8. Does the SDA Church practice ‘shunning’?

No. One is perhaps confusing Adventists with other groups, such as the Exclusive Brethren or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
‘Shunning’ is the practice of removing some or all contact with a person who has left a religious group, usually through ‘excommunication’, ‘disfellowship’ or ‘withdrawing’. In extreme cases, a withdrawn person is not permitted any contact with family or friends who remain in the religious group.  Some groups similarly enforce Paul’s counsel about being ‘unequally yoked’ (1 Cor 6:14) very strictly, by outright prohibiting the marriage between a member and non-member of the group.
Adventists do not generally practice shunning.  If anything, Adventists are likely to attempt to have more, not less, contact with lapsed members, in the hope of restoring them back to the fold.  The SDA Church does discourage relationships that are ‘unequally yoked’ but not in an extreme, compassionless manner – i.e. many Adventists are married and continue to marry non-Adventists.
As noted from the official SDA Church manual:
“When a person has been removed from church membership, the church should, where possible, maintain contact and manifest the spirit of friendship and love, endeavoring to win him/her back to the fold.” (p199, 17th edition) (emphasis added). See:


  1. Half of my family (aunties, uncles, cousins and siblings) are no longer Adventists, and last time I checked we still all get together for Christmas and birthdays! SDA

  2. SDA do practice shunning. A good many years back I did something I am not proud of I asked God for forgiveness and I feel like God forgave,me; However the church is a differennt matter. I am no longer welcomed in the church and right now I dont even owm a car. Most of the people in the church are kin to me but I beg them for a way to church and they all refuse. A round trip by cab is,$40 something i dont have. ALSO many times I have eaten by myself at church. If that is not shunning them what is it???

    1. I am not sure if I can comment on your particular case. For example, I would imagine most religous groups would in practice be cold to a parishoner convicted of sexually abusing children (not suggesting you did that but just using that as an example).

      However, there is a big difference between that sort of situation and the institution of shunning as found in other religions. I imagine the 20 million people of the SDA Church worldwide are pretty 'mainstream' in this regard.

  3. Percentagewise, very few Seventh-day Adventists are shunned so it’s understandable that the author of this blog has never witnessed Adventists shunning other Adventists and thus probably knows nothing about it. However, shunning in the church exists--including direct retaliation against authentic Seventh-day Adventists (like Ellen G. White) and this was prophesied to happen for everyone that would dare say anything that undermines faith in the Seventh-day Adventist church being a “holy order."

    The indisputable context to the prophetic revelation was the medieval-mindedness of those in Sister White’s home church and the ease to which they could believe gossip and half-truths.

    That night I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: "This house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order." Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently: "If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said or what I have done!"

    I wept and prayed much as I saw our goods confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked the countenances of several whom I thought would speak to me and comfort me if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but seeing that I was watched, I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying: "If they would only tell me what I have done or what I have said!" My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud and awoke me. My pillow was wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits was upon me. —Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 578.

  4. That is a straight out lie - SDA do shunning - and shunning is a SDA long standing practice and formally used - I have an ex-wife with three children, and at the age of 2 months old (twins) left with the children and to this day have never met their father and they are in their twenties. That is shunning, SDA uses brainwashing, there is nothing humane about that faith at all.

    There is a fantastic world out there to enjoy, if you are in that faith, get out immediately - learn and keep learning - do not stop learning about everything you can.

  5. I have a sda father. As I understand it, he had a child out of wedlock with the AY leader. He is still married to my mother. The bible specifically prescribes shunning in first Corinthians 5:11; "But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one." As far as I know, he had never been shunned.