by Barbara Gohl

I've heard it before, and I'm regretfully sure I'll hear it again. Here's how it goes: Ellen White at last understood righteousness by faith in Jesus when a couple of young Californians introduced the concept at the 1888 General Conference session. But she still wasn't quite certain about the centrality of Jesus until W. W. Prescott preached a sermon, motivating Ellen White to begin work on The Desire of Ages. Often this theory of the source of Ellen White's inspiration goes hand in hand with the concept that she was a gloomy, morose, depressed, melancholy Christian until — Oh! Day of Days! — she heard the messages of righteousness by faith from Jones and Waggoner.

What does the Bible teach about how God communicates messages to His people? In Numbers 12:6, God spoke directly to doubters Aaron and Miriam, saying "Hear my words! When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams." The chain of communication in Revelation 1:1 is God–Jesus–angel–prophet–people.

Peter states it clearly: "No prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:21 NRSV Nothing in these verses suggests that the inspiration for a prophet's messages comes from his or her family, friends, or cultural milieu.

Let's take a look at Ellen White's own views on the source of her inspiration. While we're at it, we might as well let her speak as to which of her published writings are inspired, and which are not, since many Adventists take the smorgasbord approach to her writings:

"In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 67

"I have given you the light God has given to me. In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions." Selected Messages, Vol. 3, page 70

The theory that Ellen White's inspiration was either self-generated or influenced by her peers or culture fits nicely for those who want to paint a Jesus after their own likeness. EGW's own comments remind us that this mindset isn't new:

"Many times in my experience I have been called upon to meet the attitude of a certain class, who acknowledged that the testimonies were from God, but took the position that this matter and that matter were Sister White's opinion and judgment. This suits those who do not love reproof and correction, and who, if their ideas are crossed, have occasion to explain the difference between the human and the divine.

"If the preconceived opinions or particular ideas of some are crossed in being reproved by testimonies, they have a burden at once to make plain their position to discriminate between the testimonies, defining what is Sister White's human judgment, and what is the word of the Lord. Everything that sustains their cherished ideas is divine, and the testimonies to correct their errors are human — Sister White's opinion. They make of none effect the counsel of God by their tradition." Selected Messages, Vol. 3, page 68

"When I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 64

God is the source of her counsel, her messages, to the church. Thus, it is God, not Ellen White, who is being rejected when we deign to have the ability to discern what is inspired and what is not:

"The testimonies I have borne you have in truth been presented to me by the Lord. . .It is not I whom you are betraying. It is not I against whom you are so embittered. It is the Lord, who has given me a message to bear to you." Selected Messages, Vol. 3, page 84

Ellen White herself identifies the source of her inspiration as God. So, to use the C. S. Lewis analogy about Christ's claims to Divinity, either she is who she claimed to be — a messenger of the Lord — or she is an imposter, a wannabe, a fake. Most critical Adventists will not say that she is totally fake. Instead, they will nuance something about her being pastoral and devotional. In other words, Steps to Christ and The Desire of Ages are great, but throw out The Great Controversy, Counsels on Diet and Foods, and Messages to Young People.

It doesn't appear to me that we have that throw-out-what-we-don't like option. Either she is inspired by God, as she says she is, or she is not. Why do we play these games with ourselves? Are we perilously close to the condition of the vineyard leasers described in Mark 12:1-11?

Though Ellen White was certainly fallible, what some allege to be mistakes in her writings driven by her humanity or the culture in which she lived may actually be relevant counsel more correctly attributable to Divine influence. Ellen White's inspiration can be described as plenary, or thought, rather than verbal. Thus, she sought out words that best describe the messages communicated to her by God. As with most of us, her writing skills improved with maturity, practice, and extensive reading. This does not mean, however, that what she wrote in 1900 is truth, and what she wrote in 1850 isn't! Neither does it mean that she suddenly "got Jesus " in 1888. Let's consider what she wrote in 1883:

"We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. We should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour or that He has no thought of mercy toward us. At this very time He is carrying on His work in our behalf, inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved. We dishonor Him by our unbelief. It is astonishing how we treat our very best Friend, how little confidence we repose in Him who is able to save to the uttermost and who has given us every evidence of His great love." Faith and Works, p 36

Does that sound like someone who didn't understand the centrality of Jesus before she "heard the voice" in 1888??

We're out of space, so next time I'll present the case that Ellen White knew her Jesus early on and experienced joy and freedom from guilt in her young Christian experience.

Comments


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Wayne L says:

What does the Bible reveals about a prophet? Definitely a prophet is not infallible as you have duly noted and Sis. White had acknowledged as well. A prophet contrary to popular beliefs does have "learning curves". "Learning curves" is a term we are generally uncomfortable with using, thinking that it farther marginalized the prophetic gift of Sis. White. I believe the opposite will be true. To excuse the lack of her preceived full understanding on certain subjects we blame writing maturity, culture or environment, is simply whitewashing plain bible explainations.

Why couldn't a prophet express their own opinions, ideals or thoughts about the will or preceived will of God. The bible is quite open with these truths. Did that admission diminish their prophetic gift?No. Many prophets of the bible didn't understand God message or the purpose of the message in it's entirety. John the Baptist stated by Christ to be the greatest of all prophets initially failed to recognized Christ in his ministry as the "suffering messiah".

Sis. White was indeed given the gift of prophecy, She grew by grace into the knowledge of our beloved Savior. The awakening in 1888 definitely enhanced her understanding and experience even more. John and the other apostles after the resurrection of Christ "still" continue to grow in their understanding and experience of Christ.

Paul states in Phillipians 3:10-12 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowshiop of his sufferings being made conformable unto his death.

Vs.11 If by any menas I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Vs.12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

I agree with you that all Christians, even Christians called to give messages from the heart of God to His people, grow in their understanding of the depth of God's grace and gift on Calvary.

The reason I don't think 1888 was an epiphany for Ellen White is that the message of Christ's righteousness can be found again and again in her writings pre-1888. Because she knew Who is our righteousness, she was able to recognize the truth of Jones and Waggoner's 1888 messages.

Here in her own words we find her response to those messages: "When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapolis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard, excepting the conversations between myself and my husband.* I have said to myself, It is because God has presented it to me in vision that I see it so clearly, and they [those in opposition to the messages] cannot see it because they have never had it presented to them as I have. And when another presented it, every fiber of my heart said, Amen. Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, page 116

Two important points germane to this blog:

1. According to Ellen White, she and her husband had expressed in conversation to each clear teachings on righteousness by faith pre-1888.

2. Because God had previously shown Ellen White the message of righteousness by faith in vision, she was excited about hearing that message so clearly expressed by someone else.

Ellen White lamented her language and vocabulary limitations. She constantly looked for better ways of expressing what God had shown to her. She was undoubtedly delighted for the clear articulation these young pastors made. But the concepts they expressed were not new to her.
*James White died in 1881, so these conversations on Christ's righteousness occurred years before 1888.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

It’s always nice to see someone not been afraid of the barrage of customary anti-Ellen White rhetoric. With the church facing its usual challenges and the odd curve-ball from the outside, one would hardly expect a total onslaught from within as opposed to the regular non-Adventists from yesteryear.

The old standard bearers knew what it was to wrestle with God in prayer, and to enjoy the outpouring of His Spirit. But these are passing off from the stage of action; and who are coming up to fill their places? How is it with the rising generation? Are they converted to God? Are we awake to the work that is going on in the heavenly sanctuary, or are we waiting for some compelling power to come upon the church before we shall arouse? Are we hoping to see the whole church revived? That time will never come.

There are persons in the church who are not converted, and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less. Iniquity abounds, and the people must be taught not to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spirit and power. If we are intent upon searching our own hearts, putting away our sins, and correcting our evil tendencies, our souls will not be lifted up unto vanity; we shall be distrustful of ourselves, having an abiding sense that our sufficiency is of God.

We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices. [Selected Messages Book 1, Page 122]

We must realise that there will always be those binary “choose you this day” watershed instances, when God’s people must take a decided stand and choose “whom they will serve”: whether the true or the false, real or fake. A decision must be made. The same applies to the Bible. Either accept it in its entirety and deal with the seemingly conflicting issues or deny its validity and authority. Sin and worldliness have infiltrated our church which has resulted in its mediocrity.

Ellen White has never had God or Bible status among Adventism. Most Adventists speak respectfully of her and admire the calibre of her Christianity even at a very young age and have been blessed by her inspirational Christ centred writings. She responded to William Miller’s preaching and gave her life to God. A faithful Sunday Christian she was and a faithful Seventh-day Adventist too.

We need to be reminded that our church was started mostly by Spirit filled; Spirit led, Sunday Christians, whom God called to lead His prophetic remnant church and preach the Third Angels Message. Ellen Harmon Gould was one of them.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"Ellen White has never had God or Bible status among Adventism."

Are you speaking from personal or historic records? In the official "Adventists Believe" it is stated that both the Bible and Ellen White are AUTHORITATIVE sources of truth. If they both are authoritative, how can they not be equal?

Also, some of us can speak historically. Many times I have both read and heard sources quoted and never was there differentiation between the two as far as equality. Does the official church not often quote her as being authoritative in many of their articles? Else, why is she the main, or largely the only source for footnotes? In college and graduate papers, sources quoted are added for additional emphasis and documenting the statements that have been made; otherwise, why use them?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Elaine

A 'lesser' light may have characteristics of a 'greater' light but that doesn't make them equal in Luminescence. Their status is not equal but their purpose is Authoritative. Where do you find all these SDA stuff anyway?

Personally and historically our church has never elevated her to equal status as God or the Bible. You may just perceive it to be this way.

Here's a query regarding whether her writings were equal in status to the Ten Commandments and an answer from Ellen White:

St. Helena, California
June 14, 1906

Dear Brother:

Your letter came to me while in southern California. For some weeks the consideration of matters connected with the development of our sanitarium work there, and the writing out of the views given me regarding the earthquake and its lessons, have taken my time and strength.

But now I must respond to the letters received from you and others. In your letter you speak of your early training to have implicit faith in the testimonies and say, “I was led to conclude and most firmly believe that every word that you ever spoke in public or private, that every letter you wrote under any and all circumstances, was as inspired as the Ten Commandments.”

My brother, you have studied my writings diligently, and you have never found that I have made any such claims, neither will you find that the pioneers in our cause ever made such claims. [Selected Messages Book 1, Page 24]

God Bless

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 klriley says:

It is difficult to make generalisations about Adventism in many areas of belief and practice. There have been, and are, SDAs who place Ellen White on an equal standing with the Bible. There have been, and are, SDAs who interpret the Bible to conform to Ellen White's writings. There are some who will tell you that if they find a place where Ellen White seems to disagree with the Bible, they will take Ellen White's writings as being correct rather then the Bible, because God spoke to Ellen White later, and just as the NT 'corrects' the OT, so Ellen White 'corrected the NT. Is this 'official' SDA belief? No, it never has been. But you can find similar attitudes going all the way back to the pioneers. You can find places in Ellen White's writings where she herself had to deal with those who expected not only to find infallibilty and inerrancy in her writings, but also in her life. She also had to deal with those who saw only a deluded woman making up 'prophecies' to get attention.

I grew up in a fairly conservative SDA church. I remember at about age 18 discovering that we were already saved by Jesus' death, and that salvation was not something that would be decided at some stage in the future. I had never heard that before. I have a number of elderly relatives who still support what is basically Brinsmead's teachings during his "Awakening" period, and will still swear on the Bible that it is what they were taught, and what their parents were taught, and it is the original SDA teaching. They can quote huge amounts of Ellen White material to back it up. I was very surprised to discover that my wife grew up in an area where righteousness by faith is what has 'always' been taught, and most people there still assume it is what the SDA church has always taught, and what all SDAs have believed. They often have little, if any, knowledge of the beliefs I grew up with. If two areas only 1,000 km apart can have such different histories when it comes to doctrines – even fairly central doctrines – perhaps it is better if we are not too quick to dismiss the experiences of others simply because we have had a different experience.

The SDA church has had a very messy history, and at times some parts get very murky and we would probably prefer to simply put it in a cupboard and forget about it. I hope we have learnt that that is not the best way to deal with history. I don't believe that acknowledging that some people have misused, or still misuse, Ellen White's writings in any way lessens the value of her work. People have been misusing the Bible for far longer, yet we still see the value in it. But we need to read the Bible, and Ellen White's writings, and react to what they actually say in context, not to the misuse of either.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 pat travis says:

Cindy,

Why isn't there more said in public speeches given by GC folks simply saying EGW is not an equal authority to scripture? Simply saying Scripture is our final authority. Can you give me recent examples where this has been said in large public gatherings by GC officials?

Perhaps the reluctance to do so in itself speaks volumes!

Regards,

Pat Travis


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Pat,

Well, I work for the GC (White Estate) and in the 61 countries I've visited, sometimes speaking before thousands of persons, I always say that the Scripture is the primary authority and that Ellen White, though authoritative, is of lesser authority than the Scripture. Everyone on our traveling staff here at the White Estate says this as well, as do the persons from Biblical Research Institute. In fact, I'm taking the liberty to re-post the affirmations and denials about Ellen White's writings that are found both on the White Estate web site and on BRI's web site, as well as in the comments from one of my previous blogs titled "Why I Think She's Still Relevant."

AFFIRMATIONS

  1. We believe that Scripture is the divinely revealed word of God and is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe that the canon of Scripture is composed only of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.
  3. We believe that Scripture is the foundation of faith and the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.
  4. We believe that Scripture is the Word of God in human language.
  5. We believe that Scripture teaches that the gift of prophecy will be manifest in the Christian church after New Testament times.
  6. We believe that the ministry and writings of Ellen White were a manifestation of the gift of prophecy.
  7. We believe that Ellen White was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that her writings, the product of that inspiration, are applicable and authoritative, especially to Seventh-day Adventists.
  8. We believe that the purposes of the Ellen White writings include guidance in understanding the teaching of Scripture and application of these teachings, with prophetic urgency, to the spiritual and moral life.
  9. We believe that the acceptance of the prophetic gift of Ellen White is important to the nurture and unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  10. We believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants finds parallels in some of the writings of the Bible.

DENIALS

  1. We do not believe that the quality or degree of inspiration in the writings of Ellen White is different from that of Scripture.
  2. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are an addition to the canon of Sacred Scripture.
  3. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White function as the foundation and final authority of Christian faith as does Scripture.
  4. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White may be used as the basis of doctrine.
  5. We do not believe that the study of the writings of Ellen White may be used to replace the study of Scripture.
  6. We do not believe that Scripture can be understood only through the writings of Ellen White.
  7. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White exhaust the meaning of Scripture.
  8. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are essential for the proclamation of the truths of Scripture to society at large.
  9. We do not believe that the writings of Ellen White are the product of mere Christian piety.
  10. We do not believe that Ellen White's use of literary sources and assistants negates the inspiration of her writings.

We conclude, therefore, that a correct understanding of the inspiration and authority of the writings of Ellen White will avoid two extremes: (1) regarding these writings as functioning on a canonical level identical with Scripture, or (2) considering them as ordinary Christian literature.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger 


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"Where do you find all these SDA stuff anyway?"

Straight from SDA's Believe pag. 216:

"One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE OF TRUTH WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE CHURCH COMFORT, GUIDANCE, INSTRUCTION AND CORRECTION."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

" it is better if we are not too quick to dismiss the experiences of others simply because we have had a different experience. "

Something we should all remember before generalizations are made.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 pat travis says:

Cindy,

In #1 of your denials. If EGW's inspiration is of the same quality or degree as scripture then how would you be able to disagree with her interpretation of scripture?

If there seemed to be a discrepancy between the two what would you do…or is that even possible to you?

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Wayne L says:

Elaine,

The statement in the SDA beliefs about the gift of prophecy being an authoritative source of truth, maybe should have been qualified for outsiders looking in.

The Apostle Paul writes concerning the gift of prophecy 1 Cor. 14:22 …"prophesy is for those that believe."

Sis. White has never placed her writings or intended for her writings to be equal with the scriptures.

GC.p.9 "The spirit was not given nor can it ever be bestowed to supersede the bible: for scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested."

The same spirit that inspired the canon prophets is the same spirit that inspires Sis. Whites gift but the difference is the level of authority.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Wayne L says:

Cindy,

Clear understanding may have been a term used loosely by Sis. White.

My reasoning is this, if Sis. White had this clear understanding about righteousness by faith, what legitimate reason would not this crucial truth been shared with the learned brethren. The formative years of the church was steep in legalism until the message of 1888.

It would be difficult to say that the brethren weren't ready for the message prior to 1888 because they weren't exactly ready then. The old guard fought against change tooth and nail but God's will prevailed.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear klriley

Regarding you comment –>"The SDA church has had a very messy history, and at times some parts get very murky and we would probably prefer to simply put it in a cupboard and forget about it."

  • Well, when satan goes off to make war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, things are bound to get messy but God does the cleaning up, not us
  • The early pioneers came out of a variety of churches with diverse beliefs and I think the SDA church has rather 'cleaned up' the doctrinal mess in this regard.
  • if messy in terms of sinners been washed in the blood of Jesus, I agree, as many millions have had their mess washed away (me too), but they shouldn't still be in the cupboard
  • The Christian church as a whole has had a 'messy' history and some murky bits too, but though enfeebled and defective it still has Christ as its head, cupboard and all. Remember that part in the cupboard called the 'Dark Ages'
  • Many over the years look to find things that were never in the cupboard in the first place.
  • I don't think the Adventist church has avoided or forgotten our remarkable history. I can say, "Praise God" for this!

Ellen white Quote: Counsels for the Church, Page 359

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Adversus_Heresus says:

Although the affirmations and denials are a good start in understanding the relation between EGW and the Bible, most GCers and White Estaters will be reluctant to apply some of the implications of such declarations in real life.

They will NEVER admit that EGW did NOT have omniscient knowledge in everything she wrote. They hold to an understanding of Scriptures that borders on inerrancy and verbal inspiration, a position that goes against hard evidence.

Had the church fully embraced some of the conclusions of Aldent Thompson on Inspiration, we would have a better understanding of the relation of EGW and the Bible. But no, we let the likes of Pipim and Ted Wilson push a literal interpretation of everything the Bible says and that EGW says. No wonder Ted Wilson is closer to perfecctionism than not… (just listen to his unqualified use of the perfecctionist's favorite passage in COL 69…).

This is an untenable position, one that creates more problems than solves, not the least of which is the death of a Spirit filled reading of Scriptures today because the Bible as interpreted by EGW is the norm of life.

"It's difficult for a man/woman to understand something when his/her job requires that he/she not understand it."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Nice Quote Elaine

…but nowhere in the context of this quotation is there any reference or alluding to her writings been on par with the Bible or God.

Neither does it imply that her writings supercede the Bible. I think its more a perception in this regard.

Again, her authoritive writings qualify as such because of the Holy Spirit who is the source of her inspiration, and nowhere does it place her 'lesser' light as an equal to the 'greater' light. Both are authoritative but the level (as someone has mentioned) of this authority is not the same. Her work been of inspired authority and of truth (the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth). This doesn't imply that it is the same as the Bible.

Also the context of this statement in this regard is referring to the application of these prophetic counsels to the 'remnant church of the end times' which for some reason God has seen fit to equip his church with, and what a blessing her writings have been.

Please find one statement in all those good resources you have which says that the SDA church believes that Ellen White writings are equal in status to the Holy Bible and God for that matter. I haven't seen any official statement in this regard.

For someone who wants to read Ellen White I would suggest they first read the chapter on "The Sufferings of Christ" in Testimonies for the Church Vol 2, Pages 200-215. Its where you can 'see' the lesser light in action…


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Ellen White said herself, that she was the lesser light pointing to the greater light. Once you have the greater light, than there is no need for the lesser light anymore. Well friends, we have the Greater light through Christ and the Scripture, and we need no other source but this, and this alone. If reading the Desire of Ages, or Steps To Christ lead you to the Lord and His Word, than her role has been fulfilled. BUT…once you start treating EGW writings as if they are the Third Testament, you have lost the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is over EGW writings that the Church received a big wound, and split in the 1980's over the Theory of the IJ and 1844 , a silly theory about how you never know if your salvation is secure, because the judgment books could open on your life at anytime, and if you are not spiritually in the right place when they do, then probation has closed on your life, and you are lost forever .

This theory, and this alone has hindered the church of real growth in the Western world in the last 30 years, and stopped the Church from spreading the Gospel to all the world with great glory.

The Church now boasts it is 16.6 million strong, but that is quite dismal really considering the world population is on the verge of 7 billion people. The majority of the Church these days is made up of Third World countries, which is not much to brag about considering all denominations have rapid growth in these countries.And once these countries catch up to the Western World in the next 20 years(If the Lord does not return before then), with scholarly study of scripture, and the IJ theory, they will end up with the same problem of numbers leaving and churches splitting and crumbling as we have had in the last 30 years.

The local Church in my small city went from 270 members who were passionate, alive, loving and spirit filled in the 1980's, down to 20 today , who are lacking spirit, passion, love for each other, and any urge to spread the Gospel, because quite frankly, they don't really know what the Gospel is they should be spreading.

Yes, certain City churches may be able to boast big numbers of 400 or more, but the Churches in the country that were once quite big and alive, are dangling by a thread, and only holding on with the little life left of the few members that attend.

I spoke to a retired Pastor 2 years ago who is an old family friend. He and his wife just travelled around Australia in a caravan, and called in to different churches in different towns and cities on their journey , and the news on most of them was bad. Churches that were once thriving now only had around 4-10 members left, most in their late seventies or eighties, and I agreed with the Pastor over the reason why, it is the1844 IJ.

So this takes us back to the start,

Does the church really need to cling to EGW and her writings?

Or is the bible and bible alone great enough to stand on its own merits and lead the church in to the future to take the Gospel to the entire world?

Does the Church have to try and cling to a Theory of 1844 to try and prove they are God's remnant?

Or can they fulfill being God's remnant by keeping the Commandments(That is all 10 of them, not just the fourth) of love for God and their neighbour, and taking the Testimony of Jesus(what Christ has done for you) to the world?

We know many who left back in the day over the 1844 IJ theory, who went through a lot of pain leaving, who have been in no mans land ever since, whose hearts still belong to Adventism, and would be back at the drop of a hat, on fire, and ready to spread Gods gospel to the world if the SDA Church got rid of 1844 IJ, and the misuse of EGW's writings, and started becoming a total bible and bible alone movement.

The SDA Church has so much truth to offer the world that other Churches do not have, like focus on healthy living, state of the dead, annihilation, 7th day rest, heavenly millenium etc.. all can be proven from the bible and the bible alone with no need of help from any other source, so why keep using the writings of EGW as a crutch to lean on?

How many times has a SDA televangelist done a seminar series, that lets say goes for 18 episodes, that starts of so biblically sound, but by the 10th one it has stopped preaching from the bible, and is mainly preaching from EGW's writings? Is this not madness, and a misuse of the woman?Is this not the reverse of what she said, instead using the greater light to lead people to the lesser light?

I don't know about you, but I find it a turn off when it becomes that, and I know anyone else who has not had an SDA background would switch it off and run far away from Adventism forever.

I leave you all with this:

Christ and Christ alone is our foundation, not EGW! We should to be able to take EGW out of the mix, and our faith still stands strong in Christ. If you build your foundation half on the rock, and half on the sand, then your house will crumble when the storm comes. As is what happened in the early 80's.

God Bless everyone

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 17th, 2011 laffal says:

Wayne L,

If we study the documented early history and development of the SDA church, you will find progressive steps being revealed, accepted, and applied. It's not that EGW did not understand righteousness by faith, if you read closely, it is implied in all that she wrote. Which is not to say that there were not positionings by leaders that tended to legalsim. But in my estimation, the key time began in that latter part of 1856 when James White began to ask questions / write about the Laodicean message applying to the Advent movement. Then in 1857, EGW began to make it clear that the condition laid out in Revelation 3:14-21 applied to the Advent movement specifically. Beginning in Vol 1 of the testimonies (around 180 onwards) you will find a constant thread running thru her writings – the lukewarm church…especially leadership. And what makes Laodicea lukewarm still? It's resistence to repent of the condition Christ Himself has diagnosed. This is Christ's #1 problem with His people.

The rejection of Jones & Waggoner's message was not the only tragedy of the time, because of EGW's support of these young men, the leadership started to disrgard her because she did not side with them in the controversy. Especially when she clearly stated that leadership had been insulting the Spirit of God.

Sound familiar?

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

So, lets see,

Ellen was the prophet, and if she would have learned something about God from Jones and Waggoner or others who was her contemporaries, this would have been receiving Truth from other sources than God. Ergo Jones, Waggoner and others living at that time were not inspired by God.

"Though Ellen White was certainly fallible, what some allege to be mistakes in her writings driven by her humanity or the culture in which she lived may actually be relevant counsel more correctly attributable to Divine influence. " Thus, Ellen is in theory fallible, but noone can show that she was ever wrong. Hence she was only fallible in theory, never in practise.

"This does not mean, however, that what she wrote in 1900 is truth, and what she wrote in 1850 isn't!" Assuming that this trend did not start iin 1850, what she said in her first publication is equally true to what she said in her last publication. Therefore, as far as she grew in understanding, she never would have been in a position of having missunderstood something that later needed to be corrected.

Did I understand your post correctly?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

When Jesus walked on this earth there with the crowds that followed him and experienced His Presence and Power and even heard His words first hand from the Master Himself, yet many of the same people cried crucify Him. They were split. In fact the split was so unequal that we see Jesus on the one side, alone, and the rest on the other. Even the disciples disappear for a while.

Even though Jesus was right there with them at that time, when there was no 1844-IJ, 1888-RBF, 1980-?, no 2300 year prophecy, no Ellen White, etc, yet the Church in Christ’s day had issues; but Jesus still loved and died for them in spite of the open rejection or ‘split’ if you please.

The early Christian Church had one Bible, one Christ and one Plan of Salvation, one Sabbath yet they too had many splits and controversy and numerous erroneous doctrines crept in, even until today, with some still debating over who the true Apostolic Church is.

One has to consider the fact that there are multiple factors that have caused ‘splits’ and divisions throughout the history of the Christian church before the cross and after, and therefore not good enough reason to annihilate Ellen white or the fundamental doctrines and teachings of our church.

I don’t think people leave the church only because of these issues regarding her writings or traditional Adventist views. There’s more to leaving the church, I know by my own experience and it wasn’t prophecy, Ellen White or our doctrines, although many would try and use them as an excuse for leaving…

I agree with you though that Christ should always be the centre of ALL that we do and say: the same as what Ellen White would have said.

God Bless

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 klriley says:

The question of how Ellen White could be fully inspired and God's messenger, and yet her message not be equally as authoritative as the Bible was asked by various people from almost the beginning of her work. Some could not see how inspiration could be total, but authority not be, and therefore concluded her words were as authoritative as Scripture. Some were willing to accept that her words applied only to SDAs, but not all were. I don't believe our church has yet done a good job of explaining how Ellen White can be as inspired as the Bible writers, but not as authoritative. We have tended to assert the supremacy of Scripture (something not as clearly taught in Scripture as we would like) and then argue that that implies no other person or work can be equal. There is in fact no Bible text that announces that the canon is closed, or that it will be closed. The book of Revelation announces a curse on those who 'add to this book', but I doubt you could find a single reputable scholar inside or outside the SDA church who will argue that that text was meant by John to apply to Scripture as a whole.

That leaves us with Ellen White's assertion that she is not equal to Scripture. But she never clearly states in what way she differs. She clearly believed her words came from God and were to be obeyed because of that. She said that if we had read and understood the Scriptures, her work would have been unneeded, but did she mean by that that once we started to read and understand Scripture we could safely put her work aside? I don't believe our church sees it that way. In what way does she then function when/if we become a truely "Bible-believing" church? And if we should decide to maintain our belief that she is a fallible human who was used by God to deliver his message, just how fallible can she and/or her message be? The present position seems to be that she most certainly could have made mistakes (because she says so), yet we are willing to spill an enormous amount of ink to argue that she did not in fact make any mistakes of any consequence. I am not sure I see the point in arguing for theoretical fallibilty while protesting practical infallibilty. It would be good to see some of the deeper questions dealt with in a substantial way rather than the focus on minimising the extent of borrowing and other matters that don't matter much to most of us anyway.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Preston says:

I have written on this issue ad nauseam, but this is precisely where our (corporate) misuse of language creates the problem of the inadvertent and mistaken equating of the writings of EGW with the Bible.

Again, the problem lies in LANGUAGE, not (at least, for me) in the question of her being inspired.

By referring to the writings of EGW as "The Spirit of Prophecy" (capitalization provided by the denomination — which only servers to exacerbate the problem), we linguistically equate her writings to the words that Jesus spoke (his testimony), as defined in the only place in the Bible "the spirit of prophecy" is defined exclusively, specifically, and in the present tense: Revelation 19:10. To me, to refer to anyone's testimony beside that of Christ, no matter how inspired, as "The Spirit of Prophecy" is blasphemous. This is the most conservative position on this issue.

By blurring the line between the spirit of prophecy and the gift of prophecy — which is what Mrs. White had, we invite confusion, discount the Bible, and divert attention away from the lesser light writings of EGW.

If I were working for the Dark Side, I'd be pleased.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Wayne L says:

laffal my friend,

You may have not read mine comments, in its entirety. I stated Sis. White's view of righteousness by faith was enhanced by the messages given in 1888.

Did the "canon" prophets know everything about God's revealed will or even visions they receive from God? No

The Apostles had at one time thought Christ will come in their lifetime. Samuel thought that the Lord wanted him to anointed David's eldest brother as king.

Peter received a vision that he was not able to fully understand until his meeting with the gentile christian Cornelius. Act 10:34

It would not be impractical to admit that there were just somethings that Sis. White didn't fully understand. You use the term progressive steps but a more accurate term is "learning curve".

We all have "learning curves" as we continue to mature and grow in our experience of Christ.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Regarding this comment –> "The majority of the Church these days is made up of Third World countries, which is not much to brag about considering all denominations have rapid growth in these countries.And once these countries catch up to the Western World in the next 20 years(If the Lord does not return before then), with scholarly study of scripture, and the IJ theory, they will end up with the same problem of numbers leaving and churches splitting and crumbling as we have had in the last 30 years."

  • This comment seems to insinuate that Third World believers are gullible and easy targets for traditional Adventist teachings which some of the First World's scholarly maestro's have rejected due to their superior intellect and 'scholarly study of scripture'. But wait a minute; Jesus rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees for their pompous scholarly insight and self-righteous intellectualism. You say that there 'is not much to brag' about these precious souls who come to Jesus Christ because other churches also are growing. I say Praise the Lord for these precious souls coming into Adventism and the other churches. Your words reflect an intentional effort to make soul winning in the Third World insignificant and cheap. Yeah, Third World lives may be cheap but they were bought with the precious blood of Jesus!
  • Are not the Third World countries just responding to the call of the Spirit, and responding to the Love of God in their desperate attempt to find hope and peace and salvation from the many untold hardships they face daily, of which the "Enlightened First World" knows nothing about? Maybe they see Jesus for who He is and find no need for scholarly approval to 're-invent God' (got re-invent from S. Foster). They just wanna go home to Jesus: they're just tired of sin and oppression and abuse by the powers that be.
  • The reference to the 'Western World' is the key in much of the problems in Adventism today. Worldliness and sin have been made trifle and the 'world' has dictated to the Church through its worldly intellect which has become the god of the First World. Repent, Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees and repent He says to the First World today! Oh, but of course the scholars will say there's no need to repent, we after all we are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing'. The Third world says "we've got no option, we have to need Jesus" and I guess that's what makes the difference between real Adventism and 'whatever'!
  • This mindset seems to be prevalent in the West as many express similar First World sentiments and I know too that not all Adventists in America subscribe to this. The harvest field is not divided by class or social status but by the need of the Saviour who is Christ the Lord.
  • One last question: "If traditional Adventism is so outdated and irrelevant to Adventism in America and other First World countries, then how is it that "Freemasonry" is? So much older, yet the veins of the First World flow with its systems, ideology and practices. Maybe Ellen White is just not 'classy' enough for the likes of many who enjoy First World status but the third world would rather appreciate the inspired writings of a humble servant of God anytime, than the pompous scoffers within "Capitalist Adventism".

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Preston says:

Forgive the intellectual pose: "Yeah, Trevor!"


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Cornerstone 111 writes:

"The local Church in my small city went from 270 members who were passionate, alive, loving and spirit filled in the 1980's, down to 20 today , who are lacking spirit, passion, love for each other, and any urge to spread the Gospel, because quite frankly, they don't really know what the Gospel is they should be spreading."

This is of course as the enemy of souls would have it. This is certainly not because those who left that particular church read, studied, believed, lived, and loved the message of the Bible and the writing of Ellen White. If they had, they would certainly have known what the Gospel is that they should have been spreading.

As for the Third World, Trevor’s response is spot on. The souls of those in the Third World, or those of Third World ancestry living in the First World, are of no less value than are those among whom the Advent message seems to no longer resonate. Of course the message to the Church at Laodicea has relevance in this context, doesn’t it?

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Dear Trevor,

You say:

This comment seems to insinuate that Third World believers are gullible and easy targets for traditional Adventist teachings which some of the First World's scholarly maestro's have rejected due to their superior intellect and 'scholarly study of scripture'. But wait a minute; Jesus rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees for their pompous scholarly insight and self-righteous intellectualism. You say that there 'is not much to brag' about these precious souls who come to Jesus Christ because other churches also are growing. I say Praise the Lord for these precious souls coming into Adventism and the other churches. Your words reflect an intentional effort to make soul winning in the Third World insignificant and cheap. Yeah, Third World lives may be cheap but they were bought with the precious blood of Jesus!

I am not saying the Third World is gullible to traditional Adventist teachings, but rather these people our down and out, desperate, and there only hope is God, thus being the reason why all denominations are having massive growths in these countries. The call of all denominations is being heard.

Look at the Charismatic movements in the Third World(and also the First world), they are growing at least 100 times faster than Adventism, and all denominations are having good growths in the Third World, which means it is nothing for the SDA Church to brag about because they are not the only ones, and definitely not the biggest.

One lady at Church last year try to make an excuse for poor Adventist growth, and said that Gods remnant is only a small movement in the last days. I am sorry, but this pitiful excuse does not fly, and is an excuse for the people of the Church to sit on their hands and not preach the Gospel to their fellow neighbours and towns folk.

The church suffers from remnant syndrome, but it is not really their fault, every movement that was involved with Millerism, or that came out of it all claim to be God's true remnant-

Christadelphians

Seventh Day Adventists

Jehovas Witnesses

Church of God(7th day, and every other Church of God breakaway)

and many other smaller Adventist groups.

The SDA Church needs to sort out for once and for all where they stand on EGW, and clear up all this confusion.

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 18th, 2011 klriley says:

If you look at SDA growth across the world, it slows after the first generation. It tends to slow in the 2nd generation and we lose a few ṁore of our youth than we would like, and the loss becomes a flood in the 3rd and 4th generation. That appears to be happening also in the developing world, whether or not the population increases in education or wealth. Having worked in one such country, I can't deny the reality of the development, nor can I blame it on any inherent lack in the local people. Talk to pastors in any country in the world where the SDA church is into its third generation and they are concerned by the loss of members and the number of young people who never join.

There is a correlation between SDA education and leaving the church (in most areas of the world), but I am reluctant to see it as causal. Why would committed SDA teachers be the cause of people leaving the church when they work so hard to achieve the opposite? Of course, there is also a correlation between children attending SDA churches and choosing to walk away later on. Is there a causal relationship there also? Or perhaps we should look at the correlation of children growing up in SDA homes and then many (80% seems to be accurate in many places) walking away from the church later. I don't think we have looked hard enough at why people do join the SDA church, nor at why they leave. And the only study I know of that looks at why people stay is by a non-believer.

This seems like a long way from Ellen White and her inspiration, but given how much we do not know about why people join/stay with/leave the SDA church, is it not a little premature to blame it on Ellen White, or her misuse, or any SDA doctrine? Many people in developing countries who join/stay with/leave the SDA church have never read anything Ellen White has written. Too many have never even read the Bible. In countries where males have an illiteracy rate of 50%+ and women often up to 80-90%, people learn by listening far more than by reading. That doesn't stop them spending money to buy Ellen White's books, even if they are in a language they struggle to comprehend, if they can do so at all. I have a strong suspicion that when we figure out why people join the SDA church, and why some then decide to stay or go, that Ellen White and her writings will not play much of a role at all directly. Our failure ('us' being those who have read her books) to put into practice much of her practical advice may be a greater factor in that. I wouldn't be surprised to find that more people leave (or fail to join) because we have failed to live our Christian beliefs than have ever left because they find some theological problem with one or more of our doctrines.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Tom says:

Oh dear, more fuel on the fire of EGW and inspiration. Is it fair to say that there is often more heat than light generated in this type of ongoing discussion? Are we really looking for inspiration or just letting off perspiration? I'm with Preston on the capitalization and use of the term Spirit of Prophecy in connection with her writings. Smacks of a fourth person of the Godhead to onlookers on the outside, and lends to exclusiveness and smugness among those on the inside. But that is realitively a small matter in all this.

The most significant reason I believe our church is growing by leaps and bounds in the third world, but has stagnated in the first world boils down to this– affluence tends to breed apathy which dampers spiritual zeal and lends to an attitude of a lack of need. The Laodecian condition of Revelation 3 is not unique to Adventism alone, but is a symptom in christiandom that was prevalent even in Christ's day.

Wherever Jesus went his words started both revivals and riots. The peasants loved Him and the self-righteous religious leaders hated Him and were determined to shut Him up.

Sorry folks, but quite bluntly I think that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in. Dear old HMS Richards responded once to a question when asked to briefly state what the gospel was, said this, "Simply Jesus, and Jesus simply." To me he was a spiritual giant whose simple methods of communicating the gospel and love of Jesus dwarfs the know it all intellectual minds that are constantly stirring up a theological windstorm about something all the time.

Dare I say that at the core of the real issue that swirls here about EGW, and all the arguments about inspiration and authenticity that buttress this ongoing debate, has more to do with ones preference to be comfortable where they are in a spiritual sense, and not wanting to hear anything that may tend to cross their path or alert their conscience that they can't just expect to glide into heaven in a religious easy chair?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 pat travis says:

Tom,

I suggest that to either understate or overstate scripture leads to similar ends…both equally unacceptable.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Preston says:

"Sorry folks, but quite bluntly I think that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in."

Tom, this is the quote of the month — at least. We tend to find the god we want to love (and the one that reflects our preferred view of ourselves), and hold it tightly.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

There was a recent survey of SDA growth compared to many other religions in the U.S.

But,has any survey been made of those, especially young people, who have walked away from the church? We can postulate till the cows come home but unless we hear it from their own lips will we continue to conjecture and speculate?

The young people, now well into adulthood, who left soon after leaving their SDA education, express their being "fed up" with the picayune rules regarding insignificant things such as hair and skirt lengths, jewelry, coffee, and innane, picky little rules that were trivial. They were only different because of the times: earlier, they were no pants for girls, movies and dancing was "devilish," and today, who knows what it is?

This WAS the face of Adventist religion that they confronted. All the chapel talks notwithstanding, the SOP became the agent for destroying simple pleasures and was a constant rod slapping them down at every turn.

So, what about THEIR children? The second and fourth generations of these who were young much earlier, were only able to intepret their impressions and many refused to have them in SDA schools were they would be confronted with similar lifestyles: the lifestyles were MADE an important part of the religious teaching. How could it be otherwise?

It is the constant need to evangelize and convert new members simply to maintain equilibrium with almost more leaving than joining. Is this any way to build a lasting community? DIscard 50, baptize 50 new–with a high attrition rate in a few short years?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Tom says:

Pat,

Yes indeed Pat. Your comment about neither understating or overstating scripture is well taken. It has often been said that a fanatic is simply one who obsessively hones in on one subject, or in this case passage, to the exclusion of all other texts, especially ones that may tend to offer a counter balance.

One needs to continually strive to remain a learner and a student of the Word and all the ramifications that go with it, and not some fossilized relic that simply clings to tradition for its own sake, nor capriciously go with the wind type that simply is " tossed about by every wind and doctrine." (quote setoff phrase are actual words of EGW)

I certainly believe the words of EGW where she states that "everything that can be shaken, will be shaken, so that only that which can't be shaken will remain." That some folks have distorted and built all kinds of theories to no end of speculation based on that statement, does not, at least in my mind, discount the truthfulness of those words.

When the signs of approaching winter are in the air, the wise squirrel is preparing for the season, while the foolish one lives on like nothing is ever going to change, too busy enjoying life to bother laying in a store of nuts for the winter in a burrow to snuggle in during the cold spell. (check the Genesis story of Noah and the ark for spiritual similarity in my illustration.)


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Preston,

This is why at the White Estate we prefer to use the term "Gift of Prophecy" to refer to EGW's writings, rather than "Spirit of Prophecy." We recognize that "spirit of prophecy" does not apply only to the writings of Ellen White, but includes the corpus of biblical prophets as well.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Preston says:

Thank you, Cindy. I think that is a good start.

However, as you can see from my earlier posts, I object to the broad use of the term, "spirit of prophecy." The Bible (Revelation 19:10) defines the term specifically, exclusively, and in current terms. To my opinion, it is impossible to conflate the testimony of Jesus with that of any prophet, Biblical or otherwise. Other prophets testified ABOUT Jesus (and other things). He testified of Himself and of His Father. It is quite different. Jesus is, after all, God, our Savior, the Resurrection, and the Word. No one else can claim those titles either.

Does not His testimony rate its own category? The Apostle John, speaking in the canon, certainly thought so.

I respectfully ask the powers that be — within the church, to reconsider this very loose use of a term that is, per the Bible, exclusive to the words of Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Tom says:

Cindy

Perhaps the best option would be to leave off the word "prophecy" altogether when using any titular reference to EGW. Didn't she call herself a "messenger" from God? Oh well, it's not worth fighting over. Old habits die hard. I suppose most SDA's will stop calling her the "Spirit of Prophecy" when well healed Catholics stop calling the pope "Holy Father." OUCH!!

Sorry, I couldn't resist the sarcasm.

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 19th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

This may qualify as redundant, but Tom's line, "…that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in," is hereby nominated as line of the century!

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger 


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

"…that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in,"

Intellectualism = devotion to the exercise of intellect or to intellectual pursuits

What does that mean in the context of the SDA church where the emphasis on 'right knowing' has such a high value? There are people who would say that 'ignorance is bliss', but surely they are few and far between who are members of our church and would yet claim that "ignorance (about spiritual matters) is (the first step towards) bliss"?

So what does it mean, when you say "…that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in"?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Tom says:

Vastuergotland,

I guess you are not familiar with my style, use of illustrations and home spun phrases I often use when trying to get a point across. When I said that intellectualism tends to worship the ground it's head is buried in, I was taking a off the cuff back slap at intellectualism, not people who are intelligent.

My posts are often long, but I like things boiled down to the bottom line and not buttressed with all kinds of fancy and entangled explanations that leave most readers head spinning with a "how's that again?" For instance, an intellectualist may offer an explanation along this line in stating "never count your juvenile poultry until the process of incubation is thoroughly materialiszed."A simple "don't count your chickens until their hatched "will do, but offers too simplistic an answer to one who thinks they are so smart that their level of intelligence is above that of the commoners.

Hope I cleared that up a bit for you. Sorry for any confusion that I may have generated. I don't want to sound flippant on such serious subjects, but when it looks like a blog is going around and around in a merry-go-round fashion with the same point-counter-point arguments I can't resist injecting a little humor. Is that okay? or do you think I'm being sacrilegious? Just think the next time you look at a camel or a giraffe and consider that God must have some sense of humor to have created animals like that.

On a more serious note, read up on the detailed circulatory system in the neck of the giraffe. Such an animal could only be the devising of a creator and not the product of evolution. Now I'm really getting off topic. Goodnight!!

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 sdasanchi says:

It is not as simple as saying that either she was inspired by God or she was not. It is not as easy as black or white either.

John the Baptist was inspired by God to do what he did in preparing the way for God's only Son, and when His Son took over, John then stepped back and said, "He must increase and I must decrease."

Ellen White was used of God to get His People back to depending on God's Word alone.

We as Seventh Day Adventists need to do the same with E.G. White and her writings. We need to make, "The Bible and The Bible Only," our guide so that none SDA Christians will not see us as being similar to Mormons with their Joseph Smith and their Book of Mormon, or Catholics and their Catachism etc.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Tom says:

sdasanchi,

Very well put. You express similiar sentiments to mine on the role of EGW. Even she expressed that she was a lesser light leading to the greater light. When our church engraves in our fundamental beliefs that she is a authoritative source of truth we chance falling into the same category of our Mormon, and Christian Science friends with their extra-biblical sources to determine truth.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 pat travis says:

>>When our church engraves in our fundamental beliefs that she is a authoritative source of truth we chance falling into the same category of our Mormon, and Christian Science friends with their extra-biblical sources to determine truth.<<

Amen to that last comment Tom…and Cindy's #1 of denial list merely reinforces the problem because it allows for no delineation in practice of the "greater and lesser light."

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Why should we believe EGW when she says she and her husband had believed this all along when we don't believe Joseph Smith when he also reported the Golden Tablets? Neither statement can be proved.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

I usually am able to resist the temptation to comment on the always interesting postings by my Adventist Today blogger colleague, Cindy Tutsch. Her views on how to interpret Scripture comes from a very different place from mine. But, who knows, in many cases, her perspective might be right more often than any I might have.

Irrespective of that, may I suggest that all Adventists of progressive bent should celebrate the fact that, given her institutional affiliation, she is willing to engage in serious dialogue and exchange of views in a public forum. If her outstanding example were followed by more individuals holding administrative responsibilities in the Adventist institutional church, we would have a much more healthy faith community.

On this occasion, Cindy's blog directly addressed the inspiration of Ellen White. This was too much of a temptation for this AT blogger to bear-very much like being offered chocolate and ice cream at the same time to a man with a weak will who is on a strict diet. The icing on the cake (keeping the diet and calorie metaphor going) and the last breach in my withering resolve was when Cindy posted the following:

"To use the C.S. Lewis analogy about Christ's claims to Divinity, either she [Ellen White] is who she claimed to be-a messenger of the Lord-of she is an imposter, a wannabe, a fake . . . Either she is inspired by God, as she says she is, or she is not."

Before launching into my comment, I want to make sure I am quoting and interpreting all of what Cindy says in this blog text on this point accurately. She makes what seems to me to be two important additional comments.

First of all, she states that Ellen was "certainly fallible" but then adds: "what some allege to be mistakes in her writing . . . may be more correctly attributable to Divine influence." All I can take away from that sentence is that, in Cindy's view, Ellen, in some cases, made erroneous statements of fact in her writings (i.e. she was fallible), but even statements which were factually erroneous should be "more correctly attributable to Divine influence." Does this mean that God inspired her to advance some mistaken understanding? If so, was it not her fault that she was wrong; it was God who is responsible? That could certainly explain every erroneous view she held and misstatement she made. May I confess that I had never thought about this possibility? But surely I am missing something here.

Second, according to Cindy, Ellen's "inspiration can be described as plenary, or thought, rather than verbal. Thus, she [Ellen] sought out words that best describe the messages communicated to her by God." I take away from that sentence that Cindy's view is that God did not give Ellen the words she used to write out God's messages to her. Rather, Ellen selected these words herself. This is fine, except we know that many or most of the words she used in many of her published articles and books were provided from a variety of other sources. But that is another issue.

(There is not room here to address directly Cindy's objection to the view that Ellen was "gloomy, morose, depressed, melancholy Christian until . . . she hear the messages of righteousness by faith from Jones and Waggoner." May I only say that I believe the historical evidence is that Ellen had a serious problem with depression, or at least acute anxiety, for most of her life. We can posit that symptoms of her depressive state were reduced when she entered into her public role as a prophetic view in her little group of believers. In other words, her prophetic role was a coping mechanism.)

Now back to my take on Cindy's main point: "Ellen White was either an imposter or she was inspired by God."

As she indicates, this suggestion about Ellen is adapted from a well-known statement from the influential 20th century Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, which appeared in his widely read book (including among Adventists) "Mere Christianity." The point had been made a number of times previous to Lewis, but it was popularized by him and used subsequently by a number of conservative evangelical Christian advocates including Billy Graham.

Let's just focus on Lewis' version which has three elements in it, not two. He argued that Jesus "was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse." Thus Jesus was either Divine, self-deluded ("mad"), or a conscious fraud. Of course, there have been many objections voiced to this "trilemma" formulation.

Applying this view to Ellen and updating our terminology, we would then be required to only be able to choose among three alternatives: (1) she was truly inspired by God, or (2) she thought she was being inspired by God but was deluded because of some type of mental health issue ("mad"), or (3) she knew she was not inspired by God but she convinced everyone around her (including her husband) that she was ("fraud").

I don't think there is any reasonable evidence for the third alternative and so we are back to two alternatives: Ellen was inspired or she was deluded in thinking she was.

I submit that to insist there are these two and only these two binary alternatives is a great disservice in seeking to understand how God may communicate to the entire human family and specifically, for our purposes, to a comprehensive understanding of the complex web of factors involved in the behavior of Ellen White in these matters.

In contrast to Cindy's suggestion, I would submit that there are many ways of evaluating Ellen's behavior in these matters which combine a number of relevant elements.

My personal favorite right now (i.e., this week) is that both alternatives 1 and 2 are correct at different times of the day, week, or month for Ellen depending on all kinds of sociological and psychological factors. Trying to determine if 1 or 2 was operating at any one time is the real challenge.

This is, of course,the same problem we have in evaluating any claim of any human to be speaking for God-whether that claim was written down thousands of years ago or proclaimed yesterday.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

THE BIBLE !!!


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 reinosaa says:

To compare Ellen White with Joseph Smith is valid in the sense that both of them claimed to be prophets .However , we know that Ellen White never claimed to be above of scripture but always as Tom mentioned , she said she was the lesser light .Always Ellen White pointed people back to the scripture .At the same time , at the beginning of the 20th century certain Adventist leaders were moving on the idea of verbal inspiration. the 1919 bible conference tried to deal with those issues but the conservatives fundamentalists of the church got rid of Daniels and the church continued to move in the idea of verbal inspiration .There have been some reaction to that but I don't think that the church has dealt with the issue of Ellen White and inspiration . Bradford , in his book " more than a prophet " in my opinon did a decent job but I think went to the extremes , The reformist Standish brothers circulated a book as a response to Bradford in this book they defend even the historical " mistakes " of ellen white . As a result of these issues , most of the pastors reject completely Ellen White. I talk to pastors all the time and they tell me that .I think we need to go back to the real Ellen white , the person who always spoke about the love of Jesus and about the bible .The Real ellen white has been forgotten , abused by conservatives and liberals . we need to move away from the bible with EG white comments and all those compilations taken out of context .But i guess the chruch has seen that it is a good business to have all those new compilations every year and all those bible with E G white comments.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Tom,

Given your definition of intellectualism as a mindset where the person involved gains self worth through saying something simple in difficult words, I guess it sidesteps what I thought you (or those who have quoted your phrase) were saying. It semed to me that the phrase was either intended or commandeered to quip at people who thinks asking "why" matters, as opposed to people who approach information in a "this is what we always beleived about the issue" or people who take a "the bible says it, I beleive it and that settles it for me" stance, often oblivious to the fact that "the bible says it" because this is how the faith tradition taught the person to understand to see it.

I dont have objections to humor (except humor that makes fun of people). But making fun on the expence of holy cows is all fine by me.

I cant help wondering whether my last sentence in the first paragraph will cause you to put me in your "intellectualism" box?

Thomas


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Wayne L says:

One thing for sure, the message of righteousness by faith in 1888 was a crucial and necessary "word" that has bought the assurance of salvation, home for many.

Sis. White though a prophet didn't know everything, she recognized truth when it was revealed. It was her tirelessly efforts that allowed this truth to be published to the entire church body.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 RonCorson says:

I think Tom represents a real problem with the conversation between participants.

Vastergotland quotes Tom statement which a few others said they liked then gave the definition or one of the most common definitions:

"…that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in,"

Intellectualism = devotion to the exercise of intellect or to intellectual pursuits

Tom then responds with his version of what intellectualism is, but note that his definition is not founded on anything in reality. He has confused intellectualism with being a sesquipedalian or simply being pretentious He wrote:

For instance, an intellectualist may offer an explanation along this line in stating "never count your juvenile poultry until the process of incubation is thoroughly materialiszed."A simple "don't count your chickens until their hatched "will do, but offers too simplistic an answer to one who thinks they are so smart that their level of intelligence is above that of the commoners.

Using bigger words is not a definition of intellectualism. The definitions are:
1. devotion to intellectual pursuits. 2 he exercise of the intellect.
3. excessive emphasis on abstract or intellectual matters, especially with a lack of proper consideration for emotions.
4. Philosophy . a. the doctrine that knowledge is wholly or chiefly derived from pure reason.
b. the belief that reason is the final principle of reality. https://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intellectualism
———–
My question is why anyone would like Tom's false statement about intellectuals or how they could possibly agree with it let alone think it was humorous. What it says to me is that there is a large segment of the Adventist church who use language so inaccurately that they must create their own meanings for things and when pressed can't justify their original meaning so they redefine their statements and it becomes a moving target to even know what they mean. That is not a conversation. It helps no one it is actually obfuscation and when it is praised as profound we have a serious problem.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Preston says:

Vasttergotland and other fellow travelers,

Maybe some of us enjoyed Tom's line a little too much. We, here on AT, are all real or would-be intellectuals. Thinking, reading, writing, and debate are "fun" to us. It is a place where nerds (a term I am proud of to be included in) gather to have fun — and to flesh out our ideas. I apologize if finding humor in Tom's line was offensive.

Tom's line was funny to me because it made the a point in a few words. That is, it is not asking "why" that creates the problem. That is what thinking people do. It is expecting a spiritual answer to make satisfactory "rational" sense — and, at the same time, ridiculing the fact that it doesn't, that creates the cognitive dissonance.

Indeed, spiritual things are spiritually discerned — or not. Tom was pointing to the fact that more than a few intellectuals see the rational life of the mind in worshipful terms, at the expense of faith. It is the deification of the intellect, while minimizing the spiritual that causes the faithful to laugh.

Truly, it is not funny.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

reinosaa

The Bible with Ellen White comments included was published by an independent ministry and against the expressed vote of the Ellen G. White Estate Board of Trustees. The reason the EGW Estate Board of Trustees voted against the request to publish this Bible was because they did not want to make it appear in any way that the Bible and Ellen White's writings are equally authoritative. The independent ministry chose to publish the Bible that included Ellen White's comments anyway.

Ellen White herself specified in her will that the White Estate continue to make compilations of her writings after her death, on specific themes that would benefit the church members.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger 


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 RonCorson says:

It is interesting to see just how Preston tries to defend himself and those like him by as I said would happen redefining what was said. Preston writes:

Tom's line was funny to me because it made the a point in a few words. That is, it is not asking "why" that creates the problem. That is what thinking people do. It is expecting a spiritual answer to make satisfactory "rational" sense — and, at the same time, ridiculing the fact that it doesn't, that creates the cognitive dissonance.

But Tom said nothing about the asking why or trying to find spiritual answers in a rational sense. Which by the way if you look for spiritual answers in an irrational sense it hardly matters what religion you choose does it. Notice what Tom does say, how he equates self-righteous religious leaders who hated Christ to intellectualism which he sees as know it alls:
—-
Wherever Jesus went his words started both revivals and riots. The peasants loved Him and the self-righteous religious leaders hated Him and were determined to shut Him up.

Sorry folks, but quite bluntly I think that intellectualism tends to worship the grounds its head is buried in. Dear old HMS Richards responded once to a question when asked to briefly state what the gospel was, said this, "Simply Jesus, and Jesus simply." To me he was a spiritual giant whose simple methods of communicating the gospel and love of Jesus dwarfs the know it all intellectual minds that are constantly stirring up a theological windstorm about something all the time.

It strikes me that those who laughed and thought the line was great are those who are also Adventists fundamentalists. But I bet if we had turned the line into:

Sorry folks, but quite bluntly I think that fundamentalism tends to worship the ground its head is buried in.

Perhaps the rest of us would see the line as more humorus. But a conversation that just feeds our previous respective suppositions is not all that helpful.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Will extremist non-traditionalist postulations bring more people into the church or give Adventism the right “Hollywood” look, or “Holy-wood” look for that matter? The following may be ultra-extremist but worth noting as much of these extreme suggestions have been alluded to already so I’ve taken the liberty of ‘cutting to the chase’ in this regard. Obviously the list refers to a ‘merry mix-up’ of many ‘winds of doctrine’, some of which is what many progressive extremists are already suggesting (and practicing?). The question that follows is how will they manage to consolidate such a mix-up of doctrine as we all know that progressives are themselves divided as to the level of extreme positions one is allowed to take? Well here’s just a small list to which much more can be added. I have intentionally left out any direct reference to ‘salvation’ and Jesus’ death on the cross doctrines as this only exacerbates it further (the definition and nature of ‘sin’ comes to the fore).

  • Allow the wearing of jewelry and ‘Picasso’ cosmetics for men and women (popular crowd pleaser)
  • Teach Life after death (Sunday Church/Hindu style – free for all)
  • Discard all Ellen White writings and 1844 related prophecies
  • Discard Sanctuary doctrine and Sabbath
  • Allow compromised evolution theory and disregard Bible Creation (a big bang for science)
  • Propagate customized cultural beliefs
  • Stop the tithing system and decentralize the church (yippee more cash to splash)
  • Allow only certain scholarly people to interpret scriptures (the ‘new’ BRI)
  • Promote dancing, movies and perverted sexual practices (self sex too)
  • Have no guidelines with regards to dress
  • Promote localized popular cultural belief
  • Discard our health message and vegetarianism
  • Promote, tea, coffee, Coca Cola, etc., as good healthy beverages
  • Allow alcohol consumption in ‘moderation’ (this guarantees huge membership)
  • Introduce extreme charismatic worship style, tongues (?) euphoria and all
  • Only preach doctrines and soothsayer teachings to suite the ears of locals
  • Teach once saved always saved or all will be saved doctrine
  • Teach that only part of the Bible is inspired (who’ll be the new BRI for this?)
  • Promote marriages with unbelievers and disbelievers
  • Allow secret society activity like freemasonry in the church
  • Preach only love, prosperity and other pleasantries
  • Encourage all members to do what is right in their own eyes
  • Declassify sacred music and lower its status to common popular
  • Ban all form of nineteenth century Protestant Rhetoric
  • Go easy on the other churches and religions with false doctrine
  • Compromise as much as possible to fit in with both worldly and religious people
  • Go easy on smokers and drug abusers and others not specifically mentioned in the Bible
  • Preach and teach only what scientists confirm is plausible or possible truth

Hmm, what’s left? Ban God?

Matt 15:9, Eph 4:14, 1Tim 4:1-2, 2Tim 3:16, 2Tim 4:2-3


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

There is a difference between Intellectualism and Intellectual Arrogance. The latter of which is even more dangerous than Intellectual Inferiority, I might add. The comment made clearly referred to the 'arrogance' posed in much of modern intellectualism and philosophy for that matter.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 20th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

"Tom's line was funny to me because it made the a point in a few words. That is, it is not asking "why" that creates the problem. That is what thinking people do. It is expecting a spiritual answer to make satisfactory "rational" sense — and, at the same time, ridiculing the fact that it doesn't, that creates the cognitive dissonance."

Says who? That someone who wants to connect the dots of a spiritual riddle needs the Spirits guidance is very different from saying that the same spiritual riddle would be "irrational". The reason you need guidance is that it is impossible to fully understand how something is reasoned from within a paradigm (with Thomas Kuhns definition) that you are not part of.

If you are among those who would argue that spiritual things are by necessity irrational mysteries, I would ask you to consider Him who binds Orions belt and keeps the pleiads bound together.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Preston says:

Just some "irrational mysteries" to consider — which a rational explanation would probably frustrate:

– creation of the universe

– the infinite nature of the universe

– grace

– eternal life

– original sin

– the great controversy between God and Satan

– raising the dead

– turning water to wine

– giving sight to the blind

– the existence of God

Perhaps you have a rational, non-spiritual explanation for these. I can't find the dots, much less connect them. I would be edified.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Tom says:

Oh dear! What have I stirred up now! Dare I advance another post in an attempt to explain myself. I do at the risk of being what I often poke at here on AT, the merry-go-round type discourse that too often ends up like a perpetual motion machine, kinda like spinning your wheels in the sand.

One always risks being misunderstood here and on that I see I am both an accomplice and a victim at times. Aren't we all. My pun about intellectualism worshiping the ground its head is buried in was not a swipe at thinking people, but at intellectual arrogance, as one of you suggested. Yes, the word fundamentalism could be substituted for intellectualism in that line.

EGW herself said that "we should be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other men's thoughts." The paradox of that is that we should not become such independent minded truth seekers that we cherish the spirit of a rebel, constantly trying to tear down the mainframe of what holds up biblical faith in the first place.

I certainly do not subscribe to an unthinking paradigm,"God said it, I believe it, and that's good enough for me," used by the closed minded who can't or won't give give an account of their beliefs when challenged. There will come a time when we will be called to stand for our faith, even before kings. Like Martin Luther we had better know for what and why we stand.

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Tom says:

Erv

I wanted to address your comments separately from the brouhaha I stirred up over my one liner. Hence the back-to-back post on this blog.

What I think you are describing here in taking issue with Cindy on her "either/or" option on EGW on the issue of inspiration is what I can absolutism. At my cousin's insistance I finally read a couple books written by Dale Ratzleff. It didn't take long for me to see he was a victim of absolute thinking. I think the same goes for the Standish Brothers at the opposite end of the spectrum. Oh Lord, spare me from a mansion of the same street with those two brothers.

For the unrelenting EGW critic, everything she wrote is suspect. To the blind apologists she could never be wrong about anything. In such a standoff there is no room for context, culture, on-going revelations of truth, spiritual growth of the writer,etc. It's either the throne or the rack. I think you get my point.

I am forever grateful to Alden Thompson for an article he wrote in the Review, soon after I came back to the church in the early '80's. It was about EGW own spiritual journey and how it was reflected in her writings. It was titled "From Sinai to Golgatha" . He also wrote a book titled something like this:"The Bible, Casebook or Codebook."

Perhaps part of the problem here is that in our respective positions, we have differing ideas of just what constitutes inspiration and how to define it. I believe Martin Luther was inspired by God. EGW even mentions that he will be in heaven. Luther drank beer and went to church on Sunday. Now does that give us reason to switch worship days and stop and have a few beers at the pub on the way to church? I think not. But I will take a piece of homemade blackberry pie ala-mode any day of the week. You can keep your chocolate cake, Erv.

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Preston, You wrote:

"Just some"irrational mysteries" to consider — which a rationalexplanation would probably frustrate:

– creationof the universe

– the infinitenature of the universe

– grace

– eternal life

– originalsin

– the greatcontroversy between God and Satan

– raising the dead

– turning water towine

– givingsight to the blind

-the existence of God "

Given the definitions below, would you mind telling me why you feel that the topics you listed above (excepting nr 2 and 10, as neither science nor scripture say the universe is infinite as far as I am aware, nor is God in the buisness of proving His existance, He is working to communicate His character) are not endowed with understanding or are not governed by "a sufficient ground of explanation"? Consider Acts: Acts 17:2 Acts17:17 Acts 18:4 Acts 19:8 Acts 24:25 Paul apparently found these topics rational since he reasoned with both Jew and Greek, trying to persuade them concerning their truth. And only a fool would try to persuade another to accept an irrational position by the means of reasoning. Then you also said:

"Perhaps youhave a rational, non-spiritual explanation for these. I can't find thedots, much less connect them. I would be edified.

I am curious, I understand your sentence above to mean that you find rational and spiritual explanations to be incongruent. Why is that? I would think that someone who believes that God created the world would by necessity be bound to view the world as both rational and spiritual. Although, that view may be colored by my understanding of God as both rational (i.e. God is intelligible and His creation and other acts are explicable) and spirit. If someone has the understanding that God is fundamentally irrational, then my conclusion would of course not be accpetable for that person.

/Thomas

Rational

1

a : having reasonor understanding

b : relating to,based on, or agreeable to reason

Reason

c : a sufficient ground of explanation or oflogical defense; especially : something (as a principle or law) thatsupports a conclusion or explains a fact

d : the thing that makes some factintelligible

Irrational

: not rational: as

a (1) : notendowed with reason or understanding

(2) :lacking usualor normal mental clarity or coherence

b : notgoverned by or according to reason


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Maybe someone can explain why EGW is being so heavily promoted: The Andrews Study Bible, with the liberally quoted EGW alonside each page? Some 3,000 were given as gifts to Andrews students. Is this evidence of even more heavy promotion of her writings?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Elaine

You ask –> Maybe someone can explain why EGW is being so heavily promoted:

Was the Bible been promoted or Ellen White? It's just an individual's perception which in turn draws to a conclusion. Some or even a large majority may conclude that the Bible was been promoted merely based on their perception. Can a perception of something be called evidence?

My Dad taught me a two line poem many years ago…

  • Two prisoners looked out from the bars: One saw the mud, the other the stars.

Her writings should not have been included in the Bible for one important reason (among others): it incites her critics into a position of elevated 'perception'.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Are you implying that EGW has not been placed "into a position of elevated 'perception'"

Surely, reading much of official SDA writings in official publications, as well as essays and sermons do not do so 😉 How would that be possible by reading The Andrews Study Bible? Or the SDA Bible Commentary?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

1 Corinthians 1: 18-31, 1 Corinthians 2: 1-16, 1 Corinthians 3: 18-20, Psalm 14: 1-3

Vastergotland,

I think this is what Preston is essentially saying: it would seem that what appears as rational to those operating from a (spiritual) paradigm of faith in the God of the Bible, is foolishness to those who operate from a paradigm of unbelief. Conversely, it would seem that unbelief is foolishness to those who operate from a paradigm of faith in the God of the Bible.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that this line of reasoning has firm Biblical foundation; which, of course, may seem nonsensical to those who do not believe.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger 


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Trevor,

Your list of what you think extremist non-traditional adventist teachings are, are absurd quite frankly. The only thing I see that is extreme isd your list.

There are many wonderful Christians who still hold to the bulk of Adventist teachings, but have gotten rid of the 1844 IJ. Dr.Desmond Ford is one such great Christian man, and champion of the Gospel.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Preston says:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8. This seems be a declaration of irrationality, at least as humans measure it. Of course, one could happily argue that the Lord is not rational. After all, what sense does grace make? We humans have a comprehension problem regarding spiritual things in that we are both sinful and limited. Our limited ability to comprehend Him is both a reason for humility and an explanation for our confusion regarding His ways. The rational and the spiritual are different rhelms. Though the spiritual can, via faith, make rational sense to you (or me), faith itself, is not rational — at least as most measure it. Reason without faith makes the spiritual inaccessible. That is why Paul's interactions in the synagogue were less than successful — he had reason; they had no faith (Acts 17:5, Acts 18:6). But for the sake of peace — and reason, let's stipulate that we are all thinking people. The point of departure seems to be what sources to we accept as authoritative. That's where reason and faith seem to be at to be in conflict.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Well I have no qualms about your comment that the list is extreme. I did warn that it would be. I didn’t intend for it to be pleasant on the ears either. ‘Absurd’ though? I beg to differ. The ‘list’ illustrates how dangerous the opposite side of traditional Adventism can be. In fact even the most extremist traditionalist pales in comparison to what extreme liberals are suggesting (and practicing) which includes the annihilation of the 1844 IJ and Ellen White.

You have to also be aware that it doesn’t just stop there: it gets worse. In this school of thought, Sin is declassified and given non-sin status by the use of ‘dodgy’ (arrogant) reasoning which suites the culture and popular ideologies of the day. Much on this list is already in belief and practice and therefore can’t be brushed of so lightly as ‘absurd’. The very fact that so-called Christians could reach such extreme positions is really what is ‘absurd’. Don’t blame the list when it just reflects current trends and extreme schools of thought within Adventism today.

I’m so glad to hear of the many wonderful Christians who hold to the bulk of Adventist teachings. That position however, hardly qualifies their ‘attempt’ to get rid of 1844 IJ, or justify the rationale behind it. One can’t really get rid of prophetic fulfillment which the Bible has revealed and which was preached by William Miller nearly a generation before SDA’s came on the scene.

Desmond Ford did pick and choose what suited his own intellectual reasoning with regards to Ellen White which many conservative progressive’s still do today.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 21st, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Dear Trevor,

William Miller admitted after 1844 that it was folly and a mistake, and did not get involved with Adventism, or its theory of a 1844 IJ.

The Adventist Church has the majority of things good and right going for them…BUT, they have a few cobwebs to clean out. The 1844 IJ is the main one, it has hindered church growth in the western world in the last 30 years, because a lot of people lost credibility for the church the way they not only handled it, and treated innocent Christians in the church, but also the way they try and stick to it amid the weight of evidence that is against it.

If the 1844 IJ is true, than why aren't all SDA out there dorrknocking everyday warning the wrold about it? You hardly even hear it get mentioned in a Church service these days.

The Church says it is a foundational belief of the church, but the church has changed its views on a lot of its founding beliefs since it began, so why not the 1844 IJ as well? A lot of what the JW's believe is really an early snap shot of Adventism.

The whole idea that Christ started going through the judgment books in 1844, and you have no way of knowing if your salvation is secure, because you don't know if the books already have been opened on your life(maybe before you were even saved), or that they could open on your life at any moment, and if you are spiritually not in the right place at the time,probation has closed on your life, and you are lost forever no matter how hard you try is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD!!!

The Church needs to get back to Christ and Christ alone, and the bible and the bible alone.

In the last days sons and daughters will prophesy, and old men will dream dreams. If the SDA Church is really the true remnant of the last days, than it should be full of living prophets, not a 100 year old dead prophet.

Christ is our rock, not EGW!

YHWH Bless and send us all His Spirit

Nath


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Stephen,

1 Cor says that the cross seems irrational to the heathen, not that it is inherently irratoinal as Preston is arguing. You may find that I already mentioned the point you are making here in a previous post in this discussion.

Preston,

How do you measure faith? Here is one way to view it:

https://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/the-wrestlers

https://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/the-faith-to-doubt

https://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon/losing-the-faith-game

Either of these would make the point, but they are all worth hearing.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Preston says:

Dear Vastergotland,

What I am positing is that 1) spirituality is, by nature, irrational as it is based on faith which is, by definition, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (that definition, alone, would repel the traditional rational thinker) and, 2) based on our limited ability to comprehend God, whose thoughts and ways, by His own admission, are different than ours is.

I come to the conclusion that depending on my ability to rationalize God, His Word, and His ways, is, for me, a recipe for frustration and failure. It is by the "irrational" submission of my will to Him and by faith in Him, can I discover His ways. It is that struggle that made Tom's joke resonate with me. We are all in love with our opinions and intellects and hold our will as a god.

Walking on water, I am sure, seemed irrational to Peter. But when he did as Jesus bade him, he succeeded in doing so — through faith in and by the power of Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Vastergotland,

There really is little difference between what you, as a believer, are saying and what Preston is saying; in that because you are a believer, faith in the God of the Bible is not inherently irrational. You are basically operating from the paradigm of belief; hence it is clearly not irrational for a believer in an invisible God to have faith in the power of that same invisible God. Non-believers do not believe because, in their view, it is irrational to do so. The difference between you two may be that Preston is projecting the perspective of carnal infidelity, and you are a believer.

The point that may be missed here is that believers consider non-belief as inherently irrational (with Biblical backing I might add). Non-belief in this context is often considered to be a form of, or a result of, “intellectualism.” Belief in this context is synonymous with fundamentalism.

This is perhaps why Tom’s line resonated with certain believers.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Good points Stephen,

Considering that Toms original post was also directed towards believers, projection may indeed be the key word here. (Realising that projection is much easier to recognise when you are or perceive yourself to be on its receiving end.)


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Something we need to consider in all of this…

Beyond the usual dose of intellectual arrogance, which we all have to endure from time to time, there is another type within the periphery of intellectualism who use their knowledge and thinking capacity, coupled with remarkable rational reasoning and impressive influence of argument, who unfortunately, reserve all of this, for the sole purpose of disseminating this in the form of ‘Intellectual Skepticism’.

Yet another, from within of this divisive intellectual culture, is ‘malicious intellectualism’ which has been around for a long time, like skepticism (older than Adventism) and has been the root cause of much woe on our planet. A good example of this kind is ‘Racial Discrimination’, ‘Racism’, ‘Racial Segregation’, ‘Racial Disenfranchisement’, ‘Racial Oppression’, ‘Racial Prejudice’, etc. Colonialists have used it, Politicians have used it and Governments have used it: despots, theologians, and Scientists aren’t exempt either. By the careful orchestrated use of intellectual propaganda and manipulation they pursue their wicked schemes by using rational reasoning and even scientific based study in order to justify and condone their actions no matter how crass they are. Some have even preached this ‘justified racism’ from their pulpits and use studies done by malicious intellectuals from higher learning institutions to back up their racist agenda, ideologies and politics. Rational reasoning can sometimes even seek to rationalize its irrational behavior.

I can therefore humbly posit that certain schools of intellectualism, however rational and convincing their reasoning may be, without the mind of Christ, and under His control, are but just in the end skeptic thought with malicious intent. Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” [Rom 1:28-32, Rom 8:7, Rom 12:2, Rom 12:16, 1Cor 1:10, 1Cor 2:16]

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Those who loathe Ellen White, even go to the extent of mocking those who refer to her as ‘Sister White’. What’s wrong with calling her Sister White? Is doing what most Christians do in the twenty first century that offensive to her critics?

Brother and Sister is a common respectful manner that many Christians use to address, communicate and refer to each other. It denotes our common bond as children of God through Jesus Christ. Calling her ‘Sister White’ is not outdated or deceptive as some have alluded to and scoffed at.

They falsely accuse traditionalists of using the name ‘Sister White’ when trying to win Catholics, in order to deceive them into thinking she was a Nun. That is just fictitious. So do we use the term brothers to portray us as monks?

I have also noticed that Brother or Sister is not used when referring to anyone on Adventist Today which is very odd behaviour in a supposedly Christian environment Blog. It’s as though we aren’t brothers and sisters in Christ or are unsure about who is, or “who’s who in the zoo”.

Real Adventists in today’s world call each other brother or sister and it’s odd that some are afraid to reflect just that.

Your Brother in Christ

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 reinosaa says:

the issue is about Ellen White and inspiration , the only thing I have to say that it would be nice to have footnotes , explanatory notes about those letters and testimonies . Trevor , I fully I agree with you there is no problem with calling Sister white . It is interesting also that people always bring 1844 and the Investigative judgment as if were something that hasn't been adressed before . Daniel and revelation comitee 7 volume explaining all this .

www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 klriley says:

Does anyone refer to others as 'sister' or 'brother' any more? It certainly isn't used in Australia, except in a joking manner. I think for many people – especially older people – using 'sister White' is simply habit. I had never heard of it being used to fool Catholics into thinking she was a nun. As Catholics do not use 'Sister X' where 'X' is a surname, it probably wouldn't work anyway. It would have to be 'sister Ellen'. I have never heard her referred to in that way by anyone. I think the use of 'sister/brother Smith' went out of use because referring to people by their last name seems overly formal in a church environment – the exact opposite of what it was intended to convey. That is true even of pastors. We call our pastors either by their first name, or 'pastor (insert appropriate first name)'. Other areas of the world no doubt have other traditions and would find ours quite strange.

Just because the church addresses an issue, even if it takes 7 volumes to do so, doesn't mean they have convinced everyone, or even that they are right. I know of even conservative SDAs who are not convinced we have gotten the details right yet. There is nothign wrong with continuing to question or dialogue on any doctrine – at least, not until we are sure we have it perfect.

Kevin


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Elaine

I haven't seen any Ellen White citations in the margins of the Andrews Study Bible. You may be confusing the Andrews Study Bible with another Bible published by an independent ministry.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Wayne L

I also believe, as with the biblical prophets, that there were messages that God gave to Ellen White that she didn't understand, and even sometimes misinterpreted. In those cases, God soon sent another vision to clarify what she had misunderstood. I too believe that she grew in her understanding of God's love, His righteousness, and the centrality of Jesus to our salvation.

At the beginning of her prophetic ministry, Ellen White didn't think there was a problem with eating pork, and she thought Joseph Bates was over emphasizing the Sabbath. Through Bible study, the early Adventists came to understand the Scriptures more fully. When they were at an impasse, God sometimes sent a vision to clarify their thinking, or to corroborate what they had already discovered.

So I have no problem with Ellen White being enriched in her understanding of righteousness by faith in 1888 as a result of Jones and Waggoner's preaching. To say that she "didn't get it" before then is where I must differ.
Here is some more good info on the subject of prophetic growth in understanding:

https://www.whiteestate.org/books/mol/Chapt3.html#Prophets Not

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 pat travis says:

Cindy,

Do you feel EGW would have outgrown her view that Christ did not enter the MHP till 1844 that some feel she was in DA?

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 22nd, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Dr. Taylor,

Thank you for your civil tone!

I am intrigued by your next to the last paragraph in which you suggest there may be days/weeks/months in which you believe Ellen White is (#1) "truly inspired by God." I'd be interested in knowing whether that state of belief is induced by a particular book of Ellen White's that you are reading (and if so, which one), or by some random external force, such as the position of the stars.

This may sound facetious, but actually it's not! Your attitude toward both God, Scripture, and Ellen White does seem to vacillate with what to me is nonquantifiable reasoning.

For instance, it is true that Ellen White sometimes expressed feelings of depression (often over the state of the church.) It seems a leap of logic, however, to attribute her inspiration to depression. Would you do the same to David, who often expressed depression in his Psalms, or to Elijah, who was so depressed he wanted to die? Or how about Jeremiah, tagged "the Weeping Prophet?"

It just doesn't seem to me that the prophet's happiness quotient is a good indicator of whether God gave them messages.

Honestly, I think our biggest differences (yours and mine) center in our attitudes toward propositional truth, whether that truth is found in Scriptures (ie Genesis 1-11) or in the writings of Ellen White. Forgive me for quoting EGW here (!) but she makes the point better than I could:

"And [God] has not, while presenting the perils clustering about the last days, qulified any finite man to unravel hidden mysteries or inspired one man or any class of men to pronounce judgment as to that which is inspired or is not. When men, in their finite judgment, find it necessary to go into an examination of scriptures to define that which is inspired and that which is not, they have stepped before Jesus to show Him a better way than He has led us.

"I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word, I believe its utterances in an entire Bible. Men arise who think they find something to criticize in God's Word. They lay it bare before others as evidence of superior wisdom. These men are, many of them, smart men, learned men, they have eloquence and talent, the whole lifework [of whom] is to unsettle minds in regard to the inspiration of the Scriptures. They influence many to see as they do. And the same work is passed on from one to another, just as Satan designed it should be, until we may see the full meaning of the words of Christ, "When the Son of man commeth, shall he find on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)" 2 Selected Messages, page 17

I really believe if we would do less analyzing of the prophetic messages from God and more utilizing them to know Jesus better and serve Him with greater zeal, we would be more enthusiastic about His coming.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Hansen says:

The promotion of EGW is really about money. The denominational apparatus which provides a livelihood for lots of people who really do nothing is dependent on tithe. No case from the Bible can be made for tithing as obligatory for Christians; however, conveniently, EGW provides an authoritative voice in favor of supporting an Adventist "papacy."

Church leaders really don't take EGW seriously. Her counsel in numerous areas is flatly contradicted by church practice or simply ignored. I know what she said. I read the books, more than 50 of them, in their entirety.

The BRI makes no serious attempt to defend tithing from the Bible. Instead, they offer essays which trace the history and use of tithing among Adventists. The majority evidence for tithing is based on EGW, not responsible interpretation of the NT.

https://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/documents/history-useoftithe.pdf

The idea that EGW learned about righteousness by faith from Jones and Waggoner is laughable. I've seen little evidence that they clearly understood the doctrine themselves. Much of the dispute around 1888 was really about the law, not justification. The public debate between Butler and Waggoner, ~1888, in print, was mainly about the law in Galatians, not justification by faith.

EGW rebuked Jones for teaching that "works amount to nothing." She claimed to understand what he meant but feared the people would be confused. Jones was actually on the right track. Works do amount to nothing as far as the forgiveness of sin and imputed righteousness of Christ is concerned.

Martin Luther clearly understood that. He was more of a prophet, in many respects, than EGW would ever hope to be. He had numerous flaws in his character and his theology; however, he clearly understood the centrality of the cross in redemptive teaching and preaching.

EGW claimed to have already understood the message of Jones and Waggoner. She said it was the first clear teaching she had heard on the subject, aside from conversations she had with her husband. Imagine, a denomination in existence for more than 40 years with no clear teaching on justification by faith.

Adventism was a legalistic cult. It continues to so be in numerous places. The denominational leaders will not take a firm stand opposing legalistic, heretical teaching based on shabby Scriptural interpretation. If they did, they would be biting the hands which feed them. Tithe is based on legalistic heresy, not solid Biblical interpretation.

Much of the wood which fuels these fires of legalism is cut from the forest of the writings of EGW. Sure, she said some gospel oriented things. But she also made a lot of statements which are confusing and lend themselves to legalistic perfectionism. Where do you think the right wing wackos get their theology from? It's not from an accurate reading of Abraham's biography or Paul's interpretation of it in Romans and Galatians.

Adventism is in the confused state it is because of EGW. Luther exercised his prophetic office to contend for the faith which grasps the justifying righteousness of Christ. EGW adorationists point to her "Great Controversy" theme, a theme which is not plainly obvious in Scripture. The underlying theme of the Bible is desecration/restoration, condemnation/justification.

That theme is played out in most of the books of the OT: Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah clearly trace the defilement/restoration of the temple. That's the central theme of the Bible.

It was most clearly manifestd in the Christ event. Christ's death and resurrection was the ultimate example of temple destruction and restoration.

As long as Adventists read Scripture through EGW tinted spectacles, confusion will reign [Nothing against her good ideas, such as 2 meals a day and saying NO to masturbation].


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Trevor,

You said:

Desmond Ford did pick and choose what suited his own intellectual reasoning with regards to Ellen White which many conservative progressive’s still do today.

Every single SDA member does this!. How many SDA really follow her health teachings concerning meat, caffeine, alcohol etc?

How many do all these things daily, but when it comes to a potluck lunch at church, they all eat vegetarian? the answer is THE MAJORITY! None of them ever bring meat, even though that is what they live on all week.

How many go to the movies? hire videos? listen to worldly music? go to dances? etc etc

Most SDA youth these days live like the world. When was the last time you heard a sermon about Holy living? how to abstain from worldly things, and be a perculiar people?

The Church is a mess, it has weakened to the world, and lost its way. It truly needs a huge dose of the Holy Spirit.

God Bless

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Frank Allen says:

I like EGW’s devotional material, I always have regarded her as “Spirit of Prophecy.” My problem is that some of her counsels have been to me a heavy burden. This “gift” has finally worn me out. For years food was a source of guilt and confession of sin, even if I ate in-between meals.

To EGW health reform “cannot be trifled with without…no man can hope to succeed in the work of God…” She believed that health reform was part of the 3rd angel’s message and it “an important aide in the work of becoming sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immorality.” “Everything that conflicts with natural law creates a diseased condition of the soul.”

For years I placed food as an indication of personal victory. One day I asked myself—can I affirm her health reform visions by the Bible only? It has left me confused.

Consider just few of EGW’s health rules I have tried to follow, I really have:

*Irregularity in eating, drinking, and dressing—deprives the mind and corrupts the heart

*Eating flesh—enfeebles spiritual and moral nature and is impossible to be intellectually strong

*Overworking either mind or body—will imbalance the nerves system

*Children allowed to eat any hour—weakens mental health, making them self-willed and irritable

*Sickness—all sickness is the results of transgression for “to be sick is a sin.”

*Parents that use wine—pass to their children mental and moral debility

*Several kinds of food at one meal—cause disease (two or three kinds only)

*Free use of sugar—a cause of disease

*Exposed limbs—is the chief reason why many are invalids

*Drugs—do not cure any malady

*Be a vegetarians—“all who claim to be preparing for translation” worldwide, will not eat meat

*Do not eat any meat—it beclouds the intellect and blunts moral sensibilities

*Food should be prepared free from grease (oil)

*Do not use “all spices” and condiments—make the blood feverish and impure

*Do not use—black pepper, mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, fiery spices (red pepper)

*Do not used salad dressing with oil and vinegar—Ellen battled with her vinegar habit

*Do not drink green or black tea—“Tea and coffee drinking is a sin.”

*Do not drink coffee—benumbs the brain creating mental feebleness.

*Do not eat fresh raised bread—never should appear on the table

*Do not used milk in making bread

*Do not eat—sweet puddings or custards made with eggs, milk, and sugar

*Do not eat—vegetables and fruits together at one meal

*Do not eat in between meals—not even an apple or a nut

*Eat two meals a day— need five hours rest between meals

*Infants would do better on two meals day

*Do not drink with your meals—hinders digestion

*Do not use hot drinks—enfeebles organs of the body

*Do not use cold foods—robs vitality and hinder digestion

*Never eat pickles—makes miserable quality of blood

*Give up liquid foods—does not give vigor to the system

*Give up cheese—never should be placed in the stomach

*Give up real butter—it is a stimulate and perverts the taste

*To some children—butter, eggs and meat excite sexual desires

*Self stimulation (sexual)—creates memory loss, cancer and insanity

*Dress—is a way we can judge a woman’s character

*Do not follow dress fashions—or God will not acknowledge you as his children

*Do not use ice water or iced lemonade with your meals

*Do not read novel’s—makes thousands inmates in insane asylums

***Etc. Etc. Etc….


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Frank Allen,

Man, I hear you! I appreciate your struggle and frustration. My advice is let it go. Do what you can, know, and feel comfortable with—after praying for guidance and strength; and don’t worry about it.

What EGW counseled on food is hard, no doubt. For some it may not be possible. However it doesn’t make what she counseled not true, or not profitable, for those who are blessed with the strength and wisdom to follow them. It’s just that we are so far from the Biblical ideal of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains that going back to them, which is what her counsels simply suggest, seems a practical impossibility.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 laffal says:

Frank Allen,

I believe what we haved tended to miss in all of the discussions about EGW and your list of challenges is / was the focus of her ministry. All of the reforms have one central focus – preparing a people for translation. The only way one could engage successfully the list you provided is to deny self totally for the stated purpose of preparing for translation. But that also begs the question as to one believing that Christ's return is immenent / soon. As long as we have other interests outside of this central focus, the reforms will be quite burdensome if not impossible.

In all that I have read of EGW, the sense of urgency and devotion to the 2nd coming was paramount. Is this urgency and devotion the primary focus of the SDA Church today? Or is it just a part of the dialectic?

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Preston says:

This may be as good a place to ask this question as any. I've often wondered how the White scholars square her counsel with 1 Timothy 4:1-4. The verses 1 and 3 strike me as particularly at variance with Mrs. White's counsels.

Verse 1 refers to "in the latter times," implying that the advice will come in the last period before Christ's coming. Verse 3 specifically warns against those who will command "to abstain from meats."

Can anyone explain this apparent disconnect?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Dear Preston,

The word translated ‘meats’ is the Greek word broma, which means food. In the old English ‘meat’ was a term that referred to all food. This has been updated in the New King James Version of 1 Timothy 4:3. Also, compare Luke 9:13 where broma refers specifically to bread or loaves (artos) in the parallel passage of Mark 6:37. The expression ‘every creature of God’, in 1 Timothy 4:4 is better translated ‘everything God created.’ See other translations of this verse. So the answer to your question is no, 1 Timothy 4:1-7 is not talking against vegetarianism. This passage is talking against those who believe that salvation depends on ascetic behaviour such as giving up marriage and certain foods.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"Meat" is still food, and rejecting or giving up certain foods has been taught by Adventism and EGW, as specifically listed above.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Pat,

I don’t believe Ellen White was trending toward refuting her sanctuary message as she grew older. Here is a statement from 1904 (The Desire of Ages was published in 1898):
“We are God's commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Word–especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of Heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.” 1 Selected Messages 208

Or consider her firm rejection of Ballenger’s anti-sanctuary theories in 1905:

The light on the sanctuary question was given by the Spirit of God, and we who passed through the disappointment of 1844 can testify to the light that was then given on the sanctuary question. Elder Ballenger needs to rest awhile and cease to sow the tares which will lead our people on a false track. As the messenger of God, I am to bear no hesitating message on this subject. Manuscript Releases760 15.3

In 1911, four years before Ellen White’s death, the entire edition of The Great Controversy was reviewed. Had Ellen White changed her mind about the pre-advent judgment and Christ’s role in the Most Holy Place, this would have been an opportunity to change or eliminate her previous statements about the sanctuary. Instead, she reaffirmed them.

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Cindy,

The problem with all of this is, we should be finding out what scripture says on all subjects, not what EGW or anyone else for that matter says.

Here we all are talking about EGW, when really our focus should be on Christ and Christ alone.

It is obvious that EGW is the foundation of the Church, not Christ. We need to get our papers in order and start living the Gospel message, and not EGW message.

Pray that the Church comes back to the truth.

Also, the 1844 IJ is found nowhere in the NT, and it does not give anyone any security in their salvation. If it really is in the OT(which I personally dont think it is) than it is for the Jews, not for us.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 23rd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Frank Allen,.

Your long list of EGW's do's and don'ts proves one thing, that it is opposite to Christs words:

28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

She is putting legalistic burdens back on to the Christian. It is time we let her go and got back to what the bible and the bible alone says, I really cannot stress this point enough!!!

Pray that the Church finds its way before the end, because the way the world is heading now, the birth pangs have definitely begun.

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 24th, 2011 pat travis says:

Cindy,

Thanks for your reply. When did EGW use the term pre-advent judgment rather than I.J.?

Also, the point I am making is specific. There is a "sanctuary message" in scripture. It say's Christ went into the Most Holy place "within the veil" and "sat down" on His Father's throne at His ascension and He is a king-priest not after the Levitical priesthood but after the order of Melchizedek.

My point was did she grow, as some suggest her words imply in DA (Calvary Chapter and the Last Chapter), to recognize Christ's entry into the MHP at His ascension and the veil was rent with direct access to the Father in Christ?

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 24th, 2011 reinosaa says:

I think your problem is that you are trying to divide the OT with the NT . It is one of the greatest deceptions to think that the Old testament was done away . As I said before the IJ has been dealt extensively by the Daniel And Revelation committee . Your problem with “ assurance of salvation “ I think you misunderstand that . The sacrifice at the cross guaranteed our salvation , we still have to choose if we want to spend eternity with Jesus . We have freedom to choose one way or the other .


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 24th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

If the IJ was a NT teaching for God's Church, then it would be a repeated theme throughout the NT, but unfortunately for those who have put their faith in the doctrines of men, it is not there.

There is no way that an alimighty, infinite God, who knows the hearts of all men who are living and dead, and knows the past, present, and future(before it even happens) has been going through the Judgment books fo the last 167 years since 1844, to do a job that a computer can do in 5 mins. How dare we mock God like that, and limit him to such absurdity!

A good debate to watch is Graeme Bradford vs Evan Sadler on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDFYssn-64s


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 24th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Are you Sir, not mocking God: (which I assume is unintentional and used to make your point) by comparing His prerogative of Judgement to a computer, of which you suggest will take 5 minutes? You are aware too that the Bible reveals various stages of this judgement process. 1 Cor 6:2-3 indicates that even the Saints are involved at at some stage in this process. God is so Just and Righteous and Holy and surely He isn't a 'fly by night' judge as you infer.

Just because He knows the past, present and future doesn't necessitate that God has to conduct a high speed judgement. Even man has due process regarding judgement in a court of law. Remember that witnesses, testimony, hearings, etc, form part of this process here on earth and why should time be a 'mitigating' factor in the heavenly courts above? What about a fair trial? Who will be witness to the high speed judgement you suggest?

  • Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
  • Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
  • John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
  • Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
  • Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
  • Rev 11:18-19 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

God Bless

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 24th, 2011 laffal says:

Cornerstone111,

I beg to differ about the New Testament not teaching the IJ. It happens to be a major feature in Christ's parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22:1-13. The issue in the IJ is not about God's knowing or not knowing who will be saved until He comes across their names in judgment. It's about vindicating the faith of those who have committed the keeping of their souls to the Lord God in contrast to Satan's accusations Their works (the wearing of the wedding robe) is used as evidence of their faith in Christ as their righteousness. That's why Daniel 7:22 says that the verdict will be in favor of the saints.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. (Revelation 12:10 ESV)

In another vision the LORD showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD. And there beside Joshua stood Satan, ready to bring an accusation against him. The angel of the LORD said to Satan, "May the LORD condemn you, Satan! May the LORD, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire." Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. The angel said to his heavenly attendants, "Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing." Then he said to Joshua, "I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear." He commanded the attendants to put a clean turban on Joshua's head. They did so, and then they put the new clothes on him while the angel of the LORD stood there. Then the angel told Joshua that the LORD Almighty had said: "If you obey my laws and perform the duties I have assigned you, then you will continue to be in charge of my Temple and its courts, and I will hear your prayers, just as I hear the prayers of the angels who are in my presence. (Zechariah 3:1-7 GNB)

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

laffal,

If the vindication of the faith of the saints is all there is to IJ, it is hardly neither controversial nor unique to Adventism. It is good to learn that this doctrine is independent of the more poorly supported doctrines of 1844 and a phased priestly ministry of Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Tom says:

Thank-you Cornerstone for giving a biblical support for exactly what this business of a pre-advent judgment , that so many are arguing about, is all about. I was about ready to do it myself, but you beat me to it.

Words like Investigative Judgement and close of probation, have for too long struck fear into the hearts of so many lifelong Adventists. I have been told, but have been shown no supporting documentation, that some our the pioneers of the SDA church objective to that term Investigative Judgement. Sounds like something as enjoyable as an audit from the IRS.

I remember well as a youngster growing up in the church, the fear that crept over me when I first read EGW chapter in the Great Controversy on the subject. I feared that any time my name could come up and if I wasn't perfect, or their was some flaw in my character, to hell I was sentenced. End of story. Jesus was not only a hanging judge, but a traffic cop with an itchy finger to write out tickets. Those words- close of probation- stripped any shred of assurance from my mind, because I felt like a paroled criminal under close examination at all times. I can still remember, in my mind, seeing a picture in a book of Noah standing in at the doorway of the ark. As sure as God closed the door on the ark- CLOSE OF PROABTIONNNNNN!!!!!!!!- was some judicial act whereby my doom was finally sealed, the 7 last plagues would fall and I was going get nuked.

Can any of you old timers relate? Remember now, I'm only saying this was my perception of it all, not what the doctrine really is. Against the backdrop of such notions, no wonder so many have tossed the doctrine of the investigative judgement and the entire sactuary doctrine into the trash can.

Perhaps it is time to move on from batting EGW back and forth over the net like a tennis ball and discuss more just what this doctrine is all about. Would that be alright, Cindy? It seems like most of the comments on these blogs go all over map before they finally run out of steam when a new is started to replace it. It is my opinion we have reached that point here, but it is your blog and it's up to you.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Tom says:

Excuse me! Big mistake in my last post It was laffal's response to cornertstone that I should have given reference to. Sorry


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Wayne L says:

Tom,

We shouldn't allow semantics to negate biblical truth. There have been dozens of theological terms that have been used by Christendom for centuries. Terms or the lack of a descriptive name of a term shouldn't be allowed to be a deterrent to hinder our growth for understanding.

The truth of the matter is the Investigative Judgement or Pre-advent Judgement is founded or allured to many times in the scriptures. This truth is vividly revealed on the Day of Atonement (Lev.16). God allows us to see the symbolic inner workings of the heavenly Sanctuary and Christ high priestly ministry. A ministry which is going on today.

John 15:15 Jesus tells us "Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord/Master doeth, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard of my Father I have made known to you."

The closing Probationary scene of Gen.7:16 which states that God shut the door of the Ark is comparable to Rev. 22:11 when God states " He that is unjust let him be unjust still, he which is filthy let him be filthy still and he that is righteous let him be righteous still and he that is holy let him be holy still."

Scriptures tells us that with the enactment of "righteousness by faith" (through the promise of a redeemer) when mankind first sin, probation had its starting point. Gen 3:15, Hebrew 11, Roman 4:8.

The revelation of a pre-advent judgement in the formative years of the church shouldn't have been applied if it was, to scared saints. In time past Israel's hope was on the acceptance of a human priesthood but Christ whom Paul states has a "more excellent ministry" our assurance of salvation is assured.

Probation is not about attaining the absolute sinless faith of Jesus but retaining our faith in Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

I'm and old-timer and can vividly recall the fear instilled in us consistently in SDA schools: Your name could be called up at any time and unless you were absolutely free of sin, case closed, you went automatically to hell. No matter if you lived 60 years later, it was permanently settled whenever you name came up.

The messages instilled in a young person's mind are set in concrete. All our perceptions are based on what occurs in those first early years and no matter what is said or learned later, those fears are still remembered.

Younger people may now deny, but those of use who lived through that time remember more than they will ever learn. You can't say "it ain't so," our memories are better than your assurances that it couldn't possibly have been solely on the basis that you may have learned differently.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Thankyou so much Elaine, and Tom for speaking the truth. Maybe SDA today have chosen to forget, or maybe have never been taught what the real 1844 IJ taught by EGW and others originally was.

I have just uploaded to Youtube Dr.Desmond Ford speaking on the 1844 IJ, I ask all to have a listen to what he has to say, because not only is it healthy to hear both sides of an argument, but all those who oppose Ford without really ever hearing the man, will get to hear what he truly thinks on the subject.

Part1-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqhH5RVLW1o


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I came across this Ellen White quote posted on another blog and I can say that here is another fulfillment of her predictions currently (literally) taking place right before our eyes…

I use a quotation from her writings: after all, the blog is about her. I have read much of what has been said on this blog. I have prayed about it (and I have studied too: I didn't want to mention my personal devotional study as many may not believe that God is still the Master Teacher. They may feel that the education one purchases at scolarly institutions is the only modern way of learning truth and not God convicting the human heart of truth, the old fashioned way.) I am a believer of this truth: that Ellen White's writings are one of the identifying marks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and that she truly is a messenger of the Lord. Check this out —

Quote –> The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. {1SM 204.2}

Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth? {1SM 205.1}
I hesitated and delayed about the sending out of that which the Spirit of the Lord impelled me to write. I did not want to be compelled to present the misleading influence of these sophistries. But in the providence of God, the errors that have been coming in must be met. {1SM 205.2}

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Trevor,

The question is, what is EGW actually talking about?

what is the context of this quote you have put up?

You could never say that people like Des Ford fit this description, seeing he has wriiten one of the best books on the defense of sabbath observance(The Forgotten Day), and also has some of the best audio sermons and debates on the Sabbath I have ever heard. Des himself still keeps the sabbath, as well as the health message, soul sleep, conditional immortality, heavenly Millenium, spiritual Israel , focus on the study of the Jewish Sanctuary, Michael is Jesus etc etc..

Des also believes there is a pre-advent judgment, as do I. Just not one that started in 1844, where the books could be opened on your life at any time, and if you are not in the right place when it happens, probation has closed, and you are lost forever, that is just not biblical.

Ellen White also said go to your bibles first, if she has said something that contradicts scripture, than throw it out.

I stress once again, go to this address and hear what Des really believes on the subject of 1844 and the IJ:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqhH5RVLW1o

God Bless

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Tom says:

My post about my youthful experience growing up in the church with what I perceived was the IJ was to relate how many of us back then lived in a constant state of guilt and fear that was oftentimes used to keep us in line. Elaine is about 25 years older than me and so this methodology goes back a ways, to be sure.

My only guess is that some were able to just ignor it, or brush it off with little consequence. Elaine can speak for herself, but I can tell you for me, a sensitive and impressionable youngster, with an inferiority complex and dealing with deep personal issues I couldn't find answers to or dare even ask, the experience was emotional torture inside. The religious experience of my youth was anything but joyful.

Sorry, if I am sounding so negative here, but the memories are painful to recall to this day. I spent most of my 20's, shortly after my mother died, trying to forget it all drinking in the saloons, where interestingly I found more than a few former SDA's doing the same. Misery loves company, I reckon.

Interestingly enough, I returned to the church and was rebaptised in 1980 at the every height of what was then called the "Ford" crisis. I suppose I should be a prime candidate to be Ford follower but I'm not. I believe in the sanctuary doctrine and a preadvent judgement, but my understanding and perception of it now is 180 degrees from what it was in my youth. Rather than seeing Jesus as a traffic cop and hanging judge trying to find every excuse to sentence me to hell, I now see Him as doing everything He can possibly do, short of forcing my will and violating my freedom, to get me into the kingdom.

If it took a challenge by Des Ford to pry Adventism loose from the snake-oil peddling method of selling the sanctuary and IJ doctrines, to a more positive and appreciative model, than I say good. I don't see this as some old keepers of the blow torch do, watering down the "truth". That crowd will never move beyond the days when castor oil and methialade were the medicines used for what hurts or ails you. (GAG, OUCH!!)

I think I have dwelt enough, maybe too much, on the negative memories here. So I'll move on and would like in my next post to explain how I see the biblical support of the sanctuary doctrine and a pre Advent judgement without all the extra-nonbiblical baggage that has led so many SDA to bitterly oppose it. It really is good news. Honest!!


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 25th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Tom,

As I have said, please look at what Ford actually says about the IJ first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqhH5RVLW1o

Cheers

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Trevor and Cornerstone 111,

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that those who use Scripture and the authority of the Bible (as well as the writing of Ellen White) as the basis for questioning a particular doctrine of historical or traditional Adventism (as does Ford), are NOT those to whom EGW is referring in this quotation.

It likewise doesn’t take a genius to discern that those who do not believe the Bible to be authoritative and inspired by the God of the Bible, but yet remain nominal Adventists and seek to influence and change the denomination, certainly ARE those to whom she referred.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Here is the third part of a good article written by Milton Hook, titled "The Ebb and Flow of SDA Fundamental Belief".

Part 3

More Changes and some Critical Analysis by Dr.Milton Hook.

It was noted in a previous article that the various statements of belief published by the SDA church over the years, demonstrate some important shifts. A move from Unitarianism to Trinitarianism is evident. The authority of Ellen White's writings receives an increasing definition and importance. There is also an apparent softening of antagonism towards Papacy by virtue of the fact it does not rate a mention in the twentieth century statements.

Many more changes can be briefly highlighted. The nineteenth century statements simply speak of Jesus as 'the Son of the Eternal Father' This phraseology accomodated the literalistic view, held by some Adventist pioneers, that Jesus was created by the father some time in the eternal past. Officially, the marked shift occured in the 1931 statement with the words: 'Jesus Christ is very God, being of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father'.

A move away from literalism is also seen in some matters relating to the heavenly sanctuary. In the 1872 and 1889 statements, there is mention of a 'first apartment' and a 'most Holy place', literal rooms in a building in heaven. these terms were dropped in the Battle creek Church statement of 1894 and never reintroduced. Furthermore, all the nineteenth century statements maintained that the Ten Commandments(of Exodus 20) were 'a transcript of the tables deposited in the Ark in the true sanctuary on high'. This claim was omitted from the 1931 statement.

No biblical texts were ever offered for the 1872 and 1889 claim that Christ would occupy only 'a brief but indefinite space of time' in the alleged second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Ellen White had declared in 1856 that she 'was shown' some members present in a meeting she attended would remain alive to see the Second Advent. Her words had helped to generate eager anticipation of Christ's coming, but with the ongoing years the Advent Pioneers slowly realised time was to be prolonged. The 1931 statement, which omitted 'a brief space', therefore reflected the significant change of thinking.

White, among others, had also believed soon after the Great Disappointment of 1844 that only Millerites who maintained their faith in Christ's imminent return would be saved. Probation had closed, she and her peers concluded, for all other persons in their generation. But the press of individuals wanting to join their group, and the obvious conversion experienced by their newcomers, quickly persuaded the Advent pioneers to revise their stand. White claimed she had a vision endorsing the revised view. It all occurred before thought was given to any lengthy statement of beliefs, but it was another example of a shifting consensus.

Chink's in White's authority as a trusty exponent of religious matters did not significantly erode the claim that she possessed the prophetic gift. Despite some contemporaries rejecting, or doubting her, the fact remains that after her death in 1915 hagiology about her life story increased homage. This is reflected in the listing in Questions on Doctrine (1957) and the 1980 fundamental statements. Veneration for White's writings remains steady, despite a negative reaction in some academic quarters. That reaction has triggered some important admissions, one from a respected SDA Theologian and another from a member of the White Estate, who speak of White as no more than a 'Preacher' or 'homiletician'.

There is perhaps no other tenet of faith that is more divisive in the SDA church than the one regarding Ellen White. There are cultists who elevate her to sainthood and others who entirely disregard her, relying on Scripture alone for doctrinal authority. The remainder are between the two ends of the spectrum. It raises the question: What is the value of the Fundamental Statement on White when she does not rate as fundamental in the minds of some-even a Theologian and a member of the White estate?

Similar questions could be applied to more of the twenty-eight fundamental statements currently held by the SDA church. In the past, many tenets considered 'fundamental' later faded from the list. in the nineteenth century it was a fundamental belief that the saints would judge the wicked during the millennium. This view was not included in the 1931 statement.

The wearing of gold, pearls and costly array, or anything designed merely to adorn was penned into the 1889 statement because it was said to 'foster the pride of the natural heart'. The same sentiments appeared in the Battle creek statement of 1894, but by 1931 these taboos were radically reduced to the recommendation that apparel should be 'neat, modest and dignified'.

Only once has vegetarianism been rated as a fundamental belief, i.e., in the 1894 Battle Creek Church statement. The 1980 statement simply condemns 'the unclean foods' of the Hebrew culture, leaving all other food matters for personal choice. So far in this series we have examined only the published statements of fundamental beliefs. We have indentified a number of important changes but the treatment is not exhaustive……CONT


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Do you have a link to that article Cornerstone. Sounds very well done.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Tom says:

Cornerstone

Thanks for the links to listen from his own mouth what Ford has to say about the IJ and the sanctuary doctrine. Could you inform me of the date when he spoke here and where it was. Perhaps I will find the answer going back to the link, with that question specifically in mind.

I took the time to listen to his presentation which was in two parts. He does make some very plausible points of which I am in agreement with. For one he places the role of her works as pastoral not canonical, which is much the way I have adapted to her writings. Also he makes the observation that her book the Great Controversy was not wrong but it is incomplete. That may sound to some as heresy, but the truth of the matter is, to accept everything that is written in that book as the final say as to how it is going to pan out in the end is in my mind to remain frozen in a nineteenth century time frame. We cannot discount the belief that the revelation of God to His people is ongoing and will continue to shine brighter till we see Him coming in the clouds of glory.

I believe a lot of problems arise today in the church is with the misuse of EGW writings to try and prove a point, something Ford pointed out and then turned around and did himself. I read his references to Acts of the Apostles page 33 , reading both before and after that passage he quoted, and also the last part of the chapter on Calvary in Desire of Ages. To me he clearly spun those references to make claims she said something I don't think she meant. But that is only my opinion.

I find myself also in agreement with Ford when he said that our destiny is sealed by our attitude toward the cross. I'm still going to try and attempt to put together a post on how I see the sanctuary doctrine, the preadvent judgement, and highlighting the atonement at the cross and the completion of the atonement in our lives before Jesus comes.

I will give Dr. Ford his due. He is a brilliant and scholarly man, but that is not to imply that such minds have all the answers or are not prone to error. Sometimes I think biblical scholars are so into figuring out every last jot and tittle, getting bogged down with the finer points of theology, that they get blurry eyed trying to figure it all out.

I remember watching a western years ago where a wounded bank robber got away with a lot of loot. He buried it, hoping to retrieve it later. Bleeding badly he crawled into a cave where he died. With the last of his strength he managed to scratch on a big stone some writing with a smaller rock. Years later, his body was found by some boys playing in the old cave. Upon investigation by authorities, it was believed to be the body of the wounded bank robber from years ago. There were only skeletal remains, evidence of a bullet entry and a rock in the boney hand. The inscription on the stone appeared to be SUSSEX. Since the money from the robbery had never been found, many believed it was some kind of code that if solved would lead them to the treasure.

The shape of the letters were copied exactly as they appeared on the stone. Great minds from all over came to try and figure out what it meant. Pain staking hours were spent examining it and trying to solve the mystery, but to no avail. A young cowhand happened by one of these meetings and stumbling into the room asked what all the fuss was about. Frustrated to no end somebody showed him what was written on the paper and sarcastically asked if he knew what it meant. He looked at it and responded, "it looks like 50SSEX." A great hush fell upon the room. One of the examiners quickly grasped the paper and looking closer said, "that's it!" What had looked to them to be an S was actually a 5 made with one stroke starting at the upper right end of the 5. What had appeared to them as a U, had been a 0 that wasn't completely closed at the top. The remainder SSEX did show that the S's were rounded more at the top than the first S which was actually a 5. SSEX was an abbreviation for south, southeast of X. X marked the starting point from which 50 paces south, southeast was buried the booty.

A search was launched to find out where X was. I don't remember just how it was found, but there had been a pile of rocks laid out in an X somewhere out in the middle of some deserted place, that was found. Upon pacing out the proper amount of steps in the approximate direction, and digging aorund, the money was found. Presto, end of mystery. It makes for just the kind of thriller western that rivets the attention of viewers who like such.

Moral of the story: oftentimes what seems the most things that learned minds fail to see, can be clearly figured out by someone you would least likely think would know anything. Doesn't the Bible mention something about out of the mouth of babes…? Get my point?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Ron,

No, I do not have a link sorry, I searched for one but to no avail. I have painstakingly typed it our word for word this morning from the 'March 2010, Good News for Adventists Magazine'.

I am about to type out the rest of Part 3, but maybe if you know how to contact Milton Hook, he would be able to email you all 3 parts to read. They are well written and well worth it.

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Tom,

Des is the first to admit that he does not have all the answers.

I am wondering, what is the point of the church even having Scholars if EGW has the last say on everything, even if she got some things wrong?

The movie analogy sounds ok, but is mere human Philosophy.

A good debate to watch on the subject of the Sanctuary and 1844, is between Graeme Bradford and Evan Sadler in NZ 1996-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDFYssn-64s

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

The Ebb and Flow of SDA Statements of Belief, Part 3.

By Milton Hook

CONT…

Turning our attention to doctrinal changes that do not feature in the fundamental statements, we discover a range of shifts in biblical interpretations, especially views about prophecies. For example, during the first century of Adventism, preachers were adamant that the battle of Armageddon would be a literal cataclysm in Palenstine. Turkey was seen as the last power in Daniel 11. And Revelation 9:15 was explained as being fulfilled on August 11, 1840.

Attendees at SDA public evangelism crusades could be forgiven for believing the sectarian interpretations about prophecy were fundamental to Adventism. however, the topics are conspicuous by their abscence in the various statements of fundamental beliefs. No mention is made of Armageddon, Turkey, or America's role in biblical prophecy. Esoteric terms such as 'the death decree'; 'the sealing time'; the 144,000; the king of the North; the time of Jacob's trouble', etc., are never identified. It is a curious fact of history that over the years SDA evangelists and Bible correspondence courses have majored in these minor or non-fundamental topics.

Furthermore, the church prides itself in using the historical-grammatical method of interpreting scripture, but this foundational building stone for doctrinal matters is never acknowledged in any version of fundamental statements. Nor does the church commit itself to a declaration that apocalyptic prophecy should be read either as conditional or unconditional.

The SDA fundamental statements do not specify whether Christ had a moral nature like Adam before the fall, or one like Adam had after the fall (except in a 1988 explanation of the statements). The failure to resolve some basic Christian topics has led to internal debate within Adventism. Critics may want to accuse the church of omitting fundamentals and including non-essentials, of straining out gnats like pearls and oyster suppers, and swallowing camels, such as the nature of Christ.

A glance back over our shoulder at the shifting components of SDA beliefs prompts the questions: How stable is the current list? is ever facet really essential? What does God really require of believers?

Many phrases in the 1980 statement remain conjectural and are unnecessary for saving faith. The investigative judgment 'vindicates the justice of God' is one dubious assertion. After all, in whose eyes does the justice of God need vindication? was not the Cross sufficient evidence for the entire universe that God is perfectly just and merciful?

How important is it for a Chrisian to subscribe to the view that Noachian flood was 'World-wide'? One tenet reads: 'In six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth'. Does it really matter if a Christian scientist or a biblical scholar interprets this as Hebrew storytelling? Should it really be interpreted in the context of Western literalism?

the remnant people are identified as proclaiming the three angel's messages of Revelation 14:6-11. Why is there a fixation on these verses. Is the remnant expected to omit the messages of the other angels in the same passage? Are some messages irrelevant?

Will Christ ask of us: Do you accept that Ellen White's ministry is 'an identifying mark of the remnant church'? Is it more likely he will require the remnant to manifest the Spirit with meekness and humility, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked? What does it matter if the millennium is a literal thousand-year reign of Christ or something else? Will anyone lose out on salvation if the period turns out to be five hundred years or two thousand years? Ten is a prophetic number for completeness. Perhaps ten multiplied by ten times ten, is a symbol for the ultimate experience between Christ and the redeemed, in a setting where time is not counted.

Recently I attended a sermon in an SDA series titled 'Show Me in the Bible'. Most of it was not from the Bible. The preacher explained that those who mourn the absence of friends and relatives during the millennium, will read in the heavenly books of record the sins of their missinng loved ones and conclude why their folks are not there. That is supposed to alleviate their grief and convince them of God's justice! At the same time they will allegedly look around and notice some known to them as scoundrels. Once again, their check of the heavenly archiveswill resolve all their doubts. David will be there, together with Uriah the Hittite, the preacher claimed, and uriah will be able to personally forgive david for the grevious wrongs dished out to him. It will also be a time when divorced couples will resolve their differences. And answers will be provided to nagging questions such as: Why did God allow genocide?

The sermon was all about humanity estabilishing God's sense of justice by personal effort among the ehavenly archives, saints engaging in their own investigative judgment. There was no focus on God's brilliant combination of justice and mercy at the Cross. God's act at Calvary was replaced by human deeds and human rationality. It was an entertaining sermon but based on religious fiction.

My experience in the pew is a practical example of foolish prognostications. ignorance often professes to know all. That is precisely the problem with an extensive list of propositional truths, or fundamental statements, so called. We have 'the truth' is the oft-repeated boast, whe, in reality, truth is a shifting perception, often burdened with literalisms to explain the metaphysical, simplistic statements about the origins of heaven and earth and fanciful predictions of the future.

What does the lord require of us? The answer echoes: To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Tom says:

Cornerstone

You took a lot of twists and turns to get to your final concluding sentence in that last post. Oh well, I am not known for brevity either. Being one who likes to look more at the bottom line of it all, I can agree with that last sentence, but somehow what preceded that seemed to discount so much that it left me wondering if you were serious or just delving in sarcasm.

I thought 12, not 10 was a biblical number of significance, with multiples like 12 times 12000= 144,000 a symbol of completeness.

I suppose my question is, do you think most everything in the belief system of Adventism is up for grabs? Is there no foundation on which to build? From whence comest thou? To where doest thou lead one? Should our feet be planted firmly in the sky??


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 26th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Tom,

The last post I did was from a Milton Hook article. I think what Milton points out is that the fundamental beliefs of the Church since it began have been like the shifting sands. He makes good relevant and intelligent statements about the whole fundamental beliefs of the movement, and questions the 28 we have today, and how do they, if at all, have any credibility with what matters for our salvation and Christian experience.

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 27th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

THE EBB AND FLOW OF SDA STATEMENTS OF BELIEF

                                                   Part 1: Out of the Millerite Melting Pot

                                                                      Dr. Milton Hook

“She has not eaten for three months, except a few spoonfuls of custard and two cups of tea each day,” was the gist of the 1844 Millerite newspaper report. The thirty-six-year-old Baptist woman in Bristol, Connecticut, Ann Matthewson, ill for ten years and bed-ridden for the last twelve months, believed she had died and her spirit had returned to her for the sole purpose of carrying the urgent warning: The advent of Jesus is near at hand.[i]

Up to two hundred curious people a day flocked to Matthewson’s home to see and hear her for themselves. It is “a manifestation of God’s hand,” many declared.[ii] This excitement bubbled in the New England and Mid-West States of America, reaching boiling point in 1844. A further report told of ecstatic shouting breaking out at a meeting in Urbana, Ohio, after a sermon on the reputed cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary about to take place. “An electric shock of the Holy Ghost fell upon us,” one attendee exclaimed.[iii]

At a camp meeting in Litchfield, Connecticut, a child speaking in tongues occupied the worship service.[iv] In the same State, at Middletown, there occurred alleged healings of deaf, blind, lame and ill individuals.[v]

Halos of light around the sun were reported from Connecticut.[vi] A brilliant white moon-sized orb was seen in the southern skies from Key West throughout daylight hours.[vii] And in the night sky of October 21, 1844, excited viewers in Vermont, Massachusetts, witnessed an extraordinary display of white and blue shimmering lights. The Millerite newspaper claimed a college professor said it was the “the sign of the Son of Man.”[viii]

Columns of print described in confusing detail many historical events with the help of diagrams and timelines, expounding Scripture in an attempt to prove that Christ’s second advent would occur in October 1844. The twenty-second day was first mooted but as the time grew closer further proofs were offered to demonstrate it could be as late as the twenty-fourth day.[ix]

About a month prior to the anticipated end of time Josiah Litch began urging people to be baptised by immersion in the mountain streams. He himself, together with his wife, were among those baptised. The Millerite preacher who administered the rite caught a severe chill and died on October 14. There were no tears shed at his funeral because everyone fully expected to see him raised in a few days time.[x]

There were, of course, numerous individuals who were unmoved by the euphoria of the Millerites. They argued that “no man knows the day nor the hour” of Christ’s return. Many scoffed and disrupted Millerite gatherings. Others, both slave and free, were attracted to the watch-cry. Some ministers from the Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Baptist faiths were sympathetic to the cause and joined the Millerite preachers.[xi]

Did many Saturday-keepers join the Millerites? This comparatively small group did not seem to respond in sufficient numbers to warrant news items. In fact, there is evidence they were outside the perimeter of the Millerite community. In a Millerite newspaper there appeared the intriguing reference: “We love the seventh-day brethren and sisters but we think they are trying to mend the old broken Jewish yoke, and put it on their necks.”[xii]

This attitude changed dramatically after 1844 when the Millerites regrouped, following their disappointment when Christ did not return. One group was led to adopt the Saturday Sabbath as a result of the advocacy of a Seventh-day Baptist woman.

Curiously, the ex-Millerites who adopted the Saturday Sabbath were not absorbed into the Seventh-day Baptists or other small Saturday-keeping communities who already had their own church buildings and systems of governance. It would have been an easy amalgamation if it were not for the fact that those established groups could not accept the teachings of the disappointed. One barrier was the theory of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, largely dependant on dubious typology and mathematical calculations of time periods. They also rejected emerging affirmations of trust in the dreams of Ellen White.

It is clear that those who retained the theory of the heavenly sanctuary and held to White’s veracity as a gifted scriptural exponent were quite diverse in their understanding of other Christian propositions. Originating from many different denominations, their new community was a kaleidoscope of opinions. A few practised ecstatic utterance, swooning and shouting in religious services. Some were anti-Trinitarian. Not all were convinced of the need for baptism by immersion but there was one element in their experience quite common to all. It lay in the reality that they were ostracised from their Christian birth communities, in many cases with venom or cold shoulder. They were often told that their Millerite beliefs were wacky and did not measure up to the creed of their former church. In this manner the denominational creeds were frequently used as scalpels on the Millerites to inflict painful emotional wounds that would not heal easily.

Understandably, when the newly formed group, later adopting the name Seventh-day Adventist, raised the question of formulating their own creed it was met with a vehement “No” from many quarters. The emotive label “Babylon” was painted all over the debate.

Nevertheless, in 1853 one of the leaders in the SDA community, James White, dared to publish a statement that sounded remarkably like a creed, despite such a disclaimer. Understandably, it was guarded in its propositions but it possessed some degree of strength and clarity. It read:

As a people we are brought together from divisions of the Advent body (the Millerites), and from the various denominations, holding different views on some subjects; yet, thank Heaven, the Sabbath is a mighty platform on which we can all stand united. And while standing here, with the aid of no other creed than the Word of God, and bound together by the bonds of love —- love for the truth, love for each other, and love for a perishing world —- “which is stronger than death,” all party feelings are lost. We are united in these great subjects: Christ’s immediate, personal second Advent, and the observance of all the commandments of God, and the faith of his Son Jesus Christ, as necessary to a readiness for his Advent.[xiii]

Since its publication extensive additions have appeared until today the list contains twenty-eight propositions. Major revisions were made in 1872, 1931 and 1980. There remains a reluctance to call the propositions a creed but that is what it is in reality. Ministers and Bible teachers are bound to abide by it; indoctrination classes are structured around it; and the church apologists dogmatically defend its avowed truthfulness.

The existence of such a detailed expression of sectarian faith raises the questions: What benefit is served by it? And do the advantages outweigh disadvantages?

A real danger lies in multiplying components of a creed and insisting on total adherence by all members of the group. Naturally, the more elements incorporated the more difficult it is to persuade potential church members to agree to all the teachings. Conversely, the greater the number of elements the more reasons the group possesses to oust a member on the grounds of non-compliance. Groups with a long list of requirements for membership assume elitist characteristics, professing to know ‘the truth’ on a wide range of religious topics, even some debated for centuries or rejected by the best of Christian scholarship.

For these reasons James White’s brief expression of faith is, arguably, a more admirable stance. It simply mentions just a few key elements and leaves lesser components of faith open to broad opinion under an umbrella of Christian love. It fosters outstretched arms of welcome towards humanity in general, spanning the deplorable chasms dividing denominations.

A simplified statement of beliefs is more likely to breathe tolerance. Complex statements, providing many opportunities for strictly applying the letter of the creed, are often sharpened for use as a cruel scalpel.

[i] “The Case of Sister Ann Matthewson,” The Midnight Cry, Aug 22,1844, p.53; William Hutchinson, “Visit to Sister Matthewson,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 5, 1844, p.70

[ii] “Sister Matthewson,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 12, 1844, p.77

[iii] Charles Gillett, “Conference at Urbana,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 5, 1844, p.67

[iv] “The Last Three Camp-meetings in Connecticut,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 3, 1844, p.103

[v] Mr Morley, “Letter[s] From Philadelphia,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 11, 1844, p. 119

[vi] “The Halo,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 10, 1844, p.108

[vii] “Singular Phenomenon,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 11, 1844, p.120

[viii] Mr Morley, “Albany and Troy,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 31, 1844, p.141

[ix] G W Peavey, “The Seventh Month,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 12, 1844, p.75; Abraham Flavell, “End of the Prophetic Periods in 1844,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 19, 1844, p.86; Geo[rge] Storrs, “The Tenth Day of the Seventh Month,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 3, 1844, p.97; Joshua Himes, “The Time of the Advent,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 10, 1844, p.108; Dayton Reed, “The Types,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 11, 1844, p.119; “The Jewish Year,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 12, 1844, p.127; “Time at Jerusalem,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 19, 1844, p.132

[x] I R Gates, “St George’s Camp-meeting,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 26, 1844, pp.90, 91; “Bro Charles Fitch,” The Midnight Cry, Oct 31, 1844, p.142

[xi] E Jacobs, “Letter From Bro Jacobs, The Midnight Cry, Sept 5, 1844, p.71; Samuel Rhodes, “Letter From Bro Rhodes,” The Midnight Cry, Sept 19, 1844, pp.86, 87; E Jacobs, “Letter From Bro Jacobs, The Midnight Cry, Oct 19, 1844, p.135

[xii] The Midnight Cry, Sept 12, 1844, p.77

[xiii] James White, Review and Herald, Aug 11, 1853


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 27th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Regarding the question raised in the Ellen White quote from my previous post–>Were this reformation to take place, what would result? –> The quote then lists the following as consequences of rejecting our doctrines and the pillars of our faith:

1] The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. 2] Our religion would be changed. 3] Fundamental principals would be accounted as error. 4] A new organization would be established. 5] Books of a new order would be written. 6] A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. 7] The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. 8] The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. 9] The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. 10] The influence of these sophistries is misleading.

Applying the above as a benchmark against the current trend of self proclaimed ‘maturing’ Adventists (I call them ‘maturists’), for which there is no biblical basis, one can clearly see that we are currently witnessing much of these things unfold. This group can obviously be identified as an apostate faction seeking to usurp Adventism and hand it over on a platter by using the intellectual pretense of rescuing our church from Ellen White and those whom are labeled Traditionalists. Imagine the very ones who are the actual cause of weakening the faith of many Adventists in the First World are the very ones portraying themselves to be the real McCoy’s of Adventism.

@Cornerstone111–> I did not make any reference to Ford in my previous comments when I posted the Ellen White quote. I intended that it be used in an ‘if the cap fits you, wear it’ context as the quotation is quite profound and noteworthy.

Desmond Ford and his ilk are more selective in what they claim and I would term this school of thought ‘selective apostasy’. The ‘truth mixed with error’ crowd which is much more dangerous than the ‘total error’ enthusiasts.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 27th, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

I very much appreciate Dr. Tutsch's response to my comment. My "civil tone," which she was so kind to note, is generally reserved for those individuals, like herself, who appreciate the value of civil, respectful and intelligent conversation. If my tone is not civil in communications to such individuals, I would appreciate this being pointed out. As for those who are absolutely sure that they know the absolute Truth, I usually express some other tone.

With regard to her question asking about my "state of beliefs" about Ellen White (EGW) and whether they are induced by reading a particular work of hers or by "the position of the stars," it appears that I totally, utterly and completely failed here to express myself clearly. For that, I apologize. Mea Culpa. Let me try again.

I thought I was commenting about how one might decide between whether a comment or statement by or written under the name of EGW was "truly inspired by God" (Option 1), or EGW thought she was being inspired by God but was herself confused because of some type of physical or mental health issue (Option 2). Please recall that I had dismissed a third possibility that she was a conscious fraud since I said that, in my view, there appears to be little, if any, evidence of that.

What I was attempting to suggest (and apparently doing a very poor job) was in some cases Option 1 is a valid inference (EGW was being used by the spirit of God to communicate messages that would help those who had just gone through some very difficult times) and, at other times, Option 2 was operating because of EGW's own psychological states and the social environment within which she operated. I'm even prepared to accept that Option 1 and Option 2 become intermingled in such a complex manner that EGW was usually totally oblivious to the dynamic of what was going on and there is no way that we now can unpack that dynamic.

Let me add immediately add an important proviso. My suspicion is that this and any simplistic construct having only two or three alternatives represent a gross oversimplification of what really was going on. There are certainly many more options than what I have suggested here and there are certainly multiple combinations possible.

Cindy also asked if I believe that EGW's depression contributed to the content of some of her statements while in vision? In addition, she asked, how about the author of the Davidic Psalms or Elijah or Jeremiah? My short answer to that type of question is yes, in all cases. It seems to me that the complex psychological states and social contexts which all humans, including prophets, strongly condition how they understand what the Spirit of God has communicated to them and/or what they think the Spirit of God communicated to them.

Cindy also quoted another statement published under the name of EGW that ""I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word, I believe its utterances in an entire Bible." If a text attributed to EGW had said that "I take the Bible just as it is and do not interpret it" that, of course, would be patently absurd. What Cindy might be quoting EGW as saying is that the entire Bible is inspired.

Let's go with that: Everything in the Bible is inspired. If that is so, then it seems to me that we have all misunderstood a lot of it and misapplied a lot more. But that is the problem of being human. I think we all know that literally millions of words have been written on the subject of what it means when one says that the Bible is "inspired." It seems to me that Tom is exactly right when he said much conflicting opinion when it comes to understanding a given Biblical text is that we have differing ideas of how to define inspiration. In my view, being inspired and being factually correct are two different things. There is no such thing as an inerrant prophet if the prophet is human.

May I suggest that one take home message of this and similar exchange of views is that we all can celebrate the fact that individuals with very different understanding of how the Spirit of God inspires humans can both be members in good and regular standing in the same community of faith and live in peace and harmony in that community without the need to condemn how some other member approaches either Scripture or the honored contributions of those who have assisted in the development of that community. This equally applies to, for example, Martin Luther and Ellen White. It seems to me that someone might reasonably argue that both of these individuals, in and for their time and place, were equally inspired by the Spirit of God, even though they held some very different ideas about God and how he worked in the world of men.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 Hansen says:

"In effect, the SDA belief suggested the Hebrews walked away from the daily services at their sanctuary without any real assurance of forgiveness. Instead, the belief indicated the daily Hebrew confessants had to wait until the Day of Atonement for complete forgiveness. This teaching suggested each confessant made confession on the day and then made a second confession for the same sin or sins on the Day of Atonement, not being fully convinced that the sins found God’s forgiveness and atonement at the Altar of Burnt Offerings."

Cornerstone, the above passage references an issue explained fully in the tenth chapter of Hebrews. The argument in Hebrews is that the Jews never had assurance. Hebrews makes the point that the sacrifice of Christ provided the assurance of salvation which the Jews could not experience in the ritual service.

If I understand the above correctly, it accurately states the position in which the Jews found themselves. This was not a mistake on the part of the pioneers. The pioneers were mistaken to move that experience up to 1844, if that's what they did.

Jesus, on Calvary, provided an eternal sacrifice which would atone for sin always.

Others,

I heard Des Ford talk about 1844 twice. Once was in a tape of his PUC forum presentation. Another time was at a GNU meeting in Auburn. On the other hand, I heard many tapes and live presentations exalting Jesus as the Saviour of the world and Deliverer from sin. It was often done by bringing out hidden lessons from OT history which were veiled revelations of the work Christ would do.

I've also heard and read numerous falsehoods and lies about Des, usually told by individuals who are quite ignorant of the multitide of good things he said. Not surprising. Adventists, generally, hate to hear the gospel. Most know Luther as an antiSemite who used alcohol, nothing more. They are utterly ignorant of his fantastic understanding and presentation of Christ crucified and risen from the dead.

So it is with Des. Lots of people can tell you he attacked the SOP and sanctuary. Few bother to understand anything more about his message. Shame on that tribe.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Ford asserts that:

1] “It is quite impossible to prove that the year-day principal is a Biblical datum.”

2] “There is no biblical basis for assuming that the year-day principle must be applied to Daniel 8 and 9.” — Ford, pp. 288, 8.

–>Rev 12:6,14 and Rev 13:5 reveal that the papacy would rule the Christian world for 1260 days. Historical records clearly show that the papal power dominated the world for 1260 years, from 538-1798 A.D. The year-day principal has to be used to interpret the prophecy correctly.

The 2300 day prophecy was to reach the time of the end [Dan 8:13,14,17]. Adding 2300 days to 457 B.C. reaches only to 451 B.C. which is clearly not the time of the end. When 2300 years is added to 457 B.C. then we reach 1844. So the day year Biblical datum is necessary for the interpretation of this prophecy as well.

Dan 8:13 (“How long shall be the vision…?”) asks how long it would be from the time Medo-Persia ruled until the time of the ‘little horn’ or the papacy. The time interval between Medo-Persia and the papacy was not 2300 days but evidently 2300 years. To insist that it be understood as literal days is therefore just absurd. In fact there is no biblical basis for not using the day-year principle in interpreting this prophecy and the prophecies that fit into it.

The seventy-week period (490 days) that begins in the days of Medo-Persia with Artaxerxes’ decree in Dan 9:25 to restore and rebuild Jerusalem must continue beyond the time of the crucifixion [Dan 9:26]. The 490 days must therefore begin in the fifth century B.C. and end in the first century A.D. Again the year-day principle makes sense of it. The year-day thought is also suggested in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:5,6.

Somewhere between 1978 and 1980 Ford apparently changed his position to one that no longer advocates his former views, yet his arguments in favor of the year-day principal were sound in 1978 and they are still valid.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Ford asserts that: 3] “There is no way of proving that the cutting off of the 490 from 2300 is intended.” — Ford, p. 288.

Yes there is…If one does a careful comparison of Daniel 8 with Daniel 9.

  • Dan 8:16 – Gabriel was told to explain the vision of Dan 8:1-14
  • Dan 8:17-25 – Gabriel explains all but the 2300 days
  • Dan 8:26,27 – Daniel did not understand the “vision of the evening and the morning” (the 2300 days)
  • Dan 9:1-20 – Twelve years later Daniel engages in earnest prayer and study
  • Dan 9:21 – Gabriel reappears to Daniel
  • Dan 9:22 – Gabriel promises Daniel understanding
  • Dan 9:23 – Gabriel then reminds Daniel of the previous vision. This has to be the vision of Daniel 8 as there is no record of any other prior appearances of Gabriel.
  • Dan 9:24 – Gabriel’s explanation was clearly of a time prophecy

Furthermore, the position that begins these two periods together was held by William Miller and also Johann Petri of Germany who published a tract in 1768 which declared almost a hundred years before Miller that the 2300 days began synchronously with the seventy weeks (490 days).

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 laffal says:

Trevor & Cornerstone111,

There is another way to determine the 2300 day prophecy & 1844. It is my understanding that the Hebrew translated days in the KJV is evening / morning (singular). And the cleansing of the sanctuary to Daniel took place once a year, the Day of Atonement. So 2300 evening / morning could be understood as 2300 Day of Atonements. The day / year principle is not necessary with this interpretation.

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Cornerstone111

Ford asserts that:

4] “There is no way of proving that the decree of 457 B.C. is the one referred to in Daniel 9:25.” — Ford, p. 35

  • The decrees of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4) and Darius (Ezra 6:1-12) deals only with the rebuilding of the temple.
  • The decree of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. however, restored the civil government (Ezra 7:25), which was specified in the prophecy of Daniel 9:25.
  • This decree in 457 B.C. was the one that restored Jerusalem and thereby fulfills the prophecy of Dan 9:25

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On February 28th, 2011 Hansen says:

Adventists must come to grip with the fact that the early pioneers had an agenda which made 1844 a focal point; consequently, all "time prophecy" essentially had a predetermined ending point.

Early on, there were problems over the issue of the daily in Danilel 8, an issue closely connected to 1844. W.W. Prescott rehearsed the originsof the controversy in an undated pamphlet. It can bre read in its entirety on the EGW/pioneer writings disk.

Although not specifically mentioned in the tract, F.C. Gilbert was likely one of Prescott's opponents.

Prescott cited three problems with the view of his opponents, problems which were devastating to their agenda:

1)They misused the writings of EGW

2) They misrepresented and manipulated the facts of history as recorded in writings of recognized nonSDA historians, specifically the dating of events connected with the rise and development of the Papacy.

3) They resorted to original translations of Scripture rather than to accepted translations made by reputable bodies such as are found in the ARV. According to Prescott, the denomination placed itself in the awkward spot of having to use its own translation of Scripture to sustain its traditional teaching in the light of developing study and translation of the Bible. Most would agree that this is the earmark of a cult.

It seems unfortunate that so much of what Adventism is based upon requires such a depth and breadth of knowledge to grasp, that it is unfathomable to the typical sinner. The solution is to placeresponsible interpretation of a select few, which is exactly what has been hapening in Adventism.

People simply say the D+R committee solved the problem. Really? Says who? Those who have a financial interest in maintaining the status quo, or unbalanced types who have no appetite for serious study themselves.At least Des tried to solve problems whch he encountered along the way.

I did not find Des to be dogmatic at all. I heard him say, more than once, that as much as half of what he said was probably wrong

It would be a much greater blessing to discuss some of Dr.Ford's contributions to explaining Christological typology in the OT.

For instance, his reference to the ark of Noah as a type of the Cross, to which Noah was affixed, or his reference to the four lepers as representatives of those who embrace by faith the victory of Christ over the Devil, or even David as typical of Christ's roll as representative of Israel

Why chew on bones when so much wholesome nourishment is available?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 1st, 2011 reinosaa says:

Hansen , The Sanctuary doctrine is the gospel . The judment is part of the bible . Even in the book of Daniel the Judgment is key . Chapter 4 and 5 are about judment . It is interesting that people keep bringing the same arguments that the Daniel and Revelation comittee solved in the 80's . I am sure that most of you haven't taken the time to read them but you have decided to agree with everything Des says even though it is false . Some one gave a good arguement for using the year/day principle that you were not able to answer .If Des were so honest as you claim , why does he continue living on tithe when he doesn't work for the church anymore ? I guess many never will admit the facts even when they are comfronted with all the evidence .

Pastor Reinosa


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 1st, 2011 Hansen says:

Br. Reinossa,

The Bible says the preaching of the cross is the gospel.

It says the news about Christ's death and resurection is gospel.

It says that the news of justification for the Gentiles is gospel.

The Bible clearly says that.

Can you tell me which Bible passage clearly says that the sanctuary doctrine is the gospel? The above references refer to pasages which, on their face, say that those things are gospel. Please show me one passage which says that the sanctuary doctrine is the gospel.

When you say "sanctuary doctrine" what do you mean? Are you referring to 1844 and the investigative judgment? If not, what?

Apologies for the numerous typos in the post above this one.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 1st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Br Hansen

Regarding your comment "Apologies for the numerous typos in the post above this one."

So someone made some typos, big deal! It's just – typos… we all do this sometime or another.

You too made some 'typos' in the same comment that you mentioned the other persons 'typos'. Is that what most 'free thinkers' do? Criticize? Others?

Lessons I learned from this:

1] Matt 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
2] The gospel of Jesus Christ can be clearly seen in the types of the Sanctuary doctrine. The Lamb which was for sinners slain. Now that's good news to me!

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

This statement is so true by J.N. Loughborough:

One well known quote by Loughborough appeared in an October 8, 1861 Review and Herald article (now the Adventist Review), in which he was quoted speaking against the formation of creeds:

"The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is, to make that creed a test of fellowship. The third is to try members by that creed. The fourth to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And fifth, to commence persecution against such."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

INHOUSE PROBLEMS WITH THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGEMENT

The Investigative (pre-Advent) Judgement has been a thorn in the side of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the doctrine was formulated. Over the past one-hundred years many courageous leaders within the SDA Church have raised their voices against the flaws and errors in this doctrine, but all were rebuffed for their efforts. Some of them left the Church of their own accord and others were sacked for daring to question the Church’s ‘unique contribution’ to Christianity.

While the SDA Church has not been able to admit openly that there are apparent flaws in the doctrine of the Investigative Judgement, behind the scenes it has endeavoured to reconcile the problems inherent in this teaching. In 1958 a questionnaire on Daniel 8:14 was sent to twenty-seven top Seventh-day Adventist scholars in language and exegesis to ask them if there was any relationship between the cleansing of Daniel 8:14 and the Day of Atonement cleansing of Leviticus 16. All twenty-seven replied that it was impossible to make a linguistic connection between Daniel 8:14 and Leviticus 16—a connection that is vital to the doctrine of the Investigative Judgement.

On the basis of this questionnaire, F D Nichol asked the General Conference President, Elder Figuhr, for a committee to study these and other problems. At considerable expense, the General Conference funded this committee—the Committee on Problems in the Book of Daniel—which was chaired by H. W. Lowe. Over the five years of its existence this committee studied forty-five submissions, but was unable to reach a consensus. It was finally disbanded without presenting a single report on its findings or leaving any Minutes from its meetings.

One has to ask, if the Investigative Judgement is a doctrine especially for God’s people today, why was this General Conference funded committee not able to agree on the authenticity of this teaching. And if SDA scholars have problems with this article of belief, what faith can the lay people have in it?

According to Raymond Cottrell, ‘In 1967 or 68, Elder Mervyn Thurber, Book Editor of the Review and Herald, came to Andrews Seminary expressly to find a faculty member to write a book on the Sanctuary. He could find none willing. He insisted the Church needed a book on this fundamental doctrine—Andreason’s book was hopelessly obsolete. Finally, it was decided that the book should be a joint effort by all the faculty, with chapters contributed by all the seminary’s academic departments. Dr. Dederan was appointed co-ordinator for the effort, but at the first meeting of the possible contributors the whole project collapsed because it was agreed the traditional Adventist position on the subject could not be demonstrated from the Bible.1’

The October, 1980 Ministry magazine—printed after the Glacier View meetings—makes this statement: ‘It is essential that the world understand this great truth and there is no other people to whom the world can look for the unfolding of this magnificent heavenly mystery except Seventh-day Adventists! The doctrine of the Investigative Judgement constitutes Adventism’s unique contribution to the theological world’ (p. 64).

Why, then, in the twenty-five years since this statement was penned, has no Adventist Scholar ever written on the Investigative Judgement in non-Adventist journals or magazines? If this doctrine is so important as to be a raison d’etre for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and if it is as scripturally sound as the Church’s authorities claim, why are committed Seventh-day Adventist Scholars so reticent to share this ‘truth’ with other Scholars outside the fold? The fact is, SDA theologians have never written articles on the Investigative Judgement for non-Adventist journals, because they know, full well, that this teaching would not stand up to the close scrutiny of non-SDA Scholars.

So, what of the future of the Investigative Judgement in the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Four years back, Dr. Fritz Guy wrote, ‘Ironically, although Desmond Ford was dismissed from the Adventist ministry in 1980 because of his disagreement with traditional Adventist views about the Cleansing of the Sanctuary, subsequent Adventist thinking in North America seemed to have moved closer to his position and further away from those who dismissed him.’2

On the other hand, Jan Paulsen, the current General Conference President of the SDA Church, disputes Guy’s claim. In a supplement to the Adventist Review, entitled The Theological Landscape, he wrote, ‘Some are suggesting that since the 1980 (Glacier View) meetings, the very teachings that the Church affirmed that year at those meetings have been abandoned and that the Church has essentially moved to accept the very positions it rejected then. Such a claim is a distortion of reality and nothing could be further from the truth. The historic Sanctuary message, based on Scripture and supported by the writings of Ellen White, continues to be held to unequivocally … let no one think that there has been a change of position in regard to this.’3

Contrary to Paulsen’s protestations, however, interviews with SDA Pastors and Scholars, and articles in the Winter 2005 issue of Spectrum, indicate that he is either not aware of the thinking of his workers, or he is denying reality for the sake of both tradition and the fundamentalists in the Church. We conclude that if the Administrators of the SDA Church are determined to put more value on this traditional belief, than on the interpretation of Daniel 8:13-14 as understood by the majority of biblical Scholars, both inside and outside the denomination, then the SDA Church will continue to remain exposed to the valid accusation that it is fudging the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, because it considers an erroneous tradition to be more important than truth. And that would be a tragedy for a denomination which can truly be proud of its record in most other areas.

If the SDA Church ceased teaching the Investigative Judgement to its members, we at Good News Unlimited would also cease opposing it. But, in spite of the dubious theology and questionable history behind the Investigative Judgement belief, the denomination still insists on broadcasting this belief in books, Sabbath School Study Guides, and special inserts in its magazines. We, therefore, feel obliged to issue a warning against this false teaching which deceives people into thinking that they are God’s special people—when they aren’t.

ENDNOTES:

1. Verbatim from a tape recording.
2. Thinking Theologically, Andrews University Press (1999), p 90f.n.
3. October 12, 2002, p.20.

The October, 1980 Ministry magazine—printed after the Glacier View meetings—makes this statement: ‘It is essential that the world understand this great truth and there is no other people to whom the world can look for the unfolding of this magnificent heavenly mystery except Seventh-day Adventists! The doctrine of the investigative Judgement constitutes Adventism’s unique contribution to the theological world’ (p.64)

Why then, in the twenty-five years since this statement was penned, has no Adventist Scholar ever written on the Investigative Judgement in non-Adventist journals or magazines? If this doctrine is so important as to be a raison d’etre for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and if it is as scripturally sound as the church’s authorities claim, why are committed Seventh-day Adventist Scholars so reticent to share this ‘truth’ with other Scholars outside the fold?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

The Seventh-day Adventist announcement that the judgement hour arrived in 1844 (at the end of the 2300 days) ignores the fact that the apocalyptic chapters of Daniel 7 and 8 climax, not with 1844, but with the entry of God into our world with salvation. It was at the cross that the Antichrist-horn took ‘his stand against the Prince of princes’ (Dan.8:25); it was at the cross that ‘the daily’ was taken away (Dan. 8:11; it was at the cross that the Sanctuary was destroyed (Dan. 8:11; John 2:19-22) and it was at the cross that ‘truth was thrown to the ground’ (Dan. 8:12). But it was through Christ’s resurrection from the dead, that the desecrated Sanctuary and its ministry was restored and reconsecrated.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Hansen says:

Cornerstone,

Any idea where to find Cottrell's article with a title regarding obscurantism? Something like "Decade of Obscurantism." It rehearses the Hasel, Hyde, Pierson cabal which supposedly highjacked the seminary and turned Adventist Biblical scholarship into a hoax.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 reinosaa says:

Oh friends , have you read the response to all that ? Angel Manuel Rodriguez explained those issues in his daniel 8:14 . All those conspiracy theories about the church planning secret things is just Raymond Cotrell making up stuff.To say that the church hasn't answered Des Ford is delusional . I will not even bother to answer those objections . By the way Dr. Richard Davidson , chair of the Old testament department is writing a book on the sanctuary .So check the Biblical research institute website when the book is available . Cornerstone writes long comments trying to support something that has been answered and solved many years ago . I found Cotrell a very deceptive person . to say that most of the scholars agree with him , which scholars ? which Pastors ? it is unfortunate that some will use deception is a desperate situation . For the rest of the people blogging here , I believe it is a lack of respect to take this blog and make it about 1844 , when it was about Ellen White and Inspiration . but if you want to email me personally this is my email

reinosaa@andrews.edu


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 pat travis says:

reinosaa@andrews.edu

reinosaa,

Why is it changing the blog focus to speak of the "inspired" endorsement of EGW on 1844?

To create an "in house response" to the parameters of 1844 is one thing.

For Andrews profs. to create an article for publication to a Journal such as WTJ that takes sola scriptura seriously is quite another issue.

Many of us wait expectantly for "our scholars" to defend the doctrine and enlighten the world by a sound hermeneutic there by sola scriptura…and not using EGW.

Many of us "mere Protestants" believe in a "heavenly session" sanctuary message. Christ at His ascension entered the MHP and sat on the throne of "His Father David" and from their He judges righteously and offers forgiveness of sins to the repenting on the basis of His "once for all blood atonement" made at the cross.

I suggest the endorsement of EGW in GC prevents such a "challenge" with the only defense being, how can we expect them to judge this issue after all they don't see the Sabbath, do they?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Session_of_Christ

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

"Reinosaa" says (1) "Rodriquez explained those issues [about the IJ, 1844, etc. etc.] issues in Daniel 8:14" (2) "Raymond Cottrell [is] making up stuff" (3) "To say that the church hasn't answered Ford is delusional" and(4) "I found Cottrell a very deceptive person to say that most of the scholars agree with him"

I think we have just found someone who has bought hook, line, and sinker the Hasel-Rodriquez-BRI-ATS party line in all of its glory. We have here a classic case of a true believer who is totally clueless about the real history of how Adventism has evolved over the last 40 years. I kind of feel sorry for "Reinosaa." If he ever finds out the truth about how traditional Adventist theology was originally created and how it has been defended since the late 1950s, it could well be a devastating revelation.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"There is no one so blind as he who refuses to see."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 amed soliz says:

Dr Tutsch: Because your article, your degree, and work ,I can perceive that you are an expert in Mrs White writing, well at least better informed that all of us in this forum. Is the book Desire of Ages inspired in its totality?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Hansen says:

Thanks, Ron.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 reinosaa says:

Elaine says "There is no one so blind as he who refuses to see." I totally agree with you . the problem is that sometimes we are accusing others of being blind when in reality we are blind .Ervin , have you read all the documents Cotrell wrote ? Have you read the arguments in favor or against the IJ ? I think one of the problems is that most people just have opinions but they can not back it up with biblical evidence or historical facts . Pat , to answer your question , tradition and greek philosophy has affected the way scholars read and interpret the bible .for example Immortality of the soul and other doctrines which entered the church very early . Dr. Roy gane did his phd at Berkeley , on the sanctuary he wrote in the NIV bible commentaty the section on Leviticus and Numbers .Walter Martin , who knew adventists debated one time William Johnson , William johnsson did a poor job but when it came to the Sanctuary , Johnsson won. Most people become wellknown when they leave Adventism , that is the case of Canright , Ballenger , Ford , etc .So most of the people who accuse the church of never answering only quote people who are angry with the church .That is what Martin did , they don't have the honesty to read what we really teach .

AMed ortiz , As Adventist we don't believe in degrees of inspiration , some one is inspired or not inspired .God inspired the Authors of the bible , as Peter said " holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the spirit " Paul , Peter and John were inspired by God , the words they used to express the messages were not the words of God ( as dictated by God ) but their own words . The same with Ellen White , she was inspired by God , but she did not recieved faxes from heaven , there were her words . I have read DA about 20 times and it is a remarkable book that get us closer to Jesus , that is the work of a Prophet , not to point people to the prophet but to Jesus and the bible . If you want to explore this more , I recommend Dr. Fernando Canale " the cognitive principle of Christian theology a hermenuitical study of the revelation and inspiration of the bible " Dr. Canale is one of the best theologians we have in the Adventist church , I took a couple of classes with him .


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 pat travis says:

reinossa,

I am a 5th generation SDA and know what we teach concerning the sanctuary. I attended RTS seminary and I could one up you on qualifications of profs. including Waltke who was also on the NIV translation committee and was also an evaluator at times of Andrews seminary doctorate program.

Your comments on Greek Philosophy and tradition are but strawmen arguments on this subject. Am I to understand the Protestant Reformers could not present the doctrine of JBF "alone" because of Greek Philosophy and tradition? Some subject areas can stand by their own exegesis.

There is nothing whatsoever that insinuates in scripture that Christ did not enter into the MHP till 1844. That He somehow began a ministry then that moved from the hP to the MHP.

As I said, present our well oiled presentation and see how it is evaluated. I am extremely impressed with the fairness and sound theology I have witnessed from the Reformed tradition. Give it a try "scholars" from Andrews to inform other "mere Protestants" of their misunderstanding.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Many critics, (including the malicious antagonistic kind), of Ellen White, use her childhood injury as cause for insinuating that she had some sort of psychological problem which warrants their discarding of her inspired work. No such claim has ever been substantiated and reeks of the ‘ran-out-of-excuses’ syndrome to justify the discarding of her exemplary work. This weak conjecture which has no real corroboration and goes further to dismiss her inspired work as one who is not a conscious fraud but one who unknowingly or inadvertently was a fake or false prophet.

Ellen White’s ministry, with all the odds stacked against her (even today), has stood the test of time as a true prophet and ‘messenger of the Lord’. Though some of her work may be difficult to understand or may seem far-fetched to some but they are nonetheless messages of inspiration from Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour speaking through the thoughts and writings of His humble servant, Ellen White by the power of the Holy Spirit. She has been quite clear on this. Hey, even Jesus taught things like “love your enemies” and “forgive 70×7” which to some is unattainable or far-fetched, but to those with a humble teachable disposition, these ‘spiritual’ lessons can be easily grasped by allowing the Spirit of God to take full control of their lives.

Ellen White fulfilled all that is biblically required for a prophet or messenger of Jesus Christ and her exemplary Christian life and ministry is testimony of her walk with God. Her inspired writings are Christ centered and always point sinners to the Bible, the Cross and our wonderful Saviour, Jesus Christ. In her work can be seen the mighty hand of God through the gift that he imparted to her of which I am a believer. Science, Intellectualism, Logic etc, etc, have no rightful place where matters of the salvation are concerned. They just provide the ‘venue’ where the guest speaker is God. Ellen White is an usher at this venue helping people to their ‘seats’ of salvation. The ‘floor’ of this 'venue' – is the Cross!

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 2nd, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Science has no ‘paper’ on Salvation as it makes no provision for sin in all of its fascinating natural and physical laws. Neither does the Bible claim to be a ‘scientific paper’ except that it is a ‘paper’ on the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’ [John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.]

Someone has once said: “See a ball rolling, you ask who rolled the ball?” The Bible reveals that God ‘rolled the ball’ and Creation testifies of His Glory and Power [Genesis 1:1 and Psalm 19:1-3]. Science is the fascinating documented observation of ‘how the ball rolls’ but makes no provision for salvation. The Bible further reveals that the One who ‘rolled the ball’ had to come to die on the cross for the sins of mankind because of His great love for the creatures of his hand. The Bible is the ‘keeper’ of this revelation.

Ellen White’s ministry is a testimony of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which has a biblical mandate to call God’s people out of Babylon through the gospel of salvation as seen in the doctrine of Righteousness by Faith and to herald the good news that Jesus is Coming Soon. ‘Soon’ been used as a variable as God sees fit for it to be and that’s ok with me.

Thank God that He waited for me to repent and be saved! I am a testimony of the ministry of Ellen White been instrumental in leading me to Christ my Saviour as are many other precious souls all around the world.

In Christ

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 3rd, 2011 amed soliz says:

Reinosaa thanks for your suggestions. I will try to look for the book you recommended. I have read DA maybe once and probably some sections more then once. Indeed is a great book with tremendous spirituals insights. One paragraph i can not complete understand maybe you could help me. Because to me is a sensitive topic, i'll prefer to write you in private.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 3rd, 2011 reinosaa says:

I will be waiting for your message . my email is reinosaa@andrews.edu


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 3rd, 2011 Doctorf says:

reinosa,

Careful with that delusional word. Dr. Ford is anything but delusional. His work on the sanctuary doctrine exposes the flimsy SDA theology and that biblical support for the 1844 doctrine is non-existant and it begins with the year day issue.

I think Dr Taylor is right, you do represent a true believer unwilling to critically evaluate your beliefs. It takes some courage to do that. In addition, the theology espoused in the DA is pretty much plagiarized and much of what EGW has written does not represent "inspired" writing but copying from the works of others without giving due credit. She would not get away with it today and would have been easily exposed using modern software.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 reinosaa says:

I don't like to use the word " progressive " for people like Ervin because if you read his comments , he is not progressive . He is a " liberal " who will not even accept the inspiration of the bible . It all comes back to the idea of "inspiration " that people have . Doctorf , have you read the seven volumes of the Daniel and Revelation comittee ? Dr. Roy gane wrote a book " who's afraid of the judment " answering the questions of Desmond Ford and guess what he says he is still waiting for an answer . going back to the issue of inspiration , most of you want to hold Ellen White to an idea of inspiration that NONE of the bible prophets had or claimed to have . Was Luke the gospel writer inspired when he wrote the gospel of Luke ? read the first three verses of chapter 1. Have you read the book " more than words " by King and Morgan . Something for the people who are really searching , those arguments of plagiarism have been answered many times ! And did you know that Nothing of this is new ? people like Ervin are only repeating what DM Canright wrote almost a century ago ! I would recommend the book " Ellen White under fire " by Dr. Lake . If you want to know more about this , email me I can send all the material I have from 1844 and from Ellen White and inspiration . I have writen long papers that there is not enough space here to write and it would be a lack of respect to take all this space while others are commenting about important issues . Blessings to you all ,

Pastor Reinosa

reinosaa@andrews.edu


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Doctorf your statements refereeing the DA and EGW are very strong “ the theology espoused in the DA is pretty much plagiarized and much of what EGW has written does not represent "inspired" writing but copying from the works of others without giving due credit. She would not get away with it today and would have been easily exposed using modern software”Where are the appropriate references? I’m a not theologian but I tried to inform myself as much as possible. Recently I have pay attention to Johannine writings and I found out the following: “There is a general acknowledgment that the Apocalypses have more references of the OT than any book in NT”. “Of the 404 verses of the book of Revelation, 278 are based directly on Old Testament language and thought”. 68.8% of the verses in the book of revelation are plagiarized? Is the book of revelation an inspired book?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Calling any book "inspired" is a subjective appraisal. The Muslims certainly believe that the Koran is inspired; the Mormons surely believe that the Book of Mormon is also inspired. If one wishes to designate any book, work of art, or music as inspired it is a very subjective evauation.

As for plagiarlization: there is so much written AND documented that it is odd to see anyone question it. Have you not read Walter Rea's "The White Lie"? Or Fred Veltman's appraisal of Desire of Ages, for which the G.C. paid him 5 years' salary to investigate? Have you not read Jerry Gladson's book? Or the several Ron Numbers has written. Until you have immersed yourself in these investigative writers, you cannot adequately assume that you have the answers.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

So what criteria do we use to determine that these referred to authors have another then subjective viewpoint on EGW & DA? Without some standard by which to appraise any work as genuinely inspired, our conclusions can / will / only be subjective.

Just because I believe EGW was in fact inspired and you don't, (or at least you give that impression), doesn't make any more or less inspired. How did they use to say it, "to each his own." All of the naysayers concerning EGW and the subject of her inspiration, or lack thereof, is not effected in the least by arguments set forth.

It humors me to consider how it is that those who render their analysis of EGW, for example, always seem to have some other HUMAN BEINGS referenced materials as justification for the analysis. Who are we to believe? What makes one person inspired, and another not? Or that subjective also?

THE BIBLE alone is the standard !!!

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 amed soliz says:

You are correct, I have very few answers and my ignorance is great to the degree to “be odd”. What I have is a natural curiosity to analyze the facts. If you were one of my residents or fellows you will noticed that I have very few answers with mathematical certainty, some in the category of probability, many in the range of possibility and allot the compartment of “I don’t know but lest look it”

Thanks for the references as soon as possible I will analyze them.

The fact remains “Of the 404 verses of the book of Revelation, 278 are based directly on Old Testament language and thought” and my question persists. Seventy percent of the verses in the book of revelation are plagiarized? Is the book of revelation an inspired book?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Laffal,

It should be obvious that those who labe l"inspired" for any work is a subjective opinion. For some classical musical compositions or art works, when they have stood the test of time and have very wide acclaim for their impact, it is indicative that the evaluation is an agreed upon label by the sheer numbers.

Think of Shakespeare, Rembrandt or Bach. While not everyone will appreciate their contributions, the much larger number should make one realize that there is certainly something of worth in the product of very unique genius. There are dozens of authors that are acclaimed world-wide in recognition of a special ability

As for EGW, he evaluation is almost exclusively among Adventists just as Joseph Smith is similarly evaluated almost entirely by Mormons. Those who have widely read some of the world's greatest writers, both ancient and modern, certainly would not equate EGW in the same category. She is limited to Adventists who have been taught about her and from her writings from the earliest years. Mary Baker Eddy is another's work that is highly regarded among Christian Scientists; and L. Ron Hubbard is an almost god-like figure for the Church of Scientology. EGW is comparable in some SDA circles.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

You missed, or overlooked the point of humanity having a desperate need for an objective source of truth. Subjectivity is great when it has a viable and reliable source of truth, from which and by which we can respond to for our good and the good of others. Subjectivity by itself is just that, subjective, which is unreliable at best.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M

Cindy, referring back to your original blog, the quotes you use here seem to reflect opposition to personal testimonies given to individuals. I think her response was correct.

The things that bother me, however, and reveal that she was to a great extent echoing some of the ideas of her time, has to do with such things as the causes of earthquakes and other information that just was not known in her day. There not being a term for "neurotic" in that era, she uses terms like insanity indiscriminatly. I really think that the language and terminology of White's writing could be updated. In that era, as I just read again somewhere, the custom was to speak and write with great authority–that I or "we" have the truth, and you don't. That was not just the Adventist church but all churches. It is done quite differently now, yet SDA books still use this 19th-century tone. It is like reading the KJV Bible compared to a newer translation (that really is more accurate).

What do you think? Isn't a lot of our problem here with terminology, cultural understanding, and writing style?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Yesterday's objective truth is today's error. How many "objective truths" have been overturned just in the last 200 years? Is it what is commonly believed? That, too, changes very rapidly these days.

Please define "objective truth."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 laffal says:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

"I, the LORD, never change. That is why you descendants of Jacob haven't been destroyed yet. (Malachi 3:6)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13)

Objective truth? Truth that will never change. Again, if there is not a truth that can be relied upon without contradiction, mankind is left to himself and his own analysis. To me, that is an unacceptable option.

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They replied to him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves to anybody. So how can you say, 'You will be set free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly I tell you that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the household forever, but the son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!" (John 8:31-36 ISV)

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ISV)

This is objective truth to ME.

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Elaine, Doctorf, Looks to me that silence is the prefer answer when there is an uncomfortable question, here goes one more time.

“The fact remains “Of the 404 verses of the book of Revelation, 278 are based directly on Old Testament language and thought” and my questions persist. Seventy percent of the verses in the book of revelation are plagiarized? Is the book of revelation an inspired book?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 4th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

I will also add the following, to which the implications are very clear.

Then Jesus said loudly, "The one who believes in me does not believe in me but in the one who sent me. The one who sees me sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in the darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save it. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has something to judge him: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority. Instead, the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and how to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me." (John 12:44-50)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who do not believe." For from the beginning Jesus knew those who wouldn't believe, as well as the one who would betray him. So he said, "That's why I told you that no one can come to me unless it be granted him by the Father." (John 6:63-65)

Objective stuff!!!

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

@armed soliz,

It seems to me that your question about the book of the The Revelation of Jesus Christ being largely “based directly on Old Testament language and thought” is most pertinent as it relates to plagiarism and inspiration.

@laffal,

It appears that Jesus intended to eliminate subjectivity from consideration by His words, which you have referenced. (The Gospel according to Mark likewise “objectively” identifies who He Was at its commencement.) Thank you for isolating the only subjective question there is; which is the essential question, “who He is to us?"

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Bill Garber says:

Apparently objective truth is not enough for evangelism as explained by the NAD's Evangelism Institute Director, Ron Clouzet:

Welcome!

Scholars point to the year 1789 as the beginning of modernism, that is, the start of modern scientific approaches to the study of Scripture, called The Enlightenment. Some now identify 1989—200 years later—as the beginning of post-modernity. Modernity and Post-modernity involve much more than just religion, but they may be useful labels to understand basic human worldviews. The first contends that truth is objective and can be known. The last asserts that truth must be experienced in order to be known.

Hope of Prophecy Encounter (H.O.P.E.) University is a bold attempt to merge these two concepts that most would consider incompatible. Bible prophecy follows objective patterns of truth which can be discovered and understood, but such truth must be personally encountered and assimilated in order for the richness of God’s Word to make a difference in a person’s life.

The truth of God’s Word becomes life-transforming when it becomes one’s own. This, and this only, produces true and lasting hope.

As you study God’s Word, may you become all God intended for you to be.

God bless you.

Ron E. M Clouzet

Link to source: https://www.nadei.org/article.php?id=141


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Tom says:

The merry-go-round continues to spin here on all this inspiration subject, with the usual extra baggage tossed in for added weight. Pardon me if I have to get off once inawhile for a few days to keep from getting dizzy.

In scanning comments I may in answering not make mention of who said what in response, simply because it's hard to keep track of all the players here when one has been absent for a time.

The Bible is rich with both symbolism and literalism. To me a text like Act 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." To me that it literalism, where as when John the revelator said, "and I saw…" has a great deal of symbolism because he was using language of his time to describe things that maybe are more readily recognizable today." For instance, his use of a scorpion and wings that chatter, could well be describing a helicopter, something foreign to one trying to describe one 2000 years ago.

I'm not ignorant of the practice of some to try and misuse context to distort EGW writings, put their own spin on them, and in effect make it look like she was talking out of both sides of her mouth in an effort to discredit her. On the other hand there are those who hang on every word she penned as some official oracle from heaven, and come unglued at anyone who dares question anything that comes from her pen.

I am reminded of a story once I was told of a time at Battle Creek when there was a split within the ranks over the three horns the little horn plucked up. Battle lines were drawn with a verbal shootoput not unlike what we have going on here on this blog. Accusations and counteraccusations flew back and forth like missiles. Finally someone suggested EGW be approached to try and settle what was becoming quite a brawl. At first she resisted getting caught up in it all, but finally conceded to hear them out. Both sides were impassioned that they were right and the other side dead wrong. Each tried to convey it to her in convincing fashion. Finally, when the last arguments were given, both sides waited with baited breath to EGW validating one over the other. In her wisdom she sized up the situation and simply said, "I think that beast has too many horns." Talk about cutting the wind out of their sails. To me that was EGW at her best.

She had a way of cutting to the chase and was more interested in attitutdes of christian love and the graces displayed among the brethern toward each other, than prideful theological correctness. That doesn't mean that she sanctioned what she saw as error. but it simply reflects her belief "that there will be many in heaven that may have the wrong theology but the right spirit. There will be no on in heaven who had the right theology but the wrong spirit."

At times it seems like words fly back and forth, with labels and accusations that add nothing but more heat than light to the discussion. I'm all for spirited discourse, but I think some folks should holster their big guns, and adapt more of a "come let us reason together" than a "I'm right and you are wrong and I have EGW to back me up."

Does that make sense, or am I being naive here? If the lion and sheep will lie down together in heaven, is it too much to ask two rams to pull in their horns a bit instead of locking them and butting heads here, if they ever expect to be in the kingdom?

Just trying to pour some oil on troubled waters. I'll prbably be cited for pollution by the some bureaucrat from the EPA.

Happy Sabbath,

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Stephen Foster wrote:

It seems to me that your question about the book of the The Revelation of Jesus Christ being largely “based directly on Old Testament language and thought” is most pertinent as it relates to plagiarism and inspiration.

Clearly you have no idea what plagiarism is. It is defined as:

"the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work."

Referencing cultural, societal historical or religious ideas is not plagiarism. The Harry Potter books use numerous magical references from the past, that does not make it plagiarism. The following is an example from an article comparing Revelation with the Old Testament, it begins by saying that Revelation does not even once quote the Old Testament. (of course plagerism is about quoting or paraphasing someone elses work as if it is your own)

The Theophany in Revelation 4 is based on Ezekiel 1 and Isaiah 6:1-4. The similarities in detail are far too many to be listed here. As examples one may cite God sitting on a heavenly throne (Rev. 4:2; Isa. 6:1; Ezek. 1:26), a rainbow round about the throne (Rev. 4:3; Ezek. 1:28), lightning and thunder issuing from the throne (Rev. 4:5; Ezek. 1:4, 24, 27), four living creatures with appearances like a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle (Rev. 4:6-7; Ezek. 1:5,10), each creature having six wings (Rev. 4:8; Isa. 6:2), and the cry of these creatures in praise to God, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty (Rev. 4:8; Isa. 6:3). The vision of Ezekiel 1 is repeated in Ezekiel 10 and (in much briefer form) in Ezekiel 43:1-5. Similar theophanies may be found in Exodus 24:9-11 and I Kings 22:19-23. All such theophanies draw attention to the majesty and glory of God. https://www2.eis.net.au/~paulh/rn31otrf.htm

Now if you want to see plagiarism look at the article comparing Henry Melvill and Ellen White and you will see just what plagiarism looks like as it copies word for word.

download until 3-19 the pdf of the book at

https://www.adrive.com/public/1dca801467579eab6aea70c86ea5e3cdc838710920f…

see also my article


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

There are certainly places throughout the Bible when other Scripture is practically quoted by the writer (as opposed to the speaker) without citation. If any writer who is unfamiliar with the rules of proper footnoting and bibliography does this, they are technically plagiarists; even if it is claimed that inspiration is the reason for the near verbatim use of particular source material.

If anyone therefore perceives or believes EGW to have been a plagiarist, they may be my guest. With apologies to our friend Michael Vick, I have no dog in that fight. Amed's question is nonetheless pertinent because another way of asking the same question is: if the near-verbatim use of other Scripture anywhere is not cited by a (different) Biblical writer who has used it, is that writer a plagiarist, was he inspired, or both?

Of course, I’ve already signaled that my answer to that question would be “both.” Then again, the original question, thankfully, wasn't actually addressed to me, was it? Besides, as I have previously indicated, what really matters is: was Jesus who the Bible says He was, and who is He to us?

Stephen Foster


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 amed soliz says:

RonCorson I applaud your courage to answers difficult questions.

Yes I have no idea of plagiarism, I’m beyond the idea, I was affected by it. My pioneer research work that is saving the lives of hundreds of babies has been plagiarized. Ideas that I shared with some of my peers were presented as their own. The quantity does not define plagiarism. If is there… is there.

You wrote “The following is an example from an article comparing Revelation with the Old Testament, it begins by saying that Revelation does not even once quote the Old Testament”. . Really? Not to fast. Lets look the evidence “Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14;6 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them Exodus 20; 11“Actus ipsi Locutus” the facts speak by themselves.

In regards to Harry Potter I’m clueless. My encounter with that fiction legend is summarized in 30 minutes. Not long ago we visited Universals Studios, my children loved the candies in the village of Harry Potter.

I’ll look what you suggested.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

If anyone does not recognize the difference in the Bible writers quoting other Bible writers, and often with "it is said," or "Moses said" and EGW writings they are only claiming ignorance of what they should know.

The Bible writers used much of earlier writings throughout. But, unlike EGW, they never claimed that nothing written was ever copied from another writer, or that they had never read the earlier writers from which they quoted. Mrs. White said every thing she had written was given her by the Lord and of the books from which she very liberally quoted sat on her shelves unread. There is ample proof that this is clearly not true. For those who refuse to see, they claim to be igorant of these facts.

Plagiarism is compounded by denial.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Really, and it is those exact words the exact same from Hebrew to Greek even. Or is this based upon one particular English version…you mean Rev. 14:7 not 6.

amed soliz says:

You wrote “The following is an example from an article comparing Revelation with the Old Testament, it begins by saying that Revelation does not even once quote the Old Testament”. . Really? Not to fast. Lets look the evidence “Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14;6 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them Exodus 20; 11“Actus ipsi Locutus” the facts speak by themselves.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 5th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Doctorf

Regarding your comment – "Careful with that delusional word. Dr. Ford is anything but delusional. His work on the sanctuary doctrine exposes the flimsy SDA theology and that biblical support for the 1844 doctrine is non-existant and it begins with the year day issue."

I would be careful with the ‘flimsy’ word, Sir. SDA Theology is holistically very sound and stable, and has ‘stood the test of time’, and is built on the bedrock foundation of the Holy Bible. Even our ‘traditional’ theology is biblically based and much of its doctrine is held and has been held by the Christian Church at large. The fundamental teachings of our Church have been meticulously formulated and are competently articulated. They clearly define our position as a Church. It is all Bible based, Sir, and just a few of our SDA doctrines have been attacked by some argent ‘nit-picking’ enthusiasts’, many of whom are from the disgruntled Ford fan club, his peers and some of his predecessors. Their target doctrines have been 1] Ellen White and the Gift of Prophecy 2] 1844 Investigative Judgment and prophecies related to it, among a few isolated others.

I found this somewhere (The Gift of Prophecy in the Seventh-day Adventist Church by W. A. Spicer): “Let an outside observer tell it. Some years ago the president of the International Association of Christian Workers wrote a book on erroneous cults and isms of the day. Someone asked him why he had not included Seventh-day Adventists in the survey. He replied: “There are no fundamental grounds of disagreement between the organized church of Jesus Christ and the Seventh-day Adventist. …On all the cardinal doctrines of the Bible – the miraculous conception, the virgin birth, the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, the deity of Christ, the atonement of Christ, the second coming, the personality of the Holy Spirit, and the infallible Bible – the Seventh-day Adventist rings true as steel.” – Dr. J. E. Brown, In the cult kingdom, pp 5, 6.

Our pioneers, from earliest times, built on the foundation of Christ and the Holy Scripture a structure of truth that meets the universal spiritual needs of all mankind, and stands foursquare against all the winds of error that can ever blow.”

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

The best scholarly minds that have walked this planet in the past and today battle very hard to make even miniscule progress worth any significance to tear down any of the Bible based teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church without starting to attack the Bible itself. I see it clearly in the critics of Ellen White and the anti-1844 IJ proponents, among others. In their struggle to attack sound Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, no matter how scholarly they are, they eventually turn their attack on the Bible to justify the inadequacy of their arguments. This is a fact. Simple Bible based truths are misconstrued to suite their arguments and give rise to all sorts of ‘wind of doctrine’ which so often has deceived even the very elect. [Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;]


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Elaine

Regarding your comment: " But, unlike EGW, they never claimed that nothing written was ever copied from another writer, or that they had never read the earlier writers from which they quoted. Mrs. White said every thing she had written was given her by the Lord and of the books from which she very liberally quoted sat on her shelves unread. There is ample proof that this is clearly not true. For those who refuse to see, they claim to be igorant of these facts."

Please enlighten us as to where Ellen White made such claims which you refer to in your comment? Also, what are these 'facts' that 'those who refuse to see' (whom you are quick to label as ignorant) refer to?

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Elaine

One also can’t be in a perpetual state of denial knowing full well that Ellen White was never convicted in a court of law for plagiarism of any sort: nor that any of those she is accused of ‘stealing’ from without their permission and passing it off as her work have never laid a single charge in a court of law against her for this ‘plagiarism’ you accuse her of which is really overkill as usual from her die-hard critics which compounds this accusation into one of the malicious kind. Walter Rae was one of the first popular critics who accused her of plagiarism but his weak arguments never held water. They just opened up a Pandora ’s Box for Ellen White critics to feast on: yet even today, their accusations are grossly exaggerated and hold no water.

When Mrs. White died, the leading religious journal of America, then the New YorkIndependent, said editorially: {HEVI 89.1}“Of course, these teachings [of Seventh-day Adventists] were based on the strictest doctrine of inspiration of the Scriptures. Seventh-day Adventism could be got in no other way. And the gift of prophecy was to be expected, as promised to the ‘remnant church,’ who had held fast to the truth. This faith gave great purity of life and incessant zeal. No body of Christian excels them in moral character, and religious earnestness. [The growth of the work and institutions was described.] … And in all this, Ellen G. White has been the inspiration and guide. Here is a noble record, and she deserves great honor.” {HEVI 89.2}That is the way an observing man of the world wrote. Let the critics criticize; men of the world looking on, know that here was a gift that helped to build up a great work and movement in a strong way. They honored the memory of the woman who exercised a gift like that. And the editor said further: {HEVI 89.3}“Did she really receive divine visions? …Why should we answer? One’s doctrine of the Bible may affect the conclusion. At any rate, she was absolutely honest in her belief in her revelations. Her life was worthy of them. She showed no spiritual pride and she sought no filthy lucre. She lived the life and did the work of a worthy prophetess.” {HEVI 89.4}

HEVI – Heavenly Visions

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

The plagiarism accusation leveled at Ellen White by her critics is a serious one that also questions her Christian integrity. Here is an excerpt regarding her integrity and character.

“Mrs E. G. White lived her life before all, and it was a noble Christian life. That was the testimony of even the bitterest critic that this gift ever had-D. M. Canright. His brother, the late Samuel Canright, who lived in Battle Creek, bore witness to this. By the way, Samuel Canright told me that when D. M. Canright left us, in 1886, he went to him. {HEVI 89.6}

“I said, ‘Dudley, you are leaving the Adventists; do you advise me also to leave them?’ He turned on me almost fiercely, and said ‘No, you stay with them. You’ll ruin your life if you leave them.’” Samuel Canright said, in telling me the story long after: “I thought that was good advice, and I am glad I followed it. {HEVI 89.7}

This brother told us that when Mrs. White died, his brother came to the funeral at Battle Creek. The brothers stood together in the congregation, as the time came for the people to file past and take a last look at the sleeping servant of God. As the brothers filed past the casket with others, D. M. Canright was mightily moved with emotion. They came back to their places, and stood as others were passing. Presently D. M. Canright said. “Let us go down again.” And so again they joined that procession. Standing the last time by the casket, D. M. Canright put his hand on the edge of the coffin and looked down into that sleeping face. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he said: “There is a noble christian woman gone.” And that is the truth. It is a true tribute, by the critic who wrote the bitterest things about this gift of the Spirit of prophecy, things that others repeat to this day. It was a noble Christian life that Mrs. White lived before all. Called of God in consecrated girlhood, given an important, solemn work to do, she was faithful to the call. Brethren and sisters and teachers, we thank God for the gift of the Spirit of prophecy in the advent movement. Through this gift God has wrought powerfully in bringing the movement out and leading us all our days. May God help us to use this gift as the help and guide that He intended it to be. (To be continued) The Review and Herald, January 13, 1938. {HEVI 89.8}"

HEVI – Heavenly Visions

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Here is an excerpt from an Ellen White letter to D M. Canright. Are the accusations of Ellen White critics similar in motives as Canright was when they trumped up these weak 'plagiarism' charges falsely against her and do so out of the context, time and circumstances of her writings?

Excerpt: “… But if you have decided to cut all connection with us as a people, I have one request to make, for your own sake as well as for Christ’s sake: keep away from our people, do not visit them and talk your doubts and darkness among them. Satan is full of exultant joy that you have steppedfrom beneath the banner of Jesus Christ, and stand under his banner. He sees in you one he can make a valuable agent to build up his kingdom. You are taking the very course I expected you would take if you yielded to temptation. {2SM 162.3}

You have ever had a desire for power, for popularity, and this is one of the reasons for your present position. But I beg of you to keep your doubts, your questionings, your skepticism to yourself. The people have given you credit for more strength of purpose and stability of character than you possessed. They thought you were a strong man; and when you breathe out your dark thoughts and feelings, Satan stands ready to make these thoughts and feelings so intensely powerful in their deceptive character, that many souls will be deceived and lost through the influence of one soul who chose darkness rather than light, and presumptuously placed himself on Satan’s side, in the ranks of the enemy. {2SM 163.1}”

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Oops! In a previous post of mine I meant to write ardent ‘nit-picking’ enthusiasts’ instead of 'argent' – although, the blades of knives are silver! ; )


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

I know nothing I say will effect the way you see certain issues but others also read.

SDA's do hold to the basic "fundamentalistic views" of the Fundamentalist/Modernist debate as well as most conservative Protestant churches. I commend them and others for this position.

The SDA's weakness…and all churches have points of weakness…is in the area of the sanctuary and "Heavenly Session" beginning at Chist's ascension into the MHP. Christ is a king-priest from Judah. The 1844 "theory" is imposed on scripture with an indefinate starting date and no way of confirming an ending date except "we say so." There is no basis for Christ remaining in the identical Levitical HP/MHP ministry/paradigm in the present age post-Cross. The traditional message as tradtionally presented (not our post-Ford more friendly version) leads to problematic areas in soteriology and our assurance in Christ's work for us…He who "by one sacrifice has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy."

The other areas of weekness, in my view ,are in the area of Ellen's "new light." If one feels they contain good advice for them (such as vegetarianism, no caffiene, no wine at all etc., etc.) good. They are simply not to be considered a biblical directive in which those differing are "lesser Christians." Often to overstate scripture can be as harmful as understating it.

We have a part within the greater visible church. We are just not, in my view, "the remnant church" which is composed of all true believers who will have continued in the faith once delivered to the saints. Perhaps such "unique vision" of ourselves as a denomination/institution rather than merely part of the visible Christian church is our greatest weakness.

Others have suggested that Elllen's borrowing from contemporary writers is no different than John or other NT writers quoting from the OT as regards to inspiration. John and other NT writers are showing how the "inspired OT writers" are to be received in light of the cross and are pointing out the "continuities and discontinuities" in the present post Cross age for present and future fulfillment of conditional prophectic promises and covenant obligations.

I have no problem of Ellen quoting from others but credit was not given and was at times presented as if she "was shown/given" the information directly. Even this is not a problem to me because I feel any non-biblical writers are but "lesser lights" to be judged by the "greater light."

If anything I have said somehow puts me at odds with the SDA Institution…so be it from a 5th generation member.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Could the following Ellen White statements also be plagiarized?

It seems impossible for me to be understood by those who have had the light but have not walked in it. What I might say in private conversations would be so repeated as to make it mean exactly opposite to what it would have meant had the hearers been sanctified in mind and spirit. I am afraid to speak even to my friends; for afterwards I hear, Sister White said this, or Sister White said that. {3SM 82.4}

The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own people in the Testimonies, and when these errors come in they claim to prove all the positions by the Bible, but they misinterpret the Scriptures. They make bold assertions, as did Elder Canright, and misapply the prophecies and the Scriptures to prove falsehood. And, after men have done their work in weakening the confidence of our churches in the Testimonies, they have torn away the barrier, that unbelief in the truth shall become widespread, and there is no voice to be lifted up to stay the force of error. {3SM 83.3}

Men may get up scheme after scheme, and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.—Letter 50, 1906. {3SM 83.5}

One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan’s banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God’s Spirit. {3SM 84.3}


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Without claiming that those who follow every word of EGW as truth are cultist, It is true that most cultic leaders would denounce as deluded anyone who would disagree with any of their teachings.

THus that EGW "might choose" to say that anyone disagreeing with her on any subject is under Satan's banner is of no consequence or credibility to me.

Sola scriptura, not sola EGW "sanctified interpretation" is my test.

It is sad that we must have this conversation on prioroties of authority in the SDA church but enough is enough !

I have always accepted at face value those who have taught me that she was a "lesser light." Lesser is exactly that…LESSER.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, pat

Thanks for writing me off your 'convincible' readers list. The ‘remnant’ Seventh-day Adventists speak of, (just for the others that also read), is found in Rev 12:17 –> “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The SDA Church does fulfill claim to this title but in an ‘inclusive’ sense rather than 'exclusive', where all potential candidates that fulfill the said criteria of this verse have a position they can come into from their former positions as God leads them by His Grace. Many Christians today believe that the Ten Commandments was done away with at the Cross. Seventh-day Adventists, as you know, don't.

What we all need is a first generation “re-generation” experience rather than us pulling rank by using our Adventist generation credentials. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with been part of a proud family heritage of Adventists, which is such a privilege and blessing, however, it can’t take us to heaven: there’s only one way, the old fashioned ‘traditionalist’ way – the Cross!

(I myself am a third generation SDA from both my parents side of which the generations before them practiced Hinduism – my great grandfather from my father’s side was a Hindu priest). I think the First World must have realized by now that God loves Hindu’s, Muslims, Africans and Indians and the many other souls living in the ‘Third World’ just the same as He loves those in the First World. He sent Jesus to die on the Cross for them too. God’s love for the whole world filled with so much of sin defies all logic and reason. His unconditional love for us all can be clearly seen at the Cross.

(I apologize for digressing but only for the ‘others’ who also read). I just can't stop talking about Jesus and His love, maybe even, just like you…

God Bless

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Nathan Schilt says:

I'm very late to this conversation, so I apologize if I am repeating what others have already observed. The "lesser light" rhetoric may make the Church feel less cultic about its use of EGW as an authoritative source, but it doesn't change reality. The conflict of The Ages series is filled with embellishments on Scripture, telling us not only what happened, but why, and what the characters on the stage, including God, were thinking and intending at the time.

Who has greater authority – the writer of a work, or the one who is trusted to say what the work means? I maintain it is the latter. As the arbiter and interpreter of Constitution, the Supreme Court has far greater authority than the framers of our Constitution. It adds to the words of the Constitution, and ignores those words according to its moral prejudices. Through the Supreme Court, our Federal Government has been transformed from one of very limited, enumerated powers to one of virtually unlimited power over the individual and the "sovereign" states of the Union.

Similarly, for the 20th Century SDA Church, all of Scripture was viewed through the lenses provided by EGW. Saying she is a "lesser light" is simply a dodge to evade the reality that the SDA Church, in its embrace of EGW as a divinely inspired, authoritative Scriptural pundit, is a cult. I could go through hundreds – probably thousands of statements she makes that are extra-scriptural – and I suspect, in each instance Cindy would say, "Yes, I believe that is authoritative and accurate." For those who "believe in her", EGW's writings function at best as a parallel Bible. At worst, she functions as an arbiter and interpreter of scripture, perpetuating self-validating misinterpretations and misuse of scripture.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, pat

I only asked if those statements of Ellen White would be considered as plagiarism… and if so from whom – I might add!

Also, this blog postulates that either Ellen White is who she really is in terms of her ministry and writings or she is a fraud. I am an unashamed believer in her writings been a manifestation of the Gift of Prophecy through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who testifies of Jesus. This position meets one of the criteria of the remnant church who 'have' the Gift of Prophecy manifested among them in the writings of Ellen White. I say this at the risk of been labeled with the usual 'maturist' anti-Ellen White rhetoric: I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt!

God Bless

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

I very much appreciate Nate's comments which makes some very valid inferences.

A quotation that another posted immediately caught my eye: "One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan's banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God's Spirit."

Now assuming that EGW was using the phrase "Testimonies of God's Spirit" to refer to her own writings (which I think is a reasonable assumption), her statement here, it seems to me, just indicates that she was fully human with a fully developed human ego. How could she not, given what a lot of people around her were saying about her! It also confirms the cult-like tendencies of classical Adventism.

It strikes me that one of Adventism's current problems is not that we had EGW as a prophet since most religious traditions of which I am familiar got started with a charistmatic figure of some sort. The problem is that we have not honored her positive contributions by, as an institutional church, refusing to move beyond other parts of the sometimes problematic ethos she projected. Instead of that, the church has literally "used her," frozen the spirit she expressed, and turned her into a saint and oracle. Dead prophets are so much more useful to institutionalized religions than live ones.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Well if Cindy/EGWE and a given administration chooses the showdown of "either/ or" then I suggest she was a fraud. If however there is a third way in which we can say I beleive in EGW when she is in agreement with scripture, then in areas she expresses things well while in others, I suggest, deficiently to the proper exegesis of scripture.

I would throw all of EGW's books away as fraudulant if we "must compare" them as "equal or a sanctified understanding of scripture that one must accept for faith and practice." This is not "lesser" but "equal."

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I like analogy of the Supreme Court but like to take the ‘liberty’ only to add that Ellen White is just a tour guide introducing and informing people about how the Supreme Court works, what it offers and how it can be accessed. A tour guide also has some knowledge of the basic legal and administrative functions as well but is not part of the institution nor does the tour guide interpret any of the laws or makes judgments or recommendations regarding what should be done, said or changed. Only those authorized to do so make changes or provide interpretation thereof. The tour guide then is able to inform tourists of any new changes or policies or decisions that the Supreme Court may make. The tour guide can also give reliable directions to finding the place and may even write information on a brochure for handing out to prospective tourists.

Ellen White is just the tour Guide pointing souls to the Bible and the teachings it offers. If only the Bible was available and no Ellen White writings, (which has been the case until she arrived on the scene), then why are there so many different churches in Christendom today? Why so much confusion within the “non-cult” churches with regard to doctrine and belief. After all one “Supreme Court” would suffice as sufficient for all of Christendom, shouldn’t it? One Bible should have been enough.

The Supreme Court stands as an icon of power and strength and protects the civil and religious liberty of its people and constitution. Yet the entire world is not united in the belief of its authority and function and due process of the system it upholds. The tour guide comes in handy in this regard, pointing lost citizens, prospective citizens and visitors to the grandeur it exhibits. Let’s face it that many within Christendom, (pre-Ellen White), have literally changed the Bible, or at least claim to. Why then should the tour guide be silent when other tour guides and tourists spread misinformation and fallacies regarding the Supreme Court? Again I say, Ellen White fulfills this humble role of ‘tour guide’. In this regard a tour guide is a "rhetorical lesser light" I might add.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"I beleive in EGW when she is in agreement with scripture"

Why is there an addition needed to the real thing? For nearly 2000 years the Church grew and prospered without EGW, and the Bible only. To say that now there is a need for an addition to "explain" the Bible is limiting the Bible's usefulness alone. How did the Church survive through all those centuries without her valuable contribution?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Ron I’m not a scholar in Greek or Hebrew, may be you are, so teach me. Did you read the originals?

Your challenge I took seriously in regard the translation between Revelation 14: 7 and Exodus 20; 11. I look several translations in the 3 languages that I fell conformable (Spanish, Portuguese and English) and the ones that I can understand the basics (Latin, Greek, and French). The results pretty much the same. I never knew that the Greek once I took from a Jesuit priest could help me some day!

“ προσκυνέω ποιέω οὐρανός καί γῆ καί θάλασσα καί πηγή ὕδωρ” Rev 14:7

The translation of the LXX Exodus 20:11 “the Lord made the heaven and the earth, and the sea” amazing similar!

I don’t know Hebrew but I went to the Strong’s Concordance to translate word by word. The same result.

ֶת־ הָאָ֗רֶץ וְאֶת־ הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם אֶת־ יְהוָ֜ה עָשָׂ֨ה

Now I know with good probability that Revelation 14; 7 is coping Exodus 20; 11 in language and thought.

If is necessary, I’ll contact scholars such H LaRondelle, Jon Paulien, and maybe David Aune.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Many are under the assumption that Seventh-day Adventists are regarded as a cult because of Ellen White. I hate to disappoint you all, but many non-SDA's regard us as a cult because we keep the Seventh-day Sabbath. So before we start patting ourselves on our back for diagnosing our defect I think that we are incorrectly labeled 'cult' for many other reasons as well. Much of this ‘cult’ rhetoric leveled at SDA’s is based on such teachings which we can't so easily get rid off without us even discarding the Bible and the biblical pillars of our faith.

Cult definition [Encarta Dictionary UK]: a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader

Even the Catholic Church or a number of other denominations would easily fit that description. A cult could also be those who don't follow what the Bible teaches and who believe what those in the majority believe even if it is unbiblical. Seventh-day Adventists (traditional kind) will score high in following what the Bible actually teaches more than many of their contemporaries. Although we don’t, (and I am pleased we don’t), Seventh-day Adventists have every right to label the other churches as cults based on exactly the same criteria they use against us.

I have no qualms been called a 'dead' traditionalist as long as I am 'dead' in Christ! Gal 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I found this passage in a book by Robert W. Olson (101 Questions on the Sanctuary and Ellen White):

"Christ gave us the golden rule (Matthew 7:12), but Rabbi Hillel a generation earlier had already written, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor; that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof." The thoughts and even some of the Lord's prayer may be found in earlier Jewish ritual prayers known as Ha-Kaddish. (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5. pp. 346, 356.)"

Some Ellen White Quotes he refers to in this book:
Christ was the originator of all the ancient gems of truth. Through the work of the enemy these truths had been displaced. They had been disconnected from their true position, and placed in the framework of error. Christ’s work was to readjust and establish the precious gems in the framework of truth. The principles of truth which had been given by Himself to bless the world had, through Satan’s agency, been buried and had apparently become extinct. Christ rescued them from the rubbish of error, gave them a new, vital force, and commanded them to shine as precious jewels, and stand fast forever. {13MR 241.2}

Christ Himself could use any of these old truths without borrowing the smallest particle, for He had originated them all. He had cast them into the minds and thoughts of each generation, and when He came to our world He rearranged and vitalized the truths which had become dead, making them more forcible for the benefit of future generations. It was Jesus Christ who had the power of rescuing the truths from the rubbish, and again giving them to the world with more than their original freshness and power. {13MR 241.3}

[Also found in The Desire of Ages, pp. 287, 288.]


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 RonCorson says:


amed soliz says:

Ron I’m not a scholar in Greek or Hebrew, may be you are, so teach me. Did you read the originals?

No that is why when the experts say there are no definiative quotes from the Old Testament in Revelation I accept their word for it. Numerous references so I am quite sure they checked more carefully then others such as those who try to compare English versions.

From the article I mentioned above:

"It cannot be demonstrated with certainty that any passage in the book of Revelation is quoted directly from the Old Testament. However, the language and ideas of the book of Revelation are clearly derived from the Old Testament. Of the 404 verses of the book of Revelation, 278 are based directly on Old Testament language and thought.2"

Footnote 2: 2 See Henry Barclay Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John: The Greek Text with introduction, Notes and Indices (third edition; London: MacMillan and Co., 1911), p. cxl; Angelo Lancellotti, "L'Antico Testamento nell'Apocalisse," Rivista Biblica 14 (1966) 369; Jean-Louis D'Aragon, "The Apocalypse," The Jerome Biblical Commentary II (edited by Joseph A. Fitzmyer and Raymond E. Brown; Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968), p. 468a. See the list in R.H. Charles, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John I (The International Critical Commentary; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920), pp. lxviii-lxxxii.

https://www.studyjesus.com/rellib/research/johannine%20studies/otandrevel…


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 klriley says:

Had the SDA church admitted from the beginning that Ellen White copied words and ideas from others, would this even be an issue? I have read the opinion of a number of experts that Ellen White would not have been convicted of plagiarism according to the understanding of the time she wrote. That is interesting, but probably irrelevant for most SDAS. The question is not, for most people, whether Ellen White used the words or thoughts of others, but whether 1) a prophet may do that and still be considered inpsired; and 2) whether she denied doing what she is known to have done.

I think the Bible illustrates that the answer to 1) is 'yes'. None of the Bible writers seems to have had an aversion to using both the words and thoughts of former writers.

I think there is good circumstantial evidence for concluding that the answer to 2) is also 'yes'. Does that invalidate Ellen White as a prophet, or does it simply show that even prophets are human? If she used "I was shown" to introduce thoughts that she had arrived at by Bible study, or experience, does that mean what she said was any less true. For me, when I read her work, I am evaluating her words by how well they fit with Scripture, and how well they apply to real life. I am not really concerned with whether they came straight from God, or took the scenic route to get to their final destination. When the OT prophets say "The word of the Lord came to …" I really don't care if they came straight from God or arose from the prophet's meditation on some other part of Scripture, or just popped into his head while he was having breakfast. The fact that it is in the Bible means I will consider it. If it is useful in my life, I will follow it. If it is some obscure prophecy against Moab or some other long extinct people, or advice on what to do in a circumstance I will likely never face, I will probably note it and move on. If we don't care how the OT prophets arrived at their insights, why should we make such a fuss about how Ellen White did? If we ever found incontrovertible proof she was not inspired, her good advice would still remain good advice.

Kevin


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Many of the NT writers stated that thus and thus happend to fufill the prophets. They even reinforced their stories as fulfillment of the Hebrew prophecies, rather than deny them.

How many statements from EGW have revealed that she wrote not one sentence from other writers (much of which she denied having read) and was straight from God. Had she admitted this, most of the problems surrounding her would suddenly evaporate: Truth will always out.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

The opinions of the experts are of great value to a certain point. When several translations in different languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Latin) in addition to my basic reading in Greek and the tedious translation word by word of Hebrew shows me that revelation 14: 7 is a copy of Exodus 20;11 I have to believe my observations. In my discipline we give the summit of the credit to the reproducible observations. Recently has been a renewed interest in Johannine writings with attention in the influence of the Old Testament in the book of Revelation. Dr Paulien and other experts points out to the relationship between Revelation 14:7 and Exodus 20:11.

In a personal note Ron, I noticed that you are respectful person. We exposed our points of view, we may differ in our opinions but we did not tried to impose it in each other using aggressive language. I consider you a dear bother in Christ and whenever you are in Miami it will be my pleasure to meet you personally.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Thanks amed, but I doubt I will get to Miami but let me know if you get up to Seattle. Anyway the reason I think it is so hard to be certain aside from different languages is that "heaven and the earth" are really common statements today and probably in antiquity also. It probably does not help that the author of Revelation did not write Greek very well, some even think the original was in Hebrew, if that was true and we had that it might be more certain. It usual takes more then a few words to determine a quote as a certainty.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Thanks Ron, last year I was for few hours in Seattle on the way to Vancouver to present my work in the Congress of Society of Pediatric Research. Nice place and unique geography!

The mathematical certainty in comparing Revelation 14:7 with Exodus 20: 11, we will have only when the tables of stone (Ten Commandments) and the original book of John are found. Meanwhile we have to trust the evidence of “original texts” that are on hand.

The words heaven and earth are found in many verses of the Bible, but the unique sentence and its unique order “made heaven and earth, the sea” only in four verses. Not very often. The probability that Revelation 14; 7 is coping Exodus 20; 11 in language, order and thought, is the highest.

the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them Exodus 20:14

who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that therein is Psalm 146:6

who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all things that are therein, Act 14:15

Worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:7

PS For sure John’s Greek is better than my English.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

With an ancient tradition of forming the same few words in a sentence, it should not be at all suprising that such an expression was so often repeated. We do the same in English, and I'm certain in other languages as well.

Some current ones: "That's just the way it is." "Only God knows." "This world is all there is." "Once upon a time." "The Bible is God's Word." "Holy Bible."

Such expressions have become part of the vocabulary, just as the frequently used ones in the Bible. Remember, the Bible stories were passed down orally for thousands of years before they were put into writing, so they went through many, many story tellers along the way.

The Greeks have a tradition of singing bards about their heroes and legends. They say that they can sing for several days without repeating. This is probably the way the Bible stories were passed down.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"On an average night in the late Greek Dark Ages, a community, probably the wealthiest people, would settle in for an evening's entertainment. The professional story-teller would sing the stories of the Trojan War and its Greek heroes; these songs would be the Greek equivalent of a mini-series, for the stories were so long that they would take days to complete"

It is conceivable that the ancient story tellers who repeated the stories of heroes and heroines found in the Hebrew Bible were passed down much the same as the Greeks with which they were contemporaries. This was the common method of telling, often by songs and poetry, the great stories of their past to transmit to each new generation just as today in America, children are taught about the heroes of war and nation-building in establishing this nation. Every culture has their own history, and the Hebrews were alike in that respect.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 klriley says:

You may have a point for Genesis, but I really doubt you could argue that any other book was passed down orally 'for thousands of years' before being written down. There are enough cases where Revelation repeats phrases from the OT that I doubt any scholar argues that the author was not at least alluding to those texts. The time between when the events happened and when they were written – with the possible exception of most of Genesis – tends, in my opinion, to be greatly exaggerated by some writers. Yes, the OT as we have it probably dates to the C5th or C4th BC, but for most books there is no serious doubt that they were originally written centuries before then. And apart from the assumption that the NT must have been written in the C2nd century because it is assumed that it must be the church's book rather than being written by the traditional authors, there is very little reason not to believe that all the books of the NT were written before 100AD, and most within the lifetime of those who knew Jesus.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 6th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Trevor

Could you provide the New York Independent article you are refering to?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Trevor wrote:

If only the Bible was available and no Ellen White writings, (which has been the case until she arrived on the scene), then why are there so many different churches in Christendom today? Why so much confusion within the “non-cult” churches with regard to doctrine and belief. After all one “Supreme Court” would suffice as sufficient for all of Christendom, shouldn’t it? One Bible should have been enough.

I wonder, has the Church fared any better after Ellen than it did before? Is it less divided now than it was 250 years ago? Has Ellens teaching and the Adventist church worked towards unifying the church? Or has it or she caused further split within the body of Christ by separating itself from the main body while claiming to be the whole body or by claiming that it will one day in the future constitute the whole body?

You could take this question one step further, and ask, is the Adventist church itself more united than christianity in average? Is there full agreement regarding doctrine and belief among most Adventists? Has there been no cases of division within the part of the Church which regard Ellen White as authorative?

There is obviously varying views on doctrine and belief in the Adventist church, as can be seen through simply reading the different comments on this thread. There have also been groups of Adventists who have separated themselves from the denomination with the expressed intent of preserving the true doctrine and live fully according to the teachings of Ellen. The arrival of Ellens ministry has not alleviated any of the problems you mention above, and some strong defenders of her ministry has added to them by further increasing the number of denominations.

On a different question, Ellens legacy would likely be viewed more favourably had it not been for some of her most vocal supporters. It has been my experience that it is not safe to take anything someone claims is backed by Ellens authority by face value, because not seldom a reading of even the whole chapter that is quoted will unravel the entire argument that the quote was intended to support. I am of course aware that the practise of proof-texting is also done with the bible, but I find it a poor support for wrongdoing to point fingers at others who do the same.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Mea Culpa. The computer was extremely slow, and when "refreshed" it inadvertently sent several copies.

About the duplication of Revelation. I only mentioned that the HEBREW Bible stories were likely handed down orally for thousands of years before recording as we have no evidence that any of the Hebrew Bible was written prior to 1,000 B.C., and most likely later.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

To claim on the simple fact that because EGW was never convicted in a court of law on plagiarism is to say that all the murderers, beginning with Cain, have not been convicted in a court of law and are ipso facto: innocent.

That she copied massive amounts is recognized by even SDA individuals (Veltman was paid 5 years' salary for doing so) and he said that the fact she never admitted it goes to the heart of her credibility and honesty. What more needs to be said?

Whether her writings are valuable or not is not being questioned so much as when someone makes unsubstantiated, even false claims, how can she be trusted in anything written? IOW, if she is the "lesser light" why does one need a flashlight outdoors in brilliant sunshine? Even those with poor eyesight and understanding can realize the sun is far superior to a flashlight. EGW is a mere flashlight: The Bible is like the sun.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Greeting Elaine.

In regards how some parts of the Bible passed from one generation to the other, my understanding is from the creation to the time of Moses was verbally. After, there were written documents. At the time of Jesus and John it was well establish the works of the masorestes.

Is it’s probably that in the antiquity as in our days were “every day” o “casual sentences” as you mentioned, but also is highly probably the existence of “trademark sentences” as we have today. If we use ones of these in a public speech or in writing without the proper credit is simple plagiarism. You may recognize some of theses quotations even not mentioning the authors.

“ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.

“This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”

“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both”.

“Facts are stubborn things”.

The unique sentence and its unique order “made heaven and earth, the sea” is a causal" or a " trademark" one? Let look the best evidence in the proper context. There are not to many.

Exodus 20:11 a pretty solemn moment (the written of the Ten commandments)

Psalm 146:6 in a beautiful context of worship (another solemn instance)

Acts 14:15 After a spectacular miracle. Paul is re directing the worship to God.

Revelation 14:7 In the last angelical messages to remain the humans that the Lord is not only our Savior but also our Creator and to give Him the proper worship.

In every single instant this sentence is use in a solemn occurrence. This will favor as a ‘trademark”. Who initiated this sentence? The lord himself and took the time to write it too. For the Hebrew people this was the holiest document.

Dr Desmond Ford once wrote “Only the fourth commandment explains the right of the Creator to legislate. It alone gives the foundation of all worship and obedience. Without this commandment, the law could have been the product of any pagan deity or wandering nomad who claimed to be God” why? Because He is the Creator who "made heaven and earth, the sea…” nobody also could do this.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Of course, it is recognized that common phrases are used in contemporary speech, as well as through many generations.

With the Greek ballads, the common device that aided the memory were these unique phrases that carried along the stories; and songs and poems are much easier to memorize that plain narrative. This is why certain phrases are found in the Bible: "After these things," "and it came to pass, "now He was telling them," Heaven and earth."

While Des Ford may contend that only in the fourth commandment is God shown as creator of heaven and earth, the first chapter in Genesis clearly states that "God created the heaven and the earth." It was some 3,000 years later that the fourth commandment was given which only reiterated what the first chapter of Genesis had declared. The statement that any pagan could have made the same rules is true: Much of the Decalogue is patterned after the much earlier Hammarubi's Code of Laws. And as far the seventh day being God's rest, it is the identical same order of creation activity that is also found in the Gilgamesh Epic, which also predates the Genesis story by approximately 1,000 years. There is nothing new under the sun.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

IOW, if she is the "lesser light" why does one need a flashlight outdoors in brilliant sunshine? Even those with poor eyesight and understanding can realize the sun is far superior to a flashlight. EGW is a mere flashlight: The Bible is like the sun.

Think about it this way Elaine. Those of us who, like me, practically refuse to study the Bible as we should are like someone in a dark corner, in a dark room, in the corner of a dark basement, without any windows. If we happen to stumble upon a flashlight with good new Energizer batteries in it (like the ones in the bunny that keeps going and going), we should be able to find our way out of the room, and up the stairs, then out of the house…to where the Sonlight is.

Of course, those of us who consider the Bible to be like the Sun/Son, that is, the Word of God, and who study it as we should only need the flashlight when the sun is hidden, or when it is obscured by false teaching.

Those who don’t believe the Bible to be like the sun perhaps either like it in the basement, or are wearing dark sunglasses because sunlight hurts our eyes.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger 


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

For some, then the Bible is insufficient? How did the church survive, prosper and grow to the extent it is now the largest religious body in the world, solely on the Bible?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Vastergotland says:

Ellen may be the flashligth, but I don't think the bible is the sun. The bible is more like the moon reflecting the light from the Sun(Jesus) to man on earth.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Elaine

In order for me achieve something I have to be focus. So I’ll recapitulate the essence of my participation in this matter.

A. The original question that I placed was if an inspired author of the Bible coping without citing the original source was plagiarizing.

B. I choose one of the most challenging books, Revelation.

C. Throughout this small work I found out then John in Revelation 14:7 copied the specific sentence and specific of words and thoughts (made the heavens and earth, sea…) without citing the original source in Exodus 20:11.

D. In the process also it was shown that the specific sentence was quoted by others inspired authors (Acts 14:15 and Psalm 146:6) without citing the source.

E. The sentence “made the heavens and earth, sea… was used in the context of solemn events: the written of the Ten Commandments, worshiping after a miracle and the in last angelical messages to humanity.

F. In this small example it is clear to me the inspired authors of the Bible indeed copied other author without given citation. If any person, believer or atheist, points out that, I will agree it.

In the Bible some inspired writers when coping other authors, provide the references and others occasions they don’t. Never the less, still the text is inspired. If there are any questions I will provide the texts to support this statement.

In Regard to Dr Ford I will provide the full text so you can read it.

The other topics that you mentioned, we can analyze one by one to its fullness.

PS the references that you mentioned I started to analyze.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Vastergotland

What a truthful and brilliant statement! “The bible is more like the moon reflecting the light from the Sun(Jesus) to man on earth”. If is your I’ll make sure to give you the credit.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Saying the Bible writers plagiarized is a novel twist, but since we do not know most, if not all of the authors, it would be quite a task to identify who plagiarized from who.

No one in those days ever dreamed of "Plagiarizing" and it was a high compliment to have others use his words, so plagiarism is a more recent addition to one's vocabulary.

If one is speaking of later writers, it is still considered "bad form" if not plagiarism to copy another's words and ideas without citing the author: IOW, claiming other's words as your own. It is certainly being less than truthful, isn't it? Students in school learn quite early that when a writer is quoted, it is necessary to give the writer's name and source. Simple honesty!


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Whoa Elaine!

I was wondering how in the world you got that “for some, then the Bible is insufficient?” question from what I wrote—and then I re-read the problematic phrasing.

Let me re-phrase and capitalize inserted words which should now clarify what I saying for you: that “those of us who consider the Bible to be like the Sun/Son, that is, TO BE the Word of God, and who study it (THE BIBLE) as we should, PERHAPS only need the flashlight when the Sun (THAT IS, BIBLE TRUTH) is hidden, AS when it is obscured by false teaching.

I certainly hope this eliminates your question; in that I was actually saying that, for some—those who believe that the Bible is like the Son/Sun (accepting it to be God’s word) and study it as diligently as they should—the flashlight may not be necessary.

The sun however is, always has been, and always will be indispensable. I hope that helps.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Hansen says:

Sun, moon, flashlight? Fiddle. "As the moon is to the sun, so is the Spirit of Prophecy to the Bible" That's an accurate description of the relationship of EGW to Scripture.

EGW was a micromanager. Every detail of human life is covered in her writings. Obviously, Scripture doesn't micromanage people's lives. For instance, the Bible doesn't give a lot of details on how to eat, EGW does. Two meals a day, vegetarian, no alcohol, condiments, etc. Education is another area. EGW is rather specific, even telling what time students should retire at night (9:30),

In terms of general life counsel, EGW is certainly a valuable point of reference. Moving into Bible interpretation is another, entirely different, matter.

Controversies regarding the "Daily" and the "Schoolmaster" indicate that EGW was not the best or even an authoritative resource to settle those questions. According to modern researchers, in some cases, she simply said "I don't know," or words to that effect.

Regarding the "Daily" she said she saw that the word "sacrifice" was added. How did she "see" that? Anyone who wasn't blind and could read could "see" that the word "sacrifice" was added. Added words were known by the italics in the KJV. Not a difficult matter at all. Adventists required prophetic utterance to learn something that they could ascertain simply by reading the passage in the Bible?

The BRI, in its writings on the Daily, has repudiated the old view of the Daily, a view which EGW supposedly validated in her EW statements. If understanding and interpreting EGW is more dfficult that understanding and interpreting Scripture, she is useless as an aid to interpretation of Scripture. When she dismissed the significance of the daily, what was she thinking? The passage rests in the immediate context of the 2300 day/cleansing the sanctuary texts. Is that the reason Adventiststs are so fond of prooftexting without regard to context?

Granted, a lot of people lack basic English reading comprehension skills, which makes understanding any literary item difficult. Others are unaware of inductive Bible study methods, how to find texts which explain other passages, and how to weigh the value of a passage in terms of a particular teaching.

There is both art and science involved in interpreting Scripture. If the SDA doctrines are so complicated that one must depend on either EGW or the original languages to understand them, there is something decidedly wrong with those doctrines. If OL were the key, the denomination would be filled to overflowing with OL scholars from other denominations who study themselves into the "truth."

Such is not the case.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Elaine

Again I’ll be very focus.

When did I twist any think? I just presented my finding.

In the summary of my participation, only once I mention plagiarism did you notice in which form? See bellow.

“A. The original question that I placed was if an inspired author of the Bible coping without citing the original source was plagiarizing”. In the rest I used “copied…without citing the original source”, and “quoted by others inspired authors…without citing the source”To be unmistakable here again is my conclusion, read carefully the words. “ In this small example it is clear to me the inspired authors of the Bible indeed copied other author without given citation. If any person, believer or atheist, points out that, I will agree it”. Yes it will be a task but is possible to identify who copy who. I showed before.

You may call as you wished, the name may change not the essence.

It will be good it we hear this music for now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXsiWoyjw60


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

The Reformed Belgic Confession was written in 1567 a period of intense Protestant persecution under RCC government in the Netherlands.

The teaching principles therin would be excellent for SDA's to remember before each reading of the "lesser light."

True and not "apostate Protestants", I suggest, embrace the following principles of Article 7.

—–

Article 7: The sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, to be the only rule of faith.

We believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe, unto salvation, is sufficiently taught therein. For, since the whole manner of worship, which God requires of us, is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, THOUGH it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul saith. For, since it is forbidden, to add unto or take away anything from the word of God, it doth thereby evidently appear, that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects. Neither do we consider of equal value ANY writing of men, however holy these men may have been, with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, AS OF EQUAL VALUE with the truth of God, for the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore, we reject with all our hearts, whatsoever doth not agree with this infallible rule, which the apostles have taught us, saying, Try the spirits whether they are of God. Likewise, if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks, Pat. Very helpful, indeed.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Trevor,

I wanted to ask you, if EGW was proven as a fraud, what would that do to your faith?

Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Hansen says:

The validity of EGW regarding the Bible may be extrapolated from her commentary on Reformation history. She called the day of the Augsburg Confession the greatest day of the Reformation and one of the greatest days in the history of Christianity and of mankind. That sounds like a ringing endorsement (GC, 207).

Examination of the Augsburg Confession, however, reveals a document which flies in the face of Adventist belief. For example, the Anabaptists are repeatedly condemned in the document, yet Adventists are much closer to them on the subject of infant baptism and several other topics, than to Luther. Anabaptists are also condemned for teaching what we would call sinless perfection, that is that men can live before God in this flesh without sin "Some may such perfection in this life that they cannot sin."

Those who hold to certain EGW statements would heartily endorse the Anabaptist position condemned here.

The Augsburg Confession holds that the body of Christ is truly present and distributed to the worshippers during the Lord's Super, contrary to Adventist belief.

The Augsburg Confession sets forth eternal torment and condemns the Anabaptists for teaching that the puninshment of the wicked shall end.

This is just a brief summary of how what appears as a ringing endorsement plays out in real time. Is her view of the Bible any different?

Certainly EGW does a service by directing the student to the Reformation; however, as in all things, we shouldn't check our brains at the door.

https://www.bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 klriley says:

Ellen White seems often to have taken a 'big picture' view of some historical events. So she could wholeheartedly acclaim Luther as being led by God without accepting everything he taught. She could also praise the Albigenses for standing up against the might of Rome, even though she had far more in common with Rome when it came to doctrine than with the Albigenses. She was even known to support some SDA leaders without accepting everything they taught. When it comes to the details, I suspect that Ellen White had just as much an uneasy relationship with the Protestant Reformation as the SDA church has had since her time.

We started as an amalgamation of a few different streams of Christianity, then added our own unique characteristics as well. Not being a particularly introspective group, we never have quite worked out just who we are. We know we are special, but beyond that, we just haven't had the time or inclination to do the work needed to come to any conclusions.

We claim a relationship with the restorationist movement, although we aren't really committed to that. We also claim a connection to the Anabaptists, but most aren't sure how. We claim our Methodist roots, but most who read him find Wesley somewhat foreign. We're sure we are part of the line of Luther and Calvin – somehow. Thanks to Brian Ball, many SDAs are now sure we come from Puritan stock. We basically want to claim that we are what all those groups should have been had they continued to follow God. Perhaps that is true, but when we don't know what they believed or why we should accept it, it can easily seem like an arrogant claim simply to being special because we believe we are.

I guess it is an improvement – of sorts – over our traditional view that the history of true Christianity ended with John's writing of the Apocalypse and restarted when William Miller rediscovered the 2nd Coming.

Kevin


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Cornerstone111

My faith lies in Jesus Christ alone, the Author and Finisher of my faith. “Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness” (from that beautiful old hymn) … there is also another old Hymn with beautiful words called "One precious boon O Lord I seek". It was a hymn sung at my second baptism which pretty sums it up for me…

“if Ellen White is proven as a fraud” … I will still continue my walk with my Lord and Saviour and wait for His return; and continue to tell others of what he has done for me and His offer of pardon and forgiveness to sinners as well as His wonderful love that He has shown towards us all. I'll have to tell them too how I read some books by a fraud which led me to Jesus my Saviour and will thank God for sending that fraud to help me get to back to Jesus and the Bible and the Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me…

What will do you do If Ellen White and 1844 was proven true, Cornerstone111?

In Christ Alone

T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Vastergotland

Regarding your question: "Could you provide the New York Independent article you are refering to?"

I don't have an original scan but got the info off the EGW Estate Archives. A number of different newspapers at the time of her death published articles regarding this event. By this time WC White and other publishing specialists were very meticulous with accurate information and are quite reliable.

Editorial "An American Prophetess," The Independent, New York, New York, August 23, 1915, pp. 249, 250; cited in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years (Washington D. C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1982), p. 444.i. New York Independent (August 23, 1915).ii. Star (St. Helena, CA: July 23, 1915). At the time of her death, two large American newspapers commented as follows:"Here is a noble record, and she deserves great honor..She showed no spirited pride and she sought no 'filthy lucre'. She lived the life and did the work of a worthy prophetess." – Editorial, "The New York Independent" August 23, 1915. "Mrs. White was a remarkable woman in many ways. She was deeply religious, and none who knew her intimately had any doubt as to her sincerity" – Editorial, Detroit "News Tribune," July 25, 1915.

On August 23, 1915, there appeared in The New York Independent (a prestigious monthly journal published in New York) an editorial entitled: "An American Prophetess." {6BIO 443.4}

The Published Ellen G. White Writings > BIOGRAPHICAL BOOKS > 6BIO – Ellen G. White Volume 6 The Later Elmshaven Years 1905-1915, By Arthur L. White (1982) > Chap. 32 – The Messenger of the Lord at Rest

Among other articles by other newspapers here is the one I referred to in full – I think: The New York Independent

On August 23, 1915, there appeared in The New York Independent (a prestigious monthly journal published in New York) an editorial entitled: "An American Prophetess." {6BIO 443.4} It is the distinction of our days that the American Church has enjoyed the teachings of two prophetesses. . . . Our two later prophetesses, Mrs. Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, and Mrs. Ellen G. White, leader and teacher of the Seventh-day Adventists, lived and died in comfort and honor, surrounded by their admiring followers. Many of Mrs. Eddy's disciples believed she would never die, and Mrs. White hoped to be one of those who would be taken up alive to meet the Lord in the air. {6BIO 443.5} But the Lord delayed His coming, and she entered into rest, just as others do, at the age of eighty-eight, and her burial took place a few days ago at the Advent headquarters at Battle Creek, Michigan. Her husband, Elder White, shares with her the honor of founding the Seventh-day Advent Church, but she was its one prophetess.–DF 756, "News Coverage of the Death of Ellen G. White." {6BIO 443.6} Then followed a brief life sketch in which was mentioned the 444 revelations given to Ellen White that set the high standards of living followed by Adventists. The article closed with very interesting comments: {6BIO 443.7}

Of course, these teachings were based on the strictest doctrine of inspiration of the Scriptures. Seventh-day Adventism could be got in no other way. And the gift of prophecy was to be expected as promised to the "remnant church," who had held fast to the truth. This faith gave great purity of life and incessant zeal. No body of Christians excels them in moral character and religious earnestness. {6BIO 444.1} Their work began in 1853 in Battle Creek, and it has grown until now they have thirty-seven publishing houses throughout the world, with literature in eighty different languages, and an annual output of $2,000,000. They have now seventy colleges and academies, and about forty sanitariums; and in all this, Ellen G. White has been the inspiration and guide. Here is a noble record, and she deserves great honor. {6BIO 444.2}

Did she really receive divine visions, and was she really chosen by the Holy Spirit to be endued with the charisma of prophecy? Or was she the victim of an excited imagination? Why should we answer? One's doctrine of the Bible may affect the conclusion. At any rate, she was absolutely honest in her belief in her revelations. Her life was worthy of them. She showed no spiritual pride and she sought no filthy lucre. She lived the life and did the work of a worthy prophetess, the most admirable of the American succession. {6BIO 444.3}

In Christ Alone

T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 8th, 2011 Hansen says:

Kevin,

EGW's endorsement of the Augsburg Confession was not a general endorsement of Luther. She was referring specifically of that day as the greatest day of the Reformation. She also spoke highly of the Diet of Spires. She also specifically endorsed Luther's teaching on justification by faith, although, at times it was quite antinomian as in Christian Liberty . Probably, she was thinking more in terms of moral courage than theology when she endorsed the Augsburg Confession

I found EGW and Wesley to be quite compatible. Actually, when I started studying Wesley's sermons, I was surprised by the similarity in their style and content.

A real issue for Adventism is that it was not founded upon gospel principles, that is upon the death and resurrection of Christ. Luther was converted, saved from the guilt of sin and fear of death through an understanding of the Cross, the righteousness of God, acting in his behalf.

OTOH, Adventism drifted for nearly 50 years with no clear gospel teaching. J+W 's endorsement by EGW, in the light of her other observations, may not amount to much, for us alive today.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi Trevor,

Considering 1844 has already been proven untrue, I do not even have to worry about that.

I suppose I am the same on the other end of the spectrum, the so called selective apostate that you call Desmond Ford, lead me to Christ, and his understanding of salvation by grace alone is what lead me to be baptized and give my life over to Christ, his books are Christ centred and spirit filled and have given me great hope knowing that I am secure in my salvation through Christ alone.

As I have said on thje other post, I know of countless people who have come to Adventism because of the Sabbath, state of the dead, annihilation and the health message, BUT I have never heard of anyone coming to the Church because of the theory of the 1844 IJ. The Church will not fall apart if we remove such a silly teaching, and no one outside of Adventism would even blink an eye if they did.

The birth pangs have begun, the church needs to start being the light of truth for the world, and I pray that Adventism changes soon.

God Bless

Nath


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

To look back now at Miller and the Millerites, and the lead up to 1844 as the end of the world date, I chuckle. Not only is it not biblical to even try to put a date on Christs return, but it is funny to look at the signs that made them think Prophecy of Revelation was being fulfilled.

The Lisbon eartquake came almost 100 years earlier in 1755 .

In 1780, darkness spread over thousands of square miles in New England, which was Millers home land.

Also at that time, the sun also disappeared and the moon turned blood red over the same area.

In 1833, the Leonid Meteor shower occured, which we now know is an event that happens every 33 years on average.

I am sure to theMillerites of the time, these things seemed like Christs return was imminent.

A problem with it straight away is Jesus related celestial signs to the tribulation:

Matthew 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

But were 1755, 1780 and 1833 at the end of the tribulation?

Later in June 27, 1850, EGW claimed the end of the world.

she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' …now time is almost finished…and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months."

Then around 7 years later, EGW also claimed the end was about to happen.

she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." 11 That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. "By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure."

Of course the end never happened in any of these cases, and all 3 were failed predictions and prophecies. (an excuse that all churches come up with for their prophets having failed prophecies is that they were conditional, like Jonah and Nineveh).

The reason I laugh is because its cute to think they thought one major earthquake, a meteor shower, and a darkened sun and red moon(maybe from bushfires) were signs of the end.

We now live in a world where natural disasters are increasing daily. We have mass animal deaths happening everywhere, earthquakes increasing(Christchurch quake happened on a previously unknown fault, talk about earthquakes in divers places), the constant threat of Tsunamis, the tectonic plates are now under enormous stress, volcanoes are waking up along with more seismic activity around super volcanoes like Yellowstone, big bush fires are destroying massive amounts of land every year, super storms and freak storms with freak hail and lightning that meteoroligists could not predict are happening everywhere, freak tornadoes, massive hurricanes, flash floods, big mudslides, massive fissures in ground opening up all around the world with no seismic activity involved, strange signs are happening in the heavens like 2 suns appearing in the sky around the world, super tides are happening from rising ocean levels, solar activity from solar storms is increasing, a super moon is predicted for the 19th of this month, more and more meteors and comets are being seen in the sky along with other strange UFO phenomenon, food and water is running out and there is talk of the beginning of a world wide famine this year because crops are getting wiped out by natural disasters, they are warning superbugs and other viruses like bird flu are going to start sweeping the world this year, colds and flus are lasting longer and longer, wars and unrest are happening more and more around the globe, the economy is collapsing, senseless violence and pornography have increased dramatically, TV is full of sicko murder shows now that are on every night, homosexuality is not only acceptible now but we are also constantly bombarded with it, pedophilia is on the rise, drug use and alcohol consumption is at an all time high, and the list goes on and on, all of this is now happening on a world wide scale.

If ever there was a time out of history of the last 2000 years to say the end is near and that the birth pains have begun, it would have to be now.
So I laugh now when I read about how one earthquake, a meteor shower, and the sun darkening and the moon going red to them was signs of the end, but to them I am sure it was a sobering experience.

God Bless
Nath 🙂


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 amed soliz says:

cornerstone

Interesting observations! My knowledge in EGW and SDA pioneers is marginal as best, but I’ll appreciate the references in the citations.

My personal interest in eschatology is based heavily on the best hermeneutical principals of the Bible. Out there is allot of speculations that will inflame the most inactive mind.

Is interesting the word distress ( Greek thlipsis) in Matthew 24:. The comparison of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:21’22 with Daniel 12;1 reveals His unmistakable end-time focus

For then there will be great distress, (thlipsis) unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress, (thlipsis) such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

In Matthew 24:29 the word distress (thlipsis) is bounded celestial events in these to the second coming of the Lord

“Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b] 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

The key question is what that mean “this generation” in context to “all these things” (greek Tauta)?

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Cornerstone111

I am so happy for you that you have such a close walk with the Lord and it has not been my intention to discourage your faith or seem to insult Dr Ford who has been instrumental in leading you to Christ. I only wish to point out that not all his positions were in line with Adventist doctrine and that he did change positions on a number of doctrines which he previously held. Of course I agree that some of the things we discuss here may sometimes have very little or even no impact on our walk with God as you have already pointed out but these are Seventh-day Adventist issues that cannot be ignored, discarded or discredited without warrant and credible biblical evidence which includes defence of it. A Professor of Religion once told us that we should be 'careful not to major in the minors' which I thought was good advice.

I am only on this website checking out what others are currently thinking and what they believe and what the vibe out there is. One of the distinct observations I have gathered so far (in my short five weeks on this website) is that there is a ‘faction’ within First World Adventism which is clearly very threatened by the traditionalist majority within the First World and a larger majority from those we call the Third World (Imperialism still rules the world albeit under a cloak), which has resulted in a fight to ‘Americanise Adventism’ which I prefer to refer to as Capitalist Adventism (or maybe even Hollywood Adventism – for the revellers).

Hey, at least in regard to America been the leader in world politics and religion, it seems that traditionalists were spot on in identifying its role. Remember the ‘cold war’ and how so many other Christian Faiths, with the US religious leaders leading the pack and warning the world that the ‘communists’ were the Anti-Christ? Even books were written. SDA’s were quiet regarding this as our traditional bible based interpretation of prophecy did not include the U.S.S.R as a part of biblical prophecy. Those preachers and religious leaders from the US and around the world have all gone silent and their false prophetic books left quietly in the trash can.

However, the humble servant of God who had but three years formal education, but who had fifty books published, with all the odds stacked against her, still wrote clearly about the USA and the role it will play in instituting an image of Rome: Loud, Accurate and Clear! Can a fraud predict so much so accurately including biblical prophetic events whether using the words of others to encapsulate her inspired thoughts of what she saw and heard? I think not! Even on another blog (Gilbert's account of her predictions), none of her critics disproved or even tried to disprove any of her predictions as false. They just said a whole lot of other stuff but no argument was made against the accurate fulfilment of the predictions Ellen White made.

Regarding your comment: "Considering 1844 has already been proven untrue, I do not even have to worry about that."

I beg to differ with this statement, Sir. There has never been any conclusive proof that disproves any of our fundamental teachings we hold as a church. They have been very well ridiculed, distorted, misconstrued, insulted, attacked, and despised, but never proven untrue. Light will always be what it is: Light!

Happiness!

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, All

I came across this brilliant exhaustive study by Juarez R. Oliveira – "Chronological Studies Related to Daniel 8:14 and 9:24-27" which simply just can't be ignored. Will a study like this be a credible argument proving the 1844 Investigative Judgment as accurate, biblical and true?

Website:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/14161167/22-october-1844-Adventist-Daniel-8-and-9-Chronological-studies-related-to-Daniel-814-92427-The-best-book-of-prophetic-chronologyThe-2300-eve

Below is a pdf download of the book (Size 29.4 MB – may take a few minutes to download – you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or some other pdf reader – Adobe Reader download link is https://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions)
https://www.iasdcentralfortaleza.com.br/Cronological_Studies_Daniel_9.pdf
Thanks Brother Juarez for the painstaking effort of putting together such a remarkable exhaustive study like this. God Bless.

Happiness!
T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

" not all his positions were in line with Adventist doctrine and that he did change positions on a number of doctrines."

Which is more impotant: That someone's position is in line with Adventist doctrine or that they conform to the Bible?

When an individual has determined by study, that his original position needs changing, should he: continue to hold that position; or change it? They say only a fool never changes his mind.

What is the honest step one should take when he studies and determines that a former belief is not in harmony with the Bible? Doesn't the Adventist church praise new converts who once were convinced of doctrines their former church preached but have now accepted Adventism? Don't most SDA converts come from former Christianity but have radically accepted new doctrines? When someone is convinced of an error, what is the honest thing to do? Should he continue with his previous beliefs, or should he follow his rational mind? Is there a third choice?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 amed soliz says:

The other day someone mention about EWG writings being a “lesser light”. I asked myself what it does mean in a practical level. I left that question for another day. Well today I had an opportunity consider it.

This afternoon I received sad news, Dr. Hans LaRondelle die. Indeed our church lost one of the most influential scholars. He became to be a SDA Christian after reading The Great Controversy https://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=4223.  The same experience had Dr. Desmond Ford https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Ford as well as the Jesuit priest who instructed me in basic Greek.
At personal level the only book that kept me reading throughout the night was the Great Controversy. That book opened my appetite to read the Bible and find the amazing grace of God. I accepted Jesus as the true Christ, my Savior and Lord. What a wonderful experience. That I will not change for nothing.

This morning after working all nightlong caring of a very sick newborn, I went to talk to a very sad parents. There was no to much hope, at the end I told them “as physicians we are applying all the knowledge and technology that we can offer…personally as human been I will pray for your little one”. That family was so grateful for the last words.

Like I expressed in other occasions, my knowledge in regard EGW is very limited, but her book led me to the bible and to the Lord.

For some of us who were not Protestants and the Bible was not an interesting book, her writing were the “little light” that we needed. I’ll be forever grateful to God that used that “little lady” called EGW that took her time to write a book that initiated my journey in my Christian experience.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 9th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dr Soliz

Greetings in Jesus name! The Great Controversy has had the same effect on my life too. Praise the Lord!

I was fortunate to listen to a number of tapes my Dad had with lectures by Dr. Hans LaRondelle. 'The Elijah Message' of Malachi 4 was one of those that was so inspiring. He was one of those speakers who kept you interested and wanting more. I remember too, his powerful messages on 'Righteousness by Faith'.

The SDA Church has indeed lost a gem. I also remember that on one tape he said: "We may not all be theologians, but we must all have good theology." May he rest in peace…

In Christ

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 10th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Trevor Hammond and Dr. Soliz,

I join you and others in expressing sadness upon the news of Dr. LaRondelle’s passing. He was by all accounts a giant intellect and a giant Adventist theologian.

I also join you in your sentiments regarding The Great Controversy. It is around this most important work that, in my humble opinion, the whole EGW controversy actually centers; whether most of us know it or not.

Stephen Foster

Adventist Today blogger   https://atoday.rapidhost.net/article.php?id=24


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 11th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Here is a short clip on what Walter Martin had to say about EGW, and I think it is a fair assumption of her. Remember, he was the nicest critic the church has ever had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVHWGn3PM_o


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Cornerstone

I saw the link you posted. Google has a plethora of information from both defenders and accusers. Soon I realized that adjectives used by the accusers are abundant, the spectrum goes plagiarism, liar, sick, false prophet….and instrument of the devil. Not even Aton LaVey, the founder of the church of Satan, has such adjectives. There is something really wrong!

Two passages came to mind, the first one found in John 9:25 He (the blind man) replied, “Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see". I paraphrase, whether EGW was a sinner (and she was, like all of us) I don't know. One thing I now her book helped me to see the Bible and find my Lord Christ.

The second is little more objective. Matthew 7: 15, 16 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.

I did not have the opportunity of know her personally, but almost a century after her death, the fruits of her books are impressive. She influenced many of us to became Christians (Dr LaRondelle, Dr Ford, the Jesuit priest, my self… probably hundreds or even thousands more)

With that test I challenge you. how many people were influenced by us to know the Lord? Do we have the peace, serenity and His Joy? did we yesterday, last week, last year witness for Christ? The people close to us can perceive that our life is a blessing to them? When was the last time we went to see the sick and orphans, the windows or the ones who are in prison? If you we doing that we are in right pat. But if all our christian witness experience or the majority of it, is just to write a few phases in this blog is something missing… Maybe is time again to look our Savior and Lord Christ.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 guibox says:

By Trevor Hammond

"I came across this brilliant exhaustive study by Juarez R. Oliveira – "Chronological Studies Related to Daniel 8:14 and 9:24-27" which simply just can't be ignored. Will a study like this be a credible argument proving the 1844 Investigative Judgment as accurate, biblical and true?"

Have you read Lee F Greer's most excellent and amazing exegesis of Daniel 8:1-14 and it's correlation to Daniel 9:24-27? I'm guessing it is probably polar opposite of Oliveira's. Some may simply write Greer off as a theistic evolutionist biology professor but let me tell you…he nails it here like any seasoned theologian and biblical scholar I've ever read.It makes complete sense and avoids all the swiss cheese holes the shoddy exegesis of traditional SDAism contains.

It is by far the best explanation of the passage. Better than traditional Adventism, better than the preterist or futurist method that places these events in the Greek empire or in the far future.

Greer's paper was on www.jesusinstituteforum.com, but sadly it seems that that site is no longer available and I cannot track down his paper anywhere else. Anybody have a link somewhere where this can be found?

Darrell C


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Wayne L says:

Cornerstone 111

I know I can't be the only person that feels like this but oh how I wish you wouldn't write such long comments.

I'm only responding to a portion that you have written in regards to the pioneers being theologically unlearned and immature but I think I should remind you that there has not been a church canon or not, found in its formative years that didn't have learning curves. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has never claim to be infallible but that fact doesn't negate this church mission.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Wayne,

All I can say is, the Church has tried to bury the problem of the 1844 teaching, and the misuse of EGW for the last 30 years, it is not dealing with the problem, and continues to die a slow death in the first world. I love Adventism, and do not want to see it die this slow, horrible death. It is time the Church WOKE UP, and started standinjg up for the truth, instead of tradition!

I pray daily for Ted Wilson, that he has an experience that shows him the way to Christ and the truth.

God bless us all, and God please guide Adventism to truly be your last day church, because at the moment it is hardly making a ripple in Protestantism.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 reinosaa says:

The church has not tried to buried the issue of 1844 , the Daniel and Revelation comittee wrote 7 volumes . there are so many documents in the biblical research insititute website . The Seminary teach a class on the doctrine of the sanctuary and when I took that class we dealt with all those issuses . So to say that the church has tried to hide the issue of 1844 is delutional to say the least . Going back to an important issue , It is sad the Dr.Hanks K. Larondelle died , He came last year to speak at the seminary , where they gave him a recognition for his work and I have all his books , My favarite is " Christ our salvation ". Dr. Soliz you give a very good point about the writings of Ellen white , the fruit of her writings have brought many to Jesus , and Jesus said by " their fruits ,you shall know them ".


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

I am going to scream if one more person says the Daniel and Revelation committee has solved the problems with 1844, and there is no longer a need to question it!!!

That would have to be one of the biggest loads of excrement waste ever believed!

1844 IJ and the misuse of EGW is the biggest problem with the church, it is the reason why it is not growing in the first world, and it is the wound that the church continues to not heal, thus leaving them bleeding to death in a very slow, painful way.

Why does the Seventh-day Adventist church just have one prophet? Didn’t the Bible promise visions to be given to a multitude of people, not just one? Joel 2:28-29 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” ???


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Why shouldn't Mormonism and Adventism both be equal in having their "own prophet"? Can anyone explain why they are not both relying on an extra-bibilical authority for their beliefs and doctrines? At least the Mormons are honest in proclaiming that their prophet is their guide and interpreter of their beliefs. While Adventists continually claim NOT to have extra-bibilcal authority, all the while emphasizing practically every precept by EGW. Too many have seen the hypocricy between their claims and actual practices. As long as they continue to use her writings to reinforce, even assert, doctrines, they will continue with Mormonism to be a cult. Only by relying on the "Bible and the Bible Only" will they truly be a Christian denomination. The repreated protestations notwistanding, as long as her quotations are used to underscore so many doctrines; what they deny, their actions prove otherwise.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Was EGW inspired from God in every prophecy? Here is some that need questioning:

1."During the year 1845 I met Miss Ellen G. Harmon several times at my uncle's house in South Windham, Me. The first of these meetings was in the month of May, when I heard her declare that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in June, the next month." (Lucinda Burdick, notarized letter, published in Limboline)
2. Mrs. Burdick again testifies:"During the haying season I again met her in company with James White at the same place, and heard my uncle ask her about the failure of the Lord to appear in June according to her visions. She replied that she had been told in the language of Canaan which she did not understand; but that she had since come to understand that Christ would return in September, at the second growth of grass instead of the first." (Ibid.)

3.Mrs. Burdick again testifies of statements made by Ellen White in 1846:"Once, when on their way to the eastern part of Maine, she saw that they would have great trouble with the wicked, be put in prison, etc. This they told in the churches as they passed through. When they came back, they said they had a glorious time. Friends asked if they had seen any trouble with the wicked, or prisons? They replied, 'None at all.' People in all the churches soon began to get their eyes open, and came out decidedly against her visions" (Ibid.)

4.In 1849, Mrs. White penned these memorable words:"What we have seen and heard of the pestilence [of 1849], is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us." (Present Truth, Sept. 1849).

5.In 1850 Sister White tells us what her angel told her:"My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' . . . now time is almost finished. . . and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." (Early Writings, pp. 64-67)

6."I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.'" Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 131

7."The human family was presented before me, enfeebled. Every generation has been growing weaker, and disease of every form visits the human race…. Satan's power upon the human family increases. If the Lord should not soon come and destroy his power, the earth would soon be depopulated." Testimony #8, p.94, in Spiritual Gifts III-IV

8."Slavery will again be revived in the Southern States; for the spirit of slavery still lives. Therefore it will not do for those who labor among the colored people to preach the truth as boldly and openly as they would be free to do in other places. Even Christ clothed His lessons in figures and parables to avoid the opposition of the Pharisees." (Spalding & Magan Collection, page 21 and 2 MR #153, page 300)

9.Here Mrs. White predicts that slave masters will experience the seven last plagues described in the book of Revelation:"I saw that the slave master will have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance…the master must endure the seven last plagues and then come up in the second resurrection and suffer the second, most awful death." (Early Writings, p. 276)

10.In 1873, the editor of the Swedish edition of Advent Herald, Mr. C. Carlstedt, had become seriously ill with Typhoid fever. Mrs. White and others were called to his bedside to pray for Carlstedt. On their way home from the prayer meeting, Mrs. White remarked that the Lord was…"present with his restoring power, to raise Carlstedt, whose sickness was not unto death, but to the glory of the Son of God." (Charles Lee, Three Important Questions for Seventh-Day Adventists to Consider)

Charles Lee, who at that time was a Seventh-day Adventist minister, was at the prayer meeting and was a witness to Mrs. White's prediction. Sadly, Mrs. White was dead wrong. Carlstedt was dead within one week of her statement. A horrific failed prediction.

11.Mrs. White claimed she saw in vision from God the rappings of the Fox Sisters and others would increase:"I saw that soon it would be considered blasphemy to speak against the rapping, and that it would spread more and more, that Satan's power would increase and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles and even to bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men." Early Writings, p. 59.
12.Perhaps the closest Mrs. White got to making an accurate prediction of the future was her 1903 statement regarding the destruction of San Francisco:"San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them. Not far hence they will suffer under His judgments."–Ms 30, 1903. Although she never specified what the "judgment" would be, she was 50% correct on this prediction, because San Francisco was hit by an earthquake three years later, in 1906. However, Oakland was not seriously damaged. Oddly enough, even though she lived in Northern California, Mrs. White never made any attempt to personally go and warn the residents of San Francisco of the impending earthquake.

13.Adventist minister Isaac Wellcome testifies:"I was often in meeting with Ellen G. Harmon and James White in 1844 and '45. I several times caught her while falling to the floor, –at times when she swooned away for a vision. I have heard her relate her visions of these dates. Several were published on sheets, to the effect that all were lost who did not endorse the '44 move, that Christ had left the throne of mercy, and all were sealed that ever would be, and no others could repent." (An Examination of Mrs. Ellen White's Visions, Miles Grant, Boston: Published by the Advent Christian Publication Society, 1877)

14.In 1849 she wrote about the condition of those in other chuches:"My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked, but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past." (Present Truth, August, 1849)

15.Mrs. White had a vision in which she claimed to have seen the body of Satan. The vision was published in Spiritual Gifts and the 1888 version of Great Controversy, but was later removed and no longer appears in the Great Controversy sold by the SDA Church today. Perhaps the publishers believed the statement would cause a great controversy because it contradicts the Bible teaching on the nature of Satan. Here is what Mrs. White saw in vision:"I was then shown Satan as he was, a happy, exalted angel. Then I was shown him as he now is. He still bears a kingly form. His features are still noble, for he is an angel fallen. But the expression of his countenance is full of anxiety, care, unhappiness, malice, hate, mischief, deceit, and every evil. That brow which was once so noble, I particularly noticed. His forehead commenced from his eyes to recede backward. I saw that he had demeaned himself so long, that every good quality was debased, and every evil trait was developed. His eyes were cunning, sly, and showed great penetration. His frame was large, but the flesh hung loosely about his hands and face. As I beheld him, his chin was resting upon his left hand. He appeared to be in deep thought. A smile was upon his countenance, which made me tremble, it was so full of evil, and Satanic slyness." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 27)

The Bible teaches that angelic beings are "spirits", and that spirit beings, do not have a body composed of "flesh and blood". This "vision" directly contradicts the Bible and illustrates that her visions did not originate with God.

Brothers and Sisters, this is only a small handful of failed prophecies from EGW.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Presenting the true message (Rev 14) will guarantee presence of the SDA church until the return of our Lord. Christianity is decreasing in the first world (USA and Europe)  https://sg.christianpost.com/dbase/asia/175/section/1.htm

https://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/7053?eng=y

“The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest denomination, reported a .42 percent decline in membership to 16,160,088 members, according to National Council of Churches' 2011” https://209.157.64.200/focus/f-religion/2673967/posts.

“Many of those who call themselves Christian claim to believe in a "LITERAL" interpretation of the Bible. Yet, according to Chattanooga-based American Rights Coalition whose cardboard copy of the Ten Commandments decorate numerous lawns in Sullivan County, less than 1 percent of adults and teen-agers in CONSERVATIVE BIBLE-BELIEVING CHURCHES COULD NAME THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. What is even more troubling, other surveys show less than 10% of evangelicals have read the Bible at all. How can someone that has never read the Bible claim to a be "BIBLICAL LITERALIST?” https://www.sullivan-county.com/christian.htm

Denominations counting the biggest losses in membership included United Church of Christ, down 2.83 percent… the Presbyterian Church (USA), down 2.61 percent …and the Episcopal Church, down 2.48 percent ““Oddly, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., reported a 59.60 percent decline in membership”

Churches that maintain their identities are increasing in USA

“But a few church bodies, regarded as cults by some Christians, continue to increase in size” Ranked 20th in size, the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination reported a 4.37 percent gain in membership… Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which didn't make the Top 25 list for at least the past two years, squeezed in the list this year in the 24th spot Increased up 4.31 percent… Mormon Church – grew 1.42 percent”…"Strong figures from the Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) suggest an increase in the number of adherents to Pentecostal groups, though it is impossible to state unequivocally from this table since the other two charismatic churches in the ranking have not reported in some years," remarked Lindner. https://209.157.64.200/focus/f-religion/2673967/posts

I concur we love Adventism, but is time to go back to our commission and present”the eternal gospel” and share with others (Protestant, Catholics, Jews, Muslins and Atheists) the love of God and tell them the last message to humanity presented in Rev 14


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M

I have just read that "Revelation contains more than 2,000 allusions to the Hebrew scriptures, including 400 explicit references and 90 literal citations."

It is more faithful to the original Hebrew than the Greek translation, the Septuagint. Revelation can hardly be understood by those who do not know Hebrew" The language and symbolism was not "hidden" from its Hebrew audience; it is a Hebrew book and it was all familiar. Hebrew scholar, Jaacques Doukhan

This should give us a clue that White's material was familiar to her audience in her era more than it is today. Terms were different, meanings different. Yet with little change or update it is presented to today's audience as if the words were sacred, thus setting us up for idolatry.

From what I read, White never wanted her words to be used as they are today–in sermons, books, magazines, and lessons like the Bible. She said that if we had studied the Bible, we wouldn't have needed them. I wonder how many others cringe when they hear someone use a quote to prove some point they can't get from the Bible. Familiarity in the form of over use can make one dislike a good thing. It can also cause those outside the church to question what is our foundation.

This does not mean they should not influence our life and practice as Adventists. They are filled with Bible quotes and point us to Christ. But to assume that every word this struggling Christian had to say was infallible is asking too much. She was human with human feelings and even depression (like we see in the Psalms). She was put in a position, as expected in her day, of having to be "perfect." I am sure she was afraid to share her own doubts and fears. Yet anyone reading her books can hardly question this was a sincere Christian with a close relationship with Christ.

White's critics miss the great blessings and main themes of her message by dwelling on hearsay and irrelevant issues of the era(as above). I have recently read that writers and speakers of the time were very authoritarian–they had the truth, and you didn't! That was expected of religious leaders. It won't work today where spiritual writing is more personal and shared and less sensational or dramatic-sounding.

One example is in the health area where White is said to have borrowed ideas. She was not the only inspired person in this area. Let's say a hypothetical religion came on the scene today saying that God told them to be vegan, etc. Would we accuse them of stealing other's ideas, whether they knew them or not? I doubt if everything she said in this area was 100% correct, but the major things were (like givingup meat). Now we are seeing these things embraced by millions outside our church. I believe inspiration exists among all honest people to different degrees. Haven't you ever read the Bible and felt that God "had shown" you something new?

As you see, I do not prescribe to the either/or theory of inspiraton, only the person being inspired and not their words.

Perhaps there is a body of God-inspired information out there that people may discover, but with their selfish natures, decide it is their's and no one else should use it. If truth is truth, shouldn't it be available to all?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 12th, 2011 Stan Ermshar says:

Did Ellen White teach eternal security on condition that one payed tithe?

Here are some unbelievable quotes from the Adventist’s “inspired” prophetess and I hope that the representative from the White Estate on this blog can explain away these quotes:

"Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those that have withheld their tithes send them in before the year 1896 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed of God. Presidents of our conferences, do your duty; speak not your words, but a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Elders of churches, do your duty. Labor from home to home, that the flock of God shall not be remiss in this great matter, which involves such a blessing or such a curse.” (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, page 306, paragraph 3.)

“Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those who have withheld their tithes, send them in before the year 1904 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed by God.” (Atlantic Union Gleaner, 12-14-1904, paragraph 7.)

“Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year (shall we not say a quarter?) open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those who have withheld their tithes, send them in before the year 1904 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed by God.” (East Michigan Banner, 02-01-1905, paragraph 8.)
———
Now did God extend the deadline from 1896 to 1904?

Stan


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hi pat

RE your comment – "Artical 7:The sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, to be the only rule of faith."

I must say that this is a very solemn and profound statement of faith considering the harsh reality of the immediate danger they faced for such a statement. What strength of faith they had! I would aspire too to have such faith.

With this been said, this Article 7 can only find completeness if the process of reform continued with at least the Biblical Seventh-day Sabbath been kept in obedience to God as defined in Article 7 which states emphatically "For, since the whole manner of worship, which God requires of us, is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, THOUGH it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul saith. For, since it is forbidden, to add unto or take away anything from the word of God, it doth thereby evidently appear, that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects."

Seventh-day Adventists uphold the sentiments of this profound Article by calling the attention of Protestantism and the world at large to the requirements of the Fourth Commandment among other Biblical teachings.

In Christ

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Stan

RE: Did Ellen White teach eternal security on condition that one payed tithe?

Although you have used the excerpts that follow this question out of context, (which is typical of deperate Ellen White critics and also an old excuse for dodging the return of Tithe), Ellen White expressed the sentiments of the verse below and was consistent as can be seen in this regard. Also, the focus of this is clearly out of concern to avoid church members losing the blessings of God by not returning what belongs to Him rather than what you imply.

Malachi 3:5-10 –> “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty. “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." [NIV]

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Regarding my comment on the 9th of March highlighting a book by Juarez R. Oliveira – "Chronological Studies Related to Daniel 8:14 and 9:24-27", I found where the book can be sourced from. Here is the bookstore webpage and the previous links I posted:

https://www.adventistbookcenter.at/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=32177
https://www.scribd.com/doc/14161167/22-october-1844-Adventist-Daniel-8-and-9-Chronological-studies-related-to-Daniel-814-92427-The-best-book-of-prophetic-chronologyThe-2300-eve

https://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/
https://www.iasdcentralfortaleza.com.br/Cronological_Studies_Daniel_9.pdf
I did notice that Brother Juarez R. Oliveira made a post on the Spectrum website regarding his book but the link doesn't work for some reason.

It's well worth checking out as he leaves no stone unturned and provides reliable evidence.

Happiness!

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Your comments on (Mar.13, above) concerning Article 7 which I posted.

The Jews (as a people) at Christ's first coming kept the Sabbath, believed God was creator of heaven and earth and kept the OT food laws plus "new light" they had added as a hedge against law-breaking…yet…they rejected Christ.

The Protestant Reformers and "confessions" worshiped on Sunday, did not keep the OT food laws, believed Christ was creator of heaven and earth, rejected tradition and non-scriptural authority (sola's) and accepted Christ.

Which was evidential in importance of a "true believer"… The keeping of "Sabbath" or Sunday? The Jewish tradition or Protestant belief?

At this time, I am a 5th generation SDA and worship on Saturday as practice. Yet, I find these same "dislocations" of thought within the SDA church vs. "Sunday keepers."

Sunday as commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ was practiced before the Bishop of Rome had a say in the "Church at large." This is historic fact.

I am not convinced that the "gentile believers" were instructed in the necessity of Sabbath Keeping while yet accepting Christ's/God's creatorship. The issue is complex and the church desired separation from the Jews due to the hostile relationship between the Roman Empire and Jews and the relationship sabbath incurred as a worship day.

It is complex noting the issues in Galatians 4:9-11 and Colossians 2:16-18. It is not as clear cut as we would like in understanding the "Judaizers" demand on the new Christian Gentiles and "being justified by law." (note the SDA's initial "poster child" Sam B.'s comments on these verses in "From Sabbath to Sunday", pp.352-369.)

I suggest it is Father/Christ/HS that judge the motives of worship to Himself and neither Sabbath or Sunday are without the possibility of "legalism" or acceptable worship. From our human standpoint who are we "to judge the servant of another." Rom.14:1-6.

Primacy to me is not the day but the reponse to the Lord of the day. What has one done with Christ and has one been Justiifed by Faith alone in Him, to me, is historically evidential of more importance than the day of worship.

Let every person be convinced in one's own mind and "forced" worship allowed by none.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Aw! Come on pat,

Your Ellen White and 1844 arguments I can somewhat remotely relate to and at least try to understand; but the Sabbath? Aw! Come on pat. That's a no brainer! The Sabbath? Jewish tradition? It certainly was not! It was instituted a long time before the Jews came on the scene and continued after Jesus was resurrected. It is part of God’s Holy Law and reveals His character.

The Sabbath is also a memorial of Creation and reveals the identity, sovereignty and the domain of the Lawgiver. Yes, the Jews as a corporate group rejected Him. In fact the rejection He faced from them represented the rejection of all mankind because as sinners we reject Him by default. In spite of this the early Christian Church was made up largely of Jews who continued to keep the Sabbath as did Jesus who is in fact the Lord of the Sabbath. Even the Gentile converts did!

The Jews did make the Sabbath burdensome with a whole lot of rituals and rules but Jesus confirmed its validity by teaching and correcting their distorted view of the Sabbath. For whatever reason or excuse it was changed to Sunday, it has conveniently used the resurrection as an excuse to trample on God's Law which ironically was the very reason Jesus had to die on the cross. Yes, Jesus also died on the cross for the sins of those who break the fourth Commandment.

The Resurrection has its very important place in the plan of salvation and emphasizes the reason for the cross and the joy of victory in Christ but never does it or can it remove the obligation of God's law which includes the Holy Sabbath.

I have the utmost respect for sincere Sunday keepers although I have not come across them as 'keeping' Sunday as we do the Sabbath. Almost all of the founding members of the SDA Church except maybe a few were 'Sunday Keepers'. They were diligent Bible Students who loved God dearly and who knew their personal Saviour very intimately.

I have no reservations been part of the remarkable history of this Church who Keep the Commandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus. The Sabbath exposes the incompleteness of Protestant Churches who boldly claim ‘Sola Scriptura’ but have embraced manmade doctrine which has changed the Bible to suite tradition and culture.

I say to them all: “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy…!" Jesus did! Ellen White did! I do! How about you?

Happiness

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Somehow you misunderstood my meaning. I believe the Sabbath is a memorial of creation and it is not a type. However, the tradittion and new light of the "Pharisees/Jews" at the time of Christ as I said believed in scripture, kept sabbath, ate clean meats…yet rejected Christ.

Calvinist have a "transference" view of the sabbath/sunday/Lord's day and Spurgeon was a "Sabbatarian" and once very strict sunday/sabbath practices were followed.

How do you read Matt.28:1 related to Sam's remarks on Col.2:16? Is it in the Gk. plural with a singular meaning as in Col.2? It is not as simple as one would choose it…this responsibility of Gentile Christian converts regarding the annual,monthly and weekly "sabbaths.".

I sometimes feel that many SDA's significance is in the "Sabbath, foods and showing institutional remnant status" rather than on Christ. Christ and Him crucified was the focus of those who wrote the Belgic confession…I suggest.

Luther sates that other than the need for an orderly day of worship there is no fixed law for Sunday observance in his remarks on Galatians.

My point is that not till SDA's are clear on RBF "alone" is there any true reason for Protestants to see any reason to worship on Saturday as an alternative. The Sabbath is taught, I suggest, as the means of ultimate justification by many SDA's understanding. Get it?

Is faith in Christ or Sabbath "primary?" Is sabbbath worship part of Justificaton or sanctification? Are we "perfect" in Christ or "made perfect by sabbath observance?"

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I too being a 5th Gen SDA, know many, if not all of the arguments passed around and posted. But I do not beleve the premise of your last post is altogether accurate. It's not an either or scenerio. True Sabbath keeping does recognize God / Christ as the creator, but it also involves resting in Christ as our righteousess by faith, as well as resting the assurance that when He returns, Christ will restore us to eternal perfection. Any Sabbath keeping apart from faith is not acceptable to God. The Pharisees that crucified Christ have clearly demonstrated that. If one is truly righteous by faith, the Sabbath is a sign / seal of that righteousness, as circucision was a sign / seal to Abraham's righteousness by faith.

As truth has been unfolded thru time, there is a necessary consolidation of truth. That need is determined by what is necessary to prepare a people to meet the Lord when He returns. All of these divisive arguments must be set aside for the unity of the faith once delivered to all who will submit to it.

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

Christians are "sealed" by the Spirit of Promise…not the Sabbath. Eph.1:13,14.

This get's back to the source of the Protestant understanding of salvation. Are we "reckoned righteous" or "made righteous" by Justification.

Are we made "perfect" by sabbath observance or "reckoned perfect" by Christ's sacrifice in our behalf and upon reception "by faith alone" in His rghteousness, sealed by the "Spirit of promise?"

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 reinosaa says:

Scream my friend , that is the only thing that you can do . All the evidence the scholars gave , Have you read those books ?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"The Sabbath? Jewish tradition? It certainly was not! It was instituted a long time before the Jews came on the scene and continued after Jesus was resurrected "
If one is so certain, without textual substantiation it remains only an assumption. Please provide Bible text(s) showing that the Jews, or anyone prior to the Exodus obeyed or were ever given the institution of sabbath. This is such a tired, old assumption of Adventism that has absolutely no basis in the Bible. Never, is a command given by God for MANKIND to rest on the seventh day, and never is there a text showing that any of those living during the millenniums before the Exodus who were ever observing Sabbath.

Come one, show us the texts are cease claiming what is not in the Bible!


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hi, pat

You're using the same old texts that non-SDA's use of which there is clearly no change of the Sabbath posited. In all the texts where the First Day is mentioned in the Bible, they never make any reference to the Sabbath been changed to Sunday for whatever reason or allude that the fourth Commandment has been changed to the First Day. There is no scripture to reasonably back it up. So much for non-SDA Protestant ‘Sola Scriptura’ .

The Sabbath is always referred to as a separate day throughout the New Testament and even today. I am assuming you are aware that there is a difference between the Fourth Commandment Sabbath and the Mosaic ceremonial sabbath's which Christ fulfilled at the cross, thereby ending the oblations and ceremonial laws.

I have not come across any official Church document nor even heard of any SDA say, “We are saved by Keeping the Sabbath” or that “Righteousness by Faith is keeping the Sabbath” or that “We are made perfect by Sabbath Observance” nor even that “Sabbath observance is a means of ultimate justification”.

Seventh-day Adventists are not legalists and do not teach salvation by works, period. This is a false accusation levelled at us to discredit our message as a Church. I admit that there are some misguided extremist individuals (like in many other churches too) who follow a strict religious code of conduct for whatever reason, but even in these isolated cases they will never admit they do it to be saved. Have you had anyone tell you that they are saved by works?We are Justified by Faith and Sanctified by Faith in Jesus Christ who is our standard of Righteousness.

Justification is instantaneous, gives us our title to heaven, Christ imputes His Righteousness to us, by faith, and involves confession, repentance and forgiveness. Sanctification lasts the lifetime, is our fitness for heaven, Christ imparts His Righteousness to us, by faith, and involves obedience, restitution and reformation. Justification is integrally associated with Sanctification as it occurs within it. In both instances we are declared righteous by faith: whether imputed or imparted, it is by Christ alone.

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Trevor,

You said;

I say to them all: “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy…!" Jesus did! Ellen White did! I do! How about you?

Why on earth would you put EGW in the same sentence with Jesus as our example?

It is clear that your faith is not built on Christ alone.

People, the Church finally needs to decide whether it is a Cult, or a Christian organisation. If it is Christian, than it needs to start accepting its Christian bros and sisters from all denominations.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

INHOUSE PROBLEMS WITH THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGEMENT

The Investigative (pre-Advent) Judgement has been a thorn in the side of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the doctrine was formulated. Over the past one-hundred years many courageous leaders within the SDA Church have raised their voices against the flaws and errors in this doctrine, but all were rebuffed for their efforts. Some of them left the Church of their own accord and others were sacked for daring to question the Church’s ‘unique contribution’ to Christianity.

While the SDA Church has not been able to admit openly that there are apparent flaws in the doctrine of the Investigative Judgement, behind the scenes it has endeavoured to reconcile the problems inherent in this teaching. In 1958 a questionnaire on Daniel 8:14 was sent to twenty-seven top Seventh-day Adventist scholars in language and exegesis to ask them if there was any relationship between the cleansing of Daniel 8:14 and the Day of Atonement cleansing of Leviticus 16. All twenty-seven replied that it was impossible to make a linguistic connection between Daniel 8:14 and Leviticus 16—a connection that is vital to the doctrine of the Investigative Judgement.

On the basis of this questionnaire, F D Nichol asked the General Conference President, Elder Figuhr, for a committee to study these and other problems. At considerable expense, the General Conference funded this committee—the Committee on Problems in the Book of Daniel—which was chaired by H. W. Lowe. Over the five years of its existence this committee studied forty-five submissions, but was unable to reach a consensus. It was finally disbanded without presenting a single report on its findings or leaving any Minutes from its meetings.

One has to ask, if the Investigative Judgement is a doctrine especially for God’s people today, why was this General Conference funded committee not able to agree on the authenticity of this teaching. And if SDA scholars have problems with this article of belief, what faith can the lay people have in it?

According to Raymond Cottrell, ‘In 1967 or 68, Elder Mervyn Thurber, Book Editor of the Review and Herald, came to Andrews Seminary expressly to find a faculty member to write a book on the Sanctuary. He could find none willing. He insisted the Church needed a book on this fundamental doctrine—Andreason’s book was hopelessly obsolete. Finally, it was decided that the book should be a joint effort by all the faculty, with chapters contributed by all the seminary’s academic departments. Dr. Dederan was appointed co-ordinator for the effort, but at the first meeting of the possible contributors the whole project collapsed because it was agreed the traditional Adventist position on the subject could not be demonstrated from the Bible.1’

The October, 1980 Ministry magazine—printed after the Glacier View meetings—makes this statement: ‘It is essential that the world understand this great truth and there is no other people to whom the world can look for the unfolding of this magnificent heavenly mystery except Seventh-day Adventists! The doctrine of the Investigative Judgement constitutes Adventism’s unique contribution to the theological world’ (p. 64).

Why, then, in the twenty-five years since this statement was penned, has no Adventist Scholar ever written on the Investigative Judgement in non-Adventist journals or magazines? If this doctrine is so important as to be a raison d’etre for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and if it is as scripturally sound as the Church’s authorities claim, why are committed Seventh-day Adventist Scholars so reticent to share this ‘truth’ with other Scholars outside the fold? The fact is, SDA theologians have never written articles on the Investigative Judgement for non-Adventist journals, because they know, full well, that this teaching would not stand up to the close scrutiny of non-SDA Scholars.

So, what of the future of the Investigative Judgement in the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Four years back, Dr. Fritz Guy wrote, ‘Ironically, although Desmond Ford was dismissed from the Adventist ministry in 1980 because of his disagreement with traditional Adventist views about the Cleansing of the Sanctuary, subsequent Adventist thinking in North America seemed to have moved closer to his position and further away from those who dismissed him.’2

On the other hand, Jan Paulsen, the current General Conference President of the SDA Church, disputes Guy’s claim. In a supplement to the Adventist Review, entitled The Theological Landscape, he wrote, ‘Some are suggesting that since the 1980 (Glacier View) meetings, the very teachings that the Church affirmed that year at those meetings have been abandoned and that the Church has essentially moved to accept the very positions it rejected then. Such a claim is a distortion of reality and nothing could be further from the truth. The historic Sanctuary message, based on Scripture and supported by the writings of Ellen White, continues to be held to unequivocally … let no one think that there has been a change of position in regard to this.’3

Contrary to Paulsen’s protestations, however, interviews with SDA Pastors and Scholars, and articles in the Winter 2005 issue of Spectrum, indicate that he is either not aware of the thinking of his workers, or he is denying reality for the sake of both tradition and the fundamentalists in the Church. We conclude that if the Administrators of the SDA Church are determined to put more value on this traditional belief, than on the interpretation of Daniel 8:13-14 as understood by the majority of biblical Scholars, both inside and outside the denomination, then the SDA Church will continue to remain exposed to the valid accusation that it is fudging the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, because it considers an erroneous tradition to be more important than truth. And that would be a tragedy for a denomination which can truly be proud of its record in most other areas.

If the SDA Church ceased teaching the Investigative Judgement to its members, we at Good News Unlimited would also cease opposing it. But, in spite of the dubious theology and questionable history behind the Investigative Judgement belief, the denomination still insists on broadcasting this belief in books, Sabbath School Study Guides, and special inserts in its magazines. We, therefore, feel obliged to issue a warning against this false teaching which deceives people into thinking that they are God’s special people—when they aren’t.

ENDNOTES:

1. Verbatim from a tape recording.
2. Thinking Theologically, Andrews University Press (1999), p 90f.n.
3. October 12, 2002, p.20.

The October, 1980 Ministry magazine—printed after the Glacier View meetings—makes this statement: ‘It is essential that the world understand this great truth and there is no other people to whom the world can look for the unfolding of this magnificent heavenly mystery except Seventh-day Adventists! The doctrine of the investigative Judgement constitutes Adventism’s unique contribution to the theological world’ (p.64)

Why then, in the twenty-five years since this statement was penned, has no Adventist Scholar ever written on the Investigative Judgement in non-Adventist journals or magazines? If this doctrine is so important as to be a raison d’etre for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and if it is as scripturally sound as the church’s authorities claim, why are committed Seventh-day Adventist Scholars so reticent to share this ‘truth’ with other Scholars outside the fold?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I am not confusing the Sabbath as a sign / seal of the righteousness of Christ received by faith with the earnest / downpayment (the Holy Spirit) given to those who trust in Christ for their salvation. Yes, Colossians 2:10 says we are perfiect in Christ, but 2:6 says that after we have received Christ we are to walk in Him. True Sabbath keeping has no merit in and of itself to make one perfect. That was not my point. Again, to continue to argue the point that it is an either or matter is missing the point. Those who are righteous by faith, those who are walking in the Spirit, those who are trusting in Christ for their salvation will have no issue with Sabbath keeping. Why? Because there is no conflict!

I beleive there are people who rest in Christ on Sunday for the right reason, while there are just as many, if not more, who keep Sabbath for the wrong reason. The day will come, and pray soon, when all of this will be sorted out for all to see, hear, and by design choose.

Justification by faith is God's reckoning us righteous in Christ… period. We will only be made righteous at Christ's return… Romans 5:19, Philippians 2:21,

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Galatians 5:5 KJV)

True Sabbath keeping is resting in Christ awaiting His soon return by which we will be made righteousness for all eternity. Hence… Seventh-Day Adventist.

Peace


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 amed soliz says:

The war in Revelation 13 and 14 is related to worship. Worship is mentioned 8 times, 7 related to the dragon/ beast, and one to God. (Rev 13: 4, 8, 12, 15; Rev 14:7, 9, 11).

The “unholy trinity” (dragon, sea beast, and land beast) is counterfeiting and stolen what belongs to the “Holy Trinity” (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

The dragon gave to the sea beast the authority (Rev 13:4) God gave the authority the Son

The sea beast is counterfeiting the Son, has a ministry for 42 months ( 3 ½ years), has a deadly wound and is resurrected. (Rev 13: 3,5,14).
The land beast counterfeits the Holy Spirit, even causing fire to come down from heaven (Rev 13.13) In the Pentecost the Holy Spirit have the form of fire. The unholy trinity continues counterfeiting with tree demoniac sprits and its mark. The hearth of the war of worship is the first 4 commandments.

The beast is replacing God (attack to the first commandment)
The beast has an image (attack to the second commandment)
The beat is blaspheming (attack to the third commandment)
The mark of the beast attacks the four commandment. This commandment has the NAME ( YHWH) NUMBER ( SEVEN) prohibits commercial activity and for is for “you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant … nor any foreigner residing in your towns
The mark of the beast has name number restricts commercial activity and is “lpeople, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave” https://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=1106&journal=1&type=pdf

The response of God is register in Revelation 14. Verse six is the only reference of worship to GOD. “Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water. This sentence is a copy in words in order and thought of the one found in four commandment. Is the longest reference word by word of the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation.

More to come in regards to the mark of the beast and seal of God.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

One point and question at a time. Tell me the difference between "sabbath day/days", Gk. σαββάτων . in Col.2:16 and Mt.28:1.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffel,

I do not believe that the 7th day sabbath has been replaced in the 10 Commandments which covenant was after Abraham. Neither do I believe that it is wrong for others to worship the Resurrected Christ on the 1st day.

As to Abraham being reckoned righteous read Rom.4:3-6,9,10,11,12,13,14 and Gal.3:6,11,17

We are not "justified" or "sealed" by either Sabbath or Sunday worship.

God will judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Cornerstone111

RE your comment: " Why on earth would you put EGW in the same sentence with Jesus as our example? It is clear that your faith is not built on Christ alone."

–> Are you 'maturists' allergic to Ellen White?

–> This is what I wrote: "I say to them all: “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy…!" Jesus did! Ellen White did! I do! How about you?"

–> You take what I wrote out of context. Why shouldn't I have put her name in my sentence. Did you not see the 'I do' also? Is my name not worthy to be next to Jesus too? My reference to Ellen White was to point out that she observed the Biblical Sabbath just like Jesus did and as I also do. Are you suggesting that this is sacrilegious? Ellen White 'phobia' seems to be a common ailment that plagues many 'maturists'. Ellen White kept the Sabbath and that is a fact. What's so offensive about that. Millions of others around the world do too!

–> You then conclude that: "it is clear that your faith is not built on Christ alone." Wow! You progressive's have powers to judge the faith of others! Thanks, but I would rather let Christ decide that for me. I trust Him more…

Sabbath Keeper in Christ

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 dicknoel says:

Richard L. Noel, DMD

Cindy,

You are leading a difficult discussion. At least you show the complexity of the issues by your affirmations and denials. I am not certain that even this list of statements will convince many to change their ever hardening positions.

It is hopeful that such discussions can open the door to real study of the Bible on every side of the issues. As Ellen White said, 'there is much to learn and much to unlearn'. We can either be like the Jews of Jesus' day and whitewash the tombs of the prophets or we can go forward believing the living prophets that God is sending to His remnant people.

Jesus made an enlightening statement about those who whitewashed the tombs. He said they were just like their forefathers who killed the prophets. I struggled with this text. It appears that the whitewashers could only accept a dead prophet. They were not willing to accept a live prophet.

We must decide which to listen to. We cannot go on arguing and doing nothing.

I choose to listen to God speak to me through the Word (Bible) and the word of his current prophets. We must build on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. Who are the Apostles and prophets of today?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 amed soliz says:

The word mark (χάραγμα) is mentioned 8 times in reference to the “mark” of the beast. Similar word is used in Heb 1:3 in reference to Christ who …is the express image (χαρακτήρ) of His (Father). (χαρακτήρ = character).

The ones who will receive the mark of the beast will have character of the beast. The character of the beast is described in revelation 13, opposes to the true worship and this one specifically the forth commandment. This commandment has the mane of GOD, the number, the economical restriction and cover of all kind of people. The mark of the beast has name, a number, economical restriction and universal coverage. Indeed extraordinaire similarities!

The mark of the beast also has a subjective identification to be known only by the ones who have it. “They have no rest (anapausis) day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Revelation 14: 11. The word rest (anapausis) is the same word used in Mat 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest (anapausis) for your souls.

When the due time is for sure God will let know everybody exactly what is the mark of the beast. The question is if we have the rest and serenity of Christ today.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hey everyone,

Check out The Spirit Behind Adventism, its a six part series exposing a lot. I agree with about 95% of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFQ2YeVZOno&feature=related


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Elaine. Here’s some texts. Please prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to give you the understanding of these verses as I have done…

The Sabbath was made for man before man sinned and therefore not part of the ceremonial law. It was also instituted long before the Jews and before they were asked to ‘remember’ it. Even God kept the Sabbath. He is our God and we should keep it too? The Ten commandments and the gospel in figure were affirmed to Israel of old and Jesus reaffirmed the correct observance of it as well. He rested even in the tomb on the Sabbath and rose on the first day.

  • Mark 2:27–>the Sabbath was made for ‘man’
  • Isaiah 56:2 –>blessed is the ‘man’…
  • Mark 2:28–>Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (the Creator Himself)
  • John 1:3–>‘the Word’ made all things
  • 1Cor 8:6–>Lord Jesus Christ is Creator
  • Heb 1:1-2–>God speaks through Jesus ‘the Son’
  • Gal 2:20–>Jesus lives in us…
  • Exodus 31:16-17–>verse 17 refers to the Genesis 2:1-3 seventh day rest
  • Isaiah 56:4-6 –>the sons of the ‘stranger’…
  • Isaiah 58:13 –>…God calls the Sabbath ‘my holy day’
  • Isaiah 66:23 –>from one Sabbath to another shall ‘all flesh’ come to worship
  • Genesis 2:2–>God ‘rested’ on the seventh day
  • Genesis 2:3–>God ‘blessed’ the seventh day
  • Exodus 20:8–>God says ‘Remember’ the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments
  • Exodus 20:10–>seventh day is the ‘Sabbath of the Lord your God’
  • Exodus 20:11–>God blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it
  • Exodus 31:13–>Israel to keep Sabbath…it is a sign that God sanctifies
  • Mark 6:2–>Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath
  • Luke 4:16–>it was Jesus’ custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath
  • Luke 4:31–>Jesus taught on the Sabbath days
  • Dan 7:25–>a world political/religious power attempts to change the law
  • Rev 14:7–>a call to worship the Creator …see Exodus 20:11 (Fourth Commandment)

Sabbath Keeper in Christ my Saviour

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 13th, 2011 reinosaa says:

Hi , everyone .

Check out the answers to the video that Nath is promoting here biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/documents/spiritbehindchurch.htm I agree 100% with the answers given by the biblical research institute .


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Reinossa,

I agree with 85-90% of what was on the link you posted.

Remember, if someone agrees 100% with someone or something, one person has stopped thinking 😉


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pastor Reinosa

Good link with responsible and sustainable answers!

I'm reading Daniel & Revelation Committee Series. Volume 1. In this book i found out the strongest argument against Antiochus IV been the little horn in Daniel 8. This is must read chapter for any serious student of Daniel 8.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Elaine

I wil provide 50% of a text to proof that the Sabbath was given to mankind.

"The Sabbath was made for man (anthrōpos) Mark 2:27

Jesus did say the Sabbath is for the hebrew man or for the Jew man. He say for man,

The Sabbath was made one day after the first man (Adam) in the week of creation.The first man was Adam not Moses

If we restrict the word anthropos to the hebrews/Jews (from the time of Moses until time of Jesus) we are assuming that the rest of individuals who lived before and after this period are sub-humans or beasts.

The word Anthropos describes humanity see the Strong's concordance, not only an individual or individuals


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Trevor,

–> You then conclude that: "it is clear that your faith is not built on Christ alone." Wow! You progressive's have powers to judge the faith of others!

Isn't it you who called Des Ford a selective apostate? isn't it you who thinks anyone who disagrees with TSDA is a heretic and apostate?

It is TSDA who have played judge my friend.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Amed,

The Daniel and Revelation committee have not solved any of the problems. Antiochus fits in perfectly as the first fulfillment of the AOD. The little horn comes from the greek beast, it is clear as day.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

WHY THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8 MUST BE ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES

In 1978 I made the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. In spite of my love for my Church, my work, my family and friends, I felt myself compelled by conscience, to withdraw from the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The main reason I felt compelled to take this traumatic, heart-wrenching step, was that I had come to disbelieve my Church’s fundamental doctrine of a pre-advent Investigative Judgement.

I write this article not as a polemic against the Adventist Church, but as a call for all Adventists to return to what I believe is the true essence of Adventism; the robust and uncompromising search for truth. I continue to love and admire much of what constitutes Adventism, but I am afraid that most seem to think that the quest for truth is over and now it is time to retreat into their castle and defend this ‘truth’ from the attacks of other Christians. What follows, constitutes one of my main objections to the Investigative Judgement teaching. I ask my Adventist friends to consider carefully and honestly what I have to say.

THE ADVENTIST TEACHING OF AN INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT OF THE PROFESSED PEOPLE OF GOD IS TOTALLY FOREIGN TO THE CONTEXT OF DANIEL CHAPTER EIGHT.

According to the traditional Adventist position, the Cleansing of the Sanctuary of Daniel 8:14, is an investigative judgement of the professed people of God. A study of the context of this verse reveals that this unusual interpretation finds no support in this chapter.

The symbolism of Daniel 8 centres in the notorious little horn, which is described as performing a number of horrific acts. Among other things he is said to take away the daily sacrifices, pollute the Sanctuary and persecute the people of God. After witnessing these terrible events in vision Daniel hears two angelic beings speaking to each other. One asks the question, ‘For how long is the vision concerning the continual burnt offering, the transgressing that makes desolate and the giving over of the Sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?’ (v. 13). In verse 14—the answer to this question—the other angel replies, ‘Unto 2300 days then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed’ (K.J.V.). It is clear, then, that the ‘cleansing of the Sanctuary’ must involve the destruction of the little horn and the restoration of the Sanctuary. The Adventist interpretation totally ignores this context and switches to the theme of an investigation of the professed people of God. This exegesis fails to answer the question of verse 13 and is completely irrelevant to the context of the entire chapter. There is however a simple, straightforward and convincing alternative.

Modern Bible commentators are almost unanimous in seeing the Greek king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, as the fulfillment of the little horn of Daniel, chapter 8. Antiochus Epiphanes was an erratic megalomaniac who made it his express purpose to eliminate the religion of Jehovah from the face of the earth. The history of this evil madman is graphically outlined in the two intertestamental books of Maccabees, which describe an horrific period of desecration and bloodshed during the years 171-165 BC.

During this terrible period of approximately 2300 days, Antiochus attempted to impose Greek customs upon the Jewish people. Along with many other terrible outrages he banned the continual sacrifices, desecrated the temple by installing a pagan image, poured swine’s broth around the temple and tortured and murdered thousands who refused to abandon their faith. Never before had there been such a blatant, foul and arrogant attempt to totally wipe out the faith of Israel.

The well-known scholar, William Barclay, in his commentary on the book of Revelation, details some of the horror of this time:

‘Eighty thousand Jews were either slaughtered or sold into slavery. To circumcise a child or to possess a copy of the Law was a crime punishable by death. History has seldom seen such a deliberate attempt to wipe out the faith and religion of a whole people. He desecrated the Temple. He erected an altar to Olympian Zeus in the Holy Place and on it he sacrificed swine’s flesh. He turned the rooms of the Temple into public brothels … To the Jews, Antiochus was the incarnation of all evil; he is the blasphemous little horn of Daniel; he is the nearest approach to Antichrist in human form.’1

The tyrant’s reign of terror was brought to a totally unexpected end, when the pious Judas Maccabaeus and his sons, rallied the faithful, and incredibly, routed the Greek army! It was three years to the day after the installation of the pagan image, that the Sanctuary was cleansed and rededicated. This joyful event was henceforth remembered by the feast of Hanukkah, which was observed in the time of Christ (John 10:22) and continues to be celebrated by Jews today.

This stirring story is about to be exploited by Hollywood. Mel Gibson is rumoured to be considering making a film recounting these incredible events.

To me, and most other commentators, the fulfillment of the little horn of Daniel 8 in Antiochus Epiphanes, is crystal clear. However, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, from its very beginning, has vigorously disagreed with this interpretation. According to the official understanding of the Church, the horn is a symbol of both the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. This understanding is important to the SDA Church because it is foundational to their centre-piece doctrine of the Investigative Judgement—which they believe is one of the special truths that God has commissioned them to proclaim to the world. Without questioning the sincerity and earnestness of my many friends in Adventism, I believe there are many convincing reasons why the little horn of Daniel 8 must be Antiochus. Here are some of them:

1. The little horn of Daniel 8 is a Greek horn. Unlike the little horn of Daniel 7, which emerges from the Roman beast, this horn is said to emerge from one of the four horns upon the Greek beast. It is crystal clear—while the horn of Daniel 7 emerges from the fourth world empire, the horn of Daniel 8 emerges from the third world empire. This fact is so plain and transparent that one can only wonder why some have overlooked it.
2. One of the first things that the angelic interpretation says about the little horn, is that he is ‘… a King of fierce countenance …’ (v. 23). According to the traditional Adventist view the horn represents a kingdom, namely the Roman Empire. It is hard to see how a kingdom could have ‘a fierce countenance’ and ‘understand dark sentences.’ The angelic interpretation allows no misunderstanding.
3. This King emerges from one of the fourfold divisions of the Greek Empire. ‘Out of one of them came forth a little horn …’ (v. 9). Antiochus emerged from the Seleucid horn, which was a division of the Greek Empire. Rome did not—it emerged on the Italian peninsula to the west of the Greek Empire.
4. The horn would arise ‘in the latter time’ of the fourfold division, which pictures well Antiochus’s emergence. The fourfold division of Greece had passed the peak of its power when he emerged, this is evidenced by the humiliation he suffered at the hands of the Romans while on his way to invade Egypt.
5. The horn would attack the South and East and the pleasant land, i.e. Palestine. Antiochus did exactly that. However, when Rome came to power, it expanded in all directions, including West to Britain and North to the Germanic tribes. This little horn is clearly not Rome.
6. The horn would be noted for his cunning and intrigue. He would ‘understand dark sentences’ and ‘cause craft to prosper’ (v.25). Antiochus was renowned for his craftiness and cunning; Rome, more for her brute strength and power.
7. The horn would destroy the mighty and holy people. History reveals that tens of thousands perished as Antiochus attempted to force the Jews to deny their faith.
8. The horn would take away the daily sacrifices (v. 11). Antiochus put a stop to the sacrifices for a period of over three years.
9. Antiochus ‘cast down’ the place of God’s Sanctuary (v. 11) when he shut down its daily ministry and set up the abomination that caused horror, i.e. the image of Zeus Olympias, and slaughtered swine on the altar of burnt offering. The importance of the Sanctuary service, lay, not so much in the building, as in the daily sacrifices and offerings, by taking these away Antiochus ‘brought low’ God’s dwelling place.
10. Antiochus continued for approximately (possibly precisely, it is impossible to determine) 2300 days (v. 14) i.e. from the first attacks upon the Sanctuary to his death in 164 BC. One of the world’s leading conservative Scholars stated, ‘In this year (i.e. 171BC) began the laying waste of the Sanctuary. The termination would then be the death of Antiochus (164BC).2
There is no convincing fulfillment of the 2300 days in the history of the Roman Empire and only by a fine-spun linking of the Roman Empire with the Roman Church, and a further fine-spun linking of Daniel 8 with Daniel 9 (these two chapters are historically separated by at least 10 years) can Seventh-day Adventists arrive at a closing date for the 2300 days. This date is October 22, 1844 when Christ is said to have shifted his ministry from the first apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary into the second, to begin a work of judgement.
11. In his desecration of the Sanctuary and his persecution of true believers, Antiochus did ‘practice and prosper’ and ‘was exceeding great’ (v.9 & v.12).
One of the major objections to Antiochus as the fulfillment of the prophecy, is the fact that he was a relatively minor player on the stage of history. It is sometimes asserted he is not big enough to fulfil the prophecy. This objection fails to take into account the simple fact, that this particular prophecy centres primarily on the fate of the people and religion of God. The great theme of this vision is an unprecedented and successful attack upon the saints and true worship. It is in this sense that Antiochus practices and prospers and becomes exceeding great.
Another important point, is that there is much to imply that more than Antiochus alone is portrayed here. Almost all conservative Scholars agree that Daniel 8 portrays Antiochus as a type of the final Antichrist. Many believe that the prophecy will have a further, fuller and final fulfillment in the future.
12. That Antiochus is the little horn of Daniel 8, is convincingly confirmed by a comparison with the final vision of chapter 11. This final vision covers much the same ground as chapter 8. Various Persian and Grecian kings, including Alexander the Great, are referred to, but all are dealt with briefly in just one or two verses. As the vision moves towards its climax, Antiochus is once again centre stage, and no less than fifteen full verses are devoted to him (see 11:21-35). Antiochus is clearly no minor player in this vision. There then follows an almost imperceptible blending of Antiochus with the one whom most conservative Scholars consider to be the final manifestation of evil (see v. 36 onwards). It is clear, then, that this Old Testament tyrant, in his overt and unbridled opposition to the true God, his truth and his people, is a remarkable and fitting type of the even more horrifying figure of the Antichrist to come.

Summary

The vision of Daniel 8 is probably the clearest in the whole book, hence the almost universal agreement by both conservative and liberal Scholars on the meaning of the symbols. Almost all are agreed that in Antiochus Epiphanes, we find a natural, straightforward and convincing fulfillment of the horn who desecrates the Sanctuary.

In contrast to the above, the traditional Seventh-day Adventist position wrestles against the most obvious meaning of the passage. Its assertion that the Roman Empire emerges from one of the Greek horns, fatally flaws this interpretation from the very beginning. If you take the wrong path at the commencement of your journey, you can expect to arrive in the wrong place. I suspect that if this interpretation had not been confirmed by ‘divine inspiration’ it would have eventually died a natural death, as it did in the other Adventist groups that survived the disappointment of 1844.

ENDNOTES:
William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible: The Revelation (St. Andrews Press, 1975), p. 73.
E.J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel (Banner of Truth Trust, 1972), p. 17


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Corerstone111

If Antiochus IV is the little horn and if is “as clear as day” I’ll see it.

I’ll read carefully your post and if possible the references that you provided. In time you will receive my opinion.

I’m not a theologian, by trying I’m physician and scientist familiarized to answers difficult questions. The rigor of conducting pioneer research prepared me to apply the scientific method and analyze the data available in order to have a sustainable conclusion.

I try to answer one question at the time and be focus; I don’t jump to another one until I have as reasonable answer.

You have my word I’ll be as objective as possible. But in matters of faith also I pray for guidance of Holy Spirit.

The question: Is Antiochus IV the little horn in Daniel 8?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Hansen says:

Cornerstone, One difficulty I have with the "Antiochus only" view is that Jesus specifically referred to the abomination of desolation refered to by Daniel the prophet as Jerusalem being surrounded by armies [of Rome]. The parallel passages in Matthew and Luke point clearly to the Roman armies and the destruction of Jerusalem.

What do you make of that?

Mt 24:15 "therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Lu 21:20 "but when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

I would suggest that the "abomination that makes desolate" is a motif. What was it that made desolate Jerusalem and the temple in the Babylonian captivity in Dan.9 in Daniels prayer? it was disobedience , apostasy, and unbelief that brought "captivity and desolation."

The same repetative pattern takes place in the Dan 8:14 setting of Hellenization of leadership in Israel and covenant disobedience(check Josephus' account) and Mk.13:14 rejection of Messiah. Disobedience and unbelief brings the desolator.

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hansen,

I have no problem with that. Do you understand the apotelismatic principle of prophecy?

Remember that the Olivet sermon is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, and also the end of the world at the same time, so:

Mt 24:15 "therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

is also speaking about the final fulfillment of the AOD, just as Antiochus was the first fulfillment, followed by a larger fulfillment in Rome, and of cause the final fulfillment at the end of time. Its a bit like a dart board, it has a small circle in the middle surrounded by bigger circles, until eventually the biggest circle is the entire board itself. So it is with these prophecies, they have the first intitial fulfillment with the little circle in the middle, than they keep having bigger fulfillments like the encompassing circles, until final they have the final fulfillment that effects the entire earth, just like the final circle encompasses the entire board.

The fact Christ kept the Festival of lights in remembrance of the overthrow of Antiochus Epiphanes is enough to realise Christ gave it important relevance about what happened back then.

God Bless

Nath


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 14th, 2011 Cornerstone111 says:

Hi all,

Here is another problem the SDA has with 1844 and the sabbath.

The Adventist Sabbath Paradox – William Miller/Samuel Snow calendar calculations. on 09-16-2010 at 05:12 AM (68 Views)
William Miller (1782 – 1849) was an American Baptist preacher whose followers were called Millerites….
…he is credited with the beginning of the Advent movement of the 1830s and 1840s in North America…
…among his direct spiritual heirs are Seventh-day Adventists…
…who formed following 'the great disappointment' when Jesus did not return.

Prior to 1843/1844 William Miller held to a 33AD date for the crucifixion of Christ in accord with most of Christendom…
…but changed his position to the 31 AD date to fit his 2300 day/year prophetic schema…
…which he saw as having the same start date in 457 BC as the 'seventy-sevens' (Dan 9:24)…
…then by converting the days to years in Daniel 8:14 using the extra-biblical year for a day principle…
…found the 2300 days/years terminus in 1844 on 22 October, the Karaite date of the Day of Atonement that year.

Question: How did changing to a Karaite luni-solar calendar make 31 AD a viable date?
Answer: On a luni-solar calendar every Passover falls on a weekly Sabbath day.

This is how it works…
…on a lunar calendar, weekly Sabbaths were calculated from the first appearance of the New Moon each month…

”In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” Lev 23:7…

The first day of the month was New Moon day, the day following the sighting of the New Moon, it was a rest day…
…then six work days were counted until the first Sabbath of the month that was always on the eighth day of the lunar cycle…
…so the 15th, the 22nd and the 29th were also weekly Sabbath’s…
…then the New Moon was again sighted and the weekly cycle repeated.

So weekly Sabbaths in the Karaite luni-solar calendar were determined by the sighting of the New Moon each month…
…and not by the perpetual weekly cycle we use now.

For the Hebrews the lunar year began with the month Nisan…
…the 1st day of Nisan was calculated from the first sighting of the New Moon following the Barley Harvest…
…Barley naturally ripens according to the solar cycle, so this device kept the lunar year in sync with the solar year…
…with the occasional extra intercalated or leap month added to the end of the year.

The Passover lamb was killed on the 14th Nisan…
…and eaten that night, the night of the full moon (Passover Moon)…
…this was the beginning of the 15th Nisan which was a lunar weekly Sabbath every year.

So on the Karaite luni-solar calendar every Passover fell on a lunar weekly Sabbath…
…and William Miller/Samuel Snow relied on this Lunar calculation to place the crucifixion in 31 AD…
…to calculate 2300 days/years from 457 BC via 31 AD through to 1844…
…establishing 22 October 1844 as the Day of Atonement on which Miller believed Jesus would return.
…this is also the date that Seventh-day Adventists claim as their origin.

However, this created for Seventh-day Adventism a Sabbath paradox…
…when they later adopted a Saturday/Sabbath based on the Julian/Gregorian calendar…
…so their prophetic origin was determined by a lunar calendar that calculated weekly Sabbath from the New Moon each lunar cycle….
…but they observed a successive Saturday/Sabbath determined by the Roman Julian/Gregorian calendar…
…which can not be reconciled with the conditions for a 31 AD crucifixion.

The Plot thickens….


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 15th, 2011 Hansen says:

There are three separate passages in Daniel which mention the AoD [not DoA]:

Daniel 9:27 "and he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations <08251> will come one who makes <08074> desolate <08074>, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes <08074> desolate <08074>."

Daniel 11:31 "forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. and they will set up the abomination <08251> of desolation <08074>.

Daniel 12:11 "from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination <08251> of desolation <08074> is set up, there will be 1,290 days.

Any serious treatment of the motif should be able to put these passages to gether in a way that makes sense. Are all three the same time and event? If not, why not. If yes, how so?

Daniel 11:33, in the immediate context of the AoD in 11:31 says:

33 "those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.

Then we have this passage in Luke 21, which sounds quite similar:

24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

It would apper that the times of the Gentiles and the trampling underfoot of Jerusalem are direct references to the desolating abomination. Obviously the times of the Gentiles needs to be fully explained. Is this a reference to the setting up of the abomination?

From the perspective of the average dumb guy out of the pew, automatically relating the AoD to Antiochus is just as problematic as automatically relating Daniel 8:14 to 1844. Perhaps moreso in the case of the AoD, when there are other explanations of the passage in Daniel. especially chapter 11.

To which passage was Jesus referring in Matthew?


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 15th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Cornerstone 111

After a careful analysis of the Daniel 8 and in the literature that i was able to read i can say Antiochus IV in Daniel 8 is not "as clear as day" is most likely as "mirage in clear and sunny day" the closer is the analysis the less sustainable gets.

The description in Daniel 8 of the little horn is just to big for Antiochus Epiphanes. After i come back from a vacation with my kids i'll write the reasons for my opinion.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

You say 8:14 is to big for Antiochus E./Maccabean Revolt, yet to the Jews they attribute and have Hanukkah as a result. Perhaps when they grasp "the truth" they will drop Hanukkah and accept 1844? :>)

One may ask in Jewish history what temple Christ would "have come to" had this issue succeeded. But, that too I guess is insignificant.

A Messianic Jews view. https://www.messianic-torah-truth-seeker.org/zanmeiyeshua-Moshiach/Hannukah/Messianic-view-hannukah.htm

From Josephus–
Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years' time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. [321] This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apellaeus, and on the hundred fifty and third Olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apellaeus, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth Olympiad. [322] And this desolation came to pass ACCORDING to the prophecy of DANIEL, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time].

[323] Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honoured God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. [324] Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. [325] And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights.
https://www.attalus.org/old/aj_12c.html#287

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 15th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat a quick note

I’m aware of the writings of Flavio Josephus as well as the Maccabean revolt.

If I was a Jew living at that time probably I’ would felt that prophesies were fulfilled,

as the millerites felt when they witness the “cosmic signs” I think in both cases the prophesies have a larger component.

Pat my question was if Antiochus IV was the little horn in Daniel 8. I’ll stick to the question (be focus) In Time I’ll post the reasons of my opinion.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, pat I'm just catching up on this thread…

RE your comment: One point and question at a time. Tell me the difference between "sabbath day/days", Gk. σαββάτων . in Col.2:16 and Mt.28:1.

Before I say anything else I would like to state that both these verses and there references to 'sabbath day/days' aren't sufficient grounds to claim that the Sabbath was abrogated or substituted by the first day. Many Sunday Church scholars and theologians correctly affirm the view of the SDA Church: Even the Roman Catholic Church. They will categorically state that the Sabbath was changed from the 7th day to the 1st day by the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. I admire their honesty in this regard; but from us Protestants? … no way! One just simply can't trample on God's Law and then find all sorts of weak excuses to justify it. Sin is the transgression of the Law: period! [1 John 3:4]

  • The Bible clearly says let no 'man' judge you Col 2:16 and I agree fully with this. You do know however, that God can judge us or tell us what to eat or do! Remember the verse says 'let no man'.
  • Another thing to remember here is that there were actually more than one Sabbaths involved. Jesus was crucified on the Passover. The following day, when you refer back to the feasts as laid out in Leviticus, would have been the Feast of Unleavened Bread. A feast day where no work whatsoever was to be performed. This is why it was so important that Jesus be removed from the cross before sunset. Also the first Sunday, the first day of the week, after the Passover would have been the Feast of the Firstfruits. SABBATWN is referring both to week and the actual Sabbaths, and in this case is correct either way you read it. This I believe is one of the cases where not only language usage is important, but also history and the Old Testament. [Glyn Williams, BTh Hons. – excerpt from a blog I found]
  • the word SABBATWN can be understood to be both Sabbath and week
  • there are two possibilities: 1- the author takes "sabbatwn" as week, which is its meaning in various Greek texts from the period. 2- the translator saw the Hebrew Shabbath and took it as a plural (as
  • happens in John when Jerusalem is placed in the plural in Greek because its ending is dual in Hebrew!). – [got this from a blog]
  • Some other languages, even today, use the plural for special holy days, festivals and occasions.
  • J. H. Thayer, in A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, fourth ed., Edinburgh (1901), p. 471, says: "OYE SABBATWN, the sabbath having just passed, after the sabbath, i.e. at the early dawn of the first day of the week-(an interpretation absolutely demanded by the added specification TH EPIUFWSK KTL [TH EPIFASK(OUSH) . .
  • . , "when it was growing light" etc.]), Mt. xxviii. 1." Also, Zorell-Gr, column 969, says: "post [after]: OYE SABBATWN Mt 28:1 'post sabbatum' ['after the sabbath']." Moreover, Bauer, p. 601, says under OYE: "after OYE SABBATWN after the Sabbath Mt 28:1."

Ciao

Trevor


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

@Cornerstone111

RE your comment: Antiochus fits in perfectly as the first fulfillment of the AOD. The little horn comes from the greek beast, it is clear as day.

What's Dr Ford's take on this? … and what scripture denotes as clear as day that 'the litttle horn comes from the beast'?

Ciao!

T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I have unofficially called this posting "speak your mind time" and here is what I have to say ( I hope its ok by you).

As a freshman on the AToday platform, I noticed within my first few days, the unusual heavy leaning towards the Dr Ford faction and his ilk. I just mentioned his name out of curiosity to 'test' the waters and voila, I stumbled on a blog with a number of Ford enthusiasts including some from within AToday. My first question is: "Is Dr Ford a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?" Secondly I asked: "Is Atoday a Seventh-day Adventist Forum that represents the majority of our World Church?" Just curious!

I wish to further state that even though plain old worldliness has gripped the Church in the First World too (and this is a fact of which we can sadly see the results), I find that the cause of this worldliness is firstly blindly disregarded and secondly sidetracked by initiating and shifting blame on Traditional Adventism. Whatever freedoms the political or social arena enjoys in America for example, is thrust upon the Church, even if it is sinful and unbiblical. Church and state should always remain separated. That's what I thought Religious Freedom was about. Peer pressure is somehow justified and when all else fails, blame is meted out against Ellen White and Traditionalists. I have still not seen one concrete piece of convincing evidence to warrant the discarding of some of our Pillars of Faith.

The attacks on BRI, Ellen White, GC, Ted Wilson, Doctrines, etc, etc, by some, clearly reflects a disgruntled partisan crowd who don't primarily have the edification of the Church at heart but rather readily embrace a spirit of criticism which is of the malicious kind. Using the intellectual arena they debate and degrade precious Bible truths and prophecies which edify the Church and bring sinners to salvation. The SDA Church is a unique Church with a special Mission, period. We are a church of prophetic calling and that's just the way it is. Some take the secular approach to handling spiritual things which is in my opinion very dodgy. I see that some also use the rhetorical line that because we are free thinkers we must do what we do in order to benefit the Church, which again in my opinion, borders on a type of Machiavellianism (for want of a better word).

I remember when I lightheartedly quipped that when I sometimes think of AToday the thought "Apostates Today" would pop up in my mind when brooding over stuff on this blog. I was immediately called to order and diplomatically asked to tow the line, or else. Yet the question at the back of my mind is: "Are WE towing the line at least in terms of bringing honor and glory to God?"

From my heart with Love in Christ

Ciao!

T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 18th, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M

So I laugh now when I read about how one earthquake, a meteor shower, and the sun darkening and the moon going red to them was signs of the end, but to them I am sure it was a sobering experience.

I know what you are saying–life has changed for the worse is so many ways when it comes to morality, violence, crime, lack of caring for others, and disasters. Even if one were to say it is because of more people and better communication, it is still true.

However, to be sensitive to those pioneers in this church, I could not laugh at them because of their faith. To them it was a big thing–a hope that they would see the Lord that they loved. I think this is true in every generation of believers–they look for Jesus to come back soon. It is no mistake that they look for His return with eagerness, whether it is the end of the world or merely their lives on the present earth.


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 18th, 2011 Tom says:

Trevor

Do you realize that when you say things like "Dr. Ford and his ilk" you are committing the same kind of derogatory characterization as you claim of those who attack EGW, Wilson, CG, etc?

Quite frankly, I think there is good balance among contributors on AT, although I would say the balance tips a bit to the liberal side. Still all voices are allowed to be heard, which is something I never found with Our Firm Foundation, Hartland, Pilgrim's Rest and other forums way over on the far right.

In the spirit of "malice toward none and charity to all",

Tom


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 19th, 2011 amed soliz says:
Cornerstone 111 and Pat:

Here are two are reasons ( more to come when i return home) why i think Antiochus IV is not "as clear as day" the little horn in Daniel 8. He his more a like a "mirage" in a clear sunny day

a. The Wrong time:The interpreter Angel Gabriel stated Daniel 8:23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom… a king….shall stand up. Antiochus IV was the 8th KIng after him were a lest 20 other seleucid kings. He was one of the early (not the latter) kings this goes against what the angel Gabriel told Daniel https://www.livius.org/se-sg/seleucids/seleucid_kings.html
b. The wrong person“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise".There is not records of Antiochus IV been in any sense a great king in battles or knowledge. This title is just to big for this king. On the contrary some of their contemporaries expressed "But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play on his title Epiphanes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 21st, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

>>Before I say anything else I would like to state that both these verses and there references to 'sabbath day/days' aren't sufficient grounds to claim that the Sabbath was abrogated or substituted by the first day.<<

Trevor you have not heard me. The Sabbath of Creation and the Mosaic covenant with the Jews has not been abrogated.

My point from the Greek is that Mt.28:1 is the same "plural applying to the singular use of 'sabbath day'/days as Col.2:16." Have to put on your thinking cap…:>)

My conclusion is that for the gentiles the sabbath is not a command or a test of faithfulness…and no one should judge then for "sunday keeping." Likewise the gentiles, who keep Resurrection Sunday holy, should not judge 7th day sabbath keepers except as they think it earns their salvation and those who don't are lost and not "sealed."

Why does one judge the servant of anothers master? Rom.14:4.

Get it?

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 21st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

pat, aren't we a tad fiesty today!

Could you please elaborate on what you mean by: "… the Mosaic covenant with the Jews has not been abrogated."

SDA in Christ

T


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 21st, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Feisty? Perhaps my adrenaline is still up from softball this morning. :>)

The "Mosaic covenant" in theology is generally thought to be the covenant delivered by Moses to Israel including the tables of stone and "the book of laws in the side of the ark " and agreed to by Israel by the "sprinkling of blood." Notice I said that the sabbath of creation (Gen. remains) and is not a type and existed before the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenant.

The issue at hand is over Col.2:16 and it's meaning for the "Christian church and gentiles." As Sam B. said Col.2:16 applies to the annual, monthly and weekly sabbaths/sabbath. so…when the plural of sabbath day occurs in Mt.28:1, why am I not to assume that is the same as what Paul is referring to in the plural in Col.2:16 annual,monthly,"day" as pertaining to the gentiles?

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 21st, 2011 Cindy Tutsch says:

Stephen,

I always appreciate your insightful responses to blogs on AT.But I do have a question about your advice to Frank Allan.

What would have happened to us if Jesus had taken your advice to "do only what you feel comfortable with" in Gethsemane?

Cindy Tutsch
Adventist Today blogger  


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On March 21st, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

If you have not had Greek you may not understand the import of the question.

Suffice it to say that the issue is not as simple and settled as one would wish.

The best understanding is that neither position should judge the other… and I understand that is difficult for many SDA's and also many "Resurrection day observers."

regards,

pat


Re: Ellen White and Inspiration
On April 13th, 2011 smb says:

No doubt some of her diet recommendations are good for you. You can debate others. However, the Kingdom of God is not about eating and diet. I actually think the health message is an early form of the prosperity gospel – the healthy, wealthy and wise gospel. The gospel is there to give us spiritual life. It does not guarantee us physical health. The whole point of the health message was to sell books and convert people to the faith based on a higher understanding – it's kind of gnostic if you think about it that way. The apostles never put any emphasis on diet, in fact Paul makes a point of de-emphasing division in the church based on food. Consider this scripture from 1 Timothy 4:1-5

1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.

3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.

Now we can argue about that whole clean v unclean meat thing. But EGW did strongly advocate a vegetarian diet and made it out like this was from God. She put a holy seal on vegetarianism. Now what are we to do with this admonition? Most Adventist chose to live as vegetarians out of religious conviction because of EGW rather than for any other reason. But scripture tells us food is not the issue, it is whether you have surrendered to Jesus. So why emphasize food at all? This is unscriptural. I think the health message can take away from or obscure the gospel becuase it leads people to believe that if they follow Mrs White's health counsels, they are holier than thou. And Paul uses the harshest words possible to describe such people. They are hypocrites, liars and their consciences are dead. They follow deceptive spirits and teachings from demons.

I'd be interested in hearing the official SDA defense of this scripture. This scripture seems pretty clear on face value. If the health counsels of EGW do not fall into this category, I don't know what does.