General Conference

Videos released from Sabbatarian Adventist dialogue

The presentations, given by scholars and leaders from the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, explore both theological similarities as well as key differences.

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Bettina Krause, communication director, International Religious Liberty Association

A series of eight presentations delivered during a recent meetingbetween representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement are now available online, says Dr. Nikolaus Satelmajer, coordinator of the two-day dialogue held in December last year. 

Satelmajer, former associate secretary of the Ministerial Association and editor of Ministrymagazine, said news reports of the conversation between these two groups — which share many historical and theological connections — have sparked tremendous interest from many Seventh-day Adventist Church members. 

“We videotaped the presentations simply as a record of our time together,” said Satelmajer. “But given the requests for more information, and with the permission of all of the presenters, we are now making these recordings accessible to everyone.”

The dialogue, held December 5 and 6, 2018, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, was the third meeting between representatives of the two groups. The presentations focused on four topics chosen by leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement: Christian temperance emphasizing the diet for the last generation; the relationship between church and state especially as it relates to participation in military service; justification by faith; and issues surrounding divorce and remarriage.    

The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement has a membership of some 42,000 around the world. It shares the same early history as the larger Seventh-day Adventist Church, but began its independent development around the time of World War I, initially over the issue of involvement of church members in military service. 

Participants in the dialogue said the meetings have been open and friendly, offering a unique window into each communion’s identity and beliefs. 

In a joint statement following last year’s meeting, the group acknowledged “areas of clear difference in theological understanding and church practice” but expressed gratitude for “the opportunity to meet and dialogue together in a spirit of Christian friendship and respect.” Another similar dialogue is planned.

The videos of the eight presentations given at last year’s meeting can be accessed at*

*These presentations were not originally taped with a view to further distribution, thus the audio quality is not always consistent.