Ellen White's Writings as a Source?

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Dear Reader,

There is a statement by Ellen White regarding her works that is oft misunderstood and/or misrepresented. She said that we should not use her writings as a source of proof for things that can be proved Biblicly. That does not mean that we should not refer her writings to others and even non-Adventists. Please note:

Testimonies read by neighbors -- "The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be intorduced into every Sabbath-keeping family, and the brethren should know their value, and be urged to read them. It was not the wisest plan to place these books at a low figure, and have only one set in a church. They should be in the library of every family, and read again and again. Let them be kept where they can be read by many, and let them be worn out in being read by all the neighbors." E.G. White, Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 04-04-82.

Another statement by Ellen White that is misunderstood and/or misrepresented is the one which says that if we had studied like we should, we would not have needed the Testimonies. That is a big IF! The fact is that folk did not study like Ellen White did, and thus we have needed her Testimonies. According to Scripture, they were given till the church should come into unity, and since the church has never come into unity, and is now more divided on serious issues than ever before, we truly need the Testimonies more than ever! The real issue is whether or not Scripture supports Ellen White and vice versa. I believe that all Ellen White says is supported by Scripture, if the individual student has spiritual discernment to see the connections. Ellen White said that her writings will lead to a greater study of the Scriptures. I believe her.

The following message was posted on an SDA Internet Chat Group, and it shows the attitude of many SDA's towards the Testimonies:

Peace friends,

Surely the word of God is our only safeguard. Nobody's writings should ever be referenced as a SOURCE of truth or for determining what constitutes truth. This includes Ellen White. Yes, there are many contradictions in her writings. Some, I think are explainable and are apparent contradictions while others unquestionably are not.

IMHO, [Computer shorhand for "In my humble opinion"] SDA's greatly err whenever they quote her to substantiate their beliefs. Even she warned against such behaviour. One would think that such EGW worshippers would at least have enough respect for their "prophet" to obey her instructions in ALL points revealed. If they at least did that much, there would not be any controversy or confusion with the EGW question. But SDA's bring this all upon themselves by quoting and referencing her books, volume number, page number and paragraph number in substantiating their beliefs as readily as quoting book, chapter, and verse of the Bible. There is something dreadfully WRONG with that picture. The books of EGW are NOT a part of the canon of Scripture and should not be elevated as such. Her writings, like anyone else's MUST be tested by the Scriptures, not the other way around!

Now, the real question is Does Ellen G. White preach "another Jesus" than the Jesus that is revealed in the Bible? Are the doctrines that she espoused in harmony with the "law and the testimony"? This is where the rubber meets the road. Not whether or not she was a true prophet. As for prophets, they can start out true and later on choose apostasy. The Bible records the story of Balaam. He was once a true prophet of God. Finally he chose apostasy. Israel's first king, Saul, also was filled with God's Spirit at the beginning and prophecied. He later chose apostasy. What about king Solomon? Here was another man filled with God's Spirit and has captured worldwide fame for his superior wisdom. God revealed secrets to him. He wrote the Proverbs under inspiration. He also later in life chose apostasy and the worship of false gods. The point I'm trying to make is, how do we not know if the same thing happened in the life of Ellen White? Was she better than the other "prophets" who started out right and later had fallen? If we think that this is an impossibility, then we are more than elevating EGW as a prophet, we are then elevating her as God - making her infallible. This is a spiritually dangerous position to assume. We must let the record speak for itself and place what it says in comparison with what God's Word says and where the twain fail to meet, then the former MUST be rejected. To me, its just that plain and simple!

God has given us two things that will safely guide us through life. He gave us His Word. And He gave us His Spirit. His Word and His Spirit will always be in agreement. We have all that we need as Christians. We don't need a supreme magisterium to interpret Scripture for us and/or institute additional commandments for us. We have the indwelling of the Father and His Son and His written Word. We also do not need the writings of any human who either claims to be a prophet or is branded as such by their human peers. We have the indwelling of the Father and His Son and His written Word. We have ALL that we need. The Catholics say that its Scripture plus tradition that's needed to guide the Christian. The SDA's say its Scripture plus Ellen White's writings that's needed to guide the Christian. Both groups seem to be birds of a feather in that respect for they are both in agreement that the Bible ALONE is NOT a sufficient guide for the Christian.

Again I say, if SDA's really were "people of the Book" and only quoted the "Book" - the Bible and NEVER quoted Ellen White to substantiate their beliefs, this big controversy over EGW never would have materialized. The web wouldn't be chock full of anti-EGW web sites who have capitalized on exposing her contradictory writings and the extensive borrowing of other author's materials. There would have been no need to. For Christians who only quote the Bible and the Bible ALONE to substantiate their beliefs cannot be accused as cultish like they accuse the SDA's. Sure, there might be disagreement regarding one's interpretation of the Bible, but for the most part, Christians are willing to "agree to disagree" with those who are at least in agreement with eachother as to the Bible being the ONLY SOURCE and the SOLE AUTHORITY in matters of faith and doctrine. But once we start putting extra-Biblical sources on an equality with God's Word, its just not going to fly well. SDA's just can't make the claim of Sola Scriptura and at the same time account EGW's writings as equal to the Bible. Christians just won't tolerate that kind of hypocrisy. And I can't say that I blame them!

I thank God for His Word. For preserving it for us. For speaking to us through it. Let us exalt the Bible and the Bible only as our guide in faith and doctrine. For here is where truth resides.

Happy Sabbath