Adventist Church Fined for trying to dismiss a Begotten Son Pastor

Posted Aug 23, 2016 by Louis Hofmeyr in Testimonies and Stories Hits: 2,113

[I want to thank Pr Hofmeyr for sharing his testimony with us. How sad to see men put on trial in this manner without due process or a willingness to learn. Let us pray that those who have taken these actions against Pr Hofmeyr will repent and coming into the light that they also may find comfort and grace in the begotten Son of God. Let us also pray for Pr Hofmeyr as he follows his new calling in the health ministry - Adrian Ebens]

I (Louis Hofmeyr) was the Champion Estate Winemaker of the largest wine producing area in South Africa.  I enjoyed my career and my exemplary life in society with many good friends.  I was introduced  to the SDA biblical teachings and resigned my work to keep the Sabbath (baptised in 1990) and studied at home.  I went to Helderberg College to learn more about the Bible, and was asked to work as pastor end of 1993, later I completed a MPTh degree at the Adventist Institute of Advanced Studies.  While a SDA pastor I also complete a MPH degree with Loma Linda University.

A member asked me to look at a presentation on the internet called “The Truth of the Godhead.”  After further studies I discovered that EG White and the Pioneers of the SDA church became non-trinitarian and taught it with all the other truths they proclaimed.  With my trinitarian mindset it was difficult to grasp but later I understood that Jesus is really the Son of God, and I read the Bible with an unknown vigour and interest.  The book:  “The Living Voice of the Lord's Witnesses” was also helpful.

I shared with my fellow pastors the official “Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the Seventh-day Adventist” first published in 1872 during the lifetime of EG White and the Pioneers and that they were changed by vote at the 1980 Dallas GC Session to a Trinity belief.  They said we must hold to whatever the church says today.

We, pastors, were taken on a tour to Israel (2014) and had to provide our own lunch.  The Conference said they would take all pastors to lunch at a fish restaurant on Sabbath.  I spoke to some who I believed were the most earnest in obeying God to keep the Sabbath holy, but I was the only person who did not go.  I believe one person did not eat fish because he ate there before and the fish was awful.  They also took a boat trip, went on conducted tours and bus rides that Sabbath.  I am always surprised at pastors meetings, how little regard they have for the Sabbath and yet they preach earnestly about the Sabbath.

Some state Sunday keeping is scriptural, but it is openly acknowledged that the trinity is not scriptural, this by the Roman Catholics, Protestants, SDA's and secular sources.  If we so easily accept the trinity and disregard the Sabbath without any pressure, I cannot see how we will remain faithful to the Sabbath command under pressure.  “The Church of God” got new leaders, and changed from Sabbath to Sunday worship.

The president of my Conference had cases pending against him and chaired a meeting (January 2015) in which he accused me of having new light. I asked what this may be (I made sure to quote and read official church statement when questioned so I cannot be accused falsely), but no answer could be given.  The president was found guilty of charges against him and removed from office; he was left to focus on his uncompleted work (the accusation against me was part of his work). 

The Conference president (in meeting that he chaired to condemn me) claimed the Fundamental Beliefs is a creed that I must subscribe to.  I was called to a disciplinary hearing (October 2015) and two days were spent to find evidence against me.  In the disciplinary meeting I refuted the charge that we have a creed with evidence from official church material that states we believe the Bible is our only creed to which all doctrine and teaching must be tested; and that the highest authority within our church is the writings of E.G. White, who also substantiates this. In addition I read:  “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority--not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain 'Thus saith the Lord' in its support.”  {GC 595.1}.  Five days later, without any evidence, I received an email that pronounced me guilty.

Four days before the end of October I received an email stating my service with the Conference terminates the end of October (on Sabbath).  That Sabbath at Church, we, as a family, heard the announcement from the pastor, appointed by the Conference, that on recommendation of the Conference, the church will call a business meeting to remove my name from membership.  Dr Staples, amongst others, wrote a letter to object and the Conference came to officially apologise for the action.

When your heart shrinks from the trying ordeal, remember that your Redeemer liveth to make intercession for you.  {DA 659.2}

I did not understand how guilt can be pronounced without evidence and was ready to leave it at that.  The Conference HR had told me before that I should not leave matters, but I must clear my name.  I asked a lawyer to explain the Conference letter and verdict to me.  The lawyer could not believe a church organization would do something like this and stated that a court must deal with the injustice.

Before the court started, the Union advocate and Conference offered me a sum of money or re-employment on conditions (that the court later told me was totally illegal and would therefore not be binding), yet still claiming that I am guilty.  I asked what I am guilty of, but they could not tell me. I therefore declined to accept their offer.  The court proceedings started and I was told the maximum penalty an employer can get is a six digit figure.  The Union lawyer and the Conference officials offered this maximum amount the court could punish an organization with, which I accepted and they later paid. 

Justice at last prevailed and the Conference paid the severest amount possible, yet persisting in their course.  I did not press for re-employment; God has called me to natural health work and presently I am doing a three year course to qualify to work here or internationally.

The Conference again told my church that they should call a business meeting to discipline me and the Conference president and officials came to chair the meeting in April 2016.  The church did not call a meeting and the Conference officials came, but had to leave without any action taken against me.

Many heard of my situation. This caused SDA members in my district and elsewhere to study and realize that Jesus is truly the Son of God.  Those who studied in turn shared with others who also accept Jesus as the Son.

In 1980 the church voted to change our 1872 fundamental principles, to accept the trinity that we denounced during the time of EG White.

This has impacted our faith:

THE CENTER       

                BIBLICAL

“Christ is the center of all true doctrine. All true religion is found in His word and in nature. He is the One in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered; and the teacher who learns from Him finds a safe anchorage.”  {E.G. White. CT 453.3}

    “They are Christians in name only. The central point of their faith is not a crucified and risen Saviour, who brings to all that receive him the privilege of being sons and daughters of God.”  {E.G. White. YI, July 7, 1898 par. 6}

  

                TRINITY

“The Handbook for Today’s Catholic” reads on page 11, “The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church.”

“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life.” {Catechism of the Catholic Church, http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p2.htm#II}

“Seventh-Day Adventists agree with many Catholic doctrines, including the Trinity…By virtue of their …belief …in the doctrine of the Trinity, Seventh-Day Adventists are both ontologically and theologically Christians.”   {Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004     www.catholic.com}

Handbook of SDA Theology, Vol 12 (Commentary Reference Series), 2000, p.138:            

“Within the procedural area, the Trinitarian Godhead of Scripture functions as the center of theology.”

Handbook of SDA Theology, Vol 12 (Commentary Reference Series), 2000, p.120:            

“The doctrine of the Trinity at the very center of the doctrine of God in particular and of Christian theology in general, is no exception.”

 

THE ROOT                           

                BIBLICAL

 The storm is coming, the storm that will try every man's faith of what sort it is. Believers must now be firmly rooted in Christ or else they will be led astray by some phase of error.--E.G. White. Ev 361, 362 (1905).  {LDE 64.3}

Rom 15:12  “And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.”

Dt 29:18  “Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go [and] serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;”

 

                TRINITY

The Catechism states, “From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church’s living faith …”   {New Catholic Catechism. p66}

Biblical Research Institute & Andrews University Seminary Studies. Volume 8, 1970, No. 1:

“The Mystery of the Trinity” “The doctrine of the Trinity … lies at the root of every man’s theology and affects his whole creed and practice.”

 

THE TRUE FOUNDATION                              

                BIBLICAL

"But whom say ye that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."  {DA 411}

“The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer's faith. It is that which Christ Himself has declared to be eternal life.” {E.G. White. DA 412}

“The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail. . . . The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head.”  {E.G. White. FLB 310.2}

"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  {E.G. White. AA 596.2}

     His expression, "this rock," applied to himself as the foundation of the Christian church. In Isaiah 28:16, the same reference is made: "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." It is the same stone to which reference is made in Luke 20:17, 18: "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Also in Mark 12:10, 11: "And have ye not read this scripture, The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?"  {E.G. White. 2SP 272.3}

“Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome.”  {E.G. White. SR 332.1}

 

                TRINITY

Handbook of SDA Theology, Vol 12 (Commentary Reference Series), 2000, p.105. Doctrine of God. Fernando L Canale.:   “The doctrine of God is foundational to Christian theology, since God relates to everything and everything is related to Him.”  (Bear in mind this refers to the trinitarian doctrine of God as foundational)

 

SALVATION       

                BIBLICAL

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.   :11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  :12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

     "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation." On this stone, laid by the Lord, there would have arisen no building had not the work of redemption been carried on after the Lord's prescribed plan. And, altho the plan of salvation was carried forward according to the plan ordained from the foundation of the earth, yet men and women will not be saved unless they themselves exercise faith, and build on the true foundation, … . {E.G. White. ST, February 14, 1900 par. 5}

“That which Satan has led men to do in the past, he will if possible lead them to do again. The early church was deceived by the enemy of God and man, and apostasy was brought into the ranks of those who professed to love God; and today, unless the people of God awake out of sleep, they will be taken unawares by the devices of Satan.” {E.G. White. RH, November 22, 1892 par. 4}

 

                TRINITY

Rome:  "Q. Do you observe other necessary truths as taught by the Church, not clearly laid down in Scripture?

A. The doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine the knowledge of which is certainly necessary to salvation, is not explicitly and evidently laid down in Scripture, in the Protestant sense of private interpretation.”

{Review & Herald, August 22, 1854}

New SDA material:  “... the only way for us to be saved is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and accept the Holy Trinity!”  (the bold print is in the original).   {What about the Trinity?  By Jim Pinkoski.  Published by Amazing Facts Inc. 2007. page 16.  Sold and promoted in SDA bookshops}

 

                                                                We got a Trinity hymnal in 1985:

Richard Rice, as professor at Loma Linda University, says :

“One of the church’s most significant liturgical sources also points to a doctrinal transition. ... The 1985 publication also adds no fewer than ten new hymns containing straightforward Trinitarian language.”

“Hymn No. 471 (Grant Us Your Peace) All the verses of this hymn are virtually identical to the hymn sheet handed out in the Vatican Square when the Pope lectures the assembled crowd. The four verses of Catholicism in the Hymnal are identical in four languages, Latin, English, French, and Spanish. The English states: Father, grant us, grant us Your peace; Oh, loving Father, grant us Your peace. Grant us, grant us peace; Grant us, grant us, grant us Your peace. Grant us, grant us peace; Loving Father, grant us Your peace. In four different languages, thousands of faithful Catholics, with their eyes fixed on their holy father standing in the distant window, intone their worshipful prayer to him. Consider the Latin version of what they tell him, as it is written in our new SDA Hymnal. Dona nobis pacem, pacem; Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. This same Latin phrase is in a Catholic mass. (Did not Jesus say not to use vain repetitions?).” { www.temcat.com}

Catholic hymn in honour of Papacy, SDA hymnal: No. 471 Grant Us Your Peace - Dona Nobis Pacem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dona_Nobis_Pacem_%28canon%29  :

"Dona Nobis Pacem" (Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈdona ˈnɔbis ˈpatʃɛm]) is a song with Latin text, often sung as a canon. The words, which mean "Grant us peace", come from the Latin Mass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dona_nobis_pacem :   Dona nobis pacem (Latin for "Grant us peace") is a phrase in the Agnus Dei section of the Roman Catholic mass.

As we study my prayer for us is:

  2John 1:3  “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”