THE EDITOR, Sir:
The article written by Father Ho Lung in The Sunday Gleaner of December 16, 2012 shows misunderstanding.
Adventists have always taught that the large majority of God's people are in the different churches in Christendom. We have always believed that the Roman Catholic Church is a part of God's people.
The SDA teachings may be polemic and unpopular, but hate is not a part of the message. I was once a Roman Catholic and I have never sensed acrimony among Adventists I associated with before I became a Seventh-day Adventist.
The Roman Catholic Church has been champions for the cause of the poor and the downtrodden. Its work among the 'wretched of the earth' is well known and documented, and even enviable. The Roman Catholic Church has some of the most well-run and organised parochial schools in the world.
But as Seventh-day Adventists, we could never endorse Christian unity in the preaching of the Gospel when we are so theologically divided. We may share with Roman Catholics the same vision in doing social work, but we part company when we preach the Gospel. We believe in unity, but not at the cost of truth.
Let me illustrate some of the things we cannot share with the Roman Catholics:
1. The pope is not infallible, whether he speaks ex cathedra or not.
2. The parish priest does not have the power to absolve anybody's sin; only Jesus can do that (Luke 5:21).
3. The key of the kingdom given to Peter does not mean he became the first Pope. Peter had no special authority over the corporate church. Jesus is the head and the bedrock of the church (Ephesians 5:23).
4. The Christian Church does not need a co-redeemer in the person of Mary in the salvation of man. Nor is Mary necessary for the mediation between God and man.
5. We cannot teach the doctrine of transubstantiation. Jesus never gave anybody the power to transform the communion bread into the literal body of Jesus.
6. We are very uncomfortable to share the view that the Church has the authority to change the law of God, including the Sabbath day. Nor should the Church remove the second commandment which says we should have no graven image in our worship.
Let me say this without equivocation: Seventh-day Adventists do not hate Roman Catholics. We love them as the children of God.