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Do we really want to return to the teachings of our founding fathers?

If James White and Joseph Bates wanted to be baptized into the SDA church today, they would be rejected because they couldn't be baptized into the church because of the 27 beliefs. SDA's are a progressive religion. true or False?

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The pioneers of our church came to understand the true truths of the bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit;
The foundation of truth was given by God. Understanding of these pillar truths grow BUT the truth never changes. I believe there is more to learn in Gods word, But the Foundation of our faith should never change.

You only have to look at the difference now between the first Fundamental Principles (1872) of our pioneers, and our 27 Fundamental beliefs today.  

This quote is by George Knight: (Best to read the full article)

"Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity." -                                                                                                                        Ministry, October 1993, p. 10. George Knight, Andrews University Seminary professor


The Firm Foundation of Our Faith

Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, [OLDER BRETHREN AMONG THE PIONEERS ARE HERE THUS REMINISCENTLY REFERRED TO. "FATHER PIERCE" WAS STEPHEN PIERCE, WHO SERVED IN MINISTERIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORK IN THE EARLY DAYS. "FATHER ANDREWS" WAS EDWARD ANDREWS, THE FATHER OF J. N. ANDREWS.--COMPILERS.] Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "We can do nothing more," the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me. {1SM 206.4}

 "As a people, we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. It is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. He will bring in everything that he possibly can to carry out his deceptive designs. But the Lord will raise up men of keen perception, who will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God."  {1SM 201.2}  

They couldn't be rejected.  God would continue destroying unfaithful ministers who were foolish enough to use the Church Manual's tests of fellowship, rather than the Bible's, until, finally one put their names on the books.  God will force the SDA church to allow all into fellowship, who are willing to meet Rev. 12:17 criteria.  This is the last denomination God will raise up.  There's no where else to go.

God allowed Elijah to suffer because of the apostasy of his church, but after he left the cave, if anyone thought about hurting him, fire from God would destroy them.  Then he finished his work, and was translated.  Thus it shall be for the true remnant of God.

1 Kings  19:10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant...

And the church is a body of Christians associated together with the simple covenant to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.  ("Organization and Discipline" by James White).

Thank you Rush. Good material.

Quoting a little more from the "Organization and Discipline" article by James White:

"The head of every man [every minister] is Christ." The minister who throws himself on any Conference Committee for direction, takes himself out of the hands of Christ. And that Committee that takes into its own hands the work of directing the ambassadors for Christ, takes a fearful responsibility. "One is your Master [Leader], even Christ, and all ye are brethren." Matt. 23:8. May God preserve to us our organization and form of church discipline in its original simplicity and efficiency. (Review and Herald, January 4,1881.)"


Why do you continually make out that the SDA church is founded on faulty beliefs, What is your understanding? Is it a false religion? Was the Pioneers uninspired? If so why do the church now have 18 million members? The Mormons founded about the same time has 15 million, the Jehovah Witnesses almost 8 million also founded about the same time.


You continually talking about getting back to the fundamentals of the early church. You need to do an in depth study on church history. Yes there were many problems with the teachings of the early church, teachings that had we held onto them would have been devastating.

There were many misunderstood teaching throughout our history. And that has continued into more recent times.

When I was young the SOP was esteemed above the bible, not so much in theory, but in practice. Even at the present there are groups among us that have beliefs differing from our published teachings.

What I'm saying, Ian, is when you continually say we need to get back to the fundamentals, you need to rethink where we came from. Many of our early teachings we now understand to have been false teachings.

Are you aware, SDA's didn't believe in the Holy Spirit being a third member of the Godhead until the teens? Trinity was not even discussed when James White was alive. Galatians and the law nailed to the cross was not understood, Last generation perfection was taught for years, the sinful nature of Christ was also taught.

Let's study our past history, but let's not go back there. Truth is progressive and if anyone tells you they have all the truth, beware. If it can't be explained by the bible, it's not a biblical problem.

Christ is coming again, that is future, and that is truth, misunderstandings of truth in the early church were necessary stepping stones. EGW's first vision was about a upward path where many fell off. The eyes were fixed upon Jesus, but it was never suggested that those on the upward pat should go back to the beginning.

I question Your reasoning about the numbers in the churches, are you saying Mormons are a true church just because they have 15 million?

Truth in progressive, we study to obtained knowledge. Our leaders have battled over doctrine with the help of the holy spirit for our entire history.

We have four fundamental teachings: State of the dead, Sabbath, Sanctuary, Second Coming of Christ. Continuing to learn about these is getting to the fundamentals.


Ps. I love our teachings, our God, and the SDA church. That doesn't mean there won't still be changes. God doesn't change, but we do.


Thanks for the reply. What makes you think, I think the Mormons are a true church I was only giving some comparisons with the churches coming out of tat Era. We are 3 million ahead of them anyway.  

I do know that James White no less did not believe in the Holy Spirit. I also know there is still some saints around who do not believe in the Holy Spirit, but i believe it is a matter for them and the Lord.

Judging on our discussion on 1844 and the IJ I see many having differing ideas about what the sanctuary is.

I believe the Church is in progress ever since William Miller, mistakes has been made true even the Bible tells us about the mistake that was made with the little book. So mistakes is not something to be scoffed at. I was not happy about you would dis-fellowship James White and Joseph Bates, they did their best with the information they had at the time.


Nobody suggested dis-fellowshipping anyone. They couldn't have joined in the first place. 


I believe James White and Joseph Bates would be outstanding members of the Church, had they been informed as we are.

However the question should be if they would want to be members of the confused church as it is today.


I would have to say the church seemed to be much more confused then than it is now. The battles and changes of doctrine were beyond belief.

 but the point of the question was that the doctrines as we know them were not established in the early church. Some still have a certain amount of being unsettled, that's why we continue to study.



William Miller was preaching something that was not in the Bible. Was he condemned for that not according to EG White. The church was founded on his message to some extent. It is just a matter of evolving light.

Brother Keith,

I think you are concentrating too much on the nuances and missing the big picture. First of all, it is impossible to put the SOP above the bible because it does not contradict the bible. If it did, and then credence was giving to it verses the bible, then that would be putting the SOP above scripture.In fact, the SOP would cease to be the SOP in those cases.  But if its also inspired of God, how can you put it above something else that is also inspired of God?

Getting back to the fundamentals for me would be getting back to the 3 angles message. 

But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.{EW 63.2}


Jay, you may be right with what you say. However it truly saddens me when so much of our teaching is centered around EGW's writings, and little attention paid to the bible.

Christ told us there would be many false prophets in the last days, and that we should test the spirit. However to do so has done nothing but get me called a lair, of the devil and lost to salvation. None of which seem like Christian behavior among a group who are interested in learning about salvation.

When asked if I think Ellen White was a false prophet The answer would be no I don't. But I would have to say I don't think she was a prophet ether, and you have to admit she herself said she never claimed to be a prophet. We are the ones who have tried to put her in that position. I believe a person can write under the inspiration of God without being a prophet, and I feel EGW wrote many wonderful books which have inspired many. Like the gospel writer Luke, who wrote a fantastic book on the life of Christ, he wasn't a prophet. As a child in the SDA church, fifty years ago we were assured Ellen White was not a prophet, but a messenger of the Lord. More recently I have noticed her being refered to as a prophet. Why can't we take her word for it when she says she never claimed to be a prophet.? If she's not a prophet, yet and inspired messenger of God the accusations that she is a false prophet would have no validity. Why can't we let her be the founder of our church, the writer of inspired books, without making her the authority on all doctrinal subjects because ever word from her mouth or pen is directly from God. No mistakes.

I think you will admit when there are biblical questions such as, Christ in the  holy or most holy at his ascension, or the starting date of the 2300 days, the IJ and the blotting out of sins verses the atonement being finished on the cross, the SOP will always be the true answer where Adventist are concerned.

To question the SOP on these subjects has lost many a good man his credentials. We do claim the bible and the bible only which looks good on paper, but in reality it is not our stance.

My only plea on this forum is that we be honest about our beliefs, not be afraid to admit our short comings, get rid of the bad rap we have put on Mrs. White by exhausting her to near deity, get back to relying on the holy spirit and the scripture without the fear we are going against the SOP.

Remember the SOP my be exhibited in the writings of Mrs. But her writing are not the SOP. That could be one our major misunderstanding.

Remember: I believe in the State of the dead, the Sabbath, the Sanctuary in heaven, the Second coming of Christ, and the assurance of Salvation by faith.

God bless you all



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