16. Isn’t the SDA Church anti-Catholic and doesn’t this make it a cult?
No and no. The
might reasonably be characterised as anti-Papal or anti-Vatican, but it is certainly not anti-Catholic. This is perhaps a slight but very important difference. SDA Church
As noted elsewhere, the
is a champion of religious liberty, having founded the International Religious Liberty Organisation. Therefore, Adventists reject any form of bigotry towards Roman Catholics: SDA Church
“Adventists seek to be fair in dealing with others and stress the conviction that many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Seventh-day Adventists regard all people as equal in the sight of God. We reject bigotry against any person, regardless of race, nationality, or religious creed. We also acknowledge that sincere Christians exist in other denominations, including Roman Catholicism, and we cooperate with all agencies and bodies that seek to relieve human suffering and to uplift Christ before the world.
Seventh-day Adventists take a positive approach to other faiths. Our primary task is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the context of Christ's soon return, not to point out flaws in other denominations.”
However, Adventists are distinctively Protestant. Thus, in accordance with longstanding Protestant views and practices, Adventists reject any claims by Roman Catholic leaders to Apostolic Succession, Papal Infallibility, Sacred Tradition or the right of the Pope to claim leadership over all Christendom. As officially noted by the General Conference of the
: SDA Church
“As Adventists relate to Roman Catholicism in particular, both the past and the future enter into our thinking. We cannot erase or ignore the historical record of serious intolerance and even persecution on the part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic system of church governance, based on extra-biblical teachings such as papal primacy, resulted in severe abuses of religious freedom as the church was allied with the state.” (emphasis added)
In practice, Adventists probably view the Pope and
in much the same way as a large portion of today’s one billion Roman Catholic members. For example, every time a Catholic uses contraception in contravention of the Papal edict Familiaris Consortio, and research suggests a very large number do (if not a majority), he or she is in effect adopting a similar Protestant-like position. See: Vatican
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