One of the oft reported claims in SDA is that Ellen White is only inspired in her books, not in her letters. Or they might narrow it further and say that only books written after a certain date are inspired. Or they might claim that she is inspired when she is correct and it is her own opinion when she is incorrect.
I understand the need for many to keep lowering the bar on the inspiration of Ellen White. But the fact is that she claimed for herself a very high level of inspiration. Ellen White was clear that every letter from her pen was a precious ray from the throne. She did not distinguish between one kind of writings or another. She did not give a date to mark when her letters became inspired, and that those prior were not. Ellen White claimed that everything she wrote was inspired, all of it.
“There is one straight chain of truth without one heretical sentence in that which I have written.” Ellen G. White, Selected Messages book 3 p.52.
“I wrote many pages to be read at your camp meeting. Weak and trembling, I arose at three o’clock in the morning to write you. God was speaking through clay. You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, It was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper, expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision-the precious rays of light shining from the throne.” (EGW, Selected Messages, bk. l, p. 27.)
This raises some obvious problems though when we start comparing the teachings of Ellen White to herself. If we are to understand that everything she wrote is inspired as a precious ray from the throne why does she contradict herself? That would be saying that God contradicts himself.
|Deity did or did not sink at Calvary?|
“Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 907.
“The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1129.
She is saying that Jesus both did and did not sink under the agonies of Calvary. I’m sorry but you cannot have both, they are mutually contradictory. Both statements cannot be inspired, one of them has to be wrong.
|God loves naughty Children or doesn’t love them?|
“God loves honest-hearted children, but cannot love those who are dishonest. . . . The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and He has promised that they shall be in His kingdom. But wicked children God does not love. . . . When you feel tempted to speak impatient and fretful, remember the Lord sees you, and will not love you if you do wrong.” Ellen White, An Appeal to Youth, Battle Creek Michigan. Steam Press, 1864, pp. 42, 62.
“Do not teach your children that God does not love them when they do wrong; teach them that He loves them so that it grieves His tender Spirit to see them in transgression.” Signs of the Times, February 15, 1892
Which is it? Does God love children who are doing wrong or not? You cannot have it both ways. Ellen White is wrong on one of these and the fact is that she claims both statements are inspired.
|God planned salvation in time or from eternity?|
“The news of man’s fall spread through heaven—every harp was hushed. The angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. . . . A council was held to decide what must be done with the guilty pair.” Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 44.
“The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, “Let the punishment fall on Me.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,Vol. 7a, p. 1085.
“While Moses was shut in the mount with God, the plan of salvation, dating from the fall of Adam, was revealed to him in a most forcible manner.” SelectedMessages, Bk. 1, pp. 231-232.
“The words, “Mine hour is not yet come,” point to the fact that every act of Christ’s life on earth was in fulfillment of the plan that had existed from the days of eternity.” The Desire of Ages, p. 147.
So…. was the plan of salvation from eternity past or was it determined at a point of time in heaven? Is she saying heaven itself exists in space and time rather than outside of it? Both teachings seem to be conveyed here. Again, by her own claim of inspiration she conflicts with herself.
|Complete or partial atonement?|
“The sacrifice in behalf of man was full and complete.The condition of the atonement had been fulfilled” Acts of the Apostles, p. 29.
“To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, “It is finished,” had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ’s victory.” The Desire of Ages, p. 758.
“Now while our great High Priest is making the final atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ.” The Great Controversy, p. 623.
Is the atonement full and complete? Or is Jesus still working on it? Again, Ellen White teaches both. These are contradictory teachings that neutralize each other. She cannot be inspired in both of them unless you are saying that God makes mistakes. This isn’t even a paradox, its just a flat out inconsistency.
|Pork is nourishing or deadly?|
“Those who labor with their hands must nourish their strength to perform this labor, and those also who labor in word and doctrine must nourish their strength; for Satan and his evil angels are warring against them to tear down their strength. They should seek rest of body and mind from wearing labor when they can, and should eat of nourishing, strengthening food to buildup their strength . . .I saw that your views concerning swine’s flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test, and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires His people to abstain from swine’s flesh, He will convince them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine’s flesh,God will discover it to more than two or three.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 206-207.
“Pork although one of the most common articles of diet,is one of the most injurious. . . . God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances.The heathen used pork as an article of food, and American people have used pork freely as an important article of diet.” Selected Messages, Bk. 2, p. 417.
“But God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances.” Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4a, p. 124.
“The eating of pork has aroused and strengthened a most deadly humor which was in the system. . . . Never should one morsel of swine’s flesh be placed upon your table.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2,p. 94.
So which is it? Is pork nourishing or not? Many have fairly pointed out to me that in Vol 1 of the testimonies she leaves it open and had not received the health message yet. I respect that to a point.
But the fact is she declares the eating of pork nourishing none the less. Where as in other writings she is clear that it should never be eaten and is “deadly” to the system. Both of these teachings cannot be inspired, pork cannot be both deadly and nourishing at the same time.
|Tower of Babel before the flood?|
“The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel.” Spiritual Gifts, Vol.3, p. 301, 1864 edition.
Any student of scripture knows that the Tower of Babel was built many years after the flood. It was not built before the flood at all. Here with her inspired pen, the precious rays from the throne as she claims, Ellen White is contradicting scripture. Does God contradict himself?
|We cannot say we are saved?|
Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves.. . . Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion; should never be taught to say or feel that they are saved. This is misleading. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God . . . As long asman is full of weakness—for of himself he cannot save his soul—he should never dare to say, “I am saved.”Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 314.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1JN 5:13 ESV
Either the Bible is true or Ellen White is, you cannot have both on this one. Why would Ellen White contradict the Bible if all of her words are precious rays from the throne? Obviously the source of Ellen White’s writings are not God.
|Stand before God without a mediator?|
“Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” The Great Controversy, Pg. 425 Ellen White
“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:20 ESV
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1TI 2:5 ESV
“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” Heb 8:6 ESV
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, ; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph 2:8-9 ESV
“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” Php 3:9 ESV
Ellen White says that we stand before God without a Mediator, and that you are saved by your own works.
The Bible teaches that Christ will always be with us, and that he is our mediator. It also teaches that we are saved by faith, not of works, and that the righteousness of God is what stands in our place, not our own righteousness. These teaches conflict on some very serious points. If Ellen White is inspired then that means the Bible is wrong. If that Bible is inspired that means Ellen White is wrong. Both cannot be true at the same time.
The standard of a Prophet of God is absolute perfection in prophecy. Ellen White has simply failed this test. She contradicts herself and she contradicts the Bible. We need not fear her.
“And you may say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Deut 18:21-22 ESV