Samoan Seventh Day Adventists Choose Sunday For Sabbath

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Time zone changes reportedly caused confusion among leaders

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 14, 2012) – Samoa's Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church has chosen Sunday as the official day of worship, ending months of confusion.

That was just what happened in Samoa last year when the country changed days to be on the same working week as Australia and New Zealand.

The decision caused confusion for church leaders, leading some Seventh Day Adventist congregations to worship on Saturdays while others practiced the Sabbath on Sundays.

The church's chief financial officer, Ben Tofilau, told Radio Australia the change of date created a serious theological challenge.

He told the Pacific Beat program the decision to make Sunday the official day of worship was made unanimously by a panel of biblical researchers.

"Our executive, plus the church elders, sought advice from our head office [which] guided us to maintain the same Sabbath as we had last year," he said.

Mr. Tofilau said 95 percent of community members accepted the decision.

"We believe in the creation - the first day to the seventh - that is where we base our belief. The seventh day is now Sunday."

He said Kiribati and Tonga had adopted the same biblical calendar and would worship on Sundays unlike most SDA churches which worship on Saturdays.

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Samoa's Adventists are not meant to function as their own autonomous SDA Church, The global Adventist Church is a "sisterhood," not a congregational movement. This SDA Sunday keeping is sanctioned by the regional leaders (South Pacific Division) and the world leaders (General Conference) including the president, Elder Ted Wilson, based on faulty theology

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