The Differences Between a Seventh Day Baptist & Seventh Day Adventist

by Laura Crawley

The Protestant denominations Seventh Day Adventists and Seventh Day Baptists are both so named because they recognize and celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday rather than Sunday. Seventh Day Adventists originated in the mid-19th century during the American evangelical movement known as the Second Great Awakening. Seventh Day Baptists have been practicing since the mid-17th century in England, and were an offshoot of the mainstream Baptists. Both denominations practice baptism by immersion and non-liturgical worship, and believe in the separation of church and state. However, there are many significant differences between them.

Sources of Faith

Seventh Day Baptists base their beliefs solely on the Bible.

Seventh Day Adventists recognize two sources of faith. The first is the Bible, and the second is the teachings of their prophet, Ellen G. White. White was a prominent 19th century Adventist leader and writer who has been considered an important prophet ever since. In contrast to this, Seventh Day Baptists base their beliefs solely on Biblical writings.

Beliefs

Seventh Day Baptists believe that we have been saved by Christ's martyrdom.

Seventh Day Baptists believe that they have already been saved by the martyrdom of Jesus Christ upon the cross. Seventh Day Adventists believe in the "Third Angel's Message" which states that there is presently a judgment of humans underway in Heaven and that our salvation is not assured by Christ's martyrdom. Salvation must be worked for by believers. An "Investigative Judgment" is underway in Heaven right now, wherein we are being judged. Seventh Day Adventists also believe that the world will be ending soon and that the Second Advent, or Second Coming, of Jesus, is imminent. Seventh Day Baptists believe in a Second Coming as well, but believe that no one can know when that will be.

Church Government

Seventh Day Adventist churches are governed by a central organization.

The Seventh Day Baptist Church grants autonomy to individual congregations within its aegis. Tithing is optional. The Seventh Day Adventists have national and regional organizations from which the churches are governed on a local level, and tithing your income is required.

Death and Afterlife

Seventh Day Baptists believe that you go to Heaven right after death.

Seventh Day Baptists believe that believers go to Christ after death and live in Heaven right away. Seventh Day Adventists believe that after death, one sleeps and is awakened to God only at the time of the Second Advent.

Dietary Practices

Many Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarian.

Seventh Day Adventists avoid eating pork, like Orthodox Jews and Muslims do. Many are also vegetarians, and the church encourages its members to practice vegetarianism. There are no such dietary restrictions in the Seventh Day Baptist church.

Observances

Seventh Day Baptists are permitted to interpret doctrinal beliefs and the Scriptures to some extent according to their own thoughts. They are permitted to celebrate the Sabbath as they wish, and accept that other denominations may also be saved. Seventh Day Adventists must adhere much more strictly to the teachings of the Bible and Ellen G. White, with regard to general doctrinal practice as well as to the Sabbath. In addition, they believe that they alone are eligible for salvation.

About the Author

Laura Crawley has been writing professionally since 1991. She has written about urban history for "The Hillhurst-Sunnyside Voice." She has also written about New York City history at the Virtual Dime Museum website and about popular culture at Kitchen Retro. Crawley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Swarthmore College and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Toronto.

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