While discussing my studies regarding Adventism online I encountered a YouTube comment by Colleen Tinker. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work, among other things, she is one of the founders of Former Adventist Fellowship.
Her work helped me a great deal when I was conducting my studies, and I have since started attending her annual former SDA conferences in Redlands CA. For the benefit of those reading my blog I am going to post her analysis of the Five Fundamental Flaws in Adventism:
Adventism’s worldview is not a biblical one but rather one that is shaped by the “great controversy motif”. First, Adventism believes in an unbiblical nature of man; it holds that man is physical with no immaterial spirit that separates from the body at death and survives with the Lord until the resurrection. The Bible teaches that man has a spirit that is separate from the body; it bears the image of God who is spirit, and that spirit is what is dead when we are born and which comes alive when we believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus.
Second, Adventism believes in a fallible Jesus who could have sinned, who inherited Mary’s genetic propensities to sin although He did not sin, who could have failed in His mission and thus fractured the godhead and plunged the cosmos into chaos (as Doug Batchelor says)…and significantly, Adventism believes Jesus forever relinquished the attribute of omnipresence, a loss which would render him NOT fully God, NOT of the same substance as the Father. In fact, Adventism does not believe the Trinity is one in substance; the Adventist “trinity” is actually a tritheism, the EGW “heavenly trio” rather than the classic Christian Trinity. This diminished, not-fully-almighty-God Jesus is left over from Adventism’s heretical Arian foundation.
Further, this unbiblical understanding of the Lord Jesus changes how Adventism sees “sin”. Instead of its being a spiritual problem that literally separates our spirits from the life of God, and since Adventism teaches that Jesus had no advantage we do not have, that He was EXACTLY as we are, this means that Jesus the Man had to avoid sin by prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit…and that He demonstrated to us that we, too, can avoid sin exactly as He did. But this teaching is false. No human—except Jesus—can avoid sin by prayer without being born again. Without our spirits being brought to life, there is no possible way anyone can overcome or avoid sin. Jesus did not have to be born again; He was spiritually alive from the moment He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was the only human ever born who was born spiritually alive. He was sinless because He was ALIVE. He avoided sin because He was sinless; He was not sinless because He avoided sin.
Third, Adventism teaches that the seventh-day Sabbath is eternally significant and that it will play a role in the final events of the world’s history. Adventism believes that when Jesus comes back, those who will be saved will be keeping the Sabbath. This idea is completely unbiblical. The saved will be saved because they are born again and trust Jesus. That is the only requirement for being saved.
Fourth, Adventism has an extra-biblical prophet. This prophet’s writings continue to have prophetic authority and explain Scripture to Adventists, providing the hermeneutic by which Adventists interpret the Bible. Christianity does not tolerate extra-biblical prophets. No matter how an Adventist may argue that EGW is simply a great devotional writer, all Adventists know that she is far more than that to the organization. If you doubt her significance, try admitting the truth that she is a false prophet. Adventists may say she is “not a prophet” if they are liberal or progressive, but they will not say she is a false prophet. That is very different. Moreover, whether they want to admit it or not, all Adventists share a worldview adopted from her great controversy, investigative judgment scenario.
Fifth, Adventism has a “different gospel”. They do not believe simply that humans are justified ONLY by believing faith in the Lord Jesus and His completed work on the cross. No matter their “brand”, Adventists believe they might lose their salvation if they give up the Sabbath. But even more critical and foundational, Adventists believe that Satan, not Jesus, is the scapegoat who carries away the sins of the saved into the lake of fire. Adventism teaches that Jesus’ blood transfers confessed sins to the heavenly sanctuary where they “defile heaven” until Jesus is done with the investigation there. At the end of His “heavenly ministry”, the sins of the saved are placed on Satan, the sins of the unsaved are rolled back onto the unsaved, and heaven is cleansed as Satan carries them away and is punished. This belief is utter blasphemy. The Lord Jesus has already born the sins of the saved on the cross. Satan never, ever carries the sins of the saved. He does not cleanse heaven by taxiing evil away from God’s presence. Jesus is the One who became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
No matter what type of Adventist a person is, he or she holds an Adventist worldview. It is simply disingenuous to say Adventism is not “monolithic”. Of course it’s not…on the surface. But the fact that the superstructure of various Adventists may be different, their foundation is the same. It is shaped by the great controversy paradigm, and at its core is a different gospel, a different Jesus, and an unbiblical nature of man.
Though I can no longer remember the video that she posted the above comment in, you can find this and related works of their ministry HERE.
In each point above she has identified fundamental flaws in SDA belief that twist their doctrine into something that is not Christian.
Over the past year I have blogged on some of these topics and if you would like to know what the Bible says from a Former Adventist perspective please take a look: