Weniger Society Honors Beach, Haloviak and Johnsson

(Spectrumbot) #1

At its annual meeting in February the Charles E. Weniger Society honored the service to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination by Bert B. Beach, Bert B. Haloviak, and William G. Johnsson.

All three men had long careers at the General Conference. Beach worked as an international religious statesman and broke new ground by establishing many official and significant connections with major religious organizations and denominations around the world. Haloviak served as archivist, and discovered important new information about the seminal 1888 and 1919 church conferences that were critical to SDA theological development, as well as opening the archives to more outside research. Johnsson edited the church’s flagship journal the Adventist Review. Seven outstanding students from the thirteen Seventh-day Adventist universities and colleges in North America were also named as fellows of the society and given scholarships.

Johnsson gave the “Clinton Emmerson Annual Address” at the ceremony that took place in the Loma Linda University Church.” In his speech “Recapturing the Dream: Adventists and the Future” he asked if Adventists can still dream or “have we become too jaded?”

“Noting that the church sprang from a dream and grew and thrived on dreams, he said. “We are the over-achievers of the religious world. We never have enough money to continue but we do.”

John Harvey Kellogg, Fernando Stahl, Harry Miller, Ellen G. White, W.W. Prescott, John Burden, Anna Knight, these were women and men of courage, dreamers all, he said, adding some current day names to the list: Barry Black, Leonard Bailey, Ben Carson.

“There’s not much to do with a church when its dreams are dead,” he said decrying the tendency to play it safe. He lamented the lack of dreams at the General Conference in spite of the hard work done there by people who spend much of their time traveling and serving on committees.

As he talked about the defining dream of Adventism, he said “we cannot abandon the dream of Jesus coming again.” William Miller was fixated on when Jesus was coming rather than on who is coming. Johnsson said his dream centers around sharing who is coming. “Because God gave His best in Jesus,” we are called to strive for lives of excellence and compassion.”

Speaking boldly, he asserted that, “Our schools should be dream factories.” And he pleaded the cause of Adventist scientists, saying they should be able to welcome knowledge from nature and scientific studies with the active support of church leaders, instead of concerns of undue and reflexive reprisals. “I am confident that someday an Adventist will win a Nobel prize.”

Noting the numbers of trained theologians in the church, he asked what the church will do with this resource. “It is time to give Adventist scholars fresh air to do the creative work they are trained to do, and not just for the church, but for society.”

“The Lord has given Adventists a magnificent dream. We are called to a ministry of hope and healing,” he concluded.

Started in 1974 by the late Congressman Jerry Pettis, Clinton Emmerson, and John Osborn, the Weniger Society has given out over 150 awards to Adventist luminaries. Charles Elliott Weniger was the dean of the SDA Theological Seminary in the 1950’s and a beloved teacher of research and rhetoric.

Released by the Charles E. Weniger Society

March 2, 2015

For further information, contact Bonnie Dwyer, 916-774-1080

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6672

(Carolyn Parsons) #2

I loved watching American Religious Roundtable program featuring Bert Beach. It was ecumenism at it’s best. Different religious traditions having a respectful conversation about issues.

One wonders where Ecumenism got such a bad name in the SDA church with such a proud tradition of practicing it right in front of a TV audience weekly.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

The want of men who are true to duty as the needle to the pole. Yes they should be honored for fidelity though narrowed by a hysteria a century old. Men who disagree are not honored. shunning is the appropriate word. I think of men like Des Ford, Fred Veltmann, Don McAdams, Ron Numbers…Frank Kinetttel, Edwin Zackerson, yes even Ted Heppenstsll. Even Dr. Kellogg got too big as did A. G. Daniels. I don’t doubt the fidelity of these men. I do doubt their judgment. the scriptures are plain, the theology is not. Tom Z

(jeremy) #4

i think when the average adventist thinks of ecumenicism, they aren’t thinking of bert beach and the american religious roundtable…they’re thinking of end-time prophecies in which an ecumenical world will be persecuting the remnant church…

i just read in the review that 133 people are joining the adventist church each hour now…at this point, there are almost 18.5 million adventists world-wide…ted wilson is saying that god is preparing our church for the culmination of the three angels’ messages and the final loud cry…his mantra, which i support, is:

“What an exciting time to be a Seventh-day Adventist as we lean completely on the Holy Spirit, God’s Holy Word and His Spirit of Prophecy to direct our paths.”

(George Tichy) #5

Would you please make this number relevant by citing (searching for) how many people are born in the world each hour?

(jeremy) #6

george, this number is relevant because it’s an increase over previous years…notice how close this is moving towards 144 each hour, if that means anything lol…

i don’t know how many people are born each hour, or who die each hour…and i don’t know how many people leave the church each hour, although i suspect this number would be higher in n. america than elsewhere…

(George Tichy) #7

Well, I am sure you got my point anyway, right? That, in terms of percentage, the SDA membership is becoming gradually smaller every day. So I don’t understand what the bragging is all bout.

(jeremy) #8

that percentage thing may be true, but in absolute terms, 133 people per hour is impressive…i’m sure businesses would love that number for new customers…what i’d like to know is how this rate stacks up against other denominations…

(George Davidovich) #9

Hey George,
Why are you not bragging? Would that not be better than dragging it down? at some point we all have to choose sides buddy.

(Pagophilus) #10

Bert Beach. Wasn’t he the one who presented the pope with a gold medal in the 1970s?

(George Tichy) #11

George, for me it’s not a matter of choosing “sides” - whatever “sides” means to you in this case.
What I was saying is that the church growth Jeremy was talking about is much slower than the population growth in general.
But I have no quarrel with those who really want to invest time and energy in bragging about the church’s growth.

(George Tichy) #12

Are we in any kind of competition with them?

(George Tichy) #13

Smart guy. If he did, I am sure he also got an indulgence from the Pope.
You, know, … just in case the “other guy” is actually right…

(jeremy) #14

well, no, but i think it would be interesting, don’t you think…i’ve heard quite frequently that we’re one of the fastest growing denominations…


Not “one of,” but rather, the fastest growing Protestant denomination. Some will say, yes, but that’s mostly due to 3rd world countries. Be that as it may, it is what it is.

(Bille) #16

Yes, Bert Beach was indeed the “guy” who gave the Pope, not only a “medal”, but the official Medel that the GC uses as gifts to prominent persons… including statesmen… on a regular basis… and along with that gave him a book explaining what Adventists believe.

Now there are two ways to learn about this event… one is through the eyes of the various anti-SDAs, ex-SDAs, militant “Defenders” of their brand of SDAism, and various other conspiracy mongers. The other is through the eyes of Roy Adams, who did a lengthy interview with Bert Beach and wrote up the report of this for the Adventist Review.

I know there isn’t a lot of confidence in the AR among many on this forum… and I share some of that skepticism myself… but in this case… having lived through the events that Roy and Bert describe… I give the Review high marks for being both accurate and informative as to the life and accomplishments of Bert Beach in his role as a “bridge-builder” between the Adventist church and other political and religious entities world wide… some of whom were very hostile to Adventism, but were turned into friends by Bert’s statesmanship.


I hope many here will read it.

(k_Lutz) #17

I am wondering that there is not at least that many ways of similar hues from the RCC side, which is known for a BIG umbrella with lots of different campfires under it, and groups that run around throwing water on them, making lots of smoke, like the one(s) which don’t admit Ratzinger’s abdication and deny Pope Francis. This has been going on for millennia. We are just getting started.

Trust God.


Hello Bille, thank you for sharing that article, it helped to shed some light on some questions I had.


Oh, this is too good!

What, you mean when you referred to yourself, once, as an “agnostic Adventist”? :smile:


(George Tichy) #23

Being an agnostic actually means that one confesses publicly that s/he does not know everything. We have some other agnostics here (like Elaine @ageis7 for example).
However, we also have many non-agnostics, those who “know everything” and can answer all questions with no hesitation. They have answers for everyhing, and if sometimes they don’t they have the ability (skill) to fabricate an answer on the spot! They always do.

Therefore, the agnostic business is not about making decisions, but being honest and willing to say “I don’t know” when it’s the case. This is why it is perfectly acceptable to be an Agnostic Adventist. It’s a mere confession that one has not yet reached the level of inllectual ‘perfection’ that so many people claim to have already reached.

In The Grip of Agnosticism and Intellectual Honesty