Ask Auntie Adventist: Is Adventism a cult?

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Auntie Adventist is ready to answer your questions! (Note: This is not the real Auntie Adventist as she would never wear earrings. No, no.)
Today we inaugurate a new feature, “Ask Auntie Adventist,” where all your burning questions about Adventism are answered by a highly opinionated, semi-trained professional (at what, we won’t say.)

Q: Dear Auntie Adventist,

Are you guys a cult?
—Everyone In the World

A: Dear Everyone,

Oh my! [Laughs trillingly.]








Just kidding! If only Auntie had a talent for every time that question is asked. I’d like to point out that early Christianity would have been considered a cult too, as a cult is defined as “a religious or other social group with deviant and novel beliefs and practices.” So no, my dear,  Adventism is not a cult. It is widely recognized as a Protestant Church and while it is not a member of the World Council of Churches, the Adventist church has participated in WCC assemblies as an observer. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

I am sure, dearie, that you know that, too. Especially in this day and age of the Interwebs and smartphone doohickeys where information is available at the swipe of a finger. So I can only assume that you have asked this question just to raise my dander and get my goat. Naughty, naughty!

A question like this, when based in condescending judgment and needless mockery,  only raises walls between us when loving, good-natured communication should rule the day.

So sweetie pie, next time you are tempted to crack wise with this question to some unsuspecting, perhaps over-earnest Adventist, I (in all loving-kindness) say to you:

Shut your pie-hole.

If, however, you ARE asking this question out of ignorance and truly want to know about the denomination, it would be wiser to avoid use of the word “cult” as it carries such negative and offensive connotations. Perhaps saying (with humble gentlesness, of course!) something like, “I desire to know more about Adventism. Could you tell me about it?” or even, “I heard you torture young virgins by forcing them to sing and pray for you on a stage every 7 days to appease a gigantic 3-headed being. Is that true?” would be better.

Auntie also suggests, humbly and gently, that perhaps a little more reading (conveniently, there is a links page with such information on this website) and a little less “Real Housewives” is in order.

Peace and blessings! Auntie Adventist

Got a question for Auntie? Don’t worry if you think it’s stupid. She’ll definitely let you know. Email her at


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  1. A. Nonymous

    Dear BarelyAdventist,

    My booooy, I am disappoint! I wrote a glorious e-mail to Auntie Adventism…poured me lil’ ‘eart and soul into it. And when I hit “send”, what did I find in my inbox? A note from Mailer Daemon advising that doesn’t exist. I died a little inside. Here I was thinking this was the beginning of a Golden Era for Adventist satire. I am le sad.

  2. Ray Kraft

    If it’s one person, it’s eccentric.

    If it’s two, it’s a Folie aux Deux.

    If it’s three, it’s a Menage a Troix

    If it’s a million, it’s a cult.

    If it’s a billion, it’s a Great Religion!

  3. Larry

    As as 77 year old, 4th generation Seventh-day Adventist, and still a nominal Adventist, I believe that the SDA church was a cult for many years. Its exclusiveness and taught isolationism from other groups and the “world” and the perfection required to be “saved”, and the worship of Ellen White made us a cult. Also the ridicule of and ignorance of science and geology to support an absolute 6 day creation. Add to that the non-biblical Investigative Judgement belief, which really made us a cult. With the crucification of Des Ford because of his showing that the Investigative Judgement was a false non biblical teaching. Thankfully, we rarely hear about it any more. And we slowly made progress and evolved away from being a cult.

    Now the current leadership is dragging us down to being a cult again. This time its the exclusion of women-refusing to ordain them, and the re-emergence of the headship of men and the strong re- emergence of perfectionist teachings. Maybe requiring an absolute belief in the 6 day creation as a test of faith.

    Now I believe we are again a Cult !!

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