Seventh Day Adventist Pioneers on the Trinity

pioneers sda trinityWhat does the conference church say today?

“Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth’. Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord…… the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists.” – Adventist Review, Jan 6, 1994. p.10.

“Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity.” – Ministry, October 1993, p. 10.

What did they previously believe?

“You are mistaken in supposing that S. D. Adventists teach that Christ was ever created. They believe, on the contrary, that he was “begotten” of the Father, and that he can properly be called God and worshiped as such. They believe, also, that the worlds, and everything which is, was created by Christ in conjunction with the Father. They believe, however, that somewhere in the eternal ages of the past there was a point at which Christ came into existence. They think that it is necessary that God should have antedated Christ in his being, in order that Christ could have been begotten of him, and sustain to him the relation of son. They hold to the distinct personality of the Father and Son, rejecting as absurd that feature of Trinitarianism which insists that God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three persons, and yet but one person. S. D. Adventists hold that God and Christ are one in the sense that Christ prayed that his disciples might be one; i. e., one in spirit, purpose, and labor. See “Fundamental Principles of S. D. Adventists,” published at this Office.”(RH April 17, 1883)

What does the Spirit of Prophecy say?

Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary orconcerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” {E. G. White, Manuscript Release No.760, p. 9} 1905

    1. Christ begotten in Eternity
    2. Ellen White on the Trinity
    3. James White on the Trinity
    4. JH Waggoner on the Trinity
    5. Joseph Bates on the Trinity
    6. Merrit Cornell on the Trinity
    7. AT Jones on the Trinity
    8. JM Stephenson on the Trinity
    9. Uriah Smith on the Trinity
    10. JN Andrews on the Trinity
    11. RF Cotrell on the Trinity
    12. DW Hull on the Trinity
    13. SN Haskell on the Trinity
    14. JN Loughborough on the Trinity
    15. EJ Waggoner on the Trinity
    16. 1939 JS Washburn letter on the Trinity

“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted.] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has beengiven an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son.” (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, page 268)

“Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husbandElder Bates,Ellen and James WhiteFather pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly…. light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me. . . What influence is it that would lead men at this stage of our history to work in an underhand, powerful way to tear down the foundation of our faith–the foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the Word and revelation? Upon this foundation we have been building for the past fifty years.(Selected Messages bk.1, p. 206-7 1904)

Also see this link which lists many of the writings of the Pioneers of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Writings of the pioneers

Also see…

The Truth About God