The SDA System of Fear




One of the hooks about Seventh-Day Adventism is the fear of leaving.  I firmly believe that many would freely leave Adventism were it not for this binding them to it.  It is one of their most effective retention tactics.

I myself was afraid of receiving the Mark of the Beast when I started considering a “Sunday Keeping” Church.  Careful study of the New Covenant broke me of that fear as it has many others, but not all take the time to do this and instead simply believe what they were taught.

A story that broke a while back on internet circles is the photos of a training event held at Camp Au Sable in Michigan.  This isn’t anything that happened recently, the story is five years old in fact.  But it does portray a picture of the SDA headspace in a way words cannot.  Some of the pictures you are about to see look shocking, but bear in mind that none of these Children are in any physical danger.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I’m convinced that this is simply a tasteless exercise authorized by someone who clearly forgot that the internet is a thing.  I believe their claim that nobody is actually being hurt and am glad for that.  If you want to check out the public statement that one of their staff released online you can find it HERE.

What I am wanting to point out though is the reason that SDA would feel that such training is necessary.  Parents paid for their children to go to this summer camp, and part of that package deal was some end times firing squad training.

To understand this, it is important to know that SDA believe when ‘probation’ closes many of the plagues detailed in Revelation will begin to pour out on  upon all the “Sunday Keepers”.  This they teach makes us “Sunday Keepers” angry, at which point we of course march on all the Adventists and begin to murder them.  I remember being taught that SDA would have to hide in the mountains and grow our own food to be safe.

However bizarre that may sound to you, understand this is what they honestly believe.  So much so that they apparently pay to have their children trained to interact with such an environment.  Imagine if you genuinely believed that at any moment your closest friends and family would turn on you and seek to decapitate you and your children.  This is their headspace, remember in the SDA eschatology all of these things are continually right around the corner.  And if you slip up and fail probation, then you too will be plagued and will start murdering your own family.  It’s a gruesome and oppressive burden to bear.

It’s an unnecessary burden too, the Bible actually teaches great hope and comfort for the End Times.  Let me show you what I am talking about:


Simply put, Jesus is in charge


“18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt 28:18 KJV 


He says it is finished


“30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30 KJV 


Jesus says not to worry


“25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?; 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?;….. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.; 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”Matt 6:25-26, 33-34 KJV 


Jesus teaches that our Salvation is assured in himself


“27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:; 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.; 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 

“38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:38-39 KJV 

“2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.; 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.; 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.; 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom 4:2-5 KJV 

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:; 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9 KJV 

“13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13 KJV 


Obviously trusting in Jesus just isn’t enough for the SDA, we have to train our children to be shot too!

No matter what tradition you hold to on Eschatology, you need to hold to it in a way that allows all scripture to be true, including Gospel texts like the ones that I posted above.  Those in Christ need have no fear of the mark of the beast, or even in world events.  Christ has completed his work and we rest in him.  Carnal things like keeping the Sabbath won’t save or seal anyone.

At the core of the SDA false gospel is not so much the fear of Sunday Keepers murdering you, but it is that you yourself will fall and start to murder your friends and relatives should you fail to keep the law perfectly after the close of probation.  As most of my readers know, Ellen White teaches that you must keep the law without a mediator during this period.


“Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediatorTheir robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.”  The Great Controversy, Pg. 425 Ellen White


In the SDA headspace, if you fail to keep the law after Jesus stops covering your sins that is it for you.  You are cut off and have the mark of the beast.  And those with the mark will be hunting down Adventists and murdering them.  If you don’t want that to be you, then you better shape up and start keeping the Sabbath better.

Pro-Tip: Switching to a vegetarian diet is supposed to help too.

Conversely, in the Biblical Gospel we find comfort for our soul and troubled consciences.  We find our rest in Christ, and can trust in him only.  We are not to live in fear of the end times in any respect.  There is no little factoid about the end times that will help you to be extra saved.  Keeping the Sabbath won’t help you make it, neither will stocking up on food or ammo.

Training your children for the firing squad is also useless, and more than a little creepy!

All we can do is repent and believe the Gospel every single day.  Jesus has taken care of all for us, even the latter days.

About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Eschatology, Leaving Adventism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s