1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming
WWN 1989 Jan - Mar
1989 Jan -- XXII - 1(89) -- A Time To Face Reality -- The North Pacific Union Conference of Seventhday Adventists has seen the formation of more independent ministries in recent years than any other union in the North American Division. It must also be remembered that this Union was foremost in "playing" financial games with Davenport. How much this contributed to the rise and proliferation within the Seventh-day Adventist Churches of that Union of these groups and individuals working independently of the Church has not been determined. However, it has become so intense that the Union Conference created an "Independent Ministries Study Committee" chaired by Dr. H. J. Bergman, president of Walla Walla College. This committee developed eleven "Guidelines for Acceptable Independent Ministries." These were approved by the Union Executive Committee and recommended to the membership of the Churches in that area.
Interestingly, these same eleven guidelines with a single explanatory deletion were presented to the North American Division Council held this year in Minneapolis just prior to "Celebration 88." They, were approved as guidelines for the entire Division. This now brings to the fore the whole problem of independent ministries and their relationship to the regular Church.
Ever since the establishment of Madison College with the blessing of Ellen G. White there have been "independent ministries" operating within the framework of the Church. Located mostly in the South, they were called - "Self -Supporting Units." This is not saying that at all times there was harmony and unity of action between the units and the programs of the Church. Neither was it envisioned by Ellen G. White that these units should be self-supporting. In regard to the Madison School, and it would apply likewise to each of the units, she wrote in 1907 - "The Lord's money is to sustain them in their labors. They have a right to share the means given to the cause." (Series B, No. 11) The difference then between these self-supporting institutions and the regular Church was primarily in life style and educational philosophy.(Continued on page 4)
p 2 -- A MEMO -- From: The Adventist Laymen's Foundation
To: -----------, Enclosed you will find a Questionnaire which is being sent to all who were named in the memorandum released by the Biblical Research Institute, January, 1988, captioned - "A Survey of Some Independent Ministries." Besides those named in the Institute release, we are also including some who are involved in other independent ministries - The 1888 Message Study Committee, and the American Cassette Ministries - at least, their spokesmen. This makes ten in all to whom this Questionnaire is being sent.
The reason why we believe this Questionnaire to be vital is that during the North American Division Council held in conjunction with "Celebration 88" at Minneapolis, a series of guidelines were approved for acceptable independent ministries. Number 2 reads - "The theological positions of the independent ministries are in harmony with the statement of fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." Several to whom this Memo is being sent have either indicated in writing, or stated when questioned, that while the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief did not say all that could have been said, these did represent their thinking. However, one to whom this Memo is being sent wrote concerning the Statement of Beliefs that "it is not 'truly representative of [my] confession of faith' because it is not clear enough, specific and unambiguous."
In this Questionnaire, we have singled out clearly stated confessions, giving in "Notes" documerted background, so that the answers can be an unequivocal, Yes, or No.
The reason why specific answers need to be given is that you are conducting an independent ministry. The laity are led to believe by this action, that the regular Church is either not fulfilling its mission, or else has deviated from its original doctrinal position necessitating your ministry. This Questionnaire will clarify one area of concern and also give you an opportunity to state the basis for your difference with the "mission" of the Church if that is the real reason for your independent ministry.
The fact cannot be denied that there is some difference or you would not be operating independently. The laity have a right to know where you stand doctrinally and what your mission is. The leadership of the Church is also justified in wanting to know where you stand. It is time to make your position clear. You cannot have it both ways without being a hypocrite.
We plan to write a report of the response or non-response to this Questionnaire following January 15, 1989, and would, therefore, appreciate your returning this Questionnaire signed by that date. Counsel we have been given should govern your response - "Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight. Truth is of God; deception, in every one of its myriad forms, is of Satan; and whoever in any way departs from the straight line of truth is betraying himself into the power, of Satan." (MB, pp. 105-106, 1945 ed.) Signed: ---------------
p 3 -- QUESTIONNAIRE -- DO YOU BELIEVE ---- ?
Fundamental Belief #2-- "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons." Yes No
Note: The first part is quoted from the Constitution of the World Council of Churches (See So Much in Common, p. 33). which in turn was formulated from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of A. D. 381. (See J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 87-88; rev. ed.)
Fundamental Belief #9 -- "In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, .... This perfect atonement ... both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming." Yes No
Note: The Bible says - "It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Lev. 17:11) The atonement as defined in this Fundamental Belief adds to the Bible, and is declared to be a "perfect atonement" which provides only "forgiveness." The "blood" atonement as taught in the Bible provides for "cleansing" also. (Lev. 16:30; 1 John 1:7) Further in Roget's Thesaurus of the English Language, "finished" is listed as a synonym when "perfect" is used as an adjective as in this statement. Was the atonement "finished" at the Cross?
Is the death of Christ - "expiatory"? Wieland and Short in their original edition of 1888 Re-Examined (p. 174) quoted the primary meaning of "expiation" - using Webster's Unabridged Dictionary - to be "some act by which his (the offended person's) wrath is appeased and his forgiveness is secured."
Fundamental Belief #10 -- "We ... exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example." Yes No
Note: Do we place our "faith" in Jesus as our "Substitute" in the same way we look on Him as our "Example"? As our "Substitute", He takes the condemnation for our sins. Does faith in Him as our "Example" free us then from following Him as the Example?
Fundamental Belief #17 -- "As the Lord's Messenger, [Ellen G. White's] writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth ... Yes No
Note: Do we have a third canon of Scripture in the Writings of Ellen G. White?
Fundamental Belief #23 -- "In it (the Heavenly Sanctuary) Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross." Yes No
Note: This phraseology and concept did not appear in any of the previous Statements of Belief. It is found repeated in Questions on Doctrine (pp. 351, 352, 353. 355, 375) - a book stated to be "truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 9) Further in this book, the meaning and limitations of this formulation are defined. It reads:
p 4 -- "How glorious is the thought that the King, who occupies the throne, is also our representative at the court of heaven! This becomes all the more meaningful when we realize that Jesus our surety entered the 'holy places,' and appeared in the presence of God for us. But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained It for us on the cross. And now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us." (p. 381, Section: "VIII. Redemption Absolute by the Victory of Christ." Emphasis theirs; underscoring mine)
If you have answered, Yes, to all of the above Statements of Belief, it can be assumed that you in no way differ from the doctrinal teachings of the Churchin key fundamentals. Wherein, then, does your independent ministry differ in mission from the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to justify its existence? In the space below, please explain.
Continued from page 1 - A Time to Face Reality -- Today the picture is vastly different. In fact, so different, it would be difficult to draw a parallel. While in some instances, educational philosophy and life-style are still issues, there are three other factors now which were unknown then; namely: 1) Doctrinal differences; 2) Perception of Mission; and 3) Ego tripping. This last factor is evidenced by the way certain leaders of "independent ministries" pictorially project themselves in their publications. It is also of note that one of these cried loudly when the North Pacific Union was adopting their guidelines. He even formulated a counter set of nineteen proposals. Such was not the spirit of the "self-supporting" work generated by Madison College. In all my association with the self-supporting workers over a number of years, I never found one of their leaders on an ego trip. Their agenda called for hard self-effacing labor.
The other two factors - doctrinal differences and mission - present major problems. The Church has taken a stand in the area of doctrine. At the General Conference in session at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, a creedal statement of 27 articles was voted. These articles have been heavily emphasized. During the last two quarters of this past year, the Sabbath School lessons were devoted to their study. A new book - SDA's Believe... has been strongly promoted. This book amplifies in 27 Chapters each of the Fundamental Statements of Belief. The emphasis at "Celebration 88" in Minneapolis was that these 27 Fundamental Statements were in harmony with the 1888 Message of Righteousness by Faith, and the inference was clear that in the acceptance of these Statements, the rejection of the message in 1888 had been rectified.
One of the guidelines adopted by the North American Division for an acceptable
independent ministry is that "the theological positions of the independent
ministry are in harmony with the statement of fundamental beliefs of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church." The laity and the leadership of the
Church do have a right to know where the leaders of the independent ministries
stand in regard to these 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief. Therefore,
we have selected the names of those listed in "A Survey of Independent
Ministries" prepared by the General Conference
p 5 -- A REVISED EDITION? OR A RE-PRINTING?-- In the first issue of Commentary, we included an article captioned - "Editor Our Firm Foundation Not So Firm." The evidence for such a conclusion was based on the book - Waymarks of Adventism - written by Ronald D. Spear. In it was found this concept - "In the prenatal experience while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God." (p. 39, 2nd ed. , 1981) This blasphemous statement has no basis in Scripture. The Bible teaches that in the incarnaton "God was manifest in the flesh" (I Tim. 3:16); and "God is love." (I John 4:8) Jesus did not inherit Mary's imperfect love for God. In Himself, He is love!
Now a new edition, also noted as a "Second Edition" and/or "Fourth Printing" has been published. (Don't let this deception confuse you.) The blasphemous sentence is deleted and in its place is found this concept - "The good traits that Mary had were of value in both the prenatal and postnatal experiences of Jesus." (p. 42) I looked for a footnote, or a preface introducing this new edition explaining the why for this change, but found none. Another major deletion from this new edition was the "Appendix" by Vance Ferrell which he had plagiarized from a past issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?"
In the original "second edition," there was a major error which was not corrected in this new "second edition." In answer to a question proposed - "Did Christ really have an advantage over me?" - the book reads (in both editions) - "Yes, Christ had an advantage in one sense: He had a sanctified will from birth to the cross." (p. 41) [In the original second edition, Spear italicized for emphasis the clause - "He had a sanctified will." (p 39)] He bases this conclusion on a statement from the Writings which reads: "Jesus Christ is our example in all things. He began life, passed through its experiences, and ended its record with a sanctified human will." (ST, Oct. 29, 1894)
You will observe that when Spear draws his conclusion, he omits the key word from the quotation - "human". Now if Christ had a sanctified will "from birth to the cross" as interpreted by Spear, then He could not be my "example" in "all things" as the reference states. But to get around this point, Spear dips back to the teachings of the Holy Flesh men of Indiana on the doctrine of the incarnation, and writes that Christ came with "the same nature that becomes ours when we are born again..." In other words, Christ came born, "born again." (See "The Holy Flesh Alternative," WWN, XX-2)
A careful reading of the statement from the Signs of the Times indicates that Christ "was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet because He kept His will surrendered and sanctified, He never bent in the slightest degree toward doing evil, or toward manifesting rebellion against God." By so doing, He did end life "with a sanctified human will."
Let us consider further the implications of Spear's interpretation of this reference from the Signs of the Times. If Christ received through the "birth process" a sanctified human will, and in the whole context in which Spear writes, this concept is placed in relationship to the prenatal influences on Jesus, then Jesus received from Mary this "sanctified human will." Neither your mother nor mine could pass on to you or me a sanctified will. Spear's theology demands a Mary different from the mothers of the rest of humanity to give to Jesus this advantage which he claims Jesus had over us. This leaves us with but two alternatives, either the immaculate conception of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Evangelical concept. This latter concept teaches that the Holy Spirit sanctified a section of the womb of Mary, and from that sanctified section, Jesus developed. Since Spear would abhor being charged with teaching Roman Catholic doctrine - or would he? - he is left with teaching Evangelical doctrine. 2
What difference is there between teaching one aspect of the Evangelical doctrines, and not teaching the other aspects? One may harangue against the Church's compromise with the Evangelicals in 1955-56, but if one is teaching some of the same, how much different is he? To pretend to be standing for historic Adventism, while propagating Evangelical errors, is to be a deceiver, and as John puts it, to be "an antichrist." (II John 7) (To page 6 for footnotes)
p 6 --Footnotes -- #1 In a letter from the Managing Editor of Our Firm Foundation, I was told - "While your edition apparently is indentified as, a second printing," the current edition with which I am familiar is notated as, "second edition ." (Letter dated, October 31, 1988) The fact is that the edition of Waymarks in Adventism from which I quoted in the Commentary reads: "Second Edition - July 1981." (See below) The new edition of the book - "Copyright 1988" - also carries the same notation "Second Edition." However, on the back cover, it is indicated that this is "its fourth printing."
Some thing is wrong. The 1988 edition is different from the 1981 edition. Not only is the blasphemous sentence omitted and the "Appendix" deleted, but another chapter has been added called - "The 1888 Message." Thus the new edition is not a reprinting, but a revised edition. It should have carried a preface telling why a new edition was necessary and what changes were made. It is difficult to plead or charge ignorance with the staff Spear has thinking for him. We are left with the not-so-honorable conclusion an attempt to deceive!
# 2 There is another suggested alternative made by Leroy E. Froom in an unpublished manuscript - The Virgin Birth. He wrote - "A divine, creative miracle brought to pass this new union of Godhead and humanity, begun in the womb of Mary, which secured freedom from the slightest taint of sin." (p. 15) This theory has overtones of the Holy Flesh teaching on the incarnation. The men of Indiana emphasized Heb. 10:5 - "A body hast thou prepared me" - to mean that Jesus' humanity was in a special sense generated by God. Froom's conclusion was simply - "The human element was not determinative in that origin." (ibid.) Jesus' humanity was a new - creation, thus divorced from the Adamic lineage. It was a different humanity and could at birth have a "sanctified human will." Perhaps a few excerpts from Froom's unpublished manuscript would make a good "appendix" for this new "second edition - fourth printing" of Waymarks of Adventism.
Second Edition - July 1981. Historic Truth Publications, Inc. Box 1684, Paradise, California. 95969
WHAT ARE WE HIDING FROM?-- If We Have the Truth?
In the December issue of WWN, we referred to a "dissident" publication which was distributed at the Minneapolis "Celebration 88." This SDA Press Bulletin among other items associated the "Human Rights" issue of 1888 with the "Trademark Lawsuits" in which the Church is engaged at the present time. On the front page a postal address is given supposedly indicating the home office of publication.
An attendant at the Minneapolis meeting brought a copy home. His wife wished another copy and sent to the Chattanooga address given. When the copy arrived, it carried an Altamont, Tennessee, postmark, with the Chattanooga return address. Inside a note indicated that it was being mailed from Pilgrims' Rest. In fact, it had been put together there.
This publication is very similar in layout and design to the SDA Press Release, edited by John Adam of Memphis, Tennessee, but published in conjunction with John Felts. However, this time John Felts had as his partner, Deone Hanson, M.D. The return address which was being used was that of a son of a sister - the evidence indicates - who is living at Pilgrims' Rest or near there.
The reason for the "cover-up" was also given. "Vance Ferrell preferred to use another address so as not to confuse ministries." Now think about this for a moment. A major part of the issue of the SDA Press Bulletin was devoted to the Trademark Suit. Vance Ferrell has put out reams on this same subject. There is not an article in the publication which in one way or another but echoes the "opinions" of Ferrell. How could the ministries become "confused"? Who is trying to hide from whom? How devious do we become, all in the name of the Lord?
This concrete evidence should send a signal loud and clear to every concerned
Seventh-day Adventist. Here is a publication which contains documented
reporting on a current issue. A very interesting and well-written article
on "The Anti-Ecumenical Movement" contains excellent truth.
But behind this were devious workings - human character manifestations.
This fruitage of human reasonings will ultimately surface in some written
(continued on page 7, col. 1)
p 7 -- From page 4, col. 2 - A Time to Face Reality-- from the Writings. It is time that deception ceased to be practiced by the leaders of the independent ministries. One is either a 1980 Seventh-day Adventist, or he is not. To tell the traditional Adventists, as a leader, you hold to the historic faith, and then through this front get into their pocketbooks; yet seek to stay under the umbrella of the regular Church to foster respectability is pure deception and hypocrisy. It is time to face reality. This reality applies likewise to the laity who have been duped into supplying the funds to foster some of these leader's ego trips.
Further, if these independent ministries are in harmony with the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief, and their "mission" coincides with the mission of the Church, they have no reason to remain independent. They should cease to be so and unite forces in the Church's program.
I am not suffering under any disillusionment. I am sure that only a few, if any, of the ten men to whom the Questionnaire has been sent, will reply. For the most part they will prefer to take "the Fifth Amendment" and find some excuse not to respond. However, as noted in the "Memo" to each, we will report what response is received, or the fact that they preferred not to be as "transparent as the sunlight." The hour is too late to wear the cloak of "Meroz" - to "wish to have Christ as their Saviour, but ... not bear the cross and wear the yoke." (5T:77) (The rough draft of the above article was written Nov. 28, 1988, the day the Questionnaire was posted.)
From page 6, col. 2 - "What Are We Hiding From?" -- article, and will serve as a snare to catch some unwary soul. Thus a writer, or writers who stoop to devious methods become "untrustworthy" as a source for a correct understanding of truth. All "ministries" which condone or practice such methods are when you come to the bottom line, but one.
NEWS NOTE -- "Hope International (Ron Spear) has now taken over the operation of Pilgrims' Rest. For many years PR has gleaned inside information on what is happening, especially in regard to changed doctrines, under the leadership of Vance Ferrell who, we understand, is still on the committee operating the enterprise." Alma Torch, October, 1988, p. 7 [Note: This Australian publication sponsors the Standish Brothers' meetings in Australia.] --- (1989 Jan) --- End --- TOP
1989 Feb -- "PRECIOUS MESSAGE " PACKAGED IN JOURNALISTIC DECEPTION -- We awaited with keen anticipation the publication of the Nov-Dec., 1988 issue of The 1888 Message, the official organ of Wieland and Short. We wondered what their reaction would be to the various 1888 centennial celebrations. The headline declared - "Mixed Results." It discussed only the Andrews University and Minneapolis observances. Neither Wieland nor Short, or any member of their "Editorial Committee" were present at the John W. Osborn Lectureship series on the West Coast as far as I was able to observe. Since this editor was not present at the Andrews University celebration, he can comment only from information supplied by other observers.
In reading through the article on the Andrews University celebration, two facts as presented do not jibe with information I have in writing, and from reliable sources. It is not that certain statements in The 1888 Message are not verifiable but the omiss ions from these statements give a different picture than the reader is left with by the editor, Helen Cate. This is not only the case on this report of the centennial celebration at Andrews, but it has been aconsistent pattern which can be documented from previous issues of the publication. It is indeed sad when the "most precious message" a phrase constantly repeated in the newsletter is packaged in journalistic deception. The message of Christ's righteousness is to be "pure, unadulterated truth."(TM , p. 65)
Here is some documentation: While on the West coast, I first learned
of Wieland's invitation to take part in the Andrews University centennial.
He had been asked to speak on "The Cross." This assignment he
refused, which is understandable. Then he was given the opportunity to
choose his own topic. He chose to speak on "Agape" love.
p 2 -- This I verified in a personal conversation with Wieland at, Minneapolis. Yet in the newsletter, one is lead to believe that Wieland did indeed speak on "The Cross." The presentation he gave is summarized in the news-letter by a question - "What Happened on the Cross in My Place?" (p.6) If it is indeed a newsletter, let us have the facts as they are, and not be given managed news and commercials. Since Wieland insisted on his own choice of a topic, and refused to speak on the Cross, the readers have a right to know why, when he has written - In Search of the Cross. Has he not found it yet!
Two other comments are in order. The invitation to speak at Andrews can only be looked upon as a "sop" for compromising his original position on -"denominational repentance" and muting the doctrine of the incarnation. One of the leading planners of the Andrews University centennial celebration was Dr. Mervyn Maxwell. He also is the one who reviewed in the "Special Edition" of Ministry on Righteousness by Faith, the revised edition of 1888 Re-Examined. Here is his evaluation: The original edition was almost too intense to read. But the new edition speaks lovingly of wayward brethren, hopefully of an erring church, and thankfully of God's invitations to repent.
Mercifully, no mention is made of "corporate repentance" and very little of "the sinful nature of Christ," terms that have been stumbling blocks to many erstwhile Wieland and Short admirers. (Feb., 1988, p. 63)
Maxwell also spoke on the West Coast at the John W. Osborn Lectureship series. He revealed that he had had on several occesions extended conversations with Wieland. He also claimed to understand just what Wieland really meant by "denominational repentance." But when Maxwell defined the concept, supposedly Wieland's, he was far afield from what had been written in the original edition of 1888 Re-Examined, and how "the brethren" who reviewed that edition perceived its meaning. (See A Warning and Its Reception, 2nd Printing, Blue Sec., pp. 7-9) All ot this leaves open some very interesting questions.
With Wieland removing the "stumbling blocks" by compromising
his original message which the Lord gave to him and Short, should he not
be "rewarded"? Who would be in a better position to grant that
reward than an "erstwhile admirer" who had a hand in putting
together the Andrews University celebration? Neither Wieland nor Short
spoke at the West Coast celebration - and Wieland closed his active ministry
in the Pacific Union Conference. At Minniapolis they were ignored, though
present., A highly placed source told me that some of "the brethren"
in the General
There is another question that will remain unanswered till eternity. It is - What would God have done for these two 1950 "messengers" had they not sold out their original message by compromise in an attempt to be accepted by "the brethren"? There is a difference between compromising a position once taken under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and fine tuning that position by further study. This they failed to do, and took the route which satisfies human nature - compromise!
The section of the Newsletter devoted to Dr. Roger Coon's presentation
is so written that the reader is left with the conclusion that the Ellen
G. White Estate through its representative endorses Wieland and Short's
position on 1888. If Wieland and the editor of the newsletter could forget
about being accepted and would be willing to follow truth wherever it
leads, they would not have to "package" the "most precious
message" in so much deceptive journalism. They quote Coon as follows
- all put in direct quotes: Minneapolis
1888 - if those two words should even stir a
Dr. Coon also spoke at the West Coast celebration at Riverside. From a printed text, which he read, here is what he said without deletions or change: "Minneapolis/1888!" That those two words should stir even a flicker of recognition in the eyes of the average Seventh-day Adventist church member a century later, in 1988, is probably and primarily due to the efforts of two Adventist ministers who, almost singlehandedly and for the past three decades, have persistently prodded their church by writing tractates, organizing a study committee, sponsoring field workshops, and publishing a journal devoted to the two landmark convocations held in that northern city a
p 3 -- hundred years ago, and their aftermath.
Whether one accepts or rejects the basic assumptions and conclusions of Robert J. Wieland and Donald K. Short (and there are many who, while readily acknowledging the industrious, single-minded, persistent dedication, and commendable, undoubted spirit and commitment of these two servants of the Lord, do not view things quite as they do), [Emphasis is Coon's and he made it clear, he was one of the ones who does "not"] yet perforce one must admit, I think, that were it not for Wieland and Short, the interest generated today in our church by Minneapolis/1888 would be substantially less. (Minneapolis/ 1888: The "Forgotten" Issue, pp. 1, 2)
Just a brief comparison will tell how "managed" were Coon's remarks to give an impression not conveyed in the original text.
There is no question but that the centennial review of 1888 produced some deep study of the issues and events which surrounded the General Conference session in Minneapolis. The stimulus, or the prodding to do so,whichever way one wants to perceive the matter must be credited to the persistence of Wieland and Short. But now that that has been done, the resulting research must be candidly assessed.
According to The 1888 Message, Wieland in his message at Andrews University based some of his premises on the interview he had with J. S. Washburn in 1950. Washburn, at that time, recalled an interview he had had with Ellen G. White in 1889. While I, too, have on occasion used this Washburn interview to make the same point that Wieland did, I did so with some trepidation. Here is a recall from 60 years previous to the time of the interview given to Wieland. From my own research of the Holy Flesh Movement, I discovered that a "Compiler's Note" in Selected Messages, book 2, p. 31, was based on an interview which told on incidents 62 years previous. The statements of the interview when placed along side of the facts from documents written at the time of the events were in disagreement. The recall was faulty. There is a grave danger in seeking to base a major premise on a sixty-one year recall.
A little heralded presentation, given at the John W. Osborn Lectureship series by Dr. Bert Haloviak of the General Conference Archives, challenges the very foundation of Wieland and Short's premise making central the messages of Jones and Waggoner due to the approval Ellen G. White gave their messages. In his paper, Haloviak chooses two years following 1888 - 1889 and 1899. Interestingly, one of those years - 1889 - is the year in which Washburn had his interview with Ellen White. Concluding an extensively documented paper, Haloviak stated: It was Ellen White's analysis of the "new" message that transcended even her endorsement of Jones and Waggoner. While their contributions were limited because of misunderstanding objective righteousness, Ellen White's analysis is still of surpassing importance. As she looked down to the SDA church of today, she made a predictive prophecy: "One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other, - Christ our righteousness." ("After Minneapolis, 1889 and 1899: Three Views of Salvation", pp. 33-34)
Whether the conclusions set forth in this paper will stand up to a critical challenge remains yet to be seen, but that there is contained in that research a challenge to the position Wieland and Short have taken in regard to Ellen G. White's endorsement of Jones and Waggoner, and the significance of that endorsement cannot be gainsaid. In other words, did Ellen G. White give Jones and Waggoner an unconditional endorsement? What did she mean when she wrote to Jones "My brother, you have had great light. God has made you a lamp that burneth, but your light needs to be more free and clear."( Ibid., p. 31)
There is another area of study which the emphasis on 1888 shed light. The original premise of Wieland and Short was that there needed to be a "denominatonal repentance" due to the rejection of the message given in 1888 at Minneapolis. The book by Dr. Arnold V. Wallenkampf challenges the Wieland-Short position on that point. (True, the editor of The 1888 Message sought to convey to her readers that Dr. Wallenkampf endorced what Wieland and Short had been advocating for three decades. He did in some points, but not all, and definitely not some of the theology Wieland is presently advocating. Wieland knows this. This is but another example of the deceptive journalism practiced by the editor of the newsletter. See "Special Issue," Vol. 4, Number 3a, p. 1.)
Wallenkampf in his book - What Every Adventist Should Know About 1888 - after citing references from Ellen G. White, concluded that "whatever sin was committed at the Minneapolis conference was not corporate but personal and individual. In the sight of God, individuals were held responsible for their sin of rejecting God's message of justification and righteousness by faith, and as individuals they had to repent to receive forgiveness for sin and removal of guilt and be restored to
p 4 -- God's favor." (pp. 55-56) Nowhere in the writings of Ellen G. White is to be found a call for "denominational repentance" over the rejection of the message as given by Waggoner and Jones in 1888.
Corporate quilt is a Biblical concept. (Acts 2:36) There was a call for denominational repentance growing out of the rejection of the 1888 message. That call is plainly stated in the Testimonies. On April 21, 1903, Ellen G. White wrote - Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. (8T:249; Emphasis mine)
Wieland and Short used this reference in their original 1888 Re-Examined. (p. 203) See A Warning and Its Reception, 2nd Printing, White Sec., p. 196. However, they applied it to the message, rather than to the "backsliding" growing out of the rejection of the message.
When the General Conference reviewed the original manuscript a second time, they cited Ellen G. White's comments in regard to the working of the Lord at the 1901 session of the Church. This was done to refute the charge by Wieland and Short that "we have traveled the road of disillusionment since the Minneapolis meeting in 1888." (Ibid.) It is interesting to note that it is in connection with this charge that the two men quoted the above reference from Volume 8.
When Wieland and Short replied to this "Second Appraisal," they were so intent on defending themselves - a common weakness of us all that they failed to catch the import of what the "brethren" had cited. These citations need to be carefully examined. The GC recognized the connection between the 1901 session and the counsels arising out of the 1888 message. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 363) They prefaced their citations with the following comment: In the experience of the reorganization of the General Conference in 1901 there was brought about the great changes called for in the E. G. White counsels of the 1890's, and in the words of recognition of changes made we have the assurance that God was truly blessing and leading His people. (A Warning and Its Reception, 2nd Printing, Mint Sec., p. 32)
From the 1901 General Conference Bulletin, they quoted Ellen G. White as saying: Who do you suppose has been among us since this Conference began? Who has kept away the objectionable features that generally appear In such a meeting? Who has walked up and down the aisles of this tabernacle? -- The God of heaven and His angels. And they did not come here to tear you to pieces, but to give you right and peaceable minds. They have been among us to work the works of God, to keep back the powers of darkness, that the work God designed should be done and should not be hindered. The angels of God have been working among us. (p. 463)
From the Review, they cited: During the General Conference the Lord wrought mightily for His people. Every time I think of that meeting, a sweet solemnity comes over me, and sends a glow of gratitude to my soul. We have seen the stately steppings of the Lord our Redeemer. We praise His holy name; for He has brought deliverance to His people. (Nov. 26, 1901)
If language and inspiration mean anything, this is saying that the 1901 General Conference - Constitution was a divinely inspired instrument. It was totally rejected in 1903. It was then that Ellen G. White said the Church "was being leavened with her own backsliding." Over this issue and in this context was the call made for the Church to repent. This was thecall for corporate or denominational repentance. (See 8T:247, 249)
If Wieland and Short had only caught this point and restructured their original 1888 Re-Examined in the light of the connection between 1888 and 1901, what a different course our church history might have taken. But instead, when confronted with the challenge of the Centennial, they compromised and a sad picture has followed. It is not too late at least to straighten up the facts, and in humility confess an unwarranted stubborness (I Sam. 15:23). It perchance could lead to a blessed experience at the foot of the Cross "without the camp." (Heb. 13:13)
IN THE NEWS -- National & International Religion Report, Vol. 2, No.25, p. 4.
Is "Seventh-day Adventist" a brand name or a generic label like "Methodist" and "Baptist"? After firing charismatic-minded intern pastor John R. Marik for insubordination in 1981 and barring him from his church in Hawaii, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination registered the words "Seventh-day Adventist" as a trade name with the U.S. patent office. Meanwhile, Marik founded a tiny splinter congregation, which named itself the Seventh-day Adventist Congregational Church of Kona. When Marik and his people refused to stop using the SDA descriptive, SDA leaders filed suit in April 1987. The federal district court in Hawaii ( To page 7, col. 2)
p 5 -- JUDGING OR FRUIT INSPECTING. -- by Allen Stump -- Jesus said - "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matt. 7:1-2) Also, in the same sermon, Jesus said - "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit." (7:15-16a)
Where do we draw the line between judging and fruit inspecting? This question has caused much perplexity to sincere Adventists who wish to check the evils in the Church, and yet fear of being perceived as being judgmental. In seeking an answer to this question, let us be guided by the directive of Jesus: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3) Laying aside our own opinions, let us hear the words of the Scriptures, and the counsel of the Writings as wisdom for us.
Numbers 16 records the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. These men with 250 of the princes of Israel accused Moses and Aaron of assuming too much responsibility. What was Moses' first reaction? "He fell upon his face in silent appeal to God." (PP 398) Was Moses angry? Yes, Moses was "very wroth." (16:15) Although caught by surprise, "he arose sorrowful indeed, but calm and strong." (PP, Ibid.) What does this tell us? It is not necessary for a servant of God to be a wimp when dealing with rebellion! The truth must be spoken and spoken plainly. Yet as in the case of Moses, the servant of God must be both calm and strong. Had we been living at that time, we might have advised Moses and Aaron to try to keep the matter as quiet as possible - and by all means don't name names! Yet this public rebellion had to be dealt with in a public manner. Within the sight of the congregation, God caused "the earth [to open] her mouth and [swallow] them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They and all that appertained to them went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were around about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense."(16:32-35)
Korah and his companions in rebellion "had spoken flattering words and had professed great interest and love for them, and the people concluded that Korah and his companions must have been good men, and that Moses had by some means been the cause for their destruction." (PP 402) Korah and those who rebelled were nothing less than "wolves in sheep's clothing." Of such, Jesus said "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:20) Jesus then declared: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. (7-21-23)
Many will profess works for the Saviour; yes, even many wonderful works. The prophecy found in the Writings finds its fulfillment in the "many voices" being heard today. It reads: After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, "Lo, here is Christ, Lo, he is there. This is the truth, I have a message from God, he has sent me with great light." (Review & Herald, Dec. 13, 1892)
Many will profess great interest and love for the people as did Korah and his companions, yet the answer to them all will be - "I never knew you."
These are sobering thoughts which should help to awaken, even some who profess to be awake, out of their Laodicean stupor. How easy it is to use Neal Wilson, or John Carter for their spiritual dart board (not that their apostasy should be left uncovered) and yet fail to expose those who speak "flattering word" and profess a "great interest and love" for the people of God. The reason is they themselves are "wolves in sheep's clothing." To the average concerned Adventist, most of the "many voices" who are confusing
p 6 -- them are perceived by them as very pious. They are deceived by the smooth words and the "professed great interest and love" expressed for them. Satan well knows that the more informed God's people become, the more difficult it will be to deceive them. Therefore, his deceptions become more subtle, subtle enough to deceive if possible the very elect! Thus, he inspires these "many voices" - some even speaking "historic Adventism" yet tinctured with deadly error. How are we to know if their message is from God? How is the fruit to be inspected? By the standard from Heaven's Bureau of Standards and Measurements - "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20) In other words, by a plain, "Thus saith the Lord" - not human opinion!
The Bible is replete with illustrations of God's spokesmen not only denouncing sin, but also denouncing those who were instrumental in leading into or condoning sin. Sometimes specific persons were mentioned. Examples of such instances would be Elijah and Ahab; Samuel and Saul; John the Baptist and Herod; Paul and Alexander the coppersmith; Peter and John before Annas and the kindred of the high priest. Many denunciations were general. Almost all the prophets gave messages of warning against the apostasy of their times. A reading of the following texts will illustrate this well: For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. (Isa. 9:16)
His watchman are blind: they are all ignorant, they are, all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping lying down, loving to slumber. Yea they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand. (Isa. 56-10-11a)
My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray. (Jer. 50:6a)
Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard. (Jer. 12:10)
(Also read the 34th chapter of Ezekiel.)
Even though Jesus spoke often in parables the meaning of His messages was so clear as to whom He meant that the Jewish leaders desired His death. As one reads the story of the wicked husbandmen (Matt. 21:33-46) there is little doubt as to whom Jesus had in mind. The woes that Jesus pronounced against the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23) would never be used for illustration in a book - How to Win Friends and Influence People.
We, as a people, have believed the Three Angels of Revelation 14 are symbolic of a people carrying a message to a dying world. That message is not all nice and spice. The chapter - "The Seal of God" - speaks of a people who "will not hold their peace to obtain the favor of any." (5T:210) Their message is not one of "peace and safety." God's true messengers carry an Elijah message. John the Baptist carried the Elijah message for his day. Both Elijah and John were very clear and specific not only about sin and deception, but also about those who were perpetrating the error. John was the forerunner of Christ's first advent, as we are to be of Christ's second advent. Of John, we read: The forerunner of Christ's first advent was a very plain-spoken man. He rebuked sin, and called things by their right names. He laid the ax at the root of the tree. He thus addressed one class of professed converts who came to be baptized of him in Jordon: "0 generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." (IT: 321)
This is immediately followed by this specific counsel: In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God's faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was borne by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as His shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them. (Ibid.)
The position of judge in the judgment is to be left to God alone. He only can read the motives, the thoughts and intents of the heart. However, God has left the fruit market open for inspection by those who hold truth to be dearer than the fables of men. Some fruit that is obviously spoiled can be repeatedly passed by. Other fruit appears to be quite nice on the outside - even some of the professed "elect" think so - yet when opened by the sharp two-edged sword of God's word, it is exposed for what it really is, using Jesus' illustration, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Finally, there is fruit that not only bears the marks of heaven, but is also the real thing. For those whom God has called to inspect fruit, let them first fall upon their face as did Moses - seeking God's Spirit of discernment. For those who question that calling of others, let them use the simple test of God's word to inspect the inspector!
p 7 -- One final observation on fruit inspection: To those who do not feel the burden to speak out, and who do not believe in others speaking out, especially when a favorite personality of theirs is mentioned by name or inference, the counsel of Gamaliel is apropos: "Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." (Acts 5:11.839)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -- Note: The same day that Brother Stump's article was in P.O. Box 789, the following letter from the West Coast was also there.
Since the old saying is, Confession is good for the soul, I have a confession to make to you.
I have been guilty of not only seeing you in my own mind as a "Danite", re: the 144,000 of Rev. 7, but have on occasion expressed that opinion to ... [others] ...
I not only confess but wish to state as my present conviction that you are not a "Danite" but rather one who is dedicated to truth above everything else. Certainly you have your way of working and expressing your convictions, to which you have a perfect right as a free moral agent, and it may not set well with everyone. Not that I am among the latter. I see you with such a love for truth that you are constrained by that love to express it at times in ways that seem to strong to others.
I'm sure you will accept this in the way in which it is offered, and still consider me a friend and brother in the Lord Jesus.
-- From AFRICA - also the same day.
Greetings in Jesus, Name. I am grateful that I am getting your unique articles "Watchman, What of the Night?" As said by the pen of inspiration, I quote: "...If I think I have light, I shall do my duty in presenting it." TM 534 " I must speak to my brethren nigh and afar off. I cannot hold my peace..." TM 347
This is exactly what you are trying to do. It is truly the fact that you are presenting to us here, and you have obviousIy shown that we are all brethren no matter the colour or races. Thank you so much for helping us here to know how to stand for the Lord in this last days.
I did not appear or attend any (Wilson's ) meetings as it was mostly political. Many heads of other denominations have visited....... I but Elder Wilson and Pope only were given the State 'Army' guides in all their visits. And it was sad to see an Adventist head eating with the Christian Council officers or heads and pastors of other denominations including Catholic and Moslems. What are these Religio-Political leadership in the Adventist Church?
Please kindly try to help me to know.... the seven named Independent Ministries so that I can study well about them with other brethren. For as we have just begun this Reformation work, we may be mislead if you do not help and guide us.
IN THE NEWS - continued from page 4, col. 2 -- ruled against Marik and his church, then issued a warrant for his arrest on contempt charges and levied a $500-a-day fine against the congregation. Marik has been in hiding for over a year, according to a Los Angeles Times account. A SDA attorney, Max Corbett, has been pleading the "generic" argument on his behalf without fee -- and without success so far. SDA officials say only four of 40 contested usages of the SDA name have gone to court. Two small congregations settled out of court and stopped using the name. A dispute involving a 600-member homosexual group, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, is scheduled for trial in Los Angeles in February.
1989 Mar -- A REPORT TO DATE -- Responses to QUESTIONNAIRE -- On November 28, 1988, we sent by certified mail a Questionnaire to ten men whom either the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference considered as "Independent Ministries" or one which we perceived to be in the same category because of their activities and publications. With this Questionnaire we enclosed an explanatory Memo. In this Memo we clearly stated that following January 15, 1989, we would prepare a report summarizing "the response or nonresponse to this Questionnaire" by these ten men.
In the January, 1989, issue of WWN, the lead,article was entitled - "A Time to Face Reality." We included with this article a copy of the Memo and Questionnaire so that each reader could know what was sent. In concluding the article, I wrote: I am not suffering under any disillusionment. I am sure that only a few, if any, of the ten men to whom the Questionnaire has been sent will reply. For the most part they will prefer to take the "Fifth Ammendment" and will find some excuse not to respond.
However, a "few" did respond of the ten, three to be exact. What was most interesting was the fact that some readers responded, by marking the Questionnaire in WWN and returning the same to us. A retired pastor in Southern California used red ink to make emphatic his reaction to the five Fundamental Beliefs noted in the Questionnaire. All the "X's" were "No!" Then he signed his name with his regular black ink pen. A young couple in the Washington DC area, within the shadow of the "Curia on the Sligo," likewise, with emphasis, making big "X's" registered - "No!" A medical doctor on the West Coast responded marking with strong "X's" the "Yes" blanks, except for Fundamental Belief #17. He checked the "No" with
p 2 -- the comment - "This word should be omitted" and crossed out "authoritative."
The first, of the ten men to respond to the Questionnaire was Robert W. Hauser, M . D., author of Give Glory to Him, a book using a method of interpretat ion alien to any used by the pioneers of this Movement. The doctor so admitted in the introduction to his book. (p. 3) The position of this editor in regard to Dr. Hauser's intepretation was accurately stated in the report by the BRI on "Independent Ministries."
Dr Hauser answered in the affirmative to all five Fundamental Beliefs picked for the Questionnaire. Then he wrote: First, and foremost, in answer to your question, I deny operating an independent ministry as the BRI claims. I am a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church in good and regular standing. I have never at any time accepted any tithe money nor solicited funds. I am engaged in the practice of medicine so am not dependent on any income from the church or church members. (To keep the record straight, Frank Holbrook of the BRI actually wrote in the Institute's Report - "Although Dr. Hauser is engaged in medical practice and may not be considered as organizing an independent ministry, yet his work is similar.")
Dr. Hauser continued - At the invitation of nearly fifty Adventist churches on the west coast I held week-end seminars in those churches from 1983-85. After the secretary to the Biblical Research Institute sent a letter to the presidents of all conferences in the North American division advising them to "keep Hauser out of the churches" the invitations still continued to come but it became necessary to utilize other facilities for the meetings. I still hold weekend seminars at the request of different groups of Adventists but none on the premises of the church. I do not publish a newsletter or periodical.
Justifying his individual interpretation of the prophecies of Revelation, Dr. Hauser wrote: The reason that I continue to respond to requests to hold seminars and to meet with anyone interested in prophecy is that I believe that Daniel and Revelation were intended primarily for our generation.
James White and Uriah Smith did not agree in every aspect of the interpretation of Daniel and Revelation and carried on a discussion of their differences in the pages of the Review and Herald without implying that to accept the other interpretation would label someone as an independent ministry.
[Editor's note: It is true that Smith and White differed in their interpretation of certain aspects of the prophecies, but they both used the same accepted method of interpretation, which Hauser does not do as noted above. The other issue is whether Daniel and Revelation were "intended primarily" for this generation as Hauser insists.]
Elder Alexander Snyman also responded twice, first to the Questionnaire, then after receiving a copy of WWN (XXII-1) a second time. In the Thought Paper, I had written that Elder Snyman was spokesman for the American Cassette Ministries. He corrected this by writing: I was back in 1985 and 1986, but no longer. ACM and I were always, and still are, on good terms, but it became quite obvious, with my strong emphasis on the Message of 1888, that I was preaching a message which conflicted with that being given by ACM's other speakers. My present position, as it has been for years, is one of the speakers on the 1888 Message Study Committee team.
In regard to the Questionnaire, Snyman marked "Yes " for each of the five Fundamental Beliefs listed. Then he added the following comment, asking that, if used, it be quoted in full. He wrote: First of all, I do not consider mine an "independent" ministry. I am quite uncomfortable with this term. I prefer to consider what I do as well within the framework of the Seventh-day-Adventist Denomination.
While I believe the statements of belief as published by the denomination, my total understanding of the truth of the Gospel goes considerably beyond what is given there. As an example, the articulation of the fundamentals of the Everlasting Gospel, particularly as brought out in the Jones and Waggoner (and Ellen G. White) presentations at the General Conference held in Minneapolis in 1888, are not being given emphasis by the Seventh-day Adventist Church today, and since "this is the message God commanded to be given to the world" (TM 91-92) I feel that I should do everything I can to recover, assimilate, promote, and promulgate, this truth as far and wide as I possibly can. The vital elements of what Ellen G. White called "the Third Angel's Message in verity" (RH 4/1/1890 and
p 3 -- 1SM372) are what I feel should receive our first and foremost emphasis and given, under the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, to the hungering multitudes of earth.
[Editor's Note -- Elder Snyman's disassociation of himself from the American Cassette Ministries is to be applauded. If there is one agency among others which at the present time is feeding the Adventist Community "fruit" from the Tree of the Knowledge of Truth and Error, it is this ministry. However, does Snyman's response to the Questionnaire reflect the position and thinking of the 1888 Message "team" with whom heis now associated? (Wieland and Short did not respond to the Questionnaire) In the light of this, we have sent to Mrs Helen Cate, Editor of Wieland and Short's official organ, a copy of the Questionnaire for her response, a copy of Elder Snyman's response, and a cover letter. (See p. 4 for cover letter)]
At "Celebration '88" held in Minneapolis, the attempt was made to associate the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief with the Message of 1888. Such major doctrines as the Law and the Sabbath, the Three Angel's Messages, and the Atonement were used as examples to show that in reality the Church was in line with what God designed for His people in 1888. The failure was not that we did not accept the message, but that we needed to preach these doctrines in the framework of the 1888 Message - the lifting up of Jesus.
Now Elder Snyman states that his "total understanding of the truth of the Gospel goes considerably beyond" the 27 Fundamentals and well it should! But in so stating, he still gives consent to five key doctrinal statements concerning which there are major questions, if not right out error. Here is a serious problem. The message of "the righteousness of Christ" by faith - using the same source he used - is declared to be "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) How then can he assent to error, and state that he believes it, and proclaim "the Third Angel's Message in verity"? This is a fearful mingling of truth and error in the life of one professing to proclaim "pure, unadulterated truth." While James used a series of questions in another context, they are likewise apropos here. He asked: Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain yield salt water and fresh." (James 3:11-12)
Now let us face reality. To consider one's ministry to be "well within the framework of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination" which means giving assent to the 27 Fundamentals, and then seek to promulgate "the message of 1888", as something "beyond" yet in harmony with, is duplicity. This is Laodiceanism compounded because it is perceiving the message of Jesus standing at the door as consistent and in harmony with the tenets of Laodicea itself. The tenets of Laodicea and the "message" of Jesus at the door are totally incompatible or else He would not be at the door, but inside!
There is another point of this attempted mingling of error with the giving of "the Message of 1888" to meet the need of 1989. It centers in "the search for the Cross." What we either fail, or refuse to recognize is that "the Cross" is to be found "without the gate." (Heb. 13:12) To bear a message of "Christ's righteousness" involves also "bearing His reproach" (13:13) But not doing so, the message, no matter how true it is in and of itself, is being used in a manner which deceives the laity. This comes under the sin category of the ancient sanctuary services wherein the High Priest in his official capacity caused Israel to sin. This "official" sin was considered in the eyes of the Lord as corporate in nature, and corporate confession was required. The sad part of that ancient picture is that forgiveness" was left in suspended judgment. See Commentary, Vol . III , #2, p. 2 ) All of these factors make it mandatory that the 1888 Message Study Committee through its Chairperson-Editor state its position clearly even if Wieland and Short take the "Fifth Ammendment" personally.
Ron Spear of Hope International responded through his Associate Executive Director, Joe DiGiacomo. Mr. DiGiacomo wrote: We received your questionnaire and cover letter. Regarding it, any yes/no evaluation of selected fundamental beliefs begs a nonqualitative response as these are typically qualitative issues. Consequently, we cannot respond to your questionnaire at this time. Up to this time we have not performed a thorough analysis of the 27 fundamental beliefs. Thus we cannot provide an official critique of them. (Letter dated, January 3, 1989.)
The Questionnaire provided space to clarify one's position, or to qualify any answers given. In fact, both Dr. Hauser and Elder Snyman utilized the space provided either to (To Page 6, Col. 2)
p 4 -- January 25, 1989
Mrs Helen Cate, Editor
Dear Mrs Cate;
On December 21, 1988, Elder Alexander Snyman replied to the Questionnaire concerning belief in certain specific statements from the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. (A copy of his response is enclosed)
When we chose his name along with Elders Wieland and Short, in addition to the names listed by the Biblical Research Institute as "Independent Ministries," we were under the impression that Elder Snyman "was a spokesmen for the American Cassette Ministries." After receiving WWN (XXII-1) in which we had so stated, he wrote to us that this was no longer so, but that his "present position, as it has been for years, is one of the speakers on the 1888 Message Study Committee team."
We are with this letter enclosing a copy of the Questionnaire for your response. Do you as Editor believe in regard to the five statements cited as Elder Snyman, one of your speakers, does? Further, I am sure you are in full agreement with what Elder Snyman wrote regarding the Everlasting Gospel. You need not repeat this, but would you reconcile your concept of the Everlasting Gospel with the Fundamentals as cited in the Questionnaire.
Further, can I accept your response as reflective of the position of Elders Wieland and Short, since you are editor of their official organ? They have apparently chosen to take "The Fifth Ammendment" in regard to the Questionnaire which was sent to them.
Looking forward to your reply, I remain,
Wm. H. Grotheer, Editor
p 5 -- THE OPPORTUNISTS TOOK THE BAIT! -- Principle Is Principle! After Marik Comes Kinship! -- Now that the reaction both pro and con has somewhat subsided to the article - "What's In a Name?" (XXI-12) - and factual information is being requested, perhaps a candid discussion of the facts connected with the choice of a name in 1860 would be enlightening. But first a few comments.
When reams of paper are used to inflame the emotions of concerned Adventists, with many "the kingly power of reason" is dethroned. It is surprising how many good people have been caught up in this propaganda crusade. But perhaps now that "Trademark" litigation which cannot be camouflaged by "paper" confronts the same ones who have "used" the Marik case, their "nakedness" might help sincere people see through the charade.
In the last issue of WWN, p. 7, we noted a news item that in February, the case involving professing Seventh-day Adventists homosexuals, and their use of the name is scheduled for trial in Los Angeles. Are the same ones who signed a petition for the Marik case going to sign a similar petition for the Kinship group of homosexuals who desire to use the name, Seventh-day Adventist? Sadly, many have been led down a "dead-end" street by following blind leaders who can see no further ahead than the sentence to follow the last sentence they put into their word processor. I am sure that many a concerned dissident, and regular member as well, were swept up in the emotional frenzy created by a deceptive press, which did not inform them that Marik was as far out in Adventist doctrinal teaching in one direction as the Kinship group is in "life-style" in another direction. Quite frankly, it will be interesting to see how many "tracts" and "updates" Vance Ferrell "reams" out supporting the Kinship group in their "Trademark" litigation. Will Max Corbett offer his services to them free, and will contributions be solicited? AND, will you give of your time and money as you did in the Marik case?
Principle is principle no matter who is involved. If principle was at stake in the Marik case, the same principle is at stake in the Kinship case. Isn't it the same "Big Bad Wolf" who is taking action against the Kinship group that took action against the poor little Hawaiian church? Really now weren't the emotions inflamed to be "against" under the guise of being "for"? And now, to continue to be "against" brings one face to face with being "for" something that is not palatable. Tragically the "sheep" are the ones who are left"penned up" while an editor and a "do-gooder-for-free " seek something else sensational to write or advocate so as to titillate the "ears" of their devotees. Will God's concerned people never learn, and continue to be deceived by the propaganda being rolled off the presses in reams?
On May 13, 1860, the group of Adventist believers in Parkville, Michigan, before erecting a church, organized so as to "hold property in a lawful manner." They used the name of "Parkville Church of Christ's second advent." Loughborough remarked - "Perhaps a more appropriate name will be chosen by us as a people." At this very time, a question high on the agenda of the leadership of the fledgling Adventist Church was - Who was to hold the title to the Church's publishing house - the Review and Herald? To have an organization that could hold property, it had to have a name as well as being organized. In setting up the organization, a name was chosen which became the "trademark" of that organization. It was not generic, but a name chosen by a specific group of people under which they could operate lawfully. At that time, the keeping of the Sabbath and the belief in Christ's soon return was a unique combination, and so attested to by Ellen G. White with the approbation of Heaven. (lT:223-224)
Today that name is no longer unique, though still the official legal name of the Church. There are numerous groups who recognize the seventh-day Sabbath, and who believe in the soon return of Jesus a second time. In a nearby community, on the Sabbath some fifty Seventh-day Adventists meet in their church, while in the same town another one hundred and fifty likewise meet on the Sabbath and
p 6 -- they, too, believe in the second coming of Christ. These are not Adventist dissidents. They have another official name, and few, if any, were ever Seventh-day Adventists. Today, and time and place must be considered, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is officially the church which believes the 27 Statements of Fundamental Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. An article in the SDA Encyclopedia explains: The full title "Seventh-day Adventist" (or the equivalent title in various languages) is the official name of a specific denomination with a specific body of doctrines, of which the Sabbath and the Second Advent form only a part. (p. 1324. See also p. 1044; 1976 ad.)
All the institutions of the Church are held in this name. In reality
ever since 1860, it has been the "trademark" name of the organization.
Recently, steps were taken to make the fact, legally restrictive. How
the leadership of the Church have proceeded to implement this action is
the key question. The method chosen has afforded certain dissidents an
opportunity to inflame the emotions of many Adventists. But what alternate
solution has been suggested to the Church leadership by those who are
critical of the method being pursued? Ferrell has not proposed any,
Let this fact be engraved in the mind of whoever reads this article. The name, Seventh-day Adventist, now stands for a group of people who accept as their confession the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. While it is true that these 1980 Statements are at variance with previous Statements starting with the first formulation in 1872, the historic continuance of the organization from 1863 to 1989 confirms the title to the name, Seventh-day Adventist, to the Takoma Park based church. Whether the leadership of the Church has now officially trademarked the name is actually irrelevant, because in forming a publishing organization in 1860 to hold title to property, that name became theirs uniquely (continued on page 7, col. I)
A Report to Date -- (continued - from p. 3. col. 2) protest their inclusion as an independent ministry, or to explain their mission. So to say that R. D. Spear could not reply because it required more than a Yes/No answer is begging the question. However, the truth did come out in an unbelievable admission. Note again what was written "Up to this time we have not performed a thorough analysis of the 27 fundamental beliefs." These Statements were voted over eight years ago! The last two quarters of 1988 were devoted to the study of the 27 Fundmentals! What did Spear and his associates study for their Sabbath School lessons those two quarters? This is irresponsible leadership. If less time had been spent in going after the "deep pockets" to support an "ego" trip, and that time had been devoted to knowing where one stood on the doctrinal issues confronting the Church such an excuse for default of responsibility would not need to have been pled.
This is a form of agnosticism which marks Laodicean blindness. It is not that one cannot see to read. It is not that one does not have a mind to think. To plead ignorance, one can continue in a work of deception, and thus avoid taking a stand which might endanger the flow of revenue. Jesus summed it up well, when He described such as "blind guides." (Matt. 23:16, 26) Now the question remains, how long will many of God's professed people continue to be enamored with such leadership? The counsel of Jesus should be heeded - "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:14)
It is tragic when individuals become conscious that something is wrong within the Church, and then in seeking an answer are lulled into a fatal security by these "blind guides." The facade is beautifully deceptive in their publication - Our Firm Foundation. They use extensively Ellen G. White material to project an image of "real" Adventism. Why could they not have marked at least, "Yes" for Statement #17? Or are they merely using Ellen G. White to further their own ends?
Soon after the Questionnaire was posted, we received a letter from Hartland Institute indicating that Dr. Colin Standish was "on furlough in Australia until the end of December," but as soon as he returned the certified letter would be given to him. We, (To page 7, col. I)
p 7 -- Opportunists - ( Continued from page 6. col. I) when on May 13, 1861, under the laws of the State of Michigan, they incorporated as the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association. It is not generic. It is specific - a trade-mark name. When in 1971 a group of laymen and myself formed the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., a search was first made by the State Agency involved with charters to see if the name chosen was unique. It was and the charter was issued. No one else has the right to use that name without permission.
At this point certain questions face each person who believes himself to be a Seventh-day Adventist. Do you accept as your confession of faith the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief? If not, then you cannot in strict honesty call yourself a Seventh-day Adventist. This is why so many of the leaders of the "independent ministries" to whom the Questionnaire was sent are seeking to take the "Fifth Amendment." They are not willing to face this reality. The second question is - if you face the reality, what do you do? Why you must do something is now made very clear by recent Judicial opinions being rendered today in America against "individuality in religion." This we will discuss in the next issue of WWN.
Report to Date - (Continued from page 6, col. 2) also, received the first of January a letter from a brother in Australia with whom Dr. Standish had been visiting. It stated that Dr. Standish left on the 29th and had agreed to bring an item from him for us. To date (Feb. 8), we have heard nothing from Dr. Standish, nor have we received what the brother sent. Barring personal tragedy, or an emergency at Hartland Institute, this is highly questionable conduct.
Not only has Dr. Standish not replied, nor any of the following: Charles Wheeling, John Osborn, Vance Ferrell, Elder Joe Crews, and Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short. This silence would indicate that these would prefer to take the "Fifth Amendment." There is an adage, however, which says that "Silence is consent." If this be so, then why are any of these independent? If the 27 Fundamentals as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980 are their confession of faith, there is no reason why they shouldn't be incomplete working arrangement with the Takoma Park based Chuych, in educational pursuits, in evangelism, and in pastoral ministry, as well as in literature distribution.
If on the other hand, the 27 Fundamentals are not their confession of faith, they ought to be forthright and stand up and be counted. Genuine Christian character is not developed by taking a compromised position, or by remaining silent in a time of crisis. Paul wrote that "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10:10) There are no provisions for taking the "Fifth Amendment" in the Constitution of Heaven. In fact, in the Charter of the Kingdom of Heaven as outlined by Jesus we call it the Sermon on the Mount He declared - "Let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatsoever is more than these cometh from the evil,one." (Matt. 5:37 lit.)
What is our position? We do not believe that the 27 Fundamentals as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, express the true faith which should characterize God's remnant people in the closing hours of time. We perceive the Statements as voted a betrayal of the "sacred trust" committed by God to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (See Documentary - #SS-2 - "The Sacred Trust BETRAYED!") --(1989 Mar) ---End----