time to time, men have arisen in our ranks with a message. But
there were earmarks in their conduct and/or in their message
that were as red flags which should have been a warning. Other
men arose whose deportment and message were both beneficial.
Let history teach you. He who will not be taught by the past is condemned to repeat it. Learn the lessons that others before you have failed to learn.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
MEN WHO HAVE ARISEN
Part 1- CANRIGHT; KELLOGG; BALLENGER; A.T. JONES; CONRADI; ROGERS; HOUTIFF; ANDREASEN
Part 2- BRINSMEAD; GRIEVES; FORD
Mervin Canright (1840-1919) was at one time one of our outstanding
evangelists. He had a way with words, and could both speak eloquently and
place powerful metaphoric pictures in his written articles. Yet he was a
weak man because he was vain and conceited. Ever concerned with what
people thought of him, and how he could rise to a higher position in the
estimation of the public, D.M. Canright was ripe for takeover by Satan,
a number of occasions Ellen White pled with the man to change. You will
find some of her counsel in the Testimonies (for example: 3T 304-329; 4T
277-278, 280-281, 297; 5T 516-520, 571-573, 621-628; 25M 162-170). But,
each time, he only hardened his heart. Several times before his final
separation from our people, he left the work.
one occasion, he complained to a younger worker how he, Canright could
have been a great orator in the world if he did not have to represent
the Adventists and their unpopular teachings. Startled, the young worker
replied that Canright was only a mouthpiece for God, and if he ever left
our Bible/Spirit of Prophecy messages he would become a broken man.
in February 1887, Canright resigned for the last time. In his letter to
Ellen White, he triumphantly told her he was taking his wife and children
with him. The Baptists quickly ordained him as pastor of the Baptist
Church in Otsego, Michigan, where he made his home. But he quit within a
year after quarreling with the church members.
spent the rest of his life writing attacks on Ellen White and our historic
beliefs. One degree of misery after another came to him in the years to
come, until he stumbled around lame, with a hole in one socket where an
eye had formerly been.
(Afairly lengthy biography of Canright, is on this website.)
Kellogg thought he had devised a new religion. The problem is that when a
man is proud, he is regularly letting devils talk to him. Satan had given
Kellogg the same theories he had given to pagans in a number of other
lands and times. Do not become a follower of a proud man. In the process
of destroying himself, he will take his followers with him. The Kellogg
pantheism crisis peaked around the years 19021903. The Ballenger crisis
occurred not long afterward.
crisis came in 1905, but the denomination weathered the storm. After
leaving the church, Ballenger preached and wrote publications, in an
effort to separate people from the Spirit of Prophecy and our historic
beliefs. (See our Alpha of Apostasy-Part 1-6 [DH-251-256] for a
biographical account of Ballenger, the 1905 crisis. and his later life.
This is now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook.)
resigning as president of the California Conference in 1903, Jones stopped
by Elmshaven, at Ellen White's request, to see her. She pled with him
not to unite with Kellogg, but the written transcription of that meeting
(which the present writer has read) reveals Jones by that time to have
been a sarcastic, self-confident man. Headstrong, determined to have
his own way, Jones went to Battle Creek and became one of J.H. Kellogg's
co-workers. Ellen White predicted Kellogg would take control of him,
and exactly that occurred. Jones was ruined. later, he sided with
Ballenger, and became one of his co-writers. When Ballenger died in
August 1921, Jones wrote a stirring obituary to the greatness of the man
who had defied Ellen White and those who supported her positions. (See
above Kellogg and Ballenger biographical sources for additional
Jones' fall need not have occurred. Both Kellogg and Ballenger were openly
arrogant. That should have provided Jones with a clear danger signal not
to become one of their supporters.
by their strong conceit yoked up with Satan, arrogant men are able to
exert a hypnotic control over minds willing to yield to them. Refusing to
be warned by Ellen White, Jones was destroyed. Kellogg first, and then,
Ballenger turned him fully against the Spirit of Prophecy. That sealed his
he learned that a German translation of certain denominational books
were to be published on the continent, he had the audacity to try to
change them to agree with his own ideas.
with pride, he determined to resist the Spirit of Prophecy and said he
was going to leave the denomination --and, when he did, he boasted he
would take all the Adventists of Germany with him. When, in 1932, he did
leave, relatively few believers followed him out.
the early 1930s, a young man named Everett Rogers was the lay pastor or
local elder of a small congregation in western Washington State. He had
just come across a little book by the name of Christ Our Righteousness. It
had been written by A.G. Daniells. But first, we should turn our attention
to that book:
his retirement in May 1922, after having served as General Conference
president for 21 years. Elder Arthur G. Daniells (1858-1935) had time to
think about the past. He recalled how he had rejected Ellen White's call
for him to circulate the anti-meat pledge among our people. He thought
again about the 1888 crisis and how it had never been resolved. He
thought back over the Kellogg crisis and the Ballenger crisis. He
reminisced on the fires at Battle Creek and the move to Washington, D.C.
And then, incredibly, after his retirement, Elder Daniells experienced
something of a reconversion experience. The rush and hurry of worldwide
presidency was past and Daniells took time to make his peace with God
and return to the Spirit of Prophecy. Then he wrote the books, Christ Our
Righteousness and The Abiding Gift of Prophecy, both very good books.
a former General Conference president had prepared this Spirit of
Prophecy compilation, it was kept in stock in our bookstores and, over the
years, has helped many people.
Everett Rogers began reading Daniell's book, Christ Our Righteousness, he
was thunderstruck at what he found. The Spirit of Prophecy and Bible
quotations were fabulous. Soon after, he began preaching the truths in
that book in his local church at Enemclaw.
message was simple, to the point, and powerful. I met Everett at his home
in Boulder, Colorado, in the spring of 1965. He was a sincere, godly
Christian man. To my knowledge, there was no error in Everett's basic
message. It was just old-fashioned Righteousness by Faith, the kind so
clearly explained in such books as Steps to Christ, Mount of Blessing,
Christ's Object Lessons, and Desire of Ages. It is faith in Jesus Christ
to forgave our past and enabled us to obey His Father in the present. He
did not teach instantaneous removal of sin, nor did he downgrade obedience
to God's law and call that "righteousness."
when the conference folk heard about it, they were disconcerted that
laymen over at the Enemclaw Church were making such a big issue out of
religion. Besides, all this had started without being authorized by the
conference leaders. The situation reminds us of the religious leaders,
when they were instructed by shepherds and wise men (Desire of Ages, pages
62-63). Setting their faces against the preaching at Enemclaw, the order
was issued that the preaching stop. Yet there was nothing wrong with the
Preaching; it was simply Righteousness by Forgiving, Enabling Faith.
their part, over at Enemclaw, the church members could not understand what
was wrong at the conference office. Why were they so upset? But, then,
they were told to stop preaching about the love and grace of Jesus or be
shut out. After praying about the matter earnestly, they said they could
the Enemclaw Church was cast out There had been no fanaticism, no error,
just powerful preaching. I have been told it was the first time in our
denomination that a special, new loyalty sentence was demanded of church
members: "Are you willing to submit to duly constituted church authority?"
Yet such wording was necessary because nothing could be found wrong with
what was being preached at Enemclaw except one thing: The Washington
Conference did not want it done. Forbidding was its own justification.
it became known as the "Roger Brothers Movement" You may have
heard vague references to it. There was no fanaticism, no time setting, no
strange new beliefs; it was just simple Christianity. Everett was not
trying to separate from the church or start a new one. He was just
trying to help people draw closer to Jesus.
the Enemclaw Church was excommunicated. At about that time, Everett's
brother, Merle, united in the preaching. This was unfortunate. Merle was
an even more powerful preacher than Everett, and soon had nearly
everyone on his side. But Everett was the one grounded in the Bible and
Spirit of Prophecy. Merle was a proud man.
the denomination had cast them out, the people looked all the more
strongly to Merle to lead them. This also was unfortunate. They should
have leaned the more heavily on the Inspired Writings and looked to God
for leadership. With the denomination giving the group as much opposition
as it could, they gradually scattered here and there and eventually went
to pieces under Merle's conceited leadership.
the 1960s, I met several elderly friends of Everett Rogers, who had
remained with him. All were retired or nearly so, and were humble Advent
believers. Everett, an older man by that time, had long since stopped
of you may recall Spirit of Prophecy Research. It was an anonymous group,
which mailed out small Spirit of Prophecy compilations in the 1950s and
1960s. That which you probably do not know is that it was Everett Rogers,
in Boulder, and Nellie Brewer, in Walla Walla, who prepared and sent out
those studies. I met Nellie at her home in the 1960s.
mentioned earlier, Merle took nearly the entire group away from Everett,
and the majority of the followers went with Merle. Those who were the most
solidly founded in Scripture stayed with Everett.
did this happen? Merle preached to the people and, because he was
egotistical, there was a fascinating quality about him. But the faithful
recognized that they did not dare follow an arrogant man. Drawing back,
they remained with Everett. As a result, they did not depart from the
Spirit of Prophecy, as did those who followed his brother.
gradually revised his message of "righteousness by faith" into
one even more advanced than that achieved by the present new theology in
our church today. Merle taught that the righteousness of Christ saved
those who smoked, drank, and did any other worldly thing, as long as they
professed faith in His covering righteousness.
in this instance, a group arose in our ranks which (1) had a humble
leader, and (2) which did not try to devise strange, new teachings. It was
only when a proud, boastful man gained control of the movement that it
crashed, taking nearly all with it.
are several lessons here; the most important are these: First, stay with
God's Word, no matter what it costs. Second, God's words are always more
important than man's words. Third, it matters not whether the leadership
is that of a conference officer or an independent ministry there is
still danger of being misled.
Victor T. Houtiff was another conceited man. In 1929, through false interpretations of the Spirit of Prophecy, he began his efforts to obtain a following. Calling his organization, the Shepherd's Rod, in 1941 he renamed it the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Church.
present writer recently prepared an in-depth history of that
organization. It became apparent that, what Houtiff and his successors
did, was to appeal to pride in the followers. By doing so, they could
fill their followers with the captivating devils they themselves were
possessed of. We have received a number of letters from believers who have
told of interviews they have had with Davidians who told them that they
would soon reign as kings and priests over the earth, but first they must
slay the unfaithful Adventists. The offer of eventual kingship and
queenship came wrapped up in a package of conceit, which required murder
to obtain. In order to gain the offer, the intention to murder must be
accepted. By accepting it, the demon of conceit enters the heart.
similar transaction occurs whenever a person binds himself to an
he had predicted that he would not die before the Second Advent occurred,
Houtiff's death in 1955 greatly shook his followers. The leaders, in a
desperate effort to hold the group together, published a time prophecy,
which failed. The Rod collapsed on March 11, 1962, but other conceited men
arose who gathered the remnants of the Davidians to themselves. One was
Benjamin F. Rodin. A later one was David Koresh. (See our booklet, Waco
and the Davidians, for more on this.)
Lauritz Andreasen (1876-1962) was another man who arose among us with a
message. But M.L. Andreasen was neither proud nor did he try to tear down
our God-given Bible-Spirit of Prophecy beliefs. Instead, he sought to
defend them, even though to do so meant opposing leaders in our
denomination. Andreasen was not afraid to name names and call sin by its
decades, he had been a leading evangelist, and later dean or president of
one or more of our colleges.
had a clear mind and never swerved from loyalty to the God of heaven and
the Bible Spirit of Prophecy writings. He wrote 13 books, and, by the
1940s and 1950s, was our leading authority on the sanctuary service.
while the Evangelical Conferences met in the mid1950s, efforts were
made to keep a lid on the doctrinal sellout that our leaders in
Washington were carrying out with representatives of the Evangelicals.
When M.L. Andreasen learned what was happening, he was aghast.
is an intriguing fact that there were hundreds of other men in our
colleges, publishing houses, administrative offices, and local churches,
who also gradually learned what was taking place. Word spreads fast among
the work force. But, fearing to lose their job, nearly everyone kept
quiet. But not M.L. Andreasen. He would not sell out for a mess of
pottage. You will find the entire story of what occurred in our Evangelical
Conferences, now in section two of our Doctrinal History Tractbook.
Andreasen published the facts and named the names. He called sin by its
right name. The only response was to castigate him as a
"troublemaker. But he could rightly reply, as did Elijah to Ahab,
"I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in
that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast
followed Baalim" (read 1 Kings 18:1718).
the burden of denouncing error, but the vicious response of rejection
and abandonment hurled at the man from every direction, led to bleeding
ulcers which killed Andreasen in 1962. He died a martyr for God's truth.
And that is not a poetic sentiment, but an accurate statement.
was a man who arose with a message not of denunciation of the Spirit of
Prophecy or our historic beliefs, but rather a defense of both, combined
with a strong reproof of the very men who were trying to new model our
beliefs into an image of modern Protestant error.
additional information on the Evangelical Conferences, and the book of
doctrinal revisions (Questions on Doctrine, 1957) our leaders wrote to
promote those doctrinal changes, we direct you to the following:
Evangelical Conferences Part 1-18 [DH-101-118]: Letters to the Churches
[DH-151-159}, by ML Andreasen: How We Got Where We Are, by Kenneth Wood
information on the errors contained in the book which took the place of
Questions on Doctrine (Seventh-day Adventists Believe, 1988), read
Seventh-day Adventists Believe part 1-8 [DH-301-308}, and Sequel to
Questions on Doctrine Part 1-3 [DH-311-314].
addition to our tract set, Evangelical Conferences (mentioned above),
for additional information on the most influential non-Adventist in
Adventist doctrinal history, you may also wish to read Walter Martin and
the SDA Church (WM-249) and Walter Martin and the Scholars: Historic
Adventism and Hebrews Nine-Part 1-2 (WM-250-251).
of the above materials are now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook.
Andreasen tried as hard as he could to stem the doctrinal apostasy that
two men in Washington, D.C. (LE. Froom and RA. Anderson) were agreeing to,
in order to keep peace with Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse, so those
Protestant leaders would print in their journal, Eternity; that we were a
true-blue "Evangelical" church.
Most of Andreasen's efforts were made in the middle and late 1950s. Soon another voice was to be raised in our church.