Ben Carson remained in the US presidential campaign spotlight for an astonishing length of time. Now the glare is diminished, but not before he dragged the Seventh-day Adventist Church into the spotlight with him. Those who think that this must be a good thing, should consider all of the ramifications at this stage of the world's and the Church's history:-

The leaders of the denomination have seen the spotlight as "an opportunity to tell the world, tell this country about Seventh-day Adventism, our beliefs and our desire to lift up Jesus Christ,” (New York Times, Ben Carson Puts Spotlight on Seventh-Day Adventists.) The Rundown Blog of the PBS Newshour has stated:

As Ben Carson seeks the Republican nomination for president, he’s also drawing notice to the church that has counted him as a member since he was a child.

The denomination is not well-known and neither are its teachings. Church officials are hoping to change that, unveiling on Thursday a new website — — to provide some answers.

The Church leadership has gone to the length of launching a new website to inform the world of its teachings. The intractable problem of contemporary Seventh-day Adventism is the Babel of teachings now tolerated within the Church and spawned in the wider community of Seventh-day Adventists because the Church has played the harlot with apostate Protestantism and the Roman Catholic Church, corrupting the unique foundation doctrines of the Denomination.

There was a time when there was unanimity in all the major areas of doctrinal thought within the Church:

Seventh-day Adventists have no creed but the Bible; but they hold to certain well-defined points of faith, for which they feel prepared to give a reason "to every man that asketh" them. The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body." (1889 Yearbook, p. 147; from Key Doctrinal Comparisons.)

This unanimity was preserved during the lifetime of Ellen G. White:

Further, it will be observed that all statements, official and unofficial, from 1872 through 1914 did say the same thing in the same way concerning God.

"This data also means that during the lifetime of Ellen G. White, the stated position of the Church not only on the doctrine of God, but in all other major areas of doctrinal thought, remained constant." (From WWN 9(99))

Among questionable statements being made in the glare of the Ben Carson spotlight by individuals professing to know what Seventh-day Adventism teaches, the following is a glaring example of falsehood as reported in Adventist Today:

Leading journals have in recent weeks published articles exploring the history of the Adventist movement and its slow acceptance by other Christians as a legitimate Protestant denomination. The Washington Post, the leading newspaper in the nation’s capital, published interviews with Dr. Paul McGraw, a history professor at the denomination’s Pacific Union College in California, and Kenneth Samples, a well-known Evangelical scholar and widely read author. . .

Ellen White helped the Adventist faith and gain [sic] acceptance, Samples told The Washington Post, by advocating basic Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and salvation through faith in Jesus instead of legalistic rules. . ." (Carson Moves Up in Presidential Polls and is Criticized for His Adventist Faith.)

That the Church has officially adopted the dogma of the Trinity in its Statements of Belief is an undoubted fact; but responsibility for this cannot be laid upon Ellen G. White. Her statements on "the Heavenly Trio" and "the three Great Powers of heaven" are logically consistent with three individual personalities. It is difficult for minds that are fixated on the Jewish Shema to perceive this logic. The New Testament reveals three individuals comprising the Godhead; while the Old Testament reveals two. The Incarnation added the third member of the New Testament - the God-man Who could not have existed before Bethlehem. The "Triune God" concept first appeared in the Seventh-day Adventist Church's 1980 Statements of Belief.

The development of a false concept of the Godhead alone was a deadly descent into Romanism; however, the Godhead was not a fundamental founding doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The central doctrine of the denomination which set it apart from all others (other Christian denominations observe the seventh day Sabbath) was the ministry of Jesus Christ as Melchisedek the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and particularly the two-phase ministry1 which is to end in the Final Atonement. This was categorically repudiated in the Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956:


Regardless of how the hierarchy seeks to justify the conferences that took place between Barnhouse and Martin for the Evangelicals; and Unruh, Froom, Anderson, and Read for the Church, apostasy of the darkest hue was perpetrated by these men who sought to speak for the Church. And this apostasy was approved by the leadership of the Church. One needs read only Unruh's report in the Adventist Heritage (Vol. 4, #2, pp. 35-46) for this verification. . .

With this background, take your previous thought paper [WWN (XIII-10)] and turn to page 10. There at the top of the page begins the statement from the Annual Council of 1979 recommended statement of beliefs, followed by the statement given to the delegates at the Dallas Session, and the third paragraph gives the state­ment as voted in regard to Christ's High Priestly Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Observe closely the following sentences from these statements:

That there is in heaven a sanctuary in which Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1979 Recommended)

As High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary He draws all to Himself and makes available to those who receive Him the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 Presented)

In it [a sanctuary in heaven], Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 Voted)

By this action the Church must have reached the limit of God's forbearance in the face of persistent rebellion. 1980 marked the year in which the signal was given that probation had closed for corporate bodies, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church (but not for individuals.) Since then the Church has been in a downward spiral. The door to contradictions of doctrine and fragmentation of the unity for which Jesus Christ prayed in John 17:21 was opened wide. Heresies too numerous to mention ensued, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church of the 21st century is not even a pale shadow of the movement that started in the 19th century.

One organization of laymen in particular, "The Association of Adventist Forums," has played a prominent role in "liberalizing" the Church, with devastating consequences for the "well-defined points of faith" on which the leaders once could boast "entire unanimity throughout the body." Indeed, one Jim Walters (James W. Walters, PhD.) of Loma Linda University School of Religion has written an article for Adventist Today titled:

"Today's Authentic, Divergent Faces of Adventism: The Case for a Big Tent."

Adventism is today increasingly polarized, and my thesis is that this can be managed as a healthy tension or it can be allowed to morph into a divisive crisis. The present polarization over women’s ordination should be accepted as natural in today’s church and used as a step toward a more mature denomination.

This paper begins with a primarily descriptive element—worldwide Adventism is increasingly diverse in both its demographics and in its understanding of the Bible and of Ellen White. Then I make two normative claims: first, that a widely diverse denomination is not just natural, but that this diversity is good, even God-ordained; and second, that our church can remain unified in diversity if we maintain twin, interrelated qualities that are highly prized in our religious tradition—a high view of individual conscience, with a concomitantly high view of church unity. . .

An Increasingly Diverse Church, Hermeneutically

Not only is the Adventist church becoming exceedingly diverse in its demographics, its theologians’ differences in Biblical interpretation are likewise prominent. . .

Diversity—Natural, Good, and God-ordained

I now turn from a largely descriptive account of a disparate and changing worldwide Adventism to argue that our diverse denomination is as interesting as a lush meadow—composed of flowers, grasses and, yes, weeds—in the High Sierra in the flush of spring.

Diversity is “in” these days, if what is being taught in our universities is any indication. . .

The primary message of the New Testament is what God has done for us: so loving us that He sent his Son to give eternal life (John 3:16). That is the gospel, the good news. It not only gives us hope for life beyond, but it puts meaning into our everyday lives—God, the God of the universe, loves you and me! Jesus not only personally proclaimed God’s love, but according to Matthew he made provision for long-term proclamation—through his church. Hence we read: “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it....” (16:18).

Our friends the Roman Catholics have taken this passage and based their church on it, making Peter their first pope. No group of Christian believers has taken the idea of church more seriously and raised the concept to unparalleled heights: Through the Eucharist the believer partakes of the actual body and blood of Christ and thereby enters into the communion of all the saints on earth, in purgatory and in heaven, comprising a spiritual solidarity of the mystical church body under Christ its head.

It is a satanic philosophy which extols the virtues of "a disparate and changing worldwide Adventism" (Cf. The Power of Unity.) The diversity which the author of this article commends is inextricably bound up with confusion, which is the antithesis of the unity for which Jesus prayed (Cf. Ps. 133:1, Eph. 4:3, 11-16.) True Christian principles do not countenance confusion. Ellen G. White gave these prophetic warnings:

There will be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils in the midst of the church, and these evil influences will increase . . .--Ms 61, 1906, p. 2. ("Hold Fast the Beginning of Your Confidence," June 29, 1906.) (8MR 345.2)

One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,--the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. . . (NYI, February 7, 1906 par. 1)

It is the seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, manifest in the growing apostasy, that are the driving force for disunity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The leadership spawned it by the progressive abandonment of fundamental doctrines and the underlying hermeneutics (interpretation/exegesis of the Bible.)

The phrase "Our friends the Roman Catholics" could never have been expressed in a publication of the early Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the offspring of this statement of Church leaders in 1975:

Although it is true that there was a period of time in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church government, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant (sic.) denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been assigned to the historical trash heap as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Reply Brief for Defendants in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment, Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR)

The approving mention of the Eucharist is an abomination flowing from the pen of a professed Seventh-day Adventist. This Roman Catholic ceremony is the ultimate in blasphemy against the divinity, sacrifice, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The foregoing is but a sampling of the many ways in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church has strayed from the path of Truth, pure and unadulterated, and therefore from the righteousness of Christ. Sadly and tragically, all that the Church now has to present to the world is a fractured image and a confusion of teachings. It is a delusion to think otherwise.

1 Clarification This is correct in relation to the total ministry of Jesus Christ as Melchisedek the High Priest, from His coronation in A.D. 31 to the close of probation. From A.D. 31 He ministered in the Holy Place until 1844, when the antitypical Day of Atonement (Judgment) began in the Most Holy. The Judgment is itself three-phased, beginning in the Most Holy, then moving to the Holy Place, and finally completed in the Outer Court at the Altar of Burnt Offering (Lev. 16.) (Cf. The type indicates movement . . .; AND Before considering further "the last act of the final atonement" . . .)