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Galatians & 1888

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Galatians & 1888

Postby Nefin » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:59 pm

Hi, I was reading a response to a question about martin Luther and SDA and you mentioned something about SDA and false interpretation in galations and about the IJ(investigative judgement I presume?). Could you please expand?
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Galatians & 1888

Postby dolaidh64 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:26 pm

The 1888 Debates

The 1888 debates took place because E. J. Waggoner discovered Luther’s great Commentary on Galatians.  Realizing that the SDA’s had the wrong understanding about the law and the gospel, he tried to Reform their views.  In other words, Waggoner injected the Gospel into Adventist theology and the church would never be the same again.

The first consequence of Waggoner’s promotion of Luther’s views about the law and the Gospel was the dramatic defection of D. M. Canright.   By 1887, Canright was actually convinced that Waggoner’s new view of Galatians, which was also Luther’s view, was correct.  So he left the church as a result.

This is why Smith, the author of the SDA’s view of the Two Covenants, and Butler, were furious with Waggoner; he had caused one of their top leaders to defect. But there was worse to come.  Waggoner’s view of Galatians would destroy the Battle Creek Empire, and send the Denomination retreating to Takoma Park. While the Adventist Movement had the Protestant Gospel as its foundation in the 1st Angels Message, that doctrine became confused during the 3rd Angels Message.  It was replaced with a Judaizing Gospel, which was law based and legalistic.  (This is also when the IJ was developed).  This error is what Waggoner was trying to address and correct. He was not attacking the Sabbath or Ellen White’s Spiritual Gifts, or the Three Angels Messages.   He was focused on understanding the law and the Gospel correctly.

By the 1880’s, the Battle Creek SDA’s had developed a complex doctrinal system about the Two Covenants in the book of Galatians.  Uriah Smith in particular had articulated a detailed apologetic that was designed to defend and preserve the Moral law and the Sabbath.  He concluded that the law that was abolished in Galatians was the Ceremonial law—NOT the Moral law.  The temporary “Tutor” could not be the 10 Commandments, because they were eternal.

Gal. 3:19  Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

Gal. 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Gal. 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Gal. 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

According to Smith, only the Ceremonial law was under discussion by Paul in Galatians.  Those that had faith, were given the power to obey the law and develop an acceptable level of Sanctification for salvation, including Sabbath keeping. But Waggoner, a young, second generation SDA stepped forward to refute what had become a sacred doctrine about the Two Covenants. And he did it primarily by using Luther's Commentary to the Galatians. Thus Waggoner embarrassed the Battle Creek theologians and exposed their Gospel and their much-vaunted doctrine of the Two Covenants to be wrong, including their interpretation of law in Galatians. But his correction was not well received. In fact, it almost destroyed the church 15 years later, even as it turned Uriah Smith and Ellen White into theological enemies. This polarization allowed others, like Kellogg, Jones, Ballenger, and even Waggoner to develop their own theology in an attempt to fill the doctrinal void that was created by the 1888 schism. Thanks to Waggoner, Battle Creek became the center for theological chaos and confusion because the church could not agree on how to interpret the law and the Gospel.   The SDA church has been divided on this issue ever since.

Ellen White and 1888

How ironic that when the doctrinal debate started, Ellen White was not in the Country. She was in Europe, touring the sites of the Protestant Reformation.  But this did not prevent the Battle Creek leaders from asking her to silence and censor young Waggoner, who was a student of Luther.  

However, as the leaders would discover, it was the wrong time to be asking Ellen White to act like a Papist and shut down doctrinal discussion.  Little did she know that she would become a victim, as the SDA’s were about to embark on their own miniature replay of the Protestant Reformation, complete with many, like Smith and Butler, that would gladly play the part of Rome.

Listen to President Butler in 1886 complain to Ellen White about Waggoner's promotion of the Luther's view’s through the Signs: "When we learn that the... view held by the minority is being vigorously pushed in one of our colleges among our Bible students and published to the world in the Signs, I confess it does not please me very well."(Quoted from Angry Saints, p 25.) Uriah Smith also blamed Waggoner’s Signs articles for the start of the great 1888 debate;

"Next to the death of brother(James) White, the greatest calamity that ever befell our cause was when Dr. Waggoner put his articles on the book of Galatians through the Signs." Smith wanted no part of this new theology and if this was the way the church was going to go; "they may count me out" because "I am not yet prepared to renounce Seventh-day Adventism" as Canright had just done. However, like Canright, Smith believed that if Waggoner was correct about Galatians, "then we have been wrong for the past thirty years, and Seventh-day Adventism has been developed and built on error." In fact, to Smith's mind, if Waggoner was correct, his position "overthrows the Testimonies and the Sabbath."(Ibid p24) Butler and Smith were outraged at how Waggoner was using the Signs to promote what they considered heretical theology. It was hurting the denomination "because the Apostle's reference to the law in this letter are used by our opponents as strong support to their antinomian doctrines." In other words, Waggoner was aiding the enemies of the Sabbath with his public Galatian position.  

Waggoner countered their objections by saying while "it will be a humiliating thing to modify our position in the face of the enemy... I submit that it is better to correct it than to run the risk of defeat." Such a modification "would simply be an acknowledgement that Adventists are better informed today than they were yesterday." If you want to better understand this debate, you should read Waggoner and Butler's dueling books on the law in Galatians, as well as lots of other material. http://www.gospel-herald.com/two_books_on_galatians.htm http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/shaking/4.html http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/Waggoner/6.html http://www.adventistreform.com/The1888Debate.html

To Ellen White’s credit, she would not allow herself to be manipulated by Smith or Butler, and thus she said there could be no censorship within the church. Truth was more important than politics or loyalty to church workers, friends, or family.  The SDA’s were Protestant and she was not going to allow any censorship of doctrinal debate.  Perhaps Waggoner had some truth?

Ellen White turns out to be a hero as this aging widow stands up to the arrogant leaders and fights for freedom of speech and for the public investigation of doctrine.  She was a minority in her views, and within a few years after 1888, the leaders exiled her far away.

Understand that Waggoner's position was very different from what Smith, Butler, Canright, and all the SDA theologians believed, including Ellen White. They were all united on the same interpretation that the law in Galatians was only the ceremonial law. This was the problem. Young Waggoner was saying something very different on this Gospel point from what ALL the SDA's were teaching.  

But he was correct and so too was the great Luther, who essentially started this infamous doctrinal fight. And so too was Ellen White.  She is the one that caused the most trouble by defending Waggoner’s new theology.  She made 1888 possible, even as she wrote down the details for future generations to understand.  

What a pity that the White Estate has been so dishonest and incompetent with her life story.  

What a pity that the Adventist Community has been indoctrinated into believing myths and lies about Ellen White and church history.

Ellen White Defends Doctrinal Debate

When Uriah Smith asked Ellen White to agree that Waggoner should be silenced, he was shocked to hear that she did not agree with his plan of censorship. Listen to Ellen White refuse to censor Waggoner: I tell you brethren I am troubled, when I see you take positions that you forbid others to take and that you would condemn in others. I do not think this is the right way to deal with one another. I want to see no pharisaism among us. The matter now has been brought so fully before the people by yourself as well as Dr. Waggoner, that it must be met fairly and squarely in open discussion. I see no other way and if this cannot be done without a spirit of pharisaism then let us stop publishing these matters and learn more fully lessons in the school of Christ. I believe now that nothing can be done but open discussion. You circulated your pamphlet, now it is only fair that Dr. Waggoner should have just as fair a chance as you have had. I think the whole thing is not in God's order. But brethren we must have no unfairness. We must work as Christians. If we have any point that is not fully, clearly defined and can bear the test of criticism don't be afraid or too proud to yield it'(White to Butler and Smith, 5 Apr. 1887). http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/Waggoner/6.html

Waggoner’s Controversial Theology

The 1888 debates were focused on the definition of the law and the Gospel, also known as the Two Covenants in the book of Galatians.  The IJ was not under discussion until the late 20th century.

Here are some of the titles of Waggoner's articles in The Signs that made Uriah Smith and Butler so angry. The figure behind the titles indicates the number of articles by that name. Note the long series on the law and on Galatians 3 in 1886.  This was the year when the 1888 debate started.

"Nature of the Law,"(3), June 26, 1884, January 21, 28, 1886; "Under the Law,"(8), August 28, September 4, 11, 18, 1884; May 6, 13, 27, June 3, 1886; "Jurisdiction of the Law,"(4), February 4, 11, 18, 25, 1886; "Comments on Galatians 3,"(9), July 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26, September 2, 1886; "Christ the end of the Law,"(2), July 24, August 7, 1884. http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/webster/ccac03-IIa.htm#17 See also: http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/Waggoner/6.html http://www.adventistheritage.org/article.php?id=76 Note in the McMahon article, that he references additional articles by Waggoner in the Signs. "On February 24, 1888, Waggoner published an article entitled "Different Kinds of Righteousness.(14) He obviously received his inspiration for this article from Luther. In fact, he quoted extensively from Luther's Commentary on Galatians." "In July, 1888, three months before the Minneapolis conference, Waggoner gave further evidence that he was struggling to recover the light given to Luther. He wrote a significant article, entitled "Lawful Use of the Law," in which he extensively reflected Luther.(23) This article provides greater insight into Waggoner's contribution to the doctrine of justification by faith than anything else he wrote." "Waggoner's basic thesis was that there are two kinds of righteousness—Christ's righteousness, also called the righteousness of faith, and our righteousness, which is the righteousness of the law. The connection between this theme and Luther will be obvious to those acquainted with the birth of the Protestant Reformation." http://www.presenttruthmag.com/7dayadventist/Waggoner/6.html The fact of the matter is that Waggoner discovered Luther’s Gospel, and by embracing his theology and promoting it to the legalistic SDA Community, he caused a firestorm that would almost destroy the 19th century Adventist Movement. Not because what he did was wrong, but because the leaders, like Smith and Butler acted like Jews and Papists and fought against the Gospel and the correct understanding of the law in Galatians.  

Today, the record is clear that the 1888 debate was about the law and the Gospel. It was not about the Nature of Christ as Froom has claimed all these years. Nor does Weiland's claim hold up that Sanctification was the point, and that Glad Tiding represents the 1888 message. The truth about 1888 has been hidden and kept away from the church for over 100 years. This is wrong. It is sinful for the leaders to have deceived the church about Ellen White's theology and the details of church history. It is outrageous that they were fabricating history and promoting legions of false doctrine in the name of the Pioneers. This is reprehensible behavior that must be confronted and stopped. No wonder the SDA church is self-destructing? They have been feed non-stop propaganda about Ellen White for so long that there is no way for this fictional and contrived SDA story to stand. Traditional Adventism is built on myth and years of fraud in the White Estate. But the truth has been escaping and now the Fundamentals of Traditional Adventism is crashing down for all to see. Here is some additional information about the theology of 1888. "The General Conference Daily Bulletins for October 1888 state briefly that Waggoner discussed the question of the law of God and its relation to the gospel of Christ. According to this source he appears to have based his messages on the books of Galatians and Romans. " "Uriah Smith stated that Waggoner gave an instructive series of lectures on 'Justification by faith'(see General Conference Daily Bulletin for October 19, 21 and 26, 1888). Waggoner himself reported on Jones' and his own lectures in the November 2, 1888 issue of The Signs of the Times and stated that one of the subjects had reference to the law and the gospel in their various relations, coming under the general head of justification by faith. " Takoma Park Revisions to 1888

The official version of 1888 is contained in Leroy Edwin Froom’s Movement of Destiny.  This dishonest work helped the legalists by declaring that the Nature of Christ was the point of contention.  And thus great myth was injected into church history as if it were true.

Froom stated that Waggoner's 1888 presentations were taken down in shorthand by his wife, Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner, and then edited by Waggoner to appear later in book form as Christ and His Righteousness(1890); The Gospel in Creation(1894) and The Glad Tidings(1900)."(See Froom, Movement of Destiny, p.189). "Robert J. Weiland follows Froom's thought when he wrote in the foreword to his edited version of The Glad Tidings which appeared in 1972: "I discovered that the message of this book was in reality a transcript of studies that Dr. Waggoner gave personally to a gathering of ministers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the fall of 1888(p.6)." But Froom's contention is a diversion and a fraud and he knew it all along.  The Nature of Christ played no role in the debate, nor did Waggoner’s books contain the real issues that were never resolved in Battle Creek. To prove this point, listen to both Dr. Yost and Bert Haloviak, who were eyewitnesses to the discovery of the 1888 materials in the Archives by Tom Norris in 1979. They also worked to help me gain access into the White Estate, which resulted in the discovery of Arthur White's massive fraud. They both deny Froom's 1888 account as well as that of Weiland and the 1888 Study Committee. Dr. Donald Yost, Archivist of the General Conference in Washington stated in October 1980 that there was no evidence that the nature of Christ was part of the 1888 presentations.  He had the facts and knew what he was talking about.

David P. McMahon is also convinced that the human nature of Christ was not the content of Waggoner's message.   He writes: "There is no evidence that Waggoner's teaching on the humanity of Christ was part of his message in 1888. This is one of the Waggoner myths demolished by an investigation of the original sources"(Elliot Joseph Waggoner, p.104). "Ellen G. White makes many allusions to the message of 1888. In Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91,92 she indicates that God sent a precious message through Jones and Waggoner. The message was to bring before the world the uplifted Savior. It presented justification through faith in the Surety and invited people to accept the righteousness of Christ made manifest in obedience to God's commandments. They needed to see Christ's divine person, His merits and His love. Christ had all power to impart the gift of His righteousness to the human agent. This was the third angel's message to be given in a loud voice. Furthermore, Ellen White also says that it was an unwillingness to accept Waggoner's exposition of the moral law in Galatians, which caused the opposition to his messages."(See Letter 96, 1896 and Manuscript 15, 1888, in A. V. Olson, Through Crisis to Victory, pp.52-55). Today, the records of 1888 have been found and thus there is no point for SDA’s to pretend any more.  Listen to Bert Haloviak, an expert on SDA church history and now the director of the Denominations Archives:

"Among the significant items that have been discovered recently are the W. C. White handwritten notes from the Minneapolis meetings. These were uncovered at the White Estate in Washington, D.C. " In the light of these notes and other discoveries, Bert Haloviak, wrote: "You can see from the handwritten W. C. White notes and also know from thousands of documents recently studied pertaining to the 1888 period that Christology was not the point of friction in 1888. " "The theology of the law in Galatians and of the covenants and the question of the role of the Spirit of Prophecy were the basic points of contention."(Letter from Bert Haloviak to E. C. Webster, August 3, 1982) http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/webster/ccac03-IIb.htm The record is clear that the White Estate and Dr. Froom were misleading the Adventist Community about Ellen White and the 1888 debates.  The documents from that period were found in 1979 and it is time for the SDA’s to tell the truth and repudiate their patiently false accounts and repent for perpetrating a massive fraud about Ellen White and church history.

Ellen Whites Position  

During the 1888 debates, Ellen White went on to change her view about the law in Galatians, siding with Luther and Waggoner and concluding that it was the moral law as well as the ceremonial law that is under discussion in this famous letter of Paul. Listen to her chide Uriah Smith about his stubbornness on this point. "These testimonies of the Spirit of God, the fruits of the Spirit of God, have no weight unless they are stamped with your ideas of the law in Galatians. I am afraid of you and I am afraid of your interpretation of any Scripture, which has revealed itself in such an unchristlike spirit as you have manifested and has cost me so much unnecessary labor. If you are such very cautious men and so very critical, lest you shall receive something not in accordance with the Scriptures, I want your minds to look on these things in the true light." "Let your caution be exercised in the line of fear lest you are committing the sin against the Holy Ghost. Have your critical minds taken this view of the subject? I say, if your views on the law in Galatians, and the fruits, are of the character I have seen in Minneapolis and ever since, up to this time, my prayer is that I may be as far from your understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures as it is possible for me to be. I am afraid of any application of Scripture that needs such a spirit and bears such fruit as you have manifested. One thing is certain, I shall never come into harmony with such a spirit as long as God gives me my reason." "You have not commended your doctrine, in some things, to my mind and to other minds. You could not have given a better refutation of your own theories than you have done."(Manuscript Releases Volume Nine, page 330, paragraph 2 Chapter Title: The Law in Galatians.) Ellen White was stunned to discover that many SDA’s were not honest when it came to this doctrinal debate.  She was shocked at the rudeness associated with those that supported the Traditional View.  In fact, she accused them of conducting a dishonest debate, full of diversions, double talk, and much deception.  

In fact, in 1890, Ellen White wrote a letter to Uriah Smith about the debate.  This letter had been hidden in the White Estate all during the RBF debates and Glacier View. Up until that time it had never been published nor seen in public, much less explained to the Adventist Community. It can now be found online as well as in the published the EG White 1888 Materials, Vol. 2, page 599-605. Here is the smoking gun that exposes what the debate was really all about. It was not only about the law in Galatians, but rather the larger theology of the Two Covenants and the definition of the Gospel. Listen to Ellen White pass judgment against Uriah Smiths views: See her endorse Waggoner’s view of the Two Covenants and the Gospel:

"Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, Brother Dan Jones-Brother Porter and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented. When you had received the true light which shineth, you would not have imitated or gone over the same manner of interpretation and misconstruing the Scriptures as did the Jews. What made them so zealous? Why did they hang on the words of Christ? Why did spies follow him to mark His words that they could repeat and misinterpret and twist in a way to mean that which their own unsanctified minds would make them to mean. In this way, they deceived the people. They made false issues. They handled those things that they could make a means of clouding and misleading minds."(The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, page 604, paragraph 2 Chapter Title: Letter To U. Smith.) This letter shows that not only is Ellen White taking the side of Waggoner in this Gospel debate, she is also invoking the Spirit as also being in agreement with his new theological position. “She was shown” that those in charge were not being honest about the law or the Gospel.

This is a revolutionary document for SDA's that has been suppressed for almost 100 years and when it was released, the White Estate just pretended it had no great meaning or significance, when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, even to this very day, when the SDA evangelists promote the Sabbath or debate the anti-Sabbath crowd, they still use the pre-1888 position about the Two Covenants that Ellen White rejected. They still say that the Old Covenant does not include the 10 C's. Even though they think that they have the full support of Ellen White for this position, they fail to realize that this was the very point about 1888 that she refuted. This is the very point that she claimed God had "opened to her mind." Listen to Ellen White continue to chastise Uriah Smith and tell him that if he were being honest, he would have to admit that Waggoner’s and Luther’s views about the Two Covenants is correct.  

"The covenant question is a clear question and would be received by every candid, unprejudiced mind, but I was brought where the Lord gave me an insight into this matter. You have turned from plain light because you were afraid that the law question in Galatians would have to be accepted. As to the law in Galatians, I have no burden and never have had."(Letter 59, 1890, p. 6.(Ellen G. White To Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890.) She encouraged all to follow this new light about the Righteousness of Christ from Waggoner, which she admitted was very difficult for SDA’s to understand.  In fact, Ellen White realized that the Adventists could “scarcely comprehend” this new and necessary change about the Gospel.  She knew that Luther’s Gospel was correct and that the SDA’s were legalists.  

But the SDA theologians, led by Smith, refused to admit their errors, revise their theology, or embrace Luther’s Gospel.  Speaking of Waggoner’s position, Ellen White said:

"Things new and old were brought before us… Truths were revealed that the people were scarcely able to comprehend and appropriate… Light flashed from the oracles of God in relation to the LAW AND THE GOSPEL… which seemed to souls who were hungry for truth, as light too precious to be received."(Review and Herald, July 23, 1889) "I am much pleased to learn that Professor [W. W.] Prescott is giving the same lessons in his class to the students that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has been giving. He is presenting the covenants. John thinks it is presented in a clear and convincing manner."(Manuscript Releases Volume Nine, page 329, paragraph 2 Chapter Title: The Law in Galatians) Although Uriah Smith, Butler, and others were outraged at Waggoner's challenge to their view of the law and the Gospel, Ellen White was not. She was not too proud to admit that there was doctrinal error within the church. Thus she maintained that the SDA's needed to better understand the Gospel so that the last Adventist Message, the 4th, could be properly understood and proclaimed. Said my guide, ‘There is much light yet to shine forth from the law of God and the gospel of righteousness. The message, understood in its true character, and proclaimed in the Spirit, will lighten the earth with its glory.(Manuscript Releases, Vol. 2, 58)

The book of Galatians is all about the church leaders embracing a false Gospel.  How sad that the SDA’s have followed the same errors of Peter, James, and the Circumcision Party.  

How sad that the SDA’s refuse to embrace Paul’s correct Gospel.  This is why they self-destructed in the 19th and 20th centuries.  No doubt, if they fail to repent, it will also be their downfall once again in the 21st. Gal. 1:6  I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; Gal. 1:7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal. 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Gal. 1:9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Today, the SDA’s are cursed for their false Gospel and for their many false doctrines and sin.  While they think themselves better than all others, they are actually worse.  They are Pretend Protestants who have never embraced Luther’s Gospel, much less Paul’s books of Romans or Galatians, which are so fundamental for all correct doctrine.  

No wonder they are so divided and full of confusion?  

The SDA’s need to repent and correct the record.  Period.

Tom Norris for All Experts.com and Adventist Reform  
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Galatians & 1888

Postby Dieter » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:33 am

Hi, I was reading a response to a question about martin Luther and SDA and you mentioned something about SDA and false interpretation in galations and about the IJ(investigative judgement I presume?). Could you please expand?
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:54 pm

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