Extract from an Open Letter to John Thiel
John, you have scoured the [writings of EGW] for the minutiae, seeking Gods perfect will, and have decreed rules for the people to follow. These include rules on interpersonal relationships, personal hygiene, dress, diet, finances, holidays, haircuts, underwear, Sabbath keeping, music, suitable hymns, education, parenthood, social media, etcetera, etcetera.
It is therefore only natural that the people, who see righteousness is afforded them in keeping these rules, would wish to scour the [writings of EGW] themselves to find implied rules that you may have missed.
This is problematic for you as the people may, and do, try to raise laws that you don’t like. Take for example the beards. You have by tacit approval enforced a law upon the women that they must wear trousers under their skirts. You establish this rule both through historically contextual EGW quotes, and biblically by what God commanded the priests to wear in the sanctuary.
John Thiel: – “Exodus 28:42 ‘And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:’ What sort of covering was made for them? As you look at the priest, can you see the covering? Can you see anything of human form of that person? Just like the sanctuary, you couldn’t see in. That was for glory, beauty and holiness. These are all the ingredients of this dress the priest had. The nakedness was covered and breeches were made as underneath those coats the nakedness was still to be covered from the loins to the thighs. Why were they to be covered from underneath? Exodus 20:26 ‘Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.’ . . . In case there was an opportunity to see underneath the garment. If there was such an occasion but they were not even to go up on steps to reveal the nakedness. God reveals here a fact that covering has to do with holiness. Everything was covered. It is to do with holiness and beauty.”
Having accepted this established as relevant to us in this time, a logical intelligent thinking person would look at these texts and try to establish what else God requires of his priest’s for ‘holiness and beauty’.
We find that God required, for holiness, that his priesthood wore beards.
Leviticus 19:27 and 21:1-5
And we find that God requires ‘Polling’ for holiness. ‘Polling’ referring to sheep, meaning ‘shorn’ leaving a ‘crew cut’.
And their head they do not shave, and the lock they do not send forth; they certainly poll their heads. Ezekiel 44:20
As we know this issue was raised, and you had to deal with it. Not because the premise was flawed, it wasn’t, beards were as much a requirement of God as were the breeches. But still, you dealt with it by means of a scathing sermon, simply because compulsory beards and crew cuts impeach upon your own personal vanities.
You answered the challenge to your authority with the most flimsy of flimsy [EGW] quotes, so flimsy you resorted to a barely relevant and obscure Uriah Smith quote. You came from the position that EGW and the pioneers had all light on this matter and all matters, and there is nothing God has yet to reveal about this or anything else. That is non-biblical and also goes against the teachings of EGW and the pioneers.
So, we have two categories of minutiae, the first is good and to be followed explicitly. The second being named by you as “Nit Picking”, both categories having equal validity in scripture but the latter is set aside under your decree. You are the only means by which the people can negotiate this legal minefield that is of your own making. You decide that which is good, and that which is laid aside. This isn’t Protestantism, It is Papal.