THE CHURCH OF ROME IN BIBLE PROPHECY
AND THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN S.D.A. THEOLOGIANS AND ROMAN CHURCH THEOLOGIANS
This review of Scriptures concerning
the Church of Rome has been inspired by a report that I received, subsequently confirmed
by my discovery on
The ANN press release states that the
conversations have allowed Adventists to speak out on key beliefs, such as the
Church's teaching on the Sabbath, and they "welcomed the opportunity to
share their faith." What can
That the reported conversations are of
enormous gravity must already be apparent to the reader. The
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Dan. 7:7,8.)
In Protestant exegesis of this prophecy, verse 7 applies to imperial Rome, and the little horn of verse 8 is papal Rome. It is a point of profound significance that the little horn is a part of the beast. It will be seen in the chain of prophecies that it is never separated from the beast. The "Roman [Catholic] Church" is not, and has never been a Christian Church. It is pagan Rome dressed up in the garb of Christianity. Concerning the figure of Jezebel, Roy Allan Anderson, Evangelist and long-time Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association, wrote:
Jezebel was a princess of Phoenicia. But when Ahab, king of Israel, married her, she then came into Israel as the queen. As a priestess of Baal, Jezebel set herself to introduce sun worship into Israel, and she succeeded. Almost the whole nation went into idolatry. . . .
marriage of Ahab to Jezebel, and the subsequent apostasy of Israel, was a type
of the time when paganism would come into the church and the head of the church
become the head of the state. Unfolding
the Revelation, (1953) P. 31. )
Returning to Daniel 7, there is a description of the satanic work of the little horn, and the ultimate fate of this false religion:
beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I
beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the
burning flame. . . . .
In Daniel 8 the terrible work of the little horn is described in both its pagan and papal phases, and in verse 25 its ultimate destruction is again prophesied:
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. . . .
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Dan. 8:9-12,23-25.)
In the 10th chapter of Daniel, he describes how Gabriel was sent to inform him in literal language of future events that would affect God's people, extending to the end of time, and the details are found in chapter 11:
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. . . .
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy People in the latter days . . .
And now will I show thee the truth. . . . (Dan. 10:12,14, 11:2.)
The literal description of the nature and deeds of Rome in its pagan and papal phases begins in Dan. 11:14. Verse 36 contains the first reference in the chapter to "the king." Note that it is not "of the north" or "of the south." The S.D.A. Biblical Study and Research Committee (an organizational predecessor of the same body whose present-day members are now in dialogue with Rome) has in the past identified this king as the papacy, and a careful reading of the earlier chapters of Daniel confirms that this is correct, especially in light of the description of this king in chapter 11. "The king" clearly is the "king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences" described in Dan. 8:23. In Daniel 11, this is what is said of him:
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. (Dan. 11:36-39.)
Verses 40-44 are either to be fulfilled, or are being fulfilled, now in our time. Since Gabriel gave to Daniel a literal explanation in chapter 11, it follows that "the king of the north," corresponding to the region of Syria and the countries to the east, and "the king of the south," corresponding to the region of Egypt, are or are to be involved. Since these are all Muslim countries, the current turmoil in the Middle East, and the reckless policies of the Bush administration, deserve close watching.
I know of no-one who professes a clear understanding of the events predicted in these verses; but I am sure that we will understand in course of time. Chapter 11 closes with a final prophecy:
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Verse 45; emphasis supplied.)
Daniel's meaning in using the phrase "glorious holy mountain" is clear, because he had prayed:
O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain. (Dan. 9:16; emphasis supplied.)
The papacy will soon find a way to fulfill this prophecy. Very shortly thereafter Michael (Jesus our High Priest) will "stand up," marking the close of probation for all humanity. Somewhere within this context Satan will appear, impersonating Christ (Rev. 17:8,10,11; Isa. 14:13,14; Isa. 2:2,3.)
The apostle Paul again marked the papacy for its evil character and ultimate destruction:
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:4-12.)
"That Wicked" (2 Thess. 2:8,) can also be translated "the lawless one" as indicated in the marginal notes of Bibles. Recall that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was called to be "The repairer of the breach" in the law of God (Isa. 58:12.) The Greek word translated "working" (2 Thess. 2:9) is "energia," which also means "energy." In other words, "the lawless one" is energized by Satan," and indeed Rev. 13:2 (last part) discloses that "the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." In Facts of Faith Christian Edwardson includes the following quotation on pp. 210,211:
"The Romanists themselves shame you in their clear-sighted comprehension of the issues of this question. Cardinal Manning says, 'The Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the kingdom of the Son of God.' Cardinal Newman says, 'A sacerdotal order is historically the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of antichrist.' In both these statements the issue is clear, and it is the same. Rome herself admits, openly admits, that if she is not the very kingdom of Christ, she is that of antichrist. Rome declares she is one or the other. She herself propounds and urges this solemn alternative. You shrink from it, do you? I accept it. Conscience constrains me. History compels me. The past, the awful past, rises before me. I see THE GREAT APOSTASY, I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking ruins, I see the reign of monsters; I see those vice-gods, that Gregory VII, that Innocent III, that Boniface VIII, that Alexander VI, that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX; I see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies, I see their abominable lives; I see them worshiped by blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering lying indulgences, creating a paganized Christianity; I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the ruined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see the inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those butcheries of St. Bartholomew, that Spanish Armada, those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has wrought in the Church and in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of ages, I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and soul and essence of antichrist." — "Romanism and the Reformation," H. Grottan Guinness, pp. 158, 159. London: 1891.
There is every reason for such a passionate denunciation! It is with this satanic power that the S.D.A. theologians are in dialogue! The dialogue is significant beyond what is readily apparent from the ANN press release. As the statement says, 'Adventist participants say the conversations have identified "areas of common interest." (Emphasis supplied.) While they also recognized "major differences," the fact is that the 27 Statements of Fundamental Beliefs adopted in the 1980 General Conference session already contain concessions to the Church of Rome ("areas of common interest,") and to the goal of ecumenical union. Even before this dialogue began, the S.D.A. Church was already neck-deep in the politics of ecumenical unity within the embrace of the Church of Rome. In other words, the leaders are moving the Church in the direction of becoming a part of the woman described in Rev. 17:1-6. They have already moved the Church into friendly association with "that Wicked (One)," of whom Paul states that the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.
We come next to Revelation 13. The Roman Church is the beast of verses 1-10, incorporating in verse 2, Greece, Persia and Babylon, in reverse order of Dan. 7. Then follows the rise of the United States, and the formation of the image to the beast with the result that:
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev. 13:15-18.)
It is significant that the number of the beast, 666, is not only the numerical total of the letters in various names that have been applied to the papacy as well as the name that is claimed by the Pope (Vicarius Filii Dei,) but it also represents the ancient system of paganism involving worship of the sun. In Unfolding the Revelation (1953) Roy Allan Anderson describes the system and its transfer from Babylon to Pergamos, and ultimately to Rome. (Pp. 123-135.) It is worthy of note that the book was written as "Evangelistic Studies for Public Presentation." That was a time when the S.D.A. Church was still true to its mission!
Now about the mark of the beast:
unquestionably the Church of Rome has changed the Sabbath from Saturday to
Sunday. Thus they fulfilled the prophecy
that they would "think to change times and laws" (Dan. 7:25.) It is also beyond question that the Sabbath
is in issue during the final conflict between truth and error. However, God's remnant people are facing a
devious and deadly dangerous foe.
Recently, the papacy has been downplaying the issue of Sunday
worship. It has not changed, but it is
hiding its fangs. Since Vatican II, the
Church of Rome has been promoting the Eucharist, the ritual of the communion
mass, as the test of fellowship. Thomas
Richstatter, O.F.M., S.T.D. states in an American
Catholic Online article (May, 2000) titled "Eucharist: Sign and Source
of Christian Unity" :
All who participate in this Eucharist are fed by the same life of Christ. At the same time the worldwide eucharistic celebration is a sign of unity it is also a source, or cause, of unity. We are nourished by the same body and blood of Christ, strengthened in unity. Yet there's a flip side of the coin. As remarkable a display of unity as eucharistic congresses are they also show us how far we are from unity among all Christians. A eucharistic congress makes us long for the day when all Christians can share in the one body of Christ: intercommunion. To what degree is intercommunion possible today? Are there ways we can hasten the day when all communions can participate in one Eucharist? . . . . . .
Pope John Paul II explains the Roman Catholic position regarding intercommunion in his encyclical letter on ecumenism, That All May Be One. He says that Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism (#22-23) "pointing out that the post-Reformation Communities lack that 'fullness of unity with us which should flow from Baptism," observes that 'especially because of the lack of the Sacrament of Orders they have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery,' even though 'when they commemorate the Lord's Death and Resurrection in the Holy Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and they await his coming in glory'" (#67). . . . . .
In the encyclical On the Coming of the Third Millennium, Pope John Paul II stated: "Among the most fervent petitions which the Church makes to the Lord...is that unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." Our efforts toward ecumenical agreements must show the world "that the disciples of Christ are fully resolved to reach full unity as soon as possible in the certainty that 'nothing is impossible with God.'" In this same context, as the pope calls for "cooperation in the many areas which unite us," he points out that these areas which unite us "are unquestionably more numerous than those which divide us" (#16).
Our task is to emphasize the positive, to realize how far we have come. Today in many places the Churches of a city or area are joining together to work for safe, drug-free streets; jointly sponsoring thrift stores and soup kitchens; pooling resources for emergency financial help to those in need; working together in projects such as Habitat for Humanity. And even though we cannot yet always share the Lord's life-giving Bread at one common table, how wonderful it is that so many of our Churches share a common table of the Lord's Word. It is a great blessing that we all experience the redeeming presence of Christ in the proclamation of the same Scripture passages in our churches. "To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in his Church, especially in its liturgical celebrations....He is present in his word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church." (Sacred Liturgy, 7).
When we speak of Church unity we do not, of course, mean Church uniformity. It is possible, and even preferable, to achieve Church unity while preserving a wide diversity of Church structures and liturgical expressions. "From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity of those who receive them" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 814).
The transcendent splendor of Orthodox liturgies; the reverence and ecumenical zeal of the Churches of the Anglican Communion; the gratitude for God's free grace and the Lutheran Church's contributions to liturgy through music; the missionary spirit of the Baptist Churches; the Disciples of Christ's dedication to Church unity; the call to social responsibility proclaimed by the United Methodist Church; the confidence in God's faithfulness as witnessed to by the Presbyterian and Reform Churches—these rich gifts which God has given to each of the Churches are to be preserved and developed until the day we weave them together in a wonderful tapestry to be placed on the table when "many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 8:11). (Emphasis supplied.)
In another American Catholic Online article (1989) titled "A Walk Through the Mass: A Step-by-Step Explanation" Richstatter describes the consecration of the host and the communion as follows:
The priest continues the prayer, giving praise and thanks, and calling upon the Holy Spirit to change our gifts of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.
As God fed our ancestors in the desert on their pilgrimage, so God gives us food for our journey. We approach the minister who gives us the eucharistic bread with the words "The Body of Christ," and we respond, "Amen." We then go to the minister with the cup who gives it to us with the words "The Blood of Christ," to which we again profess our "Amen." (Emphasis supplied.)
In commenting on this description of the Mass, I want to note from the first Richstatter statement above that the Pope sees the post-Reformation Communities as lacking that "fullness of unity with us which should flow from Baptism," observing that "especially because of the lack of the Sacrament of Orders they have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery" (emphasis supplied.) Thus in the ritual of the Mass there is "insistent and defiant rebellion" (S.D.A. Bible Commentary quoted above) combined with blasphemy of staggering proportions. The prophet Daniel had predicted of Messiah that He would "be cut off, but not for himself," (Dan 9:26 KJV) and "in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," (Dan 9:27 KJV,) and so it came to pass:
Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. (Mat. 27:50,51 NRSV; emphasis supplied.)
The apostle Paul declared:
And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, "he sat down at the right hand of God," (Heb. 10:11,12 NRSV; emphasis supplied.)
The Bible declares that the daily ministration of earthly priests, the sacrifices and the oblations, ended for all time at Calvary. The Church of Rome defiantly claimed the authority to continue the priesthood, and instituted its own sacrificial system in the blasphemous ritual of the Mass. John A. Hardon, S.J., states in an article titled "The Priesthood and the Eucharist" in The Catholic Faith (September/October 2000, Vol. 6, No. 5):
A priest can be working in a chancery or a publishing house — no matter. The main reason he has been ordained is because of the Eucharist. So true is this that if we would specify the heart of the priesthood we would have to say it is the Eucharist: the Eucharist as Presence, and the Eucharist as Sacrifice.
Each of these levels of the Holy Eucharist is totally dependent on the priesthood — no priesthood, no Real Presence and no Eucharistic Sacrifice (and no Holy Communion, either). . .
A priest, therefore, makes the Real Presence possible, and no one, no king or prince or genius, nor the will of a thousand people or the combined efforts of a whole nation, can substitute for the power of a priest’s consecrated words: “This is my body. This is the chalice of my blood.”
And as the Fathers of the Church do not hesitate to say, there is no less a miraculous change taking place on the altar than took place in the womb of Mary at the moment of the Incarnation. Before she pronounced her words, there was no Christ on earth. The moment she did, He took dwelling in her body. The moment before the words of the priest are pronounced over the elements of bread and wine, there is just bread and wine. He pronounces them and then divine power — it has to be divine power — changes the substance of bread and wine into the very living Body and Blood of the living God. (Emphasis and italics supplied.)
The defiance of God is carried further. The Word of God says, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb 9:22 KJV; emphasis supplied.) For the Church of Rome, Hardon says, "On Christ’s side, therefore, the Mass, which the priest offers and as the Church further tells us, is unbloody, it is the same Sacrifice because it is the same priest, Jesus, and the same victim, Himself. (Ibid.; emphasis and italics supplied.)
Is it any wonder then that Daniel prophesied of this apostate power:
Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. (Dan. 8:11,12; emphasis supplied.)
This is not ancient prophetic history. The Church of Rome continues to challenge the ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary and to pervert the Truth of God. It will do so to the end of time. Therefore God commissioned the Seventh-day Adventist Church to proclaim the Third Angel's Message and the Loud Cry. Instead, the S.D.A. theologians are now in dialogue with the very apostate power which they are called to denounce under the authority of Rev. 14:8,9 and Rev. 18. The seven last plagues reveal the just wrath of God against the apostate power, and those who have defied His condemnation of its blasphemous pretensions. It is incomprehensible that the S.D.A. leaders are ignoring the warnings:
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. (Rev. 14:9-11, 16:2.)
The ultimate end of the Church of Rome, "them that commit adultery with her," and "her children" is described in Revelation 19:
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. . . .
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Rev. 19:1-3, 11-21; italics and emphasis supplied.)
Do the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church believe the Word of God. Have they kept in mind the teachings of God in the past history of the S.D.A. Church. Evidently not! But they will learn, too late, that you cannot expect to walk into the embrace of the Devil and not be destroyed!
The words of the apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost echo down through the centuries to this time:
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. (Acts 2:40; emphasis and italics supplied.)
In closing, I am appropriating the last paragraph of the chapter on "The Beast From the Sea, and the Man With the Mystic Number 666," in Roy Allan Anderson's Unfolding the Revelation. 'The fact that the papal number is identical with the sacred number of the ancient pagan sun-god is significant. Against this system of deception, God has spoken in no uncertain language. He calls it "Babylon," or "confusion." And His message today is, "Come out of her, my people." Revelation 18:1-4. His true church will be victorious. They will stand on the sea of glass singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, the song of victory "over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." Revelation 15:1-4. Through a greater Name (Jesus) they have conquered sin, for "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. God hath "given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." Philippians 2:9, 10. "All hail the power of Jesus' name!".' (P. 135.)
In 2000 the designated
The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them. . . . (9T 19; emphasis supplied.)
Satan was in person in the Garden of Eden, and
and yet is in the march of nations that have opposed the people of
God and sought to destroy them.
first six are
 "In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history." (LS 196.2; emphasis and italics and supplied.)
Catholic Talks Provide Opportunity for 'Clear Presentation
Seventh-day Adventist church leaders say recent informal conversations between Adventist and Roman Catholic theologians have allowed Adventists to speak out on key beliefs, such as the church's teaching of Sabbath, or Saturday, as the biblical day of worship.
Adventists have welcomed the opportunity to share their faith, says a short description of the meetings released by the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the world church, and the church's Biblical Research Institute. The conversations, requested by Catholic scholars, offered a "unique opportunity to make a clear presentation of [Adventist] beliefs to leading Catholic theologians, hear their response, and engage in discussion."
dealt with topics such as the 27 fundamental beliefs of the
Calling the tone of the meetings "frank and respectful," Adventist participants say the conversations have identified "areas of common interest while also recognizing major differences." In the most recent meeting, in May this year, several other topics for possible future conversations were identified.
Copies of the papers presented by the Adventist theologians at these conversations will be available after August 5 from the Biblical Research Institute. E-mail BacchusM@gc.adventist.org.
Source: Adventist News Network