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Tom Wetmore

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I would remind all of you that Ellen White sinned against her own declaration of sin by drinking coffee. She used it as medicine but her declaration that drinking it was sin has no exclusions that would allow it to be used as medicine. So .... Ellen White was a sinner. Imagine that. In fact ... she was a willful sinner.

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Graeme, I am at the same time indignant and heartbroken, as I read about your very sad experience. I believe that in the judgment day, such people will be among those to whom Jesus says, 'Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity! I never knew you!" I hope they repent of the evil they have done, and make an effort to repair the harm they have inflicted.

In my case, I was not subjected to such things. Perhaps that is one reason I don't feel resentment against EGW.

Dave

That is well put, David.

rejoice always,

olger

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Originally Posted By: Planey
I believe that a number of people of my age may have had their attitude to the writings of our esteemed elder female author coloured by experiences similar to my own. When I was in my formative years it was very noticeable that "the writings" were used to smack us young reprobates about the head on a regular basis. We had a joke that the largest and most popular book she wrote was called "Mrs White Says".

We also noted that many (most?) of the people who regularly belaboured us did not seem to let the books they "quoted" affect their own lives too much. No, indeed, apparently the red books were designed to ensure that these older paragons of virtue and righteousness could spot every little speck and spot of sin and wrongdoing in our lives and apprise us of these heinous deeds.

We believed that the "testimonies" could be summed up as "Are you enjoying yourself? Well stop it immediately, what you are doing must be sinful!" Many among us grew to dread hearing "Well, Mrs White says..." thus and thus. The sad thing is the good lady wrote so many letters with advice for different people, and she always seemed to couch said advice in absolute terms, that it seems possible to find an apropos quote for almost any position you want. Particularly if it means prohibiting something.

**snip**

I must admit that after having her used primarily as a club for so many years, I took exception to the very idea of opening any of her books for myself. And this lasted for a long time. Even today I get upset when people quote her to "prove" some point or other. "It is a sin to be sick..." for instance. But don't get me started.

Graeme

Graeme, that is EXACTLY how I and my cohorts at JrAcademy and Academy felt about EGW. Exactly. Always the *Elders* would bring up an EGW quote which may or may not have been apropos to the situation or behavior. It always felt like a.... dare I say it?..... an SDA witch hunt... using EGW as the prime authority.. 143cca4e.gif

backtopic

This reminds me of children complaining of how their parents did or said things that make them want to do what their parents told them not to do. Well, that may be acceptable in children, but we're all adults here (I assume). It's ridiculous for grown-ups to use those childish excuses to have the attitude they have toward anyone, let alone toward Ellen White. I got over that a long time ago, just like I got over the mistakes of my parents. I don't use them as my reasons for being the way I am or for doing the things I do. It's time to grow up and make our decisions based on mature, not childish, thinking.

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rudywoofs (Pam)

John317 said:

Quote:
This reminds me of children complaining of how their parents did or said things that make them want to do what their parents told them not to do. Well, that may be acceptable in children, but we're all adults here (I assume). It's ridiculous for grown-ups to use those childish excuses to have the attitude they have toward anyone, let alone toward Ellen White. I got over that a long time ago, just like I got over the mistakes of my parents. I don't use them as my reasons for being the way I am or for doing the things I do. It's time to grow up and make our decisions based on mature, not childish, thinking.

**clears throat**

Thank you, kind sir, for the charitable observations you have shared with us. We, the accused, bow to your obvious higher plane of thinking, reasoning and spiritual growth. **snorts** How dare you judge me. How dare you judge Graeme. How dare you judge anyone. Speak for yourself and let the Spirit convict.

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This reminds me of children complaining of how their parents did or said things that make them want to do what their parents told them not to do. Well, that may be acceptable in children, but we're all adults here (I assume). It's ridiculous for grown-ups to use those childish excuses to have the attitude they have toward anyone, let alone toward Ellen White. I got over that a long time ago, just like I got over the mistakes of my parents. I don't use them as my reasons for being the way I am or for doing the things I do. It's time to grow up and make our decisions based on mature, not childish, thinking.

John, I can sympathize with the very painful experience of those who were attacked with 'Mrs. White.' Although I was not, I had other experiences. For example, my mother was the one who led out in family worship. I remember very clearly the unpleasantness. When she decided that it was time for worship, she would come into the room and turn the TV off, right in the middle of the programs we were enjoying. And then, we would get to sit and listen to her read from whatever book she was using. Huge resentment! DECADES later, when I was on my own, and a professional, I was quite surprised. When I would go to visit my parents in Oakland, and she decided it was time for family worship, she would announce it, get out a book and start reading. After a couple of minutes, I got up. I was through. The resentment was too strong. That was when I was in my thirties! So, yes, I can understand those who still have feelings of deep resentment about EGW, even though adults.

Here, on C/A, we may have the walking wounded, the smoking flax, just about to go out, the bruised reed, barely hanging on. We need to be gentle with them, and empathize with them, affirm them in the painful experiences they have gone through. People need affirmation and spiritual and emotional support. That can help provide a foundation for healing, which was absent in the past.

Dave

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John317

I believe you may have missed part of my post - the part where I pointed out that the same people who consistently smote us with the Spirit of Prophecy showed no signs of any Christian love or charity in their own lives. With this wonderful object lesson so glaringly displayed to us, repeatedly, is it any wonder that so many of my generation were "out of there" as soon as we possibly could?

I think it is fairly superficial on your part to put it down to the adult version of a childish tantrum. My own personal experience when "outside the church" was not the horror story with which we had been threatened. In fact I found much companionship, genuine mateship, care, thoughtfulness, fun, genuine sympathy and empathy, and yes, even genuine Christianity outside the hallowed halls of SDAism. What was there to draw me back when you compare that to the den of dessicated legalism I had left?

Please don't put your own extrapolations of motives onto me. I know in general why I did things and I would thank you not to guess at my motives.

Graeme

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Let me tag on here a little bit....

I'm finding now, as a pastor, that the biggest challenge I have is with members who are in emotional pain or people who do what they do because of negative past experiences.

I can't afford NOT to pause, listen, understand and reflect or what they say to me about their experience. Sometimes saying "grow up" "get over it" works but most of the time it doesn't.

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I think most people get over the pain/experience - but can't imagine why they should put themselves back into the environment that did it to them - especially when there is no evidence that the environment has changed

/Bevin

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Quite right! And for some of the rest of the survivors who come back or stayed despite it all, we take heart in the hopeful signs of positive improvement until we witness a resurgence of that old dysfunctional approach by a loudmouth minority targeting new and vulnerable victims and retargeting some of us who have been able to get passed it. That reopens old wounds and some of us refuse to be dragged backward again.

Tom

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Let me tag on here a little bit....

I'm finding now, as a pastor, that the biggest challenge I have is with members who are in emotional pain or people who do what they do because of negative past experiences.

I can't afford NOT to pause, listen, understand and reflect or what they say to me about their experience. Sometimes saying "grow up" "get over it" works but most of the time it doesn't.

You are absolutely correct Laz. People need someone to understand and care. It does no good to lay truth over pain.

However, there are people who have had an overdose of "poor dear" syndrome and they sometimes need a Dr. Laura encounter to help them get unstuck. We must discern the difference.

as always,

olger

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That is true though most people do not have the relationship with that person or the love for that person to be able to affectively help them get "unstuck" without appearing to be unloving. (I have had real friends, however, who have been able to "tell me like it is" with a genuine Christian love. Those type of friends are priceless.) Usually however, it is the most affective to listen, and to care. There is far too little of that in today's society. These types of friends who can genuinly care are also priceless.

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Right on. Unfortnately the "spoken in love" part is difficult for some to remember. But if they can, then not only the truth but the timing needs to be considered so that the maximum benefit of the "truth" can enter the heart of the listener.

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John317

I believe you may have missed part of my post - the part where I pointed out that the same people who consistently smote us with the Spirit of Prophecy showed no signs of any Christian love or charity in their own lives. With this wonderful object lesson so glaringly displayed to us, repeatedly, is it any wonder that so many of my generation were "out of there" as soon as we possibly could?

I think it is fairly superficial on your part to put it down to the adult version of a childish tantrum. My own personal experience when "outside the church" was not the horror story with which we had been threatened. In fact I found much companionship, genuine mateship, care, thoughtfulness, fun, genuine sympathy and empathy, and yes, even genuine Christianity outside the hallowed halls of SDAism. What was there to draw me back when you compare that to the den of dessicated legalism I had left?

Please don't put your own extrapolations of motives onto me. I know in general why I did things and I would thank you not to guess at my motives.

Graeme

My point was that we should do what we know to be right because it is right and not oppose the right because of something that happened to us when we were children. I went through the same things that you described. But just as I decided to put away my resentments for things my father did, I decided a long time ago to put away the resentments against people in the church who did wrong and concentrate on what is right and true.

I wasn't referring to any of your motives.

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do what we know to be right because it is right

Does "doing what is right" necessarily include:

  • attending an SDA church?

  • associating primarily with Adventists?
  • reading much of the output of EGW?

These are not intended as rhetorical questions.

Graeme

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"My point was that we should do what we know to be right because it is right and not oppose the right because of something that happened to us when we were children. I went through the same things that you described. But just as I decided to put away my resentments for things my father did, I decided a long time ago to put away the resentments against people in the church who did wrong and concentrate on what is right and true." Praise the Lord !

I love hearing these stories of forgiveness & healing. This is the work of God.

olger

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"My point was that we should do what we know to be right because it is right and not oppose the right because of something that happened to us when we were children. I went through the same things that you described. But just as I decided to put away my resentments for things my father did, I decided a long time ago to put away the resentments against people in the church who did wrong and concentrate on what is right and true." Praise the Lord !

I love hearing these stories of forgiveness & healing. This is the work of God.

olger

Is it forgiveness or is it stubborness?

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Originally Posted By: John317

do what we know to be right because it is right

Does "doing what is right" necessarily include:

  • attending an SDA church?

  • associating primarily with Adventists?
  • reading much of the output of EGW?

These are not intended as rhetorical questions.

Graeme

Not necessarily, no. They would be wonderful things for everybody to do, but people shouldn't do them if doing those things makes someone feel angry or resentful. For instance, if a person just hates Ellen White and can't stand reading anything by her, it shows that they are not ready to read her, and therefore they would be better off dealing first with the underlying reason for their anger and resentment. Perhaps they have a misunderstanding about Ellen White's writings. Perhaps they think of her writings as something that stands in their way of having fun or of being free. Similarly, if attending an SDA church makes somone angry, they need to seek God and take care of their anger problem, because going to church under those conditions can only make them more resentful. (I have known people before who when they went to an SDA church, their mind would just fill up with angry thoughts and feelings toward everyone they saw, even toward those they'd never met before.) It is the same with reading the Bible: if we don't read the Bible in the correct frame of mind-- that is, in a teachable spirit and with a desire for the Holy Spirit to impress our thinking-- reading it can do us more harm than good.

Except for obeying God's moral law, it's impossible for us to know for certain what is right for anyone else. In my statement about doing what is right, I did not have in mind anything specific that applies to everyone, except, as I say, obeying God's moral law. In many instances, what is right depends on where a person is in their walk with Christ. God, of course, judges us according to our knowledge of truth and our privileges.

I like the following statements and believe they apply equally well to everyone irrespective of their circumstances. Paul said, "Let every person be persuaded in his own mind." That is because God only accepts intelligent worship and obedience that result from freedom of choice. Also: "Whatsoever does not proceed from faith is sin." When we act apart from our faith in Christ, that is, apart from our Scripture-informed convictions, we sin.

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