Following article was originally published by Line of Truth Ministries, on Aug 29, 2017

6 Reasons Why I No Longer Believe In A Trinity by Lori Dooley

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As a 6th-generation very committed Seventh-day Adventist, I have believed and even taught the Trinity doctrine for nearly 30 years of my life. Last year I was challenged to examine this doctrine from the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White. What I found was shocking and life-changing. I can no longer uphold this doctrine that has crept into my church. Rather, I agree with the following fundamental beliefs about God that were upheld in the Seventh-day Adventist church before 1931. Here is what Ellen White believed and nearly all SDA pioneers:

1. “That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Ps 139:7.”

2.“That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist;” (first published in the first edition of Signs of the Times, June 4, 1874, p. 3.) source

While I realize I will lose the support of friends and family, I cannot keep silent any longer about this distortion of God taught within the Seventh-day Adventist church.

WHAT IS THE TRINITY?

I have been surprised to learn that there are many variations of the Trinity doctrine even among Adventist leaders.  I have also been surprised to learn that many SDA’s have absolutely no idea what they even believe! So here is the official Trinity belief from the SDA website:

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self- revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.” (source)

They also add the following:

“Immortal, all-powerful and all-loving, God is a relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The only being worthy of our worship, God is our Creator, Redeemer and Friend.”

Following are my top 6 reasons stated briefly as to why I uphold the SDA fundamental beliefs of the past and deny the current doctrine of the Trinity, which has only officially been a doctrine since 1980.

1. THE TRINITY IS NOT BIBLICAL

Most Trinitarian Christians believe the doctrine comes from the Bible and even use some Bible verses to support their position. However, nowhere in the Bible do you find God being defined as a “relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Yes there are a few verses which mention all three. But where are the texts stating that all three are “coequal” and “coeternal” as many believe? On the contrary the Bible clearly states there is one God, the Father. (See John 17:3, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1 Cor. 8:6, Rom. 15:6, Eph. 4:6).  And this Father has a Son, called the “Son of God.” No where in the Bible is He called “God the Son.” Yet Jesus is fully divine and equal with God (See John 3:35, John 5:26, Heb. 1:4).

Here are a few quotes from honest individuals who admit the Trinity is not Biblical:

“While no Scriptural passage states formally the doctrine of the Trinity, it is assumed as a fact by Bible writers and mentioned several times.” (Adventist Review. 1981. Vol. 158. No.31.)

“The concept of the Trinity, namely the idea that the three are one, is not explicitly stated, but only assumed.” (Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopaedia Vol.12. p138. Doctrine of God. Fernando L Canale.)

“Many doctrines are accepted by evangelicals as being clearly taught in the Scripture for which there are no proof texts. The doctrine of the Trinity furnishes the best example of this. It is fair to say that the Bible does not clearly teach the doctrine of the Trinity . . . In fact, there is not even one proof text, if by proof text we mean a verse or passage that ‘clearly’ states that there is one God who exists in three persons.” — (Basic Theology, p. 89 Charles Ryrie.)

Those who agree with Ellen White that “The Bible and the Bible alone, is our rule of faith” (CSW, 84), must reexamine this doctrine honestly, talking all passages of scripture into account.

2. THE TRINITY DOCTRINE HAS PAGAN ORIGINS

If the Bible does not clearly teach the doctrine of the Trinity, where did it come from? History shows us that it originated in Babylon.

The trinity got its start in Ancient Babylon with Nimrod – Tammuz – and Semiramis. Semiramis demanded worship for both her husband and her son as well as herself. She claimed that her son, was both the father and the son. Yes, he was “god the father” and “god the son” – The first divine incomprehensible trinity.” — (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, p. 51)

The fact that Seventh-day Adventists (modern Israel) worship the same God as all other mainstream Christians and Catholics should be a serious cause for concern. When in the Bible do you see ancient Israel serving the same gods as other nations? Only when they were in apostasy.

“The great sin of ancient Israel was in turning from God to idols. This is also the great sin of modern Israel.” ( E.G. White, RH, June 3, 1880)

While some argue that we do not believe in the “same trinity” as the Catholics, there is very little difference. In fact they do not view our doctrine any differently than theirs as they proudly state:

Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in scripture … But the Protestant Churches have themselves accepted such dogmas, as the trinity, for which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels,” — (Assumption of Mary, Lifemagazine, Oct 30, 1950, p. 51)

The Catholic Church also states:

“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.” — (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11)

The Bible speaks of two groups of people with something different written on their foreheads. The first group of 144,000 has the “Father’s name written (see Rev. 14:1). The second group is represented by a harlot women with “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” written on her forehead (Rev. 17:5). As Adventists, we know that the Roman Catholic system is referred to as “Babylon” in the Bible.

So, in the above quote we see that “Babylon” admits that her central mystery is the trinity. So there are only 2 choices, do you want the mystery trinity written on our foreheads or the name of the Father? James White knew where the Trinity doctrine originated:

“As fundamental errors, we might class with this counterfeit sabbath other errors which Protestants have brought away from the Catholic Church, such as sprinkling for baptism, the TRINITY, the conciousness of the dead and eternal life in misery. The mass who have held these fundamental errors, have doubtless done it ignorantly; but can it be supposed that the church of Christ will carry along with her these errors till the judgement scenes burst upon the world? We think not.” (James White, Review and Herald, Sept. 12, 1854, vol. 6, no. 5, page 36, par. 8)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Why on earth, dear friends, is this pagan, Babylonian, sun-god symbol being placed on any of our Adventist materials? Based on this image, how can anyone argue that the “Adventist Trinity” is any different? Should we not be concerned about the fact that Babylon and “modern Israel” are serving the same God?

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3. THE TRINITY DESTROYS THE PERSONALITY OF GOD AND HIS SON

Those who believe in the doctrine of the Trinity believe that “God is a relationship.” They say that there are 3 beings that equal God, or that 1+1+1=1. Because of this very confusing idea, common everyday things such as eggs, candles, apples, ice-cubes, and shamrocks and others are used to describe God. As a past trinitarian Adventist Bible-worker, I have been guilty of using these illustrations also . However, Ellen White clearly states:

God cannot be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things…The Father cannot be described by the things of earth.” (Ellen White SP TB07, 63)

Because of the idea that there are three that equal one God, many Trinitarians are unable to distinguish between God and Christ and believe that they are the same personality. In a letter that Ellen White wrote to John Harvey Kellogg (who had become a trinitarian), she states,

“You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” (Ellen G. White to John Harvey Kellogg, Letter 300, March 16th 1903)

While she does not use the word “Trinity,” her husband was blunt on the issue:

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ” (James White, December 11, 1855, Review & Herald, vol. 7, no. 11, page 85, par. 16)

Adventist pioneer J.N. Andrews, whom Andrews University was named after, also knew very well the truth about the Trinity doctrine:

“The doctrine of the Trinity which was established in the church by the council of Nice, A. D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous, measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.” (J. N. Andrews, March 6, 1855, Review & Herald, vol. 6, no. 24, page 185)

Would J.N. Andrews would be blushing if he knew the school named after him now teaches this doctrine?

Ellen White knew that heresies would come in regarding the personality of God and warned us to study.

“The seventeenth chapter of John speaks plainly regarding the personality of God and of Christ, and of their relation to each other.” Manuscript 124, 1903

She also wrote a chapter in Ministry of Healing called “A True Knowledge of God in which she states at the end,

“This is the knowledge which God is inviting us to receive, and beside which all else is vanity and nothingness.” (Ministry of Healing p. 426)

Please study these chapters for yourself and see if you find a Trinity.

4. THE TRINITY DOCTRINE PERVERTS THE GOSPEL

The entire gospel and plan of salvation are distorted by the Trinity doctrine. Let’s examine why the war in heaven began according to Spirit of Prophecy:

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son...The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ, his Son, should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence…Especially was his Son to work in union with himself in the anticipated creation of the earth…His Son would carry out his will and his purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in him. Satan was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ.” (E.G. White, 1SP 17)

According to the above quote, the very reason that Lucifer rebelled and began the great controversy was because he was jealous of God honoring His Son by declaring the Son equal with Himself.

“Angels that were loyal and true…clearly set forth [to Lucifer] that Jesus was the Son of God, existing with him before the angels were created…” (E.G. White, 1SP 19)

Lucifer refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God.  Today many Seventh-day Adventist’s also deny that Jesus is the Son of God. Most will say they believe He is the Son, but only by title and not literally. Here in an official statement from the Adventist Biblical Research Institute:

“the father-son image cannot be literally applied to the divine Father-Son relationship within the Godhead. The Son is not the natural, literal Son of the Father … The term ‘Son’ is used metaphorically when applied to the Godhead.” (source)

Many Adventists believe that the Father and Son just took those titles and are essentially role-playing:

It may be inferred from the Scriptures that when the Godhead laid out the plan of salvation at some point in eternity past, They also took certain positions or roles to carry out the provisions of the plan.” (These times – our times, June 1st 1981, ‘Frank answers‘)

There are only 3 times in the New Testament when the voice of God, the highest authority in the universe, spoke. Two of those times He stated, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON…” (Matt. 3:17, Matt. 17:5, John 12:28,29) Should God’s words about His Son be taken symbolically or literally?

The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed…If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” (E.G. White, Great Controversy, pg. 598)

According to Ellen White, denying the individual personality of the Father and Son is actually a form of spiritualism:

“[2 Peter 2:1,2] Here the apostle has pointed out one of the marked characteristics of spiritualist teachers. They refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God. Concerning such teachers the beloved John declares: ‘Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.’ [1 John 2:22-23].“Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Bible pronounces it the manifestation of antichrist. (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p.686)

I am choosing to confess that Jesus is the literal, begotten Son of God. This is a very serious issue. Please study it for yourself!

5. THE TRINITY DOCTRINE IMPLIES WORSHIP OF SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE FATHER AND SON

Many Adventist pastors, evangelists, and theologians are now promoting the idea of worshipping or prayingto “God the Holy Spirit” since each member of the trinity is “co-equal.” However, the Bible mentions only the Father and the Son ever receiving our worship. In Revelation 5:13, we see every creature in the entire universe bowing down to worship:

“Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Even Ellen White clearly says we are not to worship the Holy Spirit:

The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” (E.G. White, YI, July 7, 1898)

I personally believe that worshiping or praying to this 3rd being is a very dangerous invention ofof Satan. Here are a few quotes showing why:

“Satan in Heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son.” (E.G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, Vol 1. pg. 17)

“He [Satan] stood up proudly and urged that he should be equal with God, and should be taken into conference with the Father and understand his purposes. God informed Satan that to his Son alone he would reveal his secret purposes…” (Spirit of Prophecy, Vol 1. pg. 22)

So, if we are worshiping a 3rd being other than the Father and the Son, could we actually be exalting fallen Lucifer? Why are there no examples or commands in scripture to worship the Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit? These are questions that I encourage you to study for yourself as I cannot cover them extensively in this brief article. Keep in mind that “God the Holy Spirit” is not a Biblical term but the “Spirit of God” is.

The first thing we must know is “what is a spirit?” Check out Isaiah 40:13 and Romans 11:34 to see that the plain Bible definition for “spirit” is “mind.” Just one of many examples is Daniel 2 when Nebuchadnezzar’s “spirit was troubled.” Was Nebuchadnezzar’s mind troubled, or was some other person troubled?

Most people will not study this issue in-depth because there are several Spirit of Prophecy quotes that do appear to be Trinitarian on the surface. Most of these are conveniently compiled in the book “Evangelism.” But just as with any doctrine we must take all verses and all quotes into account. And keep in mind Ellen White herself was not a Trinitarian when she wrote the quotes!

She was consistent in everything she wrote. Study for yourself by letting SOP explain SOP:

She said the Comforter is the Spirit of Christ,

the Spirit of truth is the Spirit of Christ,

the third person is the Spirit of Christ,

the third great power is the Spirit of Christ,

the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost was the Spirit of Christ,

the Holy Spirit Jesus breathed on His disciples was His own Spirit,

the Holy Spirit Christ sent to represent Himself was His own Spirit,

the heavenly dignitaries are the Father, Son and Spirit of Christ,

the Heavenly trio is the Father, Son and Spirit of Christ,

and she reveals over and over again that there are only two beings.

trinitytruth.org

Ellen White was NOT a Trinitarian when she wrote her quotes concerning “the third person,” “third great power,” “heavenly dignitaries,” or “heavenly trio.” She clearly understood who that “third person” was:

They have ONE God and ONE Saviourand ONE Spirit–the Spirit of Christ–” — (E.G. White, 9T 189.3, 1909)

6. THE TRINITY DOCTRINE IS THE OMEGA OF DEADLY HERESIES

If the SDA church is teaching a doctrine that is false as I have presented, the next logical question is, “Would not Ellen White have known about this?” Wouldn’t she have warned people of it?” The answer is that she did.

In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” {E.G. White, Selected Messages bk 1, p. 200 1904}

What is it about the “Living Temple” that was so deadly? We have clues in a letter that Ellen White wrote:

“It [Living Temple] introduces that which is nought but speculation in regard to the personality of God and where His presence is.” (E.G. White, 1 SM 201)

What did Kellogg believe about the personality and presence of God? We learn from a letter written from Kellogg to conference president A.G. Daniells that Kellogg had come to believe in the Trinity and that “God the Spirit” was everywhere present.

“He (Kellogg) told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghostand his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost and not God the Father that filled all space and every living thing.” (Letter, A. G. Daniells to W. C. White Oct 29th 1903)

In 1903, a living prophet was here to expose the error in Kellogg’s book. Unfortunately, she was dead by the time that Leroy Froom brought the Omega into our church through his book, Coming of the Comforter. He also compiled the book “Evangelism” in 1946 by taking the few quotes by Ellen White that seem to fit a trinitarian concept and putting trinitarian headlines with them. In His book “Movement of Destiny,” Froom makes a “frank personal confession” about where he got his information for his book on the Holy Spirit called “Coming of the Comforter.”

there was practically nothing in our literature setting forth a sound Biblical exposition in this tremendous field of study [the Holy Spirit]. “I was compelled to search out a score of valuable books written by men outside our faith (LeRoy Froom ‘Movement of Destiny’, page 322 1971 ‘Decades of Varied Advances Follows 1888’)

Over several generations the trinity doctrine crept into the church until it was officially voted in as a fundamental belief in 1980. Now Adventists look back on the pioneers as having “old light.”

“Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth.’ Most startlingis the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Many of the pioneers, including James White, J.N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and J.H. Waggoner, held to an Arian or semi-Arian view … that is, the Son at some point in time before the Creation of our world was generated by the Father … the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it.” (William G. Johnsson in the Adventist Review, Jan. 6, 1994 p.10)

The above quote is actually a fulfillment of  Ellen White’s following prophecy:

“Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startlingnature.” (E.G. White, Selected Messages bk.1, p. 197)

She wrote:

“I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest, great changes will take place…I want the people to know that I warned them fully before my death.” Manuscript 1, February 24, 1915

Ellen White also warned what would happen if the church accepted the “omega of deadly heresies.”

“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would be the result?—

  1. The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded.
  2. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.
  3. A new organization would be established.
  4. Books of a new order would be written.
  5. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced.
  6. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work.
  7. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it.
  8. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.
  9. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless.
  10. Their foundation would be built on the sand,
  11. and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.

Letter 242, October, 1903, Special Testimonies, Series B#7, p 39-40

Every word that she wrote has been fulfilled. I cannot expound in this short article.

Dear friends, I beg to to study the history of how this doctrine entered into the Seventh-day Adventist church. Do not take any man’s word. Study for yourselves. This is not a distraction or a side-issue! Please keep these quotes in mind as you consider this important matter:

You must lay your preconceived opinions, your hereditary and cultivated ideas, at the door of investigation. If you search the Scriptures to vindicate your own opinions, you will never reach the truth… If conviction comes as you search, if you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the truth, do not misinterpret the truth in order to suit your own belief, but accept the light given. Open mind and heart that you may behold wondrous things out of God’s word.” – {Christ’s Object Lessons, 112.3}

No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.” Review and Herald, December 20, 1892 par. 1

Here are just a few resources:

Bible Study about who God is

My Personal Testimony

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Documentary of the Omega of Heresies

Excellent documentary series covering the Bible truth and history of the Trinity doctrine

How does this message fit  in with the three angels messages of Rev 14:6-12? Good Question! Please Watch the following video