We provide the material on this site because we believe that error is never harmless. Wrong ideas lead to actions that will prove to be harmful in the long run, if not immediately.

Furthermore error does not become truth by reason of age. There is no “grand-father clause that causes error to become truth after a certain number of years. 

Neither does error become truth because the majority of people believe it. In fact, truth is so frequently in the minority that American poet James Russell Lowell saw “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” 1

One of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church also had some things to say about truth: 2

I was shown that the truth once published now, will stand, for it is the truth for the last days; it will live, and less need be said upon it in future. … Truth is straight, plain, clear, and stands out boldly in its own defense; but it is not so with error. It is so winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it in its crooked form. (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 15)

In the quotation above, White sounds like a true “conservative” – as in “stay by the old landmarks.” But that’s not all she had to say on the matter. 

The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 35)

We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 35)

And then she sounds like a true liberal! There are still things to learn and to unlearn. God promises us wisdom to distinguish between the two in James 1:5: “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” And Jesus Himself said that if we truly want to do His will, we shall understand the teachings He left us and, by extension, the “truth” that really matters. See John 7:17. 

We may take courage that the Lord does not leave us to be swayed by every wind of doctrine. We may have His assurance that we stand on the solid ground of truth! But we must take the matter seriously, or we will be deceived! 3

Who knows but that the Lord has allowed this very dateline Sabbath controversy to arise so that we may be motivated to study deeper into the truth God has for us?

And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith, and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God, and a turning to men, putting human wisdom in place of divine.
God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures, and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold.
God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God, so that when the testing time shall come, and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith, they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.

Agitate, agitate, agitate! The subjects which we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny…. (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 39)


  1. Poem, “The Present Crisis,” by James Russell Lowell. Martin Luther King quoted it so often that some have attributed the quotation to him. The poem was also the basis for a hymn, “Once to Every Man and Nation.”
  2. We have hyperlinked quotations so that you may read them in their context.
  3. “The rebuke of the Lord will be upon those who would be guardians of the doctrine, who would bar the way that greater light shall not come to the people. A great work is to be done, and God sees that our leading men have need of greater light, that they may unite harmoniously, with the messengers whom He shall send to accomplish the work that He designs they should. The Lord has raised up messengers and endued them with His Spirit, and has said, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”  (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 38)

    “Let no one run the risk of interposing himself between the people and the message of heaven. The message of God will come to the people; and if there were no voice among men to give it, the very stones would cry out. I call upon every minister to seek the Lord, to put away pride, to put away strife after supremacy, and humble the heart before God. It is the coldness of heart, the unbelief of those who ought to have faith, that keeps the churches in feebleness.” – The Review and Herald, July 26, 1892.(Ellen G. White, Counsels  to Writers and Editors, p. 35)


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