Looking for something recently, I came across your letter of Aug. 2006, in which you shared the words of Ellen White regarding what Jesus said to Nicodemus in their visit together that night, and you stated that this was my need, - spiritual regeneration, and that you were both praying for me to this end. I do appreciate any prayers anyone offers in my behalf, for I am a very needy soul. The comparison of me with Nicodemus seems somewhat ill placed, since he was one of the highest of spiritual leaders in the nation in his day; whereas I have never been a spiritual leader among God’s people, except when serving as a deacon in the Zanesville SDA church. Be that as it may, I acknowledge my need of spiritual regeneration, each and everyday. Would Jesus have said the same thing to anyone of the 70 who composed the GC of His day, as well as Nicodemas? Most likely so. And would it be true of Church leadership in our own day and time? Ellen White writes that a revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs, and to seek this should be our first work. So it seems to me, that my own case is far from being singular or unique within Adventism. Rather, it seems permeated with this need everywhere. I am wondering if you both sense a need of the same?
It seems so ironical and paradoxical that there are those like you and ______, who work so hard to secure new converts to the Church; and the Church Leadership at the same time filing lawsuits against believers for using the name God Himself gave us as a people to identify ourselves before a skeptical, unbelieving, sinful world. And they do this, in spite of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy admonitions and warnings not to do so! What must our Heavenly Father, our blessed Saviour, the holy angels, and the inhabitants of other worlds think of us? All heaven must be stirred with righteous indignation! I will share with you what one person wrote to a high placed leader in the denomination in Jan. of this year:
“One would have thought that, since Oct. 3, 1991, when the U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfeizer ruled that Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International did not infringe on the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s use of the name, the Church would have quit suing Adventists for using that name. It did not. This past year, I have heard that the Church has gone international to WIPO (World Intelligence Place Organization) at Geneva, in order to sue a group in Tennessee, and that they have also had the audacity to threaten to sue the Federation of Adventist Society, Escondido, CA. Why? Because a Jewish rabbi became an Adventist, and brought his group with him. One would think that those in charge of our Church would rejoice, - not sue them! Since when, did the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Association get exclusive rights to the word ‘Adventist’? It has been in use long before the 1980s. [When they trademarked the name] It was even in use before the 1860s.
Here is a definition of ‘Adventist’ that I found on the Internet: ‘A member of a Christian denomination that expects the imminent advent of Christ.’ When I entered ‘Advent’ in Google, there were 46,400,000 entries. It also had another 5,080,000 entries for ‘Adventist,’ and 4,360,000 for ‘Seventh-day’. You folk have a lot of suing to do, if you are going to get rid of everyone else.
Why are we suing fellow-believers? With this kind of friends, who needs enemies? I dare say that if a Lutheran or Baptist religious organization was to copyright their name, and sue all other Lutheran or Baptist organizations, what a terrible situation this would produce. How else would a person easily know that the organization held Luther in great regard, or highly esteemed the rite of baptism? I have read of several splits in both, and all of them keep Luther or Baptist as part of their name, - yet I have never heard of them suing each other over the name, although there have been legal problems over some church properties. What else would they call themselves? Would they have to coin a nonsense word?
How can the Seventh-day Adventist church sue – and do their best to destroy – small groups, some of which only want to let people know that they believe in the Second Coming of Christ, and that they worship on the seventh, not the first day? How else are those believers supposed to announce to the public that they keep the Bible Sabbath? Don’t you want the public to know that there are still people on the earth who keep the Bible Sabbath? This is especially ironic now that there are at least ten authorized churches under Seventh-day Adventist auspices that have regular Sunday services!
You have been suing groups that have ‘Seventh-day Adventist’ in their name, and now you are suing those who only have ‘Adventist’ in their name. Are you trying to take everything away from those who attend your churches each week? Are you trying to put out all the lights, take away all the happiness? Are you trying to just leave us in a limbo darkness of outer rejection?
When the Roman Catholic attorneys have finished using the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference to destroy groups that are trying to obey the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, and have dragged what remains of the denomination down into the mud of universal disgust by the public for their search-and-destroy tactics, - I suspect that they will then take over all Seventh-day Adventist General Conference property for the Catholic Church or its image!
Or perhaps the General Conference will just deed everything over to them! It is already in various places, deeding over our hospitals to the Catholics.” (This is the end of the letter.)
I believe this person had true insights into the matter, putting it in true perspective, as it really is, before the on looking universe, who know that God’s government, in both heaven and earth, is based on eternal, righteous principles, just as is His own character, - principles that involve justice & mercy. This lawsuit, which will gain the attention of millions no doubt, (as did the Waco slaughter of the Davidians a number of years ago) displays neither justice nor mercy. Do you both realize, being bonafide members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church world-wide, with the General Conference Corporation as its highest governing body, that you are personally involved in this lawsuit? Unless you both make it known that you do not subscribe to this unjust and unrighteous conduct on the part of the highest official leadership of the denomination (as _____ and I have both done, separately) that you disagree with such proceedings as being out of harmony with the character and conduct of Christ, and His testimonies on the matter, through the apostle Paul, and also Ellen G. White, then you will both be registered in heaven as guilty of crucifying Christ, because Ellen White was inspired to write that when we go to law with a brother, before unbelievers, we crucify the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame, and are registered in Heaven with unbelievers. You have responsibility before God in this matter that you dare not dismiss, or cannot by-pass with impunity. As members of the body of Christ, you need to speak out, in His behalf, as Nicodemus did, at the risk of the displeasure of his peers, and it eventually cost him his position as an honored member of the Sanhedrin Council, the equivalent of the General Conference Executive Committee today. Nicodemus truly experienced a spiritual regeneration, by identifying himself with Christ and His little band of faithful followers, in opposing the mandates of the governing body, because they were unjust and unrighteous and ungodly; and he supported with his wealth and influence the cause of Christ, the lowly Galilean rabbi, who had been crucified by His own chosen people. Nicodemus’ example is a worthy one to follow, and I pray that we of the ______ family may be found emulating it, unashamed of the consequences. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mk. 8:38.
So you both, as members of the Church body have a duty required of you, which you can defer or neglect, only at the peril of your own sols. For the word of God says that we are the body of Christ, and members in particular, and if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. (See I Cor. 12:26, 27) A member is suffering from an unjust lawsuit; we must suffer with him and those to whom he is ministering; otherwise, their blood will be required of our hand, for there is no respect of persons with God. All are His, by virtue of creation and redemption. When a member of our own physical body suffers, the whole body is affected, and all the body sympathizes and endeavors to minister toward the member that is suffering, that it may be restored to soundness and health. So must it be with Christ’s body – the Church. We must not take the position of the priest or Levite toward the stranger who had fallen among thieves, stripped and wounded and left dying. Those professed ministers and representatives of God just took a passing glance at the man, and persuaded themselves that it was no concern of theirs, and went on their self-righteous ways. But the good Samaritan (whom they would have despised as a dog) came, and when he took in the scene, had compassion on the stranger, even though he knew, that if their situations were reversed, the man would spit in his face with contempt. He did everything he could possibly do for the man, not only in his own personal ministry, but paid for his expenses at a place where he could heal, in rest and peace, from his wounds. Jesus, in telling this experience was citing His own example of ministry to lost humanity, battered and wounded by the great archenemy of souls. And He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my breather, ye have done it unto me.” He identified with all who are unjustly dealt with; so He identifies with this brother who has this lawsuit imposed upon him by modern Pharisees who are self-proclaimed Sabbath-keepers, but who violate the very law they profess to keep, by their ungodly deeds.
Will you, ______, identify with Christ in the person of His saints, or will you identify with the priest and Levite, and say with them, 'It’s none of my concern; I choose not to become involved with it.’? Silence is consent. If you refuse to protest, and be a true “Protestant,” it will be registered in heaven against you, just as if you had filed the lawsuit yourselves.
Christ stood alone, in Pilate’s hall;
He heard the rabble cry;
The King with none to own His cause,
My cause would not deny,
The King with none to own His cause,
My cause would not deny.