Two Movements & Our Official Name
When we first launched this church, we were trying to decide on an appropriate name, one that reflected the everlasting covenant between God and Christ. Our first choice was “The Counsel of Peace,” but since others have already claimed that name, we had to keep thinking. Finally, we thought that, since the counsel of peace is connected to the present truth of each generation, we thought that “The Counsel of Prophecy” would be the perfect fit for expressing not only the eternal covenant, but also the present truth of prophecy. However, many of you, if not all, are unaware of our official name. You see, we believe we are in a movement that will last until the end of earth’s history. This movement is called The Protestant Reformation or Protestantism for short. This, of course, is a reference to what transpired over a number of centuries during the dark ages or middle ages as it is often called. Without going into details concerning the protest against the abominations of the church system, suffice it to say that the protestant reformers, and many of the princes of the Old World, were bound and determined to restore the pure religion of Christ. They stood against the forces of darkness and rebuked the worldly church of their day. The reformers proclaimed Solo Scriptura in the face of ecclesiastics who placed their traditions and creeds above the authority of God’s word. Such were the causes of separation from the worldly church then, and such are the causes of separation today! Because of the backsliding actions of today’s professed churches, there is constant need for the call to reform. And especially in light of the fact that those who professed to be Protestants are no longer protesting against the Papal system and the world, we have a sense of urgency to let the world know that the Protestant Reformation still stands.
In commenting on the advancement of both the Protestant Reformation and Catholicism, Ellen White writes, “As men were rising up in different lands to present to the people forgiveness and justification through the blood of Christ, Rome proceeded with renewed energy to open her market throughout Christendom, offering pardon for money. … Thus the two movements advanced,–one offering forgiveness of sin for money, the other forgiveness through Christ, — Rome licensing sin and making it her source of revenue; the Reformers condemning sin and pointing to Christ as the propitiation and deliverer. –The Great Controversy, 178. Notice the mentioning of two movements. Are these movements still advancing today? Are they still in opposition to each other? “It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism. ‘The Bible, the Bible, is the foundation of our faith,’ was the cry of Protestants in Luther’s time, while the Catholics cried, ‘The Fathers, custom, tradition.’ Now many Protestants find it difficult to prove their doctrines from the Bible, and yet they have not the moral courage to accept the truth which involves a cross; therefore they are fast coming to the ground of Catholics, and, using the best arguments they have to evade the truth, cite the testimony of the Fathers, and the customs and precepts of men. Yes, the Protestants of the nineteenth century are fast approaching the Catholics in their infidelity concerning the Scriptures. But there is just as wide a gulf today between Rome and the Protestantism of Luther, Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper, and the noble army of martyrs, as there was when these men made the protest which gave them the name of Protestants. –Review & Herald, June 1, 1886 par. 13.
Friends, we must still stand for Solo Scriptura. Rome is making rapid advancement upon the professed Protestant world. Soon, she will have accomplished her aim in bringing all her daughters back home. Will you return? Will your church join hands with Rome? Or will you be a reformer until the end? We have been told, “The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with [Martin] Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history. –The Great Controversy, 148. With such a fact, we wanted the world to know that we are bound and determined to call for reform until probation closes. That is why we have decided that our official name would be The Counsel of Prophecy 7th-Day Protestant Church. That’s right! We want to be in the movement that Jesus and His apostles started, that’s Protestantism! Inspiration says, “Christ was a protestant. He protested against the formal worship of the Jewish nation, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves. He told them that they taught for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they were pretenders and hypocrites. Like whited sepulchers they were beautiful without, but within full of impurity and corruption. The Reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles. The Bible is presented to us as a sufficient guide; but the pope and his workers remove it from the people as if it were a curse, because it exposes their pretensions and rebukes their idolatry. –Review & Herald, June 1, 1886 par. 14. Which cause is your church advancing? Which movement are you in?