The Adventist problem with giving accurate quotes
Please read all of this till the end … then you’ll understand what I am trying to say.
Seventh-day Adventism officially teaches that the writings of Ellen White, their prophetess, are inspired by God, and therefore equal to the Bible. Ellen White is their prophet, and these are her words I will quote to you.
See the following quote, where it is even implied that her writings are better than the Bible, because they are longer, more recently written, better organised, and can be read in the original language.
“As Seventh-day Adventists we are uniquely fortunate in approaching this question. We are not left to find our way, drawing conclusions only from writings penned 19 centuries ago, which have come down to us through varied transcriptions and translations. Concerning inspiration, with us it is an almost contemporary matter, for we have a prophet in our midst… What is more, rather than having in our possession only relatively short documents or a handful of letters, as is the case with the extant records of the Bible prophets, we have the full range of Ellen G. White writings penned through a period of 70 years, embodying her published books, her 4,600 periodical articles, and her manuscripts, letters, and diaries. We have also the testimonies of her contemporaries – eyewitness accounts of those who lived and worked closely with her. Both she and they discussed many points touching on the visions and on the manner in which the light was imparted to her, and how she, in turn, conveyed the messages to those for whom they were intended. In other words, the eyewitnesses discussed the operation of inspiration… Further, she wrote in a modern language, so a large number of people today can study her writings in the original language, without needing to depend on a translation. Rarely, too, is it necessary to depend upon a transcription.” – Inspiration and the Ellen G. White Writings, reprint, p. 3.
Read also the following:
“Yet, now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You thereby insulted the Spirit of God.” Testimonies 5, p. 64.
“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 5 p. 67.
“If you lessen the confidence of God’s people in the testimonies He has sent them, you are rebelling against God as were Korah, Dathan, and Abriam.” Testimonies 5 p. 66.
“The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil. In arraying yourself against the servants of God you are doing a work either for God or for the devil.” Testimonies 4 p. 230.
Thus we can see that Adventism officially teaches that Ellen White is inspired, that her writings are the word of God, and since all God’s words are equally and fully the word of God, Ellen White is equal to the Bible.
This is false doctrine.
I want to present another false teaching of the Adventist church – Arianism, the idea that Jesus is not God. This teaching is contradicted by many texts in the Bible, such as John 1:1, but, as with many such matters, Adventism teaches it anyway.
Here are some quotes from early Adventists, including their prophet Ellen White and her husband, James White.
Here James is referring to 2 Tim 4:4, “they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables,” and gives an example of such a fable: “Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God and His Son Jesus Christ.” – Review end Herald, Dec. 11, 1855. p. 85.
Also: “… the old unscriptural trinitarian creed, viz. that Jesus is the Eternal God.” – The Day-Star, Jan 21, 1846.
“Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was impossible for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being.” – Autobiography (Battle Creek, 1888), 205.
J N Loughborough:
On the Trinity: “There ore many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the three following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to scripture (sic). Its origin is pagan and fabulous.” – Review and Herald, Nov. 5, 1861.
R. F. Cottrell:
“To hold the doctrine of the trinity is not so much an evidence of evil intention as of intoxication from that wine of which all the nations have drunk, The fact that this was one of the leading doctrines, if not the very chief, upon which the bishop of Rome was exalted to the popedom, does not say much in its favor.” – Review and Herald, July 6, 1869.
He teaches that everything in the universe except God the Father had a beginning, and we cannot take literally the phrase “having neither beginning of days” in Heb 7:3, and then writes: “And as to the Son of God, he would be excluded also, for he had God for his Father, and did, at some point in the eternity of the past, have a beginning of days.” – Review and Herald, Sept. 7, 1869.
W. W. Prescott:
“Christ as twice born, once in eternity, the only begotten of the Father, and once in the flesh …” – Review and Herald, April 14, 1986, 232.
He calls Jesus “the first created being” – Thoughts, Critical end Practical, on the Book of Revelation (Battle Creek, 1865), 59.
“A special light beamed in his (Satan’s) countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels: yet Jesus, God’s dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created, Satan was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone. “The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son… The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ, his Son, should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was his own presence… His Son would carry out His will and His purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone.” – Spirit of Prophecy, 1:17, 18
Ellen White also refers to the Holy Spirit as “it” – “O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause it to depart?” – Selected Messages, book 1, p. 126. See also Testimonies to the Church, 1:124; 1888 Material, 1249; Pamphlet 154, 4; Youth Instructor, 8-1-1895.
Obviously, Adventist belief is unscriptural.
What it all means
Arianism is NOT an official Adventist teaching, although all the quotes are authentic.
Ellen White is NOT considered equal to the Bible by Adventism, even though these quotations are the real thing, and even though, in practice, this is often the case.
I have made this phony claim to make a point. Such an extreme is perhaps necessary – some Adventists refuse to acknowledge that quotes need to be taken in context, and they refuse to acknowledge the difference between official Catholic sources and the opinion of Catholics who happen to get published in unofficial sources.
By giving them a list of damning quotes from well-known Adventist founders and elders from the past, they will see that merely quoting unofficial texts does not prove anything, because they know well that Adventism does not officially teach these things (although many do consider Ellen White to be inspired, and Arianism is certainly on the increase within Adventism.)
Hopefully, their response will be to deny these claims, at which point they need to realise that they must be prepared to treat my religion with the same honesty they want me to apply to their religion.