The Racism of Ellen White

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I have already covered in an older post Ellen White’s teachings on non-white races being part animal in her eyes.  For more on that click HERE.  In addition to that there are some other curious statements that she makes which I think should be considered.

Take a close look at the quotations I have assembled below, they don’t really need much analysis, make up your own mind as you read them.

 

“You are the children of God. He has adopted you, and He desires you to form characters here that will give you entrance into the heavenly family. Remembering this, you will be able to bear the trials which you meet here. In heaven there will be no color line; for all will be as white as Christ himself. Let us thank God that we can be members of the royal family.”. Gospel Herald March 1, 1901, par. 20.  Mrs. E.G. White in a talk given to the Vicksburg church for the colored, Sabbath, March 16, 1901, Gospel Herald

 

Since we don’t know what Jesus looked like, pictures of him irrespective of skin color are simply a confession of the incarnation.  The picture itself is not to be taken literally.

 

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Ellen White however seems to believe that Christ is literally white skinned and that black people can aspire to also having white skin one day when they get to heaven.  I don’t even have the words for how dumb and offensive this is.

 

 That’s just the tip of the iceberg though keep reading….

 

“The cities of the South are to be worked, and for this work the best talent is to be secured, and that without delay. Let white workers labor for the white people, proclaiming the message of present truth in its simplicity. They will find openings through which they may reach the higher class. Every opportunity for reaching this class is to be improved.

Let colored laborers do what they can to keep abreast, working earnestly for their own people. I thank God that among the colored believers there are men of talent who can work efficiently for their own people, presenting the truth in clear lines. There are many colored people of precious talent who will be converted to the truth if our colored ministers are wise in devising ways of training teachers for the schools and other laborers for the field.

The colored people should not urge that they be placed on an equality with white people. The relation of the two races has been a matter hard to deal with, and I fear that it will ever remain a most perplexing problem. So far as possible, everything that would stir up the race prejudice of the white people should be avoided. There is danger of closing the door so that our white laborers will not be able to work in some places in the South.

I know that if we attempt to meet the ideas and preferences of some of the colored people, we shall find our way blocked completely. The work of proclaiming the truth for this time is not to be hindered by an effort to adjust the position of the Negro race. Should we attempt to do this we should find that barriers like mountains would be raised to hinder the work that God desires to have done.” – Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol 9, Pg 214

“Where demanded by custom or where greater efficiency is to be gained, let the white believers and the colored believers assemble in separate places of worship.” Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol 9, Pg 208

“Opportunities are continually presenting themselves in the Southern States, and many wise, Christian colored men will be called to the work. But for several reasons white men must be chosen as leaders.” – Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 202

“No one is capable of clearly defining the proper position of the colored people.” – Ellen White, Testimonies Vol. 9, page 213 paragraph 4

“God cannot take to heaven the slave who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God or the bible, learning  nothing but his master’s lash, and holding a lower position than the brutes, but He does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do.  He permits him to be as though he had never been.”  Ellen G. White Early Writings, pg. 276.  VS. the bible “All shall stand before the Judgement seat of God”!  Who is lying here?  Ellen G. White or John the Revelator?
“But there is an objection to the marriage of the white race with the black. All should consider that they have no right to entail upon their offspring that which will place them at a disadvantage; they have no right to give them as a birthright a condition which would subject them to a life of humiliation. The children of these mixed marriages have a feeling of bitterness toward the parents who have given them this lifelong inheritance. For this reason, if there were no other, there should be no intermarriage between the white and the colored race.” – Ellen White, Manuscript 7, 1896. Selected Messages Book 2, page 343, paragraph 2

“In reply to inquiries regarding the advisability of intermarriage between Christian young people of the white and black races, I will say that in my earlier experience this question was brought before me, and the light given me of the Lord was that this step should not be taken; for it is sure to create controversy and confusion. I have always had the same counsel to give. No encouragement to marriages of this character should be given among our people. Let the colored brother enter into marriage with a colored sister who is worthy, one who loves God, and keeps His commandments. Let the white sister who contemplates uniting in marriage with the colored brother refuse to take this step, for the Lord is not leading in this direction. Time is too precious to be lost in controversy that will arise over this matter. Let not questions of this kind be permitted to call our ministers from their work. The taking of such a step will create confusion and hindrance. It will not be for the advancement of the work or for the glory of God”. – Ellen White, Letter 36, 1912. Selected Messages, Book 2, page 344, paragraphs 1,2.

“You have no license from God to exclude the colored people from places of worship. Treat them as Christ’s property, which they are, just as much as yourselves. They should hold membership in the church with the white brethren. Every effort should be made to wipe out the terrible wrong [slavery] which has been done them. At the same time we must not carry things to extremes and run into fanaticism on this question. Some would think it right to throw down every partition wall and intermarry with the colored people, but this is not the right thing to teach or practice.” – Ellen White, The Southern Work, p. 15

 

The teachings that she presents in the above quotations are repugnant in our day and age, but it would be fair to say she was middle of the road in her time.  She was taking a stand against slavery but supporting Jim Crow esque separation and forbidding inter-racial marriage.

The problem is that she ascribes these revelations as given to her by God.  The very God who teaches that all are equal.

 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28 ESV 

 

Would we not expect a little more prophetic insight and objectivity if her revelations were truly from God?  Would we not expect her teachings to be in line with scripture?  Instead she seeks to put “colored” people in a place that is convenient for her in the time she lived.  It’s very sad and should be condemned as the garbage that it is.

 

 

 

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
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4 Responses to The Racism of Ellen White

  1. Isaac Lemuel says:

    This is not right at all.Racism is highly condemned .Christ died for the whole world and when he did that he knew that there are also black people.Thats why salvation includes both greeks and gentiles,the slaves and the free men

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, there lies the root of the racist attitudes of most white Adventists. believe me most are Blacks hating Donald Trump supporters.

    Like

    • ACTheologian says:

      I think they hide most of these quotes. I had to go digging to find them. Not saying SDA don’t struggle with racism, I don’t think anyone is untouched by it.

      That said, this shows that Ellen White wasn’t special.

      Like

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