Yesterday I sent an e-mail to an old friend (of 63+ years) and was startled with his reply. He sent a link ...Dies Domini...which is a group of (many) former SDA's who now embrace the Only, Holy, Roman Catholic Church.
Their raison d'etre (reason for being) is to aid Catholics in 1) their understanding of Adventists, and 2) to enable Catholics to better defend their faith. Good idea...actually. Adventists could adapt the idea to be better informed about themselves in order to better defend their faith.
We had a Catholic neighbor in Massachussetts who was, and is, a wonderful person...emphasis, person. She lived one house beyond our Adventist neighbor whom, I swear, didn't speak ten words to us in the year that we lived there. There has to be a lesson here somewhere. Right about here I should probably say something like, "...some of my best friends are Catholic, Jews, Blacks..." Isn't that the expected (patronizing) line?
Of the few Adventists who go to heaven there will be none who are critical, judgmental, self righteous, or smug in their possesion of truth. Said another way, those who believe they possess the truth will be left waiting at the gate while those who are possessed by the Truth will go in. There are many things that deserve to be scrutinized in all churches...but sincere believers are not one of them.
If Adventists want to better understand why Catholics believe as they do here is a (partial) list of suggested reading: 1. All Sixty Canons of the Council of Laodicea. 2. A Converts Catechism to Catholicism. 3. The Catholic Catechism (2nd edition). 4. Dignities and Duties of the Priest by Fr. Alphonsis Liguori. 5. John/James Cardinal Gibbons (in original as pdf). 6. Dies Domini 1998 John Paul II (actually written by now Benedict XVI). All of this is available online.
(You might also read Caritas in Veritate [Charity in Truth]). Benedict gave a white leather-bound copy of this to presidents Obama and Medvedev.
It is true that one does not need to study error in order to know the truth. It is also true that one should study the truth in order to know what is true.
Blessings for a new year. e.c.