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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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Oh, I am not against "sola scriptura" at all. But I am against using it to "quench the Spirit" as many do. There are doctrines that can be difficult to prove biblically. Our understanding of the Trinity, the 2300 year prophecy and some aspects of the sanctuary service are among them.

The protestant "sola scriptura" was a call from within the catholic church to reform it. Our tradition is less with the catholic church - even the reformed part now called protestantism - but with the the radicals or heretics as they were called who through the ages held the original faith. They were first prosecuted by Rome for having the Bible, later by Martin Luther for adult baptism. As a church we believe that we will be prosecuted for the Sabbath. While there is biblical evidence (some explicit, some implicit) for all our doctrines and beliefs - including lifestyle issues - I kinda doubt that anyone would find them out for himself in one lifetime just by studying the Bible. Instead God led His children to find them through the gift of prophecy which isn't and wasn't exclusively Ellen White. To me "sola scriptura" is just too passive of a principle on God's side. Remember that Jesus himself promised to guide us into all the truth through the Spirit..

By inspiration I meant the process that was instrumental in creating the Bible - or by which God speaks to any human. We don't believe the Bible fell from heaven or is a copy of a book up there like Islam teaches about their book. Just look at the notorious passage about David ordering a census. There are two records of the event, one time it says God made David order it the other says it was Satan. To me, here lies a clue to both how inspiration works and that our definition of truth can be too narrow. Finally, I really like your example of an obscure theory being abandoned over time. It reminds of the advice that Gamaliel gave: Wait and see if God blesses an idea or group or not.


"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."

Daniel Clements:

"I think you nailed it right on the head"

I agree, as well.  If you only allow people who agree with Adventist doctrine here, then how can we witness to those who don't?  These rules may need some amending.

I'm not ambitious to take over.  Stop thinking that.  Just think about what I've said.  Thank you.  God bless.

There is a whole discussion dedicated to making our Site Rules & Guidelines better.  Please post your suggestions there:

We quite obviously allow for a wide diversity of opinion here.  We also allow members to hold views quite different than our own and discuss them here.  But when a member only posts about their divergent beliefs and is already deeply entrenched in those divergent beliefs... then a site for Adventists by Adventists might not be the place for them.

No action on membership issue is done without first talking with the member to seek a solution.  If their choice is to immediately break further rules, it makes us question why they are here.

OK, back to the topic at hand:  Fundamental Belief #18.

Blessings and prayers,
Clark P


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