Is Adventism a cult? The Adventist Record of December 3, 2016 bore a photo of a youngish, non-conformist looking woman with holes in her jeans and masses of hair. With a look of ‘greens’ appearance or maybe an adherent of a goddess cult or then again a modern witch, the question was posed beneath: ‘Is the Adventist church an apostate cult?
One need not be an alternative to be captured in cultic culture. And whether the image was meant to portray a tincture of cultism one cannot say. But one need not be on the edge of society or an alternative life-styler to be in a cult. One may look identical to the suited Adventist in church on a Saturday or huddled in smart casual wear around the study of that quasi organ of indoctrination - the lesson quarterly.
If the word of truth is divided not ‘rightly’ but through the Ellen White lens and Adventist doctrine instead of the Jesus Lens and letting the Bible text speak for itself we have a cult. Adventists consistently interpret the ‘rest of God’ in Hebrews as the Sabbath. But it is not. Hebrews is the book that speaks of a better and superior covenant where Christ is our life and we live in the Sabbath rest of Jesus Himself.
A SABBATH LIFE
Here we have better than a Sabbath-day. We have a Sabbath life. In Jesus we need not live in externalities. We live in life itself. In Jesus we are liberated and resting from self-vindication and the labour of demonstrating our worthiness to God by our works. We are received into His fellowship despite our works and entirely on account of the work and person of Jesus. This is the result of the enterprise of the trinity and has nothing to do with any labour of ours. Our opportunity is to receive this rest with grace and perceive it as the love and grace that it is. The least we could do is to stop making a Messiah of the Sabbath and live in the Messiah of God.
IS JESUS OUR MEDIATED LIFE
Rather than asking if Adventism is a cult we would be better off with another line of enquiry. Is Jesus the expression of the law or is He the ultimate representation of life? Jesus, Paul and John say the latter. Ellen White places Jesus under the law and living to vindicate the law. Such reductionism should speak for itself. If Jesus lives to vindicate the law, then law as an entity is higher than He. As a result He is not I AM and not God, which is nonsense.
Adventism is one of the most subtle subversions of Christ and His gospel of the Kingdom ever.
THE LETTER KILLS
This law-cult obscures the issues of salvation and life – namely the absolute loving nature of our Father and His resolve in drawing us into Himself through Jesus to share in the life of the trinity. The law cult makes the human spirit subordinate to that which is impersonal and inhuman and obscures the truth of sonship and dignity that is ours as the created and redeemed sons and daughters of God. Adventism subordinates god to the law and as a result degrades human beings. As such it is not only false doctrine. It is institutionalised abuse parading as life. You can do better than attempting to extract a life from Adventism and its body of death. You can live in Jesus Himself because He has already come to live in you.