QUESTION: The Biblical
prophets made mistakes! How are they different from Mrs. White?
Let's be careful not to confuse "moral failures" with
"theological failures." Like us, all of the prophets sinned and had their moral failures. Regretably, Mrs. White had her moral failures, some of which are widely known because of the public nature of her ministry. Her deceit regarding plagiarism and her hypocrisy regarding eating meat are examples noted on this web site. However, these moral failures, while they should raise concern, are not the final evidence that should be used to determine whether or not Mrs. White was a prophet. The core issue is whether or not Mrs. White failed the Biblical tests of a Prophet. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between having a moral failure and failing the tests of a prophet. The real question that we must ask is whether Mrs. White was an inspired prophet like the Biblical prophets.
It is virtually impossible for us today, living in the 21st century, to compare Mrs. White with prophets that lived thousands of years ago. We have very little evidence with which to judge the ancient prophets, other than a few Bible documents written in Hebrew that were transcribed hundreds or even thousands of years after the originals were written. We know virtually nothing about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other Bible prophets. It is therefore incumbent upon the generation that knew these men to put them to the tests of a prophet. Earlier generations have testified that these men were prophets and we must accept their word by faith. In addition, the prophecies that have been fulfilled, such as Isaiah 53, give us confidence in their word.
Our generation has a wealth of information about Ellen White. We have her 100,000 pages of writings, we have biographies, and countless eye-witness accounts. Future generations are depending upon us to make an accurate assessment regarding Ellen White's prophetic standing. Therefore, it is very important that we put her to the tests of a prophet.
[Dale Ratzlaff] From my years in and out of Adventism I have seen the Adventist Church continually lowering it view of Scripture to compensate for the every increasing problems that are discovered in the writings of Ellen White. Personally, my view of Scripture is much higher than when I was in Adventism. While Ellen White predicted that those who doubted her Testimonies would give up on Bible truth, many former Adventist Pastors now have a much more conservative and authoritative view of Scripture. For a good article comparing the Adventist view of the Bible with the statements in Scripture itself read former adventist pastor Dr. Verle Streifling's article:
The Bible: Inerrant? Adventist Claims of Errors