A Word About the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists
Through the years Seventh-day Adventists have been reluctant to formalize a creed (in the usual sense of that word). However, from time to time, for practical purposes, we have found it necessary to summarize our beliefs.
In 1872 the Adventist press at Battle Creek, Michigan, published a "synopsis of our faith" in 25 propositions. This document, slightly revised and expanded to 28 sections, appeared in the denominational Yearbook of 1889. This was not continued in subsequent issues, but it was inserted again in the Yearbook in 1905 and continued to appear through 1914. In response to an appeal from church leaders in Africa for "a statement [that] would help government officials and others to a better understanding of our work," a committee of four, including the president of the General Conference, prepared a statement encompassing "the principal features" of belief as they "may be summarized." This statement of 22 fundamental beliefs, first printed in the 1931 Yearbook, stood until the 1980 General Conference session replaced it with a similar but more comprehensive, summarization in 27 paragraphs, published under the title "Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists."
The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., is based on these short summaries. They appear at the beginning of each chapter. In this book we present for our members, friends, and other interested persons, in an expanded, readable, and practical manner, these doctrinal convictions and their significance for Adventist Christians in today's society. While this volume is not an officially voted statement—only a General Conference in world session could provide that—it may be viewed as representative of "the truth . . . in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.— iv
Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No Error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I May be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wish to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The Truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. Selected Messages Bk2, pg. 56
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