The Pantheism of John Harvey Kellogg and his Legitimate Successors

What did John Harvey Kellogg Teach?

For reputable historical scholars, the only admissible answer would be based on the testimony of personal eyewitnesses to the teachings of Kellogg; (2) published writings by and about him at the time; (3) perhaps the theology of Kellogg's closest associates in theology should be scrutinized and critiqued. The clincher would be the personal testimony of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg himself.

Exhibit 1
Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years Volume 5 1900-1905
Chapter Number: 21
Chapter Title: The Threat of Pantheism
Paragraphs 03, 04, 05,
Page 289

Soon after Kellogg's return to Battle Creek, Spicer was invited by the doctor to come to his home for a discussion of the book [Living Temple]. The men spent an entire Sabbath afternoon together, and soon they were in rather bitter controversy, as the doctor explained that the teachings of the book presented his views in a very modest fashion, and it was his intent to teach that God was in the things of nature.

Later Spicer wrote of the exchange:

"Where is God?" I was asked. I would naturally say, He is in heaven; there the Bible pictures the throne of God, all the heavenly beings at His command as messengers between heaven and earth. But I was told that God was in the grass and plants and in the trees....

"Where is heaven?" I was asked. I had my idea of the center of the universe, with heaven and the throne of God in the midst, but disclaimed any attempt to fix the center of the universe astronomically. But I was urged to understand that heaven is where God is, and God is everywhere—in the grass, in the trees, in all creation.

Exhibit 2
The Living Temple
Pages 28-29

There is a clear, complete, satisfactory explanation of the most subtle, the most marvelous phenomena of nature,—namely, an infinite Intelligence working out its purposes. God is the explanation of nature,—not a God outside of nature, but in nature, manifesting himself through and in all the objects, movements, and varied phenomena of the universe.
Says one, "God may be present by his Spirit, or by his power, but certainly God himself cannot be present everywhere at once." We answer: How can power be separated from the source of power? Where God's Spirit is at work, where God's power is manifested, God himself is actually and truly present. Said an objector, "God made the tree, it is true, just as a shoemaker makes a boot; but the shoemaker is not in the boot; so God made the tree, but he is not in the tree." The objector overlooked the fact that the process of tree-making in the living tree, is never complete so long as the tree is alive. The tree does not create itself; a creative power is constantly going forward in it. Buds and leaves come forth from within the tree [....] .... So there is present in the tree a power which creates and maintains it, a tree-maker in the tree, a flower-maker in the flower,—a divine architect who understands every law of proportion, an infinite artist who possesses a limitless power of expression in color and form; there is, in all the world about us, an infinite, divine, though invisible Presence, to which the unenlightened may be blind, but which is ever declaring itself by its ceaseless, beneficent activity.

Someone needs a definition. Pantheism is any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe. Simply put: in true pantheism, God is nature.

Kellogg denied that he was a pantheist and held that his concept was nothing more than omnipresence. See "An Authentic Interview Between Elder G. W. Amadon, Elder A. C. Bourdeau, and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg in Battle Creek, Michigan, on October 7, 1907," pp. 14, 94, 95.

Was Kellogg right?

There are three special attributes of God held in classical Christian theology: God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). Does believing in the omnipresence of God automatically make one a pantheist? I think not.

What makes Kellogg a pantheist but other believers in classical Christian theology non-pantheists?

Here's the key:

Kellogg and his followers were so overjoyed by the doctrine of God being so very near in the things around them that they appeared to ordinary minds to be pantheists.

Imagine expressing delight in taking a bath, thinking that God is in the water and you're splashing God-filled water all over yourself! Picture the enthusiasm of those who believe that when they drink water that they're being filled with the life-giving Spirit of God! The same enthusiasm has been expressed for God literally being in the healthy food we eat and in the pure air we breathe.

For an absolutely terrifying example of this, as printed in one of our denominational papers, see

Exhibit 3
The Daily Bulletin, 1899
THE WATER OF LIFE
Discourse by Dr. E. J. Waggoner,
Tuesday February 21.

In that printed lecture, the following quote may be found:

O, I delight in drinking water, as I never have before: I delight in bathing. Why, I come right to the throne of God. A man may get righteousness in bathing, when he knows where the water comes from, and recognizes the source.

Here is a similar reference to the joy of God being in the air:

Exhibit 4
Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years Volume 5 1900-1905
Chapter Number: 21
Chapter Title: The Threat of Pantheism
Paragraphs 01, 02,
Page 284
Paragraph 08,
Page 285

In his presentation, which carried over into the afternoon, Waggoner referred to man's first breath. He noted that the first thing a human being does when he comes into the world is to breathe. This is what happened in Adam's experience. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Man breathes the breath of life into his nostrils eighteen times a minute. "Brethren," declared Dr. Waggoner, "God is wonderfully near."

Waggoner went on:

When a man knows and recognizes that every breath he draws is a direct breathing of God into his nostrils, he lives in the presence of God, and has a Spirit-filled life. . . . Let a man breathe by faith, and he will be full of the Spirit of God.

The Lord is constantly at work. God works in us, constantly building up, repairing waste, and healing all manner of diseases. "I am the Lord which healeth thee." But in addition to the fact that God is in every man, we must recognize that He is in everything—the food we eat, the air we breathe. These are a means of ministering life to man.

The last quoted paragraph is an excellent summary of Kellogg's Living Temple. The theology expressed there is essentially what Ellen G. White saw in vision.

Before leaving Washington for Berrien Springs, I was instructed upon some points regarding the work at Battle Creek. In the night season I was in a large meeting. The one who has stood for many years as the leader in our medical work was speaking, and he was filled with enthusiasm regarding his subject. His associate physicians and ministers of the gospel were present. The subject upon which he was speaking was life, and the relation of God to all living things. In his presentations he cloaked the matter somewhat, but in reality he was presenting as of the highest value, scientific theories which are akin to pantheism.

After looking upon the pleased, interested countenances of those who were listening, One by my side told me that the evil angels had taken captive the mind of the speaker. He said that we were to stand as guardians of the churches, but that we were on no account to enter into discussion with those who hold pantheistic theories, on these subjects. He said that just as surely as the angels who fell were seduced and deceived by Satan, so surely was the speaker under the spiritualistic education of evil angels. SpTB06 41.


What is the omega?

Here are the predictions:

"I am instructed to speak plainly. 'Meet it,' is the word spoken to me. 'Meet it firmly, and without delay.' But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. 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." Selected Messages Book 1, p. 200.

"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 startling nature." Selected Messages Book 1, p. 197.

"Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people." Selected Messages Book 1, p. 203.


Explanation

Here is a brief explanation. Ellen White regarded the Living Temple by John Harvey Kellogg as the alpha of a deadly/demonic heresy to come into the SDA church. Now, 100 years later, an evil and astoundingly perfect completion of Kellogg's heresy is presently hissing and biting at loyal Seventh-day Adventists. This is taking place within the church.


Interpretation

Before I continue, please permit me to give emphasis to some essential logic so that the omega may be rightly understood, now that everyone understands the alpha.

It’s obvious that Lewis R. Walton rightly expressed the truth in the following remarks found on page 51 and 52 of his original book entitled, OMEGA.

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.
Omega. Something else would come, sufficiently similar to the present crisis to justify linking the two events by letters taken from a common alphabet. ...

The implications are clear. There are two events, separated but similar. One occurs at the end of time. And if you understand the first, you will recognize the second.

I hope everyone remembers middle school math. Here’s another angle:

Consider the equation (x^2) + (y^2) = (z^2) which is read, x squared + y squared = z squared. For example: (3 times 3) + (4 times 4) = 5 times 5 is one solution. Likewise, (5 times 5) + (12 times 12) = 13 times 13 is another solution.

Here is my point: All the mathematical intricacies of the equation (x^2) + (y^2) = (z^2) are mathematically indistinguishable from the intricacies of the equation -(x^2) - (y^2) = -(z^2). Subtraction is the opposite of addition, but the two mathematical riddles are essentially the same. We're just multiplying everything by minus 1.


Illustration

The omega must be an astoundingly perfect completion of Kellogg's heresy. Here is a perfect illustration of an 'astoundingly perfect completion.' Suppose you only have a picture of half a face (say the left side). That's the alpha. Take the mirror image of that half face. That's the omega. Bring the two pictures together and you have a perfect wholea complete objecta naturally symmetric face.


Thesis

Life is the reciprocal of death. Just as Dr. Kellogg's emphasis was on "life, and the relation of God to all living things" in the Living Temple, expect a similar crisis and another prominent Seventh-day Adventist at the end time with an even larger following, completing Kellogg's thesis, giving a great pantheistic emphasis on death being the absence of God's presence, or as the withdrawal of God's presence,—their doctrine being death, and the relation of God to how all of the lost will die. That's the omega. 

 

The Prophetic Fulfillment

Kellogg's gospel was the concept of God's intimate presence within all living things. The second half of the equation is now being taught. See the great joy that one Adventist evangelist has for nature and God's absolute non-involvement with the death process, thus fulfilling the prophesied Seventh-day Adventist gospel of death. 

 

Love's Eternal Flame - Herb Montgomery

 
updated February 29
, 2016

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