SDA APOSTASY IN ORGANIZATION
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would be the result?--The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established." Selected Messages, book 1, p 204-205.
In order to see clearly what is taking place, it might be beneficial to briefly note some of past warnings against forming the SDA organization into such that God could not be a part of.
1886-- Warning about the "evil of centering so many responsibilities in Battle Creek" or the General Conference headquarters. (Letter 34, March 1, 1886, Manuscript Release #133, p 27).
1894-- Warning of a confederacy being formed "that would make Battle Creek, like Rome, the great head of the work." (Letter 71, April 8, 1894, Pamphlet #149, p 22).
-- Warning that the conference president does not "have authority to rule over his fellow workman. This is after the practice of Rome...and the man is led to place himself where God alone should be....men are pursuing a similar course to that of the Roman Catholics who center in the pope every power of the church." (Letter 53, 1894, Manuscript Releases, vol 9, p 178-179).
1895-- It is "dangerous to consolidate all our institutions under one head at Battle Creek, and let one institution control all others." (Manuscript 11, April 10, 1895, Manuscript Releases, vol 4, p 411).
-- "At the center of the work matters are being shaped so that every other institution is following in the same course. And the General Conference is itself becoming corrupted...They are following in the track of Romanism." Testimonies to Ministers, p 359-362.
1896-- Warning that "the same work that has been done in the past will be carried forward under the guise of the General Conference Association." (Letter 81, May 31, 1896, 1888 Materials, p 1558-1573).
1901-- "That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,--that is past. What we want now is reorganization....God has not put any kingly power in our ranks to control." 1901 General Conference Bulletin, p 23-26, April 3, 1901.
1903-- "The results of the last General Conference  has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made." Letter 17, January 14, 1903, Manuscript Releases, vol 13, p 122-123 (see also Testimonies, vol 8, p 104-106).
-- Warning that the 1903 adoption of a new organizational structure was similar in rebellion to the building of the tower of Babel. (Manuscript 94, August 27, 1903, Kress Collection, p 1-6).
-- Warning that we are to have "no popes among us." (Letter 212, September 23, 1903, Spalding and Magan Collection, p 324-325).
-- Warning that "storm and tempest would sweep away the structure." (Letter 242, October, 1903, Special Testimonies, Series B#7, p 36-42).
1905-- "That which has been done there [Battle Creek--General Conference Headquarters] since the General Conference held at Oakland in 1903 will result in the loss of many souls." Special Testimonies, Series B#7, p 15, November 20, 1905.
From these warnings, it can be seen that the SDA leadership were heading towards forming the church structure into another Catholic organization--a hierarchy. After the death of Ellen White, the church has increasingly gained control over all the interests and institutions of the world-wide SDA church. But it was not until the 1970's that this was clearly documented on paper.
In 1974-75 the United States instigated a lawsuit against the SDA General Conference allegedly for a violation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act by the Pacific Press Publishing Association regarding the salary of Merikay Silver and others. In this trial, presided over by Judge Charles B. Renfrew, in U.S. District Court, in San Francisco, California, the SDA leadership made some startling documented statements about their church's organizational arrangement and principles.
Neal C. Wilson, then vice-president of the General Conference, states in the Reply Brief for Defendants, p 4:
"Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term ‘hierarchy’ was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR (1975).
So the aversion of the SDA church to the Catholic form of church governance, or a hierarchy, has now been consigned by the General Conference leadership to the trash heap! A hierarchy is a man controlled system which effectively shuts Jesus out from the church and allows man to rule over man. But why did the SDA church leadership's stance change regarding a hierarchical system of Roman Catholicism? Is it because the organization of the SDA church has itself been formed to image the Roman Catholic hierarchy--with the General Conference as another Vatican, and the General Conference president as another pope?
It is important for us to differentiate between the SDA church and the General Conference. The church is a body or fellowship of believers controlled by the Lord; and the General Conference is intended to be the vehicle for these members to use and control in furthering the spread of truth. The General Conference is thus to be subordinate to the church membership. But the General Conference apostasy includes an attempt to reverse this process, making the church membership subordinate to the authority of the General Conference. If this occurs, another Vatican would be formed--the General Conference becoming the voice of, and spokesman for, the SDA church world-wide. Also, with the organizational structure of the church being hierarchical, the highest leader in the organization would become the ruler or pope over all the church body.
God warned that the General Conference was already corrupt over 100 years ago (see Testimonies to Ministers, p 359; 1888 Materials, vol 4, p 1476; 1888 Materials, p 1566-1568), and it has only increased in corruption – especially after the death of Ellen White. God also warned the General Conference leadership that if they "enter into any new organization...it would mean apostasy from the truth" (see Selected Messages, book 2, p 390). This they began to do with the organizational changes adopted in 1903.
But if the SDA leadership actually forms the General Conference into another Vatican, forms the organizational structure of the church into another Roman Catholic hierarchy, and makes the General Conference president into another pope, it would clearly signal that the SDA church has apostatized completely from the truth. Hence, all of God's SDA people would be held captive within a Roman Catholic system with only the name "Seventh-day Adventist" deceptively covering it!
Is there any evidence that the SDA leadership accomplished such an abominable feat?
During this EEOC vs PPPA court trial, the General Conference was declared over and over again to be the Seventh-day Adventist church.
In the court transcript, on p 15 of the Opening Brief for the church, these two statements appear:
"...so the Seventh-day Adventist church came into being [in 1863], as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists....
"...the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist church..." EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR.
And in the affidavit of Neal C. Wilson, p 4, appears this statement:
"In the Seventh-day Adventist denomination the term ‘church’ has a very comprehensive and broad meaning. It is used to apply to the general organization and headquarters for Seventh-day Adventists under the name of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR (November 27, 1974).
The SDA leadership have made the General Conference the SDA church! The General Conference is now the voice of, and spokesman for, the entire SDA church: and the General Conference president is not afraid to say so!
In 1985, Neal Wilson clearly stated:
"People expect the General Conference to have the last word and to speak for the Church with ultimate authority." 140-85GN ROLE AND FUNCTION OF DENOMINATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS --COMMISSION REPORT, p 22 (April 30, 1985).
Thus, the General Conference has indeed become another Vatican! But did the SDA leadership succeed in forming the organizational structure of the SDA church into another Roman Catholic hierarchy?
Neal Wilson declares what type of organizational structure the SDA church operates under in the court transcript, on p 3-4 of the Reply Brief for the church:
"From an ecclesiastical-historical standpoint, there are numerous forms of church organization, which are described variously as Presbyterian (which connotes governance by the priesthood), or Episcopal (which connotes governance by the bishops of the church), or papal (which connotes governance by a sole chief bishop), or congregational (which connotes governance by individual local church groups).
"These distinctions are without legal significance. From a legal standpoint...there are but two sorts of church organization which carry with them significant legal consequences: the ‘congregational’, and all others, which in law are called ‘representative’, or ‘hierarchical’.
"The plain and undeniable fact is that the Seventh-day Adventist church is most assuredly not a ‘congregational’ one (although it contains elements of congregationalism) but is clearly of the ‘representative’ or ‘hierarchical’ variety." EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR (parentheses in original).
Now these two terms "representative" and "hierarchical" mean two different things, so why does Wilson use them both to describe the organizational structure of the SDA church? He explains why to the court on p 29 of the same brief:
"...the church governs by a method of organization which in Seventh-day Adventist terminology is ‘representative’, and which embraces exactly, from a legal standpoint, the same kind of organization (in opposition to ‘congregationalism’) as is embraced by the term ‘hierarchical.’" EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR (parenthesis in original).
In fact, in the same Reply Brief, the SDA leadership were establishing the fact before the court that the General Conference, like a "parent," has complete control over all SDA institutions and interests, and stated that this control is achieved:
"through the hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" EEOC vs PPPA and GC, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR.
So the organizational structure of the SDA church is hierarchical and not representative. But since "in Seventh-day Adventist terminology," the word "hierarchical" is replaced with the word "representative," then the SDA leadership can say to their membership that the organization of their church is not a hierarchy, when it really is! What a deception!
Also in 1976-77 another court trial was taking place because the U.S. Secretary of Labor initiated a lawsuit against the Pacific Union Conference and General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The Judge presiding over the case was Judge Manuel L. Real.
Then vice-president Neal Wilson submitted an affidavit in which he makes the following statement regarding the organizational structure of the church:
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church...maintains...a hierarchical structure of church authority." USSoL vs PUC and GC, Case CV 75-3032-R (February 6, 1976).
But just how closely does the SDA church image the Roman Catholic church in organizational structure as compared to the rest of the churches of Protestantism? In 1984 an article was published in Spectrum comparing Catholicism with twelve major Protestant denominations, which were: Seventh-day Adventist, Episcopal, Nazarene, Lutheran/Missouri Synod, American Lutheran, Lutheran Church in America, United Presbyterian, United Methodist, Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Congregational.
Out of all these major Protestant denominations, the only church that was anywhere close to imaging the Roman Catholic Church in structure and organization was the Seventh-day Adventist church!
"At the local conference level the Seventh-day Adventist church has a representative form of government, above that level the polity of the Seventh-day Adventist is hierarchical: authority flows downward and members in local congregations have virtually no voice....the Seventh-day Adventist church is a closed, self-operating, and self-perpetuating system, similar to the Roman Catholic church, in which those in authority are not responsible to lower echelons. Above the local conference level, those in authority are not elected by, representative of, or administratively accountable to, local congregations or the membership at large." Spectrum, vol 14, #4, March, 1984, p 42.
Since 1984, and especially at the 1985 and 1990 General Conference Sessions, policy changes and restructuring has been done so that supreme power and authority over the entire worldwide SDA church and membership is so well established and so well centralized within the hierarchy of the General Conference, that it is exactly like Catholicism. In fact, so much so, that a Federal Judge of the United States says that it is!
During the year of 1986, Derrick Proctor filed a lawsuit against the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists allegedly for unfair business practices. On October 29, 1986, an opinion was handed down by Judge William T. Hart of the U.S. District Court, North District of Illinois, East Division, in favor of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. Judge Hart declares:
"Church documents that prescribe the church's structure and governance confirm that all parts of the church are parts of a single entity. Next to the Roman Catholic church, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major Christian denominations in this country. The General Conference, as the world wide governing body of the Adventist denomination, is the church's highest legislative, judicial and ecclesiastical authority." DP vs GCoSDA, Case #81 C 4938, Findings of Fact, Section B, Church Objective and Structures, p 22
A non-Adventist can clearly see that the SDA church operates under a hierarchy; why can't the SDA people? The SDA leadership have already admitted that they operate under a hierarchical structure, and these statements are not just limited to affidavits and court transcripts. Although it took them a while to do so, they finally openly admitted to our SDA people in official church magazines and papers!
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially a hierarchical system..." Record, June 23, 1990, p 2.
"The session [55th General Conference Session in 1990] has demonstrated the hierarchial nature of the church's administrative structure." Record, August 4, 1990, p 2.
"Others have so identified structure with policy and the official hierarchy of the church that change is often viewed as unfaithfulness." Adventist Review, Special Edition, October, 1994, p 51.
And Walter Scragg, president of the SDA South Pacific Division, admitted:
"...the structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is essentially hierarchical...The pyramid of church organization maintains equilibrium and sustains growth as it reflects the people who comprise it." Record, June 23, 1990, p 4-5.
But not only did the leadership admit that the SDA church structure is definitely hierarchical, but they also finally admitted that it resembles Roman Catholicism!
Douglas Devnich, president of the SDA Canadian Union, stated:
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church follows a model of organizational order in the church which is modified from the orders of Roman Catholicism, but it retains the same notions of clerical order which separates the members of the Church into two classes--clergy and laity." Messenger, December, 1993, p 2.
Is there even the slightest possibility that the SDA leadership will realize that God will not work with a church which operates under a man-controlled and man-powered hierarchical structure? Will they change the structure back to God's decentralized plan? Or will they continue to cling to, strengthen, and refine the hierarchical organization?
In 1985, president Neal C. Wilson made a revealing Commission Report to the General Conference Committee regarding the "Role and Function of Denominational Organizations." The Committee voted to "accept the full report." In this report, he very clearly revealed the present and future attitude of SDA leadership towards the hierarchical organization of the church.
"The General Conference is the highest authority and the sum of all the parts, not only philosophically, but also (1) organizationally, (2) legislatively, (3) administratively, (4) judicially, (5) in terms of policy and (6) Church standards. This being the case, it seems that it should be the desire of the conferences, unions, and any other organizations to do everything possible to weld the whole family together and strengthen the hands of the General Conference....
"It would be folly to do anything or say anything that would in any way weaken the influences and limit the leadership capabilities of the General Conference....To do anything that would encourage congregational government would be a move in the direction of disintegration, and the inability to achieve our divine mission....
"The Church must remain united, and this requires strong, centralized authority..." 140-85GN ROLE AND FUNCTION OF DENOMINATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS--COMMISSION REPORT, p 22-23 (April 30, 1985).
These sentiments--to continue with the apostate hierarchical structure--were finally revealed by president Neal Wilson to the Adventist membership the next year.
"I think we will always continue to have the structure we currently have...
"It is difficult for me to conceive any better organizational structure than we have." Adventist Review, January 23, 1986, p 10-11.
With all that SDA leaders have revealed, it becomes very clear that the structure of the SDA church has indeed been formed into another Catholic hierarchy to control "all parts" of the SDA church, especially the membership. Every SDA whose name is on the church books is now legally recognized as subject to, and subordinate to, the supreme hierarchical authority of the General Conference--the Adventist Vatican! Your name on the roll books signifies that you have agreed to be a loyal member of the General Conference, which is the SDA church. You remain under their authority so long as you remain a part of that church! This is part of the "legal consequences" of which Neal Wilson mentioned in the court transcript of the EEOC vs PPPA.
As such, the true spiritual allegiance of SDA church members no longer belongs to Christ, but it now belongs to the General Conference, and hence its highest leader--the General Conference president. This is exactly what the SDA leadership admitted under oath!
The SDA General Conference leadership stated in the EEOC vs PPPA Opening Brief for the church:
"The General Conference, then is the Seventh-day Adventist church....the embodiment of the remnant church as a Christian denomination, in a unified worldwide organization, to which all baptized Seventh-day Adventists owe spiritual allegiance." EEOC vs PPPA, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, p 17.
The Catholic Vatican and the pope also claim supreme spiritual authority over all their church membership, and we see the Adventist Vatican doing the same. But will the SDA General Conference president actually try to follow in the footsteps of the bishop of Rome, becoming another pope--the pope of Adventism?
In the EEOC vs PPPA court trial, these startling statements appears in the Opening Brief for the church:
"...the Church's First Minister [president of the General Conference]...Elder Robert H. Pierson is the President of [the] General Conference and, as such the first minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." EEOC vs PPPA, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, p 17, 45.
And General Conference president Robert H. Pierson, totally agrees with this. In his affidavit during this trial, he declared:
"...the leadership of the church, including myself as its first minister for the time being..." EEOC vs PPPA, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR (November 30, 1974).
The Seventh-day Adventist General Conference president has not only placed himself in a position of supreme authority over our people, which belongs to Christ alone, but he is also ascribing to himself a title which belongs to Christ alone (see Great Controversy, p 51). Hence, the General Conference president is literally making himself and claiming to be a god over all the SDA church membership! This is no different from the pope--who claims himself to be the "supreme pastor" and god over all the Roman Catholic membership (see Vatican Council II, p 426).
God in His mercy even warned His people that this seemingly impossible thing could occur! He stated: "We are to have no kings, no rulers, no popes among us" (see Spalding and Magan Collection, p 324-325). This was written in September, 1903, just a few months after the SDA church threw out God's plan of organization, and adopted another plan of organization, which 70 years later was admitted to be an hierarchical image of Roman Catholicism--the beast!
Yet GC president--Robert Folkenberg--tries to mislead all SDA members into believing the blatant and blasphemous lie that the plan of organization voted into existence in the 1903 General Conference Session, was the product of God's will through Ellen White!
"Through all the growing pains [of SDA church growth and organization], and particularly at the 1903 General Conference Session, the Spirit of Prophecy gave practical guidance. The result is the worldwide church structure of today." We Still Believe, by Robert S. Folkenberg, p 100.
We can clearly see that the president of the General Conference is indeed another pope--the pope over all the members of the Seventh-day Adventist church!
"The people were wholly deceived. They were taught that the popes and priests were Christ's representatives, when in fact they were the representatives of Satan, and those who bowed to them worshipped Satan." Early Writings, p 214.
And this popery will continue on with whomever becomes the General Conference president. This fact is clearly revealed by South Pacific Division president Walter Scragg in the following 1990 article:
"Many church members would say that the power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church resides with the president...He has authority to decide and act....he does have considerable power....
"He's the spiritual leader of the community of faith....He's shepherd, guardian, guide and captain." Record, June 23, 1990, p 4.
Since the SDA church has only had a pope for a short time as compared with the Catholicism, it seems to explain why SDA's have had at least ten different reported meetings with the Roman Catholic pope! (See Messenger, October 22, 1952 (6 meetings); Review, May 16, 1968, p 16-17; Adventist Review, August 11, 1977, p 23; March 6, 1980, p 24; November 8, 2001, p 10). And who knows how many meetings have gone unreported!
The SDA leadership have succeeded in forming the General Conference into another Vatican--making it the voice of, and spokesman for, the entire SDA church. They have also succeeded in forming the organizational structure of the SDA church into another Roman Catholic hierarchy, and have succeeded in making the General Conference president into another pope--the "first minister" "spiritual leader" "shepherd, guardian, guide and captain" of all church members.
This clearly signals that the SDA church has completely apostatized from the truth by establishing a new organization; a very stealthy but rapid progress in establishing another papal power system. And man is indeed efficiently and effectively ruling over man, but without the presence, help and guidance from the Father, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. God--the Father, God--the Son, and God--the Holy Spirit are no where to be found within the SDA church; just as They are no where to be found within the Roman Catholic church! And why? Because they both operate under the same corrupt and apostate Babylonish system of a hierarchy.
The SDA leadership have indeed followed Satan's reformation by establishing "a new organization," and all of God's SDA people are being held captive within a Roman Catholic system that has assumed the name Seventh-day Adventist! And this was even admitted by the General Conference president.
Neal C. Wilson declared before the entire SDA church that:
"...there is another universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church." Adventist Review, March 5, 1981, p 3.
As God requires all of His obedient followers to completely separate themselves from the Babylonian religious systems of Roman Catholicism, as well as apostate Protestantism, so now He is lovingly calling for all of His followers to also completely remove themselves from that other "universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church".
"In the General Conference the counsels of God have been set aside, and the counsels and wisdom of men have been relied upon....The General Conference--what is it? What does it comprehend? Is it a General Conference, or is it something wrapped up and called by that name? With the exception of a limited number, the people who ought to know are not intelligent in regard to its workings....and the people at large know scarcely anything of what is being done at the heart of the work...
"As I was made to understand something of the management of the work in this great center, it was all that I could bear. My spirit was pained within me, for I had lost confidence in that which I had ever presented before the people as the voice of God to His children. It has not been the voice of God. There has been a lording power exercised over God's heritage...Their own principles have been counterworking the principles of truth and righteousness. We cannot therefore present before the people that the voice of the General Conference in its decisions must move and control them; for its propositions and decisions cannot be accepted. They are not in the right line of progress. God is cropped out of their counsels....
"The man who magnifies his own office in working in any line to bind about the conscience of another, be he president of the General Conference, president of a smaller conference, or the elder or deacon or lay member of a church, he is out of God's line....God desires that men shall stand in their own individual responsibility...But in the present condition of things, if one stands fast to his integrity, he is by some scorned, scouted, criticized, and dropped out if it can be brought about....
"Men who have been standing in stubborn resistance of the teachings of the Spirit of God have been honored as chosen men, as men qualified to run the work of God and to decide questions involving the highest responsibilities. They have been sent from place to place to give judgment in regard to matters which affect the future history of the work. But how can God look upon such a presentation as is now given at the great center of the work?...
"‘Come out from among them,’ God says, ‘and be ye separate,...and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’ [2 Cor. 6:17,18]. We all need a Father with whom to consult. The Holy Spirit has been refused by men who are puffed up with vain conceit and believe themselves capable of managing wonderful responsibilities....
"If our people were not blinded by deception they would see that these men are walking contrary to God....
"When the consolidation was first devised, it was represented as altogether another thing. But the enemy saw that this was his chance to work under human minds. He prepared a confederation that the Battle Creek institutions might be the power to bring under its control all other lines of work. It cannot be done. God will put a voice in the stones to cry out against it....
"The refuge of lies will fail. God will strike a blow to deliver His oppressed people....
"I must speak plainly. We are reaching a time when a just standard of right and wrong, of honor and dishonor, of truth and error, is becoming a thing of naught. ‘Truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter’ [Isaiah 59:14]....The man who sits at the feet of Jesus and learns His lessons will say as did one of old, ‘Unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united’ [Genesis 49:6]." Manuscript 66, 1898, Manuscript Releases, vol 17, p 221-234.
"I am sorry, so sorry, that men will be willfully obstinate, as was Pharaoh the king of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; but so it is. Let all be warned by the messages sent from heaven, that when any man shall exalt his own ways and his own judgment as supreme, he will come under Satan's jurisdiction, and will be led blindfold by him, until his spirit and his methods will conform to the arch-deceiver, little by little, until his whole mind is under the influence of the spell. The serpent keeps its eye fixed upon a man, to charm him, until he has no power to go from the snare....
"I have a decided message to bear. Let all take warning. The enemy desires to have his controversy kept up in his way and after his plan, until the harvest is past and the summer ended, and the souls of those who have been leaders under him, lost, with those who have been deceived by him. God calls upon His people to take heed, and come out of this deceptive controversy....They are to separate from all that bears not the mark of the strictest justice and judgment....
"I call upon those who would have eternal life to break every yoke." Special Testimonies, Series B#7, p 19-22.
Will you, dear SDA church member, continue to give your "spiritual allegiance" to the corrupt General Conference leadership instead of to Christ? Will you continue to remain under the hierarchical control of deceived and wicked men "until the harvest is past and the summer ended" and your soul lost? Or will you follow God’s command to "break every yoke" and "come out of her, my people" by completely separating yourself from that other "universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church"?