This link below is a list of compiled statements from Ellen White about the subject of keeping holidays, especially Christmas. I feel she shares a nicely balanced viewpoint; while at the same time she warns of the damaging effects of pleasure seeking and frivolity that is associated with worldly holidays, she doesn't condemn simple, natural decorations which include evergreens as a Christian object lesson. Also she speaks of some spiritual problems that can be associated with things like gift-giving, but does not discourage gift-giving entirely, saying "It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend." This is typical of the moderate balance I find in all of her writings. Here are a few excerpts;
"We are rapidly approaching the season of the holidays, and many conscientious ones are now questioning what course they may pursue that will be pleasing in the sight of God. By the world the holidays are spent in frivolity and extravagance, gluttony and display. It is the prevailing custom at this time to make and receive presents. And it is no small burden upon the mind to know how to distribute these gifts among friends so that none will feel slighted. It is a fact that much envy and jealousy are often created by this custom of giving presents.
"Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s in needless indulgences. But it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age, and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite, or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.
"We advise all our brethren and sisters to make a decided reform in regard to these festal days. Those who appreciate the gift of God’s dear Son to save them from ruin, now have a favorable opportunity to give tangible proofs of their gratitude by rendering to God their thank offerings. Let old and young lay aside their mites as sacred offerings to God. If we would give to the cause of our Redeemer one-half as much as we have bestowed upon our friends, we would do much good and receive a blessing for giving.
"While urging upon all the duty of first bringing their offerings to God, I would not wholly condemn the practice of making Christmas and New Year’s gifts to our friends. It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the Word of God, or that will increase our love for its precepts. Provide something to be read during these long winter evenings....
"We need to think more of God and less of ourselves. If we would but think of Him as often as we have evidence of His care for us, we would keep Him ever in our thoughts, and would delight to talk of Him and praise Him. We talk of temporal things because we have an interest in them. -=-
"At the close of my long journey East, I reached my home in time to spend New Year’s eve in Healdsburg. The college hall had been fitted up for a Sabbath school reunion. Cypress wreaths, autumn leaves, evergreens, and flowers were tastefully arranged, and a large bell of evergreens hung from the arched doorway at the entrance to the room. The tree was well loaded with donations, which ere to be used for the benefit of the poor and to help purchase a bell. Except in a few instances, the names of the donors were not given, but appropriate Bible texts and mottos were read as the gifts were taken down from the tree. On this occasion nothing was said or done that need burden the conscience of anyone.
"Some have said to me, “Sister White, what do you think of this? Is it in accordance with our faith?” I answer them, “It is with my faith.” In Healdsburg, San Francisco, and Oakland, there are many things to attract our children; large sums are expended every year on Christmas and New Year’s in purchasing gifts for friends. These gifts are not generally satisfactory, for many receive presents that they do not need, when they would be glad to have some other article; some receive the same article from several different persons, and others receive nothing at all.
"I have thought that while we restrain our children from worldly pleasures that have a tendency to corrupt and mislead, we ought to provide them innocent recreation to lead them in pleasant paths where there is no danger. No child of God need have a sad or mournful experience. Divine commands, divine promises, show that this is so. Wisdom’s ways “are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Worldly pleasures are infatuating; and for their momentary enjoyment many sacrifice the friendship of Heaven, with the peace, love, and joy that it affords. But these chosen objects of delight soon become disgusting, unsatisfying."
Sorry, Reasoning, I had so much going on for nearly a week and hardly got back on here. But I do feel this has been discussed thoroughly enough for now, with evidence from both sides presented to allow for people to consider it for study, and I don't have much time to get deeper into it. I find that I have to limit the amount of time I spend in dialogue on this website because it can really take a lot of time that I need to be using for other things.
I respect it if you see it differently than I do, and I pray the Lord will bless as you study and seek to understand things.
May God bless you.
Part of what I'm trying to say here is that I feel it has already been discussed thoroughly and presented so that it doesn't need more explanation.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that the reason someone would want to keep repeating questions that have basically already answered is because they are trying to nit pick or find something to turn against you, find some way to pin you down to something that they imagine as being "proof" that you are somehow inconsistent. I am trying to nicely bow out of allowing people to do that to me and I'm sorry to have to say it on so many words.
From the way that you often post it seems this is the method you are choosing- you often quote something that someone says directly, then post a snippet of a quote from Ellen White out of context which seems opposite of what the person is saying, then ask a question such as "now let me repeat... do you believe (such and such)...?" in an effort to overthrow the viewpoint of the person who doesn't agree with you. This seems very similar to how lawyers reason, and also is focused to much on people, as far as trying to "prove" who is right and wrong by clever dialogue, instead of focusing on the truth itself.
This is what the pharisees were always doing to Jesus and the way they quibbled with Him. His example was to bow out of the situation and not answer their questions directly too.
The truth speaks for itself - what anyone believes about it is not what matters/ - it is not valuable for you to wait for an answer for me when you could be studying it yourself.
The information has been presented, so that you can see the quotes yourself and prayerfully make your own decision. If you don't see it as I do, I can accept that, but I'm not going to get into a lot of nit picking and going round and round to "prove" whose right or wrong over this.
I pray the Lord will bless your studies.
If you imagine that I'm saying this because I'm not able to answer the question, you will have to be content with maintaining a skewed perspective. I honestly feel the question has been answered already and speaks for itself. I also know from experience that these kinds of discussions can just go round and round endlessly with people trying to "win" arguments, which I feel desecrates the truth.
So, I refer you to the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy writings for study - may these be your Guide even unto the coming of the Lord.
Take care and God bless.
Vicki, if 9/11 2001, is a true prophecy, then the 2520ers (offshoot) are correct with their charts.
The second chart on their site: http://www.the2520.com/
I obviously do see a connection and I already made that very clear. I have presented the evidence the best I know how, but what you or I think about truth or how we argue for it cannot establish or destroy it in any way. That's why it would be better for you to take the microscope to the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy with prayerful study.
May the Lord bless you.
But even in studying for ones self, it would be wise to remember that a measure of faith is necessary in understanding any doctrine. God almost never removes every possible shadow of doubt for any teaching.
Sadly, this is in order to allow freedom of choice and to provide an escape hatch so that those who would rather not believe can excuse themselves. God does not want to convince anyone against their will - He only wants willing hearts.
I'm not saying that you all are necessarily unwilling to believe - there are many factors involved, including background, experience, etc. that sometimes prevent people from really being able to see things clearly. But it warrants great care and prayerful self-examination as well as humbling ones self before God, because unwillingness to believe is certainly one factor that is very often involved with those who reject truth based on some minor "technicality." Typically in this sort of situation the claim is made that a doctrine fails to measure up to inspection, logic, etc. (the "microscope," so to speak). On these very rocks many have made entire shipwreck of their faith or have lost the most important doctrines.
People who argue this very way have been absolutely convinced that Jesus could not be the Messiah, that the 7th day is no longer the Sabbath after Christ's death and many other such things- all claiming their reason is that there's not enough "evidence" to suit them.
And God doesn't always have the perfect answer that those who with a doubtful spirit are demanding more proof- because He will allow them to disbelieve if they choose to. And this will be ultimately cleansing by preventing unwilling people from remaining in company with those who really seek the truth (against their will).
It's easier to accept well-established doctrines based on tradition, ecclesiastical authority, or other Earthly reasons. but when something new is brought out of the what the Lord has revealed it can be a test of our willingness to follow the light as God opens it to us. It is nearly always the case throughout history that any new truth which God brings out faces opposition and rejection by the majority of people - especially by those in positions of authority in the church. And, every generation can easily see how prior generations did such things but somehow never can imagine that they are doing exactly the same thing.
Regarding the topic of 9/11/01, it has been discussed extensively several times on this forum, including in this thread, and that is part of why I don't want to keep going over the same ground that has already been covered. Another reason is that this thread started out as another topic, and it seems well enough that it has been discussed.
I feel that when things keep going back and forth like that it really does polarize people and turn things into an argument, at some point - making people's hearts harder and harder. Any time you are just repeating the same things several times, it becomes "yes it is" vs. "no it isn't" and that is just arguing, which is not suitable for God's people. Though we sometimes have to take a firm stance for the case of truths, we should keep our hearts soft and responsive to the Spirit of God and brotherly kindness as far as possible - this is why I prefer to just present the evidence that I know and bow out gracefully instead of getting roped into what eventually stats to take shape into arguing.
I have explained myself thoroughly this time - so that you will understand in the future why I won't always answer every last question that asks me to keep repeating and going over information that has already generally been covered, etc.
May the Lord bless all who read and study His Word.
Ellen White predicted many cataclysmic events that would happen in the end of time, including that cities would be destroyed and many other things, which have no connection to any time prophecies but will still come to pass.
To make a connection between something she predicted and something that came to pass has nothing at all to do with times. Further, the viewpoints I have expressed have nothing to do with the 2520 ideas at all.
May the Lord bless you.
Perhaps you can pick a more substantive battle?