I had a feeling this would happen sooner or later. Sometime last week, The North American Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church launched a new website titled Who Are Seventh-Day Adventists? The new website was created in response to mounting criticism and attacks against GOP Presidental Candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who is a Seventh-Day Adventist. The attacks are specifically aimed at his Adventist beliefs. Before I continue, I want to point out the SDA Church does not officially support Dr. Carson and has been taking steps to distance itself from him since he decided to run for president earlier this year.
I’ve been hearing the arguements from thousands of American Adventists on Facebook for the last few weeks who both support and condone Dr. Carson’s candidacy:
- Those who are for him running are actually using the dangerous rhetoric staple in the Republican Party of mixing religion and politics: They say his running is God’s will and all Adventists should support him in the election. Some have even called for the SDA Church to officially endorse his candidacy.
- Those who are against him running point to the negative attention his candidacy has brought to the SDA Church. Some non-Adventist Christians consider the SDA Church a cult due to its observence of Saturday as the Sabbath instead of Sunday. Dr. Carson was criticized by pundits, athiests and Darwinists alike after he said a few weeks ago he believes the world was made in 6 literal days as outlined in the Bible. In addition, many Americans have not forgotten about what happened in Waco, Texas 20 years ago.
For those who don’t know or remember, ex-Adventist David Kuresh and his followers tried to start a holy war in a standoff with law enforcement. He believed he was a prophet whose role was to declare the end of the world. He felt the time had come for people to begin arming themselves for the battle between good and evil. His extremist views got him excommunucated from the church. When his religious background went public, his Adventist roots naturally came up. The SDA Church made a public statement to differentiate itself from Kuresh and what he did. The association is the main reference the uninformed have so…yeah.
On the one hand it’s a great opportunity to start dialogue with people about what Adventists believe. On the other hand, the church needs to do a much better job of handing criticism sent its way due to recent world events.
For example: Adventist Pastor Carlton Byrd has been very candid and vocal about his criticism against the American political system and American lifestyle in his sermons in recent years. Some would find it concerning given his sermons are aired on Hope TV, which is the SDA Church’s official satellite channel (Available via DirecTV and free via the App or Online).
There’s being objective and then there’s being offensive. I personally don’t have a problem with the way Pastor Byrd says things. He’s always careful not to go too far and makes clears distinctions when stating his personal opinion. Some would argue his sermons shouldn’t be broadcast and the church should find another black pastor to air instead. I think he’s been doing a great job since becoming the host pastor of Breath of Life 8 years ago.
Moving on, the SDA Church is the only christian denomintion that honors the original Seventh-Day Sabbath, Saturday. All the more motivation for the mounting criticism agaisnt the Church. As I eluded to in a separate post over the summer, there are several other stances the Church has taken other denominations have taken issue with:
- The Roman Catholic Church/Pope is the Antichrist/1st Beast: The proverbial smoking gun, this stance is based entirely on historical evidence and documentation from within the RCC. During its last days the old Roman Empire tried to unite its empire by declaring Sunday the new Sabbath. It was a political move since at the time Christianity was the new state religion. At the same time, they wanted to satisfy those who observed Sunday for older beliefs and Paganism. Thus, this is where many paganistic beliefs around the state of the dead began to creep into the Early Church. The SDA Church has been closely watching Pope Francis’ movements and pubic statements. His recent call for “Christians everywhere to come together” and American Protestants reaching out to him are two areas of concern for the Church. As a reminder, The Pope is not only the leader of the RCC but he is also a Head of State. This means he can meet with world leaders and yes, Roman Catholics worldwide are his citizens.
- Ellen G. White: Officially, Ellen White is viewed as a prophet though in recent years the Church has been clearly moving away from that rhetoric in light of the subject of female ordaination. Ellen White was a Protestant Christian who lived during the late 1800s and is one the SDA Church’s founders. She wrote over a hundred books over the course of her life, most notably The Great Controversy (recently renamed The Great Hope). Ellen White’s writings are actually the second-most translated literary works after the Bible. She passed the strict guidelines in the Bible for determining if someone is one of God’s prophets. Her prophetic writings are based on visions she had throughout her life. ALL of them have come true, too: One of her most notable prophecies was predicting the events of 9/11/2001–almost 70 years before the Twin Towers were even built. Her health-based writings are viewed today as having been written 100 years ahead of their time: She wrote about the dangers of eating processed food, meat and dairy products at a time these were becoming a staple diet in the United States.
- United States becoming a Theocracy/2nd Beast: The signs for this one are pretty obvious but…yeah. All one has to do is watch Fox News. Extremists have hijacked congress and chances are good the next POTUS will be someone with extreme religious views.
Anyway, the endgame for all true Seventh-Day Sabbath keepers Jewish, Christian and otherwise will be the nationwide and eventual worldwide imposition of The Sunday Law. Signs of this already exist though not in the way many might think: Birthdays, special events, classes and workshops being scheduled on Friday night and Saturday are examples of this. Most are expecting The Sunday Law itself and meanwhile they are being tested by friends, employers and other entities that schedule events on the Sabbath on a weekly basis.
That said, I will take a moment to address the fact I have made blog posts on the Sabbath Day. One of the convenient things about WordPress is you can controll WHEN a post will appear. I have gotten into the habit of writing a post in advance and scheduling them to be posted later. All the ones that appear in your feed on a Saturday where scheduled to appear then.
As for Dr. Carson, I hope he doesn’t make it to the primary. Then again the GOP’s milking him just like Donald Trump. He doesn’t even care about the fact his reputation has been irreparably destroyed because of his candidacy >.>;