I was doing a study to write a outline of the foundational pillars of Adventism. Everyone seems to have a personal view of what they entail but limited support for it. What SOP or writings in church periodicals has everyone on this important issue as I have the following pillars.....
The investigative judgment
The sanctuary service
The perpetuity of the Law of God
The faith of Jesus
The Three Angels' Messages
The seventh-day Sabbath
The state of the dead
The special gift of prophecy (or the Testimony of Jesus).
Are we to trust in man-made creeds? Is this what the GC that God established was intended for? Are the decisions made by the GC in session infallible like Papal encyclicals?
My understanding was that the GC sessions were to make decisions for more practical purposes. Our pioneers never voted on doctrine.
Never the less this is how it came about. If you have problems with how things are done take it to God. Do you believe God established the SDA?
I believe that the movement first and then the organization was established by God. But after light was rejected in 1888, things went downhill. There were times when Sister White said that she no longer trusted the General Conference and she voiced fear of another coming out or that we would become a sister to fallen Babylon. Kingly power developed and took over and the denomination was changed, including the abandonment of our pioneer pillars, especially the personality of God one. But I believe that a major revival is underway. The question is will we recognize it?
As long as you trust in falsehood you will never get a clear understanding about the nature of God, see my post below.
M.E. Malachi said, "the denomination was changed, including the abandonment of our pioneer pillars, especially the personality of God one." (emphasis mine)
What are the pillars that you are referring to? Can you provide a list of those pillars?
You mention in particular "the personality of God one", where can we find that defined?
Look up "personality of God" and "pillars" on the EGW CD Rom.
Then look up "personality of God" in the pioneer writings.
The way that the Godhead is taught today is not in harmony with the "personality of God" doctrine that our pioneers taught.
what way is the Godhead taught now?
Can you not just point me to where I can find what you are referencing?
In searching SoP for "pillars" over 1,500 hits come up. So far in attempting to search through them I have found no list of Pillars and no pillar on the personality of God.
If you know that there is a doctrine taught today which is not in harmony with what was taught previously why not point it out - old definition and new definition.
The problem that I have found is that nowhere in the writing of EGW or the Pioneers do I find any definite list of pillars other than the list I quoted earlier which contains nothing on the personality of God.
The next problem is fixing a date for a change in the Godhead doctrine. In 1915 sis. White wrote in the Bible Training School of 1st March,
"The truths that have been substantiated by the manifest working of God are to stand fast. Let no one presume to move a pin or foundation-stone from the structure. Those who attempt to undermine the pillars of our faith are among those of whom the Bible says that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
In 1906 she wrote in Review and Herald,
"Think you that I can remain silent, when I see an effort being made to sweep away the foundation pillars of our faith?"
So, on that basis, can we assume that any changes in the pillars of our faith will come in after the death of Ellen White?
M.E. Malachi said, "Are we to trust in man-made creeds?"
I'm not sure what you mean by "trust in". Adventists have produced statements of belief from the very beginning. It was recognised that there was a need to define what beliefs Adventists hold in common, indeed to define what it means to be an Adventist, let alone a Seventh-day Adventist.
In 1845 at the Albany Conference where the name Adventist was decided William Miller defend making statements of belief on the following basis,
“Has not a man a right to tell the world what he does, or does not believe? O, yes, certainly. Then have not five, or ten, or fifty men the same privilege? Most certainly. Then, wherein, pray, is the objection? O, says one, it looks too much like a creed, and I object to all creeds, either oral or written. But what do you mean by a creed? if you mean by it a test of Christian character, I agree with you; and the Conference expressly voted that they had " no fellowship with any of the new tests as conditions of salvation, in addition to repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a looking for and loving his appearing." But if you mean that a man or body of men have no right to speak or write what they believe, I must dissent from you. The objector replies, we want nothing short of the entire Scriptures for our creed; that alone is sufficient. And that alone is sufficient for me. But while I receive the entire word of God according to my understanding of its teachings, and while different men draw different and opposite conclusions respecting its teachings, have I no right to inform the world what I conceive to be truths it inculcates?”
The first thing that Miller established was that it is right for us to set out clearly what we believe, he went on to say that it is our duty to do so if we are to tell the world what the Bible says.
Similarly, in 1872, when Uriah Smith wrote A Declaration Of The Fundamental Principles Taught And Practiced by SDA it was done, in part, to distinguish between those who say they are SDA and those who actually are members of the SDA Church. Look at what he wrote in the preamble,
“In presenting to the public this synopsis of our faith, wo wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline, aside from the Bible. We do not put forth this as having any authority with our people, nor is it designed to secure uniformity among them, as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them. We often find it necessary to meet this subject, and sometimes to correct false statements circulated against us, and to remove erroneous impressions which have obtained with those who have not had an opportunity to become acquainted with our faith and practice. Our only object is to meet this necessity.
As Seventh-day Adventists we desire simply that our position shall be understood ; and we are solicitous for this because there are many who call themselves Adventists who hold views with which we can have no sympathy, some of which, we think, are subversive of the plainest and most important principles set forth in the word of God.”
If you read the preamble to the current 28 Fundamentals you read a similar thing,
“Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference Session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God’s Holy Word.”
Interestingly, in the early Adventist Church the pillars of faith appear to have been treated as a creed as members were baptised according to their acceptance of the pillars. So, I'm not too sure what the argument is here. If you object to creeds you will not be happy with the Pillars of Faith as they were used as a baptismal confession. However, if they are wrong why did not Ellen White raise any objection? Why not rebuke Uriah Smith or her husband for writing out such things and why not rebuke them for publicly printing them?
Reply by M.E. Malachi
Oops. Here is the link: http://theprophetstillspeaks.co.uk/DetHis/zaDHS27.htm
Indeed the link is false the Quote in the letter to Kellog Here is the original letter let us see if the first Quote from EGW is there
“You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” (Ellen G. White to John Harvey Kellogg, Letter 300, March 16th 1903)”
The poster your link is pointing is trying to make out it is about the Trinity and has taken the quote out of context and you believe falsehood like that? EGW is talking about the sanctuary, not the Trinity.
She didn't write about the Trinity, she wrote about the alpha of apostasy; the Trinity came later, rejecting the same pillar of the personality of God.
I have to question the definition that you are using of "trinity". Merriam Webster gives the following definition:
the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead according to Christian dogma
So, when she refers to the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead she is giving a trinitarian statement. You appear to be using a different definition, possibly the Roman Catholic Church's definition, but is that really fair? Whilst many of the Pioneers may have held Arian or Semi-Arian views, not all of them did and sis. White certainly did not. You say, "the Trinity came later" but fail to say when. Presumably you mean after 1903 but The Desire of Ages was published in 1898 and that contained trinitarian statements and a rebuttal to Arianism (and Semi-Arianism). This book caused a shift in belief to three equal Persons in the Godhead.
In 1899 A. T. Jones and Uriah Smith were joint editors of The Review and Herald with control of the content. In the 10th January edition of the paper appeared the following,
“God is one. Jesus Christ is one. The Holy Spirit is one. And these three are one: there is no dissent nor division among them.”
Isn't this a trinitarian statement? Yet it is 4 years before the letter that Elijah quoted above.
So I find this allegation of changing the Pillars to be vague and contradictory - and it certainly does not fit in with Spirit of Prophecy.