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Registered user
Username: Alison1

Post Number: 120
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 11:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, folks I know I have asked this question once before but I can't seem to locate the information on this website. It has to deal with the different types of adventists. Such as liberal, historic, evangelical, moderate and a few others. If you know what I am talking about I use your help in finding this information once again. It's frustrating because I know that there is a thread on this site that talks about it but I can't seem to find it. I know at one time I had printed it out for myself and can't seem to find it. It must have gotten lost in my recent move. I would like to have this info readily available for future reference. I found it very interesting and informative as well to see the various divisions within the SDA church. You can see why so many people want to leave.
Registered user
Username: Cloudwatcher

Post Number: 631
Registered: 5-2009

Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 8:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is this it?

An excellent description of the major theological groupings of Seventh-day Adventists by NightEternal (

LIBERAL ADVENTISTS: This group is mostly centralized in southern California, but they can be found almost anywhere in the world. These are Adventists who have accepted the liberal Christian concepts where just about anything goes. Do not hold to literal interpretations of Scripture from Genesis through the Gospels as well as the remainder of the New Testament. Scripture is regarded as a collection of myths or stories and historical exaggerations used to teach moral lessons. Some may hold other Gnostic ancient books as on the same level of importance as the Bible. They do not believe in the literal creation account, world-wide flood, or miracles, including the resurrection of Jesus. Many have accepted evolution in some form into their belief systems. Beliefs can range from no after-life to Universalism. Homosexuality is accepted as another lifestyle alternative and impulse that God created people with. Ellen White means nothing to them and they have all but discarded most of the distinctive fundamentals as well as orthodox Christian fundamentals. They are often ‘cultural’ Adventists who still enjoy the oppourtunity to discuss with others philosophical ideas concerning the Sabbath. They may enjoy church services of various kinds or none at all, from high church to celebrationn services. Will often call themselves Christian Agnostics or Agnostic Christians. In fact, the only SDA feature many liberal Adventists have retained is the Sabbath. Almost all attend movies of any sort, wear jewelry, eat meat, drink coffee and caffeinated pops, some partake of unclean foods, many drink alcoholic wine, especially in the areas of California where vineyards are found. Women’s ordination has never been a question and the SCC implemented it years ago against the official stand of the conference.

Key Adventist Figures: Steve Daily

PROGRESSIVE ADVENTISTS: Highly regard science, logic, reason and the historical-critical method. Will adopt any modern means of Biblical interpretation available. Want to do away with many of the fundamentals, especially the Investigative Judgement/1844/Heavenly sanctuary doctrines. Believe Ellen White is a woman of her times whose works may contain inspirational material that may be used in a pastoral way. Do not believe she has doctrinal authourity. Some hold to a literal creation account, world-wide flood and miracles. Others see the Genesis story as non-literal and consider other methods of creation possible. The post-modern movement can also be traced to this group. In understanding post-modern philosophy, they desire to have the church be relevant in the present time and do not regard the history and legacy of the Adventist pioneers as the embodiment of religious truth. Some have adopted the views of the moral influence/larger view Adventists and rejected penal, legal atonemt. Others hold to such atonement theories as Christus Victor, Federal Head and Recapitulation. There may be an amalgam of several atonement theories. A credo would probably be reason over tradition. Spreading like wildfire in many European countries.

Key Adventist Figures: Riendeer Bruinsma, Alden Thompson, Richard Rice, Fritz Guy, John McLarty (Adventist Today), Spectrum Magazine

MORAL INFLUENCE/LARGER VIEW ADVENTISTS: Also found mostly in Southern California/Loma Linda area, this group denies that God will destroy the wicked in the end. They believe that sin itself will consume them without any intervention on God’s part. Absolutely deny legal/forensic/penal atonement. Heavy emphasis on the love and mercy of Christ to the exclusion of His anger and justice. Revere Ellen White, but they only pick and choose that which reflects thier unique views. Heavily influenced by the views of Peter Abelard. You can find many of them on the website Heavenly Sanctuary.

Key Figures: Graham Maxwell (Pine Knoll), Dan Smith, Ty Gibson (Light Bearers), Michael Klute.

EVANGELICAL ADVENTISTS: Champions of Reformation justification by faith and the closest segment to the positions of Luther and the reformers. Bitterly fight against sinless perfection/final generation theology and the belief in the sinful nature of Christ. Consider both full-blown heresy. The most user-friendly Adventism and the one subgroup that presents the most acceptable Adventist face to mainline Protestantism. Believe the atonement was completed at the cross. Stand firmly behind Questions On Doctrine as representative of balanced Adventist thought. Have realistic views of inspiration and completely reject verbal inspiration for both the Bible and Ellen White. Ardent holders to thought inspiration. Ellen White highly regarded, but do not believe she has doctrinal authourity and believe she is subject to the New Testament apostles. Some Evangelical Adventists have abandoned EGW, but not all. Completely reject traditional understanding of the Investigative Judgement as detrimental to assurance of salvation. Hold to pre-Advent judgment where the salvation of God’s people is not under question. Very firm and uncompromising in their opposition to Rome. Worship services are predominately contemporary with CCM as well as heavily influenced by Willow Creek seeker-services.

Key Figures: George Knight, Graeme Bradford, Hans LaRondelle, H.M.S. Richards Sr. (Voice Of Prophecy), Raymond Cottrell, Desmond Ford (Good News Unlimited), Edward Heppenstall, Frank Phillips

MODERATE ADVENTISTS: The largest subgroup by far, this constitutes the majority in the pews. Standard Adventist beliefs, hold to the fundamentals. Avoids either extreme and and tries to be balanced. High regard for Ellen white but do not hold to verbal inspiration nor elevate her above the Bible. Mainline believers who support official church mission ardently. Stay very close to offical GC policy, mandate and standard Adventist worldview.

Key Figures: Mark Finley, Dwight Nelson, Keavin Hayden, Marvin Moore, Roy Adams, Ed Christian, Morris Venden, Jack Sequeira (Vineyard Ministries), Shawn Boonstra (It Is Written), Steven Mosley, Steve Wohlberg, Lonnie Melashenko (Voice Of Prophecy), George Vandeman (Voice Of Prophecy)

CONSERVATIVE/TRADITIONAL ADVENTISTS: Close to moderate Adventists, but with a little more lean to the right. Bitterly oppose women’s ordination, CCM, meat-eating, justification by faith as taught by Luther. Very high regard for Ellen White, borderline verbal inspirationists. Revere the law and the Ten Commandments and have sinless perfection tendencies. Many are heavily involved in Jesuit/Catholic/Masonic conspiracy theories. Staunch defenders of the 28 fundamentals and lovers of pioneer, 1800’s style Adventism. Major representation in third world countries such as Africa and South America.

Key Figures: William Johnsson, Cifford Goldstein, Doug Batchelor (Amazing Facts), Sam Bacchiocchi (Biblical Perspectives), Sam Koranteng Pipim, Herbert Douglass, Ed Reid, Kenneth Cox, Richard O’Ffill (Revival Sermons), Danny Shelton (3 ABN), Walter Veith (Amazing Discoveries), Jan Marcussen, David Asscherick, Leo Schriven, Bill Tucker (The Quiet Hour), Robert Weiland and Donald Short (The 1888 Message Committee), C.D. Brooks

ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE/TRADITIONAL ADVENTISTS: Historical Adventists who represent the far right. Believe in the sinful nature of Christ, righteousness by works, have a hatred for the Reformation gospel. Sinless perfectionists who believe Christ merely set the example we can follow until we reach the condition of Adam before the fall-all before glorification, which they believe only changes the physical and nothing else. Bitterly oppose Questions On Doctrine, consider it the most hated book ever published in Adventism. Heavy emphasis on I.J., traditional style and making oneself worthy to pass inspection by Jesus. Strict diet reform emphasis, all are vegetarian, most are vegan. Borderline deificaiton of Ellen White, verbal inspirationist leanings. Most regard EGW as equal to the Bible in authourity and the final say in all matters not addressed in Scripture. Many can be found on such websites as Revival Sermons, Great Controversy, Adventist Affirm, SDA Defend, Temcat’s House

Key Figures: M.L. Andreason, Kevin Paulson, Larry Kirkpatrick, Joe Crews, Vance farrell, Dennis Priebe, Stephen Lewis

EXTREMIST ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE TRADITIONAL ADVENTISTS/FFSHOOTS/INDEPENDENT MINISTRIES: About as far right you can go in Adventism. The most disturbing, frightening Adventism available. Ultra-strict, unyeilding dress reform, diet reform, mind reform, any reform you can think of. Hyper-vegan, believe diet is a salvation issue and meat-eaters are lost. Heavy, extreme emphasis on historic Adventism and the pioneers. Agenda to purify the Adventist church and get back to 1800 style Adventism. Shepherd’s Rod believe they will be the instruments of destruction God will use to cleanse the camp of modern-day Adventism at some point in the future. Have their own communes, schools, churches, camp meetings, etc. Deify Ellen White, all but have included her in the Biblical canon. Fringe groups who believe that only a literal 144,000 are going through to the end. Hatred for corporate Adventism and conference structure. Believe the GC is the seat of the beast, riddled with Jesuit infiltrators. Hatred for any modern expressions of Adventism, believe they are the only true Adventists and the rest are lost. All believe the mainline church is in apostasy and is fallen Babylon, and so a call for as many as possible to come out is needed. Many use cultish fear-tactics and brainwashing to recruit and retain thier followers.

Key Groups/Figures: Shepherd’s Rod (Victor Houteff), Branch Davidians, SDA Reform, Remnant Of The Remnant, Our Firm Foundation/Hope International (Ralph Larson), Hartland Institute (Colin and Russell Standish)
Registered user
Username: Alison1

Post Number: 123
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you cloudwatcher for the info. I did a copy and paste and am saving a copy for my files.
It seems ironic but christianity in general also has its progressives, liberals, conservatives, evangelicals, etc. I guess Adventism isn't much different in that area.
Registered user
Username: Martin

Post Number: 168
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2012 - 2:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking at the list (thanks for reposting it, Cloudwatcher) I guess that most of the people in the church in Spain where I was baptised as a SDA could be identified as moderates and conservative/traditional types, with more than a few ultra-conservative/traditional. Most of the key figures names I recognise from back then are within those areas.

Also, it's true that the conservative/traditional "school of thought" is very predominant in South America. In the early 2000's there was a lot of immigration from different countries of South America into Spain, and many churches filled up with new people. Although I think that Adventism in Spain tended towards the traditional side of things, all this people brought with them a lot of very traditional SDA ideas.

From my experience, something similar happens with SDA's from some European countries like Romania, Ukraine and Austria. Very, very traditional, to the point of basically thinking that the SDA's from other neighbour countries were all "lost" because they were not like them, and then deciding to leave early from an international youth congress because they thought the music was ungodly or something like that.

I guess that the UK, where I've been for the last 7 years, is a bit of a mixed bag. Long time ago I attended a talk by Clifford Goldsteing. Didn't like much what he said, but I find it ironic that I ended up doing what he basically recommended... In my words: if you don't like Adventism, just leave. Good riddance. Quite a few traditionals here, but I also know some people who tend more towards the progressive side.
Registered user
Username: Cloudwatcher

Post Number: 632
Registered: 5-2009

Posted on Friday, December 07, 2012 - 6:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the big category that is missing is CULTURAL ADVENTIST. They may have leanings in conservative or liberal directions (probably dependent on the flavor of their upbringing and their local church) but they don't think about doctrinal issues at all. They're just in it for the vegelinks and haystack fellowship.
Registered user
Username: Lyrical

Post Number: 99
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2012 - 9:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Thanks for pointing that out! The Cultural Adventist catagory is one that I'm very familiar with and probably made up 75% of the last SDA church I attended...

I attended a "Bible study" for years with a large group of women from this church. Doctrinal issues and beliefs would sometimes come up and no one ever had feedback or an opinion (other than some nonspecific, generic comment). They literally never thought about it and didn't really care. And these were the women leading the entire children's division, teaching Sabbath Scool, etc. They were very active in the local church.

I think it's a HUGE catagory within Adventism in the U.S., especially in the western states.
Registered user
Username: Punababe808

Post Number: 247
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2012 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No matter what color their stripes are they all are in bondage to the same 28 Fundamentals. The same world president, etcetera.
Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14146
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes. Cultural Adventists are a huge body. They do all have the same worldview, however. The belief in Sabbath, in a spiritless man, in EGW to some degree, and the need to defend God's reputation...these are things that shape Adventists' view of reality, no matter what "brand" they are.

Thanks for reposting, Cloudwatcher!

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