Seventh Day Adventism and the Branch Davidians Essay

Seventh Day Adventism and the Branch Davidians Essay

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According to a recent article, Seventh-day Adventism is the fastest growing Christian denomination in North America. Yet in 1986, a Gallup poll taken in the United States showed that 30% of Americans had never heard of Seventh-day Adventism. Of those who had, none could provide any further descriptions of Seventh-day Adventists other than that they worshipped on Saturdays. Even earlier, in 1970, a similar poll had respondents confusing Mormon history with Adventist history. Although these polls are 25 years or more outdated, they do address the general populations ignorance of Adventists. Although a relatively recent religious movement, originating in the mid 19th century alongside Mormonism, it has nowhere near garnered the same amount of attention or publicity that Mormonism has attracted. It was only recently that Seventh-day Adventism was placed under the spotlight of popular culture.
On April 19, 1993, a 51-day standoff between the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the Branch Davidians, culminated in a raging inferno that took the lives of over 75 Branch Davidians trapped inside their compound, named Mt. Carmel. The Branch Davidians were a sect that broke off of the Davidians, who originally came out of the Adventist church. This connection launched Seventh-day Adventists into the spotlight and earned them much attention, albeit extremely negative. Although the Adventists tried to distance themselves from the Branch Davidians, it was, and is, impossible. The Branch Davidians, responsible for the disaster at Waco, Texas are rooted in Seventh-day Adventism and their commitment to prophecy, apocalyptic literature, typology, and millennial expectations.
Seventh-day Adventism wasn’t created or ...


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... Involvement of a Major Apocalyptic Movement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee, 2001.

Newport, Kenneth. The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Pitts, William L. "Changing Views of the Millennium in the Davidian Tradition." Journal of Religious History 24, no. 1 (2000): 87-102.

________. "Women Leaders in the Davidian and Branch Davidian Traditions." Nova religio 12, no. 4 (2009): 50-71.

Rifkind, Lawrence J., and Loretta F. Harper. "The Branch Davidians and the Politics of Power and Intimidation." Journal of American Culture 17, no. 4 (1994): 65.

Rowe, David L. God's Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2008.

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Manual. Hagerstown, MD: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1995.

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