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Author Topic: Reading the Writings of Ellen White  (Read 20957 times)

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Johann

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 05:04:28 PM »

Some have said that with compilations you can give Ellen White a rubber nose. This is even true about the Bible. So it is important that we have a general view, something Ellen White refers to again and again. If there is something we do not quite understand, then let it rest until other sections we read give us a clearer understanding.
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Dan Pabon

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2008, 01:51:03 AM »

This is even true about the Bible. So it is important that we have a general view, something Ellen White refers to again and again. If there is something we do not quite understand, then let it rest until other sections we read give us a clearer understanding.

So correct! 

And I may add that the SOP counsels and writings are like adding salt when cooking. Salt will not diminish the flavor nor rescind of the nutrients, it will simply enhance the flavor of the main course making it palatable. However, try adding much more than the needed salt -either while cooking or at the table- and you will get a negative reaction from the invited participants. I've seen it happen quite often.

Let's enjoy "eating" God's Word on a daily basis. Let's add flavor to the main course by adding some of the "lesser light" salt. It will enhance the flavor indeed.

keep the faith, and Have a great Sabbath lunch today!  ;)

--Dan
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Johann

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2008, 04:57:37 AM »

This is even true about the Bible. So it is important that we have a general view, something Ellen White refers to again and again. If there is something we do not quite understand, then let it rest until other sections we read give us a clearer understanding.

So correct! 

And I may add that the SOP counsels and writings are like adding salt when cooking. Salt will not diminish the flavor nor rescind of the nutrients, it will simply enhance the flavor of the main course making it palatable. However, try adding much more than the needed salt -either while cooking or at the table- and you will get a negative reaction from the invited participants. I've seen it happen quite often.

Let's enjoy "eating" God's Word on a daily basis. Let's add flavor to the main course by adding some of the "lesser light" salt. It will enhance the flavor indeed.

keep the faith, and Have a great Sabbath lunch today!  ;)

--Dan

Thank you, brother! Good to have you join us in this discussion. This was just the gem I needed for today. A good reminder to study the Word of God diligently. Of that we never get too much. And my wife and I enjoy a text and a section by Ellen White every morning for worship. What a blessing!

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Ozzie

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2008, 06:28:14 PM »

This is even true about the Bible. So it is important that we have a general view, something Ellen White refers to again and again. If there is something we do not quite understand, then let it rest until other sections we read give us a clearer understanding.

So correct! 

And I may add that the SOP counsels and writings are like adding salt when cooking. Salt will not diminish the flavor nor rescind of the nutrients, it will simply enhance the flavor of the main course making it palatable. However, try adding much more than the needed salt -either while cooking or at the table- and you will get a negative reaction from the invited participants. I've seen it happen quite often.

Let's enjoy "eating" God's Word on a daily basis. Let's add flavor to the main course by adding some of the "lesser light" salt. It will enhance the flavor indeed.

keep the faith, and Have a great Sabbath lunch today!  ;)
--Dan

Thank you Brother for your wise consideration of this important matter. If we miss just one of those 'ingredients' from our spiritual food, something that would make the food 'delicious' is missing, and we receive just a medicore meal instead.
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inga

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2008, 02:59:03 PM »

So much said in so few words, that I sense you have the instincts of a poet, Dan. :)

Thank you for this concise and picturesque summary.

... the SOP counsels and writings are like adding salt when cooking. Salt will not diminish the flavor nor rescind of the nutrients, it will simply enhance the flavor of the main course making it palatable. However, try adding much more than the needed salt -either while cooking or at the table- and you will get a negative reaction from the invited participants. I've seen it happen quite often.

Let's enjoy "eating" God's Word on a daily basis. Let's add flavor to the main course by adding some of the "lesser light" salt. It will enhance the flavor indeed.
...
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Gailon Arthur Joy

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2008, 09:30:54 PM »

I agree with the part about making things written by Ellen White say what people want them to say.

I believe that using things she wrote to improperly advance questionable agendas has caused a lot of prejudice against her writings, and that it has happened in some ways imperceptibly and over a period of decades.

That is one perspective, but I would propose that the problem with the Spirit of Prophecy is that it pointedly tells us our sins, calls us to repentance and then demands that we actually practice our Faith and Share our Faith. That is an onerous requirement for so many, just as it was for the Rich Young Ruler in Christ's day.

The abbrogation of the Spirit of Prophecy also explains clearly the Laodicean State of the Seventh-day Adventist Church today.

The constant complaint for so many is that the Spirit of Prophecy was stuffed down their throats...but in plain English, it pointed out thier sins and they did not like it!!! That is why leadership avoids it today!!! It is pointed and calls for a "primitive Godliness" that is currently out of vogue. But it is COMING BACK!!!

If their is an error today it is that SDA students are not required to read the entire conflict of the ages series nor are they given the opportunity to read the counsels given by this Reflection of God's Wisdom for our day.

For those who do not know, The Ellen G White Estate now has the entire Writings of Ellen G. White available on-line. I have found it a bit easier to read the testimonies on my computer screen and be able to search collateral topics on the computer. The CD is OK but the online version I have found very good to work with and easy to read and I can tag and return to where I stopped so I do not have to worry about the grandchildren loosing my bookmark!!!

I recently enjoyed the compilation "Christian Leadership" and am currently married to Testimonies, Volume 9, particularly specific advise for where our efforts should be in these very closing hours of earth's history...a real cry for us to awaken and Share the Faith.

It takes courage to read the Spirit of Prophecy and Faith to actually apply it!!!

Gailon Arthur Joy

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Johann

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2008, 01:07:45 AM »

There is definitely no reason to hold back in your reading of Ellen White. With the guidance of the Spirit you will reap a great blessing.
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Daryl Fawcett

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2008, 03:41:34 PM »

I find this to be a refreshing discussion on the writings of EGW in comparison to other not so lovely discussions on some of the other forums.

Chrissie

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2008, 01:19:11 PM »

I find this to be a refreshing discussion on the writings of EGW in comparison to other not so lovely discussions on some of the other forums.

Maybe, because people show that they respect other people's opinions?
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Johann

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #24 on: February 29, 2008, 01:38:59 PM »

Have just been reading some chapters in The Great Controversy. The first three chapters in Revelation are prophecies of how the  church will develop from the time of the Apostles to the time of the end.

The Bible contains the history of the Church from the beginning to the times of the Apostles. Where do we find the best account of the Church from the time of the Apostles to the End? Anyone found a better one than the Great Controversy? This is the continuation of the Bible Story. How important is that to us?
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Gailon Arthur Joy

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2008, 08:54:41 PM »

By beholding we become changed. If we want to become more Christlike in this critical moment in earths history, there is no better contemporary expose than the Testimony of Ellen G. White. Every book this Lady has written perfectly divines God's purpose and character. Read it and become changed!!!

Gailon Arthur Joy
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Jodi

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2008, 11:14:59 AM »

Sister White tells us that we are to carefully guard the avenues to the soul.  We are what we see, read and hear as it ultimately becomes our character, which is the only thing we take to Heaven from this Earth. 

Sister White tells us:  "The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection.  You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society".   Quoted from:  "Mind, Character and Personality, Volume 2, Page 620, Paragraph 2".

I agree:  "By beholding, we become changed".  Sister White is a wonderful inspiration to me in my studies and I so enjoy all of her writings.

Jodi
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Johann

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2008, 11:47:52 AM »

A discovery worth making at an early stage of life. :sabbath: And  :welcome: JODY!
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Brick

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2008, 11:48:28 PM »

“I'd say our exposure to the writings of Ellen White greatly expanded our world view and made it easier to understand the Bible.”  Johann

“Didn't she refer to her writings as the lesser light leading to the greater light?” Daryl Fawcett

“Let's enjoy "eating" God's Word on a daily basis. Let's add flavor to the main course by adding some of the "lesser light" salt. It will enhance the flavor indeed.”  Dan Pabon



It was most refreshing to read through this thread and see the positive comments on Ellen White. 
But I do have a question on the thought—I think now widely believed in Adventism—that Ellen White’s writings are the “lesser light” pointing to the Bible as the “greater light.” 

My feet are taking me up onto a soapbox and I don’t seem able to resist.  Please know I am committed to coming down again.  But first, could I try to explain. 

Sometimes I think the issue is just one of semantics.  Anyone who reads her book, The Great Controversy, cannot but understand the strength of Ellen White’s counsel that our only safety is to judge every doctrine, statement, miracle and happening by the teachings of the Bible.  These thoughts are given sharp focus in the chapter, “The Scriptures Our Safeguard.”  If it is these thoughts that are being expressed—that Ellen White’s writings are the “lesser light” in that they must be tested by the teachings of Scripture—then I can only say a hearty Amen.  Jesus Himself gave us an example in this regard, by always meeting questions and countering Satan’s temptations with “It is written.” Then after the cross He strengthened the faith of His disciples by “beginning at Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24:27) and pointing out all the prophecies describing the mighty events then transpiring.

But if by using the words “lesser light” and “greater light” the implied meaning is that Ellen White, though a prophet of God, is less inspired than the prophets or “holy men” He called in Bible times—I could not agree.  I do not believe a prophet of God is less of a prophet and less inspired, because he or she did not live in Bible times and have his or her writings included in the canon of Scripture. 

I believe Inspiration says it is Christ who is the greater light, and there are good reasons why it should be Him rather than the Bible that is represented by the “greater light” expression.

John 5:39, 40 helps to explain:  “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”  While searching the Scriptures, the Jews crucified Jesus.  There should not be, but there can be an exceeding great difference between coming to the Bible as the greater light, and coming to Jesus as the greater light. 

We have probably all heard the analogy of a pregnant woman.  Either a woman is pregnant, or she is not pregnant. There’s no in between state.  Even if a woman at nine months might look more pregnant than a woman one month along the way, the plain fact is that both women are pregnant, both are in the act of producing a baby.  Likewise, as I see it, whether living in ages past or in recent times, either someone presenting as a prophet is a prophet inspired of God and called to be a mouthpiece for Him; or he or she is not inspired of God, not called, and guilty of being an impostor, a false prophet.

What does Ellen White herself say about the usage of the "greater" and "lesser light" metaphor (though I think the expression is this and more.  Christ is both symbolically and literally a blazing light)?  We all know how dangerous it is to base a teaching upon one isolated statement. Yet, if I have it right, this is exactly what has been done in the effort to establish that the Bible is the greater light to which Ellen White’s writings point.  I can find only one statement upon which this teaching is based, and it is ambiguous at that. 

“Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.” (The Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903. Quoted in Colporteur Ministry, p. 125.)

At first glance this sentence appears to support the belief that the Bible is the “greater light.”  But below, highlighted in blue, is this statement in context.  I have placed my own understandings in square brackets.  If I am reading matters incorrectly, I’d be very glad if someone could explain.  I believe the “lesser light” to which Ellen White is making reference is indeed her writings as inspired of God.  But the “greater light” of which she is speaking is the person of Jesus Christ. 

“Sister White is not the originator of these books. They contain the instruction that during her life-work God has been giving her. They contain the precious, comforting light that God has graciously given his servant to be given to the world.  From their pages this light [Sister White’s writings are the “lesser light” here described] is to shine into the hearts of men and women, leading them to the Saviour [the “greater Light”].  The Lord has declared that these books are to be scattered throughout the world. There is in them truth which to the receiver is a savor of life unto life. They [Ellen White’s writings, the “lesser light”] are silent witnesses for God [the “greater Light”].  In the past they have been the means in his hands of convicting and converting many souls. Many have read them with eager expectation, and, by reading them [the “lesser light”], have been led to see the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and to trust in its power [the “greater light” is Christ]. They have been led to commit the keeping of their souls to their Creator, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Saviour [the Creator and Saviour is clearly what and who Ellen White had in mind as the “greater light”] to take his loved ones to their eternal home. In the future, these books are to make the gospel plain to many others, revealing to them the way of salvation. 

“The Lord has sent his people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible [the writings of prophets and “holy men” of  past ages], and the Lord has given a [present times] lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light [in context Ellen White’s thought is that Christ is that “greater light” pointed to in the too little-read and understood Bible, necessitating her updated “present truth” testimony] O, how much good would be accomplished if the books containing this light were read with a determination to carry out the principles they contain! There would be a thousandfold greater vigilance, a thousandfold more self-denial and resolute effort. And many more would now be rejoicing in the light of present truth.”  Review and Herald, 20 January 1903.  Emphasis supplied.
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Brick

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Re: Reading the Writings of Ellen White
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2008, 11:52:36 PM »

(I didn't mean to place the last half of my paragraph in bold, but, there you are. I couldn't seem to fix it.)

Notice how the words “lesser light” and “greater light” are used in Inspiration to compare the prophet John’s testimony with that of Christ’s.  By the expression “greater light” reference is not primarily just to the Old Testament (the Bible of the times).

“The prophet John was the connecting link between the two dispensations. As God's representative he stood forth to show the relation of the law and the prophets to the Christian dispensation. He was the lesser light, which was to be followed by a greater. The mind of John was illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that he might shed light upon his people; but no other light ever has shone or ever will shine so clearly upon fallen man as that which emanated from the teaching and example of Jesus [the “greater light”].  Christ and His mission had been but dimly understood as typified in the shadowy sacrifices. Even John had not fully comprehended the future, immortal life through the Saviour.”  Desire of Ages, p. 220.

“I am the Light of the world,” Jesus said in John 9:5. 

Christ  is “the Sun of righteousness.”  Malachi 4:2.

 
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