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The Days of Wine And Roses

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The Wanderer

I think I need counselling after reading those web sites; or maybe a steel helmet.

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B/W Photodude
1 hour ago, Kevin H said:

One group down plays Mrs. White's inspiration, 1844, and the fact that the Gospel can really change our lives. The other group filters Mrs. White through people like Washburn and Wilkinson instead of accepting her on her terms, have a more legalistic approach to 1844, and sees the changes that the Gospel makes in us as a uniform list of does and don'ts one size fits all and a one size fits all that no one has ever reached before and will only be reached by the last generation and that God is waiting for this last generation to reach these does and don'ts.

I kind of prefer Mrs. White unfiltered! That includes compilations of her works by others. True, she may have written the comments, but it is sometimes difficult to tell the context. It is quite easy to use a sentence out of context even from Scripture. And of course, some people filter the Bible thru Mrs. White!

And how little people understand the "does and don'ts"! Checklists and rules can be good for some kinds of tasks, but I suspicion not for heaven. But that is a whole other ball of wax.

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Kevin H
18 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

I kind of prefer Mrs. White unfiltered! That includes compilations of her works by others. True, she may have written the comments, but it is sometimes difficult to tell the context. It is quite easy to use a sentence out of context even from Scripture. And of course, some people filter the Bible thru Mrs. White!

And how little people understand the "does and don'ts"! Checklists and rules can be good for some kinds of tasks, but I suspicion not for heaven. But that is a whole other ball of wax.

Careful with that statement or you would end up becoming one of Fulcrum7/Historic Adventist's villains yourself.

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, Kevin H said:

Careful with that statement or you would end up becoming one of Fulcrum7/Historic Adventist's villains yourself.

In many cases we are now seeing "Mrs White Unfiltered" works out to be about the same as "Mrs White Filtered."  Whenever anyone's writings are used in ways that even suggest they are somehow superior to scripture, its a case of sadly mistaken Adventist Identity.

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B/W Photodude
43 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

In many cases we are now seeing "Mrs White Unfiltered" works out to be about the same as "Mrs White Filtered."  Whenever anyone's writings are used in ways that even suggest they are somehow superior to scripture, its a case of sadly mistaken Adventist Identity.

By "Unfiltered", I mean they are untouched by anyone else messing with them such as comments out of context, those who are now engaged in rewriting to change genders to fit a new social agenda, books put out with themes thought up by the compiler and filled with out of context quotes, and other such misuse of the SOP.

Speaking of Mrs. White's writings being superior to the Bible, here is a scenario which represents that well. It is a true occurrence and the names are "changed" to protect the guilty!

Commenter: (A Bible text was quoted in a discussion and the text not really important)

Respondent: "Yes, but what does Mrs. White say?"

Knowing the "respondents" usual take on religious topics, further discussion became useless.

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The Wanderer
2 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

books put out with themes thought up by the compiler and filled with out of context quotes, and other such misuse of the SOP.

I wonder what would happen if people just listened carefully to themselves on this? What kind of "context" are we reflecting by always calling it "SOP?"

Does anyone know what a sop actually is?  I would hope someone gets a dictionary and looks that up!

(thats NOT directed at you)

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Kevin H

Getting to some of the issues: The first issue is Fundamentalism. In America you had good people and you had bad people but both groups tended to believe in God and believe that the Bible was somehow his book and inspired. These were assumptions and as often happens with assumptions we don't have a very clear picture. Some churches were a bit looser and others a bit tighter in how they used the words of the Bible, but both groups took for granted the existence of God and that the Bible was his book. In the 1700s something that did not look like it would become an issue was started; pastors noticed while learning the languages that there were different styles of writings that would come together. Now I don't like the terms that they came up with, and today because of events that happened in the 1800s we have become prejudiced towards these terms and have had a whole war, but they called it higher and lower criticism. One was the study of how the final text of the Bible stands, the other looks at how it was edited together. They were originally seen as complementary tools.

Then there were some questions, especially when Darwin came up with evolution. Now instead of people basically assuming the existence of God and the Bible being inspired, people started to question God's existence and atheism started. People started to look for evolution everywhere and started interpreting everything by evolution.  People were starting to chop up and divide the different writing styles of higher criticism, and assigned different styles to follow human evolution, and they used this not as a tool to understand the text better but to say that the Bible was of purely human in origin and followed human evolution. They also began looking at all ancient writings and saw them all as completely fabricated stories that did not happen talking about people who did not exist, and of course this was applied to the Bible as well.

This became a crisis for people who did continue to believe in God and that the Bible was God's book. So like how the atheists/evolutionists began speculating and reinterpreting everything by their world view, so those who believed in God and the Bible began speculating and reinterpreting everything by their world view.  Believers began to ask "So what does inspiration actually mean?" and they developed the idea that since God is perfect, that his word has to be just as perfect. They began rejecting higher criticism saying "If God is perfect and all knowing, then his word must be equally perfect and came from the prophet's pen totally perfect. Since it came from the prophet's pen fully perfect and inerrant there could not have been any editing. No need to edit perfection. They also speculated that perfection prevented the idea of contradictions and any type of error.

Churches became confused and fell either into the camps of evolution or fundamentalism. It is amazing how God works even though errors. Just as this time was starting to develop a group of disappointed Millerites formed what was called the shut door theory which separated them from the rest of the Christian world. For what ever problems that the error of the shut door brought up, it did protect us from the falling of Babylon into either the evolution camp or the fundamentalist camp.

Now not all ministers or congregations fell. You would find a pastor here and there, or a Sunday school teacher here and there, or a congregation here and there that remained moderate. But these were the exception to the rule. Only the group who became Seventh-day Adventists was the only group who missed this.

One of the ministers who did not fall was trying to save the church by giving a balanced view. Sadly instead of saving the church he became hated by both groups. He finally lost his ministry when a woman lied about him claiming that they were having an affair. Now it was later proven to be a lie and the woman did not hide the fact that it was a lie. She said that she lied for God and the Bible. She knew that the views of inspiration this pastor was teaching was a direct attack on the views of the Fundamentalists and this woman saw an attack on Fundamentalism as an attack on God and the Bible and that God raised her up to destroy this man's ministry to defend God and the Bible. Now while one woman's lie brought an end to his ministry, there was another woman who's truth has made this man's ministry continue. A woman named Ellen G. White said that, except for how this minister saw inspiration as more of a subjective event and she changed it to make it a very definite objective event, she otherwise agreed with his view of inspiration and is writings are now found in the prefix of the Great Controversy and in the book Selected Messages.

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Kevin H

As the Adventists discovered their mistake about the shut door and began to reintegrate themselves into the Christian world, the aftermath of the split between the evolutionists and fundamentalists have baffled how we should respond.  W. W. Prescott read a book on Fundamentalism and became convinced that the Fundamentalists were right and began to teach Fundamentalism and his teaching had a huge impact on members especially Stephen Haskell. However when Mrs. White learned what Prescott was teaching, she asked him to stop teaching and to come to work for her, along with his friends A. G. Daniels and D. M. Canright. She began to give them assignments to do things to her writings that absolutely shocked these men. They believed she was inspired and that what God gave to her was totally perfect, so why would Mrs. White give them these assignments to research her message and make changes. Prescott and Daniels ended up giving up Fundamentalism (more or less). Canright fully embraced Fundamentalism and that lead to his giving up Mrs. White and Adventism. People like Haskell tried to balance between Mrs. White and Fundamentalism and he and Mrs. White would have very interesting conversations him trying to tell her how her inspiration worked and trying to convince her to become a fundamentalist. Her trying to convince him to give up fundamentalism. They were both frustrated that neither could convince the other to change their views, yet they remained very close friends. l

Two other groups that formed was a number of Adventists, such as Elder Spicer believed in two different types of inspiration, that the Bible was inspired the way the Fundamentalists said inspiration worked, but Mrs. White had a different type of inspiration that did allow for editing and errors and not being perfect. While there were others who like Haskell took a fundamentalist view of inspiration but would use her words to try to give teeth to their understandings of Adventism  and to use her words to force their views on the rest of the church.

Eventually Stephen Haskell's views won out and became mainline Adventism, and based on this we have come to the conclusion that indeed as Mrs. White told us, her writings were not infallible, it's just that she never made a mistake.  Among the sub group of people using Mrs. White to give teeth to force their views on the rest of the church became the so called "Historic Adventists" including the Fulcrum7 people.  

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Kevin H

The way I understand Mrs. White to have presented her view of inspiration from studying the above, Mrs. White's writings were for set purposes and she would copy anything that she found that she saw as explaining her specific messages.

The first was that she was to warn people of doing things that were hurting their relationship with God. She hated this task and had visions of cutting out garments and God needing to encourage her and to give her new scissors.

Along with this came her understanding that her ministry did NOT include doing exegesis. When she used the Bible she would use it in either drawing analogies between the text and what she was writing about, or simply using the words of scripture because the words described the situation well. If she did end up touching upon exegesis it was not for the sake of exegesis but that the exegesis fit the situation.  She saw it as OUR job to do exegesis. She appears to have been jealous and baffled. She would have loved to have done exegesis, she loved exegesis. She loved viewing the archaeological finds in the great museums in Europe when she was there, but sadly had to turn away from where she wanted to just spend more time, to go out and do her ministry. And she was baffled that people kept coming to her with questions of exegesis. she would tell them that her writings are not to be used to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of the daily in Daniel" and every time someone came to her with these questions that she would either tell them that was their job to find out, or she would ignore these questions. She saw her ministry as dealing with what she called "the minutia" (which was also her name for the applications of God's law that we mistakenly call the law of Moses.)

Second her ministry was focused in the development of our work. First to tell Millerites that the Millerite movement was indeed lead by God and to not give up their experience. The next step was to developed the church and then to move on into the health care and education work, and setting up our work in different parts of the world The restructuring of the Genera conference, and her last battle (and the one where she died and lost) the battle against how Fundamentalism was coming into the church. Her understanding of her inspiration was that they were not to answer questions of exegesis or history as in "what is the meaning of the daily in Daniel" but rather answer questions like how shall we evangelize a city?

Finally came God's reward to her for her faithfulness in the" minutia" She got to reveal to the world ideas that were a part of the culture of the ancient world and thus assumptions held by the Bible writers, but which have been lost over the centuries between the Bible and our day. The philosophy of the Great Controversy. Except for her precious few hours in  the museums of Europe, this was where she could have part of her longing to do exegesis partially filled. This was her joy and her crowning work.

Her use of writings were in two different ways. Some she would copy, like that hated pastor suggestion on how to still believe in God and accept the inspiration of the Bible but without becoming a fundamentalist that we now find in the prefix of Great Controversy and in Selected Messages. A second way she copied was more how her assistants would copy something to give a running narrative between one point she wanted to present and another point she wanted to present. And of course her crowning work we tend to find very little copying , what she had to say about the Great controversy, especially the greatest chapter that came from her pen "It is finished" in the Desire of Ages, and how that gem is set in the setting of the two chapters "Why was Sin Permitted" and "The Origin of Evil" and the supporting passages such as the chapter on Gethsemane, the little book confrontation and articles here and there dealing with the issues of the great controversy.  

Her critics miss this They point out the fact that she copied and question why should something inspired be copied (we now know that there was massive copying in the Bible). They point out that she would sometimes tell some people to do something then tell others or she herself practice something else. But she was addressing specific problems that these people had that was an issue for them or specific historical situations. Mrs. White warned against the circus, and at the time she wrote the circus in America was adult entertainment and a liar for thieves and pickpockets. Other ministers shared the same criticisms. This is what P. T. Barnum specifically worked on changing. She said things about the novel, fiction and amassing libraries. Now the words "novel" "Fiction" and massing libraries meant something else when she was writing about them. She was just one voice along with people who today we consider "novelists" and writers of "fiction" such as Nathaniel Hawthorn and Herman Melville who shared her same warnings against "novels" "fiction" and amassing libraries. No Hawthorn and Melville were not telling people that they should not buy their books (as we interpret Mrs. White from our culture). In addition the critic point out problems with her writings when compared to things such as science, history and exegesis.

100% of the time her critics are criticizing very fields and facts that she says we can find problems if they look for them.

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