Georgia Cumberland Conference Response by Randy Moeller

Dear Elder Cunningham,

I have been praying and contemplating a response to the letter below. Since this has been made public, and Pastors have passed this onto their Elders throughout the conference, it has therefore filtered down to the people of the GCC. I am letting you know upfront that I will be making a public response to the statement found at the end of this missive.

A key point that was notably left out of your statement below was about the type of Hermeneutic I use. When a statement affects an individual to the extent that he or she is blacklisted in their community from speaking, the least one can do is include all the facts of the situation so that all being informed may make a reasonable decision.

As stated in the letter issued by the Georgia Cumberland Conference, the Hermeneutic I use is not an approved Hermeneutic. Nevertheless, I believe it to be the correct way of interpreting Scripture and my reasons for this will be answered below.

Elder Miller, when presenting the 3AM, used a specific set of rules to establish his position. He frequently would explain those rules at the beginning of his presentation about end-time events, so that the audience could follow his logic. I have included Miller’s 14 Rules of Biblical Interpretation at the end of this e-mail and a partial result of what those rules have done for those who use them. This is the same method of study that I use, teach and encourage others to use in their study of the Bible.

What does this all mean?

At the present time the challenges that people are encountering in respect to the messages given to us by our Lord and Saviour from 1840-44 is due to the hermeneutic they are using, which in turn determines the result they come up with. Each style brings about a different conclusion, whether it is the Historical Critical, Historical Grammatical, Historicist, and so on. The use of each hermeneutic will result in a different interpretational outcome. It is this point that will be focused upon and addressed from this point forward.

The word “Hermeneutic” comes from the pagan god Hermes, the messenger of the gods.  This word is the inspiration of the name Hermeneutics. Understanding the interpretation of this word helps us define what is going on. The mythology says that Hermes would take the messages of the gods and interpret them for others. He was the mediator between the gods themselves and between the gods and humanity. I find this point extremely important. When we use a “hermeneutic” that requires certain rule(s) of interpretation, then that places those who become expert in that hermeneutic or rules as the person that is expert in telling others what is correct or incorrect in scripture. For example, some feel that one must become expert or familiar in Greek and Hebrew before one can properly interpret scripture, while others feel that they have to understand the culture and history of that time in order to properly interpret scripture. There are many others “rules,” but these two alone change the understanding and conclusions reached by Elder Miller, and the rules that he was led to use by our Heavenly Father.

What is next?

If you choose to use a type of hermeneutic that requires expertise in an ancient language or civilization, the result is a class of individuals that must interpret scripture for others. No longer can a student of scripture independently determine what the Bible says, but instead must seek assistance by those more educated in that type of hermeneutic. Those who have the training interpret the scripture for those who do not (which brings us precariously close to a factor during the Dark Ages when “ignorant” commoners were not allowed to study the Bible, but had to accept the interpretation of the scriptures from the church hierarchy instead).

As we begin to understand this particular point and we start to go through our history, we start seeing certain characteristics of this Hermeneutic revealing itself. This occurred because we failed to realize that we have an enemy who is seeking to destroy this church. That enemy is Satan.

I am going to mention some names now, and they are mentioned only because of the role they played in history. I am not judging them or condemning them, for I do not know their position with our Lord and Saviour. I personally believe that all of these individuals were sincere people doing their best as they understood it.

The first person in the history of our church to start using a different way of interpreting scripture was Uriah Smith. He relied on the Hebrew instead of using Miller’s Rules of Biblical Interpretation. Because of this, the first thing Satan was able to eliminate from our heritage was the 2520. His influence is plainly seen as Elder James White wrote his position coming out against the 2520 by using the understanding of the Hebrew upon which to base his argument.

The SOP gives us this warning, please note: The warnings of the word of God regarding the perils surrounding the Christian church belong to us today. As in the days of the apostles men tried by tradition and philosophy to destroy faith in the Scriptures, so today, by the pleasing sentiments of higher criticism, evolution, spiritualism, theosophy, and pantheism, the enemy of righteousness is seeking to lead souls into forbidden paths. To many the Bible is as a lamp without oil, because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion. The work of higher criticism, in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. It is robbing God’s word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives. By spiritualism, multitudes are taught to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself.  {AA 474.1}  (Bold Added)

Even Bible study, as too often conducted in the schools, is robbing the world of the priceless treasure of the word of God. The work of “higher criticism,” in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation; it is robbing God’s word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives.  {Ed 227.4}  (Bold Added)

In the 1882 dictionary, the word “dissect” means “to divide into its constituent parts, for the purpose of examination; as, dissect your mind; dissect a paragraph.” Mrs. White is very clear what is going on: you dissect the meaning, conjecture and reconstruct the original meaning of the text — and in particular the methodology that is used in the methods of “Higher Criticism”.

What is Higher Criticism?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Historical criticism, also known as the historical-critical method or higher criticism, is a branch of literary criticism that investigates the origins of ancient text in order to understand “the world behind the text”.

Let us take a brief look at Uriah Smith. Born in 1832, West Wilton, NH, his family accepted the Millerite message in 1844 and experienced the “Great Disappointment”.  It was in that year that his leg became infected and was amputated, so his loss was a double loss, and even more intense than others’. He lost interest in religion and commenced schooling at Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. This prestigious school was known for its Socratic type of teaching, which is still employed today. It has the 3rd highest endowment of any private school. Uriah Smith was quite brilliant and was reconverted in 1852. But the schooling had its affect. The importance of the Greek and Hebrew were lodged into his brilliant mind.

When you review both Uriah Smith’s and James White’s articles that came out against the 2520, you will see it is based on the understanding of the Hebrew and the “local context” of the wording. This is not the same with Miller’s Rules, which requires a broader inclusion instead of a local and specific exclusion or dissecting of the verse through the use of the Hebrew or Greek. Miller used only a Cruden’s Concordance and not the Greek or the Hebrew. This is not gainsaying the use of the Hebrew or Greek, but they take a back seat and should be used only to provide a deeper understanding of what has already been established.

When we go back to use the Greek or Hebrew to determine the meaning of God’s word, we are removing the inspiration and assuming our Lord was not able to guide the translators in making the proper translation. What is even more fascinating when it comes to the 2520 in of all the many translations that are out there, only a few do not translate it into the “Seven Times”, even then “Sevenfold” can still mean “Seven Times”.

To go on with the outline of our history… next comes Conradi. Conradi had a different idea about the “daily” in Daniel. He was not able to reconcile the German translation of the word with the understanding that had been established by our brethren from 1840-44. So Conradi came out against the “daily” being “paganism” in Daniel, and returned to the “Old Protestant View” of it being “Christ’s ministry”. He then wrote a book on it and asked Sister White if the book was acceptable. She did not respond to his question. Why? This will be answered at the close of this letter. Conradi in turn influenced Jones, Waggoner and Prescott.

Notice the pattern? First Uriah Smith, changes the understanding of one word, then Conradi also has the challenge of understanding one word. Satan was hard at work. By changing what seemed to be an insignificant word, it virtually ended up derailing Adventism, and very few have come to realize that the “fox is in the chicken house.”

The next major player to enter the scene was Harvey Kellogg. He went into a more direct derailment of our truths by going into Pantheism. Notice in the quote above that the SOP takes “Higher Criticism and Pantheism” and places them both in the same category. As time passes, two great preachers from the Advent movement enter into the scene: Jones and Waggoner. These two brought us the message of righteousness by faith but they eventually left the message and joined up with Kellogg. As they joined with Kellogg, Prescott came under the influence of Waggoner and considered him to be one of his greatest teachers. Do we see a pattern developing here?

Then comes W.W. Prescott and A.G. Daniels. Prescott becomes bent on bringing the church into a “Christ-Centered Gospel,” meaning he wanted less of our Prophetic understanding, which had been the focus of our Church from the beginning. When you read the minutes from the 1919 Bible conference, Prescott did not even want to preach about the 2300 years.

As we investigate the history further, we find that Prescott and Daniels were able to literally change the books so that they eliminated the daily completely from our understanding of scripture. Virtually all of our Pastors are taught the “Old Protestant View” of Christ’s work as the daily and not paganism. Please understand, that the established understanding was that the “Daily” was paganism. It was under the watch of Prescott and Daniells that this understanding was changed. Those who wanted to change the understanding of the Daily was Prescott and Daniells and once the Sister White passed away that is exactly what they did.

SOP Quote “Books of a New Order”:

     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 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. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.  {SpTB02 54.3} 1904 (Higher Criticism is considered to be a type of Philosophy.)

Please note that the SOP warned of two things: first, that Prescott and Daniels were being deceived by Angels that fell from Heaven, and second, that there would be books of a new order written. This was later confirmed by Froom (books of a new order). After Prescott we have another champion of the “Higher Criticism Method,” and that  was Raymond F. Cottrell. This man was sincere in wanting to move the church forward, but sincerity and truth are not always combined.

SOP Quote “Angels Expelled from Heaven”:

At this stage of our experience we are not to have our minds drawn away from the special light given [us] to consider at the important gathering of our conference. And there was Brother Daniells, whose mind the enemy was working; and your mind and Elder Prescott’s mind were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven. Satan’s work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth. And the ideas of your minds, if you could be drawn away to jots or tittles, is a work of Satan’s devising. To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence.  {20MR 17.1} I am to say, Stop your picking flaws. If this purpose of the devil could only be carried out, then [it] appears to you [that] your work would be considered as most wonderful in conception. It was the enemy’s plan to get all the supposed objectionable features where all classes of minds did not agree. And what then? {20MR 17.2}

Raymond F. Cottrell and Desmond Ford had the same theology. Take a moment and look at this video, by Desmond Ford when he was at Loma Linda in 2008 it is an eye-opener. In essence, you will learn from Ford that he and Cottrell were on the same page. Meaning, that as Ford did not believe in 1844, the investigative judgment, and other fundamental points of Adventism, neither did Cottrell. Why is this significant? It was Cottrell, who was a member of the BRF (Biblical Research Fellowship), which became the BRC (Biblical Research Committee), that in turn became the BRI (Biblical Research Institute) with his influence. It was he and his fellows from the BRF that wrote our SDA Commentary series, and in that they inculcated their belief into this most important work.

In summary, as the SDA church has left its founding principles of Biblical Interpretation, we have left the understanding of that which established us as a church — truths that were established by our Lord through His servant Miller and from Miller to EGW. The SOP confirms over and over again the truths that were given to us from 1840-44 are the same for us today. It is not up to us to pick and choose which truths, but to accept them and then harmonize the SOP and scripture. It is only when they do not harmonize with both that they need to be reexamined if there is something we do not understand, that is okay! Our Lord will reveal it when we are ready to understand it. The thing we need to realize that all of this has happened right under our noses and we do not even realize it. Not even a blip on the radar screen. We are the frog in the pot of water and the water is almost boiling and we want to stay in the water instead of jumping out.

Here are the challenges I believe our ministers are facing as a whole:

1.    Willingness to accept the SOP as a true prophetic gift. What does that mean? It means our opinions and interpretations take a back seat and hers become front and center — that both the SOP and the Bible must agree. Otherwise EGW was not a prophet and then she becomes as many claim: just another inspired writer. This removes the sting of rebuke she carried through the consuls given to the church. This rebuke is designed to bring us once again onto the firm foundation. To repent, submit and become obedient to the Word of God.  “The Holy Ghost is the author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy. These are not to be twisted and turned to mean what man may want them to mean, to carry out man’s ideas and sentiments, to carry forward man’s schemes at all hazards.–Letter 92, 1900.  {3SM 30.3} “

2.     Overcoming the training acquired at our universities and colleges that have been influenced by the method of “Higher Criticism”. This is the most intense challenge of them all.

3.     Using only Millers Rules of Biblical Interpretation.

Key Points:

Since we as a Church no longer consider Miller’s rules of Biblical interpretation to be the  “Proven Hermeneutic” for our Denomination it only stands to reason that those who use it will not be in harmony with those who have made the “New Hermeneutic” the standard. The SOP disagrees with this “New Hermeneutic”. Please note the following quote from the SOP;

   Those who are engaged in proclaiming the third angel’s message are searching the Scriptures upon the same plan that Father Miller adopted. –  {RH, November 25, 1884 par. 23}

By using the “New Hermeneutic” this allows for a few rather interesting observations and conclusions.

 

  1. That we as a Church are no longer proclaiming the 3 Angels Message that has been changed by the use of the “New Hermeneutic”.
  2. That we can no longer come up with the same conclusions that our founding fathers did because of the difference in the Hermeneutic that is being used.  Hence the eventual rejection of key fundamental differences between Adventists and the other churches will quietly be swept under the rug to the point that the difference between Adventists and other denominations will only be the day of worship even that at one point will also be swept aside. This understanding is confirmed by Desmond Ford and Raymond Cottrell, if you have not watched the video please do so it will be a real eye-opener.
  3. We are no longer the same movement that was started by our Lord.
  4. That our Lord will once again bring back to this “Movement” the message that He first started out with, which would require the same rules of Biblical Interpretation to be used.  How can I be so certain of this? Malachi 3:6 and James 1:17 are two examples and it is a witness of two, there is many more including from the SOP.

The result:

This result can be tracked throughout our denomination. The greatest effect has been on the European Union, US and Australia. These nations have the most comprehensive schooling systems. Whereas, the 3rd world countries have had to rely more on the basics and interpreting the Bible on their own, it is this that has led to the conflicts between the US, and 3rd world countries. The methodology that Miller used is actually employed by most that have not had the “training in methodology” from our schools of higher learning. They have had to rely on the scriptures alone. It is this difference in methodology that has created challenges throughout the world. This has affected how conferences and people interact; the list of conflicts can be tracked to this process aside from personality conflicts. Personality conflicts only enhance the differences and create a series of fractals of the same problems throughout our whole denomination. Why? Simply put there are those who study the Bible and allow it to be its own interpreter and those who have been trained in “Hermeneutics”.

Throughout our country you have many churches that are now reflecting a type of “Prescott, Cottrell, Ford” type of theology. Prescott considered himself to be a progressive when it truth his methodology was regressive along with Cottrell and Ford. Many of our churches are now reflecting this type of understanding. Now here is the stumbling block if you will, those who are true to their understanding of their “Method” have to by its design follow in the footsteps of “Prescott, Cottrell, Ford” style of worship. This is what you see happening throughout the world and in particular Europe, US and Australia. They have to become authoritarian in their approach, because the methodology of the “Historical Grammatical, Historical Critical” or any of these methods of “Higher Criticism” requires a top down approach. Therefore as time passes and the methodology becomes rooted into the culture and mindset of the people they in turn start taking on its basic tenets without realizing why.

So there will be those within the leadership that will oppose this message strongly, not only the message but more importantly the “Hermeneutic” that is being used. Hence they will do their best to discredit the method of study and those using it, which has already occurred. This in turn goes contrary to the council given by the SOP.

Hence the arguments that are presently being used such as “Time Setting” are without grounds and baseless. The moment one uses this position what is being undermined are the truths that established us as a movement and hence as a church this comes about due to the wrong “Hermeneutic”.  Therefore those who oppose this message are in truth undermining the “foundational truths” that established the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and they must be opposed.

Conclusion:

Satan has used sincere men and women to turn our Church upside down. We are no longer the Adventists we need to be in order to take this message to the world. The world is fast converting our Church instead of the Church bringing a message of judgment to the world whereby all might come into the knowledge of the truth and be saved or lost. The use of Miller’s rules and the acceptance of the SOP are two of the key steps to bring about a true revival and reformation within the church. Many state that the message we share brings division. That statement is rather interesting to me. When has the church been united on doctrine? There has been division in this church for years. This message brings home the reality of the judgment and will shake this church to its core. It will unite and divide the church for it is the 3 Angels message. (Mat 10:34-39)

The above, if followed, will bring about a revival and reformation to our church. A revival and reformation has already begun, as has the shaking.

Oh, yes, there was a question as to why. Why did EGW not answer Conradi, or why did she not make a direct statement supporting the 2520? Did our Lord continually repeat the 10 commandments after they were given? One can find indirect evidence throughout the NT of the commandments aside from stating Commandments. When we read “commandments” in scripture we take it for granted it means the 10 commandments given in Exodus. It is interesting to note that with this clear evidence many Sunday people have not changed their day of worship, why would we be different when evidence is provided?

We find the same with the writings of the SOP. Both the “Daily” and “2520” are referenced in a similar fashion. Please note the following quotes;

a.            Those who stand as teachers and leaders in our institutions are to be sound in the faith and in the principles of the third angel’s message. God wants His people to know that we have the message as He gave it to us in 1843 and 1844. We knew then what the message meant, and we call upon our people today to obey the word, “Bind up the law among My disciples.” In this world there are but two classes,–the obedient and the disobedient. To which class do we belong? (GCB April 1st 1903)

b.            The warning has come: Nothing is to be allowed to come in that will disturb the foundation of the faith upon which we have been building ever since the message came in 1842, 1843, and 1844. (GCB April 6th 1903)

c.             God is not giving us a new message. We are to proclaim the message that in 1843 and 1844 brought us out of the other churches. (RH Jan 19th 1905)

d.            The truths that we received in 1841, ’42, ’43, and ’44 are now to be studied and proclaimed. The messages of the first, second, and third angels will in the future be proclaimed with a loud voice. They will be given with earnest determination and in the power of the Spirit.(15MR Ltr 75 1905)

e.            All the messages given from 1840-1844 are to be made forcible now, for there are many people who have lost their bearings. The messages are to go to all the churches.  {21MR 437.1}(LTR 54 1906)

f.             God bids us give our time and strength to the work of preaching to the people the messages that stirred men and women in 1843 and 1844.  {MR760 30.1}(July 4th 1907)

g.     The Lord showed me that the 1843 chart was directed by his hand, and that no part of it should be altered; that the figures were as he wanted them. That his hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until his hand was removed.  {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 10}

There are actually many more such quotes that can be found in her writings. I apologize for the length of this letter and did do my best to keep it short. The evidence provided is but a small portion that our Lord in His mercy has revealed to us. We have no ill will towards those who oppose us in this message and pray that our Lord in His mercy will continue to pour forth His oil into willing lamps so that the 3 Angels message, the message of the end of probation, will be proclaimed with a loud voice based on the platform that was built between 1840-44, any who wish to stand upon that firm platform that our Lord built are heartily encouraged to do so.

God Bless

Sincerely,

Randolph O. Moeller

Millers Rules of Biblical Interpretation & an Article:

“CONVERSION OF ONE HUNDRED INFIDELS

“The following testimony of one who was converted from infidelity during these lectures, is copied from the Boston Investigator (an infidel paper) of January, 1845: {1868 JW, LIFIN 63.3}

“‘Mr. Editor: I was a warm supporter of the views of Abner Kneeland, attended his lectures and protracted dances, disbelieved in Divine revelation and a future existence, and fully accorded with Mr. Kneeland’s views of religion. Having read every work of note that I could obtain, and having heard many lectures opposed to God and the Bible, I considered myself prepared to overthrow the Christian faith, and feared no argument that could be brought from the Bible. With these feelings, I attended a full course of Mr. Miller’s lectures. He gave his rules of interpretations, and pledged himself to prove his position. I approved of his rules, – to which I refer you, – and the result was, he established the fact that the Bible is what it purports to be – the word of God – to my mind, beyond a doubt; and I have taken it as the man of my counsel. I notice your doubts of the truth of the statement in relation to hundreds of infidels being converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller. This may possibly be owing to your never having given Mr. Miller a candid and thorough hearing. He is a man mighty in the Scriptures, and has done terrible execution in the ranks of the “King’s enemies,” with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I am personally acquainted with nearly one hundred who held to similar views with Abner Kneeland, who were converted under the preaching of Mr. Miller; and we did not yield the point without a struggle, nor without due consideration. Each and every prop and refuge of infidelity and unbelief was taken away from us, and our sandy foundation was swept by the truth of the Almighty as chaff is driven by the wind. Yet we parted with them much as a man parts with a diseased tooth. We tried to cure and keep it there, and when made to know that the root and foundation was rotten, it was painful to part with; but we rejoiced and felt better after the separation; for there is balm in Gilead – there is a Physician there.’  {1868 JW, LIFIN 64.1}

Principles of Biblical Interpretation By William Miller

1.)        All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study.       2 Timothy 3:15-17.

2.)       Every word must have it’s proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.   Matthew 5:17-18.

3.)       Scripture must be it’s own expositor (explainer), since it is a rule of itself.  If I depend on a minister          or teacher to explain it to me, and they should guess at it’s meaning, or desire to have it so on            account of their creed, or thought to be wise… then their guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom is my     rule and not the Bible! Psalms 19:7-11; 119:97-105; Matthew 23:8-10;  1 Corinthians 2:12-16;  Ezekiel 34:18-19;            Luke 11:52;  Malachi 2:7-8.

4.)        To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then    let every word have it’s proper influence, and if you can form your theory without contradiction, you CANNOT be in error.   Isaiah 28:7-29; 35:8;  Proverbs 19:27;  Luke 24:27, 44-45;  James 5:19;  2 Peter 1:19-20

  5.)      Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, nothing wavering.    Deuteronomy 29:29;  Matthew 10:26-27;  1 Corinthians 2:10;  Philippians 3:15;  Isaiah 45:11;  Matthew 21:22;  John 14:13-14; 15:7;  James 1:5-6;  1 John 5:13-15.

6.)       God has revealed things to come, by visions, in figures and parables; and in this way the same   things are often-times revealed again and again, by different visions, or in different figures and parables.  If you wish to understand them, you must combine all in one.      Psalms 89:19; Hosea 12:10; Habakkuk 2:2; Acts 2:17;  1 Corinthians 10:6;  Hebrews 9:9, 24; Psalms 78:2;  Matthew 13:13, 34;  Genesis 41:1-32;  Daniel 2:7-8;  Acts 10:9-16.

7.)        Visions are always mentioned as such.   1 Corinthians 12:1

8.)        How to know when a word is used figuratively.  If it makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, then it must be understood literally; if not (then it must be  understood) figuratively.      Revelation 12:1,2; 17:3-7

9.)        Figures always have a figurative meaning, and are used much in prophecy to represent future times, and events; such as mountains… meaning governments; beasts… meaning kingdoms; waters… meaning people;  lamp… meaning Word of God; day… meaning year. Daniel 2:35, 44; 7:8, 17; Revelation 17:1, 15; Psalm 119:105; Ezekiel 4:6.

10.)      To learn the true meaning of figures, trace you figurative word through the Bible, and, where you find it explained, put it on your figure, and if it makes good sense, you need look no further; if not, look again.

11.)       Figures sometimes have two or more different significations; as day is used in a figurative sense to represent three different periods of time.  1. indefinite.  2. definite, a day for a year.  3. day for a thousand years.  Ecclesiastes 7:14; Ezekiel 4:6; 2 Peter 3:8.

12.)       Parables are used as comparisons to illustrate subjects, and must be explained in the same way as figures, by the subject and Bible. Mark 4:13

13.)       To know whether we have the true historical event for the fulfillment of a prophecy…  if you find   every word of the prophecy [after the figures are understood] is literally fulfilled, then you may know that your history is the true event.  But, if one word lacks a fulfillment, then you must look for another event, or wait its future development.  For God takes care that history and prophecy agrees, so that the true, believing children of God may never be ashamed.  Psalm 21:5; Isaiah 14:17-19; 1 Peter 2:6; Revelation 17:17; Acts 3:18.

14.)       The most Important rule of all is, that you must have faith.  It must be a faith that requires a sacrifice, and, if tried, would give up the dearest object on earth, the world and all its desires, character, living, occupation, friends, home, comforts, and worldly honors.  If any of these should hinder our believing any part of God’s word, it would show our faith to be vain. Nor can we believe, so long as one of these motives lies lurking in our hearts. We must believe that God will never forfeit His word.  And we can have confidence that He takes notice of the sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our head, will guard the translation of His own word, and throw a barrier around it, and prevent those who sincerely trust in God, and put implicit confidence in His word, from erring far from the truth, though they may not understand the Hebrew or Greek.

“The Bible with its precious gems of truth was not written for the scholar alone.  On the contrary, it was designed for the people; and the interpretation given by the common people, when aided by the Holy Spirit, accords best with the truth as it is in Jesus.”  5T 330-1

From: pastors-bounces@asia.gccsda.com<mailto:pastors-bounces@asia.gccsda.com> [mailto:pastors-bounces@asia.gccsda.com] On Behalf Of Harold Cunningham

Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2012 6:34 PM

To: Pastors

Subject: [Pastors] Dealing with dissident individuals/groups

Dear GCC Pastors,

Many of you are aware of, or have personal experience with, the heartaches and headaches of dealing with dissident individuals/groups of one form or another in your local church. GCC Churches have recently been affected by the proponents of anti-trinitarian teachings, the 2520 time period, Shepherd’s Rod, and others. It is an impossible task to keep up with every individual/group intent upon introducing aberrant theology. However, to provide you with some practical help in addressing these concerns, I am sending this email.

I. What our department and some of your fellow pastors have learned that may help you:

•  Sabbath School classes and independent study groups within the church are vulnerable to proponents of dissident theology or an unhealthy focus. As a movement of people which value a progressively deeper and clearer understanding of the Word, we do not want to discourage exploration of the Bible  and testing “new light” with the Holy Scriptures. This is a point of strength in Adventism, but it can be exploited by those looking for opportunity to infuse teachings that are not in harmony with the church’s 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Know what’s being taught in your church’s Sabbath School classes, small groups, etc. DO NOT be intimidated by the need to be aware of such. It’s your prerogative and responsibility to know what’s being taught to your members.

•  Permitting the protagonist(s) of dissident teachings to remain present on the condition that that they remain silent, is hypocritical and naive. A person who is under conviction that their perspective is founded on Biblical truth, should not be expected to keep that knowledge to themselves. As Adventists believers, we would not ask someone to go against their conscience and convictions. That would be hypocritical, as we could not do such ourselves. It is also naive, for permission to remain present is interpreted as an opportunity to proselytize.

•  Theological “debates” with the primary proponents/leaders of dissident beliefs does not change their minds, generally speaking. Those who have become persuaded of their perspective to the point where they are under conviction to make disciples of that perspective, more often than not, view anyone countering their perspective as heretical themselves and outside of God’s will. Judge carefully. If a person truly has an open heart and mind to time-tested Adventist beliefs, then do what you can for them. However, in all likelihood, they know those Adventist beliefs very well,  Time spent trying to convince a proponent against his/her will, is not time well spent, and may actually be counter-productive.

•  More often than not, the real issue evolves into, and revolves around, the unity and harmony of the Body of Christ. Simply put, any action or attitude that threatens or damages the unity of the Body, is outside of God’s will. No one who is a part of the Body and wishes to remain in God’s will would want to hold on to actions or attitudes that knowingly threaten the church’s unity and peace. Those who do insist on asserting their agenda to the detriment of the Body’s unity and peace, cannot be ignored.

•  Be courageous, confront, and take action with the support of your elders and church board. Yes, this may push you out of your administrative comfort zone, but it’s what courageous spiritual leaders do. Note: Efforts by pastors and church leaders to apply the principles outlined in Matt. 18 to counsel with such dissidents is a misapplication of the text; this passage relates to resolving interpersonal conflicts.

II. Regarding the 2520 time period:

•  GCC’s ADCOM recently took an action to be shared with all GCC pastors. It states:  “Randy Moeller, a member at Knoxville First Church, has been studying and teaching a 2,520-year period with connection to events of 9/11 and beyond. These views are not in harmony with proven hermeneutical principles. After careful review, we have concluded that it is not in the best interest of our mission or unity to provide Randy Moeller with opportunity to share his teachings within the sisterhood of churches in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. Additional documentation can be provided upon request.

•  Rick Greve recently organized a meeting for GCC Northern Region Pastors (30 attended), in which Dr. Jud Lake, Professor – SAU School of Religion, made a presentation regarding “2520″.  Click to view:                                                                                                                                                  Dr. Lake’s PowerPoint presentation on “2520″ to the GCC Northern Region pastors<https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ZvIs6NKYhrGLZuXqIgz2_ElTFqg4bd5bbk9UyYLfswE/edit>

See also this Informative website on the 2520 topic: http://www.weaffirmsda.com/

III. Regarding Shepherd’s Rod, etc.

Dr. Neil Reid recently organized a meeting with Dr. Jud Lake, Dr. Stephen Bauer, Pastor Gary Rustad, and Pastor David Melton for the purpose of addressing concerns regarding Shepherd’s Rod proponents. The following is a portion of Neil’s report on that meeting:

Proponents of SR visit our churches and present themselves as “Seventh-day Adventists.”  Within a brief period of time, they often win the confidence of leaders and members by their willingness to participate in Sabbath School and other church activities. They soon begin to insert their teachings and plant doubts in the minds of their sympathizers regarding the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its doctrines.

Generally, SR proponents are not earnest seekers of truth but hard core aggressors against the church seeking to draw disciples after themselves.  Praying and studying with them will only serve to create an atmosphere for their movement to take hold and thrive in the church. Efforts by pastors and church leaders to apply the principles outlined in Matt. 18 to counsel with SR adherents is a misapplication of the text; this passage relates to resolving interpersonal conflicts. The intent of the SR organization is to infiltrate the Seventh-day Adventist Church and destroy it from within much like what cancer cells do to the human body. Pastors should be mindful of Paul’s warning about such individuals:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Act 20:28-30

2.        Resources:

•          Pastor Gary Rustad (Calhoun SDA Church) and Pastor David Melton (Cartersville and Adairsville SDA Churches)

•         Dr. Jud Lake and Dr. Steven Bauer, both professors at SAU’s School of Religion.

•         Elder Kenneth Mittleider: Elder Mittleider served the Seventh-day Adventist Church in various leadership capacities for many years in North America and Africa, retiring from ministry as vicepresident of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. A member at the Calhoun SDA Church,  Elder Mittleider has helped both the Calhoun and Adairsville churches deal with Shepherd’s Rod proponents.

•         BRI document: http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/Independent%20Ministries/branchdavidians.htm

•          Ishmael Rodriguez: Ismael who had for years been a Seventh-Day Adventist, became entangled with Shepherd’sRod theology, eventually becoming involved in leadership in the Davidian organization. Because he is fluently bi-lingual he was asked to translate the writings of Victor Houteff into Spanish. As he embarked on this process the Lord performed a miracle he loves to share. He returned to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and is now a devout member in good standing of his local congregation. He has committed his life to a ministry of unmasking the Shepherd’s Rod deception. Ismael Rodriguez currently travels extensively, providing spiritual support through both pen and voice to individuals and churches that are being challenged and threatened by the false teachings of Davidian believers. He has committed his life to a ministry of unmasking the Shepherd’s Rod deception.  To contact Ismael Rodriguez regarding a seminar in your local church, please call (787) 538-8026 , or email ismael@unveilingtheshepherdsrod.com<mailto:ismael@unveilingtheshepherdsrod.com> . Website: http://unveilingtheshepherdsrod.com/Book.php

•         Letter Reviewed by Risk Management to be sent to individuals participating in the Shepherd’s Rod Movement

[Date]

[Name and address of SR proponent]

Dear ________:

This letter is to inform you of an action taken by the ___[name of church]__ on __[date of action]__, which authorizes this letter.

The Church Board formally and respectfully demands you immediately cease and refrain from coming onto the property, attending any function or service conducted at __[address of church]___ or elsewhere.

It has been brought to the church board’s attention, that you have chosen to associate yourself with and to teach and advance the mission of the Davidian-Shepherd’s Rod organization which stands in direct opposition to the mission, theology and teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  In spite of our attempts to work with you on this, you have refused to abandon attempts to undermine the Seventh-day Adventist faith.  That refusal has led to the Church Board action.

We trust that you will respect our right to prohibit you from contact with the ___[name of church]__ and follow the dictates of our conscience which has led the Church Board to this decision.  This decision is not open to discussion or negotiation.  We do this, not out of malice or spite, but because your behavior undermines our religion and our ability to maintain church unity.

We are praying for you that God will lead you in your spiritual journey and into a closer walk with Him.  Nevertheless, that walk will not be done at the expense of the unity of the ______ ___[name of church]__  In the event that you wish to reject the Davidian-Shepherd’s Rod teachings,  there are leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who can help you in the process, but it cannot and will not be through this congregation.

Please honor this demand.

Sincerely,

[minister], Pastor

CC:      President

Secretary

Ministerial VP

Ministerial Director

Church Clerk

IV. Regarding Anti-Trinitarian theology (from the Adventist Biblical Research Institute)

*   The Trinity in SDA History by Merlin Bert (EG White Estate): http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Trinity%20in%20SDA%20History.pdf

*   Reflections on the Doctrine of the Trinity by Raoul Dederen:  http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Doctrine%20of%20the%20Trinity.pdf

*   The Trinity in Scripture by Gerhard Pfandl:  http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/trinscript.pdf

*   The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Adventists by Gerhard Pfandl:  http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/trinitydoc%20among%20sda.pdf

Feel free to utilize this information in consultation with your elders, church boards, and your regional Ministerial Directors.

Very sincerely,

Harold Cunningham – VP for Pastoral Ministries & Evangelism Growing Disciples Through Shared Leadership: Love. Learn. Live. Lead.

Website: Georgia-Cumberland Conference<http://www.gccsda.com/>

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4 Responses to Georgia Cumberland Conference Response by Randy Moeller

  1. Tendayi Matsatsa says:

    You can not gainsay this. It is sad that people fight the beginning of adventism`s confidence. May the Lord be with you .

  2. Leona Dawson says:

    God bless you Brother Moeller. I pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens and keeps you. Thank you very much for your letter. It was very precise and to the point. And with your approval will pass it on to the encouragement of the rest of us that strive to be lifted up as an God’s Ensign. Happy Sabbath.

    Yours In Christ.

  3. Leona Dawson says:

    Please take the “an” out of my next to last sentence. Thank you.

    God Bless.

  4. Jeff Ruetz says:

    They categorise the original faith with the shepherds rod, unbelievable.
    Thank you Randy for willing to be used of God.

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