7th Day Adventist growth/decline stats similar to JWs
scratchme1010 - "...WT teachings mention that when the time for their Great Tribulation approaches, their numbers are supposed to dwindle..."
...then when JW numbers actually start to dwindle (from apathy, scandals, and general burnout) they can say, "See? Toldja!!!"...
...leading to a temporary increase of numbers, which, ironically, refutes the claim that the GT is approaching, because the numbers aren't dwindling anymore...
...unless, of course, they have a brainstorm and don't allow new members to join, in order to maintain the appearance of dwindling numbers, and thusly the appearance that they're right...
...but the further reduction of members further reduces the Org's revenue flow, putting them in more difficult financial straits...
...creating a need to re-emphasize their alleged fulfillment of End-Times predictions...
...and so on, and so forth...
Although JWs and SDAs are both adventist sects, the LDS and SDAs are the results of alleged communication with heaven. The JWs and SDAs have similar doctrines because they come from common roots. As the paper noted, not surprisingly, the membership numbers of Mormons rose as the number of missionaries increased. At the same time, membership is declining in Europe while increasing in Central and South America, partially, no doubt, because of the Book of Mormon's alleged roots in these countries, and the decline of all religions in the face of secular atheism in Europe. This increase in atheism already is beginning to seep into American population centers.
I went to a "journey to bethlehem" production put on by the Adventists for christmas last year at a farm near my house. Dubs are decendants of the adventists and their chronology is very similar. As I was listening to the dopes dressed up as the three wise men talknig about the end time prophesiec and the moon being in the lower left hand quadrant I though I was back in the kingdom hall. They are in fact hoping... waiting for the end of the world very, very soon, right around the corner, any day now which is to say imminently.
Begs the question...
...just how disenfranchised with your own species do you have to feel to be anxiously awaiting its near-extinction?
You got me thinking... When the message turns to judgement then they will be able to really hammer home the foreshadowing of the blblical story of not leaving (jeruselum?) even though nothing is happening.
The born ins will continue to be fucked.
Another (IMO) valid question...
...would the GB - desperately facing virtually insurmountable legal and financial problems - actually have the balls to tell the rank-and-file to proclaim a "message of judgment", in the vain hope that doing so would compel God to drop the Big A and bail them out?
The SDA and Jehovah's Witnesses come from the same branch of Adventism that sprung fourth from the Second Great Awakening in America during the 19th century.
Both groups come from the Adventist teachings of William Miller whose predictions on the Second Coming of Jesus caused the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844. The Adventists have survived, but the SDA and the Jehovah's Witnesses were two groups that successfully managed to put a spin on the Great Disappoint as to offer an excuse for why Jesus did not return in 1844.
Like JWs, the SDA believes in the Marcionism concept that written Scripture is the ultimate source of divine revelation, and as such that it is the basis for all religious doctrine and truth. They believe that God and Satan along with humanity are players in a drama over God's rightful sovereignty, something the SDA calls "The Great Controversy." While they accept the teaching of the Trinity, they do believe in a Christology that matches very much what Witnesses teach in regards to the passion and death of Christ. They too believe in "soul sleep," which seems to be an earmark of all Adventism. And though SDA emphasizes the observance of the Jewish Sabbath for Christians, they too believe that God exists in the same time frame as humans and that "time prophecies" point to the "fact" that we are in the Last Days.
Recently, like the Latter-Day Saints, the SDA has been redefining its beliefs via critical analysis such as is done in Catholicism and Judaism. This has allowed them to be more honest about their past statements that, like the JWs, have failed to come to pass and seem to lean in the direction of claiming a past over-emphasis on the works of Ellen G. White. Hoping that adopting critical analytical hermeneutics would prove as advantageous as it has over the past centuries for both Catholicism and Judaism, both the LDS and SDA have experienced the reverse and now see a drop in growth.
A footnote to all this is that the Bahá'í Faith, a mixture of religious teachings from East and West, claims that Miller was generally correct about his calculations regarding the Second Coming. The 1844 calculations are believed by the Bahá'í to correctly forecast the arrival of the Báb, a major figure in their religion.
While the Jehovah's Witnesses are not a direct splinter of the Millerite movement, Charles Taze Russell once commented: "I confess indebtedness to Adventists." (wt 6/1/1916, p 170) The Bible Students and subsequently the JWs employed Adventist views on calculating time periods from numbers mentioned in Scriptures, adopting their general ideas that the final days of the world began in the 19th century and that the last generation of humanity was now present since the mid-1800s.
An additional footnote to the above: The critical review of the LDS history has backfired in that it has included admitting that long-held apostate (ex-Mormon) views about Joseph Smith were correct, namely about the number and age of his various wives and the fact that Smith used a "seer stone" dropped into a hat to "interpret" the so-called Golden Plates of the Book of Mormon.
David_Jay - "Recently, like the Latter-Day Saints, the SDA has been redefining its beliefs via critical analysis such as is done in Catholicism and Judaism. This has allowed them to be more honest about their past statements that, like the JWs, have failed to come to pass and seem to lean in the direction of claiming a past over-emphasis on the works of Ellen G. White. Hoping that adopting critical analytical hermeneutics would prove as advantageous as it has over the past centuries for both Catholicism and Judaism, both the LDS and SDA have experienced the reverse and now see a drop in growth."
And I guarantee you there are WT reps discreetly keeping an eye on these developments, too.
Ten bucks says if the Org tried it, the results would be even worse.