Ben Carson's faith as a Seventh-day Adventist came under fire at a Donald Trump rally on Saturday when the billionaire suggested his Presbyterian faith was superior.
Having recently slipped behind Carson in the Iowa polls, Trump told a crowd in Florida, "I love Iowa. And, look, I don't have to say it, I'm Presbyterian. Can you believe it? Nobody believes I'm Presbyterian. I'm Presbyterian. I'm Presbyterian. I'm Presbyterian . . . Boy, that's down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about."
On Sunday, Carson was given the opportunity to respond on Fox News, but said "I really refuse to really get into the mud pit" with Trump.
Gathered below are 12 things you may or may not know about Seventh-day Adventists and their unique system of belief.
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1. Millerite origins
— After studying the prophecies of Daniel, Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the literal Second Coming (advent) of Jesus Christ on Oct. 22, 1844, and formed a large following around this belief.
2. Great Disappointment
— When Christ did not return to earth on the predicted date, some adherents abandoned their faith in the idea of a literal Second Coming, while many continued to find the idea of a literal Second Coming useful to the practice of their faith.
— Out of the Millerite denomination grew the formal Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was founded in 1863 at the First General Conference. At the conference, twenty delegates met in Battle Creek, Michigan, to outline the beliefs of the denomination.
4. Ellen G. White
— Among the original founders was a woman born in Maine named Ellen G. White. According to official church website Adventist.org
, White is recognized as having received the gift of prophecy as outlined in Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12, and her writings are seen as "a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction."
— Adventists recognize Saturday as the Sabbath, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week.
6. Body as temple of the Holy Spirit
— Many Adventists "adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures," as they view the body as the vessel for the Holy Spirit. Many abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and narcotics.
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7. Unconscious dead
— Seventh-day Adventists believe that those who die lay in an unconscious state until the return of Jesus Christ to earth.
8. Second Coming of Christ
— Adventists believe that Christ, having died on the cross, been resurrected, and ascended to heaven, will return to earth twice more: once to catch up the righteous, and finally to establish heaven on earth.
9. First resurrection
— During the first resurrection, the righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord.
— After Christ resurrects and takes up the righteous, he will reign in heaven with them for 1,000 years, while Satan and his angels will occupy a desolate earth with no living human inhabitants.
11. The End of Sin
— At the end of the Millennium, Christ, His saints, and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will be resurrected, and surround the city along with Satan and his angels. At that time, God will consume them in fire, thus cleansing the earth and the universe from sin and sinners forever.
12. New Earth
— After Satan is destroyed, Seventh-day Adventists believe suffering and death will have passed away, and God will rule with the redeemed in a perfect environment of love, life, and joy.
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