14 November 2015

The Great Controversy: Ben Carson, Ellen G. White, and Seventh-day Adventism

Ben Carson has famously said that a Muslim who wishes to become president of the United States must "reject the tenets of Islam."

But what about members of his own church -- The Seventh-day Adventist church? Must they reject its doctrines in order to become president?

The SDA church was co-founded by Ellen G. White, who was its original leader and prophet. She is to Adventists what Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, and Muhammad are to Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Muslims, respectively (not respectfully). And her book, The Great Controversy, corresponds to Science and Health, the Book of Mormon, and the Quran. And it fully deserves to be among them, as one of the the worst books ever written.

I wish I had time to do a Skeptic's Annotated Great Controversy. But I don't. So I'll have to be satisfied with a short summary.

Fortunately, it's an easy book to summarize, even though it is nearly 700 pages long.

It turns out that it's mostly about Saturday.

Here's the story.
[The first half of the book is an anti-Catholic "history" of Christianity. The rest is supposed prophecy (beginning with #3 below).]

  1. The evil Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday (the seventh day) to Sunday.
    The papacy has attempted to change the law of God ... to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. ... Here the papal power openly sets itself above God. p. 446
  2. The Protestants went along with the change (and thereby became apostates).
    When the world and the Protestant churches accept a sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they ... bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome. p. 448
  3. The United States (the beast of Revelation with lamb-like horns) will begin to enforce the Sunday Sabbath and make everyone receive the mark of the beast on their hand and forehead.
    The United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. p. 579
  4. Those who observe the Sabbath on Saturday will be persecuted and put to death.
    As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday. ... It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated ... and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment ... to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. p. 615-616
  5. But before evil Catholics, apostate Protestants, and the United States can kill all of the Seventh-day Adventists, Jesus will return, raise the dead, slaughter everyone who doesn't observe the Saturday Sabbath, and take the SDAers to the City of God.
    Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. p. 641

    All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. p. 644

    At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth--consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. p. 657

  6. The only one to remain is Satan, who will walk to and fro on the desolate earth for 1000 years.
    For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth.... p. 660
  7. After Satan's thousand-year walk, Jesus will return again to the earth and raise the billions of wicked dead people that he killed 1000 years before (in #5).
    At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. ... He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death. p. 662
  8. Satan will try to rally the living dead to attack the City of God.
    Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. ... As the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. ... He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom. ... With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the City of God. p. 663-664
  9. But when Jesus appears, the ugly dead people chicken out.
    Now Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. p. 665

    The time has come for a last desperate struggle against the King of heaven. He rushes into the midst of his subjects and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His power is at an end. The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they turn upon them. p. 671-672

  10. God will then burn the living dead. Some will die quickly; others will suffer for many days.
    Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. ... Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. p. 663-664
  11. After the last resurrected dead person is finally dead, the Seventh-day Adventists live happily forever in the City of God, where no one sleeps and there is neither night nor need for candles.
    While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. ... In the City of God "there shall be no night." None will need or desire repose. ... "And they need no candle." p. 663-994
Okay. So that's it. That's what Seventh-day Adventists believe (along with some dietary restrictions).

Ben Carson believes it as well, or at least he claimed to in an April 5, 2013 interview with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. [For some reason, the interview was removed from the official SDA website, but it's still available (via the wayback machine) here.]

Here's what he said during the interview:

Adventist News Network: Are there ever any times when you feel it’s best to distinguish yourself from the Seventh-day Adventist Church and what it teaches?

Carson: No, I don’t.

In another interview (see the below video), Dr. Carson said,

I don't know what role the Lord has for me in all this. I do know, in looking at prophecy, that the United States will play a big role; that there has to be a return first to a religious awakening; and, more than likely, any persecution, particularly of the Sabbath, will come from the right, not from the left."

Someone should ask Dr. Carson if he believes in Ellen White's prophecy in The Great Controversy with regard to the "big role" that the United States will play. Specifically, is the United States the two-horned beast that speaks like a lion of Revelation 13:11?

If so, he should renounce that belief (along with the rest of White's "prophecy") before anyone should consider voting for him for president.

30 September 2015

The two faces of pope Francis

Well it was fun to imagine, but now we know the truth: Pope Francis is as anti-gay as Kim Davis.

During his visit to the U.S., the pope met secretly with Kim Davis, thanking her for her "courage" and telling her to "be strong."

Then the two hugged and promised to pray for each other.

I hope someone got a picture of that.

28 September 2015

Imagine that: Shakira sings "Imagine" for the pope and Mo Rocca does a reading at his mass

Here are the two things that most surprised me about Papa Pancho's visit.

Shakira introduced him to at the UN by singing John Lennon's "Imagine."

And Mo Rocca did a reading at the pope's mass at Madison Square Garden.

Everyone knows the lyrics to "Imagine", but in case you've forgotten, here are the first two verses:

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

It's one of my favorite songs, of course. But is it also one of the pope's?

But perhaps the pope didn't know what Shakira planned to sing, or couldn't do anything about it if he did.

There is no doubt about Mo Rocca's reading at mass, though. He was selected to do the reading; something that could not have happened without the pope's knowledge and approval.

So what can we conclude about all this?

Does the pope imagine there's no heaven or hell? Does he hope for a world without religion?

And does the pope support gay rights?

Probably not. But it's fun to imagine.

22 September 2015

Ben Carson is right: We should not elect Christians or Muslims (unless they renounce biblical and sharia laws)

Last Sunday on Meet the Press, Ben Carson said that he "absolutely would not" support a Muslim for President.

If you haven't seen it, here it is:

Yesterday, on Fox News he tried to clarify his view by saying:

This is America and we have a constitution. And we do not put people at the leadership of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the constitution. So if, for instance, you believe in a theocracy -- I don't care if you're a Christian -- if you're a Christian and you're running for president and you want to make us into a theocracy, I'm not going to support you. I'm not going to advocate you being the president.
I don't care what religion or faith someone belongs to, if they're willing to subjugate that to the American way and to our constitution, then I have no problem with that.

And I agree with Dr. Carson on that. We should not elect Christians or Muslims unless they renounce all biblical and sharia laws -- at least those that are contrary to our constitution (which is nearly all of them).

03 September 2015

Kim Davis's marriage to her former husband is an "abomination before the Lord."

As everyone knows by now, Kim Davis is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Rowan County, Kentucky.

It is also well known that she has been married four times and divorced three times, thereby breaking two of Jesus's commandments.

If a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Mark 10:12

Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 5:32

But there is another fact that isn't as well known: Kim Davis's current husband is one of her former husbands, which means that her current marriage is an "abomination before the Lord."
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 24:1-4

The Bible says nothing about same-sex marriage.* But it clearly says that Kim Davis's current marriage is an abomination to God. Maybe she should rescind her own marriage license, rather than refuse to give them to others.

* It just says that sex between males is an abomination.** I wonder which abomination is worse to the god of the Bible? Kim Davis's marriage or sex between males?
**And that Bible-believers should kill men who have sex with men. (Rather than just refuse to give them marriage licenses.)