In lieu of my recent post which some may find disturbing of my mentioning Mrs. Ellen G. White in a not so flattering manner, I felt it necessary to further elaborate regarding her. Some Adventist might consider this a form of heresy, while many others will give me credit for presenting her in the proper light. Whatever the case, this is the view I have, I present and I accept.
As a young boy growing up in the late 50’s into the 70’s, I was inundated with hearing about this woman and her writings. In fact, so much is she presented it was almost suitable instead of there being a “trinity”, a “quadruplicity” would seem more accurate. I became disgusted with Sabbath School Quarterlies while in my 20’s because it appeared many things not what she said but what the writer wanted to present, would cite parts of paragraphs and not the total in order to satisfy contextual convention. So, I stopped reading the quarterly and since they quoted a lot from her, I would read her writings getting the full context. I have never stopped doing so, now for the past 30 plus years.
I, too, was one of those who wondered how a woman who was dead more than a hundred years could continue having books published, as if she’d finished the work recently! I coined the phrase, “they are using the “prophet” to make a “profit”, and I would want no part. I also learned, rather decided, I would ONLY read those books which she penned in total and not read compilations, again, wanting to keep things in context. (Note: I have a list available of her actual written books versus those which she did not write and given credit, and will be glad to make it available, to you, if you inbox me.) If I wanted to research a particular topic, compilations, indexes are most useful, but I already would now understand the context in which her writings were done. I also made a study of her life. About three years ago I had such a desire to understand what it was like in her time, as much as possible, to get the essence, nuances, and the ethereal experience, because as a writer myself who enjoys reading fictional work, it is important to put one’s self into the story in order to feel, not the character, but the writer’s mind and what he/she is experiencing. The character of the story is merely the symptom of the writer’s thought. It explains why I sometimes have difficulty recalling if what I am remembering was either a movie version or what I have read.
From a pastoral point of view, I had difficulty presenting her from the pulpit. I heard, can’t recall if I read, but believe when presenting a message from the Sacred Desk, it should be more “Bible” than “White”, if you need to utilize “White” at all! You never know who your attendants might be. In a more private setting where “teaching” is done, it is my view you are able to present as much of “White” as you wish. I never wanted to be challenged or faced with the view, or to have heard it said as a result of my work, “The Muslims have Muhammad and accept Christ, and it appears you Adventists have Mrs. White and accept Christ, so what’s the difference?” When it should be: “Adventists have Christ and accept Mrs. White.” We must learn, I had to learn, where her place was and keep her there.
I have no doubt and will defend the Spirit of Prophecy as one of the two indicators of God’s remnant church. I have no problems with stating her writings ARE the “Spirit of Prophecy” as given in Rev. 12:17, followed by Rev. 19:10. I also believe while they are the two identifying points, I also believe they are equal in their importance, and one cannot do without the other, nor is one paramount to the other, but both being equal as one similar to a marriage. I also believe the same Spirit which gave the Bible’s authors their unction is the same Spirit which was given to her, and her writings have the same importance with the Bible, each reflecting and using each other; however, I take this stand: “The Bible did not need her writings, but her writings need the Scriptures.” I would hope this would clear any probable misconceptions about my regard for Mrs. White. If what I just said in this paragraph confuses you, ask me directly for an explanation.
Now, I need to make this clear. Just as the Bible authors had their experience and wrote as they grew, even sharing facts about those of whom they wrote, the same must be applied to Mrs. White. None of the Bible writers or their subjects, except Christ, was infallible. I also believe the same applies to Mrs. White. She is not infallible. While the Bible itself, in total is inerrant, so are the writings of Mrs. White, just not in total. One must be able to determine what she said under the influence of the Holy Spirit versus what she said as a matter of consultation and or opinion. Paul did the same thing when he said:
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 1 Cor 7:12 (KJV)
Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 1 Cor 7:25 (KJV)
Therefore, based upon the prolific writer of the New Testament, why can we not accept the same with the prolific writer of the Seventh Day Adventist Church? I put forth this opinion, mine own: One cannot and will not be able to distinguished what she has said under the Spirit versus her opinion, unless one studies and this encompasses a total reading of her life and work in order to know the woman and her purpose. If you are a casual reader, someone who does not take the time to research her, and hadn’t read the Bible in its entirety from beginning to end cannot know the truth of either source and will be easily swayed by those who claim what they do not know! Your pedigree, your age means nothing to me unless you’ve first read the entire Bible, at least once, followed by reading her actual written work, not compilations, at least once, then you can have an opinion worth my time listening and accessing, otherwise until you do, it’s best you remain silent.
December 25, 2015