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Some of Her Critics Would Eventually Doubt the Bible
In 1890 Ellen White made the following prediction:
The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit
of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different
ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the
confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 48.
This prediction is harder to analyze than most, for even a false prophet could say as much. But would
a true prophet ever make such a prediction? To be fair, we have to admit that some of the Bible writers,
like John and Paul, said similar things:
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he
that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit
of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 Jn. 4:6)
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,
let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:9)
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things
that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Cor. 14:37)
If we accept without question John and Paul's denunciations of those that disagreed with them, then to
be fair, Ellen White's predictions of future attacks upon her work cannot be discounted without further
investigation. And in doing that, we want to look a little at one of the characteristics she identified
of those who would attack her, something first written in 1876:
It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the
Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital
points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as
to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to
perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed,
are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will
not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches
them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends
in destruction.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 211, bold added.
Are there those with a Seventh-day Adventist background who have become critics of Ellen White who now
have doubts about the Bible? Ellen White predicted that there would be. Has this prediction
|Old Bible manuscript.—Davis Collection|
Many who take college theological courses have come across the fact that for the last several centuries,
skeptics, liberal scholars, and infidels have been assaulting the Bible's authenticity and authority.
Sometimes these skeptics have claimed that the Bible's authors made historical, scientific, and theological blunders.
At other times they have claimed that the Bible writers plagiarized from other authors, and made
Today's critics of Ellen White often wield the same weapons as the skeptics, which raises
the question, Do her critics believe the Bible? Or, have they instead adopted the conclusion of skeptics
and infidels that the information in the Scriptures is unreliable?
When one asks a critic this question, sometimes the answer given is fairly straightforward. For example,
one critic we asked this of informed us that he did not believe that God commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac,
or that there was a world-wide flood in Noah's day, or that God commanded the Israelites to slay the Canaanites
(Walter Rea). In another conversation, he repeatedly tried to convince us that
Lot's wife didn't turn into a pillar of salt.
In November 2003, another critic told us, "Very few authors in the Bible claimed their writings were inspired.
Why should we?" (Dirk Anderson). Here are excerpts from more recent emails
from this critic, the first series of which describe what he thinks about the writings of Paul:
Of course, Paul was not a prophet and didn't write any eschatalogical books. . . .
Regardless, Paul never claimed his writings were inspired the way EGW claimed hers were. I
simply don't believe you can hold Paul and EGW to the same standard because they each made
such different claims. Paul claimed to be an "apostle to the Gentiles" although it is uncertain
whether any of the other apostles that Christ personally chose regarded him as such. EGW, on the
other hand, claimed to be "more than a prophet", a special end-time messenger to the remnant church
. . . .—"Re: Hello again from long ago." Dec. 5, 2004.
What this critic appears to be saying is that we must hold Ellen White up to a higher standard than the
apostle Paul, since Paul might not be inspired and might not be a prophet since he didn't claim to be,
while Ellen White did claim to be. However, we have to disagree with our critic on this one, for we have
read in the Bible how Paul repeatedly claimed to have had visions, and did claim to be inspired (Acts 9:12;
13:1; 16:9, 10; 18:9; 22:17; 26:19; 1 Cor. 14:6, 37; 2 Cor. 12:7, 1-5; Gal. 1:12; 2:2; Eph. 3:3).
You know Paul was not a prophet, and although he calls himself
an apostle, I don't see any evidence the real apostles ever recognized him as
such.—"Re: More bogusness," Mar. 25, 2005.
I can't find any evidence Paul was a prophet, and he was an apostle only by his own admission.
. . . I believe we should honor and respect what Paul wrote, but please, let's not
confuse him with being an inspired prophet of God.—"Re: Contradictions on Paul," Mar. 25, 2005.
Not only does our critic maintain that Paul might not be inspired and might not be a prophet, but he
apparently believes that Paul might have been wrong when he claimed to be an apostle.
Now let's look at what this same critic believes about the Gospels:
Here's a couple things for you to keep in mind. One, the authors
of the gospels never claimed to be prophets, nor did they claim
to be inspired. With the possible exception of Mark, the gospel
accounts were probably written decades, if not centuries, after
the events happened.—"Re: Now the Gospel has to go!" March 25, 2005.
Surprised at his suggestion that the Gospels were written possibly centuries later?
Similar ideas have been quite common among the skeptics of liberal scholarship for some time now.
Yet it is shocking to read such things coming from someone who used to be so staunch in his
belief in the Bible.
We don't know who wrote Matthew, Mark, or John, although there is a tiny bit of evidence that one of John's
disciples may have written the book of John.—Ibid.
Thus, Matthew may not have written Matthew, Mark may not have written Mark, and John might not have written John.
Sad, isn't it? We wonder why our critic, Dirk Anderson, isn't more forthright
on his web site, explaining to folks that he is no longer certain about positions held dear by so
Luke was not an eyewitness of any of the events, and said he got his material
from other sources. Perhaps he interviewed the apostles or others
who knew Jesus, perhaps he obtained writings that were circulating
during the 1st century, but we don't know who wrote them and
whether or not those authors were inspired.—Ibid.
So what's the point? Where is our critic going in all of this?
|Old Bible manuscript.—Davis Collection|
So, let's not be alarmed when there are minor discrepencies [sic.] in the stories, since
after all, the writers did not claim inspiration, may not have
been eyewitnesses, and were relating stories that happened perhaps decades earlier.—Ibid.
There you have it! The reason why there are alleged discrepancies between the Gospels is because
the Gospels might not be inspired, may have been written by others than who we think, and maybe
were written way later than what we think.
Lest you wonder where we stand in all of this, we are not sympathetic one bit with such views of
the Bible. We believe Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, and John wrote John, and we believe that
all the Bible is inspired, including what Luke and Paul wrote.
Dirk wanted us to know that he still holds to a number of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs:
By the way, I want you to know that hardly a week passes when I don't defend
the 7th day Sabbath. I don't know if your readers realize that unlike many
of the critics of EGW, I keep the Sabbath, I am a vegetarian (with a little
fish), and I believe the dead are asleep in their graves. I have stated to
numerous people over the years that I agree with the vast majority of what
Ellen White wrote . . . .—"Re: Was it God or Dr. Jackson?" Feb. 27, 2005.
We hope and pray that he will soon see his way clear to at the very least endorse Ellen White's
view of Scripture, that all of it is inspired and constitutes the infallible Word of God.
Truthfully, we think this matter of the inspiration of Scripture is more vital than what
day one worships on, what one eats, and where the dead are. As Jesus put it:
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. (Lk. 24:25)
But back to the main topic of this page: Ellen White predicted that Adventists who gave up faith
in her ministry would tend to doubt the Bible. While we don't presently know what percentage
of her critics hold views similar to the above, it will not surprise us if some of Ellen White's apologists
claim that this prediction of hers has already come true.
Give Us Your Opinion
|Her critics doubting the Bible: What do you think of this prediction?
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