Sabbath in Seventh-day Churches - Modern Churches - Seventh-day Adventism

Seventh-day Adventism

See also: Biblical law in Seventh-day Adventism

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the largest modern seventh-day Sabbatarian denomination, with 17,214,683 members as of June 30, 2011, and holds the sabbath as one of the Pillars of Adventism. Seventh-day Adventism grew out of the Millerite movement in the 1840s, and its founders were converted to Sabbatarianism under the influence of Rachel Oakes Preston, a young Seventh Day Baptist laywoman living in New Hampshire.

Seventh-day Adventists observe the sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. In places where the sun does not appear or does not set for several months, such as northern Scandinavia, the tendency is to regard an arbitrary time such as 6 p.m. as "sunset". During the sabbath, Adventists avoid secular work and business, although medical relief and humanitarian work is accepted. Though there are cultural variations, most Adventists also avoid activities such as shopping, sport, and certain forms of entertainment. Adventists typically gather for church services on Saturday morning. Some also gather on Friday evening to welcome in the sabbath hours (sometimes called "vespers" or "opening Sabbath"), and some similarly gather at "closing Sabbath".

Traditionally, Seventh-day Adventists hold that the Ten Commandments (including the fourth commandment concerning the sabbath) are part of the moral law of God, not abrogated by the teachings of Jesus Christ, which apply equally to Christians. This was a common Christian understanding before the Sabbatarian controversy led Sunday-keepers to adopt a more radical antinomian position. Adventists have traditionally distinguished between "moral law" and "ceremonial law", arguing that moral law continues to bind Christians, while events predicted by the ceremonial law were fulfilled by Christ's death on the cross.

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