A glimpse of our beliefs and our church
The local church where “Christian”, “Advent” and “Sabbath” were brought together, was established by Christian Connection believers in the mid-nineteenth century within the United States. Since then, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has grown into a robust and organized church with a structure and institutions. But we’re all about people, persons who have caught a vision and have chosen to live out that vision for Christ, as His hands of hope.
The following pages introduce statements and guidelines discussed regarding important issues, approved and voted by the church leadership since 1980.
Authority and Function of the Church Manual
The Church Manual has existed in its current format since 1932. It describes the operation and functions of local churches and their relationship to denominational structures in which they hold membership. The Church Manual also expresses the Church’s understanding of Christian life and church governance and discipline based on biblical principles and
the authority of duly assembled General Conference Sessions. “God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority.”—9T 261. The Church Manual is divided into two types of material. The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is applicable to every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variations in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guidance and examples, appears as notes at the end of the Church Manual. The notes have subheadings corresponding to chapter subheadings and page numbers of the main text.
The standards and practices of the Church are based upon the principles of the Holy Scriptures. These principles, underscored by the Spirit of Prophecy, are set forth in this Church Manual. They are to be followed in all matters pertaining to the administration and operation of local churches. The Church Manual also defines the relationship that exists between the local congregation and the conference or other entities of Seventh-day Adventist denominational organization. No attempt should be made to set up standards of membership or to make, or attempt to enforce, rules or regulations for local church operations that are contrary to these decisions adopted by the General Conference in Session and that are set forth in this Church Manual.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are rooted in the Bible, considered as our only source of beliefs and a standard of faith and practice for Christians. We consider our movement to be the result of the Protestant conviction Sola Scriptura—the Bible as the only standard of faith and practice for Christians.