Seventh-day Adventists

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Seventh-day Adventists (SDA)
branch Protestantism
Belief Adventists
organization representative synodal system
distribution worldwide
president Ted Wilson
founder Joseph Bates ,
James White ,
Ellen White ,
John N. Andrews
Establishment date May 21, 1863
Place of foundation Battle Creek , Michigan , USA
Origin and development
successor of


Members 21,414,779 (end of 2018)
Clergy 17,272
Houses of worship more than 80,000 (end of 2015)
Congregations 71,048 churches
Hospitals 175 (2012)
Nursing homes 132
schools 7,683 (2012)
Universities and tertiary educational institutions 111
Humanitarian institutions ADRA
Tax position Free Church
Also called: STA (abbreviation)

The Seventh-day Adventist Faith Community ( SDA ) is a Protestant free church that spreads worldwide.


The name "Seventh-day Adventists" refers to the Church members

  • Adventists are, so believe in an imminent return of Jesus Christ ( Latin adventus , arrival ' ) and
  • Keeping the seventh day of the week after the biblical count , Saturday ( Sabbath ), holy, unlike most Christians who traditionally celebrate the first day of the week, Sunday, as the day of the resurrection.


Development of the number of parishioners

The Seventh-day Adventists themselves refer to the believers in their community as church members , members of the church or mostly for short as members .


In 1961, the church said it had more than 1 million members for the first time, and at the turn of the millennium it announced a membership of 10 million. As of December 31, 2016, there were 20,008,779 members. The numbers refer to baptized members only. Children from Adventist families are not included. Together with the not yet baptized children and young people, well over 30 million people attend Adventist worship services.

To compare the order of magnitude: there are currently around 71 million Lutherans worldwide (the children here are also official members, as infant baptism is practiced).

Within five years (2000–2005) 1.5 million people left the Church.

In the five years from 2009 to 2013, 5.45 million people joined the Free Church.

Development of membership numbers from 1863 to 2019, estimated by the Church itself

Church members in Germany

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Communities 578 586 572 570 564 563 560 559 558 558 559
Members 35,925 35,651 35,386 35.195 35,099 34,982 34,901 34,811 34,846 34,968 34,948
Baptisms / admissions 666 618 628 597 733 713 579 505 544 576
Deaths 525 533 532 488 524 568 517 496
Resignations / Exclusions 231 300 242 304 297 251 238 225
Net growth −97 −274 −265 −191 −96 −117 −81 −90 +35 +122 −20

As of December 31, 2017; Source: Adventist Press Service

Members in Austria

In Austria there are a total of 53 congregations with around 4200 baptized members who are looked after by around 30 ordained pastors (as of 2016).

Members in Switzerland

In Switzerland around 4,800 adults baptized Seventh-day Adventist Church, organized in 54 communities and are looked after by 44 pastors live. The Free Church is a guest member of the Working Group of Christian Churches in Switzerland (AGCK-CH). The STA in the canton of Basel-Stadt have had guest status with the cantonal working group of Christian churches (AGCK) since 1973. Later the guest status was also added in the cantons of Aargau, Baselland, Schaffhausen, Ticino and Zurich. In the canton of Vaud, the STAs are members of the cantonal AGCK.


To a large extent, the teaching of the Seventh-day Adventists is similar to the teaching of other Protestant and especially Baptist churches. So the Bible is considered to be the only religious authority. But there are also some characteristic differences.

Articles of Faith

The teaching is currently officially described in 28 points of faith. These points of faith describe, among other things, the understanding of God , the role of Jesus Christ , the Trinity , the understanding of the Bible , the teaching of the Sabbath , of the church ( understanding of the church), of the financing of the church , of the Christian lifestyle, of death and resurrection , of the end times , the with it connected second coming of Christ and the new earth. According to the preface to the Articles of Faith, these are not static, but can and should be adjusted according to the state of knowledge by a general meeting of the general conference.

Time of judgment

Adventists believe that the investigative judgment has been in heaven since October 22, 1844. Here all professing believers (from Adam and Eve on) are examined and all those who have kept their faith in Jesus Christ are entered in the book of life. They believe in the forgiveness of sins.


Unlike the majority of Christian churches , which use Sunday for regular weekly worship , the Seventh-day Adventists observe Saturday - the seventh day of the week according to the Abrahamic counting - as the day of rest for worship, which according to the Hebrew word in the original text as the Sabbath referred to as. The Sabbath begins on Fridays with sunset and also ends on Saturdays with sunset. The Free Church refers to the creation account (Genesis 2: 3): "... and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it" and the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 8-11), in which sanctification and the commemoration of the Sabbath is commanded by God: "Remember the Sabbath day, that you keep it holy ...". Seventh-day Adventists point out that according to his custom, Jesus also attended worship on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16) and stipulated the validity of the Sabbath after his ascension into heaven (Matthew 24:20): “But ask that your flight not be done in winter or on the Sabbath. ”Sunday sanctification, on the other hand, is not required anywhere in the New or Old Testament. Due to anti-Jewish, pagan (especially the Sunday celebration of the Mithraic cult ) and political influences, Sunday only supplanted the Sabbath celebration later. "This investigation shows that the adoption of Sunday instead of the Sabbath did not take place in the early Christian community of Jerusalem through the power of apostolic authority, but an estimated a century later in the Church of Rome." Only after Emperor Constantine on March 7, 321 Sunday declared a public holiday, it was also considered a day of rest by Christians. "At the beginning of the 4th century, the Sunday sanctification appears as a church command."

Adventists see Saturday as a time of rest that offers time for fellowship with God and with one's neighbor. For them it is not only a day of remembrance of creation , but also a weekly reminder of the redemption in Christ, the new creation of people who have become believers. In addition, it offers the prospect of the rest of the redeemed in the kingdom of God (Hebrews 4: 3–10).


Seventh-day Adventists (like many other churches) practice baptism of faith by immersion. They believe that personal repentance to God , personal belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior, and conscious choice are prerequisites for baptism . They consider baptism of faith as a requirement for membership. A thorough Adventist Bible study is conducted prior to baptism . The church has a right to know the creeds and attitudes of the person who wants to join the church. Therefore, the candidate for baptism usually presents himself to the congregation or the congregation committee and can profess his or her faith. The baptism takes place in baptismal fonts , which are built into the church service hall in larger meetinghouses, or in rivers or lakes if the weather is suitable. At the same time as baptism, they are accepted into the congregation. The transfer to the free church is possible without a new baptism if there is a previous baptism of faith from another church. A baptism ( child baptism ) received as an infant or small child is not recognized.

Hell and the State of the Dead

With regard to hell and the condition of the dead, the Seventh-day Adventists take the standpoint of annihilationism : They regard death as a state of sleep and justify this with biblical passages such as Koh 9,5 + 6 + 10  EU . They teach that a person does not experience the time of his death consciously and reject the view that people go to heaven or hell immediately after death (see 1 Thes 4,13ff  EU ). This time ends with the resurrection , which (in the case of the righteous) takes place at the second coming of Christ or (in the case of the wicked) after the millennium ( Rev 20  EU ). The Last Judgment then follows . For the wicked, this does not end with eternal torment in a fiery hell, but with final annihilation or extinction - whereby the formal membership of the Seventh-day Adventists does not mean automatic salvation and members of other churches will also find salvation: Only the Living faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is crucial, whereby the believers should not presume to speak appropriate judgments about other people.

Second Coming of Christ

Seventh-day Adventists expect Christ to return soon . This hope, which is based on the writings of the New Testament, is based on the interpretation of the stories of Jesus and the apostles who promise the perfection of Christian redemption in the second coming of Jesus ( Jn 14 : 1–3  NIV ; Mt 24:30  NIV ; Heb 9.28  EU ). As for the time of his second coming , Seventh-day Adventists refer on the one hand to the prophesied signs (Mt 24 LUT ; Mk 13  LUT , Lk 21.25-28  LUT ), which promise that the day that has been around for around two thousand years is expected near , can no longer be distant. At the same time, however, they warn against any time fixation, because the point in time remains hidden from people (Mt 24:36 HFA ). This double emphasis avoids both overheated anticipation and reckless indifference. With this they feel called to a life in constant readiness, which manifests itself in active service for the good of this world and the preaching of the Christian Gospel (Mt 24,14-44 LUT ; Mt 25,40 LUT ).

way of life

The Seventh-day Adventists see the human body as a house of God ( 1 Cor 6 : 19-20  NCC ), so they place great value on a healthy lifestyle and should avoid alcohol , tobacco and other intoxicants . In addition, some of the biblical food commandments (Leviticus, chapter 11 LUT ) are kept; For example, Adventists do not eat pork , horse meat , rabbit meat and shellfish (mussels, crabs). Many Seventh-day Adventists have a vegetarian diet .

In the 19th century, the Seventh-day Adventists were among the pioneers of the life reform movement. The inventor of cornflakes , J. H. Kellogg , was an Adventist. In the health food (Example: De-Vau-Ge Gesundkostwerk) many products from companies with Adventist origin are still available.

Overall, Adventists should lead a life that is neither dissolute nor ascetic .

In addition to the Adventist Health System , one of the largest hospital operators in the USA, there is Adventist Health International (AHI), a multinational non-profit company (headquarters in Loma Linda ) that supports STA health facilities in developing countries in particular.

Ellen White

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is considered a "messenger" or "messenger" in it.

Her numerous writings shape the Free Church to this day. The Church believes that they are an ongoing, empowered expression of the truth and useful for comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. The Church emphasizes that its teaching does not go back to Ellen White; Ellen White had subsequently confirmed the doctrines of the Adventists (partly through visions) and thus made them valid within the community. She also stresses that Ellen White's writings are not equivalent to the Bible.

Ellen White herself also pointed out that her writings should not be placed above or on an equal footing with the Bible, as her messages did not bring anything new, but only pointed to forgotten or insufficiently considered Bible passages. Your writings point out that the Bible is the standard against which all doctrine and experience must be tested.

The role of Ellen White has been controversial from the start and has been discussed again and again in the history of the Free Church.

Importance of the Bible

Adventists see the Bible as the binding word of God and the highest religious authority, whereby only the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments (excluding Apocrypha ), which are counted in the Protestant churches , are regarded as canonical .

Adventists are usually characterized by a good knowledge of the Bible. The weekly Bible discussion, which is part of the Adventist Sabbath service, plays an important role. Each quarter, a biblical book or topic is discussed in groups using a study booklet published by the general conference. In some congregations there is also the opportunity to discuss current topics from world events as well as own biblical topics and to illuminate them using the Bible.

In the Adventist biblical interpretation , special attention is paid to the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation . The basic evangelical attitude of the church also has an impact on the interpretation of the Bible; for example, historical-critical exegesis and evolutionary theory are rejected.

Worship and practice

Advent house in Oldenburg (Oldb.)
Advent house in Neumünster
Adventist church in Wiesbaden-Schierstein

Adventist church services are longer than the classic evangelical church service. They last about two hours:

  • The first part is the so-called "Bible School" (also Sabbath School) and takes about an hour. Young people and adults discuss the Bible in groups ; there is a separate program for the children. The Bible discussion is supported by a study booklet on the Bible, which is published by the world church leadership. This booklet is structured in such a way that you can deal with part of a topic in the Bible (book or topics with Bible passages) at home every day. On the Sabbath (Saturday) it is discussed in the congregation.
  • The second part of the service with sermon and singing takes about another hour. According to the Presbyterian tradition, the liturgical services are very simple, the sermon is the focus. The sermon texts are freely chosen by the pastor or elder. The church year does not matter. Thanksgiving , Christmas and Easter have been celebrated in many Adventist churches for some time now, and services on Easter Sunday are usually not. The congregations are largely free to organize their services.

Communion services are celebrated quarterly in the Reformed tradition. You begin with the washing of your feet ( John 13 : 1–17  NIV ). The Lord's Supper is celebrated as open communion , and all believing Christians are invited to it. Unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice are used at the Lord's Supper. Leftovers should be disposed of “appropriately” after the service. “They are not taken back for everyday use.” Bread and grape juice are passed through the rows, and individual goblets are usually offered. The prerequisites for receiving the Lord's Supper are contemplation and repentance. There is no fixed confessional liturgy. Only ordained pastors and elders are allowed to lead, deacons are allowed to assist.

The former hymnals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany were we praise God with ancient and traditional hymns , life from the source with recent praise music. The book Zion Songs was used until the 1980s . In 2016 a new songbook “Faith Hope Sing” was introduced, which combines the songbooks “We praise God” and “Life from the source”. More songs from other song books have also been added. But songs were also removed.

In Europe, most of the Advent houses are rather simply furnished. The typical church is rare. There are only three of these in Germany, the other communities mostly have simple meetinghouses or rooms.


Organizationally, there are great parallels to the Methodist Church, from which many founding members of the SDA came. The Church is Presbyterian - synodally organized as a universal Church. The seat of the world church leadership, also called general conference , is Silver Spring , Maryland ( USA ). The General Conference is a parliamentary elected body presided over by a President - currently (2014) Ted Wilson . As church leadership she is responsible for unity in faith, doctrinal issues and world mission.

The general meeting of the church, which takes place every five years, is also referred to as the general conference session. Here, elected delegates from all countries come together to take important decisions, elect a new praesidium, but also to celebrate church services together with their religious friends from all over the world. The general conference lasts one week, is open to all interested parties and takes place in different locations. In 2000 it took place in Toronto , Canada , in 2005 in St. Louis , Missouri ( USA ), 2010 in Atlanta , Georgia (USA), 2015 in San Antonio , Texas ( USA ).

The world fields (divisions) are part of the general conference. There are currently 13 of them, Germany is part of the Inter-European Division (formerly: Euro-Africa Division) based in Bern, Switzerland. Most of the countries of Central Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria belong to this division.

Associations or unions , which often comprise a state, follow on the next organizational level . There are two associations in Germany, the North German Association based in Hanover and the South German Association based in Ostfildern . Attempts to unite both associations have so far not been successful; there are different theological accents. The North German Association is seen as more liberal and progressive, the South German as more conservative and traditional.

In Germany , the associations are divided into associations that comprise a federal state, but also several federal states. The actual church work takes place in the associations; they are the employers of the pastors and the owners of the meetinghouses (churches).

The local church (usually called the Adventist church in Germany ) is the smallest organizational unit. It is led by ordained church leaders and an elected church committee, which always includes the responsible pastor. Pastors can also be responsible for multiple local churches. Large local churches often have multiple pastors. The size of the local congregations is between 20 and 500 members (without children, young people who have not yet been baptized and guests), with a statistical mean of around 60 members per local congregation.

All services are elected democratically or by (church) parliament. With the church manual published by the world church leadership, the church has given itself a constitution, in the organization and elections, the individual services (elders, Bible discussion leaders, deacons, pastors, etc.) as well as questions of membership (baptism, admission , Resignation, exclusion, relocation) and teaching are regulated.

In Germany, the STA is a member of the Federal Association for Cultural Work in the Protestant Youth Association with 35 other national associations . V. (bka). The associations ensure the diversity and quality of youth cultural work in the Bundesverband Kulturarbeit in der Evangelischen Jugend e. V. and can not least thanks to the association in the bka e. V. take effect nationwide.


Joseph Bates

There were various religious movements in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. Christians on different continents calculated independently of each other dates on which Jesus Christ would return (for example the Württemberg prelate Albrecht Bengel the year 1836 and in the USA the Baptist pastor William Miller the year 1844, see Miller Movement ). From the collapse of the Miller movement, Christian groups developed and began to study the Bible intensively. Parts of these groups united on May 21, 1863 in Battle Creek (Michigan) to form the community or later Church of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Joseph Bates is considered a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventists. He set in motion the Sabbath idea that he adopted from the Seventh-day Baptists . Hiram Edson (1806–1882) was another important figure in the emergence of the Adventists. He came to the conclusion that the date calculated by Miller was correct, but that his interpretation was wrong and that Jesus had entered the Most Holy Place in heaven in 1844 to judge those who had died so far. In addition, through studying the Bible he came to the realization that no one knows the day of Christ's return or can calculate it (Matthew 24; 36).

Worldwide mission

Michael Belina Czechowski, first Advent missionary

The Adventists conduct missionary work - now worldwide - because the basic program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church states that the gospel must be brought to all people. As a result, Adventist churches in some countries have a longer tradition, while in many others churches have only been planted in recent years.

The first Adventist mission outside the United States began in Italy and Switzerland around 1865 . The preacher Michael Belina Czechowski evangelized the local churches. However, he was no longer in contact with the leadership in the USA, so that these groups did not become official members of the Church.

The missionary-inspired Advent movement in the United States was founded primarily by former Baptist and Methodist members . In Germany, pietism also played a major role in mission. In Romania , the first supporters of the Free Church were Sabbatians of German descent . In Russia , Adventists were recruited from the Judaized movement of the Subbotniki , the Russian Mennonites and the Swabian radical pietists .

The main Adventist missionaries were:

By the early 1970s, Seventh-day Adventists had established more than 2,000 mission stations overseas.

Nowadays new members of the mission-won community come from a wide variety of religions and denominations. The mission also relies on media such as radio and television, e.g. B. Hope Channel . The number of Adventists has increased enormously in recent years. Growth is mainly taking place in South America and Africa , while church growth has tended to be stagnant or declining in Europe and the USA . In states that do not allow freedom of religion, Seventh-day Adventists belong to the group of persecuted Christians . Adventism, for its part, wants to be tolerant towards other religions and those of different faiths.

Adventists in Germany

Basic data of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany
STA Logo deutsch.svg
Official name: Free Church of
Seventh-day Adventist Church
in Germany
public corporation
Guest membership: in VEF and ACK
Friedensau University of Applied Sciences
Official Website:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany in numbers
Associations: 2
Local communities: [4] 559
Parishioners: a 34,948
Hospitals: [5] 1
Clinics and advice centers for addicts and those at risk: [6] 3
Hospice: [7] 3
Retirement homes: [8] 5
Home for the disabled: [9] 1
School center with grammar school,
college and secondary school: [10]
Primary schools: [11] [12] [13] 8th
Kindergartens: 15th
Media center : 1
Publishers: 2
counseling centers:
Soup kitchens / tables: [14] 6th
Self-help and
abstinence groups:
Overnight house
for women: [15]
a Only baptized members are counted.

After the Adventist churches were established in the USA , missionaries were sent to Germany and Switzerland from 1874 . John Nevins Andrews began taking the Advent message here too. The autochthonous and pietistic communities that arose in the Bergisches Land around the middle of the 19th century were an important cornerstone for the establishment of churches in Germany . Johann Heinrich Lindermann (1806-1892) founded the baptized Christian community among the Awakened in December 1852 . By 1867 at the latest, this community came to the realization that it accepted the Sabbath as the biblical day of rest. Around 1875 there were followers of this group in Vohwinkel , Solingen and Mönchengladbach . In August 1875 the missionary Jakob Erzberger held the first Bible study in a hotel lobby in Solingen, in which several hundred people took part. Although Lindermann did not join the Advent movement through baptism, many of his followers were baptized as an Adventist. The first baptism took place on January 8, 1876 by the missionary Jakob Erzberger between Solingen and Vohwinkel.

In Württemberg the Adventist missionaries were also able to build on autochthonous and pietist communities . Something similar happened in the further development in East Prussia , where after the death of the founder Julius Stangnowski almost all members of his autochthonous Sabbatarian Apostolic Congregation went over to the Seventh-day Adventists.

In 1889 a mission center was founded in Hamburg by Ludwig Richard Conradi . From here the message should also be spread to Africa , Asia and South America . In the following years the Adventists founded a publishing house and the Friedensau Theological College . The church was completed there in 1905 . In 1920 they founded the Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin, which is still supported by the Free Church today .

During the First World War , the leadership of the community in Germany asked its members to do military service just a few days after the start of the war. The members of the community who refused to serve in the military (around 2000-3000) were expelled and officially labeled as "unsobbed elements and fraudsters". After the turmoil of the First World War, these excluded formed the so-called Reform Adventists . In 2014, 100 years after the beginning of the First World War, a letter drawn up by Holger Teubert was submitted to the committees of the South and North German Association for voting and published in the church magazine Adventisten heute (May 2014) under the title Schuld und Failure .

During the National Socialist era , the Seventh-day Adventist Church could continue to exist, albeit with certain restrictions. In some places the Adventists were severely discriminated against and their churches were closed for a short time, but could soon be reopened because the Adventists enjoyed a reputation for their welfare work, for example in Kassel . Daniel Heinz from the church's own state-recognized theological college in Friedensau describes the attitude of the Adventists in the Third Reich as “adapting, looking the other way and being silent”. Adolf Hitler was described in his own publications as being sent by God: "In silent adoration we thank God, who in wise providence gave our people the leader." There were also victims of the Holocaust among the Adventists , as some of the members were of Jewish origin . Later, as the situation worsened, all Jews or Adventists married to Jews were excluded from the community. A well-known example of this is Frieda Nagelberg , who comes from Galicia . It was only 60 years after the end of the Second World War that the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was able to bring itself to an official confession of guilt for its conduct in the Third Reich.

However, among the Adventists there were also “ saviors of the Jews ”; For example, the Hungarian preacher Laszlo Michnay hid and saved 60 Jews. With an underground organization, the Dutchman Johan Hendrik Weidner also led Jews, shot down Allied airmen and those politically persecuted to safe Switzerland or Spain. In 1942 he founded one of the most important and successful underground organizations (Réseau Dutch-Paris) to save Jews from the Holocaust. About 300 people belonged to his organization. Over 150 employees were gradually arrested, 40 of whom died as a result of imprisonment or were killed, including his sister Gabrielle. He himself became one of the most wanted underground leaders in France. On Weidner's arrest, the Gestapo offered a reward of five million French francs. After the war, they called the radio transmitter Voice of Hope (owned by the Adventist World Radio on) into life today as Hope TV formed.

Since the fall of the Wall in 1989, more Russian-German Adventists from the Soviet Union came to Germany. Their number is around 8,000. In addition to the German communities, there are also some foreign communities today, mostly Romanian , Ghanaian and South Slavic

Interdenominational dialogue

Overall, the religious community hardly participates in the ecumenical movement worldwide and also in Germany . The historically strong negative attitude towards ecumenism is being abandoned more and more. The Seventh-day Adventists take part as observers in the meetings of the World Council of Churches and are guest members in the Working Group of Christian Churches and the Association of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany. Individual local congregations are members of the Evangelical Alliance at the local level . In discussions with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), both sides found fundamental similarities. The similarities between the two churches were recognized by the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation only with clear restrictions. A summary of the informal theological conversations between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1965–1969 and 1970–1971 is contained in So much in common , published in 1973 and edited by the WCC. The WCC regards the Adventists as a "worldwide (Christian) church".


The SDA church is criticized negatively by former SDA members as well as by representatives of other churches. This criticism is mostly directed against special Adventist teachings.

On the basis of a request from the Southern Bavarian Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Community (2004), the denominational institute of the Evangelical Federation assigned the church to the Evangelical Free Churches, with the report signed by Walter Fleischmann-Bisten . In addition, there are the various statements of well-known scholars, such as those of the university professors Erich Geldbach (Bochum), Reinhard Frieling (Marburg) and Helmut Obst (Halle-Wittenberg).

Ellen White

From nichtadventistischer side of the Adventist approach to the Bible is seen as problematic, if it runs out of Ellen White's writings and of their role as a prophet and as the bearer of the "Spirit of Prophecy / testimony of Jesus" ( Revelation 12:17  EU ; 19, 10 EU ). The Protestant Sola scriptura is therefore not fully granted to the SDA on the part of the Protestant Church (cf. e.g. Rüdiger Hauth, Adventists or the statement of the DNK / LWF ). For their part, however, the SDA stress that Ellen White did not create new teachings.

Some believers, as well as Adventist theologians such as Desmond Ford and Walter Rea, reacted with disappointment and allegations of plagiarism to the discovery that Ellen White had drawn from existing sources for some of her texts or adopted the texts of others while presenting herself as a prophet using her sources received from divine revelation alone.

On the part of former Adventists, the fundamentalist - legalistic handling of their scriptures , which is common in individual Adventist churches, is described as very depressing.

In the opinion of the critics, there is no factual, positive-critical approach to Ellen White and her literature within the church, as occurs in other Protestant churches with regard to their teachers of the church . B. Martin Luther in the Lutheran Church, Johannes Calvin in the Reformed Church or John Wesley in the Methodist Church.

Adventist Sabbath

From a Christian perspective, the Adventist Sabbath is only a minority option compared to the Sunday celebration and the view that there is no binding Christian day of rest. Other Christians criticize the SDA's view that the Sabbath is the mandatory, lawful day of rest (and not just an option), a sign of fidelity to God's commandments, which will become the test of true faith in God in the end times (see What Adventists Believe, Chapter 12: The Remnant and Their Mission ). This teaching is also found in the writings of Ellen G. White (e.g. The Great Controversy, Chapter 38: The Last Warning ). In this specific Sabbath theology is also the Adventist self-understanding as a community of the remnant "... who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17) .

1844, sanctuary service, investigative court

The revival movement around the Baptist preacher William Miller expected the return of Jesus in 1844. After the failure of this event, a group of them interpreted the calculated year not as the date of the Second Coming, but as the beginning of a new period of salvation in history, in which Jesus Christ begins his ministry as high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This teaching founded the SDA faith community together with the Sabbath in 1863. However, it hardly plays a role in the practical life of the community. This teaching could not be established outside the SDA and is rejected as an unbiblical dogma (see literature: Rüdiger Hauth) . Regardless of what happened in dispute, the date (1844) is also not accepted outside the STA. It is based on a prophetic time chain from the Book of Daniel (especially from Dan 8: 13–19  EU ), which, according to Adventist interpretation, was used when the crucifixion of Jesus took place in AD 31. The date of Jesus' crucifixion is calculated based on the prophecy of Daniel 9: 24-27 EU .

See also


Primary literature


  • Biblical Research Committee of the Euro-Africa Division (Ed.): Studies on Adventist Ecclesiology.
  • Johannes Hartlapp: Seventh-day Adventists under National Socialism - taking into account the historical and theological development in Germany from 1875 to 1950 . KKR 53, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 3-89971-504-7 .
  • Rüdiger Hauth: Adventists . Evangelical Press Association for Bavaria, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-583-50632-4 .
  • Daniel Heinz : Church, State, and Religious Dissent. A History of Seventh-day Adventists in Austria, 1890–1975 . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1993, ISBN 3-631-45553-4 ( English ).
  • Daniel Heinz, Werner E. Lange (ed.): Advent hope for Germany. The Seventh-day Adventist Mission from Conradi to the present day . Saatkorn-Verlag, Abt. Advent-Verlag, Lüneburg 2014 (overview).
  • Richard Müller: Adventists, Sabbath, Reformation. Did the Adventists' understanding of the day of rest go back to the time of the Reformation? Gleerup, Lund 1979, ISBN 91-40-04686-9 .
  • Helmut Obst : Apostles and prophets of the modern age. Founder of Christian religious communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2000, ISBN 3-525-55439-7 .
  • Michael Pearson : Millennial dreams and moral dilemmas. Seventh-day adventism and contemporary ethics . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1990, ISBN 978-0-521-09148-0 .
  • Rolf J. Pöhler: Being a Christian today. Lived faith. Saatkorn, Lüneburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8150-7703-0 .
  • Christian D. Schmidt: time of judgment or judgment of time? Seventh-day Adventist ideology and eschatology. Lembeck, Frankfurt am Main 1972, ISBN 3-87476-013-8 .
  • Georg Schmid , Georg Otto Schmid (ed.): Churches, sects, religions. Religious communities, ideological groups and psycho-organizations in the German-speaking area. Theological Publishing House Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-290-17215-5 .
  • Thomas Steininger: Denomination and Socialization. Adventist Identity Between Fundamentalism and Postmodernism . Church and denomination, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1993, ISBN 3-525-56537-2 .
  • Udo Worschech: From the stone altar to the parish hall. The change in worship and worship from Abraham to the advent of the Adventist Church . Advent-Verlag in Saatkorn-Verlag, Lüneburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8150-1404-2 .


  • Floyd Greenleaf: Seventh Day Adventists. In: Hans J. Hillerbrand (Ed.): The Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Routledge, New York 2004, ISBN 0-415-92472-3 (Vol. 4).
  • Thomas Hase: Seventh-day Adventists. In: re.form Leipzig (ed.): Religions in Leipzig. Campus, Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-937218-00-9 .
  • Konrad F. Müller: The early history of the Seventh-day Adventists. Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 1991, ISBN 3-928068-30-X (At the same time dissertation at the University of Frankfurt am Main , Studia Irenica , Volume 4).
  • Frank M. Hasel: The Seventh-day Adventist Church. A church introduces itself. In: Johann Hirnsperger, Christian Wessely, Alexander Bernhard (Ed.): Ways to Salvation? Religious denominations in Austria. Self-expression and theological reflection . Tyrolia, Innsbruck / Wien 2001, pp. 115–141, ISBN 3-222-12867-7 (= theology in cultural dialogue , volume 7).

Web links

Commons : Seventh-day Adventists  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bar Rav Nathan: The day off - Saturday or Sunday? In: haGalil onLine (section Ask the Rabbi ), October 30, 2008.
  2. ^ "Spiritual Gifts and Services," Excerpt from Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, no.17
  3. ^ Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission: Propelled by Total Member Involvement, Adventist Church tops 20 million members. March 1, 2017, accessed March 6, 2017 .
  4. exAdventist Outreach: SDA Growth Slows. Retrieved May 1, 2017 .
  5. 2014 Annual Statistical Report. (PDF) Retrieved July 18, 2014 .
  6. 2013 Annual Statistical Report. (PDF) Retrieved July 18, 2014 .
  7. Seventh-day Adventist World Church Statistics (as of December 31, 2006) ( Memento of May 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Zentralredaktion: 35,195 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. In: Adventist Press Service. February 14, 2011, accessed on March 18, 2011 : “On December 31, 2010, there were 35,195 seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults in Germany. That is 191 fewer than the year before. […] The 597 baptisms and admissions to the Free Church were compared to 488 deaths and 304 withdrawals and exclusions last year. The number of Adventist churches decreased by two to 570. "
  9. 35,099 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany (APD)
  10. Zentralredaktion: 34,982 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. In: Adventist Press Service. February 28, 2013, accessed on March 17, 2013 : “On December 31, 2012, there were 34,982 Seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults in Germany. That is 117 less than the year before. Last year there were 713 baptisms and admissions to the Free Church, compared to 568 deaths, 251 withdrawals and expulsions and eleven emigrations abroad. The number of local Adventist churches decreased by one to 563. "
  11. Zentralredaktion: 34,901 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. In: Adventist Press Service. February 27, 2014, accessed on April 19, 2015 : "There were 34,901 Seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults on December 31, 2013 in Germany."
  12. Central editorial office: APD. Information from the Adventist press service. In: Adventist Press Service. March 7, 2015, accessed on April 8, 2018 : "There were 34,811 seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults in Germany on December 31, 2014."
  13. ^ North German Union Conference. In: Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR). Accessed April 8, 2018 : "Ending Membership 2015: 19,334"
  14. ^ South German Union Conference. In: Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR). Accessed April 8, 2018 : "Ending Membership 2015: 15,499"
  15. Zentralredaktion: 34,968 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. In: Adventist Press Service. June 27, 2017, accessed on April 8, 2018 : "As of December 31, 2016 there were 34,968 Seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults in the Federal Republic of Germany."
  16. Zentralredaktion: 34,948 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany. In: Adventist Press Service. March 12, 2018, accessed on April 8, 2018 : "As of December 31, 2017 there were 34,948 Seventh-day Adventists baptized as adults in the Federal Republic of Germany."
  17. 34,948 Seventh-day Adventists in Germany
  18. ^ Austrian Union of Churches Conference, Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR)
  19. Statistics of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (as of 2018)
  20. ^ The member churches of the AGCK
  21. Herbert Bodenmann: Not a sect, but a free church. In: The Zurich Oberland. No. 62 of March 14, 2012, p. 24.
  22. Seventh-day Adventist Church (ACK)
  23. About us. Our Beliefs. In: "Homepage of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany". Seventh-day Adventists in Germany, accessed April 8, 2018 .
  24. Our Beliefs. Preamble. In: "Homepage of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany". Seventh-day Adventists in Germany, accessed April 8, 2018 .
  25. ^ Samuele Bacchiocchi: From Sabbath to Sunday. Introduction, Gregorian Press, Rome 1977, Imprimatur.
  26. Wetzer, Welte: Kath. Kirchenlexikon, VII, Art. Kirchenjahr
  27. Seventh-day Adventist Church (ACK)
  28. ^ Municipal code (municipality manual ). Advent, Lüneburg 2006, ISBN 978-3-8150-1812-5 , p. 61
  29. A short research on September 5, 2010 showed that the products are actually offered in health food stores, such as the neuform chain . Website of the De-Vau-Ge company :
  30. cf. z. B. A Letter to Dr. Paulson: St. Helena, California - June 14, 1906 in Ellen G. White and Her Writings [1]
  31. The Inspiration of the Prophets. Visions and Physical Phenomena. Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, p. 36, Letter 55, 1905. In: Sabbath School Network (SSNET). Retrieved March 19, 2011 (a quote from Ellen White's writings): "I regard myself as a messenger, entrusted by the Lord with messages for His people."
  32. Rolf J. Pöhler: Adventists, Ellen White and the Sola Scriptura principle. December 22, 2008, retrieved April 8, 2018 (a quotation from Ellen White's writings): "God's Word is the infallible standard ..."
  33. The Holy Scriptures
  34. ^ Preamble to the SDA's Beliefs
  35. An example of a thorough discussion from an Adventist perspective: Klaus Zachhuber: Evolution or Creation? Scientific facts and arguments. Attempt at synthesis . European Institute for Distance Learning, Bern 1983.
  36. Municipality code (municipality manual ) - 2006 edition. Advent, Lüneburg, ISBN 978-3-8150-1812-5 , p. 114.
  37. Ibid.
  38. [2] , accessed on July 18, 2014
  39. ^ General Conference Session
  40. ^ World Church Structure and Government , point 4.
  41. [3]
  42. ^ World Church Structure and Government , point 3.
  43. Adventist church manual
  44. ^ History. In: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, accessed on February 2, 2013 : "The denomination was officially organized on May 21, 1863, when the movement included some 125 churches and 3,500 members."
  45. Helmut Obst: Apostles and Prophets of Modern Times , ISBN 978-3-525-55438-8 , p. 351, queried online on May 22, 2010
  46. George R. Knight: Joseph Bates. The theological founder of the Seventh-day Adventists . Advent-Verlag, Lüneburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8150-1884-2 , p. 91 ff .
  47. Stefanie Theis: Religiosity of Russian Germans . Kohlhammer, ISBN 978-3-17-018812-9 , p. 64.
  48. Franklin Hamlin Littell : Adventists or Chiliastic Missions . In: Stephen Neill, Niels-Peter Moritzen, Ernst Schrupp u. a. (Ed.): Lexicon for world mission . Theological Verlag R. Brockhaus, Wuppertal / Verlag der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Mission, Erlangen 1975, ISBN 3-7974-0054-3 , p. 4.
  49. The Free Church of the STA as a guest member of the ACK (
  50. ^ Advent publishing house and Saatkorn publishing house
  51. Fritz Gerhard Link: From God's Hand The Beginnings of the Adventist Congregations in Southwest Germany from 1887 to 1914 as well as points of view until 2015 . Ed .: Free Church of the Seventh-day Adventists in Baden-Württemberg K. d. Ö. R. 1st edition. Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baden-Württemberg K. d. ö. R. (self-published), Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-946403-00-5 , p. 31 ff .
  52. Christoph Ribbat: Religious excitement. Protestant enthusiasts in the empire. Campus Verlag / Frankfurt am Main, 1996, accessed on June 16, 2020 .
  53. ^ Network Apostolic History eV: Apostolic-Christian Congregation. Network of Apostolic History eV, December 10, 2019, accessed on June 16, 2020 .
  54. ^ Oskar Kramer: My Life. Manuscript, IMS Ceder Town, Georgia, USA, p. 14.
  55. ^ Emil Gugel, head of the community in Württemberg in a press release to the Stuttgarter Neues Tagblatt on September 26, 1918.
  56. ^ Dresdner Neue Nachrichten of April 12, 1918 - community press release.
  57. ^ Daniel Heinz: Free Churches and Jews in the "Third Reich". V & R unipress, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-89971-690-0 , p. 284.
  58. ^ Activity report for the War Winter Relief Organization 1939/40. Published by the Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship. Foreword by A. Mink, head of the Advent welfare organization; P. 3.
  59. Article from Advent-Verlag: Adventist couple honored as "Righteous Among the Nations" ( Memento from November 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  60. Daniel Heinz:  Weidner, Jean Henri. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 18, Bautz, Herzberg 2001, ISBN 3-88309-086-7 , Sp. 1493-1495.
  61. Adventists and Lutherans in conversation. (PDF; 649 kB) Report on the bilateral talks between the Lutheran World Federation and the Seventh-day Adventist Church 1994–1998. In: Website of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany. February 27, 2000, archived from the original on February 13, 2011 ; Retrieved on March 26, 2011 : “There are still considerable differences in teaching, but it has also become clear to us that we have a lot in common: the love of the word of God, the common legacy of the Reformation, a high degree of appreciation for the work and the teachings of Martin Luther, the advocacy of religious freedom, and above all the good news of justification by grace through faith alone. [...] In the course of the conversations it became clear that Lutherans and Adventists represent the inseparable principles of the Reformation without any compromises: sola scriptura [only Scripture], solus Christus [only Christ], sola fide [only through faith], sola gratia [grace alone]. Both churches regard themselves as heirs of the Reformation and as descendants of Luther. This shared understanding of justification by faith enables us today to say that both churches teach salvation in ways that are essentially the same. […] In the light of this mutual understanding, we can say that both Lutherans and Adventists can hear a truly biblical testimony in each other's preaching. […] Regardless of the differences in weighting and understanding of eschatology, Lutherans and Adventists reaffirm their common belief in Jesus as Savior, Justifier and Lord of history. "
  62. a b Seventh-day Adventists: Further clarifications requested. German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation (DNK / LWF) comments on the report on the talks between the LWF and the Seventh-day Adventists. German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation (DNK / LWF), January 28, 2002, archived from the original on September 27, 2007 ; Retrieved on March 26, 2011 : “The German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation (DNK / LWF) has presented its position on the report on the bilateral talks between the Lutheran World Federation and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA). […] 'The talks are seen as an expression of the fact that the Adventists have continuously endeavored to approach the churches in ecumenism over the past few decades,' the statement said. The statement that 'a broad agreement has been reached in our understanding of the Christian faith' , as the final report puts it, 'goes far beyond what can be determined after examining this report'. The German National Committee follows [...] the recommendation to respect the STA as a 'worldwide Christian community' [...]. The German Lutherans also point out that there is no communion with the Adventists. In view of the serious differences, it cannot be recommended. The DNK considers it 'problematic' that the final report of the talks between the LWF and SDA speaks of a correspondence in the understanding of Scripture, even though fundamental differences have become clear in dealing with the Bible. It is criticized that Lutheran positions are not or only insufficiently presented in the text. [...] "
  64. Spectrum Magazine January 5, 2017 , accessed May 21, 2017
  65. The Great Bible Lexicon. 1st special edition. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 2004, ISBN 3-417-24741-1 ; Brunnen, Giessen, ISBN 3-7655-5425-1 , p. 684.