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The influence of Ellen White on church development


Don777
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An Example of Ellen White's Influence on Church Growth

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The Northern Union Conference

THE first regular session of this union conference, since its organization in the spring of 1902, was held at Millbank, S. D., Feb. 17-22, 1904. A full delegation was present, representing each conference and the Alberta Mission field, also nearly every laborer in the union. ...

Elder A. G. Daniells was present, and acted as chairman of the business meetings; he also gave timely help in the preaching services and in counsel. All were glad indeed to welcome him at this time...

The committee on plans submitted the following recommendations, which were adopted:

Whereas, True medical missionary work is an essential feature of the gospel as set forth in the threefold message of Revelation and,—

Whereas, We have been repeatedly counseled by the spirit of prophecy (i.e. Ellen White's ministry) that true medical missionary work should not be separated from the gospel work of the conference, the church, and the people; therefore,—

1. We recommend, That the medical missionary work in all its features receive the same fostering care and financial support from the conference organizations, churches, and people that is given to other branches of our work....

Review and Herald, April 7, 1904, V81-14, pp. 17-18.

http://docs.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH19040407-V81-14__B.pdf#view=fit

Observations:

1. I am posting this mainly to show the line of influence from Ellen White as a thought leader to the practical implementation of her counsel. This influence was not of a command structure. Rather, people who valued her counsel sought to implement the same.

2. The purpose of this thread is to show this line of influence from the counsels of EGW to its practical implementation in the field.

3. This action comes shortly after momentous changes at the General Conference. Rather than have separate entities managing various aspects of the work (medical, tract society, Sabbath School, etc.) they now come under the same management group, the conference. I suspect that A. G. Daniells' presence helped establish this new management plan.

4. Note that the pioneer work in Alberta came under the supervision of the Northern Union Conference.

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Merger talks called off because of Ellen White's counsel.

On another thread we examined the interest in merging the Pacific Press and the Review and Herald. The talks were cut short because Ellen White strongly advised against it.

This multi-billion dollar corporation known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church still listens to this little old lady, Ellen White... :)

See this post and those above and below it...

http://clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthread...html#Post656624

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Merger talks called off because of Ellen White's counsel.

On another thread we examined the interest in merging the Pacific Press and the Review and Herald. The talks were cut short because Ellen White strongly advised against it.

This multi-billion dollar corporation known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church still listens to this little old lady, Ellen White... :)

See this post and those above and below it...

http://clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthread...html#Post656624

If Ellen White's counsel was really listened to, do you really think the current church would be a "multi-billion dollar corporation"?

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If Ellen White's counsel was really listened to, do you really think the current church would be a "multi-billion dollar corporation"?

No sin in being rich; with many assets. I am not a fan of the church's success in material things. The problem, as I see it, is how big corporations treat the "little guy" who seeks to influence the institution conservatively. "Its cold at the top, I have been warned." I have never been there, couldn't say. :)

My goal is to demonstrate that the SDA church has, and still does, hold the counsels of Ellen White with respect.

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If Ellen White's counsel was really listened to, do you really think the current church would be a "multi-billion dollar corporation"?

No sin in being rich; with many assets. I am not a fan of the church's success in material things. The problem, as I see it, is how big corporations treat the "little guy" who seeks to influence the institution conservatively. "Its cold at the top, I have been warned." I have never been there, couldn't say. :)

My goal is to demonstrate that the SDA church has, and still does, hold the counsels of Ellen White with respect.

I think you're missing the point. If our goal, as a church, was really to hasten the coming of Jesus where would our resources go? Into building a great institutional infrastructure with expensive buildings, great creature comforts, etc..., or would our money go into spreading the word with only the bare necessities spent on infrastructure? Are not our priorities shown in how we spend our money? If heaven was really our number one goal would not our money be spent differently?

Ellen White counseled against the building of great institutions and making investments with church money. She counseled instead that the money needed to spent on spreading the gospel, reaching people for God. Creature comforts reach no one. Great expensive building reach no one.

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Quality in itself is a witness. We accomplish nothing by having cheap, shoddy structures unworthy of more expense because Jesus is coming soon. Big is not better, but quality is...

I don't think the real thrust of Ellen White's counsel is being followed. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree until you can show me where Ellen White gave the counsel you're saying she did.

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Plain, neat, and substantial

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Some may ask, Why does Sister White always use the words, “plain, neat, and substantial,” when speaking of buildings? It is because I wish our buildings to represent the perfection God requires from His people. {Ev 378.1}

“But,” some say, “if the Lord is so soon to come, why do you urge our builders to put the best material into the buildings they erect?” Would we dare to dedicate to God a house made of cheap material, and put together so faultily as to be almost lifted from its foundation when struck by a strong wind? We would be ashamed to put worthless material into a building for the Lord. And I would not advise anyone to put worthless material into a house. It does not pay. The floors of our houses should be made of well-seasoned wood.

This will cost a little more, but will in the end save a great deal of vexation. The frame of a building should be well matched and well put together. Christ is our example in all things. He worked at the carpenter’s trade with His father Joseph, and every article He made was well made, the different parts fitting exactly, the whole able to bear test. {Ev 378.2}

Whatever you do, let it be done as well as upright principles and your strength and skill can do it. Let your work be like the pattern shown you in the mount. The buildings erected will soon be severely tried.

—Manuscript 127, 1901. {Ev 378.3}

Seventh-day Adventist Church (Victorian Conference, Australia)

EGW Counsels on Church Buildings

http://vic.adventist.org.au/site_data/98...dings_v1.2a.pdf

Quote:

...We have no command from God to erect a building that will compare for richness and splendor with the temple. But we are to build a humble house of worship, plain and simple, neat and perfect in its design. Then let those who have means look to it that they are as liberal and tasteful in erecting a temple wherein we may worship God as they have been in locating and building and furnishing their own houses. Let them manifest a willingness and a desire to show greater honor to God than themselves. Let them build with nicety, but not with extravagance. Let the house be built conveniently and thoroughly so that when it is presented to God He can accept it and let His Spirit rest upon the worshipers who have an eye single to His glory.... Let everyone, old and young, bring gifts and donations to help in building a house for God.—Manuscript 23, 1886.

{Christ Triumphant p. 154.6}

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Ellen White and Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle

Herbert Douglass in his book Messenger of the Lord, Chapter 11, reports on Ellen White's collection, and the church's publishing, of Sabbath reading material for children.

Quote:

When the White children were young, their mother read broadly in religious magazines looking for stories with moral lessons that would be suitable especially for Sabbath reading. She clipped the desirable articles and pasted them in scrapbooks.24

In the 1870s many of these articles were sorted out into books for different age groups. The first of these collections, Sabbath Readings, Moral and Religious Lessons for Youth and Children, contained 154 individually-paged stories.25

Later, Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, a four-volume set of stories, appeared in numerous editions.26

At the turn of the century, Golden Grains, a series of ten pamphlets, each containing 72 pages, was published by the Pacific Press Publishing Association.27

An undated collection of children’s stories, Sunshine Series, was also published; the first had ten pamphlets of 16 pages, and the second had 20 pamphlets of 16 pages each.28

Source:

http://www.whiteestate.org/books/mol/Chapt11.html#reference24

Note 28 in Douglass' work reads,

Quote:

In 1881, James White wrote: “Mrs. White has ever been a great reader, and in our extensive travels she has gathered juvenile books and papers in great quantities, from which she selected moral and religious lessons to read to her own dear children. This work commenced about thirty years since. We purchased every series of books for children and youth printed in America and in Europe in the English language, which came to our notice, and bought, borrowed, and begged miscellaneous books of this class, almost without number. . . . And there we published the Sunshine Series of little books for the little ones, from 5 to 10 years old, the series of Golden Grains, for children from 10 to 15 years, and the volumes for the Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle for still more advanced readers. . . . Precious books! The compilers have spent years in reading and rejecting, ninety-nine parts, and accepted one. Precious books, indeed, for the precious youth.”—Review and Herald, June 21, 1881.

Project Gutenberg link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18701/18701-h/18701-h.htm

Observations:

1. Note that the author, M. A. Vroman, is mentioned in Project Gutenberg and in Douglass' work. Vroman admits discovering this work from an early source.

2. This sheds some light on what makes appropriate reading for Adventists. The standard is not "Adventist publications only," but rather, "Is the work representative of Christian ideals?"

3. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not to be an exclusive club which uses its own authors' works as the only suitable ones. On the contrary, the Adventist parent/leader must think and choose from a wide variety of works.

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Don777,

I'm sorry, but that quote doesn't even begin to address the issues I've brought up. Quality building materials is far different than plush creature comforts and ostentation. One is common sense, the other is pride of display.

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Don777,

I'm sorry, but that quote doesn't even begin to address the issues I've brought up. Quality building materials is far different than plush creature comforts and ostentation. One is common sense, the other is pride of display.

I think I agree with the difference you have pointed out. I may have misunderstood the points you were raising. In looking into her counsel on this, I came across her praise of the buildings at Loma Linda as they were when first discovered. Some of what EGW described seemed to be what we would call "high end functional". For example, if I remember correctly, she described how that each room had a porch/balcony where the patient could go out and enjoy the sunshine. This combines a "luxury" with a practical feature.

Adventist properties, i.e. schools, hospitals, churches, administrative buildings, often have quality and grounds which could be criticized as pride of display. Much of what I have seen is pleasant, functional, impressive love of grooming, etc. Some artwork (sculptures, Nathan Green paintings, etc.) are quite expensive, it seems.

Do we dare ask for you to give an example of what you consider excessive display, or pride of display?

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How about the pipe organ at the Walla Walla College church? Who needs something that showy, and something that has been routinely used as a means of displaying its capabilities and the organist's abilities, rather than to honor God, before, during and after the church service? I used to go to that church, and when the music professor at that time would get on that thing at church he'd literally hurt your ears with the decibel output and played to do two things, show his musical ability and what the organ could do. There was nothing worshipful about it. And don't think I'm a "traditionalist" when it comes to music. My ideas have often been turned down because they were "too contemporary".

The church that houses it was basically built to showcase that organ. The height of the building is necessary only because of the organ. It's a love of display, not a functional need for worshipping God.

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I have a thought, if Sister White was a ‘LEADER’ and the church ‘listened to her then when you read the pioneers men’s writings and teaching why do thy NOT quote Sister White at every turn as they do today and the last 40 years or so that I know of? I read the aged men’s writings and their teachings that have stood the test of time and they quote not Sister White. They quote the bible and old writers, and old histories. I am not against the writings of Sister White, but she points us to the ‘aged men’ of the church, yet the SDA church today does not point us to these ‘aged men’.

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I have a thought, if Sister White was a ‘LEADER’ and the church ‘listened to her then when you read the pioneers men’s writings and teaching why do thy NOT quote Sister White at every turn as they do today and the last 40 years or so that I know of? I read the aged men’s writings and their teachings that have stood the test of time and they quote not Sister White. They quote the bible and old writers, and old histories. I am not against the writings of Sister White, but she points us to the ‘aged men’ of the church, yet the SDA church today does not point us to these ‘aged men’.

I wonder if one reason could be that there are also some reformers today who quote other individuals as if they were grater modern "prophets" than Ellen White? Then other quote EGW to counter their claims?

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My point was that and is that if Sister White points us to read and to study what the men of the church had written and that why they had written was TRUTH and that what they wrote would stand the test of time, then why does the church not do this? Why in the churches SS quarterlies do the quote Sister White and even NONE SDA writers rather than the pioneer men? Why do they not follow this counsel? Sister White pointed us back to what these men wrote, so what is it that they wrote that was so important to her that she points us to them?

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My point was that and is that if Sister White points us to read and to study what the men of the church had written and that why they had written was TRUTH and that what they wrote would stand the test of time, then why does the church not do this? Why in the churches SS quarterlies do the quote Sister White and even NONE SDA writers rather than the pioneer men? Why do they not follow this counsel? Sister White pointed us back to what these men wrote, so what is it that they wrote that was so important to her that she points us to them?

I have never really noticed the lack of quoting Ellen White before. Thanks 1888 for this observation.

James White, who lived until 1881, drew a distinct line between his wife's role of edifying and counseling the church through her spiritual gift and that of the Scriptural development of doctrine. Perhaps this best explains why there is very little quoting of her writings in the Review.

We know that her writings made an impact because James White had to defend or explain what she wrote.

By the time we get to the 1890s we will find that some leaders quoted Ellen White more than others. Alonzo T. Jones quoted her as though he were quoting from the Scriptures. I have found at times having to reread what he quotes carefully to determine if it was from the Bible or Ellen White's writings. He treated them equally and often without citation of sources. His 1893 General Conference Session sermons illustrate this. Look for his three part series on the Third Angel's Message.

Who were these pioneer men?

Wikipedia gives a list of the main pioneers. See: Seventh-day Adventist Church Pioneers

What is it that the pioneer men wrote?

Recall that Ellen White watched the church develop and strengthen its Scriptural understanding. She played somewhat of a role in helping them stick with clear Scriptural views. But, the early Adventist church developed through a fellowship of ideas expressed often through the pages of the Review, but also through pamphlets and tracts. Anyone who joined the cause could speak to the cause through the "letters to the editor" section of the Review. Also, the Review practiced a generous willingness to print articles that fellow Adventists wrote. In this way, everyone could become proficient in Present Truth.

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I am sorry, I did not mean to give the impression that the church lacked quoting Sister White, I meant that they greatly lack in quoting the pioneer men of the church. She did point us in their direction yet it is a direction that has not been taken.

I read the SS quarterly and have found quotes from non-SDA’s at times and philosophers even and a lot from Sister White but so very rarely the pioneer men. It is hard to find very many of their writings in the ABC even. I have found non-SDA authors more readily on the shelves or SDA professors’ writings, stories etc. than the pioneer men’s writings. There are a few books yes but very little in comparison. Why not reprint the R&H into small tracks for example?

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What influence did the writings of Ellen G. White have on the decision of Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver uniting with St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver to form Centura Health?

from www.centura.org

Our Sponsors In 1996 our sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and the Adventist Health System (AHS), came together to form Centura Health in Denver, Colo. Committed to the mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ, CHI and AHS each build upon their unique history, heritage and traditions to create a faith-based entity designed to advance the mission of their individual organizations. Both sponsors have preserved a commitment to their values and an understanding of the vital role that ministering to spiritual needs can play in health care. - See more at: http://www.centura.org/body.cfm?id=307#sthash.W7rQDC3U.dpuf

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I wonder if one reason could be that there are also some reformers today who quote other individuals as if they were grater modern "prophets" than Ellen White? Then other quote EGW to counter their claims?

You could be correct; I don’t doubt what you say. However Sister White was not a church leader, she pointed people to what the men had written. I believe that the modern reformers are in great error in much of what they teach, speaking of the SDA church that is. We should not quote either as an argument against another. We should however, use these old writings as guidepost. And do these writings go hand in hand with the Bible and in some cases history as the case may be. What we teach if it is truth will not be contrary to what the Spirit of God gave to the church.

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The Present Truth 1884

FAITH WITHOUT REPENTANCE.

BY ELD. J. N. ANDREWS.

THE condition of a great number of those who profess the religion of Christ is lamentable ; they profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They call upon the name of God, but they do not relinquish their sins. They suppose that they are saved by faith without works. If they have read the second chapter of .lames, they surely have never laid it to heart. They are more afraid of good works than they are of sin. They think that good works and self-righteousness are one and the same thing, and that faith in Christ as their Saviour is wholly incompatible with individual obedience. They do not comprehend the truth that God gives his grace to men that they may overcome their passions and change their nature, but never to excuse their evil propensities, nor to hide in any sense their true character from the eyes of him who searches the heart. Many are in this deplorable condition. If, however, they would read the last part of Christ's sermon on the mount, they would see that, if they continue to follow this course, they will find themselves among those who will be placed at the left hand of the Son of man in the day of judgment. Matt. 7: 21-27.

What is the cause of this sad state of things ? It is partly caused by the deception of the human heart under the powerful influence of Satan, the great adversary. But the principal reason is found in the nature of the teaching which is only too prevalent on all hands. Men are taught to believe in Christ, and to quiet themselves with the thought that they are good Christians and on the way to heaven, though they may not be possessed of the character of Christ, nor be walking in his footsteps. They overlook the first of all lessons ri Christian experience. Faith is put foremost as being the privilege of the sinner, while repentance, which is one of the essential conditions of pardon, is entirely set aside. This is the result of the teaching that the gospel has abolished the moral law.

Repent. This is the first word that the gospel addresses- to the sinner. If this, then, is the first instruction of the gospel, it is evident that men are already under condemnation because they have transgressed the law of God. The gospel invites no man to believe in Christ for pardon until he has first seen his guilt as a sinner, and acknowledged the justice of his condemnation. Hut it is not alone in this that repentance consists. Repentance demands not only that the sinner shall have a godly sorrow for sin, but that, by the grace of God, he shall make the decision to turn from his transgression to walk in obedience. This is the character of the repentance which John the Baptist taught, and which Zaccheus practiced. Luke 3: 3-14 ; 19 : 7-10. Men do not merit pardon by repentance, but the gospel makes repentance a condition without which no one can be saved. Luke 13: 1-5.

When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, the people wore "pricked in their hearts," for he showed them their sins and insisted on true repentance. But in our days the greater part of the religious teachers invite those who are living in sin to accept Christ as their Saviour, and to simply believe that he saves them now without the condition of repentance. This doctrine leads them to believe that they are accepted in the Beloved and numbered with the disciples of Christ. Thus the church is filled with those who have never learned the first lesson of the Christian religion. These men may have been guilty of extortion, but they do not comprehend that they ought to restore their ill-gotten gains. It is even questionable whether they have learned that no man can be a Christain who is not upright in all things, and that to be strictly honest we should love our neighbor as ourselves, and do unto others as we would that they should do unto us.

Men are not ashamed to sin, but they are greatly ashamed to repent. But repentance is the most honorable action on the part of the sinner. Many ministers fear to preach repentance lest the sinner be offended, or lest the way of salvation shall seem to him so difficult that he will not wish to attempt it. So men enter the church without passing through the strait gate of repentance. The number of members is augmented, but not the number of Christians. These persons may well join "in the confession of sins which is made each week in the churches, but they have no idea that this confession places them under obligation to entirely forsake their sins. The greatest lack of the age is apostolic preaching upon the subject of repentance.

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  • 7 years later...

What influence did the writings of Ellen G. White have on the decision of Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver uniting with St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver to form Founders Family Medicine?

from www.foundersfamilymedicine.com

In 2011 our sponsors, came together to form Founders Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Castle Rock, CO. Committed to the mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ, CHI and AHS each build upon their unique history, heritage and traditions to create a faith-based entity designed to advance the mission of their individual organizations. Both sponsors have preserved a commitment to their values and an understanding of the vital role that ministering to spiritual needs can play in health care. 

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