred and unfortunately alienate their Catholic family members.
Stear clear of them is my advice!
They do hate almost everything about our beautiful church and they are diffenitly going to try to brainwash you into believing in the same as they do and if youre at their service keep in mind that you are outnumbered by their whole congression to one so you will be the “decieved” one who believe in the horrible Papacy and they will pray for your conversion and treat you like the “problem”.
So if you are going to visit their church anyway you must be really strong in faith and I would read through huge parts of the Catechism beforehand as well.
I do understand that these pepole are your relatives and that you are almost obligated to have some sort of relationship with them, but if I where you I would show them love and appriciation, but made it very clear that I wasnt going to take any harrasment for my Catholic Faith.
If they do talk poorly of your faith anyway I would simply leave both their company and eventually terminate my entire relationship with them as having people that dont respect my faith isnt beneficial to my life in Christ.
again please take my advice stay clear of them.
as for their sabbath I both dont know and couldnt care less.
If one wants to return to the Jewish faith, then in my opinion become a SDA. Although I believe they only take from Judaism what appeals to them, as I don’t believe they follow the hundrends of Mosaic laws, only some.
I think that their appeal to many is that their main focus besides being like a Jew, their obsessive behavior towards the last days. It is scary for those who don’t know their faith, even if they are Protestant or Catholic. From my understanding they believe anyone who doesn’t celebrate the Sabbath is not really a Christian. Their whole belief as I see it, is based on James and Ellen White who made up this denomination.
I have a severely ill daughter who is bi-polar and even though she thinks she is Catholic, now, only reads websites by SDA’s on the last day and Christ’s comings as it appears God speaks to these “apostles” all the time. Many call themselves “apostles”, which as everyone who believes in the Bible knows there were only 12. Of course they have always been wrong in their predictions of when the world will end. One even announced she knows the day of His coming and all the terrible tribulations we will be going through.
Yes we all know Christ is coming, however, I believe Christ over these people that no one knows the day or time He will return.
Anyway from my personal experience they brainwash those who are weak. This doesn’t mean the person is not intelligent, it appears to be an emotional decision to join, not based on history or the Bible.
At the end of the day, you need to know what they say and where they stand. If you go to one of their services and people find out that your Catholic you will get a talk.
When I went with my girlfriend on several occassions to their services I was really uncomfortable and just keep to myself. It was not for me. At that time I was not well prepared for an argument doh. At the bottom of my post you will see a link to a book that I did with a lot of Catholic info. It helped me when my girlfriend and I did our Bible reading.
Sorry that no one really knows the answer, however, maybe a SDA would be able to respond.
My guess because my daughter is so obsessed with reading the Bible and interpreting it herself, that the New Testament does not spell out that with the New Covenant Christians are to follow that it only speaks of the Sabbath. At least with her it is hopeless to explain why we celebrate the Lords Day on Sunday and most everything else as she looks at websites and reads and interprets the Bible herself.
I grew up SDA, left it when I was 18ish so hopefully I can answer your questions.
Sabbath was spent from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown being in what I would call a prayerful state. Distractions like TV, and Internet and such were off for the duration of sabbath and you were to do things that would help deepen your relationship with God such as bible study, prayerful meditation, or listening to or playing Christian music. You’re not supposed to work that day, but people who work in critical fields were an exception. In my experience, the “no work” rule didn’t expect as far as the Orthodox/Conservative Jewish traditions dictate. But only far enough that you shouldn’t have “Things to do” that distract you from your obligation to God.
IMHO. The music is horrible. Because it’s still conservative you’ll get a lot of music that was written a couple hundred of years ago by puritan men and women who clearly hated music and wanted to make sure you never enjoyed it again.
Going to an SDA Church isn’t terribly different than other denominations, you go in, hear readings, sermon, music, question why you chose a church that has 2 hour services and then leave, and continue your sabbath practice until sundown.
Their main issues with Catholicism are mainly the same complaints that protestants today have: question of papal authority, political corruption, veneration of saints instead of God alone, atonement to anyone but God alone, and with SDA being sola scriptura they have a problem with sacred tradition. Baptism is probably one of the big ones too. In SDA you have to earn your baptism through a lot of work and bible study. So I think it is a fair bet that your average SDA is more learned about the bible than your average Catholic out of basic necessity. Catholicism doesn’t seem to require it’s laity to do any serious bible study even during Catecesis.
They also use the KJV of the bible, or at least the Church I used to go to did. Funny thing I learned from a Rabbi recently is that for all the return to Jewish traditions that they claimed to want, the books of the bible that were removed for Protestants but remained for Catholics were the books that dictated Jewish laws and traditions.
As for the rabid anti-Catholicism, I never saw it growing up. And my grandfather was a Deacon in the SDA church, and also attended my wedding which was held in a Catholic church without any issue. I would imagine that if anyone was going to raise hell for that, it’d be my grandparents. I don’t doubt there are more than a few of those types in the SDA church, but toxic zealots come in all flavors.
Culturally, SDAs are fairly big on health because it’s seen as part of a healthy spirituality. Influenced in part by the writings of Ellen G. White, a church founder. So many of them are either vegetarian or vegan, or at least decently health conscious. White was also a big champion of healthcare reform which lead to the Adventist health system which remains one of the largest in the US.
Also John Kellog invented Corn Flakes so people would stop masturbating.
Post, who stole the concept figured correctly that people like their masturbation and their cereals with sugar.
My understanding of why Seventh-Day Adventists keep the Bible Sabbath are as follows:
1: Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man (i.e. not just the Jews)
2: The Commandment says that God made the 7th day holy at creation, so the Sabbath has existed since creation (long before the Jews existed)
3: Presumably Adam and Eve had their first day with God on Sabbath, the special Heavenly family day.
4: Seventh-Day Adventists understand the Sabbath to be part of the ten commandments which is regarded as different from the shadowy temporary old covenant things that pointed forward to the first coming of Jesus. The ten commandments were put in the ark of the covenant while the Mosaic book of the law was put on the side of the ark “for a witness against them until the seed should come” (or whatever the Bible says exactly)
5: The Ark of the Covenant is seen in Heaven in the book of Revelation in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary (interestingly I also saw on EWTN a couple of Priests teaching of the existence of a Sanctuary in Heaven of which the early was simply a pattern)
6: The ten commandments are morally binding upon all Christians (I think this is also in the catechism?), and the transgression of Gods Law (whether in deed or in spirit) is the definition of sin.
7: Revelation says things like “blessed are they which keep Gods commandments that they may have right to the tree of life” and “here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”
A combination of point numbers 5, 6 and 7 is really probably the single biggest reason for Seventh-Day Adventists being seventh day, and also probably the biggest single reason why they are concerned for other Christians in these last days. Fairly obviously, if the ten commandments are seen in Heaven and they constitute the standard of Gods judgement and Jesus is coming back very soon, and if being unrepentant in one commandment is regarded by God as being in rebellion and guilty of breaking all, then it all of a sudden becomes very important to keep the commandments.
Seventh-Day Adventists do not believe that the act of keeping Gods Law saves them however. They believe that salvation is a free gift offered for free by The Holy Spirit to whoever believes and wishes to be saved from their sins. Once the believer has The Holy Spirit, received entirely by grace through faith, they are then transformed on the inside and enabled to do that which was not possible before, i.e. keep Gods Law, not just externally to appearances, but fully internally too so that the believers impulses will become the very impulses of Gods own heart.
Not when I was growing up, and I don’t believe there were any specific traditions mentioned to “bring in” the Sabbath. In my experience, though SDAs do uphold to a minimal extent kosher law and the observance of the sabbath, there wasn’t a ton of replication of all the Jewish traditions. You are just expected to get everything you need to done to prepare for the Sabbath by sundown and once it hits, it just starts and you either do studying, teaching children, good works, or spending quality family time together.
In my experience it was more of a mandated time to spend with God and family without distractions than a major ceremonial event.
I have several friends who are 7th Day Adventists and their basic faith is related to Jesus’ death on the cross for our salvation, rising on Easter Sunday, and returning to gather up His children on the last day.
As in any church, you will find a variety of ways that the Sabbath is celebrated. One of my friends would do absolutely no work on the Sabbath as well as no exchanging of money (shopping, etc). I also have friends who celebrate the Sabbath by going out to eat with friends and/or have fun with some sort of recreation.
SDA’s are also known for the variety of food that they will or will not eat. They may be meat-eaters (clean animals), vegetarians (using dairy and egg products) or vegan (using no animal products at all). There are no set “rules” as to their dietary lifestyles - just advice as to what is healthy or not healthy.
I learned a lot about good, healthy foods and eating habits in the time that I lived in that community. Many people feel that they are a cult but I disagree with that. They are not “brainwashed” but use church sponsored classes to help the members learn how to live healthy lifestyles.
Because many people are joining them, or because they are small?
If a congregation of 100 gets ten new members, it increases by 10%. If a congregation of 5000 gets 250 new members, it increases by 5%. It is important in these kind of statistics to know that percentage wise growth doesn’t necessarily tell us much.
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