We are appalled at the widespread ignorance...
My wife and I were born, raised and educated 100% in Adventist institutions including professional schools. We have read and studied extensively those books purported to be by Ellen White. Every year for the past 15+ years we have read the Bible through at least once, often the New Testament several times. We have and still do attend church regularly. And, we are appalled at the widespread ignorance of the difference between much of what Ellen White 'wrote' and taught and what the Bible says and teaches. None of those particularly unique teachings of Adventists, those that make their teachings different from other Christians, are strongly supported by the Bible. That includes the Sabbath, the dietary teachings, jewelry, dancing, and end times. Their main difference from other Christians is the Sabbath teaching. Very detailed instructions are given by Ellen White on Sabbath keeping. Yet, none, not one SDA has ever kept a Sabbath perfectly as demanded by the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. Since each of us thus breaks the Sabbath every week we break the whole law, all of the Ten Commandments, every week. The Sunday keeper also breaks the Sabbath. We are both, all of us, in the same 'boat'---lost sinners---except for the Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection, our belief in Him and His promise of life after death for all believers. Keep reading the Bible, the Bible only, folks. You haven't the time to read anything else of a spiritual and devotional nature!
The New American Standard...wipes out the Sanctuary message. (From SDA Pastor)
Dale your chapter two (of Cultic Doctrine) is raving dribble. A simple attack on the Spirit of Prophecy without any proof or evidence that her statements are in contrast with the Bible. If they were you I
would have an argument but for one thing, the two books you are slamming (one of which I have, the clear word) are paraphrases and they would both have an edge on the misearable excuse (New American Standard) you are using. It completely waters down the divinity of Christ and wipes out the
Sanctuary message. (That obviously is why you have chosen it) It is worse than a paraphrase.
Your attacks on EGWhite and William Miller are both examples of your mentality to destroy what God has built up. Why don't you attack Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Lot, the disciples, etc. who were the nastiest low life sinners in existance, but no you attack a woman with an impeccible character her entire life. I will continuie to read, I expect to find what I found in your earlier book, a meandering wander though a field of dreams with a Jehovah's witness type approach to the scriptures.
You refuse to follow sound hermaneutics as your own friends continually point out to you.
Again, I apologize if I seem so abrasive, but you have yet to show me any reasonable sound Biblical explanations for your meanderings. I still think you will come around and begin to place the precious grace of Jesus in your life which will sooth your hatred and begin to focus your attentions on the Gospel rather than the works of criticism and hatred. I will keep reading.
Elen G. White also talks about people like you
(Note: the following email is posted exactly as received. One wonders what this person would say after reading the Clear Word Bible.)
Sorry but you are wrong we are write.
In the Bible it does not say that there will be no more worship on Sat. like so many think was done away with when Jesus died. I'm sure you know this but just don't care. A Pope long ago changed the sabbath to sunday. You need to read the Bible I think there is a
a major verse that says. KEEP THE SABBATH HOLY. ALL THE TEN COMMANDMENTS STILL COUNT. ALSO READ REVELATIONS the last chapter I believe it says don't change anything in the BIBLE what do people like you think you did and are still trying to do. I believe Elen G. White also talks about people like you, people who will try to make a Sunday law thats okay do what you want cause in the end GOD will judge.
You are a lost man (from an SDA pastor)
"Dale; You have little time left to throw away the lie you have been espousing and return to the God of love and truth. Time is running out for you, you are a lost man..."
(Note: the author of the following two letters requested that I post the letters in their entirety, include names)
Bible tells me that EGW is a false prophet
To: Elder John Carter..."Dear John, Thank you for taking the time to write to me about your feelings on my book "United in Jesus Christ Alone" that I sent you. I once would have written back in the same manner, and would have been less appreciative than you for any carefully prepared Biblical review of the Adventist Faith that did not come out supporting it. Indeed it may seem like heresy to even so much as question our belief as we have always known it. This is even more so when our parents and loved ones lived and died in that belief system. But with the warning of Jesus Christ in Revelation 2:2, and Matthew 24:11 & 24, that there will be apostles and many prophets that will come deceiving many, we are required to test them against the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. We should especially resist their statements that are not true, and their lies about their own authority. My careful comparison of EGW’s doctrine & teachings against the Scripture’s, leaves me with no choice but to say that she tests out to be a false prophet. I have gone to this work and now risk my family and friends displeasure over it, because I really believe I have a duty to share with them why the Bible tells me that EGW is a false prophet, and why I found she lied and did not teach the truth of God. Forgive me if I have suggested you are somehow doing something wrong. I have only stated how I now see that I believed something terribly wrong. If what I have found is truth, I must share it with those who were with me in it or I will stand responsible of their souls, if they die in it unwarned, when it was opened to me. Please read Mark 4:21-25 and Ezekial 3:17-21 to see what I mean. I do not ask you to agree with me, but to only understand why I have turned from Adventism to Christ. It appears that all held by the EGW & Adventist teachings, cannot allow any who depart her teaching, to go in peace. It seems they must always accuse them of being tempted by Satan or somehow being unfaithful to Jesus Christ and the Bible. It appears to me that they sword of the Spirit to them is EGW’s words, and their own opinions and theories, not the Scriptures. Thank you again for taking the time to write to me about your feelings. That means a lot to me, for I know you love me as a friend and brother in Christ, and do not intend to judge me as it may have sounded." Signally yours, Harald Follett (Long-time former SDA and Attorney for the SDA church).
We hereby withdraw our membership.
To: Vallejo Drive Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 300 Vallejo Drive, Glendale CA 91206
"Dear Pastors and Church Clerk, Due to personal reasons that have developed, we hereby withdraw our membership from the Vallejo Drive Seventh-day Adventist Church. Consistent with California Law, we ask that there be no further mention of our names in your church bulletins, church board minutes, or any other records or publications from this day forward. The purpose of this manner of withdrawing our membership is to avoid any attention to this action that would cause any member or person unnecessary discouragement or concern, and minimize any negative affect on the Adventist Church. We hope and pray that many will find their way into the Kingdom of God through your ministry and fellowship. Please remove our names from any mailing or former member lists in your church and conference, and then kindly respect our privacy on this matter. We request that no further communication be made with us in response to this letter. Thanking you in advance for your courtesy and respect, we remain, Very sincerely yours, Harald & Beverly Follett"
I totally experienced my freedom in Christ
"Dale, Thank you so much. Your book help me understand a deeper meaning of the New Covenant and actually the day I finish reading your book, was when I totally experienced my freedom in Christ--He only can give me."
I have thrown your two books away
"Dear Dale, This is to let you know that I have thrown your two books away after reading them. Your are not being led by the right spirit. I can show you documented proof that the Catholics state they changed the Sabbath to Sunday. They are proud of it. They also acknowledge that the true Sabbath is the 7th day of the week according to the Bible. I am enclosing a book by Joe Crews. He uses only the Bible to make his case. There may be many things wrong with the running of the SDA church, but they are the only ones promoting world wide the "three angels message" --Are you? My study of the Bible keeps me right where I am (I haven't always been here), your study should bring you back."
[Note: I am not sure this person really read the two books]
These two books were an answer to prayer
"Mr. Ratzlaff, I have just read your books "Cultic Doctrine" and "Sabbath in Crisis", and I truly believe these two books were an answer to prayer. I was not a "born and raised" Adventist, I converted because my husband was very devoted (it seemed) and I wanted family harmony. What difference did it make where, or when, you went to church, as long as you went? I soon became very uncomfortable with Ellen Whit's role in the church and the devotion given to her by the church. The more I read her writings, the more uncomfortable I became. My own religious upbringing emphasized salvation by faith alone. I could not see Sunday-keeping as the mark of the beast having any biblical basis. And what was this investigative judgment stuff"? After much prayer, fear, and trepidation, I shared with my husband my concerns. He promptly threatened to divorce me. I talked him into staying and studying with me. If Adventism was "the truth" wouldn't it bear a little "scrutiny". He got on the internet looking for some support, and somehow found some articles discussing your books. I feel it is very significant that he was led to these books, not I. My husband now admits that he had a few concerns about some of Mrs. Whit's writings too, but was afraid to pursue them and, besides, he'd never known anything other than an Adventist life. Why upset the apple cart, not to mention his family. We still have a way to go, which is the point of this letter, We need more info. I would like to order the Video "SDAsim, The Spirit Behind the Church" and would like to read " The Sabbath and the Lord's Day"...In closing I'd like to say thinks for upsetting the apple cart--for following your heart to do the right thing, and in so doing, making it a little easier for the rest of us. You did all the right research and laid it out in an objective and loving, easy-to-read manner. Thank You."
I want my own copy...For the first time in many years I am being fed on Jesus Christ
"Dear Friend, I have been an SDA for 30 years. The last ten years have put questions in my mind. Of course, the main problem is the 4th Commandment. For a year now, I have been attending a Southern Baptist congregation where the pastor really loves the Lord Jesus Christ and he is so on fire for Him when he presents the message. For the first time in many years I am being fed on Jesus Christ. A member of that congregation visited your church and you gave her a copy of your book, "Sabbath in Crisis". I started to read it (she loaned it to me), but I want my own copy so that I can write in the book and underline things important to me. I don't want to mark in her book. Please let me know if you can send me one. I am very serious about knowing what the Scripture says about the Sabbath, the seventh day. Thank you for getting back to me. If you can send the book along with a bill, I'll be happy to send you a check as soon as I receive the book."
You have revolutionized the thinking of many
Dale, Thanks for your time and ministry. You have revolutionized the
thinking of many in the Sabbath keeping community. May God continue to
bless. (From a leader in a sabbatarian denomination.)
Thank you for sending "Sabbath in Crisis". As a member of the Worldwide Church of God this book is really helpful...Thank you for putting this in print.
Best presentation of the Sabbath issue I have read
Dear brother Dale, I recently bought several of you books and have just finished "Sabbath in Crisis" and I found it to be the best presentation of the Sabbath Issue I have read. Thank you for your ministry."
They have been a blessing to all who have been reading them
Thank you for the materials you have sent...They have been a blessing to all who have been reading them...Although I received your book earlier last year, I put off reading it, as I think the Holy Spirit knew I was not receptive to it at that stage. After 10 years of frustration in a dead SDA congregation ended last summer, and I handed in my 30 year "club" membership to the church of my birth, I was forced to make that hard decision as to where one goes if they still want to remain a committed Christian...Unfortunately SDA's give their adherents just two belief options: the Old Covenant Sabbath or Sabbath Transference. I know exhaustive Bible study never convinced me that any transfer took place. The church I feel, is dishonest and unfair in not teaching there is a third, the Sabbath Fulfillment option. For me, this shed a whole new light on the subject. Your book was a major help in giving me the needed freedom, and after all this time, to recognize what millions of other Christians already have about their worship experience. My only wish is that more SDAs would part company with absolutely dead churches and find fellowship with vibrant, Spirit-filled churches in their community. They will never feel free to do this believing in traditional SDA theology...Thanks for taking the time to write the materials you have.
Those who know perhaps a little are keeping their mouths closed and are quick to misrepresent those who have sincere questions.
"I am twenty years old and I am a Seventh-day Adventist. I am very much aware about the problems facing the SDA church today--from Ellen G. White to the 1844 investigative judgment doctrine. I have learned about a few books written by people who were Seventh-day Adventists but none of them can be purchased here. So I am hoping that you can help me as best you can for my SDA church members are some of them entirely ignorant of the issues troubling the church and those who know perhaps a little are keeping their mouths closed and are quick to misrepresent those who have sincere questions, like myself..."
I would suggest strongly that you clean up your own spiritual backyards!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I was never so incensed as I was when I saw how much you made of one person's attempt to help youth understand what the Bible was trying to explain in a language they could follow, how dare you degrade and denounce that which you have not one iota of understanding about, for if you did know what it was you were really knocking I doubt seriously that you would be so free to do so..I was raised a Southern Baptist, and was never at peace or content with what that doctrine taught, and when I became an adult, I searched many religions to seek out the truth, and in my search I discovered what the WORD OF GOD actually teaches about the TEN COMMANDMENTS and life as was taught by JESUS CHRIST, and there is no authorization ever given to change or lesson the importance of those TEN COMMANDMENTS, if God said it then it has to be considered THE LAW and if JESUS LIVED IT then it has to be considered the way and in HIS OWN WORDS JESUS SAYS, 'I CAME NOT TO CHANGE THE LAW, BUT TO FULFILL IT!' It really makes me ill that so many so called religious pious people would try to lesson what God HIMSELF says is important, and by doing so give credence to what they WANT to believe as truth to suit their own lifestyles.. Before you knock those SDAs, I would suggest strongly that you clean up your own spiritual backyards!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Note: (I don't think this person has read either "Cultic Doctrine" or "Sabbath in Crisis", nor do I know what he means by an attempt to help youth.)
It is so wonderful to know the truth and be separated from the cultic teachings of Adventism
"Dear Dale, Thank you so much for the book (The Sabbath and the Lord's Day) and video tape (SDA Video). I have almost read through the book, and have watched the video. It is so wonderful to know the truth and be separated from the cultic teachings of Adventism. The Lord has been good to us in opening our minds and showing us the utter foolishness that for years we were held captive by. May God continue to bless you and your work in Arizona, and around the world as people are given the opportunity to read your books."
I shudder when I think of the deceit and hypocrisy which the rank and file membership will never recognize.
"Dear R. Ratzlaff: Once again I thank you for a very enlightening book. I just finished, The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists...As was the case when I finished reading Sabbath in Crisis, I am thankful to be free from the bondage of legalism. ___ and I both feel totally justified in our decision to leave the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There were days when I had to put the book (Cultic Doctrine) down because it depressed me to realize how this church has, and continues to deceive its members. I am appalled by the fact that the leaders know full well the problems with Ellen Whit's writings and the lack of biblical support for their basic doctrines, and yet continue to uphold them. I shudder when I think of the deceit and hypocrisy which the rank and file membership will never recognize."
Many a guilt trip, but no drawing power
"I have read your book, Sabbath in Crisis, with great interest in that my father had accepted the SDA belief when I was 7 years old...I had a born again experience in '91 and had a lot of sorting out to do in Biblical Theology after I saw the whole picture and plan of salvation. It was the beginning of being 'set free' from the grip Dan had on me to his church or belief. Yes, he put us on many a guilt trip but there was no drawing power..."
Both dissertations prove that our (SDA) position is wrong
"Dear Brother Ratzlaff, ...My father was a SDA minister. I studied in France and Newbold College in England. I started a Ph D. in Old Testament...I am keenly aware that our (SDA) position is not biblical. Pastor _________ did a Ph D. at the Reformers Theological Divinity School...He left the church after that. Pastor _____ did an exegetical study of Hebrews 7-9 for his Ph.D. Both dissertations prove that our (SDA) positions are wrong."
Former SDA Pastor explains why he left
"Not long after I was ordained as a Seventh-day Adventist minister, the Southern California Conference had a special promotion for the writings of Ellen G. White, one of the founders of Adventism and one whom the Adventists believe to be a prophetess. _____ and I found the series of pastor's seminars very helpful and informative until the last one. The lecturer was from the General Conference in Washington, D.C. and some of his statements were highly disturbing. The one that because a turning point in my life was that the writings of Ellen G. White are 'equally inspired as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.' Disturbed, I counseled with a highly respected leader but could in no way reconcile this in my conscience. I had already begun to feel spiritually shackled in Adventism because of its legalism and exclusivism, but this, in my opinion, was adding to Scripture. When I chose not be begin the series called the 'Testimony Countdown' in our church, several members protested. Within a few days I realized, in consequence, that I could not longer continue as an Adventist minister."
I would not want to be in your shoes (From a SDA Pastor)
"Dear Dale, I would not want to be in your shoes when your name comes up in the investigative judgement. Just because you no longer believe it, does not mean it does not exist... I pray that the Lord will have mercy on your soul and that you will wake up before it is too late. Mrs. White said that our worst enemys would come from within. To think that we may meet in court one day. You on the side of the beast power and me on the side of God. PS I still can't believe that a 4th generation SDA minister would try and make a living selling materials contrary to the Word of God is beyond belief."
I no longer believe in the importance of believing and keeping the SDA doctrines
"I'm considering leaving the SDA church and faith and joining another church as I no longer believe in the importance of believing and keeping the SDA doctrines (the Seventh-day Sabbath, Spirit of Prophecy/ Ellen White, Clean/unclean meats, vegetarianism, etc.)"
E.G. White was "ruler over our conscience"
"Dear Pastor; At the library, using their internet system, we discovered your address. We are X-SDAs and we have been searching for folks like ourselves…We find that we are unable to ‘fit’ into any churches that are local. Sometimes we wonder, ‘is there fellowship for people like us?’ We were so indoctrinated into the SDA church with their belief system that is has been extremely difficult just to accept what the Bible says and be ‘free’ of the wrong teachings. E. G. White was ‘ruler over our conscience’ for so long, that discovering the truth about her has been hard to bear. We feel ‘betrayed.’ I know others have broken away from the SDA church as well, but how can I find these people? Do you have any suggestions. Please help if you can."
Moving closer to the Lord, and concurrently farther from the Adventist church
Dale, I want to thank you for the positive difference you ministry is making in my life. I told my SDA pastor (who is unusually open and insightful) that I was moving closer to the Lord, and concurrently farther from the Adventist church. I value my rich Adventist heritage, but simply don't believe all the doctrine. I'm still growing.
God is leading me to a higher plane
Dale, I have spent time this weekend rereading parts of Sabbath in Crisis. It is
a book that has stimulated my thinking. I feel that God is leading me to a
higher plane, and I thank you for helping me on my journey.
One of the most spiritually enlightening books I have read
(Note: the author of this letter gave permission for it to be posted as it is)
"Some time ago, I called my friend in Ashland, Oregon, for Desmond Ford's address. I intended to write for any books he had written on The Sabbath. I knew that he is still a Sabbatarian and believed him to be the most reliable and trustworthy source of information on this subject. I wanted someone to assure me that the seventh-day Sabbath is the true Sabbath in spite of all that I was hearing to the contrary. My friend gave me his address, but also sent me a copy each of your two books, "Sabbath in Crisis" and "Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists" and encouraged me to read them first. My husband read them both right away, and ordered several copies of each to share with friends and family. I was busy at the time with a couple of Philip Yancey's books, "What's so Amazing about Grace" and "The Jesus I Never Knew." By the time I had finished, I was ready for "Sabbath in Crisis." It proved to be a good sequence for me. I have just completed Sabbath in Crisis and found it to be one of the most spiritually enlightening books I have read. It gave me my freedom. "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you FREE." (John 8:31,32.) It is fitting here to thank you for taking the time to write these books, thus giving all who read them with an open mind, devoid of prejudice, the benefit of your insight, research and study. Incidentally, my husband and I retired in early 1994 from health care administration in the Seventh-day Adventist system. We are both second and third generation Seventh-day Adventists respectively. We served the SDA organization in Africa and the United States for 42 years. We came to America in 1966 and naturalized in 1971. From childhood I have had my questions (and doubts), but never dared question the sincerity and wisdom of parents, teachers, leaders. We were both educated in the SDA system. Wearied and disenchanted, we stopped attending church in the mid 1980's and requested termination of membership in 1994. After floundering for many years, we were led last year first to the Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium (Baltimore), Maryland (about an hour's drive away) and later to Grace Community Church in Columbia, Maryland (about 20 minutes drive away). Both churches are members of the Willow Creek Association (Chicago). Both churches celebrate the two New Covenant ceremonies, baptism by immersion and The Lord's Supper. Both churches are seeker-sensitive, warm and friendly. Both churches have talented, genuine, and sincere Christian pastoral staff. How we wish we had found them many years ago! How different our lives would have been! In addition, we have had the opportunity to listen to numerous tapes by the pastors at Willow Creek Community Church (Seeds Tape Ministry). We are in the midst of a series by John Ortberg on Revelation...and what a revelation that series is to us. Philip Yancey's books, "What's so Amazing about Grace" and "The Jesus I Never Knew" have also helped us along the road to recovery in our spiritual lives. Almost daily I marvel that I was so blind to the truth of the gospel and the New Covenant for all those long years of my life. On a personal note, I so often think of the times my mother told me how she enjoyed the Apostle Paul's writings. I wonder if she understood Paul's gospel message, but kept her peace and silence. If only, all those years ago, I had asked her why and what she saw in Paul's writings. To me, like the book of Revelation, they were beyond my comprehension and therefore my appreciation. My dear father, on the other hand, dwelt heavily on the need to strive for perfection until his death at 88 years. He preached eloquent sermons. How different his sermons could have been had they focused as powerfully on the gospel messages of grace and love . . . gifts from a wonderful and loving Father and Savior. As you recognize in your book, "Sabbath in Crisis," such a change in lifestyle and religion is an enormous adjustment with a great deal of uncertainty, confusion and trauma, especially at our advanced age. Thank you again for these two books, which have put this upheaval into perspective for us. Fortunately, our two married sons are moving in the same direction with us. However, the rest of our family members are very uncomfortable with the direction our lives have taken. We both have siblings who have retired from church leadership. My parents were missionaries in Africa for their entire working lives of 40 years. My brother just retired after a church career that took to him to many foreign lands. My cousin just retired after serving as president of a division of the SDA church for the past decade! He is now busy on his third very scholarly book on the history of the Sabbath through the ages! So you can see that our family is completely steeped in Adventism. It has become evident to me that the heavy blanket of brainwashing, perpetuated through generations of Seventh-day Adventist theologians, has totally blinded the spiritual discernment of Seventh-day Adventist church members, keeping them in bondage and denying them the freedom that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. How much would have been accomplished by generations of missionaries, including my own, if the Seventh-day Adventist Church had focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant, rather than the 27 fundamental doctrines? How much easier the gospel on primitive minds! Seventh-day Adventists are predominant in parts of Africa. Had they focused on the gospel of Jesus, there may never have been a Rwanda tragedy! Thank you, again, for "Sabbath in Crisis" and The "Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists."
If their minds are open to the truth
"I truly appreciate your manner of presentation in the books I have read that you have written. Your books are written in a way that allows the reader to clearly understand the points you are making if their minds are open to the truth."
Found your books in the UK
"In the providence of God I have been contacting some UK Christian book distributors and I have located a Christian book mail order firm in England that stocks your two books and some other publications relating to the errors of Seventh-day Adventism. They are:
Penfold Book & Bible House Ltd.
Box 26, Bicester, Oxon,
OX6 0GL, England, U.K.
Tel: +44 (0) 1869 249574
Fax: +44 (0) 1869 244033
(Note: Thanks for the information)
The 7th day of the week is Sabbath
"Dale, I too, have some questions about Adventist beliefs. However, the Sabbath day is not one of them. Remember when the Israelites were wandering in the desert and God provided a double portion of manna on the day before Sabbath. God Himself showed the people which day was Sabbath. The Jewish people have not lost track of that day. The Bible does NOT instruct us to change the day. You offer one reference to make your point. The Bible (including New Testament passages) offers many references to support the 7th-day as Sabbath. Do some research on this in the history books, I believe you will be satisfied to learn that early Christians kept the same Sabbath that Jesus Himself kept. Don't you think that if the Sabbath were to be changed, Jesus would have given that instruction. He said, "I am Lord of the Sabbath." ....and He kept the 7th day. Whatever else the Seventh-day Adventists believe may possibly be wrong ...I am no authority on their beliefs ...but according to the 4th commandment and other Bible (including New Testament) scripture, the 7th day of the week is Sabbath. The only people who should be confused on this matter are those who have never been told, or never thought about it, or those who are just determined to keep the day they have always kept. It is easier to try to justify than to change ....I know, I had to come to terms with this very clear truth. It is not easy to change a belief we are comfortable with. But pleasing our Lord in complying with His will is far more important than my comfort."
(Note: The above letter was recieved by someone who had not yet read Sabbath in Crisis)