When Did the Betrayal of Our Church Begin?
"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." Acts 20:29-30.
It has been a long time since I was in a Seventh-day Adventist church service where a responsive reading was taken from a Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. Not long ago when the time came to participate in one, I noticed that a profusion of Bible versions were used for the various readings from the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal with a copyright date of 1985. In my Church Hymnal with a copyright date of 1941 all readings were from the King James Bible (KJB); at least no credits were given to indicate otherwise. So, something happened between 1941 and 1985.
I went through the various readings of the 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal and counted up the numbers of the various versions used.
From the New International Version (NIV) which, if you exclude the apocrypha, is the most corrupt of the versions I've compared, there were 67 readings.
The RSV, NEB, JB and TEV are ALL Roman Catholic bibles so you can obtain them with the deuterocanonical books. The final numbers were only 15 readings from the KJB, 102 from the Roman Catholic bibles and 105 from the other bibles. The distinction between the "other bibles" and the Roman Catholic bibles is small. With the possible exception of the NKJV (which is about half as bad as the NIV), I think the "other bibles" could pass as Roman Catholic bibles with the mere addition of the deuterocanonical books. Adventist World this year has had articles titled "Preserving the Spirit of the Reformation" and "Committed to the Protestant Reformation" which seem quite incongruent with the use of Roman Catholic sources in Seventh-day Adventist publications.
From the Jerusalem Bible (JB), 37 readings.
From the New King James Version (NKJV), which isn't a King James Bible, 34 readings.
From the Revised Standard Version (RSV), 28 readings.
From the New English Bible, 22 readings.
From the Good News Bible also known as the Today's English Version (TEV), 15 readings.
From the KJB, 15 readings.
From the New American Standard Bible (NASB), 4 readings.
Is it possible to use corrupt bibles for readings and not have corrupt doctrines slip in? I think not. Responsive reading 756 from the NIV is taken from Psalms 51 which ways in part, "Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mothr conceived me." Conception occurs when the sperm joins the egg so the NIV says that child is sinful even before it has a brain. That is the Roman Catholic doctrine of original sin. Responsive reading 730 is from Luke 2:8-14 taken from the NIV and ends with "'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'" That contradicts John 3:16-17 which says God's good will to men was to EVERYONE with no one excluded from His good will.
What about the hymns? Any problem there? How about "Angels We Have Heard on High" (hymn 142) which in the last verse says, "Mary, Joseph, lend your aid?" Mary and Joseph are dead so can't give anyone aid. Then there's hymn 3, "God Himself Is With Us," which says in the second verse says, "let my soul, like Mary, be Thine earthly sanctuary." Mary is dead and God isn't the God of the dead. Hymn 402, "Let Us Break Bread Together" says "when I fall on my knees , with my face to the rising sun." That's sun worship. Hymn 565 says, in the last verse, "for the crown when life is past." That's a pretty subtle one. It fits right in to churches holding to the doctrine that the saved soul goes immediately to paradise.
I attended Seventh-day Adventist schools and had a bible class every year until professional school. I did know that some churches didn't think some things belonged in the Bible. We wouldn't have considered using a Roman Catholic bible but were never, to the best of my recollection, warned about the corruptions in the new bible versions. One of my bible teachers was a contributor to the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary and another was on the Board of the Ellen G. White Estate (I believe they were both very good and very learned men, by the way). Since we used the King James Bible, maybe they assumed that no warning was needed. Maybe, like the rest of us, they didn't know any better. That said, Benjamin Wilkinson in his book, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, warned about the Revised Version and the American Revised Version way back in the 1930s. On page 2 of his book he says:
"This Revision Committee, besides the changes in the Old Testament, made over 5000 changes in the Received Text of the New Testament and so produced a new Greek New Testament. This permitted all the forces hostile to the Bible to gather themselves together and pour through the breach. Since then, the flood gates have been opened and we are now deluged with many different kinds of Greek New Testaments and with English Bibles translated from them, changed and mutilated in bewildering confusion."
What would he say if he could see things as they are now.
I used to be stupid and maybe I have an excuse. I had mostly used a King James Bible so had never made a serious study of what the new bibles said. I have never attended a seminary, have never been employed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and never plan to be so should not be expected to know as much about the Bible as our paid clergy. I believe that some of those who think it doesn't matter which Bible you read as long as you read one have been deceived by whoever taught them. Since I don't think all of our doctors of the law are mentally handicapped, I have to conclude that at least some of them have deliberately been feeding us laity and their trusting students with spiritual junk food. Can it really be that all those who chose Bibles for the readings in the Seventh-day Adventist Church Hymnal didn't know they were using Roman Catholic Bibles? I trow (from the Middle English word trowen, meaning to think) not.
In the book, Special Testimonies Series A and B by Ellen White, on page 4 it says, "Many have become lazy and criminally neglectful in regard to the searching of the Scriptures." In the past I was in the camp of the lazy and criminally neglectful but I'm trying to remedy that and, for the time I take to be in church, wish to be fed only clean provender, thoroughly winnowed.
In Testimonies for the Church volume 5, by Ellen White, on page 79 it says "There is a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God and to the testimony of His Spirit. There is a spirit of idolatrous exaltation of mere human reason above the revealed wisdom of God. There are men among us in responsible positions who hold that the opinions of a few conceited philosophers, so called are more to be trusted than the truth of the Bible or the testimonies of the Holy Spirit." That was written in the late 1800s so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that things have gotten worse.
Lest anyone think I'm against the Roman Catholic people; I am not. I have Roman Catholic friends who are probably more pious than some Protestants who believe they can say "Lord, Lord" and all sin will be forgiven even though they continue in sin and make little or no effort to do otherwise.
As you can read in James, both faith in the surety (Jesus Christ) and works are important.
© Martin J. Lohne 2017. Written 10/18/17.