After it became evident that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is blatantly involved in ecumenism (see our news article titled Blatant Ecumenism) the church went into damage control and the Adventist Review published not one, but two articles assuring church members that they have nothing to worry about.
The first article was titled Interfaith Engagement and Faithfulness to the Three Angels’ Messages. It was an interview with Dr. Ganoune Diop, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The title of the article should warn its readers that what they are about to read is carefully worded to deceive. How can we be faithful to the Three Angels’ Messages while engaging in interfaith activities? Ellen White warned us:
Great blindness is upon the churches, and the Lord says to His people, “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” — Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 480
Since 1844, the early Advent believers, followed by the Seventh-day Adventist church, are the only ones who followed Jesus into the Most Holy place. Every other church has been left in darkness and Satan has full control of them. Again, Ellen White wrote:
I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne [in the Holy Place]; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, “Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan's object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God's children. —Early Writings, p. 56
And that is precisely what is happening today when we choose to involve ourselves in interfaith activities. We need to remain separate and touch not the unclean thing. This does not mean we should not individually work to save the receptive ones in these fallen churches. Many of God’s people who are ignorant of the truth will come out from Babylon when the truth is presented to them. But this does not mean that we, as a church, have a license to join with Babylon.
Regarding the third angel’s message and the work it is to accomplish, Ellen White wrote:
The third angel's message must do its work of separating from the churches a people who will take their stand on the platform of eternal truth. Our message is a life and death message, and we must let it appear as it is, the great power of God. We are to present it in all its telling force. Then the Lord will make it effectual. Ms 19, 1900, pp. 1, 4, 5. (“A Perfect Ministry. Its Purpose,” March 5 1900.) — Manuscript Releases, Vol. 1, p.57
So, what version of the Three Angels’ Messages does the Seventh-day Adventist church claim to be giving while it is engaging in interfaith activity? Are they giving the “life and death message”? Are they calling people out of Babylon while they mingle with them, and while they unite in prayer as children of God?
The article begins by acknowledging that Diop did, in fact, attend the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions (CS/CWC) held in Rome, Italy. However, it failed to inform its readers that part of this conference included an audience with the pope, where Francis’ central message was to encourage the acceptance of ecumenism among all Christian denominations. Why did the Adventist Review fail to inform its readers about this?
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed “The Ninety-five Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He was not afraid to take an unpopular stand to identify the pope as antichrist.
Yet it was not without a terrible struggle with himself that Luther decided upon a final separation from the church. It was about this time that he wrote: “I feel more and more every day how difficult it is to lay aside the scruples which one has imbibed in childhood. Oh, how much pain it has caused me, though I had the Scriptures on my side, to justify it to myself that I should dare to make a stand alone against the pope, and hold him forth as antichrist! What have the tribulations of my heart not been! How many times have I not asked myself with bitterness that question which was so frequent on the lips of the papists: ‘Art thou alone wise? Can everyone else be mistaken? How will it be, if, after all, it is thyself who art wrong, and who art involving in thy error so many souls, who will then be eternally damned?’ ‘Twas so I fought with myself and with Satan, till Christ, by His own infallible word, fortified my heart against these doubts.”--Martyn, pages 372, 373. — The Great Controversy, p. 143
How times have changed! Protestants and Catholics are uniting before our eyes. The deadly wound the Papacy received in 1798 is practically healed. And now it is obvious that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is no longer protesting as Martin Luther did or warning the world to come out of Babylon.
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. — Revelation 18:2-5
People like Diop are not fulfilling this mission by participating in conferences that are not only designed to unite Protestants and Catholics but are addressed by the man of sin himself! However, according to Diop, the church is fulfilling its mission. In the interview referred to above, he said, “we benefit simply because we’re being faithful to the mission God has given us to be light and salt in the world. To be obedient to this command, we have to mingle; this is part of witnessing and part of following the example of Christ, who in the words of Ellen White, ‘mingled with men as one who desired their good.’ ”1http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4564-interfaith-engagement-and-faithfulness-to-the-three-angels%E2%80%99-messages
Dr. Diop is deceiving himself if he thinks that mingling with the pope and other religious leaders, who are intent on uniting Protestants and Catholics, is being faithful to the mission God has given us. And to quote Ellen White to support the idea of ecumenism is outright deceitful. The passage he quoted from does not endorse ecumenism. Notice the full context:
Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, "Follow Me." There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit. — The Ministry of Healing, p. 143
Clearly, the context refers to ministering to people’s needs, which opens up the possibility to bid them to follow Jesus. However, the people and organizations Diop chooses to associate with already believe they are following Jesus and have no desire to change and accept the truths God has entrusted to us to share. Their agenda is to unite the world under the authority of the pope.
Towards the end of the article, Diop notes regarding the CS/CWC, “Yes, there are doctrinal differences that are impossible to reconcile. It cannot happen. But we can still talk together and co-exist peacefully. When I meet with this group I simply share who we are, what we’re doing, and how we help society.” This is doublespeak. After all these years, it is obvious they know who we are, what we do, and how we help society. What is not being shared is the most important part: the Three Angels’ Messages and the need to come out of Babylon, not to co-exist with her! What Diop states reminds us of the dream, “Smooth Sayings or Surrender,” where the words of those who work with Ted Wilson resemble “marshmallows”—sweet talk to deceive people.
Of course, not everyone will agree doctrinally. Even the pope acknowledged this when he addressed the conference. The problem with ecumenism is that it seeks to unite all religions on points of doctrine held in common, while ignoring doctrinal differences. It’s called unity in diversity, and the desired outcome is to co-exist peacefully with each other in a one-world religion. Other religions mix truth and error, but God’s people must accept and obey all the truth, in particular the seventh-day Sabbath.
The book of Hebrews admonishes us to, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. But peace should not be sought at the expense of obeying God and fulfilling our mission. We need to realize that when we are truly faithful and obedient, we will be hated of all men:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. — Matthew 10:22
Staying faithful to our mission and giving the Three Angels’ Messages will not lead to a peaceful co-existence with Catholicism and the fallen Protestant churches. Instead, faithfulness will bring about persecution. The pope will not tolerate anyone calling people out of Babylon and revealing the truth about what is transpiring on the earth at this time. It is time to stand for the truth like Martin Luther, no matter what the consequences may be.
The second article published by the Review and Herald was titled, Background Information About the Work of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Released by the General Conference PARL Department. Again, it failed to inform its readers that Diop participated in a meeting where the pope addressed representatives of more than two billion Christians.
Interestingly, after his meeting with the CS/CWC and the pope, this second article reveals that Diop went on to join with Catholics and Lutherans to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the reformation.
“The following week, also as CS/CWC secretary, he attended the commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation in Lund, Sweden, which was co-organized by the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics. While at these events, Dr. Diop met the other religious leaders who were also present.”2http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4565-parl-background
Again, the Adventist Review failed to inform its readers that Pope Francis was instrumental in leading out in this commemoration. We wonder if Diop found the courage, like Martin Luther, to stand up and warn people of the danger they were in by listening to the antichrist.
The Bible predicted the Papacy would receive its deadly wound in 1798, and that at a later stage, it would be healed. News sites are now openly talking about this wound being healed. Regarding the 500-year commemoration and the healing of this wound, NPR reported:
“The animosity and resentments left by the Reformation only began to heal after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, with the start of an ecumenical dialogue aimed at promoting Christian unity.
“There are still some doctrinal disputes. But Pope Francis says that while theologians iron out their differences, the two churches [Catholic and Lutheran] can work together on social issues like caring for the poor, migrants and refugees, and combating persecution of Christians.”3http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/10/28/499587801/pope-francis-reaches-out-to-honor-the-man-who-splintered-christianity
The deadly wound is almost healed. It’s a tragedy the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not proclaiming the Three Angels’ Messages as it should, but instead is participating in meetings and even commemorating the reformation with the pope. What a mockery to God and to all those who lost their lives at the hands of Catholicism for daring to stand up for the truth.
There is an interesting point we learn from the above quote. The purpose of ecumenical dialogue is to promote Christian unity — a unity that disregards the truth and unites on common points of interest. It is a documented fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been engaged in dialogue with many denominations for many years now (see the Truth book and episode 7 of Apostasy in Our Midst). Despite the church’s assurance that we are not giving up our distinctive beliefs, we need to understand that the end goal is to eventually come into line with the papacy.
On this point of staying faithful to our beliefs and mission, Diop notes:
“This is not about diluting the church’s identity or prophetic voice—absolutely not,” he adds. “In fact, it’s about being faithful to the mission Christ has given His church.”
“It is impossible for the Adventist Church to fulfill its mission without mingling with other people; being salt and light to every person, no matter who they are or what position they hold,” he says. “And so, we must be prepared to meet political leaders, Christian leaders, other religious leaders, atheists, and others, and to be able to give an account of the faith that is within us.”4http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4565-parl-background
We wholeheartedly agree that we are to be ready to give an account of the faith that is within us to anyone who asks. But what is the faith that is within Diop and many of our church leaders? Do they believe the Three Angels’ Messages, as our church once believed? There was a time when our mission was known and taken seriously. But now the church is more intent on becoming popular and at peace with the world than sharing the last warning message. This was exactly the problem of ancient Israel.
The fourteenth chapter of Revelation outlines the work that is to be done by the people of God just before the second advent of our Saviour … These three angels represent the people who accept the light of God's messages, and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth. Christ declared to His followers, "Ye are the light of the world." … From the beginning of this world's history, there has been opposition between the forces of good and of evil. God declared, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." … The Lord called out His people Israel, and separated them from the world, that He might commit to them a sacred trust. … Through them the light of heaven was to shine out to the dark places of the earth, and a voice was to be heard appealing to all peoples to turn from their idolatry to serve the living and true God.
Had the Hebrews been true to their trust, they would have been a power in the world. … But they did not keep their covenant with God. They followed after the idolatrous practices of other nations; and instead of making their Creator's name a praise in the earth, they brought it into contempt.
Yet the purpose of God must be accomplished. The knowledge of His will must be given to the world. God brought the hand of oppression upon His people, and scattered them as captives among the nations. In affliction many of them repented of their transgressions, and sought the Lord. Thus scattered throughout the countries of the heathen, they spread abroad the knowledge of the true God.
In this day, God has called His church, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth,--the messages of the first, second, and third angels,--He has separated a people from the churches and from the world, to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He has made them the depositories of His law, and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. — The Signs of the Times, Jan 25, 1910
Will God have to bring the hand of oppression upon His people today? Will He have to scatter them as He did ancient Israel, because they united with the idolatrous nations around them?
We pray that Seventh-day Adventists will wake up and see what is transpiring before their eyes. It is time to stop playing church and politics. It is time to get ready for the imminent return of Jesus.