B.B.BEACH FILES #3: WCC & EASTER WORSHIP–1997

B.B.BEACH (AND THE GEN. CONF.) DETERMINE THE BEST TIME TO CELEBRATE EASTER! –1997

In 1997, Bert B. Beach representing the General Conference of SDA met with ten other churches at a World Council of Churches assembly, where they worked out an agreement for all churches around the world to celebrate Easter on specific Sundays.     On May 10, 2000, the World Council of Churches issued a document titled “Towards a Common Date for Easter,” which includes the following statement:  Besides the work already done on baptism, eucharist and ministry, the churches need to address the renewal of preaching, ¦the recovery of the meaning of Sunday, and the search for a common celebration of Pascha (Easter) as ecumenical theological concerns”  World Council of Churches, Faith and Order, Towards a Common Date for Easter, item 3. Read this internet document: (Press control, then click: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/i-unity-the-church-and-its-mission/towards-a-common-date-for-easter/towards-a-common-date-for-easter.html#c10573

After viewing, send us your response.  One sincere Seventh-day Adventist who saw the above, reacted this way:

What is the Biblical response to all of this?  I know of another meeting that took place in the Czec Republic during August of last year, and another meeting that is scheduled for this coming August, 2007 with Adventist leaders in close communion and dialogue with ecumenical members.   How we can support them with our monies?  How can we evangelize on their behalf?

Another wrote:  If the brethren at Silver Springs would spend more time studying and sharing the Three Angel’s Message and less time holding conferences with “the image of the beast” they could hasten the day when the latter rain will fall.  Instead they are hastening the day when the false revival and explosion of spiritualism will sweep over the unsheltered churches of the land. I saw that B.B. Beach, the same man who gave the gold medal to the “beast power,” is STILL supervising these ecumenical conferences 30 years later.  May the Lord awaken him so that he can repent and seek forgiveness before he goes down to the grave with blood on his garments.

A third SDA has written: 

The name of any Seventh-day Adventist leader on such a document is difficult for any faithful church member to understand. What could a Seventh-day Adventist possibly contribute to a committee discussion intent on “the recovery of the meaning of Sunday and the search for a common celebration of Pascha (Easter)?”

Was Dr. Beach just an observer at this meeting? If so, why would he be listed as one of the committee members? The Seventh-day Adventist public has repeatedly been assured from official church sources that our denomination is not a member of the National or World Council of Churches. Why, then, do documents of this kind keep surfacing which seem to imply our active participation in such gatherings? Even if our status is only that of an observer, documents such as these clearly convey something beyond observation, which make the statements of our leaders look equivocal and lend credibility to the notion–however false–that our church has entered into official agreement with ecumenical bodies compromising our basic doctrines.” 

   

We believe the Biblical response is to CALL FOR REPENTANCE.  Below are the reasons why Bert B. Beach, a ring-leader in apostasy, needs to publicly repent, or be disfellowshipped: (We are not dealing with character, or motive, but a public action.)

  1) The resurrection of Christ is commemorated at each Baptism–a public memorial to one’s death to self and resurrection with Christ to newness of life.  See Romans 6:1-11.  This is the result of the everlasting gospel of the 1st Angel’s message that brings victory over sin!  The Bible memorial of the resurrection of Christ is not the celebration of a holiday called Easter, whose roots are in paganism.  Like Peter, we call on Br. Beach and the General Conference leaders who sponsored him, to Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 2:38.  It is obvious that Br. Beach is off the everlasting gospel of the 1st Angel’s Message, off the Bible New Covenant.

2) Br. Beach is working with individuals who represent their church organization. So, in reality, Br. Beach is dealing with church organizations, not individuals.  Br. Beach is working with church organizations that are a part of spiritual Babylon.  We can talk to individuals of any denomination.  They can, and should, be called out of corporate sin.  But what can you say to a church system that has already rejected truth?

It is obvious that Br. Beach has discarded the 2nd Angel’s Message that asks everyone who has experienced the gospel to, ‘Come out of her (the fallen Protestant churches), My people, lest ye be partakers of her sins.’  Rev. 18:4.

 3) Br. Beach is leading other fallen church systems (and the SDA church) to a unity of worship on Sunday.  These systems are known in the Bible as the beast and [in the near future] ‘the image of the beast.’  The 3rd Angel’s Message warns about worshipping the beast and his image lest they receive of the wrath of God–the seven last plagues.  It is obvious that Br. Beach is not standing on the 3rd Angel’s message.

“I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation.  I was shown three steps, the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  Said my accompanying angel, ‘Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages.  The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance.  The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.’  Early Writings, 259,260.

What is the firm platform of truth, the foundation of the church?  It is Jesus Christ in the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14:6-12.  This is an important fact to remember.

This work with the WCC is a massive betrayal of sacred trust.  A sin against God and His faithful people.   The true Seventh-day Adventist Church stands on the Three Angel’s Messages of Revelation 14:6-12:

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers.  To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world.  On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God.  They have been given a work of the most solemn import the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”  9 Testimonies, 19.

In this work with the World Council of Churches Br. Beach was not representing true Seventh-day Adventism.  If there is no public repentance, his membership in the Seventh-day Adventist church should be terminated.  The local elders of whatever church he is a member of, have the responsibility to plead with him to publicly repent, or take his name from the books.

But unfortunately, THIS IS NOT JUST A PUBLIC SIN by an individual, IT IS A CORPORATE SIN.

Br. Beach did not act alone. He was sent by, and represented, the General Conference of SDA.  The WCC lists it as an ecumenical body.  Therefore, it is our duty to call for the General Conference to publicly repent. If it does not, we know that the General Conference of SDA must approve of his action. Then we will know, too, whether it is on or off the firm platform of truth, and whether it represents true Seventh-day Adventism, or not.

Remember, the shaking is not in on out of a structure, but in or out of the truth.

“The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth and to sacrifice for God and His cause.”  Early Writings, 50.  This was written before there was any General Conference organization.

 

We call on B.B.Beach and the General Conference to publicly repent of their actions: 

1) Through the official church publication that communicates with church members the Review (formerly known as the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.)

2) By asking the WCC to remove their names from the above website and other official ecumenical documents.

There have been many such departures from true Seventh-day Adventism by both B.B.Beach and the General Conference of SDA leadership.  This is just the first step. There are many areas in the General Conference church structure where repentance and reform are needed.

(If there is no public repentance from the General Conference, we encourage individual Seventh-day Adventists to act as did the tribe of Levi in the Golden Calf apostasy.  Stand on the firm platform of the Three Angels’ Messages.  Give no countenance to those (the G.C.) who would unsettle the established faith of the body.  God will look on you with approbation. Early Writings, 259.)

Let this call to repentance not discourage anyone. Paul exhorts us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the [Seventh-day Adventist] saints. For there are certain crept in unawares. Jude 3. The Reformation has not ended, it will continue on till it is completed.

 

The Historical Importance of the Easter Question

In the second century the aims of the sun-worshiping emperors and those of the Alexandrian theologians ran parallel.  There was an ambitious scheme on foot to blend all religions into one of which the sun was to be the central object of adoration.  Speaking of the influence of pagan philosophy on early church writers, Schaff says, We can trace it even in St. Augustine, who confessed that it kindled in him an incredible fire.

  Approving in their hearts the conciliating attitude of the pagan emperors and the mass methods of Alexandria’s evangelism, the bishops of Rome decided to eclipse any public attraction which pagan festivals could offer.  Seated in the empire’s capital, from the height of their pedestal of influence, they determined to bring together Easter, a yearly festival, and Sunday, a weekly holiday sacred to the worship of the sun, to make the greatest church festival of the year.

  The controversy over Easter, which was to rage for centuries, now began.  God had ordained that the Passover of the Old Testament should be celebrated in the spring of the year on the fourteenth day of the first Bible month.  Heathenism in the centuries before Christ had a counterfeit yearly holiday celebrating the spring equinox of the sun.  It was called ‘Eostre’ from the Scandinavian word for the goddess of spring, from whence we get our word ‘Easter.’  Since the resurrection of Christ had occurred at the time of the Old Testament Passover, a custom developed of celebrating it yearly, though neither Christ nor the New Testament provided for it.  This rivaled the pagan spring festival.  However, the fourteenth day of the month of the Passover could fall, as now, on any day of the week.  The eastern churches celebrated the resurrection of Christ annually two days after the Passover feast.  They commemorated the resurrection on whatever day of the week the sixteenth day of the month fell.  This was in harmony with the way the Bible regulated the Old Testament Passover feast.

 In addition to their yearly spring festival at Eastertime, sun worshipers also had a weekly festival holiday.  As was previously pointed out, the first day of the week had widespread recognition as being sacred to the sun.  The bishop of Rome, seeking to outrival pagan pomp, assaulted those churches which celebrated Easter as a movable feast.  He determined to force East to come on the same day of the week each year, namely, Sunday.

  By this he would create a precedent which only a devout and scholarly opposition could expose.  By this he would appeal to the popular prejudices of his age, be they ever so incorrect.  By this he would claim to be the lord of the calendar, that instrument so indispensable to civilized nations.  By this he would assert the right to appoint church festivals and holy days.  By this he would confuse and perplex other church communions, more simple and scriptural than he.  Only those who have read carefully the history of the growth of papal power will ever know how powerfully the controversy concerning Easter served in the hands of the bishops of Rome.

 Victor I, the bishop of Rome, assembled provincial synods up and down the Mediterranean coasts to come to an agreement on the date of Easter.  Clement, at the head of the school of Alexandria, brought decision in favor of Rome’s attitude by publishing a summery of traditions he had collected in favor of Sunday observance.  Clement went further.  There is no record of a writer daring to call Sunday the Lord’s day before him.  This Clement did.  At the same time Victor proclaimed it to all the nations around the Mediterranean. He knew that the pagans would agree to a fixed yearly spring festival and that those Christians who were becoming worldly would do the same. Therefore, he issued his decree ordering the clergy everywhere to observe Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.  A lordly command issuing from one bishop over others was something new in the world.  Christian clergy, up to that time, had had their provincial synods.  Generally, they had followed the decrees obtained by a majority vote in these regional gatherings. Never before Victor I, had any bishop dared to pass over the head of the provincial synods to command other clergy to obey his decrees.  The shock was so astonishing and the resistance to it so pronounced that the historian Archibald Bower describes this assumption of power as the first essay of papal usurpation.

 The Church of the East answered the lordly requisition, declaring with great spirit and resolution that they would by no means depart from the custom handed down to them.  Then the thunders of excommunication began to roar. Victor, exasperated, broke communication with them, pronounced the clergy of the East unworthy of the name of brethren, and excluded them from all fellowship with the church at Rome.  Here was a gulf created between the eastern and the western churches, a gulf which widened as the bishop of Rome grew in power.  When Papas was elected as supreme head over the Assyrian communion, he found himself and his church anathematized, excommunicated.

The controversy over Easter, which was to rage for centuries now began.

[Taken from: Truth Triumphant, by Benjamin Wilkinson.]