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.