Ellen G. White's Position in the
Adventist Church

Testimony of Mrs. White

We will let Mrs. White speak for herself on the subject:

"In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies." (5T 661)

Some contend that her books are inspired, but her articles and letters were merely her personal opinions. She meets the issue squarely:

"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." (5T 67)

She not only claims that all she has written comes from God, but God has directed her in the writing as well:

"I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision as in having the vision." (SG, Vol. 2, p.293)

In a letter to G.A. Irwin, under the date of July 18, 1902, she wrote:

"He lays out my work before me, and when I am puzzled for a fit word with which to express my thought, He brings it clearly and distinctly to my mind."

A Position Taken By Some

The position taken by some is that a part of Mrs. White's writings are inspired, and part is merely her own ideas; a position strongly and repeatedly contradicted by the prophet herself. People take this position to sidestep her errors and to avoid having to defend everything she wrote, which in their hearts they know cannot be done successfully. But their position would itself negate the honesty (and by implication, the inspiration) of Mrs. White.

Are Her Writings an Addition to the Bible?

It is affirmed and reaffirmed by minister and layman that the writings of Mrs. White are not an addition to the Bible, nor should they be placed on an equality with the Bible. This is so often stated that it needs no proof; however we will cite a former editor of the R&H:

"The writings of Mrs. white were never designed to be an addition to the canon of Scripture. They are, nevertheless, the messages of God to the remnant church and should be received as such, the same as were the messages of the prophets of old. As Samuel was a prophet to Israel in his day, as Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel in the day of the captivity, as John the Baptist came as a special messenger of the Lord to prepare the way for Christ's appearing, so we believe that Mrs. White was a prophet to the church of Christ today. And the same as the messages of the prophets were received in olden times, so her messages should be received at the present time. (R&H, Oct. 4, 1928)

Here we see the fundamental confusion of the sect.

If her writings were revelations from God, they are an addition to the Bible. If her writings were received the same as Samuel, Moses, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist received their messages; if they are received in the same manner and from the same source as the text of the Bible, then they are on the same level with the prophecies of the Bible and are an addition to the Bible.

They claim they are inspired in precisely the same manner and to the same degree that the canon of the Scriptures is inspired. Then is it consistent for them to teach that they do not consider them an addition to the Bible?

They not only claim they came from the same source from which we get our Bible, but they use them the same as we use the Bible. They use them as proof texts.

Christian Scientists and Mormons are much more honest, for they boldly proclaim that "Key to the Scriptures" and "The Book of Mormon" are additions to the Bible.

The above was taken from E.S. Ballenger's "Facts about Seventh-day Adventism" [Published in the early 1950's]

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