ANG DATING DAAN WORLDWIDE BIBLE EXPLOITATION BY ELI SORIANO
Topic: “The Church That Awaits the Seventh-day”
Eli Soriano claimed to be the Bible Answer Man in the Philippines and received a reputation among his members that he is the most “Sensible preacher in our time”. I wonder HOW did he get this praise? In his recent article, “The Church that Awaits the Seventh-day”, he attempts to win his readers by his tricks and witty expression to show that the Seventh-day Adventist is wrong in their doctrines and teachings. In this article I will demonstrate to you why the methodology of Eli Soriano is absurd historically and Biblically and that he is not a sensible preacher.
SORIANO’S Objection #1: Apparently, they are not waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as they claim. The name of their church means they are waiting for the arrival of the “seventh day”.
ERROR: Twisting History
I wonder where did he get this weird interpretation that “Seventh-day Adventist” means “waiting for the arrival of the seventh-day”? I would like to place a challenge here for Eli Soriano and I hope he won’t ignore this:
Eli Soriano, Can you please show me from any of our authorized Adventist publications or statement of beliefs where we claim that “Seventh-day Adventist means we are waiting for the arrival of the Seventh-day?” If not then, you are committing a fallacy in argumentation called “Straw Man”.
What is a “Straw man” argument? Here is the definition according to Wikipedia.org:
“A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”(Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man)
I was once a critic of Seventh-day Adventist. I never use this kind of argument before because I know that I don’t have any historical and logical basis for this. I think Eli Soriano also would agree with me that if I misrepresent the teachings of Ang Dating Daan he will react the same way.
Even critics of Adventist church both old and new never came to this absurd method and conclusion. Therefore, he did not successfully refute our original position as to what the Seventh-day Adventist name means. He failed to make a point here.
The truth as to the real meaning of our church name remains true and clear:
“The name Seventh-day Adventist includes vital beliefs for us as a Church. ‘Adventist’ reflects our passionate conviction in the nearness of the soon return (‘advent’) of Jesus. ‘Seventh-day’ refers to the Biblical Sabbath which from Creation has always been the seventh day of the week, or Saturday.” (Ref: http://www.adventist.org/world_church/name_mission/index.html.en) Seventh-day Adventists Believe…
This is our consistent stand since the beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. I believe Eli Soriano didn’t know about the history of this name and its origin.
For the sake of the readers who love the truth, I will give you a short background here and later you will see why Eli Soriano is wrong with his attempted definition. I would like to quote here the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia that explains how we historically understood the term “Adventist”. If there is somebody who has the authority to explain a name that somebody must be the owner (or the one who gave the name).
(a) Originally, and properly, a member of the Adventist (or Millerite) movement or of any one of the six (now five) Adventist church bodies that sprang from it;
(b) in Seventh-day Adventist usage, a short term for “Seventh-day Adventist”;
(c) in some dictionaries, any believer in “Adventism,” which they define loosely as the doctrine of the nearness of the Second Advent and the end of the world, or age.
The terms Adventist and Adventism were coined by the Millerites. Hence these terms are most correctly employed in the framework of Millerite eschatology, which included not only the teaching of the near, personal advent of Christ but also a distinctive body of doctrine concerning the events connected therewith. Understood in this way, Adventism was and is distinct from and should not be confused with other views of the Second Advent; the differences are discussed under Premillennialism. (The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. 2002. Review and Herald Publishing Association.)
Based on the above definition:
- Eli Soriano is not a “sensible preacher” in his definition of “Adventist” because he used an out of this world definition and never even supported by historical facts. It’s just his fantasy.
- Eli Soriano is not a “sensible preacher” in this case because he is not aware of the fact that the term “Adventist” were used earlier before the emergence of “Seventh-day Adventist church”. It was coined by the Millerites headed by a Baptist preacher William Miller. In this sense they are called the Millerite Adventists but in no way they understood it to mean they were a “Church that Awaits William Miller”!
- Eli Soriano is not a “sensible preacher” for he didn’t know that according to the above definition, the term “Adventist” also applies to other 5 or 6 “church bodies” that sprang from the Millerite Adventist after the “Great Disappointment of 1844”. Two examples of these movements were the “Evangelical Adventist” and “Church of God Adventist”. If we will follow Eli Soriano’s method, the Evangelical Adventist was a “Church that awaits Evangelicals” and the “Church of God Adventist” was a “Church that awaits the Church of God”. Who in their right mind would think this way? Maybe the “sensible” Soriano will do!
- Eli Soriano is not a “sensible preacher” because he didn’t realize that he himself is an “Adventist”! (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV1L2hmj3eA). This is the definition based on letter (c ) above. Everyone who believes in the Second coming and the end of the world is an “Adventist”. Therefore, if Eli Soriano and his MCGI or the Ang Dating Daan fanatics are “Adventists”, is it proper to say then that they are a “Church that awaits Ang Dating Daan”? In a nutshell, the name of Eli Soriano’s denomination can be “Members of Church of God International (Adventist)” do you think Eli Soriano would argue that they are a “Church that awaits for the Members of Church of God International”?
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SORIANO’S Objection #2: In their book, Seventh Day Adventists Believe, page 224:
The true church was founded by God in Christ. (Hebrews 3:4) “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.”
ERROR: Quoting out-of-context T
The problem with Soriano’s argument here is very obvious. He has to take the statement out of context so he could again make it sounds like the Adventist church was just a product of human effort. Again, this is a strawman fallacy.
Our book in no way claimed that Seventh-day Adventist church is just a man-made religion. There are few things we need to know to understand the author’s intention when it said that Ellen White was “one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church”.
- “One of the founders” means there are many people involved in “founding” this church not only Ellen White. But when you read Soriano’s article, he seems to imply that it is only the sole effort of Ellen White.
- What does the book means when it uses the phrase “one of the founders”? Does it imply to mean that the Seventh-day Adventist church organization is just founded by fallible men therefore it is not from God? NO! That is not what the author means. In the following paragraph just a few pages from our source the book explained what it means.
“The founders of the church developed fundamental beliefs through study of the Bible; they did not receive these doctrines through the visions of Ellen White. Her major role during the development of their doctrines was to guide in the understanding of the Bible and to confirm conclusions reached through Bible study.” (Seventh-day Adventist Believe p.227)
What did the early founders developed? A new set of doctrines? A new organization outside the Bible? A big NO! It has something to do with restoring the Bible teachings and develop it into fundamental beliefs. Remember, no new set of doctrines; but rather the same Biblical doctrines separated with the false teachings. The paragraph is also clear on saying that the doctrines they receive do not originate in the visions of Ellen White.
Therefore, by restoring the Biblical truths, Ellen White along with the early Adventist pioneers was the”founders of the church”. Through the teachings of the Bible that they preach people where gathered to form a church (Gk. Ekklesia, “called out ones”). The Apostle Paul is clear about this in his letter to the Corinthian believers:
“For we are partners working together for God, and you are God’s field. You are also God’s building. Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each of you must be careful how you build. For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid.” (1Co 3:9-11 GNB)
Paul believed that the real foundation is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ nothing else. He is just confirming here what was already mentioned by Christ in Matthew 16:18 about the “Rock” where Jesus will build His Church. Bible scholar Albert Barnes comments on this:
“A foundation is that upon which a building is raised; the foundation of a church is the doctrine on which it is established; that is, the doctrines which its members hold – those truths which lie at the basis of their hopes, and by embracing which they have been converted to God.” Christ is often called the foundation; the stone; the cornerstone upon which the church is reared; Isa.28:16; Mat.21:42; Act.4:11; Eph.2:20; 2Ti.2:19; 1Pet.2:6. The meaning is, that no true church can be reared which does not embrace and hold the true doctrines respecting him – those which pertain to his incarnation, his divine nature, his instructions, his example, his atonement, his resurrection, and ascension. The fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion must be embraced, or a church cannot exist and where those doctrines are denied no association of people can be recognized as a church of God.” (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible, 1 Cor. 3:10, 11)
The commentary agrees with the Bible in saying that the Church of our Lord Jesus is being build up by embracing the fundamental doctrines of the Bible otherwise “a church cannot exist”. In application, the early Adventist pioneers were formed as a church because they discovered the truth in the Bible and embraced it.
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In the first century of our common era, how can a church founded by Ellen G. White be the true church when it was founded on a different date and setting?
The date 1860 has something to do with the “church name” not as organization as a whole.
The problem is they covered the rest of the paragraph showing their intention to deceive the people by misquoting us. So in order to clarify my point I will give here the full quotation so you will see how deceiving Soriano is.
Obviously, Eli Soriano, the “sensible preacher” mixed up the date 1860 and 1863!
A woman like White has no biblical authority whatsoever to establish or even to lead the true church. (1 Tim. 2:11-13)
As we had discussed above, forming a church can be accomplished only by preaching the gospel. A woman like Ellen White has the authority to preach the gospel as a believer herself.
The Bible allows woman to preach:
“And any woman who prays or proclaims God’s message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband; there is no difference between her and a woman whose head has been shaved.” (1Co 11:5 GNB)
Another point here we need to address is the issue Eli Soriano keeps on repeating even after we already made it clear many times that we do not consider Ellen White as our core LEADER! She even never became a president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist church nor even ordained as pastor of the church. Adventist also made it clear that the acceptance of the ministry of Ellen White is not even a test of fellowship! You can become an Adventist even without knowing about Ellen White!
Here is a challenge to Eli Soriano. If you have the truth let me ask you this: Based on Acts 4:12, it says “no other name under heaven in which we can be saved”, now my question to you is,
If I will join your church but at the same I deny your authority as the leader would I be baptized as a Member of Church of God International? YES or NO!
If you answer ‘no’ then Acts 4:12 is wrong by saying there is only ONE NAME for our Salvation. If you answer is ‘yes’ then I might consider you as a true messenger. I believed that once you include your name as a test of fellowship to your church it is the same as claiming that you are a cult, making yourself equal in authority with God and somehow have the spirit of the Antichrist!