Dr. B.B. Beach's Adventist Review Article on Ecumenical Participation—A Study Into SDA Double- Speak

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Dear Reader,

Here is B. B. Beach’s Adventist Review Article on Seventh-day Adventist participation in the ecumenical movement.  This is one of the more blatant examples of double-speak you will ever witness from an SDA leader.   

The World Council of Churches/Seventh-day Adventists Conversations and Their Significance


Channels of Communication            


While prior to 1965 the channels of communication between the SDA Church and the WCC were not non-existent, they were very weak and spasmodic. Today, largely as a result of the Consultations, a number of actively used channels of communications are entertained, especially with the General and Faith and Order Secretariats.  Information once ignored or difficult to come by, is now regularly communicated.  In addition the SDA/WCC Conversations were at least partly instrumental in opening anew channels for contacts between the SDA Church and other confessional bodies or churches.


WCC Statement Concerning SDA Church   


A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding the SDA Church which was published in the January, 1967, issue of the Ecumenical Review. While the statement was prepared by the Faith and Order Secretariat, the SDA participants in the 1966 Conversations had the opportunity to discuss the draft statement and make some useful observations.  After incorporating some relatively minor suggestions, the document was published substantially as originally written.  The statement has had a wide distribution, not only through the Ecumenical Review, but as a Faith and Order paper.  Seventh-day Adventists consider this article one of the fairest and finest statements published by non-Adventists about Adventists.


Participation in Meeting of World Confessional Families


Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of “Secretaries of World Confessional Families.”  This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly.  It is hoped that expanded cooperation will ensue between the World Confessional Families in the vital realm of religious liberty.


Observer and Advisor Status


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 just been present pro forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings they 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 [This is the largest executive Committee of the WCC].


SDA on Faith and Order Commission


An evident result of the Conversations was the appointment of a Seventh-day Adventist as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.  While it is clear that churches are not members of this Commission and theologians selected for membership are chosen in their personal capacity, and therefore the SDA Church is not a member of the Faith and Order Commission, it does mean that the Commission will have the benefit of hearing a bona fide SDA voice, and the Seventh-day Adventists would have the opportunity of learning from the discussions of the Faith and Order Commission.  B.B. Beach, Adventist Review and Herald, October 9 & 16, 1969.  End of Beach’s Review article.


Ron's Commentary:  This is one of the most colossal examples of duplicitous double-speak one could witness.  B.B. Beach mentions being observers and then says in the same paragraph that they were not just present pro-forma, but took an active role.  How does observer status equate with an active role?  Also, B.B. Beach was paid by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  He was the ecumenical representative of the church for over 30 years.  Though Beach tries to exempt church responsibility for his role, he was paid to fulfill that role and the church is corporately responsible as it paid his salary to be so employed for all those decades of service to the church. 


Is every professing Seventh-day Adventist responsible for the Church’s ecumenical involvement? Notice:


 "The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body [corporately], responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them." Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 269.


If you have not read it already, be sure to see the following document on Ellen White and Isaiah 8:9-13:  http://omega77.tripod.com/egwisaiahchap8.htm