Denomination Differences

Seventh-Day Adventist vs. Catholic Beliefs

Seventh-Day AdventistCatholic
Number of Members22,000,000[1]1,360,000,000[2]
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.[3]Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to save you, be baptized, participate in the Eucharist, and don't die with any unconfessed mortal sins.[4][5]
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.[3]Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy or by committing a mortal sin.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[6]The unsaved, typically as infants, get baptized as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by immersion.[6]Baptism should be by pouring water on the head.
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.[7]The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
What is the human nature?Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.Human nature is not totally corrupt but is wounded and inclined to evil.[8]
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.[9]
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?Yes, all Old Testament laws are binding on Christians except for animal sacrifices.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?Most believe no, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.[10]"Christian perfection" is attainable in this life, but this does not mean one is sinless, as one will always commit minor "venial sins".
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.Transubstantiation: Yes, the bread and the wine change into the body and blood of Christ.
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[11]Christians who die imperfectly purified must be purified through purgatory.[12]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Immaculate conception: No, Mary was free of original sin and remained sinless throughout her life.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.[13]Most believe that all spiritual gifts are still available to believers.
What are the requirements for clergy?Priests must be unmarried men over 25 ordained by bishops.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has three ordinances: Baptism, Holy Communion, and Footwashing.[14]The church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.[15]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.Mortal sins must be privately confessed to a priest at least annually.[16][17]
How should a church be structured?Church congregations should be governed by a local conference which its congregation elects a representative to, and conferences elect representatives to higher conferences governing them.Episcopal: Churches should be governed by the bishop in that diocese, who in turn is governed by an archbishop, who is governed by the Pope.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians should worship on Saturday.Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.[18]Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition have equal authority and comprise one finished deposit of faith.
How was the Bible written?Dynamic inspiration: God inspired the thoughts of the human authors, but the words were chosen by the authors.[19]
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 73 canonical books of the Bible: 39 protocanonical books, 7 deuterocanonical books, and 27 New Testament books.
Is the Bible inerrant?The Bible is infallible, but not every word is without error.[20][21]No, the Bible was written inerrantly on matters of salvation but may contain errors in other matters.
Who can speak with God's authority today?The Pope speaks infallibly with God's authority when speaking ex cathedra.[22][23]
How was the earth created?Creationism: The earth was spoken into existence by God.The earth was formed by gravity pulling dust together, which ultimately came from the Big Bang.
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[24]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[25]
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[26]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is permissible for adultery or desertion.[24][27]Divorce is never permissible.
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?The innocent party to the adultery may remarry.[27]Divorce is never permissible.
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.[28]Humanity begins at conception.[29]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[30]No, contraceptives are not permissible.[31]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.[32]Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should women cover their heads?No, head coverings are no longer required due to cultural changes.[33]
Should Christians drink alcohol?No, alcohol should be totally avoided.[34][35][36]Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[37]
Should Christians fight in wars?Varies widelyYes, Christians should fight in just wars.[38][39]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[40]The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[41]
Do icons glorify God?Yes, icons are holy and should be venerated.
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?Souls are unconscious after death until God raises them from "sleep".[42][43][44]Some Christians first go to purgatory to be purified when they die.[12]