Two Models of Church: Which One You Choose Makes All the Difference

You are 100% right. This is actually the main problem in Adventism. I f we were “de facto” a “Sola Scriptura” Denomination, none of these problems would be consuming our time, energy, and money. Let alone the time wasted on the pulpit, in SS classes, and classrooms in schools with non-biblical issues.

Regarding the perfectionism heresy, look how dangerous it is,

  1. Those who fall for it will after a while be totally discouraged with their spiritual experience because in the back of their minds they will know that they are not becoming perfect as promised by the “perpetrators of heresy” that deceived them. They may actually abandon the faith in God at the end.
  2. Then, among those who don’t fall for it, there may be many dealing with conscience and guilt issues thinking that they may be wrong because they remain “sinners” when there is something else that “may be” could make them more acceptable to God.

In both cases what disturbs people is the belief that their salvation is operated by themselves, with the assistance of God. What an insane thinking!!!

But, unfortunately, the “perpetrators of heresy” have been influencing the Church quite significantly, with repeated attacks decade after decade. This time, again, a LGTarian (aka perfectionist) controls the GC, and the Denomination, which endangers all those believers who should be trusting Jesus’ complete/sufficient/final sacrifice and not the Church’s fallacious theories for their salvation.


This completely subverts the “movement”. and “progressive truth”.
We are presently merely hewing our own cisterns, not flowing eternal springs of water.
Stagnation vs living water, and we have our hand on the spigot…
which did we choose?


Because they work for a system that does not support freedom of conscience., but rather controls people’s thinking “soviet style.” For a factual example of this kind of control and manipulation, read if you have a chace chapters 12 and 13 of Milton Hook’s biography of Desmond Ford. You will see how Neil Wilson operated and how a regime of fear and retaliation was installed in the Denomination. That was Ted Wilson’s father. I am still in awe asking myself, “After seeing the way Wilson I operated, how come the Church voted Wilson II in? This is insane!”

But, yes, it happened, and it may (God forbid!!!) happen again in about one year. Thanks to the ignorance of the members in general. The laity, and great part of the clergy as well, have no information about the politicking that happens at the higher echelon in the Denomination.

For me, the fact that all that politicking, maneuvering, manipulation, and abuse of power, are the proofs that the election of a GC Prez has NOTHING to do with God’s guidance or leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s ALL nothing but a human process based on political sagacity and calculation. The EGO is the leading spirit! Accompanied, of course, by a lot of praying during the process… :roll_eyes:
@milton007 @gford1


. . . but . . . but . . . but ‘The Wilson Family’ is ‘Highly Committed’ ! ?


Perhaps to teach us a lesson in the same vein as He taught Israel a lesson during the reign of King Saul?


Yes, but whose preconceived version(s) of those 3 Messages are you referring to as being ‘preconceived’:
Those of the SDA ‘left’ ?
. . . ‘right’ ?
. . . the ‘green-ish’, ‘middle’ party of Adventists ?
. . . Heaven’s version ?

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I would have to study your epistle more seriously to respond, if a response is even called for. My point was simple: the author is asking to open our minds and “let go of preconceived ideas to deeply understand God’s will”, while, at the same time taking for granted that God’s will is to define the gospel in terms of the SDA “three angel’s messages”.

Out only mission is to spread the “good news” Christ proclaimed; not to embellish the gospel with 19th century biases against the Catholic Church. Our job is really very simple - accept Christ on a personal level, and share our experience. We only have a small portion of three score and ten to do it. No need to calculate days, and months, and years. This also makes the left side of the model as a never-ending format, irrelevant.


Does this book talk about TWs grandfather who, when he was president of the Australasian Division in 1951, was shunted off to another Division because he had become infatuated with another woman not his wife? In a quirky sort of way the Australasian Division was greatly blessed by Wilson leaving for we got a replacement called Elder Fred Mote, a wonderful man who preached soul-stirring sermons and oozed compassion.


But was it… originally… a “lie” with intent?

I think you accurately identified a one characteristic of the Adventist Church. I think some of the obsession with secret knowledge can be attributed to EGW.

Her statement that Christ would return to earth through the open spaces of Orion is one example of this. What possible benefit could we gain by that knowledge? There’s no prophecy that says anything about the Orion yet she felt compelled to say it.

Another example is EGW’s reference to what the 7 Thunders uttered in Revelation (that the angel said to seal up). She claims they uttered the day and hour of Christ’s return! What a convenient claim! Ther’s no way EGW can be proved wrong! Sounds a lot like 1844!


1 Kings 12:10 Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them:My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist!


For many Adventists, this is intriguing “inside” information. To know that the gates of heaven are visible even with the naked eye in the night sky is fascinating. I know a couple who named their child “Rion” after this Adventist slant on information.

The church seems information driven in many ways: the health message, “the Truth,” the sanctuary message, the Second Coming, the Three Angels’ Messages, etc.

Many in the church are also driven by love of Jesus and their brothers and sisters: thousands of missionaries, health care professionals, teachers, student Maga-book summer canvassers. The emergency responders, community services and ADRA along with many donors to many programs based on love and caring.

It seems each individual’s personality, focus, gifts, and the way each was educated and nurtured shapes us. Hopefully, S.S. lessons and church lean towards the love model, the one Jesus gave us in the New Testament when He said “a new commandment I give you.”


Early 60’s Pastor Mote came to Madison for the week-end. Great person. Liked
him back then and was there for just the week-end.

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In the last ten years of my Adventist experience I have heard several younger pastors state at least part of what is being expressed in this article, which is interesting to think of now that I see it in a cohesive model. These young pastors were trying to change the way their churches worked, but they could not, of course, change the underlying nature of the church. The ideas that these young pastors were putting forward were from the left side of the model (the SDA church) and they were attempting to overlay right side model ideas without this fundamental shift in thinking. It can’t be done. Or, I should say I did not see success in the attempts that were made. I did see a lot of frustration and hurt feelings.

The kind of ideas I consistently heard from pastors was to try to get more lay led ministries and asking that the congregation rely less on them, they also wanted more social interactions at church, there were also attempts to use more and different spiritual gifts. However, in a left side model church right side actions cannot be artificially imposed. If they are they will often eventually fail, which is demoralizing. There is just so much baggage attached to the ideas of what a pastor does in the SDA church and changing that is hard. And I don’t know if it can be led by the pastor themselves.

An example of the pushback when pastors wanted to have more socializing–for instance having a “coffee” hour before church services–looked like this: members argued in perfect seriousness that they wanted no part in any socializing at church, that the valuable carpet couldn’t be jeopardized and that people should eat before they came to church. The underlying idea of increasing relationships between members was completely lost on them.

I have since experienced another type of worship model myself and while it can be difficult to fully explain why one church/denomination is so different from another there does seem to be a palpable difference between the SDA churches I have attended all of my life in various parts of the US and around the world and the churches of other denominations which I attend. I often try to understand exactly what the difference is, because it is clearly a cultural and fundamental difference. Perhaps this theory is as good as any to start the conversation. However, as Harrpa says, there are many examples of love-driven work within the SDA church. So, this theory is not complete.

I have had a young pastor say to me that the SDA church is a gnostic church. He explained exactly why he believed this and it was fascinating. Interesting that this idea is floating around in the clergy.


Thank you Milton. All you have said is true. We have the witnesses. Those were the folk who saw with their own eyes, and recorded these events for us. The history is true. Yet we carry on as though nothing happened. The same was repeated in the sixties by another President, who got away with so much deceit. Shame on these fellows.


Hello ! That’s a surprise that I’m quite sure did not make the hallowed pages of the Wilson Family Chronicles.

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Yes, it was quite an ‘epistle’ . . . sorry.


I get that - but the SDA church is acting as if it can change the course of Bible predictions ( if that can even be done). Revelation gives the angels the job of holding back winds of the final conflict - not the SDA church. The church isn’t the only entity concerned about “saving” the world. All we are asked to do is spread the Gospel - God will take care of the rest.

Lazer focus on the “soon coming of Christ” turns out to be “crying wolf” after a couple of hundred years. The hard truth is, everybody’s time runs out at “three score and ten” (give or take); so tracking the activities of the Catholic church makes no difference. Time would be better spent helping individuals find the gospel in Christ, rather than having a quasi historic study of Greece and Rome.


There are, in my opinion , two possibilities:

  1. No intent, it was an interpretation mistake. Possible. So let’s correct it. Is the Denomination ready and willing to do this? We all have seen the answer over and over.
  2. Intent. To make up a story that would make the SDA Church God’s only approved Church on earth, the only one delivering a true message. In this case, a malicious intent. Any willingness to correct the intended lie? No! Actually the opposite, shooting at those who “dare” to expose the lie.

Not difficult to verify what has been happening for almost 180 years, is it?


This is why I have been an Agnostic SDA for a long time.