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Comments on the “Daily” and “Paganism” by Steve Wohlberg


“The Daily”:

A Warning Against Distraction, Diversion
and Division Among Seventh-Day Adventists


By Steve Wohlberg


This short paper has been written because “the daily” (Daniel 8:12) is being discussed in my church. After carefully reading articles on both sides of the issue, I have come to these compelling conclusions.

The “Daily” Controversy in the 1840s:

First, Ellen White wrote:

Then I saw in relation to the "daily" (Daniel 8:12) that the word "sacrifice" was supplied by man's wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those [our early Adventist pioneers] who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the "daily"; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Early Writings, p. 74

From what I have read, this quote is now being interpreted in two ways: 1) That our pioneers were absolutely “correct” about “the daily” itself, or 2) That our pioneers merely had “the correct view … that the word sacrifice … does not belong to the text.” Either way, the context seems to suggest that the “other views” Ellen White was primarily concerned about led to “the great error of believing” that it was people’s “duty to go to Old Jerusalem” (p. 75) where the Jewish sacrifices would supposedly be resumed. EGW wrote that “Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing” [about going to Old Jerusalem] and that “darkness and confusion followed” when these “other views” were promoted right after 1844.

The “Daily” Controversy in the early 1900s:

Most Adventists for about 60 years believed that our pioneers where correct about the “daily” itself. But then in the early 1900s A.G. Daniells (and some others) developed a great burden to promote a different view. Many resisted this, and in their counter arguments they often quoted Early Writings p. 74 to defend the early pioneer position. Because A.G. Daniels was our GC President, great controversy resulted. What did Ellen White have to say? Notice carefully.

First, addressing those holding the pioneer view, she wrote:

I have words to speak to my brethren east and west, north and south. I request that my writings shall not be used as the leading argument to settle questions over which there is now so much controversy. I entreat of Elders H, I, J, and others of our leading brethren [holders of the pioneer position], that they make no reference to my writings to sustain their views of "the daily.” 1 Selected Messages, 164.

Thus it is clear that EGW did not merely have counsel for A.G. Daniels and his group, but also for those holding the pioneer view. To them, she wrote that they should make “no reference” to her writings (such as Early Writings, 75, quoted above) so sustain their position.

Next, addressing A.G. Daniells and those promoting his view, she wrote:

It has been presented to me that this is not a subject of vital importance. I am instructed that our brethren are making a mistake in magnifying the importance of the difference in the views that are held…The true meaning of "the daily" is not to be made a test question…I have had no instruction on the point under discussion, and I see no need for the controversy. Regarding this matter under present conditions, silence is eloquence.  The enemy of our work is pleased when A SUBJECT OF MINOR IMPORTANCE [emphasis added] can be used to divert the minds of our brethren from the great questions that should be the burden of our message. As this is not a test question, I entreat of my brethren that they shall not allow the enemy to triumph by having it treated as such. 1 Selected Messages, 164.

Concerning “Brother Daniells” himself she wrote:

Brother Daniells, whose mind the enemy was working… and Elder Prescott's mind were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven. Satan's work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth…To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence. Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, p. 17

Addressing both sides she wrote,

The subject of "the daily" should not call forth such movements as have been made. As a result of the way this subject has been handled by men on both sides of the question, controversy has arisen and confusion has resulted…Let all contention cease. At such a time silence is eloquence.  

The duty of God's servants at this time is to preach the Word in the cities. Christ came from the heavenly courts to this earth in order to save souls and we, as almoners of His grace, need to impart to the inhabitants of the great cities a knowledge of His saving truth. I Selected Messages, 168.

Press together, press together. Let every difference be buried. Our work now is to devote all our physical and brain-nerve power to put these differences out of the way, and all harmonize.  Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, p. 18

Conclusion about the “Daily” Controversy Today:

  1. Ellen White was strongly opposed to any major controversy over “the daily” in our churches.
  2. She was also strongly opposed to the apparently common habit of using her writings as “the leading argument” to defend one particular view. 
  3. Concerning “the daily” itself, she “had no instruction on the point under discussion.” This strongly suggests that her Early Writings 74 statement was not intended to promote exactly what “the daily” was, but rather to stress, as she stated, that the pioneers were “correct in their view…that the word sacrifice…[did] not belong to the text.”
  4. A.G. Daniell’s and company were being worked by Satan to create unnecessary controversy.
  5. The subject of “the daily” itself is “NOT a test question,” is “A SUBJECT OF MINOR IMPORTANCE,” and was cunningly being used by “THE ENEMY OF OUR WORK…to DIVERT the minds of our brethren from the great questions that should be the burden of our message.” Treating it “as a test question” would “ALLOW THE ENEMY TO TRIUMPH” [emphasis added].
  6. We should defeat the devil, “press together,” and use “all our physical and brain-nerve power to put these differences out of the way.”  They should “be buried.”
  7. Instead, our time should be devoted “to the great questions that should be the burden of our message” (the Three Angel’s Messages) and to evangelizing “the inhabitants of the great cities” with the gospel of “His grace” and with “His saving truth.”

Let’s follow this inspired counsel.

One subject of emulation must swallow up all others–who will most nearly resemble Christ in character? who will most entirely hide self in Jesus?  6T, 42

The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel. 6T, 19

October 21 2011 | The "Daily" | Comments Off