If all else fails? Bash the Critics!
By Brother Anderson, October 8, 2006
The SDA Church recently held an Ellen White "summit" and took full advantage of the opportunity to bash those investigating the claims of Ellen White. A video has been made of Professor Jud Lake's presentation. Elder Lake describes the investigators of Ellen White as "burned", "mad", "relentless", as if they have been driven to do what they are doing by the demons of Hell.
1.5 Million Leave SDA Church in Last 5 Years
Why have we seen such a rash of recent attacks against Ellen White investigators? Could it be corporate Church leaders are attempting to stem the bleeding? At the recent General Conference Session, Bert Haloviak reported some alarming statistics:
"...nearly 1.5 million left membership during the time period 2000 to 2005. 'The bottom line for this quinquennium is that for every 100 accessions, more than 35 others decided to leave,' he told delegates. 'That total is considerably more than the 24 subtracted for every 100 added as reported at our last session' in 2000. Despite a fast growth rate during the last five years, when considering the number of those leaving the church compared to how many joined, this is the 'lowest growth rate since the 1960 to 1964 period.'"
New Corporate Church Strategy?
Is this "bash the critics" approach taken by an official spokesman for the SDA Church a new strategy instigated by the corporate heads of the Church to demonize the investigators of Ellen White? If so, it would not be a surprise. After all, the Church's own prophetess frequently demonized those opposing her, labeling them as "doomed, damned, and lost forever". Someone once told me that religious followers rarely rise above the ethics and morality of their leader. Perhaps this is proving itself out in today's Adventism.
Why are so many leaving?
Elder Lake alluded to the reason so many are leaving the SDA Church: Information. You see, the facts about Ellen White and SDA doctrines like the Investigative Judgment are now widely available on the Internet. It is a lot harder to pull the wool over the eyes of people when there is so much information available today on the Internet!
A Pack of Disgruntled Losers?
Elder Lake claimed that those leaving are "not-grounded", "confused", and "disgruntled". Are these labels Elder Lake has slapped on the back of those leaving the Church accurate? I have to admit, although I would not use the word "disgruntled", I would say there could sometimes be a little anger when one learns the truth about the SDA Church. I would describe it more as "righteous indignation" at being lied to and deceived by those supposed to be the proponents of "truth". But no, I would not use the word "disgruntled". Tell me, were the shareholders of the now-defunct Enron corporation "disgruntled" to find out their corporate leaders deceived them? No, not disgruntled; rather, they were indignant, and rightfully so!
Departees Not Grounded?
Besides being "disgruntled", we are informed those leaving the Church are "not grounded." What does that mean? Are they leaving because they are not getting fully indoctrinated into SDA thinking? Okay, let's look at some of the so-called "ungrounded" ones...
A thousand more names could be listed. Look again at the "ungrounded". Pastors. Doctors. Lawyers. Professors. Administrators. Elders. Deacons. Sabbath-school teachers. Multi-generation Adventists. This group of people is about as "grounded" as you can get.
Confused and Duped Heretics?
They tell us that those leaving the Church are "confused". Sounds like a good strategy, doesn't it? You indoctrinate your followers that the "smart" ones stay in the Church, while the poor "confused" idiots leave the Church. I would not dare to speak for the others who have left, but perhaps I'm an idiot. After all, as Dr. Brinsmead once stated, "the word idiot comes from the Greek word idios which means a person who thinks for himself." I'm sorry, but I do not need corporate religious leaders to tell me what to think. I do not need 100,000 pages of Ellen White writings to tell me what the Bible says. God gave me a mind to think for myself. He gave me a Bible to know His will. If anyone wants to call me a "confused" idiot for this, then perhaps being an idiot is not such a bad thing!
Propaganda is misinformation used by a totalitarian leader in order to control the minds of the people. The Nazi and Communist governments used propaganda. Cult leaders use propaganda. However, Jesus and His followers never used propaganda. They simply stated the truth in love.
Lately I've been hearing a lot of stuff that sounds like propaganda. For example, I'm hearing that I was angered by the writings of Ellen White, and I'm "rebelling" over the misuse of Ellen White's writings. Now that is pure fiction! If anyone loved Ellen White, I did. I didn't have to be at work in the morning until 8 am, but I set my alarm at 5 am so I could read her writings at least an hour every morning. On weekends I sometimes read them for five or six hours. I personally handed out thousands of her books door-to-door. I used to get together with my friends on Sabbath afternoon and we would study the "Spirit of Prophecy" for hours. I even started this web site to defend Ellen White. When I discovered the truth about Ellen White, I was not angry. I was appalled! Disappointment is not a strong enough word for it. For a long time I did not want to believe it. I did not want to change. But I was forced to change, nearly against my will. I was utterly convinced by the overwhelming weight of evidence.
When I was still a believer in Ellen White, I struggled trying to make sense of all the contradictory and confusing statements that Ellen White investigators were throwing at me. I wondered why the door of probation closed on the Christians who rejected William Miller's false time-setting in 1844. I tried in vain to explain why events she prophesied never came to pass. I performed my best mental gymnastics to explain her failures to others. But deep down inside, I felt uneasy. I studied even more to silence that small voice inside of my heart. I wanted to find convincing evidence that Ellen White was a prophet. But the more I studied the stronger the conviction grew that I had been leading people astray.
When I finally admitted the truth about Ellen White, I discovered a wonderful peace. I no longer felt compelled to come up with "reasons", "explanations", and "excuses" for her prophetic blunders and mind-bending contradictions. Instead, I could just let the facts speak for themselves. Suddenly the confusion vanished like a mist in the morning sun! I realized my confusion was due to all the smoke-screens, misinformation, spinning, and mental gymnastics used by her defenders to prop her up as a prophet. Since that time I have experienced clarity of purpose that I had never before known.
Regardless of what they say about us, nonegw.org will continue to do what it has always done: Speak the truth in love.