Post Number: 132
|Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 4:05 am: || |
I recently found an interesting online book which covers a lot of Adventist history, but from a different perspective than what I got at Adventist schools. This is actually the history of the Church of God (Seventh Day), which was the part of the sabbath keeping advent movement that rejected EllenWhite. From their perspective, the SDA church left them, and they call the split during the 1860's "the great apostasy".
One of the chapters discusses when leaders of the Iowa conference of SDA defected to the COGSD,and references writings by Snook, Brinkerhoff, and Carver, who were involved in the split. The book by H. E. Carver debunking EGW does not seem to be available online, and of the four copies in Libraries, two are kept locked up at Andrews and Walla Walla for "library use only". The New York public library has a copy, so hopefully Google books will someday put it online.
Here is the link to the church history book:
Post Number: 133
|Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 6:02 am: || |
One question that comes up multiple times in the COG (7th day) history by Richard Nickels is why has the SDA church been so much more "successful" in growing than the sabbatarian COG? The question is partially answered by referring to the many splits and fragmentation within the COG groups. For example, some groups divided over whether their annual passover communion celebration should be on the 14th or 15th day of the lunar month.
From the perspective of a former SDA, I would suggest the lack of success of the COG groups is doctrinal heresy. Many of the COG groups rejected the trinity, many kept the feast days, some enforced the old covenant dietary restrictions, and of course they all shared belief in the sabbath.
But then why was the SDA church so much more "successful"? I think the answer lies (pun intended) in Ellen White. Having a "prophet" provided a cohesive force and played on the human desire to be "better" than other people. The Mormon church has been so successful for many of the same reasons.
Post Number: 2008
|Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 9:44 am: || |
Darrell, " The book by H. E. Carver debunking EGW does not seem to be available online,"
what is the title of the book please ?
Post Number: 134
|Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 4:06 pm: || |
The book by H. E. Carver is called "Mrs. E. G. White's Claims to Divine Inspiration examined"
Post Number: 14174
|Posted on Tuesday, January 01, 2013 - 5:43 pm: || |
Darrell, very interesting. I especially appreciated your analysis of why the SDAs have been so much more successful than the COGSD. Your pinpointing the reality of EGW (like Joseph Smith in Mormonism) is really quite profound. I believe you are right.
A strong leader who proclaims corporate "truth" becomes a rallying point for generations to come. In fact, just speaking politically, look at the impact of a Hitler or a Nero. In the article "Spiritual Abuse Among Religions" in this last issue of Proclamation here http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/proclamation/2012/4/spiritualabuse-y.html Joanie Yorba-Gray makes the point that one of the factors that makes a "successfully" abusive religious system is a strong, charismatic leader who becomes the unifying hub of the members or subjects of the system.
I think you are exactly right in your analysis.
Post Number: 263
|Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2013 - 5:42 pm: || |
I grew up equal parts SDA, Church Of God (Seventh day) , worldwide Church of God, Seventh day Baptist and a smattering of Lutheran thrown in. The only real conviction my family had about religion was The Sabbath. They liked the SDB 's but didn't partake in The pork, etc.fortunately i got to go to Sunday School with my Lutheran cousins. I always liked The Church of God (Seventh day) . They are nice people And the hymnal has nice songs. The congregation i attended used a Christian country and western hymnal And country guitar music for accompyment. We also attended The Shepherds Rods on Saturdays and any other go-to -church-on Saturday group. I an well versed on all of them. BTW, myself earthly Christian Church membership is ELCA at my church on California and the UCC here in Hawaii. I chucked all the weird -o 's.
Post Number: 283
|Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 8:39 pm: || |
I think the SDA church was also more successful because of all the institutions they set up. Their school systems and scouting clubs kept SDA kids away from all the other kids. They made everyone's viewpoints very narrow and all that worked well before the internet came out.
All the institutions also provided many jobs for SDAs and SDA ghettos grew up as a result. I have noticed that so many SDAs I knew had grown up going through the SDA school systems and later worked for SDAs. They had no clue about the real world, so they just stayed in the church.
Post Number: 1220
|Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 10:15 pm: || |
Great points, everyone.
When a group has a strong (though nutty) prophet who appeals to human pride ("we are the ONLY true church"), then people seem to want to belong to this "special" group. I just read a book ("The Mormonizing of America") & it's really difficult to see how people would go along with a charlatan like Joseph Smith. (Well, many people did quit believing in him as time went on). I believe there were many people that saw through EGW & left, but we never heard of them as we were so"insulated" in the SDA organization. I think Joseph Smith was quite charismatic.
I have never read anywhere of EGW's charisma. I think she ruled by fear. She described actually going into people's homes, watching them sin & hearing their conversations, & then wrote about it! And people back then really believed she could do this.
Plus she put on quite a show when she went into her trances & astounded her onlookers. It was must have rivaled P.T. Barnum, & it apparently gave her authenticity as a "prophet". I mean, how many of us were raised on the "proof" of her not breathing, & holding up 18 pound Bibles?
Post Number: 14185
|Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - 6:59 pm: || |
Nowisee, that's really interesting: no one ever writes about EGW's charisma! That's totally true. I've never thought of that before.
I believe her success had a lot to do with James's entrepreneurial go-getting (and perhaps some charisma there...), but she herself...you are totally right. I've never heard of her charisma. I have read that James originally said he would never marry that homely thing...but her visions, apparently, offered him more authority than he had on his own, and he could "market" her. He eventually married her because he was traveling with her to provide the visionary power behind his meetings with people, and he was advised that it didn't look good for him to travel with an unmarried young woman. He needed her powers, and she would likely have been not much at all without him.
Of course, the spirit behind her visions gave her a pretty profound power that has lasted for going on 200 years...