What are some characteristic Adventist beliefs

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany

"Adventists (Latin) members of an evangelical free church founded in the USA in 1863 at a" general conference "." (Johannes Hanselmann / Uwe Swarat, ed., Fachwortbuch Theologie, 2nd edition, Brockhaus, Wuppertal, 1996, p. 9)

"The Seventh-day Adventist Community is a worldwide organized free church." (Hansjörg Ehrke, Kleines Lexikon der Kirchen in Deutschland, 2nd edition, PV-Medien, Karlsruhe, 2003, p. 121)

"In Germany, for example, Seventh-day Adventists are guest members of the Christian Churches Working Group (ACK) - so they are a free church."

“We recommend that the Lutherans treat the Seventh-day Adventists not as a sect, but as a free church and worldwide Christian community in the respective national and regional context of their churches. This recommendation is based on the one hand on the Adventist understanding of water baptism in the name of the Triune God, an understanding which means for Lutherans that this baptism is valid, as well as on the common conviction that true Christians can also be found in other churches can '(see Chapter II, Part' Ecclesiology '), a view that is compatible with CA VIII [Note: CA = Augsburg Confession of 1530]. ”(From Adventists and Lutherans in conversation. Report on the conversations between the Lutheran World Federation and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1994-1998; in documents with increasing agreement. All reports and consensus texts of interdenominational talks at world level, Volume 3, 1990-2001, Bonifatius, Paderborn, and Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 2003, P. 94)

“The near expectation initially led to the Adventists being assigned more to the Christian special communities. But denominational research recognizes more and more clearly that they do not represent any extra-biblical special teachings or contradict the Christian confession of the Triune God. They also do not claim exclusivity, but have recently been anxious to enter into a conversation with other churches. "(Reinhard Frieling / Erich Geldbach / Reinhard Thöle, Konfessionskunde, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1999)

“As the evangelical free church, the Seventh-day Adventists affirm the fourfold Reformation“ alone ”: only Holy Scripture (as a source of faith) - only Jesus Christ (as the living word of God and the reason for our redemption) - only grace (as the way to eternal salvation) - only faith (who receives grace). ”(Klaus Bannach / Kurt Rommel, eds., Religiöse Strömungen our Time, Quell-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1991, p. 153).


"Adventists place great value on a healthy lifestyle." (Jürgen Tibusek, Ein Glaube many Kirchen, 2nd edition, Brunnen, Gießen, 1996, p. 457)

“What is striking and characteristic of the Seventh-day Adventists is the high value placed on health education: In the sense of the motto, healing and salvation are closely linked‘ the German Association for Health Care e. V., which, for example, provides training to become a “health advisor”. Numerous courses are intended to raise awareness of the holistic nature of life. ”(Hermann Ruttmann, Religions - Churches - Confessions. Religious Communities in Marburg, REMID, Marburg, 1993, p. 175)

"Adventists try to keep their bodies healthy in a special way out of a sense of responsibility towards the Creator: they are often vegetarian-oriented and maintain an alcohol- and nicotine-free lifestyle." (Joachim Ritzka, Mit - Christians in conversation. Confessional diversity in the area of ​​the diocese Aachen, Aachen, 1997, p. 19).

“Increased attention is being paid to taking care of the health of the body, which is the body, the temple of Christ. In the past, people may have been ready all too quickly to see this as legal behavior by Seventh-day Adventists. I believe, however, that the Church cannot ignore a position on the question of its position on alcohol and nicotine, given the current knowledge that we have about it, such as the scourge of cancer. In the long run one can no longer cover every indecision with an emphasis on evangelical freedom. "(P. Schwarzenau, An evangelical theologian speaks about the Seventh-day Adventists, Wittgenstein-Verlag, Laasphe, 1978, p. 20)

“The Adventists have done exemplary things for the health reform (hospitals, outpatient wards, ships and planes in medical service, food factories). Medical research has shown time and time again that the Adventists are the healthiest ethnic group in the United States. Their mortality from cancer is lower, and mortality from cardiovascular disease is 50% lower than that of the rest of the US population. ”(Michael Klöcker / Udo Tworuschka, Religionen in Deutschland, Olzog, Munich, 1994, p . 57)

“Medical research has shown that Adventists are the healthiest subgroup in American society. All diseases, including cancer, occur significantly less in them than in the rest of the population. This also has to do with the fact that they do not eat any foods that are described as 'unclean' in the Bible and that they abstain from all alcoholic beverages, tobacco, drugs and drug abuse. ”(Erich Geldbach, Freikirchen, 2nd ed., Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2005, p. 318)

“Since 1874 world missions have been carried out. Adventist missions include preaching, education, and health ministry. This shows the close connection between justification and sanctification, between faith and lifestyle. ”(Andreas Rössler, Kleine Kirchenkunde, Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart, 1997, p. 116)


Freedom of conscience and religion

“The spatial distribution of the members of Seventh-day Adventist congregations initially shows that they are well and evenly represented in practically all parts of Germany. ... Only in 104 urban and rural districts are no Adventist churches represented. That is ... the lowest number of all the free churches discussed here. ... The largely area-wide distribution of the Adventist churches throughout Germany indicates a targeted strategy for church planting. ... The discussions held between 1965 and 1969 by representatives of the Adventists and the World Council of Churches established that the Adventists cannot be accused of proselytism. ”(Reinhard Henkel, Atlas of the Churches and Other Religious Communities in Germany - a religious geography, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 2001, pp. 161, 162)

“The emphasis on freedom of conscience is very important. This freedom of conscience relates to the inside. Everyone who cannot reconcile the teaching of the Adventist church with his or her conscience is called upon to leave this church. So proselytes are not made at any price, but the conscience must be free. This freedom of conscience also has to do with the fact that the Seventh-day Adventists advocate an unconditional separation of church and state. "(P. Schwarzenau, An evangelical theologian speaks about the Seventh-day Adventists, Wittgenstein-Verlag, Laasphe, 1978, P. 21)

“What is striking is the Seventh-day Adventist commitment to human rights, especially freedom of religion. The International Association for the Defense and Promotion of Religious Freedom ‘, founded in Paris in 1949, is closely linked to the Seventh-day Adventists. It is recognized by the UN, UNESCO and the Council of Europe as an NGO and endeavors to enforce the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations of December 10, 1948. Through congresses, contacts with governments and churches, the aim is to solve specific problems or to intervene in good time so that laws that violate freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are not even passed. In this sense, the head of the Institute for Religious Freedom at the Friedensau Theological University, Dr. Harald Mueller, rejected the demand of the Federal Minister of Justice to restrict the fundamental right to religious freedom. The magazine 'Conscience and Freedom' (No. 62 appeared in 2006) is the mouthpiece and is published in various languages. ”(Erich Geldbach, The Ecumenical Meaning of the Seventh-day Adventist Community in“ Open up and become light! ". Festschrift for Konrad Raiser, Dagmar Heller, Christina Kayales, Barbara Rudolph, Gert Rüppell, Heinrich Schäfer, eds., Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 2008, p. 186)


“Despite all the parousia delay that the Seventh-day Adventists had to take note of in their almost 150-year existence, they still have the hope - and in practice it is also coupled with an abundance of social activities - that the longed-for return will take place soon. ... Even today in the texts of the community the statement can be found: 'The fulfillment of most prophetic statements [Note: the Bible] as well as the current state of the world indicate that Christ's coming is imminent' - but without a date to be mentioned. "(Hans Gasper / Friederike Valentin, eds., Endzeitfieber, Herder, Freiburg, 1997, p. 36)

“Seventh-day Adventists still await the return of Christ, but without giving a specific date. It is crucial that Christ comes again. "(Michael Klöcker / Udo Tworuschka, Religionen in Deutschland, Olzog, Munich, 1994, p. 55)

“One of the massive changes being made by Seventh-day Adventists is the reinterpretation of end-time ideas. The initial story is marked by a "great disappointment" because the concrete calculations of the second coming of Jesus, as made by William Miller (1782-1849), were not fulfilled. The Adventists who emerged from this crisis did not fall into the mistake of completely foregoing an expectation in the near future, but held on to the biblical expectation. Here lies a special contribution that the Seventh-day Adventist Church can make to the ecumenical movement. Often it seems that what was most important for Jesus and early Christianity, namely the expectation of the imminent kingdom of God, has been forgotten in the churches and the ecumenical movement, at least pushed to the sidelines or in the last chapter of dogmatics ('Of the last things') has been postponed. The ecumenical movement can learn from the Adventists that, without expectation, faith is tempted to succumb to the modern feasibility madness and to believe that it can build the kingdom of God. Mind you: It is not a question of rejecting political-prophetic actions and speeches of the churches and the ecumenical movement or even of speaking disparagingly of a "secular ecumenism". Rather, it is about Christian realism, which assumes that doing and speaking are only in harmony if everything remains dependent on God's end-time actions. ”(Erich Geldbach, The Ecumenical Meaning of the Seventh-Day Adventist Community in“ Mache Let yourself be light! «. Festschrift for Konrad Raiser, Dagmar Heller, Christina Kayales, Barbara Rudolph, Gert Rüppell, Heinrich Schäfer, eds., Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 2008, p. 183)

“The Seventh-day Adventist community sees itself in principle as facing the world, since it does not expect the destruction of the world, but the return of Jesus into this world. Seventh-day Adventists are convinced that violent conditions cannot be combated by force, and as a rule a Seventh-day Adventist believer will refuse to serve in the war and instead perform alternative service. The fundamentally pacifist attitude of the Seventh-day Adventists is underpinned by a widespread welfare work. "(Hermann Ruttmann, Religionen - Kirchen - Konfessionen. Faith communities in Marburg, REMID, Marburg, 1993, p. 175)

"The Seventh-day Adventists maintain an extensive welfare organization and a disaster and development aid service, the ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), to deal with conflicts in the world." (Hermann Ruttmann, Diversity of Religions using the Example of Faith Communities in the Marburg-Biedenkopf district , REMID, Marburg, 1995, p. 112)

“They [note: the Adventists] ... renounced ... all concrete dates. But the tense vigilance, the life waiting for the returning Lord and the awareness that our world is transitory has persisted. The Seventh-day Adventists are a good example that this basic attitude does not have to be reflected in an escape from the world. With their extensive school and training system, their hospitals and homes, their health care (smoking cessation courses, for example) and their reform products, the Seventh-day Adventists ... know that they are fully responsible for shaping earthly life. "(Klaus Bannach / Kurt Rommel, Ed., Religious currents of our time, Quell-Verlag, Stuttgart, 1991, pp. 154f.).

“There is no religious rule that prohibits Adventists from engaging in politics. They take a stand on all major political problems. They see themselves as a pacifist community. The male members generally refuse to serve in the armed forces. Like many religious communities, they are involved in development aid. A special concern is standing up for the politically persecuted and refugees. In this context the Old Testament is remembered and the sufferings of the homeless and persecuted Israelites described there. Jesus' demand to stand up for marginalized groups is also quoted. Every form of racism and nationalism is strictly rejected. Adventists also advocate freedom of religion and promote religious tolerance. Recently, Seventh-day Adventists have increasingly devoted themselves to the topic of environmental protection. Regular exposure to the great outdoors has always been part of the healthy lifestyle recommended by Ellen Gould White. Like the human body, nature is viewed as part of creation that needs to be honored and preserved ... The example of the Adventists shows that eschatological thinking can also and above all justify and legitimize tireless social engagement. ”(Thomas Rabbit, life in the end times, in connection, 12/95, p. 54)


“The Jewish Shabbat as the seventh day, as a day of rest, is observed by the Seventh-day Adventists on Saturday in accordance with the testimony of the Old and New Testaments - from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. The general Christian holidays, such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, are ... only celebrated cautiously, the harvest festival, however, has a high festive value. "(Hermann Ruttmann, Religions - Churches - Denominations. Faith communities in Marburg, REMID, Marburg, 1993, P. 174)

“The common divine service [Note: the Seventh-day Adventists] plays a central role in church life. It always takes place on a Saturday. Worship services differ in many ways from those celebrated in a Catholic or Evangelical Lutheran church. Even the outer frame is different. The meeting rooms are kept very simple. There are no pictures or religious symbols adorning the room, just a simple cross at times. A few flowers and candles decorate the hall. Instead of the altar there is a simple table or lectern. The plain exterior is intentional. Adventists want to concentrate on the essentials of a worship service and that is the message of the Holy Scriptures for them. They reject any kind of ritual formalism. For them, the purpose of worship is not to obey commandments or rules. Rather, it is about dealing with the message of the Holy Scriptures and cultivating a personal relationship with God. Seventh-day Adventist worship is a worship of words. There is no fixed liturgy. It usually takes two hours. The focus is on the so-called Bible school and the sermon. Songs sung together, prayers and messages from community life form the framework. In the Bible School, the congregation members discuss a specific passage from the Old or New Testament together every week. The parishioners take part actively in the interpretation of the treated texts. In general, as an observer, one has the impression that those present are emotionally "involved" in what is happening in the service. ... "Participation" is also evident in the communications from community life. Here, too, the parishioners have their say. It is not uncommon for the reports to result in emotional personal statements of belief. ”(Steffen Rink / Martin Baumann, Religionen Celebrate.Festivals and holidays of religious communities in Germany, Diagonal-Verlag, Marburg, 1997, p. 73f.)

“For themselves [Note: the Adventists], 'Sabbath' means a real celebration: rest from work, attendance at church services and worship, joy in creation, building on the kingdom of God through doing good and healing, occupation with spiritual and spiritual things and development of the higher dispositions of man. ... From the Adventist approach one would have to formulate it this way: The gift of creation and the gift of the Sabbath belong together directly. That is to say, God, who entrusted the earth to man (Genesis 1:28), also gave him the blessing that the "perfect" and "good" work of creation contains. And he did this by giving the man a holy seventh day ‘. On each Sabbath it can now reconnect with the originally good creation and can, as it were, return to the original state. At the same time he can feel a trace of the rest of the perfection (cf. Heb 3: 7-4, 11) and the glorious freedom of the children of God ‘(Rom 8:21). The Sabbath is therefore primeval and eschatological at the same time, a memory of creation and a memory of redemption. This depth of the Sabbath commandment has obviously not yet been recognized by traditional theology. Here the Adventist view could provide a positive impetus. ”(Hans-Diether Reimer, Die Adventisten, in Rüdiger Hauth, ed., ... next to the churches. Communities that want to live their faith in a special way, 10th ed., Christian publishing house, Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1995, p. 190. 193)

“The keeping of the Sabbath seems confusing at first sight. Why should one argue about rest day? Adventists see Scripture on their side. Christ as mediator of creation is also present in the commandments of the Decalogue. Here are treasures that are still unexcavated for the ecumenical movement, because the Adventist Sabbath celebration with its cheerful and serene calm, but also its clear severity, is diametrically opposed to the "normal" Sunday sanctification and shows striking parallels with Judaism. Couldn't that be made fruitful in the Judeo-Christian dialogue? ”(Erich Geldbach, The Ecumenical Meaning of the Seventh-day Adventist Community in“ Make yourself open to light! ”Festschrift for Konrad Raiser, Dagmar Heller, Christina Kayales, Barbara Rudolph, Gert Rüppell, Heinrich Schäfer, eds., Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 2008, p. 185)

"Because the children had to attend public schools on the Sabbath, the Seventh-day Adventists in the USA and elsewhere built their own school system that was committed to holistic pedagogy." (Erich Geldbach / Peter Noss, ed., Diversity and Change. Lexicon of the religious communities in the Ruhr area, Klartext Verlag, Essen, 2009, p. 306)


“The Seventh-day Adventists are accused of drawing their teachings essentially from the visions of Ellen G. White, whose writings and visions are also disseminated in the literature of the Seventh-day Adventists. The Seventh-day Adventists deny this, for example, by pointing out that the White couple had already sanctified the Sabbath in 1846, while the corresponding vision of Ellen G. White, which confirmed this sanctification, did not take place until 1847. In the same way, Ellen G. White always refused to regard her visions and writings as being equivalent to the Bible and always regarded the Bible as the final authority on doctrinal questions. Their visions, on the other hand, are suitable for burying the already revealed truths of the Word of God alive in the heart ‘.

“In the Dialogue of the World Reformed Federation with the Seventh-day Adventists (2001), the question was asked under the title 'Mutual misunderstandings and clarifications': 'Do Adventists add something to the biblical canon?' Adventists believe that the biblical gift of Prophecy proved itself in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White '. They 'however persistently adhere to the sola scriptura principle' so that the writings of the modern prophetess must also be checked against the standard of the Bible. July / August 2009, p. 67f.)

“The relationship between the Scriptures and the writings of Ellen G. White will continue to be determined in such a way that, with prophetic urgency, directions from the Scriptures for the spiritual and moral life of the Adventist Church are given. The purpose of White's writings is not to supplement the scriptures. They also do not serve as a teaching basis or as a substitute for the Holy Scriptures and are not on a par with it. Rather, the Bible is regarded as the authoritative source of revelation and the sole basis of faith. The Seventh-day Adventists want the Reformation, sola scripura ‘to apply to them. ... Still, White's writings are not simply writings that are good and useful to read. They are considered to be inspired by the spirit of prophecy, despite a liberal use of literary sources that led to the allegation of plagiarism. Nonetheless, the clear statements about the meaning of the Holy Scriptures as a 'normative norm' should silence the accusation that the Seventh-day Adventists referred to extra-biblical sources of revelation. ”(Erich Geldbach, Die Adventisten - a denominational classification, in the material service of the denominational institute Bensheim , May / June 1992, p. 49)


“There is a lot of room among the Adventists for open and honest self-criticism. There are warnings against rigid legality, false security and complacency as well as against righteousness, lovelessness or even judicial spirit towards those who think differently. And voices like these, which get loud again and again, do not preach, deaf ears ‘. For with the Seventh-day Adventists there is not only a strong spiritual and spiritual activity among the parishioners and consequently a far-reaching realization of the 'general priesthood of the believers', but also a piety related to pietism, a personal communion with Jesus and the Emphasizes change in His following. As a result, Adventism was also saved from degenerating into an authoritarian system that sets itself an infallible standard. "(Hans-Jürgen Twisselmann, Die Adventisten, Bundes-Verlag, Witten, 1970, p. 22)

“On the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, on May 8, 1945, the Adventists in Germany and Austria published a joint“ Declaration ”. In it they complain that the war emanated from these countries, that the Seventh-day Adventists did not perceive the character of the Nazi dictatorship in good time and clearly enough and did not clearly recognize the ungodly nature of the Nazi ideology. For the first time, a free church is complaining that it paid homage to Adolf Hitler in its publications and expressed the racial ideology of anti-Semitism in a way that is incomprehensible today. In fellowship with the peoples who have become 'accomplices of the racial madness' that cost six million Jews and members of other minorities all over Europe freedom and life, Seventh-day Adventists also have none of the misery and suffering of their Jewish fellow citizens Taken part. The concrete naming of the failure is followed by the confession of guilt and the obligation to stand up against war and oblivion. Obedience to government should not lead to the abandonment of biblical beliefs and values. For the first time, a community spoke across national borders by making a German-Austrian declaration. The Adventists of both countries see themselves as having the same responsibility and have jointly signed the document through their leading personalities. "(Karl Heinz Voigt, Guilt and Failure of the Free Churches in the" Third Reich ". Processes since 1945, Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main, 2005, P. 68f.)



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