As they turn 150, Adventists still praying for the Apocalypse

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Over the past 150 years, Seventh-day Adventists have built one of Christianity’s most inventive and prosperous churches — while praying for the world to end as soon as possible.


A small band of believers has mushroomed to more than 17 million baptized members, including 1.2 million in the U.S. Nearly 8,000 Adventists schools dot dozens of countries. Hundreds of church-owned hospitals and clinics mend minds and bodies around the world.

You might expect Adventists to celebrate their success while marking their church’s 150th anniversary this May. There’s just one problem: the church wasn’t supposed to last this long.

Back in the 1860s, the founders of Seventh-day Adventism preached that Jesus would return — and soon. That’s why they called themselves “Adventists.” By Second-Coming standards, the church’s long life could be considered a dismal sign of failure.

“If you took a time machine and visited our founders in May 1863, they’d be disconcerted, to say the least, that we’re still here,” said David Trim, the church’s director of archives and research.

Current Adventists aren’t exactly excited about the anniversary, either.

“It’s almost an embarrassment to be celebrating 150 years,” said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, the church’s director of education. “But it’s also an affirmation of faith in Christ’s return.”

Written By: Daniel Burke
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

25 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

      It never ceases to amaze me. The religion can be wrong. Dead wrong. And still the faithful cling to it. Wrong is wrong. No amount of spin changes that.

      Shouldn’t surprise anyone. Vanity and ego locks them into their belief and admitting error proves how stupid they actually are. Same for all religion…

    • In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

      In the 1800’s there was an American prophetess. She said to her followers that she possessed the power of walking on water, and that she proposed to do so at 11 o’clock on a certain morning. At the stated time, the faithful assembled in their thousands beside the lake. She spoke to them, saying: “Are you all entirely persuaded that I can walk on water?” With one voice they replied: “We are.” “In that case,” she announced, “there is no need for me to do so.” And they all went home satisfied.

      It never ceases to amaze me. The religion can be wrong. Dead wrong. And still the faithful cling to it. Wrong is wrong. No amount of spin changes that.

  1. The basic tenets of all religions are deceit and guile. Why do we continue to be surprised when the gullible, who swallowed the lies in the first place, continue to believe round after round of the follow-up lies? Credulists will always believe the next dose of religious bullshit; more alarmingly they will continue to fund it so that it becomes ever more wealthy and ever more powerful.

  2. “It’s almost an embarrassment to be celebrating 150 years,” said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, the church’s director of education.

    Nah! Being wrong has never embarrassed the religinut! The “wrongness” only registers for a second or two before woo-blinkers come down and cognitive dissonance kicks in!

    “But it’s also an affirmation of faith in Christ’s return.”

    See! Being wrong only reaffirms their faith that they were right after all!!

  3. “It’s almost an embarrassment to be celebrating 150 years,” said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, the church’s director of education. “But it’s also an affirmation of faith in Christ’s return.”

    To believers everything is an affirmation of Christ’s return/God’s existence. Survive cancer, god saved you; die of cancer, god took you home, etc. I would like believers at some point to define in which cases god is not working its magic as opposed to when it is guiding events. Then we could start observing, counting god’s activities and determine a percentage value for how often god intervenes.

  4. Their beliefs made them ‘special’ and so they hang on to them in the face of any evidence to the contrary. To alter their doctrine is to admit to their ordinariness and that’s too high a price for the delusional egos. They just have to be holier than thou.

    • In reply to #10 by IDLERACER:

      This says it all:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBJSibMTFHM

      “This is a big deal and I’ve got to live with… I’ve got to think it out.”

      Aw, the poor little guy. That was heartbreaking. Part of me wishes the world had ended, just for his sake.


      These end-of-the-world, Rapture types always make me think of this:

      rdf richard


      …Adventists may be best known for their healthy lifestyles. Studies show they live about 10 years longer than their neighbors.

      We’re all wrong. There is a God, and He’s a sick fuck#r with a twisted sense of humor.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if their general ledger also shows a pre-order for a Bicentennial plaque (made out of granite). Scratch that, I would be.

    My ex-boss was an SDA. A while ago I was in Fairbanks and she visited me because she was there to follow some church function. I ended up meeting her pastor (I was a Catholic then) and after small talk, the conversation turned to religion. My boss had clearly set up this ambush on me. Anyway, the pastor asked me if someone knocked on the door and I had to explain the Holy Spirit to him/her her quickly, how would I do it?

    I looked at him and said it would depend. If it was a Yanamamo Indian recently out of the Amazonian jungle, I would first have to learn his language. I really did say that. He stopped asking me questions. I was an atheist within a few years.

    Mike

  6. while keeping watch for Jesus coming in the clouds

    Funny!

    Beardsley-Hardy said she feels the same tension in her personal life…I’m getting back to waiting, but kind of glad the Lord has tarried.

    Not funny. All that mental anguish for nothing.

    There’s a woman on a christian channel who keeps banging on and on about Revelations; makes my head hurt, moreover, makes me angry that children might be watching.

  7. In the 1860s the founders of Seventh-day Adventism preached that Jesus would return … soon

    Said Lisa Beardsley-Hard: … to be celebrating 150 years … it’s … an affirmation of faith

    This must surely count as the definition of deluded?

    Peace.

  8. This is the church my family belongs to and that I left. When asked why Jesus hasn’t returned yet, the answer was always that not everyone had had a chance to hear the “good news” of Jesus, and that he couldn’t come back until every living person had heard the gospel and accepted or rejected it. Since that’s physically impossible given the number of people who are born worldwide and who die without ever having heard the Adventist “message”, it’s never going to happen. That always struck me as both an excuse for failure and a convenient way to keep milking the congregation for more money to build missions, churches, and media outlets.

  9. I am reminded of that play by Beckett, Waiting for Godot.

    Is he here he here yet?

    Of course in the best of dramatic traditions all the best action takes place off stage, – and he never appears !

    Jesus has foresaken us yet again !

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