“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is God’s remnant church; it is a unique Advent movement with a unique message on a unique mission.”
Published on: 10-12-2023
Based on God’s Word, Part 1
Since its beginning the Seventh-day Adventist Church has based all its beliefs solely on the Bible. We recognize the Bible as the foundation of every belief and practice and take seriously our call to proclaim to the world the soon coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God has blessed this movement in a mighty way and has worked through men, women, young people, and children to reach the world for Him.
The great controversy that began in heaven, however, continues to rage on this earth. The prophetic words of Revelation 12:17 are being fulfilled: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Unique Message and Mission
There are a number of concerns, challenges, and flashpoints facing the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church today. We fully believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is God’s remnant church; it is a unique Advent movement with a unique message on a unique mission. It is grounded in Christ and His mission for us to share. It is grounded in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, and instructed by the Spirit of Prophecy.
Recently church members have wondered where we as a worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church stand on various issues or challenges. This article is to inspire confidence and affirm our commitment to our biblical beliefs. We firmly believe in and stand confidently on the Word of God and His counsels to us through the Spirit of Prophecy as provided in the writings of Ellen G. White.
This article is the first of two parts in which we address challenges facing church members today. In part 2 we will look at eight more challenges and the biblical responses offered to us through God’s Word. Kindly note the affirmations of the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that follow each listed item. For further study, I encourage you to consider the listed references in each section.
1. How to Interpret the Word of God
The Seventh-day Adventist Church fully believes in the authenticity and authority of God’s Word, the Holy Bible, recognizing it as the living Word that transcends time and culture and is applicable for all people everywhere. As affirmed by its official “Methods of Bible Study Document,”1 the church accepts only the historical-biblical (historical-grammatical) method of interpreting Scripture, allowing the Bible to interpret itself—line upon line, verse upon verse, precept upon precept (Isa. 28:10). The historical-critical method or any other method of biblical interpretation is unacceptable to Seventh-day Adventists because it is not God-focused but human-focused. Committed church members will humbly allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in understanding Scripture.
The Spirit of Prophecy indicates that we should understand the Bible as it reads. Ellen White writes, “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.”2 Further: “All who exalt their own opinions above divine revelation, all who would change the plain meaning of Scripture to suit their own convenience, or for the sake of conforming to the world, are taking upon themselves a fearful responsibility.”3
Unfortunately, there are those who ignore, denigrate, or depreciate the Word of God. The Seventh-day Adventist Church and its leadership stand firmly on a clear understanding and acceptance of the entire Word of God.
For further study, see: (->) Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21
Seventh-day Adventists believe there is one God, and that this one God is three coeternal persons who work together in unity. We fully embrace Fundamental Belief 2, which indicates that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always been and always will be. The Godhead works in unison as one from eternity to eternity. Our triune God has implemented and is carrying out the plan of salvation for each of us.
While we, as human beings, do not fully comprehend how this works, Scripture reveals everything we need to know. The Bible assures us, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
For further study, see:
(->) Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2
The Bible indicates that God created human beings as male and female (Gen. 1:27). Jesus affirmed this, along with marriage being between one man and one woman, when He quoted the Genesis story: “God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ” (Mark 10:6-8).
We are to show love, respect, and care for all people, and the Scriptures are clear regarding God’s design for human sexuality. The Bible indicates marriage is between only one man and one woman. Aberrations in human sexuality, including adultery, homosexuality, licentiousness, bestiality, and other unbiblical sexual activities, are not acceptable to God.
Unfortunately, however, some individuals are now twisting passages in the Word of God, such as Romans 1:18-32, to deny what the text actually says and assert the text says what it does not say. Do not bend to anyone who misuses the Bible and its heavenly instructions found in passages such as Romans 1:18-32 and the other passages listed for further study.
According to the official “Guidelines for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Responding to Changing Cultural Attitudes Regarding Homosexual and Other Alternative Sexual Practices”: “It is inconsistent with the church’s understanding of scriptural teaching to admit into or maintain in membership persons practicing sexual behaviors incompatible with biblical teachings. Neither is it acceptable for Adventist pastors or churches to provide wedding services or facilities for same-sex couples.”4 Lovingly, and with a Christlike attitude, stand firm for what Christ, through His prophets, has indicated to be Bible truth on this subject. As with any sinful practice described in the Bible, we are to help people come to the foot of the cross and find full forgiveness and a new life in Christ, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 indicates. We are to show people who come to our churches the love and respect that Christ would give as they realize that God’s power can overcome all sin and bring us into a right relationship with Christ through His grace and justifying and sanctifying righteousness.