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What does SDA belief number 18 mean? By saying that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested does in mean that we should test Ellen White line by line with the Bible and only accept the parts that can be tested as an authoritative source of truth; or is Ellen White supposed to be tested overall by the Bible and if she passes then everything she wrote is an authoritative source of truth?

The downside of the the first approach is that good counsel could be missed if the criteria is too tight; the downside of the second approach is that by giving Ellen White what is in effect Ex Cathedra authority it would be hard to maintain that the church is sola scriptura.

Is there room for both interpretations in Adventism, or is only one interpretation valid?

18. The Gift of Prophecy: One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)

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Clarke said," Please do not post further anti-Ellen White posts" or I may be banned from this site. Therefore as my freedom of speech has been limited I cannot participate in this discussion. so much for free speech.

Tim has decided to further break our Site Rules & Guidelines by posting private messages in public.  His ability to post on Adventist Online has been temporarily restricted.  His ability to keep his pledge to follow our rules will determine if he is active here in the future.

Here is the message sent to Tim in it's entirety:

Greetings Tim!

I pray that this message finds you happy and well.  We welcome you on Adventist Online and hope you can be happy here.  As you know, this is a site by Seventh-day Adventists for Seventh-day Adventists.  As such we have rules that regulate the behavior of our members.

I'm writing to you because of your anti-Ellen White posts.

As you know, you agreed to "uphold the principles and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church in your conduct on this site and follow the Site Rules & Guidelines".

Rule 12 says:

*This is a site by Seventh-day Adventists for Seventh-day Adventists.  We welcome all seekers of God's truth here.  We believe that God will continue to reveal His truth to His people as time progresses.  Thus we are constantly seeking a better understanding of God and His word.  We welcome all that are doing the same. That said, if it becomes apparent that your purpose in being a member of this site is to promote a different agenda and/or sow discord among the brethren, your ability to interact with this site may be restricted."

We welcome your continued interaction on the site but ask that while in our house, you abide by the house rules.  Please do not post further anti-Ellen White posts.  Write back to me and let me know you understand this request.

We can't wait to see you in the Kingdom.

Blessings and prayers,
Clark P for all of us at Adventist Online

Although we are to abide with the rules of this website, i pray that those who oppose Adventist doctrines will come to the knowledge of the truth and that the Spirit will bring conviction to their hearts even from the discussions here

i see it as a priveledge to speak to those who oppose the truth. I thank God for the opportunity to present truth to those who are in darkness. Some people may seem to be anti EGW or anti SDA but it simply means that their eyes are blinded and they need our love and prayers

I think you nailed it right on the head: "

 but it simply means that their eyes are blinded and they need our love and prayers"

1 Corinthians 13, "

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

So, we have to come to this point, either Mrs. White was not loving, (which I believe she was), then she was not a true prophet.

The problem is not the Messenger, but the messengers portraying the Messenger.  

 How about rather than diverting from the message to the messenger EGW or to those who present the message and let's discuss the message without a thousands accusations. 

Let's talk about the messages in  a specific manner that does not constantly side track to another subject or to the people. 

Everything has its limitations.

For instance yelling fire in a movie theatre for  kicks,. This is comparable

No, it is not.  Yelling fire in a theater is based on causing panic without cause and people being trampled and injured.  If you want to claim it is injurious to be in opposition to Mrs. White, it is because people, like yourself, have presented it in the most uninviting and unappealing manner that drive people away.  Mrs. White was never about being harsh, nor driving people away.  That was not the spirit in which she did things, nor did Christ.  Brutality, has always been the instrument of the Beast power.  There is nothing wrong with presenting a diverse message, it is the presentation that matters.

Let's compare two methods of evangelism, "You fool!  Covert now or be burned in the fires of hell on judgment day!"

Or, "Jesus loves, and I do as well, He died for you, and wants a personal relationship with you.  He has made a mansion in heaven with your name on it to live in eternal happiness.  Would you like to pray with me?"

The difference is keen.

Present her as she was meant to be, and people will be happy to accept her message.  

 You mean, present her as you would like, that being generally to not present her at all. Actually, no one is presenting her. We are presenting the SOP. This is not about EGW it is about the message given to her. You keep taking the supernatural out of the equation.

The principle is the same. To attempt to tear down that which provides guidance and safety is like yelling fire in the theatre and then covering up the exit sign.  Very soon there will indeed be a panic situation. The Lord has sought fit to give us the SOP to assist in bringing  the boat into the harbor past the rocks that would cause destruction.

No, your message style is harsh.  You inject your own opinion into her words that aren't there.  You declare things through those opinions as sin, that aren't sin.  By doing so, you are causing people to run from counsel, rather than to it.  In essence, you are making the fire that makes them run.

If you are keen on counsel, take some:


Those who labor in word and doctrine have a great work before them to tear from the minds of those for whom they labor the fatal deceptions of Satan, and to impress them with the importance of aiming to reach God’s great standard of righteousness. They should pray earnestly for divine enlightenment, and for wisdom to present the truth as it is in Jesus. Sympathy, tenderness, and love, woven into their discourses and manifested in their lives, would disarm opposition, weaken prejudice, and open the way to many hearts.

It is to be regretted that many do not realize that the manner in which Bible truth is presented has much to do with the impressions made upon minds, and with the Christian character afterward developed by those who receive the truth. Instead of imitating Christ in his manner of labor, many are severe, critical, and dictatorial. They repulse instead of winning souls. Such will never know how many weak ones their harsh words have wounded and discouraged.

Christ came to break the yoke from off the necks of the oppressed, to strengthen the weak, to comfort those who mourn, to set at liberty those who are bound, and to bind up the broken-hearted. The servants of Christ are to take the work where he left it when he ascended, and carry it forward in his name. But it is Satan’s constant aim to so shape circumstances that the workers will become disconnected from God, and labor in their own spirit and in their own strength.

Our ministers need more of the wisdom that Paul had. When he went to labor for the Jews, he did not first make prominent the birth, betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ,"

After going over the discussion so far a few problems or conflicting positions appear and I'd like to name them as I see them.

  • sola scriptura - what does it apply to: every statement or just to not contradict scripture?
  • inspiration - word by word, line by line or once inspired always inspired?
  • truth - does it change or can additions be made to it? What is present truth then?

These are very deep questions that you are raising in this thread. I believe there are simple answers and complex ones. In Paul's writings things seem to be very simple: The Spirit itself will lead to the right answers! But in times where the Spirit is quenched we get in trouble.

Jill, since you started this thread, let me ask you (or ask yourself and study for yourself): How can "sola scriptura" apply to issues that are not topic of any of the scriptures, new issues, present day ones? How can it apply to any prophet's council in specific, tangible situations? Is "sola scriptura" used to quench the spirit or to defend truth against error? Is it used to keep God's message to us in the past and out of date?

Is inspiration guiding the pen? Or is it guiding the ideas?Then, do personal experiences, preferences and aversions influence the choice of words in inspired writing? Would that lessen or increase the value of a prophet?

We know that God is truth - but how do you reconcile that with the fact that some very important truths were not revealed as clearly as they "should have" from the beginning (Satan's existence as the enemy, in fact the cosmic dimension of sin, resurrection)? How can God's Spirit lead us into all the truth if we can't learn more than what was already understood before? And can God work despite or maybe even through common misconceptions of an era?

My point is that faith isn't like maths or pure logic, it's not a science even though we'd like it to be. It's more like a relationship. It grows and as situations change so does the emphasis of certain aspects of the relationship. Even the people in the relationship change as they learn more about each other, learn how to communicate with each other and create their own history as they go through good and bad times together. The Bible just as any other prophet's writings needs to be understood with this in mind.

That is a good summation Marko.  When I started the topic I was hoping to focus on what Belief 18 says, not what it should say, but I am probably the one most responsible for letting it stray. 


Sola Scriptura - Every belief should be based on the Bible, not just fail to contridct the Bible.  Before joining Adventist Online I had never heard the idea Adventists should not support Sola Scriptura.  You guys set out that theory really well, but I will always support Sola Scriptura; and there is probably no reconciliation possible between the two approaches.


Instead of inspiration I'll call it "teaching and experience"; it needs to be tested line by line with Scriptures.  Of course if we don't recognize Sola Scriptura, then a line by line test would not be necessary.


Truth, I don't think it can change, but we probably understand it better as time goes by.  The "Mark of Cain" theory (which I don't think was ever an Adventist teaching but lots of Adventists believed anyway) was an offensive theory whose proponents thought it was based on the Bible.  Now almost no one supports that theory.



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