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
The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the WWN in a searchable Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.
Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Victoria, BC Canada."
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WWN 1982 Jan - Mar
1982 Jan -- XVI - 1(82 ) -- ARE WE UNABLE TO TELL THE TRUTH? -- Duplicity of Hierarchy Revealed in Christianity Today News Report -- Christianity Today (Nov. 20, 1981, pp. 64, 69) contained a news report of the recent Annual Council held in Takoma Park, Oct. 6 - 14. It quoted Elder Neal C. Wilson's analysis of the theological dissension in the church, and the accusations of plagiarism in the writings of Ellen G. White as "Satan's subtle sophistry and cunningness." [Or should these dissensions and accusations be viewed as God's judgments on an apostate hierarchy?] Discussing the friction between the theologians and the administrators of the Church, Dr. Charles Hirsch who headed the Educational Department of the General Conference, and who at the Annual Council was elevated to the position of Vice President, was noted as believing that "Academic freedom must be balanced by academic responsibility." [In this he is correct.]
The third leader of the Church's hierarchy to be quoted in the news story in Christianity Today was Dr. Richard Lesher, who until the Annual Council was director of the Biblical Research Committee of the General Conference, and like Hirsch was elevated to serve as one of the Vice Presidents. He is quoted concerning the issue of the authority of Ellen G. White in Adventist's theology and beliefs. The news report reads: He said Adventists consider the Bible their ultimate authority and that the Bible's unity makes it "its own interpreter." Still, Lesher said in a telephone interview, White holds an important place in determining church belief.
the SDA has clearly affirmed the Old and New Testaments as the "only
unerring rule of faith and practice." White is looked to for "comfort,
guidance, instruction and
discussing these comments attributed to Lesher, the reader needs to be
aware of some background information. At the Dallas General Conference
Session where the Fundamental Statement of Beliefs was revised, Dr. Lesher
served on a special committee appointed by Elder Neal C. Wilson "to
do some editing" of the Statement as submitted to the delegates bringing
it line with alterations voted following the floor discussions. (Adventist
Review, April 23, 1980, p. 14) In other words, Lesher had full knowledge
p 2 -- transpired at the Dallas session in regard to the beliefs of the Church. Further, as Director of the Biblical Research Committee of the General Conference, he should possess the qualities required of a researcher to know what is truth.
Now let us carefully observe the comments by Dr. Lesher. He stated that the Church affirmed the Old and New Testaments to be the "only unerring rule of faith and practice." But no where - no where - in the voted Statement of Beliefs at the Dallas session is this affirmation to be found. It is, however, to be found in the 1931 Statement of Beliefs which was affirmed at the 1950 General Conference Session. With only one word different and a synonym is used, this same affirmation is to be found in all Statements of Belief prior to 1931 save the Statement drawn up by the Battle Creek Church in 1894. In other words it was revised out of the 1980 Statement. Dr. Lesher was in a position to know this better than most persons. Yet he tells Christianity Today, this is the Church's present doctrinal position, which it is not!
Dr. Lesher is further quoted as stating that because of the unity of the Bible, it is "its own interpreter." Yet the Glacier View Document on "The Role of Ellen G. White in Doctrinal Matters" declared - "We believe her authority transcends that of all noninspired interpreters." The reason given is also stated - "Ellen White was inspired in the same sense as were the Bible prophets." (Ministry, Oct. 1980, p. 19) To further complicate the picture, Dr. Lesher quoted from the 1980 Dallas Statement that the writings of Ellen G. White are looked to for "comfort, guidance, instruction and correction." What he quoted is correctly stated, but he omits the vital part of that section of the Dallas Statement. The vital part reads - "As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction and correction." (Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 25) This fiat in regard to the writings of Ellen G. White is to be found in no previous Statement of Beliefs. In fact, it was not until the 1950 General Conference Session which affirmed the 1931 Statement adding the concept that we believed that the gift of prophecy "was manifested in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White" that her name appeared in any Statement of Belief.
obvious to even a casual reader that we cannot affirm that the Bible is
unerring rule of faith and practice" and at the same time declare
that the writings of Ellen G. White constitute "a continuing and
authoritative source of truth." Dr. Lesher knows this, and in his
statements as quoted in Christianity Today introduced a previous
nullified Statement of Belief regarding the Bible, and omitted the core
of the present Statement of Beliefs in regard to "The Gift of Prophecy."
The fact is simply this. The Statement of Beliefs as voted at Dallas has so completely boxed the hierarchy in, that they are presently unable to deal in an objective manner with the facts of history involving the formulation and publishing of the writings of Ellen G. White by the Estate and previously by Willie White. Also fearful of their loss of authority, they are not willing to accept Ellen G. White's own statement as to how her writings are to be used. And this applies to others as well. She wrote: My brethren, God has given you but one standard and that is the Bible. The Bible and the Bible alone is to be your guide. The Testimonies should never be preached from our pulpits. They should be read at home and used as stepping stones to the study of the Bible. You have no right to use the testimonies to prove doctrines. Had you studied your Bibles as you should there never would have been any need of the testimonies for it is God's perfect and complete guide to all who would know the way of life. ("Proper Use of the Testimonies", pp. 4-5)
counsel were taken seriously by all who profess to believe the Third Angel's
Message, there would be seen in our midst the greatest searching of the
p 3 -- Scriptures since the days of the Bereans. If we would do so, we would not be led into the Ford-van Rooyen heresy, but would find from our Bibles that our faith based in the study of the Sanctuary and Daniel 8:14 was absolutely sound. We would need to enlarge our perception to include all that the light from the study of the Word would cause to shine upon our pathway but we would have truth, truth that is to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. (Prov. 4:16), But this light will not come to us as long as we continue to approve and support the hierarchy in their duplicity. May God help us to be honest with truth.
TITHE FUNDS INVOLVED IN DAVENPORT SCANDAL -- We have been advised by a very reliable source that $800,000 of the $17 Million plus funds invested with Davenport were tithe monies. The two Union Conferences principally involved with the investment of tithes according to the informant were the North Pacific Union Conference and the Mid-America Union Conference, formerly the Central Union, headquartered at Lincoln, Nebraska.
Among the creditors whom Davenport listed in his bankruptcy suit filed July 13, 1981 was the "Pacific Union Income Fund." We have before us copies of documents which note the North Pacific Union as having had investments in this Fund at the close of 1980, totalling - $196,183.68 - but with a market value at that time of only $151,975.68. This item from Schedule 2 noted as "Securities and Investments" is a part of the Balance Sheet Schedules of the "TITHE FUND" for that Union.
One individual who has checked various financial statements involving the North Pacific Union and the Oregon Conference wrote - "To say tithe funds are not involved [in the Davenport scandal] just is not the truth."
"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all." - Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MICHIGAN ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST GENERAL CONFERENCE AND LAKE UNION -- On May 12, 1981, Richard T. O'Neill Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Section, on behalf of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, issued a Cease and Desist Order against the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Review and Herald Publishing Association, The Lake Union Conference, and the Home Health Education Service (HHES) of that Union, the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the Book Centers (ABC) operating under the Conference. The Order alleges that the named respondents combined, conspired, and agreed "with one another to restrain and monopolize trade and commerce of Seventh-day Adventist literature and articles as well as religious literature and articles distributed by others."
specific allegations read: (A)
Using monopoly status in refusing to deal with others in the resale and
distribution of Adventist literature and allocating customers that may
be sold to by others.
The complaint which initiated this Order against the Church to desist and cease its violations of the Michigan Trusts, Monopolies and Combinations Acts was made by Dr. Dick Proctor, Associate Professor of Psychology at Andrews University. Proctor owns and operates the Library & Educational Services, a book store in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Since the issuance of this Order by the office of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, Proctor has filed his own suit in Federal Court
p 4 -- in Illinois against the General Conference and other entities of the Church. Reporting this suit, The Herald-Palladium of Benton Harbor - St. Joseph, Michigan, on October 8, 1981, noted: In the suit, Proctor claims that from 1976 to 1980, he purchased religious material from Your Story Hour, Zondervan Corp., Samuele Bacchiocchi, and Home Health Education Service. In 1980, he said, he began purchasing SDA books published by Review & Herald and which were sold to him through the Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Carolina associations of SDA at a 30 percent discount even though the associations were competitors for customers.
His suit also claims that Home Health Education Service [HHES] 'sold SDA books at a 70.78 percent discount. Proctor said the associations, Review & Herald and HHES have a total annual gross of $55 million in North America.
He said that during 1979 and 1980, he sold religious material at prices below those charged by the suppliers and competitors and refused proposals to quit selling the materials at discount prices. Proctor said that beginning in 1979, some suppliers either refused to sell religious books and materials to him or reduced their discount. As a result, he claims in the suit, the percentage of his SDA sales to his total sales went from 46.7% in 1977 to 19.2% as of the end of May 1981.
Proctor claims the defendants have fixed and maintained prices for resale of SDA and other religious books and materials, combined and conspired to refuse to sell materials to him, and allocated territories so as not to sell to him.
Proctor is quoted as stating that his reason for the original complaint and now his suit is that he takes "Ellen White's statement seriously that we should distribute our literature like the leaves of autumn." Then he added - "My main concern is that the different versions of the Bible and other religious books become widely distributed at the lowest prices possible without any controlling of prices or availability."
Among the claims of Proctor is that pressure was applied to his suppliers of books not to sell to him except at full retail prices. To the accuracy of this charge, we can add our testimony. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Arkansas provides for the laity of Seventh-day Adventist persuasion, manuscripts, books, and tracts. Besides what we produce, we obtain books from other publishers, such as Ingram Book Company of Nashville, Tennessee. On May 20, 1981, we made inquiry of the Review & Herald Publishing Association asking at what price we could obtain certain sets of books for resale. We received no reply, so a month later we sent a certified letter asking about our first inquiry. Within a week, we received a communication from the Publishing Secretary of the Ark-La Conference of Seventh-day Adventists stating that we could obtain the sets requested at the full retail price as sold by the Literature Evangelists. The price quoted, as an example, for The Bible Story set by the Ark-La ABC was $249.50. This same set could be purchased through Proctor's book company for about $80.00. This should tell the laity of the church something about the "big business" the hierarchy is engaged in.
FOLLOW-UP -- When
we published the story of Ray Cutts, and
his experience with representatives of HHES in the Oklahoma Conference
and the Southwestern Union of Seventh-day Adventists (See WWN,
XIV-7 (July, 1981), p. 10), we were approached by another Literature Evangelist
of the Oklahoma Conference who had been in contact with the same leaders
p 5 -- a result of publishing the story, we also received an inquiry from Brother Ken Cortner of Stockton, CA, asking for Brother Cutts' address and telephone number. Resulting from this inquiry, the following letter was sent by Brother Cortner to both Mr. Barry George and Mr. Ralph Sellers, the men representing HHES who had visited with Brother Cutts. It reads:
August 11, 1981
Sellers, Assistant Director
Report is being widely circulated among the membership upon the west coast that you men as officials of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in that area follow the procedure of ascertaining if literature evangelists working in your departments are paying tithe to the Church, and that you have either fired or forced the resignation of Ray Cutts, partially or in whole over this issue.
you kindly respond to the following questions?
Thank you for helping us to understand the situation that reportedly exists in your Publishing Department.
Your friend and brother in the work of the Church,
Neither George nor Sellers replied to this letter. However, Brother Cortner received a telephone call from one stating that he was Chuck Williams, Publishing Department Secretary of the Southwestern Union. Following this call, Brother Cortner wrote out in detail the conversation from the notes he made during the call. He then wrote the following letter to Chuck Williams:
September 9, 1981
Charles Williams, Director
SUBJECT: FORCED RESIGNATION OF LITERATURE EVANGELIST RAY CUTTS OF OKLAHOMA CITY.
Dear Elder Williams:
This is a follow-up of your telephone call to me on August 26, 1981 wherein you stated that you were "not about to put anything into writing" but by phone would respond to my correspondence.
The correspondence that brought about your phone call to me was not anything that I had written to you, but letters I had sent on August 11, 1981 to Barry George, Publishing Department Director of the Oklahoma Conference, and to Ralph Sellers, Assistant Director of the Publishing Department of the Southwestern Union Conference, who were directly involved with relieving Ray Cutts of his position of five years duration a colporteur literature evangelist.
One must assume that Brother George and Brother Sellers were nervous about responding without consulting their boss, and when they did you took the prerogative that superiors possess, and you called me. During that telephone conversation I made numerous notes regarding what was said, and from these notes I am now setting forth the impressions gained.
by you that "everything was done according to policy and by regular
committee action and procedure" indicated that this was no simple
resignation on the part of Ray Cutts, for in that case the letter of resignation
would have been
p 6 -- received by the Publishing Department and that would have been the end of the matter but this entailed deliberations by a Committee over firing an employee unless he presented a letter of resignation. So Ray Cutts was not fired, but coerced by his superiors into resigning under pressure, and hence wrote a letter of resignation.
Ray was well liked and was, and had been doing a good selling job. But he was caught up in dishonesty; TO WIT: Contrary to direction by his employers, and illegally in your opinion, he had provided the down-payments, or a portion of the down-payments on book sale contracts out of his own pocket, and you believed that such assistance to be contrary to policy and to interests of his employers.
Ray was a faithful tithe payer but his tithe was not being turned in to the Seventh-day Adventist Church through regular local church channels, but was instead paid to a body described by you as a "non-Adventist group."
You conceded that tithe-paying is not a test of fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and that a non-tithe paying member is in good and regular standing in the Church, but your personal opinion is than an employee of the Southwestern Union Conference Publishing Department under your direction must be an honest and faithful tithe-payer to the Church through regular channels in order to be employable and that you approve the on-going scrutiny of church treasurer records for this purpose.
The policy of your Publishing Department in ascertaining and monitoring tithe paying habits of Ray Cutts and other employees, is however, a closely guarded secret evidenced by your refusal to directly answer questions that were put to you in that regard, skillfully skirting those questions by responding philosophically.
The Home Health Education. Services (HHES) are withholding for one year following Ray Cutts termination, $300.00 of his commission earnings, which amount will then be paid to him after deducting any bad checks or problem contracts that Ray entered into with his customers.
These are some of the impressions from your phone call, Brother Williams.
I would like to reiterate a truth that was expressed to you by phone. There is no blessing in the forcing of returning a tithe. Nor is there a blessing for anyone involved in the scrutiny of the church treasurer's records for the purpose of forcing tithe payment, or for applying sanctions upon a non-tithe payer. As you well know, this is a matter solely between an individual and his God.
Again, I will make the prediction to you, that if you, or any segment of the church organization, persist in forcing resignations, or in firing people over the non-payment of tithe, we can expect to defend ourselves in court and become additionally besmirched by adverse media publicity by those who will contend, that they were fired because they refused to kick back 10% of their salary or earnings to their employer.
Finally, if you are not doing so, I would advise that you immediately start paying interest on the $300.00 you are with-holding for one year from Ray Cutts and others and that you examine your records over the past five years and forward such interest as may be due to anyone whose funds you have had the use of.
It is my hope that these observations by an interested layman who had never heard of Ray Cutts prior to termination of his employment by you, might be of some value.
COMMENT - At no time while Brother Cutts was working in the Oklahoma Conference prior to his forced resignation did he send any tithe to the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. Further, in the light of the HHES price-fixing as alleged under the suit and Order filed in Court, is it not laudatory for a Literature Evangelist to seek to help needy souls obtain what truth they still can acquire through Church publications?
The bottom line still remains that one must be a "modern Seventh-day Adventist" in belief to remain in the employ of the Church in the Southwestern Union of Seventh-day Adventists.--- (1982 Jan) --- End --- TOP
1982 Feb -- XVI - 2(82) -- ADVENTISM IN CRISIS OVER AUTHORITY -- Questions Regarding Role of Ellen G. White Beset Hierarchy of the Church -- The mere suggestion that would raise a question regarding the authority of Ellen G. White causes an emotional reaction often devoid of sound and sane judgment. What has been happening in America in reference to its heritage received from the founding Fathers of this Republic is now happening within the Church in regard to the role and ministry of Ellen G. White. The older generation of Americans were taught to respect the memory and service of the great men who gave their lives and sacred honor in order that the Republic might be realized, and that this nation might remain a united people. The heroes and leaders of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War era were held in esteem by the inheritors of their sacrifices. However, historical research - for weal or for woe - has altered this picture immeasurably. Documented research has revealed the earthy side of our heroes, and this with other factors has resulted in a loss of old-time patriotism. The same type of research into the life and ministry of Ellen G. White has had a similar effect on many in the Church.
In the years since the death of Ellen G. White, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the leadership of the Church and the White Estate to elevate the writing's of Ellen G. White to a par with the Scriptures. The practical result has been that many sincere and devoted lay persons have placed her writings above the Sacred Scriptures. This is especially true in certain self-supporting and reform groups both within and without the Church. To even raise a suggestion there might be some basic problems, in regard to the writings produces an hysteria because these folk feel that the very basis of their salvation is being threatened.
On the other hand, there has come into the Church a liberal element who have viewed the writings of Ellen G. White as a roadblock to their personal liberty and desire to live as they so choose. These would readily accept any supposed finding that would negate the authority, and ministry of the Lord's delegated "messenger."
Besides these two groups, there is a third group within Adventism who recognize that the salvation by works program of the first described group does not meet the need of the human soul, but rather appeals to a self righteousness akin to the Pharisaism of Christ's day. But this third group also knows that license is not the "liberty" or the freedom that pure and unadulterated truth brings to the human heart as the righteousness of Christ by faith is received through the renunciation of self. How then can a true, genuine believer in the Third Angel's Message relate to the present crisis in Adventism?
present crisis is not new to Adventism, but by far the most serious. Thus
p 2 -- it calls for a deeper analysis and a more serious evaluation free from emotionalism than the previous major crisis which took place at the turn of the Century. Involved in the previous crisis was Elder A. T. Jones. In a statement - The Final Word and A Confession - Jones quotes a letter with approval sent to him by a man described as moving "in General Conference circles," and as one who at the time had "the confidence of the General Conference Administration," in other words, Elder A. G. Daniells. In the letter dated, Dec. 18, 1905, this brother wrote to Elder Jones: You know that the Testimonies of Sister White are from the Lord. You know, too, how to distinguish between men's manipulations of these Testimonies, and what these Testimonies themselves actually teach. (p. 24)
Here in a nutshell is the whole issue, and really 'the only issue. Sister White did possess the "spiritual gift" of prophecy. It was manifest in her writings and public ministry. BUT there were manipulations of the Testimonies - Letters and Manuscripts - and what some of her actual testimonies really said were blurred to serve the ends of the men in places of authority. How then shall we relate to the problem in a calm and forthright manner as free as possible from emotional hysteria?
Certain literature dealing with this present crisis in Adventism is already available, and another publication is to be expected in the bookstores shortly. In the extreme liberal bias is Evangelica with its special issue on , "Ellen G. White Reconsidered." One of its lead articles is by Robert D. Brinsmead entitled, "The Legend of Ellen G. White." This can all be rejected with very little comment by every sincere believer in the Advent Movement. Brinsmead himself has rejected the Sabbath, and in so doing, the Law of God, also. Thus by the simple pronouncement of Scripture, there is no light in him. See Isa. 8:20. It is true he may cite certain historical data, but his analysis of this data is cloaked in deceptive darkness because his mind is no longer controlled by basic truth.
There is expected momentarily the book by Elder Walter Rea entitled - The White Lie. Since this book is not yet available to this writer (January 1, 1982), we cannot comment in an objective manner in what it will document. However, the hierarchy have published an answer to Rea's book, and captioned it - The White Truth. There is also a publication of questions and answers issued by the White Estate covering not only the expected charges by Rea but also Ford's allegations in the doctrinal area of the sanctuary. It is called - One Hundred and One Questions and Answers on the Sanctuary and on Ellen White. While we hold no brief for Ford's heresy, and cannot comment on Rea's publication until we can examine it, the reliability of the publication from the White Estate comes into question from the answer to the very first question proposed in the booklet. It states that the GC Session in Dallas "formally reaffirmed the doctrinal positions that Adventists have held for more than one hundred years." (p. 6) This is simply not the truth as has been documented in various issues of thought paper - "Watchman, What of the Night?" since that Session, If the author is as loose and free with all his answers in the book as he is in this statement, serious doubt is cast on the whole publication. But in reality he can say little else and still maintain the authority of the General Conference as the "guardians of the spiritual interests of the people." (See 5T:211) To admit the truth about the Dallas Statement of Beliefs would be to admit that the hierarchy betrayed the sacred trust committed to them. Besides these published and to be published works on the Ellen G. White problem is a manuscript prepared by Dr. D. R. McAdams, President of Southwestern Adventist College at Keene, Texas. No analysis can be complete without the documentation as found in this unpublished manuscript entitled - Ellen G. White and the Protestant Historians: The Evidence From an Unpublished Manuscript on John Huss.
issue of the thought paper, we shall seek to get down to the hard-core
issue which is basic to any solution of the present crisis, and leave
to future issues an analysis of other areas if the situation demands it.
But where shall we begin? Before we can understand the thrust
p 3 -- of the defense projected by the hierarchy or the rationale behind that defense in the publication of The White Truth, we must know beyond a shadow of a doubt what was taught by the Church which was contemporary with Ellen G. White in contrast to what is now the official position. And this can only be done by comparing such pronouncements with the parallel statements regarding the Bible.
The first formulation of what Seventh-day Adventists believed was in 1872 in the form of a tract in which James White himself "had a large part in its composition" as evidenced by the fact that he published it as an editorial in the first issue of the Signs of the Times two years later. (The Living Witness, p. 1) This tract and the editorial stated that while these beliefs were not being published "to secure uniformity among [SDA's] as a system of faith" it was however, "a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity held by them." In regard to the Bible, these statements read: The Holy Scriptures, of the Old and New Testaments, were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of His will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
Note the phrase "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." This phrase or one synonymous to it - "the only unerring standard of faith and practice" has occurred in every statement of belief issued by the Church until the 1980 Voted Statement at Dallas. It was included in even the Statement voted by the Annual Conference in 1979 to be recommended to the Dallas session, and was in the altered Statement given to the Delegates for their consideration. The only exception to this pattern was a Statement of Beliefs issued by the local church in Battle Creek as a part of their Church Directory in 1894. This statement omits the word, "only," and declares the Scriptures to be "a revelation of [God's] will to man." The 1980 Voted Statement at Dallas also does not contain the world, "only." While it declares the Scriptures to be "the infallible revelation of His will" and "the standard of character and the test of experience, the authoritative, revealer of doctrines," it does not set forth the Scriptures as the "only infallible standard of faith." The reason is simple - the position in regard to the writings of Ellen G. White assumes them to be "a continuing and authoritative source of truth." There is no way that you could have the Bible as the "only" standard of faith and practice, and have another body of writings as "a continuing source of truth." Thus the Statement of Beliefs as promulgated at Dallas while consistent within itself, is at variance with the historic position held by the spiritual leaders of the Church including James White himself.
previous Statements of Belief prior to 1950, there is no mention of the
writings of Ellen G. White - not even her name - nor the phrase - "spirit-
of prophecy," save in the local statement of the Battle Creek Church
where the latter phrase is to be found. All the other statements - even
the original 1931 Statement speak of "the gifts of the Holy Spirit"
and their place in the Church and their relationship to the Bible. The
position is unanimous that "these gifts are not designated to supercede,
or to take the place of, the Bible," but that through these gifts
the "Spirit has simply made provision for its own existence and presence
with the people of God to the end of time, to lead to an understanding
of that word which it had inspired, to convince of sin, and work a transformation,
in the heart and life." (1872 Tract; 1874 Signs of the Times
editorial; 1889, 1905, 1907-1914 Yearbook) The gifts which these
statements had in mind were "certain gifts, enumerated in I
Corinthians 14 and Ephesians 4.1." (Ibid.) These include apostles,
pastors, teachers, as well as prophets [plural] See Eph. 4:11.
The import of this is simply that the "understanding of the word
which [the Holy Spirit] inspired" is not limited nor circumscribed
by an inspired commentary on the Scriptures. There is also unity of doctrine
by which every gift the Spirit desires to speak, be it prophet or teacher.
But in the departure from the historic faith at Dallas, Adventism has
been thrown into a crisis. Because we have now voted the corpus of the
writings of Ellen G. White to be "a continuing and authoritative
source of truth" we have created by Church decree a third canon of
Scripture. This brings the crisis in Adventism down to the very bottom
line the authority
p 4 -- of Ellen, G. White. This is what the new book - The White Truth - seeks primarily to address, and in setting forth this issue, all the facts are not told. Some of the historical data is covered up for "cover up" is the way of life for the hierarchy of the Church.
White Truth -- This book was written by Dr. John J. Robertson,
who was a fellow minister with Elder Walter Rea in Southern California.
While it deals with Rea's charge of plagiarism, it admits one of Rea's
main contentions - "It appears that in the Conflict of the Ages series,
her selective use of other authors has been more extensive than many had
heretofore realized." (The White Truth, p. 17) It is at this
point that McAdams' research would serve a very useful purpose in explaining
why this is so, but the hierarchy is keeping this research from reaching
the laity. While Robertson is seeking to set forth the authority of Sister
White, as we shall note in detail, he also gives some excellent caution
in regard to one's relationship to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
He writes: Due
caution is necessary, however, in making sure that our eyes remain on
Scripture. One purpose of the spirit of prophecy is to point us to Scripture
and increase our appreciation for it. The prophetic gift can provide insights,
correctives, and incentives to biblical study. It can "correct specious
errors" and "specify
what is truth ... saying, ' This
These "pygmy-giants" described by Robertson are the ones who have helped produce the crisis in Adventism today. Because they have not based their fundamental faith in the Bible and the Bible only, and have not studied the Bible in depth sufficiently to be able to defend the faith against the pseudo-intellectual assault of the Ford-van Rooyen axis, they have now resorted to the establishment of a third canon of Scripture to buttress their cracking structure. The reason for this whole mess is really very simple. It is the rejection of the 1888 Message, and the desire to maintain the authority of man in place of the authority of the Holy Spirit. It matters not, whether in the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement, or among the Self-supporting Institutions of the Wildwood philosophy, the power and authority of man is predominate. The same is likewise true of the Takoma Park based church. To maintain their human structure, they must have authority, and thus they seek to manipulate the writings of Ellen G. White in such a way as to support their man-created dominance over their fellow man. Let the work and ministry of Sister White take its proper place as assigned to "spiritual gifts" by the Bible, and the whole superstructure of man's manipulations would come tumbling down. The Bible and the authority as set forth in the Word would bind God's true people together in a oneness not seen since apostolic times. It would also destroy the anarchy presently creeping into the ranks of concerned Adventists through pet theories and "hobby horses." It would be the authority for which the minority of the Constitutional Committee, and their supporters pled for at the 1903 General Conference Session. However, Robertson in his book seeks to keep the authority of the hierarchy intact by addressing the issue under the question as to whether Ellen G. White was a prophet in the same sense as were the prophets of the Bible, in contrast to the role assigned to "spiritual gifts" in both the Bible and our historic Statements of Belief. Robertson seeks to establish the "prophet role" yet come short of admitting to a third canon of Scripture.
Robertson interjects Elder A. T. Jones into this question by reviewing
- only in part - some of the controversy that ensued between Jones and
the General Conference under Elder A. G. Daniells.
p 5 -- a prophet.'" ( Ibid. p. 55) Now what are the facts? Robertson, whether in ignorance of all the documents, or willfully, bases his case on a 100 page paper issued by the Daniells' administration seeking to refute this assertion by Jones. (Ibid. p. 56) The General Conference Committee based its case against Jones on verbatim shorthand notes of a talk Ellen G. White gave in the Battle Creek Tabernacle, Oct. 1, 1904. This report as given in the Statement reads: "I want to tell you the light has been given me, and many know what my work is. They say, She is a prophetess. I claim to be no such thing. I tell you all what I want you all to know, that I am a messenger.
"I want to tell you that, Mrs. White does not call herself a prophetess or a leader of this people. She calls herself simply a messenger. You have listened to Mrs. White, and you know what my testimony has been, and the same testimony has been borne to the people. I have not gone back on one sentence." (A Statement Refuting Charges Made by A. T. Jones Against the Spirit of Prophecy and the Plan of Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination, p. 83)
Then the GC Committee Report exultantly stated: Elder Jones says he heard her say the words: "I am not a prophet, I never made any such claim." Those words cannot be found in consecutive order at any place in her talk and four of the eleven words which he quotes cannot be found at any place whatsoever in all her talk upon this matter. (Ibid., Emphasis theirs)
Apparently Robertson did not have access to Jones' reply, or else he purposely does a "cover up" job. [The brethren in Washington have to know about the existence of this reply. Did they withhold it from Robertson?] Jones' answer was in the tract - The Final Word and A Confession. He quotes the remarks of Ellen G. White on October 1, 1904, unedited, as follows: "I want to tell you that the light God has given me, and many know what my work is; they say she is a prophetess, they say she is this, that and the other thing. I claim to be no such thing. I will tell you what I want you all to know - that I am a messenger that God has taken from a feeble, a very feeble child, and in my girlhood gave me a message. ... [What is omitted here is several lines concerning an accident in her girlhood] Now I want to tell you this, that Mrs. White don't call herself a prophetess, nor a leader of this people. She calls herself simply a messenger." (pp. 7-8)
Then Jones quotes what Sister White said the next day in the same place. It was also taken down verbatim. Here are these remarks as quoted in Jones' reply with his emphasis to show that he had quoted her correctly. They read: I know that those that have got the books that God has bidden me to write, when that hand trembled so that, it seemed an impossibility - I want you to read the books - Patriarchs and Prophets (I expected to have them here on the stand before us). Great Controversy, Desire of Ages, - Ministry of Healing is nearly done; and a great many other books. I am not, as I said yesterday, a prophet. I do not claim to be a leader. I claim to be simply a messenger of God. And that is all I have ever claimed. (Ibid., p. 8)
In simple language, the Robertson conclusion - "The fact is that nowhere, at any time, did Mrs. White use Jones' words 'I am not a prophet."' - does not square with the facts of history. But this is not the end of the story.
such a pronouncement sent shock waves through the Daniells' General Conference
administration. Four months later a letter was received by 0. A. Olsen
- why Olsen and not Daniells? - in which there was an explanation of Ellen
G. White's remarks at Battle Creek. The letter bore her signature. It
states that she said - "During the discourse I said, I did not claim
to be a prophetess." (Statement, Op. Cit.,
p. 84) This is consistent with her statement on October 1 which the GC
Committee used. Did she not have the text
p 6 -- of the October 2 message, and at 78 did she not recall what she had said? Or is here some of the "manipulation" which one year later the unknown correspondent whom Jones quoted was referring to? (See p. 2) Ellen G. White's consistent testimony up to the year, 1903, had been - "From the year 1846 until the present time, I have received messages from the Lord, and have communicated them to His people. This is my work - to give to the people the light that God gives to me. I am commissioned to receive and communicate His messages. I am not to appear before the people as holding any other position than that of a messenger with a message." (Quoted by Jones, op. cit., p.10)
Placing this self-evaluation of her work and ministry with other statements given by Robertson, the picture comes into focus. He quotes her as saying (circa, 1888) "If the Testimonies speak not according to this word of God [The Bible], reject them." (Robertson, op. Cit., p. 64) And again, "In regard to infallibility, I have never claimed it; God alone is infallible." (Ibid., p. 74) The pioneer workers in the Cause understood well this position of Sr. White. They recognized the proper relationship between the Bible and the Gifts of the Spirit. George I. Butler stated: We do not hold them [The Visions] to be superior to the Bible, or in one sense equal to it. The Scriptures are our rule to test everything by, the visions as well as other things. That rule, therefore, is the highest authority; the standard is higher that the thing tested by it. If the Bible would show the visions were not in harmony with it, the Bible would stand, and the visions would be given up. (Review, Aug. 14, 1883, Emphasis Robertson's, Ibid.)
Did, therefore, the pioneer understanding of the Gifts negate the messages which she brought as the Lord's messenger? By no means! Would that same understanding today, invalidate her as a messenger? No! The tragedy is that those who would exalt her status as a prophet equal to the Bible prophets are not willing to hear her messages for this hour as the voice of the Lord's messenger. She has declared clearly what the "last work" is to be, and what message those who receive "the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost" will be giving (3T:266-67) yet the hierarchy propose a program to baptize 1,000 people each day for 1,000 days. The servant of the Lord tells us how God views the "guardians of the spiritual interests of the people" who have betrayed their trust, and what will happen to those who continue to support them (5T: 211); yet we heed not the warning. The Lord's messenger quotes the heavenly "Instructor" as asking the question - referring to the Seventh-day- Adventist Church - "How is the faithful city become a harlot?" yet we do not seek to find the answer so we might take the appropriate action. (8T:247, 250) The humble servant under God tells us to study Luke 21, and note carefully what Jesus had to say about events connected with Jerusalem which mark the final scenes of this earth's history. And the only event in Luke concerning Jerusalem not found in Matthew and Mark is "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke .21:24) ; yet we ignore what that message is saying to us today. (C to W&E, p. 24) Ellen G. White tells us what the Alpha of apostasy was, and what could be expected in the Omega, but we publish a paperback which distorts history, and not even produce in our publishing houses the messages which describe these past and present events. Check and see if the Review and Herald Publishing Association, or the Pacific Press print Special Testimonies, Series B, #2 & #7. Yet we want to give and have given through the Dallas Statement of Beliefs - canonical authority to the writings of Ellen G. White. Why? For one reason, and one reason only to shore up the authority of men - men who have betrayed their trust of truth committed to the Advent Movement; let alone the betrayal of trust funds - and tithe funds - given to the work of God.
p 7 -- PSYCHIATRIC TORTURE -- Newsweek (Jan. 11, 1982, pp. 31-32) describes the latest Soviet tactics to suppress dissents. Quoting a letter from a Russian psychiatrist, Dr. Annatoly Koryagin, the article revealed that he had been "sentenced last June to twelve years in labor camps and internal exile for publicizing the imprisonment of sane dissidents in insane asylums." The tortures through drug injections and the sadistic attitudes of the psychiatrists used by the atheistic Soviet regime as revealed in Newsweek produces a shudder. Yet among those who have been sent to these asylums are some of our brothers and sisters of the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists.
From documents available, we cite the case of one sister who is still confined: During a 10-month internment in the Kaunas Psychiatric Hospital in 1971, Zita Kirsnauskaite was treated forcible with drugs that had a harmful effect on her kidneys. She had been sent to the hospital when it was discovered she was an Adventist. On 5/8/78 she was hospitalized in Riga Hospital #3 with a chronic kidney complaint, but due to KGB pressure on medical staff, she was diagnosed as psychopathic and discharged while running a high temperature (31/8/78) She was forced to go to another hospital for treatment. A complaint to the Ministry of Health about her treatment (5/10/78) resulted in her forcible internment in Riga Psychiatric Hospital, where she was taken after being summoned to the Ministry of Health building. She has suffered for her faith for many years. How long will the state atheistic inquisition continue? (Adventist Samizdat Documents, Keston College Files)
There are three others known to be in these asylums; but the most heart rending case is that of a child. "The child Mihail Kozak was kidnapped by the Communists from his parents because they taught him the Adventist faith. When the child, interned in an atheistic boarding school, insisted on going back to his parents, he was put in a psychiatric asylum, 'to be healed' of his desire." (Voice of Martyrs, Dec. 1978) Yet in the light of all these atrocities the hierarchy in Washington refuse to act except as approved by the atheistically controlled SDA Church in Russia. The president of CREED (Christian Rescue Effort for the Emancipation of Dissidents) visited the headquarters at Takoma Park over a month ago to present the work of this organization whose Board of Directors include members of Congress. Dr. Ernest Gordon's report of this visit was very concise - "The response was negative."
Some day - no too far distant - the Judge of all the earth, will say to these men of the hierarchy - God forbid that it will include any who read this Thought Paper - "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,... For I was... in prison, and ye visited Me not." (Matt. 25:41-43) We can visit Jesus in the person of these True and Free SDA's by writing letters, securing petitions, and by praying daily in their behalf. --- (1982 Feb) ---End---- TOP
1982 Mar -- XV-I 3(82) -- A. T. JONES THO DEAD YET SPEAKS -- Parallel Conditions Between 1906 & Now -- In the controversy which raged between the A. G. Daniells' administration and the Battle Creek Medical leadership at the time of the "Alpha" apostasy, the charge of literary borrowing, or plagiarism was leveled against Ellen G. White. "In Battle Creek in 1904 Ellen White's alleged plagiarism was being offered as proof that her authority need not be accepted on all things." (McAdams, Ellen G. White and Protestant Historians, p. 9; Unpublished Ms.) In response to this, a Testimony appeared dated, March 30, 1906, in which Ellen G. White stated: Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. There were present Dr. Kellogg, Elders Jones, Tenny and Taylor, Dr. Paulson, Elder Sadler, Judge Arthur and many of their associates. I was directed by the Lord to request them and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and made plain that which seems to be intricate. Let those who are troubled now place upon paper a statement of the difficulties that perplex their minds, and let us see if we cannot throw some light upon the matter that will relieve their perplexities. (Quoted by McAdams, Ibid.)
to this Testimony, Dr. Charles E. Stewart put together a lengthy letter
to Ellen White. According to McAdams' research, this was the first time
that a printed document supported the charge of plagiarism with double
columns one for the printed works of Ellen White and the other, the alleged
sources of her statements. But - and here is where the mystery begins
- this lengthy letter was sent to Elder W. C. White, May 8, 1907, with
this comment - "I am sending this
to you so that you can give it personally to your mother if
you think best. I do not wish to burden her with these things,
but since she has said that the Lord wished them sent and that He will
help her to answer them, I shall leave the responsibility and results
with her." Dr. Stewart received no reply from Elder White, not even
the courtesy of an acknowledgment, although the registration receipt was
properly signed and returned. But within a month - June 3, 1906 - a Testimony
which purported to be from Ellen G. White appeared which stated: I
had a vision in which I was speaking
before a large company, where many questions were asked concerning my
work and writings. I was directed
p 2 -- by a messenger from heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the sayings and doubts that are being put into many minds.
McAdams' comments on this contradiction of testimonies, stated - "I have not found any explanation of this matter." (Ibid., p. 12) However, the facts indicate that W. C. White did show this letter of Stewart's to A. G. Daniells, who in turn, went public with it at the dedication of the Washington Sanitarium and Hospital. The end result was that someone without Dr. Stewart's permission obtained a copy of his letter and published it in what has been referred to as "The Blue Book."
Into this time framework - 1906 - there was an exchange between Elder A. T. Jones, and the General Conference Administration under Elder A. G. Daniells. After A. T. Jones had presented a paper to the brethren personally, he then revealed the same facts to the Battle Creek Sanitarium group in the Chapel on the evening of March 4, 1906. To these remarks, the General Conference Committee replied in May of that year with A Statement - a 96 page pamphlet - referred to in The White Truth, p. 56 - "refuting charges made by A. T. Jones against the Spirit of Prophecy." To this Jones replied - and it is this reply when understood against the backdrop of the Blue Book, that carries weighty counsel for us today. We are facing some very "devastating" charges - to borrow the words of a brother who called me from the West Coast after hearing a taped presentation given by Walter Rea at Walla Walla - concerning the writings of Ellen G. White.
the reaction to the publication of Rea's forthcoming book - The White
Lie - is being assessed. There will be those who will bury their heads
in the sand, hoping the storm will pass over; others will throw their
whole experience overboard, and deny the faith. Neither reaction is justified
by one who is a seeker of Truth, and who as a seeker of Truth, has been
admonished to - "Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good."
(I Thess. 5:21) The counsel of A. T. Jones will
"But the truth is that nowhere in the world can there be found any charge by A. T. Jones against the Spirit of prophecy. And for anybody to make anything that I have ever anywhere said, a charge against the Spirit of prophecy, is simply and wholly to pervert what I have said; and is also wholly to misplace the Spirit of prophecy.
"Nor have I attacked the Testimonies. In all that I have said, and in the position which I have been compelled to take, there has not been any purpose, nor any thought, to set aside, to sweep away or in any sense to destroy the Testimonies or the writings of the Spirit of prophecy. Nor does what I have written do any such thing. Some may insist that it does; but with me I know that it does not. To yield some particular ground concerning the Testimonies, is not by any means to yield the whole ground of the Testimonies. In other words, with me to yield that some things sent out as Testimony should be found not to be Testimony - this does not sweep away everything that purports to be Testimony, nor does it take away all basis of the Testimonies; and any one, who presents' in that view what I have said, simply misrepresents what I have said and what I mean.
"There may be those, indeed I fear there are, who do go so far as to say, ' If I didn't believe that every word of every communication issued by Sister White was Testimony, I would give up the whole thing - Third Angel's Message, Bible and all.' Plainly such a statement as that never can be right; for it puts the writings of Sister White above the Third Angel's Message, and above the Bible; and makes the Third Angel's Message, and even the integrity of the Bible, to depend upon the Testimonies. But this in contrary to the Testimonies themselves as well as contrary to the essential truth itself.
have already presented from Testimony 33
p 3 -- and from the address in the College Library, April 1, 1901, that the Testimonies are ' to bring the mind of the people to His word' that ' the written Testimonies are not to give new light;' 'additional truth is not brought out,' ' but God gives plain and pointed Testimonies to bring them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow.' ' Don't you ever quote my words again as long as you live until you can obey the Bible. When you take the Bible, and make that your food, and your meat, and your drink and make that the elements of your character - when you can do that you will know better how to receive some counsel from God.'
"Thus by the words of the Testimonies themselves, it is certain that instead of the integrity of the Bible depending upon the Testimonies, the integrity of the Testimonies depends upon the Bible. And this is certainly the truth. The Bible is the supreme thing. The Bible is the Word of God above all other things. And every other thing, every other writing, is, and in the nature of things must be, second to the Bible, and, not by any means, first.
"But the Third Angel's Message is in the Bible. It is essentially of the Bible. Mark, I do not say that the Third Angel's Message is a part of the Bible; but that it is of the Bible itself. That is to say, the Third Angel's Message, in its wonderful sweep, comprehends the whole Bible itself. And until the Third Angel's Message is held in this view, it is not fully discerned and is therefore not truly held. The Testimonies, therefore, are not above the Third Angel's Message. The Third Angel's Message does not depend upon the Testimonies. The Testimonies belong with the Third Angel's Message; but they are not it, nor are they above it.
"When we shall study the writings of the Spirit of prophecy to find the Third Angel's Message as it is in the Bible, there will not be any ground for anybody to make any such statement as that ' If I did not believe that every word of Sister White's writings is from God, I would give up the whole thing.' When the writings of the Spirit of prophecy are given to bring us to the Bible and then we study these writings to know only what is in them, and not by them to know what is in the Bible, we frustrate the purpose of those writings, and do, in effect, make of these a second Bible and thus do certainly make of them an addition to the Bible. And when we thus use them, instead of using the Bible, we do put them in the place of the Bible. And there is no question at all but that many people have done and are doing just this thing.
"But when we use these writings for the simple purpose for which they are given; that is, to gain a better understanding of the Bible, and to find in the Bible the things which these writings point out, then these writings will be readily received and used for what they are intended - to know more of the Bible. And then, again, there will not be any ground for any one's saying that ' If I did not believe that every word of Sister White's was the word of God, I would give up the whole thing;' neither will there be any fear of the Testimonies failing, even though it should be found that a mistake had occurred." (Final Word and a Confession, pp. 3-6, Emphasis his)
This sane counsel steers us clearly between the charges that will be forthcoming in the book - The White Lie - and the volumes of propaganda coming from the hierarchy in Washington and the White Estate offices. May God give us sanctified judgment and wisdom in this crisis hour.
QUESTIONS ANSWERED -- In
the January issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" we
published a statement from the writings of Ellen G. White, which we had
received from Elder David L. Bauer. Evidence indicates that this compilation
was gathered soon after the death of Ellen G. White in 1915, and was primarily
addressed to the high-handed administrative policies of A. G. Daniells.
The quotation we used stated in part: - "The Bible and the Bible
alone is to be your guide. The Testimonies should never be preached from
our pulpits ... You have no right to use the Testimonies to prove doctrines."
This statement distressed a number of readers. Some who wrote to us went
so far as to declare that Ellen G. White wrote no such statement. However,
it is in every way consistent with what she wrote in other
p 4 -- places. In 1890, she had written - "The testimonies of Sister White should not be carried to the front. God's word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word." (Letter 12, 1890)
In 1894, she again wrote - "Our position and faith is in the Bible. And never do we want any soul to bring in the Testimonies ahead of the Bible." (Ms. 7, 1894)
You will observe these last two statements come from the decade following the 1888 General Conference Session. A careful study of the messages of Elder A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner during this decade reveal that they quoted the Spirit of Prophecy very infrequently in their sermon presentations, in fact hardly at all - yet no one can allege that Ellen G. White did not stand behind these men during that time. They, in turn, supported her testimonies as is evidenced by their, quotes during discussion of issues at the General Conference Sessions even beyond that decade including the 1903 Session.
Those who have the book - A Prophet Among You - by T. Housel Jemison would do well to read carefully the chapter entitled, "The Ellen G. White Writings and the Bible." No one who ever knew the late Elder Jemison would ever accuse him of being anti-Spirit of Prophecy. However, he wrote plainly - "Throughout her writings, Ellen White fully recognizes and emphasizes this primacy of the Scriptures. Two brief, comprehensive sentences from the introduction to The Great Controversy state her view succinctly: 'The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible, revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.' - page vii" (p. 365, emphasis mine.)
A. T. Jones' advise is indeed apropos in this situation. (See preceding article) Instead of seeking to study to know "what is in" the writings, we should be using them to help to know better what is in the Bible, for unless we take this viewpoint, we are making for ourselves a third canon of Scripture, and are thus defeating the purpose for which these writings were given - a lesser light to lead to the greater.
But tragically, there are those who seek to be "a voice" for concerned Adventists who are confusing the flock of God by seeking to lead them by "moonlight" rather than guiding them by the "sunlight" of God's Sacred Scriptures. And remember, Ellen G. White's illustration of comparison is taken from Genesis 1:16. If those ministering know nothing more than the light of the moon; how can the laity be expected to know the light shining forth from the Sun of Righteousness? And that light from the Sun of Righteousness is given as "the bright beams out of His side" for, "there is the hiding of His power." (Hab. 3:4) But when the preaching of the Cross is disdained, or opposed as a message to be preached at this time let every one who readeth take heed!
CAN WE CONTINUE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN A LYING SYSTEM? -- Based
on our sources of information, we stated and gave supportive proof in
the January issue (written in December) of "Watchman, What of
the Night?" p. 3, that "tithe funds" were involved
in the Davenport
scandal. Since that date (a month later, January 16, 1982), there has
been released by the AP from Walla Walla, Washington, an admission by
David Dennis of the General Conference Auditing Service that "under
$1 million" of the total funds lent to Davenport came from "tithe
reserve funds." The AP news writer noted that Dennis' "statements
contrasted with earlier ones from the General Conference, where church
leaders said only trust funds, and no tithe funds, had been invested with
Davenport." (Ibid.) Even the Press is aware of the lying and
deception that the hierarchy have been attempting to perpetrate upon the
laity. An earlier AP release from Walla Walla appearing in the Seattle
Times, August 2, 1981, had noted: "Conference investments were
made with money that was not required for daily church operations, and
tithe money from
p 5 -- church members was said not to have been involved."
A close analysis of the "language play" made by a General Conference official reveals that the hierarchy knew from the start that tithe funds were used in monies loaned to Davenport. The latest AP release quotes auditor Dennis as defining the tithe as "money paid by church members to support day-to-day operations" of the church. The tithe money actually invested is listed in audit statements as "reserve tithe funds," in other words, tithe funds in excess of monies required in day-to-day operations. In one of the very first releases on the scandal - The Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1981, the staff writers quoted Elder Charles E. Bradford, President of the North American Division as stating that the loans made "were 'surplus' monies not needed for day-to-day operations of the church."
This brings every member of the Church face to face with some reality, and accountability. Where is he to place his or her tithe? The Bible indicates that the tithe is to be brought "into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house." (Mal. 3:10) In this injunction of "the Lord of hosts" there are two elements - "storehouse" and "food in His house." The storehouse of God is said to be "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. " (I Tim. 3:15) It should be very obvious to anyone who is freed from Laodicean blindness that truth has departed from the hierarchy who demand that the tithe be placed under their jurisdiction. Thus each follower must find where truth is being presented. Secondly, there must be food in the house of the Lord. Jesus noted that "a faithful and wise servant" gives "meat in due season" to the household of God. (Matt. 24:45) These servants are to receive the tithe for their service to God's household. Thus we are to accept individual responsibility to see that the monies entrusted to us are so channeled, and not placed indiscriminately where truth is mitigated, or where sensationalism is fed for truth.
MILLION CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED IN OREGON -- On
January 22, 1982, a Class Action suit was filed in the Circuit Court of
the State of Oregon for the County of Multnomah (Portland). The named
Defendants included the General Conference of S.D.A., its president, Elder
Neal C. Wilson, and former president, Robert H. Pierson; the North Pacific
Union with its various entities, both conferences and associations; Wayne
Massengill, Charles O'Dell, and James K. Hopps who "are officers
or former officers of the North Pacific Union
Two of the Plaintiffs - Helen Black and Gertrude Daniels - charge that "upon the advice of defendant Wayne Massengill, "they "invested funds with Donald J. Davenport and received promissory notes signed by Donald J. Davenport, which were placed in trust with the NPU Association." The third Plaintiff - Arthur Blumenshein, alleged that he placed monies with the NPU Association who in turn invested these with Davenport.
The suit is divided into two sections - Class Allegations, and Claims for Relief. The second section involves three subsections - Claims based on "Breach of Fiduciary [Trust] Duty," "Security Violations," and "Fraud." If substantiated in trial, these latter two allegations could produce criminal charges against Wayne Massengill and other Trust Officers involved. The "Class Allegations" note "questions of law and fact" involved. In Section XI under Class Allegations, the Complaint reads: "Among the common questions of law and fact are the following: whether defendants or anyone of them were negligent or breached their fiduciary [trust] duties as trustees for plaintiffs; whether defendants or any one of them defrauded plaintiffs;
p 6 -- whether defendants or any one them committed securities violations; whether the General Conference or the North American Division are responsible for breaches of fiduciary duty by the North Pacific Union, the NPU Association, the Local Conferences, and their Trust Departments; whether the General Conference or the North American Division breached their fiduciary duty to plaintiffs by failing to adequately supervise the actions of the NPU Association; whether the NPU Association is responsible as trustee for all funds placed within its investment pool; and the remedies available to members of the class."
In the section which alleges - "Breach of Fiduciary [Trust] Duty" the lady plaintiffs state they were approached by Elder Wayne Massengill "acting in his capacity as a trust officer and were advised to invest funds with Donald J. Davenport." They further state that the funds were sent by Massengill direct to Davenport, who in turn gave them "promissory notes" (securities) , which were placed with the NPU Association. If proven, this means that Massengill performed service as an agent for the sale of securities without a license to do so. The Federal SEC Agency will be watching the outcome of this allegation closely. Blumenshein for his part charges - "At no time did defendant Wayne Massengill or NPU Association or any other defendants inform" him "of the substantial risk involved in this investment" with Davenport.
Another allegation under this section charges "conspiracy" on the part of Davenport and the defendants. It reads: "In devising a conspiracy, plan, or scheme whereby trust funds as well as other funds held by defendants could be and were 'laundered' by Dr. Davenport, by which scheme defendants transmitted funds for investment with Dr. Davenport, and Dr. Davenport returned those funds to defendants in the form of 'contributions' and 'prepaid interest,' so as to free said funds for use in defendants' operations."
Under the charge of "Fraud, " the complaint alleges - "In an effort to induce plaintiffs to invest their funds with Dr. Davenport, the defendants Wayne Massengill, the NPU Association, and other agents and employees of the defendants" misrepresented to them the stability of the Davenport investments. Eight misrepresentations are listed. It is further charged that the defendants, or officers and agents of the defendants "received personal benefits in the form of 'finders fees,' gifts, and free vacation facilities for the funds that they caused to be invested with Dr. Davenport." We have been advised by a very reliable source that Davenport owned and made available condominiums in Hawaii and Palm Springs, California, to these men. Besides all of this, the Complaint, alleges that these individuals could invest their own money with Davenport "at rates of return in excess of that which would be paid" to those whom they solicited to invest with Davenport. We have seen documentation verifying this allegation.
We have in our possession a copy of a letter written by Massengill, May 31, 1978, to Elder E. S. Reile, who had at the time just been elevated to the presidency of the Central Union Conference (now Mid-America Union Conference). In this letter, Massengill is extolling the Davenport investments, and the virtues of the man himself. He suggests to Reile that he investigate these investments with the view of placing Central Union Funds with Davenport. This letter supports the allegations made in Oregon Class Action suit in regard to the activities of Massengill. It is interesting to recall that the Central Union was named as involved in investing tithes with Davenport from previous information which had been made available to us. (See WWN, XV-1, p. 3)
It has also been learned that other such suits are being contemplated which will involve ministers in other parts of the country who served as agents for Davenport. We shall keep our readers informed just as soon as documents such as the document upon which this article is written, becomes available to us. However, every reader of this article needs to keep in mind that a complaint is only allegation until proven in Court. Thus the outcome of this suit should be followed closely before passing final judgment on individuals. We do learn from sources available to us that responsible men in the General Conference are at a loss to know what defense can be made by the plaintiffs.
p 7 -- Evaluations - From time to time we receive requests - a large number to receive the monthly thought paper - "Watchman, What of the Night?" Then, too, from time to time there are those who ask for the removal of their names from the mailing list. We received one such request in the past month from Australia, and in so doing we were favorably evaluated, in our judgment. The request read - "Thank you for the copies of "Watchman, What of the Night? " that you have sent me. I do not, however, share your bias towards traditional Adventism and request that my name be removed from your mailing list." While we prefer the term - "historical Adventism" - we understand from this young man's viewpoint, we are not with the Ford theology.
Just this week, the February 6 (Vol. 8, No. 3) issue of Limboline came to our desk. (Limboline is the official "organ" of the Church of the Adventist Fellowship which came into being as a result of the breakup of the Burbank SDA Church by action of the Southern California Conference in a dispute over the extent of local church control and doctrinal issues. Its theology tends toward the radical left.) In this issue there was reproduced an article on the investment of tithe with Davenport from WWN, XI-1, p. 3. In doing so, the Editor described the Adventist Laymen's Foundation as "right of center, but critical of the GC establishment, pro-Ellen G. White, but against GC attempts to buttress her." (p. 7) We confess that we seek to stay in the middle of the right side of the road, so as to avoid an head-on collision and landing in a ditch, as many will be doing when confronted by the Rea book.
An Interesting Letter -- Just this week, we received a communication from a Brother in Australia who is not afflicted with the Laodicean blindness which seems to mark many who profess to believe in "historical Adventism" in Australia. He wrote: "I attended a meeting in the 'Kingscliff ' church last year when R. Allan Anderson spoke against the Brinsmead-Ford doctrine very forcefully for over 23 hours without a break. A lot of people thought he was wonderful. I wasn't so sure because I had never seen or heard of a confession on his part. I prayed that the Lord would give me wisdom and words to speak to him to find out his position now. I didn't have to ask him because before he closed the meeting, he upheld the book, Questions on Doctrine and said it was one of the best books ever written, and also Movement of Destiny, and Froom was one of our best writers ever. I almost felt the floor swallowing me up. It was uncanny. After such a discourse on 'Ford' doctrines - How double-minded can one get! From my observation and conversations with others present, it almost seemed as if I was the only one who understood that he re-enforced the errors of the 1950's. I found out later that there were a few, others who understood this. So this seems to be the problem - we have those who are guilty of apostasy using as a 'strawman' (Ford), or 'scapegoat' (Brinsmead), if you like, to hide their own doings. How can we wake these people up?" That is a good question! ---(1982 Mar) ---End----