1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming
WWN 1989 Apr - Jun
1989Apr -- XXII 4(89) -- ARE YOU A SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST -- Part One -- When the first Statement of Beliefs was formulated in 1872, it was titled - "A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the Seventh-day Adventists." An extended preface explained why it was thought necessary to formulate such a statement. However, these pioneers of the Adventist faith wanted it to be "distinctly understood that [they had] no articles of faith, creed, or discipline, aside from the Bible." Neither were these Fundamental Principles "put forth... as having any authority with our people, nor was it designed to 'secure uniformity among them as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them." But this did mean in 1872, that if you adhered to these Fundamental Principles you were a Seventh-day Adventist in belief and practice.
There was a distinct reason for giving this summary as to what was "with great unanimity" believed by Seventh-day Adventists in 1872. The preface continued: As Seventh-day Adventists we desire simply that our position shall be understood; and we are the more solicitous for this because there are many who call themselves Adventists who hold views with which we can have no sympathy, some of which, we think, are subversive to the plainest and most important principles as set forth in the Word of God." (See Manuscript - Key Doctrinal Comparisons, p. 15)
Ironically, this same concept. could have prefaced the
27 Statements of Fundamental Beliefs as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980,
a century later. For today, from the viewpoint of the hierarchy, there
are "many" who call themselves "Adventists" with whom
they have no sympathy, and further, many of these "many" do
not hold and teach contrary to a plain "Thus saith the Lord"
both in doctrine and in l.ife style. But today, there is a notable difference
from 1872. The two statements - the (Continued
on Page 7)
p 2 -- An Exchange with DR.` DESMOND FORD -- In the November, 1988 issue of Spectrum, Desmond Ford wrote a letter to the Editors on Adventist Doctrine. To this letter, we responded with "A Letter to the Editor." (See page 3) Our letter was sent to Dr. Ford for ...his response. He replied in a letter dated December 21, 1988. (See page 5) Our response followed on the 29th, (See page 6) There has been no further exchange to date.
We reproduce below Dr. Ford's letter to Spectrum (Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 60-61)
Desmond Ford on Adventist Doctrine --
To the Editors: Among the various signs that Adventists are church members because of social and cultural reasons, rather than ideological convictions, is the lessened interest in church doctrines. Recently Seventh-day Adventists Believe--A Biblical Exposition of Fundamental Doctrines has appeared, and its circulation is being promoted by financial inducement. What remains to be seen is how many will be stiffed by the volume to emphatic disagreement or endorsement.
I rejoice that the editors of the book have had the courage to set forth the long-controverted teaching of the sinlessness of Christ's human nature, but I mourn to see the same trite, oft-repeated arguments used to support a heavenly sanctuary with two distinct rooms, and Christ as coming to the Father in 1844 to do a work of investigative judgment upon all professed believers in order that celestial beings might be edified (see pages 313-331). Is the denomination resolved to learn nothing in these areas? Must we hold to erroneous traditions whatever the cost? Why do we pretend to the laity that our scholars hold certain positions, which in fact they have repudiated long since?
In this book (p. 330), Dr. Arthur Ferch is cited as supporting the traditional date of 457 B.C. for the commencementof the 2,300 "days." Yet, while in Australia in March of this year found that many conservatives there been angered a by an article by Dr. Ferch in the South Pacific Record. This article admitted that dogmatism on the initial date for the 70 weeks was impossible. Of course, if 457 B.C. is rickety so is 1844. This inference was perceived by many of the laity there.
Just as bad in the recent book is the shocking assertion that modern translators did not know what they were doing when they translated ta hagia as the Most Holy Place or equivalent (see page 327). Adventist scholars, for the most part, have long agreed with the translators. In the Heritage Room of Andrews University you may read Dr. R. Loasby's class lectures on the book of Hebrews. In his own handwriting we find these words alongside Hebrews 9:4ff. "This surely foreshadowed the nonexistence in heaven of a holy place in any sanctuary." Then in his typed notes we have the following: "The Holy Place was the scene of man's approach to God, but the Holy of Holies was a type of the presence of Jesus in the heavens. Any approximation of the first sanctuary and its services cannot be taken into heaven. Cf. verse 9."
Another well-known Adventist scholar has pointed out that when Hebrews 9:7 is compared with 9:25; 13:11; 9:11, 12, it is undeniable that the equivalent of "into the second" in the first reference is "into the holiest" in the later references. In other words, ta hagia is used repeatedly in Hebrews for the heavenly equivalent of the earthly second apartment or Most Holy Place.
In pre-Glacier View meetings with the committee appointed by the church, I pointed out that ta hagia was reached by priestly passing "through the veil" (see Heb. 10: 19,20). All scholars expert in this area admit that the veil referred to is the second (see Heb. 6:19, 20 which uses the technical phrase "within the veil" borrowed from the LXX). Typical of the reponses I obtained in those days was the comment by one committee member that I had employed a dangling participle in my argument! This type of superficial circumvention of the real issues was sadly typical. Oh, that some Churchills might rise up within the SDA community saying, as he did on such an occasion, "This is the sort of nonsense up with which I shall not put!"
On pages 174-176 of the published edition of my Glacier View manuscript are listed 22 assumptions implicit in the traditional investigative judgment doctrine. Nothing in the new book being promoted by the General Conference even acknowledges the spider-web consistency of the Adventist doctrinal structure at this point. When I suggested that none of these 22 assumptions can be scripturally demonstrated as true, the only response I received that was worth considering was the suggestion that I lessen their number in the manuscript before it was sent out.
If perchance my gloomy hint that not many in the church really care whether its doctrines are true is ill-founded, may I make two offers? One -- Dr. Walter Martin and I, over national radio, have, on more than one occasion, invited representatives of the General Conference to discuss these matters on the air (at no cost to the GC) The offer remains. Two -- if any would like a copy of the Glacier View manuscript to study, I would be happy to send copies free while they last. Write to me, care of Good News Unlimited, 11710 Education Street, Auburn, CA 95603-2499.
No sensible person looks for infallibility in the doctrinal structure of any church. That would be impossible. At the close of a series of more than 100 hours of instruction in one debatable field, I once told my students: "Half of what I have told you is wrong, but I don't know which half." Teachers and church leaders at best are only one-eyed leaders of the blind. I repeat, sensible Christians do not expect infallibility of their leaders, but they do expect honesty. To repeat trite, oft refuted traditions as truth, when we know better, is just not honest. And to invite Heaven's benediction on such a project may be to invite Heaven's wrath.
Desmond Ford, President
p 3 -- "Watchman What of the Night"
In the most recent issue of Spectrum (Vol. 19, #2) Dr. Desmond Ford makes certain observations regarding the meaning of ta hagia in the book of Hebrews. (See pp. 60-61) He would translate this Greek plural of hagios as meaning the Most Holy Place. In various versions it has been translated in different ways. There are certain facts that one needs to consider before drawing a presumptive conclusion such as Dr. Ford has done. Paul in Hebrews uses, for every reference to the Old Testament, the LXX. (I make no apology for noting Paul as the author of the book, when such well known figures in New Testament textual criticism, as the Alands, observe that "the early Church assumed Hebrews to be Pauline." [The Text of the New Testament, p. 49] I accept the assumption of the early Church regardless who might have been the amanuensis.) Furthermore, the LXX "was the Bible of the Greek speaking world in the times of Christ and the apostles. The early Christian church all about the Mediterranian Sea adopted it. By its words they proved that Jesus was the promised Messiah..." (The Ancestery of Our English Bible, p. 72) How ta hagia is used in the sanctuary references of the LXX must be taken into consideration in understanding how it is defined in the book of Hebrews.
The first use of ta hagia in its plural form in the book is in Chapter 8:2. Shall it be translated "holy things," or as done in the KJV, "sanctuary"? In the LXX, hagia, is used both ways. (See Ex. 29:30; 40:9; Lev. 5:15) Thus this verse could read that Christ was "a minister of holy things and of the true tabernacle;" or Christ was "a minister of the sanctuary even the true tabernacle." Either way, ta hagia does not mean, "most holy place." Then coming to Heb. 9:1, one finds the singular form, to hagion, which is translated consistently in the versions as"the sanctuary." The LXX in Lev. 16, uses this singular form exclusively in referring to the most holy place. Simply stated, the use of hagios, whether singular, or plural; as an adjective or a substantive, in the LXX gives a mixed picture in usage. The emphasis in Hebrews 9 and 10 is the ministry of Christ in the ta hagia.
In Hebrews 9:2-3, the words, as Paul would use them, are
defined. The f irst apartment is called Hagia.
The second apartment is called Hagia
Hagion. After noting this second apartment and the things in
it, it is clearly stated - "of which we cannot now speak particularly."
(9:5) Following this, not once do the
p 4 -- Editor, Spectrum - p.2 A possible allusion to the Most Holy Place ministry is Heb. 10:25, where it speaks of "the day approaching. " The Jews referred to the Day of Atonement - the day when services were performed in the Most Holy Place as Yoma, The Day.
Dr. Ford implies that the reference to the work of the High Priest in the typical, second apartment as noted in Heb. 9:7, finds a parallel in 9:25, and thus ta hagia means the Most Holy Place. However, the language is different. In 9:7, it reads, "once each year" (hapax tou eniautou) - the very language of Exodus 30: 10 in the LXX. Heb. 9:25 reads "every year" (kat' eniauton) which conveys the idea of "during the year" in the Greek. It should be kept in mind that sin offerings requiring that the blood be taken into the sanctuary during the year were ministered by the high priest, not the common priests. See Lev. 4:5-7, 16-18. The picture that emerges from the context, from the comparison with the LXX, and from the sanctuary ritual indicates that ta hagia as used in Heb. 9 and onward refers to a ministry in the first apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary.
Dr. Ford gives as his educational philosophy in a "debatable field" that "half of what I told you is wrong, but I don't know which half." Jesus, the teacher sent from God, stated to Nicodemus - "We speak that which we do know." (John 3:11) If Dr. Ford had taken Jesus as his example, as well as substitute, his contribution might have been corrective in areas of Adventist sanctuary teaching rather than destructive of the truth committed in sacred trust to the Advent Movement.
Wm. H. Grotheer, Editor
p 5 -- Good
Dec 21, 88
Dear Brother Grotheer,
Thank you for your letter kindly forwarded to me by Spectrum. Inasmuch as I have received about forty letters in response to mine this must be brief.
Yours was the only letter questioning TA HAGIA. You have bravely denied the conclusions of greek exegetes for twenty centuries. All scholars outside of Adventism have recognized that Heb. 9 in dealing with the high priest's special entrance with blood annually ( in contrast to once for all) is referring to the Day of Atonement. It is not discussing those rare offerings you refer to when the high priest sinned or the entire congregation. The context of Heb 9:25 is clearly the offering once for all on Calvary which cleansed the heavenly sanctuary -- v 23 ff. (Pardon the typo's here-its as cold morning). If you know of any scholars who take your position on Heb 9:25 I would be glad to know of them --- scholars without adventist bias.
Your other points are dealt with in the Glacier View ms which we are happy to send you. Wishing you God's richest blessing as you continue your study of His holy Word,
Yours in Him,
p 6 -- "Watchman What of the Night"
Dec 29, 1988
Dr. Desmond Ford
Dear Dr. Ford:
Your letter dated December 21, is no answer to the letter which was sent to the Editor of Spectrum. Time does not make error truth, neither do numbers constitute rightness. What does the text state, and what does it mean by what it says?
Clearly the writer, whether author or amanuensis, used different language in describing the work of the High Priest annually in Heb. 9:7 - hapax tou eniautou - kat' eniauton. These two phrases have different meanings. Show me from the Word of God alone, and from lingluistic evidence that these mean the same. To seek to substitute "greek exegetes for twenty centuries" for what the text reads is no different than Seventh-day Adventists seeking to substitute Ellen G. Whitein place of the Scriptures. In each instance it is somesdthing else in place of the Bible.
Further, wlhen defining the use of Hagia, the one writing stated sit meant the "first tent." (9:2) And after "the second veil,"the tent was called Hagia Hagion. In the rest of the book, where Christ 's Heavenly ministry is referred to, the term, Hagia, is used. Can you show me otherwise?
When in book of Hebrews, we are asked to "consider ... the High Priest of our profession" (3:1), we are directed sto look to LKHim seated on "the throne of grace" (4:14 - 17), and there to "come boldly." It is to this throne, and to this work of Jesus that the book of Hebrews directs our attention. The "Throne of Grace"is not the "Throne of Judgment" upon which the Ancient of days sits. (Dan. 7:9)
Thank you for the book sent. Iobtained a copy soon after it was first published. I shall be happy to share it with my contributing editor.
Wm. H. Grotheer, Editor
p 7 -- Are You a Seventh-day Adventist? -(Continued from page 1) -- first and the last - do not agree! Thus a 1989 Seventh-day Adventist is not an 1872 Seventh-day Adventist. This, the difference between the two statements in and of itself, would not necessarily mean apostasy, but could mean progression.
The changes and contrasts between the first and last (so far) "Fundamental Statements" by the official Church fall into four categories:
1) Additional statements in the 1980 Fundamentals which are not found in the original formulation. For example, a statement was added in 1980 on "Marriage and the Family" which was excellent and timely. Other additions such as "The Church" which reflects the the Constitution of the World Council of Churches raises serious questions.
2) Statements were reworded which amplified what had been written in 1872. An example of this is the statement on the second coming of Christ, a cardinal Adventist teaching.
3) Key statements from the 1872 formulation were omitted in 1980. The statement on the meaning and significance of prophecy, as well as the identification of "the man of sin" do not appear in the 27 Fundamentals as voted at Dallas.
4) Major doctrinal changes in vital areas of truth, such as the incarnation and the atonement.
The question - Are You a Seventh-day Adventist? - presents a challenge to every professing member of the Church as well as those who claim to adhere to what is called "historic Adventism." In other words, are you a 1980 Seventh-day Adventist, or are you what? - an 1872, 1889, or a 1931 Seventh-day Adventist. Formulation of Beliefs were produced in each one of these years, and while the changes were of minor signficance between the 1872 and 1889 statements, there were changes.
No one dares put a period on either his belief or experience, but neither does one dare to accept a statement which contains apostate positions contrary to the truth revealed in the Bible. As it stands now in 1989, a Seventh-day Adventist is one who believes in and adheres to the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980.
If one does not so believe, and has questions, then what is he? - A Traditionalist, a Historic, a Progressive, or just what kind of an Adventist? Labels do have meaning, and are significant. One must stand for something. But if now aimlessly "drifting," it will not be for long. A final controversy is nearing. What are you?
Besides doctrinal differences between the first and last statements, the method of adoption and use being made of the 1980 Statement differs markedly from the attitude expressed in the preface to the 1872 Statement. The 1872 Statement was not formulated to "secure uniformity" while the 1980 Statement is so used. Further the 1872 Statement was not a voted statement, while the Dallas Statement was voted by the General Conference in session with all that that means to the hierarchy. This compounds the problem for one who desires truth and truth alone. Either the action of the General Conference in 1980 was indeed "the voice of God" and major doctrines as held by the Church for more than a century were to be accounted as error, or else the General Conference became apostate. If so, then what are you if you are a 1989 Seventh-day Adventist?
If the 1980 Statements are apostate, then to be a 1989 Seventh-day Adventist is to be an apostate, or if they are indeed "the voice of God" then what "voice" was leading the Advent Movement over the past century? To Be Continued
1989 May-- XXII 5(89) -- LABELS -- Are You A Seventh-day Adventist? -- Part Two -- In the Summer, 1988, issue of the Christian Research Journal published by Walter Martin, the feature article was captioned, "From Controversy to Crisis" which was an updated assessment of Seventh-day Adventism. After reviewing the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-56, and giving some interesting background details, the writer, Kenneth Samples, a research consultant at Martin's Christian Research Institute, declared that the debate within Adventism over the book, Questions on Doctrine, has given rise "to two distinct factions" - Evangelical Adventism and Traditional Adventism.
Within Adventism itself, the labeling is a bit different. Those classified as "Evangelical" Adventists would be perceived as having embraced what is termed "the new theology" and could be properly referred to as neo-Adventists. Those designated as holding to "Traditional Adventism" would prefer the label - "historic" Adventists. However, the attitudes and teachings of many of the spokesmen claiming to teach "historic" Adventism properly fit the category as perceived by Samples, that of a "traditionalist." And there is a difference between a traditionalist and one who is truly in the line of historic Adventism.
Samples also noted that it should be "mentioned that, though small, there was and is a segment in Adventism which could be described as being theologically liberal." (p. 13) He did not mention the groups on the periphery of Adventism which could be labeled as radical and extreme, not only doctrinally but in life-style. If one cannot fit any of the above categories with the assigned labels, what is he? So when one is asked the question - "Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?" - the accurate response would be "Which one?" This is a sad state of affairs for an organization which was called of God, and to which was committed the sacred trust of God's final message to the world.
The article in Martin's Journal lists the five
p 2 -- major areas which divide the neo-Adventist from the "traditionalist" - 1) The teaching of "righteousness by faith;" 2) The doctrine of the incarnation; 3) "The events of 1844;" 4) "Assurance of salvation;" and 5) the "authority of Ellen G. White." (pp. 12-13) It is admitted, however, by the writer "that not every Adventist would fit neatly" on one side or the other of these issues. Again the question arises - What kind of an Adventist are you?
Certain facts must be reiterated. In 1980 at Dallas, Texas, the General Conference in session voted 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief and in so doing defined a present day Seventh-day Adventist as one who adheres to these statements. Now a "traditionalist" holds that when the General Conference speaks in session, this is the highest authority of God on earth and "private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered." (9T:260; emphasis supplied) This puts most of the "independent ministries" squarely on the spot. These must either continue to maintain the "authority of Ellen G. White" which means that the 27 Statements are God-approved, or else if they question them, they open for themselves a Pandora Box. This explains why the silence of the majority of the "independent ministries" to the Questionnaire which was sent to them. (See "A Report to Date," WWN, XXII-3) The bottom line is simply that most of these "independent ministries" are deceptive.
Not only does the present crisis in Adventism effect these "independent ministries" but also confronts squarely every member of the Church. The 27 Fundamentals are at variance with previous Statements of Belief which the Church and/or leadership approved in 1872, 1889, 1914 and 1931. Now God does not lie, nor does He change in truth. Was God in the Movement in 1872, or did He just "join-up" in 1980? Or if He was in and with the Movement He raised up in 1844, did He leave it in 1980? One could say that the Statements over the years merely reflect the progressive understanding of the truth committed to this people. If this were so, then there would be no problem; but even a secondary school student can tell by reading the 27 Fundamentals and comparing them with what was believed previously, that obvious changes were made in 1980. Many of these changes were critical in nature. The question comes sounding home again - "Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?" if you are, what kind?
In analyzing what kind of Adventist one may choose to be, we need to first distinguish between a "traditionalist" and a "historic" Adventist. A traditionalist has been well defined in the Farewell Address given by John Robinson to the Pilgrims as they left Holland for the New World in 1620. He said: The Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word. I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who have come to a period in religion, and will at present go no farther than the instruments of their reformation. Luther and Calvin were great and shining lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God." (George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. 1. p. 205; emphasis supplied)
A "traditionalist,, is one who has come to a "period" in religion. In this category you have Spear, Standish, Crews and Ferrell. On the other hand a "historic" Adventist is one who reflects the attitude of those who pioneered the Advent Movement. They did not set a period on the message of William Miller, but discarded some of his teaching, and refined other parts. Ellen G. White has defined a true historic Adventist. She wrote March 30, 1897, the following: The Lord has made His people the repository of sacred truth. Upon every individual who has had the light of present truth devolves the duty of developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done.
It should be observed that Ellen White is not talking about speculative interpretations of Scripture, or prophecy which constitutes the essence of certain independent ministries but rather "that truth"which He made His people the "repository" of. It is a duty to develop it to a higher scale, and not place a "period" after it.
In the article by Kenneth R. Samples, he distinguishes the Evangelical [neo-] Adventist from the "traditionalist" in the area of "righteousness by faith" by stating that the neo-Adventist accepts "the reformation understanding of righteousness by faith." Here the Robinson counsel to the Pilgrims serves as a double-edged sword. Luther and Calvin "penetrated not into the whole counsel of God." That is why God raised up the Advent Movement, and gave them the light of present truth. This light of present truth involves the sanctuary teaching and the revelation of the final atonement resulting from Christ's High Priestly ministry in the Sanctuary of Heaven. Here the battle lines are drawn, and have been (Continued on p. 7, col. 1)
p 3 -- Is Individuality In Religion In Jeopardy? -- When A. T. Jones wrote his small but monumental book on individuality in religion, the full title read - The Divine Right of Individuality in Religion or Religious Liberty Complete. After tracing through the Bible this divine right as related to autocracy, supremacy of law, union of church and state, then finally to the Church itself, he wrote: And now, through denominational, national, internetional, and world federation and confederation in religion and of religions, again ecclesiastical imperialistic despotism will work with all worldly powers, deceiving signs, and lying wonders, systematically to rob man finally of every vestige of individuality. (p. 117)
Interestingly, in all the Bible illustrations which Jones used in discussing individuality in religion, none involved directly the Sabbath. But behind each illustration, whether in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, or Medo-Persia ruled by Darius, there was a basic principle - man as an individual and how he was to worship and serve his Creator. Because of our personal convictions as Seventh-day Adventists in regard to the Sabbath, some who profess to be Seventh-day Adventists may seek to exploit for personal advantage, or commercial gain, the issue of a National Sunday Law. Any such exploitation, taking advantage of an emotionally charged issue due to past history, actually covers the real issue, and leads those who are deceived by such exploitation to believe the final conflict will be very obvious with no possibility of deception. Let us face the facts. We have been warned by no less a Person than Jesus Christ that the final delusion will, if possible, deceive the very elect. See Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22.
The real issue behind all religious coercion - the individual and his Creator - was featured in Church & State as its lead article and cover picture for January, 1989. However, it presents for a Seventh-day Adventist an unique twist. The question of individuality involves one who is fighting to preserve his right to refrain from secular work on Sunday. But in this case, we can see the thinking of the judiciary in the United States as to individuality in religion.
William A. Frazee of Peoria, Illinois, was laid off from his job for 10 months back in 1984. In searching for a job, he found an employer who had a job-opening, but who refused to respect his conviction of no-Sunday work. Unable to find other work, Frazee sought unemployment compensation. He was denied, and this sparked a legal battle involving free-exercise-of-religion which has now reached the Supreme Court. The assistant editor of Church & State, G. Robert Boston, summarizes the issue clearly. He wrote: This is a Sunday-work case with a twist. Illinois state officials, in a new argument, claim they were justified in denying Frazee unemployment benefits since his Sabbath is a personally held belief and not a central tenet of the church he attends. This distinction separates the lawsuit from several Sabbath work cases the Supreme Court dealt with in the past. It also means that, when a decision is handed down by the high court, it may break now church-state ground, either retaining broad protections of the constitutional right of free exercise of religion or narrowing them to apply only to members of organized religious groups. (p. 4; emphasis supplied)
The two Illinois courts who have heard the appeal of Frazee from the ruling of the Department of Employment Security, have sustained the Department. Although Frazee attends a conservative Presbyterian Church in Peoria, the appellate court ruled that his claim for unemployment compensation was not valid because he does not belong to a religious group that opposes Sunday labor. Brushing aside three previous Supreme Court rulings which sustained the individual's religious conviction, two involving Seventh-day Adventists, and the other a Jehovah's Witness, Justice Albert Scott of the Appellate Court of Illinois wrote: Our examination of the foregoing cases reveals that a common thread was running through each case. namely, that in each case the claimant was a member of an established religious sect or church; that each of the claimants in refusing to work at a particular place or time was exercising what was believed to be a tenet, belief or teaching of an established religious body.
In the instant case the plaintiff [Frazee] does not claim that his refusal to work on Sunday is based upon any tenet of a church or religious body. He takes the position that he is a Christian and as such feels it is
p 4 -- wrong to work on Sunday. (p. 5)
Near the end of Scott's short opinion, he asked a question - "What would Sunday be today if professional football, baseball, basketball and tennis were barred?" Then he commented : Today Sunday is not only a day for religion, but for recreation and labor. Today the supermarkets are open,service stations dispense fuel, utilities continue to serve people and factories continue to belch out smoke and tangible products ... if all Americans were to abstain from working on Sunday, chaos would result. (Ibid.)
Frazee's lawyer, David A. French of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, told Church & State that: If the Illinois courts, test stands, there is going to be an extremely small set of beliefs that would qualify as religious. Basically, unless a person was somehow a formal member of a recognized religious body his or her beliefs aren't going to be protected at all. (p. 6)
In the first case of this nature before the Supreme Court in 1963 - Sherbert v. Verner there emerged what has been called "the Sherbert Test," wherein the high Court required the government to show "a compelling state interest" before restricting religious freedom rights even incidentally. However, Chief Justice William Rehnquist has bitterly denounced the "Sherbert Test" as reading too broadly the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution. His position is that the federal and state governments should be given a greater degree of flexibility in laws which effect religious freedom.
A number of organizations have joined together to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Frazee. These include Jewish organizations, the ACLU, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lord's Day Alliance, as well as the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. Filing separate amicus curiae briefs are the Council on Religious Freedom, the American Jewish Committee and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund. Interestingly, there is no mention of either the Seventh-day Adventist Church , or any Catholic organization entering the suit.
A decision is expected to be rendered by the high Court this summer. The outcome could effect in time dissident Adventists and possibly "independent ministries." If the decision goes against Frazee, there will need to be some real soul-searching among the confused and confusing dissidents. The "no-organization" theorizing that has come from the West Coast for a number of years will need to be reappraised. From whatever perspective, the decision will be momentous.
ALS0 -- In the same issue of Church and State which featured the Frazee story, in the section, "People & Events" was a report of a speech by the failed Supreme Court candidate, Robert H. Bork. In November, 1988, he spoke before the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights on whose executive council his wife serves.
Bork's thrust was that the liberal thinking of the nation's court system has led federal judges to expand the interpretation of the First Amendment, and according to Bork has thus hindered religion. [Which religion?]
In this address, Bork asserted - 1) "The expansion of religious clauses tends to favor fringe religions and cults and discriminates against mainstream religions ... The further courts expand the free exercise clause the freer groups are to create new sects and demand rights for them."
2) Most Americans are unaware of the great "struggle for the Constitution" currently in progress, and this struggle is a part of the larger struggle to control all of American Society.
3) The decisions of the courts have forced a "privatization of religion" on the American people through the strict application of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and thus denies citizens the right to advance religion.
Bork's remedy revealed the source of his thinking. He suggested a return to what he called the "original understanding of the Establishment Clause," and that in so doing, there would be two immediate results - 1) more non-discriminatory financial aid to non-public [Catholic] schools and 2) more religious symbolism in public.
He attacked Thomas Jefferson's position that the First Amendment built a wall of separation between church and state, decrying that it "does not reflect what those who adopted the Constitution understood." He called the Jefferson view "the individualistic view", indicating also that "there is a communitarian view." [This article was summarized from Church & State, January, 1989, p.13]
p 5 -- BEFUDDLED AND MUDDLED! -- In current issues of the Adventist Review, an Associate Editor, Dr. Roy Adams, presented a four part series on "The Christian Pilgrimage" which were primarily condensations of sermons presented at the 1888 Centennial celebration at Minneapolis. The last of the series - "One Pulse of Harmony" (March 23, 1989, pp. 14-16) - evidences the befuddle and muddled thinking that not only marked the presentations in Minneapolis, but also the condensations as they have appeared in the Church paper.
This last article discusses "the consumation of the atonement." While Adams uses the phrase, "final atonement," in connection with the sanctuary, his real thrust of a "final atonement" is the cleansing of the earth following the 1000 years of Revelation 20. Referring to that time, he writes: The cosmic culprit is still at large. In other words, the sanctuary is not fully cleansed. Not yet fully justified. Not yet fully vindicated. Thus the atonement in sense of "atonement," is not yet here.
But with the coming of atonement, there will be "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (p. 16)
In the article, Adams refers to the typical Day of Atonement,
but apparently he has not studied it. In the type, it is clearly set forth
that not until the atonement is completed, does the symbol of the "cosmic
culprit" actively enter the ritual of the day. The Hebrew of Lev.
16:20 reads - "And having
It would also appear that the new associate editor is not well informed in recent Adventist history. Referring to the ancient sanctuary type, he writes: This phenomenon of a daily atonement complemented by a special annual atonement already hints at an activity with dual meaning or application. (p. 15, emphasis his)
However, accurately as Adams has stated this concept, the book Questions on Doctrine declares plainly - "Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. 'Christ hath redeemed us' (Gal. 3:13) 'once for all.' (Heb. 10:10)" (p. 390; emphasis theirs) Of interest, the rest of the paragraph in QOD follows the same teaching as Adams' - a final atonement with the eradication of sin by fire and a new creation. Here again is an example of confusion in official Adventism. Adams denies what the book, QOD, says, but both arrive as the same end concept.
In 1983, Walter R. Martin wrote the General Conference asking for an official statement either "reaffirming or denying the authority of the Adventist book, Questions on Doctrine." In reply, Dr. W. Richard Lesher, then a vice-president of the General Conference stated: - "You ask first if Seventh-day Adventists still stand behind the answers given to your questions in Questions on Doctrine as they did in 1957. The answer is Yes-" The Kingdom of the Cults, p. 410) Either Adams is making Lesher who is now president of Andrews University a liar, or else his mentor, William G. Johnsson, failed to tell him about this letter. Has the Dr. Johnsson forgotten about the Ankerberg Show?
In the article, Adams tried to have the atonement finished on the cross - never mind "the coming of atonement" when there will be a new heavens and earth. He quoted from the Writings for proof, but insisted the word, "complete" as used by Ellen G. White really means "completed" and thus equal to "finished." To accomplish this requires muddled reasoning and disqualifies in one stroke Adams as a creditable associate editor of the official Church paper.
The question then arises as to how he got there. The readers need to keep in mind that in placing Adams as an Associate Editor
p 6 -- of the Adventist Review, others with much longer experience and equally as qualified were by-passed. There are two possible explanations.
Dr. Roy Adams came to the Review staff from Canada where one of his responsibilities was the editorship of the Canadian Union Messenger. In this assignment, he also wrote some muddled articles in the area of theology, two such being on the Incarnation. But not only was he the editor of the Union Paper, he was also Secretary of the Canadian Union Conference. Using the prestige of this office, he interjected himself with his bias and prejudice into the work of the nominating committee of the Quebec Conference, so that the work for the Quebecois for all practical purposes was nullified through the conference's new leadership. In other words, it was time for him to leave Canada.
Being "picked-up" by Johnsson has another background. For his doctrinal dissertation at Andrews University, Adams wrote on The Sanctuary Doctrine in which he researched what he called three approaches to the doctrine during the Church's history. The teachings of three men were studied - Uriah Smith, Albion F. Ballenger, and M. L. Andreasen. This research became the first to be published by Andrews University in its Doctoral Dissertation Series.
In Adams final chapter of the dissertation "Summary and Conclusions" - after negatively denegrating the pioneers for connecting Dan. 8:14 with Leviticus 16 (p. 264), he authors a section which he calls "New Approaches". He writes: It is perhaps appropriate that this chapter should close with a few brief tentative suggestions for possible now approaches to the study of the sanctuary. These approaches are new, not in the sense that they have never been utilized before, but only in the sense that their use has not hitherto found either official or widespread acceptance in the Adventist church. (p. 271)
He mentions three such approaches, one of them being "A phenomological approach." Do not let this big word disturb you. Adams defines it as the attempt "to listen to, and to come to grips with, the common religious 'language' and experience of mankind - phenomena which often transcends cultural barriers." (p. 272) Now note carefully what he wrote next: Adventists are fortunate to have already an important work in this area dealing with the book of Hebrews.
Who is the author of such a work? None other than the present editor of the Adventist Review, William G. Johnsson.
This work by Johnsson is his own doctoral dissertation which he wrote at Vanderbilt University. The theology presented in this dissertation is at variance with pioneer Adventist teaching as much as, if not more so, than anything Desmond Ford has ever written. Yet while Ford was rightly defrocked for his heresy, Johnsson was made editor of the Church's official paper.
The key to this befuddled and muddled situation in the top echelon of the official organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to be found in a footnote in Adam's dissertation. It reads: "Johnsson indicated that the significant experiences of his life which provided the impetus for his study came to him while a missionary in Southern India and in contact with Eastern religions." (p. 274)
How apropos the words - "Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east." (Isa. 2:6)
"WRONG THEOLOGY IS DANGEROUS THEOLOGY"-- "Bad theology, unbiblical theology, can do a lot of harm to the life and mission of the church... Wrong theology is dangerous theology." This is the assessment of Sam Amirtham, who is director of the Programme on Theological Education for the WCC. He was addressing the Convocation of Serampore College held at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in Madras, India.
While the illustrations which Dr. Amirtham used were WCC orientated with little relevancy to us, the concept of "Wrong theology is dangerous theology" is very relevant. We need to know whether the 27 Fundamental Beliefs are correct or wrong theology!
There are those who are making a great profession of teaching "historic" Adventism who have not, so they say, taken time after eight years to make that determination. There are those professing to teach the Message of 1888 who will not commit themselves as to where they stand. Yet the message of Christ's righeousness is to be "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65)
There are those who have seared their brains in the drug
culture who are now trying to teach the people of God. (We thank God that
He has power to deliver.) But
p 7 -- Jesus told those whom He had delivered from the power of demons to go tell what great things God had done for them. He did not take them with Him to be sent forth to teach the people as were the disciples. Indeed, God's people are being destroyed by wrong theology coming from such. "Wrong theology is dangerous theology."
This danger is a serious matter. Paul indicated that if
we do not have "the love of the truth," God will permit "strong
delusion" to ensnare us that we will believe a lie. And the end is
damnation. (II Thess. 2:10-12) It is not tiddly-winks we are playing,
but the game of life; and it is for keeps!"Wrong theology is dangerous
LABELS (continued from p.2) -- drawn ever since the infamous SDA-Evangelical Conference in which Walter Martin took part.
Certain charges are made in Martin's Journal which every one who perceives of himself as a true Seventh-day Adventist must squarely face. Samples writes: The crux of Traditional Adventism would certainly appear to rest squarely on the authority of Ellen White ... (p. 12)
Two of the doctrines that had received confirmation through the prophetic gift were the sanctuary doctrine and the investigative judgment (i.e., the events of 1844). These two distinctives were at the center of the controversy that would ultimately lead to a sharp division within Adventist ranks. (p. 13)
The issue is not whether Ellen G. White confirmed these teachings. The issue is can these teachings stand the test of Scripture. It is on this point that the "traditionalist" because as charged, - has "in practice, if not in theory" made the writings of Ellen G. White "an almost verbally-inspired touchstone of interpretation which has resulted in an essentially biblically illiterate membership." A progressive Seventh-day Adventist is one who knows the truth, and can defend that truth - including the sanctuary truth - from the Bible. A progressive Seventh-day Adventist is one who recognizes that the truth he has received must be developed on a higher scale, even as his spiritual forebearers developed the light from William Miller. A progressive Adventist watches for every ray of promised light, and checks that light by the Holy Bible to see if it is in harmony with previously verified truth.
Are you a Seventh-day Adventist? If so, which one? In simple terms, one today who is accepted by God is one, who as the primitive, apostolic believer, is a follower of "The Way." (See Acts 9:2, margin) --- (1989 May) ---End---- TOP
1989 Jun -- XXII 6(89) -- A National Sunday Law -- PAST? PRESENT? FUTURE? -- Part 1 -- In 1873, a Mr. McCoy moved from Louisville, Ky., to Arkansas. He served as constable for seven years, and two terms as Justice of the Peace in Hot Spring County. In 1884, he became a Seventh-day Adventist. At the August, 1885, term of the Circuit Court of that county, he was indicted for Sabbath breaking being charged with plowing his field on Sunday.
In 1884, Mr. J. L. Shockey, a Seventh-day Adventist, moved from Ohio and settled on a piece of railroad land six miles north of Malvern, the seat of Hot Spring County. On September 14, 1885, he was arrested for having been seen plowing his field on Sunday the previous Spring. He gave bond for his appearance before the February term of the Circuit Court in Malvern. (See The Two Republics, pp. 879-880)
This year, on March 9, now over 100 years later in an adjoining county - Garland - the citizens of Hot Springs, Arkansas in a public referendum by an almost 2 to 1 margin voted to legalize horse racing on Sunday with. its pari-mutuel betting.
During the recent American national election in November, of last year, both in Maryland and in Arkansas, municipalities overturned "blue laws." Mandatory Sunday closing statutes were repealed in Maryland, and in Arkansas, two communities approved Sunday alcohol sales. In Little Rock, the capitol and one of the communities to so decide, the vote was 65% for and 35% against. All of these expressions at the voting booth reflect the pluralistic and changing attitude of American society.
Not only here in America is this change visible, but the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops also noted this change in Canada. In a release, "The Meaning of Sunday in a Pluralistic Society" (September, 1986), the bishops cited a need to review the place of Sunday in a secular
p 2 -- society. While they noted that "most Christians" celebrate Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, they observed, "however, that in our multicultural and pluralistic society there are others who do not share this belief. They honor a different day of worship or see no need at all for setting aside a day of praise and thanksgiving to God. Given the change in our society, it is no longer appropriate to protect Sunday closing laws on the basis that most Christians hold it to be the Day of the Lord."
This does not mean that the Bishops are planning to abandon Sunday legislation. Citing Pope John Paul Is encyclical on human work, that all have a "right to rest," they declare that "this right includes at least one regular weekly day of rest." Their perceptions and solutions are interesting. They write: In our pluralistic society, the choice of Sunday as the day of renewal for all is rooted more in tradition than religious conviction. Many groups, especially the labor movement, have emphasized repeatedly that Sundays are our traditional days of pause. In our society, the observance of Sunday as a holiday is more firmly entrenched in people's habits than any other day of the week. Sunday's off are a part of our culture, a culture that Christians have shaped in the past and in which they continue to take their rightful place in full and free cooperation with people of other religions and world views.
Maintaining Sunday as our common day of rest does not exclude special respect and consideration for people who wish to celebrate another day as their day of spiritual and physical renewal. We should be able to devise laws that will not penalize people with different beliefs as long as these laws protect the shared experience of leisure and rest for the majority. It should also be possible to devise shopping regulations that permit the purchase of basic necessities without destroying Sunday's emphasis on people and playfulness.
Finally, it is clear that there will always be some membars of the workforce who will have to work on Sunday to provide essential services for the public. They deserve our understanding and appreciation for their contribution to the common good. However, even for these workers, employees or professionals, we should carefully protact and respect their right to enjoy the full benefits of Sundays, at least on an alternating basis.
These pastoral reflections of the Canadian bishops of the Roman Catholic Church should be noted carefully. The goal is to have a "Protected Sunday" for the majority without a "penalty" on the minority. However, this "protected Sunday" would fall short of forbidding all Sunday business and would not interfere with sports ("playfulness").
The impact of a pluralistic society seems to be recognized by all except some Seventh-day Adventists who wish to make capital of the Sunday Law issue for their own ends. There is no question but that the subject of Sunday laws catches Adventist attention. The experience of the past as noted above, not only that which occurred in Arkansas, but also in Tennessee, arouses deep emotions. Besides this, various quotations can be marshaled from the Writings to sustain the emphasis. But it is over the misapplication of the Ellen G. White Writings that has led to this blind spot in our evaluation of the present. This is compounded by the fact that we are not willing to apply the rules which Ellen White gave for the study of her Writings.
The Rules - Ellen G. White wrote that "the testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture." (SM, bk i, p. 42) A second rule states - "Regarding the testimonies; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered." (Ibid., p. 57; emphasis supplied.)
A failure to follow these simple rules has led to a jangling jungle of voices on the periphery of the Adventist Community. Each voice claims to have discovered some new way to attain perfection by human endeavor. These siren calls come from persons with varied backgrounds of experience, some from the drug culture, and some with no other objective than personal gain. Each call regardless of motive takes some statement or statements from the testimonies, related or unrelated, and builds upon this a theory of salvation through human works. These verily make of non-effect the Writings.
Interestingly, Ellen G. White in setting forth the rules
noted above, warned that there would be those "who would search for
new and strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present
to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will
present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls."
These "will misinterpret the messages that God has given, in accordance
with their personal blindness." (Ibid., p. 41) Continued
To page 4
p 3 -- AMAZING FACTS! -- On my recent trip through the Northwest, I was confronted by facts so amazing that I am sure that Elder Joe Crews would wish not to know so as to avoid their implication. At one contact a couple gave me a current issue of a widely circulated paper on the periphery of Adventism. The article which caused their concern contained the amazing fact that the ashes of the Altar in the court of the earthly sanctuary "represented the confessed sins of the righteous." (p. 27)
I was sure that one amazing fact called for another in this same journal. So I looked through the other articles. On another page I found an interesting title - "The New Theology and the Spirit of Prophecy" written by the Standish brothers. I couldn't believe what I was reading. There in a bold block was the final conclusion. It read: The acceptance of the prophetic gift in the ministry of Sister White is essential not only for the preparation of God's people for the eternal kingdom, but also to the acceptance of the Scriptures as inspired. (p. 15)
Here is a contradiction of what the Writings teach plus a plain unabridged Roman Catholic teaching. An amazing fact indeed! Let us note first what Ellen G. White taught about the preparation of God's people for the eternal kingdom. She wrote: In the Word of God is contained everything essential to the perfecting of the man of God. (ST, Jan. 30, 1893; Art. - "Benefits of Bible Study" [Emphasis supplied])
As to the necessity of the Writings to know that the Bible is an inspired book, evidently I did not learn of Biblical inspiration until I became a Seventh-day Adventist. This was a new amazing fact to me, because my mother before we became Adventists taught me to reverence the Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.
In the book, The Faith of Millions, Dr. John A. O'Brien of Notre Dame University wrote referring to the Roman Catholic Church - "If she had not declared the books composing the New Testament to be the inspired word of God, we would not know it." (p. 145, emphasis his)
All the Standish brothers have done is to interpret that "she" as Ellen G. White and thus have transmitted the adulterated teaching of Rome into Our Firm Foundation! (April, 1989) As I drove along the highway contemplating the impact of these amazing facts on concerned Seventh-day Adventists, I wondered what it will take to awaken them to the deceptions which Ron Spear and his cohorts are perpetrating on God's professed people.
The first Sabbath out, April 22, I visited the New Hope Church, an Evangelical facility which the Milwaukie, Oregon, Seventh-day Adventists are using for their services, I sat in one of the "Adult Study Options " for Sabbath School . The teacher who by his remarks I perceived to be a minister told the class that he believed all King James Versions of the Bible should be burned. (An Amazing Fact!) He recommended the NIV, but was teaching from the Living Bible which he admitted was merely a paraphrasing. He assured the class, however, that he could check it by the NIV as to correctness. He was a graduate of Union College, the same as I , and I knew that he had to take NT Greek as a part of the ministerial course. I then wondered what had happened to his study habits during the years since.
Now I am aware of the inadequacies of the KJV and some of its faulty translations. I know also that the KJV teaches that the atonement was completed on the Cross. I still use it; I will continue to do so; but if certain texts have to be checked, as some do, then I will use the Greek text with all the linguistic tools available to me. Sincere laity who want to check things themselves need to become familiar with an interlinear Bible. A layperson can become a well informed student of the Word.
This Adventist Church in the Portland area was planning to launch a "Revelation Celebration" in Clackamas, Oregon,starting the following Monday evening. What was new to me was that the church was using two different types of invitation circulars. This interested me as we had not used this type of approach in our evangelistic work. However, it was in noting this that I obtained another amazing fact which Joe Crews will not admit, although he knows it is true.
One multicolored folder was for the non-Adventist. The second, less colorful, was for the ex-Adventist being used in an attempt to reach the backsliders. This one read - (front cover with proper picture) - "It may be true that 'This is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile,' BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT -- [and you turn the page] this is not your father's church - It has changed!" Continued To page 7, col. 2
p 4 -- If we would compare testimony with testimony as we do (or should do) the Scriptures, taking time to note in regard to these testimonies "time and place," we would have a clear line of truth which would be in harmony with Bible truth arrived at in the same way. For example, if in our studying from the Bible the basic doctrine of the state of man after death and eternal rewards, we accepted as literal the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and set forth as cardinal teaching the conclusions to be thus drawn, what would we believe? This same approach is being made in the study of the Writings with only those segments of the Writings being compiled which support some preconceived theory to appeal to the human desire for something sensational or something which will sustain their ego.
Application -- When we apply the two simple rules to the question of a "National Sunday Law" and start comparing testimony with testimony, the first thing we discover is that this phrase is not found in the Writings. The application of "time and place" to that which has been written in regard to a Sunday Law could be divided into pre and post 1900.
At the very time - 1885 - the incidents which we cited on page 1 were taking place in Arkansas, Ellen G. White was emphasizing two things. Starting in 1878 and continuing through 1886 she wrote:
We are now upon the
very borders of the eternal world. (4T:306)
In connection with this emphasis on the nearness of the end, she wrote also about a Sunday Law and its significance. Her words are: By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. (5T:451)
This "decree enforcing" the papal Sabbath is noted as a "warning" signal "to leave the larger cities" with the ultimate objective of "retired homes in secluded places among the mountains." (5T:464-465)
In 1889, Ellen White would write: Events which for more than forty years we have, upon the authority of the prophetic word, declared to be impending, are now taking place before our eyes. Already the question of an amendment to the Constitution restricting liberty of conscience, has been urged upon the legislators of the nation. The question of enforcing Sunday observance has become one of national interest and importance. (5T:711; emphasis mine)
This was a true evaluation of what was then taking place. On May 21, 1888, Senator H. W. Blair introduced a National Sunday-Rest Bill into Congress. It was opposition to this and subsequent religious legislation which catapulted A. T. Jones to the forefront of Adventism. However, out of this agitation for Sunday legislation, Congress finally voted into an appropriations bill for the Columbian Exposition of 1892, a Sunday closing amendment which was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison on August 5, 1892.
Rightly or wrongly, A. T. Jones perceived this law as giving life to the image of the beast of Revelation 13, and that the mark of the beast had been established. Coupling this Congressional action with the Message of 1888, Ellen G. White could write - "The time of test is just before us" indicating that God's people had reached the time for the fulfillment of Revelation 18; and "the loud cry of the third angel had already begun." (R&H, Nov. 22, 1892)
During this final decade of the 19th Century, there was constant agitation over the Sunday question which presented an unparalleled opportunity for the Adventist to witness to the Sabbath truth. Major statements concerning Sunday, its origin as a day of worship, were made which were used and have been used by Adventist evangelists in the decades since then. (See pp. 5-6)
Since 1900 -- Counsel to get out of the cities continued to come from the pen of Ellen G. White. In 1906, she wrote "'Out of the cities; out of the cities!' this is the message the Lord has been giving me." (Life Sketches, p. 409). Continued To page 6
p 5 -- SABBATH QUESTION AGITATION - 1889-1905 -- 1889 T. Enright of the Redemptorist Fathers - Industrial American, Harlan, Iowa: The Bible says; "Remember the Sabbath day. to keep it holy," but the Catholic Church says: "No, keep the first day of the week," and all the world bows in obedience. (January 19, 1889)
1893 -- The Christian Sabbath, (2nd Ed.; Baltimore: The Catholic Mirror [Official Organ of Cardinal Gibbons])*
The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. (p. 29)
Dr. E. T. Hiscox, Baptist Clergyman and Author of the Baptist Manual in a paper read August 20, 1893 at Saratoga, NY, at a Baptist Minister's Meeting. Of course I quite wall know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and Christened with the name of the Sun-god. Then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestanism, and the Christian world ...
1894 -- The Catholic World, a magazine of General Literature and Science, March, 1894. The church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the Roman Pantheon, temple of all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday ...
The sun was the foremost god with heathendom ... Hance the church in these countries would seem to have said, "Keep that old, pagan name. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified." And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder [White God of the Scandinavians], became the Christian Sunday sacred to Jesus. (p.809)
1897 -- John Milner, a Roman Catholic Divine, to James Brown, a member of a Protestant Religious Society, Letter #11 in The End of Religious Controversy (New York: P.J. Kenedy) [After reviewing the history of the Sabbath from Creation through the life of Christ, Milner drew the following conclusion in his letter] Yet with all of this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath or seventh day holy, Protestants, of all denominations, make this a profane day and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, or the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None at all, but the unwritten Word, or tradition of the Catholic church, ... (p. 89, Emphasis his)
p 6 -- 1899 -- T Enright CssR, Kansas City, MO, June 16, 1899 I hereby offer $1000, to anyone who can prove to me, from the Bible alone, that I am bound, under pain of grievous sin, to keep Sunday holy.
1902 -- Letter from T. Enright, dated April 26, 1902 from Detroit, MI. I still offer $1000 to any one who can prove to me, from the Bible alone, that I am bound under pain of grievous sin, to keep Sunday holy. We keep Sunday in obedience to the law of the Catholic Church. The church made this law long after the Bible was written; hence the law is not in the Bible. The Catholic church abolished not only the Sabbath, but all the other Jewish Festivals.
1905 -- Letter from T. Enright, dated June, 1905 from St Louis, MO. I have offered and still offer $1000 to any one who can prove to me from the Bible alone, that I am bound, under grievous sin. to keep Sunday holy. It was the Catholic Church which made the law obliging us to keep Sunday holy. The church made this law long after the Bible was written. Hence said law is not in the Bible. Christ, our Lord empowered his church to make laws binding in conscience.
* -- The four articles in The Catholic Mirror demonstrated from the Bible that Adventists were the only consistent Protestants since the Bible provided no justification for Sunday observance. These articles challenged Protestants either to admit their debt to the Roman Catholic Church or to keep the Bible Sabbath. The Adventists had these articles published in a booklet - Rome's Challenge to Protestants. It was given wide circulation and used effectively by their evangelists.
"A National Sunday Law" -- Continued from page 4, col. 2 -- But the "message" was not connected with the Sunday Law as a sign to leave the cities. Instead, she declared - "On these cities, God's judgments will fall." (Letter 158, 1902) In 1905, she indicated the global extent of the message to get out of the cities, by writing - "The world over, cities are becoming hot beds of vice." (Ministry of Healing, p. 363) Then in 1907, the warning came - "Our cities are increasing in wickedness, and it becoming more and more evident that those who remain in them unnecessarily do so at the peril of their soul's salvation." (Ms. 115, 1907)
By comparing testimony with testimony, there is revealed a broadening of the issues which will bring about the same ends had the objectives of the Sunday Law issue of the final decade of the 19th Century been realized. Observe these two statements written with a 22 year time gap, but with the same end result:
1888 -- A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God's people will be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of man in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin. (R&H, Dec. 18, 1888; 7BC:977)
p 7 -- 1910 -- When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church - then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin. (ST, March 22, 1910; 7BC:976)
You will observe that these two quotations are connected by the end result - national apostasy will be followed by national ruin. But in 1910, the base has been widened from a single issue of a law "enforcing Sunday observance" to the exercise of the power of the state "to enforce the decrees" of the church" and to sustain their "institutions." The picture calls for a union "with the secular power to sustain a false religion."
Why is this change of means indicated for the accomplishment of the same ends? Again it must be remembered that in 1901, Ellen White wrote: We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action. (Ms. 184, 1901)
To this might be added that because we have been in this world "many more years," we should now compound our present predicament by wrongly comparing "testimony with testimony" and giving a perverted picture of the Sunday Law question to further personal ends? God has given in the same testimonies a sign to look for, and He has clearly indicated the nature of a Sunday Law which will indeed be oppressive. Besides this, there is clearly suggested the fact that all will not be so apparent to perceive as we would hope, but rather will be more deceptive and far more difficult to combat.
Tragically, when the full force of the reality will become apparent, too many will be caught totally unprepared because they have been lulled into a fatal delusion by a misinterpretation of the testimonies. Surface reading plus the siren calls of false "watchmen" will have produced tragic consequences. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; but it is knowledge they could have had if they would have but followed the rules given for understanding the Writings. To be continued
"Amazing Facts" - Continued from page 3 -- After listing a number of changes, such as "More contemporary music;" "More joyous worship;" and "More celebration;" but omitting "doctrinal changes;" the invitation continues: "You'll like the change! We'd like a chance to prove it to you. That's why we're inviting you to this short, quick-paced seminar .."
While in the Walla Walla area, my host took me to the Adventist operated hospital. He showed me the prayer and meditation room. As we entered, on the wall in front of me was a picture of Christ praying in Gethsemane. My host suggested that I look on the wall to my right. There was a crucifix! I was told the hospital was in financial stress while the competing Catholic hospital in the city was solvent. Another amazing fact. Upon my return home, I received a copy of a letter written to Elder Neal C. Wilson by David D. Dennis, regarding a Spring Council Action. He was not writing in his official capacity as Director of the Auditing Service, but called attention as a concerned individual to the action voted regarding the pay scale of Adventist Hospital Administrators. He wrote: It did seem strange that, after admitting to serious financial failures and mounting debt far beyond accepted norms in the United States, these leaders should now ask for higher pay. Few businessmen could ever accept the assumption that if a manager is ineffective while earning an annual wage of $75,000 he will somehow be successful if his salary is raised to $140.000.
AMAZING ! --- (1989 Jun) ---