Vatican Council II and Seventh-day Adventists -- So Much in Common

by Neil C. Livingston

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VATICAN COUNCIL II

The World Council Of Churches

and the

Seventh-Day Adventist Church

 

If unity could be secured only by the compromise

of truth and righteousness, then let there be

difference and even war.

GC, p. 45

 

In 1958, one year after the publication of the book, "Seventh-day Adventists Answer" Questions on Doctrine, Pope John XXIII called for a great Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. This historic Council would include Protestant denominational "observers." After four years of preparation, the Second Vatican Council convened in Rome on October 11, 1962.

"The participants with full voting rights were all the bishops of the Roman Catholic church, of both the Western and Eastern rites, superiors-general of exempt religious orders, and prelates with their own special spheres of jurisdiction," Richard McBrien wrote. "Non-Catholic Christian churches and alliances and Catholic lay organizations were invited to send observers. These observers, however, had neither voice nor vote in the council deliberations." (Richard P. McBrien, "Bibliography," Abbott, W. A., ed., The Documents of Vatican II, 1966, emphasis supplied).

"Early in 1965 the World Council of Churches appointed a working group to enter into formal dialogue on matters of mutual interest and concern, with a similar group to be appointed by the [Vatican] Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity." (Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism").

"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions," Ellen White warned, "then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." (The Great Controversy, page 445, emphasis supplied).

Seventh-day Adventist Church Position On Ecumenism

"The General Conference Committee has never voted an official statement regarding the Seventh-day Adventist relationship to the Ecumenical movement as such," so states the SDA Encyclopedia. "A book has been written dealing at length with the subject (B. B. Beach, Ecumenism-Boon or Bane? Review and Herald, 1974). . .." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

In 1973 the very same B. B. Beach coauthored a book with Lukas Vischer, Secretary of the World Council of Churches. The title of the book was, So Much In Common, "Between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (See below, "So Much In Common"). This was also the same B. B. Beach who in 1977 presented the Seventh-day Adventist Church in symbol on a Gold medallion to Pope Paul VI; See below, Chapter #18, "The Invaders"). Yet in view of these two facts, the contemporary SDA leadership is content to let Beach present the denominationís position on the subject of Ecumenism by refering the student of history to the book, Ecumenism-Boon or Bane.

"Thus, while there is not exactly an official position, there are clear indications regarding the Seventh-day Adventist viewpoint," the SDA Encyclopedia states, "A personís attitude toward ecumenism will be determined by the individualís concept of the nature of the church." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

And just what are those "clear indications regarding the Seventh-day Adventist viewpoint" on Ecumenism? The Church leadership says out of one side of their mouth that, "A personís attitude toward ecumenism will be determined by the individualís concept of the nature of the church." But while the individual has an opinion about "Ecumenism" and "the nature of the Church," what is SDA Church leadershipís concept of Ecumenism and the nature of the Church? The SDA Encyclopedia gives us a clear answer to this question:

"Seventh-day Adventists believe that all sincere Christians, of whatever communion, constitute the people of God. . . ," leadership states. "They regret that their sense of world mission makes membership in the National Council and the World Council impracticable." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

When Church leadership states, "Seventh-day Adventists believe," what they really mean is what the "sane leadership" of the SDA Church believes; "to them it may be merely the position of the majority group of sane leadership which is determined to put the brakes on any members who seek to hold views divergent from that of the responsible leadership of the denomination." (Donald G. Barnhouse, Eternity, 10/56, emphasis supplied). Since the Evangelical Conferences of 1955-56, SDA Church leadership has been eagerly telling the world what Seventh-day Adventists believe. Indeed, the Church has published, and offered to all at a very low cost, a book titled, Seventh-day Adventists Believe, "27 Statement of Fundamental Beliefs." But the current theological division in Adventism testifies that many Adventists do not believe the same "new" theology being promoted by the leadership of the Church.

"They [Seventh-day Adventists] regret that their sense of world mission makes membership in the National Council and the World Council impracticable." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

It is SDA Church leadership that "regrets" they cannot join hands with Babylon in the "National Council and the World Council" of Churches. This, however, is not the "regret" of faithful Adventist laymen.

"However, SDAís [leadership] seek to work in fellowship with other Christians in every way that does not involve a compromise of what they understand to be their mission as a people." (ibid.)

Back in 1926, long before ecumenism was in vogue, the General Conference Executive Committee adopted an important statement that is now a part of the General Conference Working Policy (075). This declaration has significant ecumenical implications. The concern of the statement was for the mission field and relationships with other "missionary societies." However, the statement has now been broadened to deal with "religious organizations" in general. It affirms that Seventh-day Adventists "recognize those agencies that lift up Christ before men as a part of the divine plan for evangelization of the world, and. . .hold in high esteem Christian men and women in other communions who are engaged in winning souls to Christ." In the churchís dealings with other churches, "Christian courtesy, frankness, and fairness" are to prevail. . ..

(ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

"Back in 1926, long before ecumenism was in vogue, the General Conference Executive Committee adopted an important statement that is now a part of the General Conference Working Policy." This first sentence statement proves that Ecumenism was the position of SDA Church leadership, not the position of Adventist laymen. Indeed, Church leadership has bent over backwards to assure Adventist laymen that the Church has never been an "official" member of the National or World Council of Churches - but that the Church is merely an "observer" to these councils of Babylon. Notice that SDA Encyclopedia states that, "This declaration has significant ecumenical implications."

Although the General Conference policy voted back in 1926 was a statement to deal with "other missions," contemporary leadership admits that, "the statement has now been broadened to deal with `religious organizationsí in general." Great Ecumenical strides have been made since 1955.

"Today the World Council of Churches has as its goal not so much organizational union as "mutual recognition,í" the Compilers of the SDA Encyclopedia state. "What this means is that the different churches and denominations are to recognize each otherís baptism, Communion service (Eucharist), and ordained ministry. During the last decade of the twentieth century a key ecumenical term is Koinonia, that is, communion, fellowship, cooperation, and caring partnership." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

The churches and denominations of Babylon "are to recognize each otherís baptism, Communion service (Eucharist)." So that is the reason a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church chaired an Ecumenical weekend titled "Baptism, Communion and Eucharist" at Union College, Nebraska, Seventh-day Adventist Church

Baptism will be the theme of the Roots and Branches Convocation, Thursday through Sunday at [Seventh-day Adventist] Union College [Nebraska], sponsored by Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska.

Speakers include William Cardinal Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore and president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, dean of Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky; the Rev. Gayle Felton of Duke University Divinity School; and Brigalia Bam, general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

The event is the first in three-year series of annual convocations for laypersons and clergy, said Daniel Davis, executive secretary of the Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska.

More than 200 people from across Nebraska and around the country are expected to attend Convocations in 1996 and 1997 will focus on communion and ministry. "Together with baptism, they represent the three key ecumenical issues facing efforts at church cooperation and unity worldwide," Davis said.

The convocation is an opportunity for people "to come together and celebrate together, worship together, talk together, enjoy together," he said. "So far as we know this is the first time anywhere this kind of thing has been done. . .."

Edward Cardinal Cassidy, president of the Vaticanís Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, was scheduled to attend but at the last minute was sent by the pope to Romania. Monsignor John Radano, a staff member of the Pontifical Council, will attend as his representative.

A worship service at 7 p.m. at College View Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3015 S. 49th St., with [Cardinal] Keeler speaking on "Baptism and the Community" is open to the public. . ..

Lincoln Journal Star, Saturday, October 21, 1995. (emphasis supplied).

"Communion and ministry, `Together with baptism, they represent the three key ecumenical issues facing efforts at church cooperation and unity worldwide,í" the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

"The convocation is an opportunity for people `to come together and celebrate together, worship together, talk together, enjoy together.í" What do pioneer Adventists say about worshiping together, talking together, enjoying together, and, oh yes, "celebrating" together [thereís that word again] with the fallen Churches of Babylon?

Here is a man, for instance, who does not agree with us on the subject of the second coming of Christ. He believes that we are wholly mistaken in regard to this great truth. Can we feel union with such a man, and take him into our fellowship and communion? We cannot. We can but feel that he shuts his eyes to some of the clearest light of the Scriptures, and refuses assent to their most unequivocal testimony. We cannot therefore extend to him the hand of Christian fellowship. Just so with the Sabbath. Can we fellowship with the man who violates it? We cannot. On a vital point connected with the teaching of the word of God, we are at issue; and the union that would otherwise exist between us, is of course destroyed. So with the subjects of baptism, the sleep of the dead, the destruction of the wicked, etc. Where there is not agreement in theory, there can be, in the Christian sense, no real communion of heart and fellowship of feeling.

James White, "Fifty Unanswerable Arguments," Review and Herald, January 14, 1861. (emphasis supplied).

Notice that James White advises that, "We can but feel that he [Christians of other churches] shuts his eyes to some of the clearest light of the Scriptures, and refuses assent to their most unequivocal testimony." James White stated further that, "Where there is not agreement in theory, there can be, in the Christian sense, no real communion of heart and fellowship of feeling." Did pioneer Adventists believe in Ecumenism? They most definitely did not!

"So far as we know this is the first time anywhere this kind of thing has been done," the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Sad to say it was apostate Seventh-day Adventist leadership that condoned "the first time anywhere this kind of thing has been done."

Seventh-day Adventist Church Response To Vatican Council II

Arthur S. Maxwell, then Editor of the Signs of the Times, gave an eyewitness report on Vatican Council II in a sermon given at the University Church at Loma Linda, California. The title of his sermon, "The Outstretched Hand," reveals the tone of his message. In his discourse Maxwell disclosed the names of leading Seventh-day Adventists that had attended Vatican Council II. This oral report is so foreign to the pioneer Seventh-day Adventist position on the Papacy and Ecumenism that Maxwellís astonishing statements must be presented with comment.

First Paragraph of Maxwellís Report on Vatican Council II

First, the friendliness of the welcome. You see, Iíve been there several times, that is, to Rome. Always a sort of an iciness there, but not any more, not any more! And it was evident in so many ways. For instance, in the giving of these press passes, Brother Loewen was there from Religious Liberty, Brother Cottrell from the Review and Herald, Brother Beach was there from northern Europe, and I was there from the Signs, and provided you had a good reason for asking for a pass, you got it. If you were an editor or a correspondent for a real newspaper, they gave the pass, and they gave them to people of all faiths. Here, four Adventists got these passes. I thought you would like to see mine. Itís the only document I have which has the crossed keys and the triple crown on it. I have to be careful when I show this. I donít want anybody to think Iím going over to the Church of Rome. But it is a very nice little pass, and it was very valuable. This little pass got me anywhere I wanted to go at the time of the council.

Arthur S. Maxwell, Editor, Signs of the Times, "The Outstretched Hand," A Sermon

Report, given at the Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, Loma Linda, California. (emphasis supplied).

Comment On the First Paragraph Of Maxwellís Report

Amazing! This statement is filled with so many astounding details that it is almost impossible to decide where to begin comment. For one thing, pioneer Seventh-day Adventists would be appalled by the information disclosed in this one paragraph alone. For example, in the first sentence Maxwell stated that they received "the friendliness of the welcome." And in the second sentence he admitted, "Iíve been there several times, that is, to Rome." Why? Why had the Editor of the Signs of the Times been to Rome "several times?" The Vatican is the seat of the Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation 13! Then Maxwell stated that Rome had always received them with coldness. Maxwellís words "a sort of an iciness." Then he adds with delight, "but not any more, not any more!" Should not the Seventh-day Adventist "observers" have been alarmed at the change in their reception by the Papacy? Did not our own Spirit of Prophecy warn that, "There has been a change; but the change is not in the Papacy." (The Great Controversy, page 571, emphasis supplied).

"Catholicism indeed resembles much of the Protestantism that now exists," Ellen White wrote, "because Protestantism has so greatly degenerated since the days of the Reformers." (ibid., GC, p. 571, emphasis supplied). Have we Seventh-day Adventists also "degenerated" to the point that we also are becoming like the Church of Rome? Today one could rephrase Ellen Whiteís statement to read, "Catholicism indeed resembles much of the Adventism that now exists, because Adventism has so greatly degenerated since the days of the Pioneers."

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the Papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.

ibid., Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, page 571. (emphasis supplied).

Then Maxwell disclosed the names of the Adventists who attended Vatican Council II and admitted that he attended as a representative of the Signs of the Times, the Seventh-day Adventist premier outreach magazine. As an editor he was given an official pass to Vatican Council II, but admitted that "they gave them to people of all faiths." This fact alone should have alarmed Maxwell. Obviously it did not.

Maxwell then described the insignia on the pass, which should have immediately alarmed even the most snoring Laodicean. The insignia on the pass "has the crossed keys and the triple crown on it." The keys, Roman Catholics believe, represent the "keys of the kingdom" handed down by the apostle Peter to the succession of Popes as head of the Church. And we all know what the triple crown represents - that the Pope is the king of heaven, earth, and the lower regions.

"Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day [the day of the Lord] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed," the apostle Paul warned. "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, emphasis supplied).

"I have to be careful when I show this," Maxwell jokingly admitted. "I donít want anybody to think Iím going over to the Church of Rome."

Notice that Maxwell admitted that the contradictions were so strong that someone might think that he and the other Adventist "observers" were "going over to the Church of Rome." This is like Samuele Bacchiocchi, in his earlier lectures, donning the scarlet cap and gown of the Jesuit order and jokingly asking his audience, "Have you ever seen a Seventh-day Adventist Jesuit?"and then some ten years later lamenting, "You know, Iíve been accused of being a Jesuit!"

Second Paragraph of Maxwellís Report on Vatican Council II

Then, another aspect of the friendliness-the way they arranged for the press of the world to have the best seats at the opening ceremony. I sat closer to the Pope than any of the cardinals. I was only forty feet away from him for three or four hours, and I had the clearest view, just as clear as some of you forty feet away. The reason I know he was forty feet away-I stepped it out after the service was over, because I thought, "Nobody will ever believe me, that I sat so long, so near to His Holiness." But I had a wonderful view, and I saw some most fascinating close-up views which I wonít tell you now, but I would tell some of you privately-some very, very interesting little human details, which you see only when youíre very close in.

ibid., Arthur S. Maxwell, Editor, Signs of the Times, "The Outstretched Hand," A Sermon Report, given at the Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, Loma Linda, California. (emphasis supplied).

Comment On the Second Paragraph Of Maxwellís Report

"I sat closer to the Pope than any of the cardinals," Maxwell boasted. One would think from this statement that Maxwell was looking upon the Pope as he is reverently viewed by members of the Roman Church.

"The Pope is not a mere man, but as it were God and vicar of God."

"The Pope is not only the vicar of Christ, he is Jesus Christ, hidden under the Vail of flesh."

"Nobody will ever believe me," Maxwell stated, in awe of the Antichrist seated on his throne not more than forty feet away, "that I sat so long, so near to His Holiness."

How in the world could a high official of the Seventh-day Adventist Church call the man of sin, "His Holiness?" Pioneer Seventh-day Adventists would be astonished that an Adventist would refer to the Antichrist as "His Holiness." It is astounding to discover that Maxwell and the other Seventh-day Adventist "observers" were deceived, just as verily as were other Protestant "observers," by the cunning flattery of the Roman Catholic Church. What would be the response from Ellen White and other pioneer Adventists if told that, "I sat closer to the Pope than any of the cardinals."

The Papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4]. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. "Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy." (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she [the Papacy] declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?

Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, page 571. (emphasis supplied).

Third Paragraph of Maxwellís Report on Vatican II

Then, another aspect of this new friendliness, was the popeís opening speech. I have it with me. Iím not going to read it because it took a long time, but it was a beautiful speech. This was at the opening of the final session. Do you know what his subject was? Love. I quote one paragraph: . . ..

ibid., Arthur S. Maxwell, Editor, Signs of the Times, "The Outstretched Hand," A Sermon Report, given at the Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, Loma Linda, California. (emphasis supplied)..

Comment On the Third Paragraph Of Maxwellís Report

Maxwell was not only mesmerized by the great show of splendor at Vatican Council II, sitting so close to "His Holiness," but he was also deceived by the words of the Antichrist! "He shall speak great words against the most High." (Daniel 7:25). Speaking of the Popeís address at the opening of the final session, Maxwell commented that, "it was a beautiful speech." Then Maxwell asked and answered his own question, "Do you know what his subject was? Love."

"Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High," Ellen White replies. (GC, p. 571).

Love and beautiful, or, cruel and despotic? Who is right, friend, the Pope, the Adventist "observers," or Ellen White, who wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Who will you believe? That the SDA leadership would, by the year 1962, so degenerate in their attitude toward Rome is so incomprehensible, so unfathomable, so incoherent, so baffling and bewildering, so mind-boggling, that it is impossible to find words in the English language to describe the astonishment of any wide-awake Seventh-day Adventist who loves the three angelís messages.

So Much In Common

Because of the Ecumenical influence at Vatican Council II the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church has become involved with the World Council of Churches, and later the Roman Catholic Church. If there was no other evidence to present than the documented narrative below, the contemporary SDA Church would stand convicted in the courts of heaven. However, sadly, there are many, many more documents of record.

Beach Gives Revealing Eyewitness Report

Although he was not an editor of a paper or magazine, according to Maxwell, Bert Beverly Beach attended Vatican Council II as an "observer." "Brother Beach was there from northern Europe," (ibid.) At that time Beach was the President of the Northern Europe Division of Seventh-day Adventists. In 1980 B. B. Beach was appointed Secretary of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL), and the newly formed State Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

In 1973 Bert Beach coauthored a book with Lukas Vischer, Secretary of the World Council of Churches. The title of the book was, So Much In Common, the subtitle, "Between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church." The book was published by the World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland, in 1973. (Note:- A copy of So Much In Common may be obtained from: Adventist Laymenís Foundation, P. O. Box 69, Ozone, AR 72854). The title of the book alone tells the story, "So Much In Common, Between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Council of Churches." What do Seventh-day Adventists have in common with the World Council of Churches? How did Adventists ever come to the place where they thought they had something in common with the great assembly of the churches of Babylon, the harlot daughters of Rome? In his book Beach disclosed that the cooperation between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Council of Churches really began at Vatican Council II.

"In view of the fact that informal conversations between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been taking place on a regular basis for over four years," Bert B. Beach wrote in 1973, "it is not inappropriate to consider the significance of these contacts and take stock of what has been accomplished so far." (Bert B. Beach, So Much In Common, page 98).

Strange as it may seem, these yearly Consultations 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.

Bert B. Beach, So Much In Common, page 98. (emphasis supplied).

Let us take note of the three most important points of this revealing statement by Bert B. Beach.

(1) Beachís admission that the event was strange. "Strange as it may seem," he writes. It was strange that four Seventh-day Adventist "representative" were attending the great Ecumenical Vatican Council II of the Roman Catholic Church.

(2) The two men, the Seventh-day Adventist official representative, and the World Council of Churches staff member, decided that it "would fulfill a useful purpose" for the Seventh-day Adventists and the World Council of Churches to meet.

(3) "These yearly Consultations [between the SDA Church and the WCC] are an indirect by-product of Vatican II. The consultations were brought about by the spirit of the great Vatican Council II of the Roman Catholic Church!

The first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the two organizers. Thus, the Conversations got underway on a completely informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility of the participants. 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 blessing by facilitating the selection of the DA 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. The November 24-26, 1969, Consultation was the fifth in the series.

Bert B. Beach, So Much In Common, page 98. (emphasis supplied).

There are seven most important points revealed in this statement by Bert Beach. Let us examine each one carefully.

(1) The participants were "selected by the two organizers." The official Seventh-day Adventist representative, and the World Council of Churches staff member "selected" the men who would participate in the first Consultations Who was the first Adventist representative "selected" by the two organizers? No one knows.

(2) "Subsequent meetings have become somewhat more formal." This could only mean that the leadership of the SDA Church was becoming more involved in the "consultations."

(3) "The employing bodies of the SDA participants have authorized and financed their presence." The Seventh-day Adventist Church "authorized and financed their presence." Did the SDA leadership use tithe or free-will offering funds to finance meetings with the churches of Babylon? To use any of the funds that were contributed to the finishing of the third angelís message to consult with the fallen churches of Babylon is indeed a grave betrayal of trust.

(4) "And the executive committees of the three Adventist Divisions involved have given their blessing by facilitating the selection of the SDA representatives." After the consultations between the SDA and WCC "become somewhat more formal," the leading man chosen as the representative for the Seventh-day Adventist Church was Dr. Earle Hilgert, Professor of Theology at Andrews University. Since Dr. Hilgert left the SDA Church to become a Presbyterian, and took a position at a Presbyterian College in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Raoul Dederen, Professor of Theology at Andrews University was chosen to succeed Dr. Hilgert as the SDA representative.

(5) "The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been kept informed regarding the meetings." The General Conference knew about the meetings and accepted them without protest. By not protesting the Consultations with the World Council of Churches, the General Conference was and is placing its approval upon the Consultations.

(6) "The General Conference. . .has taken no direct, active part in the Consultations, except through its three European Divisional branch offices." One of the European Division branch "officers" was none other then Bert B. Beach himself. Why so much involvement of the European Division Conferences in consultations between SDA and the WCC? Because, from his own admission, Bert B. Beach as President of the Northern Europe Division attended Vatican Council II as an "observer/ representative." To verify this accusation, Beach would later co-author, with the Secretary of the WCC, the book So Much In Common, "Between the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the World Council of Churches." Beach would also later serve as the Secretary of the World Confessional Families, the theological branch of the World Council of Churches. While serving as Secretary of the WCF, Beach would present the SDA Church in symbol on a gold medallion to Pope Paul VI. (See, W. D. Eva, Adventist Review, "Book, Medallion Presented to Pope", August 11, 1977, (847), page 23).

(7) "The November 24-26, 1969, Consultation was the fifth in the series." How many "consultations" there have been between the SDA and WCC since 1969 is an interesting question?

The New Face Of Ecumenism

"It would appear that the organized ecumenical movement reached a pinnacle of enthusiasm and influence in the late sixties, in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II," the SDA Encyclopedia states. "Since then the WCC has gone into a period of ecumenical doldrums and even decline." (Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, Art. "Ecumenism," emphasis supplied).

"Much ecumenical activity now takes place outside of the WCC on the local level in the form of unstructured interdenominational youth and lay Bible study and prayer groups, fellowships, and community service endeavors." (ibid., Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition Art. "Ecumenism." (emphasis supplied).

We see this new face of the ecumenical movement prevalent in contemporary Adventism in every one of these phases of compromise. We see it in the more vibrant "Celebration" worship services, directed toward the youth. We see it in the watered-down outreach literature and evangelism of the contemporary denomination. We see ecumenism in "community service endeavors." This was the reason given for merging the Adventist hospitals in Colorado with the Roman Catholic "Provenant" system. (See, Judith Graham, staff Business Writer, "Provenant-Adventist, May Become Partners," The Denver Post, January 13, 1995,

We see the new face of ecumenism in interchurch "fellowships." Some churches have even held "interchurch" Super Bowl parties. We see ecumenism in "lay Bible study and prayer groups." Again we quote James White:

"On a vital point connected with the teaching of the word of God, we are at issue; and the union that would otherwise exist between us, is of course destroyed. . . ," James White wrote in regard to our relationship with other denominations. "Where there is not agreement in theory, there can be, in the Christian sense, no real communion of heart and fellowship of feeling." (James White, "Fifty Unanswerable Arguments," Review and Herald, January 14, 1861, emphasis supplied). (See above for complete statement in context).

The Ecumenical Homes Of Hope

Garrie Williams, at the time Oregon Conference Ministerial Secretary, developed a system of home Bible studies entitled Homes of Hope. The "ecumenical" Serendipity New Testament for Work Groups (NIV) was the textbook for the lessons. One only has to examine the marginal helps of this publication to see that it is one of the most subtle heretical tools of the "new" theology so prevalent throughout contemporary Adventism. The leadership of the Oregon Conference considered the lessons a great success. The North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church invited Garrie Williams to teach this method of "Homes of Hope" Bible study throughout the North American Division. (See "People in Transition," North Pacific Union Gleaner, March 4, 1991, page 21).

Betrayal Of the Second Angelís Message

Can we conclude in our study of the history of Ecumenism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church that the Church is still teaching the second angelís message? No, we cannot. Is the Church faithful to its commission to call people out of Babylon, out of the Sunday-keeping churches? Once again we must sadly answer, no. The contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church now recognizes the churches of modern Babylon as Christian brethren and as such, "We recognize every agency that lifts up Christ before man as a part of the divine plan for the evangelization of the world, and we hold in high esteem the Christian men and women in other communions who are engaged in winning souls to Christ." (General Conference Executive Committee, 1926, emphasis supplied)..(See above,

Contemporary Adventist leadership has now accepted the erroneous Bible translation of the National Council of Churches and endorsed by the Papacy. ("New" Revised Standard Version). They have accepted the false Christ of modern Babylon - the false teaching that Christ possessed the human nature that Adam possessed in the Garden of Eden before the fall. SDA leadership has rejected the "final atonement" in heaven and replaced it with the completed and final atonement on the cross. Yes, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is now teaching most of the false doctrines of modern Babylon. With a false Bible in hand, inspired by the Jesuits of Rome, the "new" theology of a false Christ and a false atonement is enforced as a Creed in the form of an official Church Manual.

"There can be no unity between truth and error," Ellen White warned. "We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted." (The Upward Look, page 88, emphasis supplied).

Converted To the Truth

The time has come when things must be called by their right names. The truth is to triumph gloriously, and those who have long been halting between two opinions must take their stand decidedly for or against the law of God. Some will take up with theories that misinterpret the Word of God, and undermine the foundation of the truth that has been firmly established, point by point, and sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The old truths are to be revived, in order that the false theories that have been brought in by the enemy may be intelligently met. There can be no unity between truth and error. We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted.

ibid., Ellen G. White, The Upward Look, page 88. (emphasis supplied).

If Ellen White were alive today, what would she have to say about four "Adventist Representatives" attending the Ecumenical Vatican Council II in Rome, headed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI? What would she say about the fact that Adventist leadership was influenced "as a direct result of Vatican Council II" to establish consultations with the World Council of Churches?

"Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people," Ellen White replies, "free from

all worldly policy, unembarrassed by confederating with those who have not wisdom

to discern the claims of God, so plainly set forth in His law."

(Battle Creek Letters, page 52, emphasis supplied).