S U M M E R • 2 0 1 3
VOLUME 14, ISSUE 2
D E P A R T M E N T S
Adventism EXAMINED with Rick Barker
Fundamental Belief #6. Creation
God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God.
This belief statement remains close, but still does not exactly follow, the Scriptural account. For example the claim, “Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work”, goes beyond what Scripture says on the subject. It could accurately read, “At Sinai, God established the Sabbath as a memorial of His completed creative work.” This “spin” on the account is presented to help bolster the Adventist argument for the weekly Sabbath. Adventists would like to convince the readers, and reinforce with their followers, that the Sabbath was instituted at creation and continues “perpetually” throughout eternity.
There is no evidence that Adam rested on the seventh day, or any subsequent seventh day. The first biblical evidence of any person observing a Sabbath is at the time of Moses (Ex. 16). It is also important to understand in the creation account that God ceased His work of creation at the end of the sixth day but did not resume it on the eighth. God did not stop and rest for a day; God had finished creation. The creation rest was ongoing from the end of the 6th day forward. God actually established the Sabbath as a memorial of His completed work at Sinai. The Genesis account does not establish Sabbath as a creation memorial but merely states that God ceased from His work and blessed the day He finished.
Also hidden within this belief statement is an Adventist error that would only be apparent to one who is highly familiar with Adventist thinking. Scripture plainly states, as this belief affirms, that Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. What this belief statement fails to convey to outsiders is that Ellen White wrote—and Adventists understand—that God has a physical body and that man is made in the physical image of God.
Another concern linked to creation is the Adventist idea of nature as “God’s second Book”. The 1988 explanation of Fundamental Belief #6 states, “as we are drawn to God through nature, we learn more about the qualities of God, qualities that can be incorporated into our own lives.” This grossly distorts the idea presented in Romans 1:20 that evidence of God in creation leaves people without excuse to acknowledge Him; instead, they turn to a pagan-like worship of nature as a source of truth that is similar to Scripture in its ability to draw us to God and teach us about the qualities of God.
Even within this most innocuous-sounding of the Adventist beliefs we find the seeds of their erroneous teaching being sown. †
Copyright 2013 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Casa Grande, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised July 8, 2013. Contact email: email@example.com
Rick Barker is a native of Southwestern Ohio and facilitates a weekly Bible study for former and transitioning Adventists in the Dayton, Ohio, area. Rick graduated from Andrews University in 1987 and received a Masters degree from the University of Dayton. Rick and his wife Sheryl formally left the Adventist chuch in 2004. Prior to this they had been active in the Miamisburg and Wilmington, Ohio, churches.