#1 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Vegan?
Yes, a large margin of Seventh-day Adventists are Vegan.
- 40% of Adventists are vegan
- 30% are Vegetarian
- Nearly 50% are Lacto-ovo Vegetarians (using milk and eggs)
Seventh-day Adventists believe in the infallibility of scripture, believing that God specifically requested a ‘clean body,’ of his disciples.
Known for a literal and less abstract interpretation of the Bible. Seventh-day Adventists are taught that the human body is a sacred temple and filling it with various animal proteins tarnishes one’s inner purity.
As stated by Adventists.org in ‘What the Bible Says About Eating Good Food:’
“God did not encourage the killing of animals. A balanced vegetarian diet also is the best for health. And science offers increasing proof of this fact.” The General Conference Nutrition Council, in its Position Statement of 2006, titled Vegetarian Dietary Guidelines states,
‘We recommend a good amount of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits; a reasonable amount of low-fat dairy products; legumes, nuts, and seeds; a very limited use of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, and salt.’”
Why Do Seventh-day Adventists Maintain a Predominantly Plant-Based Diet?
The reasons that Seventh-day Adventists seek to maintain a clean diet are because it allows:
- The body to stay clean
- One to see God’s word clearly
- A healthy-functioning mind to share worship and make sound decisions
- The body to live longer, permitting the devotee to be more productive in the service of God
What Foods Do Seventh-day Adventists Avoid?
Among the forbidden, discouraged, or less favorable food items that a Seventh-day Adventist often avoid, are:
- Shellfish and bottom-feeders
- Certain fish
- Spicy food and hot condiments
- Highly-processed foods
- Foods with high sugar
- Any other foods that the Bible names as ‘unclean’
Exceptions to The Rules
Some Seventh-day Adventists will live a strict vegan diet; however, more than half of the religion’s population is not vegan or vegetarian. This majority finds a middle-ground by ascertaining that particular meats are cleaner than others. The meat/animal products that are seen as acceptable include:
- Some fish
- Red meat (excluding pork)
- Low-fat Diary
- U.S. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health – NCBI.nlm.nih.gov – ‘Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Mortality in Adventists Health – Study 2;’ published October 9th, 2014. Participants: 96,469 Seventh-day Adventist men and women recruited between 2002 and 2007, from which an analytic sample of 73 308 participants remained after exclusions.
- The Validity of the Levitical Food Laws of Clean and Unclean Animals: A Case Study of Biblical Hermeneutics – Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary – Journal of the Adventists Theology Society; copyright 2011.
- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31.
- “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.” – Genesis 1:29.
- The Optimal Diet – Per the Adventists Health Studies – Published by The Lifestyle Medicine Clinic; Posted October 11th, 2017.
#2 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Saved?
Although no one can know with certainty which religions are saved or not saved, a major pillar within the Adventist religion is the premise of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Being relatively similar to the belief systems of Protestant Christians, Adventists believe that they are saved through the salvation of God by devoting their lives to God due to humankind’s innate need for salvation.
Adventists often cite the following scriptures regarding being ‘saved’ or how to become saved:
“The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” – Revelation 20:5.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,” – Ephesians 2:8.
While most Christian religions gather on Sundays, Adventists believe they are saved by the Lord by recognizing Saturday as Sabbath.
Adventist.org writes in their piece ‘How to Know if You’re Saved?’
But the economy of salvation doesn’t work like the economy of this earth. Paul said that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Do we deserve salvation? Absolutely not. We deserve just the opposite:
“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). No one could be good enough to demand salvation.
But that doesn’t matter, because God is giving it to us anyway—for free!”
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—(9) not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
- Why Adventists Cling to Jesus as the Only Way to Salvation. Published by Adventist.org.
#3 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Pacificists?
Yes, Adventists are collectively peaceful, anti-war, and pacifistic, believing that war is unjustifiable and against the teachings of the Bible.
On August 3rd, 1864, during the American Civil War, Adventists released their first statement regarding specificity and war. Writing an appeal to the state governor of Michigan and seeking to be exempted from conscription or maltitol drafting, Adventist leaders wrote:
“As a people, we are conscientiously opposed to bearing arms.”
Aiming to live a non-combative life, Adventists have been pacificists since the early days of the religion’s inception, taking a theological and ethical position against violence. Considering Jesus to be a pacifist, Adventists try to embody Christ’s unwavering morals against bloodshed.
Adhering strictly to the 6th commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ Adventists hold a moralistic belief that war is:
- Wasteful against the sacredness of human-life
- “He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.” – Isaiah 2:4.
- Adventists and War – 10 Years on Since Armistice Day – Published by The Adventists News Network; November 9th, 2018.
- Seventh-day Adventists and Military Service – Adventists Archives. Published on August 8th, 2014.
#4 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Mormon?
Although relatively similar and connected in their Christian roots, Seventh-day Adventists and Mormons are separate denominations.
Similarities and Differences
To compare the similarities and differences between the two religions:
|Similarities Between SDA and Mormonism (LDS)||Differences Between SDA and Mormonism (LDS)|
|Origination: Each began within the United States in the Mid-1800s.||Prophecy: LDS have many living prophets, seen as leaders of church policy. SDAs do not have any living prophets.|
|Health Outlook: Treating the body as a sacred temple, avoiding alcohol, substances, caffeine, and neuro-impacting chemicals that may harm the body or connection to God.||Marriage: LDSs believe that marriage and temple ceremonies make the union eternal, extending into the afterlife and leaving their bloodlines connected when returned to a state of Godhood. Opposingly, SDAs believe marriage is a sacred union for life on earth, but reference Matthrew 22:30 to describe that in the afterlife, there will be no such concept as marriage; therefore, it is not seen as an eternal connection.|
|Afterlife: Both SDAs and LDSs believe in a kingdom separate from the earth, but there are differences even in this similarity. LDSs have four levels of heaven, while SDAs only have one.||Jesus and Satan: LDS believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers and equal powers, there is no scriptural support for this notion. SDAs believe that Jesus is the official God of the Old Testament, and Jesus is an authoritative figure over evil. He is seen as the ruler of all things, including Satan.|
|Basic Christian Outlook: Both religions have a core faith that Jesus is the redeeming son of God, sent to lead mankind to eternal salvation.||Temples: LDSs strongly revere their temples, keeping them private even from some LDS members that are not considered ‘temple worthy,’ while SDAs do not have temples or secret churches.|
|–||Salvation: LDSs feel that salvation comes from the Church on earth; SDAs believe that salvation is sourced from Christ alone.|
|–||Doctrine: LDSs favor the Book of Mormon and also utilize three additional doctrines (including the Bible); SDAs solely utilize the Bible, their only religious text.|
Ultimately, there are many Christian-ties that link the two religions, but also plenty of differences that make them distinct from one another.
- “There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.” – John 5:32.
- “And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:15.
- Evaluating Seventh-day Adventism – Blog.tms.edu – The Master’s Seminary; Published November 11th, 2015.
#5 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Pro-Life?
Yes, Seventh-day Adventists are Pro-life.
In 2019, Adventists Officials released an Official Statement at its Annual Council Meeting in Maryland:
“Human beings are created in the image of God…
Abortion is out of harmony with God’s plan.”
Believing that even developing life deserves to be loved, cherished, and protected, Adventists will site from Psalms and Jeremiah commonly to reference that ‘life is a gift from God.’
The Church outlines the following guides and instructions relating to abortion:
- Adventists should not judge others that condone abortion even though Adventists do not.
- If a parent does not want to keep the child, Adventists encourage:
- Members to foster children
- Parents to birth the child and then put it up for adoption
- Everyone within the Church to support “struggling individuals, couples, and families.”
- If someone outside of the Church has had an abortion, an Adventist is taught to meet them with kindness and grace, not judgment, offering “emotional and spiritual support,” whenever possible.
- “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appoint you as my prophet to the nations” – Jeremiah 1:5
· ABORTION: Are Seventh-day Adventists Pro-Life? – Published by Scott Ritsema – Belt of Truth Seventh-day Adventists Church; Posted August 29th, 2019.
#6 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Healthier Than the Average Person?
Comparing the death and cancer rates in the U.S. population, studies find that Adventists:
- Live longer than the average American
- Have 30% lower risks for cancer compared to the average American
- Eat cleaner than the average American
Known as ‘the healthiest religion on the planet,’ Adventists pride themselves on living a clean and substance-free life. Considering that they are sparing themselves from the 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S. due to cigarette smoking, as well as the cancerous linkages to meat, Adventists are undeniably healthier than the average person.
One could argue that veganism, a dietary trend of refraining from all meat products, can lead to:
- Lowered testosterone
- Hormone fluctuations
- Nutrition deficiencies
But Adventists Health Study Organization writes:
“Seventh-day Adventists have a lower risk than other Americans of certain diseases, and many researchers hypothesize that this is due to dietary and other lifestyle habits.”
- “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3 John 1:2.
- “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (20)you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
- PBS.org – Seventh-day Adventists and Health; Published March 23rd, 2012.
- Why Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) Live Healthier for Longer – Published originally by CBNNews.com; February 26th, 2015.
#7 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Protestants?
Yes, Seventh-day Adventists are a denomination within Protestant Christianity, each recognizing the need for Jesus’s salvation and humanity’s work to atone for their sins. There are differences between the two, as one is a larger sect of the other, leading to disparities in logistical interpretations.
Each of these religious groups recognizes ‘the seventh day,’ Saturday, as the Sabbath for worship, while most Christian religions gather on Sunday (including Puritan Protestants). Despite similarities such as this, Adventists rejected the label of Protestant due to their pagan-rich traditions and concepts.
Ultimately, they are similar but separate denominations of the greater Christian religion.
- “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” – 1 Timothy 1:15.
- How Should Evangelicals View Seventh-day Adventism? – The Master’s Seminary; Interview of Dr. Nathan Busentiz; Published November 16th, 2015.
#8 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Commonly mentioned, compared, and sited next to that of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists are quite similar to Jehovah’s Witnesses and can often be confused for one another by outsiders.
With shared roots, each originated due to apocalyptic sects with pre-millennial anticipations.
Similarities Between SDAs and JWs
Each believes and/or supports:
- Taking care of the body
- Refraining from or minimally consuming alcohol/neurologically-altering substances, such as caffeine. (SDAs would refrain, JW would be moderate or refrain).
- No sex before marriage
- No war or violence
- Do not believe in eternal damnation; they believe in a God of love, not vengeance
- Separation of Church and state
- Utilizing the Protestant Bible
Differences Between SDAs and JWs
The significant distinctions one will recognize include:
- Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions and holidays; SDAs do not.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses use the New World Translations; SDAs do not.
- How they see Jesus (JWs see him as the Son of God, subordiant; SDAs see him as the prophet, equivalent of God and the Holy Spirit).
- Idolatry (JWS forbid, SDAs are not).
- Jstor.org – Sect-State Relations: Accounting for the Differing Trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses – Sociology of Religion Volume 56., No4 (Winter, 1995), Published by Oxford University Press.
- Jehovah’s Witness Study ‘Is the SDA Church Like the Watchtower Organization?’ – Published by the Watchtower Examination on December 13th, 2018.
#9 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Vegetarians?
Yes, 30% of Adventists are Vegetarians and 40% of Adventists are vegan. Since the inception of the SDA Church’s in 1863, the premise of a clean body has been pivotal within the faith.
Compared to the 3.4% of Americans that are Vegetarian, Adventists are dedicated to a plant-based diet by tenfold of the typical American.
The Adventists that were found to live the longest and healthiest life were pesco-vegetarians, able to consume up to one serving of fish per day. Seeking meals that are highly nutritious and clean, Salmon is a top-pick for an Adventists that eats meat, whether vegetarian or not.
This teaching is sourced from the Bible’s Book of Leviticus, emphasizing that man should eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
- “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:1
- What the Adventists Healthy Study Shows About Diet and the Longest Living People in the World – Published by The Truth About Health; February 24th, 2018.
- A Legacy of Adventist Health Care: 150 Years of Health & Healing – Published by AdventHealth, Florida on September 28th, 2016.
#10 Are Seventh-Day Adventists Polygamists?
No, SDAs do not support or advocate for polygamy.
Often quoting Deuteronomy 17:17, Adventists believe in the literal translation of the scripture:
“He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.”
Although polygamy is referenced many times in the Bible, so is monogamy and the repetitive mention of a man marrying one woman. Monogamy is seen by the SDA denomination as the only permissible option that results in remaining holy, clean, safe, and morally acceptable in the eyes of God.
The Official Adventist Organization writes of family structures:
“Yet throughout history, Satan has attacked families—through polygamy, adultery, sibling rivalry, homosexuality, pornography. As families fracture, so do the individuals involved.”
Therefore, polygamy is determined as being unbiblical by SDAs.
- Andrews University – Polygamy in the Bible with Implications for Seventh-day Adventist Missiology; Published by Du Preez, Ron, (1993). Dissertation Projects DMin. 164.
- “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” – 1 Kings 11:3.
- “He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” – Deuteronomy 17:17.
- “Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2.
- The Doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventists – Tim Martin; published September 27th, 2018.
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