The Deceptive Wording of the SDA Church's Fundamental Beliefs

The official statements of the "Fundamental Beliefs" of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are worded very carefully, so that they will mean one thing to evangelical Christians reading them, and mean another thing to Adventists themselves.

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One clear example of this is in "Fundamental Belief" number 5, "Holy Spirit." The SDAs themselves even admitted that this statement is worded deceitfully.

The current statement of "Fundamental Beliefs" was adopted in 1980 at the SDA Church's General Conference Session, and the wording of these beliefs was discussed by SDA leaders at that Session. The following excerpts are from the "Session proceedings" of the "Fifty-third General Conference session" (April 22, 1980, 3:15 P.M.), as published in the April 24, 1980 edition of the Adventist Review (the SDA Church's official "flagship" magazine), starting on page 19:

"J. W. BOTHE: [Read Section 5, 'The Holy Spirit.']

"SIEGFRIED NEUENDORFF: Would you please consider the statement that the Holy Spirit is 'always with us'? I think that the presence of the Holy Spirit is limited according to our conduct, because we are told that the Holy Spirit will draw back if our behavior is not right.

"W. DUNCAN EVA: The Lord Jesus did say, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end.' We will take that suggestion to the committee.

"A. LEROY MOORE: I think the infinitive to be takes care of the problem.

"NEAL C. WILSON: Explain that to us, Leroy.

"A. LEROY MOORE: It doesn't say is, it says to be. It is the purpose that He be with us. It doesn't say He is with us.


"A. H. TOLHURST: In reference to the point raised earlier in respect to the Holy Spirit being always with us, would it be useful to make a reference in this statement to the fact that the Holy Spirit can be withdrawn from those who finally reject Him?" (Emphasis in original.

And by taking a look at the current statement of "Fundamental Beliefs," we see that the final result was that the wording remained unchanged:

"5. Holy Spirit: [...] Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. [...]" (

So here we have an admission that this "Fundamental Belief" statement was deceitfully worded, based on a technicality of the English language, which they knew most readers would not catch the significance of, especially evangelical Christian readers who believe that God's will and purposes always come to pass! This is deceitful doublespeak at its finest (or worst!).

Also notice that in the above discussion there is a hint of their teaching that Jesus is not omnipresent and that Matthew 28:20 refers to the Holy Spirit and not actually to Jesus.

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