is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men
papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy
of the latter times... Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years
is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the
church of Christ,?"
An Audience with Pope Paul VI by Official Representative of the Seventhday
Adventist Church --
Introduction - On
May 18, 1977, Dr. B. B. Beach, then Secretary of the Northern
"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." - II Timothy 2:2
This admonition of
Paul to Timothy - "commit thou to faithful men" - is basic if
the message given to any people or movement is to remain pure and viable.
To this Church was committed the trust of the Three Angels' Messages of
Revelation 14:6-12. Of this fact, it is written:
"In a special
sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and
light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning message for
a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of
God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, - the proclamation
of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work
of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their
"The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is
2 -- to be warned, and God's
people are to be true to the trust committed to them." (9T:19)
Second Angel's Message declares - "Babylon
is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Rev. 14:8) How
was this understood by the spiritual forefathers of this Church, to whom
the giving of this message was committed? We read:
message was understood by Adventists to be an announcement of the moral
fall of the churches in consequence of their rejection of the first message....
term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied
in Scripture to the various forms of false or apostate religion. But the
message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to some religious body
that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be the Romish Church
which is here meant; for that church has been in a fallen condition for
many centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the Protestant
churches, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet
divided into almost innumerable sects." (SP, IV, pp. 232-233)
The Third Angel's Message warns - "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." (Rev. 14:9-10a) How was this understood by our spiritual forefathers? Again we read: "The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By the first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiatical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image to the papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy." (SP, IV, p. 278)
in this quotation is a sentence which needs to be pondered long - "When
the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held
by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees
and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed
an image of the Roman hierarchy." This does not exempt any church
- "the churches of our land" - but does picture an ecumenical
movement - "uniting upon such points of faith as are held be them
Certain direct results are pictured - "shall influence the State
to... sustain their institutions" - government aid.
are the messages and warnings entrusted to the Church. Our spiritual forefathers
committed this heritage to those whom they thought to be "faithful
men." How is this commitment being handled by the Church's leadership
STEPS TO ROME -- In 1973, the World Council of Churches (WWC) published a paperback book entitled - So Much in Common (SMC). This book contained "Documents of Interest in the Conversations Between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 1) One of these "Documents" outlines the history of the conversations from their inception in 1965 through 1969. It will be seen that the events
3 -- which transpired during these years finally led to the meeting
of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families in
Rome, which in turn provided the setting for the audience that Dr. B.
B. Beach had with the Pope as an official representative of the Seventh-day
ONE: -- "Strange as it may seem, these yearly consultations [between
representatives of the WCC and the SDA Church] were an indirect by-product
of Vatican II. In fact, while in Rome in connection with the Vatican Council
a WCC staff member and an Adventist representative came to the conclusion
that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day Adventists with
an equal number of representatives from the World Council of Churches
would fulfil a useful purpose." (SMC, p. 98)
TWO: -- "The first meeting was held in 1965, the participants
being selected by the two organizers. Thus, the conversations got under
way on a completely informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility
of the participants." (Ibid.)
should be carefully noted that up to this point the conversations between
the representatives of the WCC and the Seventh-day Adventists were strictly
an individual matter, and did not carry any official recognition from
neither the WCC, nor the Adventist Church.
THREE: -- "Subsequent meetings have become somewhat more formal,
in the sense that the employing bodies of the SDA participants have authorized
and financed their presence and the executive committees of the three
Adventist Divisions involved have given their blessings by facilitating
the selection of the SDA representatives; the World Council of Churches
has defrayed the expenses of its group. The General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists has been kept informed regarding the meetings, though it has
taken no direct, active part in the Consultations, except through its
three European Divisional branch offices." (Ibid.)
is a very subtle situation which permits the leadership in Washington
to say to the laity of the American Church sector who might inquire, that
the General Conference is not involved with the WCC. But through their
divisions in Europe, direct consultations were being carried forward with
the full approval and financial blessings of the respective Executive
Committees, each of which was chaired by a Vice President of the General
Conference voted to serve as a President in each Division. From fifteen
to twenty participants have taken part in the five Consultations from
1965 - 1969. The Adventist members have included "SDA church leaders
and educators." (Ibid. p. 99) "The Consultations [were]
held on the basis of equal footing, each yearly meeting taking place part
of the time at the WCC headquarters in Geneva and the rest of the time
at the nearby Seminaire Adventiste at Collonges, just across the border
in France." (Ibid.)
FOUR: -- "A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement
regarding the SDA Church which was published in January, 1967, issue of
the Ecumenical Review." (Ibid.) [The Ecumenical
Review is a journal of the WCC]
With this began a very interesting series of events. Following the publication of this document prepared by the assistant director of the WCC Secretariat on Faith and Order, R. F. Cottrell, an Associate Editor of the Review - the "Official Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" - reviewed the WCC document in a series of three editorials (March 23, March 30, and April 6, 1967). Cottrell stated why
4 -- the Adventist Church could not join the World Council of Churches,
but in concluding his third editorial, he invited the Church in through
the back door of the WCC. Here is what he wrote:
"It is with no small measure
of regret that SDA's do not find it possible, as an organization, to be
more closely associated with others who profess the name of Christ. On
the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were
to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with
their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we
could accept such an invitation with a clear conscience." (Review,
April 6, 1967, p. 13)
[Note: The Faith and Order Commission is the doctrinal arm of the WCC]
"back door" was quickly opened. Dr. Earle Hilgert, then Professor
of New Testament at Andrews University was appointed by the WCC Central
Committee to serve as a Seventh-day Adventist on the Faith and Order Commission.
His place is now filled by Dr. R. Dederen, also of Andrews University.
Herein is a tricky relationship that must be carefully worded to give
the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The SDA Church did
not appoint the Adventist representative to the WCC Commission;
but it did approve
the selection which was made by the Central Committee of the WCC. Thus
it can be said - "We are not members."
FIVE: -- "Since the Conversations got under way, it has become
the accepted procedure for the SDA Church to be represented at various
WCC meetings, including the Assembly, by observers. These observers have
not been present pro forma,
but have taken an active interest in the meetings attended. An additional
step was taken when the General Conference, as a world confessional body
or church, was represented by an advisor in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting
of the WCC Central Committee." (SMC, p. 101)
hierarchy in Washington can write in the Adventist Review, and
in letters to the laity that the Church does not belong to the WCC - and
technically this is true - but how can we honestly leave the impression
that we are not deeply involved in the work and procedures of the WCC
when we attend the General Assemblies not pro
forma, but as active participants, and when we have an advisor
present at the meetings of the Central Committee of the WCC. If we send
advisors to their Central Committee meetings, what should prevent the
WCC from sending advisors to General Conference Committee meetings or
Annual Councils? It should be further noted that "As a kind of corollary
to the Geneva Consultations, Consultations began in 1969 in the United
States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC appointed group."
(SMC, p. 101) Have the laity been given a report of these meetings
in the Adventist Review? Why not?
Consultations are filtering down to a national level in Europe. The same
is interesting to note that the contacts on the WCC level have, to some
extent, filtered down to certain national levels. As examples one can
mention the SDA contacts with the British Council of Churches, the Finish
Council of Churches and the office of the German Arbeitsgemeinshaft Christlicher
Kirchen in Deutschland." (SMC, p. 101)
STEP SIX: -- "Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have been actively represented at the annual meetings of 'Secretaries of World Confessional Families.' This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts
5 -- that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly." (Ibid.,
is this organization? What is its relationship to the World Council of
Churches? We shall answer the second question first. Robert Welsh of the
Commission on Faith and Order of the WCC wrote under date, April 1, 1975
from Geneva, Switzerland - "With regard to Dr. Beach, he is Secretary
of the Annual Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families.
Faith and order relates to this conference in a consultative manner."
Dr. Beach himself states - "The bodies represented there [at the
Conference] are between 12 and 15 world organizations such as the Lutheran
World Federation, the Baptist World Alliance, the World Methodist Council,
the World Reformed Alliance, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation
Army, and the Anglican Consultative Council." (Letter to Pastor A.
G. Brito, dated, Nov. 15, 1977) In another paragraph in the same letter,
Beach declares - "I would like to make it clear that this conference
is not a part of the World Conference of Churches." However, RNS
(May 19, 1977) quoted the president of the Conference, Bishop John Howe,
as stating - "we have been able to decide how we shall work together
more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical
role that all of us have."
to the first question - Beach denies that this conference is an organization
since he states it doesn't have a constitution, nor are dues paid into
it. However he writes:
"I have been representing
our church at this meeting for 9 years now and our involvement consists
simply in attending the meeting and participating in the discussions and
exchange of information. For the past few years I have served as Secretary
of the Conference (this means that I am responsible for preparing the
agenda and handling the minutes or report of the Conference). There is
no useful purpose in giving publicity to this fact, but I do mention it
for your information." (Letter to A. G. Brito, op. cit.)
shall let the reader decide whether there is an organization - officers,
agenda, minutes! But please, do not give publicity to this fact, it will
serve no useful purpose!
SEVEN: -- It was our involvement in the Annual Conference of "Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families" that led to the audience with
the Pope. The Catholic Church joined this conference the same year as
the Seventh-day Adventist Church did, and it has been represented at these
annual meetings through the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Beach, himself,
has written -
"Since this year's meeting
 was in Rome, it was felt that it might be appropriate to have a
meeting with the Pope, who is the head of Vatican State and the religious
leader of well over 500 million people in the world." (Letter to
A. G. Brito, op. cit.) In
a letter dated, March 3, 1978, Elder W. Duncan Eva noted in a very clear
"The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother
Beach's trip to Rome and it understood that the visit to the Pope with
representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability."
was so sure that the medallion given was "paid for from Departmental
expense funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division."
SUMMARY: -- Thus the beginnings of what appeared to be an "innocent" dialogue between an individual of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and an individual connected with the WCC ended up in a formal audience with the Pope by an official representative of the Adventist Church who presented to the Pope as a "symbol" of the Church, "a gold-covered" medallion. (Review, August 11, 1977, p. 23)
6 -- Well has the messenger of the Lord written:
can truthfully say, 'Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted
by the world?' I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called
righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath.
Then He said to me: 'Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered
up their defilement and rotteness of character?' 'How is the faithful
city become an harlot?'" (8T:250)
was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the
Jewish church became an harlot." (GC, p. 382)
- Every quotation in the preceding topic - "Steps to Rome"
- which is from the book - So Much in Common (SMC) - is
from a single document within the book entitled - "The World Council
of Churches/Seventh-day Adventist Conversations and Their Significance."
It was written by none other than Dr. B. B. Beach, himself. The book -
So Much in Common - carried an "Introductory Statement"
signed cojointly by Dr. Beach and Dr Lukas Vischer of the Faith and Order
Secretariat of the World Council of Churches. This book may be obtained
by writing to the WCC, 150 route de Ferney, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS -- On January 18, 1978, I wrote to Elder W.
Duncan Eva, Vice President of the General Conference of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, and asked:
What committee, or church official authorized the audience with Pope Paul
VI, and the presentation of the medallion overlaid with pure gold?
On March 3, 1978,
I received the following reply regarding these questions from Elder Eva.
"Now to the
questions of your letter of January 18.
Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's
trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives
of the World Confessional Families was a probability.
7 -- RELIGIOUS
Addresses World Confessional Families Group
UNCEASING PURSUIT OF UNITY IS PLEDGED BY POPE PAUL
By Religious News Service (5-19-77)
VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Pope Paul, receiving participants of the Conference of Secretaries of World Confessional Families, urged unceasing pursuit of the goal of "full unity in Christ and in the Church," despite "all obstacles."
"It is a joy for us to receive such an important group and to welcome you to the See of Peter," said the Pope. "In you we greet representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people and through you we send greetings of grace and peace in the Lord to your confessional families."
The Conference, a grouping of Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, Old Catholic, and other Christian church bodies, which was formed in 1957, met in Rome (May 16 - 18) for the first time.
The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference in 1968.
"We are pleased," Pope Paul told the Conference participants, "to give expression in your presence to our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the one mediator with the Father, the Saviour of the world.
"Yes, brothers, with the Apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in none else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
The pontiff went on to remark that "on her part," the Catholic Church is solemnly committed by the Second Vatican Council to "an ecumenism based on increased fidelity to Christ the Lord and on conversion of hearts.
"At the same time she realizes that nothing is so foreign to ecumenism as a false conciliatory approach. Strengthened by the power of God's work," he urged, "Let us then, despite all obstacles, pursue the goal of full unity in Christ and in the Church..."
Later, in Vatican Radio interviews, two officers of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, expressed satisfaction with the Rome meeting. Bishop John Howe, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, who is president of the Conference, said it had been "a satisfactory meeting" because "we had secretaries here from the world organizations of nearly all the Churches, including the (Vatican) Secretariat for Unity." "It was a brotherly discussion," said the Anglican prelate, "and we have been able to decide how we shall work together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role that all of us have."
8 -- Dr. Bert Beach, the Conference secretary, who is secretary of
the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church, noted that the audience with Pope Paul marked the first time in
history that the Seventhday Adventist Church, through an official representative,
had met with a Roman pontiff. Dr. Beach also said it had been "a
pleasure" to be able to attend the Conference meeting in Rome, and
that the meeting had provided "a good opportunity" for reflecting
on "the work that has been accomplished" by the Conference since
book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action,
and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in
Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible,
and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. While the other commandments
are represented simply as Roman numerals, the words of the fourth - "Remember
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy"are written out.
The Conference of World Confessional Families usually meets once a year. It is not an organization, but an informal, unstructured forum for consultation and the exchange of useful information. W. D. EVA -- REVIEW, AUGUST 11, 1977 (847) 23
p 9 --
AND COMMENTS -- This article taken from the Catholic Bi-Weekly
published in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, gives the Catholic version a of what
took place. The name of the newspaper - Glas (Voice) and Koncila
(Council) - can be interpreted as the Voice of the Council. In the upper
left hand corner of the "slag" which appears on page 1 of the
newspaper are the words - "Novo Lice Crkve (only a blur as reproduced
on p. 9) A literal translation reads - "New Face Church" - but
in conversational English - "The New Image of the Church." In
other words, this newspaper reflects the spirit of Vatican II, and gives
from that viewpoint how the Catholic Church viewed the audience with the
Pope by the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, which included
Dr. B. B. Beach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
notes that the newspaper referred to Dr. Beach as "Chief Secretary
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." This is not strictly correct,
but an allowable technical error in the light of how Dr. Beach is presented
in the publication of the WCC - So Much in Common. In two different
places (pp. 92, 102), the notation appears - "Dr B. B. Beach, General
Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is secretary of the Department of
Public Affairs, Northern European Division, United Kingdom." This
was in 1973, and in the 1976 Yearbook, he is listed as carrying
the additional responsibility as Secretary of the Division. From the Catholic
viewpoint, there is no question, they considered B. B. Beach as speaking
for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This event was also covered in L'Observatore
Romano the official Vatican newspaper. This is confirmed in a letter
dated, October 11, 1977, written by Azenilto G. Brito, Sao Paulo, Brazil,
to the General Conference.
the hierarchy in Washington are doing everything in their power to play
down this event as something "entirely innocent and meaningless."
These are the very words of the Editor of the Adventist Review,
Kenneth H. Wood, in a letter previously quoted. He wrote to this layman
- "I am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have
discussed with him this visit [to the Pope]. Even though it may look sinister
to Brother Grotheer, the
visit was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship
goes between SDAs and Catholics."
does not square with the following facts:
-- RNS in its report of the audience with the Pope noted -
"The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day
Adventists became regular participants in the Conference [Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families] in 1968." (See p. 7 of this Special
Report) Thus the representative of the Adventist Church is in yearly fellowship
with the representative of the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Further,
it must be kept in mind that Pope Paul told the Secretaries of the World
Confessional Families [Churches] that despite "all obstacles"
these leaders should unceasingly pursue the goal of "full unity in
Christ and in the Church." And the Pope meant the Roman Catholic
Church! It dare not be overlooked that the Catholic Bi-Weekly - Glas
Koncila - quoted Beach as stating that it was a distinct honor to
have had "an audience here in Rome with the
Holy Father." Beach did not have to refer to the Pope
as "the Holy Father."
There remains still another nagging question. How was it that when the Gregorian
11 -- Pontifical University - the alma mater of popes and cardinals
- opened its doors to a first non-Roman Catholic in its 425 year history,
that individual was a professing Seventh-day Adventist? And why was it
that a Jesuit - with all that that Order has stood for in its history
- signed the Preface of the published edition of that individual's dissertation?
2) -- The former associate editor of the Review wrote an editorial about a conference he attended at Notre Dame University following Vatican II. He stated: "The new ecumenical climate is opening up countless opportunities for dialog with people of other faiths, both for a clearer understanding of their point of view and for sharing our own convictions with them....
has been my privilege to participate in several such conferences. One
of these was the international Conference on Theological Issues of Vatican
II at Notre Dame in March, 1966. There for an entire week the leading
theologians of the Catholic Church from North American and Europe, with
a liberal sprinkling of Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish theologians,
shared their mutual convictions. My seatmates to the left were Henri de
Lubac, leading French theologian, and Archbishop John F. Dearden of Detroit,
since then elected president of the National Council of Catholic Bishops.
To my right were Father Bernard Cooke of Marquette University, and Yves
Congar, another French theologian." (Review, March 23, 1967,
it through - Can you conceive the Associate Editor of the Review,
sharing his conviction that the Pope was "the man of sin" -
the antichrist of prophecy with Archbishop Dearden? Or had he lost his
historic Adventist conviction? If he truly held to it, he would not have
been there in the first place. There is no record of Christ joining in
theological conferences involving the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the
Herodians. Maybe Cottrell's attendance at the Notre Dame conference was
"entirely innocent and meaningless" as Wood asserts.
In the Silver-Tobler legal case involving the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
the legal counsel for the Church submitted to the Federal Court a Brief
in which it was stated:
it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint,
and the term, 'hierarchy' was used in a perjorative sense to refer to
the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part
was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among
conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century
and the latter part of the last, and which has now been assigned to the
historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned."
(p. 4, Footnote #2, Docket Entry #84: EEOC vs PPPA, C-74-2025 CBR)
the same Brief it is noted:
"While, however, Adventist
doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary
to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express...
an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such." (p. 30)
Again the question must be asked - How can the participation of Adventist leaders in ecumenical contacts with Catholic prelates resulting from our consignment to "the trash heap" of history our historic understanding of Bible prophecy be perceived as "entirely innocent and meaningless"? Further, how can the Editor of the "Official Organ of the Church" perceive the laity as so naive that they would buy such a "line"?
p 12 --
above is a photo-copy of the gold medallion given by Dr. B. B. Beach to
Pope Paul VI, along with the Adventist Missionary book - Faith in Action.
This medallion was designed and sculptured by Ralph J. Menconi of the
Presidential Art Medals, Inc., of Vandallia, Ohio. It was issued by this
company in 1973.
suggestion for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be included among "the
great religions of the world" series planned by the Presidential
Art Medals, Inc., was made by Miss M. Carol Hetzell of the General Conference
Department of Communications. Mr. Menconi "visited our world headquarters
here and talked with our committee that had been set up to suggest what
the medallion might incorporate." (Letter from M. Carol Hetzell,
Dec. 29, 1977)
can be seen from the above pictures, an attempt was made to incorporate
certain basic Adventist teachings. The front in depicting the Second Coming
of Christ does not portray the usual representation of His coming - when
He shall send His angels to gather together the elect to meet the Lord
in the air. Rather the angels are pictured in "Catholic" fashion
adoring a risen Lord. On the back, the "IV Commandment" is abbreviated,
while the other commandments are only numbered. We must keep in mind that
the true Adventist emphasis in regard to the Fourth Commandment is - "the
seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." The Catholic Church
in its catechisms - noting it as the Third - admonishes - "Remember
that thou keep holy the Sabbath day." (The Convert's Catechism
of Catholic Doctrine, p. 49) Thus the testimony on the medallion is
The medallions of the Great Religions of the World Series were issued as follows:
This is quoted from the brochure - "Great Religions of the World" - prepared by
13 -- the Presidential Art Medals, Inc. The prices represent the 1973
figure. The price in 1978 as quoted to us via telephone was - Bronze,
$5.00; Silver, $35.00; and Gold, $95.00. The Silver and Gold issues are
cost of this medallion is being played down by the editorial voice in
Washington. The Editor of the Adventist Review would have the laity
believe that all Beach did was to obtain a trinket from a Dollar Store
for the Pope. In his letter dated February 22, 1978, Elder Wood wrote:
"Representatives of the General Conference have
given this medallion to heads of state and other dignitaries all around
the world. We have one here in the office. It costs somewhere between
$5 and $10, I believe." Either the editor is naive; or else he is
"sloppy" in his research; or else he is seeking to mislead the
laity. Yet he tells this layman - "When questions are raised do not
depend on secondary sources such as the Grotheer newsletter. Write directly
to us or the General Conference and we will be happy to give you the facts."
We will let the readers of this "Special Report" determine where
the documented primary sources are to be found, and where they obtain
managed news releases.
freely admit that when we first read of the gold medallion being presented
to the Pope, we thought it was struck for the occasion, and wrote asking
questions based on this assumption. We were told that it had been produced
by the Presidential Art Medals, Inc., but were not told where in Ohio
to locate this company. We used available research procedures and obtained
the information direct. We found when supplied with brochures from the
company that the prices vary depending when purchased. If the medallion
given to the Pope came from the number first purchased by the Church in
1973, then the price would have been $40.00; but if ordered for the occasion
of the presentation in 1977, then the price would have been about $95.00
as quoted to us. Thus the price at that time was nominal, and the issue
is simply that this gold medallion was presented by Beach to the Pope
as a "symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review,
August 11, 1977, p. 23) Is this saying that by this token, the Church
was being presented into the hands of the Pope, the antichrist?
UNANSWERED QUESTIONS -- In the letter which Dr. B. B. Beach wrote
to A. G. Brito in Sao Paulo, Brazil, dated November 15, 1977, he stated:
"I am enclosing
a brief statement regarding the meeting with the Pope. This statement
(with one or two small modifications) appeared some time ago in the Review
have reproduced this statement on the next page. (You will observe that
the word, "audience" is struck through and over it is written
- "meeting.") By carefully comparing this brief statement with
the news item appearing in the Review for August 11, 1977, p. 23
( p. 8, Special Report) , it can be seen that this is the basis for the
Review news item. In a letter to Elder Eva, dated February 24,
1978, we sent a copy of this statement, and asked him - "Who made
the change from "audience" to "meeting."? Did Beach
in submitting the material to you, or did you do it, or authorize it done?"
Eva refused to answer this in his letter dated, March 3, 1978.
We asked one further question in our letter to Elder Eva: "Why was the sentence - 'This is not the first time that an Adventist has met the pope' - omitted? What were the other times, and under what circumstances? Have there
p 14 -- STATEMENT REGARDING MEETING WITH POPE --
frequent audiences involving officials of the Church in their official
capacities? If not frequent, what contacts have been made between our
church leaders and the Pope and for what purposes? Since the official
newspaper of the Vatican has noted this audience in regard to the Seventh-day
Adventist participation as of special note, and RNS through its
Vatican correpsondent marked it as - 'the first time in history' that
the Seventh-day Adventist Church through an official representative met
with the Pope, have the other contacts been secret and private so that
only certain members of the hierarchy know of them? These things need
to be clarified."
reply, Elder Eva simply stated -
"We feel no burden to give
you the detailed information you ask for and I have not tried to do so
nor to answer the further questions in your letter of February 24."
Thus it has
neither been affirmed nor denied in regard to the other contacts between
Adventists and the Pope or Vatican officials.
B. B. Beach writes in his "Statement Regarding Meeting with Pope" - "This is not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope." The Review news item deleted this sentence. Yet Beach as reported by RNS in a Vatican radio interview declared
15 -- the audience "marked the first time in history that the
Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had
met with a Roman Pontiff." How does one put this all together? Is
the clue in the prepositional phrase, "through an official representative"?
We know of one other recorded meeting with the Pope that appeared in the Review with pictures. (May 30, 1968) It shows Pope Paul VI giving a souvenir medal to Dr. Lief Kr. Tobiassen. Pictured with Tobiassen are Elders R. R. Hegstad, Editor of Liberty, and Pierre Lanares, Religious Liberty Secretary of the Southern European Division. These men were a part of "A 34-member International Church-State Study Commission, sponsored by Andrews University, the International Religious Liberty Association, and the Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference." (Review, May 16, 1968, p. 16) Hegstad in telling of the meeting with the Pope wrote: "While in Rome the Adventist Study Commission experienced the pomp and ceremony of a papal audience in St. Peter's. It was hardly a private audience: some 5,000 shouting and clapping pilgrims were around us. Members of our group were seated not far from the high altar, which is in the midst of the serpentine Bernini columns, which, in turn, are under the central dome of St. Peter's. After the general audience, during which the Pope spoke for some 20 minutes on his year-old encyclical Populorum Progressio, L. Kr. Tobiassen, Pierre Lanares, and I were introduced to the pontiff. Dr. Tobiassen told of the purpose of our study commission and of the countries we were visiting. I then mentioned our pleasure at finding material progress toward religious liberty in Spain, where the religious schema of Vatican II is having good effect." (Ibid., p. 17)
of the ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT -- [For
source material, other than as documented, I am indebted to an article
by Dr. Earle Hilgert in the Review, October 12, 1967, pp. 4-5.
Dr Hilgert, then Vice-President for Academic Administration at Andrews
University, was the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve on the Faith
and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.]
1870, William Reed Huntington, an American Episcopalian, published a book,
named - The Church Idea. In this book, he set forth four points
as a basis for Christian unity. These were:
The Scriptures as the Word of God.
In 1888, these four points, substantially as Huntington had proposed them, were adopted by the Bishops of the Anglican Church at the Lambeth Conference of that year, and thereafter were known as the Lambeth Quadrilateral. 2 One must keep in mind that the Anglican Church is considered the "bridge" church between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. In 1910 at the Edinburgh Missionary Conference,
16 -- an Episcopal (Anglican) missionary to the Philippines, Bishop
Charles H. Brent, called for an organizational, interdenominational conference
on questions of doctrine and organization. Herein was the idea of the
Faith and Order Movement.
1920, the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops based on the Quadrilateral
issued "An Appeal to All Christian People" urging the Christian
world to strive for an united church. The same year representatives from
70 denominations, and 40 countries convened in Geneva, Switzerland. Bishop
Charles H. Brent presided at this meeting which marked the "official"
beginning of the Faith and Order Movement. The call was based on only
one doctrinal confession - that "our Lord Jesus Christ [is] God and
Saviour." This is also the doctrinal criterion for fellowship in
the World Council of Churches.
meeting in 1920 prepared the way for the First World Conference on Faith
and Order, which was held in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1927. The Lausanne
Conference adopted a methodology for the purpose of studying the differences
between the various communions in the hope that such a study would lead
to a better understanding of one another's postion with the ultimate objective
of bridging the separating canyons. Herein is the concept of "dialogue."
However in the years following, an "irreconcilable" impasse
developed between those who considered the church as "catholic"
and those who considered the church as "protestant." This was
faced up to in the Third World Conference on Faith and order on 1952 held
in Lund, Sweden. Here a new methodology was adopted which sought to bridge
the divisions between the "catholic" and "protestant"
concepts of church. Joint studies on theological and organizational problems
common to all were arranged with the conviction that in seeking cooperatively
a truly Christ-centered answer to the problems previously faced, they
might draw closer to one another.
the meantime, in 1948, 3 the World Council
of Churches was organized by a merger of the Faith and Order Movement,
and a parallel ecumenical group, the Christian Life and Work Movement.
Following the merger, the Faith and Order Movement became a Commission
of the World Council of Churches, and under the World Council became a
well organized structure holding working sessions every three years in
preparation for further World Conferences on Faith and Order.
the close of the first decade of the last half of the 20th Century, events
within the Catholic Church were to play a part in the ecumenical movement.
On October 9, 1958, Pius XII died and was succeeded by Angelo Roncalli
as Pope John XXIII. One of the announced objectives of John's Papal reign
was "to bring the Church up to date." With this in mind he called
for a council of bishops. The idea was his own, "a heavenly inspiration,
he said when he made the announcement soon after his coronation in 1959."
(Britannica, Book of the Year 1964, p. 717) Prior to the convening
of Vatican II Council, October 11, 1962, Pope John "established the
Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, headed by the ecumenical minded
[Jesuit] Augustin Cardinal Bea, which in a very short time proved to be
an effective instrument of Christian renewal and interfaith amity."
(Ibid., p. 718) In preparation for this Council, the Vatican asked
several branches of what they called "separated brethren" to
appoint official observers. "The World Council of Churches, several
Protestant communions, the Anglicans and at least one of the Eastern Churches
responded favorably." (Ibid., p. 690)
In 1963, several events occured in the ecumenical movement. Pope John died to be followed by Paul VI who announced his intention to pursue the policies of his predecessor. He convened the second session of Vatican II with overtures toward more friendly relations with other Christian bodies. By invitation, an increased number of Protestant and Orthodox observers were present at the Council. Also
17 -- during this year, the Faith and Order Commission called a consultation
in Montreal, Quebec, with Roman Catholic observers present.
Third Session of Vatican II was convened in September, 1964. Prior to
this session in his Good Friday message, Pope Paul VI referred to the
Anglican and Eastern Bodies as "churches" and the Protestant
bodies as "communities" instead of "separated brethren,"
thus according them a status not previously recognized by the Catholic
Church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church had "observers" at
this Third Session. It was through contact between an "observer"
from the Adventist Church, and one from the World Council of Churches
at this Vatican Council session which produced events which eventually
led to B. B. Beach's audience with the Pope on May 18, 1977. Beach documents
this initial contact in these words:
as it may seem, these yearly Consultations [between
the World Council of Churches and Seventh-day Adventists] are an
indirect by-product of Vatican II. In fact, while in Rome in connection
with the Vatican Council a WCC staff member and an Adventist representative
came to the conclusion that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day
Adventists with an equal number of representatives from the World Council
of Churches would fulfill a useful purpose - Adventists being insufficiently
informed regarding the World Council of Churches, and the WCC staff and
church leaders being equally in need of additional and more comprehensive
knowledge regarding the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the
two organizers." (So Much in Common, p. 98)
of these consultations came a series of rapid-fire events which led to
a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dr. Earle Hilgert,
sitting at the Bristol, England, triennial meeting of the Faith and Order
Commission of the WCC from July 30 to August 8, 1967, as a fully recongized
member. 4 First
in the January, 1967, issue of the Ecumenical Review (Journal of
the World Council Churches), a paper prepared by the Faith and Order Commission
on the Seventh-day Church was published. An associate editor of the Review
responded, expressing regret that the SDA Church could not "as an
organization, be more closely associated with others who profess the name
of Christ." (Review, April 6, 1967, p. 13) However, he suggested
that "if the Secretariat on Faith and order, for instance, were to
invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their
group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we could
accept such an invitation with a clear conscience." (Ibid.)
The action moved so rapidly that the Central Committee of the World Council
of Churches appointed Dr. Hilgert, and the General Conference approved
the selection, so that Dr. Hilgert could be in Bristol, England, representing
our "point of view" by the end of July the same year. When Dr.
Hilgert left the Seventh-day Adventist Church, becoming a professor at
McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, his place on the Faith and
Order Commision was filled by Dr. R. F. Dederen, also of Andrews University.
from 1888 to 1967 two movements were in parallel - the Faith and Order
Movement for Christian unity, and the Advent Movement for a completed
work on the earth. In 1967, the Seventh-day Adventist Church - a trustee
under God of the Three Angel's Messages - broke the parallel and became
identified with the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of
1 -- Parallel events during the history of the ecumenical movement are most interesting and should be considered carefully. In 1870, Vatican Council I, promulgated the doctrine of Papal infallibility so that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra (from the chair) his utterances are as the utterances of God. It should be observed
18 -- that point
#4 of the Quadrilateral is that the "historic episcopate" be
the basis for organizational unity. The historic episcopate put the Bishop
of Rome as the first among equals. The final outcome of the Papal doctrine
formulated at Vatican I on the ecumenical process has yet to be written.
2 -- 'In 1888, "the Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones." (TM, p. 91) This message was to produce unity in truth under the Holy Spirit, and to prepare a people to reveal to the world the matchless love of God in a revelation of the image of Jesus perfectly reproduced in them. The people of God were to experience the results of the "final atonement" when in the mighty outpouring of the latter rain, "the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. [They] are to be totally transformed into the likeness of Christ." (Ibid., p. 506) Through understanding the justification of God in behalf of sinners, they are to develop the trust "that divine grace alone can complete the work." (Ibid., p. 508)
3 -- In 1948, Israel once again became a recognized and independent nation. Coming events were casting their shadows before. In the Church, the following year, the book - Bible Readings for the Home Circle - a standard doctrinal presentation of the truths held by the Church was revised and the historic teaching of Seventh-day Adventists in regard to the Incarnation was altered. (See - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, pp. 64-66) Events were moving swiftly. In 1950, Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short wrote 1888 Re-Examined in which they warned the leadership of the Church the course they were pursuing and where continued apostacy would lead. The warning was unheeded, and the conferences with the Evangelicals culminated in the book, Questions on Doctrine. (See next article)
4 -- In 1967, the nation of Israel in the Seven Day War recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem bringing it once more under the Jewish flag after 1900 years of foreign rule. This event fulfilled Jesus' own prophecy as recorded in Luke 21:24. (See monograph - The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled.)
NOW IT CAN BE TOLD IN PART -- In a recent issue of Adventist Heritage (Vol. 4, #2, pp. 35-46), Elder T. E. Unruh discussed the conferences that took place during 1955-1956 between the Evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders which resulted in the book - Questions on Doctrine. His involvement in these conferences places him in an unique position to state what tookk place; who all were involved; and what the issues were. He writes - "I served as moderator or chairman throughout the series." (p. 37) 1 During these years, he was President of the East Pennsyvania Conference with headquarters at Reading. He sparked the whole episode by writing a letter to Dr. Donald G. Barnhouse commending his radio messages on the book of Romans as a true presentation of righteousness by faith. 2
When the results of these conferences were finalized in the book - Questions on Doctrine - no author's name appeared. It was presented as a work of "The Editorial
19 -- Committee," which also remained anonymous. (See Questions
p. 10) Now in this historical review, Unruh names the people who were
involved - many of whom were suspected at that time. He writes - "Froom,
who had a facile pen, took the reponsibility of composing the initial
answers" to the questions advanced by the Evangelicals. This was
a document of "twenty pages." (Heritage, op. cit., p.
38) This accounts for the basic similarity in doctrinal heresy between
the book - Questions on Doctrine - and Froom's book - Movement
of Destiny. It needs to be noted at this point - while much detail
is being given by Unruh as to who the authors of Questions on Doctrine
were - all the questions involved in the controversy resulting from its
publication cannot be answered until each of the documents leading up
to the final draft are released for careful analysis. This has not been
done as yet.
involved in the initial confrontation with the Evangelicals were Elder
W. E. Read, who in 1955 was a Field Secretary of the General Conference.
R. Allan Anderson, editor of the Ministry at the time, whom Unruh
describes as possessing a "gift for diplomatic dialogue with leaders
of other communions," joined the group at Froom's request. (Ibid.,
the Evangelicals, the initial conferences involved only Walter R. Martin
and George E. Cannon, a professor of theology on the Faculty of Nyack
Missionary College (New York). However, the whole consulation broadened
with the prospects that Dr. Barnhouse was planning to become personally
involved with a series of sessions in his own home at Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
At this point, Elder R. R. Figuhr, president of the General Conference,
"gave the support of his office to the conferences and the publication
of the definitive statement of Adventist belief which resulted."
(Ibid., p. 39) After the sessions at Barnhouse's home, "it
was planned to demonstrate consensus" within the church "by
submitting the questions and answers to Adventist leaders in North America,
and then around the world using a mailing list of more than 250 names."
The document had grown from the first twenty pages to book size involving
some sixty questions and answers." (Ibid., p. 41)
this juncture a committee of fourteen members was appointed with the General
Conference approval. They were - R. R. Figuhr (Chariman), A. V. Olson,
W.B. Ochs, L. K. Dickson, H. L. Rudy, A. L. Ham, J. I. Robinson, W. R.
Beach, C. L. Torrey, F. D. Nichol, and the Adventist conferees - Unruh,
Anderson, Froom, and Read. (Ibid.) It will be noted by those who
remember the make-up of the General Conference hierarchy at that time,
these men were the officers of the General Conference - president, vice-presidents,
secretary, treasurer, plus Figuhr's personal secretary, and the Editor
of the Review. This fact dare not be overlooked for the apostasy
presented in the book - Questions on Doctrine - carried the approbation
of the highest spokesmen of the Church. When the book was being prepared
for publication, an editorial committee chaired by A. V. Olson was appointed
with W. E. Read, M. Thurber, W. G. C. Murdoch, R. Hammill, L. E. Froom,
and R. Allan Anderson as consultants. (Ibid., p. 44) These names
are revealing for Murdoch served a long period of time as Dean of the
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, and Dr. Richard Hammill has
been president of Andrews University. Thus, the involvement in the book
reads like a Who's Who among the leadership of the Church at that period.
The most critical revelation is how these original conferees - Unruh, Froom, Anderson, and Read - perceived of their work and the results of that work. To Unruh, this book which resulted from the consultations with the Evangelicals "is a definitive statement of contemporary Adventist beliefs." (Ibid., p. 35) This is emphasized throughout the report in Adventist Heritage. Unruh writes that the Evangelical conferees "were satisfied that we were presenting contemporary Adventist doctrines." (Ibid. p. 38) Yet the Adventist participants did not conceive
p 20 -- of
themselves as setting forth "a new theology, but [were] clarifying
and amplifying the doctrines most generally believed by contemporary
Seventh-day Adventists." (Ibid., p. 44) Herein is to be found
two vital points: 1) On the Evangelical side, Walter
Martin "acknowledged that all whose beliefs followed the Questions
on Doctrine should be counted members of the Body of Christ (the Christian
church in Evangelical definition) and therefore his brethren." (Ibid.,
p. 35) Again, Martin became "persuaded that Adventists who believed
as did the conferees [Unruh, Anderson, Froom, and Read] were truly born-again
Christians and brethren in Christ." (Ibid., p. 38) Even Barnhouse,
according to Unruh, came "to see that there were sober, truly born-again
Christians among Seventh-day Adventists." (Ibid., p. 39)
What were the beliefs
which our conferees presented as "contemporary" Adventist doctrines
in contrast to the historical position of the Church? The over-all picture
involved "correcting misconceptions about Adventist doctrines as
to the nature of Christ in the incarnation, the Trinity, and the completed
atonement on the cross." (Ibid., p. 42)
This brings us to
the second vital point: 2) The book - Questions
on Doctrine - was supposed to have been merely a clarification and
amplification of "The Statement of Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists"
first published in 1931, and "later given General Conference approval
[in 1950] and regularly included in church manuals and yearbooks of the
denomination." (Ibid., p. 44) Herein is a dilemma. Was this
1931 Statement of Beliefs a correct representation of those statements
of belief first published by Elder James White in the first edition of
the Signs of the Times, which he declared to be held "with
great unanimity" by the Church? (June 4, 1874, Editorial) Concerning
these same beliefs, Uriah Smith wrote: - "There is, so far as is
known, entire unanimity throughout the body." (R&H, Aug.
22, 1912) Or was the 1931 Statement of Fundamental Beliefs a change of
doctrinal course within the Church? Or did the conferees representing
the Church seek to interpret the 1931 Statement of Beliefs in such a way
to be acceptable to the Evangelicals? While the possibility exists that
the historic faith of the Church was altered in the 1931 Statement, Unruh's
report of events during the conferences leads one to believe that the
latter possibility is a more viable answer. He wrote - "Our friends
[Barnhouse and Martin] helped us to express our beliefs in terms more
easily understood by theologians of other communions." (Heritage,
op. cit., p. 40) Further, Unruh reveals that as a result of these conferences,
Frank E. Gaebelein, an official in the National Association of Evangelicals,
wrote, "stating in his opinion, that the Seventh-day Adventist church
would qualify for membership in the evangelical group." (Ibid.,
Two other observations must be noted in Unruh's report. He traces the original answers from a twenty-page document, to a preliminary document sent to at least 250 leaders of the Church in different parts of the world, to a final book of 720 pages. It is known and can be documented that the final result - the book, Questions on Doctrine - is itself a revision of the original answers given to the Evangelical conferees. The book is heretical enough; what were the original answers like? This is still held in secret, and until all the documents are given the light of day, we shall not know how dark was the apostasy committed by the Adventist conferees - Unruh, Anderson, Froom, and Read. T. E. Unruh in his reporting does call attention to an article appearing in Eternity, entitled, "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?" (Sept., 1956) This was written by Barnhouse himself. Unruh quotes only a non-critical paragraph from the article. This article, however, reveals how far the Church leaders went in compromise of the historic teachings of the Church. Barnhouse wrote concerning his view of the experience which took place following October 22, 1844, and the Adventist conferees assessment.
p 21 -- Here
are his words:
"It is to my mind, therefore,
nothing more than a human, face-saving idea! It should also be realized
that some uninformed Seventh-day Adventists took this idea and carried
it to fanatastic literalistic extremes. Mr Martin and I heard the Adventist
leaders say, flatly, that they repudiated all such extremes. This they
said in no uncertain terms. Further, they do not believe as some of their
earlier teachers taught, that Jesus' atoning work was not completed on
Calvary but instead that He was still carrying on a second ministering
work since 1844. This idea is also totally repudiated. They believe that
since His ascension Christ has been ministering the benefits of the atonement
He completed on Calvary." 3
As a final observation,
Unruh claims that Elder M. L. Andreasen was the sole source for the controversy
which followed the publication of the book - Questions on Doctrine."
also claims that Andreasen made his "peace" with the hierarchy
and that "incident was soon closed." (Heritage, op. cit.,
p. 45) The burden of proof that Andreasen repudiated his opposition to
the changes made in historic Adventist teaching as set forth in the book,
Questions on Doctrine, rests with Unruh. This he does not give.
To our knowledge, Andreasen never repudiated the charges he made, nor
what he wrote in Letters to the Churches.
Following his service as President of the East Pennsylvania
Conference, T. E. Unruh came to the Indiana Conference where I was serving,
and served for seven years as a pastor and evangelist. I knew that he
was connected with the conferences between the Evangelicals and our men
in Washington, but not until the publication of the report in Adventist
Heritage, did I know that he served as chairman of the dialogues.
Now I can understand the vehemence of the reaction which he displayed
toward me because of the stand I took on the book, Questions on Doctrine.
I recall vividly one experience. A. V. Olson had been invited to be the
key speaker at one of the campmeetings. Following the campmeeting - mind
you during the breaking up of the camp - I was called off the work detail
for a private conference with Olson and Unruh. I was asked concerning
my position on the Incarnation. I asked these men to define for me the
word - "infinite." They demurred but I assured them that I wasn't
trying to catch them. Then they gave me an answer. I told them that this
was what I believed about the humanity of Christ, quoting - "Tell
the wanderer of an almighty hand that will hold them up, of an infinite
humanity in Christ that pities them." (Christ's Object Lessons,
p. 388) The two men - Olson and Unruh - then got into an argument over
Matthew 8:17 that Jesus "took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."
They discussed whether Christ could take a cold. I had to smile for it
reminded me of the story of the medieval theologians arguing over how
many spirits could dance on a pinhead. This enraged Unruh who said to
Olson - "I want to tell you about this man. He has a very peculiar
personality. Whatever he says to the laity, they believe; but they won't
believe what I tell them about theology." This embarrassed Olson,
who broke up the meeting stating he had a plane to meet. We had prayer
together and Olson apologized that I had been called in before them, but
not Unruh who argued with me all the way down the hall to the outside
entrance of the building we were in.
2 -- For a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to commend a Babylonian Evangelical on his presentations from the book of Romans reveals his own lack of a knowledge of the true gospel and righteousness by faith. It is not very likely that Unruh had any acquaintance at that time with Waggoner's Studies in Romans, or much of a concept of what took place during the decade following 1888. The only publication available on 1888 at the time Unruh wrote his first letter to Barnhouse - November 28, 1949 - was Daniells' book - Christ and His Righteousness. Wieland and Short's manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined - had not been written.
p 22-- 3
-- This paragraph is taken from a photocopy of the
complete article, "Are Seventh-day Adventist Christians?" as
found in Eternity, September, 1956.
reasoning regarding Andreasen and the agitation following the publication
of Questions on Doctrine is typically Unruhism. He wrote:
"It came as a surprise to the planners, after the demonstration
of a solid consensus from the world leaders in the church and the preview
in the Ministry of what was to come, that Questions on Doctrine
should be subjected to attack from Adventist sources. The critics seemed
to be saying the same things, suggesting a common source. This was not
hard to find. M. L. Andreasen, a respected retired Adventist theologian,
author and Bible teacher, had widely circulated eleven mimeographed documents
and six printed leaflets addressed to the churches." (Heritage,
Such a conclusion was inaccurate. I know from personal experience of my own concern about the articles appearing in the Ministry, and of a letter I wrote to Elder H. L. Rudy asking for an explanation. It was not until the book, Questions on Doctrine had been published, and I was discussing the questionable parts with friends in Canada that I was told about Andreasen's opposition. But this is the way Unruh's mind worked. Many people may be concerned; but always there is just one and only one agitator - the people cannot think for themselves - whom he seeks to zero in on. At a campmeeting in Indiana - one year prior to the experience noted in Footnote #1 - R. Allan Anderson was the main speaker. The laity challenged him over and over again after his presentations of the "new look" in Adventism. Unruh concluded there could be only one man responsible for this reaction on the part of the laity - that was Grotheer. He called a meeting of the entire ministerial staff after the evening service. This confrontation was held in the chapel of the old Administration building on the campus of Indiana Academy, and lasted till 1 a.m. Two other ministers and myself withstood Anderson to the face regarding the work of Christ as priest as portrayed in the book, Questions on Doctrine, and the historic teaching of the pioneers of this message in regard to the final atonement, and whether Crozier had the true light on the sanctuary.
A Note of Explanation - It might be wondered why a documentation as to the origin of the book, Questions on Doctrine, is included in a compilation of materials on the Audience with the Pope, and the "Roots" of the Ecumenical Movement. The article - "The Seventh-day Adventist Church"- which appeared in the January, 1967, issue of Ecumenical Review, a publication of the World Council of Churches, was based largely on this book as indicated in the footnotes of the article. Of the 49 footnotes, 27, more than half, are noted as from the book, Questions on Doctrine. In other words, the consultations between the leadership of the WCC and the SDA's found common ground because of the positions taken in the book. "Contemporary Adventism" permitted what historic Adventism could not countenance. While originally written to create a bond between the Evangelicals and the Adventist leadership, it was also used to accomplish a working relationship with the WCC, and finally led to the appointment of an Adventist theologian to the Faith and Order Commission. Even as Hosea said of Israel of old - "Ephraim is also like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria" (Hosea 7:11), so also we called to the Evangelicals, we have gone to the World Council of Churches.