Seventh-Day Adventists - Ellen G. White, tithe, bondage, etc
Expert: Sal - 8/3/2009
Is it true Seventh day adventists believe Ellen G. White was a full blown prophet like Isaiah and so forth? Is it true they require a certain amount of tithe and when you get baptized as a member you have to vow to pay it? Isn't that, along with preaching the law about keeping the sabbath and only eating certain meats putting people in bondage like Paul warned against in Galatians, Romans, Ephesians 2:8-9, etc? Also am I understanding Doug Batchelor correctly that they believe in this bizarre form of annihilationism where the unsaved dead are resurrected and boiled in the lake of fire for a while, the length of time depending on how bad they were, then finally destroyed again forever? What happens if a member is caught eating pork or lifting of heavy box on Saturday or fails to pay their tithe? Are they excommunicated? Are excommunicated people shunned?
Dear Borther Josh:
EGW claimed that her writings (called “the Spirit of Prophecy”) were inspired in the same way that the Bible is inspired. “The Holy Ghost is the Author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy” (Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 30). “I do not write one article in the paper expressing my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 67). “In my books, the truth is barricaded by a ‘Thus saith the Lord’. The Holy Spirit traced these truths upon my heart and mind as indelibly as the law was traced by the finger of God, upon tablets of stone…” (Letter 90, 1906). “I beg of you for Christ’s sake to consider what I say; for I say it not of myself. It is the word of God to you” (Letter 25b [to Brother and Sister Hare], April 1895).
EGW sometimes referred to her own writings as the Testimonies. “God has outlined His plan in His Word, and in the Testimonies He has sent to His people” (Battle Creek Letters, p. 74). “In ancient times God spoke through the mouths of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies of His Spirit” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 148).
EGW considered herself to be greater than the Prophets of the Bible. “…my work includes much more than the word ‘prophet’ signifies” (Review and Herald [official SDA publication], July 26, 1907). “My commission embraces the work of a prophet, but it does not end there” (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 36).
There are many quotes that I could present that prove that EGW considered herself an inspired prophet greater than Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. However, these examples should suffice.
Now let’s look at what the SDA church has to say about EGW. The SDA church has an official creed that every SDA must accept. The one of these 28 beliefs that is of interest in our study of EGW is #18. “The Gift of Prophecy: One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White.” So the official SDA statement is clear that the SDA church accepts EGW as an inspired prophet. Further evidence abounds. The official SDA publisher put on the back cover of the EGW book, The Great Controversy, “She is considered to have been inspired of God. Many of her prophecies about world events and the modern-day conditions of man have already been fulfilled.” E.E. Cleveland a high-ranking SDA official: “I believe in the Testimonies. Mrs. White’s writings are the world’s only inspired Bible Commentary.” The SDA Sabbath School Quarterly of February 11, 1978: “The Bible and the writings of Ellen White are inerrant” (p. 112). Official SDA position statement on EGW: “As Samuel was a prophet of Israel for his day, as Jeremiah was a prophet of Israel in the days of captivity, as John the Baptist came as a special messenger of the Lord to prepare the way for Christ’s coming, so we believe that Mrs. White was a prophet to the Church of Christ today” (1928). Official SDA document: “Her authority transcends that of all non-inspired interpreters of the Scriptures” (The Relation of Ellen White’s Writings in Doctrinal Studies, 1980). Ron Graybill, Assoc. Sec. of the EGW Estate: “The quality of inspiration of Ellen White is equal to that of the Bible writers…” (1980). Kenneth Wood, editor of the SDA “Review and Herald”: “Ellen G. White was inspired in the same sense as were the Bible prophets” (Sept. 4, 1980, p.15). “Ministry” [Official SDA magazine for their clergy]: “We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other” (October 1981). The cover of the Adventist Review for June 4, 1992 showed artist depictions of Moses, Deborah, John the Baptist, and EGW. Under the depiction of EGW was the statement: “A Prophet for Our Time”. Clearly the official SDA claim is that EGW was an inspired prophet of God.
I pray that you find this info useful.
God Bless You,
Seventh-Day Adventists/Expert Profile
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I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember: "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.
Experience in the area
I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.
M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics
What do you like about this subject?
I like to help people. The subject of Seventh-Day Adventism offer many opportunities to help fellow believers who are trying to live under two covenants. "We who are strong in faith should be patient with the scruples of those whose faith is weak; we must not be selfish" (Romans 15:1).
What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?
I pray that I will continue to understand and learn more about the SDA so as to be able to continue to help those ensnared by, or considering going under, the bondage of the SDA.
Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:
It is interesting that Ellen White, the prophetess of the SDA, proved herself wrong on her very first vision which concerned the Shut Door doctrine!
Something controversial or provocative about this subject
The Bible is very clear that the 7th day Sabbath is NOT for New Covenant Christians. It is amazing that someone could believe that it is necessary for salvation!
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Why do you call the Sabbath ceremonial?
Dear Brother Karl:
I believe that, like all the Sabbaths, the 7th day Sabbath is ceremonial. I believe this to be the clear teaching of the Bible. I see Leviticus 23 as very strongly teaching that all the Sabbaths are one unit of ceremonial feasts of the Lord God. For example, at the very beginning of the chapter God calls all Sabbaths, “My feast days” (v. 2). Then Moses begins listing all the Sabbaths God gave to the Israelites. Moses makes absolutely no distinction between the 7th day Sabbath and all the other “feast days”. The chapter concludes, “Thus did Moses announce to the Israelites the feasts of the Lord” (v. 44). I find nothing in this chapter to indicate that the 7th day Sabbath is moral and the other Sabbaths ceremonial. I do not find God making any distinction between the Sabbaths that He calls, “My feast days.”
I believe that the 7th day Sabbath is ceremonial because its restrictions are allowed on other days. To me this clearly indicates that the 7th day Sabbath is ceremonial. The very idea that a moral law can be judged valid or invalid based on what day of the week it happens to be is absurd. A moral law is valid no matter what day of the week it is. Can you imagine adultery being judged as allowable because it happens to be Wednesday? What moral law may one violate 85% of the time and that be acceptable to God?
Also the 7th day Sabbath could be set-aside in order to not violate a ceremonial law. Circumcision was given priority over the Sabbath. If a boy’s 8th day of life was on the Sabbath the ceremonial law of circumcision was performed and the Sabbath violated (John 7:22-23). What moral law could be violated in order to keep a ceremonial law?
God continually grouped the 7th day Sabbath with ceremonial feasts in the Old Testament. Please read 2 Kings 4:23; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:3-4; 8:13; 31:3; Nehemiah 10:33-34; Isaiah 1: 13-14; 66:23; Ezekiel 45:17; 46:1-7; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5. In the New Testament St. Paul continued this way of seeing all the feasts as one ceremonial unit. Please read Galatians 4:10 & Colossians 2:16. This fact strongly indicates to me that the 7th day Sabbath is ceremonial.
Another strong indicator is that God grouped the 7th day Sabbath with things that could be stopped. “I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts” (Hosea 2:11). What moral law does God ever say He will stop? “Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them” (Isaiah 1:14). What moral law does God ever say that He hates?
Just like all the other ceremonial feast days it was absolutely necessary to offer sacrifices in order to properly observe the 7th day Sabbath (Numbers 28:9-10). The 7th day Sabbath was part of the unit or package of ceremonial feast days particular to Israel. Numbers 28 & 29 lists the necessary sacrifices that Israel was to offer each morning and evening, each Sabbath, each New Moon, each Passover, each Pentecost, each New Year’s Day, each Day of Atonement, and each Feast of Booths. What moral law had sacrifices associated with its validity?
I pray that this answers your concern.
God Bless You,
2009-11-21 When did God establish His rules?:
Dear Sister Rachel: You have confused two different issues. First you dispute that the Sabbath began with Moses and then you speak of Cain murdering his brother. Since these are two different issues
When did God establish His rules?
Expert: Sal - 11/21/2009
I'm confused, so according to this statement "Remember that there is no command at all for anyone to keep the Sabbath before Moses.-Sal" then Cain did not sin in killing his brother because there was no command at all for anyone to not kill (or any other law) until Moses. So how did the people know what was right or wrong??
An SDA will often appeal to Genesis 2:2 in the hope of proving that the Sabbath was given at the very beginning of Creation. “Since on the 7th day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the 7th day from all the work he had undertaken.” Please note that God “rested”, not man. God had done the work, not man. Also there is nothing in the text about God resting every 7th day. The statement the God “rested” is simply a way of saying that God's immediate creative acts were finished. God's “resting” is an anthropomorphic statement, for God does not get tired (Psalm 121:4; Isaiah 40:28). Importantly, there is no command for man to keep the Sabbath. Later, Moses would mention God's rest at Creation as one reason for keeping the 7th day holy (Exodus 20:11). Remember that there is no command at all for anyone to keep the Sabbath before Moses. One would think that Moses would have mentioned the great revered men of old –Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-as models of Sabbath-keepers for the Israelites. The reason that Moses doesn't mention them is obvious-they didn't keep the Sabbath because it was not given to them (Deuteronomy 5:2-3). It is a hard exegetical fact for the SDA to accept, but there is not a single command or explanation for Sabbath-keeping in the Creation account nor, for that matter, in the entire book of Genesis.
Dear Sister Rachel:
You have confused two different issues. First you dispute that the Sabbath began with Moses and then you speak of Cain murdering his brother. Since these are two different issues I will answer them separately.
I'm glad that you put a quote from me because it saved me the time of stating that again. There is no evidence that the Sabbath pre-dated Moses.
The issue of murder is different than the Sabbath. Murder is a moral law and the Sabbath is ceremonial. Cain knew that murder was wrong. Cain's reaction after he killed Abel shows that he knew that it was wrong. "Now Cain said to his brother Abel, 'Let's go out to the field.' And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel? I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'" (Genesis 4:8-9). If Cain did not know that it was wrong to murder he would have simply told God what he had done.
You state that there is no command to not murder before Moses. Here is one: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man" (Genesis 9:6).
Hope this helped,
2009-11-16 The Ten Commandments Forever!:
Dear Tina: This is an objection that I hear quite often. If I say that nothing replaces the Old Covenant law then you would be correct. However, I’m always careful to explain that the Old Covenant law
The Ten Commandments Forever!
Expert: Sal - 11/16/2009
Sal, how can you say the Ten Commandments are to be ignored by Christians? You are ridiculous! If the Ten Commandments are taken away then we may commit adultery, murder, steal, etc.
This is an objection that I hear quite often. If I say that nothing replaces the Old Covenant law then you would be correct. However, I’m always careful to explain that the Old Covenant law is replaced with the New Covenant law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). This law is more demanding then the Old Covenant law. Christians are called to a higher moral standard than that which is contained in the Ten Commandments. For example, according to the Ten Commandments one must not murder, but according to the Law of Christ we may not even be angry with another (Matthew 5:21-23). So the Old Covenant including the Ten Commandments was replaced with another law of a higher moral standard. Therefore, we are not under the demands of the Old Covenant so we can “ignore” it as you say.
When the colonies declared independence from England the laws of England were done away with. The colonists, however, were not free to do as they pleased. A new set of laws were enacted. Some of those laws were the same as the previous set of laws. Some of the laws were similar to the previous set of laws and some were completely different than any of the previous set of laws. If a colonist violated a law England he could ignore that so-called violation unless he had also violated one of the new set of laws. So it is with the Old Covenant laws including the Ten Commandments. We are not guilty if we violate the previous covenant’s laws unless the New Covenant has the same or a similar law. For example, if I commit adultery I do not violate Exodus 20:14 for that law has no hold over me. However, I do violate 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 which does have a hold over me as a New Covenant Christian.
My point is that not being under the Old Covenant law including the Ten Commandments doesn’t allow me to sin as I like. I’m still under the demanding law of Christ. Further, I wish to point out that you are not free to take from the Bible a command from God given to a particular people in a particular time and arbitrarily impose that command on a different people in a different time and covenant.
God Bless You,
2009-11-16 The Sabbath:
Dear mpho: The Bible tells us a number of things that point to the Sabbath’s eventual removal as a requirement. First, the Sabbath was only given to those under the Old Covenant—the Israelites (Exodus
Expert: Sal - 11/16/2009
Hi,Sal In Genesis, before the fall & the law, God rested & sanctified the sabbath. In the new testament Jesus says He is Lord of the sabbath. Where does the bible talk about the change or perhaps removal of sabbath
The Bible tells us a number of things that point to the Sabbath’s eventual removal as a requirement. First, the Sabbath was only given to those under the Old Covenant—the Israelites (Exodus 20:1-2) and those under their authority (Exodus 20:8-11). Second, the Sabbath was the special sign of a specific covenant—the Old Covenant (Exodus 31:12-13, 16-17). Third, the prophet Hosea said that God told him that He would someday end the Sabbath (Hosea 2:11). Jesus expanded on this by saying that he would fulfill the law and the prophets thus putting an end to all Old Covenant practices (Matthew 5:17-18). Jesus, from the cross, said that he had fulfilled all scripture, therefore, bringing an end to all Old Covenant things (John 19:28-30). Matthew also wrote of the end to all Old Covenant things by noting that at Jesus’ death the veil of the temple was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). Paul said that all Old Covenant things have ended when he noted that the Old Covenant husband had “died”; therefore, we can be joined to the New Covenant (Romans 7:1-6). Consequently, Paul no longer saw a certain day as important in determining membership in the God’s family (Romans 14:5; Galatians 4:8-10). He goes further to say that Christians must cast out the entire Old Covenant (Galatians 4:21-31). Paul tells us that the reason the Old Covenant must go is that it is now obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). The Ten Commandments, Paul said, were a ministry of death and condemnation that has been replaced by the New Covenant which is a much better ministry of Spirit and life (2 Corinthians 3:6-9). The Sabbath was a mere shadow that has been replaced by Jesus (Colossians 2:16-17). This statement is a confirmation of Jesus’ declaration that he is the true Sabbath (Matthew 11:28-30). So the Bible speaks volumes about the Old Covenant, that included the Sabbath, being removed.
Thanks for the question.
God Bless You,
2009-11-16 Sabbath Keeping:
Dear Terrance: You ask many good questions. However, since there are seven questions I will only be able to give a brief answer to each. If you want a more detailed answer into any of your questions
Expert: Sal - 11/16/2009
Hi Sal, I read a comment where u stated that sabbath keeping can't be proven from the new testament. I have to say that the new testament does not omit Sabbath keeping. (1)Luke 4:16 tells us that Christ went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as his custom was, and stood up to read. In essence, it was Christ's custom to attend church on the Sabbath day. A custom is something that you do regularly. (2) In Matt 24:20, Christ is telling his disciples about a time when his people will have to flee. He tells them to pray that their flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath day. (3) We all know and believe that Christ rose on the first day of the week which is Sunday. Matthew 28:1 tells us that this event took place after the Sabbath day. (4) In Luke 23:56 we find that the women who prepared spices and ointments rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandments. (5) After Christ death and resurrection, we find in Acts 18:3-4 that the apostle Paul reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath. Also, in Acts 13:14,42 and Acts 16:13 we find that it was Paul's custom to attend religious services on the Sabbath. (6) Christ states that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill. In essence, the Sabbath was in existence from creation, was still in existence when Christ came to this earth, and his followers continued to observe the Sabbath after his death and resurrection. (7) The question now is, where did Sunday worship come from? how did it originate? We can find our answer through studying the history of Pagan and Papal Rome. The bible tells us in Daniel 7:25 that the little horn power (papal Rome) would think to change times and laws. If you are interested in more information on this, feel free to send me an email. Have a blessed day.
You ask many good questions. However, since there are seven questions I will only be able to give a brief answer to each. If you want a more detailed answer into any of your questions please email me again. First, let me say that I do realize that the Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament. My contention is that it is never commanded of Christians as it was of the Israelites in the Old Covenant.
1) Jesus was a Jew so he kept the Sabbath. I'm not a Jew so I don't have to keep the Sabbath. Also don't forget that Jesus as a Jew under the law kept all the Sabbaths not just the 7th day Sabbath. Jesus as a Jew kept all the requirements of the Old Covenant. We Christians are under the New Covenant where Sabbath keeping is not a requirement. “If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).
2) Jesus in telling his disciples to pray that they would not have to flee Jerusalem on the Sabbath knew that in the capital of Judaism the Sabbath would still be kept. He made no reference to Christians needing to observe the Sabbath. Just that it would be difficult for them to flee since those bound by the Old Covenant would be trying to force the Christians to wait to flee until the Sabbath was past. “Now we have been released from the law-for we have died to what bound us-and we serve in the new spirit, not the antiquated letter” (Romans 7:6).
3) I agree.
4) Those women were still observing the Old Covenant requirement not a New Covenant one.
5) In all Paul's synagogue appearances he is always there to preach Christ. The synagogue offered Paul a ready-made audience for his preaching. The Jews always let visitors speak which was perfect for Paul's evangelistic purpose.
6) In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus states that once he fulfills the law it is done away with. All the law was in effect until he fulfilled it then it passed away. "Of this much I assure you: until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the law, not the smallest part of a letter, shall be done away with until it all comes true" (Matthew 5:18). "Until" is the key here. Once he fulfills it all then it is done away with.
7) Sunday was chosen by the early Church as a special day of worship simply because their Lord rose from the dead on that day.
Thanks for the questions.
God Bless You,
"Christ did not make the atonement when he shed his blood upon the cross. Let this fact be fixed forever in the mind."
--Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, p. 237.
"I begged them to show me my error from the Word alone, as I could not offer the writings of Mrs. White to the general public as authority in support of any position. It was finally agreed to use the scriptures only in dealing with the matter. But notwithstanding this solemn agreement, the first man to reply, Eld. S.N. Haskell, commenced, and continued unrebuked, to quote the writings of Mrs. White against me."
--Albion Ballenger describes his trial for heresy, "The Bible in the Reformation", p. 2.
"I can truly say that never have I known a man of a kinder heart or more tender spirit than he, nor one who more genuinely and devoutly feared the Lord, or was more deeply devoted to His service and His worship."
--A.T. Jones writing on the death of Albion Ballenger, Gathering Call, Sep./Oct. 1921, p. 3.
"Jesus saw it coming. He warned us 2,000 years ago. He said false prophets would arise who appear so much like true prophets that even the very elect would be in danger of being duped! That is why it is so important that we test the prophets. The line has become so blurred, so fuzzy, that we must use the Bible tests. We cannot depend on our own feelings! The Bible helps us determine who is a true prophet and who is a false prophet. It gives us seven specific tests that blow away the myths and expose the true character. To my utter surprise, when I applied these seven tests to Ellen White, I discovered she failed six out of the seven tests."
--Dirk Anderson, 2005. See "Does Mrs. White Pass the Test of a Prophet?"
"A lesser light pointing to a greater light? Why would anyone need a flashlight to find the sun?"
--Ray Pitts, 2000
"There is no other light than the Word of God..."
--H.L. Hastings in his book Great Controversy, published before Ellen White's Great Controversy, p. 15, 1858
"Apparently her heavenly communications with angels were not enough to convince Mrs. White to give up meat. It took a Catholic woman begging her to give up meat on the basis that it was wrong to take the lives of animals! It makes one wonder how much confidence she had in her own visions!"
--Max Chugg, "Oysters and Herrings", 2001
“If any prophet teaches the truth, yet does not practice what he teaches, he is a false prophet.”
--Didache 11:10, 50 A.D.
"If every paragraph in the book Great Controversy, written by Ellen White, was properly footnoted, then every paragraph would have to be footnoted."
--Dr. Donald McAdams at the special 1980 meeting of SDA leaders in Glendale, California
"Ellen White was using the thoughts, words and structure of other writers for her ‘I was shown’ [statements]. From the beginning with the ‘vision’ of William Foy to the end of her life she used the ‘inspiration’ of others to promote Adventism and her concept of its life style that was ‘necessary’ to please her God."
--Walter Rea, "How the SDA Spirit of Prophecy was Born", 1988
"This strong self-image as an inspired writer may have inhibited her [Ellen White's] ability to realize how much her writings depended on other authors. She could scarcely have sensed the degree to which her visions and dreams were shaped by her reading, and thus she came to believe that her revelations were the original sources of what she wrote."
--Ronald Graybill, Ph.D., associate director of the White Estate in his doctoral thesis, "The Power of Prophecy", 1983
"As the 'prophet,' she was given the heavy responsibility of passing the word of the Lord to the people; and with her education and background, she did not have the resources to meet the high expectations of her community. So what did she do? She did a very resourceful thing, and she did it quite surreptitiously. She went to the very sources that this cultic movement had unsparingly condemned as Babylon, gathered the best spiritual food she could find, and made it suitable for her community's consumption."
--Robert Brinsmead, Ph.D., Adventist Currents, Feb., 1984, p. 17
"Seizure disorder often develops from a severe head injury such as that suffered by young Ellen. ... There is an astonishing similarity between Mrs. White's 'visions' and a type of seizure called 'psychomotor' or 'partial-complex' seizure. ... Unaware that her 'visions' were part of a seizure, Ellen shared them with others who labeled her as a 'prophet' and made her the center of the developing Seventh-day Adventist church."
-- Delbert H. Hodder, M.D., Evangelica, Nov. 1981
"Had you, a contemporary of Mrs. White, behaved as she did, and had suffered the poor standard of health of which she constantly complains, she would have rebuked you and refused to pray for you because you would be seen as the author of your own problems. Yet in her case the causes of her health problems were either "attacks of Satan" or the result of being grossly overworked. When she had problems, someone else was always at fault. Ellen White was always the victim."
--Max Chugg, The Ailing Health Instructor, 2003
"No scholar seriously believes that Jesus Christ is sitting in heaven turning pages to investigate Christian lives".
--Desmond Ford, Ph.D., Newsweek, Jan. 19, 1981
"A row of graves in Africa mark the site of the first SDA missionaries. They were told by authorities to take quinine, but as Adventists they got their marching orders from a higher source. They knew that quinine was valueless: they trusted Mrs. White that she had been shown this by God, and as a result they died."
--Gregory Hunt, M.D., Beware this Cult, chapter 4, "Ellen White and Medicine", 1981
"Adventists insist it will be a 'final test' even though it is impossible to believe Jesus and the apostles would be silent on such a profound issue. If the final climatic battle between good and evil, the war to end all wars, is to be fought over the Sabbath, then why did Jesus and the apostles ignore the issue entirely?"
--Dirk Anderson, "National Sunday Law: Fact or Fiction?", 2001
"The way your mother's writings have been handled and the false impressions concerning them, which is still fostered among the people, have brought great perplexity and trial to me. It seems to me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people of what was known to be their wrong view concerning her writings."
--W.W. Prescott, letter to Willie White, 1915
"She [Fannie Bolton] said Mrs. White was in the habit of doing this, copying from various other books, so that she and Marian Davis had to go over the material and transpose sentences and change paragraphs and in other wise endeavor to hide the piracy. She spoke to Mrs. White about it and objected to having her own manuscript used without credit. Mrs. White was very angry and slapped her face."
--J.H. Kellogg, M.D., letter to Ballenger, 1936
"It seems to me that the testimonies, practically, have come into that shape, that it is not of any use to try to defend the erroneous claims that are now put forth for them."
--Uriah Smith, letter to D.M. Canright, 1883
"He [Joseph Bates] told me that the gifts were realized among them, that they had the gift of prophecy and the gift of healing the sick. But as long as I was with them I never knew of any being healed. I have known them to try but they always failed. In this I was disappointed. I also found the spirit of prophecy, with them, was confined wholly to a woman. By this time I became suspicious that I had gotten on board the wrong ship. I then commenced to giving her visions a thorough investigation. I found they contradicted themselves, and that they contradicted the Bible."
--Gilbert Cranmer, founder of the Church of God (seventh day), Hope of Israel, Aug. 10, 1863
"Most Adventists who learn of it will probably be able to accommodate the revised image of Ellen Harmon as a shrill-voiced, lounging, shouting, kissing, condemning, fainting, and footwashing, postdisappointment, Millerite fanatic. It may take some Adventists a little longer to assimilate the implications of Mrs. White's inability to remember her early ministry the way it actually took place. They will either have to assume that she possessed a particularly fecund delusional system...or that she consciously distorted the past for her own purposes."
--Bruce Weaver, INCIDENT IN ATKINSON: The Arrest and Trial of Israel Dammon, 1988
"I have a Bible that is about a 1-1/2 inches thick and can find my duty towards God as most Christians do. I do not need six feet of EGW books that contradict the Bible."
--Robert Sanders, 2003
"I have shown here that these trances were part of the enthusiastic worship experience of Adventism. They gained credibility not because they were unique but because they resembled the spiritual exaltations of other believers. Once Adventist worship grew sedate, Ellen's trances ceased, and her early visions acquired a miraculous aura."
--Ronald Graybill, Ph.D., associate director of the White Estate in his doctoral thesis, "The Power of Prophecy", 1983
"Twenty-five years ago, the self-evident truth that sin is not an entity but a condition that can exist only in a person, made it clear to me that there could he no such thing as the transferring of sins to the sanctuary in heaven, thus defiling that place; and that there could consequently be, either in 1844 AD or at any other time, no such thing as the 'cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.'"
--E.J. Waggoner, Confession of Faith, 1916
"I should be recreant to God is I did not recognize the light that He has given me; I could never understand why it was given to me, except on the ground that His gifts are bestowed, not according to deserts, but according to need."--E.J. Waggoner, Confession of Faith, 1916
"After Ellen White's death, some of those seeking to defend this wonderful gift went too far, creating an edifice that was built on shaky pillars...that has now created many more problems than it has solved. Worse than not defending the gift is defending it with weak arguments. We'd have been better off keeping silent than speaking things that weren't correct."
--Clifford Goldstein, Graffiti in the Holy of Holies, 2003
"Eld. White had published several of Ellen's visions on small sheets for general distribution; but as time passed on the theology of her later visions was materially different from former ones, and they were suppressed... these visions as published now are greatly in conflict with those which acquaintances and witnesses in New England were accustomed to hear from her lips, after recovering from her clairvoyant state, or to read on sheets as published at first, by Eld. White."
--Isaac Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, 1874.
"After considering all the evidence obtainable...this writer is convinced that Ellen G. White was a highly impressionable woman, strongly influenced by her associates. That she sincerely believed the Lord spoke to her, none can fairly question, but the evidence set forth in this chapter gives good reason, we believe, to doubt the inspiration of her counsels, whether Seventh-day Adventists will concede this or not."
--Walter Martin in The Truth about Seventh-day Adventists, 1960, p. 111.
"Cognitive maturation is a process of mental growth from a primitive, subjective, piecemeal collage of facts and supposed facts, hopefully toward an ever more accurate, symmetrical understanding of objective reality. During this process additional relevant facts are discovered, irrelevant opinions are discarded, and a wise person learns to monitor his/her thought processes and to base conclusions on the weight of evidence."
--Dr. Raymond F. Cottrell, Adventist Today, 1999
"Acheiving objectivity requires the courage to critically examine cherished positions and to abandon those that no longer make sense, even though they may have been important sources of our security in the past."
--Dr. Reuven Bar-Levav, Thinking in the Shadow of Feelings, p. 113.
"...It is not right that the spirit of prophecy is the only safe interpreter of the Bible. That is a false doctrine, a false view that is false, it is error. It is positively dangerous."
--A.G. Daniells, 1919 Bible Conference
"Evidence also shows that the record of Ellen White's accomplishments have been greatly exagerated. Perhaps it was to raise her public image for the sake of institutional prestige, but fostering an unreal image of her will only undo her real usefulness among those who discover those exagerations."
--Edmund Rogol, You and I, and Ellen White