Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No Visa, A Refund Is A Must

The sad experience of Bernardino L. Flores Jr. of Tarlac City (Letters to the Editor, December 24, 2007, Page 12, PDI) before a consular empress at the US Embassy should be a bitter reminder to our people that diplomacy is missing in that piece of property at Roxas Boulevard.

Flores was made to pay for his visa application and even for the Delbros courier service after he and his wife were interviewed and told that their non-immigrant visa applications were approved.

The US consul even told the visa would be delivered by Delbros quickly, something which made the Floreses practically jump with joy. In common lingo, it was a done deal.

But lo and behold! The Delbros courier brought the couple the sad news as their applications were denied. Only because the other applicant, a relative of the Floreses, had the same contact person in the US.

US consular officials have been condemned so many times for their being boorish, arrogant and gothic in their behavior towards Filipinos. They act haughtily, not thinking that of all the US missions, it is only in the Philippines where thousands of applicants for visas pay through the nose to get that little piece of paper to legitimize their flight to the US. In fact, the consular section makes money, and they will continue to make money by collecting from Filipinos who would be told that their applications are approved, only to be told later that a hitch forced them to reject the application.

Some US staffs in the consular section are a nightmare, a contemptuous lot who still believe that they are overlords here and may as well reject applicants on the basis of their looks.

The US Embassy should reimburse the Floreses and all other Filipinos whom they have mistreated and abused by collecting visa fees for applications that are eventually rejected. In any country, collecting cash for service not rendered is called unjust enrichment.

With the visa fees, denied applicants are suckered to pay without reimbursement, it maintains an embassy which succeeds in getting more revenues, to help support its local operation. It should be a two way relationship. No visa, a refund is a must.


vaghoul2x said...

Criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
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Part of a series on
Seventh-day Adventism

Background and history
Christianity · Protestantism
Anabaptists · Restorationism
Pietism · Millerites
Great Disappointment
Fundamentalism · Evangelicalism

Ellen G. White
James White · Joseph Bates
J. N. Andrews · Uriah Smith
J. H. Kellogg · M. L. Andreasen
Edward Heppenstall

Distinctive teachings
Sabbath · Conditional Immortality
Historicism · Premillennialism
Investigative judgment · Remnant
Three Angels' Messages


Other Adventists
Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement
Davidian SDA (Shepherd's Rod)
Advent Christian Church
Church of God General Conference

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The introduction of this article is too short.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, it should be expanded to summarize the article.

This article is about criticism of the movement. For the main article, see Seventh-day Adventist Church.
A number of groups and persons have voiced criticisms of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, some of which are summarized below.

Contents [hide]
1 Major critics
2 Church doctrine
2.1 Hell
2.2 Christology
2.3 Investigative judgment and salvation
2.4 Remnant church status
2.5 Exclusivism
3 Ellen G. White
3.1 Health
3.2 The accusation of plagiarism
3.3 Status of Ellen White
4 Disputed Cult status
5 Other criticisms
5.1 Membership retention
5.2 The Clear Word
5.3 Early Shut door theology
5.4 Assurance of salvation
5.5 Opposition to unions
6 Change and development in the church
7 References
8 External links

[edit] Major critics
One of the most prominent early critics of the church was D. M. Canright, an early leader who later left the movement. According to evangelical Walter Martin, most subsequent criticism of the church has been based on his work.[citation needed]

In the middle of the 20th century, Martin and the Christian Research Institute concluded that the Seventh-day Adventist church is a legitimate Christian body with some heterodox doctrines.[1] However, other scholars disagreed and continued to classify the church as a cult. One such scholar was Anthony A. Hoekema, who grouped Seventh-day Adventism with Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science in his book The Four Major Cults.[2] Another scholar who criticized Adventism vocally was John C. Whitcomb.

A prominent contemporary critic is former Adventist Dale Ratzlaff, who left the church in the early 1980s and founded a private ministry catering to ex-Adventists called Life Assurance Ministries[1]. Ratzlaff has been described as the "fountain head" of all critics.[3]

According to Samuele Bacchiocchi, most criticisms of Ellen White come from former Adventists, many of whom were church pastors.[4] In the intense debates regarding the inspiration of Ellen White during the 1970s, Adventists Walter Rea and Ronald Numbers wrote material considered critical of Ellen White by much of the church, and subsequently left.

Another category of critics disapprove of certain traditional Adventists beliefs and attitudes, but ultimately remain supportive of the church and seek its reformation from within. These include individuals such as Desmond Ford and Steve Daily, and independent ministries such as Good News Unlimited.

[edit] Church doctrine

[edit] Hell
It's a strong belief currently in most Christians[attribution needed] that hell is eternity without communication with God[citation needed] while traditional Christianity teaches that, for the sins of a brief earthly life, the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell and will continue to suffer this torture for all eternity,[5] although this is in dispute among evangelicals currently.[6] This doctrine relies on literal interpretations of many verses of the Bible (Revelation 20:10, Jude 1:7, Luke 16:19-31, Isaiah 66:24, Isaiah 14:3-11) and other seemingly contrary verses in a symbolic or abstract sense (2 Thessalonians 1:9, Matthew 10:28, Ezekiel 18:20, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29, John 11:12-14, Psalms 115:17, Psalms 49:12, Isaiah 33:14-15, Malachi 4:1, Malachi 4:3). Seventh-day Adventists interpret the meaning of the original language used in the verses above to mean that there is no eternal conscious torment.[7]

In their defense Adventists maintain that their views regarding eschatology are anti-papal but not necessarily anti-Catholic.[8] John F. MacArthur is one noted evangelical whose strong messages against Catholicism agree exactly with what Seventh-day Adventists teach.[citation needed] The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in short, claims to be one of the last bastions of historicism and orthodoxy in Protestant Christianity.

Catholics, on the other hand, accept the validity of Seventh Day Adventist baptisms (in view of their Trinitarian confession) and remain open to ecumenical discussion with the Seventh Day Adventists. The insular attitude characteristic of Seventh Day Adventists in their contacts with other Christian groups is especially manifest in their approach to Catholicism, which they identify as the Antichrist power of Bible prophecy in public seminars. Popular suspicions of Catholic intentions (reflecting the anti-Catholic tone of late 19th Century political tracts) preclude most forms of dialogue. Thoughtful engagement with Catholic theology is also limited by portraying the Catholic Church as an end times persecuting power. Seventh Day Adventist literature tends to ignore the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding religious liberty and liberty of conscience as evidenced by the documents of the second Vatican council, which defined religious liberty as an eternal moral principle. Because Catholic authors occasionally refer to the Seventh Day Adventist Church as a sect some Seventh Day Adventists view this as an unfriendly approach and regard it as a type of persecution[9]

Again, Ellen White writes,

And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.[10]

[edit] Christology
It has been alleged by the Christian Research Institute that traditional Adventism teaches that Christ had a sinful nature (Christian Research Journal, Summer 1988, p. 13). This is in opposition to the position given by commentators on Christology, a field which studies the nature of the biblical Christ. Adventist historians today agree that this view was common in early Adventism, although it is rejected by the mainstream church today. It is still held today by a minority of "historic Adventists" on the fringes of the church.

Anthony Hoekema wrote in 1963 that "there remain some real difficulties on the question of the sinlessness of Christ's human nature" in Adventist theology, in spite of the fact that Questions on Doctrine had attempted to repudiate the doctrine of Christ's sinful nature. Hoekema argues that the Adventist denomination failed to definitively repudiate the traditional doctrine, as evidenced by Adventist writers in his day who continued to espouse the doctrine. He also asserts that Ellen White's teachings on the matter were inconsistent, and that the authors of Questions on Doctrine merely emphasised some of her statements while ignoring others.[2]

Ellen White wrote: “Christ took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature...; Christ took human nature and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He took our nature and its deteriorating condition”.[11] It is also acknowledged by the CRI that there is significant disagreement in the Adventist Church as to what Ellen White meant by her statement. Many Christian faiths teach that Christ “was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15, that he appeared on earth “in the likeness of sinful flesh” Romans 8:3 and that to some degree Christ “had to be made like His brethren in all things” Hebrews 2:17. Ellen White also wrote that "The human nature of Christ is likened to ours, and suffering was more keenly felt by Him; for His spiritual nature was free from every taint of sin. Therefore His desire for the removal of suffering was stronger than human beings can experience"[12] Appendix B of the Adventist publication "Questions on Doctrine" deals with the writings of Ellen White in regards to the incarnation of Christ; the view most compatible with the seemingly contradictory statements seems to be that which is summarized in the aforementioned quote; that Christ's human, or fleshly nature was that of fallen humanity, while His spiritual nature was holy and uncorrupted.[13] In other words, Christ took a fallen human nature in every respect except one; he did not have a propensity to sin.

[edit] Investigative judgment and salvation
The Investigative Judgment doctrine is defined in the Church's list of fundamental beliefs.[14]

In reviewing this uniquely Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, authors deny that it has any biblical basis,[15][16] particularly its claim that Christ did not enter the "holy of holies" until 1844, despite verses such as Hebrews 9:25-26, and Hebrews 10:11-14, among others, which reference the work of Christ having been completed at the cross.[17][18][19]

Adventists answer that Investigative Judgment doctrine isn't about celestial geography, that Lordship salvation is compatible with the gospel, and that Scriptures like 1 Peter 4:17 and Matthew 25 teach an end-time judgment of the Church. Equally certain is that the end time gospel of Revelation 14:6-12 did not sound in the first century but applies to our time. Also, many Adventist scholars interpret the references in Hebrews as to do with inauguration of the heavenly sanctuary, taking Hebrews 6:19-20 as parallel to Hebrews 10:19-20, a view shared with certain biblical scholars of other faiths[20], instead of the Day of Atonement event as interpreted by critics.

The essence of Old Testament sanctuary typology that Adventists rely on for their eschatology and may be summarized as follows:

The sanctuary services emphasized three aspects of Christ’s work for us: sacrifice, mediation, and judgment. In general, the three parts of the sanctuary corresponded to these three kinds of ministry. Sacrifice occurred in the court, mediation in the holy place, and judgment in the Most Holy Place.[21]
As to the 1844 date, Walter Martin wrote:

Lest anyone reading the various accounts of the rise of "Millerism" in the United States come to the conclusion that Miller and his followers were "crackpots" or "uneducated tools of Satan," the following facts should be known: The Great Advent Awakening movement that spanned the Atlantic from Europe was bolstered by a tremendous wave of contemporary biblical scholarship. Although Miller himself lacked academic theological training, actually scores of prophetic scholars in Europe and the United States had espoused Miller's views before he himself announced them. In reality, his was only one more voice proclaiming the 1843/1844 fulfilment of Daniel 8:14, or the 2300-day period allegedly dating from 457 B.C. and ending in A.D. 1843-1844.[22]

[edit] Remnant church status
The Seventh-day Adventist church's 13th fundamental belief describes the remnant church: 13. Remnant and Its Mission: The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness.[23]

Both historically and contemporaneously, some Seventh-day Adventists have viewed the Seventh-day Adventist Church as THE remnant church. This is not however official church belief as can be seen from the above quote. Many of the claims made regarding this are made by opponents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These include statements like The SDA leadership affirms that they are indeed the remnant church, the true "," because they have the mark of the Lord, Saturday worship, and the prophetess to confirm this.[24]

Although some may criticize the Adventist belief that they are the true church, it is not uncommon to find other religions who also claim they are the true representatives of God such as all Christian Religions, Jewish religion and Muslims.

The Adventist Theological Society--an unofficial group of Seventh-day Adventists--has the following as part of their affirmation which prospective members must sign: I affirm the identification of the Seventh day Adventist Church as the remnant movement called by God to proclaim the three angels' messages of Revelation 14:6 13, which prepare the world for the soon arrival of Christ.[25]

Ron Corson in his article "Progressive and Traditional Adventists Examined" in Adventist Today points out that members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church hold a variety of beliefs on the subject. He sees "Traditional Adventists" as believing that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the "Remnant"; while "Progressive Adventists" believe in the inclusion of other Christians into the category termed the "Remnant."[26]

[edit] Exclusivism
Finally, it is alleged that certain Adventist beliefs and practices are exclusivist in nature. Non-Adventist critics have raised concern about the Adventist claim to be the “remnant church”, and the characterization of Roman Catholicism[27][28][29][30] as "Babylon the Great" (Rev. 17:5), just as was believed by many great reformers such as Martin Luther[31], John Knox[32], Jean Calvin and others. These distinctively Protestant understanding of eschatology is said to legitimize the evangelism of Roman Catholics, just as some other evangelical Christians believe.[33][34][35]

Also Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that all Christians (Protestants or Orthodox) who seek to return to Roman Catholicism and accept Pope of Rome as a Head of Church of Christ on Earth are to be considered as daughters who came from Her ("Mother of Harlots" Rev 17:5).

Adventist theologians also state that the doctrine of the remnant does not preclude the existence of genuine Christians in other denominations.[36]

"We fully recognize the heartening fact that a host of true followers of Christ are scattered all through the various churches of Christendom, including the Roman Catholic communion. These God clearly recognizes as His own. Such do not form a part of the "Babylon" portrayed in the Apocalypse."

– Questions on Doctrine, p. 197.

[edit] Ellen G. White
The Seventh-day Adventist Church considers the ministry and writings of Ellen G. White as manifesting the gift of prophecy, as evidenced in fundamental belief 18.[14] The role of Ellen White as a prophet has been criticized on two main fronts, her health and her uncredited reliance on numerous literary sources. These accusations have resulted in questions about her legitimacy as a true prophet. White's prominence in the church has also been criticised. Mainstream Adventists today agree that at times she has been given too much prominence in the church.

[edit] Health
At the age of nine, White sustained a blow to the head from a rock thrown at her.[37] It is frequently interpreted from various speculations on the incident that Ellen White spent three weeks in a coma and that a brain trauma might explain her visions.[38] Individuals with epilepsy have also been found to have delusions and hallucinations in relationship to God.[39][40] Abnormalities in the hippocampus are associated with religiosity in refractory epileptic patients similar to Ellen G.White.[41][42][43]

Donald I. Peterson, Professor of Neurology at the Adventist Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Chief of Neurology at Riverside General Hospital, California, disagrees and explains the difference between "stupor" and "coma."[44] Adventists Desmond and Gillian Ford also disagree with the critics of Ellen White, writing:

We personally do not believe that the epilepsy theory of "partial-complex seizures" is an adequate explanation for the phenomenon of Ellen G. White. Such seizures typically are common within a few months of the cause of the injury, not eight years after. If disease could provide the dedication, energy and wisdom that Ellen White revealed for over seventy years, some of us would pray "Lord, give me that disease".[45]

[edit] The accusation of plagiarism
A common criticism of Ellen White, widely popularized by Walter T. Rea and other scholars, is that she took vast amounts of uncredited material from contemporary authors in an unethical way, something which is generally regarded today as plagiarism.[46][47][48] The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that White's use of sources does not constitute plagiarism.[49][50]

When the plagiarism charge ignited a significant debate within the Adventist church during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the General Conference commissioned a major study. Fred Veltman, was asked in 1982 to analyse the works with a scope of detecting whether both "literary borrowing" and/or plagiarism were a concern given cultural views on plagiarism in the literary context she lived in.[51] The ensuing project became known as the "'Life of Christ' Research Project." In the course of the research, it was found that White's use of derived sources was not troubling given the common behaviour of her contemporaries. Although the report did not provide a conclusive result as to whether White's writing was plagiarism, Veltman did express his personal opinion that she was not guilty of the charge as given.

"We did find verbatim quotes from authors who were not given credit. But the question of plagiarism is much more complicated than simply establishing that one writer used the work of another without giving credit. A writer can only be legitimately charged with plagiarism when that writers literary methods contravene the established practices of the general community of writers producing works of the same literary genre within a comparable cultural context."[52]
Other Seventh-day Adventists have also commented on the issue. Some of these include; Dr. Roger W. Coon,[53] David J. Conklin,[54] Dr. Denis Fortin[55][56][57][58] Don McMahon asserts that health principles espoused by White were accurate.[59]

See also: prophetic gift of Ellen White

[edit] Status of Ellen White
The Adventist church has also been criticized for unduly elevating the status of Ellen White. Many Adventist scholars such as Alden Thompson, Clifford Goldstein and Graeme Bradford agree that unrealistically high views of Ellen White have been held in the church, particularly in the past. Graeme Bradford in his book Prophets are Human highlights that fact that Ellen White participated and was involved in many normal human activities.[60]

[edit] Disputed Cult status
Disputes have arisen among counter-cult authors over whether Seventh-day Adventism is a cult.

In the late 1950s, Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse classified Adventism as non-cult-like,[61] a reversal of his earlier 1955 classification of Adventism as a cult. He expanded his position in the 1960 book-length treatment, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism. Many evangelicals followed this new advice, and continue to do so today, accepting Adventism as an orthodox Christian denomination, even though it holds a few doctrines that are seen as different from mainline Christian churches.

Others class Adventism as an unorthodox Christian denomination, including, for example, John Whitcomb, Jr.[62] Anthony Hoekema, a contemporary of Walter Martin, analysed Adventist teachings and came to the conclusion that the Adventist church is a cult which he grouped together with Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses. Hoekema based his conclusion on Adventist views concerning the remnant, the investigative judgment, the incomplete atonement, the scapegoat, the authoritative role of Ellen White, and legalistic soteriology. He also differed from Martin in his view that Adventists had not truly broken away from the doctrine of Christ's sinful nature.[2]

Other allegations include those of Adventists being insular[citation needed] and warnings about mixing with non-Christians and even non-Adventists.[citation needed] The importance placed on Adventist education for children is also thought of by some[attribution needed] as cult-like behavior. In describing their opposition to ecumenical changes, some Adventists refer to Ellen White, who wrote that "Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven."[63]

Although some groups believe Adventism to be of cult status, many argue that there is nothing cult like about it. In 2007 students attending various Seventh Day Adventist(SDA) colleges were randomly asked their for their thoughts on the allegations of the SDA church being classified as a "cult".[citation needed] Hannah Marquardt of La Sierra University stated:

"The SDA religion is not a cult. The foundation of our beliefs are built on the teachings from the bible. If people would spend more time reading their bibles in stead of just going off the criticism and opinions of others, they would know the reasoning behind many of our beliefs such as worshiping on Saturday, or why we don't eat pork"[original research?]

In response to the current Wikipedia article about the criticisms of the church, students shook their heads in disbelief. Robert Jenkins exclaimed:

"The criticisms said against the Seventh Day Adventist religion as a cult are shallow. An Adventist educational institution is no different than a Catholic, Mormon, or Jewish institution. An adventist school provides a thorough general education and also provides an environment which promotes a Christian atmosphere. As for Ellen G. White, her teachings are considered, but the bible is the backbone and the flesh of our beliefs and our understandings."[original research?]

In summary, Seventh Day Adventists are classified as another denomination of Christianity.[citation needed]

[edit] Other criticisms

[edit] Membership retention
Some[attribution needed] have criticized the church for the high proportion of members which leave it.[citation needed] According to statistics assessed by the Adventist church, 45 members left in the year 2005/2006 for every 100 members who joined, although the figure may not be precise.[64] In the 2006/2007 year the reported membership retention was much higher at 76%, in other words 24 people left the church for every 100 who joined it.[64]

See the Conserving Membership Gains - an Appeal statement voted in 2007.

[edit] The Clear Word
The Clear Word is an interpretative Bible paraphrase created by Dr. Jack Blanco and printed by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. It has been widely used by Adventists[citation needed], though is not officially endorsed by the church. The majority of Adventists use the same standard non-denominational translations as most other churches.[citation needed] Critics[attribution needed] have said that it is a corrupt Bible version designed to support Adventist beliefs and Ellen G. White teachings.[citation needed] The author of the book, Dr. Blanco, however, writes in the book's preface that it is not a Bible translation. It is rather an expanded paraphrase for a devotional use.[65]

[edit] Early Shut door theology
Main article: Shut-door theology
Eugene Taylor and others have criticised the church over its shut door theology[66][67][68][69][70] Ellen White wrote in defense of the shut door belief,

"I am still a believer in the shut-door theory, but not in the sense in which we at first employed the term or in which it is employed by my opponents.
"I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels' messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them. Those who did not see the light, had not the guilt of its rejection. It was only the class who had despised the light from heaven that the spirit of God could not reach."[71]
In the aftermath of the Great Disappointment in 1844 there were two groups of Adventists: “open door” Adventists and “shut door” Adventists.[72] The shut door Adventists concluded that they had completed their mission to humanity, that Christ's Second Coming was very near and that their only duty was to encourage and instruct other Adventists who had believed prior to in the Millerite movement.[73] The "shut door" doctrine, based on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, asserted that those not saved at the judgment hour (1844-10-22) were unable to attain salvation.[74] Adventists teach that believing in a shut door was a very reasonable conclusion at the time. Ellen White explains:

After the passing of the time of expectation, in 1844, Adventists still believed the Saviour's coming to be very near; they held that they had reached an important crisis, and that the work of Christ as man's intercessor before God, had ceased. Having given the warning of the Judgment near, they felt that their work for the world was done, and they lost their burden of soul for the salvation of sinners, while the bold and blasphemous scoffing of the ungodly seemed to them another evidence that the Spirit of God had been withdrawn from the rejecters of his mercy. All this confirmed them in the belief that probation had ended, or, as they then expressed it, "the door of mercy was shut."[75]
Today, Seventh-day Adventists consider the Millerite Movement, their prophesying the end of the world, believing that the end of all things had actually come, and eventual disappointment, to be a fulfilment of Revelation 10.[76]

[edit] Assurance of salvation
Many Adventists do not feel assurance of salvation, that is, confidence that they are indeed saved, according to the Valuegenesis studies.[77] Adventist Alden Thompson wrote in a letter to former Adventist Dale Ratzlaff that he suspects one of the three major reasons some Adventists leave for evangelical communities is assurance: "In guarding against carelessness, Adventism often comes up short on assurance."[78] The church holds Arminian theology, and hence does not teach a "once-saved-always-saved" philosophy. Ellen White's comments regarding the matter are mixed.

[edit] Opposition to unions
This article or section is missing citations or needs footnotes.
Using inline citations helps guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (April 2008)

The Adventist church is opposed to unionization of its hospitals and businesses. Critics[attribution needed] have claimed that this has been a method used by the church to prevent employees from demanding protection of workers' rights and improved benefits and treatment by management.[citation needed]

The Adventist Church sued to stop the unionization of nurses in the Ukiah Valley Adventist Hospital,[citation needed] but it lost its case.[citation needed]

An Adventist man from Puerto Rico filed a complaint with the EEOC because he was prevented from joining a labor union.[citation needed]


"Church Hospital Challenges Labor Law Nurses want union – facility says it would violate faith" San Francisco Chronicle 1998-10-29
"Adventist Hospital Loses Bid to Prevent Union Organizing" Adventist News Network 2000-10-09
"Church run hospital wants religious exemption to scab"
United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

[edit] Change and development in the church
This article or section's coverage of a controversial issue may be inaccurate or unbalanced in favour of certain viewpoints.
Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page.

Adventists[attribution needed] reply that many critics[attribution needed] do not do justice to the Adventist church as it is in the present. They often give little or no recognition to the change and development which has occurred in Adventism throughout its history.[citation needed] Sufficient recognition is not given to the broad spectrum which exists within the church at all levels - lay people, administrators and scholars. Rather, conservative Adventism is overemphasized, in particular historic Adventism, despite for example the official church's concern about the beliefs and attitudes of these groups and legal action at times. For Christianity in general, The May 30, 2007 report by Media Matters for America claimed there is a strong skew towards over-reporting conservative religious leaders in the United States compared to moderate and progressive ones.

Evangelical Walter Martin, who defended the Adventist church,[citation needed] also claimed that his contemporaries who criticised the church did not do justice to the then-present state of the church.[citation needed] Martin saw himself as someone who showed Christian concern for justice in properly researching the church as it was in his day.[citation needed]

vaghoul2x said...

Great Disappointment was a major event in the history of the Millerite movement, a 19th century American Christian sect. William Miller, a Baptist preacher, prophesied that Jesus Christ would return to the earth during the Jewish year 1844. A more specific date, that of October 22, 1844 was calculated by Samuel S. Snow. Jesus did not appear as expected on the appointed day and as a result October 22, 1844 became known as the Great Disappointment.

Contents [hide]
1 William Miller
2 October 22, 1844
3 Repercussions
4 A psychological perspective
5 Other views
5.1 Bahá'í
6 References
7 See also

[edit] William Miller

William MillerBetween 1831 and 1844, based on his study of the Bible--particularly the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, William Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted and preached the soon return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Despite the urging of his supporters, Miller never personally set an exact date for the expected Second Advent. However, in response to their urgings he did narrow the time-period to sometime in the Jewish year 1843, stating: “My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.”[1] March 21, 1844 passed without incident, and the majority of Millerites maintained their faith. Further discussion and study resulted in the brief adoption of a new date—April 18, 1844, one based on the Karaite Jewish calendar (as opposed to the Rabbinic calendar).[2] Like the previous date, April 18 passed without Christ's return. In the Advent Herald of April 24, Joshua Himes wrote that all the “expected and published time” had passed; and admitted that they had been “mistaken in the precise time of the termination of the prophetic period,” while Josiah Litch surmised that they were probably, “only in error relative to the event which marked its close.” Miller also responded publicly, addressing a letter “To Second Advent Believers,” and writing, “I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment; yet I still believe that the day of the Lord is near, even at the door."[3]

In August 1844 at a camp-meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, everything changed when Samuel S. Snow presented a message of earth-shattering proportions—what became known as the “seventh-month” message or the “true midnight cry.” In a complex discussion based on scriptural typology, Snow presented his conclusion (still based on the 2300 day prophecy in Daniel 8:14), that Christ would return on, “the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844.”[4] Again using the calendar of the Karaite Jews, this date was determined to be October 22, 1844. This “seventh month message” “spread with a rapidity unparalleled in the Millerites experience” amongst the general population.

[edit] October 22, 1844

1843 prophetic chart illustrating numerous interpretations of prophecy yielding the year 1843The sun rose on the morning of October 23 like any other day, and October 22, that day of great hope and promise was for the Millerites, the day of greatest disappointment. Henry Emmons, a Millerite, later wrote,

“I waited all Tuesday [October 22] and dear Jesus did not come;– I waited all the forenoon of Wednesday, and was well in body as I ever was, but after 12 o’clock I began to feel faint, and before dark I needed someone to help me up to my chamber, as my natural strength was leaving me very fast, and I lay prostrate for 2 days without any pain– sick with disappointment.”[5]

Miller recorded his personal disappointment in his memoirs: "Were I to live my life over again, with the same evidence that I then had, to be honest with God and man, I should have to do as I have done. I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment." [6] Miller continued to wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ until his death in 1849.

[edit] Repercussions
Not only were the Millerites dealing with their own shattered expectations, they also faced considerable abuse and even violence from the general public. On November 18, 1844 Miller wrote to Himes about his experiences:

“Some are tauntingly enquiring, “Have you not gone up?” Even little children in the streets are shouting continually to passersby, “Have you a ticket to go up?” The public prints, of the most fashionable and popular kind…are caricaturing in the most shameful manner of the “white robes of the saints,” Revelation 6:11, the “going up,” and the great day of “burning.” Even the pulpits are desecrated by the repetition of scandalous and false reports concerning the “ascension” robes,” and priests are using their powers and pens to fill the catalogue of scoffing in the most scandalous periodicals of the day.”[7]

There were also the instances of violence—a Millerite church burned in Ithaca and two vandalized in Dansville and Scottsville. In Loraine, a mob attacked the Millerite congregation with clubs and knives, while a group in Toronto was tarred and feathered. Shots were fired at another Canadian group meeting in a private house.[8]

Both Millerite leaders and followers were left generally bewildered and disillusioned. Responses varied: some continued to look daily for Christ’s return, others predicted different dates—among them April, July, and October 1845. Some theorized that the world had entered the seventh millennium—the “Great Sabbath,” and that therefore, the saved should not work. Others acted as children, basing their belief on Jesus’ words in Mark 10:15 “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Millerite O. J. D. Pickands used Revelation to teach that Christ was now sitting on a white cloud, and must be prayed down. Probably the majority however, simply gave up their beliefs and attempted to rebuild their lives. Some members rejoined their previous denominations. A substantial number joined the Shakers.[9]

By mid-1845, doctrinal lines amongst the various Millerite groups began to solidify and the groups emphasized their differences; a process George R. Knight accurately terms “sect building.” During this time there were three main Millerite groups—in addition to those who had simply given up their beliefs.[10]

The first major division of the Millerite groups who had not completely given up their belief in Christ’s Second Advent; were those who focused on the “shut-door” belief. This belief was popularized by Joseph Turner and was based on that key Millerite passage: Matthew 25:1-13—the parable of the ten virgins.[11] The shut door mentioned in Matthew 25:11-12 was interpreted as the close of probation. As Knight explains, “After the door was shut, there would be no additional salvation. The wise virgins (true believers) would be in the kingdom, while the foolish virgins and all others would be on the outside.”[12]

The widespread acceptance of the “shut-door” belief lost ground as doubts were raised about the significance of the October 22, 1844 date—if nothing happened on that date, then there could be no shut door. The opposition to these “shut-door” beliefs was led by Joshua Himes and make up the second post-1844 group. This faction soon gained the upper hand, even converting Miller to their point of view. Their influence was enhanced by the staging of the Albany Conference. The Advent Christian Church has its roots in this post-Great Disappointment group.

The third major post-disappointment Millerite group also claimed—like the Hale and Turner led group, that the October 22 date was correct. Rather than Christ returning invisibly however, they came to view the event that took place on October 22, 1844 having been quite different. The theology of this third group appears to have had its beginnings as early as October 23, 1844—the day after the Great Disappointment. On that day, during a prayer session with a group of Advent believers, Hiram Edson became convicted that “light would be given” and their “disappointment explained.”[13] Edson’s experience led him into an extended study on the topic with O. R. L. Crosier and F. B. Hahn. They came to the conclusion that “the sanctuary to be cleansed in Daniel 8:14 was not the earth or the church, but the sanctuary in heaven.”[14] Therefore, the October 22 date marked not the Second Coming of Christ, but rather a heavenly event. Out of this third group arose the Seventh-day Adventist Church and this interpretation of the Great Disappointment forms the basis for the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the Investigative Judgement. Their insights were published in early 1845 in the Day Dawn.

[edit] A psychological perspective
The Great Disappointment is viewed by some scholars as an example the psychological phenomenon of cognitive dissonance.[15] The theory was proposed by Leon Festinger to describe the formation of new beliefs and increased proselytizing in order to reduce the tension, or dissonance, that results from failed prophecies.[16] According to the theory, believers experienced tension following the failure of Jesus' reappearance in 1844 which led to a variety of new explanations. The various solutions form a part of the teachings of the different groups that outlived the disappointment.

[edit] Other views

[edit] Bahá'í
Members of the Bahá'í Faith believe that Miller's interpretation of signs and dates of the coming of Jesus were, for the most part, correct.[17] They believe that the fulfillment of biblical prophecies of the coming of Christ came through a forerunner of their own religion, the Báb, who declared that he was the "Promised One" on May 23, 1844, and began openly teaching in Persia (Iran) in October 1844.[18] Several Bahá'í books and pamphlets make mention of the Millerites, the prophecies used by Miller and the Great Disappointment, most notably William Sears' Thief in the Night.[19][20][21]

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