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SDA Is it time for the church to remove Ellen White from fundamental beliefs

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by tall73, Oct 5, 2021.

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  1. SabbathBlessings

    SabbathBlessings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you ever read an Ellen White book?
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Well then we agree on that.

    The only thing that remains from there - is more Bible doctrine
     
  3. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

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    Yes I have, I read The Great Controversy and it was sufficient to convince me that she was not a prophet, because of the severe historical errors.
     
  4. SabbathBlessings

    SabbathBlessings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess we can agree to disagree
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  5. SabbathBlessings

    SabbathBlessings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am off for now. Personally I am not sure why we are talking about EGW again- Ellen refers us back to the scripture and everything must be tested by scripture and it seems no one here wants to talk about scripture. God bless all and have a great evening!
     
  6. Leaf473

    Leaf473 Well-Known Member

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    Well, in number two there of the alternate vows

    "Do you accept the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs..."

    That Statement says that Ellen's writings provide guidance and correction to the church.

    It sounds to me, then, like part of the baptismal vow is accepting Ellen's writings.
     
  7. Leaf473

    Leaf473 Well-Known Member

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    By "this" you are referring to the law? Sure thing!

    Deuteronomy 6 These words, which I command you today, shall be on your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.

    Sure, if that thread can be expanded to include discussion of the entire law, which would be part of my explanation about why I view the law the way I do. My impression was that the OP, @BobRyan, didn't want to do that.

    Here is a recent post of mine from that thread so other people can know what I'm talking about

     
  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    It would be nice if everyone who joined the church did that on day one - but in real life - that is not what happens. People often join because they accept the Bible doctrines as tested sola scriptura - and only some time later accept the spiritual gift God gave to Ellen White.
     
  9. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Tell me more about attacking other churches.....

    The woman (Babylon) of Revelation 17 is described as "arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness:...and upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots." Says the prophet: "I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Babylon is further declared to be "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Revelation 17:4-6, 18. The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. The purple and scarlet color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly picture the magnificence and more than kingly pomp affected by the haughty see of Rome. And no other power could be so truly declared "drunken with the blood of the saints" as that church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ. Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with "the kings of the earth." It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation. {GC 382.2}


    Babylon is said to be "the mother of harlots." By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing [383] the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. At the time of their rise these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and His blessing was with them. Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel. In the words of the prophet to Israel: "Thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God." But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel—the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly. "Thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown." Ezekiel 16:14, 15. {GC 382.3}


    Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome's example of iniquitous connection with "the kings of the earth"—the state churches, by their relation to secular governments; and other denominations, by seeking the favor of the world. And the term "Babylon"—confusion—may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories. {GC 383.1}
    Great Controversy


    Churches with prophets who say such things are usually not afraid of discussion. In fact, most Adventists I know in real life are straight-forward about this. You have a hard message. So stop playing the victim after you publish such statements and people react. If you are giving God's message then give it, and stop running from discussions about Ellen White, her statements, and Adventist teaching.

    I have discussed the Scripture for many pages, on the Sabbath, the Investigative Judgment, etc. However, Ellen white is in your fundamental beliefs. So there is no ducking that. If you are in favor of removing her from those, you can weigh in here.

    But if you are not in favor of removing her then discussing your official beliefs is hardly persecution.
     
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  10. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Yes, this is why I left the Adventist church. They spell out everything to a large degree, and you must agree to it in order to be a member. At the time my main concern was with the investigative judgment doctrine.

    Now in practice this is enforced differently in some liberal churches and conservative churches. Many of the congregations I belonged to went by the guidelines in the manual completely, and you had to agree to all the doctrines to join. This is the official position.

    In some more liberal congregations they did not do this.

    And a number of pastors do not agree with all the teaching either. Some leave, and some decide to stay and try to reform from the inside, while not speaking much on the points they object to.

    But I did not think that was honest when I agreed to the beliefs to join, so I left.

    This is true. And it is why I think she should be removed from the fundamental beliefs. Or, if it was preferable, it could be clarified that those joining recognize her historic role but do not necessarily have to agree with her role to be baptized.
     
  11. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    And in many of the conservative churches, which have to receive them into membership, that would not fly.

    In many other churches, it would, and does.
     
  12. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Based on your statements if you have read many of her books it was just recently.

    He said he read Great Controversy. Have you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  13. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Yes, I agree that Ellen White needs to be treated as any other claiming the prophetic gift, and tested. Which people joining the church and in the church often do. I do not rule out the possibility that she could be a prophet out of hand.

    And we agree that understanding of the Bible is key to that as you alluded to earlier. Testing is based on their understanding of the meaning of the Scriptures. So Adventists are prone to seeing her passing the tests, and others are not.

    However, it is also true a number of Adventists also do not accept Ellen White. In some cases that is because of churches who do not require it, though the vows do (they often substitute).

    And in some cases that is because the wording has changed over the years, and those who came into the church decades ago didn't have the same text of fundamental beliefs that were part of that decision.

    What is sad to me is that the early Adventist pioneers were very fiercely in favor of going by the Scriptures and not requiring everything be spelled out. They had many debates, and were generally anti-creed of any sort. But now the fundamentals have essentially become a creed.
     
  14. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Because this is the theology section and all kinds of doctrines are discussed. She is part of your fundamental beliefs.

    If you are in favor of removing Ellen White from the fundamentals and going with only Scripture you can say so.
     
  15. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    To save you some time, Ellen White outright admits to using sources. And from a legal perspective the laws were not as strict at that time. She likely would not have run afoul of laws in her day in this regard.

    Here is her statement regarding use of sources, from the introduction to the Great Controversy.

    The Great Controversy

    The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their published works. GC xi.4


    Even more interesting, the Great Controversy went through a revision process when the initial plates for publishing wore out. At that time sources were reviewed and suggestions made for alterations to the text, to evaluate some sources, etc. If you have an interest I can give you a link showing the suggested edits by Prescott, who pointed out some of the dubious comments, and the response to each one by the White Estate. Some of his advice was implemented, some not, and they give a rationale. It is fascinating reading.

    Of course all of this raises questions of the nature of inspiration, sources, etc. which Adventists in scholarly circles have discussed at length. And that is more the issue than plagiarism as a legal problem.

     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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  16. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

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    Well, I myself really like some creeds, all of which were also traditionally chanted in the Orthodox, Assyrian, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions. Specifically, the Nicene Creed, the hymn Ho Monogenes, the hymn Te Deum Laudamus, the Greek and Russian (or more broadly, Eastern Orthodox) version of Quincunque Vult, and the Apostle’s Creed. If someone can sing or say all of those, there can be no doubt as to their Orthodoxy.
     
  17. SabbathBlessings

    SabbathBlessings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a very odd post. I’m not sure why you would not post this in the Traditional Adventist forum and why it would have relevance to anyone who is not an Adventist. If anyone is interested in discussing scripture and how it relates to what EG writes, PM me or we can open a new thread that will be more conducive to the Adventist truth. God bless!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
  18. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Indeed that is what we teach not just in church but in our Bible studies with non-SDAs resulting in our being one of the fastest growing Christian denominations in the world.

    Agreed - which is why Bible study always comes first. We don't do the Mormon thing of "first Joseph Smith and then some amount of looking at the Bible". The sola scriptura model requires Bible first.

    Without that - every Baptist would have to reject a Methodist claim to any message from God if that message mentions even one doctrine where Baptist and Methodists differ. (as an easy example)
     
  19. Leaf473

    Leaf473 Well-Known Member

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    Well, if someone is taking a vow saying that they accept a particular expression of Bible teaching when they don't actually accept that expression, I don't think that's a good situation.

    I have no problem with someone saying they have the gift of prophecy today. About 20 years ago someone gave me three big books by Ellen. I don't remember the titles, but The Great Controversy rings a bell. I read some parts out of those books.

    Nothing that I read struck me as outright unbiblical, but neither did it strike me as prophecy from God, either.

    1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

    So that's what I did. My judgment was that her prophecy was not from God.

    But I'm not saying that, based on what I read, she is a false prophet. Just that she was speaking from her own spirit in the parts that I read.

    1 Corinthians 14:32 The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    It is easy to see how new members would agree to that. And "parsing" Fundamental Belief #18 might not be their highest priority given that they already find the doctrines of the church to be supported by the Bible without needing a quote from Ellen White.

    That quote includes this -

    Belief #18
    "The Scriptures testify that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church "​

    That quote is taken directly from Rev 12 so all new members actually do tend to agree with that even those who do not accept that specifically this applies to any spiritual gift that Ellen White had.​


    You are of course free to critique them as you wish.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
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