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In a move almost certain to invite the scrutiny of evangelical apologists, the 57th General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted July 2 "to intensify efforts to inform all church members, especially young members, about the gift of prophecy through the ministry of Ellen G. White."White, who was one of the leading figures in the founding of the church, has remained a controversial figure in Adventism since her death in 1915. While describing her own writings as "the lesser light" leading to the "greater light" of the Bible, the promotion of her writings by the church has stirred charges of cultism against the group. According to a report by the Adventist News Network, several delegates registered discomfort with the resolution: "Is there any resolution with similar wording that deals with the Bible?" asked Jurrien den Hollander, an Adventist pastor from the Netherlands. Hollander's motion for such a resolution was voted and referred to committee.And, said Don C. Schneider, a 57-year-old Adventist leader from Berrien Springs, Mich., who was just elected to head the church's North American Division, while some outside the group may question the resolution's meaning, Adventist church leaders line up behind the Bible as their source of doctrine."There's a very clear understanding here that Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Bible, and our faith comes out of the Bible," Schneider told CT in an interview. "There's no question among the group here."Schneider, who had been in charge of one of church activities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, added that he would gladly explain the group's position to any apologists or others who have questions."I'd be most pleased to tell anyone about my priorities ...

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September 4, 2000

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