I have many dear Adventist friends and relatives. I have many fond memories of church potlucks, nature hikes, church campouts, and other bonding experiences. Practically all of my elementary, academy and college education was in the SDA educational system. I grew up at Andrews University where my father was a professor there. My grandparents were the first white teachers at Oakwood College when racism was rampant. Our family grew up with a missionary mindset, and my parents taught me what their Adventist parents taught them, and their parents taught them, and so on. I was a sixth-generation Adventist for 54 years.
The 3Q2006 Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment", was God's wakeup call to me. I studied intensively, covering my quarterly with so many notes that in places there was no place else to write. I concluded that the whole 1844 concept was utter nonsense -- unsupportable from Scripture. I studied every waking hour, both the Bible and the original SDA archives. I was in shock. I could not believe how I had been dupped. Probably a third of the sizable professional adult Sabbath School class was arriving at the same conclusion. We were a class that thrived on being Bible Bereans, and if we were totally honest with the facts, there simply was no way to historically or grammatically arrive at Adventism's cultic 1844 conclusions. It is utter nonsense. Dr. Raymond Cottrell, the editor of the SDA Bible Commentary for Daniel and Revelation, before his death stated in his landmark publication, "Sanctuary Doctrine, Asset or Liability", that he agreed. There is no Biblical support for this SDA duckbilled platypus.
Dr. Raymond Cottrell valiantly attempted with the leading Bible scholars to find some support -- any support -- for this teaching.
"In 1958 the Review and Herald Publishing Association needed new printing plates for the classic book Bible Readings, and it was decided to revise it where necessary to agree with the Commentary. Coming again to the Book of Daniel I determined to try once more to find a way to be absolutely faithful to both Daniel and the traditional Adventist interpretation of 8:14, but again found it impossible. I then formulated six questions regarding the Hebrew text of the passage and its context, which I submitted to every college teacher versed in Hebrew and every head of the religion department in all of our North American colleges---all personal friends of mine. Without exception they replied that there is no linguistic or contextual basis for the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14.36
When the results of this questionnaire were called to the attention of the General Conference president, he and the Officers appointed the super-secret Committee on Problems in the Book of Daniel, of which I was a member. Meeting intermittently for five years (1961-1966), we considered 48 papers relative to Daniel 8 and 9, and in the spring of 1966 adjourned sine die, unable to reach a consensus."
If we see a friend start to drink physical poison it would be the height of irresponsibility to stand idly by, and say nothing. We are our "brother's keeper." It is by this that we show our love. Our friend might vehemently disagree with us, but if we have done our research, if we truly love them we are going to plead with them to examine the evidence for themselves. The same thing applies for mental poison such as pornography.
After much prayerful thought, I have concluded that the Seventh-day Adventist belief system is addicting spiritual pornography. It is very alluring, but its poison is toxic. Adventism's spiritual pornography divides our allegiance. It creates two masters - what the Bible teaches and the unique doctrines of Seventh-day Adventism. It is every bit as toxic as mental pornography. It affects not only men, but women. If we truly love our Adventist brothers and sisters, we cannot remain silent. God calls us to be lighthouses, to let our light shine, to lead people away from the spiritual pornography of Adventism, and into the Sabbath Rest that only Jesus can offer. No man can serve two masters.