Trinitarian Lie about the Review & Herald, October 9, 1913
Many leaders use this issue to try and prove a shift or move of the people to prove that Seventh-day Adventists during this time believed in the trinity doctrine. This is dishonest and a misuse of this publication.
Francis McLellan Wilcox had taken over as editor of the Review & Herald. He was a Trinitarian. Interestingly enough, his older brother Milton Wilcox who had served as editor of the Signs of the Times for many years was a non-Trinitarian.
If there was any shift in belief, it was simply because the generation of the first Seventh-day Adventists were dying off. And their children were not nearly enough to populate and carry on their legacy. Not only that, but it is obvious that they were claiming the three angels message back in those days. And who would these non-Trinitarian Sabbath keepers be witnessing to? They would be witnessing to Sunday keeping Trinitarians. And as Ellen White put it, these converts came in like a flood. Just because they changed the day that they worshiped doesn’t mean their ideology who the god they believed in would be changed. The same with many people that come into the United States from third world countries. You can put on new garments, you can give them a citizenship card, but what they have in their head as far as their habits, beliefs and concepts do not change. And back in the days of the Adventist Pioneers, they didn’t have a creed that exists like today. They didn’t throw you out just because you were holding onto your trinity god. All through time, the biggest issue made through Adventism is the Sabbath. And the God of the Sabbath is vastly different than the god of Sunday. But it doesn’t mean people can’t be worshiping the god of Sunday on the seventh-day Sabbath, and evidently do not know it.
Before we deal with why this statement about a Godhead and Trinity is in this publication (page 21), lets deal with the story about Ellen White’s name appearing to the left of the beginning of the statement and a false agenda that goes along with that. Any real good Bible student would hopefully be a good student of Ellen White’s writings and what she wrote and believed in it’s entirety. The article starts on the previous page (page 20) and is titled, “Go, Teach All Nations.” This article is a cut and paste job from the DESIRE OF AGES! It was not an article written by Ellen White in 1913. She was severely in challenging health in those days as she would die just two years later. In the day of technology, the internet, smart phones, etc., people forget that in 1913 there wasn’t even fax machines. Mail was delivered by horseback or stage coach. She would not have been aware until much later what was taking place if at all. And if you know anyone who is 86 years old, the last thing they are occupied with is running a large church denomination. In most cases they are just trying to exist and hang on day to day. All along, men have been in charge of the denomination.
So why was this statement made in the first place? For decades the Seventh-day Adventists were accused of being a cult because they did not believe in the Sunday keepers trinity god. This action by F.M. Wilcox was to counter the claim made in a publication by James Gray of the Moody Bible Institute that Adventists deny the trinity. (James Gray, Bible Problems Explained, 1913). Wilcox is concerned what the Evangelicals and other Christians think about us. We are different! We are to be and remain a peculiar people. But that would change as more and more Sunday converts came into the denomination.
In 1931, it would be this same man, F.M. Wilcox that would be called upon to formulate a new statement of belief that would be published in the Year Book. But just because it was done does not make it okay that it would be the first step to changing our religion as Ellen White prophesied in 1903 (Letter 242, October 19, 1903). This wording in 1913 would lead to the first published change in 1931 in what we believe in Adventist History. So the foundation of our faith that was formed in the early years of the 1840’s and 1850’s that were solid from 1853-1903 as Ellen White has referred to, stated in print in 1872, 1874, 1889, 1905, 1911, 1913, 1914 has now been derailed. By the 1930’s, theologians and scholars were now leading the church. You could refer to them as “learned men” in suits who love creeds.