From time to time, men have arisen in our ranks with a message. But there were earmarks in their conduct and/or in their message that were as red flags which should have been a warning. Other men arose whose deportment and message were both beneficial. Yet, as we view the past century, we find that, repeatedly, each new generation of our people who has come onto the scene of action has not learned from the mistakes of the preceding one.

Let history teach you. He who will not be taught by the past is condemned to repeat it. Learn the lessons that others before you have failed to learn.





Dudley Mervin Canright (1840-1919) was at one time one of our outstanding evangelists. He had a way with words, and could both speak eloquently and place powerful metaphoric pictures in his written articles. Yet he was a weak man because he was vain and conceited. Ever concerned with what people thought of him, and how he could rise to a higher position in the estimation of the public, D.M. Canright was ripe for takeover by Satan,

On a number of occasions Ellen White pled with the man to change. You will find some of her counsel in the Testimonies (for example: 3T 304-329; 4T 277-278, 280-281, 297; 5T 516-520, 571-573, 621-628; 25M 162-170). But, each time, he only hardened his heart. Several times before his final separation from our people, he left the work.

On one occasion, he complained to a younger worker how he, Canright could have been a great orator in the world if he did not have to represent the Adventists and their unpopular teachings. Startled, the young worker replied that Canright was only a mouthpiece for God, and if he ever left our Bible/Spirit of Prophecy messages he would become a broken man.

Finally, in February 1887, Canright resigned for the last time. In his letter to Ellen White, he triumphantly told her he was taking his wife and children with him. The Baptists quickly ordained him as pastor of the Baptist Church in Otsego, Michigan, where he made his home. But he quit within a year after quarreling with the church members.

He spent the rest of his life writing attacks on Ellen White and our historic beliefs. One degree of misery after another came to him in the years to come, until he stumbled around lame, with a hole in one socket where an eye had formerly been. (A fairly lengthy biography of Canright, is on this website.)

  John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) was an egotistical man who brooked no interference. Eventually he imagined himself to be smart enough to invent a great new religion. But when Elder William Spicer (later General Conference president, and earlier our first leader in India) told Kellogg he had not invented anything new that he was just teaching Hindu pantheism Kellogg refused to listen. (Alpha of Apostasy Part 1-6 [DH-251-256] contains a lengthy biography of Kellogg. It is now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook.)

John Kellogg thought he had devised a new religion. The problem is that when a man is proud, he is regularly letting devils talk to him. Satan had given Kellogg the same theories he had given to pagans in a number of other lands and times. Do not become a follower of a proud man. In the process of destroying himself, he will take his followers with him. The Kellogg pantheism crisis peaked around the years 19021903. The Ballenger crisis occurred not long afterward.

  Albion Fox Ballenger (1861-1921) thought he could improve on the Spirit of Prophecy. While serving in England as a denominational pastor, he invented a different and self-contradictory scheme of doctrinal beliefs. Bold enough to think he could come up with better religious views than any before his time, Ballenger was also arrogant enough to laugh when Ellen White tried repeatedly to counsel with him by mail.

The crisis came in 1905, but the denomination weathered the storm. After leaving the church, Ballenger preached and wrote publications, in an effort to separate people from the Spirit of Prophecy and our historic beliefs. (See our Alpha of Apostasy-Part 1-6 [DH-251-256] for a biographical account of Ballenger, the 1905 crisis. and his later life. This is now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook.)

  Then there was Alonzo T. Jones (1850-1923). Learning the sweet message of Christ our forgiving, enabling righteousness from E. J. Waggoner. Jones, always a powerful speaker. trumpeted it everywhere. But, although he had the right message, it was not firmly enough planted in his own heart. In the mid-1890s. his haughty traits of character began to reveal themselves. He became a man who was eager for high positions and overbearing with subordinates.

After resigning as president of the California Conference in 1903, Jones stopped by Elmshaven, at Ellen White's request, to see her. She pled with him not to unite with Kellogg, but the written transcription of that meeting (which the present writer has read) reveals Jones by that time to have been a sarcastic, self-confident man. Headstrong, determined to have his own way, Jones went to Battle Creek and became one of J.H. Kellogg's co-workers. Ellen White predicted Kellogg would take control of him, and exactly that occurred. Jones was ruined. later, he sided with Ballenger, and became one of his co-writers. When Ballenger died in August 1921, Jones wrote a stirring obituary to the greatness of the man who had defied Ellen White and those who supported her positions. (See above Kellogg and Ballenger biographical sources for additional information.)

Yet Jones' fall need not have occurred. Both Kellogg and Ballenger were openly arrogant. That should have provided Jones with a clear danger signal not to become one of their supporters.

Having by their strong conceit yoked up with Satan, arrogant men are able to exert a hypnotic control over minds willing to yield to them. Refusing to be warned by Ellen White, Jones was destroyed. Kellogg first, and then, Ballenger turned him fully against the Spirit of Prophecy. That sealed his doom.

  Louis Richard Conradi (1856-1939) was one of our leading workers in Germany. Few men in our denomination have been more earnest and zealous in trying to build up the church in difficult places. He was often pursued by the police, and was arrested once. He was expelled from Romania, Turkey, and Hungary because of his missionary activities. Conradi had unusual strength of character, but, unfortunately. he was also proud.

When he learned that a German translation of certain denominational books were to be published on the continent, he had the audacity to try to change them to agree with his own ideas.

Filled with pride, he determined to resist the Spirit of Prophecy and said he was going to leave the denomination --and, when he did, he boasted he would take all the Adventists of Germany with him. When, in 1932, he did leave, relatively few believers followed him out.

  In this study, we are briefly surveying the lives of several leading men who have arisen in our ranks over the past century. Now we come to a man who was not proud, who was not attacking the Spirit of Prophecy or our historic beliefs, but was only trying to point the people back to them.

In the early 1930s, a young man named Everett Rogers was the lay pastor or local elder of a small congregation in western Washington State. He had just come across a little book by the name of Christ Our Righteousness. It had been written by A.G. Daniells. But first, we should turn our attention to that book:

After his retirement in May 1922, after having served as General Conference president for 21 years. Elder Arthur G. Daniells (1858-1935) had time to think about the past. He recalled how he had rejected Ellen White's call for him to circulate the anti-meat pledge among our people. He thought again about the 1888 crisis and how it had never been resolved. He thought back over the Kellogg crisis and the Ballenger crisis. He reminisced on the fires at Battle Creek and the move to Washington, D.C. And then, incredibly, after his retirement, Elder Daniells experienced something of a reconversion experience. The rush and hurry of worldwide presidency was past and Daniells took time to make his peace with God and return to the Spirit of Prophecy. Then he wrote the books, Christ Our Righteousness and The Abiding Gift of Prophecy, both very good books.

Because a former General Conference president had prepared this Spirit of Prophecy compilation, it was kept in stock in our bookstores and, over the years, has helped many people.

When Everett Rogers began reading Daniell's book, Christ Our Righteousness, he was thunderstruck at what he found. The Spirit of Prophecy and Bible quotations were fabulous. Soon after, he began preaching the truths in that book in his local church at Enemclaw.

His message was simple, to the point, and powerful. I met Everett at his home in Boulder, Colorado, in the spring of 1965. He was a sincere, godly Christian man. To my knowledge, there was no error in Everett's basic message. It was just old-fashioned Righteousness by Faith, the kind so clearly explained in such books as Steps to Christ, Mount of Blessing, Christ's Object Lessons, and Desire of Ages. It is faith in Jesus Christ to forgave our past and enabled us to obey His Father in the present. He did not teach instantaneous removal of sin, nor did he downgrade obedience to God's law and call that "righteousness."

But when the conference folk heard about it, they were disconcerted that laymen over at the Enemclaw Church were making such a big issue out of religion. Besides, all this had started without being authorized by the conference leaders. The situation reminds us of the religious leaders, when they were instructed by shepherds and wise men (Desire of Ages, pages 62-63). Setting their faces against the preaching at Enemclaw, the order was issued that the preaching stop. Yet there was nothing wrong with the Preaching; it was simply Righteousness by Forgiving, Enabling Faith.

For their part, over at Enemclaw, the church members could not understand what was wrong at the conference office. Why were they so upset? But, then, they were told to stop preaching about the love and grace of Jesus or be shut out. After praying about the matter earnestly, they said they could not stop.

So the Enemclaw Church was cast out There had been no fanaticism, no error, just powerful preaching. I have been told it was the first time in our denomination that a special, new loyalty sentence was demanded of church members: "Are you willing to submit to duly constituted church authority?" Yet such wording was necessary because nothing could be found wrong with what was being preached at Enemclaw except one thing: The Washington Conference did not want it done. Forbidding was its own justification.

Soon it became known as the "Roger Brothers Movement" You may have heard vague references to it. There was no fanaticism, no time setting, no strange new beliefs; it was just simple Christianity. Everett was not trying to separate from the church or start a new one. He was just trying to help people draw closer to Jesus.

Soon the Enemclaw Church was excommunicated. At about that time, Everett's brother, Merle, united in the preaching. This was unfortunate. Merle was an even more powerful preacher than Everett, and soon had nearly everyone on his side. But Everett was the one grounded in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Merle was a proud man.

Because the denomination had cast them out, the people looked all the more strongly to Merle to lead them. This also was unfortunate. They should have leaned the more heavily on the Inspired Writings and looked to God for leadership. With the denomination giving the group as much opposition as it could, they gradually scattered here and there and eventually went to pieces under Merle's conceited leadership.

In the 1960s, I met several elderly friends of Everett Rogers, who had remained with him. All were retired or nearly so, and were humble Advent believers. Everett, an older man by that time, had long since stopped preaching.

Some of you may recall Spirit of Prophecy Research. It was an anonymous group, which mailed out small Spirit of Prophecy compilations in the 1950s and 1960s. That which you probably do not know is that it was Everett Rogers, in Boulder, and Nellie Brewer, in Walla Walla, who prepared and sent out those studies. I met Nellie at her home in the 1960s.

As mentioned earlier, Merle took nearly the entire group away from Everett, and the majority of the followers went with Merle. Those who were the most solidly founded in Scripture stayed with Everett.

Why did this happen? Merle preached to the people and, because he was egotistical, there was a fascinating quality about him. But the faithful recognized that they did not dare follow an arrogant man. Drawing back, they remained with Everett. As a result, they did not depart from the Spirit of Prophecy, as did those who followed his brother.

Merle gradually revised his message of "righteousness by faith" into one even more advanced than that achieved by the present new theology in our church today. Merle taught that the righteousness of Christ saved those who smoked, drank, and did any other worldly thing, as long as they professed faith in His covering righteousness.

So, in this instance, a group arose in our ranks which (1) had a humble leader, and (2) which did not try to devise strange, new teachings. It was only when a proud, boastful man gained control of the movement that it crashed, taking nearly all with it.

There are several lessons here; the most important are these: First, stay with God's Word, no matter what it costs. Second, God's words are always more important than man's words. Third, it matters not whether the leadership is that of a conference officer or an independent ministry there is still danger of being misled.

  Throughout the twentieth century, our people have been plagued with arrogant men who have arisen and taken many of our people with them. The hallmark by which to identify them has always been the same: a proud spirit and a determination to gain a large following. It is always detectable in the man. When you see that in your leader, run the other direction! Never, never, get on the bandwagon of a proud, arrogant man! You will be lost if you do.  

Victor T. Houtiff was another conceited man. In 1929, through false interpretations of the Spirit of Prophecy, he began his efforts to obtain a following. Calling his organization, the Shepherd's Rod, in 1941 he renamed it the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The present writer recently prepared an in-depth history of that organization. It became apparent that, what Houtiff and his successors did, was to appeal to pride in the followers. By doing so, they could fill their followers with the captivating devils they themselves were possessed of. We have received a number of letters from believers who have told of interviews they have had with Davidians who told them that they would soon reign as kings and priests over the earth, but first they must slay the unfaithful Adventists. The offer of eventual kingship and queenship came wrapped up in a package of conceit, which required murder to obtain. In order to gain the offer, the intention to murder must be accepted. By accepting it, the demon of conceit enters the heart.

A similar transaction occurs whenever a person binds himself to an arrogant leader.

Because he had predicted that he would not die before the Second Advent occurred, Houtiff's death in 1955 greatly shook his followers. The leaders, in a desperate effort to hold the group together, published a time prophecy, which failed. The Rod collapsed on March 11, 1962, but other conceited men arose who gathered the remnants of the Davidians to themselves. One was Benjamin F. Rodin. A later one was David Koresh. (See our booklet, Waco and the Davidians, for more on this.)  

Milian Lauritz Andreasen (1876-1962) was another man who arose among us with a message. But M.L. Andreasen was neither proud nor did he try to tear down our God-given Bible-Spirit of Prophecy beliefs. Instead, he sought to defend them, even though to do so meant opposing leaders in our denomination. Andreasen was not afraid to name names and call sin by its right name.

For decades, he had been a leading evangelist, and later dean or president of one or more of our colleges.

Andreasen had a clear mind and never swerved from loyalty to the God of heaven and the Bible Spirit of Prophecy writings. He wrote 13 books, and, by the 1940s and 1950s, was our leading authority on the sanctuary service.

But while the Evangelical Conferences met in the mid1950s, efforts were made to keep a lid on the doctrinal sellout that our leaders in Washington were carrying out with representatives of the Evangelicals. When M.L. Andreasen learned what was happening, he was aghast.

It is an intriguing fact that there were hundreds of other men in our colleges, publishing houses, administrative offices, and local churches, who also gradually learned what was taking place. Word spreads fast among the work force. But, fearing to lose their job, nearly everyone kept quiet. But not M.L. Andreasen. He would not sell out for a mess of pottage. You will find the entire story of what occurred in our Evangelical Conferences, now in section two of our Doctrinal History Tractbook. Andreasen published the facts and named the names. He called sin by its right name. The only response was to castigate him as a "troublemaker. But he could rightly reply, as did Elijah to Ahab, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim" (read 1 Kings 18:1718).

Not the burden of denouncing error, but the vicious response of rejection and abandonment hurled at the man from every direction, led to bleeding ulcers which killed Andreasen in 1962. He died a martyr for God's truth. And that is not a poetic sentiment, but an accurate statement.

Andreasen was a man who arose with a message not of denunciation of the Spirit of Prophecy or our historic beliefs, but rather a defense of both, combined with a strong reproof of the very men who were trying to new model our beliefs into an image of modern Protestant error.

For additional information on the Evangelical Conferences, and the book of doctrinal revisions (Questions on Doctrine, 1957) our leaders wrote to promote those doctrinal changes, we direct you to the following: Evangelical Conferences Part 1-18 [DH-101-118]: Letters to the Churches [DH-151-159}, by ML Andreasen: How We Got Where We Are, by Kenneth Wood [DH-51-54]

For information on the errors contained in the book which took the place of Questions on Doctrine (Seventh-day Adventists Believe, 1988), read Seventh-day Adventists Believe part 1-8 [DH-301-308}, and Sequel to Questions on Doctrine Part 1-3 [DH-311-314].

In addition to our tract set, Evangelical Conferences (mentioned above), for additional information on the most influential non-Adventist in Adventist doctrinal history, you may also wish to read Walter Martin and the SDA Church (WM-249) and Walter Martin and the Scholars: Historic Adventism and Hebrews Nine-Part 1-2 (WM-250-251).

All of the above materials are now in our Doctrinal History Tractbook.

M.L Andreasen tried as hard as he could to stem the doctrinal apostasy that two men in Washington, D.C. (LE. Froom and RA. Anderson) were agreeing to, in order to keep peace with Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse, so those Protestant leaders would print in their journal, Eternity; that we were a true-blue "Evangelical" church.

Most of Andreasen's efforts were made in the middle and late 1950s. Soon another voice was to be raised in our church.