papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy
of the latter times . . . Shall this power, whose record for a thousand
years is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part
of the church of Christ?"
Controversy, p. 571
SPECIAL REPORT -- Introduction
-- An Adventist leader placed the Seventh-day
Adventist Church in symbolism into the hands of the Pope. It didn't
happen overnight. But it did happen! On May 18, 1977, Dr. B. B. Beach,
then Secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, along with other representatives of the religious
bodies which form the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional
Families (Churches), had an audience with Pope Paul VI. The Pope welcomed
these men as "representatives of a considerable portion of Christian
people" and sent through them the greetings of the Papacy to their
"confessional families." (See RNS, May 19, 1977, Appendix
A) Elder W. Duncan Eva, then a General Conference vice president, reported
that during the audience, Dr. Beach presented the Pope with a medallion
which was "a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
(Review & Herald, August 11, 1977, p. 23; see Appendix B)
Concerning this audience, Religious News
Service (RNS) stated that Dr. Beach "noted that the audience with
the Pope marked the first time in history that the Seventhday Adventist
Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff."
Was this a planned symbolic act? Is this
but one of many instances where "the ancient men, those to whom
God has given great light, and who stood as guardians of the spiritual
interests of the people, had betrayed their trust"? (Testimonies
for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 211) Or was this the result of having
been "thoroughly infiltrated" by the Jesuits as has been alleged?
(See Appendix K) We cannot judge the motivation, and the leadership
of the Church has sought to minimize the significance of what took place.
We can, however, present the evidence according to the documents presently
available. These documents will consist of official publications of
the World Council of Churches (WCC), Catholic newspapers, Letters sent
to me personally, and Letters and Statements from the files of the General
SACRED TRUST -- And
the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same
commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
(II Timothy 2:2)
This admonition of Paul to Timothy for
the transmission of the faith is basic if the message given to any people
or movement is to remain pure and viable. To the Seventh-day Adventist
Church was committed the sacred trust of the Three Angels' Messages
of Revelation 14:6-12. Of this fact it has been written: In
a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as
watchman and light bearers. To them has been committed the last warning
message for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from
the word of God. They
p 2 - have
been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the
first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of
so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their
most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim
to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The
world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust
committed to them. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol 9, p. 19)
The Second Angel's message declares - "Babylon
is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations
drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev. 14:8)
How was this understood by the spiritual forefathers of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, to whom this message was committed? We read: The
term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied
in Scripture to the various forms of false or apostate religion. But
the message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to some religious
body that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be the Romish
Church that is here meant; for that church has been in a fallen condition
for many centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the
Protestant churches, all professing to derive their doctrines from the
Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects. (Spirit of Prophecy,
Vol. IV, pp. 232-233)
The Third Angel 's message warns - "If
any man woriship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his
forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath
of God." (Revelation 14:9-10a) How was this understood by the spiritual
forefathers of the church? Again we read:
is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought
to view in the third angel's message. By the first beast is represented
the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having
authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents
another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of
this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions
render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found
an image to the papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon
such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence
the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then
will Protestant America have formed an image to the Roman hierarchy.
(Spirit of Prophecy Vol. IV, p. 278)
In this quotation is a sentence which needs
to be pondered long - "When the churches of our land, uniting upon
such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence
the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then
will Protestant America have formed an image to the Roman hierarchy."
This does not exempt any church - "the churches of our land"
- but does picture an ecumenical movement - "uniting upon such
points of faith as are held by them in common."
Certain direct results are pictured - "shall influence the State
to ... sustain their institutions" - government aid?
These are the messages and warnings entrusted
to the Church. Our spiritual forefathers committed this heritage to
those whom they thought to be "faithful men." How has and
how is this commitment being kept by the leadership of the Church today?
Warning has been given in the Word of God as to what is to be expected
in these final days of human history. Paul wrote:
the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
(I Timothy 4:1)
p 3 - STEPS
TO ROME -- It
is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity.
It is a backslidding church that lessens the distance between itself
and the Papacy. (Ellen G. White, Signs, Feb. 19, 1894)
In 1973, the World Council of Churches
(WCC) published a book entitled - So Much in Common (SMC). This
book contained "Documents of Interest in the Conversations Between
the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
(p.1). One of these "Documents" outlines the history of the
"conversations" from their inception in 1965 through 1969.
It will be seen that the events which transpired during these years
finally led to the meeting of the Conference of Secretaries of the World
Confessional Families in Rome, which in turn provided the setting for
the audience with Pope Paul VI at which time Dr. B. B. Beach presented
the Seventh-day Adventist Church in symbolism into the hands of the
Pope. Further, it was B. B. Beach himself who wrote the history of these
"conversations." In fact he co-authored the book - So Much
ONE -- "Strange as it may seem, these
yearly consultations ["conversations" between representatives
of the WCC and the SDA Church] were an indirect by-product of Vatican
In fact, while in Rome in connection with the Vatican Council a WCC
staff member and an Adventist representative came to the conclusion
that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day Adventists
with an equal number of representatives from the World Council of Churches
would fulfil a useful purpose." (SMC, p. 98)
STEP TWO -- "The
first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the
two organizers. Thus the conversations got under way on a completely
informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility of the participants."
It should be carefully noted that up to
this point the conversations between the representatives of the WCC
and the Seventh-day Adventists were strictly an individual matter, and
did not carry any official blessing either from the WCC, or the Adventist
STEP THREE -- "Subsequent
meetings have become somewhat more formal, in the sense that the employing
bodies of the SDA participants have authorized and financed their presence
and the executive committees of the three Adventist Divisions involved
have given their blessings by facilitating the selection of the SDA
representatives; the World Council of Churches has defrayed the expenses
of its group. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been
kept informed regarding the meetings, though it has taken no direct,
active part in the Consultations, except through its three European
Divisional branch offices." (Ibid.)
Herein is a very subtle situation which
permits the leadership in Washington to say to the laity of the American
Church sector who might inquire, that the General Conference is not
involved with the WCC. However, through their divisions in Europe, direct
consultations were being carried forward with the full approval and
financial. blessings of the respective Executive Committees, each of
p 4 -- was chaired by a Vice President
of the General Conference voted to serve as a President over each Division.
From fifteen to twenty participants took
part in each of the five Consultations from 1965 to 1969. The Adventist
members included "SDA church leaders and educators." (Ibid.,
p. 99) "The Consultations [were] held on the basis of equal footing,
each yearly meeting taking place part of the time at the WCC headquarters
in Geneva and the rest of the time at the nearby Seminaire Adventiste
at Collonges, just across the border in France." (Ibid.)
STEP FOUR -- "A
very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding
the SDA Church which was published in the January, 1967, issue of the
Ecumenical Review." (Ibid., p. 100) (The Ecumenical
Review is the official quarterly journal of the WCC.T This article
was written by Dr. M. B. Handspicker, assistant to Dr. Lukas Vischer,
head of the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC, who co-authored with
Dr. B. B. Beach, the book - So Much in Common. However, at the
1966 Conversations, the Adventist participants "had the opportunity
to discuss the draft statement and make some useful observations."
After the incorporation of "some relatively minor suggestions,
the document was published substantially as originally written. The
statment has had wide distribution, not only through the Ecumenical
Review, but as a Faith and Order paper." (Ibid.) This
document contained 49 footnotes giving source references. Of these 49,
over half, 28, were references to the book, Questions on Doctrine.
With the publication of this document in
the Ecumenical Review, a very interesting series of events began to
transpire. R. F. Cottrell, an Associate Editor of the Review
- the "Official Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church"
- reviewed the WCC document in a series of three editorials (March 23,
March 30, and April 6, 1967). Cottrell stated why the Adventist Church
could not join the World Council of Churches, but in concluding his
third editorial, he invited the Adventist Church in through the back
door of the WCC. Here is what he wrote: It
is with no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it possible,
as an organization, to be more closely associated with others who profess
the name of Christ. On the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and
Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent
in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent
the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation with a clear
conscience. (Review, April 6, 1967, p. 13) [Note: The Faith and
Order Commission is the doctrinal arm of the WCC. See p.21]
The "back door" was quickly opened.
Dr Earle Hilgert, the Professor of New Testament at Andrews University,
was appointed by the WCC Central Committee to serve as a Seventh-day
Adventist on the Faith and Order Commission. The respondent actions
were so rapid -fire that Dr. Hilgert was enabled to attend the triennial
meeting of the Faith and Order Commission in Bristol, England, from
July 30 to August 8, of the same year, 1967. Hilgert's place is now
filled on the Commission by Dr. R. F. Dederen, also of Andrews University.
Herein is a "tricky" relationship
which must be carefully worded to give the whole truth and nothing but
the truth. The SDA Church did
not appoint the Adventist representative to the WCC Commission
on Faith and Order; but it
did approve the selection made by the Central Committee of
the WCC. Thus the hierarchy of the SDA Church can say - "We are
not members of the WCC."
STEP FIVE -- "Since
the Conversations got under way, it has become the accepted procedure
p 5 -- the SDA Church to be represented
at various WCC meetings, including the Assembly, by observers. These
observers have not been present pro
forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings
attended. An additional step was taken when the General Conference,
as a world confessional body or church, was represented by an advisor
in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting of the WCC Central Committee."
(SMC, p. 101)
The hierarchy in Washington can have written
in the Adventist Review, and in letters to the laity that the
Church does not belong to the WCC - and technically this is correct
- but how can they honestly leave the impression that the Church is
not deeply involved in the work and procedures of the WCC when representatives
of the Church attend the General Assemblies not pro
forma, but as active participants, and when an "advisor"
from the Church is present at the meetings of the WCC's Central Committee?
If we send advisors to their Central Committee meetings, what would
prevent the WCC from being invited to send advisors to the General Conference
Committee meetings, or Annual Councils?
It should be further noted that "As
a kind of corollary to the Geneva Consultations, Consultations began
in 1969 in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC
appointed group." (Ibid.) Were the laity of the Church informed
about these meetings through the Adventist Review? Why not?
These Consultations are filtering down
to a national level in Europe. The same source reports:
It is interesting
to note that the contacts on the WCC level have, to some extent, filtered
down to certain national levels. As examples one can mention the SDA
contacts with the British Council of Churches, the Finnish Council of
Churches and the office of the German Arbeitsgemeinshaft Christlicher
Kirchen in Deutschland. (Ibid.)
STEP SIX -- "Since 1968 the
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented
at the annual meetings of 'Secretaries of World Confessional Families.'
This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations
and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly."
(Ibid., p. 100)
What is this organization? What is its
relationship to the World Council of Churches? We shall answer the second
question first. Robert Welsh of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order,
wrote under date of April 1, 1975, from Geneva, Switzerland: - "With
regard to Dr. Beach, he is Secretary of the Annual Conference of Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families. Faith and Order relates to this
conference in a consultative manner." (See Appendix H) Dr. Beach
himself states - "The bodies represented there [at the Conferences]
are between 12 and 15 world organizations such as the Lutheran World
Federation, the Baptist World Alliance, the World Methodist Council,
the World Reformed Alliance, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation
Army, and the Anglican Consultative Council." (Letter to Pastor
A. G. Brito, dated, Nov. 15, 1977) In another paragraph of the same
letter, Beach declares - "I would like to make it clear that this
conference is not a part of the World Council of Churches." However,
RNS (May 19, 1977) quoted the president of the Conference, Bishop John
Howe, as stating - "We have been able to decide how we shall work
together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the
ecumenical role that all of us have."
Now to the first question - Beach denies
that this conference is an organization since he states it doesn't have
a constitution, nor are dues paid into it. However, he writes:
p 6 -- I
have been representing our church at this meeting for 9 years now and
our involvement consists simply in attending the meeting and participating
in the discussions and exchange of information. For the past few years
I have served as Secretary of the Conference (this means that I am responsible
for preparing the agenda and handling the minutes or report of the Conference).
There is no usefulness in giving any publicity to this fact, but I do
mention it for your information." (Letter to A. G. Brito, op.
We shall let the reader decide whether
there is an organization - officers, agenda, minutes! But please, do
not give publicity to this fact, it will serve no useful purpose!
STEP SEVEN -- It
was our involvement in the Annual Conference of "Secretaries of
the World Confessional Families" that led to the audience with
Pope Paul VI. The Catholic Church joined this Conference the same year
that the Seventh-day Adventist Church did, and it was represented at
these annual meetings through the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Beach
himself has written - "Since this year's meeting  was in
Rome, it was felt that it might be appropriate to have a meeting with
the Pope, who is the head of Vatican State and the religious leader
of well over 500 million people in the world." (Letter to A. G.
Brito, op. cit.) In a letter dated, March 3, 1978, Elder W. Duncan
Eva noted in a very clear manner - "The Northern Europe-West Africa
Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it understood
that the visit to the Pope with representatives of the World Confessional
Families was a probability." This "probability" was so
sure that the medallion given was "paid for from Departmental expense
funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division."
SUMMARY -- What
appeared to be an "innocent" dialogue between an observer
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the Vatican Council II of the
Roman Catholic Church, and a person connected with the World Council
of Churches finalized in a formal audience with Pope Paul VI by an official
representative of the Adventist Church. This representative, Dr. B.
B. Beach, placed in the hands of the Pope "a goldcovered"
medallion - a "symbol" of his church.
Well has the Messenger of the Lord written:
can truthfully say, "Our gold is tried in the fire; and our garments
are unspotted by the world?" I saw our Instructor pointing to the
garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare
the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how
they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of
character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot?'" (Testimonies
for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 250)
was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that
the Jewish church became an harlot. (Great Controversy, p. 382)
- Every quotation
in the above topic - "Steps to Rome" taken from the book -
So Much in Common - is from a single
document entitled - "The World Council of Churches/Seventh-day
Adventist Conversations and Their Significance." It was written
by none other than Dr. B. B. Beach himself. This book - So Much in
Common - carries an "Introductory Statement" co-signed
by Dr. Beach and Dr. Lukas Vischer of the Faith and Order Secretariat
of the World Council of Churches. This book may be be obtained by writing
to the Adventist Laymen's Foundation.
p 7 -- VATICAN
REACTION -- The official
Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano (Portuguese edition) for May
22, 1977, (p. 12) hailed the audience of the representatives of the
World Confessional Families with Pope Paul VI as seeking the objective
of complete unity with Rome. The headline read:
PROCURAR O OBJECTIVO DE UMA UNIDADE PLENA
(Seeking the Objectives of Complete Unity)
In the report it is obvious that the Roman
Curia did not look upon Dr B. B. Beach as being there in merely a personal
capacity, nor as only secretary of the Secretaries of the World Confessional
Families. From their viewpoint, Beach was there as the representative
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This report translated reads:
general audience of Wednesday, the 18th inst., the Holy Father received
the participants of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional
Families. This group was accompanied by Bishop John Howe, General Secretary
of the "Anglican Consultive Council" and Mr. B. B. Beach,
General Secretary of the "Seventh-day Adventists" met the
Pope. This was the first time that the representatives
of the "Seventh-day Adventists" met the Pope.
commemorate this significant moment, they offered an artistic
gold medal to the Holy Father. (Emphasis supplied)
Observe closely, the Vatican perceived
the gold medallion as coming from the church "they offered an artistic
gold medal to the Holy Father." To the Papacy it was an offering,
and the message which we suppose the medallion contains was passed as
a mere "artistic" design.
This news release in L'Osservatore Romano, also gives
the full text of the Pope's "discourse" on the occasion. The
Brethren in Christ,
rejoice to be able to receive such an important group today, and welcome
you to Peter's See. In you we greet the representatives of a considerable
portion of the Christian people, and through you we send our wishes
of grace and peace in the Lord to your Confessional Families.
are happy to express, in your presence, our common faith in Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, the only Mediator with the Father, the Saviour of the
world. Yes, brethren, together with the Apostle Peter, we proclaim that
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts
her part, the Catholic Church is solemnly engaged, through Vatican Council
II, in an ecumenism based on increased fidelity to Christ the Lord and
on heart conversion (see Unitatis Redinte-gratio, 6-7). At the same
time she is conscious that "nothing would harm the Catholic doctrine
and obscure its genuine and precise meaning." (Ibid.)
by the power of the Word of God, let us therefore pursue, despite all
difficulties, the objective of full unity in Christ and in the Church.
And, with humbleness and love, let us direct our thoughts and our hopes
to our Lord Jesus Christ. Glory be given to Him, as well as to the Father
and to the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.
p 8 -- Another report of Catholic
reaction came from the Catholic bi-weekly published in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
The name of the newspaper - Glas (Voice) and Koncila (Council)
- can be interpreted as the Voice of the Couci1. (See Appendix
C) In the upper left hand corner of the "slag" which appears
on page one of the newspaper are the words - "Nova Lice Crke"
[only a blur in the reproduction]. A literal translation renders it
- "New Face Church" - but in conversational English - "The
New Image of the Church." In other words, this newspaper reflects
the spirit of Vatican II, and thus gives from that viewpoint, how the
Papacy viewed the audience with the Pope by the Secretaries of the World
Confessional Families, which included Dr. B. B. Beach of the Seventh-day
The article in the Catholic bi-weekly referred
to Dr. Beach as "Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
This is not strictly correct, but an allowable technical error in the
light of how Dr. Beach is presented in the publication of the WCC -
So Much in Common. In two different places (pp. 92, 102), the notation
appears - "Dr. B. B. Beach, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists,
is secretary of the Department of Public Affairs, Northern European
Division, United Kingdom." This was in 1973, and the 1976 Yearbook
lists him as carrying the additional responsibility as Secretary of
the Division. From the Catholic viewpoint, there is no question, they
considered B. B. Beach as speaking for and representing the Seventh-day
In this article - the way it is written
- distinctly separates the two gifts which Beach gave the Pope. Of the
medallion, it read - "This is the first time a representative of
this religion has met with the Pope who was thus
presented with a gold medal." Regarding the book, they quote Beach
as saying - "I
presented to the Pope a book describing the work of the Adventist Church
throughout the world." Further, they indicate that Beach himself
in an interview on Radio-Vatican "emphasized the importance of
that first meeting of an Adventist with the Pope." Then they put
in direct quotes that Beach referred to the Pope as "the Holy Father".
AND COMMENTS -- It
is understandable that the hierarchy of the Church would wish to play
down this audience of B. B. Beach as far as the laity and rank and file
of the ministry are concerned. Kenneth H. Wood, then editor of the official
organ of the Church, wrote to a layman - "I am personally very
well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed with him this
visit [to the Pope] ... The visit was entirely innocent and meaningless
so far as any relationship goes between SDA's and Catholics." (See
Appendix D, Letter from Wood and to Wood)
In this same letter to the lay brother,
Elder Wood wrote:
So be assured,
Brother [A], the church is not compromising in any way with Roman Catholicism.
Our church knows full well that the Catholic church is not changing.
If by the "church," Wood means
its leadership, factors leading up to this audience with Pope Paul,
and other events and acts involving church leaders just do not tally
with this assertion. Surely Wood was not that naive when he wrote that
Religious News Service (RNS) in its report
of the audience with the Pope noted - - "The
Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day Adventists
became regular participants in the Conference [Secretaries of the World's
Confessional Families] in 1968." (See Appendix A) Thus the representative
of the Adventist Church, in this case Beach, is in annual conference
with the representative of
p 9 --
the Vatican Secretariat
for Christian Unity. Further, it must be kept in mind that Pope Paul
told the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families (Churches) that
despite "all obstacles" these leaders, and this included Beach,
should unceasingly pursue the goal of "full unity in Christ and
in the Church." And the Pope meant the Roman Catholic Church! It
dare not be overlooked that the Catholic Bi-weekly Glas Koncila
- quoted Beach as stating that it was a distinct honor to have had "an
audience here in Rome with the Holy Father." Beach did not have
to refer to the Pope as "the Holy Father."
There remains still another nagging question.
How was it that when the Gregorian Pontifical University - the alma
mater of popes and cardinals - opened its doors to a first non-Roman
Catholic in its 425 year history, that individual was a professing Seventh-day
Adventist? And why was it that a Jesuit - with all that that Order has
stood for in its history - signed the Preface of the published edition
of that individual's dissertation?
A previous associate editor of the Review,
Raymond F. Cottrell, wrote an editorial about a conference he attended
at Notre Dame University following Vatican II. He stated:
The new ecumenical
climate is opening up countless opportunities for dialogue with people
of other faiths, both for a clearer understanding of their point of
view and for sharing our own convicitons with them...
has been my privilege to participate in several such conferences. One
of these was the international Conference on Theological issues of Vatican
II at Notre Dame in March, 1966. There for an entire week the leading
theologians of the Catholic Church from North America and Europe, with
a liberal sprinkling of Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish theologians,
shared their mutual convictions. My seatmates to the left were Henri
de Lubac, leading French theologian, and Archbishop John F. Dearden
of Detroit, since then elected president of the National Council of
Catholic Bishops. To my right were Father Bernard Cooke of Marquette
University, and Ives Congar, another French theologian.' (Review,
March 23, 1967, pp. 12-13)
Think it through - Can you conceive of
the associate editor of the Review sharing his conviction that
the Pope is "the man of sin" - the antichrist of prophecy
-with Archbishop Dearden? Or has he lost his historic Adventist conviction?
If he had truly held to it, he would not have been there in the first
place! There is no record of Christ joining in theological conferences
involving the Sadducees, Pharisees and the Herodians. Maybe Cottrell's
attendance at the Notre Dame conference was "entirely innocent
and meaningless" as Wood asserts.
In the Silver-Tobler legal case involving
the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the legal counsel for the Church submitted
to the Federal Court a Brief in which it was stated:
is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint,
and the term, "hierarchy" was used in a perjorative sense
to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the
Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery
among the conservative protestant denominations in the early part of
this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been
consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist
Church is concerned. (p. 4, Footnote # 2, Docket Entry # 84: EEOC vs
PPPA, C-74-2025 CBR)
p 10 -- In the same Brief it is
While, however, Adventist
doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary
to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express...
an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such. (p. 30, emphasis supplied)
Again the question must be asked - How
can the participation of Adventist leaders in ecumenical contacts with
Catholic prelates resulting from our consignment to "the trash
heap" of history our historic understanding of Bible prophecy be
perceived as "entirely innocent and meaningless"? Further,
how can the editor of the "Official Organ of the Church" perceive
of the laity as so naive that they would buy such a "line"?
The above is a photocopy of the medallion
reproduced from the covers of the booklet on Seventh-day Adventists
of the "Great Religions of the World" (Art Medal Series) struck
by the Presidential Art Medals, Inc., of Vandalia, Ohio. This medallion
was designed and sculptured by Ralph J. Menconi and issued by the company
Ms. M. Carol Hetzell, then Director of
the Department of Communication for the General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists gives the background for the creation of the medallion in
a letter dated, December 29, 1977. She wrote:
of the plan to produce a series of medallions on the great religions
of the world through an ad in the National Geographic, I believe;
and I wrote immediately to the producers of the medallions offering
to help them with suggestions for a Seventh-day Adventist medallion
so that it could be included among the "great religions of the
world." The sculptor visited our world headquarters here and talked
with our committee that had been set up to suggest what the medallion
As can be seen from the photocopies of
the medallion, an attempt was made to incorportate certain basic Adventist
teachings. The obverse or front side seeks to depict the Second Coming
of Christ. However, it does not portray the usual representation
p 11 -- of His coming, when He
shall send His angels to gather together the elect to meet the Lord
in the air. (Matt. 24:31; 1 Thess. 4:16-17) Rather theangels are pictured
in "Catholic" fashion adoring a risen Lord. In fact the portrayal
on the medallion leaves obscure whether Jesus is standing on the earth
or the clouds.
On the reverse or back side, the "IV
Commandment" is abbreviated, while the other commandments are only
numbered, which would tend to project the Adventist emphasis of the
Sabbath. But here again the testimony is muted. The Catholic Church
- noting it as the Third Commandment - admonishes:
"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day." (The Convert's
Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 49) The part of the Commandment
which should have been quoted is "The seventh day is the Sabbath"
- and if space had allowed, the words - "of the Lord thy God."
||Unnumbered - Special Patina
||Antique Oxidized Finish
- 5000 complete sets; 5000 individual medals (Total 10,000 Silver
of each religion)
||1/10 14kt. G.F. - 24kt Gold
Finish - Limited issue - 500 pieces
The above is quoted from the brochure -
"Great Religions of the World," prepared by the Presidential
Art Medals, Inc. The prices represent the 1973 figure. The price in
1978, when this Special Report was first prepared, as quoted to us via
telephone was: Bronze, $5.00; Silver, $35.00; and Gold, $95.00. The
silver and gold issues are serially numbered. (We obtained a bronze
medallion at that time)
The cost of the gold medallion given to
the Pope in 1977 was played down by the editorial voice in Washington.
The Editor of the Adventist Review would have the laity believe
that all that B. B. Beach did was to obtain a trinket from a Dollar
Store for the Pope. In his letter dated, February 2, 1978 (See Appendix
D), Elder Wood wrote - "Representatives of the General Conference
have given this medallion to heads of state and other dignitaries all
around the world. We have one here in the office. It costs somewhere
between $5 and $10, 1 believe." Either the editor is naive; or
else he is "sloppy" in his research; or else he is seeking
to mislead the laity, none of which is justifiable. This attempted downplay
completely erases the credibility of Wood's assertion that the meeting
with the Pope at which Beach gave the medallion was "entirely innocent
and meaningless so far as any relationship goes between SDA's and the
If the gold medallion given to the Pope
came from the number first purchased by the Church in 1973, then the
cost would have been $40.00; but if ordered for the occasion of the
presentation in 1977, then the price would have been about $95.00, as
quoted to us. Thus the price, while not "somewhere between $5 and
$10," was nominal under the circumstances. The issue, therefore,
does not revolve around the cost of the medallion. Rather, the issue
is simply that this gold medallion was presented by Beach to the Pope
as "a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review,
August 11, 1977, p. 23) The Church was placed in the hands of the Antichrist
symbolically by an Adventist Church leader under authorization!
[For further analysis of the representations
sculptured on this medallion and the muting of the church's historic
teaching, see Appendix E]
p 12 -- BEACH
AND HIS EXPLANATION -- In
the aftermath of the giving of the medallion to Pope Paul VI, and the
surfacing of some of the facts of what took place which led to the presentation,
it is very difficult to determine whether Dr. B. B. Beach was a naive
"puppet" being staged by hidden forces of which at the time
he was totally unaware, or whether he was a willing accomplice in the
action, and is now seeking to mitigate the clear implications of the
significance of the presentation.
Certain facts cannot be denied. Fifteen
Christian world organizations are represented in the Conference of the
Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. On the one hand are
the representatives of Protestant and Orthodox traditions which belong
to the World Council of Churches, such as, Lutherans, Disciples, Reformed,
Methodists, Anglicans, Greek and Russian Orthodox. Then besides these
are certain conservative evangelical Protestant communions, such as,
Seventh-day Adventists, Salvation Army, the Reformed Ecumenical Synod
and the World Evangelical Fellowship. The Roman Catholic Secretariat
for Promoting Christian Unity is also numbered in this Conference. (See
The Christian Century, Dec. 11, 1985, p. 1142) All the news releases
both from the Religious News Service and the Catholic press, indicated
that of the fifteen participants in the special audience with Pope Paul
VI - one for each of the member churches of the Conference of the Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families - only
the Seventh-day Adventist Church through its representative, B. B. Beach,
gave a medallion to the Pope symbolizing its church. Even Beach in his
explanations of what happened has never indicated that any other secretary
did what he did.
Lest it be suggested that only the Seventh-day
Adventist Church has such a medallion, the same art company which produced
the medallion for the General Conference Department of Communications
also produced similar medallions for the Methodists, Lutherans, Greek
Orthodox and Eastern Rite Churches, the Salvation Army, the Anglican
communion, the Disciples, as well as others. ("Great Religions
of the World" [Advertising Brochure], p. 6) Therefore, let it be
clearly understood that at the special audience with the Pope, only
the Seventh-day Adventist Church was presented in symbolism to the Pope.
In 1974, the Review and Herald published a book written
by B. B. Beach - Ecumenism - Boon or Bane? The conclusion drawn
was that "in the total picture, the banes tend to outweigh the
boons." (Summary statement in Pattern for Progress, p. 100)
Yet with this conclusion drawn from close association with the ecumenical
movement since 1965, in 1977, Beach as an officer of such an ecumenical
association [and still is today (Adventist Review, Dec. 26, 1985,
p. 31)] and as an official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church did through such an ecumenical connection present the medallion
to the Pope. The whole process carries all the earmarks of an attempted
cover-up to keep the laity of the church in the dark as to where the
hierarchy was taking the Church.
The book - So Much in Common - is
itself a unique publication. Co-authored by Dr. Lukas Vischer, as head
of the Faith and Order Secretariat of the World Council of Churches,
and B. B. Beach, the first edition was published by the WCC. This book
tells of the beginnings of the WCC and SDA "Conversations."
In the delineations of these "Conversations" written by Beach
himself, while it is not specifically stated, the conclusion is inescapable
that B. B. Beach is the Adventist who on his own in 1965 started the
dialogue which began the steps to Rome. Beach took the first step, and
he it is who made the final step. However, that final step had the blessing
of the Church's hierarchy. Yet this book which tells the story
p 13 -- of the beginnings of the
steps to Rome and the Church's connection with the World Council of
Churches has never been sold in the Adventist Book Centers, nor advertised
by the Adventist Review.
So Much in Common was first published
in 1973. In it, Beach lists nine results obtained from the "Conversations"
between representatives of the WCC and the SDA's. Prefacing this list,
Beach wrote: Measured
within the framework of the avowed purposes of the Conversations, it
can be said that their results have been definitely positive and useful.
There have been no measurably negative outgrowths. In order to clearly
see the substantial number of accomplishments, it would appear helpful
to succinctly list some of the major results that have emanated from
list reads [with amplification of each item]:
Personal acquaintance and fellowship.
2. Information and Understanding.
3. Channels of communication.
4. WCC Statement concerning SDA Church.
5. Participation in Meeting of World Confessional Families.
6. Observer and Advisor Status.
7. SDA on Faith and Order Commission.
8. SDA/WCC Conversations in the United States.
9. Contacts on National Levels. (pp. 100-101)
Now contrast the statement which prefaced
these nine "accomplishments" with the final paragraph in the
"Introduction" which Beach wrote one year later in his book
for Adventist lay consumption. It reads:
We come back
to where we began: Ecumenism is a glittering word in today's religious
vocabulary. However, as we face the end of the present age, we will
not see a kind of jumbo church representing the people of God, but a
persecuted, united remnant having the faith of Jesus and keeping the
commandments of God. Prior to the Second Advent "religious jumboism"
will lose "all the glitter and the glamour" (see Rev. 18:14).
(Ecumenism - Boon or Bane?, p. 21)
This section of the book - the "Introduction"
- was especially recommended to the reader to "maximize" his
appreciation of what Beach had put together in the book by none other
than Elder Neal C. Wilson who had been asked by Beach to write the "Preface."
(Ibid, p. 14)
If "religious jumboism" is to
lose "all the glitter and the glamour" when Revelation 18:14
is fulfilled - and we are nearing that hour - why does the glitter and
the glamour still appear so attractive to Beach? He is still secretary
of the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. An Adventist
theologian still sits on the Faith and Order Commission of the World
Council of Churches. How
does Beach explain his giving of the medallion as "a symbol of
the Seventh-day Adventist Church" to Pope Paul VI?
When the Portuguese edition of L'Osservatore
- Romano carrying the story of Beach's visit to the Pope reached
Brazil, it created a real stir in the Adventist community. The Adventist
Reform Movement made capital of this news story, so much so, that A.
G. Brito, Editor of 0 Atalaia, published by the Brazil Publishing
House wrote a letter to Elder M. S. Nigri, who was a vice president
of the General Conference at the time. (See Appendix F) In this letter,
Brito asked some very pointed questions. The letter was forwarded by
Nigri to Beach.
Beach replied to Brito in a three page
explanation. (See Appendix G) It should be
p 14 -- observed that Beach claims
that the "conference is not an organisation" (par. 2, p. 1),
but it has officers, minutes are kept, and an agenda is prepared for
each annual meeting. Beach admits that for the past few years he has
been Secretary of the conference charged with this responsibility, but
"there is no usefulness in giving any publicity to this fact."
(par. 3, p. 1).
Brito's third question gave Beach some
problems. Brito asked - "Has this entity an ecumenical character?"
To this Beach replied: 3.
It is not so easy to give a clear answer to your third question. As
I have pointed out, the Conference is not an organisation, with precise
objectives. it is an informal and unstructured forum. Questions and
inter-church relations and Christian unity do come up for discussion.
Some of the participants are ecumenically minded (in the sense of being
in agreement with some of the objectives of the World Council of Churches),
while other participants think more along our lines. However, I would
like to make clear that this Conference is not a part of the World Council
of Churches. It is something quite separate and rather unique. You will
no doubt be aware that a number of World Confessions are in bi-lateral
dialogues with each other and one item that does appear on the agenda
regularly is the question of the bi-lateral dialogues. We, of course
are not involved in these dialogues.
Beach by his statement - "I would
like to make clear that this Conference is not a part of the World Council
of Churches" - would like for us to believe that there is little
or no connection between the Conference of which he is the secretary
and the WCC. However, a letter from the Commission on Faith and Order
definitely states that "Faith and Order relates to that conference
in a consultative manner." (See Appendix H) Further, the president
of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families
in 1977, Bishop John Howe, stated in a Vatican Radio interview - which
included Beach - that the Rome meeting had been very "satisfactory"
and "we have been able to decide how we shall work together more
with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role
that all of us have." (RNS, See Appendix A) Brito was not told
the whole truth by Beach!
More recently, Dr. D. Douglas Devnich,
Beach's counterpart in the Canadian Union, wrote to Beach for an explanation
of what took place in 1977. (See Appendix I) This letter reveals how
quickly Beach would like to forget the fact that in the same Vatican
Radio interview referred to above, Beach "noted that the audience
with Pope Paul marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a
Roman pontiff." (Ibid.) He would have it appear now that
he was merely using his position in the Conference of World Confessional
Families to effect a missionary contact with the Pope. Not only was
it stated differently on Vatican Radio but the Roman Catholic Church
viewed it from a different perspective. Their reports read that Beach
"distinctly emphasized the importance of the first meeting of an
Adventist with the Pope," and the Catholic hierarchy perceived
Beach as "chief secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church"
because of his role in the Confessional Families' Conference. (See Appendix
Evidently Devnich is a very "creative"
personality. Beach commends him for the use of the term "Adventist
Mysophobia" in describing those who have questioned the audience
with the pope, and the giving of the church in symbolism into the hands
of the Antichrist. The word, "mysophobia" is compounded from
two Greek words - musos
- meaning filth or contamination, and - phobos
- meaning, fear. In other words, it means - "fear of filth."
While the word, musos,
is not found in the Greek text of the New Testament, the KJV does speak
of the "filthiness of her fornication" in relationship to
Babylon the great. (Rev. 17:4) Thank God, there are still some Seventh-day
Adventists in the Canadian Union who have a fear of the
p 15 -- filthiness of the "Woman"
of Revelation 17. However, since it is no longer good Adventism to have
an "aversion" to Roman Catholicism, those afflicted with "mysophobia"
will continue to decrease in number. (See pp. 9-10)
Answered and Unanswered -- On
January 18, 1978, 1 wrote to Elder W. Duncan Eva, then Vice President
of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and asked:
What committee, or church official authorized the audience with Pope
Paul VI, and the presentation of the medallion overlaid with gold?
It is my understanding that all gold and silver issues of this medallion
were serially numbered. What was the serial number of the one given
to the Pope?
From your article in the Review, and the RNS release, this audience
and presentation was made in conjuntion with Dr. B. B. Beach's attendance
at the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families.
Who gave the authorization for this trip and paid the costs of travel
While the cost of the medallion [then] was only nominal - $45.00 as
stated by Miss Hetzell - from what funds was this taken?
On March 3, 1978, 1 received the following
reply regarding these questions from Elder Eva. He wrote:
to the questions of your letter of January 18.
The Northern-Europe West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother
Beach's trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope
with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability.
Dr. Beach does not know the serial number of the medallion presented
to the Pope and I am not able to obtain it here.
This question is covered in the reply to your question 1.
The medallion was paid for from Departmental expense funds of the Northern
Europe-West Africa Division.
In the letter which Dr. B. B. Beach wrote
to A. G.. Brito in Sao Paulo, Brazil, dated November 15, 1977 (See Appendix
G, p. 1), he stated: I
am enclosing a brief statement regarding the meeting with the Pope.
This statement (with one or two small modifications) appeared some time
ago in the Review and Herald.
We have reproduced this statement on the
next page. (You will observe that the word "audience" is struck
through and over it is written - "meeting.") By carefully
comparing this brief statement with the news item appearing in the Review
for August 11, 1977, p. 23 (Appendix B), it can be seen that this is
the basis for the item. In a letter to Elder Eva, dated February 24,
1978, we sent a copy of this statement, and asked him - "Who made
the change from 'audience' to 'meeting'? Did Beach in submitting the
material to you, or did you do it, or authorize
p 16 --
it to be done?" Eva refused to answer
this in his letter dated March 3, 1978. We asked one further question
in our February 24th letter to Elder Eva: Why
was the sentence - "This is not the first time that an Adventist
has met the pope" - omitted? When were the other times, and under
what circumstances? Have there been frequent audiences involving officials
of the Church in their official capacities? If not frequent, what contacts
have been made between our church leaders and the Pope and for what
purposes? Since the official newspaper of the Vatican has noted this
audience in regard to Seventh-day Adventist participation as of special
note, and the RNS through its Vatican correspondent marked it as "the
first time in history" that the Seventh-day Adventist Church through
an official representative met with the Pope, have other contacts been
secret and private so that only certain members of the hierarchy know
of them? These things need to be clarified.
In his reply, Elder Eva simply stated -
"We feel no burden to give you the detailed information you ask
for and I have not tried to do so nor to answer the further questions
in your letter of February 24." Thus it has neither been affirmed
nor denied in regard to what other contacts may or may not have been
made between Adventist leaders and Vatican officials.
p 17 -- B. B. Beach's own statements
on this point are contradictory. In his "Statement
Regarding Meeting with Pope," he wrote - "This is not the
first time that an Adventist has met a pope."
The Review news item deleted this sentence. Yet Beach as reported
by RNS in the Vatican Radio interview declared that the audience "marked
first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through
an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff." How
does one put this all together?
We know of one other recorded meeting with
the Pope. This was in connection with a Church-State Study Commission's
visit to Italy. The tour group joined in a general papal audience. Afterwards
three members of the Commission visited briefly with Pope Paul VI. This
was reported with pictures in the Review, May 30, 1968. (For
pictures see Appendix J) These men were a part of "A 34-member
International Church-State Study Commission, sponsored by Andrews University,
the International Religious Liberty Association, and the Religious Liberty
Department of the General Conference." (Review, May 16,
1968, p. 16) Hegstad in telling of the meeting with the Pope wrote:
in Rome the Adventist Study Commission experienced the pomp and ceremony
of a papal audience in St. Peter's. It was hardly a private audience:
some 5,000 shouting and clapping pilgrims were around us. Members of
our group were seated not far from the high altar, which is in the midst
of the serpentine Bernini columns, which, in turn, are under the central
dome of St. Peter's. After the general audience, during which the Pope
spoke for some 20 minutes on his year-old encyclical Populorum Progressio,
L. Kr. Tobiassen, Pierre Lanares, and I were introduced to the Pontiff.
Dr. Tobiassen told of the purpose of our study commission and of the
countries we were visiting. I then mentioned our pleasure at finding
material progress towards religious liberty in Spain, where the religious
schema of Vatican II is having good effect.(Ibid., p. 17)
There is one further item that leaves unanswered
questions. B. B. Beach in reporting the results obtained from the Conversations
in Europe between SDA and WCC representatives noted that "Conversations
began in 1969 in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and
a WCC appointed group." (So Much in Common, p. 101) No report
of such Conversations have appeared, to our knowledge, in the Review.
The laity of the Church have never been informed as to who took part,
or what the agenda was, or what conlcusions were drawn.
VATICAN II FALLOUT -- Vatican Council II
was convened by John XXIII on October 11, 1962, and involved four sessions
during four successive years. The last three sessions were during the
pontificate of Paul VI. It was at this final session that the arrangements
were made for the Conversations between representatives of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church and representatives of the World Council of Churches.
(So Much in Common, p. 98) However, Dr. B. B. Beach was not the
only Adventist at this final session. Elder M. E. Loewen, head of the
Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference; Dr. R. F. Cottrell,
Associate Editor of the Review and Herald; and Elder Arthur S.
Maxwell, Editor of the Signs, were also present.
Upon his return late in 1965, Elder Maxwell
gave his impressions of Vatican II in a report to the Loma Linda University
Church. The speech of Pope Paul VI in opening the fourth and final session
impressed Maxwell. He asked those in
p 18 -- attendance - "Do you
know what the subject was?" - and then answered his question "Love.
" After quoting a paragraph from it, he said - "You know,
that speech of the pope's could have been given at a General Conference
session." (Present Truth, #3, pp. 3, 4)
Maxwell indicated that his second impression
was "the apparent awesome, and I mean awesome
power of the organization." (Emphasis his) Then the
pageantry and elaborate ceremonial, medieval in nature, struck Maxwell's
attention. But in it all, he admitted - "there is no change in
doctrine." (Ibid., p. 6) Yet i n discussing the schema on
religious liberty adopted by the Council, Maxwell stated:
This is such
a tremendous change the Roman Catholic Church has embarked upon. It's
so totally different from anything thousands of priests have ever thought
of or contemplated, and it is possibly asking too much, that all of
a sudden, every priest around the world will suddenly adopt what are
really Protestant ideas. But while I've said that, I would also say
this, that we shouldn't minimize what the Catholic Church has done.
It's a great step forward, there's no question. It's an amazing thing
that the church has done to set itself alongside Protestants in declaring
that every man has the basic human right to choose his own religion
and follow the dictates of his own conscience. Whether the church will
stay by that forever, I don't know. No, I'm not predicting the future
- I couldn't say - but it does alter the situation in the Catholic Church
and should alter our attitude toward that church. (Ibid,
p. 11, emphasis mine)
The afterglow of the glitter, pomp and
pageantry of Rome seemed to blur Maxwel1's ability to distinguish between
the individual and the system. He declared:
We must rethink
our approach to our Roman Catholic friends. How can we reject an outstretched
hand and be Christians? How can you say that they belong to antichrist
when they reveal so many beautiful Christian attitudes? Does that shock
you very much? I hope it does! I hope it shocks you, because we need
to be shocked into a new, more friendly, more loving attitude towards
these dear people. (Ibid., p. 13)
Maxwell followed this with some advice to ministers,
and telling what he had already done. He said:
one other thing. These things are going to make us think, they really
are - this new situation. I think that a lot of our preachers are going
to have to throw away a lot of old sermons. You and me - a lot of old
sermons. I scrapped a lot them already. You know what I think is going
to happen? We cannot go on preaching about these dear people like we
did thirty, forty, fifty years ago. We simply can't do it. The facts
are all against us. How can we go and talk about them persecuting, burning
the Bible when they're not doing anything of the sort? We've just got
to get some new sermons ... Sure have! (Ibid., p. 14)
To merely clothe one's self as "an
angel of light" does not alter the nature of that self. This Maxwell
failed to perceive having been enamored with the glitter and tinsel
of Rome. Well has it been written:
suppose that the Catholic religion is unattractive, and that its worship
is a dull, meaningless round of ceremony. Here they mistake. While Romanism
is based in deception, it is not a course and clumsy imposture. The
religious service of the Roman Church is a most impressive ceremonial.
Its gorgeous display and solemn rites fascinate the senses of the people,
and silence the voice of reason and of conscience. The eye is charmed.
Magnificent churches, imposing processions, golden altars, jeweled shrines,
choice paintings, and exquisite sculpture appeal to the love of beauty.
The ear is also captivated. The music is unsurpassed. The rich notes
of the deep-toned organ, blending with the melody
p 19 --
of many voices as it swells through the lofty domes and pillared aisles
of her gand cathedrals, cannot fail to impress the mind with awe and
but those who have planted their feet firmly upon the foundation of
truth, and whose hearts are renewed by the Spirit of God, are proof
against her influence. Great Controversy, pp. 566, 567)
These impressions, conclusions, and advice
of Maxwell resulting from his attendance at the final session of Vatican
II find reflection in a new study of the book of Daniel written by his
son, Dr. C. Mervyn Maxwell, Chairman of the Church History Department
at Andrews University. In this book - God Cares, Vol . I - Maxwell's
analysis of "the little horn" of Daniel 7 is indicative of
the changed attitude toward Rome as suggested by his father. Devoting
considerable space to the discussion of this "little horn"
of Daniel 7, Dr. Maxwell divides his discussion into two subsections
- Four Principles, and Eight Identifying Marks.
In listing the "Four Principles,"
Maxwell charged God with giving a one-sided picture of Rome in the prophecy
- believe it or not! Here are his very words:
Daniel 7 God purposefully presented a one-sided picture of Rome as a
terrible beast in order to emphasize His displeasure at persecution.
Then in concluding his "Eight Identifying
Marks" of the "little horn," Dr Maxwell wrote: Only
one entity really fits all eight of these identifying marks - the Christian
church which arose to religiopolitical prominence as the Roman Empire
declined and which enjoyed a special influence over the minds of men
between the sixth and the eighteenth centuries.
call this Christian church the "Roman Catholic" Church can
be misleading if Protestants assume that the Roman Catholic Church of,
say the sixth century was one big denomination among others, as it is
today. Actually the Roman Catholic Church was virtually the Christian
church in Western Europe for about a thousand years. Because of this
early universality, both Protestants and Catholics may regard it as
the embodiment of "our" Christian heritage, for better or
very often it was for the better. Of course! (Ibid.)
In the revelation that God gave to Jesus,
the picture is that the true Christian Church was in the "wilderness"
from the sixth to the eighteenth centuries. (Rev. 12:13-14) But in taking
the steps to Rome, it is no longer "good Adventism to express ...
an aversion to Roman Catholicism." (See p. 10)
p 20 -- "ROOTS"
of the ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT -- [As
source material for this section of "Special Report," apart
from what is documented, I am indebted to an article by Dr. Earle Hilgert
beginning in the Review, October 12, 1967, Dr. Hilgert, then
VicePresident for Academic Administration at Andrews University, was
the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve on the Faith and Order Commission
of the World Council of Churches.]
In 1870, William Reed Huntington, an American
Episcopalian, published a book, named - The Church Idea. In this
book, he set forth four points as a basis for Christian unity. These
The Scriptures as the word of God.
2) The Creeds of the Early Church as the rule of faith.
3) The sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper.
4) The historic episcopate as the basis of organizational unity.
In 1888, these four points, substantially
as Huntington proposed them, were adopted by the Bishops of the Anglican
Church at the Lambeth Conference of that year, and
thereafter were known as the Lambeth Quadrilateral. 2 One
must keep in mind that the Anglican Church is considered the "bridge"
church between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
1910 at the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, an Episcopal (Anglican)
missionary to the Philippines, Bishop Charles H. Brent, called for an
organizational, inter-denominational conference on questions of doctrine
and organization. Herein was the idea of the Faith and Order Movement.
In 1920, the Lambeth Conference of Anglican
Bishops based on the Quadrilateral issued "An Appeal to All Christian
People" urging the Christian world to strive for an united church.
The same year representatives from 70 denominations, and 40 countries
convened in Geneva, Switzerland. Bishop Charles H. Brent presided at
this meeting which marked the "official" beginning of the
Faith and Order Movement. The call was based on only one doctrinal confession
- that "our Lord Jesus Christ [is] God and Saviour." This
is also the doctrinal criterion for fellowship in the World Council
This meeting in 1920 prepared the way for
the first World Conference on Faith and Order, which was held in Lausanne,
Switzerland in 1927. The Lausanne Conference adopted a methodology for
the purpose of studying the differences between the various communions
in the hope that such a study would lead to a better understanding of
one another's position with the ultimate objective of bridging the separating
canyons. Herein is the concept of "dialogue." However, in
the years following, an "irreconcilable" impasse developed
between those who considered the church as "catholic" and
those who considered the church as "protestant." This was
faced up to in the Third World Conference on Faith and Order in 1952
in Lund, Sweden. Here a new methodology was adopted which sought to
bridge the divisions between the "catholic" and "protestant"
concepts. Joint studies on theological and organizational problems common
to all were arranged with the conviction that in seeking cooperatively
a truly Christ-centered answer to the problems previously faced, they
might draw closer to one another.
In the meantime, in 1948, the World Council
of Churches was organized by a merger of the Faith and Order Movement,
and a parallel ecumenical group, the Christian
p 21 -- Life and Work Movement.
Following the merger, the Faith and Order Movement became a Commission
of the World Council of Churches. Under the World Council, it developed
into a well organized structure holding working sessions every three
years in preparation for further World Conferences on Faith and Order.
As a "commission" its purposes and objectives need to be clearly
understood in relationship to the overall objectives of the World Council.
Article I of the Constitution of the World
Council of Churches reads: The
World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess
the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures
and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory
of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (So Much in Common,
p. 40) 3
While the World Council does not assume
universal authority controlling what all Christians should believe and
do, yet the member churches - now over three hundred - are all committed
to close collaboration in Christian witness and service. Further, they
are also striving together to realize the goal of visible Church unity.
Herein enters the Faith and Order Commission. Its objective is stated:
assist the churches toward this goal, the Faith and Order Commission
of the World Council provides theological support for the efforts the
churches are making towards unity. Indeed the Commission has been charged
by the Council members to keep always before them their obligation to
work towards manifesting more visibly God's gift of Church unity. So
it is that the stated aim of the Commission is "to proclaim the
oneness of the Church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to the
goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed
in worship and common life in Christ, in order that the world might
believe. (By-Laws) (Faith and Order Paper #11, pp. vii-viii)
Near the close of the first decade of the
last half of the 20th Century, events within the Roman Catholic Church
were to play a part in the ecumenical movement. On October 9, 1958,
Pius XII died and was succeeded by Angelo Roncalli as Pope John XXIII.
One of the announced objectives of John's Papal reign was "to bring
the Church up to date". With this in mind he called for a council
of bishops. The idea was his own, "a heavenly inspiration, he said
when he made the announcement soon after his coronation in 1959."
(Britannica, Book of the Year 1964, p. 717) This "inspiration
came during a time of prayer. The time was that period particularly
devoted to prayers for the reunion of Christendom, the Christian Unity
Octave of January 18-25." (Observer in Rome, p. 6)
This prayer crusade for Christian unity
known in the Roman Catholic Church as the Chair of Unity Octave forms
apart of the ecumenical "roots." In 1886, Lewis T. Wattson,
after his ordination by the Episcopal Church, began to work for reunion
with the Holy See. In 1903, he began publishing, The Lamp, in
which he defended papal infallibility and urged all Anglicans to return
to Rome. "To this end, in 1909, he inaugurated an 8-day period
of prayer called the Church Unity Octave." This week is observed
by Protestant bodies as the "Universal Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity." (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 14, p. 828)
"On October 30, 1909, in the sisters'
chapel at Graymoor, Father Paul [Lewis T. Wattson], Mother Lurana, and
15 followers were received into the Catholic Church ... Shortly after,
the group was received into the Franciscan Order." Also in 1909,
Pius X approved the Chair of Unity Octave; "Benedict XV extended
it to the universal Church and granted indulgences. Pius XII renewed
the indulgences in 1946 and in a letter (Nov. 1, 1957) urged the octave's
observance to be spread as widely as possible. In 1959 John XXIII recommended
it to all the faithful." (Ibid. Vol I, p. 1027)
p 22 -- (As an Anglican, Father
Paul founded the Society of the Atonement at Graymoor, New York. There
functioning as the Graymoor Ecumenical Institute, the friars have been
prime movers in the Protestant observance of the annual Week of Prayer
for Christian Unity.)
Prior to convening the Vatican Council
II, October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII "established the Secretariat
for Promoting Christain Unit , headed by the ecumenical
[Jesuit] Augustin Cardinal Bea, which in a very short time proved to
be an effective instrument of Christian renewal and interfaith amity."
(Britannica, op. cit., p. 718) Also appointed to this
Secretariat was Msgr. J. G. M. Willebrands who in 1952 founded The Catholic
Conference for Ecumenical Questions. This Conference "has had impressive
though unobtrusive influence and worked with the Faith and Order Commission
of the WCC." (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol V, p. 98)
In preparation from Vatican Council II,
Rome asked several branches of what they called "separated brethren"
to appoint official observers. "The World Council of Churches,
several Protestant communions, the Anglicans and at least one of the
Eastern Churches responded favorably." (Britannica, op.
cit., p. 690)
In 1963, several events occurred in the
ecumenical movement. Pope John died to be followed by Paul VI who announced
his intention to pursue the policies of his predecessor. He convened
the second session of Vatican II with overtures toward more friendly
relations with other Christain bodies. By invitation, an increased number
of Protestant and Orthodox observers were present at the Council. Also
during this year, the Faith and Order Commission called a consultation
in Montreal, with Roman Catholic observers present.
The Third Session of Vatican II was convened
in September, 1964. Prior to this session in his Good Friday message,
Pope Paul VI referred to the Anglican and Eastern Bodies as "churches"
and the Protestant bodies as "communities" instead of "separated
brethren," thus according them a status not previously recognized
by the Roman Catholic Church.
The fourth and final session of Vatican
Council II was held from September 14 through December 8, 1965. The
Seventh-day Adventist Church had observers at this final session. Through
a contact made between an "observer" of the Adventist church
and one from the WWC, "Conversations" began between the two
bodies which led ultimately to the presentation of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church in "symbol" to Pope Paul VI, and to the appointment
of a Seventh-day Adventist to the Faith and Order Commission. (See "Step
Four," p. 4, and "Step Seven," p. 6)
Much has transpired in the activities of
the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC since 1967 when a Seventh-day
Adventist was appointed to the Commission. In January, 1982, in Lima,
Peru, over 100 theologians met and "recommended unanimously"
an agreed statement on Baptism,
Eucharist, and Ministry "for the common study and official
response of the churches." These theologians "represented
virtually all the major church traditions: Eastern Orthodox, Oriental
Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed,
Methodist, United, Disciples, Baptist, Adventist and Pentecostal."
(Back Cover, Faith & Order Paper, #11) The three statements
on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry "arethe fruit of a 50-year process
of study stretching back to the first Faith and Order Conference at
Lausanne in 1927." (Ibid, p. viii)
Wm. H. Lazareth, Director of the Secretariat
on Faith and Order and Nikos Nissiotis, Moderator of the Commission
on Faith and Order have co-authored a Preface to the Lima Text as this
paper on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry is called. In it they state:
Lima Text represents the significant theological convergence which Faith
p 23 --
and Order has discerned
and formulated. Those who know how widely the churches have differed
in doctrine and practice on baptism, eucharist and ministry, will appreciate
the importance of the large measure of agreement registered here. Virtually
all the confessional traditions are included in the Commission's membership.
That theologians of such widely different traditions should be able
to speak so harmoniously about baptism, eucharist and ministry is unprecendented
in the modern ecumenical movement. Particularly noteworthy is the fact
that the Commission also includes among its full members theologians
of the Roman Catholic and other churches which do not belong to the
World Council of Churches itself. (Ibid,
Thus from 1888 to 1967, two movements were
in parallel - the Faith and Order Movement for visible church unity,
and the Advent Movement for a completed work on the earth. In 1967,
the Seventh-day Adventist Church - a trustee under God for the Three
Angels' Messages - broke the parallel and became identified with the
Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.
- Parallel events during the history of the ecumenical movement
are most interesting and should be considered carefully. In 1870, Vatican
Council I promulgated the doctrine of Papal infallibility so that when
the Pope speaks ex cathedra (from the chair) his utterances are
as the voice of God. It should be observed that point #4 of the Quadrilateral
is that the "historic episcopate" be the basis for organizational
unity. The historic episcopate put the Bishop of Rome as the first among
equals. The final outcome of the Papal dogma formulated at Vatican I
on the ecumenical process has yet to be written.
- 1n 1888, "the Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message
to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones." (TM, p.
91) This message was to produce unity in truth under the Holy Spirit
p. 65), and to prepare a people to reveal to the world the matchless
love of God in a revelation of the image of Jesus perfectly reproduced
in them. The people were to experience the results of the "final
atonement" when in the mighty outpouring of the Latter Rain, "the
moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. [They] are to
be totally transformed into the likeness of Christ." (Ibid,
p. 506) Through understanding the justification of God in behalf of
sinners, they are to develop the trust "that divine grace alone
can complete the work." (Ibid, p. 508)
this same time (1893) an Anglican priest who was to turn Catholic, Lewis
Thomas Wattson, formed the Society of the Atonement for the purpose
of uniting all Christian churches under Rome. Thus the world was to
have a choice of "at-one-ments"! But what has happened to
God's chosen people to whom He entrusted the final message of Revelation
14, and to whom He sent the most precious message of 1888? This "Special
Report" tells part of the story.
3 - This
article from the World Council of Churches' Constitution was incorporated
into the 1980 Statement of Beliefs voted at the General Conference Session
in Dallas, Texas. See p. 12 of Key Doctrinal Comparisons.
p 24 -- APENDIXES
p 25 -- APPENDIX
A -- R E L I G 1 0 U S
N E W S S E R V I C E
FOREIGN SERVICE -
9 - THURSDAY,
MAY 19, 1977
World Confessional Families Group
UNCEASING PURSUIT OF UNITY
IS PLEDGED BY POPE PAUL
By Religious News Service (5-19-77)
VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Pope Paul, receiving
participants of the Conference of Secretaries of World Confessional
Families, urged unceasing pursuit of the goal of "full unity in
Christ and in the Church," despite "all obstacles."
"It is a joy for us to receive such
an important group and to welcome you to the See of Peter," said
the Pope. "In you we greet representatives of a considerable portion
of Christian people and through you we send greetings of grace and peace
in the Lord to your confessional families."
The Conference, a grouping of Anglican,
Protestant, Orthodox, Old Catholic, and other Christian church bodies,
which was formed in 1957, met in Rome (May 16 - 18) for the first time.
The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity
and the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference
"We are pleased," Pope Paul told
the Conference participants, "to give expression in your presence
to our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the one mediator
with the Father, the Saviour of the world.
"Yes, brothers, with the Apostle Peter
we proclaim that there is salvation in none else, for there is no other
Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
The pontiff went on to remark that "on
her part," the Catholic Church is solemnly committed by the Second
Vatican Council to "an ecumenism based on increased fidelity to
Christ the Lord and on conversion of hearts.
"At the same time she realizes that
nothing is so foreign to ecumenism as a false conciliatory approach.
Strengthened by the power of God's work," he urged, "Let us
then, despite all obstacles, pursue the goal of full unity in Christ
and in the Church..."
Later, in Vatican Radio interviews, two
officers of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional
Families, expressed satisfaction with the Rome meeting. Bishop John
Howe, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, who is
president of the Conference, said it had been "a satisfactory meeting"
because "we had secretaries here from the world organizations of
nearly all the Churches, including the (Vatican) Secretariat for Unity."
"It was a brotherly discussion," said the Anglican prelate,
"and we have been able to decide how we shall work together more
with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role
that all of us have."
p 26 -- Dr. Bert Beach, the Conference
secretary, who is secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, noted that the audience with Pope
Paul marked the first time in history that the Seventhday Adventist
Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman pontiff.
Dr. Beach also said it had been "a pleasure" to be able to
attend the Conference meeting in Rome, and that the meeting had provided
"a good opportunity" for reflecting on "the work that
has been accomplished" by the Conference since its founding.
B -- Book,
Medallion Presented to Pope -- In connection with a recent consultative
meeting of secretaries of World Confessional Families held in Rome,
B. B.Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, one
of the 15 participants and the only Adventist in the group, presented
a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18.
book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action,
and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith
in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and
Bible, and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. While the
other commandments are represented simply as Roman numerals, the words
of the fourth - "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy"
- are written out.
Conference of World Confessional Families usually meets once a year.
It is not an
organization, but an informal, unstructured forum for consultation and
the exchange of useful information.
August 11, 1977
p 27 -- APPENDIX
- KATOLICKE DVOTJEDNE NOVINE - 5. Lipinja 1977.
(Adventist) PRVI (First) PUT (Time) KOD (by or to) PAPE (Pope)
Wednesday, the 18th of May, Pope Paul received in Separate audience
participants of the Secretarial Conference of the United Church World.
The group was accompanied by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the
Anglican Assembly Council and Mr. B. B. Beach, Chief Secretary of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is the first time a representative
of this religion has met with the Pope who was thus presented with a
gold medal. Upon their greeting, Paul VI answered:
am happy that we may receive such an esteemed group and express welcome
from the Throne of Peter. In you, we greet representatives of the greater
part of Christian believers and through you send greetings of God's
mercy to your religious churches. I am glad that we may express in your
presence our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only
Intercessor with the Father and Redeemer of the World. Yes, brothers,
with the apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in nothing
else. 'For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby
we must be saved.' (Acts 4:12) As concerns us, at the 2nd Vatican Council,
the Catholic Church has sacredly engaged itself in ecumenicalism, established
in and arisen out of faith in Christ our Lord and in the conversion
of hearts. (UR 6-7) Strengthened by the power of God's word, let us
continue, in defiance of all obstacles, to walk toward our goal of complete
unity in Christ and in the Church."
Secretarial Conference of the United Church World was established 20
years ago by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the Anglican Assembly.
The present Secretary of the Conference and Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day
Adventist church, Mr. Beach, sumbitted to Radio-Vatican an announcement
in which he distinctly emphasized the importance of that first meeting
of an Adventist with the Pope. He is quoted as saying, "It is a
distinct honor to be present as Secretary of the Conference in an audience
here in Rome with the Holy Father upon which I presented to the Pope
a book describing the work of the Adventist Church throughout the world."
28 -- APPENDIX
GENERAL CHURCH PAPER OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS, TACOMA PARK, WASHINGTON,
D.C. 20012 U. S.A
OF THE EDITOR
John A. Spoto
Route 1, Box 157,
Mission, Texas 78572
I remember you and your family in Trenton. That has been a long time
was interested to learn from your letter that you have been living in
Texas for about seven and a half years and that your parents are now
in northern California. Both Texas and California are an improvement
over New Jersey!
your letter you asked about the information in the Grotheer newslatter.
I do not know how much background you have on Brother Grotheer, but
you should know that he is not a member of the Adventist church. He
was disfellowshiped several years ago. Also, while some things in his
newsletter contain truth, inevitably he gets facts garbled because he
is out of touch with Adventist news sources. If one does not know the
facts, things sometimes look much more sinister than they are.
is true in regard to the visit with the Pope. I am personally very well
acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed with him this visit.
Even though the visit may look sinister to Brother Grotheer, the visit
was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship goes
between SDA's and the Catholics. You will recall that Jesus was accused
of associating with gluttons and wine bibbers and of being a friend
of harlots. Christ was willing to go anywhere and talk to anybody if
He could thereby advance the cause of truth.
was the kind df context for Dr. Beach's visit. One can be friendly with
people without sacrificing principle. Our leaders in Uganda have been
endeavoring to have a visit with Idi Amin, but this does not mean that
they are compromising with the government or with the Muslim religion
of which Idi Amin is a member. Dr. Beach's visit did not represent the
church as a whole anymore than Dr. Dederen's membership on the Faith
and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches represents the
church. Dr. Dederen is a Seventh-day Adventist, but he does not represent
the Seventh-day Adventist church. He is elected by the World Council
of Churches, not appointed by the SDA denomination. Many, people feel
that it is a good thing for Seventh-day Adventist theology to have some
influence in places that would not otherwise receive a Seventh-day Adventist
29 -- Mr. John A. Spoto ------------------------
- 2 - ---------------------------
February 22, 1978
far as the small gift to the Pope is concerned, this medallion was not
produced for the occasion. It is a design that was created several years
ago by an independent company in consultation with the General Conference
Communication Department. Representatives of the General Conference
have given this small medallion to heads of state and other dignitaries
all around the world. We have one here in our office. It costs somewhere
between $5 and $10, I think.
be assured, Brother Spoto, the church is not comoromising in any way
with Roman Catholicism. Our church knows full well that the Catholic
church is not changing. In fact, we have an editorial that will be published
in the REVIEW sometime soon in which this very fact is pointed out.
This church is not in peril from this sort of contact. It is in much
greater peril from forces within that seek to undermine our message
and divide us as a people. But be assured that there are many church
leaders who are alert to every move both from within and from without
that would compromise our faith or keep this church from fulfilling
its God-given mission.
appreciate the concern of you and your friends expressed in your recent
letter. Please believe that in regard to the points raised in your letter
the church is in safe hands. When questions are raised do not depend
on secondary sources such as the Grotheer newsletter. Write directly
to us or to the General Conference and we will be happy to give you
God abundantly bless you and your family.
Your brother in Christ,
Editor, ADVENTIST REVIEW
Kenneth Wood, Editor
Takoma Park, Washington D C 20012
letter which you sent out into the field came to my desk this past week.
I read it with interest since it contained comments in regard to the
monthly thought paper "Watchman, What of the Night?" - and
of me personally as manager of research and publication for the Adventist
wrote - "While some things in his newsletter contain truth, inevitably
he gets facts garbled because he is out of touch with Adventist news
sources." I admit that apart from the "fall outs" from
the letter files in Washington, my news from Adventist sources comes
from the Adventist Review. But when that cannot be documented,
what comes as news in the Adventist Review must be presumed to
be managed. This is a cause for concern as to the reliability of the
source. A specific example - the news item in the Review (Jan.
12, 1978, p. 32) on an Appeals Court Decision did not cover the basis
upon which the decision was made - that sales are only "incidental"
in the work of the Colporteur. If the report had been open as the same
story in RNS (Dec. 21, 1977), the laity could have seen that somebody
also wrote - "I am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert
Beach and have discussed with him this visit [to the Pope]. Even though
the visit may look sinister to Brother Grotheer, the visit was entirely
innocent and meaningless so far as any
relationship goes between SDA's and the Catholics."
Are you unaware that the Catholic Church joined the Conference of Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families the same year that the Church did?
Do you not know that the Catholic Church is represented on the body
by the Secretariat for Unity from the Vatican? Have you forgotten that
your former associate editor, R. F. Cottrell, in an editorial (March
23, 1967, p. 13) tells in glowing terms of his participation at a conference
held at Notre Dame University in March of 1966. He even names the leading
Catholics who were his seat-mates! Are you also unaware of the fact
that in the "Statement Regarding Meeting with Pope" which
appears to form the basis upon which the news item of the event was
based (Review, August 11, 1977), a deleted sentence reads - "This
was not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope."
compare the meeting of Dr. Beach with the Pope as the same as Christ
with the "gluttons and wine bibbers." Passing by the drinking
habits of the Catholic priests do you not think a more appropriate comparison
would be Christ's relationship to Caiaphas and Herod since Beach himself
in a letter to Pastor A. G. Brito wrote - "Since this year's meeting
[of Confessional Families] was held in Rome, it was felt that it might
be appropriate to have a meeting with the Pope, who is the head of the
31 -- Wood - p. 2
State and the religious leader of well over 500 million people in the
world." (p.3) I think you know how Christ related to Herod - a
head of State - and Caiaphas - a religious leader of millions of people.
you worded very carefully your comments regarding Dr. Dederen's membership
on the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC. You said he was not appointed
by the SDA denomination. This is true, but his selection by the WCC
Central Committee, was it not approved
by the SDA denomination?
further indicated that the medallion given to the Pope only cost "somewhere
between $5 and $10, I think." There were only 500 of these gold-covered
medallions struck. Would you please obtain for me all that you can of
these at the figure you quoted - "between $5 and $10" - and
I think that I can dispose of them - all you can get and make the Foundation
a good sum, plus undersell considerably the going price from Presidential
Art Medals, Inc. Would you please cooperate with me
in what would appear to be a good project for us?
your letter you advised the person to whom you wrote that if he wanted
information "do not depend on secondary sources such as the Grotheer
newletter." Have you forgotten your editorial which touched on
the Holy Flesh Movement, and how "secondary" were your sources,
when by simply obtaining from the Adventist Laymen's Foundation the
manuscript - The Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901 - you could have
had used primary sources.
indicated also that you were preparing an editorial for a forthcoming
Adventist Review dealing with the Catholic question in which
you would reassure the laity that the Church still holds the Catholic
Church in the same regard as it always has. How will that which you
plan to write coincide with the Legal Briefs which were submitted in
the Silver-Tobler case? You are no doubt aware that it is no longer
good Adventism to have an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such, and
that all our teaching regarding the Papacy has been thrown into an historical
trash heap. Your editorial should make very interesting reading. We
should be then better able to tell who has committed perjury.
might be nice when you write about us again, that you send us a carbon
of what you write. We will be glad to - if you wish - to include you
on the thought paper list so that you can know what we write about you.
Wm. H. Grotheer, Manager
Publications & Research
Adventist Laymen's Foundation
P. 0. Box 178
Lamar, AR 72846
p 32 -- APPENDIX
E -- FURTHER
ANALYSIS OF THE MEDALLION -- In
the "Friendship Issue" of the Adventist Review for
1978, the Medallion as given to Pope Paul VI was reproduced. However,
there was nothing indicated as to this fact. (Adventist Review,
May 4, 1978, p. 22)
obverse of the church's medallion illustrates the term "Adventist"
in the church's name, signifying the belief that Christ soon will come
back to earth to set things right. The reverse illustrates the term
"Seventh-day" in the name. Trusting wholly for salvation in
Christ, who died to save men, church members consider it an honor to
observe the day Christ, who was also Creator, set apart as a memorial
of His mighty creative acts. The Sabbath is also a symbol of Christ's
desire to be with His people. The Bible is Christ's message to the church.
carefully the first sentence of the explanation - "The obverse
[front] of the church's medallion illustrates the term 'Adventist' in
the church's name, signifying the belief that Christ soon will come
back to earth to set things right."
adopting the name "Adventist," our spiritual forefathers had
something specific in mind. They understood the Scripture that when
Christ returned the second time, He would not touch the earth, but angels
from His presence would gather together the elect - both living and
resurrected saints - to meet Him in the air. The wicked would then be
slain and the earth desolated for 1000 years. When Jesus would return
a third time to earth with the saints, the earth would be cleansed by
fire. Following the eradication of sin and sinners, on a recreated earth,
Christ's eternal kingdom of righteousness would be established. (I Thess.
4:16-17:17; Rev. 19:21; 20:1-2, 7-9; 21:1, 3)
the name, "Adventist," refers to the doctrine of the Second
Advent, and not to the events connected with the close of the 1000 years
of Revelation 20. The representation on the medallion is blurred. Is
Jesus touching the earth or not? The explanation under the picture in
the Adventist Review adds to the confusion.
ask - why do we raise this issue? In another publication - also for
missionary purposes - MAN the World Needs Most - there is a chapter
on the return of Jesus the second time entitled, "What Will He
Do?" It is a detailed enlargement of the sentence - "Christ
will soon come back to earth to set things right."
33 -- After telling about his visits to a convalescent hospital,
the author, the late Arthur S. Maxwell, tells of his reaction - "As
I walked past the doors, there used to come over me a great longing
to do something for these poor people." Then he writes:
is going to do something about it. Indeed it will be one of the
first tasks of the new world leader.
forward to that wonderful day the prophet Isaiah wrote: "Then
shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall
be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue
of the dumb sing." Isaiah 35:5, 6.
will be like old times to Him. For that is exactly what He did in Palestine
long ago. Matthew tells us that "He went around the whole of Galilee,
teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and
curing whatever illness or infirmity there was among the people. His
fame reached the whole of Syria; and sufferers from every kind of illness,
raked with pain, possessed of devils, epileptic, or paralyzed, were
brought to Him, and He cured them." Matthew 4:23, 24 NEB
He passed from village to village not a single sick person was left
behind. All who sought healing found it in Him.
He is about to do it on a global scale. His coming invasion of the world
will have a similar miraculous result. Hospitals and convalescent homes
will be emptied, their one-time occupants bursting with new life and
vigor, radiant with joy and gratitude at their sudden restoration to
the worst patients in mental homes will be brought back to sanity. Curing
the mind is His specialty. Just as the master watchmaker knows best
how to repair a damaged timepiece, so He, having devised the marvelous
mechanism of the human mind in the beginning, knows better than anyone
else how to restore it. Thousands upon thousands will rejoice at His
touch upon their poor, confused brains. (pp. 77-78)
can we square this teaching with the Scripture as to what will take
place when Jesus returns the second time "in righteousness"
to "judge and make war." (Rev. 19:11) How can we relate this
picture of what Christ will do when He returns with the song of Asaph
- "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall
devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous around about Him."
(Ps. 50:3) How can we harmonize, - how can we reconcile this picture
with Paul's description of the Advent to the Thessalonians - "The
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in
flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey
not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thess. 1:7-8) BUT,
the Maxwell view can be harmonized with the explanation given in the
Adventist Review concerning the obverse side of the gold medallion
- "Christ will soon come back to earth to set things right."
Maxwell closed his chapter with the comment that "the Man the world
needs most will soon be here. He may even now be on His way." (p.
are we trying to mitigate the historical teaching of the Church regarding
the return of Jesus the second time? Are we subconsciously preparing
ourselves for the final deception of Satan when he will come clothed
as an angel of light and repeat - seemingly - the acts of Jesus, which
Jesus did when He walked among men 2,000 years ago?
p 34 -- APPENDIX
M. S. Nigri
purpose of this letter Is to get clarification from you on some questions
that have been causing great preoccupation and perplexity to many of
us. It has been the target of tremendous exploitation by our adversaries
"the reformers" and that is a visit to the Pope made by B.
B. Beach as was related in the Portuguese edition of the: L'Osservatore
Romano. This material has been xeroxed and is enclosed.
are some questions that I would appreciate seeing answered, If possible,
for it is necessary that these questions be cleared up for our people
through the Revista Adventista. They are:
What is the "Confessional Families' Secretaries Conference"?
2. What is the participation of our church in this entity?
3. Has this entity any ecumenical character?
4. Why was there a visit to the Pope by "representatives"
of our church? (The L'Oservatore Romano article says "representatives"
in the plural form.)
5. Was It our "representatives" who surprisingly offered
the "gold medal" to the Pope (as was insinuated by the "reformers")?
6. Was the Pope's discourse directed to the "Seventh-day
clarification of these questions would be a great help to us in view
of the concerns that have been aroused recently among us due to the
news that has come to us that a great ecumenical effort is being made
on the part of the Catholic Church and they are pressing our church
more and more to adhere to their projects.
brother In Christ,
Azenilto G. Brito
p 35 -- APPENDIX
CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
NORTHERN EUROPE - WEST AFRICA DIVISION
ST. ALBANS 60331
1 19 ST. PETER'S STREET, ST. ALBANS, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, AL1 3EY
TELEGRAMS/CABLES "ADVENTIST ST.ALBANS"
(Dictated Nov. 11, 1977)
A. G. Brito,
Caixa Postal 34,
09000 Santo Andre,
letter of October 11 addressed to Pastor Nigri reached me while I was
in California. I have recently returned to the Division office and I
am taking the opportunity of answering the questions that you have raised
in your letter in regard to my visit with Pope Paul VI. I am enclosing
a brief statement regarding the meeting with the Pope. This statement
(with one or two small modifications) appeared some time ago in the
Review and Herald.
me answer your questions one by one:
The Conference of Secretaries of World Confessional Families is a meeting
that usually takes place once a year. Most meetings have taken place
in Geneva. The meeting lasts for two or three days. This conference
is not an organisation. There is no constitution and there are no dues
to be paid. It is simply an informal and unstructured forum which gives
representatives of various World Confessional Families the opportunity
for consultation and the exchange of useful information. One doesn't
belong to the Conference of World Confessional Families, but one simly
attends. The bodies represented there are between 12 and 15 world organisations
such as the Lutheran World Federation, the Bantist World Alliance, the
World Methodist Council, the World Reformed Alliance, the Roman Catholic
Church, the Salvation Army and the Anglican Consultative Council. The
Conference does not have any executive power but simply represents a
useful opportunity to consult and exchange views and information.
I have been representing our church at this meeting for 9 years
now and our involvement consists simply of attending the meeting and
particinating in the discussions and exchange of information. For the
past few years I have served as Secretary of the Conference (this means
that I am responsible for preparing the agenda and handling the minutes
or report of the Conference). There is no usefulness in giving any publicity
to this fact, but I do mention it to you for your information. I have
had the opportunity in recent years of seeing to
36 -- it that the question of religious liberty has been
placed on the agenda and Dr. Lanares, the General Secretary of the International
Religious Liberty Association in Francophone Europe and also Religious
Liberty Director of the Euro-Africa Division, has been asked to prepare
and present a yearly report on the Religious Liberty situation in the
world. I have found this helpful and the other WCFs have appreciated
this. Let me emphasise again that we do not belong to any organisation
by participating in the annual meeting of the WCFs.
It is not so easy to give a clear answer to your third question. As
I have pointed out, the Conference is not an organisation, with precise
ohiectives. It is an informal and unstructured forum. Questions of inter-church
relations and Christian unity do come up for discussion. Some of the
participants are ecumencially minded (in the sense of being in agreement
with some of the objectives of the World Council of Churches), while
other participants think more along our lines. However, I would like
to make clear that this Conference is not a part of the World Council
of Churches. It is something quite separate and rather unique. You will
no doubt be aware that a number of World Confessions are in bi-lateral
dialogues with each other and one item that does appear on the agenda
regularly is the question of the bi-lateral dialogues. We, of course
are not involved in these dialogues.
There were 15 participants in the special meeting with the Pope.
I was the only Seventh-day Adventist there and therefore it was wrong
to speak of S.D.A. representatives in the plural form. Since this year's
meeting was held in Rome, it was felt that it might be appropriate to
have a meeting with the Pope, who is the head of the Vatican State and
the religioiis leader of well over 500 million people in the world.
No special significance was attached to this meeting with the Pope.
Such meetings between the Pope and leaders or representatives of other
churches take place quite frequently. The meeting was a very simple
affair and we shook hands with the Pope as we would with any other human
being who is an important leader. Just in case someone asks you, there
was no bowing or kneeling or ring-kissing etc.
It is true that I presented to the Pope,a grold-covered medallion
of our church. The Pope likes to pass out medals with himself on them
to people and I felt why should he not receive our witness and why should
we take a back seat as if only he gives, but can never receive a witness
from another church. The enclosed statement does explain what was on
the medallion. It did represent a strong witness to our faith in the
second coming of Christ ("Every eye shall see Him" was on
the medallion), in Christ as creator and our righteousness. There is
also a strong witness to the Sabbath, since this is the only commandment
that is actually written out in words on the medallion ("Remember
the Sabbath day to keep it holy"). I also gave the Pope our tri-lingual
missionarv book, Faith In Action, which you will recall was distributed
at the time of the Vienna
37 -- General Conference Session. I thought that in this
way the Pope would hear and know a little bit reparding the work of
Seventh-day Adventists and what we stand for. One of my responsibilities
is in the area of Religious
Liberty and Public Affairs and I felt that the contact might be helpful
in this area.
The Pope's discourse was not directed to Seventh-day Adventists in any
way, but was simply a few formal words addressed to the various secretaries
of WCFs present. In passing, may I just mention that the Pope did say
some interesting things in his speech, to which no Seventh-day Adventist
Could take objection. He referred to Jesus Christ as "the one mediator
with the Father" and quoted Peter's statement, "There is salvation
in no-one else for there is no
other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved".
language sounds rather new to our ears and I presume that the setting
in which it was spoken led the Pope to speak in this way.
that I have answered all your questions and I hope that I have given
you the information you wanted to receive. I would of course be happy
to discuss the whole matter with you personally, but a letter is all
that I can provide you with from this distance.
I close, may If just mention that in view of the inroads of the ecumenical
movement sponsored by the World Council of Churches in Latin America,
I feel that it might be helpful if a Portuguese and Spanish edition
of my book, Ecumenism Boon or Bane, could be published. In this
book I present, I think in an unmistakeably clear way, our Seventh-day
Adventist position in regard to these developments. The book has already
been published in Germany, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
These editions were shortened versions (about two-thirds of the book)
of the full English edition. I believe that the book would be of considerable
help in meeting the arguments, often based on dishonest information
and reasoning of the reformists. Please think seriously about this possibility.
passing, may I just mention, that a couple of months ago I wrote a letter
to Brother Pereyra, the Secretary of the South American Division, giving
him also some information which he had requested regarding the meeting
with the Pope.
I take this opportunity of sending you my very best wishes for the Lord's
richest blessings in yrour work and with warm personal regards,
sincerely your brother,
B. B. Beach
M. S. Nigri
p 38 -- APPENDIX
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
UNIT ON FAITH AND WITNESS
on Faith and Order
159 ROUTE DE FERNEY
P.O. BOX No. 65 1211 GENEVA 29 - *CABLE:
I April 1975
Box 105 Steiner Road
responding to your letter to Dr. Gerald Moede of March 17, 1975, because
he left the staff of the Faith and Order Secretariat to become the General
Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union there in the States.
reading through his previous correspondence with you, it appears that
there in some confusion as to the article to which he referred on proselytism.
If I understand his letter correctly, he in referring to the study on
"Common Witness and Proselytism", the results of which appeared
in Ecumenical Review Vol. XXIII, No. 1, January 1971.
response to your other questions, Mr. Dederen, as a member of the Faith
and Order Commission, does not receive any remuneration for his work
on the Commission. To be a member of the Commission, of which there
are 120 persons so named by the Central Committee of the World Council
of Churches, does not involve salaries or payment for services - but
is rather a position which involves voluntary services. I would expect
his salary to be paid by the Andrews University, though I could not
say for certain.
regard to Dr. Beach, he is the Secretary of the Annual Conference of
Secretaries of World Confessional Families. Faith and Order relates
to that conference in a consultative manner. Dr. Beach is neither paid
for his services by Faith and Order nor by the World Confessional Families,
but rather provides his service as the secretary to their annual meeting
as part of his position as the Secretary of the General Conference of
Day Adventists, Northern Europe.
that I have boon able to answer your questions.
39 -- APPENDIX
CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
CHURCH WORLD HEADQUARTERS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
6840 Eastern Avenue NW, Washington, D. C. 20012 USA
D. Douglas Devnich
Canadian Union Conference
1148 King Street, East
Canada LlH 1H8
have written to me regarding the question of what you very creatively
call "Adventist Mysophobia!" Well, we do have some problems
in this area from time to time. Let me give you the background regarding
my meeting with the Pope in 1977.
May of 1977 there was a meeting of Christian World Conmunions held in
Rome. I was one of the participants in that conference. This is not
an organization in which you have membership, with a constitution and
dues, etc. It is simply an informal forum that meets in order to discuss
issues of mutual interest.
connection with the conference, there was a meeting with the Pope. I
was one of 15 people that attended this meeting. The other 14 were non-Adventists.
this was not a meeting of our Church with the Pope but simply a meeting
of the participants in the conference with the Pope. We felt that it
was of interest to meet with the man who is the religious leader of
some 700 million people around the world and the head of the Vatican.
At that time I was the religious liberty director for the Northern European
Division, and I felt that this meeting could be of PR and religious
liberty interest to our Church. In connection with the meeting with
the Pope, I gave him one of our missionary books, which gives a pictorial
presentation of our work around the world and at the same time also
talks about some of our beliefs. In addition, I gave him one of the
medallions that we had here in the office and that we give from time
to time to the state and other significant world figures. The medallion
is not in any way a decoration, like a military medal, but is simply
a momento given on the occasion of a meeting together. It presents our
Adventist and our Seventh-day messages. One side presents
p 40 --
D. Douglas Devnich
Page 2 #
Second Coming of Christ and says "Behold He Cometh ... Every Eye
Shall See Him." On the other side it presents our belief in the
Sabbath in the setting of the Bible, the Cross, and the Ten Commandments.
The various Commandments are presented by Roman numerals, but under
the fourth Roman numeral it is written out "Remember the Sabbath
Day to Keep it Holy." I felt that this was an opportunity of witnessing
for what we stand.
of the enemies of the Church have tried to twist the meaning of this
meeting and have given very false or at least tendentious information
for the message we represent.
motives were good, and the results positive. It is sad that some wish
to hurt the Church by spreading rumors, false implications, and giving
expression to underhanded accusations.
B. B. Beach.
41 -- APPENDIX
EVANGELISTIC LITERATURE ENTERPRISE
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 10, Strathpine, QId. 4500 Ph: (07) 205 7100
Parcel delivery and shop location: 319 South Pine Road, Brendale, Strathpine.
H. Grotheer, Editor
"Watchman, What of the Night?"
P.O. Box 789
Lamar, Ark. 72846
U. S . A.
Dear Mr. Grotheer,
received your letter of 3 November inquiring about the letter written
by a Jesuit Priest to
us here in Australia.
have enclosed a photocopy of the letter just as it was written to me.
Trust this will be of
help to you.
I have just read the "Crusader" series distributed
by your organizetion. As a teacher and Priest at a Jesuit run Chruch
of England school, and a member of the Society of Jesus for many years,
I would like to agree on all points with Dr. Alberto.
I can say little as I am writing in secret.
I have little time so I must finish. The main aims of
our organization have been directed against a Christian church which
we have very thoroughly infiltrated. They are the remnant church of
Revelation 12:v17 and Rev. 14:v12.
I sincerely hope God will guide you in reading this letter,
I will endeavour to send more information to guide you. I will sign
this with another name, so you will recognize any future letters.
Goodbye and God bless,