Excellent article that clarifies the meaning (the author actually worked at the EGW Estate for decades) and also shares THE OTHER EGW quotes and practices on this matter that are often overlooked and not cited (references at the bottom of the page).
|II. ELLEN WHITE'S POSITION ON THE WEARING OF THE WEDDING BAND|
|A.||The Published Statement|
|Some have had a burden in regard to the wearing of a marriage ring, feeling that the wives of our ministers should conform to this custom. All this is unnecessary. Let the ministers wives have the golden link which binds their souls to Jesus Christ. a pure and holy character, the true love and meekness and godliness that are the fruit borne upon the Christian tree, and their influence will be secure anywhere. The fact that a disregard of the custom occasions remark is no good reason for adopting it. Americans can make their position understood by plainly stating that the custom Is not regarded as obligatory in our country. We need not wear the sign, for we are not untrue to our marriage vow, and the wearing of the ring would be no evidence that we were true. I feel deeply over this leavening process which seems to be going on among us, in the conformity to custom and fashion. Not one penny should be spent for a circlet of gold to testify that we are married. In countries where the custom is imperative, we have no burden to condemn those who have their marriage ring; let them wear it if they can do so conscientiously; but let not our missionaries feel that the wearing of the ring will increase their influence one jot or tittle. If they are Christians, it will be manifest In their Christlikeness of character, in their words, in their works, in the home, in association with others it will be evinced by their patience and long-suffering and kindliness. They will manifest the spirit of the Master, they will possess His beauty of character, His loveliness of disposition, His sympathetic heart,(10)|
|B.||An Analysis of the Passage: EGW Raises at Least FOUR Major ISSUES:|
|1.||The Issue of INFLUENCE: she holds that the wearing [by American missionaries in Australia in 1892] is unnecessary for the following reasons:|
|a.||If the church worker has a pure, holy character, it will be evident in fruitage in his life.|
|(1)||Therefore his influence will be secure.|
|b.||The fact that non-compliance [by Americans in Australia in 1892] occasions public comment is insufficient reason for adoption of the custom:|
|(1)||Americans can always say plainly that it is not [for them, in1892, in Australia] a national custom, even in their own country.|
|c.||The irrelevance of the custom:|
|(1)||Wearing is not a proof of marital fidelity.|
|(2)||Abstinence from wearing is not proof of marital infidelity.|
|d.||Compliance [by Americans, in Australia, in 1892] will not enhance their influence "down under":|
|(1)||If one is a Christian, the evidence of Christ-likeness will be borne as fruit in the character.|
|(2)||The true Christian will always manifest the Spirit of the Master by reflecting His beauty of character, loveliness of disposition, and sympathetic heart.|
|2.||The Issue of LEAVENING OF THE CHURCH [in America]:|
|a.||The wearing of the wedding band [in America by SDAs, in 1892] is another example of conformity [there] to custom/fashion, insidiously coming in among our people [there] [since the wearing of it is not a national custom there in 1892].|
|3.||The Issue of STEWARDSHIP of Finances:|
|a.||Not one penny should be spent [by Americans, in 1892] for this purpose.|
|4.||The Issue of INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE:|
|a.||We recognize and accept the fact that the wearing of the wedding band is a matter of imperative social obligation in some countries [in 1892].|
|b.||As such, we have no burden to condemn the wearing of it, under those circumstances.|
|c.||We leave this matter, therefore, at the altar of personal conscience, to be decided between the individual Christian and his God.|
|C.||Ellen White's Position in Europe [1885-1887]:|
|1.||Mrs. White served as a missionary in Europe for two years.|
|a.||During this time she had to meet the wedding band issue there.|
|2.||In Basel, Switzerland, a series of meetings was held late in 1885. A Brother [a European SDA minister] was preaching on the subject of plainness of dress. One evening he denounced the wearing of jewelry, including the wearing of rings. One worshipper spoke up to inquire if he included the wedding band. He responded, "Yes, everything." It created no small stir, because in Europe the wearing of the wedding band was not viewed as a matter of ornamentation, but rather, as a token of marital fidelity. The question was referred to Mrs. White. According to her son, W. C. White (who was present), "She said that where the wearing of the wedding ring was demanded by custom as a matter of loyalty, our preachers should not press the matter of its being laid aside."(11)|
|D.||Ellen White's Position In Australia (1891-1900]:|
|1.||Mrs. White's son, Elder W. C. White, was a widower while serving with his mother in Australia. He fell in love with, and became engaged to, Ethel May Lacey. May was a British young woman, born in India, educated in Britain, and now [in 1895] living in Tasmania, Australia. (In all three of these countries the culture not only accepted but demanded wearing of the wedding band as a sign of marital fidelity.) May's father was in the British police service, and he had now retired in Australia.(12)|
|a.||Anticipating a problem, because she was British (and knowing of Ellen White's objection to American missionaries in Australia wearing the wedding band), May went to her future mother-in-law (Mrs. White) to seek counsel. Shortly thereafter May wrote to her fiance, "Willie," and reported the interview: "She [EGW] says she has no objection whatever to my wearing one."(13)|
|b.||The couple was married at the bride's home in Tasmania. As there were no SDA ministers on that island at that time, the service was conducted by an Evangelical clergyman; a ring ceremony was performed. May subsequently wore her wedding band on the trip from Tasmania to Australia's mainland; and for several weeks thereafter she continued to wear it.(14)|
|c.||Then, a little later, May removed her wedding band. Noting that fact, her new husband inquired as to the reason. She replied simply that it had gotten in the way while she was doing the family washing.(15)|
|d.||She never again wore this simple, plain band of gold, neither in Australia, nor on the journey from Australia to the United States, nor during her subsequent years in America. Her wearing of it, in Australia, in the 1890s, was in total harmony with the EGW counsel as published in the single statement in TM 180-81.(16)|
This has been addressed in this Forum before.....Including the seemingly inconsistency of rebuking a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor for trying to "make" all of the married women take off their wedding rings. EGW told him to leave them alone.
You will also find the official positions of the church.
Thanks for sharing the information.
It's Sabbath here and I would like to greet everyone a HAPPY SABBATH.
Brother Jason Missole, you are confused. I will give myself time to explain what you think its true but not true next week. I failed to rest after reading your comment. I am not going to quote Ellen White, i am simply going to reflect on what you said, and I am going to respond right here on adventist Online. In the mean time PRAY AND FAST, because the devil likes this.
Your brother in Christ
The Bible is not merely giving us do's and dont's on what to wear and how much it would cost. If we read between the lines, it focusing more on saving us from INORDINATE PRIDE. Lucifer was covered with gems in his unfallen state yet he wasn't able to conquer pride. How much more for humanity? There is nothing wrong with those rings BUT the carnal flesh is prone to being proud specially if that human is wearing something so expensive whatever that something is.
Bottomline? Jesus is preparing golden crowns for us in heaven, and jewelries are no match for that. The only different thing is, in heaven it is really very safe to wear those crowns because there are no proud people there.
My straight answer is, you can't tell people on what to wear, we share them the present truth about this and each individual is responsible for his actions after knowing the truth. If he wears wedding ring we don't go telling him you can't get into heaven.
Right, the Bible is not about dos and dont's. There is danger in becoming like a pharisee w/ that mentality, however, there really are some do and don'ts, for example as with the 10 commandments. The people of God are to prove a marked contrast from the world, as well.
I like your example of the one who was once called Lucifer. I've tried to share that example too. A perfect being. It was actually also a problem for the holiest family on planet earth in the days of Jacob.. his family after all was the holy one and to them, when they were to draw closer to God had their jewelry burried. There are powerful Bible examples but hey, the flesh likes to do what feels good and what seems right to itself. In constant war w/ the spirit.
You're right, Jesus is preparing crowns of God, and I like the context you use too :) 1 Cor 15:50-55 tells us we will be incorruptible, but for now, that is not the case.
People have said, and rightly so, that jewelry in itself, is not sin, but it can lead to sin. What I've seen, is that many people like to get as close to the edge as they can w/o "falling" off :(
Here is the real issue: Everything that humans do or say can cause or lead to sin, if we are not centered or focused on Christ. Jesus gives clear directive that it is not about is it not what a person does or does not do that leads to sin, but what what is in the heart for the individual that leads to sin:
"Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘ This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”