Question:

Are Seventh-day Adventists a cult?

Answer: Adventists beliefs are in line with the traditional teachings of historic Christianity as derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds. As such, Adventists do not belong to a cult.

Dr Walter Martin, founder and director of the Christian Research Institute (www.equip.org) and author of The Kingdom of Cults, an authoritative reference work on major cult systems for nearly forty years, also called the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church “orthodox” and refused to label the church a cult.

Seventh-day Adventists are often accused of denying Christian freedom because we hold the law of God in high regard and stress the need to obey God. 

We do not keep the law in order to be saved, but we keep it out of gratitude because God has redeemed us through Jesus Christ.

God has in His grace set us free from evil powers and habits, and we are now free to serve Him as our Lord. The Bible makes this very clear in Romans 6:12-23:

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us remember that the supposed liberty or freedom that many people claim they have without the law of God, quite often leads to dependency and slavery. Living an unhealthy lifestyle, drinking, smoking and so on does not give freedom, but creates problems and addictions.

Living in disobedience or disrespect for one's parents or stealing, lying and committing adultery certainly is not leading to freedom in the long run. Rather, it binds the character and personality. Acting this way will form you into a person you may not want to be.

When Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath, for instance, we do not do so in order to win God, but we do as an expression of our gratitude for His redemption. He wants to be with us and spend special time with us, and He has set aside the Sabbath day for that purpose. For someone who loves God, it is not a burden to spend time with Him.

God wants the best for us, and His laws are a blessing for anyone who adheres to them.