Thursday, October 11, 2007

Six Questions With . . . Robert Wieland

Robert J. Wieland is a retired missionary and an ordained minister living in California. He has served the church in varying capacities for over 50 years. Born into a Lutheran home, he discovered the Sabbath truth while attending Sunday School at a Presbyterian church when he was in High School. After attending Southern Junior College for two years, he had to withdraw when he could not pay his tuition. He later went on to attend Washington Missionary College, and it was there that he discovered the beauty of the gospel by reading The Glad Tidings, by E. J. Waggoner. His love for these truths met with opposition, and he was told that there was no place “in the work” for him. As a result, he colporteured for a short time, with little success, and it was then that the General Conference publishing director helped him eventually find a position pastoring a small church. From there, he went on to become a missionary in Africa. In the 1950’s, he, along with Donald K. Short, first started to raise the General Conference’s consciousness about the church’s rejection of the message of Righteousness by Faith, as proclaimed by E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since then, Wieland and Short (who is now deceased) have continued to proclaim this message, ultimately publishing the book 1888 Re-Examined in 1987. In addition to this book, he has also published over 20 other books, including Corporate Repentance, In Search of the Cross, and Grace on Trial. Now 92, he is still as hopeful as ever that the Lord will return during his lifetime.

1. For the last 50+ years, you and the late Donald Short have been promoting the 1888 message and calling for a corporate repentance for the church's rejection of the message. What has changed since you first began?

[I] must make [it] plain, DKS [Donald K. Short] and I do not "call for denominational repentance"; we have said that the Laodicean message describes our denominational history, and verse 19 is the Lord Jesus Himself calling for corporate and denominational repentance. Over a hundred times Ellen White has said that "we" in a corporate sense brought on our record denominationally the sin of "insulting" the Holy Spirit and rejecting Christ "just like the Jews" and the guilt "in a great degree" of withholding the message from our people and from the world. The prime issue: is this true? Arthur L White led the General Conference personnel to believe that as leadership, "we" accepted the message and we have it as our firm possession, and "we" have been proclaiming the Loud Cry message intact ever since. We are "in need of nothing."

Has anything changed in half a century? Yes, thousands of people around the world have a rudimentary knowledge now of the significance of our SDA history. They can now pray intelligently and are better equipped to meet the issues of the last days. Anyone who wants to learn about the story of the latter rain and the loud cry beginning among us can find information readily available.

2. In what way(s) are many Adventists guilty of "Baal worship" today?

Only unconsciously. But that was the case with the people also in the days of Elijah—apostasy had come on them gradually, and Elijah understood. Ellen White recognized that the rejection of the message in 1888 would make possible deception into a counterfeit. She recognized in Jones and Waggoner's message the fulfillment of the prophecy of the coming of Elijah: before the great and terrible day of the Lord. Baal worship is the subtle deception of the worship of self disguised as the worship of Christ. The widespread adulation of people and leaders is evidence.

3. What has been the general attitude toward you in the past few years among the church governing body?

A sincere effort was made by a former General Conference president over a decade ago to investigate the 1888 history and message (the "Primacy of the Gospel Committee"). The chairman at first showed a keen interest and seemed to be understanding; then when the president had to resign, the opponents took over the committee. The original agreement was that if the committee should end in disagreement, both sides would make a report to be published by the General Conference. But only one was published.

4. According to your understanding, what is the main idea of the 1888 message that the church finds so repulsive?

The ultimate answer: the idea of overcoming sin per se, and thus preparing to honor Christ at the close of probation. The 1888 idea of the cleansing of the sanctuary is misrepresented as the false doctrine of "perfectionism."

5. At this late stage in your life, do you think that Christ will return while you're still alive?

I am in my 92nd year; I cherish the same faith in the nearness of the Lord's return as I held when I was baptized at the age of 12—I thought the Lord would come so soon that I would not be able to finish high school. This is what the Bible speaks of as "the blessed hope." I cherish it today. I understand that the Lord Jesus Himself wants to come; the ongoing misery in the world weighs on His heart, He longs to put an end to sin and cruelty. But He cannot act unilaterally because He has taken upon His sinless nature our sinful nature and has become forever one of the human race. The original dictum is still true, "it is not good that the man should be alone," and that applies to Jesus as the Son of God and now the Son of man. He must have "an help meet," a bride who can understand Him and sympathize with Him. It is she, not He, who has delayed "the marriage of the Lamb." The agenda before the church now is to grow up out of our spiritual infancy, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, prepared to stand at His side as a bride stands at the side of her husband whom she has learned to know and to appreciate for what he is. She gives him her heart.

In order for this development to take place it is necessary that the church learn to "comprehend" the length, breadth, depth, and height of the love (agape) of Christ. The latter rain and the loud cry are not emotional excitement, but a message, the ultimate one of Christ and Him crucified. The church at present does not comprehend what Christ accomplished by His sacrifice on the cross. The Sunday-keeping Evangelical understanding has gradually and unconsciously absorbed our attention. The "third angel's message in verity" will be Christ and Him crucified in its ultra high fidelity reality of truth.

6. Why hasn't Christ returned yet?

The "most precious message" that "the Lord in His great mercy sent" to prepare a people for Christ's coming has been kept from the church and from the world "in a great degree." He dares not come until His people are ready; otherwise they would perish by the brightness of His coming.

Be of good courage in the Lord. He will bless your work; let us trust Him. Even if He permits you to meet opposition. Hang on. Please keep me personally in the background as much as you can. The ultimate blessing to come on the church must not be of a personal nature. Self must forever be out of sight.


Dingo said...

someone else believes? and posts? It was beginning to feel pretty chilly out here. Teach the most precious message in some churches and all _____ breaks loose.

Shawn Brace said...

Keep the faith, Dingo!

Does your name indicate you are from Australia??

Dingo said...

Actually, it's from my pet dingo, Hazy. I got her while taking care of my terminally ill mom 7 years ago and she is really a mixed comforter.
could you please pray for our pastor, Earl Peters? He's taking a real beating for the message right now.

Shawn Brace said...

Wow, a pet dingo, huh! That is crazy. I have never heard of that. That's pretty cool, though.

I will certainly keep your pastor in my prayers. God bless you!

Dingo said...

Thanks! A couple of papers you might be interested in - "In search of the GUT (the Unpardonable Sin in the Light of the Gospel) and "Born Forgiven (the Unpardonable sin in the writings of ellen G. White). they were written by K. M. Duncan and E.D. Peters and were presented at Andrews university a couple of years ago. Good exploration of why people are lost in spite of the gospel's legal justification.

Rusty Buckett said...

Great article on the Unbreakable man himself...More...give us more!

BibleTruth77 said...

Righteousness by Faith is a wonderful Biblical truth unfortunately this message is being used to teach that obediance to the law of God won't affect our salvation. Lucifer's lie in Eden was that you can break Gods law and not surely die. This is the same lie being preached in the pulpits today.

While we are justified by our faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice we have the ability as free moral agents to turn away from Christ and choose evil. Eternal life will be given to thoes who maintain their relationship with Christ by abiding in his love which is walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.

The 5 lies being used to destroy the Adventist church are.
1) Sin is a condition and not a choice.
2)Sin can not be overcome while on this earth due to our sinful nature.
3) Christ had a special nature a special advantage over us.
4) Salvation is by faith only...obediance to Gods Commandments are not necessary.
5) All Future sins are already forgiven. No final attonment.
6) The Law was nailed to the cross.

These lies have laid the foundation by the deciever to make void the Sabbath in the last days.

Ray Foster said...

Great questions and great answers! I believe that He is able to complete the work He has started in me and is able to present me faultless before presence of His glory - with exceeding joy Jude 24.
This is the harvest time. We are all maturing into the likeness of the master we have chosen. At the time of the harvest all will be fully mature.
Thank you for having a site that promotes the truth as it is in Jesus.