What are Seventh Day Adventists?

Many in Anti EG White / Anti SDA world of debaters use the following words to describe Seventh Day Adventists.




In my own amateur attempt I shall draw on each definition and see if it applies to the accusation that SDA Followers are any of these three words. Lets start with defining each word.

(Biblical) Legalist Definition:

“Legalism (theology) – Definition “

“Legalism, in Christian theology, is a pejorative term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God. Legalism may also be alleged, in Christian theology, in criticism of theories which are perceived to be excessively dependent upon legal concepts. It represents the opposite extreme from antinomianism, the claim that moral laws are not binding on Christian believers. Simply put, legalism is belief in redemption by works, not faith. “



“The term legalism is used by many authors to describe any belief system that implies that a Christian receives salvation and right standing with God by carefully following a list of expected behaviors which has been constructed by the creators of the system. Some teachers have used the term to describe those who accept various Old Testament biblical laws and principles, such as tithing, as being applicable in some way to Christians. But if acceptance of those laws or principles is not being viewed as a method to “earn” or “preserve” salvation, this is not really related to the specific concept of legalism. It is entirely possible for a religious group to reject even any or all of the Ten Commandments, but to substitute for them a list of forbidden activities such as card-playing or dancing, and still be proponents of a legalistic system.”


Definition of Judaizer:


“One who conforms to or inculcates Judaism; specifically, pl. (Ch. Hist.), those Jews who accepted Christianity but still adhered to the law of Moses and worshiped in the temple at Jerusalem.”


Ju·da·ize (jd-z)”

“v. Ju·da·ized, Ju·da·iz·ing, Ju·da·iz·es”


“To bring into conformity with Judaism.”


“To adopt Jewish customs and beliefs.”

“Juda·i·zation (–zshn) n.”

“Juda·izer n.”


Definitions of Theonomy:

“What is Theonomy? By Jay Rogers “

“Published May 2008”

“Theonomy means literally, “God’s law,” or the belief that the moral laws of the Old Testament are still binding today. This idea states that only Old Testament laws specifically fulfilled in the New Testament are non-binding (such as sacrificial laws, ceremonial laws and dietary laws). The moral Law of God is still the ethical standard for governing individuals and society.”


“Theonomy From Theopedia”

“Theonomy is a view of Christian ethics associated with Christian Reconstructionism, most noted for its attempts to show how the ethical standards of the Old Testament are applicable to modern society, including the Standing Laws of the Old Testament, as well as its general ethical principles.”


“Theonomy – Definition “

“Theonomy is the idea that God’s laws (as interpreted by a specific religious outlook) must be applied to all spheres of public and private everyday life: not only religious mandates – but also political, social, and cultural rules. In this sense, theonomy is generally considered an expansive version of theocracy, which involves conforming civil law to a specific religious group’s idea of what is mandated by God’s laws. “

“An example of a group that is theonomic is Christian Reconstructionism, one of the variants of Dominion Theology. “

“Supporters of theonomy sometimes argue that they would only apply civil sanctions to actions, and not mere beliefs or identities. For example, some Christian Reconstructionists say they would not punish homosexuals who were celibate; but they interpret the Bible as sanctioning civil punishment up to the death penalty for homosexual acts. “


“Barron, Bruce. 1992. Heaven on Earth? The Social & Political Agendas of Dominion Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan. “

“Clarkson, Frederick. 1997. Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage.”


Other links to Theonomy articles:





As we have read through the definitions of each term we find the following.

SDA Followers are not entirely ‘Legalist’ because most SDA writers I have read online agree that Christians are saved by Works through faith. Not saved by works. However there is a blurry line because of confusing statements made by EG White and other followers of hers online…

SDA followers are not ‘Judaizers’ because their faith is not rooted entirely in Judaism.

So that leaves us with the term ‘Theonomist’. Are SDA followers Theonomist? I believe so not because they intend so far to change the whole of Protestant Christianity to follow after the old Messianic traditions and rituals. But because their salvation is based of off the ‘seal’ of keeping Saturday Sabbath. They also base many of their beliefs in keeping only the Ten of 613 laws of Moses as a moral code.

Admittedly there is one problem with using the term ‘Theonomist’ is the legal idea of using Gods law as a Christian Theocratic Government which SDA Followers would not entirely subscribe to.

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