Commentary: The Mrs. White Assumption - A Dangerous Mindset
By Jeff Barron, May, 2006
Becoming Editor for this site for the last few months has changed my life in many positive ways! As a new member of a very talented ministry team which has grown substantially in the past few months, I get to see what is going on behind the scenes. I also monitor and correspond with team members concerning plans of expansion, and observe them being put into action. I even contribute my thoughts on overall crucial matters to the site, such as how the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists are clearly progressing in a direction to attempt to shut it down by threats and legal means. Rest assured we will remain vigilant in defending this site since it is truly a positive factor in helping people to see the truth that Ellen G. White’s masquerade as “God’s Messenger,” is invalid and spiritually dangerous to believe. I whole-heartedly believe that big things will continue to happen for this ministry, for it has been blessed with support and opportunities. We will always make every effort to remain a blessing to those searching for relevant evidence for reflection as they justifiably question the role of Ellen White in their lives. When warranted, more news will be updated about the G.C. situation. As for now, I would like to focus on an important observation concerning the mindsets of so many Ellen G. White supporters; a mindset that keeps them in bondage to her and the church.
When I read all the emails that we receive, I see both sides of the passionate defense of pro-and anti-Ellen White supporters. An upside of this is making new friends that have gone through the spiritual journey of realizing that Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventist church which she helped start, is an overall dangerous spiritual environment to be active in.
It seems though that with all the upsides, there are the downsides. One of them is reading the emails of the unyielding defenders of Ellen G. White who have built their lives on the assumption that she is God’s authoritative Messenger of our time. At some point in their lives they made the decision that she is unequivocally inspired, and stopped testing her validity. I noticed this mindset amongst members very early on when I became a baptized member in the SDA church. These dedicated members with this mindset are quick to vehemently attack our characters and motives, call us satanic or Jesuits, assume the worst in us, and automatically classify us as a manipulative group even though they have not delved much into the site or know who we are. They could be the poster boys of the Pharisees that attacked Christ and His disciples. I believe they assume that God is on their side, even if we propose credible challenges to their claims when we reach out to them! If they seem to be not too fanatical or nutty, I assume the best and respond to these types of emails as well. It is sad when I try in a loving Christ-like manner to share pertinent, relevant, and biblically sound information in order for them to find out the truth for themselves, only to see them not consider anything that is contrary to their strongly held beliefs about Ellen G. White’s role, teachings, and influence. I am reminded constantly of the Biblical account of people automatically covering their ears to anything against their strong beliefs! I must say, the one thing that gives me hope is that a couple of them did not even realize they were behaving in this non-Christ-like manner until I pointed it out to them, and then they apologized. I was not surprised at their behavior at all, being that I came from the cultic environment of the SDA church. Again, I can say this because I am familiar with the attitudes and beliefs in many SDA churches. Thankfully, I know better that not every member in the church behaves as such!
When I reflect upon this cultic mindset I ask myself, “Why then, will people not let go of their belief that Ellen G. White is a direct messenger from God?” I suppose it is too complex to answer for each individual, as everyone is different. Perhaps they do not have strong reasoning skills, or may not really care as long as they are “part of something big”? I also wonder if their personality type could be one susceptible to being controlled by a strong influence from a charismatic or authoritative person, and/or group. It could even be an emotional connection from growing up in the church! Whatever the case be, the one thing I believe they all have in common is that they are working with the dangerous assumption that Ellen G. White is “God’s End-Time Messenger,” and this qualifies the Seventh-day Adventist Church as the “Remnant Church” from the Book of Revelation. WHY is this so dangerous to believe? It is simply not true since she fails the tests of a prophet. She does not pass the Biblical qualifications to be a direct messenger from God who had visions and prophecies! The false assumption that she is the Spirit of Prophecy of Revelation is most likely based upon false information, and allows them to journey deeper into the pro-Ellen White environment that will lead them to dire spiritual, social, financial, and, even possibly, health consequences! It is just a matter of time before these negative consequences become apparent in the member’s life, whether they are aware of it or not.
THIS MINDSET IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HOW THE SDA CHURCH IS A CULT
In the “Big Picture,” all anyone needs to identify the dangers of Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventist church she helped create and guide as a cult, is the church’s dependency on her role and teachings. The church needs Mrs. White’s role and teachings in order to be the Seventh-day Adventist End-Time Remnant Movement, just as the Roman Catholic Church needs the role of the Pope to “prove” that they hold the keys of heaven by right of succession of the apostle Peter!! What about the Mormon’s Joseph Smith role, or the Church of Christ Scientist’s Mary Eddy Baker? Would those denominations still be the same or still have the same mission without them??? Hands down: NO!! This essentially means that she in her own way takes the place of Christ as head of the church because she is required as a authoritative “guide” in most cases before someone can just use the Bible and pray to our Father in Heaven for inner guidance. This is the same with these other prophets, or the politically correct “God’s chosen!” If you are an Adventist who just read that and do not think this is the case, I challenge you to step back and look at the big picture and see if this is practiced constantly in the church. I am not arguing what is going on in the heart of a believer in ANY of the denominations; it is the doctrine, the creed, the importance of these leaders/founders in their governing body!
A good example of this is the many times I asked my SDA pastor (whom baptized me) questions about Bible doctrine. He would at times, when baffled, reply to me, “I will have to research what other authorities say on the scriptures in question.” From the way that he and other members publicly consistently practiced this mindset, I knew immediately that he was going to reference Ellen G. White’s writings. Again, this is an example of a DEPENDANCY on a charismatic or authoritative person. This is a biblical no-no as the apostle Paul himself passionately taught us not to get caught up in the prophets, or a direct messenger such as himself in this manner (even though they proved themselves approved from God). Paul says, “What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” 1 Corinthians 1:12, 13. (NIV)
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 1 Corinthians 1:17 (NIV)
When it comes to questioning if the SDA church is a cult or not, it is as simple as the answer to this question concerning the role of Mrs. White’s utter influence, “Can you have a functioning Seventh-day Adventist Denomination WITHOUT Ellen G. White’s influence?” The answer is NO. One cannot be subjective about this. It is in the SDA doctrinal books and baptismal vows. It is the mission of the church to spread the unique message spawned by Ellen G. White’s visions. She and other members can claim until they are blue in the face that it is Christ’s church alone, and perhaps it could function without her. But realistically, this cannot happen because the very foundation of the movement is based on her works and life! Just read a copy of the Great Controversy and compare the teachings within it with the church doctrines and you will see clearly the dilemma. Taking her out of the church would mean that it would no longer be God’s End-Time Remnant church in the denomination’s eyes, because she is a sign of the source of its mission since she embodies the “Spirit of Prophecy.”