Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, Page 5

The Times of Volume Eight

Volume 8 was published to meet a crisis—the greatest crisis which the Seventh-day Adventist church has ever faced. The urgency of the matter is evidenced in that the book came from the press in March, 1904, fifteen months after volume 7 was published. At the time of its issuance it was not known how the tide would turn. Today we can look back and see that its steadying instruction was a large factor in averting threatened disaster.

While the work of the denomination was reaching out to encompass the world, and while there had been a reorganization of the General Conference which made a rapid yet sound growth possible, developments in our old headquarters city of battle Creek, Michigan, took shape which, if they had been unchecked, would have led to the destruction of the very foundations of Seventh-day Adventist faith. It all came about in such a subtle way that its hazards were not detected at the outset, for error was presenting itself under the garb of “new light.”

Near the turn of the century, certain of the workers of the denomination, and especially the leader in the medical missionary interests, espoused certain teachings concerning the personality of God which were quite out of harmony with the clear teachings of the word of God and the positions of the church. Yet these teachings were set forth as an advancement in the understanding of the message, the general acceptance of which would, it was claimed, bring a glorious experience to the people of God and would hasten the finishing of the work.

These pantheistic views envisioned God not as a great personal being ruling the universe, but rather as a power, a force, seen and felt in nature and pervading the very atmosphere. Confusing the power of God with His personality, they saw God in the sunshine, in the flower, in the grass, in

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