Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

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Commentary on "Mission"



Day 6: Thursday, June 25, 2009



“Think about some of the false teachings that exist in the Christian world: eternal torment in hell, the predestination of some people to be saved and others to be lost, the belief that Jesus Christ was not divine but merely a great man. How could these and other false teachings negatively impact our understanding of God and the plan of salvation?”



Handing this question to a person who spent nearly fifteen years studying his way out of the Adventist church is like handing a box of matches and a can of gasoline to an arsonist. In case anyone reading these comments didn’t know; yes, I am completely biased against Adventist teaching.

So why make such an admission? Won’t showing my hand prevent people from reading further? Perhaps, but consider the following.

“In the preaching of the gospel, many specious beliefs are added by well-meaning, and not-so-well-intentioned, people. It is these unclean, human-made doctrines that Jesus denounced as ‘rules taught by men’ (Matt. 15:9, NIV)” (from the Teacher’s Comments).

This may be the truest statement made in the entire week’s lesson. However, the obvious, though unstated, bias of the author is that ALL other belief systems (the “Christian world” in the Overview quotation above) are inferior to Adventism. ALL other belief systems introduce specious beliefs to the true gospel.

I submit that Adventism itself has introduced a host of specious beliefs. They are unclean, human-made doctrines that Jesus would denounce.

For example, Paul defined the “gospel that saves” as follows: “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, NASB).

So the gospel that saves is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the miraculously fully God and fully human person of the Bible. This is the message we witnesses are called to take to the world. This is our mission.

It’s not death, burial, resurrection – and tongues, or tithing, or the Sabbath, or election, or the Investigative Judgment, or anything else. Anything we add to the gospel that saves nullifies it.

Paul was so passionate regarding this truth that he told the Galatians that “even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed” (Galatians 1:8, NASB)!

Jesus said something similar to the Pharisees. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15, NASB).

We are not witnesses of Jesus in order to convince people to be Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, or any other belief system. We are witnesses of Jesus in order to bring people to Him. No denomination has it all correct, and no denomination has it all wrong. It is the mixing of right and wrong that confuses those to whom we witness. If we would stop trying to prove that our belief system is “right” and simply bring people to Jesus, we might be amazed at the unity of belief that would result. This unity would occur because the Holy Spirit was allowed to teach the people what they need to know.

It’s ironic, I think, that the more carefully any denomination defines its beliefs, the more differentiation it achieves from other denominations, but the farther from real truth it veers.



  1. It is disingenuous for Seventh-day Adventists to talk about the false teachings in the rest of the Christian world. False teaching exists, and it is no respecter of church, SDA or otherwise.
  2. The “gospel that saves” (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) is the only message worth taking to the lost world. Only Jesus has the power to change lives.




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