A Non-Adventist Comments on SDA Ecumenical Involvement
The following article by D.W. Cloud, is an excerpt from his website at the following address: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/seventhday.htm
I have stated before that SDA ecumenical involvement was increased after the Walter Martin, Donald Grey Barnhouse conversations in the latter 1950's. This is confirmed by the following statement by D.W. Cloud.
THE CONFUSION OF THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT
This also reminds us of the confusion created by the ecumenical movement. It is confusion for those who believe in a literal hell, or believer's baptism, or eternal security, or a literal millennium, or the cessation of sign gifts to associate with those who denounce the these doctrines. Yet the ecumenical movement is promoting this very thing.
The Seventh-day Adventists are becoming increasingly involved with ecumenical endeavors throughout the world. The door was opened for this by the late Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute, who taught that the Adventists should be accepted as an evangelical group with a few quirky doctrines. Martin disseminated this dangerous thinking widely in his influential book Kingdom of the Cults, and he was joined in this by Donald Grey Barnhouse, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. These two prominent evangelical preachers entered into "sweet fellowship" with Adventist leaders. (See the article "Why Walter Martin Considered Seventh-day Adventism Evangelical" under the Evangelical section of the End Times Apostasy Database at the Way of Life Literature web site -- http://www.wayoflife.org/.) New books on cults are going a step further than Walter Martin by omitting Seventh-day Adventism altogether. An example is What They Believe by Harold Berry and published by Back to the Bible. Previous editions (1979, 1982, 1986), titled Examining the Cults, had dealt with Roman Catholicism and Adventism, but the 1992 edition omits both. Another example is the 1999 book Fast Facts on False Teachings by Ron Carlson and Ed Decker, which completely omits Adventism.
Everywhere we look we find Adventists participating in ecumenical ventures.
Further Commentary by Ron Beaulieu: Consider the implications of SDA's participating in a Billy Graham Crusade. At the end of his meetings, he always tells his hearers to go to church "next Sunday" and attend the church of their choice. How does that mesh with SDA teachings that the other churches are fallen and the second angel's message is a call to come out of those churches?
By SDA attendance at such functions, they appear to sanction error by their presence. Notice:
"We should never give sanction to sin by our words, our deeds, our silence or our presence." Desire of Ages, 152.
"Any connection with infidels and UNBELIEVERS which would identify us with them is FORBIDDEN by the word. We are to come out from them and be separate. in no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans or work." E. G. White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, 482.
If it is okay to fraternize with Babylonians in their religious services, we would not have been called out from among them. We would have no reason to have a church separate from theirs. For this reason, Protestants were called out from among Catholics, and SDA's were called out from Catholicism and apostate Protestantism. We were called out to be a holy, peculiar and SEPARATE people, as regards the sacred worship service.
2Cr 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
Hbr 7:26 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
If we cannot overcome sin, as the gracer-only advocates teach, then Paul really erred when he instructed us to be separate from sinners! Then folk misinterpret his words that we are saved by faith and grace alone. The do not consider that grace is also power that is given for obedience, Romans 1:5. Grace only and faith only are correct concepts only as they relate to the fact that grace is both--pardon and power, and faith without works is dead.
Exd 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:
Deu 14:2 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.
Deu 26:18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that [thou] shouldest keep all his commandments;
Tts 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
"I have been shown that the spirit of the world is fast leavening the church. You are following the same path as did ancient Israel. There is the same falling away from your holy calling as God's peculiar people. You are having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Your [ecumenical] concord with unbelievers have provoked the Lord's displeasure. You know not the things that belong to your peace, and they are fast being hid from your eyes. Your neglect to follow the light will place you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews upon whom Christ pronounced a woe." Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 75-76.
"Like ancient Israel, the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and CHRIST HAS DEPARTED. His Spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works wide by side with professed Christians yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him." E.G. White, Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 441-442.
"They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as them. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God's people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 661.
"Those who are uniting with the world [and churches that cannot be distinguished from the world, Early Writings, 273] are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast." Testimonies, vol. 5, 216."
It becomes a whole lot harder to call folk out of Babylon, when one is right in with them sanctioning their errors by their presence, eg. Sunday sacredness, by ones presence at such functions. The plan to be followed is that of going out two by two and teaching those who are in error. That was Christ's method which He taught to His disciples; that and Evangelistic campaigns.
Mar 6:7 And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
I personally asked B.B. Beach, Adventists most renowned ecumenical representative to Babylon's church councils, if he knew of ONE person who ever converted to Adventism because of the church's ecumenical escapades. He could not name one. However, I could tell him that the FIRST representative of the church to Babylon's councils, Earl Hilgert, was converted to Babylon and became a preacher in one of their churches. The reason that no convert has ever been made to Adventism because of ecumenical fraternizing with the world and churches that are indistinguishable from the world, is because that very act is forbidden by the Word and Ellen G. White.
"When the CHURCHES spurned the counsel of God by rejecting the Advent message, the Lord rejected them. The first angel was followed by a second, proclaiming, '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]. This 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. The proclamation, 'Babylon is fallen,' was given in the summer of 1844, and as the result, ABOUT FIFTY THOUSAND WITHDREW FROM THESE CHURCHES." E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, (1884 Great Controversy) vol. 4, p. 232.
"As the churches refused to receive the first angel's message, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the favor of God. They trusted to their own strength and by opposing the first message placed themselves where they could not see the light of the second angel's message. But the beloved of God, who were oppressed, accepted the message, 'Babylon is fallen,' and LEFT THE CHURCHES." Early Writings, p. 237.
"It was to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world that the first angel's message was given. But with the multitude, even of professed Christians, the ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth...When the churches spurned the counsel of God by rejecting the advent message, the Lord rejected them. The first angel was followed by a second...This message was understood by Adventist to be an announcement of the moral fall of the churches in consequence of their rejection of the FIRST MESSAGE." E.G. White, Story of Redemption, p. 364.
"God's people have been called out of the world, that they may be separated from the world. It is not safe for them to take sides in politics, whatever preference they may have. They are ever to remember that they are one in Christ. God calls upon them to enter their names as under His THEOCRACY. He cannot approve of those who link up with worldlings [and churches which cannot be distinguished from the world, Early Writings, 273]. We are entirely out of our place when we identify ourselves with party interests....God has chosen a people who are to proclaim the third angel's message to the world. They are to be a separate and peculiar people in this world of churches who are transgressing His commandments." E.G. White Manuscript Releases Volume 3, 40, 41.
"The Sins of Babylon--I saw that since the second angel proclaimed the fall of the churches, they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ's followers; YET IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH THEM FROM THE WORLD. Ministers take their texts from the Word of God, but preach smooth things. To this the natural heart feels no objection. It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart. There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come. Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.
Said the angel, 'Nothing less than the whole armor of righteousness can enable man to overcome the powers of darkness and retain the victory over them. Satan has taken full possession of the churches AS A BODY. The sayings and doings of men are dwelt upon instead of the plain, cutting truths of the Word of God. The spirit and friendship of the world are at enmity with God. When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it at once awakens the spirit of persecution. Very many who profess to be Christians have not known God. The natural heart has not been changed, and the carnal mind remains at enmity with God. They are Satan's faithful servants, notwithstanding they have assumed another name.'
I saw that since Jesus left the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and entered within the second veil, the churches have been filling up with every unclean and hateful bird. I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches; yet their members profess to be Christians. Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God. Said the angel, 'God will not smell in their assemblies. Selfishness, fraud, and deceit are practiced by them without the reprovings of conscience. And over all these evil traits they throw the cloak of religion.' I was shown the pride of the nominal churches. God is not in their thoughts; their carnal minds dwell upon themselves; they decorate their poor mortal bodies, and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure. Jesus and the angels look upon them in anger. Said the angel, 'Their sins and pride have reached unto heaven. Their portion is prepared. Justice and judgment have slumbered long, but will soon awake. Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.' The fearful threatenings of the third angel are to be realized, and all the wicked are to drink of the wrath of God. An innumerable host of evil angels are spreading over the whole land and crowding the churches. These agents of Satan look upon the religious bodies with exultation, for the cloak of religion covers the greatest crime and iniquity." E.G. White, Early Writings, pp. 273-275.
Some important observations from the above Spirit of Prophecy statement:
Can you see why we are not to worship jointly with Babylon? Can you see that if the fallen churches are indistinguishable from the world, and Satan has take full possession of them AS A BODY, that it is a violation of all three angel's messages to unite with them in worship activities? Can you see that when SDA's choose to jointly worship with Babylon, and plea their reasons by excuse to do so, that we should follow the counsel of the following Spirit of Prophecy statement, and fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah? If you cannot, stay on your knees in prayer until you can, is the best advice I can forward to you dear brother and sister.
I repeat: "They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as them. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God's people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 661.
Can you see that when SDA's unite in worship with fallen churches that they are uniting with the world? Can you see that when they make all manner of excuses for holding joint worship services with Babylon that those excuses are pleas for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, and that we should then fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah? This is serious friend. The 28 Fundamentals book says that the SDA church regards those fallen churches as a medium through which the gospel will go to the world. But the gospel includes the Everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14:6 and on. The fallen churches do not give that gospel and they give a false gospel regarding grace. They define it as pardon only, when it is just as much power as pardon--Romans 1:5.
"The world must not be introduced into the church, and married to the church, forming a bond of unity. Through this means the church will become indeed corrupt, and as stated in Revelation, 'a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'" Testimonies to Ministers, p. 265.
There are some who chide me for teaching that the second angel's message now applies to New Movement professing Seventh-day Adventists, but when they fraternize and unite in worshipping with those whom they were called out from, then the second angel's message applies to them.