1980 - The Dallas Conference - the beginning of the end
Before we share with you some information from the 1980 conference, lets take a look at the information we had available to us as a peculiar people. We should have listened and paid attention to those that were led by God and helped form our faith from the beginning. God is causing an awaking among his faithful, to return to the beliefs of the true remnant, the original Seventh-Day Adventists and their history.
Not a "Godhead" as many people think they are subscribing to today as an alternate (they are distorting the simplicity of the Bible on this), not a "historic Adventism" facade (health and diet reform, three angels message) that is still distorted by small ministry Pastors, but the non-Trinitarian belief of our people that believed in God the Father and His beloved and begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
“God called us out of Babylon. If we had stayed there, bound down by ministers and creeds, the glorious light of the Holy Sabbath never would have reached us, but glory to God, the second angel's message called us out from the fallen churches where we are now free to think, and act for ourselves in the fear of God.”- James White, The Third Angels Message, p. 11.3, 1850 (This was written in 1850 by James White reflecting on the experience of coming out from the fallen churches in 1844)
Ellen White wrote about the experience they were brought thru, from deep bible study.
“Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband (Elder James White), Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, [Older brethren among the pioneers are here thus reminiscently referred to. “Father Pierce” was Stephen Pierce, who served in ministerial and administrative work in the early days.] Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, “we can do nothing more,’ the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.”- Ellen White, Early Writings, p. xxii.4
Can the 'men in suits with creeds' who got their doctorate degree or Masters in Divinity really claim that they were like those as described in the above who formed our faith? Why did they think they could mess with the personality of God and Christ by changing who we worship?
“During this whole time I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend the meaning of the scriptures we were studying. This was one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I was in this condition of mind until all the principal points of our faith were made clear to our minds, in harmony with the Word of God. The brethren knew that when not in vision, I could not understand these matters, and they accepted as light direct from heaven the revelations given.” - Ellen White, Early Writings xxiii.1; Selected Messages 1, p. 206, 207.
"Thus the doctrinal foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was laid in the faithful study of the Word of God, and when the pioneers could not make headway, Ellen White was given light that helped to explain their difficulty and opened the way for the study to continue. The visions also placed the stamp of God’s approval upon correct conclusions. Thus the prophetic gift acted as a corrector of error and a confirmer of truth." - Ellen White, Early Writings xxiii.2; See Gospel Workers, 302
The Seventh-Day Adventist church was growing, and was one of the few non-Trinitarian churches of it's time.
Who were they witnessing to? Who were they seeking to convert and bring into our denomination? Sunday keepers! And with that, people that believed in a Trinity doctrine. When people come to America from smaller third world countries, what do they bring with them? Their ideas, concepts and beliefs. Well the same could be said for the Sunday converts that came in like a flood. Without serious conversion, study and understanding, how could they really change what was deep in their minds? How could they change the ideology about the God that they believed in. They were coming in more times than not over just the day of worship, the Sabbath.
“By conforming to the practices of paganism, to facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the heathen….During the lives of the apostles the church remained comparatively pure. But “toward the latter end of the second century most of the churches assumed a new form; the first simplicity dis-appeared, and insensibly, as the old disciples retired to their graves, their children, along with new converts…came forward and new modeled the cause…” To secure converts, the exalted standard of the Christian faith was lowered, and as the result “a pagan flood, flowing into the church, carried with it its customs, practices, and idols….” Has not the same process been repeated in nearly every church calling itself Protestant?” - Ellen White, Great Controversy, 384.5
The "old disciples" that retired to their graves can be paralleled to as our Pioneers. The people that were the core of our faith that started it all. And were their children as diehard as they were? No. They did not live the experience of 1844. How could they? They weren't old enough. So they weren't as steadfast in the faith as their parents. There is where you will find backsliding, slowly losing the hard core beliefs of the faith. The standard of belief, of "Christian faith was lowered." As a result, a pagan flood came flowing into the SDA church.
"When the power of God testifies to what is truth, the truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise and still another with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus [their] voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time. We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God." - Ellen White, Letter to Elder J.A. Burden of Loma Linda, December 14, 1910, PH020, p. 14.2
If only these warnings were heeded during the last 80 years. But men of deceit were in charge, building a bridge between the gap that provided safety between us and other denominations. Men that had to wait for the Pioneers, the “old-timers” to die off. They removed the old landmarks, the pillars of our faith, the foundation that was set upon 50 valuable years (1853 – 1903).
“I am charged to tell our people that they do not realize that the devil has device and device, and he carries them out in ways that they do not expect. Satan’s agencies will invent ways to make sinners out of saints. I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest, great changes will take place. I do not know when I shall be taken; and I desire to warn all against the devices of the devil. I want the people to know that I warned them fully before my death.” - Ellen White, Manuscript 1, February 24, 1915 (five months before Sister White died. This should be first and foremost on the minds of people searching for truth trying to decide what is right and what is wrong.)
“Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.”
- Ellen White, Manuscript Release 760, pp. 9, 10;Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 235.4
“. . It is a grave mistake on the part of those who are children of God to seek to bridge the gulf that separates the children of light from the children of darkness by yielding principle, by compromising the truth” - Ellen White, Review & Herald, July 24, 1894
Over time what started out as simply "Fundamental Principles" would be yielded up and changed to a rigid "Fundamental Beliefs" as a man's creed. Going back to the 1950's Leroy Froom, Roy Allan Anderson and a few others thought to entertain the judgment of Evangelicals toward us. Were they thinking they could convert them? Hardly. But the Evangelicals were converting US! The world was converting US!
We were seeking to "bridge the gulf", close the gap between what "separates the children of light" (us) and "the children of darkness by yielding principle, by compromising the truth."
THE REST OF THE STORY IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT. STAY TUNED!