Talk:Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Former good articleSeventh-day Adventist Church was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
December 7, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
December 12, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
June 5, 2006Good article nomineeListed
February 24, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
February 27, 2010Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article
Stock post message.svg To-do list for Seventh-day Adventist Church: edit·history·watch·refresh· Updated 2019-10-16

Origins

  • This needs to be well referenced and talk about establishment of the movement. Phrases such as This message was gradually accepted and formed the topic of the first edition of the church publication, The Present Truth should be avoided. (The phrase is insider POV).

Practices and customs

  • "Sabbath activities" needs to be cleaned up... ? too much unnecessary detail

Criticism

  • The entire criticism section seems to fail to present a neutral point of view. Specifically, as it stands it seems to be strictly a defense against criticism.

Structure, polity and institutions

Priority 1 (top)

Trinitarianism[edit]

Ellen White stated that God the Son was created by God the Father. So she definitely did not believe in the Holy Trinity, as usually understood by traditional Protestants, Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Google "the firstborn of heaven" or "the first-born of heaven". Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:38, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

@Tgeorgescu: You are wrong Ellen G. White said no such thing, in her writings she plainly revealed that God the Father and God the Son are two separate gods that have always existed. You forget the Bible has God the Father saying,"Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. Genesis 1:26. God the Father was saying this to Jesus; Holy Spirit & very high ranking Angels at a business meeting.Catfurball (talk) 21:51, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
@Catfurball: The very words "first-born of heaven" are anti-trinitarian heresy. Do you acknowledge? And, yes, White stated that the Son was Father's creation and all other beings and the world were created by the Son, so she only calls "creatures" what the Son has created. When other Christians use the words "first-born of heaven" they don't mean God the Son, they mean Lucifer. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:44, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
White used the phrase "first born of Heaven" only once in Letter 101, 1898. And the context is Jesus, God the Word, becoming a human baby 2000 years ago, and so being born of heaven, unlike the rest of us humans. It has nothing to do with God the Word being created by God the Father in the past eons of time. In her publications she used the words "God-head" rather than the word Trinity to avoid connotations that come with that term. It is obvious that you know next to nothing about White but what you can cut and past from the internet. --Cimerondagert (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)Sock comments stricken
Unlikely, see e.g. The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner. This gift was to be acknowledged in every household by the consecration of the first-born son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men. But since it amounts to WP:OR I will leave it at that. Btw, she also stated Jesus was not turned aside by any influence from the faithful service expected of a son. He did not aim to do anything remarkable to distinguish himself from other youth, or to proclaim his HEAVENLY BIRTH. (E.G. White, YI, Feb 1, 1873). So: did she believe in a heavenly trinity? Yes. Did she believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity? No. Arius also believed that Christ is the begotten Son of God. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:54, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
When God created he simply created. There was no birthing in heaven. Each of these comments is about the fact that God the Word became a human being and was born of a woman. He is first-born of heaven because he came directly from heaven, being the first (and only) from heaven to become a human baby. The ideas you are promoting are imaginary, no SDA takes these comments in the highly imaginary way that you do. There are many dozens of other statements where White clearly states that Jesus, God the Word, was co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit and that the three of them are the eternal God-head.  You are taking these statements out of context and try to claim that she promoted crazy ideas, when they are your own crazy ideas.
There were several Millerites and Early Adventists, including White's own husband James, who clearly promoted Anti-trinitarian views, however, after several years of influence by White and others, these all adopted trinitarian concepts. And the SDA church promotes the concept. --Cimerondagert (talk) 00:59, 4 May 2019 (UTC)Sock comments stricken
That she applied "first-born of heaven" to Christ instead of, as most Christians do, Lucifer is by no means a crazy idea. Perhaps a WP:OR interpretation, but not crazy. Adventists made a leap of faith from "she spoke of a Trinity" to "she endorsed the traditional dogma of the Trinity". Froom reading White was like Lukács reading Marx. He saw his vision validated by White's writings, but that is merely an interpretation, namely his interpretation. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:58, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Not exactly a smoking gun, but makes the problem acutely clear (Ellen White avoided the word "Trinity" like the pest): Bull, Malcolm; Lockhart, Keith (2007). Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream. Indiana University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-253-34764-5. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:51, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Yup, she did not have a doctrine of the Trinity (speaking in general, she lacked doctrine): Guy, Fritz (11 April 2014). Dopp Aamodt, Terrie; Land, Gary; Numbers, Ronald L. (eds.). Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet. Oxford University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-19-937387-1. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:40, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

On the internet there are people who vehemently deny that she was Trinitarian and people who vehemently agree that she was Trinitarian, but there's no way to tell, since it is merely a matter of interpretation. My two cents are that endorsing the doctrine of Trinity would have meant endorsing the Council of Nicaea, which would have meant endorsing Constantine, who is the man of lawlessness in Adventist theology (the man who changed the times and law). For some reason the Adventist pioneers thought that he was the one who changed the day or worship. For Adventists, obeying the true day of worship is essential for salvation. A more mundane explanation is that she felt conceit for abstract (i.e. academic-level) theology. Anyway, it was a very important theological issue for which she never bothered to spell out her position. AFAIK, she has never formally assented to Nicene Trinitarianism, at least not as an Adventist believer/leader. Tgeorgescu (talk) 08:01, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

I'm pretty certain that most SDAs, aside from some liberal academics, would not assent to the Nicene Trinitarianism. The two books you quote from are by liberal academics and former SDAs who have an axe to grind about White and SDAism, as a result they are extremely unreliable sources. You also don't understand the SDA position on Constantine.   While White only had a 3rd grade formal education, she urged the church to develop formal education from Elementary and Secondary, to Tertiary and Graduate school. SDAs operate the largest church school system in the world, next only to the Catholic church, because of White. White and other SDA theologians do not apply meanings to many concepts the same as the rest of Christianity. One needs to have more than a superficial acquaintance to SDA theology to understand it. --Ethanfgrant (talk) 13:46, 4 May 2019 (UTC)Sock comments stricken
@Ethanfgrant: would not assent to the Nicene Trinitarianism. Do I read that right? Is it not a typo? Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:25, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

@78.26: See the above WP:RS. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:00, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Ellen White wrote many, many, many words. Many publications. Many books. Saying she held this or that position, by one statement, in one singular writing, and without taking in the context of the whole chapter, isn't helpful. I'm not trying to single anyone out here, because I've seen every positions (left, center, right, however you want to interpret them) do this. However, more specifically, I'm not familiar with Constantine being the "man of lawlessness" in Adventist Theology, at least not on a consistent basis. In the big picture interpreted to be fallen Lucifer, at least in my 40+ years of Adventist experience. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 13:37, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@78.26: Sadly you are wrong, when Ellen G. White was alive she wrote very few books, but yes she did write a lot. The majority of the books with her name were compiled by other people from her many writings. A lot of these compiled books have been created at the Ellen G. White Estate.Catfurball (talk) 16:22, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Uh, why is this an issue? How many pages of prose has she written, that have been published? In book form or otherwise? My point stands. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 17:17, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
@78.26: My point was: in the end, there is no way to know what she thought of the dogma of the Holy Trinity, because she never made that clear. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:37, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't disagree. But... what does this have to do with the discussion in general. You've moved from saying she did not believe in the Trinity to saying we can't know what she believed. Please pardon my confusion regarding what you're trying to accomplish. You truly do have some misconceptions regarding Adventist theology, (i.e. "For Adventists, obeying the true day of worship is essential for salvation." No, it is Christ who essential for salvation) which is understandable given the wide range of Adventist history and culture. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 18:07, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
@78.26: She wrote statements which could be interpreted as Trinitarian, she wrote statements which can be interpreted as anti-Trinitarian. In the end this says more about the interpreter than about White. So: she never clearly endorsed Trinitarianism, she never clearly rejected Trinitarianism. There is no way to know. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:43, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
OK. So, how will this help us improve the article? 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 18:46, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
@78.26: I had pinged you initially because you had restored some info, which in the light of the above WP:RS seems controversial. So, at least it should not be written in the voice of Wikipedia, it should be attributed. So, that is the view of the SDA Church, but not an universal scholarly view. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:53, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I am wary of WP:SYNTH. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:07, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
@78.26: I'm not asking for a big deal. Just "According to the SDA Church..." or "The SDA Church considers that...". Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:09, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with that. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:15, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I guess the only quibble I'd have is that even though these are church publications, these statements aren't official church positions, they are just research the SDA church considers reasonable enough to publish. I'm not quite sure how to write that elegantly, sorry. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:20, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
@78.26: My point: it is not an objective fact, it is someone's view. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:36, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
It's religion/philosophy. Of course it's someone's view. Face-smile.svg 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 19:46, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
The question is: did the SDA Church became Trinitarian because of White or because of Froom's reading of White? (It's like the difference between Marxianism and Marxism-Leninism.) The question "Was she Trinitarian?" does not have a simple answer. Probably she was not concerned with such theological abstractions. I'm just saying that the WP:RS give us good reasons for being skeptical that she preached unadulterated Nicene Trinitarianism. So that claim should not be stated as fact in Wikipedia's voice. You know, Arius was a Trinitarian, just not of the Nicene sort. This boils down to: was she a Nicene Trinitarian? And: how do you know? If it is the word of SDA Church against the word of IUP and OUP, IUP and OUP win. Wikipedia does not pander to piety. So, as one WP:SOCK said above, perhaps what I say is crazy. So you should not listen to me. But you should listen to IUP and OUP, they are definitely not crazy. Don't trust, me, trust WP:RS. You see, it's IUP+OUP+her husband who cast doubt on her Trinitarianism, so this leads to an extremely high standard for WP:ASSERTing that she was a Nicene Trinitarian. That's why the claim that her writings led the SDA Church to Trinitarianism is a biased and self-serving interpretation, which cannot be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Pretty much the same way Karl Marx said nothing about five-year plans, nor about centrally planned economy (which belong to Lenin's interpretation of Marxism). It is true that Nicene Trinitarianism already existed in the 19th century, but she was not bothered to say if she either approves or disapproves of it. If she were a Nicene Trinitarian would not her husband know it? If salvation depends upon believing in the Holy Trinity, would not have she told her husband about it? Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:00, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

IMO the way forward here is not to declare one way another whether EGW was trinitarian, but to simply state the historical fact that SDAism shifted from semi-arianism to trinitarianism, and to state that modern SDA writers (eg. Jerry Moon) credit EGW with influencing this. Tonicthebrown (talk) 12:30, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia is about WP:Verifiable information from reliable sources. The sources of that information are highly regarded in the academia, so the WP:BURDEN is upon those who want the information removed. And in order to answer the charge of the IP: I think that Trinitarianism and anti-Trinitarianism are equally bunk. So, instead claiming that EGW shifted the SDA church to Trinitarianism more accurately is to say that the official interpretation (i.e. Froom c.s.) of EGW's writings did that. It is far more honest and informative than playing dumb about her personal views. The following are hard, objective facts: in her quality as Adventist leader she has
  • never ever denied the Holy Trinity;
  • never ever endorsed the Holy Trinity;
  • never ever made public what she thought of Nicene Trinitarianism.
And none of that somehow depends upon my personal beliefs. The whole success of Wikipedia relies upon the failure and condemnation of those who want to use it in order to spread their personal beliefs against mainstream academic opinions. If something has been published recently by OUP, we abstract it in big shinny letters. If it has been published only by vanity press, then we remove it from our articles. Wikipedia is not a level playing field, wherein OUP and WP:RANDY would be shown equal respect. Wikipedia simply does not conflate between the official position of the SDA Church and the empirical reality of EGW's writings. Our core community hasn't joined Wikipedia in order to appease anti-intellectualism. We have no place for bigoted accuses of heresy and apostasy. Wikipedia is a secular encyclopedia, which means that it considers that theological orthodoxy is in the eye of the beholder. It is therefore irrelevant if I am an apostate Adventist, since it does not change objective facts about EGW's writings. Wikipedia sides with facts, not with theological orthodoxy. Ad hominem is a despicable logical fallacy, a blatant proof of lack of intelligence and education (critical thinking skills). Such fallacies could be rhetorically effective when preaching to the choir, but hold no water in the context of justification. If the IP thinks that those lines are heresy, he/she should report the matter to the Inquisition. Fact is that in public documents there is no evidence available for EGW's own position in respect to Nicene Trinitarianism. She often spoke of God the Father, his Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, but so do Jehovah's Witnesses and they are not Trinitarians. Tgeorgescu (talk) 08:38, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
It would be a sin of omission to exclude Tgeorgescu's summaries. I think that it is valid and verifiable to state as he does that EGW never denied the Holy Trinity, never endorsed the Holy Trinity, never made public what she thought of Nicene Trinitarianism. Laurel Lodged (talk) 10:21, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
The mention of JW just muddies the waters because they believe that Jesus was a created being, whereas SDAs and EGW believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equal aspects of one God and none of them created. That sounds pretty trinitarian to me. Otherwise, thanks to Uriah Smith and some others, there were indeed early church leaders who were not Trinitarians, but EGW was not one of them. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:24, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
And the evidence that she did endorse Nicene Trinitarianism is...? IUP, OUP and her husband cast reasonable doubt upon that. Also note that in the article I have stuck to purely WP:V affirmations. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:23, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

They believe in baptism by immersion Certificate of Baptism in S.D.A. Church of my love[edit]

They believe in baptism by immersion Certificate of Baptism in S.D.A. Church of my love File:IMG-20190710-WA0001.jpg — Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.0.72.101 (talk) 18:30, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

Adding a baptismal certificate gives the typical reader no additional information about the subject. —C.Fred (talk) 18:42, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

Suggestions for editing[edit]

I would like to replace the part after this with the sentence to add.・ ・ ・ ・ Omitted. Tokinokawa (talk) 02:02, 1 September 2020 (UTC)Tokinokawa (talk) 23:27, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

Membership[edit]

The details in the infobox seem to only be supported by claims the org itself makes. The claim of over 20 million members is drastically at odds with, for example, the table on Religion_in_the_United_States that bases its numbers on self-referrals in a sampled survey, where the membership is estimated at 938 thousand in 2008.DoctorCaligari (talk) 20:22, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Inane vandalism[edit]

Putting Jesus Christ as founder of the SDA is inane vandalism. This reminds me how the Eastern Orthodox Church claims that Christ is the head of their church. But they cannot show his signature upon any church document. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:29, 2 March 2021 (UTC)