Allow me, please, to begin with a question: Why was
justification by faith rejected in 1888 at the Minneapolis Conference? The answer: During the Dark Ages, God began
to prepare a people for the Second Coming of Jesus by using Martin Luther to
start the great Protestant Reformation in the preaching of justification by
faith. Then, in 1844, God brought forth
His Advent Movement preaching the additional truth that the divine Law of God,
contained in the Most
within God’s heavenly sanctuary, must be obeyed in order for us to fully
receive the righteousness of Christ.
Many within the church, in their zeal to preach the
law, did so in a legalistic way, forgetting that we need Jesus in our hearts
before we are able to keep the law and live the Christian life. Ellen White recognized this problem when she
wrote, “As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills
of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain.” Review and Herald, March 11, 1890.
To help the servant of the Lord meet this problem, the
Lord sent E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones to preach justification by faith with
the law. But many within the church,
especially its leaders, thought they were trying to do away with the law. This is why the Minneapolis Conference of
1888 rejected the message of justification by faith.
Today, we are facing the imminent return of
Jesus. Once again Satan has infiltrated
God’s true church with the “Celebration” of New Theology that proclaims a false
justification by faith in teaching that all that is needed for salvation is
love and unity; that no one need be concerned about the law since Christ kept
it for us. As a result, millions among
us today have been duped to believe the lie of Satan that the divine Law of God
cannot be kept, even in the power of Almighty God; therefore, we can sin until
Jesus comes. May God help us! Surely our hearts faint within us as we see
many within the Seventh-day Adventist Church today blindly following Babylon’s
false teachings of justification by faith alone in love and unity, without
equally emphasizing obedience to the divine law.
Turning to God’s Word, we read: “Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with
darkness? And what concord hath Christ
with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with
an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the
temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them];
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, 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.” 11 Corinthians 6:14-18.
In view of this clear counsel from God's Word not to
mingle with the followers of Babylon, let us examine how this false teaching of
justification by faith alone is affecting the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In 1975, Bill Hybels
started an interdenominational Pentecostal-style church near Chicago, Illinois, focused on church growth. Today, about 17,000 adults attend his weekend
services and 6,000 his mid-week services.
By all human standards, the Willow Creek Church is a great success. Further, this church has formed the Willow
Creek Association (WCA). Presently over
2,200 churches have joined this WCA, and at least 56 of those are Seventh-day
Adventist churches; three are Seventh-day Adventist conference
organizations. (See The
Remnant Herald #43, Melbourne, Australia, November 1998.)
Several of these churches have adopted names that do
not reflect that they are Seventh-day Adventist Churches. We must at least credit these churches with
professing that which they practice, for they are surely no longer Seventh-day
Adventist Churches, however the conference may regard them; thus, they do not
publicly shame the name Seventh-day Adventist.
The Willow Creek Association is an organization of a
fallen church of Babylon. It is a
charismatic, Sunday-keeping church.
These conferences and churches have now gone to a fallen church of Babylon in order to be better Seventh-day Adventists! Just as well may they go to the witch of Endor. (See 1 Samuel 28.) These conferences and churches have entered Babylon. It will be
well nigh impossible to recover such denominational entities, for they have
done so in the full light of truth.
Lest it be thought that these
conferences and churches have incurred the displeasure of the church
organization, or even that the Willow Creek Association on the Internet is
unreliable in its listing of these churches, we direct your attention to the
documented evidence to the contrary. An
editorial by Andy Nash in the Adventist
Review of December 18, 1997, made these points: 1) “Adventists should give Willow
Creek a fair shake”; 2) “Adventists should continue gleaning from Willow
Creek”; 3) “Gleaning from Willow Creek’s message doesn’t mean forfeiting our message.” (General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, 6.)
These subheadings contained two disgraceful admonitions and one absolute
falsehood. How can we be so blind?
Just consider this statement from
the same editorial listed above: “Adventists, both pastors and lay people,
consistently make up one of the largest groups at Willow Creek’s half-dozen
annual seminars . . . .” Ibid. This is not only so in the United States.
In 1997, numerous Seventh-day Adventist pastors and laymen attended the
Willow Creek Association meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.
This report is written to warn God’s flock worldwide concerning this
phenomenon within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Already the fruitage of this union with Babylon is well-known to church administrators. Again quoting from the same Adventist Review
article, it is admitted, “Fact: The three largest Adventist churches to divide
Sunnyside, Maryland's Damascus, and Colorado's Christ Advent Fellowship, were
clearly influenced by Willow Creek’s ministry hallmarks
. . . .” Ibid.
Robert H. Pierson, a former
president of the General Conference, foresaw what was about to take place as a
result of this New Theology of a false justification by faith when he wrote in The Ministry magazine of October 1977, “It
would be well for every Seventh-day Adventist leader to prayerfully study the
subtle plans of the apostate ‘angel of light’ as he seeks to thwart the triumph
of the Advent movement. Get out your
Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy (especially Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 193-200). On your knees
consider these startling facts faithfully chronicled by the Lord's servant.
. . .
“Note well what Ellen White warns:
“1. ‘The principles of truth
that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded.’¾[Selected Messages, Book 1], p. 204.
“2. ‘The truth will be criticized, scorned, and derided.’¾Ibid., p. 201.
“3. ‘It will “make of no effect the truth of heavenly
origin.” ’¾Ibid., p. 204.
“4. ‘Our religion would be changed.’¾Ibid., p. 204.
“5. ‘The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly
regarded, as also the God who created it.’¾Ibid., p. 205.
“6. ‘The fundamental principles that have sustained
the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.’¾Ibid., p. 204.
“7. There would be a
‘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.’¾Ibid.
“8. ‘A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.’¾Ibid.
“9. The new philosophy would ‘rob the people of God of
their past experience, giving them instead a false science.’¾Ibid.
“10. It would seek to weaken the preaching of the
Second Advent by teaching, ‘that the scenes just before us are not of
sufficient importance to be given special attention.’¾Ibid.
“11. ‘Books of a new order would be written.’¾Ibid.
“12. ‘A new organization would be established.’¾Ibid.
“13. ‘Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of
the new movement.’¾Ibid., p. 205.
“Now go back over those thirteen
points. Study them carefully and
prayerfully. You may have to meet them
sooner than you expect. The seeds of
such apostasy are in the churches of Christendom all around us. Before Jesus returns, the Seventh-day Adventist Church may well be confronted with a
crisis that will exceed in magnitude the Kellogg alpha apostasy. It ‘will be of a most startling
nature.’ ” Robert H. Pierson, “The
Omega of Apostasy,” The
Ministry, vol. 50,
No. 10, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D. C., October
“Spiritualism is now changing its form, veiling some
of its more objectionable and immoral features, and assuming a Christian
guise. Formerly it denounced Christ and
the Bible; now it professes to accept both.
The Bible is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made
of no effect. A God of love is
presented; but his justice, his denunciation of sin, the
requirements of his holy law, are all kept out of sight. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the
senses of those who do not make God’s word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but
Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not
discerned.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol.
To be continued . . .
60 years Pastor Lawrence Nelson served as an evangelist and minister for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Of that time,
he served 13 years as the director of evangelism for youth at the General
Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Upon retirement from the General Conference, he continued to pastor, but
when, as a result of his stand for truth, he was denied the opportunity to
continue his pastorate, he started Keep the Faith Audio Tape Ministry,
recording his sermons and making them available to individuals. Before his retirement from this ministry in
2004, over 18,000 audiotapes were being sent around the world each month.