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Gregory Matthews

Ellen G. White & the Bible?

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Gregory Matthews

Do Seventh-day Adventists consider Ellen White to be an infallible interpreter of the Bible?

This question is of critical importance.  As the SDA Church consists of members who hold a wide range of belief, one might be able to find people who would answer this question in a wide range of beliefs.  Some would likely give an "yes" answer to this question.  But a correct response to this question should not be based upon what an individual member might say.  So, I am going to address my question in a different manner.  NOTE:  When I give a page reference to a book it will be to the book that I have listed below, written by W. G. Johnsson.

*  To begin, I will simply say that Ellen White, taught that she and her writings were to be subject to the Bible.  She clearly rejected the idea that she was an infallible interpreter of the Bible.  This is so well established that I am not going to, in this post, cite her actual words on this issue.

*  On page 145, Johnsson simply says:  "We do not believe that Ellen White was an infallible interpreter of Scripture."

NOTE:  Johnsson has served the SDA denomination.  He spent 20 years in the classroom (page 98), which included five years at the SDA Seminary and that of Associate Dean of the SDA Seminary.   He served for many years as a missionary in  India.  For 24 years (unnumbered page) he served on the staff of the Review, serving as Associate Editor and Editor.  He served in the General Conference in high positions including that of advisor to GC Presidents.  He authored some 26 books and more than 1,000 articles (page 99).

*  R. W. Olson did not believe that Ellen white was an infallible interpreter of the Bible (page 145).

NOTE:  In college, I studied under R.W. Olson, who was a New Testament scholar.    He clearly believed that EGW was a gift from God to this developing denomination.  But, he also clearly believed that Scripture, the Bible, took priority over EGW and her writings.   In his thinking, she was not infallible.  After he left college teaching, he became the head of the Ellen G. White Estate.  

*  The original "27 Fundamental Beliefs" of the SDA Church, simply said:  " . . . the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested."

Folks, The official teaching of the SDA denomination is that the Bible is the sole standard by which all teachings must be tested.  The Bible, which SDAs understand to be the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, has authority over all teachings as to God and God's interaction with human life, to include salvation.  IOW,  Ellen white was NOT an infallible interpreter of the Bible, She was subject to error in her understanding of what the Bible taught, as are all of us.

 

William G. Johnsson.  Embrace the Impossible. Review & Herald. 2008, 240 pages. 

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GHansen

EGW made a number of questionable statements regarding Scripture. She also made different statements regarding the same texts; consequently, figuring out what EGW said becomes more difficult than understanding the Bible. Just how she can be a lesser light to lead us to the greater light, when the lesser light is more complicated than the greater light is problematic. Perhaps some brighter lights can explain to this dimmer light the following: EGW said "Transgression of the law is the only definition of sin in the Bible." She said this several times, not always in exactly the same words. Now one may do some intellectual gymnastics to justify this statement but on its face, it looks wrong. Jesus said that the world will be convinced of sin because it does not believe in Him. Paul said that whatever is not of faith is sin. Another example is EGW's comments on Abraham and the law (Gen. 26:5). Patriarchs and Prophets makes it sound as if Abraham carried a copy of the torah around in one of his camel's bag. Paul states more than once, in different contexts, that there was no law until Moses. Generally, EGW's entire view of salvation seems rather skewed toward legalism, as if the Decalogue is the most important thing in the universe. I find that hard to believe, that people in unfallen worlds need to be told to not make graven images, commit adultery, or take the Lord's name in vain.

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stinsonmarri
On 4/13/2020 at 8:00 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

The original "27 Fundamental Beliefs" of the SDA Church, simply said:  " . . . the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested."

Folks, The official teaching of the SDA denomination is that the Bible is the sole standard by which all teachings must be tested.  The Bible, which SDAs understand to be the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, has authority over all teachings as to God and God's interaction with human life, to include salvation.  IOW,  Ellen white was NOT an infallible interpreter of the Bible, She was subject to error in her understanding of what the Bible taught, as are all of us.

 Ellen White said very clearly, just before she died these words:

“There is but ONE WHO IS INFALLIBLE--HE who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.” TM p. 105

So, my question to all what makes the original “27 Fundamental Beliefs,” also infallible? They are not! Neither is the 66 books of the Protestant Bible. There are flaws in all of them if this was not true why then so many versions of the KJV or a revised version of the 27 Fundamental Beliefs? What we have done to EGW is the same way we have done to both the 27 Fundamental Beliefs and the King James Bible, ignore the truth that is staring us in our faces! Then if anyone speaks out against them, we are going against the doctrines of the church.

Let us talk about Paul who became faithful to YAHSHUA! However, Paul like Peter, Solomon, David, Moses, and Abraham all had flaws. Paul in Acts 20:6 kept the Holy Convocation of Unleavened Bread (that SDA refuse to discuss but that’s another subject), in Philippi but he continued his trip heading toward Jerusalem. Act 21:3 states that Paul landed on the shores of Tyre and here what is stated:

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through THE SPIRIT, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. Act 21:4

Paul, who have been preaching did not heed THE HOLY SPIRIT who through these disciples said for him not to go to Jerusalem! Then Paul arrives in Caesarea at the house of the well-known Philip the evangelist, who was carried away by THE HOLY SPIRIT to the eunuch of Queen Candice! Acts 21:8 Now, Philip had four daughters who prophesy to Paul and a prophet name Agabus. Agabus told Paul:

And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith THE HOLY SPIRIT, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. Act 21:11

Now, Paul still had the old Pharisaic ways still in his heart. He can preach and advise others but could himself realize that THE HOLY SPIRIT works through others as well.

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for THE NAME of THE MASTER YAHSHUA.  And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, THE WILL of THE SOVEREIGN be done. Act 21:12-14

The Bible says pride will bring about a fall. The problem with the Pharisees was their pride and self-righteousness they had above every else. Paul did not learn humbleness, even when said he knew more tongues then all of them. It was not necessary to state even though he was correct. THE FATHER through THE HOLY SPIRIT had more work for Paul to do but when he arrived in Jerusalem, he did not stand up being  persuaded to show the Hebrews of Israel that he still kept the law of Moses. Because of this lie Paul never preach in public again when the Hebrews had him taken and eventually he went to Rome and died in prison. Where in the law that was also given to Moses by YAHSHUA was this type of purification? It was not in the law, the Nazarite vow of separation both male and female were not to cut their hair. However, if they cause someone to die only then are, they to shave their hair! It represents a defilement unto YAHWEH! Num 6:9

The law given to Moses were to teach about the priesthood and the sacrificial services of the earthly temple that was a type. But in not way could it match the Heavenly Sanctuary and the work YAHSHUA, THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE FATHER would do there to save the righteous. This purification was added as did many things in the KJV Bible also in the 27 Fundamental Beliefs!

EGW stated over and over that she was not a prophet only a messenger. She two had baggage that she along with the other pioneers brought into the Adventist Church from their churches. If you read the Book the Early Writings, when she had the vision of the 144,000, the small group were only Adventist, they were not Seventh Day Adventist at that time. It wasn’t even EGW who brought the truth about the Sabbath. It was Rachel Oakes Preston who originally was a Seventh Day Baptist. EGW vision were infallible because they were already given in the Word of ELOHIYM. EGW wrote many other books that were  not inspired by YAHWEH but a person who at the time express her views about Biblical things. She also took and copied the views of history in its infancy. Her son clearly stated that his mother was not an historian, that she wrote what was the thought of the day. Many Bible scholars during the 1800’s relied heavy on the writing of Josephus who wrote a lot of historical error.

The so call KJV Bible was writing at the very time that African people were taken and made chattel slaves. I know many do not want to accept this realization, but it is true. EGW had a dream from ELOHIYM about this very Protestant Bible:

I saw that God had especially guarded the Bible, yet learned men, when the copies were few, had changed the words in some instances, thinking that they were making it more plain, when they were MYSTIFYING that which was plain, in causing it to lean to their established. VIEWS GOVERNED BY TRADITION. But I saw that THE WORD of God, as a whole, is a perfect chain, one portion of Scripture explaining another. True seekers for truth need not err for not only is the Word of God plain and simple in declaring THE WAY OF LIFE, but THE HOLY SPIRIT is given to guide in understanding THE WAY OF LIFE revealed in HIS Word. EW 220, 221; 1SG 116, 117

When the original “27 Fundamental Beliefs,” were written in 1872, these were sincere people who like Abraham was moving away from their churches slowly accepting the truth. Just like what Paul said to the Hebrew they were on milk so were these pioneers. They did understand that John 1:1-3 and Heb 1:1-3 states clearly that YAHSHUA IS also ELOHIYM and that Gen 1:2 states clearly that THE HOLY SPIRIT is ELOHIYM. The word “of,” was added by the so call Protestants of Europe who believe in the one god theory that is trace back to their ancestors the writers of the Sanskrit called the Rig Veda. This monotheistic concept came from Zoroastrianism that originated 4,000 years ago, coming from Persia an Aryan Tribe known today as Iran! Historically, they also formed the religion called Islam. Malcolm X thought when he visited Mecca it would be Black and Brown people. Instead, he saw White blonde blue eye people, because America even today skipped over the historical truth that the Aryan tribes moved into Arabia with the help of Rome and took over Arabia. Islam shows clearly the  one god Allah in the Koran that the ancient Paleo Hebrew Old Testament never did and neither does the New Testament! However, the lie must continue even in the SDA church. It is so ridiculous because they see two ALMIGHTY BEINGS in Creation, and in Gen Chapter Eleven it is clear THE FATHER also came down and at Mount Sinai! Then we try to make THESE ALMIGHTY SPIRIT BEINGS to be like us instead of us becoming like them as we were originally. We have the nerve today to hold on to this word that THESE HOLY BEINGS are person and THEY ARE NOT! We like the Hebrews are still on milk because we refuse to see the truth. Oh yeah EGW worried about this that she had her son to aid her in finishing up the Book call Gospel Workers that started off as a pamphlet. It was later changed to the Ministers and Gospel Workers because she added to the pamphlet her concerns about the ministers and she was correct! She made it so clear that a child could understand what she wrote before she died. Yet, lies and her words take out of context in a book guided by Dr. Froom and he and other wrote to lead the SDA church to Catholicism as the Canaanites lead Israel to Baal! Trying to make a tri out of THREE INDIVIDUAL BEINGS. It is because eyes have become blind and refuse to take the eye salve that YAHSHUA’S offers so that their eyes can come open to the truth! Rev 3:14-17

How shall we search the Scriptures in order to understand what they teach? We should come to the investigation of God’s WORD with a contrite heart, a teachable and prayerful spirit. We are not to think, as did the Jews, that our own ideas and opinions are infallible; nor with the papists, are that certain individuals the sole guardians of truth and knowledge, that men have no right to search the Scriptures for themselves, but must accept the explanations given by the fathers of the church. We should not study the Bible for the purpose of sustaining our preconceived opinions, but with the single object of learning what God has said.  Some have feared that if in even a single point they acknowledge themselves in error; other minds would be led to doubt the whole theory of truth. Therefore, they have felt that investigation should not be permitted, that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God’s WORD will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error. We cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances, to be relinquished. There is but ONE WHO IS INFALLIBLE--HE who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. TM p. 105

Happy Sabbath and Blessings to All!

 

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Gregory Matthews

I understand what Stinsonmarri was attempting to say.  However, her citation of the  "original 27 Fundamental beliefs" as being developed in 1872 is likely to be confusing to many people. 

*  The Fundamental Beliefs of SDAs came into being in a vote of the General Conference in 1980.  They were first published in a book in 1988.

*  Prior to the 1980 vote of the General Conference, there was no such thing as an official statement of fundamental belief.

*  Prior to 1980 individual SDAs and also SDA organizations had published statements of some sort of belief.

*  Early consideration was given in the late 1840s and early 1850s related to the beliefs that were developing in what became, at a later time, the SDA Church.

*  The earliest of these came from what has been called Bible Conferences, and constituted five (5) beliefs that differentiated us from others.  IOW, they were not fundamental Christian beliefs.   They were points of difference.  

*  In 1872 The Advent Press (Battle Creek) published a statement of 25 important beliefs.  This was not an official statement by the General Conference.

*  This statement of 25, and expanded to 28, was published several times through 1904.  Again, it was not an official statement by the General Conference.

*  In 1931, a group of four (4) people wrote a statement of twenty-two (22) common SDA beliefs. Again, it was not officially voted.    

*  In 1980 The General Conference first voted a statement of Fundamental Beliefs, which consisted of some 27 beliefs.  This was published in a book in 1988.

*  In 2015 the Fundamental Beliefs were revised to become 28 Fundamental Beliefs.

*  There is some thought that in the next General Conference they will be revised again to become 29 Fundamental Beliefs.

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

Stinsonmarri made the following statement which I have quoted below:

We can agree that the so-called 27 are not infallible.

I also understand what she is attempting to say about the Bible.   However, her comment is confusing and does not represent SDA teaching.   SDA teaching says:

"The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy spirit.  In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation.  the Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His Will. They are the standard of character, the text of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history."

Stinsonmarri is entitled to her personal belief.  She has been confusing as to her comments about SDA  belief.

 

 

So, my question to all what makes the original “27 Fundamental Beliefs,” also infallible? They are not! Neither is the 66 books of the Protestant Bible.

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Gregory Matthews

Stinsonmarri made the following comment as I have quoted it below:

Her comment reflects a basic misunderstanding of the history of the KJV and of translations. 

The answer to her question is really quite simple:  The first KJV translation was made in 1611.  That translation was made in the English language as it was spoken in 1611.  Over time, language changes.  We who speak English do not speak English as it was spoken in 1611.  In actual fact, most of us would have a hard time understanding the KJV if we were to read it in its 1611 English.   So, over time, the KJV  has been updated to reflect the changes that have taken place in the English language as currently spoken.  The answer to her question is:  The KJV has changed because the English language has changed.

 

. . . 

why then so many versions of the KJV. . .

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