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Back to the Pioneers


Pr. Lloyd Grolimund

There is a call in Adventism for the Church to return to the doctrines of our pioneers. It’s called Historic Adventism. Those making the call are alarmed at the spiritual state of the existing Church and what they see as a paralysis in its mission and faith. They blame this on the doctrines the Church has left behind or changed. The call to Historic Adventism is gaining traction among some God-fearing people.

I am also alarmed at the spiritual state of Laodicea that has paralysed our Church into inertia. We are under pressure spiritually, and secularism has a stranglehold on us. From Pentecostal worship with flashing lights and beating drums, to a Church struggling financially and going backwards numerically, there seems to be plenty to worry about. The Church appears to be dying. The appeal to go back to Historic Adventism when the Church was alive, vital and growing is attractive.

But is that what we really want? The early Adventist Church was a developing movement. Our doctrines were in their infancy. The Second Coming, the health message, the sanctuary, the truth of the trinity, righteousness by faith, and even the Sabbath were only partially, if at all understood. God was taking a small group of people from different religious persuasions and was moulding them into a powerful movement whose mantra was to preach the Gospel. That didn’t happen instantly. It took decades. God is still developing us today – yes, even theologically! It’s called Present Truth!

We don’t base our faith and doctrines on the pioneers. Yes, we build on their lives and work. We thank God for their sacrifices. We pray for the same Spirit that transformed and led them to do the same for us. But what we believe is built on the solid rock of Scripture. We are Bible believing people! Everything we preach and teach comes trom the Word, not the pioneers. Rather than a call to Historic Adventism, it should be to the Bible

South Pacific Record, Opinion column, page 18, April 16 2011