“Authentic Adventism” Places Faith before Denomination

Authentic Adventism by William G. Johnsson (Oak & Acorn, 2018).


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11720
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“Authentic Adventist”? It occurs to me that the Bible doesn’t encourage or acknowledge
the existence of denominations. Perhaps the motivation for denominations is control of its members.

Walter Rea was an EGW specialist when he found out how much she copied while denying it. Shaken, he shared his findings and lost his job and pension…until he started to play hardball. Adventist Authenticity wasn’t any better than other church’s.

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Your absolutely right. Walter Rea was one of the most avid EGW supporters prior to his appointment into researching her “borrowing issue”. It was said that prior to his research into the White Estate, he could quote entire chapters of her writings by heart. I believe this was the GC’s way of sacrificing Walter for exposing many of the heavies in the conference who put their own personal money into the Davenport debacle. Most Adventists don’t know that Walter was also the one who blew the whistle on the Davenport issue. He had already caused some high ups in the conference to be on the defensive about their personal investing with Davenport prior to when it all hit the fan. Then he was sent off on a mission to study the EGW “Borrowing” thing and it was, no doubt, a no win situation. When he found that a huge amount of her writing came from other sources, some, including Walter, say over 50%, there was no way that he could keep silent, yet when the GC found out what was really out there in his report, they wanted to squash it. For that, he paid a huge price and was essentially banished from Adventism. To this day, we have never, as a church, faced up to the fact that much of EGW’s writings came from the pens of other individuals. It has clouded my perception as well. Whether God pointed her to these writings or she took it upon herself, because of the pressure to publish from the early church…we will probably never know while on this earth.

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Let’s state this unequivocally, Johnsson is talking about what it means to be an authentic Christian. And his list partly reflects how we define that today as opposed to how earlier generations did, and possibly future ones will.

Where does this leave the idea of being an authentic Adventist? Nowhere. Adventist distinctives are largely peripheral issues to the gospel (dietary regulations and worship day), and are woven into a speculative and conspiratorial interpretation of biblical eschatology. They have nothing to do with being an authentic follower of Jesus.

It would help if his book dropped the sectarian title.

Frank

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A friend of mine went to PUC with Walter in the 40’s. He said every time he saw Walter on campus he had a little red book under his arm. When I pastored at Modesto Central in the mid 60’s someone gave me a compilation of Walter’s full of EGW quotes. Don’t remember the topic. I felt badly for him because it wasn’t his fault that the churchb made more important her position in church, and he wrongly bought into it. I was told I did not have to believe in her to be SDA when baptized at SWJC in '46.

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Many were, and I suspect potential new candidates for baptism are almost certainly are told the same thing even now.

My in-laws converted to Adventism in the 60’s without understanding that the tacit implication of Article 28 in the Adventist Statement of Beliefs is that baptism into the denomination includes absolute acceptance of the fact that EGW’s “Spirit of Prophecy” is to be considered by all members as being on par with, or in some cases superior to that of the Bible. Moreover, everything and anything she said or wrote must take precedence over any individual’s personal interaction with The Holy Spirit according to the verbiage found there.

The denomination’s refusal to admit duplicity in this regard or remove that article from the official creed is prima facie evidence that it does not acknowledge any culpability or wrongdoing in the matter. It also refuses to accept that its leadership made a mistake in 1919 by not dealing openly with the EGW problem. Thus, and as a corporation, it continues not to see any need to ask forgiveness in having perpetuated a nearly 200 year long fraud, much less change its dishonest stripes.

Instead, there is currently a decided “doubling down” on EGW, both in the president’s campaign to give away millions of copies of her “free” (i.e., uselsss) advice as well here, in this forum. One commenter (even more verbose than me) having gone so far as insisting that Adventists have a better understanding of Jesus than did those people who knew him personally simply because SDA’s have EGW to explain everything, some 2,000 years after his death.

One wonders what one can make of the fact that god apparently left all those intervening generations in the dark. But then again, both the Bible and EGW agree-even if Jesus and many other plain spoken mystics in the interim may not have-that god’s ways are most essentially mysterious….:flushed:

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Far worse than a lot of churches. There actually are some churches out there that have integrity and honesty.

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Bruce,
My pastor read 3 quotes from EGW stating her position that it not be a creedal requirement for membership. Her Twin, Elizabeth, never accepted such, I was told. I believe it was in the GC meeting about 1951 that belief in her became a credal addition. That may have been because the position of several unique teachings were coming under closer scrutiny. I remember Elder Odom coming to our Carolina Ministers meeting,1956, and saying" It looks like our position on 1844 is being held in question", with a sad face. Thjere is much more but I will not bore you with such.

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I am assuming you may mean there actually are some SDA churches out there that have integrity and honesty. I believe there are. Some also have a healthy balance of the use of EGW writings. Not every word of hers is on the level of excellence but she does have some and some SDA churches use her writings as teachings rather than gospel. I can favor that.

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To my mind this is like saying that some KKK chapters do community service and that not all Nazis performed vivisections on people of Jewish heritage.

It is a verifiable fact that Elder White and his credulous, impressionable young wife were money grubbing con artists who abandoned a child in order to travel the country profiting greatly from their left-wing conspiracy theories about how the government would one day turn on people who went to church on Saturday or their “black magic-like” insistence that god would curse those who didn’t dutifully “donate” ten percent of their “increase” to the cult the Whites were starting.

The fact that the National Sunday Law did not happen while they were alive-AS EGW SPECIFICALLY PREDICTED-is just one of the irrefutable “knock out” proofs that she was a false prophet.

Further, the fact that EGW sprinkled some (probably-borrowed) tips on healthy living in with her theological clap trap about the Investigative Judgment and thousands of un-Christlike judgments of her followers, is tantamount to Joe Smith telling his sycophants that they must believe Jesus spent his “lost years” living with the aboriginals of North America, then following-up his unfalsifiable claims with rational truisms about taking out the trash and remembering to brush one’s teeth.:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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No, I was referring to non-SDA churches.

I am personally not in favor of using any of EGW’s writings for a lot of reasons, but that’s just my position.

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Yes, those were “borrowed”, (aka plagiarized) as well.

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There can be no Authentic Adventism without Ellen White!

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Is it your belief that this is always the case? Why would the church be named SDA then instead of SDW? I wonder how she would respond to that statement.

Then take her out of the fundamental beliefs and long form baptismal vows. Stop using her statements in the sabbath school quarterlies as the last word on biblical study. Remove the title of spirit of prophecy from her writings, and get rid of that as an identifying mark of the so called remnant church of Bible prophecy, which is an extremely poor interpretation of Revelation 19:10, and then there is no case.

How would all that sit with you…or the denomination?

Frank

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It might be a tangible sign of their renunciation of her “shortcomings” if EGW’s Estate was no longer allowed to be located in the same building as GC HQ!:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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I agree with you. EGW has been uplifted by the denomination and not by herself. I believe she would disagree with this if she was alive today. The emphasis should only be on Jesus and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. I also believe that no denomination is perfect, not in this sinful world. Just choose what you favor most.

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EGW didn’t uplift herself or her own importance or authority.? Not so fast with that. She didn’t at times, and certainly did at others.

She made statements that her writings were either of God or of the devil. She set up the binary. If one were to reject them or her, they were then choosing sides. She said that such people would soon reject the Bible and God altogether. That’s making herself and her writings integral to Christian life and experience. She had no right or grounds to do that!

While such total rejection certainly happened with some, it hasn’t for scores of others. And, I wonder how many who did reject faith in God altogether after experiencing what she wrote, did so because of the inordinate spiritual damage they endured from her pen.

The denominational attitudes and practices surrounding her find some of their roots in her own rhetoric.

Frank

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