-Are you an ordained Pastor or Elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
No, I'm not either. Although I'm not to fond of titles, I'll except being a Minister, as I also work in outreach with Our Higher Calling. I used to be a Sabbath School Teacher but I recently moved over to a spanish church so it might be some time until I get to be a teacher in the church again. However, I do not believe that the title of Pastor or Elder is what qualifies you to be a teacher of the word.
-Why don't you allow comments on this website?
Well, I do on the "The Cotton Blog" section of the site, but this section of the site is not up yet. The reason why I dont allow comments is because I've been attacked several times by people who are in disagreement with me. I can't trust that these same people, or others of like mind, won't post negative comments on my posts. So I decided it's best to direct people to email me their comments instead. That way I can avoid having my viewers see those negative comments on my site.
-What's the purpose of this website?
There are a couple of reasons why I began this website.
First: To teach. This is my favorite thing to do, and I find it a great blessing when I do it in written form as well as orally as I am thereby forced to do intense study and research.
Second: To defend. We are commanded to defend the truth (Jude 3). Since I began working for the Lord I've gotten in contact with many people relunctant to hearing what I have to say because they heard and read so much negativity against the Adventist church. This has motivated me to have a place where people can go to see a ready defense of the truth.
Third: To equip. There are many sincere Seventh-day Adventists who have been led astray by the deceptions of the enemy. I know because I was one of them. God has placed teachers in his Church as one of the gifts to help equip our people of bible truth that they may be ready always to give an answer.
Fourth: To advance the cause of the Three Angel's Messages of Revelation 14. The bible calls this the "everlasting gospel." It must be our sole mission to spread it throughout the world.
-Are you trying to convert the critics?
No, they have their minds made up, although I pray that some of the contents of this site shows them the errors they are promoting.
-Who is the website aimed towards?
To Seventh-day Adventists, and non-Adventists who are open minded and honestly searching for truth.
-Do you discuss Adventist issues on Adventist Forums?
I used to. But I realized I was not going anywhere with that. Most of the times it would turn into a debate that would include five or six other critics responding to me, and the pressure to respond to all of them or else they'd accuse you of not being able to answer was something I just did not want to deal with. So instead, I built this website.
-Do you contact the critics?
Sometimes we do. We contacted Steve Rudd to let him know that his 80 Sabbath Questions were answered. There response wasn't so nice.
We also contacted McGregor Ministries, another anti-sda website. A few months ago we send Dirk Anderson an email to let him know that we have a few articles about him and the contents of his website over here. He never responded.
-Do you engage in debates?
I try my best not to. The articles here are responses to allegations, not challenges to debate. The bible says:
(8) Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
(9) Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
(10) Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
(11) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
(12) As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
I try to follow these rules. As an example, there is one article where I had a debate with a friend who is a former Adventist. This debate, however, was only one reply to his response to me. It was more of a discussion. It was made public because I though the points made would benefit my readers, and because he gave me permission. And it has, as I've gotten positive emails on this article. Also, I did not "go hastly to strive" as I was challenged by him first. Since I percieved him to be honestly seeking for truth, I engaged in this discussion.
-Wasn't Ellen White against debating?
She was, but in the sense of arguing. The word for "debate" in the bible (Romans 1:29 for example) means just that... "arguing, quarral, contention." This she opposed, but she never said we shouldn't engage in public or privet Christian discussions. In fact, she encouraged it, and gave good counsel on this. While speaking about "young" preachers, those inexperienced, she adviced that only in "some cases" should a proud boasters be meet in open debate:
"In some cases, it may be necessary to meet a proud boaster against the truth of God in open debate; but generally these discussions, either oral or written, result in more harm than good." -Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 213. (1872)
Young people tend to be more inclined to engage in combat, and could raise a spirit of competition rather then one seeking to convert a soul. Remember when they tried to stone the women? After Jesus told the audience that if they are without sin to cast the first stone, the first ones to drop the stones were the oldest ones. The younger ones were the last ones to leave the scene (John 8:9).
Here's some more, good counsel:
"There are occasions where their glaring misrepresentations will have to be met. When this is the case, it should be done promptly and briefly, and we should then pass on to our work. The plan of Christ's teaching should be ours. He was plain and simple, striking directly at the root of the matter, and the minds of all were met." -Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 37.
"Whenever it is necessary for the advancement of the cause of truth and the glory of God, that an opponent be met, how carefully, and with what humility should they [the advocates of truth] go into the conflict. With heartsearching, confession of sin, and earnest prayer, and often fasting for a time, they should entreat that God would especially help them, and give His saving, precious truth a glorious victory, that error might appear in its true deformity, and its advocates be completely discomfited." -Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 624, 626.
"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." -Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 708.
All kinds of debating that was merely for the purpose of arguing, of winning, and of the like, she strickly oppossed. But encouraged, when in defending the truth, that it should be done with "sound arguments" that will "silence our opponants" and "bear the closest and most searching scrutiny."
It should be remembered that Ellen White supported Uriah Smith's book "The Visions of Mrs. Ellen G. White" whose sole purpose was in defending both her writings and Adventist teachings.
-What motivates you to continue this work?
Comments from visiters these:
I am so glad that I found this site. this is what I looking for.I need this info. to learn and to be prepare for the last days.The good Lord may bless all.
Hi Edwin, fantastic work in defending the truth. God bless you. Also, thank you very much for claryfying my doubts! I'll continue to learn from you...
This site is really awsome!! i believe if more adventist visited this site... there would be more belief's and less doubts!.... Good Job Keep up the good work... keep preaching the truth... God bless bretheren.
Everytime I think I might not be doing something the Lord has called me to do, I get emails like these.
Pay a visit to BrokenAdventist.com. This gentlemen was encouraged after reading some of the contends of this and other websites to begin a work for the Lord. Here's a short extract from his website:
"Which leads me to this ministry. I found a lot of places that were working hard to spread God's Message to the people who haven't heard it yet. But I couldn't find a place where people like me a (broken Adventist) could go to get help/answers. I found Lots of websites talking about how bad the General Conference/SDA church Organization is and how we need to get out of her before God sends his judgement on her. And I found lots of websites bashing Ellen G. White's writings calling her a fake and a liar, but nowhere did I find a site that was trying to help God's lost sheep that was once in his flock but had been mislead from the sheep and now are alone in the darkness. I know what the darkness feels like and I hated every minute of it. I believe God has made this ministry's mission to help give people the other side of the story so that his sheep can see all angles to better make their decision. I hope this ministry will help stop Satan from ripping God's remnant church apart..." -Source.
Of course, we had nothing to do with this. Its is ALL God. He deserves all praise and glory. We only do here what we've been called to do.