Pickle Publishing "Church Was Inconsistent" Research Papers

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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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#229, #230, & #231: "I began to see the church was inconsistent theologically and politically. When expedient they contradicted the Bible, contradicted Ellen G. White, and contradicted their own church manual."—Sydney Cleveland. [p. 147]

#229: The Adventist Church is inconsistent. Can't disagree here. Such things are indeed troublesome, yet the point is essentially irrelevant. From the very beginning of the Christian church, inconsistencies and heresies have existed. And Jesus said that this is the way it would be. The wheat and the tares, the true and the false, the sincere and the insincere, will be together until the end:

Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Mat. 13:30)

Since Jesus said it would be this way, this argument means nothing.

#230: That's why you shouldn't be an Adventist. Bible-believing Christians out there, have you ever had someone tell you that the reason they're not a Christian is because of all the hypocrites in the church? Is not this argument of Mr. Cleveland's used by unbelievers to justify their not coming to Christ?

Does this argument not attack the Bible as well, since God's followers in the Bible were inconsistent too? From the Old Testament:

  1. Noah got drunk.
  2. Abraham lied about his wife and was a bigamist.
  3. Isaac and Rebekah played favorites with their kids, and Rebekah told Jacob to lie to Isaac.
  4. Jacob did lie to Isaac, married four wives, and played favorites with his son Joseph.
  5. His twelve sons committed murder, deception, incest, and fornication, and sold one of their number into slavery.
  6. Moses murdered.
  7. The Israelites worshipped a golden calf and rebelled repeatedly.
  8. Once they got into Canaan, they didn't wipe out the Canaanites like God told them to.
  9. Gideon started a different priesthood.
  10. Jepthah apparently offered up his daughter as a human sacrifice.
  11. Samson had a liking for wine and women.
  12. Eli didn't discipline his sons.
  13. Saul attempted to murder his own son, as well as David.
  14. David murdered Uriah, a convert from heathenism, after getting Uriah's wife pregnant.
  15. Solomon built temples to false gods on the Mount of Olives.
  16. etc., etc.

Let's look at the disciples of Christ:

  1. Peter denied Jesus three times.
  2. Judas, the embezzling treasurer, betrayed Jesus.
  3. James and John, sons of thunder, wanted to burn a town down because they wouldn't let Jesus come home for dinner.
  4. Thomas doubted.
  5. Philip was a bit dense.

That's half the disciples. Were the other six any better? Not likely, yet these were the leaders of the church Jesus was starting. Would you want to join a church like that?

And after Christ's ascension:

  1. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit.
  2. Simon Magus tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money.
  3. John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas.
  4. Paul and Barnabas split up because of an argument.
  5. The Galatians were apostatizing.
  6. The Corinthians had a host of problems.
  7. James believed unfounded rumors about Paul.
  8. Paul caused an uproar in court.
  9. Diotrephes kicked people out of the church for no reason.

The church is a hospital for sinners, not a haven for saints. God's church since Eden has been filled with people that God wasn't finished with yet.

The Bible spends more time talking about the faults of God's followers than about their good points. This actually is evidence for its divine origin. A mere human book would glorify the people rather than tell us of their struggles.

Because the Bible characters struggled and overcame, we are given encouragement that, by God's grace, we may overcome as well.

Let not Mr. Cleveland's argument lead you to look down on the Bible because of its stories of "inconsistent" believers and church members who "contradicted" the Bible.

#231: When expedient they contradicted Mrs. White. Thank you so much, Mr. Cleveland, for this acknowledgement.

A good bit of the video relies on the assumption that Adventists "revere" Mrs. White, their "absolute authority figure." If this were in fact true, and if it could be proven that she is a false prophet, then the entire Adventist denomination could be discredited.

However, as Mr. Cleveland just pointed out, and as the quote from Walter Rea under #196 indicates by way of exaggeration, her counsel is frequently ignored and sometimes opposed.

Though Mrs. White must never be the "last word on doctrine," it's too bad her sensible, Bible-based counsel isn't followed more often. [p. 148]

A Response to the Video

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