Covered this episode:
- Psalm 22:14 – How is Psalm 22 a Psalm about Jesus? What’s the importance of this Psalm discussing crucifixion?
- A continuation of the Journey Through the Psalms series.
I’m convinced that there are Christians out there who don’t know much about their faith. It’s an inherited faith, passed down through generations. Many find themselves “in the fold” because it’s always been that way.
Parents and grandparents loaded them in a car and drove them to a building with a sign out front. The sign served as an announcement. It told the world of the churches denominational allegiance. But for many people, it was just a name. There was no real reflection on what the denomination believed or how it interpreted Scripture. If you asked them about the denomination’s “Statement of Faith”, you’d be hard-pressed to get a uniform answer. Admittedly, before attending seminary, I knew very little about the background of the Baptist church—the denomination my family chose to associate itself with. And I wonder how many adults are still out there who don’t know about their denominational roots and background.
There’s a rich history behind many of the major denominations. A history worth exploring. A history that has helped strengthen my faith. So I want to explore many of those major denominations in a series of posts. Today, we’ll look at the origins and denominations found in the Adventist Church.
The origins of the Adventist church can be traced to William Miller. Miller was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1782. Miller became a Christian during the Second Great Awakening in 1816. He became especially interested in dates—specifically the date of Christ’s second coming.
Many Adventists interpreted the verse in Daniel to mean that Christ cleansed a heavenly sanctuary and that a heavenly judgment started in 1844.
Ultimately, Miller determined a date for Christ’s second coming based on his reading of a passage in Daniel. He predicted that Jesus would return within a year of March 1943. Predictably, people got on board and Miller had close to 100,000 followers that year, ready for Christ’s return in spring 1944. The date came and passed. Nothing. It was later dubbed “The Great Disappointment.”
Miller confessed his error, lost followers, but was still convinced that the Lord’s “Advent” (Second Coming) was near. Another failed prediction sent Miller into a spiritual funk and he eventually died. He was succeeded by Ellen White, who is seen as the founder of many modern Adventist denominations.
How did they navigate Miller’s failed prediction? Many Adventists interpreted the verse in Daniel to mean that Christ cleansed a heavenly sanctuary and that a heavenly judgment started in 1844.