What they DON’T Tell You about the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sabbath School…

As most of you know, I’m a writer with a background in communications and public relations. However, one lesser-known aspect of my career is that I used to teach English to Hispanics in Jamaica.

Recently, a Dominican requested that I revisit that old tutoring life, to teach him English. After agreeing, I returned home to see whether or not I still had all the old assessments, homework, and teaching notes I had written up all those years before.

While searching for those notes, I came across a copy of an old article I wrote about the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 6 years ago.


While it’s always fascinating to come across a writers’ old work, let’s keep the context in mind. I was raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist household but believed that the faith failed to answer some of the most basic and fundamental questions I posed about religion.

My quest for answers, from the young age of about three years old, took me further down a path of disbelief. The more I looked for credibility to bolster the SDA faith my family espoused, the more I found the opposite.


Once I accepted that the SDA faith did not hold a solid enough foundation to attract my belief, Christianity as a whole became questionable to me. I touched on this before in Revisiting Religion: Refusing to be an Arawak

The blog post I’m about to share was written much earlier, in 2012; between the aftermath of Harold Camping’s failed prediction of The Rapture and the doomsday prediction made for December 21st in 2012, as per interpretations of the Mayan Calendar.

The blog post addresses end-of-world predictions, my familiarity with one faith that sprung from a doomsday prediction, and why I believe that just like the Rapture and the Mayan’s End of Days prediction, this faith is groundless.

Do keep in mind that this was just a Tumblr rant, so not all sources were cited. I have, however, included a list of sources at the end of the article for those of you who want to look up some of the claims, for yourself.

The Tumblr Rant


The Rapture

Last year (2011), Harold Camping predicted that “the Rapture” and Judgement Day would occur on May 21, 2011, and that the world would end on October 21, 2011.

Most of the world watched and waited anxiously to see what would happen, but some of us weren’t content with just watching, so we chose to act. How did we act? Well, for starters, quite a few non-believers suddenly converted to Christianity.

Some of us RE-converted. Pastors and priests worldwide reported an increase in the number of baptisms performed in the week leading up to the Rapture. And still, of course, there were some of us who didn’t give a crap.

But nothing compares to the Christians on my Twitter timeline, who took it upon themselves to bash these Rapturists for their beliefs. I mean, I can forgive the Catholics, Anglicans, and other old denominations when they think the formation and beliefs of a new extremist-Protestant group is ridiculous.

But my goodness… along came the Seventh Day Adventists O_O …

The Hypocrisy

I was shocked! Seventh Day Adventists (SDAs) are the last people on Earth who should so much as snicker at the Rapturists! So when the shock wore off, I did laugh. I laughed so hard, I was almost ashamed of myself — but only almost.

Now, for those of you who don’t understand why this is so funny, don’t worry. I promise you: I am getting to a point, and a good one.

We’ll begin here:

One SDA follower (let’s call her “Trina”) was brave enough to begin quoting the Bible to prove her point that the Rapturists were stupid. She called them “false prophets” (Revelations), and tweeted of Jesus’ return, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36).”

Now let’s rewind a century and some change back to 1843 and follow the religious journey of William Miller, and the resulting Millerite Movement. Miller was a farmer and a Baptist preacher, who after reading the Bible for himself, concluded that Jesus Christ was returning to Earth on October 22nd, 1844. As we all know, no such thing occurred on that fateful day.

The Breakup


So what happened? Well, all of 14 things happened, actually. Firstly, some Millerites became disillusioned, and so quit the cult/movement altogether. Secondly, the remaining Millerites became divided as to what should be the resulting truth (aka Plan B), since Plan A, most certainly had not turned out as planned.

This led to the other 12 things that happened i.e. the formation of the following churches:

  • Advent Christian Church
  • Christadelphians
  • Church of God (Seventh-Day)
  • Church of God General Conference
  • Church of the Blessed Hope
  • Seventh Day Adventist Reform Mov’t
  • Davidian SDA (Shepherd’s Rod)
  • United Seventh-Day Brethren
  • Branch Davidians
  • Primitive Advent Christian Church
  • Sabbath Rest Advent Church
  • (and of course) the Seventh-day Adventist Church

NOW, do you see why I was laughing? These Seventh Day Adventists were ridiculing a group of people for doing the very thing that had led to the birth of their own faith. As we say in Jamaica:

Pot calling the kettle black.

The Secrecy 

Of course, they don’t always tell you these things in church. I would know. I was born and raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist family for the first seventeen miserable years of my life, and attended about 8 different Seventh Day Adventist Churches throughout that time- 1 in Maryland (USA), 1 in New York City (USA), 1 in Eastern Jamaica, and 5 in Western Jamaica.

I was taught that Seventh Day Adventists were around longer than the Catholic Church, and that the doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist church were the real doctrines passed down from Jesus Christ to his disciples. Ask almost any Seventh Day Adventist and, they will likely tell you the same thing. 

See? I told you I was getting to a good point.

So if you ever wondered where the “Adventists” got their name, it’s from the word “Advent”, meaning “the coming or return of Jesus Christ,” which they, like the Rapturists, failed to predict.

But Wait – There’s More!


I’m not about to stop here, though. Not when there are still a few other things they don’t tell you in the Seventh Day Adventist Church that I thoroughly intend to. We only just covered lesson number one.

Lesson No. 2

Now, I didn’t hear this in the American SDA churches I attended, but in every Jamaican SDA church I went to, we were reminded that America was 666 – the mark of the beast. What they conveniently neglected to tell people in church though, was how their religion (denomination) began in America, and was founded by an American man i.e. William Miller.

Did I mention that our Quarterlies (the materials we used for Bible Study in Sabbath School) also came from the United States? And if you go on the Seventh Day Adventists’ Official Website, you will see that the Headquarters’ Address is:

12501 Old Columbia Pike,
Silver Spring,
MD 20904, USA

Funny – isn’t it?

Lesson No. 3

As I stated earlier, William Miller was a Baptist! — i.e. a Sunday worshipper. I don’t know if all SDA people tell their children this, but my biological father called Sunday worshippers “devil-worshippers”. Milder versions I heard in church was that Sunday worshippers worshipped the Sun, and were not true believers or true Christians.

Imagine my wonderful surprise when I found out that the father of the Seventh Day Adventist faith was a Sunday pastor, himself. Unfortunately for my parents, that was not all I discovered.

Lesson No. 4


My mother’s side of the family is Anglican and Catholic, and I was a child who read any and everything I could get my hands on – including an enormous Anglican book on the history of Christianity (censoring out the things they don’t tell you in Anglican Churches either, of course).

In that book, I learned that the Bible was put together by Catholic monks and priests – i.e. even more SUNDAY WORSHIPPERS! Aside from the claims made by SDAs against  the legitimacy of Sunday-worshippers, why is this relevant?

One of the SDA’s strongest beliefs is the “the infallibility of the Bible”. In other words, Seventh Day Adventists do not question the Bible’s origins and believe that it is entirely true and wholesome as is.

When I asked about this, my father was too furious that I was reading Anglican material to even bother giving me a proper answer. He might as well have given me one, because the search for a real answer followed me into my adult years, and led me to discover the Arian Heresy.

(You can look that one up on your own, though. It would take a whole other blog post for me to explain it.)

Lesson No. 5


Another principle I was taught in the Seventh Day Adventist Church was not to wear jewelry. Once, a pastor told my mother she could not wear her broach to church, and another one tried to convince her not to wear her wedding ring. (I kid thee not!)

When I asked my family about it, I was told that God banned the wearing of jewelry because the Israelites, in distress, during the Exodus (the journey out of Egypt and to the promised land), melted their gold and built idols to worship; which was a great insult to God.

I took this as a good answer… until I read about King Solomon, who was made King long after the Exodus. King Solomon was the wisest man in the world and loved by God, and he wore jewelry — gold at that. I asked my family about that, too. They had no answers for me, so I decided I would start wearing jewelry.

Why? Because surely, King Solomon was wiser than my parents, my church members, and the Pastor.


There are a lot of other things I could tell you that they don’t tell you in Seventh Day Adventist Churches. I could tell you about being dragged to the final Seventh Day Adventist Church I ever attended — at 17 — to discover that a History Lecturer from my College was the church leader, and the pastor.

I could tell you how he stood there and lied to the congregation about the evolution theory: this College History Lecturer who knew better, stood in the House of his Lord and lied to his people to get an “Amen”.

Then, of course, he trotted off to college Monday morning, to teach us all about ancient civilizations. But if I told you these things, this blog post would never end. And I daresay, I’ve told you all enough already.

There is a big lesson to be learned here, though:

Do not accept “truths” simply because it is easier to believe, and more difficult to question. Find and learn the real truth and origins of your beliefs, or lack thereof. Do not be so quick to simply accept the interpretations of others.

Whoever said an atheist (or agnostic) is thus because they have not read the Bible and know little of religion, surely has never met me… 

Alexis Chateau Black Cat


Additional Sources:

  1. Andrews University Press. The Second Advent [Excerpt]. Retrieved from: http://universitypress.andrews.edu/Second%20Advent%20Excerpt.pdf
  2. Everett, N. Dick. The Millerite Movement (1830-1845).  Retrieved from: http://universitypress.andrews.edu/content/Adventism%20in%20America%20Excerpt.pdf
  3. Kaleem, Jaweed (2011). May 21 ‘Judgment Day’ Believers React To Being Alive On May 22. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/22/may-21-judgment-day-may-22_n_865298.html
  4. Lechleitner, Elizabeth (2013). Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged from religious fervor of 19th Century. Retrieved from: Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged from religious fervor of 19th Century
  5. Pappas, Stephanie (2011). Harold Camping predicts the end of the world. Again. Retrieved from: https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1019/Harold-Camping-predicts-the-end-of-the-world.-Again.
  6. Taylor, Andrew. The Origins of Millerite Separatism. Retrieved from: https://aurora.edu/documents/library-archives/origins-of-millerite-separatism-andrew-taylor.pdf
  7. The Seventh Day Adventist Church (2012). Retrieved from http://www.adventist.org/
  8. *Wikipedia (2012), “2011 End Times Prediction”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_end_times_prediction
  9. *Wikipedia (2012). “Millerism”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millerites
  10. *Wikipedia (2012), “Seventh-Day Adventist Church”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church

Wikipedia articles were included because it was snooping around Wikipedia and reading the listed articles that originally pointed me in the right direction. If you question the credibility of the Wiki articles, then focus on the other sources.

126 thoughts on “What they DON’T Tell You about the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sabbath School…

  1. Wow, it is sad to see what the writer of this article has to say and some of the comments by others here. ALEXIS says at 17 she had figured it all out and knew that the church was not what it claimed to be. I think at 17 I as well as most young people think they know every thing. When you get around 25 you start to realize that in a life time you will never know every thing and life is a journey of never ending learning. Learning about God is best done in the bible and in prayer, this is also a life time experience. As for tearing down any church you should look to God and not to the people. It would be wonderful if everyone that joined a church was just like Jesus, like we are told to be, but not one of us every do that as well as we should. If you read the bible you find all kinds of people that committed adulatory and a lot other things just as bad and some a lot worse. It is a good idea to remember that God is not to be blamed for what we do. The bible is clear on the fact that we are all sinners in need of the Saviour Jesus Christ. It is also clear in the bible that God doesn’t force anyone to accept Him. We all have freedom of choice. People try to take that from us from time to time but God never does. All to often we try to follow a set of rules that we think makes us good or accepted by God. We need to know Jesus and have Him in our heart if we every expect to achieve any level of true goodness and then it isn’t us it is God working in us. It would be a blessing for you if you gave God a second chance because it sounds like you are not over your war against the church which has caused you to dump God also. God loves you and He loves you enough let you come to Him on your own. He loves you even if you don’t do that.

    1. I turn 34 today and have not changed my mind. That makes me almost a decade older than you at a whopping 25, so you have quite a bit of catching up to do. Believe whatever you like. I skipped over all the preaching.

  2. Hello,

    I would consider myself SDA because I agree with their beliefs as I believe they are true to the bible. My loyalty is to the bible and not to them, so if I ever saw they were not following the bible I would no longer be SDA. I understand you had a lot of questions about the faith, that’s completely normal. I saw that you said you are completely uninterested in God, because he seems not all-powerful or not fully benevolent. And then you also mentioned that God made Satan. It is completely fine to have these questions and want real answers and not just accept what you’re told. If you’re going to trust the bible as infallible, then why?

    To answer the question about God making Satan, God actually made Lucifer. Lucifer was perfect in all his ways. It is Lucifer who chose to rebel against God and desire to be God himself. God made no mistake in how he made Lucifer, but God gave him free will; the ability to do as he pleased. Please understand, the blame for this is all on Satan. God could have destroyed Satan right away you might say, if he’s all powerful and good, but that would not have been best in the long term. There was a war in heaven and many angels had already sided with Satan. What would happen if Satan was suddenly destroyed? It would seem like God never allowed anyone to question him and the angels would continue to serve God only out of fear. Some angels would continue to wonder if Satan would really be a better God, and if God really made laws to protect them out of love, as satan brought such accusations against God. Therefore, the reason God let Satan actually continue to rebel and convince the angels to side with him, was to let the angels see what the result of his rebellion would bring and who satan really was, if he was more loving and just than God. When the angels in heaven see today the awful state of our world because of satan, and they saw that satan killed Jesus on the cross, it was revealed who satan is and they now have a greater trust in God as their God, and would not want Satan to be their God.

    I already mentioned this, but an important idea to understand about the way God works is he allows free will. If God stepped in everytime something evil happened on our earth, to stop the evil from happening, he would actually be limiting that person’s ability to do evil. Of course God doesn’t want them to be evil and he’s hurt by it, but he chooses to give them free will in this life. It is actually loving to allow free will. I have the choice to worship God or not, to steal and murder if I want, God will not stop me. Only at the final judgement, he steps in to destroy the evil people and demons so evil will finally be purged. And in the end, all the saved people will also trust God because they will have seen the evil that satan’s rebellion has brought.

    Another idea to understand might be that God knows the future, but he does not cause it. For example, God knew the devil was going to rebel, but he did not cause it. Then should he not have made Lucifer? Certainly it would be possible that another angel would rebel. They all had free will like us. But now we have the guarantee that no such rebellion will ever happen again, because all the angels in heaven and saved humans will have already witnessed satan’s rebellion and its results and chose their side-Gods side.

    I don’t really desire so much that you believe SDA church doctrines, but I hope you will again have faith in the infallibility of the Bible. The strongest proof I have for this is the bible prophecies that have come true. One prophecy in Daniel 2 which describes 4 major world powers that had power over God’s people throughout history: Babylon, Mede-Persia, Greece, and Rome. It predicted all these future kingdoms at the time of Babylon. Another prophecy is from Daniel 9 and predicted the time of Christ’s ministry, death, and other things.

    Here are links to 2 studies on the prophecies I mentioned:

    I also noticed in some of the things you mentioned that you were onto something that the SDA church teaches, but it wasn’t really accurate. For example, you said the USA is 666. That’s not what they teach. They teach the US is the false prophet of revelation and the beast is the roman Catholic church. The US will make an image to the beast meaning we will start to act like the RCC in limiting people’s freedoms and push RCC laws (mostly the Sunday law which is believed to be the mark of the beast). That doesn’t mean everything about the US is evil. I do believe the Sunday law is the mark of the beast, and maybe if you start hearing talk of how we all need to worship Sunday to please God and reverse climate change or make the world better, and it starts being required that we all attend sunday church service, you will remember it was already prophesied by SDA.

    I know you said you want nothing to do with SDA or God, and I respect your choice as does God. But I want you to have a correct understanding of God–He is good.

    1. I shared MY experiences in the SDA church. You are free to say you had different experiences or that what I learned should not have been taught that way, but you absolutely cannot tell me it isn’t what happened. Once I saw that, I stopped reading. I do wish you all the best and hope you learn to disagree without discrediting other people’s authentic experiences.

      1. Hi again, and I’m glad you saw my comment. Please understand, I did not mean to discredit your experience in any way. You must be referring to my second-to-last paragraph where I said the teachings weren’t accurate to the SDA church. Maybe the SDA member/teacher/pastor or whoever was telling you was confused. God rebukes pastors countless times in the bible for basically not doing their job well enough. There are also false teachers the bible warns us of.

        It is true not to judge the church and truth by the people. Yes, a true follower of Jesus should act like the one he/she claims to follow. But there are lots of tares (fakes) mixed in with the wheat (real) making up the people of the church. That can even include the pastors. I actually left the SDA church for a little while because I thought most of the people didn’t seem to be living Christlike and I searched for a church where the people seemed more Christlike. I am hoping you will reconsider finding out the truth about who God is from the bible.

  3. I’ve grown up SDA, in the Adventist school system. I have never heard anyone teach that we were around before Catholics. Or deny that our church was founded in America. One of the things we learn early-on is what happened in 1844, and it’s not that they hide from you that a lot of the important people in our history weren’t sabbatarians—it’s just not really important. EGW’s visions never introduced theology, but backed up what people learned thru bible study.

    Jewelry, vegetarianism, what you can/can’t do on Sabbath, all that is mostly cultural. It’s true that some of our congregations/communities get cultish, but that’s not what our church is as a whole.

    i’m sorry about your experience. it is not universal.

  4. Curious what the SDA has to say about adultery! A SDA had a 3 year affair with my husband and remained in a secret “friendship” with him after the affair. She now teaches Bible study at a SDA church. Just wondering if SDAs condone adultery!

    1. SDA does not believe in adultery because it is clearly stated in the Bible that we should not commit it. Saying that, just like any church, the people in it are not perfect. All of these slanders on the church make it sound as if we are expected not to make mistakes. I am sorry you had to go through that and I do not agree with what that person did, but I do not believe you should have an opinion about our faith based on the affair of someone.

      1. I do not believe in the SDA faith and don’t support its beliefs. But, I also agree that she can’t form an informed opinion on an entire denomination based on the affair one person had with her husband.

  5. Very interesting! What do the SDA say about adultery? A SDA committed adultery with my husband for 3 years and remained in a secret friendship with him after they ended the affair. She now teaches Bible school at her church! Just curious to know what their views are on adultery.

    1. Like all other denominations, adultery is a sin for the SDA. However, I do think your anger is misplaced. The SDA woman was undoubtedly wrong for interfering in your marriage and I hope karma finds her for what she did. However, she did not take vows of loyalty and faithfulness. Your husband did. I hope you divorce him. Whatever your decision, I wish you all the best.

  6. Just came across your post looking for some insite on SDA beliefs…you did not disappoint me. Thank you for the time and effort it took to be so open about this subject. I also was born and raised in a cult. A small insignificant one, thank God, but still very damaging to me. I also was very aware at a young age…so questions turned into disruptions and 30 years later my father went to prison for most of his last living years, once again, thank God!
    Fast forward 20 more years, I’ve currently finished a 3 plus year journey through any bibicle writing’s I could find…plus a world study of time periods from the beginning of anything found written on humanity till today. With that said ..my experiences with God during this journey have been mindblowing to say the least..
    My only advice to you would be, if you really want to find God look for Him. I did and I did:)
    But He/God has to be where you ought to go for answers to questions you have about Him..dont ask me or anyone else..think about this for a second..” if He made the whole of creation, couldn’t He , talk on His behalf?”
    No one makes any sense when they talk about God to me..God makes sense..everything He says makes sense, they dont!
    Talking with my husband throughout this extensive journey has been so helpful! But talking to God was more important! Since everyone seemed to have an opinion on what,how,when,where and why God thinks about everything and they have no problem offering thier thoughts, I thought someone should jump up for God!
    Ask Him.
    I’m not a writer or a scholar, please excuse any errors.
    This was to encourage you, please take it so.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this and leave a comment. I wrote this when I was in college. I’m 32 now and my sentiments are the same.

      I’m glad you found your own path to religion, found peace and was able to share that with your husband.

      However, God doesn’t appeal to me. The older I’ve been around, the more I believe he’s either not all-powerful or he’s not a fully benevolent being. Consequently, I have no desire to worship something that might be either incompetent or a little evil.

      I do commend your journey and wish you all the best on whatever lies ahead!

      1. Ever considered that you might have to ask him to give you the reason ?, since if you had the reason to begin with – you’d have no real choice.

      2. I choose to leave religion to the rest of you. I have never experienced peace this sweet and everlasting since giving up religion. I wrote this post at 18 years old. I’m now 32. No regrets.

  7. All I can say I wasn’t brought up a Adventist but asked a lot of questions since I was a kid and still do this Adventist remnant message is rock solid and the devil is fully attacking us see Revelation 12:17 which includes the Spirit of Prophecy take some time and listen to prophessor Walter Vieth his personal testimony on google

    1. I’m glad it resonates with you. I want nothing to do with the Seventh Day Adventist Church for as long as I live!

    2. Sounds like your still blinded by Satan’s trickery I will pray that we not be deceived by the devil he is more cunning than you think remember Satan wants to be God

  8. I read this post with interest, as well as amazement. Your experience being raised SDA was SO VERY different from my own. My family was quite conservative, but never made statements they couldn’t support from the Bible. In fact, I was told over and over to believe nothing that was not founded on the Bible. I attended SDA schools from first grade thru bachelor’s degree, and my perception was that Adventists were open-minded free thinkers. That’s one thing I especially liked about being raised SDA.

    Eventually, in my twenties, I decided it was time to really study in greater detail the teachings of the church to determine, without input from parents or teachers, whether those teachings are REALLY supported by the Bible (and incidentally whether the Bible could be trusted). It was time to make the religion my own or to walk away. After a couple of years of deep study, I determined that this was a system of belief that was founded on a trustworthy Bible, was internally consistent with itself, and that was logical. It became my own and has guided me into a life of calm contentment. I am so grateful!

    Alexis, please accept my apologies on behalf of those you encountered who were inconsistent, illogical, untruthful and unfounded.

    1. Hello Kathy! I’m glad to hear you had a different experience and that your own questioning led you to believe the SDA church was compatible with your belief systems. That’s wonderful.

      I admire your ability to read my little teenage rant from 10+ years ago without throwing a fit over it. If you check the comments, you can see many other people did not take it so very well.

      I wish you all the best on your spiritual journey and hope you continue to find peace in the path you’ve chosen. Take care!

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