From the web: Wieland obituary … Robert J. Wieland passed away on July 13, 2011. Elder Wieland was a true Seventh-day Adventist who lived a long life of service and sacrifice to further the gospel. To his ministry the Seventh-day Adventist church is deeply indebted. The current and strengthening interest in the messages of Jones and Waggoner and deepening study into the message of Christ’s righteousness is to no small extent a result of the courageous work of Elder Wieland.
In 1950, Elder Wieland and Elder Donald K. Short served as missionaries in Africa. At that time they both stood as delegates to the General Conference held in San Francisco. When a call was given for delegates to communicate their concerns or advice to the elected leadership, Robert Wieland had something to say. With a deep soul burden of the work of God, he wrote a letter of concern about misunderstandings of the gospel that were infiltrating the church. His colleague, Donald Short, assisted him with advice and much prayer. Elder Short decided that he would also sign the letter, so Elder Wieland changed the pronouns and added the second name.
The two missionaries were asked to stay in America for further review of their document and of their position in the church. In the meantime, they prepared a more complete disclosure of their concern in a manuscript for church leadership that would be known as 1888 Re-Examined. Ultimately, church leadership discerned that Elders Wieland and Short were being faithful to
their calling as Seventh-day Adventist pastors and missionaries. The men were sent back to Africa to continue in service. From that point on, the names Wieland and Short became inextricably linked together. They were leaders in calling for the Seventh-day Adventist church to gain all the blessings God intended when He sent us the “most precious message” which was presented at the Minneapolis General Conference in 1888.
In the providence of God, the 1888 Re-Examined manuscript passed from one person to another, stirring many minds. Conscientious Seventh-day Adventists began to understand that the reason why Christ’s coming had been so long delayed was to be found in our failure to appropriate the blessings that were contained in messages God sent through Jones at Waggoner at Minneapolis. Many church leaders, who felt good about the status quo in the denomination, worked to quell
and stifle the concerns. Numerous books and responses to the 1888 Re-examined manuscript were written asserting that the “1888 Message” of Christ’s righteousness had already been widely accepted in the years since Minneapolis. These claims rang hollow as the denomination descended into deeper division and controversy concerning the nature of the gospel itself.
Wieland and Short, for their part, worked vigorously to bring to light the hundreds of testimonies Ellen White wrote with regard to the 1888 message. They also worked to make the message available through publishing Jones’ and Waggoner’s books and sermons. In addition, they demonstrated clearly how this message is supported throughout the Bible.
The names “Wieland and Short” were synonymous with dedicated Seventh-day Adventists trying to reform the church when i was little in the 1960s-70s. I thank God so much for their dedication and zeal in seeing that the 1888 Message did not fall to the ground, but was carried on to a new generation. Personally i had a few email exchanges with him around 2004, as he strongly supported Jack Sequiera’s book “Beyond Belief”, which clearly is teaching universalism. In his replies, he showed a strong leaning towards that view also, which i hope he repented of before his passing. May i be as true and faithful to the cause of God as he was, and i hope to see him in heaven!