44. Is it true the SDA Church claimed Jesus was going to return in 1844, and have made many predictions about the date of Jesus’ return since, all of which have been incorrect?

No. This is incorrect on a number of accounts.
First, the SDA Church did not exist in 1844 – it was not formally established until 1863. 
Secondly, one is perhaps confused because the SDA Church was largely founded by individuals who had followed William Miller, a leader of a mass, American non-denominational movement, which wrongly predicted Christ’s literal 2nd coming in 1844. However, the individuals who formed the SDA Church after 1844 had learnt their lesson and certainly made no further attempts to set a date for Christ’s return. 
Thus, the SDA Church has never made any predictions about the exact date of Christ’s return. As noted by the South Pacific Division of the SDA Church:
“Adventists do not believe in a pre-determined date for the second coming of Jesus, but are looking forward to it.”
In fact, because of this bitter experience by many of the founders of the SDA Church, Adventists are probably less likely than most other Christian groups to speculate the exact date of Christ’s return, although of course Adventists watch for signs of the 2nd Coming (Mat 24).  For example, the SDA Church was largely immune from the mass hysteria about the year 2000, which affected many Evangelicals.


  1. Are you kidding?? I've been to Ascension Rock near the Wm Miller Chapel on a Study Tour of New England. For almost 10 years Ellen believed in the Shut Door and that only those who were believers would be saved. Then when the second coming didn't happen, that belief was wiped clean and thus the Investigative Judgment took it's place. Almost all of the SDA timelines still come from Wm Miller's charts. He confessed from all his predictions and returned to his ?Methodist church. Furthermore in 1981 I took a boyfriend to some evangelistic meetings and there was a big slide that read, Only 19 years left. This was now under the theory of 6,000 years on earth and the 7th in Heaven.

    1. What you say about Shut Door is true. What you say about a 1981 prediction is completely rubbish. You were listening to a crackpot (they are found in every religion) - nothing officially endorsed by the SDA Church.

    2. what is complete rubbish is the investigative judgement doctrine, It is the achilles heel of the SDA church. And the sanctuary doctrine also. But the Adventist church will never eat crow and admit they were wrong and so they just become silent on the issue and hope it goes away. Or they step up their efforts to convince others of this "truth". They need to come clean and purge this from their identity as a church.

    3. What do you mean when you say the 'investigative judgment doctrine' is rubbish? For example, do you mean the notion of a phased judgment is rubbish, because as noted in other posts other 'mainstream' denominations, including the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox have similar beliefs, distinguishing a Particular Judgment (which is a type of pre-Advent and investigative judgment) from a General Judgment (which is akin to the Universal Second Coming). One could equally say that the notion of the Rapture is the achilles heel of Evangelical-Pentecostals, because it is a false and cultish doctrine only made up by cult leader John Darby in the 19th Century, and not dismilliar from the Jehovah's Witness doctrine of Jesus secret return.

      I am not sure what Church you belong to but I suspect you would hold beliefs that are rather unusual and cultish as judged by other denominations.

    4. And I think it should also be reminded that members of the SDA Church are not clones. In fact, they are a very 'broad Church', with a wide spectrums of beliefs. They are so broad in fact that many other non-Adventist critics complain that there is too much theological diversity and not enough centralised control. Re the investigative judgment, there is actually a wide spectrum of opinion ranging from die-hard supporters, to those who are current SDA members and who do think it completely rubbish. If you think I am making it up just google Desmond Ford.

      I am not saying which 'side' of the debate I belong to - my point is that Adventists are pretty open with self-criticism and self-scrutiny of their own beliefs. Again, if you don't believe me, visit a website such as Adventist Today or Spectrum Magazine, and you will find current, practicing and even ex-Adventists, all discussing a range of issues and holding sometimes polar opposite views on things from: women ordination, homosexuality, church leadership structures, Ellen White, evolution, music etc etc.

    5. Sorry, one last point - see post #9 re the issue of SDA centralised control and theological diversity.

  2. Isn't this similar to the Early Church? Didn't they all expect Jesus to return in their own lifetime? Didn't Paul tell virgins not to marry because time was too short? Did Peter have to reassure people about 1 day being 1,000 years because Jesus was tarying longer than they expected? Wasn't the Great Disappointment, and then the sucessor denominations (including the SDA Church) that arose out of it very similar to the experience of the NT Christians?