The Seventh-Day Adventists

For my write-up today on Stephen King’s Needful Things, I’ll use as my starting-point a statement on page 608:

“Babs and her husband were, after all, Seventh-Day Adventists, and as far as she was concerned, the Catholics and the Baptists deserved just what they got…”

The context of this passage is the feud between the Catholics and the Baptists over a Casino Night that the Catholic church is hosting, and yet I must note that the Baptist minister has other issues with Catholicism as well, such as Mariology (which many Catholics would say that he misunderstands).  Babs is doing a prank that will exasperate that conflict because that is part of her payment to Leland Gaunt for a “needful thing” that he is selling her.  And she does not care that she is exasperating the conflict, for she, as a Seventh-Day Adventist, does not like Baptists or Catholics.

I must emphasize that this is the character Babs’ particular Seventh-Day Adventist view, and it does not reflect how all or even most Seventh-Day Adventists see the world.  In my own experience of Seventh-Day Adventism, the general belief is that the Roman Catholic Church is the Antichrist, that Sunday-observance is the mark of the Beast, and that the evil second beast in Revelation 13 represents the United States imposing a National Sunday Law.  The upside to this view is that Seventh-Day Adventism opposes legal attempts to shove religion down people’s throats, plus it firmly supports freedom of religion.  The downside to the view is that it influences some Seventh-Day Adventists to look down on Catholics and Sunday-observing Protestants, as if they are some sort of threat.  I remember when I told a Catholic priest that I attend a Seventh-Day Adventist church, and he replied, “Oh, well, I’m surprised you’re even shaking my hand!”

Even here, however, I can’t speak in absolutes.  There are many Adventists who believe that they as Christians should love everybody, regardless of what they believe.  Ellen White acknowledged that there could be true Christians even in the Catholic church (which is rather condescending, but it’s a step up from saying no Catholic is saved).  And I’m not sure if every single Adventist takes Adventist eschatology seriously.  I went to places where that eschatology was taken seriously, but I wonder if that is the case with every Adventist church.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to The Seventh-Day Adventists

  1. Seventh-Day Adventists do not believe that Sunday observance is the Mark of the Beast. Go to their official position on the matter: The Mark of the Beast is the sanctity, or sacredness given to Sunday, as claimed by Papal authority. It is Sunday Sacredness–recognizing Sunday as a sanctified and Holy Day in opposition to the Seventh-Day Sabbath of the 4th commandment, which according to the Bible is recognized as a “sign” (or “mark”–same meaning from Hebrew word) between God and His people that He sanctifies them. Since Satan counterfeits God, he attempts to sanctify the “first” day to be opposed to God’s sanctified day in Genesis 2:2,3), and cloaks it with religious garb by giving it an appearance of sanctity through appealing to the resurrection—yet nowhere does the Bible attribute any holiness to Sunday because Christ rose from that day, anymore than Friday was made holy because of the crucifixion–the cross–the salvation of mankind.

    The Sign, Seal, or Mark of God is the Seventh-Day Sabbath, while the Holy Spirit is the Gospel Seal that seals and writes the Law of God in our hearts.

    Adventists are Historicists. Every single Reformer, prior to the mid 19th century, believed the Papacy was the Antichrist/Beast/Little Horn/Harlot of Daniel and Revelation. ALL of them were Historicists. After the adoption of Futurism and Preterism, which were Jesuit ideologies that affiliated Protestant schools, the Protestants gave up the HIstoricist hermeneutic, and this is why ecumenism is so possible. The back-bone to Historicism is the day-for-year principle of Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34, and the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27.

    Consistency demands:

    – 70 weeks = 490 days = 490 years (Daniel 9:24-27)

    – 42 months = 1260 days = 1260 years (Daniel 7,12; Rev. 11, 12, 13)

    – 2300 days = 2300 years (Daniel 8:14)

    – 10 days = 10 years (Revelation 2 — 10 days of persecution of Church of Smyrna under Emperor Diocletian from 303 to 313 AD)

    As you can see, Adventists are consistent in their hermenuetics, unlike Dispensational-Futurists Protestantism. Adventists are waht you call “advanced Historicist reformers”–building on the foundation God established through the reformers. Modern Protestantism has left these sacred and Divine hermeneutics, and for this, they will end up slowly uniting back with the Papacy and compromising with her.

    God bless,



  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thanks for your comment, Marcos, and your defense of historicism. Could you clarify, though, how Seventh-Day Adventists do not regard Sunday observance as the mark of the Beast? You attempt that in your comment, but I don’t see much difference between your description of SDA thought and saying that Sunday observance in the mark of the Beast.


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