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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Testimonials, Documentation, and the Video Jacket

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#237: "You will meet a number of former high-ranking Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders . . . ."—Text on back of video jacket.

#237: High-ranking leaders appear on this video. Really? Did they forget to show up on filming day? Consider what the video itself says about the participants:

  1. "David Snyder spent twenty-two years as an Adventist pastor."
  2. "Sydney Cleveland was an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister who pastored thirteen churches between 1979 and 1990."
  3. "Dale Ratzlaff was a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist who served as a pastor and Bible teacher."
  4. "Leslie Martin was a devoted third-generation follower of Seventh-day Adventism . . . ."
  5. Wallace Slattery: "Former SDA Member"
  6. "In 1982 an Adventist pastor, Walter T. Rea . . . ."
  7. "Dan Snyder followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Seventh-day Adventist pastor."
  8. "Mark Martin . . . is a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor . . . ."
  9. "Steve Cannon, Southwest director of Personal Freedom Outreach, a highly respected cult research ministry . . . ."
  10. Kim Marshall: "I was born and raised a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist, tracing our family roots back to the Kellogg family. I was [p. 150] educated in the SDA elementary system."
  11. Don and Vesta Muth: "Don and I are both third-generation Seventh-day Adventists. We were educated in the Adventist high schools and colleges. Later we were both faculty members at Pacific Union College."

Which one is a "former high-ranking Seventh-day Adventist Church leader"? Not one!

Mrs. Martin, Mr. Slattery, and Ms. Marshall were just members, and Mr. Cannon wasn't even that. Five of the remaining eight were but local church pastors, not one of whom held an elected leadership position in the denomination.

What about Mr. Ratzlaff? His being a former Bible teacher at a high school in California doesn't make him "high-ranking." If he had taught Bible on a college level, maybe, but high school, no way.

The Muths? If Don had been chairman of the theology department instead of teaching art while taking classes, some would call him a former high-ranking leader. And without a doubt, Vesta would be acclaimed by all to be a high-ranking leader if she had been the college president instead of an elementary school teacher.

But such maybes are not reality. Though it makes for good advertising, the jacket's statement has no basis in fact.

A Response to the Video

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