Do We Need an Enemy to Seal Our Identity?

I don’t understand why the author pictured EGW as modifying her views on the Catholic church? In chapter 35 of the GC entitled “Liberty of Conscience threatened,” EGW is relentless in her harsh judgment of the RC church, not only that chapter but all throughout the entire book. She believed that children should be “taught … to abhor popery,” and pictured Catholics as haters of Religious Liberty.

The author believes that EGW took a more moderate tone in her writing that we should not “make unkind thrust and allusions” toward the RC church. It seems that her chief reasons for doing this position is: “All sharp thrusts will come back upon us in double measure when the power is in the hands of those who can exercise it for our injury.” In other words, the RC church will become again a global persecuting power with a specific aim to destroy the SDA church.

No matter what the author says, EGW consistently pictured the enemy of the SDA church as the RC church. It is the power behind the “Mark of the Beast” and will become aligned with USA’s military to destroy Religious Liberty throughout the world creating the Great Time of Trouble. Without which the Second Coming cannot take place. It is the power that changed Sabbath worship for Sunday.

I guess we wish EGW to be more politically correct for our society. For any religious movement to blacked the motives and teachings of a major religious (such as Muslims) group is not an ideal ethic. EGW represented the ethics of her generation, from which we have moved far away from.


In the late 1800s with the influx of Irish Catholics there was a big
backlash on Catholics by Protestants of that time.
the Irish Catholics were not allowed very high on the social ladder
at that time. In the 1900s views of Irish Catholics became more
inclusive into mainstream America.
But all that was in the life time of Ellen, and around the times that
Great Controversy was written, published, and rewritten and published.
If you recall one of Ellens reported visions had priests and Catholics
going door to door looking for “them”.

1 Like

If the RCC church is the antichrist and and hence the enemy, why is the Adventist hospital system partnering so much with Catholics? Strange bedfellows, oops I mean bedpersons, for sure. Can’t have fellows in bed together. That would be too gay for SDA church to swallow.


Bear in mind that in Protestent America in the 1800’s, the RCC was almost universally looked upon as the antichrist. It was even alive and thriving in the first half of the twentieth century. I was only 8 in 1960 when JFK was the first catholic elected POTUS. I was scared to death of all the hyped up warning in church about imminent Sunday laws, persecution, CLOSE OF PROBATION, more persecution, time of trouble, etc. ad nauseum. I felt the world would end before I ever grew up, and that I was doomed because I would never be perfect to pass the review of my case in the IJ.


Tom –
I remember that. I was in Academy.

1 Like

This is a more accurate and comprehensive picture than the softened one offered in the article. EGW apologetics are engaged I, even by those who aren’t trying.


1 Like

Maybe this is the way the SDAs found to spy on the RCC; from the inside!.. :laughing:

I remember as a first grader, seeing the sun sending out “sunbeams” that looked to me just like Jesus’ return. I didn’t know anything about the IJ or the Catholics, but I was terrified because Jesus knew that I wanted to go some day to see a Gene Autry movie with my next door neighbor. I would never accept his invitation, of course, but I wanted to and Jesus would know that!.


You and me both @bigtomwoodcutter. I could accept my parents, my teachers and my examiners telling me I wasn’t good enough (I was lazy). I couldn’t accept my church telling me I wasn’t good enough. This was a former of instutionalised abuse inflicted on many generations of Adventist youth.


Maybe it was a way to tell you, “You must buy and read more ‘boox’ and engage in salvation by reading?”:thinking:


It’s amazing how many ‘movements’ need a boogeyman to drive membership growth. For SDA it’s RCC and immenent Sunday laws. For the religious right it is “moral values” going to hell in a handbasket. For ecofreaks it’s fear the planet is on a fast track to disaster. For John Birches it was a Commie plot behind just about anything progressive. I can’t believe that 45 years ago I got sucked in by their patriotism because I was a flag waving Yankie-doodle-dandy. When I finally read it’s founder, Robert Welch’s book “The Politician”, claiming President Eisenhauer was a secret communist sympathizer that was it. It didn’t take me but a few years to quit, and I have been suspect of any peddler of conspiracy theories ever since. FDR was right when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


Why is it that people who join the SDA church because they have read EGW book “The Great Controversy” seem to be the worst at clinging to absurd “boogeyman” religion? (That is a rhetorical question)


A couple of examples used by the author seem to run factually counter to his argument. The McCarthy hearings investigated whether communist agents should be employed by the U.S. government. As the declassified Venona Soviet codebreaking project eventually revealed, several hundred Soviet agents working in the government, including some in high-ranking positions close to the President, did indeed spy for the Soviets. Perhaps the author was thinking of the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, which was far more wide-ranging in its anti-communist investigations.

In either case, as we have learned from Alexandr Solzhenitsen and others, perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing to ask whether the Soviet Union was working in the best interests of the liberal West.

And then there was Islam. During an epoch of violent conquest after the death of Mohammed in 632, the Muslim theocratic empire stretched from the southern tip of France to China, and as far north as the Gates of Vienna, achieved mostly by the blade of the sword. As the legends of croissants and Count Dracula, and the history of a mosque formerly called the Hagia Sophia remind us, sometimes our enemies really are out to get us. We may not need or want “an enemy to seal our identity,” but sometimes they want us.

1 Like

Yep…that’s a real head scratcher, right? :rofl:

In studies (some apparently from our own church organization) it seems that most individuals/families become church members because of friendship/relationships with current members. The more friends in a given church community along with the more involved in outside church activities with these friends, the more likely the individual is to ‘overlook’ Biblical discrepancies (whatever they may be)

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.