Which Type of Adventist are You?

Last night, while laying in Bed watching YouTube videos by independent Adventist speakers who were railing against the “New Theology” of salvation, I was struck at how fragmented the church has become since the initial split between law Adventists and gospel Adventists in 1888.

I take issue with the gospel of justification being called “New”, because it is an original part of the gospel that was written into the “original” plan of salvation since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Did we forget about Abraham who was justified by faith in God’s promises?

Did we forget that Ellen White sided with the gospel Adventists, Jones and Waggoner, who taught Justification by faith? She thought that it was understood that the gospel of Jesus should be at the front of Adventist theology, but she quickly realized how legalistic the church had become by focusing on converting other Christians to the Sabbath.

The problem is with law Adventists not making a clear distinction between how God’s declares us righteous and how He makes us righteous. Many want to combine the two and claim that, while God grants us salvation by faith, we maintain our salvation by our obedience to the law. Those who are worried about the Pope being the Anti-Christ don’t realize that this is the Catholic plan of salvation that Martin Luther fought to reform.

The Bible teaches that God expects us to be obedient to the Ten Commandments, but not as a means to salvation. Obedience to the law has always been connected with the blessing of God, but it is not factored into our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. When Christians are judged by their works it is to figure out how we will be rewarded in Heaven.

I am also perplexed at how law Adventists connect their view of Daniel and Revelation to salvation. Let me be clear, that it is irrelevant when Jesus went into the Most Holy Place, because it doesn’t change how we are saved. The only ones who pass through judgment are the ones who have the assurance of their salvation in Jesus Christ. I have learned that Historicism is only one of many valid ways to interpret end-time prophecy, and I understand the 2300 days prophecy. However, I don’t think that what one believes about 1844 has any bearing on the gospel of Jesus.

Going back to fragmentation, I have already mentioned the split between the law adventist and the gospel adventist. Well here are a few more types of adventist:

1. The BADventist is one who drinks Starbucks, eats the egg and sausage McMuffins and McDonalds, and orders the large cola while sitting in their favorite movie theater. Yes, there are plenty of these!

2. The SADventist is one who is in a state of terror over their salvation. They want to be perfect so they can be ready for the second-coming of Jesus, but they never feel like they are perfect enough. They seem gloomy and depressed over their state of imperfection. They always seem to be in a state of crisis in their personal walk with God.

3. The FADventist is one who gets swept up over every new teaching that comes through the church. They buy up all the tapes at camp meeting, and are constantly praying for revival in the church. They see a new teaching as New light from Heaven that they have all been waiting for to usher in the latter rain of the end times.

4. The GLADventist always seems to be happy to see you. They don’t care about what you believe as long as you show up to church. They are always hugging you, inviting you to their house, and making you a part of their family. They don’t seem to have a care in the world, and they hardly ever admit to problems in the church.

5. The MADventists are always in attack mode over anything they view as a compromise to doctrinal integrity. They are angry over the state of the church, are constantly writing letters to the conference president over actions taken by the church pastor, and are constantly watching others in the church to ensure that the church remains free from corruption. They always seem to be arguing, debating, and criticizing.

These are only a few of the major groups in the Adventist church. There are subdivisions of each of these groups, but I will leave that for a latter discussion. I understand that you will find these types of people in every denomination, but it seems that these groups are moving father apart and becoming more polarized. It is time that we allow the gospel of Jesus Christ to heal these divisions in the church.

Stephen Beagles (2013)

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