Dear Friends on Adventist Online,
I would appreciate if you could read the article written by one of my country man to one of our daily newspapers. He is a roman catholic christian. He wrote this article after Pr. John Carter completed an Evangelistic meeting in my country, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
How would you counter the arguments presented in his article? How would you answer the questions (in bold) he asked?
Please provide your response. We've exchanged mails in the last 3 days, and now I would like to respond to his article. I will do my own study and prepare answers for a meaningful discussion with him, but I would appreciate if you could give your response to his arguments.
I pray that may the Holy Spirit Lead him to the light, and just like Paul, He can be changed and be the advocate for truth.
CLAIMS BY SDA CHURCH IS LAUGHABLE
Thirty years ago, the Australian Seventh Day Adventist Church Pastor John Carter visited PNG and gave a two weeks on the so-called SDA Revelations Seminar at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium. Carter claimed that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon alluded to in Revelations 17. Moreover, he alleged that its Pope, is the anti-Christ depicted by 666 of Revelations 13. Repeating Ellen White’s allegations in her book The Great Controversy he claimed the Pope will conspire with USA and together, they will persecute every Seventh Day Adventist Saturday Sabbath-keepers on earth before Christ returns. This claim is as ridiculous as it is laughable. This cultic mentality is believed only by fervent SDA believers even though Mrs. White’s interpretations lack biblical support and modern day indicators. But then SDA’s are sworn to believe and not question whatever Mrs. White has written (embedded in the SDA’s “ever-changing” 28 Fundamental Beliefs).
The SDA church is now being rocked by its own biblical scholars in USA, Europe and South Africa who are denouncing the teachings of Ellen Gould White as non-biblical and cultic. The church’s crusades and seminars are no longer publicly advertised under the name of the church because of embarrassment. Instead, the church sponsor is veiled by banners and glossy eye-catching advertising posters such as “Amazing Discoveries” and “Health Seminar” which targets nations such as PNG whose christians are still behind revelations and revolutions in the global Christian kingdom.
In this first visit to PNG 30 years ago, Pastor Carter’s parting challenge was to give K1,000 to any Roman Catholic who could prove by the bible that Sunday is a day of worship and not the Jewish Saturday Sabbath. Not surprisingly, the good pastor was relatively subdued during his second visit to Port Moresby last month. SDA bible scholars such as Robert Brinsmead, Professor Desmond Ford have found that the bible is silent on both Saturday and Sunday Sabbath for Christians. The Old Testament taught Sabbath-keeping for God’s chosen 12 tribes of the Jewish ancestry. This teaching was never extrapolated to the first Christians of the New Testament. In fact St. Paul in the New Testament taught the early Christians of Rome, Colossae books and the Hebrews not to observe Jewish traditions including the Jewish Sabbath keeping and outlawing eating “unclean” food such as pork and mackerel (yes, to be consistent, mackerel too).
If Pastor John Carter wants the bible to be used as his standard of test, I challenge him - or any of his disciples - to prove by the bible that the Jewish Sabbath applies to Christians. Pastor Carter should clearly explain (without convoluting simple bible texts with Mrs. White’s literary deception) why Jesus exalted Love as the greatest commandment - in the books of Matthew, John and 1 John - and not the Jewish Saturday Sabbath. Why did Jesus teach that Love is the greatest commandment by which “hangs all the prophets and the law” (Mt 22: 35-40)? Leading SDA tele-evangelists such as Ps John Carter and Ps Doug Bachelor are themselves entangled in the internal conflicts confronting the SDA church in the US and Europe but avoid talking about it. As a result, when they mount the pedestal in countries not up to speed with religious revelations and revolutions, they become too immodest to inform these uninformed about these great controversies rocking the firmament of the SDA Church in USA. Instead they are courageous about publicly persecuting Sunday worshippers, the Pope and the Catholic Church.
A former SDA Australian Pastor, Robert Brinsmead (sacked by the SDA Church for questioning Ellen White’s teachings) pleads in his book, “Judged By The Gospel”, to test the teachings of Ellen Gould White by the Bible and not the other way around. In addition, I am pleading to SDA’s in PNG not to place too much credence in the new SDA version of the Bible, the “Clear Word Bible”. This is because SDA’s own bible scholars are horrified that the so-called “Clear Word Bible” have been corrupted in a lot of places in order to vindicate the false and wrong teachings of Mrs. White. They say that is akin to the “tail wagging the dog”, or “making the crime fit the punishment”.
Good to see you have gone to the effort of explaining Hebrew history here. Let's not forget that Genesis 2 does not refer to human observation of sabbath, also when you say 'back in Genesis 2' you are really only going back to the same time the commandments were given. Genesis and Exodus were both penned by the same person. Also, pretty much all of your supporting texts for sabbath are OT, same as circumcision.
God changed his mind on many things - passover celebration, circumcision, all of the 'ceremonial laws', most of Leviticus, just to name a few.
I have found the best way to attack an argument is to attack to person proposing it. The pope is a bad person so don't listen to anything he says or anything any of his followers say. I love your claim that EGW never claimed to be 'God's vicar on Earth'. She did say "I am a lesser light". Sounds great until you find the same phrase in the Bible. It was used by John the Baptist who Jesus Christ declared "greatest among men". Takes the shine off what EGW is saying, perhaps not so humble after all...
o wow.....are u a seventh day adventist? i am asking because i cant tell if your against sabbath keeping or not. I believe in keeping the sabbath and the spirit of the Law. I dont rest on the sabbath out of obeying the Law because I think something bad is going to happen but rather because I love the Lord and realize how important it is for human beings to rest physically and spiritually. He said the sabbath was made for man. Anyways, I am with you about Ellen White. I am a skeptic of her writings. I have never understood the facination. I have read her books. They are ok. However, too many SDAs put too much emphasis on her. Some quote her more than the Bible. I don't like that. She was a falliable human being and too many SDAs idolize her. I really don't like it. Jesus should be first and foremost in all things.
If a brother you loved very much told a mutual friend to give you a message, would you reject it becasue it was not your brother speaking? Not likely.
See, all the time we do what you are not "facinated" about. We accept messages from ones we love, through mutual friends or even acquantances. The same is true with Ellen White. Her writtings are inspired by the same God who inspired Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. Just like if your brother sent a message one day by one mutual friend, and another day he sent another message by another mutual friend, and so on. No matter who the messenger is, it is still your brother who is sending the messages.
We should accept them as from God, no matter what messenger He chooses to send them by. It does not depend upon how interesting the message is. What it depends on is whether they pass the biblical tests or not. I have been reading both the Bible and the writtings of Ellen White since the mid to late 40's and I have tested them with the tests we are given in the Bible. I can testify to the fact that she passes all of them. While, most of those who I have heard criticize her writings usually fail those same tests, wholesale.
yeah, mr. alexander u got it right; eventhough if what she wrote was copied from someone, thanks and glory be to God Almighty that those her books and her prophecy could positively change someone to God, i don't think she did those things in order to gain wealth, NO, but christ. there were others negative or contradicting books she might have copied from, but she chose positive ones which was biblical.
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Other groups also say that their "prophet's writings are inspired", i.e, the Mormons.
The Roman Catholics say the Pope "speaks for God" when he is on his papal throne.
Non Catholics don't believe what Catholics say about the pope edicts.
Non Adventists don't believe what the Adventist say about EGW's writings.
Non Mormons don't believe what the Mormons say about Joseph Smith's writings.
Do you see how SDAs view of EGW is the same as the Catholics view of the Pope, or the Mormon leader, Joseph Smith?
Joseph Smith even has writings that are claimed to be inspired.
Regarding a Prophet, they are not allowed to have one failed prophecy. Do you know whether or not EGW had any failed prophecies?
Oh, yes, I am well aware of the many claims of other groups regarding prophets, theirs and others. However, the Bible gives us the answer to your question.
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 (ESV)
The most important test is:
"To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. "Isaiah 8:20 (ESV)
"Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him," 1 John 2:4 (ESV)
These other ones who claim to be a prophet of God or speaking for God, constantly teach things that are foreign to the Bible. Which is the same thing that Satan is trying to infiltrate the Adventist church with today. He is bringing in the non-biblical idea of women being ordained and homosexuals, both of which are contrary to all the Bible has stood for since recorded time. All in an attempt to discredit the remnant church of God.
As for failed prophecies. FOr that discussion, I invite you to go to my web site: www.basicsoftheword.com and the section on "resources." Then download Basic Christianity and read the chapter on: "How to test for truth." This will give you all kinds of information on that subject.
Here is what the Roman Catholics say about the Pope when he speaks on religious matters:
"We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church "irreformable." (See INFALLIBILITY; POPE.)
Is this what you believe about Ellen White?
Here teachings on "doctrine, faith or morals are irreformable"?
The teachings of Ellen White are nothing more then those presented by any other human, except that her close relationship with God for those many years, makes them carry more possibility of being true. OK?
When Ellen White is shareing what God says, what she writes is from the same source as what the Bible writers wrote. However, when she is giving her feelings -
Remember that Paul wrote:
"To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her." 1 Cor. 7:12 (ESV)
The same is true with what Ellen White wrote. When it is her thoughts, just like with Paul, it is not the Lord directly speaking. Let's take another illustration.
I have been studying the Bible for some 65 or so years now. Suppose someone who was 15 years old and who has just accepted Christ, who comes from a non-Christian family comes along. Who would most likely know what God says on a subject? The 15 year old, or the one who has lived out their "three score years and ten?" Just becasue I would have over 50 years more time to study God's word, it is more likely that I would have a more accurate answer. Right?
The same is true with Ellen White, Even though, like myself, we would be speaking from our experience, since her experience has been talking with God in visions and dreams. Since she has gotten messages from angels. Her likelihood of having a much better answer then I might have is very good.
So, even when she is just giving her feelings on a subject, it has a higher liklihood of reflecting God's will then would my comments or those of the 15 year old.
However, unless she is sharing what God has told her to tell us, she is not infallable. However, it is for sure that the Pope is not infallable. Just a study of their pronoucements, especially when compare with the Bible, shows just how falible they really are.
Ray, do you see that to a Non SDA, your faith in Ellen White, is no different than a Muslims, or a Mormon's or a Catholic's view/faith in their prophets/pope?
What should an outsider look at to convince them that there is more validity in your claim of the prophetic office of EGW, vs the other groups validity of their denominational/religious prophets/pope?
It appears that each believer accepts the person elevated to "prophet" in their respective faiths, "by faith" because that is what those in their denomination are supposed to do.
You know in the Millerite movement, there were Sabbath keepers who did not accept the prophetic authority of EGW which caused a split in the movement. The became the Church of God 7th Day.
Believing in EGW is not essential for salvation. There is nothing that she taught that is required for us to believe to be saved. Only believing in Jesus Christ is required.
It would be better to challenge the outsiders from the BIble only rather than impose EGW on them and the issues of plagiarism, and failed prophecies don't have to enter the picture or discussion.
There is NO prophet in the Bible that was a test of faith that one must pass before being baptized.
Also, who has the right to convey the title "Prophet" on anyone?
EGW could not rightfully be called a prophet when she was not a Sabbath keeper, keeping Sunday instead, and eating pork, and not teaching against it or even being aware that the Bible condemned it. No prophet in the Bible ever did that.
A similar question was asked of me this weekend, only on a different subject. Following, I'll attempt to answer your questions one by one.
"Ray, do you see that to a Non SDA, your faith in Ellen White, is no different than a Muslims, or a Mormon's or a Catholic's view/faith in their prophets/pope?
And that is true. Which is one reason that I usually respond: "Taste and see." If they will, with an open mind, read what she has written, often they will hear the voice of God speaking through them. But, not all are spiritually alert to that voice.
Have you read the writtings of any of these groups? Except for the Muslims, I have. There is an entirely different tone to them. Man or the supernatural is elevated, while God is just a vehicle for their theories. It is different in the writtings of Ellen White. God is elevated and you hear very little of EGW.
Also, when you compare the writtings of the Catholics and Mormans with the Bible, it is much different. Except for the Book of Mormon where large sections are virtually a copy of, as I recall, Isaiah. But, if you read what has been written that is not copied from tbe Bible, there is a very different tone.
While there are charges of plagerism, those charges, even if they were true, they are kids play when one sees the deceiption practiced in these other writtings.
Here is just one example.
In the story of the life of Joseph Smith, the report was that he was shot while standing at a window of the jail at Navarro, Illinois. Which is true. There was a mob outside and the Mormon leaders had been placed in jail to protect them, not to confine them. However, what is not mentioned is that he was shot in the back, while looking out of the window. He was shot by one of his own "friends." That little bit of information is not mentioned.
Also, the whole story of Jesus coming and preaching to the American Indians after He died has no validation at all in the Bible.
Then, when you compare the life of Joseph Smith and Ellen White, you find two entirely different people. Oh, neither was perfect. If God waited until He found a perfect person, He would never have a spoksman to speak through. But, Joseph Smith's reputation was someone who played fast and loose with the truth, compared to Ellen White, who was considered to be very honest.
There is more, but this should give a good picture. I am not trying to put either the Mormons or the Catholics down, I am only comparing them with EGW.
Then you continued with:
"What should an outsider look at to convince them that there is more validity in your claim of the prophetic office of EGW, vs the other groups validity of their denominational/religious prophets/pope?"
They shouldn't. The argument of: "My prophet is better then your prophet" is like two children saying: "My dad can beat up your dad." I do not want to go there. If they ask, then I will share informaiton, but only if they have questions.
Then you posted:
"It appears that each believer accepts the person elevated to "prophet" in their respective faiths, "by faith" because that is what those in their denomination are supposed to do."
One can accept them by "faith" if faith is understood to be "trust." Trust is something that is developled, not something that is imposed on a person. There is a major misunderstanding of what "Faith" really is. The Greek word that is translated as "faith" is also translted as "Trust" and "Belief." Any of these is correct.
Trust, however, comes from experience. If a stranger is recommended to me for a purpose, I "trust" them becasue of the one who recommended them to me. However, after I get to know them and have had experiences with them, then I trust them from my personal experiences.
The same is true with anyone who carries the label of a prophet. We may start to read what they say on the basis of what someone has said about them. But, we can only come to trust them, when we come to know what they have to say and have tested them for ourselves.
Then you posted:
"You know in the Millerite movement, there were Sabbath keepers who did not accept the prophetic authority of EGW which caused a split in the movement. The became the Church of God 7th Day."
Yes, this is true. However, those who did not accept her messages from God hav never really prospered. It was the majority of the Millerites who split off from the Millerite movement. The ones who eventually became known as the Seventh-day Adventist were a small group of the MIllerites. However, they have gone around the world, while the other groups have not prospered, in comparison.
Another group that split off were the Jehovah Witnesses. They have grown, but nothing like the SDA church has grown. Now that the SDA church has distanced themselves from the writtings of Ellen White, they too have ceased to grow where that has happened. This should say something.
Then you wrote:
"Believing in EGW is not essential for salvation. There is nothing that she taught that is required for us to believe to be saved. Only believing in Jesus Christ is required."
Your question is rather convoluted. However, I'll try to answer it.
Believing what EGW presented is essential for salvation, for it is the same thing that is presented in the Bible, which is essential for salvation. So, one cannot separate the two, as you seemed to do in your question.
Next, the concept of "believing" is in fact, as I said above, "trusting." Trusting Jesus is required. Part of that trust involves trusting the ones He chooses to communicate with His peole through.
As C.S. Lewis said,
"A man who was merely a man and who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level of a man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your chioce. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But, let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us, He did nto intend to." Mere Christianity, page 56
Much of the same can also be said about Ellen White, Joseph Smith and the Pope. Either they are a prophet of God or the Devil from Hell. There is no middle ground. This is something that not many can understand. For we are in a society today where everything is some gradient of grey. We must step outside of that into the pure white. Then we can see "what is wrong" with things.
Then you posted:
"It would be better to challenge the outsiders from the BIble only rather than impose EGW on them and the issues of plagiarism, and failed prophecies don't have to enter the picture or discussion."
WIth this I totally agree, and this is what I do. I introduce Ellen White, then I leave it to the Holy Spirit to help them accept her writtings.
Then you posted:
"There is NO prophet in the Bible that was a test of faith that one must pass before being baptized."
That may just be too broad of a statment. For, in fact, we must accept the word from each one of them, or we will fail to attain eternal life. The Bible says:
" . . . Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed." 2 Chron. 20:20 (ESV)
This principle is still valid today.
Then you wrote:
"Also, who has the right to convey the title "Prophet" on anyone?
EGW could not rightfully be called a prophet when she was not a Sabbath keeper, keeping Sunday instead, and eating pork, and not teaching against it or even being aware that the Bible condemned it. No prophet in the Bible ever did that."
First, the term "prophet" is used in far to narrow of a term today. We think of a "prophet" as someone who predicts the future, like Daniel or John. However, that is only a side feature of a prophet. It is like describing a human being, then as an after thought say: "Oh, yes, they can also talk." Talking is important, but it does not describe the whole person.
So too with being a prophet. In the Bible, a prophet was considered to be:
"A spokesman for an important person."
It did not even have to be for God, although that is the major way it is used. Notice this passage.
"And the Lord said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet." Exodus 7:1 (ESV)
Any spokesman for an important person is a "prophet." When you present information that you claim comes from God, you become a prophet. This is true of everyone, even myself. However, this does not mean we have dreams or that God talks to us, although that may happen. It only means that we are sharing what we have learned from God. Note what the Bible says again.
"Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:11 (ESV)
Jesus elevated John above all, yet John made no end time prophecies. Yet, he is called even greater then the prophets. The issue is not so much as if someone is a prophet. The issue we must be alert to is: "Are they telling the truth about God?"
Then you wrote:
"So, you are right, no one has the right to call themselves a prophet, on the level of Daniel or John."
Yes, this is true.
It is recorded in Revelation that those who keep the commandments of God have the testimony of Jesus. This means you have truth according to the same spirit of truth that Jesus himself had. Even Jesus is recorded as saying that his true follower would do all that he did and more.
To have the testimony of Jesus is to have the spirit of prophecy that speaks according to the law. This spirit is lacking from the Christian world as well as Christian doctrine because they make a book their word of God even though it is truth mixed with lies instead of seeking to receive word of God from the source, GOD!.
God Makes prophets by providing truth via the spirit of truth which he promised to his true followers. Truth is truth and there is no truth greater than another truth. All are equally near unto God if they are of the truth and hear the voice of truth.
Only men of ignorance elevate men above other men. Sons of God who speak truth are on the same level of life. Everyone else has yet to truely live.
I agree with the Is 8.20 test, but of course she must fail this because she both taught Investigative Judgment and Shut Door which are both contrary to the Bible. I've shown Investigative Judgment to be false later in this thread, and in my own thread Investigating the Investigative Judgment. No one has yet taken up the challenge of the Shut Door theory in which her primary visions on the sanctuary are about.