The Seventh-day Adventist Church asks the following question:

"What Can Adventists Learn from the Catholics?" (Pacific Union Recorder, December 5, 1988, back page)

What, if anything, has the Seventh-day Adventist Church learned from the Roman Catholic Church? Is there any connection between the two? Many believe that since the Seventh-day Adventist Church began as one of the more outspoken "protesters" against Catholic belief and organization from the mid 1800's through the mid 1900's, that there can be no similarity between these two churches today. But does this belief hold true?

"Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint...that attitude on the church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." (Neal C. Wilson, past president of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference, Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Reply Brief for Defendants, p 4, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, presided over by Judge Charles B. Renfrew, U.S. District Court, San Francisco, California, 1974-1975.)

 

As all aversion towards Roman Catholicism has been removed, what has the modern Seventh-day Adventist Church learned from the Roman Catholic Church in belief and organization? Let us compare the two churches.

 

#1. Organizational Structure.

Section A. Church operates under a hierarchy.

Roman Catholic Church

"The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Article 9, Paragraph 1, Section III, #779. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church1.html#MYSTERY).

 

"'The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness.'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Article 9, Paragraph 4, Section III, #914. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSECRATED).

 

"THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Article 9, Paragraph 4, Section I. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

 

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also operate under a hierarchy?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"The plain and undeniable fact is that the Seventh-day Adventist church is most assuredly not a ‘congregational’ one (although it contains elements of congregationalism) but is clearly of the...‘hierarchical’ variety." (Neal C. Wilson, Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Reply Brief for Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, parentheses in original).

"...the church governs by a method of organization...which embraces exactly, from a legal standpoint, the same kind of organization (in opposition to ‘congregationalism’) as is embraced by the term ‘hierarchical’." (Neal C. Wilson, Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Reply Brief for Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025, p 29, parenthesis in original).

 

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially a hierarchical system..." (Bruce Manners, Associate Editor of the Record (the Official Paper of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, South Pacific Division), in the Record, June 23, 1990, p 2).

 

"The session [55th General Conference Session in 1990] has demonstrated the hierarchial nature of the church's administrative structure." (Gary Krause, Associate Editor of the Record, in the Record, August 4, 1990, p 2).

 

"...the official hierarchy of the (SDA) church..." (Walter Douglas, chair of the SDA Church History Department at the Andrews University Theological Seminary, in Adventist Review (the Official General Paper of the Seventh-day Adventist Church), Special Edition, October, 1994, p 51).

"...the structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially hierarchical...The pyramid of church organization maintains equilibrium and sustains growth..." (Walter Scragg, President of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the Record, June 23, 1990, p 4-5).

 

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church...maintains...a hierarchical structure of church authority." (Neal C. Wilson, in the Court Transcript of the United States Secretary of Labor vs Pacific Union Conference and General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, Case CV 75-3032-R, presided over by Judge Manuel L. Real, February 6, 1976).

 


#2. Organizational Arrangement Between Clergy and Laity.

Section A. Separates clergy from laity.

Roman Catholic Church

"‘The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood [laity] of all the faithful participate, 'each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.' While being 'ordered one to another,' they differ essentially.’[LG 10 # 2.]...the sacrament of Holy Orders." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter Three, The Sacraments at the Service of Communion, Article 6, Section II, # 1547. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/orders.html#SACRAMENT).

 

"The very differences which the Lord has willed to put between the members of his body serve its unity and mission. For "in the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in his name and by his power. But the laity...have therefore, in the Church and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole People of God." Finally, "from both groups [hierarchy and laity] there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church through the profession of the evangelical counsels." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, #873 (http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#Faithful).

 

"The term 'laity' is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section II, # 897. (http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#LAY).

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also separate the clergy from the laity in their Organizational Arrangement?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church follows a model of organizational order in the church which is modified from the orders of Roman Catholicism, but it retains the same notions of clerical order which separates the members of the Church into two classes--clergy and laity." (Douglas Devnich, president of the Canadian Union of Seventh-day Adventists, in the Messenger (Official Journal of the Canadian Union Conference), December, 1993, p 2).

 


#3. Organizational Administration.

Section A. Highest church leader is termed supreme (first) pastor (minister).

Roman Catholic Church

 

"'The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops...supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful...’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section I, #891. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also exalt their highest church leader to be their "supreme pastor" of their church in their Organizational Administration?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

 

"Elder Robert H. Pierson is the President of [the] General Conference and, as such the first (or supreme) minister (or pastor) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for the Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025, p 45, December 4, 1974, parentheses added to show meaning).

"...the leadership of the church, including myself as its first minister for the time being..." (Affidavit of General Conference President Robert H. Pierson, Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, November 30, 1974).

 

 


Section B. The pope is termed the leader, shepherd, guardian, guide and captain of the entire church.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"I promise and swear that I will always be not only your helper and supporter, but your chief and leader." (Pope Pius VII, in Diu Satis (On A Return to Gospel Principles), Encyclical promulgated on May 15, 1800, #10. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius07/p7diusat.htm).

 

"...this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate....once the unity of communion and the profession of the same Faith has been preserved with the Roman Pontiff, there is one flock of the Church of Christ under one supreme shepherd." (Pope Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis (On Communism And The Church In China), Encyclical Promulgated on June 29, 1958, #46. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12APOST.HTM).

 

"... the supreme pontiffs....the supreme pastors and teachers of the Church of God, the guardians and interpreters of the patrimony of the faith..." Pope Paul VI, in Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (The Celibacy of the Priest), Encyclical promulgated on June 24, 1967, #36. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Paul06/p6sacerd.htm).

 

"Two months have already passed, months of anxiety and toil, since God conferred on Us, despite Our weakness, the burden of this high office of guiding the entire Church." (Pope Pius VII, in Diu Satis (On A Return to Gospel Principles), Encyclical promulgated on May 15, 1800. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius07/p7diusat.htm).

 

"...a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord." (Pope Pius XI, in Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage), Encyclical promulgated on December 31, 1930, #104. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius11/P11CASTI.HTM).

 

"Catholics hold that the Church, which is a visible society, must have a visible head. Christ before His ascension into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as his representative...hence to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church..." (Our Sunday Visitor, (Catholic Weekly) Bureau of Information, Ind., April 18,1915).

 

"...'the Roman Pontiff...is the Successor of Blessed Peter the Prince of the Apostles and... the head of the whole Church..." (Pope Pius IX, in Amantissimus (On The Care Of The Churches), Encyclical promulgated on April 8, 1862, # 3. http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9AMANT2.HTM).

 

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also exalt their highest church leader to be their "leader", "shepherd", "guardian", "guide" and "head" of their church in their Organizational Administration?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

 

"Many church members would say that the power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church resides with the president...He has authority to decide and act....he does have considerable power....

"He's the spiritual leader of the community of faith....He's shepherd, guardian, guide and captain (or head)." (Walter Scragg, President of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the Record, June 23, 1990, p 4, parentheses added to show meaning).

 


Section C. Has nuns.

Roman Catholic Church

"By force of their vocation, which sets them at the heart of the [Catholic] Church, nuns undertake in a special way to have ‘the mind of the Church (sentire cum Ecclesia)’, with sincere adherence to the Magisterium and unreserved obedience to the Pope." (Verbi Sponsa (Instruction on the Contemplative Life and on the Enclosure of Nuns), Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, Pope John Paul II approved, and released by the Vatican on May 13, 1999. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccscrlife/documents/rc_con_ccscrlife_doc_13051999_verbi-sponsa_en.html).

 

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also have what they consider to be nuns, who are subordinate to church leadership, working within their Organizational Administration?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Those who work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church respond to a religious vocation in exactly the same sense as does a cloistered nun." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for the Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025, p 90, December 4, 1974).

 


Section D. Has cardinals subordinate to the Pope.

Roman Catholic Church

 

 

"’The college or body of bishops (or cardinals) has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head.’ As such, this college has ‘supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff.’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section I, #883. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

 

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also have what they consider to be "cardinals", who are subordinate to a single higher leader, working within their Organizational Administration?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Division and General Conference officers form a critical area of church leadership around the world. Vice presidents (and you understand that division presidents are first vice presidents of the General Conference) report to the General Conference president. According to the Bylaws, while they serve a division they are vice presidents of the General Conference...

"If you compare vice presidents to ‘cardinals,’ we already have a ‘cardinal’ from Africa, and before this [1985 General Conference] session ends, I predict we will have two African ‘cardinals’ among our 15 vice-presidents...there is no ‘cardinal’ from all the countries of the Far East, while there will probably be two ‘cardinals’ from Africa." (General Conference President Neal C. Wilson, in Adventist Review, July 3, 1985, p 11).

Please note: since all division presidents are only vice presidents of the General Conference, and as these vice presidents are likened to "cardinals", then that makes the General Conference president the one supreme leader of the entire Seventh-day Adventist Church–or the pope of Adventism!

 


#4. Organizational Election.

Section A. Laity are not involved in election of most Church leaders.

Roman Catholic Church

"The Church [hierarchy] confers the sacrament of Holy Orders [church position by election] only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter Three, Article 6, Section VII, #1598, brackets supplied for clarity. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/orders.html#DEGREES).

 

Does the election of the majority of leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church hierarchy also occur without the involvement of the laity?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"At the local conference level the Seventh-day Adventist church has a representative form of government, above that level the polity of the Seventh-day Adventist is hierarchical: authority flows downward and members in local congregations have virtually no voice....the Seventh-day Adventist church is a closed, self-operating, and self-perpetuating system, similar to the Roman Catholic church, in which those in authority are not responsible to lower echelons. Above the local conference level, those in authority are not elected by, representative of, or administratively accountable to, local congregations or the membership at large." (Raymond F. Cottrell, former Associate Editor of the Adventist Review and the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, in Spectrum (Journal of Association of Adventist Forums), vol 14, #4, March, 1984, p 42).

 

 


#5. Organizational Authority.

Section A. Pope and priests as mediators between God and man.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders, a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant....

"In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:...Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter Three, Article 6, Section II, # 1541 & 1548. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/orders.html#SACRAMENT).

 

"Only to the apostles, and thenceforth to those on whom their successors have imposed hands, is granted the power of the priesthood, in virtue of which they represent the person of Jesus Christ before their people, acting at the same time as representatives of their people before God....

"The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ's very person....

"The people, on the other hand, since they in no sense represent the divine Redeemer and are not mediator between themselves and God, can in no way possess the sacerdotal power."

(Pope Pius XII, in Mediator Dei (on the Sacred Liturgy), Encyclical promulgated on November 20, 1947, #40, 69 & 84. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12MEDIA.HTM).

"Finally, the priest, in another way, follows the example of Christ. Of Him it is written that He "passed the whole night in the prayer of God" and "ever lives to make intercession for us"; and like Him, the priest, is public and official intercessor (mediator) of humanity before God..." (Pope Pius XI, in Ad Catholici Sacerdotii (On the Catholic Priesthood), encyclical promulgated on December 20, 1935, #28. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11CATHO.HTM.)

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also liken their ministerial leadership to Aaron and view them as being mediators between God and man?

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"We see here that his (Aaron’s) principle responsibility was to act as a mediator, as a link between the holy and profane, between God and man....In like manner the minister of the gospel today is the high priest....Today we (SDA ministers) are the high priests....God desires that we who are His high priests today learn the same lesson....What a tremendous responsibility to act as mediators between God and man!" (Ministry Magazine (official journal of the Ministerial Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Church), December, 1961).

 


Section B. Church has supreme and full authority over the entire membership.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"'The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head.' As such, this college has 'supreme and full authority over the universal Church...’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section I, #883. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

 

 

Does the highest ruling body in the Seventh-day Adventist Church also has supreme and full authority over the entire Church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"Church documents that prescribe the church's structure and governance confirm that all parts of the church are parts of a single entity. Next to the Roman Catholic church, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major Christian denominations in this country. The General Conference, as the world wide governing body of the Adventist denomination, is the church's highest legislative, judicial and ecclesiastical authority." (Legal Decision of Judge William T. Hart of the U.S. District Court, North District of Illinois, East Division, Court Transcript of Derrick Proctor vs the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Case #81 C 4938, Findings of Fact, Section B, Church Objective and Structures, p 22, October 29, 1986).

 

"People expect the General Conference to have the last word and to speak for the Church with ultimate [or supreme] authority....The General Conference is the highest [or fullest] authority and the sum of all the parts, not only philosophically, but also (1) organizationally, (2) legislatively, (3) administratively, (4) judicially, (5) in terms of policy and (6) Church standards." (General Conference President Neal C. Wilson, Commission Report on Role and Function of Denominational Organizations, 140-85GN, p 22-23, April 30, 1985, brackets added to show meaning).

 


Section C. The clergy rule over the membership.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff...the duties of Christians, [is] that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the apostolic see." (Pope Leo XIII, in Sapientiae Christianae (On Christians as Citizens), Encyclical promulgated on January 10, 1890, #24. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Leo13/l13sapie.htm).

 

 

Is it also the duty of all Seventh-day Adventist Church members to follow and obey their church leadership–even if they disagree with their decisions?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership is a function of the church’s organizational structure....

"A twofold task faces the church: (1) train and inspire good leadership, and (2) train and inspire good followership....Leadership will lead in love and understanding, and followership will support the church leadership unfailingly, even though necessarily critical of some decisions of leadership." (Walter R. Beach, past vice-president of the General Conference, in Adventist Review, October 25, 1979, p 13-14).

 


Section D. The membership must obey the clergy.

Roman Catholic Church

"Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord." (Pope Pius XI, in Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage), Encyclical promulgated on December 31, 1930, #104. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius11/P11CASTI.HTM).

 

Is it also the teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that its membership must submit their understanding of truth to their church leaders in all things and then suffer themselves to abide by these decisions?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"It is our responsibility to study the Scriptures for ourselves, to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to submit our understandings to those in the church who are able to judge our findings, and then to abide to the decisions of the church..." (Seventh-day Adventist Church Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, Lesson 13, March 28, 1987, p 92, or p 153 in the Teacher’s Edition).

 


Section E. The spiritual or religious allegiance of the membership is to the Church.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"And in this special context, when We recall that every imaginable artifice was employed, that all the power and vexatious tactics of our adversaries had but one purpose, to alienate both the clergy and people from their allegiance to the hierarchy and to this Apostolic See..." (Pope Pius XI, in Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico), Encyclical promulgated on November 18, 1926, #22. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius11/P11INIQU.HTM).

 

"There seems ground for fear that in the near future still greater hardships will befall those who refuse to betray their sacred religious allegiance [to the Catholic Church]. For that reason we even now exhort you in the Lord, beloved sons, to be terrified by no menaces or injuries, to be moved by no danger of exile or risk even of life ever to abjure your faith and your fidelity to Mother Church." (Pope Pius XII, in Orientales Omnes Ecclesias, Encyclical promulgated on December 23, 1945, #62. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12OMNES.HTM).

 

 

Does the religious or spiritual allegiance of all Seventh-day Adventist members also belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"The General Conference, then is the Seventh-day Adventist church....the embodiment of the Remnant Church as a Christian denomination, in a unified worldwide organization, to which all baptized Seventh-day Adventists owe spiritual [or religious] allegiance..." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, p 17, brackets added to show meaning).

 

 


#6. Organizational Power.

Section A. Organizational Church leadership and structure represents the Church.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. The ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church (cf. St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Trall. 3,1)." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter Three, Article 6, Section VII, #1593, brackets supplied for clarity. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/orders.html#DEGREES).

 

 

Does the term "Seventh-day Adventist Church" also refer solely to the Organizational leadership and Church Structure and not to the individual believers?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"...so the Seventh-day Adventist church came into being [in 1863], as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists....the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist church..." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for the Church, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, p 15).

"In the Seventh-day Adventist denomination the term ‘church' has a very comprehensive and broad meaning. It is used to apply to the general organization and headquarters for Seventh-day Adventists under the name of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Affidavit of Neal C. Wilson, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, November 27, 1974, p 4).

 


Section B. Church leadership speaks for the entire Church.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"...we, the Fathers (Catholic Church leaders) of the 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church...On this solemn day when she closes the deliberations of her 21st ecumenical council, the Church offers you through our voice her friendship, her services, her spiritual and moral forces....Today, as yesterday, the Church needs you and turns to you. She tells you through our voice: Do not allow an alliance as fruitful as this to be broken....The Church is grateful to you for this and thanks you through our voice." (Pope Paul VI, Second Vatican Council II Closing Speech, December 8, 1965. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6closin.htm).

 

Does the church leadership of the SDA church also speak for the entire church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"People expect the General Conference to have the last word and to speak for the Church with ultimate authority." (General Conference President Neal C. Wilson, Commission Report on Role and Function of Denominational Organizations, 140-85GN, p 22-23, April 30, 1985).

 


Section C. Only Church leadership can safely interpret the Bible.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"’The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.’ This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part One, Section One, # III, Article 2, Sub-section III, #85. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess3.html#INTERPRETATION).

 

Does the SDA church also believe that they are the only ones who can interpret the Bible?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Only a committee appointed by the General Conference can interpret prophecy." (Adventist Review, June 5, 1986, p 2).


Section D. Only Church leadership can modify divine doctrine.

Roman Catholic Church

"The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, as authentic teachers, preach to the People of God the faith which is to be believed and applied in moral life. It is also encumbent on them to pronounce on moral questions that fall within the natural law and reason.

"The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3, Section III, #2050 & 2051. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/holy.html#MISSIONARY).

Does the SDA church also believe that only its leadership can modify divine doctrine?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"...the General Conference of the Church (in session), the only body having authority to alter the structure of the church either in doctrine or organization." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for the Church, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, December 4, 1974, p 17).


Section E. People must submit to teachings of Church leaders.

Roman Catholic Church

"When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine 'for belief as being divinely revealed,' and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions 'must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.'...when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a ‘definitive manner,’ they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful ‘are to adhere to it with religious assent’ which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section I, #891 & 892. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

"Still another recommendation, we feel, is in place here: that, in undertaking and advancing in the spiritual life, you do not trust too much to yourselves, but with docile simplicity seek and accept the help of someone [the Catholic priest] who, with wise moderation, can guide your soul, point out to you the dangers, suggest suitable remedies, and in every internal and external difficulty can guide you in the right way towards an ever greater perfection, according to the example of the saints and the teachings of Christian asceticism. Without these prudent guides for one's conscience, it is often very difficult to be duly responsive to the impulses of the Holy Spirit and of the grace of God." (Pope Pius XII, in Menti Nostrae (On the Development of Holiness in Priestly Life), Encyclical promulgated on September 23, 1960, #63. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12CLERG.HTM).

Does the SDA church also believe that only their membership must submit to the teachings of its leadership?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"It is our responsibility to study the Scriptures for ourselves, to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to submit our understandings to those in the church who are able to judge our findings, and then to abide to the decisions of the church..." (Seventh-day Adventist Church Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, Lesson 13, March 28, 1987, p 92, or p 153 in the Teacher’s Edition).

 


Section F. Those who disagree with the Church, are disfellowshipped and declared heretics, schismatics, or dissidents, as well as all who fellowship outside of her establishment.

Roman Catholic Church

"The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own....they were declared heretics [schismatics or dissidents] and banished from the bosom of the Church..." (Pope Leo XIII, in Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church), encyclical promulgated on June 29, 1896, #9, brackets added. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Leo13/l13satis.htm).

"For the tabernacle of the Lord is the Holy Church spread throughout the whole world. Heretics [schismatics or dissidents] , separating themselves from the Church's tabernacles, have set up tabernacles for themselves....a tent outside the Church, wherein God will not delight." St. Augustine, in St. Augustine on the Psalms, Psalm CXLVII, #15, found in Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. VIII, brackets added. http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1_08/npnf1_08_154.htm).

Does the SDA church also believe that those who disagree with the church are disfellowshipped and declared heretics or dissidents, as well as all who fellowship outside of the established church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Q.: What about the 1,400 Hungarians who were disfellowshipped for protesting the Church’s membership in the Council of Free Churches?...

"Wilson: A good question...The members of this group do not recognize any world authority in the Church....We have advised the dissident group to recognize the world Church organization to place their churches in the world Church." (General Conference president Neal C. Wilson, in Pacific Union Recorder (official paper of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), February 18, 1985, p 4).

"The local church where I was speaking – and others as well – are being scandalized by dissident ‘ministries’ whose leaders claim that ‘mainstream’ Adventism is in apostasy....several dissident ‘splinter groups’ that now plague the church..." (Douglas Devnich, president of the Canadian Union Conference of SDAs, in Visitor, March 15, 1992, p 5).


Section G. Those who separate from the church are declared heretics, schismatics, or dissidents.

Roman Catholic Church

"For the tabernacle of the Lord is the Holy (Catholic) Church spread throughout the whole world. Heretics [schismatics or dissidents], separating themselves from the Church's tabernacles, have set up tabernacles for themselves....a tent outside the Church, wherein God will not delight." St. Augustine, in St. Augustine on the Psalms, Psalm CXLVII, #15, found in Early Church Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. VIII, brackets added. http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1_08/npnf1_08_154.htm).

Does the SDA church also call those who separate from the church heretics, schismatics, or dissidents?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"The local (SDA) church where I was speaking – and others as well – are being scandalized by dissident ‘ministries’ whose leaders claim that ‘mainstream’ Adventism is in apostasy....several dissident ‘splinter groups’ that now plague the church..." (Douglas Devnich, president of the Canadian Union Conference of SDAs, in Visitor, March 15, 1992, p 5).

 


#7. Organizational Practices.

Section A. Church leaders obstruct truth from being examined by laity.

Roman Catholic Church

"In order for you to more easily obtain that salutary and desired peace, We impose, with this letter, perpetual and absolute silence on past questions and controversies, and We totally forbid every disapproval and any speech which can disturb the peace among the...faithful. We also expressly and severely prohibit the heretics or schismatics from consuming those in grace and communion with this Apostolic See. If some people who act incorrectly or arouse suspicions suddenly appear -- and We trust that would never happen -- it will be provided for with due cause. The matter will first of all be clarified by this Apostolic See with the appropriate canonical documents; therefore, after Our declaration and warnings, every disturber regardless of class and order will be guilty of serious fault in the future. They will not in any way be able to excuse themselves and avoid due severity." (Pope Pius IX, in Neminem Vestrum (On the Persecution of Armenians), Encyclical promulgated on February 2, 1854, #16. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius09/p9nemini.htm).

 

Does the SDA church leadership also try to obstruct truth from being examined by their laity?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Included in such discussions have been related theological concepts such as the nature of Christ, the nature of man, the nature of sin, perfection, and the question as to whether it is possible for a Christian to live a sinless life. In our judgment these complex theological and Biblical issues need not be settled...We are requesting that we refrain from involving ourselves in public presentations of the...theology of righteousness by faith....We should all seek to diminish the flood of cassettes, brochures, books, and miscellaneous documents...Consequently, the General Conference will appoint a representative group...to survey and study difficult theological issues and to share with the church at large...This ended the discussion because the voice of the highest authority had spoken." (General Conference president Neal C. Wilson, in Adventist Review, May 24, 1979, p 4-5).

 


Section B. The Church avoids close investigation of her practices, evades disclosure of truth, and reveals fearful corruption within.

Roman Catholic Church

"Papacy Avoids Close Investigation"; "Shifts and Evasions" (used to avoid the disclosure of truth)", and "The Fearful Corruption at Rome". Subject matter dealt with in 3 sermons by Martin Luther. (W 30 III, 285 – E 25, 15 – SL 16, 1635 given in the year 1531; W 33, 488 f – E 48, 248 – SL 8, 121 given on September 9, 1531; and W 54, 219 f – E 26, 147 – SL 17, 1036 given in 1545).

 

Does the SDA leadership also seeks to avoid close investigation of church practices, evades disclosure of truth, and reveals fearful corruption within?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"I was greatly distressed to read the report of president Neal Wilson in the March 24, 1983 Review notifying the church of the decision of the General Conference leadership not to publish the names of those involved with Davenport disclosing their acts of malfeasance while in office...As one who specializes in the prosecution of official corruption cases, I am shocked that our church leaders would so minimize the wrongful conduct of their fellow officers as to shield their conduct from the Adventist public....they are not informed how their public trust has been compromised and betrayed..." (Letter from Glenn E. Coe, Esquire--Chief Trial Attorney for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut, , to editor of the Adventist Review, April 11, 1983).

"...the IRS, SEC, FBI, and Justice Department have all initiated investigations (into the Seventh-day Adventist organizational activities) and some Seventh-day Adventist conference administrators may even face trial for fraud." (Walter Martin, in The Kingdom of the Cults, p 410).

"Finally, the situation of the Seventh Day Adventists must be mentioned. Their leadership, hand-picked by the (Hungarian) state authorities...In their case...the methods of intimidation [against those who refused to obey] were often more blatant than those applied against larger groups...They are always selected in such a way as to make documentation difficult if not impossible. Reminiscent of the intimidation known in the U.S. to those who are familiar with the ways of organized crime...In the case of the Seventh Day Adventists, some of the state ‘appointed’ leaders were so dissolute and morally reprehensible that they eventually had to give up their positions." (Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-eighth Congress, Second Session, June 12, 1984, "The Situation of the Churches in Hungary", p 264-265).

 


Section C. The Church persecutes those who expose, differ, or protest against her.

Roman Catholic Church

"How many millions of martyrs have been put to death in the name of Christianity, by that most unchristian and antichristian power, the papacy, will never be known until the dead, small and great, stand before God." (E.J. Waggoner, in Prophetic Lights, Chapter – The Papacy, p 92).

"For professing faith contrary to the teachings of the Church of Rome, history records the martyrdom of more then one hundred million people." (Brief Bible Readings, p. 16).

 

Does the SDA leadership also persecutes those who expose, differ, or protest against the church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

M.L. Andreasen had his church retirement pension revoked for openly protesting the book, Questions on Doctrines which denies many of the original SDA doctrines.

1400 faithful Hungarians were disfellowshipped in 1983 for openly protesting the church's membership in the World Council of Free Churches.

"In Dec 21, 1985 Br. Nikola was physically attacked by the Seventh day Adventists and their preachers in the church in Zagreb (Yugoslavia) and beat him so that he is now in the hospital....preachers Jovica Posavec, Kuburic... Markov...and others struck him pushing him out of the church and threatening to kill him....Just think what sort of a church this is that would do such a thing....the leaders and preachers were angry because Nikola does not acknowledge their doctrine....I am sending you the doctors report...he was attacked in the Adventist church near Prilaz 77 in Zagreb. Nikola is in the hospital several days now." (Letter from Brother Ivan, from Yugoslavia, 1985).


Section D. The Church uses secular or civil power to punish those who expose or protest against her.

Roman Catholic Church

"The question has been raised whether it be lawful for the Church, not merely to sentence a delinquent to physical penalties, but itself to inflict these penalties. As to this, it is sufficient to note that the right of the Church to invoke the aid of the civil power to execute her sentences is expressly asserted by Boniface VIII in the Bull ‘Unam Sanctam’" (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol 12, p 266, article "Pope". http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12260a.htm).

 

Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church also use secular or civil power to punish those who expose or protest against the church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Five Seventh Day Adventists were arrested on the pedestrian ramp leading from the Superdome to the Hyatt Regency Hotel Thursday night while protesting statements made by Russian delegates at a religious convention....The protesters all were attending the Seventh Day Adventists General Conference session in New Orleans...(and) sought a forum at the convention to express their opposition to the Russian delegate's statement but have been denied by Neal Wilson, of Washington., D.C., president of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists." (The Times-Picayune Newspaper, July 5, 1985 p A-25).

"Late in June 1986, Elder Neal C. Wilson, president of the General Conference, again went to Budapest Hungary....Meetings were held...with the Hungarian Union leadership and with the Hungarian Government....

"The Monday following Elder Wilson's departure from Budapest, Oszkar Egervari (leader of the 1400 disfellowshipped SDA’s) was asked to come to the State Office of Religion...and told four things:

"1 – They must stop all gatherings. No more religious meetings could be held. 2 – They must no longer receive offerings and carry on their religious duties. 3 – No more campmeetings or youth camps could be held. 4 – Certain people would be held responsible if these points were not followed....

"It is clear that the Hungarian Union leadership is determined to stop all separate gatherings by Seventh-day Adventists who remain loyal to the teachings of historic Adventism. They will even use the arm of the State and threatened imprisonment to carry out their objective....Over one thousand Seventh-day Adventists can no longer worship God together as a result of Elder Wilson's visit to Budapest." (Independent Report of Neal C. Wilson’s trip to Budapest Hungary, Pilgrims' Rest Tract, WM-140, July, 1986).

"Over 1000 Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church believers (were asked to and then) assembled at their headquarters in Nyanchwa in Kisii and called on the authorities to probe two dissident church groups which are involved in heretical teachings, the executive director of the SDA church’s South Kenya Conference, Pastor Nathan Ogeto, said yesterday...

"He said the believers condemned and castigated whoever were the leaders of such a group.

"The SDA believers in Kisii he said wish to express their unswerving and total loyalty to President Moi, the government and the ruling party Kanu.

"He said the assembly paid special tribute to the Kisii DC, the OCPD, District Officers, chiefs and their assistants for their able leadership ‘in containing and salvaging the situation.’" (The Kenya Times, Monday, November 24, 1986, p 20).

 


#8. Organizational Beliefs–Regarding the Church Itself.

Section A. The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

Roman Catholic Church

"Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one [in unity], holy, catholic, and also apostolic." (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Bull promulgated on November 18, 1302. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/B7UNAM.HTM).

Does the SDA church also believe that their church is one in unity, holy, Catholic or universal, and apostolic?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"The four classical marks of the Biblical church apply to Seventh-day Adventists: its holiness (in Jesus Christ), its catholicity (universality), its apostolicity (in harmony with the witness of the apostles/founders), its unity (one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism)." (North American Division Officers, in Adventist Review, October 1, 1992, p 27, parentheses and italic in original).

 


Section B. The Church is like the ark of God.

Roman Catholic Church

"There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church...and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed." (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Bull promulgated on November 18, 1302. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/B7UNAM.HTM).

"The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Paragraph 3, Article III, # 845. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church3.html#CATHOLIC).

Does the SDA church also believe that they are like the ark of God?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Many times pastors have compared the church to an ark of safety, and I believe it is....The church is a place to preserve our lives..." (Jim Cress, Mid-America Union Ministerial Secretary of the SDA church, in Adventist Review, August 7, 1986, p 23).

"The church is like Noah’s ark....it will help save God's people..." (Floyd Bresee, Associate Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial and Stewardship Association, in Adventist Review, August 9, 1984, p 18).


Section C. The Gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

Roman Catholic Church

"...all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Paragraph 3, Article III, # 834. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church3.html#CATHOLIC).

"The Church well knows that the gates of hell will not prevail against her." (Pope Pius X, in Ilfermo Proposito (On Catholic Action in Italy, Encyclical promulgated on June 11, 1905, #6. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10fermo.htm

"‘And although He seems to delay, we are certain that the Lord will not leave the scepter of sinners over the heritage of the just, that He will never abandon His heritage and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it‘ (In libro ii. Epist. S. Anselmi, ep. 33)." (Pope Pius X, in Communium Rerum (On St. Anselm of Aosta, Encyclical promulgated on April 21, 1909, #36. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10ans.htm).

Does the SDA church also believe that the gates of hell cannot prevail against their church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"...the case with the [SDA] Laodicean Church, as a church, is different. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The last church will not be spewed out; it will not be rejected; it will go through triumphantly." (M.L. Andreasen, in Review and Herald, November 9, 1939, p 7).


Section D. The Ship is going through with Christ’s hand on the wheel.

Roman Catholic Church

"The Church which, from the day of Pentecost, has been destined here below to a never-ending life, which went forth from the upper chamber into the world endowed with the gifts and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, what has been her mission during the last twenty centuries and in every country of the world if not, after the example of her Divine Founder, "to go about doing good"? (Acts x, 38)...At times the bark of Peter, favored by the winds, goes happily forward; at other times it appears to be swallowed up by the waves and on the point of being lost. Has not this ship always aboard the Divine Pilot who knows when to calm the angry waves and the winds?" (Pope Pius XI, in Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico, Encyclical promulgated on November 18, 1926, #29. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11INIQU.HTM).

 

Does the SDA church also believe that the ship is going through with Christ’s hand on the wheel?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Christ's statement is ‘that the gates of hell shall not prevail against' the church...Let us stay with the ship. The church...is going through and will surely drop anchor on the ‘sea of glass' because a ‘Divine hand is on the wheel’ – the hand of Christ." (Theodore Carcich, former vice-president of the General Conference, in Adventist Review, July 28, 1983, p 5).


Section E. The Church can never fall.

Roman Catholic Church

"Now you know well that the most deadly foes of the Catholic religion have always waged a fierce war, but without success, against this Chair; they are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow[5] and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion." (Pope Pius IX, in Inter Multiplices (Pleading for Unity of Spirit), Encyclical promulgated on March 21, 1853, #7. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9interm.htm).

"From this text it is clear that by the will and command of God the Church rests upon St. Peter...It is consequently the office of St. Peter to support the Church, and to guard it in all its strength and indestructible unity. How could he fulfil this office without the power of commanding, forbidding, and judging, which is properly called jurisdiction?...The words - and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it proclaim and establish the authority of which we speak. ‘What is the it?’ (writes Origen). ‘Is it the rock upon which Christ builds the Church or the Church? The expression indeed is ambiguous, as if the rock and the Church were one and the same. I indeed think that this is so, and that neither against the rock upon which Christ builds His Church nor against the Church shall the gates of Hell prevail’ (Origenes, Comment. in Matt., tom. xii., n. ii). The meaning of this divine utterance is, that, notwithstanding the wiles and intrigues which they bring to bear against the Church, it can never be that the church committed to the care of Peter shall succumb or in any wise fail. ‘For the Church, as the edifice of Christ who has wisely built 'His house upon a rock,' cannot be conquered by the gates of Hell, which may prevail over any man who shall be off the rock and outside the Church, but shall be powerless against it’ (Ibid.). Therefore God confided His Church to Peter so that he might safely guard it with his unconquerable power. He invested him, therefore, with the needful authority; since the right to rule is absolutely required by him who has to guard human society really and effectively. This, furthermore, Christ gave: ‘To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.’ And He is clearly still speaking of the Church, which a short time before He had called His own, and which He declared He wished to build on Peter as a foundation. The Church is typified not only as an edifice but as a Kingdom, and every one knows that the keys constitute the usual sign of governing authority. Wherefore when Christ promised to give to Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, he promised to give him power and authority over the Church. ‘The Son committed to Peter the office of spreading the knowledge of His Father and Himself over the whole world. He who increased the Church in all the earth, and proclaimed it to be stronger than the heavens, gave to a mortal man all power in Heaven when He handed him the Keys’ (Johannes Chrysostomus, Hom. Liv., in Matt. v., 2)....

"And since all Christians must be closely united in the communion of one immutable faith, Christ the Lord, in virtue of His prayers, obtained for Peter that in the fulfilment of his office he should never fall away from the faith." (Pope Leo XIII, in Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church), Encyclical promulgated on June 29, 1896, #12. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13satis.htm).

Does the SDA church also believe that their church can never fall?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"The prophetic scenario assures us of the (SDA) church's survival....[It will] go through until the very end....it does not fall..." (Charles E. Bradford, president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, in Adventist Review, May 4, 1989, p 9).

"...because the church is under God's grace it ‘may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall...'" (William G. Johnson, editor of the Adventist Review, in Adventist Review, September 22, 1983, p 14).

{Please note: the church which appears to fall but does not is God’s true church of obedient individuals, not a denominational structure! For the Bible proof, please go to: http://www.TrueChurchofGod.info}


Section F. The Church can never fully be contaminated or apostatize from God.

Roman Catholic Church

"To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: ‘The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.’" (Pope Pius XI, in Mortalium Animos (On Religious Unity), Encyclical promulgated on January, 1928, #10. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11MORTA.HTM).

"It is eminently befitting the nature and necessity of the case, that Christ Jesus has been and shall continue to be ready to safeguard the Church, which His provident care established for the salvation of the human race. This certainty is warranted by the promise of her Divine Founder, which we read in the Gospel; and it must be clear to evidence from the annals of that Church, on which error has never set a stain, which no falling away however widespread of her sons has made to waver, which regains her youthful vigor and ceaselessly renews her strength despite the assaults of impious men, even when carried to the most shocking extremes....

"We mean the precepts of Christ Jesus, who has provided and strengthened His Church with a superb, an immortal constitution which so many vicissitudes of time and fortune, so many tribulations during the twenty centuries that have passed have been unable to shake, and will never cause to totter even to the day of doom." (Pope Pius XI, Ad Salutem (On St. Augustine, Encyclical promulgated on April 30, 1930, #1 & 29. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11SALUT.HTM).

Does the SDA church also believe that their church can never fully apostatize from God?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"I told her [Miss Lyda Scott]...that God would not permit this denomination to so fully apostatize that there would be the coming out of another church." (Willie C. White, in the Willie C. White Correspondence file, May 23, 1915).


Section G. The Church will go on to complete victory.

Roman Catholic Church

"Though our ancestors' institutions failed, public affairs are in tumult, and everything human is confused, the Catholic Church alone never vacilates, but instead looks confidently to the future. She alone is born for immortality, trusting in the words addressed to Blessed Peter: ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her.’" (Pope Benedict XV, in Principi Apostolorum Petro (On St. Ephrem the Syrian), Encyclical promulgated on October 5, 1920, #15. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Ben15/b15prapp.htm).

"Our unshaken hope in this complete victory of God and of the Church receives daily confirmation (such is the infinite mercy of God!) from the noble ardor of innumerable souls whom we see turning themselves to God, in every country and in all classes of society." (Pope Pius XI, in Caritate Christi Compulsi (On the Sacred Heart), Encyclical promulgated on May 3, 1932, #10. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11CARIT.HTM).

Does the SDA church also believe that their church will go on to complete victory and triumph?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church will triumph gloriously and will go through triumphantly, as a corporate body, to the sea of glass." (Gordon W. Collier, Sr. in The Early and Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit, p 183).

"I want you to remember one thing, that the Laodicean (SDA) Church is the translation church...this is the very church that will be translated into the Kingdom of God." (J.L. McElhany, president of the General Conference, in Review and Herald, November 30, 1939, p 4).

"This church to which we belong will emerge a victorious company to stand some day on the sea of glass....Adventism is destined to triumph gloriously....They [God's people] will patiently watch and pray until God in His own time and in His own way purifies His church...The church will fulfill its prophetic role and will triumph. Let us stay with the church so that we can share in that victory." (E.R. Bacchus, president of the Ontario Conference of SDA, Canada, in Messenger, October, 1994, p 2 & 11).


Section H. There is no salvation outside of the Church.

Roman Catholic Church

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"....

"Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation...Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part One, Section Two, Chapter Three, Article 9, Paragraph 3, Section III, #846 (1992 edition, p 244). http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm).

"For 'there is one universal (Catholic) Church outside of which no one at all is saved...'" (Pope Pius IX, Ubi Primum (On Discipline For Religious), Encyclical Promulgated on June 17, 1847, #10. http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9UBIPR1.HTM).

 

Does the SDA church also teach that there is no salvation outside their church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Regardless of the pretext, or how righteous the cause may appear, separation from the visible remnant [the SDA church] is apostasy from the body of Christ." (E.R. Bacchus, president of the Ontario Conference of SDA, Canada, in Messenger, October, 1994, p 2).

"The local [SDA] church becomes the ‘port of entry’ to the kingdom of God." (North American Division Officers, in Adventist Review, October 1, 1992, p 23).

"Therefore it is in the church...that He (Christ) invites all people who accept salvation....Church – who needs it? You do, and so do I – and all others who choose to love Christ...He invites us there, and still adds to it daily such as should be saved. Let us then treat church membership as the privilege it really is..." (Brian Jones, Bible instructor in the Washington Conference of SDA, in Adventist Review, March 7, 1991, p 10).

"There is some relationship between salvation and church membership." (Floyd Bresee, Associate Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial and Stewardship Association, in Adventist Review, August 9, 1984, p 18).

 


#9. Organizational Beliefs–in Doctrine.

Section A. The Doctrine of Original Sin.

Roman Catholic Church

"...the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".[291] Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin....

"‘We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, ‘by propagation, not by imitation’ and that it is. . . 'proper to each'" (Paul VI, CPG # 16)." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Article III & IV, #403 & 419. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/visible4.html#DEATH).

 

Does the SDA church also teach the doctrine of Original Sin?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"The spiritual disease that has infected all of us is sin...we are all in a sinful state because of the decision of Adam, the corporate head of the human race...by man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and as a result, all men sinned. That is, because of Adam's sin, all men became sinners." (General Conference president Neal C. Wilson, in Adventist Review, June 28, 1990, p 8).

"We are all sinners, whether we have ever done anything ‘wrong’ or not. It is not sinning that makes us sinners. It is getting born that makes us sinners....We are born sinners, and we sin because we are sinners. We are not sinners because we sin!...Since we are sinners by nature, we of ourselves are never going to be able to produce any obedience." (Morris L. Venden, well-known SDA pastor and author, in Faith That Works, p 161-65).

"Man sins because he is sinful. He is not sinful because he sins...You don't have to sin to be sinful; all you have to do is get yourself born!" (Morris L. Venden, in To Know God: A Five Day Plan, p 23).

"We are born sinful and subject to death--prior to lawbreaking...Clearly Adam's sin affected the race--constituted them sinners." (Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries, sponsored and authorized for publication by the North American Division Officers and Union Presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, p 118).

"We are born sinners..." Adult Sabbath School Lessons Quarterly, First Quarter, Lesson #5, January 23, 1983, p 35.


Section B. The immortality of the soul with perfection necessary for heaven being gained after death.

Roman Catholic Church

"Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead....

"Those who die in God's grace and friendship imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Article 12, Section VI, #1051 & 1054. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/art12.html#HOPE).

 

Does the SDA church also teach the immortality of the soul with perfection necessary for heaven being gained after death?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Bible states that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20), not live forever. But the SDA church teaches that no one can overcome all sin in this life before Christ comes. Yet God will not destroy you but will make you perfect and take you to heaven, giving you eternal life anyway. That is teaching the doctrine on the immortality of the soul, and of perfection being granted after death even though you were not ready for heaven!

"...I will always fall short of my potential....for those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness...[are] striving after an elusive goal..." (Alden Thompson, professor of religion at Walla Walla SDA College, in Adventist Review, December 6, 1984, p 6).

"...if we die to sin at conversion, are we going to sin anymore?...We will continue to sin as Christians--not because we want to, but because we're human." (H.M.S. Richards, Jr., in Voice of Prophecy News, May, 1985, p 2).

"We will never reach sinless perfection in this life..." (R.S. Watts, Vice-President of the General Conference, in Review and Herald, May 19, 1966, p 4).

"We should remember that only when Jesus comes can we be made perfect." (Taylor G. Bunch, Retired SDA minister, in Ministry Magazine, December, 1965, p 9).

 


Section C. The Bible is imperfect.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"...your Romish doctors strain every nerve to persuade us that Scripture is imperfect..." (Chr. Wordsworth, D.D., in Letters to M. Gordon, p 81, cited in Source Book for Bible Students, p 87-88).

"It is true, no doubt, that copyists have made mistakes in the text of the Bible; this question, when it arises, should be carefully considered on its merits, and the fact not too easily admitted, but only in those passages where the proof is clear." (Pope Leo XIII, in Providentissimus Deus (On the Study of Holy Scripture), Encyclical promulgated on November 18, 1893, #20. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13provi.htm).

 

"VATICAN CITY, Italy - The Vatican criticized a literal interpretation of the Bible and said the fundamentalist approach to scripture was a kind of intellectual suicide. A Vatican document said fundamentalism refuses to admit that the inspired Word of God has been expressed in human language... by human authors possessed of limited capacities and resources.

"The 125-page document, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, was written by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, a group of scholars who assist the Pope in the study of scripture. It noted that a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible had been gaining strength. The Vatican is increasingly concerned about the number of Catholics, especially in Latin America, who have abandoned the church for fast-growing fundamentalist sects. The fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life, the document said. Fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide. A fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible began during the Reformation, when Protestants showed an increasing concern for fidelity to the literal meaning of scripture.

"The document said fundamentalism refused to admit that there was a human element in the transmission of the Word of God. One member of the commission, Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmeyer, said fundamentalists failed to recognize that several years elapsed between the time Jesus spoke and the time when the gospels were written. There was no stenographer, no one with a tape recorder on that time, said Fitzmeyer." (The Star, Manila, Philippines, 1994, cited in Presents of God Ministry Website, see also Chicago Tribune, March 20, 1994, p 27. The Document "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church", was written by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, on April 23, 1993, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/pcb_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19930415_interpretazione_it.html).

 

Does the SDA church also believe that the Bible is imperfect?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"In our study and presentation (of the Bible), we also must reject the idea of Biblical inerrancy and verbal inspiration, but we dare not treat the Scriptures as just another human document." (General Conference president Neal C. Wilson, in Adventist Review, December 17, 1981, p 5).

 


Section D. Claims infallibility – or whatever the Church does or teaches is correct and needs no repentance.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"...not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy. We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before." (Pope Pius XI, in Quas Primas (on the Feast of Christ the King), Encyclical promulgated on, December 11, 1925, #22. http://www.newadvent.org/docs/pi11qp.htm).

"In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."

"The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

"’The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals....The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,’ above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine ‘for belief as being divinely revealed,’ and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions ‘must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.’ This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Subsection I, #889 - 891. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

"The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three, Section One, Chapter Three, Article 3, Subsection III, #2051. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/holy.html#MISSIONARY).

 

Does the SDA church also claim infallibility – or whatever the Church does or teaches is correct and needs no repentance?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

The SDA church hierarchical organization has never repented from the wrongs committed and the rejection of God’s truth since its earliest beginnings in 1903. For proof, see the book "Abomination of Desolation and Seventh-day Adventist Church History, Second Edition" at http://www.LightMinistries.com/id94.htm

 


Section E. Christ will set up His kingdom on earth at His second coming.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"Therefore peace being made, and every evil suppressed, that righteous King and Conqueror (Jesus Christ) will institute a great judgment on the earth respecting the living and the dead, and will deliver all the nations into subjection to the righteous who are alive, and will raise the righteous dead to eternal life, and will Himself reign with them on the earth..." (St Lactantius, The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, Chapter LXXII, in Early Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII. http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF_07/anf07_11.htm).

"Though already present in his Church, Christ's reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled "with power and great glory" by the King's return to earth....

"Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel[561] which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Article 7, Subsection I, #671 & 672. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed9.html#THENCE).

 

Does the SDA church also believe that Christ will set up His kingdom on this earth at His second coming?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"The signs He [Christ] predicted are taking place before our eyes. World conditions are precisely what He said they would be just before His second advent....

"What will happen when this new world Leader appears? What will the various governments do about it? How will the churches react? What will be the effect on the stock market? More important still, how will it affect individuals--you and me and everybody?...

"Now He is about to do it again [healing the sick], on a global scale. His coming invasion of the world will have a similar miraculous result. Hospitals and convalescent homes will be emptied, their one-time occupants bursting with new life and vigor...Thousands upon thousands [of insane in mental homes] will rejoice at His touch upon their poor, confused brains....

"Eventually raising the dead on a prodigious scale will be another of the first actions of the coming world Leader....

"When you come to think of it, this will be a novel way to start a new regime....

"Part of His master design is full employment for everybody. And the jobs He provides will never run out....Indeed the establishment of His kingdom will be the success story of the ages....

"In the not far distant future He will take over the government of our world and set up His own kingdom of righteousness and peace...all those who are accepted as citizens of His kingdom have to experience a radical change in their minds, so radical indeed that it will be as though they had started all over again, like being born anew. They will have to think differently, and act differently...They will have to stop acting like rebels and take their stand with the loyalists....

"Come, O man the world needs most! Come and bring an end to all strife and conflict! Come and make wars cease to the ends of the earth! Come and make all sick people well again! Come and restore the crippled and handicapped! Come and raise the dead! Come and take over the government of mankind! Come and commence Your reign of righteousness and peace! Come and bring in the glorious years of eternity!

"’Even so, come, Lord Jesus!’" (Arthur S. Maxwell, well known SDA author, in Man the World Needs Most, p 76-83, 93-96).

 

"We Still Believe...Jesus Will Usher in a New World Order....

"He will come to inaugurate a ‘new world order’ that will be unlike anything the world has known. Someday soon, you and I will live in that new world....If Jesus were to come tomorrow, would you be happy in the new world He will bring with Him?

"But neither democracy nor communism nor socialism is God's system. His eternal kingdom is built on different principles and will supersede all earthly governments and powers...and the next great event in the world history will happen when God sets up His kingdom that will last forever." (General Conference President, Robert Folkenberg, in We Still Believe, p 23, 28-29, 118-19).

"Thus shall we anticipate the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom of peace at the second advent of our Lord and Saviour, who is the Prince of peace." (Annual Council of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Adventist Review, December 5, 1985, p 19).

"...the establishment of the literal kingdom of God ushered in by the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ." (Douglas Devnich, Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in Ministry Magazine, November, 1983, p 24).

"We believe that soon Jesus will come to this world and usher in His kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness." (General Conference President Neal C. Wilson, in Adventist Review, December 13, 1979, p 6).

 


#10. Religious Practices.

Section A. Celebrates the Eucharist.

Roman Catholic Church

"The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood." In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."...

"Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests' hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes....

"In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’ ‘... it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.’...

"The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist [thus fully under the control of and discretion of the priest]. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts...

"Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Chapter One, Article 3, Subsection V, #1365, 1369, 1374, 1377, 1380. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/euch2.html#presence).

"...the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins...If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.[St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 6, 28: PL 16, 446; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.]" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Chapter One, Article 3, Subsection VI, #1393. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/euch2.html#BANQUET).

Does the SDA church also celebrate the Eucharist?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"Over one hundred theologians met in Lima, Peru, in January 1982, and recommended unanimously to transmit this agree statement--the Lima text--for the common study and official response of the churches. They represented virtually all the major church traditions: Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Methodist, United, Disciples, Baptist, Adventist and Pentecostal.

"The churches' response to this agreed statement will be a vital step in the ecumenical process of ‘reception’." Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, Faith and Order Paper #111, back cover, published by the World Council of Churches, 1982.

"Recent research clearly reveals that there is no consensus among scholars on some of the most critical issues pertaining to the eucharist....this central celebration of the Christian church....The purpose of this essay is primarily to show how Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the eucharist or the Lord's supper...[and] to highlight Adventist understanding and practice of the eucharist...

"On occasion Seventh-day Adventists refer to the eucharist as a sacrament....Being conscious of the sacredness of the celebration of the eucharist, Adventists engage in a personal preparation that includes self-examination...In preparation for the celebration of the eucharist Seventh-day Adventists practice the washing of feet..." Written response of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Council on Inter-Church Relations, November, 1985, published in Churches Respond to BEM (Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry), vol 2, p 341-343, published by the World Council of Churches in 1986.

"And we could go on if space permitted – to mention the WCC's... accentuation of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist. All of these emphases fit into the ambit of the three angels' messages." (Roy Adams, Associate Editor of the Adventist Review, in Adventist Review, May 2, 1991, p 10).

"SDAs Staff Booth at [Roman Catholic] Eucharistic Congress" (Adventist Review, February 6, 1986, p 29).

 


Section B. Celebrates Easter Sunday Services.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"Holy Mother Church believes that she should celebrate the saving work of her divine Spouse in a sacred commemoration on certain days throughout the course of the year. Once each week, on the day which she has called the Lord's Day [Sunday], she keeps the memory of the Lord's resurrection. She also celebrates it once every year, together with his blessed Passion, at Easter, that most solemn of all feasts....

"Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the ‘Feast of feasts,’ the ‘Solemnity of solemnities,’ just as the Eucharist is the "Sacrament of sacraments" (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter ‘the Great Sunday’ and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week ‘the Great Week.’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Section One, Chapter Two, Article 1, Subsection III, #1163 & 1169. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/paschal3.html#WHEN).

 

Does the SDA church also celebrate Easter Sunday services?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Good Adventist news for Easter – For the first time in denominational history a television network – CBS – will broadcast an Easter Sunday service from a SDA church. The program, `Festival of Hope,' will originate from the Camarillo Adventist Church in California. The speaker will be Elder Roger Bothwell, pastor of the College Church at Pacific Union College. WCBS, New York City, will carry the service this Sunday [April 22] at 11 a.m (8 a.m. Camarillo time) as will CBS affiliates in Roanoke, Boston, Tampa, Bismark, Minot, Madison, Williston, Cincinnati, Champaign, San Antonio, Columbus, Huntsville, St. Louis, La Crosse and Tuscaloosa. Some 20 other affiliated stations will carry the program on a delayed basis. Unfortunately, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., WDVM, will not carry the program." (General Conference Weekly Press Relations Newsletter, Spring, 1984. (see also Adventist Review, March 29, 1984, p 31).

"Bob Hunter, pastor of the Stone Mountain, Georgia, [SDA] church, delivered the Easter message at the sunrise service atop Georgia's Stone Mountain. The Service was attended by some 4,000 people and was covered by three of the local Atlanta television stations. The service was videotaped and aired on Stone Mountain church's television program, ‘Discovery.’" Southern Tidings (Official journal of the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), in August, 1985, p 19.

Other SDA churches that have been holding Easter Sunday services are:

California's Burbank SDA church (see Pacific Union Recorder, March 6, 1989, p 26).

California's Elmshaven SDA church (see Recorder, June 16, 1986, p 21).

California's La Sierra Collegiate church (see Recorder, July 18, 1988, p 22).

California's Riverside SDA church (see Recorder, June 16, 1986, p 16).

California's Santa Ana Spanish SDA church (see Recorder, June 1, 1987, p 8).

California's Sunnyvale SDA church (see Church Bulletin, April 11, 1987).

California's Thousand Oaks SDA church (see Recorder, June 3, 1991, p 21.

California's White Memorial SDA church (see Church Bulletin, April 11, 1987).

Hawaii's Aiea SDA church (see Recorder, June 20, 1988, p 17).

Montana's Jordan SDA church (see Gleaner, June 16, 1986, p 18).

Ohio's Toledo First SDA Church (see Church Bulletin, April 3, 1993).

Oregon's (Portland) University Park SDA church (see Gleaner, May 5, 1986, p 17).

Oregon's Mount Tabor SDA church (see Gleaner, July 7, 1986, p 24).

Washington's Pasco Riverview SDA church (see Gleaner, May 19, 1986, p 13).

Washington, D.C.'s Review and Herald (see Adventist Review, April 27, 1989, p 7).

 


Section C. Sunday is referred to as the Lord’s Day.

Roman Catholic Church

"'By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ's Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday.'[SC 106.] The day of Christ's Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the 'eighth day,' on which Christ after his 'rest' on the great sabbath inaugurates the 'day that the Lord has made,' the 'day that knows no evening.'[Byzantine liturgy.] The Lord's Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet:[Cf. Jn 21:12 ; Lk 24:30 .] The Lord's day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord's day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the 'day of the sun,' we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.[St. Jerome, Pasch.: CCL 78, 550.]" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Subsection III, #1166. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/paschal3.html#WHEN).

"Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:[Cf. 1 Cor 10:11 .] Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.[St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88.] (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Chapter One, Article 2 , Subsection III, # 2175. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm2.html#DAY).

 

Does the SDA church also refers to Sunday as the Lord’s day?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"...the phrase ‘the Lord's day’ in Revelation 1:10....More attention should be given to the possibility that the phrase refers to an annual resurrection [Sunday] celebration." (The Sabbath in Scripture and History, p 127, published by the Seventh-day Adventist Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1982).

Samuel Bacchiocchi, Professor of Church History and Theology at Andrews Seventh-day Adventist University, is a well-known SDA lecturer who has presented his "Lord’s Day Seminars" to many SDA churches, and he wrote a book entitled "From Sabbath To Sunday", wherein the "Lord's day" is referred to as being Sunday and not Saturday over 51 times in just the first 160 pages of this 369 page book!

In reference to Revelation 1:10 – "I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord's day" – Bacchiocchi argues that the "Lord's day" is not the Seventh day Sabbath, but it either refers to a weekly Sunday, or an Easter Sunday, or it refers to the time of Christ's second coming (see p 111-113). He calls the keeping of the moral Sabbath of the 4th commandment a "Jewish tradition" (p 13), a "Jewish religious institution" (p 163), and states that "the eighth day (Sunday – the day after the Sabbath) far surpassed the seventh day" (p 283). He also states that Paul was warning against those who would promote Seventh-day Sabbath keeping "as indispensable aids to Christian perfection" (p 356). And then he sums up his whole book in the very last sentence by stating:

"...Paul rejected the Sabbath as a means of salvation but accepted it as a shadow pointing to the substance which belongs to Christ." (Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi, in From Sabbath To Sunday, p 368-369, published by the Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome in 1977, IMPRIMATUR by R.P. Herve Carrier, S.I., University Rector).

 


Section D. Church services held on Sunday.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"Sunday is the pre-eminent day for the liturgical assembly, when the faithful gather ‘to listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who "has begotten them again, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" unto a living hope’..." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Subsection III, #1167. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/paschal3.html#WHEN).

 

Does the SDA church also hold Sunday worship church services?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

"ON SUNDAY, MAY 19, our oldest church in New Zealand, Ponsonby, has been chosen as the venue for a nationwide televised church service--one of only six such services in NZ in 1985. This will be the occasion of Pastor Neal Wilson's visit, and plans for the music and youth scripture reading are under way--not to mention working bees on the church!" Record, April 13, 1985, p 16.

"Adventist Sunday church...Deeply committed members of the 600-member Mountain View church (in Las Vegas, Nevada) launched their (‘52-week’ ‘Sunday morning worship service’) experiment on Easter weekend...Each Sunday (throughout an entire year) (SDA pastor Tim) Dunfield presents a clearly Adventist message...They hope that this model can be replicated (by SDA churches) in other cities across this country." (Pacific Union Recorder, February, 2000, p 34-35).

 


Section E. Upholds Sunday Laws.

Roman Catholic Church

 

"Thus, religion and moral and physical well-being are one in demanding this periodic rest, and for many centuries now the Church has set aside Sunday as a special day of rest for the faithful, on which they participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the memorial and application of Christ's redemptive work for souls.

"Heavy in heart, We cannot but deplore the growing tendency in certain quarters to disregard this sacred law, if not to reject it outright. This attitude must inevitably impair the bodily and spiritual health of the workers, whose welfare We have so much at heart.

"In the name of God, therefore, and for the sake of the material and spiritual interests of men, We call upon all, public authorities, employers and workers, to observe the precepts of God and His Church and to remember their grave responsibilities before God and society." (Pope John XXIII, in Mater Et Magistra, Encyclical promulgated on May 15, 1961, # 251-253. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/John23/j23mater.htm).

"And in like manner, in the case of the worker, there are many things which the power of the State should protect; and, first of all, the goods of his soul. For however good and desirable mortal life be, yet it is not the ultimate goal for which we are born, but a road only and a means for perfecting, through knowledge of truth and love of good, the life of the soul. The soul bears the express image and likeness of God, and there resides in it that sovereignty through the medium of which man has been bidden to rule all created nature below him and to make all lands and all seas serve his interests....in this connection a man cannot even by his own free choice allow himself to be treated in a way inconsistent with his nature, and suffer his soul to be enslaved; for there is no question here of rights belonging to man, but of duties owed to God, which are to be religiously observed.

"Hence follows necessary cessation from toil and work on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Let no one, however, understand this in the sense of greater indulgence of idle leisure, and much less in the sense of that kind of cessation from work, such as many desire, which encourages vice and promotes wasteful spending of money, but solely in the sense of a repose from labor made sacred by religion. Rest combined with religion calls man away from toil and the business of daily life to admonish him to ponder on heavenly goods and to pay his just and due homage to the Eternal Deity. This is especially the nature, and this the cause, of the rest to be taken on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and God has sanctioned the same in the Old Testament by a special law: ‘Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day,’ and He Himself taught it by His own action; namely the mystical rest taken immediately after He had created man: ‘He hath rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.’...

"Let the worker be exhorted to the worship of God and the pursuit of piety, especially to religious observance of Sundays and Holy Days. Let him learn to reverence and love the Church, the common Mother of all, and likewise to observe her precepts and to frequent her Sacraments, which are the divine means for purifying the soul from the status of sin and for attaining sanctity." (Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of the Working Classes), Encyclical promulgated on May 15, 1891, #57-58 & 77. http://www.newadvent.org/docs/le13rn.htm).

"[It is error to believe that] The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." (Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus (of Errors), Issued in 1864, Section VI, Errors About Civil Society, Considered Both in Itself and in its Relation to the Church, #55. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P9SYLL.HTM).

"For several centuries, Christians observed Sunday simply as a day of worship, without being able to give it the specific meaning of Sabbath rest. Only in the fourth century did the civil law of the Roman Empire recognize the weekly recurrence, determining that on "the day of the sun" the judges, the people of the cities and the various trade corporations would not work. Christians rejoiced to see thus removed the obstacles which until then had sometimes made observance of the Lord's Day heroic. They could now devote themselves to prayer in common without hindrance.

"It would therefore be wrong to see in this legislation of the rhythm of the week a mere historical circumstance with no special significance for the Church and which she could simply set aside. Even after the fall of the Empire, the Councils did not cease to insist upon the arrangements regarding Sunday rest. In countries where Christians are in the minority and where the festive days of the calendar do not coincide with Sunday, it is still Sunday which remains the Lord's Day, the day on which the faithful come together for the Eucharistic assembly. But this involves real sacrifices. For Christians it is not normal that Sunday, the day of joyful celebration, should not also be a day of rest, and it is difficult for them to keep Sunday holy if they do not have enough free time.

"By contrast, the link between the Lord's Day and the day of rest in civil society has a meaning and importance which go beyond the distinctly Christian point of view. The alternation between work and rest, built into human nature, is willed by God himself, as appears in the creation story in the Book of Genesis (cf. 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11): rest is something ‘sacred’, because it is man's way of withdrawing from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew his awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends. It is all the more urgent to recognize this dependence in our own time, when science and technology have so incredibly increased the power which man exercises through his work.

"Finally, it should not be forgotten that even in our own day work is very oppressive for many people, either because of miserable working conditions and long hours – especially in the poorer regions of the world -- or because of the persistence in economically more developed societies of too many cases of injustice and exploitation of man by man. When, through the centuries, she has made laws concerning Sunday rest, the Church has had in mind above all the work of servants and workers, certainly not because this work was any less worthy when compared to the spiritual requirements of Sunday observance, but rather because it needed greater regulation to lighten its burden and thus enable everyone to keep the Lord's Day holy. In this matter, my predecessor Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical Rerum Novarum spoke of Sunday rest as a worker's right which the State must guarantee.

"In our own historical context there remains the obligation to ensure that everyone can enjoy the freedom, rest and relaxation which human dignity requires, together with the associated religious, family, cultural and interpersonal needs which are difficult to meet if there is no guarantee of at least one day of the week on which people can both rest and celebrate. Naturally, this right of workers to rest presupposes their right to work and, as we reflect on the question of the Christian understanding of Sunday, we cannot but recall with a deep sense of solidarity the hardship of countless men and women who, because of the lack of jobs, are forced to remain inactive on workdays as well.

"Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy. In any case, they are obliged in conscience to arrange their Sunday rest in a way which allows them to take part in the Eucharist, refraining from work and activities which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord's Day, with its characteristic joy and necessary rest for spirit and body." (Pope John Paul II, in Dies Domini (To the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Catholic Church on Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy), Apostolic Letter promulgated on May 31, 1998, Chapter IV, #64-67.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp_ii_apl_05071998_dies_domini_en.html).

Does the SDA church also uphold Sunday laws?

Seventh-day Adventist Church

"Elder (W. John) Arthur, Secretary of the British Union Conference (of Seventh-day Adventists), informed the student body (at Newbold SDA College in England) that he had some ‘good news’. He went on to say that he had recently sent two letters, one to the Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher, dated March 27, 1986) and the other to the Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance (Clive R. Calver, dated February 27, 1986), in which he had given Adventist support to those in opposition to the proposed repeal of the British Sunday trading laws....Elder Arthur was asked whether any of the (SDA) field leaders he had consulted had been opposed to sending the letters. His answer was no, there had been no opposition, and all reaction received was positive." (Nicholas P. Miller, Editor of the Prism (Student Newspaper of Newbold College), in Prism, May, 1986, p 6 & 12).

"Dear Mr Calver....I am writing primarily with reference to the proposed legislation concerning Sunday Trading....we feel it is better for Christians in this day and age at least to reserve one day a week for worship rather than no day at all. For this reason we would support your campaign against a general secularization of the ‘British Sunday’." (W. John Arthur, Vice-President of the British Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to Mr Clive R. Calver, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in London, February 27, 1986).

"Dear Mrs Thatcher....Our feeling as a church is that it would be better for one day each week to be retained as a day of rest and worship rather than no day at all. We would therefore respectfully request you and your colleagues in government to reconsider the proposals (to repeal the Sunday Trading laws already in existence and being enforced) contained in the Sunday Trading Bill." (W. John Arthur, Vice-President of the British Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of England, March 27, 1986).

 

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After examining these major similarities between the Roman Catholic Church and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, what is the only possible conclusion that any honest-hearted and unprejudiced follower of Christ can come to? We will let the Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership answer this pertinent question:

"...there is another universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Neal C. Wilson, General Conference President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Adventist Review, March 5, 1981, p 3).

 

So what has the Seventh-day Adventist Church learned from the Roman Catholic Church? Exactly how to image the Beast!

The SDA leadership have formed the organizational structure of the SDA church into another Roman Catholic hierarchy. They have made the General Conference President into another pope – the "first minister" "spiritual leader" "shepherd, guardian, guide and captain" of all SDA church members. And they have succeeded in exchanging the truths of God’s word for the falsehoods of Romanism! The SDA Church leadership have indeed entered into and has firmly established a "new organization", and the SDA people are being held captive within "another universal and truly catholic organization" with just the name "Seventh-day Adventist" covering it! And what does God solemnly declare to all His people in regards to the beast or its image?

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name....

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication...And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." Revelation 14:9-11, 18:1-5.

 

May God help us all to make Him alone our Supreme Pastor, First Minister, Leader, Shepherd, Guardian, Guide and Captain in our lives. May God help us to escape from all churches which image Roman Catholicism, and instead join Christ and thereby become part of His true church. May God help us all to seek His grace and strength to unerringly follow His word, regardless of our own preferences or ideas. And what is God’s will?

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:5.

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Ephesians 5:11.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

"Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." Isaiah 52:11.

"My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds (church leaders) have caused them to go astray...they have forgotten their resting place (in God alone)....Remove out of the midst of Babylon...Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity....My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord." Jeremiah 50:6, 8, 51:6, 45.

"In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from Heaven." (Ellen G. White, in Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 424 or Great Controversy, p 606-607).