Dr. Desmond Ford Passes to His Rest

(Phil van der Klift) #41

I don’t have a problem that we strongly disagree (Rom 14:4,5).

That is correct. At the same time, did she (as a person intimately involved in the formation of the Adventism) promote the notion of fixed or progressive revelation and understanding of truth? What did she say on the matter of mere adherence verses an ongoing searching things out with a heart to genuinely grow in truth (as opposed to a pride-based motivation to generate controversy)? What were her expressed views regarding these and other pertinent issues towards the end of her life in light of her lifetime of experience and learning?

Adventist ‘truth’ and biblical truth are assumed by some (? many) to be 100% synonymous. This is the assumption that the article I quoted from was addressing, that Des’s work was addressing and which others similarly continue to raise awareness of. Opposition to such will continue…

I believe the ongoing search for “what is truth” cannot and should not be laid to rest this side of eternity. Or did I miss something in Jesus life and teaching?

[quote=“Sojourner, post:36, topic:18006”]

(Andre van Rensburg) #42

Dear Gill I want to express my sorrow to you and the family with the passing of your husband and father Dr Desmond Ford. It has been said “That no person’s life comes to an end until all the people they have touched comes to an end”. I want to thank Dr Ford for opening up the spring of life to me, what joy it was sitting in his lectures. This gifted, brilliant, humble Godly man helped me “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge”.

At his 80th birthday he comforted me with the loss of our son Erik, and pointed me to the blessed hope we have in Jesus.

Gill, Ele’nne, Paul and Luke thank you for sharing your loved one with us. We mourn but not like others who have no hope.

(Ted L Ramirez) #43

The “church” did not reject the teaching that Ford brought to light. Only a narrow cabal of administrators, some of whom had not read his material and most of whom never could match the brilliance and clarity of his relentless scholarship of scripture.

(Harry Allen) #44

Thanks, @Sojourner.

A few thoughts:

You were appropriately deferential to Dr. Ford’s relatives when you said:

However, @Phil1’s response, via EGW—“we may discover errors in our interpretation of Scripture”—is also deferential and appropriate.

Yet, you say:

I’ve never understood this response from Adventists: "Oh, no! If X is wrong, that means a lot of other things are wrong!"

Angél Rodriguez once gave it, re: “the 2300-day prophecy.”

@CliffordGoldstein gives a version of it, in his current piece about identifying the little horn of Daniel 8 as Antiochus Epiphanes: Doing so “would mean that our entire prophetic foundation is a farce, the 1844 date a fantasy, the justification for our existence a myth, and our prophet deluded, or worse a demonic liar and deceiver.”

So? This reply seems designed to appeal to people who, as a first conviction, believe SDA doctrine cannot be wrong. Why can’t SDA doctrine be wrong? At the very least, one might ask why SDA thinking is organized so precariously.

The investigative judgment notion has problems of its own, as a piece of theology, apart from how it interlinks with other SDA statements; I’ve written about a few of those ills here, on Spectrum’s very own web site. Your conclusion—“The Bible record stands firm in supporting our doctrine on this matter”—has not been falsified.

Most of all, though, in many places, when one deems a component of a system flawed, people do not need to respond by saying, “If we take it out, we’ll have to take most of the system out!”; this being a de facto disincentive against further dissection.

Instead, they can recognize that:

a) the need to delete any part of a system will be self-evident, and

b) the fact that other parts of the system are structurally bound to a rotten part of it is not, in and of itself, a reason to leave that rot in place.


(George Tichy) #45

This can be easily realized if one tries to give someone Bible studies and engages in teaching the “IJ notion” using only the Bible. It can’t be done. The “Bible Study”… about the SOP needs to come first. Then, based on the authority of the SOP, the “IJ notion” can be taught.

Years ago when I was teaching a Baptismal Class, I changed the order of the themes, just for fun. It was then when I realized that the SOP study MUST come before the “IJ notion.” Because the latter cannot be taught using only the Bible. And don’t ever try to do it using the book of Hebrews… It will always backfire… :wink:


Which one of the 30?

(George Tichy) #47

The Glacier View Document is great for starters… :wink:



Most Christian preachers avoid or warp Hebrews.
Luther included it with James, Jude & Revelation as books to trash in the canon.

So much is in Hebrews that lip service churchians can’t cope with…especially chapters 4 & 6.


It saddens me that someone would say, “So”. Yes, we will have much more to learn about salvation throughout eternity but if we give up on the current Biblical beliefs we have and the inspired counsels of Ellen White we are at a great loss and will have difficulty standing at the end of time.


Yes, I believe they did. After all the studies done regarding his position and the efforts to restore him, the church was left with no other choice but to remove his ministerial credentials. That is not to say he may wasn’t a nice person but the controversial parts of his position were errors.


The Bible and EGW is full of counsels warning us that “great lights” will go out in the end of times and false shepherds will seek to deceive even the elect of God. We must be wise and Biblical grounded so we are not led away from the pillars and foundations of our faith in Jesus.


You do not elaborate on which of his views discredited the scriptures. Can you be more specific?

(Johnny Carson) #53

So what you are telling me is that if we don’t have a lockstep belief and lockstep experience, based on your or a committee interpretation of Scripture, without variation among Christ’s followers, then we are in grave peril. Sounds pretty Roman Catholic to me.

No, God expects his people individually to question. He expects them to “Prove all things” on an individual basis and if they find formerly deeply cherished beliefs that are out of context with their walk with Him, He expects them to be abandoned.

The Church and it’s belief structure and heirarchy are not salvational. To believe otherwise is an idolatry the individual follower of Christ cannot afford to fall victim to.

(Harry Allen) #54

Thanks, @Sojourner.

You said:

Then, you said:

The problem is:

a) This statement cannot be proven, even from from the Bible.

b) It views Adventist knowledge as, essentially, perfected. It does this by colocating SDA biblical beliefs with biblical truth. They are not necessarily the same thing. @Phil1 said as much by quoting the inspired counsels of Ellen White.



Of course, we should study ourselves and prove all things and that is also what our early pioneers, apostles, early Christians, church leaders, etc… did and still should do. But once individually convinced of those Biblical beliefs and they are in line with the church, then I also support the doctrinal beliefs of the church as well. If I didn’t, why would I want to be a Seventh-day Adventist? We can be misled by pastors or leaders at either end of the spectrum — liberal or conservative. I’ve seen and dealt with both problems. I will have to say, I have not heard anyone for 35 years bring up that they still believe Ford was correct in his views. Those people that are stating that on here are in some other areas or circles far away from what I’ve encountered since my college days. To my knowledge, the Adventist college campus Theology department, during the years I attended at the time of the Ford debate, did not support Ford. They had open forums to show both sides but reached the same agreement and final decision as the church body and leadership.

(Johnny Carson) #56

So what I hear you saying is that if a person has a belief; any belief that is not in line with a committee of the church, then one must needs leave the denomination. Again, how very dark ages papal of you.

In which case I I am reminded of the ostrich with his head buried in the dirt for fear of what he might see.

And what other conclusion would you have them reach, based on the draconian measures meted out to those who dared pursue other avenues of thought? Ford was lied to about the consequences of his study. What a committee decides, and what the individual members of the committee may believe privately are two different things and were borne out repeatedly during the “Ford” era, especially in light of ostracism and loss of family income, housing and tuition subsidies, etc.

One can continue hiding from facts or one can face them head on. What do you think the most self-honest approach would be?


I don’t believe I’ve been an ostrich with my head in the sand. I lived in four different states in the past 35 years since my college years and have been a member of six different Adventist congregations. I can honestly say I’ve not heard anyone bring up Ford like views in any of those congregations and I’m an actively involved member. I’m just stating, that I haven’t been exposed to it. I was aware of two academy classmates that have left the church who had pastors that had problems with the church leadership and split off forming non-denominational like churches that had dropped at least eight of the SDA fundamental beliefs. One of these classmates is still a good friend of mine but knows that I don’t agree with the path she has taken.

(Johnny Carson) #58

You’ve not been exposed to it because people don’t want to willingly expose themselves to treatment similar to what Des experienced, but trust me, it’s there. Perhaps people aren’t willing to reveal themselves in your presence because they know where you stand? People would rather just quietly hold certain beliefs to themselves than go through that. They bide their time, or only have this discussion with safe people. That or they just quietly leave without every saying why, and often times their passing goes unmourned by the elitist church members who hold to “true doctrine” and look down on those who dare to express doubt or to question beliefs.

Trust me, these people exist. On both sides. Ignorance of their presence does not negate that fact.


In response to the fundamental belief question. If I don’t believe the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the church, then I’m not sure how I could claim I’m a Adventist in good standing. These beliefs are not just based on conclusions of a committee. They are well studied out and Biblically based. If I’m giving Bible studies to a baptismal candidate using the Discover Bible lessons, Amazing Facts, It is Written or other materials produced by the church for such a purpose and at the conclusion a person states they want to be a baptized member of the church but they don’t believe in the Sabbath, the Judgment, the state of dead, etc… whatever ones of the 28 beliefs they decide they don’t believe, would we baptism them into membership anyway? I don’t think so, we would suggest that they need more time and would encourage them to do some more studies.

(Johnny Carson) #60

That’s you and your life approach. Maybe others continue to find fellowship in the church of their youth, in spite of not necessarily believing all 28.

But I have to ask you this; why would my Adventist status be so important to you, a sinner in your own right, just as I am?