Friday, November 28, 2008

Ellen White, False Prophet?

I will fully confess that there have been times when I questioned Ellen White's accuracy and whether or not she was an actual "prophet". These times are always when I wander onto a web site that quotes portions of her writings which I cannot make sense of. Today was such a day.

In my search for other Christian blogs for e-fellowship, I found one that was bashing an Adventist University for having tennis courts, because of something that Ellen White had written about being shown students practicing idolatry by playing tennis and cricket. Well that didn't seem to jive with what I know about the Bible's stance on living a healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet and exercise, so I began searching for answers as I always do when I find something of her writings that confuse me. After all, I can understand why a Christian shouldn't participate in sports like boxing, or perhaps even football...but tennis? Seriously? I mean, come on, tennis?

What I found put to rest not only my curiosity about this particular passage, but it also put to rest my unreal and un-Biblical expectation of a prophet to be infallible and unerring. It turns out, after a close study of prophets in the Bible, as well as the topics of inspiration and revelation, that prophets are humans, just like us. They make mistakes, just like us. To expect perfection from a human, even a prophet, is wrong and, even worse, likely to damage our faith in God Himself.

It turns out that Ellen White was more than just a prophet...she was also human.

I would highly recommend that if any of you Adventists out there have questioned some of Ellen White's statements, you visit this site and read at least part of the following book online:

More than a Prophet by Graeme Bradford. I've also linked to it on my sidebar. This book is wonderfully illuminating in regard to understand how God speaks through men using the Holy Spirit. I would recommend any Christian, not just Adventists, read this short book.

God Bless! :-)


  1. Collectively, my wife and I have more than 100 years of experience in Seventh-day Adventism. Believe me, we learned learn alot about this religious group during an entire century. The fact remains that Adventism is completely dependent upon the extrabiblical revelations attributed to Ellen White. She and her husband were the co-founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Indeed, she was one of many false prophets. Adventism was founded upon deception. Friends don't let friends become Adventists!

    Dennis Fischer
    Lincoln, Nebraska USA

  2. From my experience, I became an Adventist 4 years ago when I was 22. Every doctrine I learned was straight out of the Bible, and was taught straight from the Bible with no Ellen White whatsoever. In fact, for a long time I never read any book of hers, or even knew how helpful her writings can be to the Christian.

    So I must say, from my own experience, that you are incorrect because all I learned and believed all God's truths straight from the Bible. In fact, all the evangelists I've listened to purposefully leave any reference to her out of their teachings, because they don't want people to be confused and think that we believe what she wrote. They want everyone to see that all these teachings come from the Bible.

    As a matter of fact, I can't think of one belief I have that I learned, or would know how to prove, from Ellen White books. But I learned, and can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, all my beliefs, and that of the Seventh-day Adventist church, straight from the Bible and the Bible only. It is my only rule of faith. Sola scriptura! :-)

    I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, and I'd love to hear more from you.

    God bless

  3. Oops, one more thing for you or anyone else who wonders if Adventist beliefs are grounded in the Bible or grounded in Ellen White.

    This should be very helpful, if you go through the free online Bible study course or prophecy course at, you will see that everything is taught straight from the Bible and the Bible only, plus you'll get a neat certificate mailed to you (also free) that says you've completed the Bible studies or prophecy studies.

    After going throught he Bible studies, everyone can see that God's Word is very clear and easy to understand without any help from any outside source. :-)

    Good luck and God bless

  4. I just now read this post with its comments, and had to put in my two cents worth.

    I don't know how things stand in the Adventist church today, but back in the early sixties when I was introduced to its doctrines, Ellen White was very much put high on a pedestal. I still to this day have so much guilt, induced by her prolific writings, that it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    I was exposed to Sabbath School teachings where the teacher would go directly to Mrs. White's writings to answer a question posed by one of the class members, rather than check out what the Bible had to say on the subject.

    I found myself doing the same thing, skipping Scriptures in favor of going directly to her writings.

    This seems just plain wrong to me. I'm not accusing the church of deliberating misleading anyone. I don't think people even realized what they were doing, so used were they to taking everything she wrote as gospel truth.

    I do know what the OT says is the mark of a false prophet: if their prophecies (any of them, not just some!) fail to come true, God never sent them. I would have to say that according to this standard, Mrs. White fails miserably as a true prophet of God.

  5. Deb, I've met a few of the people who lean extensively on Ellen White's writings, and have difficulty recalling scriptures to defend their beliefs. This is so wrong. If someone wants to read Ellen White's writings and glean a blessing from them, that's between them and God. Also whether they believe she was a prophet - between them and God. I don't think the Adventist church should be teaching Ellen White.

    In one of my favorite quotes from her, she said,
    "Lay Sister White right to one side: lay her to one side. Don’t you ever quote my words again as long as you live, until you can obey the Bible. When you take the Bible and make that your food, and your meat, and your drink, and make that the elements of your character, when you can do that you will know better how to receive some counsel from God. But here is the Word, the precious Word, exalted before you today. And don’t you give a rap any more what “Sister White said”—“Sister White said this,” and “Sister White said that,” and “Sister White said the other thing.” But say, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,” and then you do just what the Lord God of Israel does, and what he says."
    Spalding and Magan Collection, p167

    Now that's some good stuff! :-)

    Even she said don't be quoting her and until we know our Bible forward and backward! :-)

    I'm no defender of Ellen White because, like I said, whether someone believes her or not is up to them. Salvation has nothing to do with Ellen White, and the Bible is all we need for anything.

    But I'll share something I've learned while looking into Ellen White's writings: Many of God's promises and prophecies in the Bible are conditional.

    So with that in mind, I can see how some of Ellen White's statements were also conditional. If a,b,c, then x,y,z. So if abc aren't done, then xyz don't happen.

    One scriptural example that comes to mind is in Jonah, God prophecied through in Johan 3:4 "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

    But the city repented, so in Jonah 3:10, "Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it."

    So that's just my opinion of EGW, but like I said, nothing from her is needed for salvation. All truth comes from the Bible. :-)

  6. I have to say, Todd, how refreshing it is to meet an Adventist who doesn't revere Ellen White above Christ. Seriously. What a sad statement to have to make, but it's true.

    I wish I had been taught growing up that we needn't accept Ellen White as God's messenger in order to receive salvation. I wish someone had told me that while at the same time uplifting Christ. Oh, how different might have been my stumble-bum life!

    If one must accept Mrs. W. as a prophet in order to be saved, I may as well throw in the towel now. The only way I will ever come to believe in her once again (if I ever did to begin with) is if God, through the Holy Spirit, should reveal this to me as truth.

    Thank you for your honesty, and for your lack of rigidity. Thank you too for being open-minded enough to discuss such issues without getting hot under the collar (!) or being untrue to yourself.

    These are rare qualities these days, especially in one so young. (Ah, I can say this for I have sons older than you!)

    PS I can't tell you the number of websites I've stumbled across whose authors become enraged if you cast the least doubt on the veracity of Mrs. W's writings. Also, the number of sites by ex-Adventists who seem to have devoted the rest of their lives to bitterness, and casting dispersions on Adventism. Both extremes repel me, and I try to avoid extremes on my own blog, without compromising truth.

  7. No problem, Deb, if we can't be open to examine our beliefs I think we're on dangerous ground.

    You know, I've run into those same type of sites too, where they are either defending Ellen White to the death, or their sole purpose in life is to spread hate for the Adventist church. As you said, two extremes that certainly won't help anyone see any light!