By Colleen Tinker


In the March, 2017 issue of the Adventist Review, a letter to the editor clearly illustrates Adventism’s underlying commitment to covert Christians to Adventism. Here is part of the letter:

“I was flying from Nairobi to New York, and as is my custom in every flight, I opened my Bible to spend some time in prayer. My companion asked who I was, and I told him that I was an Adventist pastor. By coincidence we were both Brazilians, and he was also a pastor of another denomination. He was going home on furlough with a stop in the United States. We spent most of the night discussing religion and sharing our faith.

“When we arrived at our destination, and before saying goodbye, I told him: ‘Why should you have half of the truth when you can have the whole truth?’ He told me later in a letter, which I treasure, that the phrase stuck with him. He went back to Brazil, searched for an Adventist pastor, and was later baptized. He could not be a pastor anymore, but told me that he was a faithful elder in one of our churches in the state of Santa Catarina.”

That sentence, “Why should you have half of the truth when you can have the whole truth?” defines the reality of the “Adventist gospel”. Although they seldom tell the potential proselyte about the Sabbath in a first encounter, Adventists nevertheless do believe that the simple gospel of Christianity is incomplete. Jesus, for them, is only part of the equation; one must also keep the law—especially the Sabbath—and one must give up the idea that believers go to be with the Lord at death. They must also embrace Ellen White as a last-day messenger of God.

Unfortunately, many Christians are not well-versed in the biblical covenants. Many retain a belief that the Ten Commandments have an ongoing role as a rule of faith and practice for Christians. This lack of clarity that the Lord Jesus fulfilled the law and ushered in a new covenant in His blood, a covenant in which Jesus is our Rest and the Holy Spirit replaces the law written in stone as our source of knowing God’s will (2 Corinthians 3), leaves many Christians unable to answer Adventists’ arguments.

Knowing what Scripture says about Jesus’ finished work and His inauguration of a new covenant is the only way both to identity and to answer Adventists’ deceptive arguments.



Adventist Review: Inbox

Colleen Tinker

Colleen Tinker

Colleen Tinker, the editor of Proclamation! magazine, and her husband Richard left Adventism in 1998 with their two sons, Roy and Nathanael, who were in grades six and ten. They have co-led the Former Adventist Fellowship since 1999. Colleen, a graduate of Walla Walla University, is a former high school English teacher and also the former managing editor of Adventist Today magazine. Colleen became the stepmother of Roy and Nathanael in 1989, and in 2008 she adopted them. Romans 8:15-17 has assumed new depth and significance for her and Richard since she and her sons chose to claim each other legally and permanently. She and Richard share an office and a commitment to sharing the gospel of the true Jesus with all of those seeking a way out of the bondage of the false gospel of Adventism.
Colleen Tinker

One comment

  1. I believe the person in the story has it right. (And did you not mean “convert”? ) The Reformation was a progressive movement to bring Christianity back to the whole truth of the Bible and not just half of the truth. Seventh-day Adventism is a cumulative structure built on the Bible truth discovered in God’s Word through the centuries. Had we called that cumulative structure “whole Christianity,” instead of “Seventh-day Adventism,” it would have only sounded arrogant AND it would have missed an opportunity to call the attention of the Christian world to the Biblical teaching that anchors humankind to the biblical Creator and that gives us hope in Christ for the future. Forgiveness of sin apart from the One who made us isn’t reconciliation to God (2 Cor. 5:19). Forgiveness of sin without the hope of the resurrection is a dead end (1 Cor. 15:16, 17). I know you can have a vague notion of God without connecting it to His identity in Scripture, and that is better than nothing, but why not build our understanding of God on the whole truth about Him?

    We applaud those who lead people to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, but, stopping at forgiveness is not what the Bible teaches. Every gift that God gives is a “grace” (Eph. 4:7), and God gives grace for our every need (Heb. 4:16). Teaching that “grace” is the unmerited favor of forgiveness is only half the truth. In ends up promoting the ludicrous teaching, that, in your time of need, you should approach the throne of grace and accept that you are forgiven. Well, you are, but we have other needs besides forgiveness.

    The true Bible believer in Christ will want the whole truth, for “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16). The true Bible believer in Christ will follow the Holy Spirit into “all truth” (John 16:13; cf. Ps. 119:151)–not just the truth about the forgiveness of our sins.

    And this is why I think the person in the story has it right.

Leave a Reply