In a number of areas, Seventh-Day Adventist theology is within orthodoxy. And while other areas are not orthodox, they are still heterodox. However, Seventh-Day Adventism is not Christian because they are outside of the bounds of orthodoxy when it comes to three foundational, cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.
- The Gospel
- Who is Christ?
- The Trinity
The Adventist Gospel is a hybrid system of works and faith where man is reconciled to God by both his faith plus his good works. Unlike in Christianity where good works are evidence of one being born again by the Spirit of God, in Adventism, they play a part in determining whether or not you will ultimately be justified or condemned. One must display a perfect obedience to the 10 Commandments to be shown worthy of having the atoning benefits of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross applied to your account. This is not the good news of Jesus’s Christ’s Gospel. This is a works righteousness veiled behind a lot of Protestant language that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church borrows but then redefines. For more on this, watch our series breaking this down here.
The Adventist Jesus set his divine nature aside while on earth, giving up his divinity temporarily (kenosis heresy), was exalted to be made equal with God the Father, is not the Lord God Almighty alongside the Father and Holy Spirit (Trinitarianism), doubted his resurrection and if his sacrifice would be accepted by the Father, is Michael the Archangel, had a sinful, fallen human nature and could have sinned (peccability). This is not the Biblical nor historical Jesus that the Christian Church has followed, worshiped and adored for 2000 years. For more on this, watch our series breaking this down here.
The Adventist Trinity is known as the “Heavenly Trio”. While they may use the word “Trinity”, they are borrowing a term but redefining it—a common tactic of their movement. The Heavenly Trio is three separate beings who are one in their “mission, purpose and character”—not their being. The Father is the Almighty, while Jesus and the Holy Spirit are lesser beings, similar to Monarchianism. Jesus is also not co-equal with the Father from eternity past, he was exalted to be made equal with the Father. The Adventist Church didn’t even believe the Holy Spirit was a conscious person until decades after their founding. This is not compatible with Trinitarianism.
While they may use Christian lingo and vocabulary, they bring their own unique dictionary to the table which is why scaling the language barrier with them is a must. These serious doctrinal issues and heresies put the Seventh-Day Adventist church outside of Christianity as a quasi-Christian movement.